They decided to kick it up with some real glamour on the dance floor and some real house music (not the same 20-minute-long GaGa mixes from the gym) in the DJ booth. Who would have thunk this would fly in the Castro, where Affliction Ts were just then catching on. They took a risk, hunty.
Thus was the fab Booty Call Wednesdays born (the name was based on a series of cheeky ass-flash photos Juanita was then producing). The weekly party took over QBar and, for the scandalously low price of $4, brought in internationally recognized underground DJs, a crowd of the gorgeously mobile, and trippy performance art go-go dancers with nothing left to lose. There are a lot of cute pansexual beings and young gay guys there and you will probably get laid.
On top of that, they recognized the importance of social media: every week a cutting-edge artist decorates the backroom and photographer Isaac snaps the delighted and sometimes bewildered partygoers, who then post and share the pic … and thus promote the party! It was new then. And it still works.
For the fifth anniversary blowout, they’re bringing in killer tech-house DJ Christy Love of House of Stank in NYC, one of my favorite people, and are featuring VivvyAnne Forevermore and Dia Dear on the go-go boxes. Artists Jesse Lee Oberst designs the backroom, and Emi Photo shoots the crowd. It’s a beauty call!
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.
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.
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.
It’s strange to me, in the wake of Lovevolution lesving the city a few years ago, that we have all these music-oriented street festivals (and park — Hardly Strictly Bluegrass was a hardly strictly madhouse this past weekend), yet nothing devoted to local DJs, of which we have many of great quality. CMAC, the California Music and Culture Association, which helps protect and lobby for local nightlife concerns, is out to change that with a huge fest next year.
About the SFDJ Showcase: This is a first in series of themed party fundraisers to build up for San Francisco’s first major DJ street party set for October 2013. To kick off the series CMAC will host an electronic dance themed SFDJ Showcase, which will also be an opening party for SF Music Tech Summit!
About the DJ’s: Headlining the show is Syd Gris, founder of Opel Productions , along with other long time pioneers of niche S.F. Party scenes such as Maneesh the Twister of (Surya Dub). Maneesh is a producer of far Eastern styles mixed with modern club scene dub beats. We’re also proud to have Fringe DJ’s Blondie K & subOctave of the sassy monthly electro-indie music video dance party! ..and to truly represent the diversity of the S.F. music scene we have rave classic electro glitchy DJ’s from Lights Down Low! and rock’n juke-jit-booty-ghetto techno house provided by FootwerksSF
We hope you’ll join us in celebrating our right to party!
CMAC SFDJ SHOWCASE
October 8th, 2012
8pm – 1am, $5 CMAC members,$10 nonmembers, free entrance with $25 purchase of CMAC membership
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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!
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
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.
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.
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).
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?
Hey, what’s better than rubbable gifs, Madonnaschewitz, and Partysaurus shorts? Another edition of Party Radar, in which you’ll find all this weekend’s insane recommendations online from someone who was too drunk to hand this in on time to make the paper — so consider the source, and be amazed! Meet me in the ladies’ room and be even more amazed!
>> SPILT MILK Speaking of great bass (we always are) — Taylor Fife and his Mother Records crew in the East Bay have been carving a lovely and deep niche in the Upper Haight at Milk. They’re now going big (and free!) once a month on Third Thursdays, don’t sleep on this if you want to peep some super-talented up-and-coming locals. Bells and Whistles and Pixel Memory kick off the new monthly. This latest mix by Taylor is fantastic:
>>NOC’TAILS Nocturnal creatures unite — at last the SF Zoo has joined in on the museum party phenom, with this cocktails and dancing shindig. Will it be “wild”? I bet it will be, or at least pretty damn neat. Don’t worry, no animals will be harmed by the sonic debauchery. The kick off of this monthly (I hope) affair will be hosted by our own amazing Silent Disco crew: you get headphones that transmit extremely funky and danceable sounds from the DJ booth’s Zach Moore, Brown Amy, and Carnitas.
Fri/17, 7pm-11pm, $20-$25. Lemur Cafe at SF Zoo, 1 Zoo Rd, SF. www.sfzoo.org >>NO WAY BACK + L.I.E.S. Deliciously acidy-haunty New York label L.I.E.S. pairs with one of our best parties, No Way Back, for a night of deep sounds and killer visuals. Bay favorite Legowelt heads up, with Xosar, Svengalighost, Ron Morelli, Solar, and Conor dryving the shadows forward. Great opportunity to hear a few new sounds of now, get out of your head a bit.
