• No categories

Party Radar

Party Radar: Rrose, Osunlade, Daniel Wang, Odyssey, more


First of all, what the heck are you gonna be for Halloweeeeen?

I’m vacillating between being these amazing but creepy speakers made of artificial muscles — so many of my interests intersecting? — and DJ Paris Hilton (I’ll just stand there like a stunned gazelle with one headphone, and have someone pop up from under my minidress to fiddle with a mixer). In any case, let’s all agree that this can be our Halloween–costume-choosing retro kiki house theme song:

Second, I screwed up someting major in my Super Ego column in the paper this week: The wonderful Odyssey party is actually on FRIDAY (not Saturday as your wasted columnist stupidly put forth — hey at least I’m cute in the dark!) Come and spank me on the dancefloor, loves, it’s gonna be a great one.

Here are more parties.



Beautifully hypnotic global-tribal, jazzy-deep house from the spiritual master — he’ll be at another installment of Marques Wyatt’s Deep parties, IMHO the most excitingly diverse experiences in SF.

Fri/19, 10pm-4am, $15-$20. Mighty, 119 Utah, SF. www.mighty119.com



It’s time to re-up your degree in the teaches of Peaches. Berlin’s bad mama-jamma of electroclash performance art is back for a rare appearance, celebrating the 17th anniversary of local art-tech-music powerhouse Blasthaus.

Fri/19, 9pm, $22.50. Mezzanine, 444 Jessie, SF. www.blasthaus.com



The mindbending deep techno entity known as Rrose obliterated pretty much everyone when she played here at Public Works several months ago — c’est la vie! Joining Rrose in the blessedly banging, re-abilified Club Six basement is Sensate Focus, another cerebellum twirler. I’m kind of scared, the good scared.

Sat/20, 10pm-late, $15-$20. Club Six, 101 Sixth St., SF. www.clubsix1.com



He used to live here, now he lives in Berlin — the US is less cute without him 🙁 but he will be bringing his deliciously breezy underground house magic to Honey Soundsystem 🙂 

Sun/21, 10pm, $5. Holy Cow, 1535 Folsom, SF. hnysndsystm.tumblr.com

Party Radar: Kafana Balkan, Maurice Fulton, Never Knows, Body and Soul, Glamamore and more


I finally made it to Tradition, the new bar from the Bourbon and Branch guys that mashes up classic bar types — English pub, dive bar, Mad Men cocktail hour, classic drawing room, tiki lounge, etc. — in a gorgeous Tenderloin (oh, sorry, er “Union Square”) space with awesome vintage liquor ads plastered on the walls and really cuuute staff.

Well, not quite mashes up: there are no great drunk Irish-whiskey brawlers breaking through the walls of a girl-drink-drunk gaggle of video-bar gays to form some kind of mutant queer neon St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Or, you know, the Catholic Church. (Laugh track.)

But there are some great-sounding “blends” — liquor aged in barrels cured with various wines and coffees. I’d like to go back and drink my way through them. last night, however, Hunky Beau opted for a winning sazerac, I tried a yummy “surfer on acid” (various rums ‘n things, including housemade coconut marmalade), and we both reveled in the attentions of the fine bartenders. The labor-intensive cocktails are somewhat deservedly priced around $10, so save Tradition for something special, but it’s totally worth it.

And now we dance. Click on the names of the fun events below to view the FB invites, if applicable.



Mr. David, aka Glamamore, is, in my opinion, SF’s best drag performer (and couturier, too). Often with little by way of prop, his trademark cigarette angled toward his pouted, dark-painted lips, his regal forehead topped by a tangle of wig, silent movie eyes ablaze, he draws you hypnotically into the worlds of the classic showtunes and diva numbers he knows and loves so well. It’s truly a mystical transformation, no reality required. His weekly Friday club Some Thing is essential: three drag shows featuring more than a dozen queens will pay him tribute, plus late-night dancing with DJ Josh Cheon.

