Stuff Happens

Lust was in ample supply at the boobs-a-poppin’ SEVEN DEADLY SINS soiree for STUFF in Old Chinatown. Party planner JEFFREY BEST put together the titillating men’s-mag party, hosted by the Alliance’s BRYAN RABIN, JOSH RICHMAN, SHANE POWERS and HARTWELL, while DJ MIKE MESSEX spun out of control. Curio stores did brisk business — we spotted a few shoppers changing into dragon-embroidered robes — and the outdoor plaza took on the air of a singles swap meet, fueled by a free-flowing bar, behind which a very acrobatic woman balanced five flaming candelabra. Then there was the surprise firecracker show that prompted a few in the crowd to hit the pavement. You try distinguishing a fireworks display from a drive-by after a couple of cocktails. Star power included actors ALYSSA MILANO, ANTONIO SABATO JR., BIJOU PHILLIPS, CARMEN ELECTRA, CHINA CHOW, ESAI MORALES, CRISPIN GLOVER, LISA MARIE PRESLEY, TOBEY MAGUIRE, TORI SPELLING (pictured) and Stuff cover girl LACEY CHABERT, as well as Sugar Ray hunk MARK McGRATH, superstar DJ KEOKI, designer MONAH LI, Dragon Talent maven ROBIN HARRINGTON, supermodels THE CHANELL TWINS, art director KERRY “The Silver Fox” COLONNA, DJ and writer BRENDAN MULLEN, L7’s DONITA SPARKS, C Bar–fly JOHNNY CAMACHO, realtors to the hip and fabulous ANNIE and ROSIE FLANDERS, writer STEPHEN SABAN and gossip sponge JANET CHARLTON. Also on display was the eighth deadly sin, cell-phonia, as a few attendees were unable to disconnect their phones from their big heads. Oh, the heartbreak of social-intercourse performance anxiety.

—J.V. McAuley

Lowly, Longly, A Wail Went Forth

Well, you know or don’t you kennet or haven’t I told you every telling has a taling . . . and twice is enough already! I mean, Jaysus, you’da thunk maybe thorny old, horny old Mr. Barnacle’da been immune to vulgar pop-polarization. Well, thunk again! It may not or maybe a no concern of the Guinnesses but RICHARD NELSON and SHAUN DAVEY’s music-hell vision of JAMES JOYCE’S THE DEAD seemed to go down sweet — like swill, Sweeny, not solid food — at the recent star-stunted premiere (just as it had in New York, where critics and cranks alike tend to go giddy over anything that comes in for under a trillion). Among the ass-elbowed cogniniente: MR. (“Just troy ’n’ oat-Oyrish me!”) BLACKWELL, all choked up in a Kelly-green scarf; as-ever incautiously coifed STEVE ALLEN and JAYNE MEADOWS; Gentleman GIL GARCETTI, insistently goaded by ungarrulous goons through secret VIP Door No. 1; White Trash Lotto winners ANDY PRIEBOY and RITA D’ALBERT, both no doubt taking notes on what not to inflict on Broadway next season; progpol TOM HAYDEN, acting most affirmatively on behalf of his Fenian roots; JO ANNE WORLEY, still scrunching her mug and scratching her assets; DAVID CARRADINE, bound (we guess) for glory again; and, a tad unsettled by the prospect of digging new digs, JOHN FLECK and RYAN HILL. “Snow was general all over Ireland.” And so, gentes and laities, it’s white shite every night at the Ahmanson, at lighting up o’clock and until further notice (or all the way to September 3, whichever comes first).

—Ron Stringer

Here’s the Story . . .

The return of JOHNNY BRAVO, a.k.a GREG BRADY, a.k.a BARRY WILLIAMS , at Santa Monica’s 14 BELOW was proof positive that you can be a ’70s sitcom star and not end up a bankrupt, video-store-robbing crack addict. The club’s crowd consisted of mostly 20-something Gap poster children bursting out of their khakis, waiting to see Williams’ quasi–lounge lizard act. And his choice of songs was certainly odd — only one Brady Bunch classic, “It’s a Sunshine Day” (episode 92: “Amateur Night”), and covers of the Turtles, the Beatles, Johnny Nash and Queen. During “Johnny’s Back,” he whipped out his powder-blue Johnny Bravo matador jacket with the gold tassels (episode 98: “Adios Johnny Bravo”) and even invited some audience members onstage to learn a few O.G.-style Brady Bunch dance steps (swing hands sideways, bend knees, kick your foot and clap hands). The night before, Williams was signing his CD, The Return of Johnny Bravo, and a collectors’ edition of his autobiography, Growing Up Brady: I Was a Teenage Greg, at Borders in Northridge. We had a chance to chat with him before his Q&A with the fans, and he mentioned plans to do an Eminem cover, “I’m the Real Greg Brady.” Finally, Greg Brady gets to say the F-word — and we don’t mean far out!

—Siran Babayan

Experimental Jet Set

All kneel in praise to the sound people at EL REY and at the WILSHIRE THEATER, who by some miracle of modern technology (or taste) managed to achieve for SONIC YOUTH what had to’ve been the best live sound we’ve ever heard. In front of a smart video of New York street and subway scenes, the patron saints of primeval noise looked happy and healthy, and jesuz k. rist, did they play well, a totally profesh mix of hairy-ass punk thump & howl bleeding into full-on no-apologies new-music improvisatory screech, twiddle, drone and blat. But back to the sound: Wow, STEVE SHELLEY’s snare drum — rich, meaty, not too much high-end, for once not like a rifle shot, more a deep-tissue massage — body-rockin’! All this and THURSTON MOORE, LEE RANALDO, KIM GORDON and their pal “Ubiquitous” JIM O’ROURKE had to perform on a new set of el-cheapo guitars, since they got all their gear ripped off out in FUCKIN ORANGE COUNTY. Thurston was in fine ax-god form, skinny arms flailing away, eating out his guitar too, plus crackin’ some pretty good jokes and doing his Fight Club imitation with O’Rourke; Ranaldo played seriously well both nights, in both big-bawling and more lyrical modes, and his grainy vocals were a warm human touch; focal point Kim Gordon plunked very odd bass roots, scratched her guitar, tooted some trumpet, and god she’s beautiful. Anyway, it was loads of educational fun for the whole family, and the crowds both nights were notable: There were NO STARS in attendance. What a relief!

—John Payne

Edited by Kateri Butler

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