Let AXE Take You to Space

Axe is taking you to space. Yeah, that’s right—space. The men’s grooming brand made the grand announcement with a little help from their spokesperson, legendary astronaut Buzz Aldrin (I mean, hello second person to have ever walked on the moon), on Wednesday evening inside New York’s Hayden Planetarium to showcase their new line of products, Apollo.

“Now you can become part of this privileged group and experience everything I have,” said Aldrin, alluding to his own mission about 40 years ago, in a promo video that kicked off a night full of surprises, including an appearance by Mr. Aldrin himself and a flawless performance by man of the moment Kendrick Lamar (!!).

So, here’s the breakdown: It’s an international contest with 22 winners. To enter, you’ll need to complete an “astronaut profile” explaining why you should win, and based on popular votes, about 100 of you will be taken to space camp in Orlando, Florida for training. AXE and The Space Expedition Corporation will then choose the 21 winners. No, that wasn’t a typo – there will be 22 of you in total, but one lucky winner will be chosen in a special sweepstakes from Jan 5 to Feb 3 (open to U.S. residents only). Enter now, or click here for more information.

Comedian & Ex Marine Rob Riggle Considers Bin Laden’s Death

Before he made his name playing blowhards in positions of authority in movies like The Hangover and The Other Guys, and as a correspondent on The Daily Show, Rob Riggle was an active United States Marine, serving tours of duty in Kosovo and Afghanistan. Riggle, who’s currently stationed in New Orleans shooting Jonah Hill’s 21 Jump Street remake, is also following in Olivia Munn’s footsteps by lending his talent to AXE’s latest creative marketing campaign. Dubbed the AXE Dirtcathlon, Riggle co-hosts a web series “pitting coed teams against one another other in crazy challenges designed to get them as messy as possible within 90 seconds.” It’s good fun. We recently caught up with the actor to discuss the campaign, his acting projects, and Osama bin Laden’s death.

How’s filming on 21 Jump Street going? It’s a total blast. It’s everything I hoped it would be. Doing things with Jonah and Channing, and having a blast doing them. I play Mr. Walters, a gym teacher.

How did you get involved with this Axe campaign? Well, the Axe campaign came about because they asked me, which I thought was very nice of them. It’s a pretty fun idea. They’re relaunching their shower gel line, so they came up with this idea to a web series where it’s kind of a reality show meets a game show, and myself and Owen Benjamin are the co-hosts. We have four young, hot couples, and they’re competing against each other in different events that are pretty ridiculous. The winner gets to go to Spain for that tomato festival, where they pelt each other and it gets extremely messy. If people go to the Axe Dirtcathlon, they can check it out.

Can you tell me about Home Game, the TV show you shot? We shot the pilot last month, and I was lucky enough to have Mark Wahlberg produce it, who I met on the set of The Other Guys. It went really well, people are really excited about it. Now we’re in the holding phase, where they run it through the gauntlet of testing, and hopefully in two weeks we’ll find out. It’s based on a stories from Mark Schlereth’s real life, who was an NFL player back in the day but is now an ESPN analyst. It’s basically about a retired football player who’s home with his family and doesn’t know what to do with himself.

You’ve served in Afghanistan. What are your thoughts on Sunday’s news? I think I fall in with the majority of people. I was pretty relieved.

Were you shocked? Did you think this might never happen? No. Believe it or not, I always believed it was going to happen. I always believed we would get him, I just didn’t know when. I truly believed, because the hunt never stopped. From September 11 until today, they’ve never taken any time off. I knew we’d get him eventually.

How did you find out? I was with my wife, and we were watching TV. Oh no, maybe she got a tweet, or a text.

Is L.A.’s Next Trend Corporate-Sponsored Sleazy Motel Parties?

