Royal Rumble: Prince, Queen Latifah, Fischerspooner and the Dukes of DFA
View more photos in Lina Lecaro's "Royal Rumble" slideshow.
Movie-biz glitz and shiz was on the forefront around town last week, but the club business in Los Angeles is what’s truly deserving of accolades and awards. The range of ragers and events in L.A. has never been so abundant, and last week’s diverse festivities were a shining example — and we’re not just blathering about Oscar bashes, either. Where else but in L.A. can you ogle a hot actress’s sexy-chic clothing line in a fancy mansion with Queen Latifah and then catch not one, but two dance-floor innovators spinning to very different crowds (kids and queens) at clubs about 15 minutes from each other, all in one fantastical Friday night? A post-awards event Sunday eve (actually Monday morn) did mark one of Nightranger’s most astounding and surreal musical experiences ever — dancing onstage with Prince and his fans — and the star suck-up at the Kodak down the street was almost inconsequential next to that majestic moment.
For dance-music lovers, Friday came down to disco versus electro, with Fischerspooner and DJ Danger on the decks at Control at Avalon and DFA’s Pat Mahoney and Hercules & Love Affair’s Andy Butler whirling the wax (no laptops for those lads!) at Shits & Giggles downtown. Chatting up Casey Spooner before his 12:30-ish set, was definitely refreshing. Garbed in a form-fitting black-and-white-striped onesie, the artier half of the electro-glam duo talked about the group’s new self-released record (Entertainment out next month), his favorite music makers (Boys Noize, Ratatat) and his distaste for “celebrity DJ sets.”
“We’re doing it for the money,” he said matter-of-factly. “We need to spread the word about our new record, too. We’re making music in a time of economic crisis.”
Of course, from hard times comes brilliant art. Still, we weren’t quite feeling the set as much as we’d hoped. The glistening over 18-ers on the floor were definitely outta control, but do the crazed crowds suggest that the wild popularity of “electro/new rave” (or whatever you want to call it) might be reaching its pinnacle with the cool kids right about now? What’s next? we wondered. Control’s bookings indicate it’s intent on providing an array of sounds for nubile trendies of all tastes, so it should be able to sustain the hordes for a while. This Friday, one of our fave female beat-freaks, NYC’s Princess Superstar, takes the decks. Expect a sonic sampler of rock, hip-hop, and new electrolicious nuggets.
By the time we made it to Shits & Gigs around 1:30 a.m., there was a blazing booze-fueled inferno on the dance floor. We missed Mahoney, who, we heard, was under the weather and played early, but we did get to bump in the booth with Butler, not to mention watch a bounteous balloon drop and pop-a-thon. The party went til 5 a.m.! Good vibes, vampy fun and sexy synthetic sounds were enjoyed by all, though things did a get a bit intense out front when we spoke with fab door diva Phyllis Navidad about her Anti-Prop. 8 cabaret event at Numbers in WeHo last week. As was all posted over the ’net (Facebook, MySpace) the next day, performer Jackie Beat was, according to Beat and Navidad, attacked by the club’s owner with a microphone after the event. Apparently the dragster’s droll, no-holds-barred brand of humor didn’t sit well with a couple of people at the fund-raiser, which led to the aggression. The tale of how it all went down is a bit long, and Beat tells it better than we ever could, so check out her MySpace blog under “Jackie Beat Attacked” (MySpace.com/jackiebeatrules) for her side of the sorted story. “Numbers is so over,” Navidad said of the recently remodeled supper club. While that’s probably not the case with locals and regulars, it is sure to suffer with a lot of the drag community and dancing queens who frequent Giggles. Promoter Victor Rodriguez was thinking about doing a night there but no longer. The buzz is he may bring a new bash to Bardot (above Avalon) soon.
GOT THE LOOK
Speaking of Avalon (again), the space formerly known as the Palace lived up to its old moniker Sunday: It was the “secret” locale where pop god Prince held his post-Oscars bash. Going on just before 2 a.m., his royal highness served up a giddy, golden platter of covers both funkin’ (“Hollywood Swingin,’ ” “Play That Funky Music”) and rockin’ (the Stones’ “Miss You” and “Honky Tonk Women,” The Cars “Let’s Go,” and Jimmy Eat World’s “The Middle”). It was pure luck that got us onstage dancing behind the enigmatic performer (wearing a white jeweled tunic), and let’s just say, after waiting for hours to see him, and shakin’ our groove thang to three tunes straight at almost 4 a.m. left us delirious. Read the full review on the L.A. Weekly’s music blog, West Coast Sound. Finally, we do have another Oscar-related bash to boast about before bidding adieu to awards season. We didn’t even try to get into the Vanity Fair fete or Elton John’s shindig, but the happenings at Haven in Beverly hills were more our speed, anyway. Taryn Manning (Hustle & Flow, Boomkat) presented pieces from her sassy clothing line Born Unicorn before a Russell Simmons runway presentation. T’s line included really cute, boho jersey frocks paired with Paris Hilton shoes (not half bad); both gals were there in all their sparkly glory (Mz. Hil in a tacky sequined headband) along with Latifah (in no makeup and a hoodie — love her), the naked guy from the Sex and the City movie, and The Girls Next Door’s Kendra Wilkinson. Haven offered freebies and spa treatments (including lipo-sculpting!) during the day, the better for hot hangers-on to flash skin in slinky garb all over town that night and the wild weekend that followed.
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