That sound you hear right now? Every cool gay and/or techno nerd in the city rending their exquisitely positioned garments. Honey Soundsystem has just announced via newsletter that Oct. 20 will see the end of its weekly Sunday party at Holy Cow, one of the best overall club nights in the world.
“We started out wanting to make house and techno a regular thing for queens — and we did that and now it’s time to move on,” DJ P-Play of the collective told me. “We’re glad the party is so good right now, and we’re stopping it while it’s hot.
“We’re confident enough to move in a direction where people have to think again. Where we’re going with the music, together and individually, is too complicated for a weekly night.
“Now it’s up to the queens of SF to decide if they want to continue to keep this city interesting, or if they’re going to settle for the same top 40 bullshit.”
The importance of the five-year-old Honey Sundays can’t be overstated — starting with the fact that they filled the gaping hole in SF Sunday nightlife left by the End Up’s death spiral, and climaxing with an absolutely insane weekly lineup of challenging international underground artists, gay and straight, brought to a hungry, globally hooked-in audience here. Basically, you’re nothing if you don’t play Honey now.
The weekly family affair also introduced a new generation to the intellectual art of throwing a party: the soundsystem was unafraid to get hyperconceptual and subversively arty with its promotional material, themes, decor, and one-off locations. And the sheer diversity of the people behind the decks each week was almost single-handedly holding up SF’s rep as a cultural Mecca. (I’m kidding about SF being totally over — there are still some great parties. Look, though, we are getting a bit same-y in the nightlife department.)
Honey Sundays took the effort. But yeah, maybe it’s time to move on. “Jason Kendig is being recognized on an international level,” P-Play says, rattling off the Honey members’ accomplishments. “Robot Hustle is touring live as Bezier. Josh Cheon runs one of the most respected labels in the world right now. And my work with Luther and as Jackie House is taking off.” (P-Play’s being modest — he was actually behind about five of the biggest and best Folsom parties this year.) He also compared the ending to the finale of Kontrol, SF’s mainstay techno party, some of whose promoters went on to become world-famous DJs.
Plus Honey’s ending on a high note. “It’s an inevitable, poetic idea that we want to give back, give something really back,” P-Play said. “Our last night is the release party of our double album of Patrick Cowley’s lost gay porn soundtracks, School Daze, something we feel really completes a kind of journey for us. We’re going until 4am. It’s the day after what would have been our idol Cowley’s 63rd birthday — it won’t be sad, it will be a celebration.”
Breathe, queens, Honey’s not totally dispersing — they promise to be back soon with great things. And they’ll be teaming up with the No Way Back crew to bring in Norwegian heavy hitter Rodhad for Halloween, and then in November are doing something big for Bear Pride Weekend, which is an actual thing happening.
“We’re not giving people their weekly fix anymore, they’re going to have to stir the pot,” P-Play said.
And what of the poor souls who show up the Sunday after Honey’s ended? “They’re idiots,” P-Play declares. “They’re not our crowd, and not the people we want to play for anyway.”
Get the memo, honey. I’m gonna go cry now. Here’s the full release from Honey HQ:
Dear Honey Bee,
It is without regret we inform you that the next 3 Sundays will see the end of our 5 years as a weekly party.
In our 7 year history as a crew we tasked ourselves with reinventing queer nightlife for all our friends, allies and supporters. We have and will continue to bring the highest quality sounds from the underground and create a safe space for people of all walks to mingle, dance and be free.
But in order for us to grow even further, we need to shed our old skin to create a new one. The party itself – whether at the Holy Cow, the Paradise Lounge or those that can recall back to our days at The Transfer or the Mineshaft Basement Parties – has always been a party on the move. We will be going back to our roots, but with a more direct line to the future. This is not a disappearing act, this is taking ownership of the destinies of everyone who has participated, supported and danced at our parties. This farewell is quite temporary, for you will soon be transported back to our dance floor as though it were all a dream…
For the final Honey Soundsystem experience at Holy Cow on October 20th, 2013 we pay tribute to Patrick Cowley’s life in our third installment of Megatron Man to celebrate the release of the 2×12” “School Daze”! The release features soundtracks to John Coletti’s pornographic films from FOX Studio that were long forgotten but now resurrected for your listening pleasure. Restoring these tapes to our fans marks the full cycle of what Honey has strived to achieve – bringing you timeless sounds from all eras of dance music, grounded in foundations of queer history.
See you on the dancefloor,