Whos the Star Here?

Hey, isnt that James Hall???

I knew my plans to go see Relish at the Blue Café a Monday or so ago would meet the exacting standards of you, my hip-hoppenin' readers, because of my source of information about the evening: the Evil Bollweevil. I first met Bollweevil—an ursine Quiksilver schwag man—at South By Southwest in Austin last March. He was giving out socks. Very cute little socks that look like surf booties but are in fact just socks. He was also giving away drinks. His expense account and mine were two very different things (i.e., he had one). We became great friends, a friendship that consisted of calling each other on our cell phones and making plans to meet and then ditching each other in increasingly crafty and spiteful ways. Like all those dear, lifelong Austin friends (the notable exception is former House of Blues star booker John Pantle, who I am pretty sure gave me a concussion in an Austin nudie bar and who continues to punch me—hard—at regular intervals), I really haven't seen him since. Anyway, Bollweevil is one of those guys who's hip for a living. If he said to go to the Blue, I was golden. (Pantle, for those who like to track these things, just organized the Silver Lining Silver Lake benefit for the Hollywood Sunset Free Clinic—an event that was notable for the fact that Elton John now looks somewhere north of Orson Welles or new Ambassador to Spain George"Gyros" Argyros. Also, there is a delightful rumor floating about that John's piano parts come via CD instead of his own sausagey little fingers.)

So! Relish! The snarly chick band were opening for Pleasure Company ("starring James Hall"). Their music was richer and fuller than we remembered it, and the lead singer has a bitchen Liz Phair thing going. Everyone we knew was huddled inside against the cold, including LA Times guy Mike Boehm, keyboardist to the stars Joe Simon (you can see him with Billy Idol at the House of Blues on Wednesday and Thursday, Dec. 27), loudENERGY.com's handsome Doug Skoro, a guy from Orgy, and the Gypsy Lounge's Mike Concepcion, with whom we waited out an inevitable plane delay in a bar at the Austin airport that fateful March. Really, we never see him anymore.

The show was a sentimental one for the girls; it was their last with their drummer after some ridiculous length of time—like, seven years. They're looking for a new one, man or woman, doesn't matter—"so long as they shred."

Pleasure Company ("starring James Hall") was terrific, a wickedly glam band somewhere between Iggy and Ziggy. But if you could have told me who James Hall was, I would have given you a dollar.

"You were at the Relish show on Monday," a guy behind the smoking ropes was saying at Dec. 13's Paul Frank Christmas party. "What did you think of James Hall?" I should have given him a dollar, but I didn't have one. The $8 cosmopolitans (after tip) at Detroit Bar, which was hosting the party, had already sucked my wallet dry. I really should have found someone with an expense account to befriend. (Austin Brown, dreamy Paul Frank schwag man, didn't kick down with the drink tickets—the greatest sign of friendship and esteem our social system knows—till later.) The party itself was lovely. The food: seared ahi. The music: the incredible guitar stylings of Ray Barbie. But there was just one problem: everybody was mean! Maybe that's why we didn't see Paul Frank himself; could it be that he just couldn't stomach his own rude, arrogant guests?

Paul Frank, as you know, is your friend. He's nice! He's quirky!He's not cool! So the supermodel types shooting the evil eye around were a surprise, as was the bleached-blond guy with the very high voice who was chasing an unknown woman around the pool table while we were trying to play. She shrieked for help. I rolled my eyes and blocked him. He went back to his corner, from which he spat out a bunch of insults as to whether I was "a guy or a girl," and proceeded to question my testosterone levels—which I do have to admit are very high. I will leave my reckoning of his testosterone levels for another time.

Conversely, a party I went to that should have been full of rude, arrogant types—Shout PR's Christmas party Dec. 8 at the Huntington Beach home of Stever—was instead full of chatty, friendly, cool women. Even though they were from the sportswear industry. In LA. Of course, the men were all too good to talk to the women, but the women themselves were gorgeous and flashy-fun. When a Paul Frank party is the rudest thing on the block and the Chargers and Clippers don't suck, you know it's alternate-universe time.

Finally, I'd like to follow every news outlet in the universe with my own tale of the Jewish Defense League's Irv Rubin—the man charged this week with plotting to blow up Representative Darrell Issa's office (Issa is Lebanese-American) and an LA mosque. (See Matt Coker's A Clockwork Orange for more details.)

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