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Hello, Ruby Tuesday!

Eminent club promoter/DJ Joseph Brooks (Fetish Club, TVC15, Makeup) has always believed that if you bring the Rock, the Youth will come. Back when he was spinning at the goth-esque Scream and hair-metal Cathouse in the late ’80s/early ’90s, I acquired my first fake ID, which allowed me entrance to both clubs. I can still remember the awe I felt, standing by the stage as my eardrums rattled to the sounds of then-unknown bands like Jane’s Addiction. Thanks in part to Brooks, rock & roll snatched my soul young, and I’d never be the same.That’s the idea behind Ruby, a Tuesday-night showcase Brooks designed specifically for young bands and even younger fans. This time, though, there’s no ID required, and no allowances to deplete — just a roster of brand-newbie bands in an environment that’s infinitely hipper than Florentine Gardens, yet less gritty than, say, the Smell. As Brooks stated when he started Ruby back in ’03, he’s on a mission to “save our kids from a doomed life of oversized clothing and urban music.” And that’s pretty much what he’s done.“It’s by far our favorite place to play,” says David Henry, singer for punky pop rockers American Eyes. “Before Ruby, no local venue would book us. We had a reputation for being careless and wild, so we were stuck playing backyard parties and gay bars, until they took a chance on us. Our first show, a few hundred kids showed, but by the last, there was a line down the street!”American Eyes isn’t Ruby’s only success story: Many bands who play here regularly have built extremely loyal followings. Clear Static, The Adored and Orange were all signed to record deals after amassing fans at the club. These days, it’s a regular stop for A&R hawks making the rounds. Twelve-year-olds spazzing out next to equally enthused 20-somethings, and yes, even a few comparably ancient 30-somethings, are commonplace, but somehow the music-biz vibe hasn’t affected the purity of the atmosphere. It doesn’t have the no-holds-barred, wasted-youth feel of L.A. clubs past (ironic, considering the Key Club used to be wild metal hang Gazzarri’s, which held weekly stripper contests), but maybe that’s for the best. And while bathroom conversation is fairly juvenile (“Jennifer is such a conceited bitch, he doesn’t even like her . . .” “Ohmigod, I knoooow!”), unlike many teenybopper dance clubs around town, Ruby’s live rock element keeps this shindig from feeling like a high school dance on the Strip — most of the time. The bar does get lonely, though. Lately, in an obvious bid to ensnare this desirable, unjaded demographic, more established bands are asking to play Tuesdays. The Sounds and The Living Things — two bands heard constantly on Indie 103.1, which co-sponsors the night along with Filter magazine — have both played unadvertised sets in the past few months.“It seems like a lot of little kids’ first shows are at Ruby Tuesdays,” says Henry, who celebrated his own 21st birthday at the club. “The majority of our fans are underage, so it’s pointless to play over-21 shows. Plus, we find that 21-and-over shows are stale and the crowd is way too cool to go off. The kids just have so much more life and energy. They want to go off and have fun. This is still something new for them.”Yes, Brooks, the kids are all right. Thanks.Club Ruby • Every Tuesday at the Key Club • This week: Count of Four, The Basement Party, Avarice, Coda Vesta


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