For some, the Sunset Junction Street Fair is a hot, crowded crush of humanity that's to be avoided at all costs. But for others, too much Sunset Junction is not enough.
Now in its 29th year, the main street fair has weathered its share of squabbles over its footprint, and this one includes headliners such as Mary Wilson and Conor Oberst & the Mystic Valley. But as the music-powered and continually controversial festival takes over parts of Sunset and Santa Monica boulevards in Silver Lake on Saturday and Sunday, a slew of affiliated concerts and other events in the area will help hard-core party people supersize their Sunset Junction weekend.
Here's a selection of them, whether they take place behind a velvet rope or out in a parking lot. --
Pre-party with Benji Hughes at Spaceland
Hirsute North Carolina native Hughes produces ear-bending modern pop that incorporates a panorama of sounds. But it's Hughes' sardonic and observational lyricism that truly highlights his tunes (case in point: the drug-addled odyssey "I Went With Some Friends to See the Flaming Lips"), found on his debut CD "A Love Extreme." L.A.'s own B.R.A.M. starts the night. 8:30 p.m. Friday. 1717 Silverlake Blvd., L.A. $10 in advance, $12 at door. For ages 21 and older. (323) 661-4380, www .clubspaceland.com.
"Neon Noise" party at Echoplex
DJ Paul V. has transformed his radio show "Neon Noise" into a beat-crazy 18-and-older dance party that mashes everything from dirty electro to indie dance tracks for the Eastside set. In honor of this year's festival, the $5 cover is waived for anyone sporting a wristband from Sunset Junction. 9 p.m. Saturday. 1154 Glendale Blvd., L.A. (213) 413-8200, www.attheecho.com.
New Music Junction at Franky's
This dude-centric barbershop-meets-hipster-boutique specializes in rock 'n' roll haircuts and also has a nice inventory of classic concert T-shirts and even some vinyl. So it's not much of a stretch that they would turn the spot into a makeshift concert venue with the second annual New Music Junction, this year featuring bands such as Eject, Slang Chickens, Victim Vision, Tender Box and Cinderella Motel. 3 p.m. Saturday. 3323 W. Sunset Blvd., L.A. Free. (323) 668-2088, www.my space.com/frankysbarberand boutique.
After-party at Spaceland
The pre-party on Friday just isn't enough for Hughes and his Julian Casablancas-meets-J Mascis croon, so he'll saddle up for a second night at Spaceland, in the form of an after-party. Local brother-sister act the Belle Brigade opens the show. 8:30 p.m. Saturday. 1717 Silverlake Blvd., L.A. $10 in advance, $12 at door. 21 and up. (323) 661-4380, www.clubspaceland.com.
Antics after-party at Undefeated
Toyota, Pabst Blue Ribbon and a slew of other sponsors have teamed for this RSVP-only after-party at the Undefeated sneaker shop. Featuring DJs, live art, customized T-shirts and the requisite photo booth, the buzz is around an unannounced live act (Hint: If you're a fan of ambitious L.A. hip-hop duos, check it out). Saturday, 11 p.m. 3827 Sunset, L.A. (323) 668-1315. RSVP at www.upthe antics.com/sunsetjunction.
'Swagger Junction' at Barbarella Bar
This gay-friendly Sunday soiree at a new spot along the Hyperion corridor is just a stone's throw from SJ's heart. They're positing the party as a 21-and-over oasis just outside the storm below on Sunset. The party starts at 4 p.m., with happy hour specials and no cover. 2609 Hyperion Ave., L.A. (323) 644-8000, www.bar barellabar.com.
"Chavalot Block Party" at El Chavo
El Chavo celebrates with a version of its freshly minted all-day party in its parking lot. Expect lots of tequila, sangria, surprises and grown-up cool kids making the scene at this Mexican mainstay. All day until 11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. 4441 Sunset Blvd., L.A. (323) 664-0871, www.elchavo restaurant.com.