Son of a Beach

Nightranger’s never been to Miami, but The Beach on Sunset (formerly Dublin’s, and before that Carlos & Charlie’s) is exactly how we imagine the clubs there to look and feel. Clean lines, ultramodern furniture and glossy-white everything. All the better for tanned tarts to stand out (both faux tawny and the real thing). There were many of both at last Wednesday’s grand opening of the new club and eaterie from Steve Marlton (Sugar on Cahuenga and, soon, Butter in WeHo), though most of the golden gals in the crowd couldn’t hold a candle to singer Jesse McCartney, whose conspicuous orange glow almost distracted from his performance. (His pipes actually aren’t half bad though; he even held his own on an Akon cover.) The party (also featuring DJ Steve Aoki) was pumpin’ but so not our scene. The only beach bunnies we had interest in were the ones plastered on the walls in vintage posters — that is, until we ran into Queer Eye for the Straight Guy’s Thom Filicia and Jai Rodriguez, hangin’ with sexy Grey’s Anatomy star Sara Ramirez. We couldn’t help but gush over Filicia (the most talented of the fab five, in our opinion) and his Style Network show Dress My Nest (on which he decorates dwellings based on a favorite outfit .?.?. brilliant!), and after a chitchat we learned he’s bringin’ his sassy style to L.A.’s own W Hotel, where he’s redoing all the rooms. We definitely need to check in — and check out — that one soon.

Hardcore Scores

Do you know what “pogonophobia” is? No, it ain’t fear of punk dancing, as we guessed. It’s a fear of beards. We learned this and other useful tidbits earlier on Wednesday at Booze Clues, the rip-roarin’ monthly trivia night held at Rudolpho’s Restaurant, which also featured a “cowbell compendium” audio round that — you got it — left us wanting “more.” You can read all about the competition from our teammate Linda Immediato in an upcoming La Vida section, but in the meantime check out the event’s Web site and test your own pop culcha smarts ( .?.?. You can’t have pogonophobia and live in Echo Park or Silver Lake these days. Ya just can’t. And though we passed on this year’s F*** Yeah Fest, which took over The Echo, Taix and 1710 Local, we think it’s safe to assume that, like last year, it was a flurry of untamed follicles (maybe the asterisks should stand for “uzz”?). Instead, we opted for a less bushy, more erect punk-hair affair, The Warped Tour, which marked its climax at the Home Depot Center in Carson. Now before you start thinkin’ Warped is wimpy by comparison, get a load of who played the special “Old School” stage on Saturday: The Adolescents, Agent Orange, Fear and even F*** Yeah curator Keith MorrisCircle Jerks .?.?. more than hardcore enough to balance out the Sum 41 pop poop, though the stud-belted babes sadly seemed more interested in blaring black-clad tat clones like The Unseen and Avenged Sevenfold (plus a buncha bands with “Die” and “Fall” in their names) and, maybe worse, sideways-haircut hotties with more docile monikers like Boys Like Girls and All Time Low. Two relatively older bands rocked the casbah hard too: Supernova (not Tommy Lee’s TV band, but the original group that sued him over the name), who came out in space suits, and the incomparable Pennywise, whose high-energy anthems got pits swirling and pogo-ers pumping, as always. Nightranger is about halfway through singer Jim Lindberg’s touching yet turbulent fatherhood tome, Punk Rock Dad, and we’re lovin’ it. This one proves that being a parent and being a loud-music freak aren’t mutually exclusive, which we can personally attest to. Safety pins take on a whole new meaning now, don’t they?

Hot Wheels

From punks to trunks, later Saturday it was all about car customization, a.k.a. the “tuner” scene at Boost Mobile’s Hot Import Nights event at the L.A. Convention Center. Though we’re more of a vintage-car vamp, the shiny new rides on display were impressive, especially the Scions and Volkswagens loaded with monitors, wild interiors (Coach purse fabric?), window curtains and chrome everything. Okay, many of the cars were gaudy, but that’s how these autophiles roll, yo. Even gaudier and kinda gross, actually: the half-naked girls hired to entice patrons to the booths. Thankfully, someone had the good sense to book a strong female to perform at the event, hip-hop diva Eve, who busted new material from her latest, Here I Am, and fielded ridiculous questions (“What’s the most-played song on your iPod?”) from journalists in the press room. Especially entertaining: watching a sexy but slow reporter (“What’s a tuner?” we heard her ask her producer) being fed her entire interview with the rapper. “What do you think about all these stars like Paris and Lindsay going to jail?” she regurgitated, not even acknowledging the artist’s own SCRAM alcohol-monitoring device, which she has to wear for a recent DUI. (Didn’t anybody find it ironic that she of all people would be headlining a drivers’ event?) To Eve’s credit, she’s taken responsibility for her actions and didn’t try to hide the big gray anklet; she looked fierce in a knee-length skirt and flashy 4-inch-high leopard YSL stilettos that actually drew the eye downward. Let’s just hope the thing doesn’t become Hollywood’s newest form of bling.

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