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WANNA DANCE?

Boogieland Treats Blue Mondays With Dose of Fun

March 25, 1993|ROSE APODACA | Rose Apodaca is a free-lance writer who regularly contributes to The Times Orange County Edition.

Those looking to avoid being a sofa spud Sunday through Thursday nights can hit one of an ever-growing number of clubs offering weeknight entertainment in Orange County. Hey, there are even hangouts hot enough to burn you out for the weekend.

A recent addition to the weeknight circuit is Boogieland, going every Monday night at Peppers in Garden Grove. In operation less than a month, Boogieland is brought to locals by NRG Productions (an acronym of sorts; spoken out loud the letters say energy ). The promotional crew also puts on similar once-a-week dance clubs at Peppers in Artesia.

The crowd at the Garden Grove locale, an 18-and-over club, is far from intimidating in attitude or dress. It's mostly just good suburban kids breaking out in their mall-bought rave wear, bra tops and bell-bottoms. (A reminder, by the way: Not every body is meant to wear a bra top.)

Not everyone is under legal alcohol-consumption age, either, so those patrons 21 and over are distinguished with designated-drinker wristbands that glow in the black-light club. To those who think they're so smart: The doorman insists on seeing driver's license extensions, so don't think you can slide in on your older sibling's expired ID.

Past the entrance and the outdoor patio, the main room monopolizes much of the action throughout the night. Indeed, a second room--in the adjoining restaurant--is opened only when there is enough of a crowd to sustain a busy atmosphere.

That additional room, full of Hawaiian-print booths, will occasionally feature live music when it's not cranking out recorded funk and house. Major drags: Besides the carpeted dance floor, a hawkish doorman ensures that no drinks get taken in there.

Drinks are purchased and permitted in the main room, where you-call-it wells sell for $1.50, domestic beer is $2 and everything else (including imported beer) is upward of $3.50. This part of the club gets transformed visually with black garbage bag plastic covering the walls and fluorescent art that includes large, colorful spinning flowers and tarps spelling out the word "rave." The latter apparently is there to elicit a mood more than anything else--much in the way a Polynesian-style bar will splatter "Hawaii" on a wall or a retailer will suddenly label its flannel shirts "grunge."

Adding to the picture, patrons get freebies such as Blow-Pop suckers, stickers and individually wrapped, colored condoms that they place prominently on themselves as an accessory.

The sexy, stoopid and snobby clamor to the stage-like go-go platform in the main room, which occupies a third of the floor, to play like "Dance Party USA" stars.

An odd group of suits sometimes flows in from the nearby Hyatt. Last week about a dozen conventioneers from the Midwest and Northeast appeared in their day get-ups and proceeded to get crazy.

Despite its '70s-inspired name, Boogieland spends relatively little time with disco and funk hits of that era and gives greater play to a "classic KROQ" song list that includes such '80s bands as Madness, Josie Cotton, B-52s, After the Fire (of "Der Kommissar" fame), theGoGos and Devo--a regular oldies set that first played on the radio when many of these patrons were in grammar school. Do they know?

Fortunately, deejays R.A.W. (in charge of techno) and Orlando (overseeing house and tribal) proved there is an audience for new music. Dancers packed the floor when the more modern tunes blasted from the speakers, though much of the music was commercially familiar stuff.

The '70s disco/KROQ/house formula has proven so successful for some promoters over the past three years that new and old nightclubs have been adopting it at a frightening pace. This might please some, but it doesn't excite everyone. Many nightclubbers have the false notion that no new music worth listening to is being created. And it only keeps county clubs stale while a world of music--much of it underground--whirls by.

(For the record: Boogieland's DJ Bumper did a fine job spinning the disco as did the Wonderer with the classic KROQ.)

According to NRG, the house audio system is reinforced with 2,400 additional watts of support. Unfortunately, a few of the temporary speakers sounded shot, spitting out some world-class static. Word is that the unsoundly technical difficulties will be promptly fixed.

Still, the bass pounded enough for those seated to get a booty vibration and for those dancing to let the thump in their chest direct their moves.

BOOGIELAND

At Peppers, 12361 Chapman Ave., Garden Grove.

(714) 562-6743.

Monday nights only, 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Cover: $8 for ages 18 to 20; $5 for those 21 and over.

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