LA Nightlife (According to Linux, a New Yorker)

LA Nightlife (According to Linux, a New Yorker)

Story by Linux / Photography by Thom Kerr / Styling by Marta Del Rio / Makeup by Nova Kaplan / Hair by Lovette Candice
Jun 12, 2024

This is What You Missed Last Month (According To Linux), in which nightlife it-girl Linux takes us behind the velvet rope and into the VIP section of Scene-City. Through her extreme (sometimes exaggerated) lens, Linux gives us the tea on what really happened at every party-of-the-century that floods our Instagram feeds. (A note from the author: don’t take what she says too seriously — she’s just a club kid after all).

Well, it’s official! After a decade of swearing I’d never define myself as anything other than a New Yorker, I’ve finally switched teams. Yes, you read that right, The New York Downtown It-Girl has dropped the “New York” and done what any sober-curious Manhattanite does when nearing their 30s: moved to Los Angeles.

To call this a “lifestyle change” is an understatement, to say the least. I’m trading my early mornings sweating at raves in Bushwick to 7 AMs drenched at Equinox in West Hollywood. I’ve swapped my $16 double vodka cranberries for $18 Erewhon smoothies. Gone are the $40 nightly Uber trips... because this bitch drives now! (Well, my roommate lets me borrow his car, on occasion.)

Yes, with relocating to LA, a drastic lifestyle change was in order indeed — or so I thought. As it turns out, after being a die-hard partygirl for the past decade and a half, quitting going-out has proven more difficult than I anticipated. For years now, I’ve documented the wildest parties across the globe exclusively for PAPER, from Paris Fashion Week to Berlin to Coachella. Call it dedication to the craft, or call it alcoholism, either way you can’t expect me to just quit my after dark shenanigans cold turkey! But how does one scratch their nightlife itch in a town where last call comes at 1:30 AM? After only a few weeks in the City of Angels, it actually turned out to not be that hard.

With the help of my fabulous C-List Hollywood friends, I managed to hit all the stops on my Los Angeles tour de partying; from warehouse raves on skid row to Hollywood Hills mansion parties with Dubaian royalty. Along the way I wrote down everyone and everything I saw, so that you, my fabulous readers, can get all the tea on what LA nightlife is really like. Disclaimer: Some names and places were changed for my own protection, they take blackballing seriously in this town!

The Downtown Underground Scene

I love a red carpet gala and I love a fashion party, but there is one thing that will have the key to my heart forever: an underground rave. There is just something aboutthat combination of edgy people, drugs, brutalist architecture and hardcore techno music. Coming from Bushwick and frequenting Berghain, I know the best of the best when it comes to raving. So how would LA’s terrain size up to the underground capitals that I’m so familiar with? There are three underground parties I attended and loved so far during my stay in Los Angeles: Tunnel, Heav3n and Subculture.


On my very first night out in LA, I went to a rave called Tunnel. Thrown by esteemed techno DJ Oza, Tunnel aims to provide LA (and the rest of the world) with a proper queer, underground rave that is otherwise a rarity to the Los Angeles native. This is the only place you’ll find DJ sets by the likes of icons like Only Fire, MCMLXXV, Flirty800 and more. The night I attended featured exhilarating music by some of my favorites: MCR-T, River Moon and Toccororo.

In true Tunnel fashion, there’ll likely be a pop-up performance or two. The night I went, we got a show by the internet’s favorite, Miss Bashful. The production level is that of your typical warehouse rave, with full lights, sound and fog installed. The crowd dances with high energy all night long, and the area behind the DJ booth doubles as a VIP area, where micro-celebrities rail lines of horse tranquilizer on crushers and bask in each other’s VIP-ness. Out of every party I’ve attended thus far in Los Angeles, Tunnel is definitely my top pick, and it’s something I would recommend out-of-towners even to travel to as well. The best part? Photos and videos are allowed — thank god! The next Tunnel is June 22, and by the looks of it you won’t want to miss it.


You’d have to be living under a rock to not know about Lulo’s long-running party, Heav3n (pronounced “Heaven,” duh!) When I lived in LA back in 2014, Lulo was one of the only girls who was nice to me and invited me out, and H3av3n actually just hit their 10-year anniversary this year! Real recognize real, and it only makes sense that the last girls standing from the 2010s scene would be the two of us.

Heav3n is an intersection of underground music, people and the clothes they wear. This is one of the few spots to experience fresh, up-and-coming talent as well as iconic underground OGs. The party recently broke the internet with one of the first live performances by the elusive Ayesha Erotica, who headlined the party last year and even came back for an encore a few months later. There’s a main stage where one can find a slew of performances, a second room solely for more hardcore music and an alley green-room filled with internet doll-lebrities like Eden The Doll. The party happens monthly in the DTLA area and has plans to set off on a North American tour this year.


A party series originally started six years ago in Orange County as a means for an escape from the mundane and conservative, Subculture relocated to Los Angeles, where their community began to flourish and grow. Now with nearly 70K followers, the party has a cult following of youthful and colorful cool-kids, all ready to party their asses off on an almost monthly basis. Subculture focuses on the trendy and internet-y, the loud and expressive. With multiple rooms of performances by online pop stars like Mel 4Ever, Aliyah’s Interlude and Gia Woods, Subculture has made quite the name for themselves, now extending to other cities like my very own, New York City.

Yung Lean's Mansion Party in the Hollywood Hills

All I’ve heard regarding LA nightlife since landing is, “Nobody goes out to nightclubs here, it’s all about house parties!” When I was invited to the birthday party of the internet’s OG SoundCloud rapper, Yung Lean, I knew it was my chance to test that claim.

