Last Friday, I arrived at the Park Plaza Hotel on Wilshire, a neo-Gothic gem of a space with soaring buttresses that flank the marble walls, each reaching up to Renaissance-inspired painted frescos. It was the Friends ‘N’ Family party, an annual event during the Grammy’s that benefits the VH1 Save the Music foundation, and it spilled from the one-time hotel lobby into two massive halls, an upstairs stage, and another concert area. Once I stopped checking out the ornate ceilings and looked down, I discovered there were no musicians to be found. Where was Iggy Azalea, the Australian rapper that was supposed to be performing? Where was Selena Gomez? Does that Jonas brother in the VIP section miss his other Jonas Brothers now that they broke up? It was all suits.
Then off to The Standard, Hollywood, for a party thrown by 300 Entertainment, the new label started by Lyor Cohen, the former chairman of Warner Music and consigliere to the hip-hop world. Mr. Cohen was nowhere to be found, but after walking in with Heron Preston of Been Trill, I spotted Sky Ferreira, a New Yorker among these sun-drunk Angelenos. And more importantly: a singer!
“Sky’s lost her voice and can’t talk,” said Grant Singer, a music video director who’s helmed a number of Ms. Ferreira’s videos. Oh well.
(Eventual big winners Daft Punk were there, too, apparently, but forgive me for having no idea what they look like without their robot helmets.)
Afterwards, I walked passed the Chateau Marmont, where the previous night I sat down with actual Grammy winners—it wasn’t even an event, just another night at the famed Hollywood hotel. Musician and producer Dev Hynes—who goes by the moniker Blood Orange—was coming out as I was coming in, so he invited me in for a drink, where he was meeting up with friends. Those friends turned out to be members of Grizzly Bear and Vampire Weekend, who went on to snag their first Grammy, for Best Alternative Album. Lead singer Ezra Koenig talked about how much he was a fan of Mark Wahlberg. Someone kept pouring champagne.
On Sunday, after the Grammy ceremony had ended, it was off to The Ace hotel for the Universal Music Group after-party. Here were a few more people who play music for a living: John Mayer chatting with Rita Ora, Skrillex standing next to two beautiful women, both taller than him. Skrillex said he felt “pretty awesome.” Most of all here were more music executives, at every turn. The suits cometh!
I was staying at The Ace, which is just a few blocks away from the Staples Center in newly vibrant downtown L.A. Slinking back to my room, I peered out the window. From one side I could see a Banksy mural of a girl swinging from the “A” in “PARK.” On the other side was an enormous old sign that read “JESUS SAVES.”