View more photos in the “Nightranger: Peaches, Marijuana Policy Project, Playboy Mansion” slideshow.
Peaches’ raw and raunchy grinds have gotten more polished over the years, but whether she’s rockin’ out like Joan Jett (Fatherfucker) or humping hooks like Britney Spears’ bad-news big sis (her latest, I Feel Cream), she continues to prove that she’ll always be balls (and boobs) to the wall. The second of her two-night stint at the Henry Fonda Theatre Sunday saw her backed by a full band and packing in the props for a sexy space-girl spectacle that rivaled the stage pandemonium of the Queen mother, Madonna herself. It was a dizzying array of costume changes, light projections, lasers, lit-up crotches, duets (with Shunda K — formerly of Yo Majesty! — Peaches’ keyboardist, done up like Iggy Pop), crowd surfin’, Star Wars light sabers, giant wigged dancers (one of which was Carmen Electra), and even some weddings (in defiance of Prop. 8, Peaches — who’s an ordained minister — “married” three gay and lesbian couples). The electro-punk maven has come a long way since we first saw her, humping alone in hot pants years ago at the Knitting Factory for Teaches of Peaches. Her shameless Eurotrash-tastic grooves were dismissed as shock-schlock by some back then, but time has proved the freaky fembot style completely ahead of its time (Lady Gaga, Christina Aguilera et al. all rip off the gal . no surprise that the latter, along with Drew Barrymore, Scarlett Johansson and Ellen Page, were seen at the Saturday show). Her vocals were more robust than ever on Sunday, and she was so charismatic and captivating that, really, the bells and whistles weren’t necessary. But for this succulent sista there’s no such thing as too much. One-on-one with Peaches is fun, but the multifaceted sonic orgy she’s got goin’ these days is mind-blowing.
Not much could live up to the postconcert, post-coital-like bliss, but Full Frontal Disco came darn close. The monthly boogie night from Mario Diaz and Ryan Heffington at the Grand Star in Chinatown hosted the official after-party, where, eventually (1:30 a.m.), Peaches opener Drums of Death did a DJ set. The masked masher wasn’t exactly getting the love at the Fonda (more people were showing off their sequined outfits on the roof than pounding to his set inside), but the feathers ’n’ polyester set at FFD seemed to dig him, especially when he put on a techno’d-out version of the classic(al) anthem “A Fifth of Beethoven.” Before that, DJ Slash Fiction had the floor a-hustlin’ with fun remixes of faves like “Funkytown” and “I Feel For You.” Also notable about this diva dive, some of the hottest, most theatrically retro-garbed regulars we’ve ogled in one place, topped only by the hosts. Hef is always a whimsical peacock and Diaz does disco pimp like no other!
Speaking of pimps, that other Hef opened up his home last Thursday (as he often does for a good cause), for the annual Marijuana Policy Project benefit party. Mindless hedonism is all well and good, but the increase of charity events at the Playboy Mansion makes it safe to assume the rental fee/tax write-off trumps the high jinxxx had at those TV-touted in-house affairs on Hugh’s dime. It was actually our sixth time there, and though potheads can and do party hearty, this affair was much tamer than, say, the annual Kandyland bashes we’ve attended (in which girlies get in free for wearing stuff like gumdrops on their nipples). That Oompa Loompa fest, in fact, took place just a couple nights later with musical guest Snoop Dogg (who obviously would have been apropos for the MPP party too). Thankfully, we didn’t have to endure another blunt-toting rapper Thursday, but instead got a treat with the intoxicatingly groovy jams of TheDandy Warhols and opener Tenacious Me — a.k.a. Kyle Gass. The invite’s warning against toking was mostly ignored, especially with an enterprising fella slyly giving out samples of his new product, “disposable one-hitters” complete with sampler “pack,” at the side of the stage during the Dandys. (Look for these at 7-Elevens — minus the, um, tobacco — soon.) There to support: MC Fairuza Balk, DJ David J, Don Bolles, Ron Jeremy and lots of reality and soap stars. But where were famous stoners like Bill Maher, Woody Harrelson and (dare we say it?) Parasite Hilton? MPP is doing a great job, but if anything is really going to change, the big (bong) hitters need to come forward for these things and mobilize. Check out www.mpp.org for info on how you can help their initiatives, which include reducing sentences for medical-marijuana offenses and decriminalization.
THE RISE AND FALL
It’s nothing new for Nightranger to report club and venue closures, but this week, we’re actually bumming pretty hard about two of ’em: Hollywood Boulevard’s Warholian mega art space The World of Wonder Gallery and the Thursday-night rock & roll shaker Diamond Dogs at H’ Wood. After a super-successful Bettie Page exhibit last month, the WOW space is being taken over by the pinup’s peeps for a new Bettie Page Clothing Store. As for Dogs, differences between co-promoters Bryan Rabin and Kelly Cole ultimately led to the dissolution, with Rabin — who came up with the name and concept — pulling out last week. Cole and Ian Cripps continued the bash (with no name) last Thursday, but pals who went tell us it was deader than Ziggy Stardust. Still, word is Cole & Cripps will keep the (still-unnamed) night goin’ for now. As for Rabin, he tells us he has something even bigger in the works slated for early August at a large, well-known Hollywood venue. Scoop here when the ink’s dry.