Keeping track of every newfangled, über-exclusive hangout in L.A. ain’t easy, but actually getting into some of them, even for Nightranger, can be laborious and just plain lame sometimes. Take it from us, there are a few we (and you) have no interest in even if welcomed with open arms (Villa’s velvet-rope-like valet policy — they won’t even park your car if you’re not on the list — sounds utterly vapid, and by the time a Hollywood club has been on The Hills, the thrills are usually gone.) There are exceptions of course, and on a recent Saturday, we popped into what is arguably the hot spot of the minute, SBE’s newest swanketeria, called Foxtail. It hasn’t been featured on the MTV pseudo-reality hit yet, but with owners Brent Bolthouse and Sam Nazarian both making appearances on that show last season, it’s probably only a matter of time.
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Peter Hook, lookin' good at the Zune party
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Liz of Love Grenades duets with Sam Sparro.
Gotta say, the place is so stylish, sexy and savory, there’s not much (even regular visits by dumbo duo Heidi and Spencer) that could tarnish its image. Its look was directly inspired by ’70s fashion emporium Biba, complete with gilded Art Nouveau touches, stained-glass windows and groovy boho patterns throughout. The staff even wear Biba-designed striped getups, which look cool in a gondola-driver/mime/mod-rocker kinda way. But back to Foxtail’s sumptuous morsels and atmosphere: Chef Antonia Lofaso — recently of Bravo’s Top Chef — shows her gift for comfort-style cuisine with whimsy. Everything is superyummy, especially the desserts, while the drinks are as creative as they come. Nightranger’s cocktail-connoisseur girl posse sipped fragrant “poisoned rose” martinis and “cucumber-pomegranate deluxes” both during dinner downstairs and later in the upstairs nightclub. Unlike some coveted club quarters, you can’t gain entry to this one simply by being a dinner guest, but with Saturday being a too-obvious-to-go-out choice for many celebs (weeknights have recently seen everyone from Kate Hudson to Fergie to Cher ), it’s probably the easiest eve to actually get in. The Euro-chic/cheeky lounge was in fact pretty sparse when we sauntered in at around 11:30, particularly the dance floor, thanks to the DJ’s unimaginative mixes of (new) Madonna and Rihanna. Hoping to conjure the decadent retro-rock/disco aesthetic of the club’s décor, we requested a li’l David Bowie or Rolling Stones. Unfortunately, all the kid in the booth had on his laptop was “Let’s Dance” and “Start Me Up.” Ugh… SBE usually has skilled mixers helming its dance floors, so we’re gonna call this an off night and try coming back during the week. Hopefully, we’ll get in.
MELT WITH ME
No one said ugh to the sizzling sisters spinning at the fifth annual Hang the DJs all-girl night at The Echo Saturday. We got to spin too, and our 30 minute miniset in the outdoor patio featured not only the requests from the other night (“Shattered,” “The Jean Genie”), but some Prince and Siouxsie too. Not surprisingly, it was more packed and pumping outside than in the sweatbox itself. It seemed the insane heat made outdoors the way to go all over town. Before HTDJs, we popped into Art & Mayhem gallery’s latest opening, featuring puppet prints, comics and leather works by Devo, Nate Wragg, Dave Wasson and Wolfhardt, plus a cover band outside playing everything from Cream to the Stones (yes, they had more than “Start Me Up” in their repertoire). Gabriel Alcaraz, the Atwater art space and design studio’s owner, has been throwing some vivacious happenings inside and out of his new spot since it opened several months ago, including a summer camp-themed party last week, BBQs and bands on a regular basis, and even a monthly dance gathering called The Social from DJ Los (Ultraluxx), the next of which goes down this Friday, June 27, with guest DJ Ane (Automatico) and photo-booth fun from Matador y Toros. Clubby coincidence of the week: MyT is also the official photo booth at HTDJs, and we know they got some great shots Saturday night. Soul sensation Sam Sparro rocked one of his usual ’80s aerobics-type ensembles and sweated it up onstage with pals Love Grenades for their closing number, while the club’s nubile hordes got make-overs from Heidi’s Night of Beauty, plus HeartsChallenger ice cream, and, of course, the groovalicious gals on the decks, some of whom spun all week — and this weekend too — for the L.A. Film Festival’s Red Room parties in Westwood. If you’ve seen the fancy B&W LAFF flier around town (featuring noirish shots of each DJ by PYT’s Jiro), you know these gals are hot in more ways than one.
AT THE MOVIES
Speaking of filmic fun, Nightranger attended a screening of the new Joy Division documentary last week at Zune’s headquarters/party hub on Beverly Boulevard. Considering the dark undertones evoked by the band’s music, “fun” shouldn’t have been the operative word, but this gathering, prefaced by a DJ set from JD co-founder/bassist Peter Hook, tasty English tidbits like fish ’n’ chips and bangers and mash, and a lively Q&A with Hook and producer Tom Atencio afterward, actually was. Like Control, the theatrical film about the band, this rock doc explores Ian Curtis’ complex persona and how it affected his mates in a fascinating way. So much so that Zune made a special edition of its latest music player with JD album art and the doc loaded inside. By the way, the Microsoft device is not pronounced “Zuni” like the Indian tribe, but like “Dune/June.”… Uh, we knew that. Not. Looks like us music-movie buffs will have cellu-loads to do in L.A. the next few weeks: Director diva Allison Anders brings back her amazing Don’t Knock the Rock film fest, this year joining forces with both the Silent Movie Theater’s Cinefamily and the Hollywood Forever Cemetery’s Cinespia, which will host the opening night this Sunday, June 29, with a screening of rare concert film The T.A.M.I Show. Also adding spark to July, the annual Mods and Rockers movie mash at The Egyptian (with flicks about the Beatles, Love and Pink Floyd, to name a few). Even The Echoplex gets in on the screen scene with a showing of The Gits, a documentary about the Seattle punk band’s murdered lead singer, Mia Zapata, on Monday, July 7. See MySpace pages under “dontknocktherock,” “modsandrockersfestival” and the “thegitsmovie” for more info on each.