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And the Betty Goes to . . .

It's our second annual survey of the best of the Los Angeles club scene, the hottest, coolest, nicest and the get-downest.


Everywhere you look in Hollywood these days, the graffiti's on the wall: The scene is back. What scene, sayeth you? Well, the rock scene of course, the muse de musique that makes ya wanna get dressed up, messed up and maybe pick up a bass guitar for the first time.

As we hand out the Bettys for our second annual Club Buzz awards, we're paying homage to the smart set--the promoters, musicians and club owners who banded together for the betterment of rock 'n' roll. By virtue of the fact they're working side by side, we're all in for a better ride.

* Club of the Year: Pretty Ugly Club at Dragonfly. You've got to love Dragonfly--it's a club with heart, and it's willing to take chances, allowing veteran rocker Taime Downe (Faster Pussycat, the Newlydeads) to pass that rock 'n' roll torch to a new generation with his Wednesday night rock club. The Pretty Ugly Club is a perfect example of scene vets teaming up with newcomers to share the musical wealth. Recent performances by Texas Terri & the Stiff Ones, Motochrist, Coyote Shivers and Downe's own Newlydeads epitomize the current muscle of the Hollywood scene.

Pretty Ugly Club, Wednesdays at Dragonfly, 6510 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood, (323) 464-4044 and (323) 466-6111. 21 and older. Cover varies.

* Best New Dance Club: Bang! at the Ruby. Make-Up at the El Rey Theatre and Cherry at the Playroom still offer Hollywood's most skin-tillating dance parties. (Make-Up's first anniversary party in February rendered moi speechless.) But the new kid on the block, Bang!, is simply irresistible. First off, it unites an enormo variety of cultures, with 1,500 mod, soul and trance kids chilling under the same roof each week. Bang!'s groovy doorman-host, Apollo Starr, recently greeted me with, "It's a psychedelic free-for-all in there." Excellent cosmic cruise-ship advice.

Bang! Saturdays at the Ruby, 7070 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, (323) 769-5500. 18 and older. $5-$10 cover.

* Best Relocation: Cadillac Club at Goldfingers. One of the most prominent promoters-musicians on the L.A. scene, Motochrist guitarist Ricky Vodka, stepped out from behind the Silver Curtain (or whatever you call the intersection of Virgil and Fountain avenues, where the Garage is) and took his Thursday night rockfest back into Hollywood at Goldfingers. Matching wits with Pretty Ugly, Cadillac Club offers the hottest local and touring rock acts an alternative to a Sunset Strip showcase. Witness the red-hot Hollywood Records band Tsar, choosing the Cadillac Club for an important industry showcase.

Cadillac Club, Thursdays at Goldfingers, 6423 Yucca St., Hollywood, (323) 962-2913. 21 and older. Cover varies.

* Best New Venue: The Playroom. The Playroom is soooo right on time. Not even a year old, the colorful nightclub is classy, trashy and supremely sassy--a perfect fit for these rock 'n' roll times. (For proof of sass, check out Cherry on a Friday night.) Its owners, the Gate's Art and Allan Davis, rose above all the scene sniping and offered the venue to warring promoters. Everyone did the right thing, and the result? Good business.

The Playroom, 836 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood, (323) 460-6630. 21 and older. Cover varies.

* Best New Bar: The Bigfoot Lodge. Its unique Sasquatch National Forest motif, off-the-beaten path locale (Atwater Village) and cool array of hipsters made the decision for us this year. There's nothing else like it, which is probably why Hyde from the "That '70s Show" chose the Bigfoot for his recent birthday celebration. In addition to nightly deejays, the Bigfoot Lodge doubles as a monthly art-auction house.

The Bigfoot Lodge, 3172 Los Feliz Blvd., Atwater Village, (323) 662-9227. 21 and older. No cover except for special engagements.

* Best Old School Bar: Burgundy Room. Doesn't matter what night you find yourself tooling past this tiny Cahuenga Boulevard bar, the scenesters spilleth over. Its penchant for hiring excellent rock and punk deejays helped propel it to the top o' the beer-swilling crop this year. Burgundy Room's happy campers may find shelter at another venue soon. Owner Iad (sorry, first name only) has got his eye on another prize.

Burgundy Room, 1621 1/2 Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood, (323) 465-7530. 21 and older. No cover.

* Clubs Most in Need of a Musical Overhaul: Vynyl and the Sunset Room. Vynyl--despite fulfilling its wishes of being a showcase alternative to the Viper Room--needs to get in on the local scene. Although a successful weekend dance club, the Sunset Room needs to fine-tune its weekly promotions. (May we recommend its owners orchestrate a sit-down dinner with the promoters of Chocolate Bar--the hottest crew of the hip-hop generation? They may also want to look into Malathion productions, which is run by a young crew that offers excellent spoken-word, drum 'n' bass and hip-hop nightclubs.)

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