Three years ago this week, rock & roll's most beautiful rebel left the Earth. In 2016, David Bowie's birthday (Jan. 8) and death day (Jan. 10), as well as the release of his stunning swan song Blackstar, shook fans around the world, and in L.A. — where music, spectacle and self-expression reign — it was particularly gutting. It seemed like nearly every club, bar and band gig in the city sought to pay tribute. Today, the loss feels as fresh as ever for many of us, but thankfully, there are a handful of happenings where fans can commiserate and celebrate this week.
Tuesday, Jan. 8:
The Band That Fell to Earth
Here's what we wrote about this Bowie tribute for L.A. Weekly's definitive tribute band list back in 2015:
Re-creating Ziggy Stardust–era Bowie in all his kooky, glam glory wouldn’t work without a captivating, far-out frontman. And The Band That Fell to Earth got one: sensuous singer Julian Shah-Tayler (of The Singularity). He pulls off the orange-red wig and the skintight alien chic but, more important, Shah-Tayler captures Bowie’s onstage charisma, even chattering in character between numbers. His vocals are spot-on, especially on the Ziggy and Hunky Dory stuff, but he’s good enough to add his own new little inflections here and there, too. With skilled Spiders From Mars–alikes providing a solid cosmic backdrop, this mock Moonage Daydream makes us freak out every time.
The band's shows took on a poignant significance after Bowie died, of course. They don't play very often any more, so this Viper Room show is a must-see. Viper Room, 8852 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; 8 p.m.; $10; 21+. More info here.
David Bowie Birthday Party
The third annual local band jam features Iconique, LoveyDove, Super Creeps and Frieda's Roses playing Bowie's biggest and best-loved hits. Artist Miho Hiramatsu returns for beauteous Bowie face painting. Hi Hat, 5043 York Blvd., Highland Park; 8 p.m.; free; 21+. More info here.
Bowie & Elvis Birthday Bash
The King and the Starman share a birthday, and their music is surprisingly simpatico on the decks. DJs Vanessa Burgundy (as Elvis Insane) and Apollo Staar (as Ziggy Starfukked) prove it at the Burgundy Room tonight, which is also a luau, because why not. Surprises are promised. Burgundy Room, 1621 N. Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood; 9 p.m.; free; 21+. More info here.
Friday, Jan. 11
Underground Bowie Nite
Miho will be on hand once again for Aladdin Sane makeovers at Club Underground's gathering as DJ Larry G spins all the hits. Poster giveaways for the collectors and photo booth. Grand Star Jazz Club, 943 N. Broadway, Chinatown; 9 p.m.-2 a.m.; $12; 21+. clubundergroundla.com.
Saturday, Jan. 12:
Major Tom: A Night Celebrating David Bowie
Take your protein pills and put your helmet on — just dress glam AF for this intergalactic celebration of Ziggy Stardust and beyond. Femme Fatal DJs include DJ Rose Knows (Death Disco) and Melissa Rivera aka Nowhere Girl (Prism). “Rock and Roll Suicide Starlets, Neon Music, Saint Peter D'Vil and Puzziniggrr plus “Diamond Dog” Billy will be serving glam looks and moves. The Faultline, 4216 Melrose Ave., East Hollywood; 9 p.m.-2 a.m.; $7; 21+. More info here.
Sunday, Jan. 20:
Part Time Punks Bowie Night
One of the best Bowie-themed bashes every year in L.A., PTP's party is a nonstop David dance-o-rama. DJ Jose Maldonado rocks the dance floor with a diverse Bowie mix, running the gamut from the '70s to present. Get glammed up for pics with the famous Bowie cardboard cutout. With Monday a holiday (MLK Day), this is the hap to hit for a full-on visceral release and homage to the dearly departed, game-changing musical hero. Echoplex, 1154 Glendale Blvd., Echo Park; 9 p.m.-2 a.m.; $10; 21+. More info here; tickets here.