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AT THE CLUBS

Ska Energy Flows at Rude Wednesdays

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

Warm up your Vespa and put on your parka, because Rude Wednesdays, a mod, ska affair at Dizzie Debby, is turning Hollywood neo-retro. It's about time something new came on the dance-club scene--what Hollywood night life needed was a burst of new energy, and Rude Wednesdays is helping to provide it.

Born out of the classic ska revival currently blossoming in East L.A., this club is attracting multiethnic crowds. At Rude, held every Wednesday in a spot that, aside from a missing central bar, hasn't changed much since its King King days, promoter Luis Correa finds local bands who celebrate "original ska from the early '60s." You won't necessarily hear the pop-inflected two-tone sound of the current band No Doubt. Correa is more interested in vintage, Jamaican-style ska.

So, apparently, are the customers. In a recent performance, See-spot, an eight-piece ska band from North Hollywood, got the dance floor shaking with its first note. Elbows went swinging and feet started shuffling, but not in an aggressive, mosh-pit stance. The expressive movement reflects a more gracious era and a more optimistic, happy-to-be-here attitude--in part a product of the club's all-ages policy.

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Rude Wednesdays is also a fashion feast. Although both sexes here have an affection for baby blue vests worn over vintage plaid shirts, some women sport mod-style bobs and micro-miniskirts, while many young men don natty, retro suits. One patron was so particular about his attire, which on a recent scorching Wednesday included a felt bowler, a heavy overcoat and suspenders, that he preferred to mop his profusely sweaty brow after each dance number rather than ruin the ensemble by removing hat and coat. Now that's dedication.

* Rude Wednesdays at Dizzy Debby, 467 S. La Brea Ave. All ages, $5 cover. (213) 938-1398.

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The Buzz: Moonshine Music, a West Hollywood-based acid-jazz and techno label, is launching its own club on Aug. 17 at Club 8531 (located at 8531 Santa Monica Blvd. in West Hollywood). The downstairs portion of the club, called "Nice," will feature a weekly performance by Toledo, a Moonshine artist whose Monday night "speakeasy" at Union has filled the club to capacity for over a year now. Upstairs, deejays Steve Levy (the label's owner) and Dave Aude will be spinning "floor-filling, happy techno" from 10 p.m.-2 a.m. Sounds Nice.

* Nice at Club 8531, (310) 652-8145.

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