Secret Show @ Hotel Cafe Tonight…

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I’ve heard from a semi-reliable source that tonight’s 10:30 PM “Special Guest” at the Hotel Cafe is The Cranberries‘ lead singer Dolores O’Riordan (MySpace), whose solo album, called Are You Listening, streets on May 8th.

(Photo courtesy of Dolores O’Riordan.)

UPDATE: Turns out the “Special Guest” was Alexi Murdoch (MySpace), per the Upcoming.org listing (and confirmed at Losanjealous). My semi-reliable source is now a little less reliable.

Eastside Story Release Party @ Bar 107…

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Pictured: Vivid-Alt’s Eon McKai

“If you don’t like porn, then get the fuck out!”

Yelled by the bartenders at Bar 107 in Downtown LA on Thursday night, that line marked the beginning of the release party for Vivid-Alt‘s newest adult film Eastside Story, starring the previouslymentioned Dana DeArmond (MySpace) and Lexi Bardot (who coincidentally was just on The Howard Stern Show last Monday), and directed by Vena Virago.

More, including three photos (two of which are potentially NSFW), after the jump.
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Adultcon 12…

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Pictured: An unidentified dancer @ the Spearmint Rhino booth

Adultcon 12, billed as “…the only convention in the world dedicated to meeting Adult entertainers in person” started on Friday and continues through Sunday at the LA Convention Center.

I’ve had a weird love-hate relationship in the past with Adultcon because of the retardedly-expensive price of admission and its poor organization. I’ve also heard from multiple sources about the fact that its organizer is a major asshole. And yet, the lines to gain entry been especially long as of the past few editions of this convention, so their publicity department must be doing something right.

So against my better judgement, I checked out it out on Saturday to see if things had changed.

More, including four photos, after the jump.
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The Ditty Bops & Jesca Hoop @ The Swedish American Hall…

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Pictured: Amanda Barrett and Abby DeWald

On Friday, the LA-based The Ditty Bops (MySpace) and Jesca Hoop (MySpace) concluded their most recent tour with a performance (including a cover of “Lonesome Town”) at the Swedish American Hall inside Cafe Du Nord in San Francisco.

Abby DeWald and Amanda Barrett have been proponents of clean living and a vegan diet, but they’ve also embarked on a new environmental campaign that’s personified by their new (ironic) song “Summer Rains” and their “Paper Or Plastic” musical sketch.

More, including four additional photos from The Swedish American Hall as well as eight photos from McCabe’s Guitar Shop earlier this month, after the jump.
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Eastern Conference Champions’ Gear Stolen…

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Turesday, Kevin Bronson at BuzzBands reported that Eastern Conference Champions (MySpace)’ gear was stolen on Monday night from their tour van in Hollywood:

Eastern Conference Champions finished its February residency at the Silverlake Lounge with a bang on Monday night. Then, thieves lowered the boom on the Philadelphia-area trio.

The band’s van, parked on a side street in Hollywood off La Brea, was burglarized and ECC’s gear was stolen. “Every bit of it,” front man Josh Ostrander said this morning, still in shock. “Well, they left our T-shirts.”

More after the jump.
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Midnight Club…

Reminiscent of the street-racing videogame series Midnight Club (Volume II includes Los Angeles as a playable city), I saw a race between a Chrysler 300 and Ford Mustang, on Tuesday night around midnight at the intersection of Crescent Heights and Sunset in West Hollywood.

When the traffic light hit green, the 300 (on the left) had the better start, but the Mustang (on the right) quickly closed the gap and raced past the 300 northbound on Laurel Canyon Blvd. As quickly as it started, the race ended, as both cars eventually slowed down and made a right onto Hollywood.

More after the jump.
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Tristan Prettyman @ Twiggs…

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Pictured (bottom): Tristan Prettyman & Anya Marina

Fresh off her performance with G. Love (MySpace) on Friday’s edition of Late Night With Conan O’Brien, San Diego-native and singer-songwriter Tristan Prettyman (MySpace), who’s been referred to as the female Jack Johnson (MySpace), returned from New York on Saturday to headline an acoustic set at Twiggs Coffee and Tea‘s Green Room, with fans reportedly flying in from as far away as San Francisco, Chicago, and Connecticut.

