Party Scene's In Crowd? Outsiders Staked a Claim.'s "Unconventional '08" party on Wednesday was the place to be. The music lineup included Ben Gibbard, Zooey Deschanel and Jenny Lewis.'s "Unconventional '08" party on Wednesday was the place to be. The music lineup included Ben Gibbard, Zooey Deschanel and Jenny Lewis. (Daron Murphy - )
By Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Friday, August 29, 2008

Party crashers! The revolutionaries took over this convention, at least the A-list events and venues. Insurgents, cranks, anti-establishmentarians -- people who couldn't get a floor pass four years ago -- were the darlings of this week's festivities.

Seems like just minutes ago that progressive activist Eli Pariser,27, was working out of his crummy N.Y.C. bedroom. Now his is a buzzy, getting-blingy juggernaut that pulled off one of the more "you aren't on the list" parties of the week. (And Pariser's June wedding scored an announcement on the pages of the New York Times.)

At "Unconventional '08" late Wednesday for about 500 guests, Sarah Silverman (ponytail, vintage vest, tie) canoodled with a fan she just met ("You're so much hotter in person!," he gushed), while San Fran Mayor Gavin Newsom and new bride Jennifer Siebel held court with a throng of bloggers, reports our colleague Jose Antonio Vargas. Danny Glover, actor Daniel Dae Kim and Jane Fonda 's actor son, Troy Garrity, grooved to indie sensations Jenny Lewis, Ben Gibbard and Zooey Deschanel.

Silverman took the stage to introduce Newsom with her trademark raunch: "A great public servant and a man that I would like to discipline sexually."

"Where's Matt Damon when you need him?" the mayor shot back.

The Huffington Post didn't even exist four years ago; now, it offered massages and deep thoughts at its "Oasis" adjacent to the "Big Tent" home of new-media heavyweights like Daily Kos and Digg. Founder Arianna Huffington had her people give away organic trail mix and smoothies while she presided over confabs like Tuesday's lunch with Charlie Rose, George Stephanopoulos, Will.I.Am, Fred Armisen and Washington Post Publisher Katharine Weymouth. "Yesterday's media is biased; it puts it from that person's perspective, left up to you to interpret it," Will.I.Am told the audience. "New media gives people power to voice their opinions." What ever.

Even Vanity Fair, long-reigning chronicler of high-sheen Poliwood, took up with the rich nerd boys of Google to co-host a super-exclusive closing-night bash, which promised not just cocktails but Nintendo Wii and "Rock Band." Hundreds of actually-invited VIPs were expected, plus a huge crowd outside of those who groveled, begged or RSVPed for tickets they were never offered.

At least some things never change.


So Kanye We st did not disappoint: He showed up in Denver as promised, and he actually played a full one-hour show for a hot-ticket ONE Campaign/RIAA party early yesterday a.m. Sure, he took the stage more than a full hour after he was expected -- but in a way, you know, that's exactly what we expected.

And, omigod, EEEEeeeeeeeeagh!!!! He brought Jamie Foxx out to help him sing "Gold Digger"!

The only way West let us down was in his utter failure to say anything scandalous or nutso during his 10-song set. He didn't even follow any issue-advocacy talking points -- this whole evening, of course, was intended to educate us about fighting AIDS and poverty and vaccinating millions of Third World children against malaria -- except for a sly bit of freestyling bemoaning "the loss of my mama" and "years of drama. . ."

But, added West: "At least we got Obama."

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