For all of us, especially those of us who make our living working in or writing about music, the passing of David Bowie has brought an acute anguish that is almost impossible to fully convey. There is so much to say about this transcendent artist who influenced so many, yet mere words don’t seem to be good or grand enough.
On social media, especially Facebook, music fans are sharing this loss together, and for once, we’re seeing zero posts about bandwagon-jumping or questioning the worthiness of the flooded feed. If FB came out with an Aladdin Sane filter, we have a feeling it would be fully and reverently embraced, with nobody “too cool” to question it.
Because of social media, but mostly because of the man himself, I will venture to declare this the musical mourning of our lifetimes. More than Lemmy. More than Lennon. More than Elvis, even. That’s a dramatic statement, but I feel no trepidation in writing it. If the music zeitgeist was badly beaten down by Kilmister’s passing, it appears to be completely gutted by Bowie’s death.
David Bowie was a prince, a poet, a wizard, an alien, a god. An androgynous being who used music, fashion and words to take us all on a journey to realms where eccentricities were not only accepted but celebrated. He changed our perception of reality and gave us freedom to express ourselves and explore personae and genres of any and all ilks. Even without the trip-tastic depth and beauty of his lyrics, his music was sonically infectious, intense, emotional, multifaceted and badass. Nobody, nobody has come close to capturing the magic, the soul, the wonder of rock & roll like Bowie.
Personally I am so glad I got to see him live twice, with Nine Inch Nails in ’95 at the Forum and on his own at the Wiltern in 2006. The Wiltern show goes down as one of the top three live shows of my life, and I’ve been to thousands of concerts. I’ve been praying for him to play Coachella every year for the past decade, and now that will never happen.
Sharing our grief online together is one thing, but it’s not enough. We need to share this visceral, remarkable spirit and his intimitable music in the flesh. With one another. To cry, to dance, to absorb and, however painful, to celebrate. He deserves it.
Here, we’ve compiled a list of Bowie-related events that have sprouted up, along with previously scheduled nightlife happenings that have now become makeshift tributes. Many promoters we spoke with today are still planning and were not able to give us solid lineups at press time, so check back, as we will be updating this list over the next few days. And, of course, if you go pretty much anywhere in L.A. this week, expect to hear the Star Man a lot … as it should be.
See below for more Bowie celebrations just added by date.
THE BAND THAT FELL TO EARTH- *UPDATED SCHEDULE
Our favorite tribute band has made for the perfect live act to catch and celebrate Bowie’s music with all this week. Current scheduled dates left: Friday, Jan. 15 at ’The Rainbow (see below), Totally 80’s Bar in Fullerton on Saturday, and Good Times at Davey Wayne’s on Sunday. Free. 21+. Good Times: 1611 N. El Centro Ave., Hollywood. (323) 962-3804. Totally 80’s Bar: 2512 W. Orangthorpe Ave., Fullerton. (714) 879-0108. More info.
Friday, Jan. 15
OSCILLATOR LATE NITE BOWIE PARTY
Put on your red shoes and dance the blues ’til the wee hours with an all-vinyl David Bowie tribute set by L.A.Drones (2 a.m. to 4 a.m.) and a synth and electro DJ set by Clinton Cameron (Funky Soul) and Kyle aka Verbs.
$5 before 2 a.m.; $10 after. 21+ Midnight-6 a.m. At Shambhala Studio, 410 Bamboo Lane, Chinatown. More info.
The Rainbow celebrates David Bowie’s multiple personalities — from Goblin Kings to Ziggies to Thin White Dukes — with a costume contest and live tribute bands upstairs, including Merkin and The Band That Fell to Earth, mentioned above.
9015 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood. 21+; free. More info.
UNDERGROUND — R.I.P. THE PRETTIEST STAR
Shocked and saddened to learn of the passing of “the seemingly immortal David Bowie,” Underground plans a Bowie-heavy set list all night from DJs Diana and Larry G.
$8 or $5 with Facebook RSVP. 9 p.m. 21+ At Grand Star Jazz Club, 943 N. Broadway, Chinatown. More info.
BLACK FRIDAY DAVID BOWIE TRIBUTE NIGHT
Dark ’80s night Black Friday pays special tribute to Bowie, celebrating “his music, his artistry, his fashion, and how he changed the world.” For this night only there will be no cover charge. No passes necessary.
Free. 10 p.m.-2 a.m. 21+. At Boardner’s, 1652 N. Cherokee Ave. Hollywood. RSVP on Facebook.
PURE TRASH TRIBUTE TO LEMMY & BOWIE
A stellar DJ lineup in tribute to these two greats includes: Nik Turner of Hawkwind, Danny Lohner of NIN, Kevin Haskins of Bauhaus and Love & Rockets, Clint Mansell of Pop Will Eat Itself and Billy Howerdel of A Perfect Circle, who also toured with Bowie. All will be spinning their favorite songs by their “Heroes” and sharing stories.
Free. 9 p.m. 21+. At Monty Bar, 1222 West 7th St., Westlake. More info.
Saturday, Jan. 16
Update: In addition to below, DJ tributes just added at:
TOTAL POP AT THE OFFBEAT– More info.
BAR SINISTER AT BOARDNERS– More info.
GIORGIOS DISCO AT THE STANDARD ON SUNSET– More info.
ASHES TO ASHES
Bowie lovers are encouraged to not come “dressed in black but rather decked out in exquisite Bowie Best.” On the bill so far: Don Bolles, Nora Keys, Claire McKeown, Creekbird, VOWWS, Sloppy Jane, L.A. Drones, Vertigosht and Pet Sex, plus guest DJs. More TBA. Musicians who’d like to pay tribute in song can message organizer Charon Nogues on Facebook.
