Strip Clubs And Indie Rock: A Match Made In Heaven?
Strip clubs have long been important hip-hop testing grounds in the south. Artists try to bribe DJs to put their songs on, the logic being that lapdance tracks get seared into dudes' brains. Plus, in places like Atlanta, influential music industry folk tend to hang out there for hours, so it's a good place to network. They even eat the buffet.
Ben Westhoff Jenny Lin
And, of course, strippers and rockers go together, at least in the vicinity of the Sunset strip. But Echo Park/Silver Lake-style indie rock? Seems contrary to the nudie bar aesthetic. The bands and their fans tend to come from liberal, middle class backgrounds where paying money to see someone naked is quite gauche. But, seeing as they can put boobs on just about anything here in L.A., indie rock at the strip clubs has become a thing. We know, because we saw it with our own eyes at Cheetah's last Monday.
This was a different strip club experience than any we'd had. Guys in attendance weren't circling the red leather-and-chrome stage ogling dancers, for one thing. Instead, they were pressed against the bar, about as far away from the women as could be. (You can lead a Pavement fan to strippers, it turns out, but you can't make him watch.)
Their eyes were firmly focused on the groups performing further back. The acts included John Carpenter -- who released a 2009 single called "Seasons" on Mexican Summer -- and Silver Lake's own Open Source Rebellion. Most of the bands were affiliated with Bedrock, the Echo Park studio and practice space.
Cheetah's and another Hollywood club, Crazy Girls, actually do a whole swath of live music nights. Everyone from Morlocks and Blowfly to Har Mar Superstar has performed at these venues, for events organized by promoter Mike Abdelnour. But one would think the weepy, often a-rhythmic strains of indie rock would be hard to dance to, no?