Fri/17, 10pm-4am, $10-$20. Public Works Odd Job lot, 161 Erie, SF. www.publicsf.com >>BUZZ Another dusted-off classic, DJ Ellen Ferrato — just kidding, Ellen, only fairy dust on you! — returns to the SF scene after making her name at her weekly Sugar party more than a decade ago as one of the harder, highly energetic techno DJs on the scene. This party, set for first and third Saturdays, will show whether SF is ready to push its retro obsession from the warm early ’90s into the more, er, “focussed”; later ones.
Sat/18, 9pm-4am, $10. Rebel, 1760 Market, SF. www.facebook.com/BUZZSF >>I-BEAM REUNION In the ’80s, the long-gone I-Beam club on Haight Street was our own version of Manchester’s Hacienda, a focal point of New Wave, Hi-NRG, and straight-up rock scenes that served to blend some of the city’s most disparate crowds together. The awesome New Wave City party is kicking off its 20th anniversary series of events with a reunion tribute to the venue where it all started, with original I-Beam DJ Brian Raffi.
Sat/18, 9pm-3am, $7 before 10pm, $12 after (former I-Beam employees free). Cat Club, 1190 Folsom, SF. www.newwavecity.com
>>MIDNIGHT MAGIC Last year the ecstatic retro-disco rave-up “Beam Me Up” by this nine-piece NYC ensemble followed me pretty much everywhere: along with Escort and Crazy P, they’re the best party band on the sexy underground red-light circuit right now. Jeffrey and Ava of Blow Up present (and the wonderful Andy Vague co-hosts), ensuring a night of nonstop erotic dancing — including special dance performances by Siouxsie Black, Saturn jones, Reed Thomas — and out-of-body shenanigans.
>>MK The comeback kid of the moment, whose genius dubs and remixes from the early ’90s sound fresher than ever. He moved his hometown crowd to tears at the Detroit Electronic Music Festival this year — and he’s wielding his classic sounds on new material, too. Um, he actually made me dance to Lana Del Ray? Now that’s some MK magic. Catch him with deep house smartie The Revenge atop the W Hotel at As You Like It’s second anniversary afternoon blowout.
Sat/18, 1-9pm, $20-$40. W Hotel, fourth fl., 181 Third St., SF. www.ayli-sf.com
Because why wouldn’t some of the niiiiiicest dub bass come from Lodz, Poland? Check out some seriously exotic sounds at the always great Dub Mission, one of our longest running clubs, with local low-low-low geniuses Kush Arora and DJ Sep.
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:
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)
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.
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 email@example.com for more details. Or just go!
Uhhhh…. yes, I’m finally recovering from Pride, which was quite a thing. Here’s the quick tea: our SFBG Pulling Pork for Pride party was chill in a good, busy, porky way. Nightlife at the Cal Academy was a breezy, star-filled affair — with baby ostriches, even! The lovely Mr. at Monarch on Friday was packed with stylish yet soulful dancers (along with Quentin Harris at Saturday’s Mighty Real shindig, one of the most diverse parties of the weekend, too).
Juanita More’s double-venue marathon on Pride Sunday was a high-water mark: its throbbing, post-runway crowd dressed in custom black separates and dripping vintage gold chains. Hard French was also a rockin’ delight, its post-Tumblr crowd dressed in custom neon separates and dripping in silver netting. And Honey Soundsystem was just far too hot-hot-hot (both temperaturewise and bodywise), its crowd pretty much naked except for glimpses of Southwest-patterned motifs, whether shaven into baroque haircuts or flashed from acid-washed scraps. The music at every party was pretty amazing, and I even stumbled upon a secret shisha bar in the TL, woot.
People both crabby-old and young-hip were snippily comparing the actual Pride Sunday celebration at Civic Center to Love Parade, with its cavalcade of straight, inebriated youth, whose fuschia-fishnet-girl, unshirted-jocky-stoner hot-boy, slutty-mess energy I can only envy. But, one, it’s been like that since long before Love Parade migrated to our shores six years ago — more like Halloween in the early 2000s, I’d say. And, two — hi, if you’re going to throw a huge free(ish) party full of cuddly gays, rainbows, and drag queen unicorns, of course young straight girls will show up, with wannabe-boyfriends in tow. It’s not queer rocket science (gaeronautics)!
Welcome to assimilation, queens: us drunk straight girls gon’ be there, k?
