ON THE TOWN: There's something about the Beastie Boys that--well--grabs your attention. The rap-brats were in town the other day, taking a look at a rough cut of director Penelope ("Decline of Western Civilization") Spheeris' upcoming film, "Dudes." On hand were a host of musicians and A&R execs, all vying for sound-track slots. Nearly a half-hour after the movie was scheduled to begin, the crowd heard a loud blast of funk music from outside the theater. And presto--in came the Beastie Boys, lugging a huge boogie-box, blaring a current hit. After the boys settled into some seats in the front of the theater, one of the musicians on hand turned to his pal and whispered: "See, that's the kind of stuff we've got to learn--how to make an entrance!" . . . Meanwhile, R.E.M.'s Peter Buck has been popping up all over town--most recently at a recent Imitation Life show at the Club Lingerie, where he joined the band (and ex-Plimsoul Eddie Munoz) for an encore cover-version of the Replacements' "I Will Dare." Buck isn't just goofing off. The R.E.M. crew is in the studio here with Warren Zevon, serving as his back-up band for an upcoming Zevon album on Virgin Records. R.E.M. has also recorded a new song, "Romance," which will appear on the sound track to Alan Rudolph's upcoming film, "Made in Heaven," which stars Timothy Hutton and Kelly McGillis.