LOUSE OF STYLE
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Mario Diaz, sandwiched by his dancers, at Swallow
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Siouxsie Sioux's eyes, with what is probably a funny nose, at Akbar
For an OCD-afflicted fashion fiend like Nightranger (everything from undies to eye shadow must coordinate in some way or we just feel ... off), finding an outfit for a bash and contest themed "Make It Not Work" is a daunting task indeed. Filmmaker John Roecker's anti–Project Runway–themed house party in Los Feliz a couple of weeks ago demanded fashion faux pas of all attendees, and after deep clothes-minded contemplation we narrowed it down to three so-wrong-they're-right style statements: "Ghetto Un-fabulous" (press-on nails, Mr. T gold, designer knockoffs, cheap extensions), "Cobrasnake babe" (headbands, Day-Glo Ray-Bans, mismatched American Apparel, tube socks) and "Pretty Ugly/Makeup maven circa 1998" (Serious- or Lip Service–brand anything, glitter makeup, sparkly scarves). We opted for the latter, because — and we're kinda embarrassed to admit this — we still have the stuff in our closet, though we tweaked the gutter-glamster look with tie-dyed tights and leopard-print platforms. Hot tramp. Birthday boy Roecker (who just completed a deep-delving miniseries about gay porn stars and expects his doc on the making of Green Day's American Idiot to come out this summer) donned a New Kids on the Block cape with pants made from old concert tees while his BF Willy wore a bejeweled, black fishnet facemask. Other guests (Rancid's Tim Armstrong, singer Matt Costa, Frontier Records founder Lisa Fancher, former Lovedoll Jennifer Schwartz, performance artist Craig Rouse) worked an array of wacky wear, including McLarenesque Buffalo Gal getups, Winnie the Pooh jumpers, pink crocheted mukluks, polyester cha-cha prom dresses and gobs of Day-Glo. Oh, and there were already some faux-clawed femmes there, Silver Lake tube-sock sistas (completely in character all night, they repeatedly bragged, "We just came back from seeing Har Mar Superstar!") and fellas in so-over rock chic (Lip Service's infamous "SEX" print). Guess our ideas weren't as original as we thought. (See all the hip yet horrific frocks for yourself online in our new Nightranger slide show.)
Speaking of Project Runway, after our pal Sweet P went home last week, we were torn between rooting for fabric-draping dynamo Rami Kashou and king-size queen Chris March, but after accidentally bumping into — and subsequently boogying bodaciously with — one of the contestants and his Asian boy toy at Akbar last Friday night, we've made our choice. Can ya guess which? If ya guessed Chris, you're wrong. Rami may come off subdued and even a little stiff on the Bravo show, but on the floor he's quite the freakster, and the bald badass was grinning ear to ear the whole night. Hmm. Wonder if the show's outcome has anything to do with his giddiness. Maybe it was just the hot date. If you haven't popped into Akbar in a while (we hadn't), do it soon. Boy oh boy, it's a blast, especially on weekends when DJs like Mike Glass and Jonny Cota (who spun last Friday) pump up the mixed crowd with nu-rave faves. Best of all, it's (still) free.
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The Sunset Junction hang was actually the last stop of a Friday-night bar hop we had with club promoter Jason Lavitt (Dance, Bang, Beat It, Tigerheat), after he left the Siouxsie Sioux concert at the Henry Fonda. From what we hear, a veritable scenester smorgasbord (Dita Von Teese, James Stone, Joseph Brooks, Roecker) came out for the newly single but still-sexy 50-year-old goth temptress. We ended up converging with many Siouxsie fans later, too. Like jewelry designer Michael Schmidt, who relayed Sioux's song choices and yoga moves with us in Akbar's lounge, and even a guy who had the Banshee queen's famous Cleo-like-eyes logo tattooed above his pelvis.
It wasn't the only crotch area we ogled that night — not by a long shot (pun intended). Though it recently dabbled with some random straight promotions, Hyperion Ave.'s M.J.'s (formerly Woody's) remains a homo hotbed. Friday, groin-obsessed glamour-boy Mario Diaz debuted his new club there, called Swallow, and as expected, it was a heaving hub of sweat, salaciousness (explicit videos we could only get ourselves to glance at peripherally) and studly bods. The buff go-go dancers wore Village People-style get-ups, but we preferred the shirtless, tattooed bartenders (awful to admit, but it's kinda nice to see the dudes who serve us objectified for once!). DJ Barbeau spun a thrust-inducing electro-meets-retro dance mix, while one of two female go-go gals approached us with a marker asking us to sign her (her body was the guest book). Diaz, who can be seen regularly in a brand new Ford commercial (ka-ching!) definitely knows the alchemic formula for a gay ol' time, not the least of which is a nice and nasty club name. His past parties? In New York it was Cock, and in L.A. he's hosted Big Fat Dick (formerly at Fubar) and Hot Dog (which just ended its run at The Dragonfly a few weeks ago).
When it comes to club monikers, Lavitt's no slouch either. Ever wonder why his pop night at Arena is called Tigerheat? It was originally called Tigerbeat, but that was before the teenybopper mag gave 'em a cease-and-desist letter. The "heat" suffix is more appropriate anyway, as this one is still scorching. So much so that none other than Miss Janet Jackson paid a visit to the club during Grammy week to promote and play tracks from her new disc for her "real hardcore fans." As if he isn't busy enough, Lavitt's got a new '90's-themed club in the works for summer, and he's asking Nightranger readers for help in naming it. So far the era-appropriate contenders are as follows: Tootsie Roll, Hypnotize, Sabotage and The Bomb. Go to Lavitt's MySpace page (www.myspace.com/jasonlavitt) and let him know which one's all that. (Ooh, that'd be a good one too, no?)