Beat Streets

Say what you will about Vice mag’s overzealous penchant for all that is crude and rude, but they definitely know how to get their party on. Nightranger’s been to their drunkenest doozies over the years, and the hangovers were actually worth it. It’s no wonder alcohol sponsors continue to clamor to be a Vice “Do” (it definitely helped Sparks and Pabst Blue Ribbon earn ironic hipster cred — both are drinks du jour at L.A. soirees these days). Colt 45 is the latest cheap chugger to align itself with the publication, and its party last Thursday at former Bukowski haunt Charlie O’s (recently taken over by the peeps behind Bar 107) was suitably trashtastic. The place is rough, all exposed pipes and Christmas lights, and though the crack wacksters that used to hang there are gone, some shady characters still managed to mix in amid the skinny-jeaned types, eventually getting into a brawl with security that continued outside on Spring St. Still, DJs C Town and Haul rocked the dance floor, and we see lots of potential for the space whether they spruce it up or leave it be (the divey look definitely conjured Vice’s skanky-not-swanky vibe better than the last “Tales of Colt 45” shindig at the Standard). A live rock night there on Sundays called Tripolar is supposed to be pretty trippy too.

Later Thursday we ended up at Crash Mansion (formerly Grand Ave.), where Dave Navarro and DJ Skribble performed together for the debut of Hybrid, a new club night “mashing up” live rock and DJ-driven dance sounds. If this concept sounds familiar, it’s basically what DJ AM and Travis Barker have been doing for a while now: embellishing rock, hip-hop and electro hits off the turntables with live rhythms. In lesser hands, the concept could come off karaoke-cheesy, but luckily Navarro has more in common with Barker than an aversion to wearing shirts (all the better to show off those tats!); he’s got the skillz to make this kind of musical fusion work. The horny honeys who squeezed us in at the front of the stage sure loved it — one boldly caressed the guitarist’s butt whenever he came near, and the other screamed so loud we actually heard her screeches over the blaring beats. Tommy Lee watched from the audience, and while we couldn’t get through the hordes surrounding him to ask about the whole Kid Rock boxing match thing (we’d actually pay to see that), we hope to get the chance when he takes the Crash Mansion stage with DJ Aero on Oct. 11. Wanna bet he’ll be shirtless?

Party Like a ? Pop Star

Justin Timberlake is whiter than Wonder Bread, but there’s no denying the boy’s seductive soul. Now we know where he gets his sexy. “Fuck it, I like to drink,” he said before giving a shout-out to the Mexican mamas in the house and taking a tequila shot onstage last week at Staples Center. Nothin’ like a li’l Patrón to get the falsetto funked up and sharpen the pop-lock moves, eh? Good Charlotte opened, and though they seemed a strange choice at first, we changed our mind after chatting with Benji and Joel Madden backstage (which, by the way, was just as bustling as you’d expect). Clearly these two have come a long way from their Warped Tour days, and, famous girlfriends aside, we found them to be extremely down-to-earth. Their sound has always been more pop than punk, so opening for J.T., they say, has been a good fit and made for “the best time of our lives.” Anyone who’s ever heard ’em deejay at Cinespace and LAX knows these boys got an ear for hip-hop too. Unfortunately, “We can’t rap,” admitted Benji, so don’t expect synchronized dance moves or Lil Jon duets anytime soon. No Nicole Richie in sight that night — though Joel did say his baby mama has traveled with him throughout the whole J.T. tour — and we didn’t see Jessica Biel (you know ya wanna know!) either, but we did see another Jess — Jessica Simpson, that is — grooving by the stage, as well as singer Nikka Costa, and Timby’s ex’s sis, Jamie Lynn Spears. Other guests during the last string of L.A. dates included Kanye West (who got onstage for a duet), Timbaland (who pimped his new video game with a crazy visually enhanced DJ interlude) and Kevin Federline (who watched the long show longingly, we hear). In related news, that World of Wonder “Just Britney” art show we mentioned in last week’s column is this Friday, not Saturday, and in light of Brit’s recent woes, we’re guessing it’s either gonna be the most positive Spears-related news event in years or quite the provocative pity party. It’ll probably be both.

Something in the? Water

Is Atwater the new Silver Lake? Is Eagle Rock the new Echo Park? Will people ever stop making these kinds of dumb-ass comparisons? The first one is bound to be asked when the scenesters start flocking to cozy new Los Feliz Blvd. bar The Griffin. Actually, after last Friday night, it looks like they already are. Despite pouring rain, the place was packed (many there for our very own bro’s birthday party) and owner Aaron Chepenik (who also owns The Chalet in E. Rock) told us there’s been a bounty o’ b-days there ever since they opened five weeks ago. With its homey, rustic décor — totally redone from the days when the place was Latin hang La Strada — and killer jukebox, it’s easy to see why. Fly by.

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