High ’05 in Clubland

1. My Space Es Su Space

Yeah, it’s 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, it’s changing everything else for scenester types. Nobody asks for phone numbers anymore; now it’s “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) he’s doing now can be tracked via comments from all the flirty new “friends” on his page. Ugh.

2. Everybody’s a DJ

Who hasn’t 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 ain’t 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 (Urb’s 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 there’s 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 Tinseltown’s 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)

He’s 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. What’s 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.

5. Ironica

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 You’ve Been Gone,” and the kiddies ate it up — in a so-bad-it’s-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 “Jessie’s Girl” and “I Can’t 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 Fran’s Club Bootie — took the freakiness to the dance floor. And let’s 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 (BPM’s E3 bash, LAX, Coachella).

7. Kick Chicks & Berry Boyz

When you’re 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. Today’s 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 Joseph’s 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 Giant’s Dave Dean) at Avalon, Spundae at Circus and God’s Kitchen at the Henry Fonda. That could’ve 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 God’s went to heaven soon after the triple match-up. Still, don’t be surprised if there’s 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 doesn’t take that long for a tune (particularly a wacky one) to sound fresh again, anyway. In fact, we’re actually missing Kelis’ “Milkshake” right about now.

Anything by anyone who was ever on American Idol (see No. 5)

“My Humps,” Black Eyed Peas

“Don’t 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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