Though I had no clue who Yung Lean was [editor’s note: he is in fact a recent PAPER cover star], I was sure I was about to find out. New York’s coolest DJs Memphy and Dese Escobar were also in town and set to DJ the night. Whispers were already stirring that LA’s newest it-girl, Bianca Censori, and possibly even her husband Kanye West, were due to attend, as Yung Lean had just celebrated at Disney with them earlier that afternoon. The invite said “limited bar available,” so to make sure I wasn’t sober at a random person’s birthday party, I threw a little pregame at my place in WeHo, inviting my closest LA squad as well as a tattooed-clad guy I had recently started talking to. I thought the new boy had good intentions, but I quickly learned people were right when they said LA people are shameless about social climbing — he greeted me with, “Did you talk to Justin about putting me in Paper Magazine yet?” I chose to disregard this as poor social skills.

My friends and I got tipsy, and by midnight we decided it was time to head 30 minutes into The Hills to watch Yung Lean blow out his candles. Teslas and G-Wagons were lined down the block up to a mansion at the end of the street, front door wide open, with slews of people entering and exiting. Context clues told me this was definitely the spot. Once inside, I realized there was really no intimacy whatsoever at this birthday party. The music could only be heard in the living room, from two blown-out cheap speakers plugged into a set of CDJs. What you did hear was talking: lots and lots of talking. Every room echoed with the blurry conversations of nearly 500 people packed throughout the Clueless-era McMansion like sardines. It’s typical for attendees of an event to look similar to each other, but this crowd was all clones. Everyone sported either pitch black or peroxide blonde greasy shoulder-length hair, their faces were covered in tattoos, skin so pale it could glow in the dark, with energy levels so low it was clear the drug of choice was a Alprazolam, Oxycodone or both. If there was a look for the modern-day vampire, this would be it. They all looked…very Yung Lean.

Outside on the large patio you heard the constant whistling from the nitrous oxide tank being refilled and inhaled from birthday balloons over and over again. After each inhale, guests would mutter in low voices, “Woaaahhhhh” and nearly fall to the ground. On the other side of the back patio was a mechanical bull machine that no one was riding, just one person with the remote making it spin at high speeds into oblivion while they all slowly laughed. Inside the house, the primary bedroom was turned into a sort of VIP room. I had finessed and brought my friends in there to go pee where we didn’t have to wait in the hundred-person bathroom line on the main floor.

After a quick visit to the empty VIP bedroom, I went back out to the patio to smoke a cigarette. That’s where the people watching really began. A scan around the patio and I realized I actually knew more people than I had initially thought. Eartheater talked to both Raga Malak and I.Am.Gia designers simultaneously. ModSun posed for multiple flash photographs with birthday boy Yung Lean. The tatted boy I had brought to the party reappeared hours after going missing since we had arrived, only to say to me, “Can you maybe get me into that VIP room from earlier? I heard Gabbriette is in there.”That was my cue to not only call it quits with him but to put out my cigarette and leave. It was nearing 5 AM, there was no sign of Bianca, Ye or alcohol. I went outside and waited 20 minutes for my car to pick me up, and headed back home to West Hollywood to cry to Lana Del Rey in peace.

Girl's Night with Slayyyter and Lilah Gibney

In New York City, I virtually have zero girlfriends; my nights are mostly spent with gay men. But LA was about making a lifestyle change, remember? I had noticed I was falling into the same trap of gay night after gay night, so decided it was time for a Girl’s Night with my fellow heterosexual sisters: pop star and PAPER darling Slayyyter, and infamous YouTuber Lilah Gibney.

We started the evening at the celebrity hotspot, Sushi Park, a strip mall sushi joint that attracts the likes of Justin Bieber, Kendall Jenner and Beyoncé. My ego was at an all-time high when we got paparazzi’d on our way out. After getting papped, we hopped in an Escalade to the recording studio Slayyyter had been recording her new album in. While I chain-smoked cigarettes, she played us her new album set to come out later this year — and bitch that shit is iconic!

After the impromptu listening party and a visit from my dealer, Slayyyter took us on a bar hop extravaganza all over Silver Lake to some of her favorite spots. Now I’m not trying to shade my sis, but she definitely has a type when it comes to going out. We went to hetero spots like Cha Cha Lounge and Bar Lubitsch, where emotionally unavailable hipster boys wore leather jackets, and smelled like cigarettes and beer. The sofas were covered in plastic, and '80s and '90s music blared through the bar’s old house speakers. We ran into PAPER stylists Hunter Clem and Genesis Webb, a likely place for them to be!

After a few $5 whiskey cokes, one look at Lilah Gibney told me we knew we had to get out of there and go somewhere more glamorous. Lilah texted a few bouncers and after a few seconds said, “The car’s here, let’s jet to the straight clubs.” We started at the iconic Bootsy Bellows, where the door people immediately knew Lilah, lifted the velvet rope and shoveled us in. The atmosphere was identical to the club that The Weeknd’s character owns in The Idol. After going through a few Grey Goose bottles at the DJ’s table, we pooled back into the car and went to Tao. We didn't stay at that club long though, as two men, claiming to be Dubaian princes, pointed out that the club was about to close, and they had two SUVs out back waiting to take as many girls that could fit back to their mansion in Bel Air. This was the beginning of us getting trafficked, or having one of the most legendary nights of our lives. We chose to test our fate. By the looks of the mansion we ended up at 30 minutes later, the story of Dubaian royalty turned out to be more true than not, with the well-stocked after party going well into the early morning. My Girl’s Night in LA was a success.

Photography: Thom Kerr
Styling: Marta Del Rio
Makeup: Nova Kaplan using MAC Cosmetics
Hair: Lovette Candice
Styling assistant: Grace Taylor