Role Model in the Brown Bottle
It’s no secret that hip-hoppers love their Hennessy, but the company’s campaign and recent music tour — highlighting its “mixability” — obviously sought to expand its audience, and the tour finale hosted by The Alliance last Wednesday at Paramount Studios was fittingly genre-blending. Though we didn’t stay for the eyelinered pop-rock wrecks Fall Out Boy, Pharrell Williams and VA groover Kenna blew us away with their vibrant minisets. Take Nightranger’s word: If you don’t know Kenna yet, you will soon. As bodyrockin’ as Justin Timberlake and new-wave wonderful as Bloc Party, yet more uniquely soulful than either, the singer is mesmerizing live. Williams played all our favorite N*E*R*D tunes, pimped the booze brand (as he was surely paid very well to do) and had a crew of cuties (including Mercedes Scelba-Short, first runner-up from season two of America’s Next Top Model) boogying behind him, which obviously put him in a good mood. That wasn’t the case earlier on the red carpet, though, when a slew of overzealous shutterbugs bombarded him with flashbulbs and question after question about Britney Spears (who was rumored to be attending the bash). “She’s a good person. I don’t want to talk about that. Ask me about anything else. Ask me about Mickey Mouse,” he said, obviously frustrated. (Cool dude, especially since it’s been widely reported that Spears flaked on a recording session with the producer not so long ago.)
Alas, the troubled popstress didn’t show (her custody hearing was the next day), but lots o’ celebs did, including Ashlee Simpson, David Arquette, Hilary Swank,Kelis, Entourager Kevin Connolly,director BrettRatner, and reality whores Kim Kardashian, Brody Jenner, Whitney Porter (The Hills) and skater RobDyrdek (Rob and Big), who donned the coolest bling of the evening: a Tetris watch he told us he found on eBay, then had encrusted with diamonds. Best outfits? That would be the red-track-suited Datarock, who chilled in the “Miami” part of the party (each corner was done up for a different city) after their Jimmy Kimmel performance that eve and geared up for an after-party at Mood. The fun-lovin’ Norwegians invited Nightranger to their late soiree, but we weren’t in the, eh, mood to trek farther into Hollywood, especially after those cognac-infused cocktails.
A few nights later, it was all about Hollywood, or rather Hollyween, as the World of Wonder artspace held an opening for a terrorific Tinseltown-themed show curated by actor Daniel Franzese. Nicole Richie as a skeleton and Perez Hilton as a vampire may not be that much of a stretch, but the collection was freaky fun, particularly Glen Hanson’s colorful caricatures (we’re sure we’re not the only ones who practically begged the guy to draw us after viewing his amazing rendition of Lenora Claire as the “Bride of Boobenstein”) and macabre masterpieces by Eric Jungmann, Sam Woolley and Plastic God. As usual, wacky packs — downing the new energy drink ?called Cocaine — were everywhere, including VH1’s Rock of Love’s Brandi C., a bloated ?Dennis Haskins (Mr. Belding from Saved by the Bell) and the “pintsize paparazzi” kids (who we hear are in talks to get their own TV show). If you missed the Walk of Fame storefront’s much-publicized previous exhibits, fret not: Golden Gals vs. Britney will feature the TV bitties and Brit Brit art goin’ tit for tat there through November.
Our creative juices flowed into the weekend too, when the Eastside Art Crawl got galleries all over Silver Lake and Los Feliz to stay open late for nonstop pop-ins. Keeping it low-key for once, we only stopped into the signing for the children’s book The Octonautsat La Luz de Jesus (which wasswimming with adorable hipster offspring) and ogled one artist’s fan paraphernalia across the street at East Side Studios.Our crawl may have been short this year, but it still made us wonder: Is L.A. recognized as an art mecca on par with New York yet? It should be!
More Halloweentime hijinks for ya: Stripshow at the Key Club is flying in raven-haired burlesque queen/Velvet Hammer creator Michelle Carr from Europe to perform with O.G. grinders Kitten DeVille and Ming Dynatease this Saturday, October 20. This may be the closest we’ll get to a V.H. reunion, especially since co-creator Rita D’Albert now has her own thing, wigglin’ with wrestlers at her very successful Lucha Va Voom shows (those run October 30-November 1). As someone who’s known almost all these gorgeous gals since the very beginning, Nightranger’s gotta say it: So many dynamic divas together definitely led to drama and probably even V.H.’s ultimate demise. The troupe is definitely missed. All that aside, every woman who’s ever gyrated for the group deserves props not only for celebrating the female form in rollicking retro-yet-rock-&-roll fashion, but for proving that you don’t have to be a surgically enhanced Barbie wannabe to be sexy. We plan to shake ?and shimmy along with all of ’em at both sexy spectaculars this month, and you should too.
And finally . . . Los Angeles may have the most bodacious burlesque (not to mention a thriving music scene and crazy art gatherings), but when it comes to fashion, we’re still struggling for respect. L.A. Fashion Week, which kicked off last week with shows in downtown and Culver City, so far hasn’t done much to change that. Still, Nightranger’s had fun prancing at the parties and popping into some select shows. See next week’s column for a full report, and check out The Style Council on laweekly.com and the Considerable Town section of the paper for more unbridled catwalk trash talk.