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Nightranger By Lina Lecaro
Wednesday, July 18, 2007Freaky Friday
Our week wasn't all fun in the sun (thank badness). After all, a Friday the 13th frolic is always best after night falls, and bad luck or no, we decided to venture out of the safe confines of Silver Lake and Hollywood for the occasion. Way out. Our destination? Spike's Bar in San Gabriel, a divy spot that's been showcasing live rock for six years courtesy of promoter Brando Von Badsville. Spike's rough charm is not unlike that of the old Al's Bar: It's a place where the toilet could overflow at any moment (there's actually a sign in the ladies' stall that says not to flush anything — even toilet paper!), the stogy stench is omnipresent, and getting sucked into a pool game with a stranger is way too easy, and way too much fun. Still, it's Von Badsville's Rev It Up night that brings a cool, mostly black-clad crowd of Eastside greasers, punks and goths to the spot every Friday, and for the 13th we watched our pals Experiment Perilous cast a dark glam spell (they dedicated their set to Arthur Kane, who died on July 13, three years ago). The rip-roaring sounds of Deadbeat Sinatra (whom Von Badsville manages) followed, and their raw yet catchy tunes — very Social Distortion meets the Ramones — got the girlies in the crowd shaking, including yours truly, especially when they ended with a cover of "Under My Thumb" in our honor. Guess everybody knows about our Stones obsession, huh? Fridays are definitely worth the drive out.
Von Badsville also does events at Spike with Tigermask's Ralph Carrera; the next show, featuring The Flash Express and The Chelsea Smiles, goes down July 27. If you're a lazy La La–lander, they've got a downtown event too. The pair will present Johnny Legend's Rock & Roll Wrestling on August 4 at the new space Crash Mansion, featuring a ton of bands and masked men battling on the mat. Actually, the venue's not really so new — it's the former Grand Ave. nightclub, which, as we revealed here several months ago, has been looking to get more rocker-friendly. Now that the NYC Crash Mansion peeps have taken over (side note: Nikki Sixx just held a press conference there for his new book Heroin Diaries on Monday), looks like the amps are about to get turned way up.