Monsters of Reality
Thank the tech gods for DVRs! How else could a self-respecting club crawler and TV junkie hit up the best bashes and not miss her favorite shows? Actually, when it comes to guilty — and we’re talking really, really guilty — pleasures like VH1’sRock of Love, the repeats were as bountiful as the bimbos, so we never even had to record it. Of course, every show needs its bitch, and for Bret Michaels’ (what’s up with his doll hair?) contrived search for romance, it was flame-haired femme Lacey Conner. The singer obviously used the program to promote her gothic schlock group Nocturne, and after catching the band open for ’80s tribute kings Metal Skool the Monday before Halloween at the Key Club, we gotta say it — she needs all the help she can get. Pretentious gloomy doomy lyrics. Black-dreadlocked Trent Reznor wannabes on backing instruments. The fishnetted front woman flashing her panties as she humped around the stage. Moany industrial dance dreck .?.?. You get the idea. To be fair, the gal did have a sense of humor about herself, even when former Headbanger’s Ball host Rikki Rachtman (dressed as Winnie the Pooh) slagged her throughout the costume contest, in which she served as a judge along with porn star Joanna Angel. “Fuck Bret Michaels and one day you too might be able to host a costume contest on the Sunset Strip,” Rachtman said as a parade of KISS clones, frat boys in groupie drag, half-naked stripper types and fiendish faves (Jigsaw and Chuckie) took the stage. “He’s the only one I haven’t,” chimed Angel impishly. The contest winner? The killer doll, by a landslide. But then, who can resist a real-life dwarf wielding a bloody knife in rainbow overalls?
And proving that having your mug — and your jugs — all over MTV and VH1 doesn’t always guarantee recognition, Rachtman unknowingly caused quite the reality star ruckus in the crowd when he dissed a cast member from the current season of The Real World (one of the blonde chicks) as she tried to get onstage and show off her skimpy ensemble during the contest. “I’m a contestant,” she yelled up to him near the competition’s close, which he apparently heard as, “I’m a lesbian.” “Honey, that may be shocking in your li’l college town, but this is Hollywood,” he said before shooing her away. The hot mess was visibly upset — or just wasted — as she ranted to her cast mates afterward. More boob tuber sightings that eve: The Pickup Artist’s slimy “master of seduction” known only as Mystery. Ick. The real mystery isn’t so much how this not-hot aging goth gets gullible girls, but how he got his own TV show. Guess they’ll give one to anyone these days. Need more proof? Skool regular Steve-O (his new USA program, Dr. Steve-O, is sure to make us all ill), who cursed out the crowd just before Warrant’s Jani Lane (who himself was on Celebrity Fit Club .?.?. geesh) sang “Cherry Pie” with the band. This might have been the scariest Halloween party in town.
Okay, “reality TV” is a misnomer (The Hills is only bearable if viewed as comedy at this point) but with one of our favorite dramas, Nip/Tuck, now focusing on our fair city’s fakes and façades, i.e. the entertainment industry, it’s kind of a bummer, especially since the use of Giant Drag’s “Wicked Game” cover in the show’s commercials hinted at something deeper and darker this season. Still, we couldn’t help but be a little excited when we saw the McNamara/Troy storefront offices (faux, of course) on the courtyard level of the Hollywood & Highland mall. The promotional installation was, ironically, right next to the red-carpeted entrance for H&H’s Live Art gallery, part of the mall’s all-day arts and music festival this past Saturday. It’s a tourist trap, date-night attraction and retail wonderland, but the gargantuan space has definitely made an effort to spotlight some great indie bands (Ladytron played last month and Midnight Movies headlined Sat.) and the gallery — which featured works by Rory Wilson, Mark Owens, Kimme Buzzelli and the vibrantly painted recycling bins of Global Inheritance — is just what Tinseltown needs to remind visitors that there’s a hub of creativity here that goes way beyond studio lots.
Wild at Heart
One more example of locals keeping it real: Urb Magazine. The seminal L.A.-based music-and-dance culture publication celebrated its 150th issue — as well as Delicious Vinyl’s 20th anniversary — with a raging party at Avalon last Sunday, and a seemingly odd-couple performance by Peaches and Tone Loc perfectly encapsulated itsevolving look and old-school-meets-new–cool editorial content.The mag’s sure come a long way from the days when publisher Raymond Roker hand delivered newsprint copies to trendy shops and clubs around the city, and a slide show of old Urb covers above the stage was a real trip down memory lane. Japanese rapper Tigarah offered a catchy girl-power-rap- and global-beat-packed set for the fortunate few who stayed late, but most were tuckered out after Peaches (clad in a metallic purple spandex jumpsuit and backed by dancers in similarly silly workout wear) and froggy-voxed Loc put the dance vibe in overdrive, sweatin’ up the stage with their individual hits and dueting on “Wild Thing.” Definitely a jumpin,’ pumpin’ moment, but even if you missed it, you can still hear the sexed-up, slowed-down, synthed-around remix (with new Peaches-penned lyrics). Check it out on Urb.com.