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Talib Kweli is the main man in NYE party central

December 27, 2007|Charlie Amter

"Hollywood will have you thinking, if you ain't on a billboard, you are worthless," says Talib Kweli. So why is the New York rapper headlining the hottest New Year's Eve show in, of all places, Hollywood? Because "it's still fun," he says, thanks to the regular folks who really know how to get down on Dec. 31.

Given the re-energized scene, there will be plenty of all types -- celebs and non- -- converging Hollywood and environs on Monday evening. And that can mean only one thing: Driving and parking most certainly won't be a ball.

Those who were brave enough to venture out on Halloween understand just how busy the area can get on a party holiday. (We know it's bad every year, but it's getting ridiculous.) For example, major streets were near gridlock from Sunset Boulevard all the way down to Wilshire Boulevard on Oct. 31.

Our advice? Go early, or go Metro. Seriously. We guarantee the potential inconvenience of public transportation is preferable to traffic and parking nightmares.

Plus, you can drink with a clear conscience and avoid the sobriety checkpoints sprinkled throughout West Hollywood and Hollywood proper.

For those venturing into the heart of darkness, the rewards should be plentiful.

The Roosevelt Hotel's New Year's Eve Masquerade Ball leads the pack with Kweli, who has plenty to celebrate, including a smash 2007 single ("Hot Thing") and a No. 2 debut off his latest record ("Eardrum") on the Billboard 200 album charts.

The event has almost sold out, though tickets can still be had via radio stations, such as KCRW-FM (89.9), that are giving away passes. In addition, a limited number of tickets will be available at the door for $150. "It's going to be epic," Homemade promoter Sam Gaglani promises of the night, which includes DJ sets by Bloc Party and the Rapture.

Tickets are more readily available for another large Hollywood throw-down, Danny B Productions' Dollhouse 15th Anniversary NYE Celebration. The indoor/outdoor event at Forbidden City (moved from the corner of Hollywood and Vine earlier this week) features a performance by '80s cover band the Spazmatics, DJ Prophet and British DJ Mark Lewis.

Things will undoubtedly get wild at Les Deux with Hollywood's naughty poster child Mickey Avalon playing a live set. Plus, Travis Barker will be the rapper's special guest drummer.

For those looking to dance to something other than hip-hop, San Francisco's Gabriel & Dresden should play a wide-ranging set, whether it's electro or progressive house, at Avalon's "The Future Is Now" NYE Party. The duo will spin for five hours and will be joined by Avalon regulars Trent Cantrelle and DJ Reza, among others, before and after.

If you're looking for a more sophisticated New Year's Eve -- minus, for example, inebriated college students -- consider SBE's new S Bar. The Philippe Starck-designed destination is offering a $175 all-night open bar, which, believe it or not, is a good deal -- considering most of the S Bar's specialty cocktails go for about $19 a pop on a normal night out.

And for those in search of some real connectivity, there is Social Hollywood, which will be the venue for the L.A. installment of New Year's Nation, in which parties in eight cities will be simulcast nationwide.

-- Charlie.Amter






LES DEUX NYE: Les Deux. $150.

THE FUTURE IS NOW: Avaland at the Avalon. $40.

S BAR NYE: S Bar. $175.

NEW YEAR'S NATION: Social Hollywood. $135.

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