High 05 in Clubland
1. My Space Es Su Space
Yeah, its a great resource for bands, but MySpace is still about hooking up, too, and while it will never totally replace meeting the love of your life while drunk at a bar, its changing everything else for scenester types. Nobody asks for phone numbers anymore; now its Are you on MySpace? The good news: In 05, all of our single girlfriends met guys on the site. The bad news: Not only did none of the relationships work out, but what (and who) hes doing now can be tracked via comments from all the flirty new friends on his page. Ugh.
2. Everybodys a DJ
Who hasnt been in a club and thought she could do a better job than the guy behind the wheels of steel? Turntables and even CDs require skill, but iPods and laptop setups now make the perfect mix as simple as tapping a computer key. To be fair, some, though it aint their main vocation, still do it the old-school way, and pretty damn well. Droppin it hard on the decks last year: musicians (Carlos D, the Raveonettes, Jeppe of Junior Senior,Peaches), artists (Shepard Fairey), promoters (Brent Bolthouse, Steve Aoki) and even journos (Urbs Josh Glazer, and, yeah, yours truly).
3. Whoring the Door
Remember when Hollywood Boulevard used to be heaving with hookers and druggies? It may look different these days, but theres still plenty of both staggering along the ol Walk of Fame around midnight they just wear spiffier clothes and know who to blow (figuratively, of course). Which, along with a little patience, is all any reasonably connected clubster needed to get inside of Tinseltowns newly-opened-in-05 glam dives (The Tropicana Club, LAX, Mood, Rokbar, Basque, Element, Geisha House,etc.)... unless, of course, he was a homely dude sans female companions.
4. Extreme Makeover (Club Edition)
Hes richer than God, and when it comes to L.A. nightlife, maybe even more powerful. Club impresarioSam Nazarian has turned the concept of club revamping into an art form. He transformed Prey (formerly the Gate) from sexy opium den to wild junglerama, but it was his redo of the Coconut Teaszer (from purple rock palace to swanky white wonderland to sleek black den of sin, now calledPrivilege) that really made the Hollywood hipsterati take notice last year. Whats next? He just partnered up with the ubiquitous Brent Bolthouse in what could signal an evil-genius plot to take over the city in 06.
Kelly Clarkson the queen of indie rock? Last year, the American Idol cherub not only terrorized TRL, but L.A.s coolest indie clubs too. Cinespace Tuesday, Hang the DJs, Bang! all of em shamelessly pumped out K.C.s jumpy Since Youve Been Gone, and the kiddies ate it up in a so-bad-its-good kinda way, we think. More ironically cool club faves: all crunk junk, retro hip-hop à la MC Hammer, and 80s pop hits like Jessies Girl and I Cant Go for That (No Can Do).
6. Passion for Mashin
Mash-ups may be somewhat old news on the underground level, but thanks to DJ Paul V., everyone in L.A. knew what they were last year. V.s Mash-Up of the Day and Smashmix segments on Indie 103.1 offered the best genre blends and bodacious bootleg concoctions (such as that much-played Green Day/Oasis/Aerosmith mix), while his club Bootie L.A. at the Echo co-promoted with San Frans Club Bootie took the freakiness to the dance floor. And lets not forget hi-pro turntablists like Z-Trip, Mark RonsonandDJ AM, all of whom bashed hip-hop, rock and pop hits into an irresistibly pulsating pulp at some of the best parties of the year (BPMs E3 bash, LAX, Coachella).
7. Kick Chicks & Berry Boyz
When youre in a loud room, trying to hook up with your crew, text-messaging is a hell of a lot easier than yelling into a cell phone. But the whole Sidekick/Crackberry-in-da-club thang got way out of control last year, especially with the celeb (and wannabe) set. That dude who hacked into the gadget belonging to Paris Hilton (gotta at least mention her in this list, right?) deserves a medal, not a court sentence. Rather type than hang? Scram already!
8. After The Lovin
Long gone are the days when a touring band would take its after-show mischief and sexcapades straight back to the hotel room. Todays rock stars want to do the town after their sets, which leaves them more in the mood for crashing than thrashing by the time they get in. Last year, it was all about official after-parties at drinking spots and clubs in L.A., and leading the way was The Beauty Bar, which held post-gig shindigs with the actual band members in attendance (many of em deejaying, see No. 2) for Tegan and Sara, The Kills, Gang of Four, Turbonegro, The Bravery, The Raveonettes, Spoon, Glen Matlock, Morningwood andMorcheeba. Other fertile indie-groupie stalking grounds: Loosetooth at Josephs and Star Shoes on Wednesday and Friday.
9. Electro Deathmatch
At one point last year, there were three electronic-music clubs to choose from on Saturday night: Avaland (co-promoted by Giants Dave Dean) at Avalon, Spundae at Circus and Gods Kitchen at the Henry Fonda. That couldve torn apart the weekend-warrior set, but ultimately only split it in two: Spundae and Avaland continue to thrive with global house, techno and trance-beat biggies weekly, but Gods went to heaven soon after the triple match-up. Still, dont be surprised if theres a 2006 resurrection.
10. Nix in 06
We actually liked some of these songs the first few hundred times we heard em on the dance floor, but may we suggest a little sabbatical this year? It doesnt take that long for a tune (particularly a wacky one) to sound fresh again, anyway. In fact, were actually missing Kelis Milkshake right about now.
Anything by anyone who was ever on American Idol (see No. 5)
My Humps, Black Eyed Peas
Dont Cha, Pussycat Dolls
Hollaback Girl, Gwen Stefani
Banquet, Bloc Party
Take Your Mama, Scissor Sisters
I Predict a Riot, Kaiser Chiefs
Boulevard of Broken Dreams (including the mash-up... see No. 6), Green Day
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