Mountain of Moxie
Sweat it up with the faux-hawks at the last L.A. Warped Tour date Sunday, or scream our asses off on roller coasters before enjoying an early-eve show in a shady theater Saturday? Catching chart-topping “It” Girl Katy Perry this past weekend meant making a choice, and though it was the first Warped we’ve missed in ages, the chance to visit Six Flags Magic Mountain and catch Mz. P’s concert at a solid time (Warped doesn’t announce set times till day of) was a no-brainer. It’d been almost a decade since we’d been to the childhood scream spot, and we expected the KROQ-sponsored end-of-summer show to transform the place into a Warped-like tween scene anyway. Back when we were young ’uns, we recall shows in the very same theater with Oingo Boingo and King (remember “Love and Pride”?) flooding the entire park with Manic Panic’d heads and black garb galore. Hell, we even met one of our first rocker boyfriends on a ride there. But that was when the park stayed open later and even had a dance club! These days, thanks to the gangbanger set that frequented a few years ago (they’ve got metal detectors now) and/or the shitty economy, the place is kinda mellow and even the concert and slew of new thrill rides didn’t create the scenester circus we remember. The lines weren’t too bad either. (Summer season being officially over may have something to do with that too, though … we hear Menudo’s show earlier this summer was loco.)
As for the girl-kissing, boyfriend-dissing, retro-clad rock femme, her set was … cute. And that’s not a swipe. Taking the stage in a pink Supergirl cape (a big seller in the Six Flags gift shop) and backed by dudes in black Batman ones, the singer offered tight cuts off her buoyant debut, One of the Boys, intermixed with racy repartee that she didn’t hold back from because of the kiddies in the house. The new single, “Hot and Cold,” fared best, although, of course, the YouTube anthems like “Yr So Gay” and “I Kissed a Girl” were what everyone was waiting for, and she rocked ’em out with glee, even doing what we hear has become a regular Warped antic: going into the crowd and laying a (pretty innocent) smacker on one of her girlie-groupies. Though the hooky bi-curious lyrical tease is what made “Kissed” the unofficial song of the summer, KP’s moxie and charm on her less overt material suggests she can surpass the hype much like Madonna (Happy 50th, your Madgesty!) did after campy come-ons “Like a Virgin” and “Material Girl.” If for some reason that doesn’t happen, and playing Warped and a SoCal landmark end up being the pinnacle for Perry, at least she seems to be enjoying the ride(s).
Beyond Cherry Chapstick
Perry contributes style tips in Cherry Bomb, Carrie Borzillo-Vrenna’s tarty new rock-chick tome, as do musicians Terri Nunn and Cherie Currie, both of whom came out for the book-signing bash at Billy Shire Fine Arts in Culver City last week. The week prior, Nightranger attended a closer-to-home La Luz de Jesus/Wacko signing along with the author’s hubby, Chris Vrenna (taking a break from recording and co-producing Marilyn Manson’s next record); Bow Wow Wow’s Leigh Gorman and writer wife Nicole Powers; sultry singer/Bangles bassist Abby Travis; theSTART’s Aimee Echo and Jamie Miller; Life on Planet Rock author Lonn Friend; and chef Dave Rubell. Though La Luz owner Billy Shire’s namesake gallery in C.C. is his more serious art space, the parties there can end up being just as colorful and crazed as the L.A. retail emporium’s. We hear that was definitely the case Saturday, when Cherry Bomb artist Liz Adams offered a minishow on the walls and painter Shawn Barber displayed his new art exhibit, “Tattooed Portraits: Los Angeles,” and signed his book Forever & Ever (a collection of paintings of tattooed people, which, if ya think about it, is a zillion times harder than painting a non-inked subject) alongside Vrenna. Barber’s girlfriend, LA Ink’s Kim Saigh, was in the house, with designer Jared Gold, hipster model Audrey Kitching, Bomb makeup artist Mezhgan and stylist Cynthia Freund, and Girl School party promoters/bookers Melissa Renee Hernandez and Anna Geyer — doing just fine since being booted by the Viper Room; they hosted a VIP rager in Avalon’s Honey Lounge during the Busy P banger last month. Hopefully more are to come.
Perry’s provocative pop, Cherry Bomb’s tough-babe bravado … let’s keep with the fierce female theme here, shall we? One of the coolest we know, Ghetto Gloss Gallery’s Fiora Boes, has been throwing a weekly soiree that’s so chill ’n’ groovy, it just might be L.A.’s best-kept secret. Though in an unexpected locale, it’s open to all: The Clubhouse adjacent to the golf range in Griffith Park. Twilight at the Club, co-hosted by American Pie actor Jason Biggs and his new wifey, actress/artist Jenny Mollen-Biggs, offers the ultimate alfresco fete, complete with amazing beer selection, yummy BBQ, great turntable sounds and, of course, putting privileges (come early ’cause the park closes at 10 — the party goes till much later, though). We’ve been to the Wednesday-night happening a couple times now, and the Clubhouse’s owner tells us more fun promotions will be had at the eatery, including a thing called Sunday Bloody Sunday, a hangover-perfect hang with Bloody Marys and huevos rancheros specials.
As for the GG crew, they’re preparing for Mrs. Biggs’ new exhibit, Be Your Own Pet, paintings exploring the deep bonds we share with animals, as well as themes of self-love and nurturing. Cool idea, but did it have anything to do with the Nashville teen rockers of the same name, we asked? Surprisingly, nobody at the gathering knew of the band (their tune “The Kelly Affair” about the fictional group from cult classic Beyond the Valley of the Dolls is one of the cleverest songs about Los Angeles ever, and it was a recent Indie 103.1 staple). When Jason looked ’em up on his iPhone, we were in for even more a shocker, though — the band broke up a few weeks ago! At least we can still enjoy the art show, which, if the samples we saw on that same iPhone are any indication, should be the cat’s meow. The opening party’s at Gloss on August 28, 7 p.m., and for you movie buffs, the couple can also be seen in the new Dane Cook/Kate Hudson comedy My Best Friend’s Girl (they fell in love on the set) on September 19.