But outside of the wild teens, it did all seem a bit mannered, so well behaved — like no one really got craaazy with Pride. I hope we haven’t put that side of us behind us. Scream something!
I hung out a few times with this quintessential deep, sophisticated house producer in Detroit in the 1990s, and it’s such a pleasure to see him return to the DJ scene. Whether on his own or along with oft-partner Ron Trent, he made some of the timeless classics of the early techno-house era, bringing out a true spirit in the machines. He’s hitting the ever-glowing Housepitality weekly (which next week hosts the amazing Recloose. Booking coups!)
On to the headier side of classic Detroit tech now, as longtime ace producer Hood blends hypnotic experiments with machine-soul vibes, stripping things down wickedly, expertly to the cosmic sub-basement level.
Kill the DJ! At least that’s what his Paris party’s named, but global fans have long smothered him with love, writhing to his dark-disco, genre-melting style that ranges from pounding No Wave chestnuts to cutting edge icy minimal wave re-edits. Hang with him high for an extended set, among the strobing lights at the Honey Soundsystem weekly, which continues to kill it for hot queers and their hot friends.
Living! Francois K., Joe Clausell, and Danny Krivit, together again and playing SF. One of my favorite clubs of all time (seriously, I flew to NYC all the time especially for its amazing blend of, well, body and soul) isn’t coming to Mighty until 10/6 — but now’s the time to get tickets before it sells out. $20 presales available here: www.mightybodyandsoul.eventbrite.com and we will groove all night.
What’s more emotionally hair-raising than tonight’s “appearance” by DJ Pauly D at the Sound Factory? The pic accompanying this post of the scrubbed and painted Eagle Tavern that surfaced on the Internet this week — I saw it via drag queen politico Anna Conda. The Eagle closed last year — it was an actually legendary hangout for leather biker queers, and straight scruffy friends, into amazing rock music courtesy of DJ Don Bard at Sunday beer busts and a passel of live bands on Thursdays. It closed amid controversy, confusion, and stalled protest efforts, but now It does indeed look, in the words of one commenter, like, “My memories have been raped by a poorly designed condo kitchen.” (I hate rape jokes, unless they’re hilarious.)
But as another astute commenter commented, “While the physical space that was the Eagle is no longer, the people that made the atmosphere, the experience, the adventure, and the tradition are still with us. Let’s focus on the people and look for new space.” Amen. The monthly Eagle in Exile beer bust at El Rio is doing great, and although we’ve yet to achieve something weekly, I kind of think a little break for my liver on Sunday afternoons (and a chance to explore some other venues) has been a good thing. But I do miss hanging with my manly-man, non-gym queen homies, getting turned on to musical gems like this — and this pic brought on a lot of memories, as well as Crate and Barrel nightmares.
>> DOC MARTIN + J-BOOGIE Cali’s most beloved rave legend DJ Doc Martin, whose sets can encompass classic house woo-woo, intricate techno, and deep funk (he’s been on fire in the past couple years especially) will join SF’s multitalented jazzy-funk producer J-Boogie’s live band Dubtronic Science at Yoshi’s Fillmore to “combine electronic dance music with live instrumentation, progressing the tradition of jazz improvisation in the Fillmore.” This sounds really cool. Below is one of J-Boogie’s smooth recent joints that’s been popping up everywhere lately. What might Doc Martin do with it?
>> FIX YOUR HAIR Giant neon queer fun with scene favorites DJs Jenna Riot and Andre, performers Manicure Versace and Terry T, the Vogue and Tone Crew, and more wet and wild friends. Tease it out, grrrlz.
>> JOEY NEGRO The UK dance hero, also known as Dave Lee, ruled much of the late 80s to early 00s: he was one of the first to infuse overt disco samples into house, and his productions and remixes like the below really did save my life on numerous occasions. Classic, classic, classic.
>> SOUTH RAKKAS CREW SOM Bar is gonna be keeee-razy on 4/20 with a ton of booming’ future-dancehall and global bass music from this Mad Decent crew, plus incredibly diverse supporting players Kush Arora (perfect for today!), DJ Sep, Daneekah, Bootyklap, and the always slayin’ it Slayer’s Club players. Light up and get low.
Two big nightlife things this week are true: one sad (but hopeful!) and one speechless. The speechless one involves mimes.
