Mom's Bar spins a good time with Bring Your Own Vinyl night
Jun 21, 2013 (Los Angeles Times - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
The Bring Your Own Vinyl night at Mom's Bar in West L.A. is just a few weeks old, but already it's got regulars feeling like superstar DJs.
"My favorite reaction was a guy who brought in his favorite record, and he told me how special it felt when he saw a bunch of girls dancing to it," said Justin Nijm, a bartender at Mom's and the night's founder. "That's a surefire way to meet someone."
The Westside has long been a lonely frontier for indie-leaning music fans, who were dealt another blow with the recent closing of Central S.A.P.C. in Santa Monica. But a little flurry of activity -- including a growing spate of indie shows presented by the Echo's promoters at the Santa Monica Pier, a busy UCLA house-party rock scene and the small but popular vinyl outlet Touch Vinyl -- has blown fresh air on the close-to-the-ocean music scene.
The Tuesday night "B.Y.O.V." event at Mom's Bar, a congenial dive just west of Westwood, is the latest sign of life there.
Where: A stretch of Santa Monica Boulevard night life badlands that's geographically a short hop from UCLA but a bar-crawler's eternity from even the Sunset Strip (let alone the Hollywood, Echo Park and Downtown scenes where you'd expect to find a weirdo vinyl night). Westwood's run of Persian and Middle Eastern restaurants are plenty tasty, but if you're not an undergrad or falafel-phile, there's not much else there after dark for music fans.
Inside: At a recent early-happy-hour visit, the crowd was exactly who you'd want to see at that divey hour -- a half-dozen late-middle-aged guys nursing cheap American beer, doing their level best not to move all night. Pool and pingpong devotees can scratch their itch here as can patrons of the finer arts like tattooed Frankenstein paintings and giant Flash Gordon posters. The scene picks up and skews younger at night, however, and the secluded back room is eminently make-out-able.
Why: Because Mom's partnered up with the nearby record store Touch Vinyl on a neat midweek concept. Locals bring in their favorite 7- and 12-inch records from any genre, and if the house DJ approves of your taste by playing it, Mom's will send over a free drink and you get to show off your rare finds and exquisite curation. Nijm, a film buff who got into vinyl by hunting down old horror-flick soundtracks, said the selections are usually pretty stellar but no one's hipster cutthroat about it. "An older gentleman who had come by brought an old funk album from the '70s and he was chilling by himself, looking up different songs with his iPhone from records brought in by some of the younger crowd," he said.
Your drink: They have a full house cocktail menu, but let's get serious -- you want a beer, and mixed drinks should be limited to three ingredients (and then only if one of them is a lime). The aforementioned happy hour is 4 to 8 p.m. daily, but when PBR is only $3 anyway, you can come early and stay late into the deep cuts your fellow new regulars are slinging.
Mom's Bar, 12238 Santa Monica Blvd., L.A. "B.Y.O.V." night from 9 p.m. Tuesdays; open 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. daily. momsbar.com.
Where: 12238 Santa Monica Blvd., L.A.
When: "B.Y.O.V." night from 9 p.m. every Tuesday; open. 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. daily.
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