Just when we were starting to feel overstuffed and stifled by one too many cookie-cutter electro-kid clubs and velvet rope–dopey dance havens, our quest to find inimitable, unbridled and artfully grand nightlife happenings seems to be getting easier. Maybe it’s the spirit and creative boost of spring, but the sundry shower of meeting spots and soirees we’ve been drenched by lately has left us reinvigorated. Read on for the torrential report.
DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE
The Cavern Club Theatre may be “the basement of a Mexican restaurant,” as host/star Jer Ber Jones (a.k.a. Robbie D.) repeatedly reminded during his Easter-themed Telekinesis show last week, but there’s something about this little room below Casita del Campo that allows big personalities and talents to shine like nowhere else. The crazed cabaret, themed “Tales of the Wicked Hare,” featured Jones as some kind of androgynous Alice in a wacked-out Wonderland (fashioned in paper, straws and foresty flora and fauna by designer Douglas Little), donning various whimsical dresses and dramatic guises. The show revolved around a story about the Easter Bunny wanting to “fuck a girl who looks like me,” said Jones, and his presence was utterly mesmerizing and hilarious. He definitely has singin’ chops (put to the test when the sound went out), and he’d better have, with supporting players like: Ann Magnuson (in a Playboy Bunny getup — looking hot! — and crooning a randy number about candy, complete with a giant tooth and dental-pick demo); The Lady Tigra as a dark blowup Li’l Bo Peep singing in French; a bubbly ’n’ operatic Prince Poppycock; and experimental-music maven Anna Holmer making music with eerie vox, old phones and greeting cards. There were also a magical opening dance by Michelle Carr; some burlesque-y vignettes from dancer Leila Bazzani (what this girl does with a mirror is mind-blowing, though Jones and Carr mocked another kind of, uh, blowing, with it afterward); and Diamondback Annie’s creamy-but-far-from-cold banana split–tit finale. Seen savoring the sights: club bub Mario Diaz, queen of queens Jackie Beat, DJ Paul V. and li’l lovely Selene Luna, who has her own Cavern show coming up Wed.-Thurs., April 29-30, with Nadya Ginsberg. The show, which promises to explore the gals’ Mexican-American (Luna) and Jew-talian (Ginsberg) roots, is a can’t-miss, for these misses and Ms. Beat as special guest. Also, catch Telekinesis’ next spectacle, “May Is So Gay,” Fri.-Sat., May 8-9.
NUTHIN’ BUT THE DOG(S)
From silly wabbits to weed-lovin’ woofers, Nightranger did one of our patented polar-opposite party hops, leaving the cross-dress mess above to join smoke-clouded packs for a Snoop Dogg show at Avalon. The Microsoft “Our World Live” event was touted as the first high-def live-streamed concert (seen by an estimated 2 mil online), and promised some “big-name guests.” Unfortunately, the duo everybody was buzzing about (and let’s be honest, the main reason we came), Dr. Dre and Eminem, were no-shows. Snoop had lots of time to fill and he did a decent job, cranking out all kinds of old-school jams (Houdini’s “Friends,” Eric B. & Rakim’s “Paid in Full”). He even did some bizarre country twang rap. Of course, most of the impromptu jammin’ was pot-related, culminating in a musical mantra moment he’s done before — he chanted “Smoke weed, get drunk and fuck” to a neojazz beat. The technology of the eve obviously inspired the rapper too. Only a few days later, he was seen live-streaming on Twitter, fatty in hand. (Toker tie-in: See our 4/20 club picks on the Dance Clubs page this week). … A more dressy type o’ doggin’ took over H’Wood a few nights later. As a friend of the club, we realize we’ve probably hyped Diamond Dogs enough, so we’ll keep this brief. Guests included Bryan Ferry (who quite curiously left as swiftly as he arrived), Tim Armstrong, Rose McGowan, Dita Von Teese and hundreds of the hottest glitter-glazed and fashion-crazed cuties — of all ages — we’ve ever seen. There were go-go dancers in Bob Mackie, visuals featuring everything from Divine to Russ Meyer, and sounds that rocked from every decade. As one pal uttered to us on the dance floor, “It’s like Club Cherry grew up.” Or, as Michael Des Barres said (via his Facebook), “Like an NYC nightclub in the ’80s … without the coke.” We’ll just let our sloshed snapshots (thank the glam gods for autofocus) speak for themselves in this week’s slide show.
BUY THE WAY
Snatched a sassy purple-velvet frock last week to wear to a future DD night at the weekly Art, Craft & Vintage Fair (formerly Sundays at the Citibank on Glendale Blvd.; now Saturdays at the Micheltorena School on Sunset Blvd.). Slowly building steam in the new spot, the fair, put on by Ghetto Gloss Gallery, has art, groovy retro garb and handmade goodies galore, and it tops Nightranger’s list of places to spend your hard-earned cash. The GG gals also got a regular rock night at La Cita (we’re kicking ourselves for missing their last bash, featuring Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, fronted by — a woollier, these days — Ima Robot’s Alex Ebert). Thankfully, the megaband will be doing a residency (promoted by Ana Calderon) downtown next month, and the Gloss have more music mayhem to come too (see www.ghettogloss.com for their La Cita lineups). … Another great place to drop a wad? The new all-vinyl record store from the Origami label guys on Sunset Blvd. in Echo Park. Had the pleasure of meeting the owners and catching live music from the label’s own Wait.Think.Fast and Nico Stai (getting a lot of online love lately thanks to appearances on Rockville, CA, a new Web-based drama — think The O.C. set in The E.P. — on www.thewb.com) a few weeks ago, and the Ori guys say more might be in store. In the meantime, the selection is killer and LP prices average about 12 to 30 bucks. Buying new albums here has its perks, too; those who purchased Crystal Antlers’ new one, for example, got a free ticket to see ’em in Eagle Rock Thursday. See music feature in front of this issue for more on National Record Store Week.