We might have been worried about La Cita in downtown after the announcement last week that our favorite club there, Mustache Mondays, was moving to a new location (more on that below), but after having a smokin' time at the jam-packed, red-lit Mexi dive on Friday for Punky Reggae, we think it'll be just fine. Of course, there's also all the press the place got from Lady Gaga's private birthday party there last weekend, which saw video leaks of the popstar singin "Born This Way" with mariachis (there's already a country version...what's next Polka?) the night before her Staples show. Apparently La Cita now has a hole in the ceiling courtesy of Adam Lambert, an attendee, who, as he tweeted "Was trying for celebratory gesture 4 Gaga's B- piñata style...instead my fist is all bruised and la cita has a hole in the ceiling. #sloppy."
A hole at wonderfully wearied La Cita wouldn't be a big deal, but when the man we interviewed last week, Perez Hilton, went on Carson Daly's radio show, trashing Lambert pretty hard for being too drunk and essentially making a fool of himself, it got our attention (actually irate "Glamberts" who read the piece filled us in). Strange considering Perez not only says he's turned over a new leaf, he told us Lambert inspired him to make his birthday a charity event. As of last night, looks like Adam isn't too happy with the blogger himself. In response to Hilton's Twitter post #RADIATELOVE last night (actually a Miley Cyrus proposed trending topic tweet), the glam star replied, "RADIATELOVE?"
As for the now famous hole, we didn't see it Friday, but if it was anywhere near the dance floor, Punky Reggae's pogo-happy crowd probably made it bigger. Shockingly, it was our first time at the long-running reggae-meets-punk dance party inspired by a Bob Marley and the Wailers tune. Thrown by three of LA's most prolific DJs/promoters: Jason Mason, David Orlando and Michael Stock, this may be one of the best Friday night vibes in town. From the narrow aisle along the bar to the smoke cloud-covered back patio to the floor and tiny stage overlooking it, there's an amiable energy emanating from this one and the music selections only enhance it.
Obvious selections from The Clash, The Sex Pistols and The Ramones are intertwined with ska favorites from The Jam, The Specials, et al, and then sprinkled with classic reggae jams. Neither of the turntablists seems afraid to switch tempo right in the middle of their sets, something lesser skilled DJs usually aren't able to pull. These three do it with ease, though, and the groovers on the floor seem willing to follow them where-ever they go sonically. The slower ragga and dancehall stuff actually provides a bit of a break from the faster punk freakouts. If Stock's Sunday night staple, Part Time Punks, is too difficult with Monday workload looming and Mason's Wednesday Dub Club is a little too Rastamon for ya (or even if you love 'em both), Punky Reggae provides the fire Friday night. Check it out.
As for Mustache, promoter Nacho Nava just announced his mostly gay/often mixed madhouse will debut its new home TONIGHT. The never before used location (just a few blocks south from the old one) is The Belasco Theatre on Hill St. According to Nava, the Deco space had been shuttered for 20 years but has been recently redone with the largest "d&b audiotechnik sound system in Southern California," what he calls, "the most superior sound system available in the US." If that's true, expect more electronic parties to start popping up there. See for yourself tonight, which is touted to have a "special surprise guest."
In the meantime, La Cita (which MM left on good terms) will continue be a more intimate LA fave. In addition to Punky Reggae, Dance Right is still pumpin on Thurdays, El Patio movie night on Wednesdays is still a hoot and Mucho Wednesday's has good one this week: Cumbia/rockabilly rockers Moonlight Trio.
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We've learned Mad Decent's Paul Devro and Paris pumper Brodinski will join Josh Peace and Ashland Mines on the decks at Mustache tonight. Roses Jade Camellia will perform live as well.
Also, looks like Mucho Wednesdays is also leaving La Cita at the end of the month ( actually, after its blowout Cinco de Mayo fiesta) to promote live Latin Alternative shows and dance parties at the Echo and Echoplex this Summer.
More photos from Punky Reggae in this week's Nightranger slideshow.
Follow Lina Lecaro on Twitter at @L_in_A