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THE SUNSET STRIP SHOWS ITS PRIDE

The annual LA PRIDE TLGB Celebration returns to West Hollywood this weekend with an influx of over 50,000 people looking to party.  With special events and festivities taking place city wide, the good times won’t just be confined to Santa Monica Blvd.  Celebrate Pride poolside all weekend long on The Sunset Strip…

 

Andaz West Hollyood

www.andazwesthollywood.com

Saturday, June 7 – Wonderland Weekend 2014 presents SpLAsh Rooftop Pool Party featuring DJ Grind.  Party starts at 12 noon.  Tickets are $60 GA.  Towels will be provided.  www.showclix.com/event/wonderlandweekend2014

 

The Standard Hollywood

www.standardhotels.com/hollywood

Thursday, June 5 – Playgurl presents Love Saves The Day: A Pride Kickoff Party featuring Ambrosia Salad, Bathhouse, Braxley, Hot Leather plus special guests.  Party starts at 10 p.m.  Admission is free.

Friday, June 6Room Service Hollywood bring you the best in underground house, featuring DJs Jodie Harsh and Derek Monteiro plus a “gaggle” of Hollywood party hosts including Colby Melvin, Love Bailey and more… Event starts at 10 p.m.  Admission is free.  For table bookings: concierge@clubroomservice.com

Saturday, June 7 – Standardsounds & DJ Kim Anh present Pride Pool Party with Zebra Katz.  Hosted by Nacho Nava and featuring additional DJ sets by W. Jeremy and Josh Peace.  Event runs from 1-7 p.m.  Admission is free.  RSVP at hollywoodRSVP@standardhotel.com

Sunday, June 8 – Wind down your Pride weekend at a Pool Party w/ DJs Induce and Lady Monix from 1-7 p.m.  Admission is free.  This event is 21+.  For reservations call (323) 882-3157

 

 

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For more information on LA Pride 2014 visit www.lapride.org  and www.weho.org

Road Closure Info

 

-Brent X Mendoza, @brentXmendoza

ADULT STAR ASA AKIRA SIGNS AROUSING NEW READ “INSATIABLE” AT HUSTLER HOLLYWOOD

Veteran adult performer Asa Akira recently made an appearance at Hustler Hollywood (the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre of the adult film industry) to promote the release of her probing new memoir, Insatiable: Porn — A Love Story.  The multiple AVN award winner, host and now author, met with eager fans who lined up around the building for a chance to snag a personalized autograph (even on a skateboard) and a photo op with the starlet.  

Before the doors opened, TSS.com had a chance to grab a quickie with Ms. Akira to discuss her new book, her aspirations beyond the porn industry and relive her most embarrassing on set moment. 

 

There have been a number of porn star memoirs over the years…  How is the documentation of your journey in Insatiable different/unique?

Well it’s different because it’s my story.  I think people would be surprised to see pornstars come from many different walks of life… although the stereotype of the damaged, abused porn girl exists, it’s not the rule.  I come from a very normal background.

 

Thus far in your life, what accomplishments are you most proud of?

Writing the book is definitely one; winning “Performer of the Year” is another…  In general, I’m proud of the fact that I’ve done everything I’ve wanted to do thus far—in spite of how people may perceive me.

 

It’s generally assumed that everyone wants to sleep with a pornstar…  Any notable dating rejection stories that might surprise people? 

It sounds horrible, but something I really look for in a person is their fondness of me.   I’m not into the whole “playing hard to get” thing.  So I guess you could say I’ve never really gone for anyone who I wasn’t already sure was into me.

 

Recall your most embarrassing on-set moment?

The time I ate beets the night before a [certain] scene.  It’s in the book…

 

Post porn career, what do you see yourself doing?

I’d love to write more…  I have a podcast called DVDASA, which I hope I can just do forever.  A family is also a possibility…  I feel like I have a lot of options, but I’m definitely not ready to quit porn yet, I’m still enjoying it way too much to leave.