Opening for her at Twiggs were Chris Torres (MySpace), Melissa Larkin (MySpace), and Molly Jensen (MySpace).

Prettyman is fascinated by celebrity tabloid gossip, so when I suggested beforehand that she perform her cover of “Toxic” as a tribute to Britney Spears’ recent most erratic behavior, she happily obliged. Speaking of newsworthy pop starlets, Prettyman also debuted the live version of “Lindsay [Lohan] Goes to Rehab” (as originally heard on Prettyman’s MySpace page and Stereogum), which was sung with song co-writer Anya Marina (MySpace), who just happened to be sitting in the audience.

More, including three photos, after the jump.
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Head’s Up: Fiona Apple @ Largo…

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LA-Underground has been at Fiona Apple (MySpace)’s shows lately, continuing a ten-year relationship that originated from a meeting at Spaceland.

So leave it to them to beat me to the punch in mentioning that Apple is doing two shows next week, to benefit Friends of Gungi, at Largo in the Fairfax District:

Gordon “Gungi” Paterson is a legendary figure in the music industry, having been a highly respected engineer, tour and production manager. From his early days in the UK with acts such as Black Sabbath and Judas Priest, he was a mainstay of the 80’s touring scene with bands like Megadeth, and continued through the 2000’s with bands such as Live, System Of A Down, Tears For Fears and most recently Fiona Apple. Gungi’s easily recognizable physical stature is only overshadowed by his immense heart, personality and positive attitude. Last summer, Gungi was diagnosed with cancer – A large lump was discovered in and around the lymph nodes in his neck.

The Monday, March 3rd show teams Apple with producer Jon Brion, who worked on the original version of Extraordinary Machine that was leaked onto the Internet, while the Friday, March 9th show teams Apple “and Friends” (according to the Largo website).

More after the jump.
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Family Grand Opening…

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Pictured (above): No Age; (bottom): Becky Stark

Countering the Oscars earlier tonight was the grand opening of a store called Family (MySpace), run by three illustrators, located right next to Largo in the Fairfax District:

Next Sunday night, Feb 25th, our big party celebrating a fully stocked shop, a finished window installation, hanging Matthew Thurber art extravaganza, and the name on the glass. Two Great Bands, Booze, art and lots of books, comics, zines, records and movies to puke on at 2:00 AM.
If you don’t come to this it means we are not friends anymore.

Music was provided by DJ Them Jeans (MySpace), No Age (MySpace), and Lavender Diamond (MySpace).

Six photos and a flyer after the jump.
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Capitol Records Fallout…

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Pictured (bottom): Annie Stela

Brooklyn Vegan has been closely monitoring the fallout of EMI‘s merger of Capitol Records and Virgin Records, with an “…anonymous, yet reputable tipster” reporting that 30 acts will be dropped from Capitol and four from Virgin:

Other artists rumored to be among those dropped [besides Kevin Devine]: The Dandy Warhols, Sound Team, Shout Out Louds, The Redwalls, Otep, Fischerspooner, The Vines, and Airbourne.

Employees are going too. Possibly Jax.

More after the jump.
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The RIAA’s Top 25 Piracy Schools…

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Yesterday, Arstechnica listed The RIAA’s Top 25 Piracy Schools:

The RIAA recently named the top 25 music-pirating schools in the country, an act that involved sending over 14,500 copyright infringement notices (so far) during the 2006-2007 school year. This was nearly triple the number of notices sent during the 2005-2006 school year, according to the RIAA. The group says, however, that they are taking advantage of new software tools to improve the tracking of illegal file sharing, which may be part of the reason why the numbers have skyrocketed.

The list, and something rather surprising, after the jump.
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L.A. Songs, Revisited (Again)…

On Wednesday, Kevin Roderick @ LA Observed mentioned that The Guardian is asking its readers to suggest songs about California while The LA Times has been interviewing songwriters about their LA songs:

The U.K.’s Guardian has a music blogger who asks readers to suggest songs based on themes. This week it is tunes about California. I haven’t counted, but many dozens have weighed in. “Can I re-nominate ‘LA County’ by Lyle Lovett? Still sad, and unrequited, and a gun tune, so it’s about bloody time it was included,” writes one. Via Theresa Duncan at Wit of the Staircase.

