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Speak Easy and Carry a Big Stick

"Let's get the moron out of office and put Betty Boop in!" announced the Velvet Hammer's SELENE LUNA, as she launched into a va-voom-aliscious rendition of "I Wanna Be Loved By You," accompanied on piano by vaudevillian eccentric MR. UNCERTAIN, at BRICKTOPS, the swinging speakeasy now playing every Friday night at the PARLOUR CLUB. Hostess VAGINAL DAVIS, taking on the role of Bricky, 1920s Parisian entertainer, crooned gnarly-tipsy versions of "Look for the Silver Lining," and "I Wonder Who's Kissing Him Now?" while throwing down patter about sour-milk redheads (maybe you had to be there). Among those doing a Charleston, of sorts, were BIBBE HANSEN, celebrating her birthday with sons BECK and CHANNING, hubby SEAN CARRILLO, homegirls ALICE BAG and LYDIA LUNCH, and Los Super Elegantes' MILENA and MARTINIANO. Some patrons such as musicians ABBY TRAVIS and KRISTIAN HOFFMAN, the Velvet Hammer's MICHELLE CARR, Sundance programmer SHARI FRILOT, Outfest's KIRSTEN SCHAFFER, and model-gone-wrong JENNY SHIMIZU found themselves having to duck when a dyke drama reached a shrill crescendo: a scuffle broke out that involved writer/performer DIVIANA INGRAVALLO, photographer TRACY MOSTOVOY and a few other folks. Several people got punched out, Ingravallo ended up with the back of her beaded top torn, and two Sheriff's deputies made the scene. Don't forget to say Marta Fuetvonger sent you.

—RON ATHEY

FAUX-NYMPH MANIA

It seems you can't swing a dead cat (or a live one for that matter) in this town without hitting yet another punk retrospective. Writer IRIS BERRY, My Ruin's TAIRRIE B, DJ/jewelry designer JOSEPH BROOKS and Teenacide Records' JIM FREEK were among the congregants at "KISS MY GRITS — THE PUNK ROCK ART SHOW" held at SWING HOUSE, which featured Converse-All-Star-sporting band THE SHAKES as well as art by BETHANY WARD-LAWE, LOUIS CANNIZZARO, JEAN LAZARUS, SIMONA PRIVES, ABRAM BLAKEY, former L7 lass JENNIFER FINCH, Club Bang co-promoter PIPER FERGUSON and zine queen VICKI BERNDT. Berndt's Keane-like big-eyed paintings of bad girls such as Courtney Love, Exene and Patti Smith seemed to get the most attention — perhaps the placement above the line to the bathroom helped. As the night progressed — and the booze ran out — besotted bladder-challenged chicks in studded belts seemed hypnotized by the bright colors, even if the irony of rock's most reckless ladies rendered as innocent nymphs escaped them. One wonders if the decidedly older crowd who gathered at "THE ART OF PUNK" exhibit featuring the works of RAYMOND PETTIBON and SHEPARD FAIREY at the KANTOR GALLERY (formerly Zero One) the next night would have got the message. More obvious to the neo-rebel set's sensibility was newcomer SARA LUX's display of Barbie with inflating balloon boobies. "Implants are definitely not punk rock," one gal in a shredded tee was heard remarking. Try telling that to Ms. Love.

—LINA LECARO

THE TICKET IN

Take a handpicked crowd from Hollywood, publishing and politics, add in some LAPD and LASD homicide detectives, set it against the plush backdrop of the PACIFIC DINING CAR's dark-red-and-leather interior, and you've got HELEN KNODE's fun-tabulous book-release bash for her first novel, The Ticket Out. Among the A-list that packed the back barroom were Knode's hubby, writer JAMES ELLROY, who holed up with actors BRUCE WILLIS and MIGUEL FERRER and director CURTIS HANSON while actors DANA DELANY (whom Ellroy hopes will be cast as his mother in the upcoming film based on his memoir, My Dark Places), DAVID DUCHOVNY (who will be playing Ellroy), scenesters FAIRUZA BALK and DONOVAN LEITCH, power brokers such as dapper D.A. STEVE COOLEY, and producers DICK WOLF, ROBERT GREENWALD and "Hurley impregnator" STEVE BING enjoyed the endless supply of surf and turf. Apparently, MOON ZAPPA savored the tasty treats so much that the original Valley Girl reportedly stashed some steak in her purse while brother DWEEZIL and sis DIVA looked on (note to Moon: next time bring Tupperware). Adding to the night's cool cachet were Details alumni STEPHEN SABAN and ANKA RADAKOVICH, as well as L.A. literati CAROLYN SEE, JERRY STAHL and BRUCE WAGNER, who confessed to screen scribe BUCK HENRY that he'd once had a crush on fellow partygoer PAT LOUD, there with daughters DELILAH and MICHELLE. It was one of those parties that was so hot — and not just because of those heat-packing coppers (party planners BRYAN RABIN and DAVID RODGERS strike again) — that a fellow leaving the PDC after dinner simply had to crash the swank soiree: Of course, it helped that he was actor GARY OLDMAN.

—MADELYNN AMALFITANO

GUEST LIST ME GUEST LIST YOU

Most of the invitees to the VIP part of the DJ ME DJ YOU CD-release bash at JOSEPH'S took "fashionably late" to surprising new standards — at least for an industry crowd — showing up in droves as the freebie-cocktail hour was drawing to a close. Apparently, they were coming out just for the music. Hordes of hipsters, looking more like disciples of Nirvana than connoisseurs of electronica, jammed the banquet room later in the eve for a live performance of the duo's new album, Can You See the Music? While Eels bassist KOOOL G MURDER and artists TONY MENDOZA and JAIMIE COLINDAS admired the vintage soft-porn film footage that bathed the walls of the club, one wag described the event as nouveau Japan meets Hawaii Five-O. DJ Me DJ You's ROSS HARRIS — a former child actor who is mostly remembered for braving the affections of pedophile pilot Peter Graves in the movie Airplane! — noted that he and partner CRAIG BORRELL had to finish the album in three weeks. "It was really fuckin' tight," said Borrell. "We did a lot of recording in the mix-down. For the first track we decided to use an alarm clock that we got from this Indian spice place. Just by coincidence we hit the alarm on the clock, and there's this woman that started to sing in the same key that we were playing. Whatever works — that's what we do."


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