 

 

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www.hustlerhollywood.com

Photos courtesy Jessica Pix, Rocket Queen Photography

–Brent X Mendoza, @brentXmendoza

FIFTH ANNUAL LA VEGAN BEERFEST: SERVES UP FROTHY ANIMAL FREE FARE

The fifth annual Los Angeles Vegan Beer Festival took place this past weekend featuring beers from over 40 breweries, animal free fare from over two dozen restaurants and food trucks, plus a full lineup of live music.

The sold-out event produced by Roxy owner Nic Adler, Quarry Girl and Tony’s Darts Away was a day-long social scene bringing together not only vegans and beer enthusiasts, but hipster foodies and music fans from across SoCal.   

For those that don’t have a doctorate in beer-ology, turns out not all beer is vegan.  Some producers use animal byproducts such as fish bladders in their filtration process or mellow/modify their flavors with lactose or honey.  However, none of these old school brewing methods were apparently missed, as evidenced by the tapped out kegs left behind by days end.

 

 

All photos courtesy Jon Viscott

by: Brent X Mendoza, @BrentXmendoza

 

MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND ON THE SUNSET STRIP

Since few people in West Hollywood have the good fortunate of owning enough real estate for a backyard BBQ…  Celebrate your extended weekend of freedom at these fun and festive events here on The Sunset Strip.

 

Enjoy four days of poolside parties (Friday-Monday) at the Mondrian hotel’s ultra exclusive Skybar.

Friday: Hosted by Creative Reaction with sounds by DJ Metric.  12 p.m.-7 p.m.

Saturday : Sounds by Pirate Stereo.  12 p.m.-7 p.m.

Sunday: Plastic Plates and pornstar turned DJ Jessie Andrews.  12 p.m.- midnight.

Monday: The weekend culminates with the Backyard Boogie & Model Olympics from 1 p.m.-7 p.m. featuring ping pong, bocce ball, corn hole, giant Jenga and other games, plus DJ sets by Aaron Colbert, Eric Sharp, and Cut Snake.

RSVP is requested to attend events.  Entrance is not guaranteed.  The Mondrian is also offering a special discounted weekend rate on hotel rooms with promo code: PKHOL.  www.morganshotelgroup.com/mondrian/mondrian-los-angeles

 

Sunday, May 25 Pearl’s Liquor Bar will be serving up “Double Bubbles!”  Starting at 4 p.m. buy one bottle, get one free on select bottles of bubbly.  Stick around for dinner and a movie, with a special double feature showing of Weekend at Bernie’s starting at 6:45, immediately followed by Anchorman at 8:30 p.m.  www.pearlsliquorbar.com

 

Pink Taco will get their party started early on Sunday and Monday, opening for lunch and day drinking debauchery at noon; plus DJ Metric spinning from 3:30-7:30 p.m.  www.pinktaco.com

 

All weekend long Rock & Reilly’s will feature a special All American BBQ Menu plus $5 draft beer specials. Also, wear red, white, and blue and Reilly will buy you a “patriot shot!” Show proof of your current military or veteran status and get an entree for free!  www.rnrpub.com

 

State Social House will extend its weekend brunch until Monday, opening at 11 a.m. to serve up bottomless mimosas and Bloody Marys along with their usual menu of hangover curing comfort fare.  www.statesocialhouse.com

 

The Standard Hollywood throws their own glam fabulous pool party this Sunday with Rhonda, Diva From The Deep.  This day into night dance fest starts at 1 p.m. and is set to feature DJs J. Rocc, Pools, Mario Cotto, Leonardo Glovibes and more… www.standardhotels.com/hollywood

 

 

— Brent X Mendoza, @brentXmendoza

†††: ASCENSION ON THE SUNSET STRIP

Thus far (no pun intended) 2014 has been a big year for ††† (Crosses) – the new project from Deftones frontman Chino Moreno and Far guitarist/producer Shaun Lopez.  The band released their first full length record, which debuted at number 26 on the Billboard Top 200 and just recently sold out The Roxy Theatre on their break between Coachella weekends.