Fri/5, 10pm-late, $8. The Stud, 399 Ninth St., SF. www.studsf.com




When it comes down to gorgeous and multi-faceted talent, it’s very hard to beat this Sheffield house (and occasional arty techno) producer. As a DJ, he’s most respected for glittering, balanced beat constructions that don’t stint on great soul classics and otherworldly vibes. (I absolutely adored what he did with British-Zanzibari singer Mim Suleiman in 2010 and the remix above is one of my favorites.) Oh, and did we mention he had a hand in Crystal Waters’ “Gypsy Woman”? Oh yes he did.

Fri/5, 10pm, $10-$20. 222 Hyde, SF.




One of the city’s absolute best parties — a Romany romp through the great styles of the Balkans, complete with whooping brass, big drums, and lots of stomping and twirling. It only comes around once every two months or so, so don’t miss it. especially since the Brass Menazeri ensemble, Jill Parker & The Foxglove Sweethearts, and Kafana mastermind DJ Zeljko (where does he find all this great music?) are gonna be there.

Sat/6, 9pm-2am, $13. Rickshaw Stop, 155 fell, SF. www.rickshawstop.com




Dark and delicious local lord of sensual technoise and Untitled & After label head (“wants to be the 4AD of techno), Never Knows will help is step into the future — live — at the wonderfully advenuturous monthly Haceteria party. Should be a neat trip into razor-edged, goth-tinged, liquid moods, plus propulsive rhythms. With DJs Nihar, Tristes Tropiques, Jason P., and SMAC.

Sat/6, 9pm-3am, free before 10:30, $5 after. Deco Lounge, 510 Larkin, SF.




I’ve waxed rapturous about actually legendary NYC party Body and Soul several times before — for me, it’s what helped saved Clubland from some mighty phony times in the late 90s and early 2000s. Many people I know on the West Coast would save up to fly in just for the weekly bash, which boasted one of the most eclectic crowds I’ve seen outside of early rave-times (and sadly ended regular installments a few years back in favor of yearly reunions) . There were also incredible tunes, of course, from mind-blowing Carribean singalongs to 15-minute deep-house rave-ups, diva croons to electro gems. Afro-Latin jams were always on the menu and, considering one fo the DJs was incredibly influential producer Francois K (along with Danny Krivit and Joe Clausell), a ton of disco rareties as well. Come to Mighty and see what the fuss is about.

Sat/6, 10pm-5am, $20-$30. Mighty, 119 Utah, www.mighty119.com



Underground star-studded fundraiser time! The California Music and Culture Association fights for our right to party in many ways — not it is actually throwing a party, at Mighty, with DJs Syd Gris, Sleazemore, Maneesh the Twister, Ryury, and many more. It’ll be a blast.

Mon/8, 8pm-1am, $5 CMAC members /$10 non members /Free entrance with $25 purchase of CMAC membership. Mighty, 119 Utah, SF. www.cmacsf.org


Party Radar: I Heart Cochina Tonga’s, Tyree Cooper in a church, Beat Junkies 20th, 3-D dance fest, more


O my goddess, there’s gonna be a yoga rave. Why, Govinda, why??? 

Actually I’m kind of intrigued. But full intriguement will have to wait until I’m hungover from the onslaught of this weekend’s parties. And here I thought I could recover from Folsom. Nah, brah. Not only are there all these parties I listed in my Super Ego clubs column this week, or our rooftop shindig at SFMOMA tonight, there are also all the below, equally worthy.

And before we launch — can I put in just one more plug for the STEREO: 3-D Arts and Music Fest on Saturday? There are going to be giant classic video games there! Plus a DJ set by Ladytron (and a ’80s video arcade set by DJ Omar), 3-D visual projections, and all kinds of cool effects. Go, Govinda, go!

