Hip-hop lovers take note: Hustle & Flow is the bomb. We caught the new flick at a GenArt screening party last week, and now we’re officially obsessed with its star, Terrence Howard. We even considered checkin’ out Lil Jon, T.I. and P$C on Monday at House of Blues in hopes he might be there. Ended up across the street, though, gazing at the chaos from Brent Bolthouse’s hang at Chi at the Hyatt, where Avril Lavigne, looking like a pageant queen with very uncomplicated new blond locks, held court with her man, Sum 41’s Deryck Whibley.


Pray for the Soul of Betty, the NYC rock group that features American Idol’s Constantine Maroulis, packed The Key Club with hordes of horny housewives last Tuesday. Calling themselves “Bettys,” the ladies came from all across the country for the band’s meet-and-greet, though they only had eyes for cutie Connie — who, we hear, has been hanging with Lindsay Lohan. Figures. Rodney Bingenheimer introduced the band, which sounded like Alice in Chains meets Creed. For something heavier, we checked out Swedes Backyard Babies and local bad boys The Chelsea Smiles later at The Troub, where none other than Morrissey was kicking it in the front bar. Looks like The Moz is finally outta the closet … He’s a headbanger!


Hollywood may have been all abuzz about the opening of Rokbar (the new spot from tattooed terrors Dave Navarro and Tommy Lee) on Thursday, but a few blocks down, two notable closings were taking place. Tokio, the groovy sushi spot from the guys behind Beauty Bar and Star Shoes, celebrated its last night with its popular Cherry Blossom party, featuring a T-shirt-design exhibit by UNIF (Ur Not In Fashion). The place has been bought by Eric Weitzman and Reg MacDonald (Ivar/Nacional), who plan to turn it into a tapas bar called Bazaar. Next door, the Fucking Awesome boys bade adieu to Beauty with one last booty-bumper set from guest DJ Adam 12. The Awesome fellas will join URB magazine for a new indie-rock happening called Loose Tooth at Forbidden City beginning this Thursday. Let’s hope their e-mail RSVP system doesn’t go haywire like their Sunday Funday list did last week. A glitch flooded the hip list’s e-mail boxes with RSVPs, pissed rants and, finally, promotions from opportunistic peeps who decided to take advantage of the problem to hype their businesses, clothing lines, etc. Only in L.A.

LA Weekly