As David Bowie sang, "Time to face a change, look out you rock & rollers." At this past weekend's white-trash-themed MAKEUP at EL REY, it was announced that the flamboyant club honoring all things glam rock will be no more, prompting many a glittered eye to well up after the show, which featured Southern-fried performances from drag dolls ALEXIS ARQUETTE and MZ. ALLANA and decidedly manly men EARL BROWN (from HBO's Six Feet Under) and Burgundy Room door dude TORRANCE. For the farewell shindig in August, promoters JOSEPH BROOKS and JASON LAVITT will take the club back to where it all began three years ago with a powder-compact-shaped flier: a night devoted to the Wham-Bam man himself, plus a celebration of the 30th anniversary of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars. "It's our first farewell tour," says Brooks, paraphrasing D.B.'s famous last words when he retired Ziggy onstage, although Makeup will come back as the occasional special event, such as the Halloween costume bash. In the meantime, Brooks and Lavitt plan to fill the void left by their monthly night of mascara and mayhem with their new "electroclash" event called SYNTHETIC, which debuts this Friday night at El Rey. Electroclash -- a combo of synthy electronic beats, new wave and pop -- is all the rage in NYC and the U.K., and the look to sport is très '80s. But will the T-Rex and Bowie wannabes go the Soft Cell/Human League route? Just in case, Tony & Tina cosmetics will be on hand (just like they used to be at Makeup when it began) to help with the ch-ch-ch-ch-changes.
GET DOWN ON IT
Runners-up for the Class of '79's "Best Dressed Award" turned out in full polyester-clad force for K-BIG 104's DISCO FEVER at the HOLLYWOOD BOWL. THE VILLAGE PEOPLE kicked off the musical festivities, with a mix of veteran VPs and younger, prettier clones of the original members. After a quickie lesson in proper body posture for the song "YMCA" -- a skill that could be useful at our "next bar mitzvah," we were told -- the boys launched into an amped-up, flag-waving version of "In the Navy," spotlighting their newest member, the fatigue-clad Army Guy. After some clips from Saturday Night Fever, celebrating its 25th anniversary, a prerecorded tape of a bloated John Travolta showed the star wearing an airline pilot's uniform (or does Scientology's Sea Org simply have a new look?) while paying aw-shucks homage to the landmark film's cultural importance. Between sets, DEBRA JO RUPP from That '70s Show and DANNY BONADUCE of STAR 98.7 bantered with K-BIG DJs, joking about the '70s Farrah Fawcett 'dos -- for guys and gals -- that seemed to be everywhere. The evening's second act, NILE RODGERS AND CHIC, looked fabulous during an entire high-energy set that got platform shoes -- vintage, of course -- tapping. In a night filled with oddities, the only thing stranger than talk-show host MONTEL WILLIAMS joining the band for a song was seeing former Guns N' Roses guitarist SLASH do the same. Headliners KOOL AND THE GANG ran through rather low-key renditions of their greatest hits -- even guest artist PRINCE HAKIM couldn't muster much fervor. Shaking their booties were designer SEAN LOVE, actor JASON FELIPE (complaining to anyone who would listen about being cut from Minority Report) and voice actor/teacher LISA VACCA. But the "Le Freak" award of the evening goes to the chubby chap from Riverside who did a striptease during "Macho Man." The decade that refuses to die makes for a most unfashionable corpse.
LA BELLE, UN MOT
It was a night with a little something for everyone as a mélange of music scenesters and downtown artists roamed LOS PALMAS alongside the occasional corporate types at RESONANCE, the new monthly fusion fest from the folks at Genuine Vibes. Those in a more mellow mood stuck to the backroom to take in the paintings of L.A. artist GUY COHEN and, later, folk band SHAID, while the groove-and-dance-minded crowded the main room, where cool chanteuse HEATHER BRADLEY added her velvety vocals to the loungy trip-hop of OVERSOUL 7 (which included RICK TORRES and KIRAN SHAHANI, formerly of Supreme Beings of Leisure). Proving that there are no limits when it comes to interpreting electronica, Illogical SRL's DJ LEN DELUXE and diva NEMETIA LOCKHART paired sweet beats with Carmen's "L'Amour" to reinvent the aria as opera you can dance to. But the real buzz of the evening centered on the breakdancers, including MOY, ENERGETIC, LIQUID and KUJO, who cleared themselves a little space in the dining room to put on a dazzling array of new- and old-school moves before taking over the main floor with several other b-boys in a finale of one-upmanship that had the crowd cheering and one partygoer proclaiming: "This sure beats the boys at Felt."
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