In other news, can a porn star be a gay circuit DJ? The question has burnt a hole through the local gay internet this week, it really has. I never listen to that circuit, er, stuff — so it’s like a 9-inch tree falling in a forest of meth to me, honey. Good luck, though! Here are some real parties: 



Ay-ay-ay, it’s the first anniversary of this hilariously fun monthly, mashing up budget Mexican fiesta with drag queens on cheap drinks. Ambrosia Salad hosts (and DJs now!), along with DJs Taco Tuesday and Stanley Frank. Lots of maracas shaking, and I’ll be the pinata colada. Disfrutas! 

Thu/27, 9pm, free. LookOut, 3600 16th St., SF. 



Raising awareness of and money to eradicate leukemia, this third annual shindig boasts the always-fresh Mark Farina, Scott Diaz, Chris Lum, and really tons more local funk-house alums. Greeve for a good cause ok!

Thu/27, 9pm, $10 donation to Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Monarch, 101 Sixth St., SF. www.monarchsf.com




Berlin’s sophisticated tech-house favorite returns to Public Works with a trademark impeccably calculated set to blow minds, pack floors. 

Thu/27, 9pm-3am, $10-$15. Public Works, 161 Erie, SF. www.publicsf.com 



Just some really great, kind of heady, deep and dark machine-generated dance music from this LA guy, in a 4-hour set.

Fri/28, 10pm, $15-$20. 222 Hyde, SF. 



I randomly saw this deep-dub Berliner last time he was here, and he blew me away with his techno technique. He’s here this time around as part of the Bunker A/V series at Monarch, courtesy of the great underground techno club Bunker in NYC — and with Detroit-NYC heartthrob Derek Plaslaiko in tow.

Fri/28, 9pm-4am, $10-$20. Monarch, 101 Sixth St., SF. www.monarchsf.com



The stellar local turntablist crew has helped keep that native sound alive in the city for more than two decades — whaaaaa??? Craziness. J.Rocc, Rhettmatic, Babu, D Styles, Melo D, Shortkut, Mr.Choc, DJ Curse – long may they reign — and slay Mighty’s mighty soundsystem. 

Sat/29, 10pm-late, $20. Mighty, 119 Utah, SF. www.mighty119.com



Old school Detroit techno wizzes will go beyond the dance. Duo Octave One was excellent last last time they were here, playing a driving set that left us breathless. As a DJ, Craig is kind of the Prince of techno — you never know what his live sets will be like, but there will definitely be a soulful eccentricity (and he has one of the unmatched back catalogues in dance music to draw from). 

Sat/29, 9:30-4am, $20-$25. Public Wrks, 161 Erie, SF. www.publicsf.com



Chicago acid hip-house legend is back on the scene – and headlining this amazing-sounding party at St. Johns church, his only US appearance on a grand tour. (Flashback to the wonderful Episcodisco parties at Grace Cathedral!) Also included: 5kinandbone5, DJ Dedan, Castle Hands, and light artist Donovan Drummond. Get spiritual now.

Sun/30, 5:30-10pm, $10-$15. Episcopal Church of St. John the Evangelist, 1661 15th St., SF. 



This monthly queer hip-hop patio party brought out the sunshine last time around, with stellar live performances and great tunes ranging across the whole hip-hopiverse. It wasn’t just ironic white hipster kids either! Nice vibes and a good time. plus Salt-N-Pepa. Okrrrr?

Sun/30, 3pm-8pm, $8. El Rio, 3158 Mission, SF. www.elriosf.com

Party Radar: House of Aviance, John Talabot, Scuba, Rewind, Mykki Blanco, more


Tons of great dance music and fab haps on tap this weekend — so much, in fact that I’m giving weeeekend another couple of “e”s, OKeee? Your sountrack choices this week? Perfect summer edits party jams, wiggy contemporary ecstacy techno, clap-your-hands disco-funk loveliness, or hyper-poetic rejection bass. Wut? Do let’s begin — and for more crazy great thingies, including Squarepusher, Erol Alkan, Buraka Som Sistema, and The Pharcyde — hit up our This Week’s Picks section.



