THE DING BAT SHOW (STARRING SHARON STONE?)
For many, the big Coachella comedown of last week wasn’t about rest but rather a hair-of-the-dog, headfirst dive back into L.A.’s club and music (ex)cesspools. Why not? We can’t recall a more audacious, action-packed week: Dim Mak Tuesdays’ Ed Banger bash (and Daft Punk deck surprise), LCD Soundsystem’s DJ set at La Boum (Prince was there!) and Diamond Dogs’ Jeremy Scott/Misshapes guest mash-up (where The Gossip’s Beth Ditto and Keith Richards’ offspring held court), not to mention Depeche Mode on Hollywood Boulevard, Afrika Bambaataa at Vanguard, Gangstarr at Villa and the Weekly’s own wild L.A. Weekend. We poked into a couple of these, but after dealing with the chaos and Coachbags (a.k.a. douchey ’chella goers, as coined by Diablo Cody on Twitter) of the week prior, Nightranger much preferred to get back into the groove gradually. More our speed: an art show at our favorite trendy hotel, a star-studded sit-down music sampler for a great cause and a little margarita-fueled clowning around.
PICTURES OF YOU
L.A. Weekly’s annual LA People issue hit the stands last week of course, and for one of its subjects, Shadowscene’s Ellei Johndro, the day of its debut was extra special, as it also happened to coincide with the opening of her retrospective photo show, “Fragments and Figmentations,” at The Standard Downtown. Miss J’s display was as unpredictable as we anticipated after interviewing her. Yes, the subjects were young, hip, hot-mess types out in the clubs, but all had multidimensional depths upon second glance: the glint of a liquid-lined eye, the hue of flung tresses, the abandon of a dance-floor kiss. The attendees and DJs spinning at the exhibit made for an art-imitating-life-imitating-art scenario, which, we learned, will get a Round 2 at the hotel’s WeHo sister, The Standard Sunset (the pics, and photog herself, will be in the “box” behind the front counter, where a live model usually holds post) during the manic electro/disco/old-skool dance party known as Mad Mondays. MM will also be celebrating its first anniversary in the hotel’s futuristic “purple room” that night, and we hear some major mixmaster guests will be on hand. Mark your calendars for Monday, May 11.
LADIES’ NIGHT AND THE FEELING’S RIGHT
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With powerhouse hosts like Linda Perry and Brent Bolthouse, performers including Sarah Silverman and Christina Aguilera, and practically the entire cast of The L Word as presenters, the L.A.Gay & Lesbian Center’s “An Evening With Women: Celebrating Art, Music & Equality” benefit at the Beverly Hilton promised an exceptional Friday fete, and it was. Heartfelt stories and filmed vignettes from honorees and people whom the center has helped, hilarious show hostess Jennifer Coolidge, a mini set from Uh Huh Her, a sweet mother-daughter bit between Cybill Shepherd and Clementine Ford (who just came out officially), an exploration of the “P” word by Silverman (whom we realized we might have a li’l girl crush on . totally froze while standing behind her in the ladies’ room!) all made for an eve of femme-driven fierceness. Things got a little too ferocious when Sharon Stone took the stage for the auction portion, though. How do we say this delicately? The woman is gorgeous — at 51, no less — and what she’s done for AIDS awareness is more than admirable, but . she’s a looney bird. While moderating the auction for big-ticket items Friday, she insulted larger-stature lesbians, harshly admonished the crowd for not bidding higher, boasted about the millions she gets paid, nattered about getting liquored up to do love scenes with Ellen D., and other nonsensical, nonstop babble that made the show run so late. They ultimately had to cut her short. Apparently, this wasn’t the first time, either. Google “Sharon Stone Auction” and a full page of batshit-ness pops up. Maybe it’s shtick, but more likely, Ms. Stone needs to lay off the free bubbly at these types of haps.
Regardless, those who waited out the wacky were surely glad they did when Perry and Aguilera took the stage and offered a stirring rendition of “Beautiful” (which Perry penned) with string accompaniment. They were also joined by longtime local psych-rockers Big Elf for a soulful version of John Lennon’s “Mother” (as Xtina covered on the CD Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur). Attendees included Sharon & Kelly Osbourne, Dita Von Teese, Kelly Lynch and Clea Duvall (also a presenter and clip narrator); the after-party was deejayed by (who else?) Samantha Ronson. In all, it was an inspiring evening. Kudos to Bolthouse and Perry — whom we’ve known since her dread-headed 4 Non Blondes days — for giving back and bringing so much giddy girl power together in one room.
CLOWNS TO THE LEFT, JOKERS TO THE RIGHT
Speaking of giddy — and wacky, Nightranger found herself partying with a bunch of red-nosed fools at El Cid recently, and we’re not talking about happy hour with the local boozers. Killer clowns have infiltrated Silver Lake, but these bozos are not to be feared — unless of course you’re scared to die laughing. The Ding Bat Show offers four of the funniest pasty-painted jesters around, serving up a rock & roll circus of classic clown feats (juggling, fun with Ping-Pong balls) and not-so-classic high jinks (a spit-swapping toothbrush gag, an interactive kissing-booth skit, a climactic striptease). Featuring alumni from Ringling Bros Clown College (wonder what the homework was like?) and New York’s acclaimed Happy Hour clown troupe, this slapstickin’, ass-kickin’ variety showcase also boasts burlesque dancers and Rasputin’s Marionettes (former puppeteers from the Bob Baker theater). The insane posse’s bag of tricks is (big) tops for those seeking uniquely sublime nightlife folly, and it just so happens to be going off again at El Cid this Monday, May 4. Go to www.elcidla.com for tickets.