Yes, as the Chronicle keepsreporting, the Entertainment Commission is considering following in many European cities’ silent footsteps — perhaps against the wind, perhaps down invisible stairs, perhaps directly into a pernicious, intractable cube — and utilizing street mime troupes to neutralize rowdy nightlife crowds on the street. It is horrifying. These roving claques of pantomimers, or “nocturnal artistic intervention squads” are part of a program called Les Pierrots de la Nuit, which is something I used to say out loud in the shower while I was washing my hair to crack myself up. Now those words have taken quivering, over-gesticulating flesh and I am mortified.
But apparently, according to Paris, Barcelona, and other nexi of noisy nightlife, drawing a crowd’s attention (and, as the Chronicles gossip queen Leah Garchik cracks, possible malevolence?) drawing a crowd’s attention to sudden, engaging/enraging street theater can diffuse the tension clouds and dissipate any impending violence or escalating noise. (Mimes are also good with Venezuelan traffic.)
No word yet (lol) on the EC’s official decision, and I’ll stop beating up on mimes now because I actually revere Marcel Marceau and adore Mummenschantz. And oddly enough, there is actually a funny space for mimes in club history, from the Commedia dell’Arte traditions that inform burlesque, Vaudeville, masquerades, and Burning Man to a strange number of weeks in downtown Manhattan around 1989 when a group of young’uns went around dressed as mimes in a sort-of Clockwork Orange-y homage and attempted to overthrow the then-mouldering Club Kid establishment. So wave your arms, there you go.
Of course this is San Francisco, and we have slightly, er, different problems:
The sad but hopeful news? Tonight Thu/19 is THE FINAL DONUTS PARTY, a farewell to that wonderful, four-year-old roving nu-disco and hip house throwdown (yes, with free donuts!) as mainstay DJ Pickpocket, a.k.a. Kat Matutina moves to LA for a big job. I’m pissed that we’re not only losing another great party (like Blow Up and Kontol recently), but that we’re also losing an absolutely fabulous and gorgeous nightlife mover and shaker who did a ton to make SF the sophisticated, debaucherous nightlife center it’s become.
No fear though, because she’s going out in biggie style with performances from Ital, Mi Ami, Magic Touch, and others from the beloved dance music label of the moment, 100% Silk. Good luck, Kat — we will miss you!
“Nu-tech-disco and positivity in numbers” are the stated goals of this new “travelling seasonal party” from the the creators of uber-scrumptious Nark Magazine. Here’s the launch, lighting up your primavera, with music by Doc Sleep, Robert Jeffrey, and Nark himself, who is quite stylish and narky! This will be a good meetup for the fluorescent queer children who like to dance, like these:
Is it weird that last night I found myself dancing around in my Underoos to Mother Nature’s wowser light show and bass mechanix? Outside the disco, thunder and lightning are rare commodities ’round these parts (they happened, like, maybe three times in the ’90s?), so please forgive me for flashdancing on my fire escape rather than hitting the dance floor. Sometimes you just gotta be a semi-private dancer in the elements, love.
Speaking of spring storms: Sad — but ultimately hopeful — word has came down the wire that two of SF’s best parties, Blow Up and Kontrol are calling it quits, at least in regards to their regular installments. Greg Bird of monthly techno blast Kontrol at the EndUp put out an eloquent statement about how each of the crew’s side projects had taken on lives of their own, and that June 3’s party would be the last, except for special events. Who could blame Kontrol, after seven years of outstanding live techno fun? In any case, we’ve still two months to bid adieu, so keep it together.
But fantastic electro-glamour gig Blow Up’s last weekly party is tonight Fri/13, and you know it’s going out with a bang.
No tears! Ultimate breathtaking hostess Ava Berlin assures me that seven-year-old Blow Up will be back and better than ever — she and ace DJ Jeffrey Paradise are taking off to the desert for a couple months to plan a relaunch and prepare for the continued success of Paradise’s sunny tech-pop outfit Poolside. Blow Up parties will return, no fear. And how perfectly SF is taking off for the desert to regroup for a few. Loving.
Tonight’s farewell Blow Up at DNA Lounge features damn fine remix crew RAC, which has the power to make everything it touches insanely catchy in an old-school electro-pop way, and DJ Miles, indie-hero resident of the lovely Popscene weekly party. Throw on something risque-bananas and toast the bon voyage of this essential piece of SF nightlife gorgeousness.
