The music has changed. It’s OK! The music is great. Let me tell you about Luther.
Since about 2005 — with the rise of the iPod, the laptop DJ, and then the vinyl resurgence — there’s been an electrifyingly diverse homosexual dance music scene. A not-so-underground-anymore network of adventurous queer jockeys rings the globe, slicing bleeding edge techno through juicy throwback electro-funk, trancey melodic house, and uncanny contemporary disco.
But for most outside this scene, the stereotype of “gay house” persists: tacky, relentlessly pounding, veering from diva shreik to carnival whoosh in the twink of an shirtless eye. (Hilariously, we’re actually so far from that sound right now that it’s come into post-ironic vogue. Let’s get soaking wet!)
The leather scene took a minute to glom onto the new possibilities of an expanded, sexier sound. But now it’s at the forefront: Folsom Street Fair (Sun/29, www.folsomstreetfair.org) is now a major music festival, with an electro-pop focus. This year, dark duo Light Asylum, aching house nostalgists Hercules and Love Affair, Berlin technoist Boris, Aussie dream-pop quartet Miami Horror, and classic house collagist Mark Moore of S’Express headline the fair amid all the floggings.
Filthy leather parties themselves are also sounding up: a couple of years ago, the mysterious entity known as Luther (www.thisisluther.com) began appearing at major North American fetish gatherings, its multiple members’ identities obscured behind leather facemasks, bobbing in crisp, monochromatic uniforms behind the decks, like a ball-gagged Kraftwerk. The music is hard in an intelligent way: recent mix “Fist Putin” starts with a rework of Sabbath’s “War Pigs” and then slams through any number of spank-ready microgenres. Zip up your hip boots and hear for yourself with a new generation of nasty kids at the Luther Shreds Folsom party: Sat/28, 10pm-4am, $15. 1192 Folsom, SF.
D-WYNN + STACEY HOTWAXX HALE
Two absolute legends from Detroit: D-Wynn, known for his work as R-Tyme, helped invent the deep-funk techno sound, while Stacey’s slamming house energy hits all the sweet spots. They’re at the excellent Housepitality weekly.
In the annals of gay sling-slang, I guess “cub” now means aspirationally gorgeous muscled young bio-boy with a beard — at least in Toronto, where this cute little undergroundish shindig originated. I miss chubby and awkward and shy, but I’ll take it! With DJ Scooter, Taco Tuesday, and the awesome A Bearded Boy.
Thu/26, 9pm, $5. Lookout, 3600 16th St, SF. Facebook: Cub Camp San Francisco
INDIAN SUMMER BLOCK PARTY
Um, holy crap. Twelve hours of outdoor dancing bliss from the Public Works, As You Like It, and Sunset crews — and here’s the lineup: Speedy J, Tiger and Woods, Henrik Schwartz, Midland, Woolfy, and a ton more stunners.
Sat/28, 2pm-2am, $25 advance. Public Works, 161 Erie, SF. www.publicsf.com
INFAMOUS FOLSOM UNIFORM PARTY
Hot queer grrrl attack! Somebody call the cops … and the firewomen …also, a cowgirl and a road worker would probably do quite nicely. OK this night is more of the hot-hot leather and fetish variety of uniform, but whatever floats your kink boat. The Lexington Club’s 10th annual dress-up night is coming hard upon us, with DJs Jenna Riot and Rapidfire, the House of Babes dancers, and gallons of tequila.
Sat/28, 9pm, free. Lexington Club, 3464 19th St, SF. www.lexingtonclub.com
Incredible, deviously dark duo from the UK seeks to “re-establish electronic composition as a physical and emotionally inquisitive force.” Their quest includes hallucinatory grooves and mounting an effects-laden wower of an audiovisual experience that’s earned Raime raves. Let’s have a black celebration.
Sat/28, 10pm, $15. Balancoire, 2565 Mission, SF. www.tinyurl.com/raimesf
DEVIANTS ADULT ARCADE
A Folsom Street Fair party that actually starts within the fair itself (a pervert pop-up!) and takes over two neighboring clubs and a huge outdoor space. Oh yes, the infamous hip-kinky Deviants party is back and whippier than ever. Hard-driving Russian DJ Boris (don’t boycott, he’s a homophile!) headlines, with Matrixxman, Olga T., Aaron Clark, and the Hard French soul and Honey Soundsystem techno crews. Hot slots await.
Sun/29, 4:30pm-2am, $25–$35. 314 11th St., SF. deviants.eventbrite.com