It was a night of all things MICK with a touch of JOHN on the Miracle Mile as MAKEUP celebrated JAGGER’s birthday and the release of WATERS’ latest film, Cecil B. DeMented, a pairing that left EL REY awash in wall-to-wall glam-dipped and glitter-splashed groupies. Every gender possible was represented on stage, where CONSTANCE, a.k.a. ROBERT SHERMAN (the alopecian made famous by photog Robert Mapplethorpe), literally flipped his wig to the Rolling Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”; the Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black’s KEMBRA sang “Gimme Shelter”; JACK ATLANTIS requested “Sympathy for the Devil”; and “Miss”-es ALEXIS ARQUETTE (pictured) and CANDY ASS (as JERRY HALL and DAVID BOWIE, respectively) asked each other to “Let’s Spend the Night Together.” Now that’s a love in vain! And once again spin-sters JOSEPH BROOKS and JASON LAVITT proved that you can always get what you want when they’re turning the tables. This night of double-dose shameless yet genius cross-promotion also included screening-pass giveaways to DeMented. Apparently, though, the fabulousness of it all simply overwhelmed at least one poor beast of burden as he stumbled into the powder room and almost scored a direct hit with a John — of the porcelain variety. Talk about tumbling dice!
Better Dead than Read
The MUSEUM OF DEATH almost lived up to its name at the oversold BLACK DAHLIA BEAUTY CONTEST recently. We thought we’d croak as author JOHN GILMORE held the sweltering crowd hostage while reading page after page of Severed: The True Story of the Black Dahlia, a “hack” job known more for its gruesome autopsy photos than its literary merit. As Gilmore droned on (we lost count how many times he sputtered “dick”), several of the fabulously coifed contestants were forced to doff their fur coats in deference to the 90-degree heat. MoD co-owners CATHEE SHULTZ and J.D. HEALY might consider buying an old-fashioned stage hook for the planned Black Dahlia 2. There was a tie for Best All-Around Elizabeth Short Look-alike. And, for Best “Crime Scene” Pose, a group, call them TEAM BLACK DAHLIA, staged a deliciously detailed tableau morte re-enactment using rolls of sod to create the illusion of Short’s severed torso. The big winner of the night was dark-horse candidate — and the only male Black Dahlia contestant — CHRIS WINKLER , who cleaned up with a grand-prize gift basket from www.citymorguegiftshop.com by doggedly entering all three events. We had been rooting for Winkler, goofy drag and all, until he decided to use Gilmore’s Severed for Best Dramatic Reading. As if we hadn’t had enough punishment from the man himself. Joining Gilmore and Schultz for judging duties was artiste KENNETH ANGER. We couldn’t help but notice that “Ms. Black Dahlia 2000” was, uh, unsevered. Ever heard of tucking?
The Big Playback
Free music’s a hot topic these days, hence the timeliness of THE DROPLIFT PROJECT, an audio-collage compilation CD that’s testing legal boundaries by making art from unlicensed snippets (the Spice Girls, Budweiser spots, Kurt Loder). The nationwide group of 50 or so Droplifters, who’ve never met except via a Negativland e-mail list, are led by Los Feliz–based provocateur TIM MALONEY, who says, “We hope to get a dialogue going on the fear of digital technologies, the rights of collage artists to interpret and critique the vast sea of mass media, and the need for copyright reform.” Of course, traditional distributors won’t touch this, so Droplifters around the country have been sneaking copies of the Project into major chain stores and leaving them in bins — droplifting, not shoplifting, get it! Sounds like our kinda hijinx, so we took a trip to Glendale’s Tower Wow! Store (as in, “Wow! Britney Spears is all over this place!”). Shore ’nuff, cuddled against a row of Dropkick Murphys discs were two Droplift Project CDs. We presented one to an unsuspecting cashier, who summoned her supervisor when she couldn’t find any bar code or price tag. Honesty’s apparently the policy at the Glendale Wow!, because the boss handed us the CD free of charge after determining the store didn’t carry it. With a shiny new disc burning a hole in our pocket, we then ventured up the street to Borders and became a Droplifter ourself.
The Son Also Rises
Afro-beat wonder FEMI KUTI hopped right in line with his groovacious trio of barefoot backup gals for a crowd-pleasin’ bout of fierce butt-shakin’ in his grand finale at the HOLLYWOOD BOWL. But even Kuti (son of FELA) couldn’t hold a candle to the tribal posse of folks funkin’ for Jamaica back in the cheap seats. In what started off as a laid-back jazzy Sunday at the Bowl, scads of cool cats decked in their baggy thrift-store best frolicked in the aisles throughout Kuti’s entire performance, oblivious to the open-mouthed and disapproving stares of the more conservative season-ticket patrons in the box seats. One could only imagine what was running through their minds while observing the legions of good-looking salt ‘n’ peppa couples (with their even better lookin’ babies) who seemed to populate the place. As we attempted to make it up front for a chat during intermission with KCRW’s GARTH TRINIDAD, who emceed the event, we spotted a slick hepcat standing by himself near the stage entrance. Didn’t take us long to figure out that it was the esteemed MACEO PARKER, who starred in the second half of the show. Scootin’ up to Maceo, we plowed him with questions of his days playin’ with James Brown. Ever the gentleman, Parker simply laughed and smiled. Guess he lets his music do the talkin’ for him — and he sure did talk pretty that night.
Edited by Kateri Butler