Last night was another crazed night in Hollywood, with sold-out shows by The xx at the Palladium and MTV’s “Buried Life” party at Drai’s. But the mid-week bash I keep replaying in my mind was Tuesday’s fantastic party at the unlikeliest of venues: the Dunes Inn. Whoever dreamt up this party for Axe deodorant deserves a raise, because on Tuesday night, organizers took over an entire semi-sleazy motel on Sunset Boulevard and had Weezer play a concert in the courtyard, all in the name of smelling manly. The “One Night Only” event was truly that: an event, with hordes of hopefuls trying to get in to the circus-like happening wrapping around the block, complete with open bar, free food and a name band.

To be sure, throwing events in non-traditional venues is a trend that’s been growing for years in Hollywood (see Milk Studios and Hollywood Forever cemetery). But no one that I can remember in the past decade has ever thought to rent out a dodgy motel on the least glamorous stretch of Sunset (near Western Avenue), buy out all the rooms (staffers & band tech types utilized the first floor, while celebrities like Vanessa Hudgens were in and out of the balcony rooms), secure the proper permits, and throw a party in the courtyard. It was a brilliant bash and a memorable night out, thanks in no small part to Weezer, who proved that they still matter with a bang-up set filled with older hits and a some new ones, too. Some special guests joined them on the stage, including My Chemical Romance and even Lost‘s Jorge Garcia, who, as you all know by now, is Weezer’s latest muse. Later today, Axe is expected to post a full video of the show on their Facebook page, so don’t miss it.

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Los Angeles: Top 10 Desserts

image1. Frittelli’s Doughnuts & Coffee (Beverly Hills) – Designer doughnuts in a variety of tastes, shapes, and sizes (think PB&J and butterscotch drizzle). Treats are made fresh daily, and for about a buck a piece, you can easily buy a few with your leftover laundry money. 2. Murano (West Hollywood) – Murano’s menu and dessert list recently underwent an authentic Italian overhaul, adding tiramisu and ricotta-style cheesecake. 3. Toast (Mid-City West) – The red velvet cake will change your life — and so might a chance run-in with one of the many Hollywood heavyweights who brunch here.

4. The Waffle (Hollywood) – Open way past bar close (4:30 a.m. on weekends), you can sober up with a baked hot chocolate or a sticky bun waffle before bed. 5. Luna Park (Mid-City West) – End a trendy meal with a do-it-yourself dessert. The s’mores come complete with a tiny flame brought to your table for perfectly toasted marshmallows — just watch your hair. 6. Osteria Mozza (Hollywood) – A fancy-shmancy splurge, rosemary olive oil cakes top the dessert list. 7. Lark Cake Shop (Silver Lake) – The ample array of cupcakes at this modern bakery includes chocolate-, caramel-, and mocha-tastic flavors. 8. Scoops Ice Cream (Koreatown) – The ever-evolving menu includes unique pairings like salty chocolate and Corona and lime, along with the usual suspects — strawberry cheesecake, brown bread, and several fruity flavors. 9. Axe (Venice) – The huge portions of homemade bread and chocolate-brownie puddings are well worth the $5 price tag. 10. Gyenari Korean BBQ & Lounge (Culver City) – This upscale Korean eatery focuses on light seasonal treats like the homemade shaved-ice trifle topped with fresh fruit and mango ice cream. Almost sounds healthy.

Industry Insiders: Lauran Hoffman, Bubble Lounge Bombshell

Bubble Lounge at the Brig promoter Lauran Hoffman on the advent of the lesbian joint, the best weekend pick-up spots, and what she’ll be doing to sleep with us.

On January 28th, Bubble Lounge is moving the Wednesday night craziness just around the corner to The Garter at 2536 Lincoln Blvd. Venice, CA 90291.

Where do you hang out? The Abbey is like the most popular sibling in your family. It’s sometimes hard to like because of all the talent it has that can overwhelm even the most hardcore clubber, and it’s impossible not to love. The mere religious and blasphemous connotations of the bar’s name are enough to keep ‘em coming back for communion — into eternity. I dig going dancing at the Garter. They have cool DJs, and when they don’t want to play the song I requested, they say so with so much attitude, it’s almost respectable. Also, it teeters between posh and dive-y. I’ve always thought it’s important to spoil earthy girls and shock the high-maintenance ones for the simple reason that earth girls can’t be shocked, and high-maintenance chicks are bored with being spoiled. The Garter provides the perfect formula to bring home either effect. The Speak Easyis my favorite dive or hang to fall into on a Saturday for the friendliest karaoke, pool playing, or practically free cocktails. Don’t expect to get any bottled water in this place, but if you want an awesome bar to take someone you’re cheating with and grind her on top of the pool table, this is your scene.

