Picked From the Vine
Despite Avalon’s occasional rock shows, the stretch of Vine between Hollywood and Franklin has been dominated lately by dance clubs like Basque and Forbidden City, whose clientele are usually looking to scam, not jam (unless it’s in traffic). That may change now that Vine Street Lounge has been taken over by music-industry guy Ron Mesh, whose connex are obviously coming in handy. The space’s new weekly offerings include a “Rock Star DJ Night” (Kristopher Roe from TheAtaris and Andy Babiuk from TheChesterfield Kings have spun so far) and an all-star house band called Hard Again on Wednesdays featuring Blondie’s Clem Burke, the Romantics’ Coz Canler and the Plimsouls’ Eddie Muñoz.Dunno what the moniker refersto (Viagra, anyone?), but whenwe popped into the opening, the hump night before last, Burke spoke a lot from behind the kit, almost condescendingly describing the set (largely blues-bar territory with covers of Chuck Berry and Ike & Tina Turner) as “a history lesson.” The band wasn’t educating many, though — nearly everyone there, including surprise guest Gary “She Talks in Stereo” Myrick (who did a Jimi Hendrix cover) was baby-boomer age and beyond. Still, this night of oldies is a goodie.
While our Echo Park homies were watching theCircle Jerks rock out at the F Yeah Fest (abbreviated after the organizers got heat for plastering posters with the word “Fuck” all over the hood) at The Echo Friday night, Nightranger ventured west for a far more clamorous musical experience: Paris Hilton’s record-release party at Privilege. As we’d hoped, Par got onstage around midnight to gyrate and “sing” cuts (including a cover of Rod Stewart’s “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?”) from her new record. Even with the help of backing tracks, her baby-babble vox were hard to hear over the roar of the crowded club — and she was hard to see too, especially when Verne Troyer, a.k.a. Mini Me, blocked our view midway while atop some big dude’s shoulders. It’s just too easy to slag the airy-voiced heiress, but though the club vibe was hoppin’, her miniset was a tantalizing train wreck, especially when technical difficulties pumped out a loud feedback noise during the last few songs. To Paris’ credit, she kept right on prancing for photo-flashing fans and guests, including Tricky, Hugh Hefner and his Girls Next Door, sis Nicky, and rappers The Game and Three 6 Mafia, who joined her onstage as well. Upon exiting, females (only) were given a giant swag bag with just one small but potent item inside: Hilton’s new perfume, Just Me. Unfortunately, it proved as much of a stinker as the performance.
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Nightranger and fellow L.A. Weekly blog babes The Style Council hosted Safari Sam’s belated grand-opening party last Thursday, and a wild time was had by all, especially when the awesome karaoke band S.W.E.A.T. (Wednesday-night residents at El Cid) took the stage. These guys were not only tight as hell, they made everybody — from Club Dandy’s white-wigged boy toy Prince Poppycock to S.S. manager Chad Forrello to Christian crooner Sarah Kelly (okay, she didn’t need the help) — sound like a rock star. The show was so scorching, in fact, that the band’s amp spontaneously caught flame at the end of the two-hour set! Now, that’s hot.