Amidst a crazy mid-tour schedule and a hailstorm of media requests, TSS.com was fortunate enough to snag a few minutes with ††† co-founder Shaun Lopez, who shared with us some “revelations” about the band’s upstart, his first Coachella experience and explains his fondness for a certain rather creepy song from Silence of the Lambs.

 

Give us a quick primer on how this whole project got started and your role in the band?

A while back, I met Chuck (Chuck Doom, bassist and co-producer/collaborator) through a mutual friend of ours and he played me an ambient piece of music that I really dug… We discussed collaborating on some music and that eventually led him over to my studio, where we found that we immediately had chemistry.   Sometimes full songs were even written and recorded in one day (sans vocals).

I’ve known Chino forever it seems, and whatever I’m working on, I will usually play him things that I think he might like… One of the first things I played him was the track “1987” and he loved it!  He asked who was going to sing on the stuff, and at the time we didn’t know, so he expressed interest… 

I wear a few different hats in the band I guess… I would say my role in the project is producer/co-writer/visual aesthetics.

 

Has it been difficult trying to maintain/stay consistent with the use of the ††† symbol (i.e. Prince and his “love symbol”) as your band’s identity?  I believe on the original Coachella lineup announcement you were billed as “Crosses” and it was later corrected to “†††.”  Also all those song titles with “T” letters..?

Honestly?  It hasn’t been that fun, but I believe it’s all worth it.  I’m sure I’ve been a real pain in the ass to our management/label/agent, but it all comes from a good positive place.  In my opinion, ††† vs. Crosses is a no brainer.  When you see the three symbols on a flyer or billboard, no matter what you know or think about the band, I would hope it intrigues/confuses you… makes you want to know more, ask questions.  Which I think is a good thing. 

 

Speaking of Coachella… How was your debut experience?  Also, going up against Outkast had to be a little concerning?

Coachella was great!  Just to say we’re playing/played Coachella is something I thought I would never be able to say.  I haven’t been to Coachella even as a patron since 2005, and it’s crazy how much it’s changed.  Just walking through the crowds, you realize how massive this thing has become.

I was never too worried about playing “against” Outkast, since there are 120,000 people there, and I doubt every single one of them is going to want to go see them.  The first weekend hurt us more than the second… We had a pretty massive crowd the second weekend, where as the first weekend the tent was about half full; but when you think about how big those tents are, that’s still a lot of people!

 

So I noticed a cover song during your set at The Roxy.  A notoriously creepy song from the Silence of the Lambs movie

I’ve always loved doing covers, so when it came time to doing shows, we put together a list and I suggested that one (“Goodbye Horses”)… Chino said he had never heard it, which is crazy since dude is kind of a musical encyclopedia!  We learned it one day at soundcheck and started playing it that night.  From there it kind of caught on and was a big crowd favorite.  We have been pretty much playing it ever since.  I love turning people onto music that they might have missed/forgotten about… There is so much good music out there!

 

Born in Sacramento, now living in LA… Was it meaningful for you in any special way having sold out The Roxy on The Sunset Strip?  

Selling out The Roxy in 15 minutes (or whatever it was) was a huge moment for me.  I remember living in Sacramento and getting online at 10 a.m. to buy tickets for Smashing Pumpkins (w/ QOTSA opening) at the Roxy in 1999.  I was able to get them and drove down for that show, which was great.  So it’s amazing to be in a band that has people care about them in a similar way for sure.

 

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††† self-titled debut album is available now.  www.crossesmusic.com  www.theroxy.com

 

— Brent X Mendoza, @brentXmendoza

Photos courtesy of Genie Sanchez

Cinco (And Quatro, And Tres…) De Mayo!

The party is going strong all weekend long on The Sunset Strip. Here’s your guide on where to find the best drink and food specials and live music.
 
