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Dr. Madd Vibe and his exploding head at Ghetto Gloss
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Beso chef Todd English enjoys a delicious sandwich.
Growing up and residing in Silver Lake has given Nightranger a unique perspective about what it means to be part of a “cool” community. Take away the blare, booze and blackness of the bars or clubs, and most scenesters are just creative kids looking to congregate and connect. This is a generalization, but we’ll stand behind it: The pretentious A-holes are usually from elsewhere, and the locals are more about the love. Just pop into Ghetto Gloss on Glendale Boulevard sometime. The parties and offbeat events at this S’Lake gallery and boutique, such as its Gorilla Thursdays, have an open-to-all, oddball feel, which was in full effect the Thursday before last when Dr. Madd Vibe (a.k.a. Angelo Moore from Fishbone) paid a house call. Dang … Forgot what a genius this dude is. Weaving vicious verbosity and funked-out musicality, Moore’s Vibe persona is more mesmerizing than even his Fishbone stage freak-outs (if that’s possible). But don’t let the wackiness fool ya, there’s a lotta reason under his rapturous rhymes, and whether they''re set to a groovy beat or highlighted by colorful cartoon characters in his homemade comics (available at GG), the Doc’s definitely making some profound statements about relationships, race and what it means to be human. Gloss’s next big event should be animated as well, if in a different way. It’ll be hosting the book-release party for Kip Fulbeck’s new tattoo portrait book, Permanence, on March 20, and every high-profile inkster in town is expected to attend.
Speak No Evil
More Eastside ebullience can be found at the new Evil Monito headquarters in Echo Park (in a former minimarket space on E.P. Boulevard). The digital-design company and online magazine recently hosted the DVD-release party for Stones Throw Records’ 102: In Living the True Gods, featuring clips from hip-hop hell-raisers Madvillain, J Dilla, Quasimoto and more, plus trippy Pink Floyd–ish cartoons and interviews. Stones Throw head Peanut Butter Wolf was on hand to discuss the vid, but everyone was really waiting for his VJ set (a multimedia combo he unveiled the week before at BPMmag’s issue-release party at The Roxy). PBW is definitely on to something — mixing beats is one thing, but mashing visuals at the same time just may be what’s next in the never-ending quest to stimulate today’s ADD-addled clubgoers. As for the Monito gang, head honcho Rickey Kim (another L.A. homey) just partnered with House of Cassette this past weekend, turning the “agency,” as he calls his space, into a “guerrilla shop” hawking Cassette’s sexy ’n’ sleek denim designs on the cheap.
Kiss and Makeup
Speaking of the hood, El Conquistador in the Sunset Junction might be our fave margarita in town, but after popping into Beso on Hollywood Boulevard last Thursday, we definitely have a go-to spot in Hollywood for the sweet ’n’ salty sippers too. The new restaurant owned by Eva Longoria and studly chef Todd English, whose name means “kiss” in español, is one classy casa, with giant chandeliers, and a tropical yet ornate feel. The invite-only opening party, hosted by Hornitos tequila, brought out a swarm of glossy gals, including Desperate Housewives divas Felicity Huffman, Nicolette Sheridan and Dana Delany, just-desperate (for attention) types Kim Kardashian and dancer Karina Smirnoff, and Hollywood’s hottest Latino thespians, America Ferrera, George Lopez, Roselyn Sanchez and Mario Lopez. The music was much too piercing for the lighting and scenery (will this be a club as well as a restaurant when it opens to the public? we wondered), but that was the least of concerns once we started chomping into English’s food, which included shrimp corn dogs, lamb racks and scallop ceviche.
There was plenty of smackin’ goin’ on at the sixth-anniversary bash for (and closing night of) the Miss Kitty Discotek & Cabaret at the Dragonfly last Friday night — ass-smackin’, that is. The depraved dance club offered fetishy performances galore for its final fete, many of which involved tying up and “massage.” Frolicking about the felines and fiends on Friday, we actually felt bummed to see the bacchanal say buh-bye. Not only did the club feature some of the first performances of Mickey Avalon and Dirty Sanchez, it consistently pushed the envelope with its weekly themes (superheroes, outer space and military garb) and electro DJ sets (Riley More sure pumped the pets up Friday). The Kitty cats promise a new (g)litter box soon, though. Oh, and if you’re driving down Santa Monica Boulevard, don’t get the Dragonfly confused with Jimmy’s Lounge, a few blocks away, like we did after one too many pre-party cocktails recently. Jimmy’s is a very different spot, and extra-jam-packed on Fridays thanks to PYT (Pretty Young Things) from promoter Gracie Cakes and MFG (of Dance Right at La Cita fame). We finally popped in to see what all the fuss was about there. Turns out the MJ-inspired name is pretty accurate — and these cuties know it. As we’ve written before, the whole club photo-booth phenom has gotten way out of hand, so much so that at PYT, it actually gets more action than the dance floor. We’re all for capturing fashion statements and crazy moments in time, but thanks to the Cobrasnake, Rony’s Photobooth, PYT’s Jiro and a host of the other shameless nightlife shooters, it’s getting kinda hard to tell the posers from the poseurs. At least, both look good.