Rhythm & Chews
As with many Hollywood parties, the BUBBLE-GUM BALL had guests who spent the evening falling on their asses and grinding their jaws, and were certainly going to feel even worse the next morning. This time, however, it wasn’t because of an open bar and designer drugs. The bash, thrown by FERAL HOUSE and SCRAM MAGAZINE to celebrate the publication of Bubblegum Music Is the Naked Truth: The Dark History of Prepubescent Pop, From the Banana Splits to Britney Spears, was held at WORLD ON WHEELS roller-skating rink. While DJs spun Partridge Family, Kiss and Raspberries hits, guests spun around the disco-lit track on battered rental skates, wiping out every few feet. The garish fluorescent lighting made revelers like punk goddess DEE DEE TROIT, DJs RILEY MORE and SEÑOR AMOR, and members of THE NEGRO PROBLEM, THE DICTATORS, MELLOCADS and the cable-TV show THE THREE GENIUSES look like escapees from a John Waters movie. SPARKLE JETS U.K., THE CONDORS, THE SHAKES, TEACHER’S PET (clad in matching, horrifying ’70s-style pink bell-bottoms and French-cut T-shirts) and host Cheeseburger’s EDWIN LETCHER pumped out pop covers all night, while NIKKI CORVETTE, backed by THE PINKZ, made an exuberant comeback. About the only one wise enough to stay on the sidelines in street shoes was singer NIPPER SEATURTLE, who fondly remembered the days of Flippers, the West Hollywood rink that hosted the likes of Prince and the Go-Go’s. Flagrantly ignoring the rink’s posted signs, “No hats, scarves, hair curlers or gum on the track,” everyone gobbled Double Bubble by the handful — there was even a bubble-blowing contest. Gum on the track? Now that’s the dark side of pop. —Pleasant Gehman
Where the Elite Meet to the Beat
Overpriced greasy food, loud music, fried-egg-on-the-sidewalk swelter . . . Sure, it’s the same thing every year at the SUNSET JUNCTION STREET FAIR, but we just can’t stay away. The fair is the perfect place to catch up with old friends, ogle exes or grab a quick hug from acquaintances we’ve been wondering about, many of whom we only see at the annual Silver Lake soiree. As usual, there was an endless parade of pierced nipples, Betty Page look-alikes carrying parasols, homo hipsters, panting puppies, public displays of affection, and stroller-pushing moms and dads. Scenester central was the Spaceland-manned Bates stage, where Saturday’s lineup — which included W.A.C.O., LOS SUPER ELEGANTES, BEACHWOOD SPARKS and ELLIOT SMITH — brought out pop tarts in mangled cowboy hats and fake Chloe sunglasses. Nightlifers APRIL LaRUE, GIRL JAMES, BRYAN RABIN, SWEET PEA and HEIDI RICHMAN were soaking up the daylight for a change, while scribes BELISSA COHEN and MARK EHRMAN, ink pushers BOB VESSELS and RILEY BAXTER, and designers MONAH LI and EUROPA were sizing up the vendor booths and carnival rides. There was plenty of action outside the new clothing store Vice, with downbeat electro DJs attracting a groovier if smaller crowd than at the Power 106 booth, Edgecliff or Urb/Giant stages. Outside the Manzanita Room, performer CHRISTOPHER WONDER did street shows donning stilts and a straitjacket — no easy feat in the heat. Down the road, the hair salon Sugar offered $10 Mohawks, attracting a host of bargain hunters who got sheared by sometime DJ/stylist TOMMY C. Sunday was decidedly more raucous, as the Bates stage woke up locals with early shows from THE URINALS, THE ROTTERS and THE HANGMEN. Most of the wife-beater tees-’n’-tats throng arrived at a still-steaming 4 p.m. to see garage rockers FLASH EXPRESS, but it was only when scream queen TEXAS TERRI, with MIKE WATT guesting on bass, went on that S’Lakers and Hollywood-ites such as Motorcycle Boy’s EDEN and FRANCOIS, Velvet Hammer hotties RITA and MICHELLE, Les Deux Cafés dame COREY PARKS, and rock-doc maker P.J. WOLFF started to leave their shady spots. The raunchy redhead was full-throttle as always, but when her bra came off near the end of the set, it wasn’t her doing this time: An overzealous fan had managed to grab it, prompting Ms. T to yell, “Are you trying to get me fucking arrested?” We tried to take a break from the kooky cacophony, only to walk right into a boisterous bunch of winged creatures, which turned out to be a promotional promenade led by the all-girl punk band FUCK BUNNY at the other end of the Junction. So it was back to Bates, where we spotted Bicycle Thief/Thelonious Monster BOB FORREST with fellow Monster PETE WEISS; musician KEITH “Tree” BARRY, who is the dean of the new Flea-sponsored Silver Lake Conservatory of Music; Love & Rockets’ KEVIN HASKINS, pussy print-cess KARI FRENCH, the Cramps’ TIM FERRIS, Odyssey mag shutterbug CANDYASS and Chocolate Bar’s SHAKESPEARE checking out the splendidly sloppy set by PYGMY LOVE CIRCUS (pictured), which ended with appearances by DUKEY FLYSWATTER and DUCHESS DE SADE. Soul rockers THE BELLRAYS wound things down as colorfully clawed MC DIZ started to lose her voice and our feet started to throb. Another function at the Junction was over, and we were left with only one question: Where the hell did we park? —Lina Lecaro
Gadget Grows Up
Last week, the L.A. party circuit was somewhat akin to hanging out with the computer club in high school, with techno-geeks from around the globe swarming dozens of soirees big and small hosted by nearly every computer-graphics or -animation company in town. The nightly gearhead gatherings followed days spent checking out the latest gadgets at the Convention Center, where SIGGRAPH, the weeklong trade show for the computer-graphics industry, was held. WEB3D ROUNDUP, the Miss America pageant of 3-D animated Web pages, took over the ground floor of the FIGUEROA HOTEL for the ORBLIVION afterparty, where the boys with toys put on an impressive poolside display that included huge screens of psychedelic animation, a giant sound-reactive LED-light windmill called the HypKnowTron, and the ambient techno-grooves of DJ NICK PHILIPS. But nothing we saw could compete with the exotic performance by belly dancer ANAHATA. Give us the low-tech every time. Accompanied by Electric Skychurch drummer ALEX SPURKEL, the hip-swinging beauty awed the crowd in the Moroccan-style basement known as Room Tangiers. And she wowed her throng of admirers even more afterward, when she spent hours talking tech. Turns out the gypsy queen is a closet computer geek. “These are my people,” she declared, waving a bejeweled hand at the pasty-faced crowd. Boot it up.
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