The Style Council: Undressing L.A. Nightly

It’s All Geek to Me I am a comics illiterate. But “party” is a language I speak, so I happily attended Friday and Saturday nights’ opening soirees for the massive “Masters of American Comics” exhibition at the Hammer Museum and MOCA. Andrew, a certified comics geek, did the translating. At both events the celebrity quotient was just about nil (blame that dorky image thing), but the bigwigs of the funny business were definitely in the house. I managed to snap a picture of Gary Panter, Chris Ware, Sunday Press publisher Peter Maresca, Art Spiegelman and Matt Groening at MOCA. The thing about all these guys is, they seem like people you want to know. Panter, in orange, joked that he’d shook so many hands the night before, he had a blister on his finger. “I felt like Eisenhower,” he said. My friend Andrew was definitely a little starstruck. “I met Matt Groening,” he said. “I can leave at any time.”

—Steffie Nelson, November 19, 11:16 p.m.

Rule Brut-annia ’Twas a merry night of Dickensian delights on Thursday when kooky Brit-rockers Art Brut played their very first L.A. show. So elevated were the Limey-ness levels at Spaceland that even San Francisco supporting band Every Move a Picture looked and sounded like a 21st-century Blur. As an experiment, I decided to count the number of British accents in the room and was immediately drawn toward a young Oliver Twist look-alike. Turns out his name is Jasper Future and he’s from Queen’s Park, London. His Artful Dodger friend goes by the name Eddie Argos, and together they’re . . . Art Brut! Once onstage, Eddie made himself right at home, hanging his hat on his mike stand and kicking off his boots — literally (nice socks, Eddie!). The lads, who are supporting Oasis for a couple of shows on their European tour, told me they were really excited to be here. And so they should be — their most popular song is called “Moving to L.A.” The track beautifully explains why L.A. is so goddamn Limey-infested: “Hang around with Axl Rose/Buy myself some brand new clothes Everything is gonna be just fine/I hear the murder rate is in decline/When I get off the plane /The first thing I’m gonna do is/Strip naked to the waist/And ride my Harley Davidson /Up and down Sunset street . . .” The boys told me they were staying at the Hyatt West Hollywood — “’cause that’s where Led Zep drove their motorbikes up and down, right?”

—Caroline Ryder, November 18, 6:27 p.m.

Where Do You Get Off? “I’m gonna tell you what my friend told me — never expect a man to be able to do this for you,” says my friend as she holds up a vibrator that gyrates while pearls spin inside and a koi fish flicks its tail. This is rule No. 1 for battery-driven self lovin’. “Got it?” she asks. We’re at the opening party for the Los Angeles store Babeland (formerly known in NYC as Toys in Babeland), where you can peruse items like “Boy Butter,” a cream developed for “fisting,” and diagrams for locating a prostate gland should you be interested in diving the man cave. There are rows and rows of dildos and vibrators, and the staff are taught to make people feel totally comfortable asking, while pointing to a thingamajig hanging off a rubber dick, “What the hell does this do?” And just as comfortable when the response is “It may tickle your asshole, it may not.”

—Linda Immediato, November 12, 7:36 p.m.

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