The Best Parties in L.A., 2012
Our Best Of issue just hit stands! We found our fairy tale, and now we present it to you: 435 of the most fabulous things in all of Los Angeles. From the city's most amazing restaurants to its tawdriest dive bars, from its edgiest art exhibits to the top spots for live music, we've got it all covered. It truly is the Best of L.A. -- and, in a city this awesome, that's really saying something.
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Below, peep our choices from the issue for best theme bash, best rooftop party, best drag club night, and best Eastside club night.
Best Theme Bash
Halloween is amateur night. Everyone knows it, particularly Perish Dignam. He throws parties that put anything you've ever done on Oct. 31 to shame, and he does it almost every month. From "Illuminaughty" glow-in-the-dark gatherings to "hot, pink and wet" foam fetes, his Studio 69-branded bashes are always over the top and always encourage themed costumes. (When you RSVP on Facebook, you'll even get links to stores that carry the appropriate ensembles.) Sure, you don't have to dress up for his events, but if you don't, you're sure to feel left out among the scantily clad cosplay babes, pirates and ninjas. Also, there are also dubstep, electro and live fire performances, not to mention spanking (yes) and photo booths. The party moves around from clubs to warehouses; you'll receive the location upon your RSVP. Perish69Club.com.
Best Rooftop Party
Culprit Sessions at The Standard Downtown
In a town besieged by dance-floor cheese, the Droog DJ collective is a breath of fresh cred. The trio of Andrei Osyka, Brett Griffin and Justin Sloe has been building a community of followers based on groovy, understated tech-house sounds and superlative afternoon poolside parties that have made the Standard Downtown's rooftop venue harder to get into than an Oscar party. Bouncing bikinis? Sure. But oh, those beats. Droog has forged a European-style outdoor season with its Culprit Sessions, which go monthly from April through October at the Standard -- every other Sunday from 1 to 8 p.m. -- and often feature the globe's most-wanted DJs, such as Jamie Jones. Be sure to check out the season-closing party on Oct. 14, featuring the sublime Guy Gerber. After that, the trio takes its party on the road to places like Spain's Sonar Festival and the DJ mecca known as fabric London. But we're told Culprit Sessions will be back like syncopated clockwork in spring. Check facebook.com/culpritla for the latest schedule. RSVP encouraged. 550 S. Flower St., dwntwn. (213) 892-8080, facebook.com/culpritla.
Best Drag Club Night
Bouncing between venues like Los Globos and Echoplex, Trannyshack L.A. revels in gritty, off-the-rails, thought-provoking performances. Though there are Trannyshack nights in San Francisco and New York, Heklina -- the event's founder, co-producer, MC and occasional performer -- notes that L.A. is "hungry for this kind of drag" show. If you go, expect to see not just star national acts like Sharon Needles and Austin's filthy 'n' fabulous Christeene but also up-and-comers like Connie Slocum. This isn't so much a traditional drag performance; there's more of a rock & roll vibe. "Performers can do what they want here," Heklina notes. "Some breathe fire, others have injected themselves onstage. Most people have never seen drag like this." True that. trannyshack.com.
Best Eastside Club Night
As if she were performing in a funky corner of Granada, Spain, a dancer called La Tigresa does staccato stamps and quick spins accompanied by guitar, cajón (a box-shaped, Afro-Peruvian percussion instrument), and a trio of DJs. The music is flamenco with an electronic twist and touches of hip-hop, funk and cumbia, while revelers sip sangria and beer. But this is not Granada -- it's Subsuelo, a free event held the third Wednesday of each month at Eastside Luv Wine Bar & Queso in Boyle Heights. DJ Canyon Cody, who studied flamenco as a Fulbright scholar in Granada, runs the show, whose name roughly translates to "underground." Ten artists join forces to blend styles and talents, and they pack 100 or so into the narrow venue to dance into the night. Eastside Luv's blood-red brocade wallpaper, twinkly chandeliers and colorful paintings create a vibrant, unique setting. The bar, which doubles as La Tigresa's stage, serves only wine and beer, but the crowd seems to care more about the music than the booze. 1835 E. First St., Boyle Heights. (323) 262-7442, subsuelo.org.
-Daina Beth Solomon
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