Fri/13, 10pm-2am, $10-20,18+. DNA Lounge, 375 11th St., SF. Facebook invite
Ah, you dance music genius Curtis Jones — firstyouruled the Chicago house scene in the early ’90s as Cajmere. Then you got REALLY freaky — anticipating both the fried and funkdafied antics of Moodymann and the acid-brained electroclash antics of Felix da Housecat. (And for good or ill we are about to experience an electroclash revival, heralded by Felix’s takeover of the Blow Up party last month.) He’ll be headlining the always bonkers Lights Down Low party, as part of host DJ Sleazemore’s birthday celebration.
Ever since the amazing Non Stop Bhangra parties moved to Public Works, the audience for this incredible party has exploded — so much so that the party will now take over both of the expansive club’s levels. To launch the upstairs dance room, Jimmy Love and the dholrhythms crew are enlisting the aid of serious Arabic-vibing bass crew Hookahdome: Jef Stott featuring MC Rai, Kush Arora, Drumspyder, bellydancing, and more. It will be a sunburst of global insanity.
Essential second-generation Detroit techno innovator Kenny now lives in LA, but he’s as full of ideas and energy as ever (and he’s a pretty great guy to boot). While he hasn’t received as much attention as I think he should for his many contributions, that’s all starting to be rectified with renewed interest in some of Detroit’s less-lauded players. It helps that he’s been getting around a lot more, remixing recent tracks excellently, and playing splendidly! He’ll be joined by another Detroiter, Monty Luke, for a night of solid banging.
Here’s one of my favorite tracks of all time, from 1994:
Twisted Berlin star DJ Kaos does have a bit of a reputation for being, well, chaotic in a party way — what do you expect from such a force of nature behind the decks? Still, his “disco-dusted” tunes, perfect gateways to sexy debauchery, are also glimmering slices of urbane perfection. High mixed with low, at the groovy No Way Back party with beloved local DJs Conor and Solar, returning to the awesomely reurbished 222 Hyde. Go get down.
Fresh from his night with Kenny Larkin, Monty Luke — a Detroiter with deep SF roots — will be turning the children of the routinely packed and queer-fab Honey Soundsystem Sunday party out. Monty’s been known for a heady blend of bass funk with acid highlights and deep grooves. Lately he seems to be delving into the more cosmic reaches of the classic techno sound, which I will never argue with. This will be a perfect way to round off your weekend in style.
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!
Second: so, yes, American Idolator Simon Cowell is launching a DJ competition version of the X-Factor, which promises to enrage just as much as it might engage (please let there actually be a category for how big DJs open their mouth when they stare at laptops!) And some big name DJs who actually aren’t douchbags are already having some good, hilarious fun with it, which in fact kinda makes me want to see the trainwreck/real thing:
And now, more parties.
PRINCESS PANDORA’S PINK PAJAMA PARTY
The Lusty Lady goddess aims to throw one hell of a birthday party at this week’s Bondage A Go Go party for pleasant perversions, which benefits Planned Parenthood. You know what to (hardly) wear.
Our weekly Super Ego clubs column took a wee breather from the paper this week in order to bring you some great live bands we love. But does that mean you’re not going to go out partying? Possibly even partying like this dude, who last month broke the world record for continuous DJing (130 hours and 30 mins)? Maybe! After the jump, my picks of the week.
>>Mike “Agent X” Clark
The expansive, blues-house Beatdown sound is finally making it to the Bay Area. Last week, so-called “First Lady of Beatdown” Lady Blacktronika visited us from Mt. Shasta. And now one of the three Detroit originators of the decade-old sound itself, Mike “Agent X” Clark, comes to one of my favorite new weekly parties, Housepitality. But Clark has a long and varied history of tasty dance sounds; he’ll be bringing a whole bag of soulful tricks to lift you up.
Last week I bitched about how expensive some parties were getting — I can barely keep myself in lynx stoles and unicorn caviar! Well, here’s the response for queers and friends: how about a free weekly party with $3 well drinks and $2 PBR, plus DJ Stanley Frank and a wild performance by the lovely Donna Personna? I say yes.
Thu/2 and every Thursday, 9 p.m., free. The Stud, 299 Ninth St., SF. www.studsf.com >>DJ Hell
Helmut Josef Geier is, yes, German and also one of the folks who brought us some of the better parts of electroclash. But wait! He’s been making music for more than 20 years (and DJing since 1978!), so his catalog is incredibly deep. If he plays 1992 anthem “My Definition of House Music,” I may weep.