The Spaniard delivered pretty much the dance album of the year so far with Fin — further exploring the psychedelic-Balearic release epitomized in his previous work. He’ll be appearing, intimately, in t he public Works Odd Job Loft, bringing some sunshine to the Icee Hot party.Also, this is so far the cognescenti club hit of the summer:


Thu/2, 9pm-3am, $5 before 11, $10. public Works, 161 erie, SF. www.publicsf.com


This ought to be insane  — NYC’s House of Aviance descends on San Francisco for some vogue ball realness (more like a showacse, really, as a commenter below points out). Mother Juan Aviance, Nita Aviance, Kevin Aviance, Gehno Aviance, plus DJs Juanita More, Jason Kendig, and capoeiraista Antonio Contreras. It’ll be a bonkers extravaganza for all, queens and admirers both. Get ready to drop! (And Lady Bunny says she’s coming? Ummmm)

Fri/3, 9pm-3am, $15-$25. Beatbox, 314 11th St., SF. www.beatboxsf.com



Dark and fierce queer rapper from the future rides a fresh wave of hype to the spooky-neat 120 Minutes party, with Physical Therapy and a performance by the eye-popping Boy Child.

Fri/3, 10pm, $10. Elbo Room, 647 Valencia, SF. www.elbo.com



The Holy Cow continues to shed its reputation as a somewhat, er, screechy meat market, welcoming in this new Friday underground-vibes techno monthly, kicking off with local faves Nikita, Adnan Sharif, Lt. D, Joseph Lee, and special guest from Vancouver Kota Shibata. 

Fri/3, 10pm, $10. Holy Cow, 1535 Folsom, SF. 



The super-hot (like, for me, panties-throwing hot — but also hot in the audial way) British Hotflush label honcho is perfectly schizophrenic, giving us atmospheric dubby-deep bass genius and cerebellum-tickling techno in the harder vein. We like it when both sides come out to play — and why wouldn’t they at this As You like It party, with an amazing sound system and support from the also fascinating Olivier Deutschmann, Epcot (he’s back!), and Mossmoss.

Fri/3, 9pm-4am, $10 before 11pm, $20 after. Public Works, 161 Erie, SF. www.publicsf.com



And now for something completely different — it’s OG club kid (and supposed progenitor of queer hip-hop) Jon Sugar’s birthday, and he’s having the party at his raucous regular Gay Artists and Writers Kollective showcase, with bands 5 Pines and Happy Idiots, fantasy solo performances, and an ever-lively crowd of the open-minded. 

Sun/5, 7pm, free. Tikka Masala, 1668 Haight, SF. Email gawksf@yahoo.com for more details. Or just go! 




Party Radar: Double Duchess will release you


Dazzling local Hi-NRG electro-hop sissy bounce-y duo Double Duchess graced our Club Action cover in February and has been slaying parties for the past year. Now we finally get an official EP release, Extravaganza, and of course what promises to be a totally insane event at Rickshaw Stop on Sat/31.     

This one will bring together most of the city’s most colorful nightlife characters — its presented by the infamous Peaches Christ, and includes music by Hard French and Stay Gold DJs (also Bunnystyle and davO) and appearances by Some Thing queens VivvyAnne ForeverMore and Glamamore. Double Duchess nuts!  





Party Radar: Did someone say ‘hair metal rollerskating holiday craft fair’?


Oh, hell yeah. The LowSF and Cruz Skate Shop crews (famous for building skate ramps inside their parties?) are teaming up to deck your hols with mousse and spritz — and some majorly cool gift ideas to boot. Join them for the Winter Thunderland party at Club Six tonite, Fri/16. DJs Sarah Delush and Motley Cruz pump out the hair jamz, while a slew of vendors show off their goodies — and you rollersjate to it all! Full details after the duck-n-jump:

From the press release:

Bust out the old Aqua Net encrusted Santa hat cuz you”re invited to Winter Thunderland!

