- The Washington Times - Friday, July 10, 2009

“It keeps getting better. Me and my girlfriend, we always talk about getting a house here,” says Joel Madden, the lead crooner for the rock band Good Charlotte, about the District, his childhood hometown.

Mr. Madden was in town to speak at the annual Campus Progress Conference to raise awareness for the Enough Project and the plight of victims of violence in the Congo. “We have a daughter and another one on the way,” Mr. Madden added. “Whenever we come home to Maryland and D.C., it’s always a place where we’re like really comfortable, really relaxed; everybody’s cool, and it’s just like a vacation every time we’re here, even if it’s just for three days. We’re always talking about having this be our summer place or something. We dream about it a little bit.”

A summer home? Here?

Perhaps Mr. Madden and his girlfriend, former Paris Hilton wing-girl Nicole Richie, haven’t been to the District in August recently.

They’ll be perfectly happy here provided they don’t mind a little heat and humidity.

Saturday night’s all right!

Sir Elton John and Billy Joel will crocodile rock this weekend in the first-ever concert performance at Nationals Stadium as part of the trans-Atlantic duo’s Face2Face tour.

We hear some politicos are taking advantage of the big event to raise some cash for their coffers, but could the popular tunes of the “Piano Man” from Long Island and the flamboyant Sir Elton have a counterintuitive partisan following? Sure looks that way from the lineup.

Looks like Rep. John Shimkus, Illinois Republican, and his Republican colleague, Rep. Jean Schmidt from Ohio, will host fundraisers at the concert.

His asking price: $1,500 a ticket. Hers: $ 2,000.

Rep. John Shadegg, Arizona Republican, also will host a $2,000-a-head boogie night.

Judging from the reeling party’s recent electoral setbacks, G2 predicts the Repubs will be on their feet for Sir Elton’s punchy “I’m Still Standing.”

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah.

Renner and Pitt

Actor Jeremy Renner looked a little out of place in a downtown D.C. office building where G2 caught up with him briefly.

Mr. Renner, in town to promote his new film, “The Hurt Locker,” was clad in a black T-shirt and had a pack of Winstons at the ready. We couldn’t resist asking what it was like acting alongside superstar Brad Pitt, with whom he appeared in “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.”

“It was a great experience actually,” Mr. Renner recalled. “We ended up having a lot in common. He was avoiding the helicopters and the crazy paparazzi. We had a really, really wonderful time. I became good friends with half the guys in that movie.”

When asked if he planned to visit the White House, Mr. Renner laughed, flashed a smile and said, “I don’t know. Am I invited? Are you taking me there? You got keys or something?”

When we extended our hand to say good bye, Mr. Renner, perhaps forgetting which coast he was on, pulled us closer and gave us a hug and a kiss.

Charmed, we’re sure.

To contact Stephanie Green or Elizabeth Glover, e-mail undercover@washingtontimes.com.

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