Fri/3, 9 p.m.-late, $12 presale, $15-$20 door. public Works, 161 Erie, SF. www.publicsf.com
Awesome Brazilian dance music monthly party Braza! — um, yeah, the patrons are freaking friendly and gorgeous — is kicking off a series of live music showcases with this accordion-powered roots music quartet, each member from a different region of Brazil. Really stoked for this one.
One of the strongest representatives, along with his Desolat label co-founder Loco Dice, of the current polished German techno sound, all flexing muscle and audio wizardry under the surface, but floated with enough bright swing (especially in the example below, one of my faves) to pull anyone onto the floor. He’ll fill every inch of your ear on Mighty’s mighty sound system.
One of the best long-running parties in Brooklyn — and the nerve center for East Coast techno and “avant-house” — is the Bunker, which this month meets our own techno nerve center, Kontrol, in a delectable conflagration of like minds. Bunker DJs Derek Plaslaiko (who blew us away at Berlin’s Tresor club last year), the more classic house-oriented Mike Servito (likewise at Honey Soundsystem), and Spinoza will let us know how the other coast lives. This is another stealth Detroit takeover, too, since Plaslaiko and Servito both originally hail from the Motor City. The waves just keep on comin’.
Sat/4, 10 p.m.-6 a.m., free before 11 p.m., $20 after. EndUp, 401 Sixth St., SF. Facebook invite
This week’s fab Honey Soundsystem party on Sunday play’s host to this revered London club owner (Dalston Superstore) and DJ (Disco Bloodbath collective). I’m digging his refined style, plugging into deeper synth-electronic waves.Should be a stylish international wrap-up for a kind of crazy SF weekend.
>>CHEAP This new Thursday weekly party at the Stud promises “cheap booze, cheap fags, cheap tunes, cheap everything.” Free cover, $3 well drinks, $2 PBR — and a couple weeks ago a SWAT team landed across the street, no shit. So cheap entertainment, too! I’m totally saving some cash and turing gay for this.
This outrageously fun monthly party turns the Castro’s LookOut Bar into a kooky Mexican cabana bar, replete with drag performances, dance numbers, giant sombreros and inflatable flamingos. Hostess Ambrosia Salad and probably SF’s two cutest gay DJs, Taco Tuesday and Stanley Frank, play everything from salsa to Trina for a loosey-goosey crowd. Well drinks are $2 untill 11 p.m., mijas!
We at SFBG have a total soft-spot for the immersive, tribal-like second generation Detroit techno DJ — he’s got as much subtlety as muscle on the decks, but still leads you to ecstatic places. he’ll be at the weekly BASE party at Vessel, which is a whole lot of fun for techno freaks and friends. And it’s free before 11 p.m. with guestlist signup here. (Sign up before 8 p.m., though!)
>>DECENTRALIZED DANCE PARTY Helping to inaugurate a strange new era of crowdsourced party funding — i.e. in order for the party to happen, there was a Kickstarter campaign (!) — the DDP takes a really fun, familiar idea and slicks it up: bring an old boombox (with batteries!) and an FM transmitter will broadcast tunes from every speaker. It’s decentralized! It’s spontaneous! The theme is “Strictly Business” so wear formal business attire.
Dark music, gay goth fans, industrial dancing, free whiskey shots before 11! Need we say more — other than our favorite little hole-in-the-wall queer goth monthly will depeche your mode with complimentary silk-screened tees for the first 50 people through the door, in honor of its ghoulish first anniversary.
>>GO BANG! Time for another installment of this sweaty-lovely monthly disco-soul free-for-all, this time featuring LA sleazy edit hound Cole Medina, self-described “drunk funker” Tal M. Klein, and one of my longtime crushes, Rich King of NYC’s decade-old SNAXX club, which is indeed snaxxtastic.
>>MOSCA Got to give it up for the always innovative Icee Hot party, popularizing the bouncy-deep UK bass sound in San Francisco and giving our nightlife a few other juicy headtrips, tunes-wise. For Icee’s second birthday, Mosca, a prominent rep of the London’s Night Slugs scene (read this neat interview with Paloma Ortiz), will join fellow rave-y Brit Altered Natives on decks, along with chill-toasty regulars Rollie Fingers, Shawn Reynaldo, and Ghosts on Tape.
I managed to fit a helluvalotuv parties in this week’s Super Ego column — but since nightlife is proving to be completely recession-proof, of course there are many more I must list here. And they are good ones! Plus some news about old favorites: check out the scoop.
