{mosimage}Fuck Tha Police

Maybe we’re just bitter because we didn’t score tix, but after we caught The Police’s appearance on the Grammys a few months ago, it was hard to hop on the hoopla wagon surrounding their L.A. dates last week. Despite Sting’s well-publicized prowess, the reunion feels limp and self-indulgent. The same, however, can’t be said of the opening band, Fiction Plane — featuring Sting’s son, Joe Sumner, who also managed to squeeze in a few other gigs around town. We caught the Plane at The Hilfiger Sessions at Avalon, a free event put on by Tommy’s bro Andy and Indie 103.1, and while we didn’t hear a lot of hits in their set, bandleader Joe did rock out full throttle, showing off his obviously inherited high-pitched snarl and rock-star mojo with every breath he took. The show also featured sets by songstress Emma Burgess (who covers Outfield’s “Your Love,” a current — if curious — dance-floor fave that has been haunting us everywhere we go lately!). ’Fro’d funk freak Carmelo Nasty also performed, as did the Section Quartet, amazing string players who delivered classical versions of The Strokes and Led Zeppelin. Sessions hosts Donovan Leitch and Billy Morrison did their Camp Freddy cover thing acoustic style, backed by the quartet, and while their Bowie impressions weren’t bad, Dono did a big don’t on Berlin’s “The Metro” — as in, don’t bring a lyric sheet onstage. Memorize, man! (Or get creative! — ed.) To be fair, he was probably busy putting the show together all week. We ran into Dono’s Hollywood High buddy and DJ legend Mike Messex (chowing down at the Avalon-adjacent Honey restaurant), who told us he and Leitch did production for the event, which had a theater-in-the-round setup (“actually theater-in-the-square,” said Messex) and a lounge with couches on the actual stage. The scene was intimate and stylish; unfortunately, the in-your-face format didn’t work as well for Whitestarr, who closed the show. Though Cisco Adler & Co. are charismatic performers (especially their hairy interpretive dancer, Tony Potato!), their charms seem to work only on certain females and fucked-up fellas. (Seriously, most guys we know hate this band.) We find them a guilty pleasure, but we were in the minority at Avalon: Save for a small gaggle of gals in front, no one really got the Starr. Of course, Adler urging “Come on, bitches, shake your titties” probably didn’t help matters.

All That Azz

Speaking of shaken extremities: We’re always up for a burlesque show, and ever since Little Pedro’s in Chinatown was reborn as Bordello, we’ve been eager to catch a little tasteful T&A within its seductive red-and-black confines. It is a former brothel, after all. Last Thursday, we got our wish, and took in The Vintage Vamps’ saucy ode to Bob Fosse, called “There’s No Business Like Ho Business,” and the chorus line of tattooed cuties, particularly leader Nina La Fiamma, are now our newest girl crushes. Sure, there are a lot of burlesque acts out there, but only the Vamps truly remind us of the early Velvet Hammer shows, when punk aesthetics collided with old-timey tart action in the boldest and most bodacious way. (Lucha Va Voom is great, but it’s more about the wrestling at this point.) Ho Biz, which included numbers from Cabaret and Sweet Charity, also featured comedy and magic from our fave Silver Lake stunner Christopher Wonder, who pulled one of those never-ending scarves out of a chicken’s butt, among other tricks — all while getting plastered off a constant stream of magically conjured brewskies. Presto drunko! La Fiamma tells us the Vamps will offer another Fosse fete at the King King on July 18, and you don’t want to miss it, ’cause as MC Chauncy put it, nuthin’s hotter than “a group of sexy girls executing the minimalist choreography of a self-loathing junkie.”

{mosimage}Culture Clash

MOCA’s Night Vision events are one of our favorite things to do on a hot summer night, but last Thursday, LACMA gave ’em a run for their money. The L.A. County Museum attracted two of the longest lines we’ve ever seen for any event — one for RSVP-ers and one for walk-ins — at its “Late Night” gathering, featuring live bands The Rebirth and Ima Robot on the plaza, DJ sets by Steve Aoki and Dub Asher inside, performance art from Lucent Dossier everywhere, and a preview screening of the new Hairspray movie. And, oh yeah, there was art too — although the light exhibit by Dan Flavin didn’t impress us much. (The fluorescent tubes in different formations and tints looked cool, and would make a great backdrop for a new-wave album cover, but the psycho-theory behind them, described in the brochure, sounds like a lotta hue-y hooey to us.) An interactive exhibit inviting patrons to answer the questions “What is art?” and “What inspires you?” on giant Post-its was more interesting, and the pieces — all plastered in one room — made for a fun read, especially after a couple of artfully concocted cocktails. The party, which kicked off ArtScape, LACMA’s free weekend, was a one-off. But if you’re looking for more museum mayhem, there’re still MOCA’s sizzling soirees, which boast DJ Paul V this Saturday, June 30, The Gray Kid next Saturday, July 7, and the aforementioned Section Quartet, the Saturday after that (July 14).

More of Lina Lecaro's photos in this week's Nightranger slidehsow.

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