(Powdered) Sugar Walls
This being Grammy Week, we partied with — okay, next to — our share of superstars, including “Weird Al”Yankovic atIn Style Grammy Style Studio and Paula Abdul in the bathroom at the actual Grammys (read about both on the Style Council blog). But nothing could compare 2 the royal moment we had at William Morris Agency’s post-Grammy party in a Bel Air mansion. As DJ Adam 12 (who tells us he’s spinning his wheels again while his band She Wants Revenge takes a break) pumped up the volume, none other than Prince stood near the dance floor, flanked by bodyguards and gold-covered glamour gals trying to get a piece of him. Talk about going crazy and gettin’ nuts! This may have been a Bolthouse party, where too-cool-to-be-bothered skinny models and rocker dudes — including the guys from Wolfmother and Godsmack — mixed with celebrities like Scarlett Johansson, Luke Wilson, Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale, but the Purple One (in red) actually caused a li’l commotion, especially when he hung out unguarded near the Krispy Kreme doughnut table later. Needless to say, we were a bit excited. His hit “Cream (Get on Top)” is still stuck in our head .?.?. By the way: Yes, Johansson — who was chatting up some rocker-type dudes, perhaps shop-talkin’ as she preps her first album — is disgustingly gorgeous in person. Overheard party-smack: (from a dude on the way in) “My hepatitis test came back negative. Let’s party!” and (from a chick at the bar) “Forget about all these rock guys. I’m gonna find myself a rich agent!”
The self-congratulatory schwag-&-gag of “awards season” is finally near its end. And though we’re as guilty as the next gal when it comes to knowing who the celebs are wearing (on their bods and on their arms), we always end up OD-ing on the red-carpet frenzy by Oscar time. Fortunately, some of the Grammy parties this week had nothing to do with fashion or free shit and everything to do with good sounds and good deeds. The most notable example: The Black Eyed Peas’ annual Pea Pod Benefit, which took over the Avalon last Thursday. Benefiting the band’s charity for kids, the night commenced with an award for Interscope honcho Jimmy Iovine and a hype speech from Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (who’s obviously peeps with the Peas; he even gave Fergie a bear hug as he left the stage). Speaking of the Dutchess, after some freaky flowin’ with her comrades — accompanied by Slash on guitar for a number — the singer, in a sexy red halter dress, treated the screaming crowd to her solo hits “London Bridge” and “Fergalicious,” complete with hot-schoolgirl backup dancers. Unfortunately, her corny ballad “All That I Got” — her “would you love me if I didn’t work out?” song — drained the room’s energy, and the mellow sets from John Legend and Macy Gray that followed couldn’t get it back. Common, Sergio Mendes and Herbie Hancock did rockit, and MC Hammer hammed it up with some dance moves, though the high point of the show was definitely will.i.am and Wyclef Jean, who freestyled about being doppelgängers in English and Spanish (’Clef’s time with Shakira paid off!). No one’s confusing them now that Jean prudently cut his dreads, though. The only thing that could have made the show better? If any of those chillin’ in the VIP section — Eve, India.Arie, Blu Cantrell, Frankie J, Daddy Yankee,Grammy nominee Mary J. Blige and especially Dr. Dre (where’s he been hiding?) — would’ve been willing to “get retarded” with the hospitable hosts.
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Up All Night
Will.i.am’s a busy boy. We hung out near him and comedian Dave Chappelle at another funky free-for-all, The Roots’ Annual Grammy Jam at the Key Club onSaturday.The hip-hop happening featured the group as backing band to Queen Latifah (who sang a sweet rendition of her old-skool hit, “U.N.I.T.Y.”) and Arie jamming with Anita Baker, the latter of whom needs to bone up on modern music. The R&B diva had no idea who Hasidic rapper Matisyahu was, and even asked for help introducing him. Finally she just said, “You are?” and handed him the mike. His melodious set was far too short, as was Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump, who shocked us — and the crowd — with a spirited rendition of Carl Carlton’s “She’s a Bad Mama Jama.” No joke. The event, which kept the club open till 4 a.m., also served as a launch for the group’s “Feed Your Roots” campaign to educate kids about composting.
Dance .?.?. STAT!
Don’t know exactly what it had to do with the awards, but the grand opening of Spin Doctors, a new Saturday DJ night at the Highlands on Hollywood Blvd., was billed as a Grammy thang too. It featured a fashion show from Ed Hardy, which we thought we’d hate but actually liked. (Hardy is, after all, the Von Dutch of the ’00s, donned by celebs and wannabes all over Tinseltown.) Models pranced the stage in slinky dresses, pointy flats with hand-painted skulls and roses, and blinged-out belts as the hip-hop band Optimus rocked around ’em and break dancers came dangerously close to landing a sneaker in their pretty, fragile faces. No collisions occurred onstage, but when headlining bodyrock “doc” DJ Vice (a DJ AM comrade who usually spins on the A-list circuit) got on the gurney that held his turntables, the floor was bumpin’ — literally. The debut of the hospital-themed club (the go-go dancers dress like naughty nurses, of course) also marked Highland’s sixth anniversary, and promoter Joe Joe tells us he’s got some major DJs booked for the upcoming months. Looks like just the adrenalin shot this club inside Hollywood’s biggest tourist trap needed.