Halloween is here, and as always there's too much to choose from in this city. And just like when you were a kid, too many treats can give you a tummy ache. So we've narrowed down the haps to a few each night — some for the music, some for the dancing, some for the dressing up, and all for the pure party mayhem that awaits. Some of them are even free!
FRIDAY, OCT. 26
Before the inimitable Lux Interior died, sexy psychobilly pioneers The Cramps played nearly every Halloween here in L.A. Lethal Amounts seeks to honor the band and local fans by re-creating a little bit of their macabre magic with the Teenage Werewolves, a bodacious tribute led by creepy cool crooner Jack Atlantis plus the drummer from the original band's Smell of Female tour and an original member of The Gun Club. Local metallic mashers Motochrist open. Danny Fuentes and Rose Knows DJ before and after. The Monty Bar, 1222 W. Seventh St., Westlake. More info here.
(The Teenage Werewolves also will be at Golden Road Brewing's Halloween Bash: A Night to Dismember with Moving Units on Halloween night, Oct. 31. Free admission with Eventbrite RSVP and one of the following items: nonperishable food, diapers or feminine hygiene products for Elizabeth House and L.A. Food Bank.)
Video Altar III: Sympathy for the Devil & Nghtcrwlr
Darkly compelling films including Sympathy for the Devil: The True Story of the Process Church of the Final Judgment and short films including The Wormwood Star (1956) by Curtis Harrington, Twelve Dark Noons by Jacqueline Castel, Invisible by Jenny Sayaka, We Got Ghosted by Jesus Antonio Rivera, Tijuana Skin by Caroline Ryder and The Work of Jesse Draxler by Joshua Ford, plus live performances by NGHTCRWLR (King Woman's industrial/noise side project) and 80KV. DJs Slabyard, Neglect and G.S.E.D. spin, and there’s an art show. Coaxial, 1815 S. Main St.. downtown. More info here.
Lez Croix Halloween
Join the queer utopia as it gets creepy for the season with its usual alluring ambisexual crowd in sure-to-be creative costumes. DJs ready to brutalize the dance floor include Suga Shay (PHL/L.A.), Boston Chery (NYC), WillYouAreNot (L.A. All Day), Romy (AUS/L.A.), Jen DM (NYC/LA) , Brown Bruja (L.A.), LALI (Kuala Lumpur/L.A.) and more. The Airliner, 2419 N. Broadway, Lincoln Heights. More info here.
SATURDAY, OCT. 27
The Club '90s costume party invites dress-up in ’90s looks or “La Reina”–inspired ensembles. Sounds will be throwbacks and Latin anthems. A Selena shrine photo booth will capture the reverence and there'll be retro visuals, a costume contest for “Best Selena,” “Best throwback” and “Best overall.” Echoplex, 1154 Glendale Blvd., Echo Park; 18+. Tickets and info here.
Always one of the city’s biggest and best Halloween gatherings, KCRW's frighteningly fierce bill this year features Santigold (DJ set), White Denim, Cherry Glazerr, DaM-FunK (DJ set), Wajatta (Reggie Watts and John Tejada), Shannon Shaw, Brothers Griiin (DJ set) plus Anthony Valadez, Chris Douridas, Dan Wilcox, Jose Galvan, Liza Richardson, Marion Hodges, Raul Campos and Travis Holcombe. The Lucent Dossier Experience offers immersive atmosphere and there's a costume contest that's sure to get weird and wild. All proceeds support KCRW programming. Los Angeles Theatre, 615 S. Broadway, downtown. Tickets and info at kcrw.com/masquerade.
The Boulet Brothers' 18th annual Los Angeles Halloween Ball
The Dragula drag duo, of course, live for Halloween, so we expect this bash to kill. The three-level event turns the club into a haunted house, with DJs, shocking stage presentations, interactive areas, mazes, Halloween carnival games and the mandatory monster superstar queens including Trixie Mattel (RuPaul’s Drag Race), Vander Von Odd (Dragula Season 1) and Victoria Elizabeth Black (Dragula Season 2). Fabulous fiendish she-males will be everywhere! There's a $1,000 costume contest and sexy sounds from Mateo Segade, Matthew Pernicano and Danny Lethal. The Bou's always offer extra amusements, too — like Demon Puppet Theater from Rasputin's Marionettes, and more surprises. Globe Theater, 740 S. Broadway, downtown; 10 p.m.-4 a.m. Tickets & info at ahalloweenball.bpt.me.