A rollerskatin’, tight-pants wearin’, big hair havin’, local artist-made gift buyin’, beer guzzlin’, goat throwin’, butt rockin’ kinda holiday party.

Roll around to hair metal classics blasted into yer earholes care of DJs Sarah DeLush and Motley Cruz, then grab a beer and head out to the vendor village where we will be featuring merchandise from local small businesses and artists for holiday shopping including:

– Leppard Lady Fashions – Specializing in leather goods including rollerskate accessories, purses, hair clips and jewelry
– Tools of the Trade – An SF based company who partner with top contemporary artists to create classic games like dice, dominoes, jigsaw puzzles, playing cards and more.
– A. Salt Co. – Sustainable body products “made with hands, not machines”, specializing in bath salts, jewelry and feather hair extensions
– Stone Pony – Mens and womens vintage clothing, rocks, gems, minerals and jewelry
– Milk Money – Sweets and treats including cupcakes, cookies, pies, and cakes.
And more!

Did we mention there are 2 FULL BARS?

Co-hosted by Cruz Skate Shop and LowSF

Doors at 8pm
$5 door entry
$5 rollerskate rental care of D. Miles and CORA
$6 Tall Boy/Jim Beam/Whiskey combos!
$5 cocktails

Club Six

66 Sixth St., SF.



Party Radar: Cassy, Patrice Scott, Starkey, Lopazz, Gadi, DJ Rupture, Wonder Full


First the horrifying news: Tiesto is launching a clothing line today called CLVB LIFE. (I pray to Satan/Skrillex that there will be Tiesto Euro-trance Spanx. Tranx?)  And now the wonderful news: There are a bunch more excellent parties happening this weekend than we could fit in the paper’s Weekly Picks section. Let’s get to ’em.


Gaaaah I love the Berlin minimal house goddess so — even enough to brave the slightly Gucci-esque crowd and expensive drinks at Vessel. (Every Thursday, the Union Square club brings in delicious talent for the Base parties, and you can usually find a friendly dancefloor spot with some fellow travelers.) Lst time she was here, Miss Cassy schooled the fanboys at EndUp’s Kontrol party. I can’t wait to hear what direction her stripped-down, funky tech sound is taking now. She will be playing all vinyl! Jeno opens up! Bliss.

Thu/8, 10pm, $10. Vessel, 85 Campton Pl., SF. More info here.



The infamous and lovely outdoor Sunset Party season has ended — but the After the Sunset series keeps the sunshine alive with quality regular gigs. During the age of minimal techno, Germany’s Lopazz neatly injected some bright grooves into the often astringent sound. Now he’s full of mental-twist funky, and his performance on the decks at Sunset a couple years back was really, really fun. Check him out at the new Monarch venue, which is shaping up to be a real winner music-wise.

Fri/9, 9pm, $5 before 11. Monarch, 101 6th St., SF. More info here



Patrice is from Detroit, and has been part of the techno scene there for more than 25 years. His hypnotic sounds maintains the original deep-deep vibes of the early movement, at once expansive yet deliciously focused, cosmic yet body-oriented — the sound of Detroit’s soul-cybotronic underground. This appearance will be a chance to hear the legend backed up by one of our own soul-tech greats: Aybee Deepblak. Jason Kendig and Conor will round off an evening I’m totally geeking out about. 

Fri/9, 10pm-4am, $10-$15. Public Works, 161 Erie, SF. www.publicsf.com



Philly future bass producer Starkey blows my mind with his tracks, often ecstatic wobbles through sticky starlight. I’ve been a fan since he was vaguely associated with the right fit Scottish collective LuckyMe, which brought a smart, introspective, slightly melancholic sheen to the burgeoning future bass sound in the late-mid-naughts . Starkey’ll be part of a bonkers lineup that will please future bass, dub step, d ‘n b, and straight up dance fans alike: Ana Sia, Tokimonsta, Ghosts on Tape, DJ Dials, and more.