May 1-5: Five Days of Cinco De Mayo @ Rosa Mexicano
Rosa Mexicano is keeping the fiesta going for five days with a special four course $35 pre-fixe menu May 1-5. (View menu.) May 5 includes the special $35 menu as well as mariachis and drink specials. www.rosamexicano.com
 
May 2-4: Cinco de Drinko Weekend Celebration @ Cabo Cantina
Two-for-one priced drinks from 4-8 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. 99-cent Coronitas all day while supplies last. www.facebook.com/CaboSunset
 
May 2-4: Weekend Celebration @ Crossroads at House of Blues 
Starting at 5 p.m. each day this weekend, enjoy $5 margaritas, a special $5 menu and a “pass the lime” special (Buy a shot of tequila and a corona with limes and get priority entrance into the music hall for your show.) www.twitter.com/hobsunset 
 
May 2-5: Pinko de Mayo @ Pink Taco
Happy hour starting at 4 p.m. on Friday, May 2 with DJ Metric from 6-11 p.m. Saturday, May 3 join a full fiesta with tacos off the grill, cervezas, margaritas DJs. Party kicks off at 2pm but we’ll open our doors at noon. 1 Oak will also host a VIP area on site. Tickets available for $20 via TicketWeb.  Sunday, May 4 is Sunday Funday with DJ Chris Cruse from 2-5 p.m. and Monday, May 5 includes happy hour starting at 4 p.m. and music from DJ Beefowl. www.pinktaco.com
 
May 3-5: 4th Annual Cinco de Drinko @ The Den
Tequila, tacos, drink specials and a DJ. Doors open Saturday, May 3 at 2 p.m. The party continues May 4 at 11 a.m. and May 5 at 5 p.m. No cover charge. www.facebook.com/thedenofhollywood
 
May 3: Drinko De Mayo @ Rock & Reilly’s 
Live mariachi band, DJs, $2 gourmet tacos, $5+ Irish nachos, $5 margaritas and $5 shots of Casamigos Tequila. www.facebook.com/rnrpub 
 
May 4: Metalachi @ Whisky A Go-Go
The world’s only metal mariachi band returns to The Sunset Strip this Sunday. Tickets are $20 and doors open at 7 p.m. www.whiskyagogo.com
 
May 5: Cinco De Mayo @ State Social House
Enjoy drink specials, prizes, giveaways and mariachis. www.facebook.com/statesocialhouse
 
 
 
 
Photos: Rosa Mexicano guacamole and margaritas; Metalachi at the Whisky; Rock & Reilly’s. 
 

Passover Treats And Easter Brunches

Feast all week and weekend!

Dough Pizzeria & Bar
Matzo pizzas are on the menu all week at Dough.  www.facebook.com/choosedough
 
Rosa Mexicano
Enjoy a four-course Mexican Passover dinner through April 24. Menu includes matzo ball pozole soup, choice of barbecued beef brisket, braised lamb or matzo-breaded chicken, sides and a mango cup. Price is $42 per person. View the full menu
Rosa Mexicano will also host an Easter brunch on Sunday, with numerous egg dishes and alcoholic and non-alcoholic brunch beverages. View the full menu
 
Gospel Brunch at House of Blues
Pass the biscuits and say Amen. House of Blues Gospel Brunch is the best way to spend your Easter Sunday. Enjoy a roof-raising soulful music experience and a full Southern-inspired buffet, featuring salads, peel and eat shrimp, buttermilk biscuits and gravy, creole chicken jambalaya, eggs, carving station, omelet station, chicken and waffles, white chocolate banana bread pudding, pecan sticky buns and more. A build your own bloody mary bar is also available. Seatings available at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. This all ages event is $42.50 for adults, $21 for children ages 5-12. Full details, tickets and menu
 
Cavatina at Sunset Marquis
Dine al fresco and enjoy a lavish Easter brunch at Cavatina, featuring a seafood bar, smoked salmon platters, charcuterie, seasonal salads, carving station, pasta station, breads and croissants and an assortment of desserts.  The unlimited brunch is $80 for adults, $35 for children ages 5-11 and free for those under age 5. View the full menu
 
