Queen of Noise
The balls-out power and vampy vivaciousness of Betty Blowtorch made the group one of the L.A. rock scene’s most promising rebel rousers, but, tragically, its career was cut short when singer Bianca Butthole (a.k.a. Halstead)died in a car crash back in 2001. Director Anthony Scarpa’s Betty Blowtorch and Her Amazing True Life Adventures chronicles the all-female quartet’s rise and untimely demise in a way that’s as funny, touching and jubilant as Bianca was, so it was no surprise that the DVD-release party Saturday at Hollywood Forever Cemetery was anything but a downer. Though dark clouds threatened to dampen the outdoor screening (in the same spot where Cinespia holds its summer film series; BTW, you can vote for future films you’d like to see at www.cemeteryscreenings.com), the circuslike event went on with prefilm revelry from Hella-Klownz (an offshoot of San Francisco’s Porn Clown Posse, a.k.a. PCP) and the fire-dancer troupe Machina Candeo, and attracted lots of black-clad friends and punk/metal fiends including members of TheDonnas, Weezer, The Flesheaters, and Faster Pussycat’s Taime Downe, who’s planning his own tribute to Bianca on his next album with a cover of Blowtorch’s “Hell on Wheels” and recorded greetings from her admirers. The event also marked the first time in five years that the band’s remaining members, Blare N. Bitch, Sharon Needles and Judy Molish (who suffered an ugly breakup just before Bianca’s death), came together and buried the hatchet with heartfelt words and hugs, a surprising conclusion to the eve that only got more dramatic as the skies parted and it started to pour. “Bianca held back the rain all day until the film ended and her friends and band members had a chance to come back together,” Scarpa told us. We knew Bianca, and we don’t doubt it for a second.
Speaking of totally rocking L.A. ladies, some of the raddest we know are throwing a handful of the hottest hangs in town. Hang the DJs’ Scarlett Casanova and Maria Holland have joined forces for a new indie rock/Britpop night called Lipstick on Wednesdays at Star Shoes, and we hear it’s smacking good .?.?. Another gal with the goods, DJ Riley More, is still rolling out good times with her monthly Space Is the Place skate party at the World on Wheels roller rink (it’s every fourth Saturday of the month, so you’ll have to wait a few weeks), not to mention her residency at Mario Diaz’s Big Fat Dick on Tuesdays .?.?. PrinceHouse Records princess Anne Lee has been packing ’em in on Thursdays at TheVine Bar with her night Total Control (formerly Fiasco), featuring guest DJ sets from the likes of The Vacation and Ima Robot. Lee is also involved in an intriguing new Web site called Myopenbar.com — essentially a guide to free booze in L.A., from art openings (free wine from a box, anyone?) to mag and alky-sponsored soirees. The lush life lives!