MTV’s Video Music Awards came back to Cali last week and along with them, a barrage of official and unofficial bashes brimming with (wannabe) video babes and blingin’ beatsters behaving badly. From a rooftop family powwow to a Playboy (hippity) hop to a sprawling shindig right outside the VMAs themselves, the parties we attended last week may have been at different locales, with different hosts and sponsors, but they all had key things in common: crowded entrances, copious cocktails and those kids from The Hills! The blank-eyed babes of the MTV drama were everywhere, and Nightranger bumped into Brody Jenner so often last week, we’re afraid he might think we’re stalking him (if we were younger and dumber, maybe …).

Our week began at the 944 soiree in that towering club complex The Kress,where Jenner’s stepsisters the Kardashians hosted and the mag celebrated its two-year birthday and commemorative VMA-themed issues. The pub always throws raging parties, but this one was a bit disorganized. We expected chaos at the door, but there was an equally manic mob inside — particularly those denied access to the club’s exclusive roof (where, of course, the K girls hung all night). The reason peeps got so heated? Seems the impressive-looking VIP laminates given to those lucky enough to get in meant squat, and the real “important” peeps got wristbands. A scheduled performance by Ne-Yo never materialized and the celeb quotient (which even brought out funny lady Kathy Griffin, who announced, “I’m here to see famous people” on the red carpet) didn’t get more stellar than Griffin herself. With the exception of Jamie Foxx, this one mainly attracted reality stars (Lance Bass, Tila Tequila, etc.) Our fave from that lot? Project Runway’s frank and fabulous Nick Verros, who said before he left, “I just feel a bit too old for this, it’s like a cheesy Las Vegas party.” We knew what he meant, but the DJ rocked it, and some nights, beats and booze are all Nightranger needs. Plus, we weren’t burnt out yet.


Phat Rabbits

Could’ve easily popped our cork the next couple of nights (VMA-sanctioned events included a Lifebeat fund-raiser at House of Blues, a rap happening at The Roxy and Latin-flaired fete at Blvd. 3) but National Lampoon’s “Great American Fantasy” party at the Playboy Mansion promised the biggest Ooh Ooh Saturday. A Playboy party always calls for two things: big hair and boob-baring getups, and Saturday we obliged, but still felt overdressed, especially with most females in attendance (including the head of household’s girlfriends Holly Madison, Bridget Marquardt and Kendra Wilkinson) wearing nothing more than bras and panties. This one benefited Children of the Night, and while it wasn’t an official VMA-related event, the loose ’n’ raucous performance by Ludacris actually made it our favorite musical mash of the week. During the show, the Girls Next Door huddled and humped together onstage, and Kendra (a.k.a. K-Dub) even came front and center to rap with Luda. There’s been rumors of discord among Hef’s hotties of late, but it was hard to tell what they were feeling behind their pouts and poses, especially when packs of painted (naked) ladies came prancing onstage with ’em. The party was actually the least crazy-crowded of any we’ve been to on the grounds, probably due to security scrutiny. Nearly half of those onboard our shuttle to the estate were kicked off for having fake wristbands. Still, we ended up seeing some of the same disgraced dudes there later anyway. When it comes to Playboyparties, persistent horn dogs don’t play around.


Shut Up and Let Me Go

If the actual ceremony lacked excitement and tension, quite the opposite was true of the VMA after-parties Sunday night. Arriving a bit late, ticket in hand, for the official bash on the Paramount Lot (where Kanye West and the Ting Tings played earlier), we were denied entrance due to sudden Fire Marshall closure. Luckily, we ran into MTV VJ cutie Quddus, who almost didn’t get in himself until he got an MTV exec with the serious creds to work some magic for both us and his pal, soul singer Mateo (just signed to MySpace Records). The party was a light-flashing, food-filled, groove-jamming (Doug E Fresh on the decks!) extravaganza, though the stars had obviously moved on. (Twin bros Carlos & Efren Ramirez — Pedro from Napoleon Dynamite — did seem to have fun hangin’ by the moon-man shrub sculptures though!). … Over at Avalon, the Pepsi Blue Carpet Bash brought out the likes of Warren G, Christina Millian and the drag-queenish Danity Kane,who caught live sets by Ryan Leslie (with Fabulous) and Keri Hilson. But the biggest wow moment for Nightranger came when we entered the space formerly known as The Spider Club upstairs, now a stark white room (probably not done yet) to be called Bardot. Katy Perry and Jermaine Dupri had soirees at the venue earlier in the week. … Our final pit stop was In Touch mag’s megagathering at Chateau Marmont featuring Good Charlotte. Obviously, this was starfucker central, and the paparazzi packs outside the venue on Sunset Boulevard quite possibly rivaled the crowd inside, if not in number, at least in voraciousness. Again the city fire officials closed off entry, but that didn’t stop us from trying to work our P (press)-list status. This time we were rudely rejected at the ropes, but we didn’t feel so bad; so were a lot of so-called somebodies, including Hilton hanger-on Brandon “Gummi-Bear” Davis (who was told no because “the venue has had problems with him”). Rejection is one thing but ejection is quite another, and we couldn’t help but smirk when a peroxide posse, including VH1 Rock of Love/I Love Money’sMegan & Brandi C and obviously off-the-wagon Celebrity Rehab star Mary Carey were made to leave the party in front of everyone after charging through security like hot-shit divas minutes before. Definitely our most entertaining VMA ’08 moment.

LA Weekly