>>BALLIN’ AGAIN Let’s start with a big ball, why not: The announcement came yesterday via this amazing video, directed by Dirty Glitter and playing cheekily off this, about classic soul party Hard French’s highly anticipated Winter Ball, taking place on Feb. 4 near the Santa Cruz boardwalk — and already there are like 100 entries for king and/or queen:
>>222 NEWS One of my favorite clubs in the city, 222 Hyde, has been closed for a wee bit (since early December) in order to remodel. Reopening was said to be scheduled for earlier this month, but no go yet. A number of people, including moi, are straining at the bit to get back on 222’s underground dance floor. I wrote to owner (and friend) Emilio to ask what was up, and got this reply:
“Hi Marke! Thanks for getting in touch. Its nice to hear that people are interested in what’s going on at the club! We’re still getting the work done, doing it myself with the building owner. Taking a little longer than expected, as it usually is with stuff like this. Looking at two weeks out maybe before a soft opening, and a few weeks after that for the grand reopening. We will have another fire exit, so higher capacity, bar and coat check on the dancefloor (back left corner), added a lounge style hangout room, and outdoor smoking area (so folks wont have to go out front). Newly tuned soundsystem, cdj2000s, and the most impressive addition will be on the dancefloor and will be unique in sf (more on this soon 🙂 [:-)] So we are very excited to show everyone what we’ve been up to making 222 even better! I’ll keep you updated and would love to give a tour once its all done.”
I’ll pass on the details to y’all — but sounds pretty spectacular …
>>RITUAL ONE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY
The raging — yet brain-tickling — dubstep weekly from the Irie Cartel, amazingly the city’s first, just celebrated one year of residence at Temple Nightclub 9the party itself turns two in May). Ritual’s still going strong, this week with special appearances by Tankman, Blackheart, Maneesh the Twister (the killer Surya Dub head is back!) and more at Temple. Irie Cartel member and one of my personal favorite DJs Nebakaneza Dubstep just boosted me this deeper mix — perfect tunes for the low barometric pressure:
After a triumphant two-year anniversary, weekly dragstravaganza party Some Thing is doing something else special — bringing in bathhouse disco god DJ Bus Station John (of the Tubesteak Connection and Love Will Fix It) to celebrate his 21st birthday for the 30th time. With a twist! he’s picked out special rare disco and funk songs for all the performers to take on — who will be the first to shake their sacrophiliac?
Fri/20, 10 p.m..-3 a.m., $7. The Stud, 399 Ninth St., SF. www.studsf.com
Famed ’90s funky breaks innovator DJ Icey’s sugar rush style will melt this annual affair at Mighty, which brings together some classic SF progressive house and breaks heads for a banging good time. Dress in white — Silent Disco outside.
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 21+ $6 Tall Boy/Jim Beam/Whiskey combos! $5 cocktails
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42p2nERiNFk
Perhaps you already are (or probably should be) into the steamy sounds of Discodromo, the Italian DJ-production duo currently residing in Berlin who bitch-slap the gurgling tickle of Italo-disco with some filthy minimal techno trick-outs. Or maybe you just like to watch cute scruffy gay boys having a lubed-up orgy? We say both.
And what better way to kick off Folsom Week than an X-rated video featuring said scruffy boys — plus a party full of hot things? Discodromo will play an exclusive set at the always enjoyable Honey Sundays this Sunday at the Holy Cow, put on by Honey Soundsystem. And to celebrate their latest release on Honey’s Discaire Records, “Mercurio,” Discodromo boys Giacomo and Giovanni have put out a fun promo video that makes good use of trashbags, flashlights, gardening gloves, dirty Nikes, tube socks, and nasty boys.
We can’t embed it in this post, but head over to this link and enter the case-sensitive password FLANEUR for a nice little rush (NSFW, obviously). Below is a neat summer mix from the boys and a listen to the new release. Is the video a preview of Sunday night’s debauchery? One can only hope.
>>Jamie Jones — the Hot Natured star is pretty massive on the hotness scale himself, full of sexy tech-soul spark. This’ll be steamy and a bit deep. 10pm, $10, at Vessel.
