By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
Girls with homeless-hag hair and pricey designer bags, boys in fugly (desperate for irony) T-shirts, and cartoon-characterish cliques grooving geekily (yet self-consciously) to tunes spun by Shepard Fairey (M.I.A., the Go-Go's and the Beastie Boys): Last Tuesday night's grand opening of The Cobrashop in Hollywood had the expected weirdos, wares and wild party atmosphere, an oddball mixture that all makes sense in the context of shutterbug extraordinaire Mark the Cobrasnake's camp consciousness. There were old people (Grandpa Snake, Grandma Snake, Papa and Mama Snake) and young people (tykes and tweens); a wall of clunker TV sets showing The Spice Girls Movie, Hedwig, Beavis & Butthead and The Barbie Workout simultaneously; a merch mélange of old toys and tchotchkes next to stickers and coveted Obey prints, and Salvation Army reject threads hanging next to pop-art, high-fashion Jeremy Scott.
Yeah, it'd be easy to cast a jaded eye at the wacky disparity of stuff, the mesh of awkward chic and hipster attitude, or even the scenester photog's insane success (rent for a space in the Hollywood & Highland complex, where the new store is located, has got to be in the tens of thousands), but we won't.
It wasn't luck that made Mark Hunter a world-renowned arbiter of hipness. It was vision and balls.
Mark's talent for capturing the L.A. club and party scene on film (or memory card) and displaying it for all via the Web was more than just the right idea at the right time. His popularity was also about the guy's own nerdy-cool persona, the company he kept (Steve Aoki, Cory Kennedy, et al.) and, let's face it, the jailbait allure of many of his female subjects.
Can he parlay his notoriety and place in the L.A. zeitgeist into something more? Jet-setting around the world to shoot parties is one thing, but The Cobrashop may be the ultimate test. After the gregarious grand opening, which saw the aforementioned hip-to-be-squaresters pack in with the likes of Peaches Geldof and BF Eli Roth, rap-punk Beardo (spewing off a Mickey Avalon/Shwayze-hazy style flow but with a decidedly more hard core and heartfelt rhythmic fury we rather enjoyed) and celebrated NYC photog/blogger Todd Selby signing his new book, The Selby Is in Your Place (with special Cobrasnake-at-home insert) we're gonna say yes.
The Cobra fashions are atrocious (though waif types somehow make 'em work) and there was nothing we wanted to buy amidst the garage salelike selection of stuff, but that didn't matter. Walking in, it's hard not to buy the vibe. The art-minded scene and colorful individuals who will haunt the place (more parties are planned) will bring us back to The Cobrashop, as it will surely be making the H&H mall a new kind of Hollywood hub this Summer. It sure ain't no Hot Topic.TOO FAST FOR LOVE
We did party on the Sunset Strip with Roxana Shirazi, the author of The Last Living Slut — Born in Iran, Bred Backstage after her Soup signing earlier in the week. This Slut lives up to its name, a raunchy ride drawing comparisons to the depraved antics in Motley Crue's The Dirt. No surprise: Writer Neil Strauss (who co-wrote that one and both Marilyn Manson and Dave Navarro's bios) discovered Shirazi, and in between being schmoozed by movie execs and hit on by dumb, hot chicks (he also did the pick-up artist guide, The Game) at The Rainbow, he told us his new HarperCollins imprint, Igniter Literary Group, came about, in part because of the lascivious memoir: Nobody would put it out, so he did.
Graphic sexual escapades with rock stars and tales of oppression in Islamic lands make for a controversial combo, to say the least. Enjoying the party in a bosom-baring corset, Shirazi came off as sexy and smart as her memoir suggests. Smarter, actually — she does some pretty sleazy stuff in the book, which is like a kinkier, more contemporary I'm With the Band. Strauss' next releases include a Bozo the Clown bio, a mobster memoir and an animal rescuer adventure, all true stories.HAVE A DRINK ON ME
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