NIGHTRANGER: FACES & PLACES
The hectic holidaze are right around the corner, and before you know it another year will be on the horizon. Nightranger will be looking back at the highs and whys of L.A. nightlife, music and fashion, as we do every year here. But before that, we've got quite the social to-do list for the next several weeks, thanks to some exciting new endeavors from people we've long followed or friended. Amid all the turkey eating, Christmas shopping and pre–New Year's Eve stressing coming your way and ours, here's who and what should be on your after-dark radar.
KEEP IT IN CHECK
Time to Check Yo Ponytail ... again. Yup, the crazy-fun dance party (with the perplexing name) that helped introduce everyone from Justice, Matt & Kim and Boys Noize to Spank Rock, MSTRKRFT and Crystal Castles to L.A. audiences is back, 2.0-style. Franki Chan has brought a couple partners this time around, Media Contender's Danny United and DJ Paparazzi, and he promises CYP2 will be "bigger, better and more ambitious." In our years covering the dance bash, which started at now-defunct Safari Sam's, we always felt the best thing about it was the mix of patrons — from ironic indie rockers to DayGlo-garbed neo-ravers to thrashers of all ages — and it looks like this more modern mishmash will set the tone for the new version, which returns to what was its final resting place, The Echoplex, on Tuesday, Nov. 23. Midnight Juggernauts headline.
While Chan may be sick of the association at this point, it begs mentioning that Check Yo will once again be on Tuesdays, going head-to-head with his former comrade Steve Aoki's Dim Mak Tuesday at Cinespace. After the pair parted ways (they both blew up as part of the Cahuenga Corridor club scene), Chan was pretty bold to choose the same night four years ago, and the pair's past rivalry arguably helped fuel L.A.'s music scene, with each club looking to get the newest/buzziest band/DJ from around the globe it could find. At that time "electro" was the hot sound and L.A. became one of the defining locales to see emerging artists of the genre thanks to Dim Mak and Chan's label, IHEARTCOMIX.
Expect fewer DJs and more live band–oriented bills at Check Yo moving forward. Chan says the goal of this night will be "breaking acts" in an open format. See checkyoponytail.com for the club's schedule the next several weeks.
We've often referred to ourselves as the "Where's Waldo" of music and nightlife, and now that our pal Sean Yseult has released her new book, I'm in the Band, we really feel that way. Yseult, who was a founding member and bass player for White Zombie, has compiled old photos and scrapbook-style mementos and ephemera from her time with the popular art-metal band for the tome, and yours truly makes a couple of look-hard-and-you'll-spot-us appearances. In addition to tons of Yseult's personal photos, the book offers tour diaries and fliers (all the way back from when she and then-boyfriend Rob Zombie first conceptualized the band in Lower Eastside New York), plus commentary and coverage about the bands they toured with: The Cramps, The Ramones and Motörhead to name a few. It's not only a chronicle WZ fans will enjoy, it's a colorful and honest look at band life from a female perspective.
Yseult has been pretty forthright about the demise of the band (which was notably one of the last MTV had on heavy rotation before videos became a rarity on the channel). Essentially the breakup was about Rob wanting to go solo; he was already finishing up his own record when she and the rest of the band got "the phone call," but he ceased speaking with the other group members — even getting his own tour bus — long before that.
Reliving the past for the book is one thing, but the bass player has definitely moved on to other things. Currently living in New Orleans with her hubby, Chris Lee (Supagroup), she's got a busy design company, and two bands: Rock City Morgue and Star‡. You can hang with her at three rockin' L.A. events coming up: in-store parties at Wacko, Tuesday, Dec. 7, and Book Soup, Wednesday, Dec. 8, and a guest DJ gig (along with former Zombie drummer Johnny Tempesta) at Metal Army Night at Three Clubs on Thursday, Dec. 9.
See laweekly.com's West Coast Sound music blog for our revealing Q&As with Chan and Yseult this week.
MOVE IT ON OVER
More bold names doing bold things at the moment: Jeff Beacher, the Las Vegas impresario known for his circuslike "Madhouse" parties in Sin City and currently working on an L.A. venue inside the Roosevelt Hotel with partner David Arquette. Expect to hear about a slew of celeb bashes at the venue — nearly as much as Arquette's marriage woes — through the end of the year. The place opens to the public in early 2011. ... David Judaken & Tony Daly have just about finished work on their revamp of Opera nightclub in Hollywood, now called Eden (not to be confused with Judaken's old spot, Garden of Eden) ... Sean MacPherson & Jared Meisler may or may not be taking over beloved Sunset Strip dive bar Ye Coach & Horses (a press release stating they were earlier this month was quickly retracted, but the rumors persist) ... Bryan Rabin, the events planner and '90s club king, has returned to the party circuit with a super-on-the-DL gathering called Black Cherry (sort of an underground soul and funk version of his infamous Cherry club). That's about all we can tell you about this one, as the host has instituted a strict no-media (social or otherwise) policy. So strict in fact, that a sign at the entrance warned that those caught taking photos of any kind would be thrown out! Even without the usual promo ops, we're sure this one will remain a sweet nightlife option well into next year.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.