Not born to follow

The great punk poet Mike Ness owned the Sunset Strip on Saturday night as his band Social Distortion rocked the House of Blues with passionate fury. In its staggering 19-night run at both the Anaheim and West Hollywood House of Blues nightclubs, Social Distortion proved itself to be the best and most beloved punk band to emerge from the trenches of Orange County, circa '79. With every night sold out, Ness showed that some punks are built to last. As a tribute to the late, great Joe Strummer, Ness dedicated the new song, "I Wasn't Born to Follow." Ain't that the truth.

We have excellent news for the world: Clubland kingpin Joseph Brooks is now the creative director of the Key Club on the Strip. Brooks, who is widely regarded as the godfather of L.A. night life, has promoted groundbreaking events since the '70s but never worked at one club exclusively. He's planning to take advantage of the Key Club's multimedia capabilities. His first event is Friday's Psychosexual Ball, and he plans to bring cutting-edge New York dance clubs to the Strip. In addition, look for flying pianos in the near future. Liberace would be pleased.


Beer- soaked attitude

Had a gas at the Viper Room on Thursday as the Bad Apples shook the house with plenty of beer-soaked attitude. The young Hollywood band has already gotten itself quite a following, including Guns N' Roses drummer Matt Sorum, who was among those who hung out for the late-night set. Thursdays at the Viper are turning into quite a scene, as happy hour starts at midnight with rocker-DJ Coyote Shivers spinning fierce rawk. In more Viper news, I bumped into former Wax bass player Burdie Cutlass, who slipped me a CD from Sign of the Fox, his new band featuring Viper Room bartender Jackson Pollack and his onetime Wax bandmate Loomis. It's soooo good ....

We hear the East L.A. band that inspired Los Lobos, Thee Midniters, is reuniting at the House of Blues on the Strip on Tuesday. eforeAndale! ...

And you'd be a fool to miss the Donnas on Saturday at the El Rey Theatre. These Bay Area babes know how to rock .... And speaking of babes, we hear such divas as Mena Suvari, Demi Moore and Christina Aguilera can't get enough of Tantra, the hipster Indian restaurant in Silver Lake. Ohm.

-- Heidi Siegmund Cuda

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