View more photos in Lina Lecaro's "Nightranger: Glam, Vice and Devo-lution" slideshow.
Flamboyant (f)rocking was at an all-time high last month, but it seems L.A. just isn’t ready to give up dressing up quite yet, Halloween redux or no. From the red dome hats at Devo to the ’90s getups at Vice Magazine’s 15th Anniversary Bash and a sizzlin’ new drag-o-rama in WeHo, autumn is off to an audacious start, and Nightranger anticipates a whimsical — and wacky — winter ahead. ...
GLAM HAM, THANK YOU, MA’AM
Promising a spectacle as juicy as the grub, Hamburger Mary’s new Friday-night offering, Calpernia Addams’ Unreal!, was on the to-do list for a few reasons: We’d never been to the rollicking, gay-friendly restaurant; we’d yet to see actress/showgirl Addams perform; and one of our favorite queens, Miss Barbie Q (door gal at clubs such as Shits & Giggles), was on the bill. Well, we were not disappointed, not by the eatery (disco balls in the bathrooms, a sequined high heel as the check holder ... what’s not to love?), or by the performances. Addams in particular served up sights and sounds to behold. The gorgeous transgender singer (who coached Felicity Huffman for her role in Transamerica) is dry as a glass of bubbly, and she has the pipes too. The other performers offered hearty lip-synch action, climaxing with cross-dressing divas pulling it out for a Destiny’s Child medley, complete with Charlie’s Angels poses. Addams will have a variety of glossy “gals” taking the tiny, stripper pole–equipped stage each week, including the likes of Willam Belli (Cherry Peck from Nip/Tuck) and Detox Icunt. Mary’s looks to be expanding upon its successful live-show elements too, with the foxy Friday, a new Sunday drag show called Follies Burgérs, and its popular, long-running Wednesday bingo charity nights still going strong with surprise celebs calling the balls. In the house Friday to support their pal Cal’s show debut, the Boulet Brothers, the boys behind Miss Kitty’s Parlour, tell us their next bash will be a post–Thanksgiving night White Trash Party, during which Addams will show off her mastery of the fiddle. We hear her “Devil Went Down to Georgia” is smokin’.
WHEN IN DOME(S)
Exercising our Freedom of Choice last week at the Henry Fonda Theater meant working it into Devo’s second night there, in which the original nerdy post-punk provocateurs played their best-known release in its entirety, plus some extras, including “Be Stiff,” with groovy Close Encounters lights, and the splendidly satiric “Beautiful World,” sung by Booji Boy (a masked Mark Mothersbaugh), all ending with the band throwing happy-face bouncy balls into the crowd. Energy domes everywhere you looked, music-button clusters on chests, and even skinny ties made for a flashbacky vibe, and more than two decades later, the band has never sounded better (“Girl U Want” and “Gates of Steel” were perfection, robotic yet effervescent). Though the first night, when the band played its debut, Q:Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!, was the more coveted of the two-show engagement, Freedom fans like moi know the ’81 classic surpasses the new-wave novelty of “Whip It.” Seeing F.O.C. live definitely enforced its resonance and showed the band haven’t devolved sonically. We can even forgive them for the Swiffer commercial. Both albums were recently reissued by Warner Bros.
Vice magazine might fancy itself an arbiter of effortless “cool,” but its aesthetic has always been a little too intentionally crusty, and everyone knows it takes longer to look like you don’t care than you do, right? Nonetheless, its “Do’s and Don’ts” section is always cackle-worthy. So it made perfect sense that the mag would celebrate with a 15th-anniversary party at the Ukrainian Culture Center on Melrose with a ’90s-style theme highlighting the era of grunge and bad hip-hop haircuts. But amid the flannels, Kid ’N Play bling and dated concert tees were some brilliant outfits. Our fave: the guy dressed as Forrest Gump “when he ran around the world” and was really woolly (’cause beards are so then and so now, aren’t they?). Hornitos sponsored the thing so we’re sure things got extra messy later in the eve after we left (music was provided by Brother Reade, White Arrows, Boom Bip on the decks and ’90s cover band Disco Lemonade), but we hit it early, filling up on free Hornoritas and scoring packs of Yo! MTV Raps trading cards. The tequila brand is really tapping into the hip magpie market right now, it seems: This Sunday, they join BPM and Vapors for an afternoon block party on the backstreets of Warner Studios, featuring DJ Jazzy Jeff, Craze, Klever, Pase Rock and Them Jeans. Now that’s a DJ lineup. RSVP at bpmmagazine.net/hornitos.
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At the after-party on the Fonda’s roof, fans with original vinyl versions in hand waited patiently to meet and greet the band, now dressed down and undomed. Before that, we rolled around like a snowball (it was really cold up there), chatting and snapping the likes of Toni “Hey Micky” Basil, Lonnie Marshall and two DJ pals: Yo Gabba Gabba’s DJ Lance Rock (Mothersbaugh is also on the popular kids’ show) and DJ Riley More. More tells us that the buzz about the World on Wheels roller rink ceasing party promotions has thankfully been avoided, so her monthly Space Is the Place disco and the Goth night Wump Skate are stayin’ alive for now. As for our pal Rock (whose place in pop-culture history has officially been sealed, thanks to Brad Pitt, who dressed as him for Halloween!), he’s busy preparing for Yo Gabba’s first live stage show at the Shrine this weekend. We’ll have full coverage from the show in our next column, which is shaping up to be a kiddie-themed one (we’re saving our report from the Silversun Pickups acoustic set at Kidrockers at The Echo last Sat. and plan to prance by Hello Kitty’s Anniversary closing events too).