By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
View more photos in this week's new Nightranger slideshow.
If you’re one of the fortunate few who hasn’t fallen victim to the spate of icky viruses floating around town the past few weeks, Nightranger would like to congratulate you (and your immune system) and offer a gentle reminder to wash those mitts a lot when you’re out and maintain some personal space when you’re shakin’ your shit out in da clubs, okay? Considering our professional proclivity for partying, we’re perpetually ill-fated this time of year, our annual flu bouts keeping us home when, ironically, there are more shindigs than ever to attend. Thankfully, before the chills, we got a good share of thrills and holiday hi-jinx in this week, and now that we’re better, we’re ready to jingle our bells louder than ever! Hope you are too.
The seasonal slew of soirees kicked off in fine form with BPM x Vapors’ Holiday Party a couple weeks ago at The Roxy, which was, not surprisingly, a heaving, sweaty mess. We’ve boasted about BPM mag’s bashes many times, but this being one of the smaller spaces to contain its dancey dementia meant that, whether we liked it or not, close contact with germy strangers was unavoidable, especially if we wanted to snap a few pics of the super-DJs spinning — like sexy Southerner DJ Klever, who may have the best “DJ bob” (the up and down moves every dance music turntablist seems to do these days) we’ve seen. Part of the Allies crew with faves A-Trak and Craze, Klev’s deftly skilled at lifting breaks and hooks from familiar hip-hop bangers and oh so teasingly funneling them into his collage of hypnotic techno and electro. His jams are a joy. Too bad we had to endure smarmy grinds and come-ons stolen from The Pick-Up Artist while in the crowd. Gross. (Which reminds us, we love the Roxy — it’s actually our favorite live rock club — but something has got to be done about the ladies bathroom there. The rock-bitch stall graffiti rules, but the toilets are another story!) MSTRKRFT headlined the party, and what can we say about the wooly Canucks that hasn’t already been said? Are they over-rated? We think so. But there is something kinda charming about their cig-slurping trucker techno stage style, and they know how to manipulate a dance-hungry crowd much like the rave DJs of yore. Only these days, the kids are high on cheap beer, not X. Whether that makes the duo superior or sub-par is debatable.
A similarly embryonic hipster horde gathered at the All Star Lanes in Eagle Rock last Wednesday for another mag mash, the Filter & Antics Rock n’ Bowl Holiday Party with CSS spinning (after their gig at the Avalon). Unfortunately the bug we caught earlier in the week decided to take its bite midway through the gathering — just as we were about to don antler ears and take a photo with Santa in the Polite in Public photobooth, in fact. After a wretching visit to the loo, we ended up bouncing early and missing the Brazilian beatsters. But before that, we did get in a few warm Asahi’s (bad idea obviously), a spirited bowling match, some ironic karaoke and a li’l chat with P.I.P.’s Joe Rubenstein, who tell us they’ve gone from underground bashes to A-List party favors — they recently did a booth at Paris Hilton’s Thanksgiving house party (we’ll spare you the stuffed turkey jokes), and they’ll even have a set-up at Barack Obama’s Inauguration in DC come Jan. 20. Though we missed CSS, we did catch a couple of charismatic DJs on the decks: Lord Nelson and Pants Off, of the freaky Filter-sponsored neo-disco dance-off Four On The Floor — which by the way, has moved from The Mountain Bar to Chloe in Santa Monica.
CAN’T STOP THE MUSIC
Speaking of disco, its re-invention and resurgence on the dance floor is most assuredly one of the biggest club trends of 2008 (for Nightranger’s take on all of ‘em see our “Year in LA Nightlife” wrap-up in next week’s issue). And while a lot of happenings around town have been inspired by DFA Records-approved retro-synth style boogie (old and new), we find the gay and mixed mashes best capture its euphoric vim; it’s where it all started in the first place, after all. Two of the hottest (literally), Shits & Giggles and A Club Called Rhonda joined forces last Friday for “Legion of Disco,” the closest we’ve come to having a Studio 54 moment in ages. Featuring DJs from the UK’s notorious pan-sexual party known as Horsemeat Disco, theoutrageous dance orgysaw a tranny-licious turnout mixed with fierce fashion forward types and sprinkled with odd birds old, young, straight and multy-culty. Coming off a flu meant downing H20 all night, but oh how we wished we had something stronger when the polyester-pumpin’ Love Boat-style grooves got goin.’ The crowd packed into Club 740 so tightly, they opened up the balcony for a mini-Rhonda rager with Aaron Castle spinning upstairs too. San Francisco was in the house as well, as the femme-bots from House of Salad offered a lip-syncing-laced dance and costume-filled performance. There were no “tossed salads” on stage thankfully, but what is it about salads and androgynous performance? (Any over-30s remember LA art tart hang Egg Salad?) Seen shaking their groove thang throughout the enchanting eve of excess: Lastnightsparty.com’sBronx in from NYC, Party Monster James St. James, Dance/Bang!/Tigerheat promoter Jason Lavitt,Mustache Monday’s macho Nacho, designer Michael Schmidt (who’s currently working on jewelry and purse lines with Madonna and Cher, respectively. yowza!), and one of our favorite queens in manimalistic guise (he had a porcupine quill through his septum), Mz. Allana aka Allan Lewis, who’s busy these days with his plum role as a wisecracking chef on the CW’s Gossip Girl follower, Privileged. It may not have been Xmas-themed, but this was definitely the merriest mixer we’re likely to attend this month, maybe even year.