For those who decry the Hallmark-card commercialism of the Yuletide season, the founders of L.A.'s first Krampusfest would like you to know what a real war on Christmas looks like. Think coal in your stocking is a bummer? Wait until you get a look at the Krampus — a devilish gremlin of European folklore who follows St. Nick around, terrorizing the naughty. As the legend goes, the bad kids' only chance of escaping this decidedly un-jolly fate is to distract and entertain their would-be punishers with music, costumes and dancing. That's where the Krampus Ball comes in. In the magical rooms of a cinema prop house, the ball combines the most fantastic aspects of this tradition with operatic surrealism and avant-garde performances by dance troupes and composers, with a very special appearance by Timur and the Dime Museum as Santa Klaus Nomi. The ball kicks off a multivenue festival with events across the city, including an appearance at the Dec. 12 Downtown Art Walk, enacting the traditional Krampuslauf, in which a roving orchestra and a gang of costumed Christmas demons roam the streets and “playfully menace” citizens. Think Santacon except slightly more terrifying. The art show “Naughty or Nice” opens Dec. 14 at Copro Gallery in Bergamot Station, with performances and pop surrealism taking on Santa's nefarious, NSA-like practice of spying on unsuspecting children. Your safety is not guaranteed, so your best chance is to confuse the horny little devils by coming in costume. Highland Park Ebell Club, 131 S. Avenue 57, Highland Park; Sat., Dec. 7, 8 p.m.-mid.; $15 in advance, $18 at the door. (213) 680-1668,

Sat., Dec. 7, 8 p.m., 2013

LA Weekly