Hanging out backstage . . . Priceless

The “surprise” OK Go! show at The Roxy on Wednesday for the new
IN:LA AmEx credit card (you know, the one with those annoying commercials that
promise “VIP access to L.A. hot spots” ) was, uh, okay, but we were more entertained
by the performance in the dressing room, where singer Damian Kulash bitched
about the corporate bloodsuckers to a small group that included actor Jon “Duckie”
(Two and a Half Men, Pretty in Pink) even while Kulash
signed AmEx merch . . . 30 Seconds to Mars played Avalon last week,
and though our all-access wristband didn’t get us a sighting of Lindsay Lohan,whom
singer Jared Leto has recently dated (they’re co-starring in a new film
about John Lennon’s killer), we did get to eye Leto’s new Billie Joe Armstrong–ish
black hair/eyeliner/nails guise up close, and — we gotta say it — we like the
Jordan Catalano look better. Not that the screaming, sold-out crowd in matching
30 Sec wristbands felt that way. When the band’s melodramatic metal got in full
gear, forget about Mars, the kids were over the moon. [Seems impossible, but
this band actually makes me nostalgic for Incubus. —ed.

Merry Madness

If there really is a “war on Christmas” — as religious zealots keep yammering on the nightly news — we sure haven’t seen it. Nightranger’s been dashing through the shows and holiday shindigs all week, and let us assure you, the Yuletide spirit is more than alive out there. The Babes in Toyland event at Smashbox Studios, hosted by Brent Bolthouse,featured a gi-normous tree, free Polaroids with St. Nick, and model-esque elf chicks handing out candy and lip gloss, not to mention Ivan Kane’s Forty Deuce dancers ho-ho-ho-ing it onstage for celebs like Skeet Ulrich,Taye Diggs and Paris Hilton — with her bodyguard cock-blocking dudes at every turn. (Hilton, Lohan and others also boogied at Bolthouse’s b-day bash Saturday at Privilege, co-hosted by birthday girl Xtina Aguilera and featuring surprise performances by Kanye West and Jamie Foxx.) Things were less flamboyant but no less festive a couple nights earlier at the Epitaph Records gathering at Yamashiro, where we saw more mustaches than Mohawks (the label’s male staffers had been farming their faces all month for a ’stache contest — too bad Jared Leto couldn’t be there to rock that Prefontaine fuzz!) At SideOneDummy’sparty Friday, we joined head honcho Joe Sib with co-workers and old bandmates (remember Wax?) at the Hollywood HQ for a little oi-to-the-world-style celebrating, after which we sleighed over to Indie 103’s event with L.A. Weekly cover kids Giant Drag and The Like at the Shrine, hanging with station jocks Mike Savage, Jackie, Cha Cha,Joe Escalante, Mark Sovel and TK, who took over caustic Claus duties for Jonesy, who was battling the flu. Didn’t sit on his lap and tell him how naughty/nice we’ve been, ’cause we don’t need anything after the sick shopping spree we attended at the new Fredericks of Hollywood flagship store, where we got to fill a shopping bag with free lingerie, makeup, Godiva chocolates and even liquor, giddily crossing names off our list. Finally, guilt-free goodie-bag re-gifting!

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