On Wednesday, June 6, beloved Capitol Hill bar/evil hipster coke den the Cha Cha had a blowout party for its now defunct East Pine Street location. DJs Porq and Damaged Goods played their favorite slabs of brit pop, electro, hiphop, punk, and Top 40 to a packed, sweaty crowd. Almost all the booths were gone, transplanted to the bar's new home, which made for a nice dance floor downstairs. Revelers were gleefully ripping decor off the ceiling as they danced, donning the previously ornamental sombreros, and taking black-velvet paintings as souvenirs. Someone sprayed the crowd with beer when Damaged Goods played "Since U Been Gone."
It was a fun send-off for the old Cha Cha, but it was really more like a preview for Pony, the seedy gay disco that Cha Cha bartender Marcus Wilson will be running in the space until the building's demolition (which may come as late as winter 2008). While the Cha Cha had the occasional DJs and one odd live show (featuring Loving Thunder and Weird Lords), Wilson plans to have regular DJs as well as frequent live acts downstairs. Upstairs will have pinball and video games reminiscent of the old High Score Arcade. As previously reported, the new décor will include gay porn on the walls and glory holes in the bathrooms.
Sunday, June 10, was the actual last night of operation in the old space, and the bar was crowded with longtime regulars. There was no dance party, but the atmosphere was only slightly more subdued than the official party, and certainly no less drunk. The staff played a selection of songs from every band of every employee that has ever worked at the Cha Cha, Bimbo's, and the Cha Cha L.A.—bands like Pretty Girls Make Graves, Murder City Devils, Carissa's Wierd, the Pharmacy, Tiny Vipers, and on and on. Modest Mouse's inebriate slacker anthem "Float On" was played at least two and a half times, and each time it made for a perfectly poignant moment. The new Cha Cha at 1013 East Pike Street opens Thursday, June 14.
Friday, June 15's Sing Sing will be the last at Chop Suey, as promoter/booker/DJ Clayton Vomero is moving the night to the War Room beginning in July. Chromeo will play Sing Sing's one-year anniversary party there on Friday, July 20.
Spent the early part of Thursday, June 7's less than electrifying CSS show in the newly opened Moe bar adjacent to Neumo's since power-pop couple Matt and Kim and baile punks Bonde Do Role dropped off the bill for undisclosed reasons and "emergency dental surgery," respectively. Word is Matt and Kim might be back in town for the Capitol Hill Block Party.
Luckily, Moe has what might be the best new jukebox in town. The selection includes indie heavyweights like LCD Soundsystem and the Hold Steady, relative newcomers Klaxons and Uffie, vintage Willie Nelson, and the awesome new Of Montreal.