Uplifting Mofo Party
Thisll sound blasphemous to some, but we gotta admit it: Weve never been big on Eddie Vedder.The super-serious stance, the melodramatic growls, the red-faced squints, the corduroy... just not our bag. But after seeing the Pearl Jam singer up close and intimate at Hullabaloo, the annual benefit for the Silverlake Conservatory of Music (held at the Henry Fonda on Cinco de Mayo), weve completely flipped. Vedder offered a stripped-down solo set, with just an acoustic guitar (and a bottle of wine), that was completely compelling. He lost none of his intensity when Flea, original Pepper drummer Jack Irons and Sex Pistol Steve Jones joined him for some more upbeat P.J. and Neil Young stuff. The fiesta, hosted by deadpan man Woody Harrelson (sample joke:What do you call four Mexicans in quicksand? Quatro de Sinko!) and attended by the likes of Michael Des Barres and Jack Black,offered free booze and Latin food, not to mention a stellar lineup including Vedder, Mickey Avalon and, of course, The Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Though not as inspiring as Vedder, Avalon was, as always, (a)rousing. The former prostitute made no attempt to censor himself for the kiddies in attendance, though he was noticeably more covered up than usual i.e., his ass wasnt hanging out of his jeans. (The same couldnt be said for his miniskirted dancers, however.) Avalon even spewed the boastful My Dick with co-rapping from actor Simon Rex (?!). Surprisingly or not it was the pubescent set that chanted along loudest and proudest during the tune. After a more child-appropriate magic show, Rob Zabrecky astounded us further with his auctioneering skills, hawking everything from a scooter with celeb signatures to a walk-on spot on the Showtime series Weeds. Of course, the Peps set was the main event, but by the time they came on, the tequila had been flowing for hours, which meant more than a few fans chucked their cheese into the crowd (it was Cinco de Drinko after all). Sure smelled funky! Still, the benefit raised big bucks for the school, which is offering camps this summer. Despite the younguns fondness for dirty raps, were pretty sure they wont return from Conservatory camp with American Pielike one time, at band camp anecdotes. We hope.
Drunk Grandma... Fannnntastic
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Speaking of summer pleasures, nothing beats soaking in soundz under the stars, especially at cozy alfresco venues like the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre. They stopped offering loud rock music a long time ago (though two of our most memorable concerts there were the Chili Peppers in 88 and Janes Addiction in 89). But the Fords lineup is still quite eclectic. We caught season opener Charles Phoenix and his retro slide-show spectacle last Friday, and were taken back to a simpler time, when shirts were starched and starburst wall clocks were hip (okay, they still are). Phoenix finds his slides in thrift shops and at garage sales, so its always different; this show included everything from drunk grandmas to shopping mall openings, all from the 50s and early 60s, and all dubbed Fannnntastic by Phoenix (his fave word). In the spirit of these vintage visuals, Phoenix even made the white-trash dessert fave Ambrosia, though with his special ingredient wieners it was anything but food of the gods. Phoenixs Disneyland Tour of Downtown L.A. (which includes a lunch stop at kitschy cafeteria Cliftons) takes place this Sun., May 20, and next Sun., May 27. Take it and learn that L.A. is, indeed, a small world after all.
Here Comes Summer!
Keeping track of the hot new nightlife thang is tough enough, but staying dialed in to the meanderings of already established hangs too? Its a tough job, but somebodys gotta do it! So take notes, scene fiends, cause this is stuff youll wanna know before you get gussied up to go out as the months get warmer. Three (body)rockin rave-ups, Check Yo Ponytail, Transistor and Bootie L.A. have new dance floors to break in. Franki Chans Ponytail, which just celebrated its first anniversary at Safari Sams, will now be at the Echoplex every other Saturday starting May 26. Mashup club Bootie does the reverse, moving from the Echo to Sams on June 2. Meanwhile Transistor, the indie danceteria from the Par Avion peeps, has moved from the Grand Star in Chinatown to 416 Cantina (inside Señor Fish), an unassuming downtown spot. Thats sure to cement Mexican restaurants as the hot spots for summer, what with La Cita continuing its reign and expanding outside soon and Velvet MargaritasViva La Rock & Roll Wednesday (hosted by Ricky Vodka and Eden Knieval) bringing out a new generation of leather-jacket rebels and the still-pretty peeps who used to go to Pretty Ugly. Speaking of seasoned and still-sassy rawkers, Scream queen Dayle Glorias got a new weekly shindig at Boardners; opening night is tonight, if youre reading this on Thursday, May 17. Couple other new clambakes were intrigued by: the Blue Lounge at Moonshadows in Malibu (where Mel Gibson got famously shit faced), now featuring electronica by the sea nightly; and hump-night happening Live at theWitch Trials, held at The Bar in Hollywood and hosted by NYCs 1977/Misfits Party boy Chris Clancy. Well give you the full scoop on both these shindigs in the coming weeks, and also report back from Cheeters, a new Wednesday night of booty beats spun by DJ Pube$ at Cheetahs. No need for prude dudes or tame dames to stay away, either: These days the ta-tas at the strip club are covered by bikini tops.