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Not more of the Samo . . .
For the past few months, the socially conscious scribble-scrabble of ’80s art
sensation Jean-Michel Basquiat has packed in a similarly excessive crowd
at the Museum of Contemporary Art — most notably at its Saturday Night
Vision
events. These weekly parties — which featured screenings of Julian
Schnabel
’s Basquiat biopic, hip-hop karaoke, and DJ sets from Grandmaster
Flash
,Kinky,DJ Nobody and Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore
— attracted the likes of Drew Barrymore and her Fab beau, Heather
Graham
, Billy Zane, Zack de la Rocha, Frankie Muniz and
Beastie Boy Mike D. But Basquiat went bye-bye last weekend, and we joineddawdlers
to get one last look at the Warhol cohort’s frantic, graffiti-inspired works (from
early days as homeless tagger “Samo” to his later doped-out mega-pieces). Friday,
Anthem mag’s bash unveiled Reebok’s latest bid to commodify street/hip-hop
culture: limited-edition Basquiat kicks going for $140, in a sneaker-sexist selection
of biggie men’s-only sizes. [Now that dead guys can do corporate sponsorships
and everything, maybe Kurt Cobain could help Guitar Center “hip” up its image,
too.
—ed.] The following eve marked the final after-dark showing, with DJs
Michael Stock and Benjamin White from the Echo’s hot new Sunday
promotion Part Time Punks,who’re actually full time if ya ask us.
Stock’s a filmmaker currently working on a BBC doc about Joy Division,
and White’s an Amoeba Records vinyl expert and member of improv-rockers
Go Go Airheart.

Thrills and Pills
While the Basquiat show kinda glossed over the obviously drug-induced nature of his work, MOCA more than acknowledges the relationship between art and mind-altering substances at its newest presentation, “Ecstasy: In and About Altered States” at the Geffen Contemporary in Little Tokyo. After nodding out (in a good way) to BRMC’s moody set at the Fonda Saturday (along with Goo Goo Doll Johnny Reznick!?) we popped into the show’s members-only opening, where DJ Sandra Collins was outside spinning electro in seriously rave-y surroundings (trippy video screens, blow-up furniture for lounging, buckets of Good & Plenty, which not so coincidentally look like ’ludes). The whole thing took Nightranger back to the mid-’90s, when map points, rickety warehouses and nitrous balloons made for a good time at undergrounds like Under the Paw Paw Patch. The exhibits’ installations only enhanced the effect, with magic-mushroom imagery, flashing lights and rainbow confetti. Helpful hint: Don’t go to this one sober like we did!
Whipping Boys

In gloomier news, fans of the S&M-ish smackdown Club Dungeon at AD have been gettin’ conflicting e-mails the past couple of weeks — some saying the club is closed and others saying it ain’t. Turns out promoters Michael Stewart and Bruce Perdew (a.k.a. The Evil Club Empire) have parted ways with DJ Courtney — and, judging from goth chat-room gossip, not too amicably. Courtney will continue the club for the moment; this dark duel is sure to heat up again come Halloween when ECE’s Perversion-style hellfest at Boardner’s goes head-to-head with Courtney’s Bondage Ball at Avalon — each hoping to scare up the biggest bunch o’ bondage babes. Boo!

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