* Closer to home: If you like this kind of thing, LAT Calendar staffer Geoff Boucher’s biweekly SoCal Songbook interviews songwriters about their L.A.-centric lyrics. He kicked off last summer with “Celluloid Heroes” by Ray Davies and last month talked with Don Henley about The Eagles’ “The Last Resort.” Rickie Lee Jones and “A Second Chance” were featured on Feb. 11.

Kevin and I exchanged e-mails after he posted the article, with me mentioning Blender‘s recent list of “The Best 25 Songs About L.A.” and him mentioning Wikipedia‘s List of songs about Los Angeles. But among those songs that are still missing from that comprehensive list is “Moon Over The Freeway,” which was written about the LA freeway system, by the LA-based The Ditty Bops (MySpace).

Previous posts on the subject of LA songs here and here.

MySpace Secret Show Anniversary Party…

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Tonight, Cold War Kids (MySpace) are performing with Delta Spirit (MySpace) and Tokyo Police Club (MySpace) at The El Rey Theatre, and they’ll also be on tonight’s episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live.

They’re also performing two shows tomorrow night:

  1. With the aforementioned Delta Spirit as well as Matt Death and the Intellectuals at The Troubadour (doors at 7:30 PM).
  2. With Clipse (MySpace) and Diamond Nights (MySpace) MySpace’s Secret Show One Year Anniversary at the Secret Show Warehouse (1530 Ivar) in Hollywood (doors at 10:00 PM):

Myspace Secret Shows presented by Chili’s is very proud to present a very special Secret Shows 1 year Anniversary show featuring a gallery of a years worth of posters and photos and an evening with Clipse, Cold War Kids & Diamond Nights.

Art exhibit featuring limited edition silk-screened posters from each 2006 show by artists such as Micah Smith of Blacktop Creative and Dan Padavic. Also featuring photography from the shows by Jeremy Weiss of Day 19, Aaron Farley, Emily Shur, Matthew Salacuse, Zach Wolfe and Jason Wilder.

More after the jump.
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Heather Vandeven @ Virgin Megastore…

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LA-resident and January 2006 Penthouse Pet (NSFW) Heather Vandeven, who last month became the 2007 Penthouse Pet of the Year (NSFW), is signing the March 2007 issue of Penthouse (NSFW) tonight at the Virgin Megastore in Hollywood at 7:00 PM.

More (NSFW) about her recent crowning:

Heather Vandeven said that she wasn’t expecting the nod for the 2007 Penthouse Pet of the Year honors. “This is really a nice surprise,” said Vandeven. “I hoped that I would be the Pet of the Year, but there were so many beautiful women in the voting that I knew it was equally possible for one of them to win.”

The 26-year-old Vandeven was born in Hollywood, not far from where she resides now. “I’m a restless person who constantly feels the need to roam around the world and try everything it has to offer,” said Vandeven. “The bug hit me so strong I once joined the military just so I could experience exotic lands. I’m always game for excitement, so being Pet of the Year is a natural fit for my personality.”

Meanwhile, Ron Jeremy is signing (via AVN, NSFW) his autobiography Ron Jeremy: The Hardest (Working) Man in Show Business at Book Soup in West Hollywood tonight at 7:00 PM.

Photo courtesy ofPenthouse (NSFW).

Kristy Kr├╝ger @ Hotel Cafe…

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Pictured (bottom): Kristy Krüger

Monday night, the LA-based Kristy Krüger (MySpace), who’s been labelled the female Johnny Cash, performed at the Hotel Cafe in Hollywood before embarking for the next year across every state in the country (she joked about needing plane ticket donations for Alaska and Hawaii) in honor of her late brother Lieutenant Colonel Eric John Kruger, who “…became one of the highest-ranking officers to die in Iraq [this past November]… when a roadside bomb blew up the Humvee [that he and two other soldiers] were riding in”:

This will be my last L.A. show for a while as I head to all 50 states, performing a memorial concert for my brother, LTC Eric Kruger, in every state. Please lemme know if you have friends in certain regions of the country. I’m going to need all the help I can get..

“Goodbye,” dedicated to her brother and performed solo on guitar, was the high point of her set, which had the usually noisy crowd atypically quiet for the duration of the song. I even had to set down my camera out of respect for her and her late brother.