Cobra Starship showed up a little late for their unofficial album release party at the Troubadour in West Hollywood last night, but for a good reason: the band wanted to watch themselves on the Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien. It was their only indulgence on a day when the least-likely-to pop stars hit No. 1 on iTunes with their new CD, Hot Mess. (The top spot also means they've won a more tantalizing prize: their label boss Pete Wentz will have to get a tattoo of singer Gabe Saporta's choice.)
Once the show got underway, it was classic Cobra. It took Gabe less than 30 seconds into their first song, "Pete Wentz is the Only Reason We're Famous" to both name-check and dutifully grab his cock. The band stuck mostly to older material from their two earlier albums, kept the mood somewhere between dance party and total insanity -- I've never seen an artist get so many industry types up in VIP to actually shake their asses like that. Keytarist Victoria Asher filled in for Gossip Girl's Leighton Meester for their hit single, "Good Girls Go Bad" (with high-pitched backing vocals from guitarist Ryland Blackinton, who sat down with Gabe for Out.com above).
Here's my confession: I still can't write "hit single" and Cobra Starship in the same sentence without laughing hysterically. But this band, made up of ex-punks (Midtown) and a harmonic indie pop duo (Blackinton and bassist Alex Suarez also play as This is Ivy League), always seemed hell-bent on proving you could have fun, treat your fans like gold and still make it in the music industry. Gabe was wiping his own sweat and spilled water off the stage last night, alternately shoving away a hot roadie's efforts to help and giving him a good grope. They might be the most ridiculous group on the charts, but nobody deserves it more.
And if you were a fan of their Katy Perry semi-cover, "I Kissed a Boy," hang on for their next queerification: Gabe promises another collaboration with Jonny Makeup (his VIP Party Boys guested on ¡Viva!), this time a twist on their new single: "I make them good boys go gay."
Want to help gay up the lyrics? Gabe offered this as a starting point: "You were standing in the corner givin' five boys head." But he'd love to hear your dirtiest suggestions. Leave 'em in the comments and we'll make sure he and Jonny take a look when they get together in September.
For more on Cobra Starship, check out their new and improved website here.
-- SHANA NAOMI KROCHMAL
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