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Hustle and Flow 

Destination burlesque; nobodies, wait here; birthday cake and jam

Wednesday, Jul 30 2008
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The sexy dance revues of Ivan Kane’s Forty Deuce hit the jackpot in Sin City, but if you’ve driven down Melrose lately, you might have noticed that everything at the original L.A. location is, for once, all covered up. Kane is moving Deuce to downtown, but his reps tell us it won’t be ready for some time. Café Was, his new piano bar on Hollywood and Vine, however, is slated to open this month. As for the Melrose space, it’ll be rechristened soon by one of the fellas behind The Bar on Sunset, sans striptease. ... Speaking of twirling ta-tas, downtown’s decadent burlesque-friendly den Bordello has seen some changes recently. Partners Elizabeth Peterson and Tony Gower (Royal Clayton’s) are out, while Michael Pecina (goth fave the Monte Cristo) and his daughter Nicole are in. The Pecinas also own the new downtown tavern called The Bridge on Santa Fe (yet to officially open, but currently doing “soft opening” gatherings Saturdays). Designer Dana Hollister (The Paramour) is still the owner of Bordello’s, but Nicole tells us that since coming in, she and her pops have brought new sound and new lighting, and they plan to have more DJ-driven nights too. Fear not, femme fatale fans, she says burlesque will be even more bounteous there. Check out the launch party for their new weekly Friday night The Vixens Run Wild — Girls in Garters, with house DJ Herick Hell spinning in between dance vignettes, this Friday, August 1.

Lina Lecaro

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Go-go dancers at the Kress

Lina Lecaro

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George Clinton at Zune L.A.

Click here for more photos from this week's Nightranger.

Two other live-music venues have been in a state of flux recently. Safari Sam’s — which just parted ways with media man/partner Chad Forrello (Bollweevil) — is also introducing a new bar concept, Jimmy’s Place, in the mezzanine every Tuesday starting August 5. Jimmy’s patrons will get a special wristband and free admittance whether the club is dark or not. Times seem kinda tough over there, so hopefully Jimmy’s will jive. ... The Knitting Factory is not closing down as has been rumored, though there was a public hearing challenging its CUP (conditional-use permit) after a couple of complaints were filed (brought, according to many in the blogosphere, by the Scientologists based down the street). KF’s Bruce Duff says all went well at the hearing, and as long as the club sets aside a permanent place to serve food, it should be cool. The management have two months to address the issues. Interestingly, many at the hearing, including vice cops, testified that the Factory (the boulevard’s only regular live-rock-music venue other than the Fonda at the other end) never presents problems for the area. Duh. Everyone knows the cruisers and cretins come out for the dance clubs and bars! Wonder why nobody challenge$ them?

KRESSED TO IMPRESS

The street’s newest temple of excess, called The Kress, shouldn’t have any of the above troubles. Just when you thought they couldn’t possibly squeeze another nightclub onto the Walk of Fame, this big and beauteous boîte from restaurateur Mike Viscuso (the king of San Diego’s Gaslamp District) has transformed the old Frederick’s of Hollywood building (Kress department store before that) into a flamboyant five-story funhouse. Asiana-meets-mod décor and a blend of grandiosity and ambiance that recall Vegas’ priciest dance palaces make this marvelous monstrosity a must-see. Last Friday night, we enjoyed some scrumptious bites and sensuously named signature drinks (love “The Lovely”!) in the majestic red glow of the main dining room, then took a tour of each fabulous floor in the structure. The people (females) got prettier with each advancing level, and when we finally made it to the much-buzzed-about rooftop, we were bombarded with the three B’s (big boobies, blondes and bottle service). Seriously, though, the roof is the closest thing you’ll get to dancing in heaven, but don’t count on seeing it if you aren’t loaded or luscious. We hear there’s a three-bottle minimum for tables and you gotta score a coveted colored wristband to enter. Even without the roof raging, patrons will be busy here though. The basement houses a pumping dance club (the DJ played mostly hip-hop bangers, though his Katy Perry “Kissed a Girl” dance mix was interesting), while the third-floor lounge was anything but, thanks (in our opinion) to a better DJ and a more intimate dance floor. The second floor houses private dining areas (for celebs, natch) and a full sushi bar. Things to note: Making a reservation for dinner doesn’t guarantee club entry unless you have a large party; get dolled up but wear comfy heels (the elevators get so crowded, most opt for the stairwells, which means lots of walking, especially if you have all-access ... we actually loved the stare, uh, stair area’s energy, and the bright lights made for the best people-watching). Some big parties are in the works here, and, thanks to recent 944 and Absolut bashes and promoter Pantera Sara, who hosts Fridays, everyone from Justin Timberlake to The Hills and Entourage crews (of course) has already popped in, but if you’re a nobody, prepare to wait at the velvet ropes in the back of the building for a while, especially if you’re a dude. This one’s actually worth it though.

B-DAY BOOTY

The onslaught of summer birthdays means candle blowin’ is as copious as clubbin’ in Nightranger’s datebook, and last week, we attended festive fêtes for a funkster and a freakster. George Clinton and Hennessy celebrated his 67th at Zune L.A. with a jovial P-Funk jam session, bringing out Sly Stone and Chili Pepper John Frusciante. Unfortunately, neither joined in, but the players there (including violinist Lili Haydn) did tear the roof off the sucker. ... A few nights later, Teenacide Records’ Jim Freek got rowdy at The Redwood (a.k.a. “Pirate Bar”) with fellow b-day babe Vanessa Gonzalez (MOCA), with guests including Don Bolles, Kim Fowley, Howie Pyro and tons of band peeps in eye patches and stripes. We hear a lot of the same crew will be back there this Friday, August 1, when Peachfuzz play Ricky Vodka & Eden Knievel’s weekly S.O.S night. Aaaaar-rockin.’

Click here for more photos from this week's Nightranger.

Reach the writer at llecaro@laweekly.com

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