Fri/9, 8pm-4am, $15-$20. 103 Harriet, SF. www.1015.com    




Famously wide-eared global bass and nu-cumbia party Tormenta Tropical is celebrating its fourth anniversary with one of the biggest ambassadors of intelligent worldly electronic dance music, DJ Rupture. NYC-Dominican bad girl Maluca opens up — get ready to dance all over. 

Sat/10, 10 p.m., $5. Elbo Room, 647 Valencia, SF. www.elbo.com



Regular readers know Im a freak for NYC’s Wolf + Lamb duo, of which the dark and handsome Gadi Mizrahi is one half (I prefer he be Lamb). He returns with his sexy pitched-down house sound (ladies and me might throw panties) for the Public Works holiday party, also featuring our own genius Afrolicious brothers, the fantastically danceable Pumpkin, and Vancouver’s Smalltown DJs, who pump an electro sound all their own. Oh, and Briski of the As You Like It Crew, whose deep techno sets have turned my ear all year. 

Sat/10, 10pm-3am, $10-$20. Public Works, 161 Erie, SF. www.publicsf.com   



This little monthly-ish party from promoter-DJ Robin Simmons at Deco Lounge is tight sand delightful. David, our king-queen of soulful house, plays super-deep, danceable, expertly mixed sets in a relaxed atmosphere where people actually get down on the dance floor. 

Sat/10, 9 p.m., $5. Deco Lounge, 510 Larkin, SF. www.decosf.com 



This regular tribute to Stevie Wonder transcends mere “Greatest Hits” nostalgia and blasts off into a groovy cosmos of love and funk with a slew of rare tracks, remixes, edits, and just plain living for the cit-ay. DJ Spinna handles the keys of life. 

Sat/10, 9 p.m.-4 a.m., $20-$25. 103 Harriet, SF. www.1015.comTickets here


Party Radar: Rarebits gets eclectic at Truck


Well. I was so excited about the return of beloved DJ Chicken to the party-throwing arena that I listed the launch date of his new free monthly shindig, Rarebits at Truck, incorrectly in my latest Super Ego clubs column. It’s actually tomorrow night ( Friday 11/11/11 — the neat date should have been a mnemonic no-brainer, but hey, as I said, I’m still drunk).

So, let’s turn lemonade into vodka lemonade, shall we? I described the night, also featuring fab guest DJ Josh Cheon, of Dark Entries and Honey Soundsystem, as being “eclectic.” What the heck does “eclectic” even really mean? DJ Chicken has curated a collection of neato tracks — from tUnE-yArDs to Captain Beefheart — you may or may not hear tomorrow night at Truck after the jump. I’ll drink to that!     

The Like



Captain Beefheart


Anita O’Day

The Family



Fri/11, 6 p.m.-10 p.m., free


1900 Folsom, SF.


Party Radar: Happy birthday, sexy Lexy


Gosh and begorrah, I know you’re hungovah — from all that St. Paddy’s Day grog or whatever. Don’t worry, you’ll feel better by Saturday, just in time to celebrate the Lexington Club‘s 14th anniversary, huzzah! Unfamiliar with this rowdy party dyke landmark? Hot chicks, get hip real quick at this blowout, featuring DJs Jenna Riot and Miss Pop, sexy-sexy dancers, no cover, and of course stiff drinks.

After the jump, a Super Ego clubs column from 2007 devoted to the Lex’s 10th anniversary (which was the perfect antidote to the L Word phenomenon of the time), giving you a wee bit o’ lesbian history.

LEXINGTON CLUB 14TH ANNIVERSARY Sat/19, 9 p.m., free. Lexington Club, 3464 19th St., SF. www.lexingtonclub.com

(originally published 4/10/07):


10 years of hot dykes and cold beer at the Lexington Club

SUPER EGO Lesbians: is there nothing they can’t do? They can run a contemporary art gallery in thigh-baring Versace, tossing back their Paul Labrecqued locks as they leap from their roofless 330Ci. They can go from homeless crack addict to nude Hugo Boss model without gaining a single ounce. They can be a smokin’-hot Latina named Papi, a sassy, brassy canoodler who just happens — surprise! — to be a whiz at hoops. Astonishing lesbians!

