The Big Takeover
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Hostess Kimi celebrates a birthday with her beau at A Fish Called Rhonda.
Sleek bigwig-bankrolled boîtes definitely have their place on our schedule of weekly nocturnal pursuits, but as we’ve noted here before, the subversive charm of dilapidated dives, particularly if they’re normally frequented by multiethnic locals, always seems to be more fun. La Cita downtown and the Grand Star in Chinatown are good examples. The latest slum-ish space to enjoy so-sudden-it’s-scary hot-spot status? The East Hollywood casa known as Guatelinda, where every first and third Thursday, Tik Tok’s Aaron Castle and Loren Granic and Greg Nuñez from downtown design-amosGoddollars host the sizzlin’ new soiree A Club Called Rhonda (which, incidentally, goes up against La Cita’s stalwart scenester soiree Dance Right). ’Linda’s mirrored walls, checkered floors, strip-joint-ish white-lady statues and copious Christmas lights provide an even more exquisitely tacky backdrop for Rhonda’s ironically pimped-out “polysexual” pals (we’re talkin’ urban club-kid couture like facemasks, Mr. T bling, mismatched knee socks and homemade message tees). Though the Hollywood and Edgemont salsa space might be new to Eastside electro lovers, seasoned clubbers like Nightranger are likely to experience dance-floor déjà vu here — and not just because of the club’s resemblance to the old Candelejas (home of the legendary Club 1970). We know trendy 20-somethings have taken over this one before, and though we can’t recall names and DJs, one thing isn’t fuzzy: the walloping combo that is its tiny dance floor and blaring speakers.
Of course, that wouldn’t mean a thing if the DJs didn’t have skillz. Acid Girls, Jeremy Scott and Guns & Bombs have spun here recently, and last Thursday, Castle and co. (along with guests Metro Area and Them Jeans) offered their own irresistible cocktail of spanking-booty bass and jiggy tech grooves that had the floor, led by birthday girl/co-hostess Kimi, bouncing all night. The free “mandatory” Jell-O shots and ridiculously cheap drink specials (called out by Royal Rumble’s Russinabox all night) didn’t hurt either. Yep, Rhonda is one rowdy bee-yoch. Can’t wait to party with her again when Parisian pumper Cosmo Vitelli pops in May 29.
Talk about living the Hi-Lo lifestyle. Before the sweat-drenched debauchery at Rhonda (it was, like, 95 degrees that night) we found ourselves hobnobbing with fresh-faced celebs in Beverly Hills at Barney’s New York, where the posh 90210 post hosted a party complete with DJ beats and nonstop bubbly for Rogan for Target, the latest line in the chain’s GO International collection (which has previously joined forces with designers such as Jovovich-Hawk, Proenza Schouler and Luella Bartley). We’ve got stuff from ’em all, and mercifully we were spared jousting with Target shoppers to get our hands on Rogan’s pieces at this exclusive preview event, though we did have to crowd and clutch clothing with the likes of Gabrielle Union, Marcia Cross, Rachel Bilson and our pal Mena Suvari, who we learned shares Nightranger’s obsession with sexy animal prints. Though snow-leopard spots and zebra stripes were everywhere, the designer, known for his Loomstate and Edun lines, told us he’s never used them before. He calls the line “safari chic with a punk edge.” And the best part? It’s the first GO collection to be completely organic. Wild. (See a full review of the line on laweekly.com’s Style Council blog.)
Wheels in the Sky
Speaking of shoppy boppin’, the gargantuan new Americana in Glendale might be swarming with new swanksters and scenesters (there’s an SBE Katsuya there), but fans of a different kind of “Americana” have been going to Glendale forever, especially those who appreciate kitschy retro locales. Not far from the megamall, the Moonlight Rollerway has long been a boogie wonderland for skate lovers, and L.A. Weekly “People” cover boy Charles Phoenix is surely its biggest fan. Phoenix’s Moonlight Rollerway Jubilee last Saturday night celebrated the venue with one of his famous slide shows and a wild, freewheelin’ spectacle complete with skating champions in several changes of costume doing flips, dips and dances evoking every era of skating style. Our fave? A Xanadu segment complete with bad afro wigs and sequined ’70s getups. “The World’s Greatest Roller Rink Organist,” Dominic Cangelosi, was on hand for the fun, which also included complimentary punch and ice cream and skating for all afterward. Unfortunately, we had to roll to a few more parties Saturday night, but we’ll be back. Though the owners don’t seem to want it publicized (the schedule reads “private party” on Wednesdays), in-the-know queers and those who love ’em have been frequenting that night at the Rollerway, called Rainbow Skate, for some time, and we hear the only straight-laced things about it are the skates.
From retro rinks to a Swedish minx, the after party later that eve for Robyn at The Echoplex didn’t even get goin’ till 1 a.m. (when the Earlimart show let out there, and she finished her Troub gig), which allowed us time to pay a visit to our girl Scarlett Casanova upstairs at her special ’90s-themed Hang the DJs night at The Echo. We shamefully admit powerlessness to campy crap like Milli Vanilli, Vanilla Ice and Neneh Cherry. (Sounds like a yummy dessert menu, huh?) Even more fun than grooving on the floor at HTDJs? Checking out all the “vintage” tees on the cuties who come to this long-running party (New Kids on the Block, Madonna, Britney). As for the Perez Hilton/Alexis Rivera/Jeremy Scott–hosted Robyn thing down below, DJ Jeppe (Junior Senior) had the crowd jumpin’, but we think the gal of honor would have had just as good a time upstairs. After all, before the bleach job and sputtering Peaches-style synths, Robyn was a ’90s pop sensation just like Spears. We hear she had a blast though, even deejaying at one point. That is, until the stage got overcrowded and the sound guy pulled the plug on the party. Obviously, peeps are still showing the lady lots o’ love.