Whitney’s dropping in and Amy Winehouse’s Grammy surrogate, as the Grammy weekend heats up.
After Thursday night’s premiere of Hyundai and the Grammy’s Re:Generation Music Project documentary at Grauman’s, Grammy winner Mark Ronson deferred to the manic Corey Feldman-esque energy of 24-year-old producer Skrillex, on his left.
“I’m yesterday’s news compared to this guy,” Ronson said.
(At far left, Skrillex with The Crystal Method.)
In addition to earning five nominations in Sunday’s ceremony, the documentary captured Skrillex as he produced The Doors’ first new song in thirty years. “They’re the very first band I ever heard, and it’s the scariest thing an artist could ever face,” he said.
Skirllex was just one of multiple stars in the documentary that captures (mainly) electronic music producers collaborating with artists from other genres, such as country, classical and New Orleans jazz to create one-off songs. Ronson, hip hop legend DJ Premier (at right, with Ronson), LeeAnn Rimes, Nas, Erykah Badu, Boston’s Berklee School of Music, and producers The Crystal Method and Pretty Lights also featured in the film.
For casual fans of films based on electronic dance music, this is not the same film whose premiere set off the “dance riot” on the same Hollywood and Highland block last summer.
“The Descendants’” Nick Krause, an enthusiast and amateur beat-maker, was among the full house. Krause just learned on Wednesday that it won’t be his last trip to the area this month. “I heard I got a ticket on the floor so I’m going to be there for the whole (Oscar) show,” Krause told TheWrap.
Is the admiration society mutual? “I don’t know how many of the DJs have seen ‘The Descendants,’ but they all should,” he said.
Rimes, who pinch hits to save one of the collaborations, came to lend additional star power to the premiere. Onscreen, she reminds mainstream audiences that she’s not just a skeletal personality playing the role of “home wrecker” in the gossip weeklies. She can sing. Director Amir Bar-Lev‘s (“The Tillman Story”), duties caring for his newborn kept him away from the celebration.
Slick behind-the-scenes trailers on the camera-friendly below-the-line production crew doubled as extended play lifestyle ads for Hyundai, which partnered on the film from inception with Nick Davidge and Greenlight Media.
With multiple segments highlighting good looking production assistants, sound engineers, and graphic artists who worked on the film, the experiment must have required a new degree of “meta”: behind-the-behind-the-scenes shoots.
The deep integration is a novel spin that veered away from the clunky dollars-for-signage barter that dominates other campaigns. The film gets a one-night nationwide premiere on Thursday.
Across town in Beverly Hills, Mitch Winehouse represented his late daughter, Amy Winehouse, in a toast with Tony Bennett at Los Angeles Confidential magazine’s pre-Grammy party. Winehouse will be attending several events this weekend as a surrogate for his daughter. He cited Bennett as a huge positive influence on Amy during the time they worked together.
At right, the gathering at Crustacean with LA Confidential Editor in Chief Sari Tuschman, Bennett, Winehouse (second from right), and publisher Alison Miller.
Later in the night, the effects of having so much music talent stationary in one city began to show. Whitney Houston made a civilian appearance at TRU nightclub in Hollywood, ahead of the party with OK Magazine on Friday night.
Earlier in the day, the low stress vibe associated with industry veterans permeated the rehearsals for MusiCares’ Person of the Year Tribute to Paul McCartney.
After sound checking, Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters stuck around to eat box lunches and found a sanctuary by bringing a pop up folding table in to the small swag suite backstage. Christine Kushner, who is married to Velvet Revolver’s Dave Kushner and whose Double Platinum has the niche on artist hospitality, gave the “OK.”
The Foos’ next special engagement is a fundraiser for President Obama at the Bel-Air home of “Bold and Beautiful” executive producer Bradley Bell.
The din coming from behind Jerry’s Deli this week was producer Hilary Shor corralling a huddle of starlets to Sherbourne for a “Dress for Success” night.
Shor, who next has the Lee Daniels directed “The Paperboy” (Zac Efron, Nicole Kidman, Matthew McConaughey) caught up with Vanity Fair Hollywood Issue cover star Lily Collins at the hideaway a few steps off Beverly. Juno Temple and Cat Deeley were also in the mix.