Boycott the Sunset Junction Street Fair or bite the bullet and buy the $20 ticket? For those of you who do decide to drop the dough, we suggest milking it for all it's worth with these SJ-related parties and events, both during and after the street stomping. Most are gratis!

I&I SOUNDSYSTEM Say what you will about the fair losing its neighborhood spirit, as long as locals' Shakespeare and Aurelito's reggae ice cream truck dance party (pictured above, last year) is there, that will never be entirely true. Sat. & Sun. all day near the Sanborn stage, inside the fair.

ANTICS Filter mag and Undefeated invite you to kick it after the fest with DJs Cobra and Just Matter, live art by dethkills, shoe painting, photo boothing and a special surprise live performance (hint: hip-hop bros from The Big Easy). 3827 Sunset Blvd.,; Sat., Aug. 22; 11 p.m.- 2 a.m.; over 21. Free with RSVP at

CONJUNCTION JUNCTION El Chavo fires up its monthly Chavolot parking lot party all weekend during the festivities. Saturday, they've got the DJs from Dance Right and a “special guest” you'll care very much about- if you like rhythmic Latin sounds. Sunday, dig the Dublab DJs and Paul V. (Bootie LA, Neon Noise). 4441 Sunset Blvd.; Sat-Sun., Aug. 22-23. 4-10 p.m. each day; over 21; free.

NEON NOISE Sat. night, V brings his brightest bash to the Echoplex (moved from Medusa Lounge), and it's free for all Fair attendees. Just show your stamp, which we're told is made with cheat proof super ink (i.e., don't try the ol' hand to hand transfer trick). See Pick of the Week

BIG SATURDAYS- SPECIAL SUNSET JUNCTION EDITION Billy Goods, Sean Patrick, Cosmic Kids and Aaron Castle provide sunny sets to keep the party goin.' Free hotdogs and drink specials. 5100 Fountain Ave.; Sat., Aug. 22, 9 p.m.; over 21. Free with RSVP at

RIGHT ON! Larry G (Underground), Maurice de la Falaise and more offer post-Junction prancing in Little Tokyo. Sounds range from indie pop to electro to twee to post-punk, plus minimal techno, disco and 80's. At Matsumotos Jazz Club, 366 E. 2nd St.; Sat., Aug. 22; 10 p.m.; over 18.

EL CID The Flamenco restaurant's outdoor patio is always one of the liveliest spots to hang during the Junction, and this year will be no exception. They don't have live rock bands as in year's past, but the dinner show is on both nights, and Sat., Aug. 22, their regular promotion, Bridges should provide hip-hop heads with a bangin' spot to bounce once the street party's plug gets pulled. 4212 Sunset Blvd. ; over 21.

AKBAR Drink yourself silly at everyone's favorite mixed neighborhood bar, which during SJ, opens early (1 p.m.). Come back after the fair (as so many do every year) or when the dance floor gets fired up around 7 p.m. Akbar's DJs will make you sweat almost as much as pounding the pavement did earlier in the day. 4356 Sunset Blvd.; over 21; free.

PART TIME PUNKS' OFFICIAL SUNSET JUNCTION AFTER PARTY The PTP boys go Brit-pop with guest spinners Dorian (Transistor/Solid Gold) and Maurice DFL (Right on! above). A great spot to dance out the weekend, and Summer itself. At the Echo, 1822 Sunset Blvd.; Sun., Aug. 23, 9 p.m.; over 18.

Also, post-Junction jammers should look for a ton of house parties in the area (we've been known to crash a few and make some new pals in the process over the years), bar busters (we suggest 4100, Le Bar, The Short Stop, Little Joy and The Gold Room) and good times at nearby restaurants (our picks: El Conquistador, Cliff's Edge, Malo, Flore, Good, and Taix).

LA Weekly