Beauty is in the eye of the beholder — and as two wild pageants last weekend proved, when the beholders are rockers, the contestants are more Miss Creant than Miss Congeniality. Friday, Miss Kitty’s Parlour welcomed Kiss’Gene Simmons, who held a “Fetish Beauty Queen Pageant” for his new A&E reality series, Family Jewels (which sounds like an Osbournes rip-off). Contestants included vampy models Vema and Hazmat, and famed trannie actress Calpernia Addams, but it was an un-fetishlike buxom blond who took the title after some surprisingly tame prancing. Things got sassier later in the eve with Kitty’s popular lube-wrestling contest, during which a fully clothed Simmons jumped on the mat (covered in $300 worth of high-quality KY-style gel …) and attempted to pin and be pinned. He allegedly may have bedded 4,600 women, but when it comes to really getting physical, “the Demon” is more like an imp . . . the bout ended in a draw. On Sunday, a similarly raucous competition took place at Beauty Bar, where its annual “Drop Dead Gorgeous” pageant featured eight hipster hotties vying for a chance to go to Miami to compete against B.B. babes from all around the country. Designer Lisa Katnik did an interpretive dance, while a ruff gal called “Right Eye” rapped about O.J. (which host Kato Kaelin seemed to get a kick out of) but it was hot mama Nikki Lane working a faux baby bump (she said daddy was Mick Jagger) who won over judges including Har Mar Superstar, Moscow’s Keith Wilson and Suicide Girls’ MissySuicide during the talent portion: She played the banjo and gave birth (to a doll). Look for another crazed competition next month hosted by Project Runway’s Santino Rice. Expect vogueing.
Poster Scene Queen
From pageants to posters, Nightranger checked out one of our fave artist’s retrospectives at Blk/Mrkt Gallery in Culver City. Tara McPherson is best known for the whimsical, doll-like nymphs and otherworldly imagery of her acclaimed rock posters for the likes of Depeche Mode, Bright Eyes, The Hives, Peaches and The Strokes, and all, plus many more, were on display at her packed opening show Saturday. She’s kinda young for a “retrospective,” but the gal sure does have an amazing body of work, which is expanding, she told us, with a new line of toys for Kid Robot and a graphic novel for DC Vertigo Comics. Seen admiring the über-pretty prints: Brat Store’s Nancy Kaufman, Red Hearts/Morlocks member Lenny Pops and Soap Plant’s Billy Shire. We’re saving for one of our own.
RIP DJ Dusk
The passing of local wax man extraordinaire DJ Dusk, a.k.a. Tarek Captan, might have put a melancholy mood on many dance clubs this weekend, but some of his old spinning grounds and cohorts, Quality at Zanzibar, Firecracker in Chinatown, The Rootdown at Little Temple, chose to celebrate his life and music instead; the latter even had a table where friends and fans could donate to the family and write personal greetings. More tributes are planned for this week including a Prima Lux party this Friday, May 12, at Club So-Ho with legends including Afrika Bambaataa, Kool DJ Herc, Jazzy Jay, Cut Chemist, Haul & Mason and more (e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more info) and Saturday, May 13, at Descarga at Little Temple (see www.myspace.com/descargaclubla).