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Looking Out for Downtown’s DJs

By blogdowntown Staff
Published: Wednesday, September 08, 2010, at 04:54PM
Amanda Leon Ed Fuentes

Amanda Leon

Amanda Leon is a nighthawk for nightlife and has become a local online celebrity as her followers tag along with her journey through Downtown, exploring clubs to gather intelligence for her website DTLA Tonight. Yet, it’s not all about the cocktail, says Leon: “Downtown nightlife isn’t only about drinking and dining, there are plenty of places to catch DJs playing great music as well.”

“Far from simply bars looking to set a mood, there are many events in Downtown that are primarily about listening to great music, and dancing.” Leon adds. Of course, as a recent grad from CSULA with a degree in sociology, this is all extra research in case she decides to attend grad school.

So where are some of her top Downtown picks for an evening beyond a happy hour? She shares a few:

Jazz Tonic at Broadway Bar

Every Wednesday / 9pm / FREE / 830 S. Broadway

Newly formed, this “all things jazz” night features a rotating line up of guest DJs playing jazzy hip hop, jazzy house, jazzy soul and sometimes just plain old jazz. The occasional spoken word poet and live musician playing along with the music only adds to the atmosphere, which includes vibrant visuals projected on the walls.

Culture Clash at Mountain Bar

Every Friday, 9pm - 2am / FREE / 473 Gin Ling Way

Always packed with people dancing, Culture Clash is first and foremost a reggae nightclub featuring plenty of roots, dub, dancehall and rock classic hits.

The action takes place downstairs, with an added mix of classic hip hop and breaks in the newly remodeled upstairs.

Ghettoblaster at Bar 107

Every Thursday (except the night of Art Walk) / 10pm - 2am / FREE / 107 W. 4th

Ghettoblaster can only be described as an eclectic mix of rock, punk, ska, soul, indie, funk, and old school all played by DJs using strictly vinyl. On this night local-favorite Bar 107 is one of the best places to hear great music in a more casual environment.

Punky Reggae Party at La Cita

Every Friday / 9pm - 2am / FREE before 10:30 / $5 after 10:30 / 336 S. Hill

Going strong for nearly four years, Punky Reggae Party features an all-vinyl night of punk, post–punk, reggae and dancehall with DJs from The Echo’s Dub Club and Part Time Punks.

Soul Sessions at Grand Star Jazz Club

2nd and 4th Fridays / 9pm to 2am / $5 before 10:30pm; $10 after / 943 N. Broadway

Soul Sessions serves up a vibrant mix of hip hop, funky soul, Latin beats and turntablists that keeps people dancing all night long. Break dancing circles are a frequent sighting upstairs, while downstairs stays busy with a live band and lounge.

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