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Nightranger: Pop Smart 

Thursday, Sep 30 2010
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When Andy Warholsaid that everyone would be famous for 15 minutes, it was before reality TV, photo blogs, social media sites like Twitter and Facebook and, to some degree, the rampant tabloidization of pop culture in general. To say he was prophetic is an understatement, and both his aesthetics and his ideas about fame seem to become more and more relevant as time goes by.

We've been to many celebrations and studies of his influence and straight-up bacchanals in his honor over the years, and more than being just an excuse for a colorful party (which they always are), Warhol-themed gatherings and examinations seem to yield fascinating insights into the zeitgeist, whatever it may be at the time. (It's no coincidence that a story came out recently about Lady Gaga allegedly "speaking to Andy's ghost" regularly for career guidance.)

SOUP-ER STAR

click to enlarge PHOTO BY LINA LECARO - David J spun a sweet set at Royal/T.

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So Royal/T's "The Warholian" opening last Thursday felt perfectly timed. The gallery and café known for its frilly Japanese cutie cliques and whimsical exhibits (Hello Kitty, Alice in Wonderland) seemed to attract a more seasoned art-lover set for this one, but there were still gaggles of gals channeling Edie Sedgwick's mod style, and dudes donning white wigs and cameras around their necks.

Sights and sounds included a pop-up shop by designer Lisa Perry (whose frocks were displayed amidst giant hamburgers, crayons and Heinz ketchup bottles), a Barbie Dreamhouse display (and Barbie merch area with Jonathan Adler–designed accessories), a Dom Perignon champagne bar and display, and a Velvet Underground–heavy DJ set by Bauhaus' David J (who coincidentally told us he used to speak with Edie's ghost while he was writing the musical Silver for Gold about her life a few years back). DJ Diabetic (aka Shepard Fairey) spun a livelier, more Studio 54–ish set later in the eve as patrons grubbed down at the Grilled Cheese Truck parked near the back exit. Cheese is a very Warhol-esque food, thanks to his Campbell's cheddar soup can series, we're guessing.

In this playful spirit, Royal/T's café has a new Pop Art menu including a Twiggy Salad with Edible Flowers, Velvets Banana Pudding and PopCombo of grilled-cheese sandwich and tomato bisque. Enjoy them amidst Warhol's "Marilyn," "Electric Chair" and "Dollar Sign," and pieces by Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons (metallic balloon animals and dog sculpture) and Takashi Murakami through January 31.

BUZZ-BASH MOUNTAIN

Andy surely would have loved the juxtaposition of Out on the Mountain, the wild gay dance jamboree at Six Flags Magic Mountain thrown by DJ Ray Rhodes (Tigerheat) for the past three years. The private LGBT bash took over the Valencia thrill park last Friday night (till 1 a.m.), offering no-lines roller-coaster action, dancing under disco lights and mirrored balls, and even a VIP area sponsored by Stoli in the rustic restaurant across from the Log Jammer.

Liquid courage was in order if we were gonna ride some of MM's scarier monstrosities, so we held court by the cocktails with club promoter Jason Lavitt, hostess Ingenue and Odyssey mag's Cheyne Hauk beforehand. Booze buzz and club buzz abounded. Hauk told us he's moving to NYC to set up a Big Apple version of his WeHo party Club Metro. The Manic Monday at Fubar celebrates its three-year anniversary — and Hauk's departure — on Oct. 4 with performances by the fete's hottest femme-bots and tranny tarts, and guest appearances by Angelyne and Jessica & Hunter Amazeballs.

Lavitt also had some big scoop to share. His long-running '80s night, Club Beat It! at The Ruby, is calling it quits, probably sometime near the end of this year. The popular Sunday dance party has lasted for 10 years and, according to Lavitt, that's the inevitable life span for a retro club. "Kids want to hear the music of their childhood," he told us. "For the 18- to 21-year-olds, that's the '90s." Hence, the Sunday night will time-travel a decade later, transforming with a new name, new vibe, new DJs and '90s sounds heavy on the pop tip.

It's a playlist formula that's done well for Lavitt at As If, his Friday night in the front room of Popstarz at The Factory, though the new one should be more mixed crowdwise thanks to its Hollywood Boulevard locale. Look for Beat It! to go out with a bang (not to be confused with another Lavitt co-promoted club at the Ruby, Club Bang!, still going strong on Saturdays). The 1980s costumes are still the best in terms of pop culture, and Halloween at Beat It! will surely be a bigThriller as usual.

TWINKER BALL

Fag-hagging out at Six Flags was a blast Friday. So many cool couples of all combos (gay, transgender, straight, interracial, multigenerational) were having fun, showing affection, screaming their asses off and dancing up a storm, freely and unselfconsciously. (Soapbox rant: If only everyone could marry who they love and be open about their preferences while serving our country as well!)

If you missed Out on the Mountain, fret not, you've still got Gay Days Anaheim at Disneyland to look forward to this weekend, October 1-3. The annual three-day takeover of Walt's world has been attracting thousands of queer and queer-friendly patrons to the park for more than 10 years, if not with Disney's participation, at least with its cooperation. The park isn't closed for the event but mixes in with the general public (participants wear red T-shirts). There'll be tons of events and activities both in the most magical place and at nearby Downtown Disney to enjoy (Rhodes will be deejaying one of the dance parties and grand drag diva Momma will host events as well). See gaydayanaheim.com for schedule and details.

Reach the writer at llecaro@laweekly.com

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