Plenty of oddball creatures are known to emerge from the black lagoon of the Long Beach rock-n-roll scene. There's no shortage of bands, record labels, or denim-clad miscreants that continue to sprout up year in and year out. For the last 24 months, one of the few consistent elements in the scene has percolated behind the decks at Slop Stomp, a resident DJ night at Alex's Bar that offers the best in classic and obscure rock revelry. Spinning tunes from punk heroes like The Ramones to the underrated (and aptly named) Undertones, Slop Stomp DJs pour all of their favorite influences together into one big bubbling cauldron of aural supremacy.
That was one of the few things that Slop Stomp founders Jeanette Tomas (aka DJ Polyester) and her husband Kendall McDiarmid (aka Master Droog) and Telegram Sam Velzquez (aka Telegram Sam) hoped they got right when they started the event in 2016. So far not only have they brought a quality rock-n-roll DJ night to Long Beach, but they've done it consistently, typically on the fourth Friday of every month.
"When we first started there weren’t any solid rock-n-roll nights in Long Beach," Tomas says. "Sam came from Cretin Hop (based in L.A.), my husband Kendall and I used to do the Project Wednesdays at Proof Bar in Santa Ana, which were both kind of similar."
But joining forces to put on a night in Long Beach's blood red underbelly turned out to be a bright idea. Eventually they gained even bigger crowds by incorporating live bands like The Thingz, The Stitches and Telephone Lovers.
Though the Slop Stomp thrives on the loud selections of the DJ's and bands, McDiarmid's poster artwork is just as vital as the music he spins with his wife and the rest of the Slop Stomp crew. Staring through a prism of lowbrow masters like R. Crumb and Ed "Big Daddy" Roth, every poster celebrates old school Sci-Fi and grotesque creatures that could be the direct descendants of Rat Fink. Growing up in bands and designing posters was always one of McDiarmid's passions which he continues to this day, making this DJ night pop when guests see the fliers on the street and social media.
"I put extra time into it to make sure it looks good and its kinda branded so when people look at it they know it’s Slop Stomp and when they see the fliers on the wall they’re gonna want to rip it off the wall and take it home and put it on their wall," he says.
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For tonight's second year anniversary, Slop Stomp DJs Polyester, Telegram Sam and Master Droog take over the decks once again along with a live band set from garage rock revival band The Night Times. As always, the event is free to attend.
Though the first two years seemed to fly by, Tomas and the Slop Stomp DJs look forward to continuing their evolution as the harvesters of LBC's nocturnal rock-n-roll creatures, gradually bringing more elements to their nights and getting more people involved in the coming year. Tomas says they'll be incorporating more local vendors and artists since a big part of Slop Stomp's appeal comes from the artist community who see the music they play as a sonic inspiration for their work.
"There’s a lot of DJ night but this one has a lot of interest surrounded the art so we wanna make more of a community vibe," Tomas says. "For a while we were just kind of the DJ night but we’re slowly trying to involve more people."
The Slop Stomp 2 Year Anniversary is tonight at Alex's Bar at 8 p.m. For full details, click here.