Can someone please tell me where the good music is to be found in this city?
Last night I went to Dance Right at La Cita downtown which was bursting at the seams with the usual mix of sceney 12-year-olds getting their groove on…Shepard Fairey and DJ Pubes were spinning pop, hip hop and radio-friendly ear smegma…a little Biggie Smalls here, a little Beatles re-mix there, a shot of Hello Mr. Postman mixed in with some blahness and sprinkled with a lite dusting of zzzzz. Dance Right? More like Dance Wrong.
I'm not singling out Shepard or Pubes for criticism – I've found most of the scenester DJs in LA tend to spin the same uniformly bland playlist, whether you're at Cinespace on a Tuesday, at Franki Chan's Check Yo Ponytail or the truly toe-curling Banana Split at LAX. At the other end of the spectrum are nights like Arthur Magazine's Little Joy party on Thursdays, where DJs pack an infinitely more intelligent, obscure and slightly weird collection of vinyl in their record bags (fotheringay, carole king, wimple winch, thunderclap newman) but the cramped Bar Of Little Joy is hardly an appropriate venue in which to indulge in any real dancing.
I think I was spoiled growing up. I came of age in the clubs of London, where DJs wouldn't be seen dead playing anything you could hear on the radio. I yearn for the sweaty debauchery of 333 in Old Street, the labyrinthine awesomeness of Fabric, the fashiony obnoxiousness of Heavenly Social, the drug vortex that was Basement Jaxx' legendary night in Brixton or even the sketched-out 3-day squat parties in Dalston, where 15-year-old runaways peddled ketamine and pitbulls nipped at your feet as you danced.
The one thing all these places had in common – great music. Whether it was noise or drum n bass or gabba or deep house or punk rock or two-step or techno or northern soul…I was constantly being pushed out of my comfort zone. In London, the DJs cared less about pleasing the crowd than they did about re-arranging its brain cells.
Is there some place, any place, in LA, where I can re-live that feeling?