GREG MILLER and BETH LAPIDES (pictured) have a new offspring. No, it’s not a Chinese baby girl (more on that accessory du jour in a sec). The couple — standup comedy’s Neil Geraldo and Pat Benatar — announced the arrival of The Un & Only, the brand-new CD of highlights from the incredibly smart, super-now comedy night. To celebrate, JULIA SWEENEY, PATTON OSWALT and DANA GOULD took to the stage at the HBO WORKSPACE for a special non-Sunday Saturday show, which was followed by a party for connoisseurs of comedy that forgets to insult your intelligence. Sweeney, who could get by just on being adorable, giggled and apologized through an endearing set about her adopted Chinese daughter, whom she alternately calls either Tara or Mulan, and her attempts to teach the tot about her culture with the help of a Mandarin-speaking nanny. Dana Gould and wife are also keeping up with the Sweeney and looking into a Far East baby girl, which, if this keeps up in the local comic community, will lead to L.A. elementary schools full of cute little dark-haired girls making wry observations. As for Oswalt, you owe me a tube of mascara. Happy to be among the privileged who got into the tiny theater were Curb Your Enthusiasm’s JEFF GARLIN, BOB ODENKIRK (who’s on the CD), Lulu’s Beehive laugh-presario ANDREW SOLMSSEN, and MR. WINKLE, a.k.a. “the cutest dog in the universe,” who arrived late. Not there were some of the people on the CD, including MERRILL MARKOE, ANDY KINDLER and ANDY DICK. As Lapides (rhymes with Encinitas, sorta), cheerily proclaimed at the start of the show, “Nobody buys comedy CDs these days! Chris Rock sold, like, four.”
After postponing the opening of his new club for three weeks because of conflicts with previously booked opening-night performer Dee Dee Ramone, RICKY VODKA finally revved up RAWK HOUSE at the DRAGONFLY last Friday night. And while the fickle punk pioneer didn’t end up on the bill, the evening did have its share of rawkin’ moments. First, openers BAD APPLES drenched themselves with brewskies à la Poison, which left a slip-’n’-slide-like stage for garage grinders THE LORDS OF ALTAMONT, known for demolition derby–style performances. The combustible combo smoked, literally — singer JAKE CAVALIERE torched his organ (the instrument, of course), but he’s apparently now learned not to stand on it while it flames, as he did a few months ago when he seriously scorched his legs. With club fixture SIRIUS TRIXON, film freak BOB SEXTON and members of ELECTROLUX and DRAGBEAT looking on, Vodka’s own MOTOCHRIST (pictured) kept things zoomin’ with sloshy tunes like “We Came, We Saw, We Drank.” Things got more serious when the band played Lucinda Williams’ “I Lost It” in tribute to singer DANNY NORDAHL’s late fiancée, CARRIE HAMILTON, the dazzling actress-musician who was so much more than just Carol Burnett’s kid. Not only was she the coolest cast member from the TV show Fame, she also made her mark in local rock spots as part of groups such as NEIGHBORHOOD DOGS, Club Makeup’s GUTTER GANGSTERS, GILT LILY, and more recently with her country cover band LORETTA SIN & THE SIX DOLLAR SOULS plus her frequent solo jams at the Cat Club. Indeed, the scene is diminished by her passing, and the cover was a touching ode in an otherwise raucous eve of drunken anthems and noisy battle cries.
The Importance of being Freakalicious
“I wanna do Critical Mass — do they have it here?” wondered a fellow at ArtistDirect’s seventh annual SNOCORE tour at the WILTERN THEATER. “L.A.’s the perfect place for it.” Even SAUL WILLIAMS’ angry rants couldn’t distract what appeared to be Bay Area transplants from fantasies of turning L.A. into a grassroots utopia. While Williams worked himself into a frenzy to a hard rock beat for a handful of serious fans, many of the hipster politicos spent most of the time during his set bad-mouthing L.A. and dodging canvassers from the International Concerned Friends & Family of Mumia Abu-Jamal and California Peace Action booths out in the lobby. None of this apathy fazed ArtistDirect honcho MARC GEIGER. Heading backstage, he proclaimed Williams the world’s best poet and MICHAEL FRANTI (pictured) of Spearhead the new Bob Marley. With such appreciation for good indie music, one would think that ArtistDirect’s new label would lean toward more organic-sounding rap acts than the Baha Men rip-offs they’ve signed thus far. On the flipside, underground hip-hop titans BLACKALICIOUS threw down so much sweaty soul ’n’ funk they almost made folks forget about Ben Harper’s rumored guest appearance with the crew. Harper was a no-show, but it didn’t matter. The night belonged to Franti, who with characteristic gusto turbo-charged the previously laid-back chatty crowd into hand-wavin’ ’n’ singin’ fools. And Franti’s political message for the night? “All the freaky people make the beauty of the world!” We’ll vote for that!