You’re also a bit of a foodie. Where do you eat? I eat at the same two restaurants every day for lunch. Axe is so zen, highbrow, and healthy that they can only karmically get away with being open for five days a week. The other days I gladly split with Cora’s. The soups are mind-altering, vegan, and you can eat as clean or as sleazy as your mouth will order for you. Every dish is masterful, and the ambiance does its part in facilitating a nooner.

If it ain’t sexy, I don’t want to eat there for dinner. That’s one reason Gjelina is my new favorite. The atmosphere is European, every dish is sultry perfection. Joe’s is consistently great, scene-y, and comfortable. I sit at the bar where I can dine and people-watch with impunity. Capo is my all-time secret spot that I wouldn’t share unless I was trying to sleep with you, which apparently I am. Not cheap, but then, neither is sleeping with you.

In your own words, what do you do? You know how, when someone forgets to shut a door, you yell at them, “What, were you born in a barn?” Well, I was born in a bar. At least psychically. Having grown up in a small town where if you were outed as gay they’d hang you from the nearest oak — the discovery of my first lesbian bar was like losing my virginity, in the fun way.

There weren’t any lesbian bars on the west side until The Brig welcomed Bubble Lounge on Wednesday nights. This is totally a Venetian phenomenon. Venice has managed to maintain an open-minded hippie and bohemian mystic that hasn’t changed since the ‘60s. I can have dinner at Joe’s, Hal’s, Primitivo, Beechwood, or Gjelina. Go dancing at the Garter, or the Air Conditioned Bar, and totally make out with a chick without getting hassled by the staff, or dudes who think it’s hot and want a three-way. As long as it’s not their date I’m macking on. So the main thrust of Bubble Lounge was to create a scene that would replicate what all the straight restaurants and clubs in Venice Beach do naturally, while making it a predominately homosexual scene including gays, lesbians, and any straight people who want to dive in for the cool energy. In Hollywood dialogue, it’s where the living characters from the series Mad Men would hang if they were real and gay. The clientele is stylish, sophisticated, and stimulating. I have Dave Reiss, the owner, to thank for thinking outside of the box and allowing a once a week event club to grab hump night in his intensely cruise-y, pick-up scene bar.

Who do you admire in the hospitality industry? Ruthie, the owner of the Speak Easy, sings her heart out during karaoke — in between slinging shots and beers behind the bar. She’s super hip and someone whom I aspire to be like when I grow up. Chris is the manager at Gjelina. I’ve been friends with him for 10 years, but that wouldn’t help me finagle a table at the most popular new restaurant in town. He is too unpretentious to even approach with that kind of, “I have juice,” behavior. Last week, when I came in with a date, and she asked him what his job description was, he replied sincerely, “I am the bringer of smiles.” Enough said. Brian Everingham is the man who tends bar at Capo and makes the whole world feel at your beck and call as soon as you step into the room. If I could only get a dame who treats me as well.

What do you see in nightlife these days that you like? I see all bars and clubs becoming more mixed. Gay, straight, lesbian, all ethnicities, everyone. Brown is the new black, kumbaya.

Anything you see that you don’t like? I see only the positive. Which some might think is a real drawback.

What is something that people don’t know about you? I have fixed many people up who are now in relationships together. Sure, some have had children, some divorced after a decade, but I was there at some point to jump in and manipulate their destinies. It’s a dangerous business. I’m lucky to still be alive because eventually a couple will want to blame someone.

What is your favorite album? I’m embarrassed to admit this because it might me look like a nerd-ball with corrective glasses. Not so far from the truth. Let’s just say the last album I purchased from iTunes was We Dance. We Sing. We Steal Things. By Jason Mraz. And the one before that isn’t gonna help my case either: Pink’s Funhouse.