Gordon Ramsay at The London West Hollywood
Pair your Easter brunch with pitchers of cocktails at Gordon Ramsay. The menu includes fresh baked goods, shrimp cocktail, applewood smoked Pacific salmon, quiche, bacon and eggs, lobster benedict, roasted lamb, steak, cakes and tarts. Pitchers of mojitos, martinis and watermelon bellinis are also available. View the full menu
 
Herringbone LA at Mondrian
Herringbone offers an eggcellent menu with a variety of benedicts (classic, crab cake, chilaquiles or wild mushroom), scrambled (plain, lobster, mushroom, or sirloin) and folded/omelette options (spinach, herb, duck confit and gruyere, chorizo or ‘build your own’). Sprawling views of L.A. are an added bonus. View the menu
 
 
Photos: Cavatina kale salad, Herringbone LA Southern fried chicken and waffles, Dough Pizzeria matzo pizza.
 

Steel Panther Comes Home With An ‘All You Can Eat’ Release & Party

The Sunset Strip’s own spandex sheathed, hair-metal mainstays, Steel Panther, recently held a press conference of sorts at Hustler Hollywood, an oh so apropos location, to announce the release of their new sartorial opus, All You Can Eat.
 
The band, chaperoned by a bevy of booty shorts clad Hustler girls took questions from the “press” before launching into an acoustic set debuting songs from the new record, as well as fan favorites.
 
Later that evening, at the legendary Rainbow Bar and Grill, the guys took a short break from the afterparty to speak with TSS.com and reminisce a bit about the band’s long and storied history with The Sunset Strip.
 
 
You guys started as Metal Shop at the Viper Room, then eventually moved to The Roxy as Metal Skool, then over to Key Club where you became Steel Panther, and now House of Blues. Give us a little personal reflection of your time on The Strip.
 
Michael Starr (lead vocalist): I don’t know if you know this, but we have the longest running weekly show in the history of The Sunset Strip. No band’s ever done it! The only time we took time off was when we got signed and started going on tour, but whenever we came off tour, even when recording a record, every Monday night we were here. And we think we should get a Hollywood star! Name any band… not even Wicked has gone as long as we have!  
 
 
Was there any particular moment during that time where you were thinking, “This is really happening for us, we’re going to make it?”
 
Starr: The moment that hit me was when our manager called us and said the president of Universal wants to have a meeting with you guys; he’s been secretly watching you perform on Monday nights. ‘Cause we had started playing our own original stuff… 
 
So we had a meeting with him and he said, “I want to sign you guys to a major recording contract.” And we were like, “Fuck you, no way!”  ‘Cause we were a cover band and we would just slip in “Fat Girl” or “Death to All But Metal” now and then, and then finally we got a deal. And at that point I didn’t know it would turn into what it is today, but I knew that we were going somewhere else other than playing Bon Jovi and Ratt all the time.  
 
 
A lot of crazy debauchery has happened at Steel Panther shows over the years, with girls joining you guys on stage. What’s the absolute most insane, most shocking, most memorable thing that’s happened in your memory thus far?
 
Starr: We were getting ready to go on stage at Key Club, the curtain was closed and these two chicks came through the backstage door and while our intro was going on they blew me!  And then suddenly the curtain is going up, and I’m trying to pull my pants up… True story! It was the best show I ever had!  
 
 
Lexxi Foxxx do you personally have a favorite X-rated moment on stage?
 
Foxxx (bass guitarist): Well Personally, I think it was Germany actually… So I have these things in my pants to protect my butt, like little butt pads that also make my butt look bitchin’… So a girl came up and found out that I had those, and tried to stick her hands down my pants to feel my real butt, and of course she missed it, and stuck her finger right in my butthole. It really woke me up! 
 
 
Favorite celebrity to have on stage?
 
Foxxx: Steven Tyler. Also Billy Ray Cyrus was bad ass too.
 
 
And I know there’s a fairly lengthy list of celebs you guys have pissed off, that will no longer come back to your shows…
 
Foxxx: The guys in Hoobastank…they won’t come back to our shows anymore, ‘cause we sorta make fun of them on stage sometimes when we riff on their song “The Reason.”
 
