If you are ever bored on a beautiful, sunny Sunday in Los Angeles- throw on some Adidas and something that you won't mind getting Sangria spilled on and head on over to The Do-Over. If you experienced those old school block parties that would close down the streets so that neighbors could bond over the grill while a DJ spun VINYL on TURNTABLES, then you have an idea what The Do-Over is like. If you never had a chance to experience that most wonderful American pasttime, here's your Do-Over.
START OF THE DAY: $8 at the door buys you some really good BBQ grub and if you aren't hungry, then there isn't any charge to get in which is such a rarity in LA, it's ridiculous! But, you do have to RSVP- kinda like an invite-only party (do so here:http://blog.thedoover.net/) There needs to be an RSVP for each person of your party- no +1's. The line is always really long (see photo) because The Do-Over has built up quite a rep with their surprise guest DJs and you never know who's playing until you show up. Some of their past DJs have included: DJ Numark, J.Rocc, Rhettmatic, Peanut Butter Wolf, Arabian Prince, Mona Lisa, Spindarella, Jeremy Sole, and J-Logic to name a few. The order of line preference is this and no, it doesn't matter how fine you think you are, this is how it goes: VIP, friends of the DJs or promoters, all ladies, couples, groups with girls in it, and last, all guys. They need to keep the ratio so it doesn't get out of control, people.
ONCE YOU GET IN: Go directly to the bar. Do not stop at Go unless Aloe Blacc, Haycock or Strong (the hosts) are there and then, it would be rude not to say hello and a quick thank you. Get yourself a carafe of Sangria for $24. Trust me on this one. Even if you're not into the foo-foo drinks, trust me. But, if you don't want to trust a complete stranger- they also have a full bar. As you sip on your Sangria, you will start to feel the stress of the workweek melt away amongst sounds of world, reggae, rock steady, funk, soul and the classics. You'll start to relax into a conversation with a complete stranger and you may even find yourself swaying to the music. Dancing is really difficult here unless you're super good at dancing in sardine cans which I am not.
COUPLE HOURS LATER: You're now eating your $8 BBQ with at least four new friends and into a great conversation about whatever with some of LA's most famous talent. At that particular moment, we were involved in the old standby DJ debate of vinyl vs Serato (a software that allows you to use MP3s as vinyl stand-ins). After the debate, you make your way to the bar because your Sangria has disappeared mysteriously. On your way to refill, one of your newfound friends which are now so steadily increasing in numbers that you forget their names (or it could be the Sangria) stops you to refill your glass. "Your Sangria's empty- you need some more!" You'll hear this throughout the day/night on more than one occasion.
THE END: You hate to leave but, you know that Monday meeting is just waiting for you. It doesn't care if you just stood 2 feet away from The Beat Junkies or were LYAO out of pure joy or dancing to some of the best music you've heard in ages, it'll be there...waiting. You now say goodbye/nice to meet you to half the party. You have a few Sangria stains but, each stain was met with an apology and a free refill, even if it was your fault. As you settle into the backseat, you smile and somehow that Monday meeting doesn't seem so scary.