New Year's Eve in L.A. may sound like oodles of fun on paper (or on monitor, to be precise), but in reality it can be annoying as fuck. Los Angeles is already enough of a party city any night of the year, so on December 31st it can be a bit much, as every Ed Hardy-clad douchebag in the greater SoCal region hits the town--clogging up the boulevards with their obnoxious stretch Hummer limos and driving up club cover prices with their idiotic willingness to drop $150 on a "champagne toast" or even a few thousand unnecessary bucks on "celebrity-style" bottle service. Suddenly, all of L.A. resembles the set of The Hills. It's enough to make me consider just staying home watching The Hills instead. OK, not really. But still.
At first, none of L.A.'s NYE options really appealed me this year. I didn't feel like jostling for glowstick-waving elbow room at the Moby-DJ'd Giant Maximus techno blowout or the Flosstradamus/Infected Mushroom dance-a-thon at the Palladium. The Hollywood Roosevelt event with DJ sets by Perry Farrell and Bloc Party's Kele Okereke seemed promising...but I just wasn't in the mood for some velvet-roped, $30-a-cocktail, Paris-Hilton-clone-filled superscene, which is exactly what the Roosevelt would be. And the Travis Barker/DJ AM-hosted event at the Lot and Katy Perry-headlined allnighter at Paramount Studios would be even more velvet-ropey and Paris-cloney. And then there was Dollhouse, a club where the ACTUAL cast of The Hills was hosting some sort of poseur party. Um, no thanks.
So, what to do? Where to go? What to wear? And why bother? Luckily, the fine folks at Little Radio (an L.A. pirate-radio-hub-turned-legit-online-phenom, famed and beloved for hosting totally awesome wading-pool parties in the summer and year-round concerts by the likes of Sonic Youth, BRMC, and Spoon) announced NYE plans for Bank Run. A New Year's Eve throwdown held in an old bank building and featuring reunited local faves Beachwood Sparks, Long Beach's newbie noisemongers Crystal Antlers, and indie-kid-friendly drink prices actually appropriate for 2008's era of economic downsizing, Bank Run was clearly the place to be.
Plus, Bank Run was actually near enough one of L.A.'s few underground stations, meaning a) I could get there using public transport and avoid battling traffic alongside those aforementioned Hummers and countless over-vigilant police cars, and b) I wouldn't have to hypermonitor my cheap-cocktail intake out of fear of facing a police-administered breathalyzer test at the end of the night. Thus, it was decided--even after Beachwood Sparks sadly cancelled and were replaced by local freak-folkie Ariel Pink.
Yes, the last-minute lineup switch was a bummer, but everyone got over that setback the moment the free (yes, FREE!) champagne was liberally passed around at 11:59pm. By the time Ariel counted down to midnight and thousands of Monopoly-money $1 bills (another sign of these economically-downsized times) rained from the bank's ceiling (and were subsequently stuffed down the necklines and waistbands of everyone in the club), all was forgotten.
Literally forgotten--that champagne was strong, and there were gallons of it.
So thanks, Little Radio, for providing a 100-percent-douchebag-free environment in which I was able to party like it was 2009.
RANDOM BANK RUNNERS:
More Little Radio Bank Run New Year's Eve photos can be viewed HERE. Video coming soon!