Ball Busting

And does anyone pray to the Lord of the Dance?

The SnoopTown City Council has been busting promoter Mark diPiazza's balls like they're (Mark's balls, not the City Council) an actual problem—like polluted beaches; disastrous, city-planned, mass-entertainment projects that don't entertain the masses; aquariums; old British cruise ships; semipro baseball teams; Chinese cargo yards; and hotel numbers that don't add up. The latest on the whole sorry mess is that the immensely great Lava Lounge (nestled inside the Java Lanes bowling alley like creamy nougat in a Snickers bar) will have to turn off the music at midnight on Fridays and Saturdays and at 9 p.m. during the week. Yeah, I said 9 p.m. But I won't be writing about that because the Weekly's music editor, Rich Kane, has been even more demanding than usual lately. "Uh, what exactly are you going to be writing about the meeting?" he asked me sternly, as though he was the boss of me! I don't know exactly what I'll be writing about until I sit my bony ass down and write it, Rich! But he continued, "Because, you know, I wrote that big story on it" (LowBallAssChatter, April 27). Then he wanted to know what had been going on in the hallways and what the reaction was (um, displeased) among the dozen or so supporters who had shown up. Well, maybe you should have gone to the City Council meeting, Rich! You would have liked it. Plus, it's held in the very Austin Powers/Star Command fancy-schmancy council chambers. And did I mention that you are not the boss of me?

But Rich can keep the story. I'm feeling big this morning, or maybe just lazy, but all I really want to say about the April 24 City Council meeting is the fact that a Catholic priest offered the invocation, which seemed terribly inappropriate for a government body. And he concluded his prayer "in the name of our risen lord, Jesus Christ," which had me steamed like a bucket of clams. Hey, I'm down with the Lord Jesus; Jesus was a cool guy. (And before I get any more nasty letters about how I'm a hell-destined Jew, I'll remind you I'm also half a Catholic.) But do I have to remind the Long Beach City Council, which is as eggshell white as the sky over Carson, that this is, in fact, not Texas? Jesus Day has no place here, President Numbnuts notwithstanding. Does the LBC invite ministers from SnoopTown's huge black community to offer invocations in the name of Allah? And what about all the Hmong here? (Who do they pray to, anyway?) And does anyone pray to Michael Flatley, Lord of the Dance?

In attendance, looking as shocked and put-out as I, were such boldfaced peeps as Johnny Jones, Arrissia Owen, Brett Bixby (yes, of the Long Beach Bixbys) and the entire staff of the Cornerstone RAS label—all looking very presentable.

Remember Melrose Place? Don't you wish you worked with and loved and bitch-slapped Heather Locklearin a big, fancy ad agency where everyone is real shiny and expensive-looking? Well, hop on over to Santa Ana and apply immediately for work at big, fancy ad agency DGWB (they're the ones who do those heartbreaking Wienerschnitzel ads starring a poor little hot dog running for his life). They just moved into the old City Hall building. A fabulous party was held April 26 to celebrate their new pad and featured all sorts of important Santa Ana folks nattering on and on about, like, the Chamber of Commerce while we sat patiently. It's amazing what we'll do for free drinks. In the house were new Riviera editor (and doesn't the name tell you everything you need to know about the soon-to-be-published upscale mag?) Kedric Francis, the Orange County Museum of Art's Traveling Langstons, Cal State Fullerton art honcho Mike McGee, groovy Grand Central board members Greg Escalante and John Gunnin, Mayor Miguel Pulido(who busted me wearing the same outfit the next day at Irvine's gigantic Tia Juana's of all places—damn it!), and a whole bunch of Artists Village peeps who had glommed on for the free food.

The April 27 Dick Cheese show at the House of Blues at Downtown Disneyto benefit the Azteca Legal Defense Fund was a smashing success. Azteca, the wildly popular Garden Grove Elvis lounge and Mexican restaurant, recently received a cease-and-desist letter from Presley's trailer-trash estate, as though people going for a drink in a shrine to the King in Southern California were therefore not going to pop in for a drink at Graceland. Graceland is far away.

Richard Cheese is a lounge singer whose brilliant shtick involves taking contemporary hits and loungifying them; for instance, Nine Inch Nails' "Closer," which includes the anthemic "I want to fuck you like an animal," was done real poppy and happy-like.

However! The doughily handsome Cheese—a frothy blend of LBC rocker Bert Ziggen and former Assemblymajority leader Scott Baugh—simply doesn't have the stage presence of, say, the completely inappropriate-at-all-times Wink Musselman. Wink's lounge show is so insulting, grody and downright obscene it's a wonder he hasn't gotten a chair to his handsome mug. Now, that's a stage show!

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