L.A. Nightlife in the '90s- Remembering Jabberjaw's Historic Rockin' and L.A. Raves Through The Looking Glass

Sofia Coppola at Jabberjaw.
Sofia Coppola at Jabberjaw.
Courtesy Michelle Carr.

Cheesy Dance hits from the '90s may be all the rage in the clubs right now, but getting nostalgic about L.A. nightlife and how it helped shape the music of the decade, yields two different types of flashbacks (as a gal who dug both rock and dance music, we still have visions of both of these) : 1) euphoric undergrounds and raves 2) rockin' ragers and the coffeehouse scene, which collided at the one and only Jabberjaw.

We usually hate getting added to "groups" on Facebook without being asked, but we recently became part of two fascinating '90s-centric groups we're happy to be a part of ... and that we cant stop scrolling through.

Michelle Carr (of Velvet Hammer Burlesque fame) has been working on a book about the wild nights at her legendary coffeehouse/music space Jabberjaw for several years, but thanks to FB, there is now one place for all who remember the infamous venue to share and compare and even post documents that might be included in the published project. Ween, The Jesus Lizard, Elliot Smith, Melvins, Hole, the epic everyone-says-they-were-there-but-probably-weren't Nirvana show in 1991 are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to legendary, long gone spot that brought slackers and rock lovers to the sketchy part of town. From the cracked out anecdotes (we'll be contributing a story about getting robbed by a twelve-year-old tweaker just outside of the place) to countless relationships forged and inspirations born there, this is L.A. history that deserves remembering.

Click here to join and contribute.

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There is a reunion show/festival planned to be held at the Echo, and Carr is trying to get as many bands that played the venue back in the day as possible to perform. More on the Jabberjaw book and show as it develops.

The early '90s were as much about "electronica" (which enveloped L.A., even on the radio--remember MARS FM?) as they were about the grunge takeover. Indeed, both Jabberjaw and L.A.'s rave scene shared an illicit, underground feel. Yes, substances were involved, but it was about the sense of community and of course, the music most of all. The DJs, the map points, the groovy fliers, the crazy outfits, and X-citing antics are all relived on "Through The Looking Glass: a Journey through Los Angeles' Rave History," the group page for an upcoming documentary by film makers Public Works Collective.

L.A. Nightlife in the '90s- Remembering Jabberjaw's Historic Rockin' and L.A. Raves Through The Looking Glass
Rave flier circa '92 from the Looking Glass photo gallery.

There doesn't seem to be an event tied to the film yet, but by coincidence, we just got an FB flier for a Magic Wednesdays reunion, one of a handful of seminal clubs that brought what was happening in the underground into mainstream club venues (in Magic's case, The World aka The Ruby on the Hollywood Blvd.) No word yet on where they'll do it now, but the flier says Summer 2011.

Polish those glowsticks and click here in the meantime.

P.S. If you are old enough to remember either of these scenes, there is a chance you still aren't on Facebook yet. Let this be your opportunity. Social media is the new way to document the past and re-connect, offering tools never before available.

Follow Lina Lecaro on Twitter at @L_in_A.


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