Top 10 Badass L.A. Parties of 2011

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Wed, Dec 28, 2011 at 10:36 AM

click to enlarge LINA LECARO
  • Lina Lecaro
Also see 10 Ways to Get Past a Bouncer and Top 10 L.A. Club Nights of 2011.

At the risk of referencing LMFAO again, LA knows its party rockin' and we do it bigger and better than any other city in the world. New York may beat us at chic soirees, Miami might be sultrier and Vegas gaudier, but Los Angeles is where the magic happens. The culture, the diversity and yes, the entertainment industry make for an audacious alchemy that truly is unmatched.

Sure there's a lot glitzy superficiality too, but the stereotypes about L.A. nightlife are hardly the whole picture. For every botoxed big boob-bot bumpin' at the bash hoping to be discovered, there are artists and writers and music lovers and makers, not to mention normal, cool peeps who go out simply to have a good time. Despite an obvious decrease in imaginative gatherings and decadent sponsored spectacles due to the recession, there were still several opportunities to do just that.

Yes, some of the best events were exclusive, invite-only affairs, but just as many were open to the public... if you knew about them. Here, the top 10 best one-off parties and events that went off in Los Angeles this past year (Halloween and New Years Eve -- last year and this weekend -- not included).

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10. What Cheer?

For Sunset Junctioners, 2012 was either a year of tragedy or triumph depending on what side you were on. Yes, this was the first year that the much-maligned street fair in Silver Lake did not happen. Questions and controversies about the funding fiasco behind it remain, but only time will tell what's going to happen next year. At least some raging parties took its place. The best? Anthony Giancola's weekend of What Cheer? "Conjuxion" bashes at the Holding Company space in Silver Lake-adjacent Westlake. Great local bands (many who were slated to play SJ), DJs and a hip crowd happy to show off the neo-hippie/hillbilly looks that had planned for the streets.

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9. Best Coast Pre Carmadeggon Jam at The Getty

Hard to say which was the 2011 bigger hype bust: The Rapture or Carmageddon. We'll go with the latter, if only because it's the one more people we know actually feared. The weekend prior to the much-buzzed 405 freeway construction, indie darlings Best Coast played The Getty's "Off The 405" event, and not only was it one of their best sets, it saw some of the best weather and the best, chill crowds there ever. One of the best California Summertime gatherings, fer sure. Unless you got there late (it filled capacity and many didn't get in) it was as easy-breezy as Carmageddon itself ended up being the next weekend.

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8. T-Mobile Sidekick Party with The Strokes

Let's get real here: the only people who hate on mega-bucks corporate-sponsored bashes are those who don't get invites. Free drink and food, swag bags and intimate performances by huge music acts make 'em extremely hot tickets. Cell phone companies seem to throw the best, but video games and a few mags do some doozies too, and often Bolthouse Productions is behind the ample amusements. We are lucky enough to get to go these gluttonous affairs -- some memorable ones included Call of Duty's biggie with Kanye West and Google Music's grinder with Maroon 5 at Mr. Brainwash's gallery on La Brea. But we gotta give it to T-Mobile Sidekick's soiree with The Strokes, which turned the old Robinsons/May building in the 90210 into a cavernous party palace with a light-up dance floor and stuff to do everywhere you looked (lazer tag, karaoke booths, video games, etc.). The best part? Despite the bash being the week after Coachella (which they played), The Strokes didn't phone it in.

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7. Egyptian Lover Party at Freak City

We didn't declare Freak City the best place to get your freak on in our Best Of L.A. issue for nothing. There were sooo many off the hook haps here in 2011. We didn't make all of them, but we did find ourselves hobbling in heels in the alley behind Antenna store on Hollywood Blvd. quite a bit. The most bumping in our book was when Egyptian Lover took the stage and pulled out his little friend: the 808 machine.

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