 
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Catch Steel Panther every Monday in April at House of Blues Sunset Strip. www.steelpantherrocks.com  www.hob.com/la 
 
 
 
Photos courtesy of Genie Sanchez
 

2014 SSMF Expanding Street Fest To 2-Days In September, Partnering With Nederlander

The 2014 Sunset Strip Music Festival is getting ready to rock, announcing today that the seventh annual festival will be expanding the street festival component to two days — Saturday and Sunday — and moving to Sept. 19-21.
 
This year’s festival will kick off on Friday, Sept. 19 with its annual evening celebrating an artist or band who has made an impact on The Sunset Strip’s musical history. Last year SSMF celebrated Joan Jett, with previous honorees including The Doors, Motley Crue, Slash, Ozzy Osbourne and Sunset Strip venue founders Lou Adler, Mario Maglieri and Elmer Valentine. Live performances in The Sunset Strip’s venues — House of Blues, The Roxy, Viper Room and Whisky A Go-Go — will follow the celebration. 
 
The fest will continue with a two-day street festival on Saturday, Sept. 20 and Sunday, Sept. 21, when The Sunset Strip will be closed to vehicles to accomodate outdoor stages, artist garden, interactive experiences, and performances within the venues. Previous SSMF street fest performers have included Linkin Park, Motley Crue, Slash with Fergie, The Smashing Pumpkins, Ozzy Osbourne, Awolnation, Public Enemy, Wale, De La Soul, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Neon Trees, Finch and more.
 
This also marks the first year SSMF will partner with Nederlander Concerts, the premier family-owned West Coast promoter.
 
SSMF plans to announce additional details, including the 2014 honoree, ticket sale information and performing artists, in the coming weeks. SSMF has already confirmed the return of Jack Daniel’s as the festival’s premiere sponsor and will continue its partnership with KTLA 5. SSMF will also work with CBS Radio’s six Los Angeles stations as the event’s exclusive radio sponsors. With promotion across the popular stations, SSMF will be able to provide outstanding exposure to the festival to more than 8.5 million listeners, including the “World Famous” KROQ.
 
For more information about SSMF, visit www.ssmf.com, www.facebook.com/sunsetstripmusicfestival and Twitter.com/SSMF
 
 
Photo: Linkin Park performs at the 2013 SSMF. Photo courtesy Jim Donnelly
 
 

Taco Tuesday!

Once a forgotten day, now Tuesday is one to celebrate with TACOS! The Sunset Strip’s restaurants provide you with a delicious escape — from traditional to Japanese-influenced tacos — as well as wallet friendly drink specials.

Pink Taco Sunset Strip
It’s the trifecta: $2 tacos, margaritas and beers at Pink Taco! Spacious outdoor patios are a bonus. www.facebook.com/pinktacolosangeles
Rock & Reilly’s 
Select your choice of $2 ‘street tacos’: beer battered fish taco, short rib taco, crispy potato taco and citrus chicken taco. www.facebook.com/RockAndReillys
Cabo Cantina
Stop by Cabo Cantina for all you can eat tacos for only $5. Pair that with two-for-one priced drinks from 4-8 p.m. www.thecabocantina.com
Rosa Mexicano
Enjoy two chipotle-braised chicken, beef, carnitas or roasted pepper tacos for $5 from 4-7 p.m. Pair it with a margarita for $5, beer for $3 or unlimited guacamole for $14. www.rosamexicano.com
The Den
Pulled pork tacos ($6) paired with $3-$4 draft beer and $4 wine and well drinks from 5-7 p.m. www.thedenonsunset.com
Katana
Looking for a new twist? Try Katana’s Wagyu pako with yuzu guacamole.  www.facebook.com/KatanaRobata
Herringbone LA
Kick your taco Tuesday up a notch at Herringbone at the Mondrian hotel, featuring fresh caught fish tacos and sprawling views of the city. www.facebook.com/HerringboneLA
Photos courtesy Pink Taco Sunset Strip, Herringbone LA & Katana.