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Photo by Lina Lecaro

Excerpts from L.A.
Weekly's nightlife blog
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(Really) Undressing L.A.

“If you’ve got a husband or boyfriend at home . . . fuck ’em!” shouts Scott
Layne, the fit 44-year-old dancer and promoter of the all-male burlesque Hollywood
Men show at the Arena nightclub. Loud screams erupt.
Personally, I’ve never understood the appeal of big, beefy Fabio-type guys.
Getting frisky with a muscly man seems about as appealing as rubbing on a rock,
and my girlfriends and I are pretty much all in agreement in our preference
for the lankier male frame. Check out the KISS flick Detroit Rock City
(in which Edward Furlong rocks out with his, uh, shirt off in a strip club)
or our pal Stephen Hauptheur’s “Skinny Boy Burlesque” night at his Wednesday
club Radio at Star Shoes, and you’ll get the idea.
I’m in for a surprise, though. Hollywood Men does indeed feature some big ’n’
bulky boys, but it also has an impressive mix of multiracial fellows of various
builds and looks and types — the rough-ridin’ cowboy, the dashing musketeer,
the wild ’50s greaser dude, a Dracula-like masked man, a fireman, a Top Gun
flier, and our two favorites, the officer (who is definitely not a gentlemen)
and the obligatory cop (“you’ve violated penal code 6969, and you will need
to be frisked”). Yup, something for everyone, as the ladies’ deafening screams
make clear.
Then it’s time for the guys to come into the crowd, and seriously, I’m scared
for them. A room full of drunk and horny ladies screaming their lungs out .
. . not pretty. But these dudes are pros. Heck, they even seem to like what
they’re doing.
Dollar bills wave, sweat drips, and temperatures are definitely rising. It’s
pure, lusty chaos. Still, no actual jewels are unveiled, and the Hollywood Men
leave the stage with bills bulging from their Speedos.

—Lina Lecaro, November 22, 3:16 p.m.


The Power of Vek

Tom Vek, a.k.a. the British Beck, had a strange and powerful effect
on the indier-than-thou womenfolk at the Troubadour last Wednesday night. First
their cheeks began to flush. Then their eyes glazed over. It seemed like the
girls with the heavy bangs were being hypnotized by Vek, a pretty 24-year-old
thing from London. Initially, I didn’t get his Manson-like powers (all I could
think is “MmmBop!” when I looked at him), but a few minutes into the show I
started to feel the shamanic power of his minimalist, ecstatic electro-geek
rawk.
So get this: Not only is Vek a mystic, he’s a multitasking mystic — drumming,
playing guitar and singing all the songs on his debut album, We Have Sound,
recorded in his dad’s garage in south London. Following some heavy hype back
home, he recruited four musicians to accompany him on a tour of the States,
but the drummer quit shortly before the L.A. show, forcing Vek back behind the
snare.The drummer (and friend) had apparently threatened to quit several times
during the tour, and Vek finally called his bluff just before the Seattle show
on November 18. A statement issued by his press people said Tom was “disappointed
that there wasn’t more of a chance to prepare this new performance style” and
that he was keeping his chin up “in the face of difficulty.” It was a shame
we didn’t get to see the nifty Talking Heads–style dance moves audiences enjoyed
during previous shows, back when he didn’t have to play drums. AND play guitar.
AND sing.
But that didn’t stop the Vek effect. It really hit me during a new wave–inspired
number in which he chanted the words “Music, Television, Music, Television”
over and over for four minutes. Somehow he managed to make it sound good. Really
good. Methinks there be some powerful magick at work here . . .

—Caroline Ryder, November 26, 12:37 a.m.