The holiday season is great if you're into eggnog, Christmas carols and ugly-sweater parties, but it can really suck if you'd rather celebrate the season with booze, strippers, drag queens and rock & roll — you know, all the stuff that makes L.A. awesome. Many of our fair metropolis' bars and clubs can get pretty dead this time of year — or even shut down entirely, as if their staffs may want to, like, spend time with their families or some shit.
To hell with that. Once you've swapped Pottery Barn tchotchkes with Grandma, you need to get out there and party. So here are 12 totally fantastic, kinda sleazy, occasionally holiday-themed ways to get your freak on — one for every day between now and New Year's Eve, except Dec. 30, because we know that even a total rock star like you needs a spa day every now and then.
Friday, Dec. 18
Southern Hospitality Official Xmas Party @ The Lash
Back in September, we called Southern Hospitality L.A.'s coolest rap party — and we stand by that, especially now that it's moved to the Lash, a bar in the heart of DTLA's Arts District that always goes off. For this special holiday party, they're welcoming in local remix ninja Froskees of the Nature World crew, whose Gameboy-meets–boom-bap sound is as festive as a Yule log and burns twice as hot. Residents Davey Boy and Suspect will keep the beats bumpin' as well. More info.
Saturday, Dec. 19
Krammpstein, Marilyn Krampson @ Complex
What do you get when you cross German metal/industrial band Rammstein with Krampus, the demonic figure of German folklore who terrorizes naughty children on Christmas? You get Krammpstein, of course! For the third year, the monstrous cover band descends upon Complex in Glendale for a little pre-holiday mayhem. This year, they're joined by Marilyn Krampson, who is presumably the Antichrist Superstar of German folklore. Beg, borrow or steal a ticket to this one if you can, and prepare to be terrorized. More info.
Sunday, Dec. 20
The Lower Echelon, West America, Baleen @ California Institute of Abnormalarts
If partying with punks and a mummified clown (no, really, they have one on display) gets you in the holiday spirit, head to the Valley's weirdest entertainment venue, the California Institute of Abnormalarts (C.I.A. for short), where a trio of local punk acts will be holding court on the club's carnival sideshow–themed stage: The Lower Echelon, famous (or if they're not, they should be) for their toe-tapper "Russian-Proof Outhaus"; self-proclaimed spookadelica duo West America; and Texas transplants Baleen, led by the ferocious vocals and bass of Sean Gone. Tucked away in the crappy, industrial outskirts of North Hollywood, the C.I.A. can be a little hard to find, but just look for the giant half-skull ticket booth and you'll know you're in the right place. More info.
Monday, Dec. 21
Third Tease at Threes Burlesque Show @ 3 Clubs
Long-running weekly burlesque show Monday Night Tease is hosting a pajama party to start off the holiday week. The all-star lineup includes famed belly dancer and burlesque performer Princess Farhana, the onstage persona of punk writer Pleasant Gehman, as well as New York–based Gin Minsky and locals Venus de Mille, Lux LaCroix, Diamondback Annie and "boylesquer" Tito Bonito. Former America's Got Talent contestant Prince Poppycock hosts the holiday tease. More info.
Tuesday, Dec. 22
Daniel the Security Guard's Annual Birthday Show @ The Smell
You know he'll shoo you away if you're smoking too close to the door. But did you know that Daniel, the Smell's renowned, semi-homeless security guard, also sometimes takes the stage? He'll be rocking out tonight in celebration of his 46th birthday with his band, Mr. Wright & the El Salvadorians. Also on the bill: Protectme and Absurd Walls, featuring members of The Mae Shi, Shark Toys and Mutations. Your presence is the only present he needs. Well, that and to not leave your damn empties all over the alley. More info.
Wednesday, Dec. 23
Whiskey Wednesdays @ Loaded
Christmas comes early at this Hollywood rock club, with $4 whiskey specials and DJs spinning punk, classic, ska, soul, reggae and Motown. More info.
Thursday, Dec. 24
Booze, Babes and Rock & Roll @ Jumbo's Clown Room
How better to celebrate the arrival of Baby Jesus' birthday at midnight than by throwing dollars at a tattooed stripper gyrating to Guns N' Roses? East Hollywood's most convivial bikini bar is the perfect place to ensure you'll be unwrapping a massive hangover along with those presents. (Bonus: They're also open Christmas Day, starting at 8 p.m.) More info.
Friday, Dec. 25
Jingle Bats Goth Night @ Que Sera
Long Beach's long-running goth night, Release the Bats, is here to rescue all you children of the night from an awkward evening watching The Santa Clause with relatives who don't understand your pain. Resident DJs Dave Bats, Reanimator, Dingus Baticus and Frankenstein will be spinning a 100 percent "Wonderful Christmastime"–free mix of gothic, deathrock and alternative — accompanied by guest DJs Santa Claus and Jesus Christ, because, as the invite says, "seeing as how they'll be out of work for another year, we'll give em one last hoorah." More info.
Saturday, Dec. 26
Bonkerz! Big Dumb Gay Party @ Precinct
Jackie Beat and Mario Diaz of electroclash faves Dirty Sanchez host this self-proclaimed "big dumb gay party" at DTLA's best gay bar (according to us). Jackie will provide the evening's drag-tastic entertainment alongside Alaska Thunderfuck, Selene Luna, Wendy Ho, Sissy Spastik and a surprise special guest (Dirty Sanchez, mayhaps?). DJ Whitney Fierce provides the between-performers soundtrack and Matt Scott provides the puppets — because what big dumb gay party would be complete without puppets? More info.
Sunday, Dec. 27
IllumiNaughty @ Revolver
Now that you've got your Christmas presents, it's time to let loose at IllumiNaughty. The weekly party at Revolver is a hidden gem among the more mainstream parties on Santa Monica Boulevard. Men's Club Soundsystem keeps the sounds sexier, darker and dirtier than the usual mainstream fare you'll hear on a Sunday night bar hop. You can still count on some WeHo party staples, though, like a model-esque staff serving up drink specials and skivvy-clad male go-go dancers. IllumniNaughty also boasts "Secret Ceremonies" (read: lap dances) in the back room of the venue. Bring singles. More info.
Monday, Dec. 28
Vision Free Monday Residency @ The Echo
We've been fans of East L.A. shoegaze punks Vision for a while now, and we're not alone — Buzzbands.la, L.A. Record and Amoeba have all sung their praises, too. So this final night of their monthlong Monday residency at the Echo will probably be your last chance to see them sans cover charge for a long time. Don't miss it. With Bastidas and Spoken Folks. More info.
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Tuesday, Dec. 29
Karaoke Night @ Rainbow Bar & Grill
Where better to belt out your favorite hair-metal power ballads than at the Sunset Strip's frozen-in-time rocker bar, where you can sometimes still find Lemmy from Motorhead — or at least several guys trying to look like him — drinking alone in the corner? More info.