Oh, wait. That’s The L Word — about as far from the real world of gloriously rambunctious, wild San Francisco dykes as you can get without scarfing down a gift sack of MAC Pervette lip frost, doing Pilates to Ashlee Simpson (“I am me!”), and microwaving Cheeto, your stump-tailed calico cat. Yes, yes, I know the writhing isle of televised lesbos that L makes LA out to be is one big, fat, easy, anorexic target. Don’t get your Mary Green panties in a bunch, Caitlyn. Just lie back, relax, and think of Joan Jett and Carmen Electra. It’s OK. But just as Chuck D. once bemoaned the fact that most of his heroes don’t appear on no stamps, so my homo heroes don’t appear on no Showtime.

Case in point: Lila Thirkield, the superhumanly vivacious owner of SF sapphic outpost the Lexington Club. When I first moved here in the early ’90s, I almost turned straight or something. The San Francisco my naive dreams envisioned was full of hot, scruffy, tattooed boys into hip-hop and punk, all of them on goofy, gleaming bicycles, occasionally in drag. What I got were mostly overgymed proto–circuit queens in pink spandex thongs and cracked-out twinks you could practically see through. Great if I needed to floss, but … And while all the cute ex–ACT UPers were somewhere adrift — busy shearing sleeves off flannels, maybe — it was the rough-and-tumble sistas who really dotted the t’s on my fanboy résumé. Dykes ruled it.

That was back when wallet chains were radical and FTMs were the new It girls. I’m dating myself, but who wouldn’t, hello? Alas, despite all those Sister Sledge–soundtracked strides up the rainbow of equal signs, women could still get kicked out of bars for making out. Wha? It was a gay man, man, man’s world, and the few lesbian watering holes hewed strictly to the old-school standards: alternadykes, calm down.

Thirkield, a spiky-souled kid at the time, stepped up and opened the Lexington in 1997 to give dykes of a different stripe a dive of their own. Like all bars clever enough to fill a cultural gap, the Lex galvanized its community and reinforced the new, boisterous lesbo aesthetic that combined street activism, machismo appropriation, punk rock attitude, and a winking yen for girly pop culture. And hot sex, of course.

“It seemed so important to have a space where we could be creative, where artists, street kids, and young people could hook up and express themselves,” Thirkield says. “It was my first time running a bar, but it was like the whole community was running it with me.”

Over the past decade the Lex has persevered in the same spirit. “The economics of the city have really changed,” Thirkield says. “Our crowd has a really hard time living here now — that’s why we never charge a cover and we always support other things going on. But really, we’re doing better than ever.”

The young drinking dyke crowd has also expanded, finding homes over the years in such spaces as the Phone Booth and Pop’s, as well as legendary joints such as Sadie’s Flying Elephant and the Wild Side West. New bar Stray is catering to a mostly female clientele, and, although lesbian spaces Cherry and the old Transfer have succumbed, a slew of roving dyke dance parties have taken root.

“The dyke scene has changed in the past 10 years too,” Thirkield says. “It’s more diverse. Certain aspects of it are more visible in the media — some people expect different things. We get a lot more complaints from people coming in for the first time, saying things like ‘It’s such a dive!’ Well, yes, that’s exactly what it is. I mean, it’s great that lipstick types exist. I hope they find a place that makes them happy. But if you want to flick your lighter and sing along to old Journey songs with a roomful of babes from around the world — like during Pride last year — this is the place.”

And what about that pesky L Word? “We get a big crowd to watch it on Sunday nights — mostly because they can’t afford cable. Then they stay for an hour afterward, drinking and bitching about it. So it’s great for business!”