Nightranger: Twinkle, Kinkle
Tabloid culture is baffling — and sad — on many levels, especially living in L.A., where the subjects (dis)gracing mag covers in the grocery store can often be seen in the flesh, amid a flurry of flashbulbs as well. Of course, this is mostly the case at night and in the vortex of Hollywood. At this point, we're almost desensitized to the gangs of stalkerazzi (and the disappointed looks they flash us nobodies) while exiting the clubs.
Strangest of all might be the attention whoredom that drives the machine in the first place. Even though we see her out a lot, we've never had much to say about Lindsay Lohan. But her recent appearance at parties thrown by the very peeps and pubs that tear her apart most (Perez Hilton's birthday bash, covered here last week, and Star Magazine's Young Hollywood event this past Thursday) is just bizarre.
Star always throws fittingly stellar soirees, and last week's shindig at Voyeur was no exception, but why targets of tab treachery like Lohan and Brittany Murphy's widower, Simon Monjack, would be there seeking camera snappage is beyond us. Like we said, sad. Nightranger was there for a few reasons: a live performance by VV Brown (a soul-pop mama with moxie and jazzy pizzazz who lives up to her hype), an awesome goodie bag (swag of note: Spanx-like panty girdles from Dr. 90210's plastic man Robert Rey), and to get another look at Voyeur itself.
Recently in the news for a Republican National Committee–expensed visit, the upscale venue's sexy décor and faux-fetishy go-go dancers have garnered so much interest that the club's Web site reportedly crashed a couple weeks ago. But we found the revamped place old-hattish, both when we visited several weeks ago and again at last week's Star party, where girlies bumping and grinding on each other in bikinis was as salacious as it got. Downright tame compared to its previous incarnation, Peanuts/7969, where provocative promotions back in the day included Sin-a-matic (real skin-raising S&M antics onstage and on the dance floor were the norm), Illusions (a tranny/queen show scene) and Michelle's XXX Revue (two words: topless lesbians). Now if the RNC partied at one of those haps, then they'd have a scandal.
INSIDE THOSE SILKY SLEEVES
It takes a lot to shock Nightranger these days, obviously, but one club still manages to make us blush (at least) every time we visit: Miss Kitty's Parlour. Celebrating its eighth anniversary last Saturday at the Dragonflywith an Asian-themed "Fuckee Suckee Ball," the Boulet brothers and foxy figurehead Miss Kitty outdid themselves with this one.
Chinese décor and delights included a massage area, go-go geishas, "long dong" dancers and a spin-the-wheel game in which patrons were spanked and tanked on shots from rising drag supa-star Miss Barbie-Q (just seen in Lady Gaga's "Telephone" video), not to mention sexy cheongsam dresses slinking around to DJs Josh Peace and Barbeau. Thankfully, there were no happy endings during the "Suckee" contest involving a fake phallus, but it still wasn't for the meek. Naughty night crawlers will be happy to know that it's not an ending for Kitty's shameless camp vamps, either. The bros promise more carnal carnivals soon.
UP IN YOUR GRILL
More covered but equally colorful cuties shake and shimmy at another Friday freak-out: Club Romper Stomper at the Hollywood Bar & Grill. If you haven't heard of the groovy '60s/'70s–themed monthly, don't feel bad — neither had we till last week, when our pal Rodney Bingenheimer co-hosted it with retro party girl Asia Muka. We hadn't ever really noticed the Grill, hidden inside the "Gower Gulch" at Sunset and Gower, where Rite-Aid and a very busy Starbucks usually make parking a competitive sport, but we will from now on. It has a great dance floor, good sound, a stage, and food is served till 10 p.m.
Friday's girl-band lineup, featuring L.A.'s own Woolly Bandits and Australia's gloom-gal trio Dark Shadows, brought out a fun mix of tarty, Twiggy types and a noticeable horde of horny Hollywood dudes. The bands were alluring, after all, especially Bandits singer Christa Collins (formerly Christa Larson). Always thought the gal had the goods, but thanks to Rodney's intro, we learned something new about the black-haired babe: She's a former Disney recording artist who once crooned backup for Michael Jackson (1991's "Heal the World"). Woolly's rock is a far cry from the poppy stuff Collins did as a kid, but it's still pretty magical. Check it out on May 8 at the Redwood.
The next Romper is on May 7, but before then, another club at the Grill, DJ Soulshaker's mod mash The Bullet, should offer equally smokin' '60s-ish sounds and sights: No cover for tax week on April 17, and on May 1 the "Mods May Day" party promises scooter-ridin', freewheelin' fun for all. If you think the shopping center's parking situation is normally nuts, imagine hundreds of Vespas in the mix! Should be a riot.
Finally, two birthday gatherings rounded out another wild Nightranger week: one for Jumbos Clown Room's best-known barmaid, Michelle Morgan (one of our BFFs — muah!), and another for writer/designer Clint Catalyst at the home of director Darren Stein. We don't usually write up house parties, but sometimes they yield the best scoops. So what's a pop journo to do? In this case, spill: Stein, who wrote and directed the bad-girl classic Jawbreaker (starring Rose McGowan), tells us exclusively that he is working on a stage-musical version of the film with songwriting duo Jeff Thomson and Jordan Mann. A read-through is set for April.
Stein also produced a horror-comedy called All About Evil, written and directed by Joshua Grannell (a.k.a. San Francisco's midnight-movie impresario Peaches Christ) and starring Natasha Lyonne, Thomas Dekker, Mink Stole and Cassandra Peterson. See more info at allaboutevilthemovie.com, and look for an L.A. premiere event soon. As for Catalyst, the cocktail-party convo consisted of too much to tout, project-wise, here. Check out his bodacious blog, clintcatalyst.com, for restless rants and recounts.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.