Labor Day parties in L.A.
The scene from a past WET pool party at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood. (Sam Gaglani / L.A. Times)
It's a fitting cap-off to a crazy summer. In the midst of a grinding recession, L.A.'s party people carried on as if there were no tomorrow, packing a relentless succession of new dance clubs that popped up on the scene. From Chris Breed and Sunset Entertainment Group's new aspiring-celebutante hangout, Halo, to the traffic-stopping crowds at the opening night of Elie Samaha's massive Playhouse club on Hollywood Boulevard, the super-club concept is alive and well in L.A.
There was also an influx of intimate new lounges, with Madam Royale, Guys and Dolls and, for cocktail enthusiasts, the Roger Room offering up-close and personal hot spots.
2009 was the summer that saw the Los Angeles dance party scene -- don't call them raves -- grow even bigger than it was during the '90s heyday. The Electric Daisy Carnival was attended by more than 135,000 bodies over two days at the L.A. Coliseum, while the electro-leaning Hard event at the sold-out Forum descended into something of a riot when many of the almost 18,000 in attendance crashed the main floor.
It would be unlikely that all this summer activity would come to a halt just because of a date on the calendar.
In fact, with the American Automobile Assn. predicting that Labor Day travel will be down 13% both in California and across the country this year, there probably will be far more local party people roaming the streets of L.A. in search of an extra-special blowout this weekend. L.A.'s bars and clubs have risen to the occasion:
Loose Lips party at El Cid
Tonight marks the first edition of this new Silver Lake monthly, and DJs include Yosaku, Flip, Chaka, Rick Wren, Concise and Glenn Redd. 9 p.m. 4212 W. Sunset Blvd., L.A. $10 after 10 p.m. RSVP for reduced admission. For ages 21 and older. (323) 668-0318, email@example.com.
Firecracker with DJ Jun
at Grand Star
One of the longest-running club events in Los Angeles, Firecracker has maintained a faithful clientele with an eclectic selection of funk, soul, hip-hop, house and more. Tonight they welcome stalwart L.A. DJ Jun and the Umoja Quintet, a local "hard bop" jazz outfit. 9:30 p.m. 943 N. Broadway, L.A. $5 and ladies free before 11 p.m. For ages 21 and older. (213) 626-2285, www.myspace.com/fckr.
at Club Nokia VIP Lounge
Presented by Garth Trinidad, the host of KCRW's "Chocolate City" program, this is a celebration of "party classics and rump-shaking world rhythms." 9 p.m. Saturday. 777 Chick Hearn Court, L.A. Free with mandatory RSVP. For ages 21 and older. (213) 765-7000, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bootie LA at Echoplex
DJ Paul V. is the catalyst behind this raucous mash-up music monthly, pitting the likes of Peggy Lee against Ludacris in the same song. DJ Axel will guest, and there will even be a Lady Gaga impersonator at midnight. 9 p.m. Saturday. 1154 Glendale Blvd., L.A. $5 before 10 p.m., $10 after. For ages 21 and older. Free mash-up CDs for the first 75 people. (213) 413-8200, www.BootieLA.com.
Funky Sole at the Echo
While Bootie LA is raging downstairs, DJs Music Man Miles and Soft Touch will be spinning "raw, funky soul" upstairs. DJ Renato will provide music for the back patio area, re-dubbed "the funk yard." 10 p.m. Saturday. 1822 Sunset Blvd., L.A. Free. For ages 21 and older. (213) 413-8200, www.myspace.com/funkysole.
Culprit versus Minus Showdown at Standard Hotel Downtown rooftop