Minimal Effort: All Hallows Eve
Boys Noize headline (see Music Pick) and other top electronic dance selectors include Ardy Pardy, Audiofly, Butch, Christian Martin, Kill Frenzy, Louisahhh, Nicola Cruz, Tim Engelhardt, WhoMadeWho, Worthy, Human Resources, Adam Auburn and more. Eight hours of music on for stages make for a wicked huge night. The Belasco, 1050 S. Hill St.. downtown. Tickets and info here.
Big Daddy Carlos, DJ Garron Gash, Richie Rich, DJ Lethal and more spin inside the haunted (?) Hollywood restaurant and out on the patio at this fiendish annual fiesta filled with friends, food and lots of tequila. 1612 N. Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood; free. More info here.
SUNDAY, OCT. 28
Monsters & Mai-Tais
Tonga Hut, the famed Valley tiki bar, celebrates its 60th anniversary at this annual haunted parking lot sale and art show. The seventh annual Halloween-themed event starts at noon with tunes outside provided by DJ Tonga Tom, then moves inside with DJs Lady Mo and Stevie Mitch at 6 p.m. Durangos Tacos, plus plenty of scary, surfy art and stuff to buy. Costumes are requested. Prizes awarded and themed tropical drinks served. 12808 Victory Blvd., North Hollywood. Free! More info here.
WEDNESDAY, OCT. 31
Rhonda Drag Me to Hell
A Club Called Rhonda is always a hell-raiser, and this Halloween shindig should be no exception. On deck: 2manydjs (DJ set), Bathhouse, GODDOLLARS and Paradise, Fabulously freaky (g)hosts include Bettie Bathhouse, Evora Baden, Gregory Alexander, Miss Kitty James, Miss Pvssy, Mokibaby and Oli Carillo. Los Globos, 3040 W. Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake. More info here.
Exile on Hollywood Blvd.
Fans of The Rolling Stones and David Bowie are invited to “spend the night together” on Halloween with an all-star cover band extravaganza featuring members of Deerhoof, The Flaming Lips/Spaceface, The Blood Brothers, Moon Honey, Lauren Ruth Ward, Draemings, Swimm, The Buttertones, The Entire Universe, Levitation Room, Smoke Season, Andy Clockwise, Mac Hanson, Veronica Bianqui and Harrison Roberts. Outfit suggestions: Paint it black (and blue) and put on your red shoes, or maybe a blue jean or a diamond dog collar? Harvard & Stone, 5221 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; free. More info here.
TBK's Return of the Living Dead
The Breakfast Klub’s annual costume creep-o-rama features DJs Eser, Misfit and guest Jose Shuton spinning 1980s dance ditties, post-punk, darkwave and Halloween jams on two levels. Devilish drink specials (10 p.m.-midnight), half-price wine bottles and smoking patio. Cities Restaurant & Lounge, 4512 E. Cesar E. Chavez Ave., East L.A.; free; 21+. More info here.
Cinespia's Willy Wonka Costume Ball
A candy palace “full of luscious treats and lavish wonders” is promised at Cinespia's soiree, with sweet decor, live music, DJs and dancing plus full bars on every level, a photo booth and tasty treats. Prizes for best costumes, too. And, oh yeah, a screening of the children's classic starring Gene Wilder as the man who launched a million memes, offering a poor boy his world of pure imagination filled with candy and sinister Oompa Loompas! This one's obviously a golden ticket option for Halloween night, but not for kids (it's 21 and over). Costumes required for entry. Los Angeles Theater, 630 S. Broadway, downtown. Tickets and info here.
Those who like their Halloween on the hardcore fetish tip will want to hit this outrageous, sexy, debaucherous bacchanal. It's the Bondage Ball’s first exclusive Halloween party in more than 10 years, so squeeze into your latex, corset, stilettos, etc., for a hot pumpkin-spiced kind of night. Go-go ghouls Chromegirl, Kitty Rodriguez, Sin and Scarlet will rule the stage as DJs Rocky Slaughter, Matthew Grim, Wold, John C. (Bar Sinister), Malice (Batcave) and the Evil Club Empire king Bruce Perdew spin the hard beats. The Mayan, 1038 S. Hill St., downtown. More info here.