Club Moscow, the popular 18+ live music and dance night marked seven years strong last night at Boardner's. Even after all this time, the place is still packed with the hippest haircuts and happiest faces at a Hollywood club.
The bands are pretty much always good here, but at Moscow discovering local talent on stage is only part of the appeal. As promoter Keith Wilson says, "Our goal is not to just provide music, but a general culture." Thanks to its young crowd, the club not only reflects what is going on in music and fashion, but it helps shape it too.
Many bands have gotten their first L.A. exposure from the venue -- including Cut Copy (here's our review of their show last night), Cold War Kids, Shiny Toy Guns, She Wants Revenge, Panic at the Disco and Neon Trees. Though bands generally don't return once they "make it," Wilson wouldn't have it any other way. He prides himself on offering exposure to newbies.
On the anniversary bill last night, Standing Shadows were a tight dance rock outfit with some exuberant tunes. We didn't dig the singer's blowhorn bit -- but then we also don't like it when Scott Weiland does it. The title track to their just-released EP, "Freakshow" is strong and stomp-worthy, and the remixes are even better.
Roey Rider in some ways didn't quite fit with the night's dancey vibe. They've got descent -if slightly dated- tunes, but ultimately not as fun to watch live as they are in this hottie-filled video.
Mr. Downstairs, led by two girls, were our faves of the night. This crew has it all: two beguiling lead singers who harmonize wonderfully together and a steady backing band. Most importantly, their songs are quirky and catchy. If you dig The Go-Go's and The Bangles or newer acts The Veronicas and Tegan & Sara, you'll like these gals. Hell, we could even see some savvy producer coming in and turning them into Katy Perry-type pop stars.
As always, the dance floor inside Boardner's was bouncing with even more bodies than the outdoor patio where bands play. Dance music has always been an important component at Moscow and the meshing of the two is what Wilson does best. (He got his start doing a party called Club 82 about eight years ago; look for more on him in our cover story on Skrillex next week).
Currently Wilson's Le Disko Events has a few popular haps around town: Animal at La Descarga (Monday), Moonlight Swim at Drai's (Thursdays) and Camerata at Hemingways (Sundays).
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Still, it's Moscow that seems closest to his heart. He started off a club kid himself, and his regulars have quite literally grown up with him at the club. Parties and promoters come and go but the secret to success is actually quite simple: maintain faithful followers and attract fickle new youngsters at the same time.
Oh, and create "a scene." Moscow continues to pull this off. "We want people to come and be a part of something. Not just once for a DJ or a band, but for the overall idea that is Moscow," says Wilson. "The very icon we use tells the goal of Moscow: the hammer and sickle stands for revolution. For us, it's a revolution of music. "
More pics in our Nightranger slideshow up soon.
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