Where’s the best place to pick up girls? The Abbey on a Sunday afternoon seems to be the best thing going for lesbians who don’t mind being out before sundown. It’s a bold statement for a girl to make an advance in broad daylight. But you know if you pull down someone in the day, you might actually get a decent night’s sleep and be up in time for work the next day. Bubble Lounge has also been great for landing chicks thus far. The music isn’t so loud that you can’t have a conversation, and the space creates perfect pockets in which to easily maneuver.

Plans for the future? I do a weekly blog that goes out to all the people who attend my club. It’s a funny, slutty commentary on the whole gay and lesbian dating scene. The blog will soon go out to 20 other gay sites on a feed. Whatever that means. Anyone who wants to get the blog could let me know at myspace.com/bubbleloungevenice.

And lastly, what are you doing tonight? I’m going out to Hump Sushi restaurant in the little Santa Monica airport. Then Hump night at the Bubble Lounge, and then, hopefully a trifecta hump later upon leaving the club.
Jason Mraz Tickets Brick Breeden Fieldhouse Tickets Bozeman Tickets

One-Day Tour: Intro to Venice, CA

imageIf you watch The Hills or read any gossip rag, LA comes off like a celebutante-super-chic-hipster on a weekend coke bender, stopping only to pose (pantyless) for the paps. While this may be true if you hang in Weho or Hollywood, there’s plenty to scope out on the more mellow west side of town. Things like, say, the beach. Here’s our guide to having fun in Venice, CA.

Stay: You might as well get as close to the ocean as possible and stay at Shutters on the Beach. Your backdoor (or your front, depending on the suite) is sand, and beyond, water. The hotel maintains a private stretch of beach for guests, and service is quick and reliable. The brunches are legendary.

10 a.m.: You’re in LA — you might as well indulge in the City of Angels’ time-honored tradition: yoga before breakfast. Get yourself over to YAS on the corner of Abbot Kinney and Westminster in Venice and get ready to sweat your way through the hour-long session called Yoga For Athletes. The 10 a.m. weekend sessions are taught by Kimberly Fowler, the anti-guru herself, and are just the right mix between zen calm and ready-to-dominate-your-day energy.

11:30 a.m.:Stroll down the street to Axe and fill up on tuna sashimi and soba noodles. Don’t worry if you’re still carting your yoga mat — you won’t be the only one. Be sure to sit in the outdoor garden.

1 p.m.: Keep heading west to the beach and check out the famous Venice boardwalk, with the requisite stop at Muscle Beach, or do an about-face and hit up the Venice shops: Madley for knits, gawk at pricey (yet beautiful) mirrors at Bountiful, pick up floor-skimming casual dresses at Parker Pettit, and shop for cute, affordable trends over at Skylark.

4 p.m.: In case you needed another reminder of which hippie dippie state you’re in, this is it: Pick up your medical marijuana at the Farmacy. Out of towners don’t fret; there’s on on-site licensed herbalist ready to cure what ails you. There’s THC filled cookies, brownies, and soda pop for those who prefer their high coated in sugar.

5 p.m.: With all the shopping, beaching, and THCing, you might be hungry? Grab a slice at Abbot’s Pizza Company, famous for their bagel crusts.

6 p.m.: Walk it off and see the sunset over the Venice Canals (yes, like the real Venetian Canals), a charming surprise to most and one of the hidden spots in Los Angeles that most Angelenos don’t even know about.

7:30 p.m.: Have dinner at Hal’s Bar & Grill. Enjoy the ever-changing, seasonal menu — but be sure to order the pear and cranberry bread pudding, a delicious menu mainstay.

9:30 p.m.: Get a mani/pedi (or a wax, or your make-up done) inside the adorable Nite Spa cottage before you hit the bar scene (appointments from noon to midnight).

11 p.m.: For something lively and a little bit sceney, get a glass of Pinot at The Otheroom.

Late Night: Meander over to The Brig for late-night cocktails and flirty hipsters.