Nightranger is no mixmeister, but we do get behind the decks now and again for shits and giggles — and last week, we had loads of the latter. Monday, it was the Plush Lounge at the Key Club, where Indie 103.1 hosted its “Indie Hook-up” party. Apparently this hookup thing is like MySpace — with phones. Interesting idea, but, judging by the turnout, perhaps a bit undercooked: It was a hen party with not a cock in the bunch. Luckily, party favors for the single gals included vibrators from Toys in Babeland. We got a testosterone shot later when Pantera’s Phil Anselmo joined Metal Skool upstairs for a rare version of “Walk,” and Alice in Chains’ Jerry Cantrell rocked out on “Man in the Box”…Speaking of surprise guests, Rancid welcomed a handful of ’em at The Echo the following night. The band spewed raucous sets every Tuesday last month to help kick off the new Hellcat Records night, and last week they invited moi and the guys from Part Time Punks to spin between sets, plus the likes of The Scuffs’ Cary Adams, Time Again’s Daniel Dart and saucy singer Skye Sweetnam to join them onstage. Look for more biggie and newbie Hellcat bands at the weekly club, plus DJs spinning dancey rock after…Donned the cans again on Thursday for the L.A. Weekly’s fashion bash, hosted by The Style Council blog babes, including yours truly. Felt like Z-Man in Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (“This is my happening and it freaks me out!”) at this groovy gathering, held at a gorgeous Chinatown loft filled with fashionistas, old rockers, young scenesters and fabuloso types, including America’s Next Top Model staffer Clint Catalyst (working Jared Gold’s creepy live-cockroach necklace, as seen on the show last week) with wacky show runner-up Lisa D’Amato in tow, man about town Sirius Trixon, the S’cool Girls guys and none other than Napoleon Dynamite’s Efren Ramirez, a.k.a. “Pedro” (or was it his twin bro Carlos?), who hung with us by the DJ booth most of the night, and told us, “Forget about Hollywood, this is the scene!”
Insiders knew it was coming, but that doesn’t mean the split between Franki Chan and Steve Aoki, co-promoters of Cinespace Tuesdays, won’t mean tension in the haircut set, especially if the pair’s dueling SXSW parties were any indication. Chan’s bugging out from Cinespace, but you’ll see him at his own Tuesday club, Check Yo’ Ponytail, at Safari Sam’s (which, we guess, is finally opening) in May. Let the showdown begin . . . In other boîte buh-bye news, though celebs may despair at the departure of Amanda Scheer-Demme from the Roosevelt Hotel and its impenetrable hot spots (Tropicana and now-shut Teddy’s), mere mortals are obviously rejoicing. But haters shouldn’t sing “Ding Dong the Witch Is Dead” quite yet. The diva is not only gettin’ a fat buyout check, but will definitely be opening up a slew of new nightlife destinations in L.A. and Vegas soon. And no, you probably won’t be able to get into those, either.