Cover TBA. 8 p.m. At HM157, 3110 N. Broadway, Lincoln Heights. More info.
DISCO.NEKRO DAVID BOWIE TRIBUTE
LADEAD (Los Angeles Darkside) offers two rooms of old school goth, dark wave and industrial plus punk on the patio, honoring “the legacy of a man who was the catalyst of modern subculture and sound.” In his memory, 20 percent of proceeds will be donated to the Cancer Research Institute. DJs Jason Farber (Helter Skelter, Shadow), The Baron (Ruin Hollywood, Chamber), Xian Vox (Malediction Society, Warlok, Mode:M, Ruin Hollywood) and DaemØn (Empire, Infirmary, Skandal) spin.
$5 before 10:30 with Facebook RSVP. 10 p.m.-2 a.m. 21+. At the Dragonfly, 6510 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood. More info.
CRETIN HOP BOWIE TRIBUTE NIGHT
The stomping shindig celebrates its 4-year anniversary by returning to Footsies and changing the DJ format to Bowie-heavy for the night. Live performance from Johnny Otis and Davila from Davila 666. Other sounds on the decks: ’50s, ’60s and ’70s rock & roll with soul from resident DJs Roger Mars (Green Slime) and Telegram Sam (Salvaje).
Free. 10 p.m. 21+. 2640 N. Figueroa St., Cypress Park. More info.
YOU ARE THE DJ
Sado Maso Disco invites all the fans to come play their favorite David Bowie songs at the Monty. Bring your vinyl, bring your iPod or phone, and play for everyone your favorite David Bowie song. Sign up at DJ booth.
Free. 9 p.m. 21+. At Monty Bar, 1222 West 7th St., Westlake. More info.
Sunday, Jan. 17
PART TIME PUNKS ANNUAL BOWIE NIGHT WITH THE SMITHS’ ANDY ROURKE
It was already scheduled, but now PTP’s wildest and most wondrous night takes on a poignant vibe, celebrating Bowie’s life and death. It’s Rourke’s birthday, too. Guest DJ Jose Maldonado (from Sweet and Tender Hooligans) opens. Sounds will range from psychedelic folk and glitter to glam, from funk to soul and of course, the Thin White Duke.
$10 advance, $15 at the door. 9 p.m. 18+ At the Echoplex, 1154 Glendale Blvd., Echo Park. Tickets and more info.
DECADANCE TRIBUTE TO BOWIE
This DJ night in Downey promises to honor Ziggy with “a musical and video journey from his glam side to dance hits,” with selectors Eddy Zaint, VDJ Pepper and Joe Leyva spinning five decades of Bowie classics and collaborations.
Free. 9:30 p.m.-2 a.m. 21+. At Epic Lounge, 8239 2nd St., Downey. More info.
LET’S DANCE AT KING KING
Not far from his Walk of Fame star, the soon-to-be-closed King King Hollywood celebrates the Starman with music and movie screenings. Dress in Bowie fashion.
Free. 8 p.m. At King King, 6555 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. More info.
Wednesday, Jan. 20
RUBBISH BOWIE TRIBUTE NIGHT
Music, videos and images throughout the night, including special guest DJs playing their favorite Bowie songs at this night celebrating British music. Special guest DJs to be announced plus resident DJs Clifton (aka Soft Touch), Cassandra and Liuba.
Free. 10 p.m. 21+. At the Short Stop, 1455 W. Sunset Blvd., Echo Park. More info.
Thursday, Jan. 21
SONIC REDUCER’S HOLY TRINITY
Previously scheduled, this night of “dangerous glam rock & roll” celebrates the music of David Bowie, Iggy Pop and Lou Reed.
Everything from Ziggy Stardust and The Stooges to The Velvet Underground and all their individual solo works and collaborations. DJs Edward Transylvania and Ralphie Nigma spin.
Free. 9 p.m.-2 a.m. 21+ At Little Cave, 5922 N. Figueroa St., Highland Park. More info.
Friday, Jan. 22 and Saturday, Jan. 23
LABYRINTH 30TH ANNIVERSARY MIDNIGHT SCREENINGS
It’s hard to believe it’s been 30 years since Bowie donned his tight trousers and fright wig to play Jareth the Goblin King in Jim Henson’s beloved fantasy adventure saga. Dress up as your favorite Labyrinth character or ’80s Bowie persona (or be one of 100 Jareths) and join the cosplay crew at Nerds Like Us for these exclusive midnight screenings.
$11.50. Midnight. At the Vista Theatre, 4473 Sunset Blvd., Los Feliz. Tickets and more info.
Fri., Jan 29- Sun., Jan. 31
CRACKED ACTOR: BOWIE ON FILM
The Cinefamily gives fans a full weekend of Bowie programming, with screenings of a “David Bowie Mixtape” and The Hunger (1/29), Labyrinth (1/30), The Man Who Fell To Earth (1/31) and Merry Christmas. Mr. Lawrence (2/1). Tickets and more info.
Thursday, Feb. 4
SKATE NIGHT FOR DAVID BOWIE
For the young dudes, here’s an all-ages one: Moonlight Rollerway’s DJ Tavis spins an all-Bowie set “to honor his legendary life and celebrate his vast catalog of songs.”
$9.75 admission; $5 skate rental. 8 p.m.-11 p.m. All ages. At Moonlight Rollerway, 5110 San Fernando Rd., Glendale. More info.
Saturday, March 5
THE PRETTIEST STAR
This night celebrating the life and music of David Bowie will have bands, DJs, live paintings and much more. Details TBA.
At Spike’s Bar, 7314 Garvey Ave., Rosemead. More TBA. (626) 288-4366.
Stay tuned for more events, currently being put together by Pure Trash, Spike’s Bar, and the L.A. music community at large. Much more to come.