Ed. note: The following dispatch comes via Kid on the Ball. Thanks, Kid.
There’s a new group of promoters in town, and they’re tired of top 40
tracks and frosted tips. The incestuous new circle of under-publicized
east-side dance parties includes Mustache Mondays, Wildness on Tuesday
nights, Shits & Giggles on Friday nights, and now A Club Called Rhonda on
Located at a random Mexican bar called Guatelinda, at 4916 Hollywood
Blvd., Rhonda isn’t gay, but “polysexual.” (Apparently that’s the new
“mixed.”) “Polysexual just means all possibilities,” says shaggy
auburn-haired fixture Aaron Castle, who hosts Rhonda along with his
three partners, Loren Granich, Kimi, and Gregori. For Gregori, the
mixed crowd offers a refreshing spritzer in a city “where the crowds
are so divided, even in gay culture itself.”
Rather than organizing the crowd around a sub-culture, like twinks or
leather daddies, the people behind Rhonda organize the crowd around
less divisive appetites. Namely: a shared love for danceable music,
chuggable drinks and huggable trannies. (Mister sisters get in for
The mandate for good music is something Rhonda takes seriously, and
it’s paying off. “LA is hungry for good music,” Aaron says. And right
now that means boogie, disco and house. Famed French group Justice
showed up to one of Rhonda’s first nights, and the promoters have plans
in the coming weeks to fly out popular New York house acts like Morgan
Geist. When a DJ started playing generic radio-friendly rap anthems at
one party a couple weeks ago, the crowd revolted. And last night, a law
firm intern who requested Shakira was rightfully chided and spurned.
Giving power to people is all part of the master plan. The
self-selecting crowd gathers around itself through word-of-mouth. It
may seem like a snobby promotional model, but the minds behind Rhonda
wouldn’t have it any other way. “We threw a New Year’s party that we
advertised all over the internet,” explains Aaron. “The promotion was
everywhere, and the crowd was awful.”
The organic, small-world nature of Rhonda’s crowd came in handy during
its third week, when a health inspector shut the space down an hour
before the doors opened. The promoters were left standing on the
sidewalk with a cooler of jello shots that they made the night before.
But rather than call Rhonda off, they moved the party to a friend’s
loft downtown, and everyone came despite the chaos.
“That says a lot about our club,” says Gregori. “The crowd put up with
a lot, and everyone showed up.” Hey, as long as the shots are $3 and
the DJ isn’t playing Shakira, who could possibly stay home?
For more on bar culture, gay, poly or otherwise, check out our favorite drunk Angelino at Gay Bar Culture.
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