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AT THE CLUBS

Mid-'80s the Musical Epicenter of the Valley's Aftershock

February 01, 1996|HEIDI SIEGMUND CUDA | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

It's no mystery why Hollywood scenesters prefer going out on weeknights. To the seasoned club-goer, weekends are reserved for what's come to be called "the Valley Crowd," which explains why many live music venues turn into discotheques on Saturday night and charge cover fees they wouldn't dream of on a weeknight.

Now, with the recent birth of the spacious Aftershock, the Valley Crowd's got its own Hollywood-style nightclub, thank you.

On a recent Saturday night, dancers defied the rain and packed the quirky Studio City clubhouse by 10:30, something nearly unheard of in Hollywood. But the Aftershock, whose only visual reference to the shaky Valley terrain is the bartenders' hard-hats, gave them reason to brave the elements.

Despite the decor of an '80s meat market (mirrors and fluorescent lighting), a good time can be found here. The 3-month-old club has an all-comers attitude, and you don't have to pass a physical exam by some macho doorman before entering.

And the upbeat music is a delightful romp through pop music's past. Although contemporary singles and disco are woven throughout the deejay's sets, the focus is on music from the mid-'80s, a perfect fit for the look of the space. Erasure and New Order rule the Aftershock, as well as the Violent Femmes and "Faith"-era George Michael.

Even if you didn't come to boogie on the large, sunken dance floor--the heart and soul of the Aftershock--you probably will because the music is such an infectious reminder of a time that seemed a bit more carefree.

And what's that 10-year rule? All things pop become hip again after a decade? We guess that puts the Aftershock, in its own oddball way, ahead of the pack.

* Aftershock, 11345 Ventura Blvd., Studio City. 21 and over, cover varies. (818) 752-9833.

*

Club Buzz: More tremors are continuing at the Aftershock: In a reversal of club-going logic, a heavy Hollywood crowd's been making the trek to the Fetish Club on Monday nights at the Aftershock, which turns a back restaurant room into a dimly lit S&M performance space (think dripping candle wax and nipple piercing), while Stigmata's Bruce Perdew spins industrial, disco and funk. . . . On Sundays at the Aftershock is the week-old "Disco Inferno" promotion, featuring a live disco band of the same name (composed of members of the Boogie Knights), go-go dancers and disco-oriented deejays.

* The Fetish Club, (818) 828-2257. Disco Inferno, (818) 752-9833.

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