KCRW Masquerade 2010: Year Two at the Park Plaza Hotel

KCRW once again returned to the Park Plaza hotel to throw a massive seasonal party, Saturday prior. DJ decks in tow. Mixers in tow. PA systems in tow. Food trucks in tow. Bottled water in tow. DJ personalities in tow. Cocktail service in tow. Costume checkpoints in tow, lighting systems in tow, heat lamps in tow, Henry Rollins in tow, the whole nine yards. I was on hand for the festivities. My rough timeline follows.

  • Arrive
  • Get photo taken by ace KCRW photog Gary Leonard while using the ATM
  • Valida doing something Valida-y in Grand Ballroom.
  • Peek into the Terrace Ballroom. There is just no way they are going to fill this room to capacity, for it is mammoth. They could’ve booked Radiohead covering Gram Rabbit in this room, and not fill it. My prediction.
  • Shiekh Schnabel is playing the Humpty Dance in the Bronze Ballroom, no fooling. Shake it Tom.
  • Douridas is in the Gold Room.
  • Anne Litt is in the Terrace. No sign of Radiohead.
  • Once again Jason Bentley has the loudest system in the entire hotel. Time to get off the patio and head upstairs to stir some shit up.
  • Back in the Terrace ballroom. Admittedly this room is pretty well filled, at this point. No way could they ever have booked Radiohead covering anybody in this room.
  • Gram Rabbit doing Gram Rabbit-y things here.
  • Bentley’s Go-Go Dancers are a sight to behold. (Grand Ballroom)
  • Cut Chemist, Bronze Ballroom.

  • Liza, Terrace Room. Apparently Gram Rabbit ended with a Radiohead cover. Imagine that! (I kid. They sounded great and looked better.)
  • Liza finishes, and introduces…Duke Spirit, Terrace Room.
  • Run as fast as possible between Jason Bentley, Grand Ballroom, Duke Spirit, Terrace Ballroom, Cut Chemist, Bronze Ballroom. Repeat. Pause for water. Pause for vodka. Rinse. Repeat. Very nearly run over a bunch of girls all ganging up on a cardboard cutout of Robert Palmer on the staircase.
  • Raul, Grand Ballroom. The place is starting to empty slowly. The time is approaching 1am.
  • Rollins going off in Super Rollins costume, Gold Room. Another sight to behold.
  • Depart and begin pacing, waiting eagerly for KCRW: Masquerade 2011


  • Bentley’s set was a highlight.
  • Schnabel throwing the Humpty Dance onto the deck left me baffled: I had just entered an early 90s junior high or high school dance, briefly, and was temporarily not surrounded by NPR-loving yupsters in elaborate costumes in the middle of MacArthur Park. The Humpty Dance is your chance, to do the Hump.
  • Do the Humpty Hump.
  • Do the Humpty Hump.
  • Gram Rabbit sounded good.
  • I like The Duke Spirit as much as anybody; it’s hard not to enjoy Leila wailing and thrashing about and in my experience she regularly incorporates costumes whether or not it’s Halloween. But at 1230am in the Park Plaza, with Bentley handing the decks over to Raul in the Grand and Cut Chemist onstage below (Bronze) with a Super Rollins next door in the Gold, they just didn’t stand a chance. The Terrace room was once again too big for its act.
  • Rollins was just a bundle of fun energy. I forget who followed Cut Chemist in the Bronze (Jeremy Sole?) but some funk was being laid down that now and again flirted with my senses and caused me to leave Rollins’ madcap display, so, kudos for that, no easy feat.

» KCRW.com (stream things here)

Photo credits:
(1) – (3) Gary Leonard
(4) Robert Palmer girls by Jeremiah Garcia

More stories about KCRW throwing parties in a creepy old ornate hotel…
» KCRW’s Masquerade: A Halloween Costume Ball & Dance Party, October 31, 2009
» KCRW’s RadioActive Dance Party, Park Plaza Hotel, April 11, 2009