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Michelle Carr and Selene Luna rock the crimson lips at La Luz de Jesus.
In the fickle flurry of clubland, any new hot spot in Hollywood can get the buzz and the bodies that first magical month the doors open. Maintaining the heat is far more challenging, and though it was cold and rainy last Saturday, we definitely found the antique French-salon-style space the The Green Door,which opened last summer, to be tres toasty. Designer Johnny Zander (who formerly worked with Amanda Scheer Demme at the Roosevelt Hotel)has created an ornate yet whimsical room that adapts well to both the spiffy dinner crowd early in the eve and the more boisterous dance babes who sweat it up here later. The French onion soup and the cute waiters definitely warmed us up. We hear the Tuesday jazz nights — featuring pianist Deron Johnson (a Miles Davis protege) and trumpet player Stewart Cole (in Beck's band) have been sultry too, with recent attendees including John Mayer, Pink, and Macy Gray. She Wants Revenge's beat-man Adam 12 was on the decks Saturday (he also spins Fridays and trades off with DJ Sean Patrick on Thursdays). Zander will be working on a Ritz-style hotel soon, but in the meantime, the Door is his main domain. It ain't exactly easy to get to the other side either; if you're not on the list and don't possess the right je ne sais quoi, you probably won't get in on weekends, a policy we totally support after seeing the trashy hordes that piled into the Cabana Club next door that night.
Speaking of Sean Patrick, his roaming club concept Temporary Spaces, which transformed a former crackhead den on Fountain Avenue into a chic modern lounge last year, has yet to uproot and make over another depleted dive or blank building as was planned, and that's fine with us. Upon our visit there the week before last, we had a frivolously fun time with a handful of strangers dancing to “Guilty Pleasures” (the name of the Friday weekly) from the likes of Dee-Lite and Madonna, and the room's dark and intimate feng shui definitely lent a certain coziness to the craziness. It'll be missed when it finally does move (Patrick says that should happen in a few months). In the meantime, weekly promotions there include DJ C-Town's Fever Thursdays and Fridays, a guilty groove-fest … T.S. might be staying put for a li'l while, but that's not the case with a few other clubs around town. Bodacious Boy's boys' bash Tigerheat (see last week's column) is moving from Arena to the Avalon starting Thursday, Feb. 28. Apparently the abrupt venue change is due to friction between one of the promoters and the space's owners, who we hear might be trying to retain the Heat's pop-tart crowd for themselves by throwing a similar promotion on Thursdays. Sounds exactly like what happened when Giant left Circus (Arena's sister club on the same lot). In other space-spat news, DJs Cody Wayne and Rudy Bleu are looking for a new home for their electro-dance rager called Outre (which has one of the most outlandish gay/mixed crowds around). The place had been pumping strong for a few months at underground-ish Echo Park art and music gallery Pehrspace (home of avant-garde rock promoter Sean Carnage on Monday nights), but after their outrageous bash there last month (which got so raucous, even the kitchen sink got thrashed), the party was, yup, kicked out. The next Outre is scheduled for this Friday, Feb. 29, but at press time they hadn't found a new venue; check their MySpace page (under “outrela”) for updates. We were there for their final Pehr party and it was outta hand. See for yourself in our online slide show.
HELL AND BACK
We didn't go to any of the big Oscar parties this year, but that doesn't mean we didn't ogle our share of glamour girls this past weekend. It was like a reunion from hell — and we mean that in the most wonderful way — when Michelle Carr (formerly Michelle Hell) signed copies of her beauteous new coffee-table tome featuring the lovely ladies from the Velvet Hammer burlesque at (where else?) La Luz de Jesus gallery in Silver Lake. The Saturday-night soiree and signing was swarming with curvy, crimson-lipped cuties who've cavorted onstage for the Hammer, many of whom we haven't seen in years, some of whom now also happen to be mamas — and mamas-to-be. As expected, there were some obvious no-shows (in the book and hence the bash), most notably Carr's now-estranged cohort Rita D'Albert (who has her own sexy spectacle, Lucha Va Voom). Still, even if you're not familiar with the troupe, burlesque fans should appreciate this bombshell of a book. Seen twirling about the mostly tattooed T&A wall displays: photog Austin Young (who shot the cover), performance provocateur Ron Athey, art maven Marcus Kuiland-Nazario and sirens from the book including Annie Sperling, a.k.a. Ming Dynatease (still wigglin' in Strip Show, a vampy VH offshoot), Selene Luna (Bobby Pinz) and Hope Urban (Scarlette Fever). Carr, who's back living in L.A. after an extended stay in Berlin, has another literary work on the way, a chronicle of her seminal L.A. coffeehouse/music venue Jabberjaw (where the likes of Nirvana and Beck played in their early days). Gathering rare photos and extensive memoirs from prominent regulars and performers, this one should be a fascinating slice of L.A. history, though we wonder if all the recollections will be rosy. Nightranger had some wild times there back in the day, but the night we'll remember most was when we got robbed at gunpoint outside the place by a tweaking gangster rat. The space was fabulous, but it was, as Elvis sang, in the ghetto. In retrospect, that might have been part of its charm.