>>Manuel de la Mare — this’ll be a bit balls-out in the peaky territory: the Hotfingers and 303Lovers label owner brings some great tech track selection instincts and a lot of drama. Accessible and fun. 10pm, $15, at Mezzanine. (Facebook)
>>Relax Relate Release — hey, I finally have some competition in the nightlife writing category, and he’s also a wicked DJ! Derrick Love, aka Derek Opperman, will bring some discofied lovin’ to this classic house and funky dance monthly, brought to you by Vin Sol, Charles McCloud, and Richie Panic. 10pm, $5, at 222 Hyde. (Facebook)
FRIDAY, AUGUST 26
>>Prince Language — NYC re-editor and bouncy house purveyoris back in the bay for some more fun lovin’ at SOM’s face party. 10pm, $10, at SOM.
>>Marques Wyatt with Osunlade — I’m such a huge fan of these two gods of deep house and spiritual tribality. They’ll be holding down Friday’s Afro-soul quotient. Bonus: amazing local DJ Said opens. 9:30pm-4am, $15-$20, at Mighty. (Facebook)
>>Quentin Harris – NYC house pioneer (and totally bodied, meow) grew up in Detroit and takes you on a journey of both those cities’ seminal sounds. He comes into Oakland for a hot-hot blowout for the children. You will get down to this one. 9pm-3am, $15, at Bench and Bar (Facebook)
SATURDAY, AUGUST 27
>>Honey Dijon — Oooh, it’s gonna get kiki. The monthly Mighty Real parties at Mighty with David Harness are wonderful family-feeling affairs that bring in some true house guest talent. After Lil Louis and Jellybean Benitez comes the lovely, sassy Miss Honey Dijon to turn the tables and the floor inside out with her deep Chicago-via-NYC brand of smack-smack-smack. 10pm-4am, $10-$15 at Mighty. (Facebook)
>>Dark Room — yes, Virginia, there is a monthly gay goth club that rocks. Thsi one is it! And this month it’s honoring drag queen Anna Conda’ appointment to the Entertainment Commission. 10pm, $5, at Hotspot, 1414 Market, SF. (Facebook)
>>Addison Groove — it’s footwork time! UK bass representative from Bristol throws down some complex, irresistible, juke-like, ghostly ghettotech tunes for the always awesome Icee Hot monthly party. 10pm-3am, $10, at Public Works (Facebook)
Marcelo Burlon — um, Sunday weekly queer-oriented but straight-friendly party Honey has been on fire of late, this week bringing in Milan’s editor/fashion plate-turned-DJ Marcel Burlon of the Pink is Punk parties for some wide-ranging tunes that have a classic disco feel but retain a technological edge. 8pm-2am, $3, at Holy Cow. (Facebook)
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!”
We here at the Guardian kind of worship the dark wave-related atmospherics of this Oakland gothish shoegaze band. This is a precious live appearance that will draw everyone from the batcave for this Nachtmusik presentation. Thu/10, 9 pm, $10. Milk Bar, 1840 Haight, SF. www.milksf.com , Facebook: Nachtmusik Soft Moon
The hot-hot NYC kid who mixes new school grime and vogue beats with an old school rave sensibility and then chops it all up will drive the stylish crowd bonkers at this 5th anniversary bash for the Lights Down Low party. He’ll be joined by NGUZUNGUZU and Acid Girls. Fri/11, 10pm-3am, $10. SOM, 2925 16th St., SF. www.som-bar.com , Facebook: Lights Down Low 5 Year
PART TIME PUNKS
Absolutely rockin’ no wave and post-punk hijinks from this cute (and smart) LA DJ duo. They’ll be playing for a dancing crowd at Public Works — and it’ll be a night of sharp looks with the Archetype Runway and Trunk Show. Fri/11, 8pm, $10. Public Works, 161 Erie, SF. www.publicsf.com , Facebook: Factory Direct
The Swedish king of space disco put on a great show last time he was here — we danced, we cried, we flew. Don’t miss his special return engagement with local abstract-rock faves Jonas Reinhardt and freestyle artist Corinne. Sat/12, 9:30pm, $15 advance. Mezzanine, 444 Jessie, SF. www.mezzaninesf.com , Facebook: Lindstrom Mezzanine
UPROOT ANDY AND JUBILEE
The Brooklyn duo (who perform separately but would make a nice sonic pair) span an international spectrum of dance beats from cumbia to dubstep, which is just what the party they’re appearing at, Tormenta Tropical, is all about. And wild dancing! Sat/12, 10pm, $10. Elbo Room, 647 Valencia, SF. www.elbo.com , Facebook: Tormenta Tropical Uproot
Right out of the glitter-strewn gate, when it launched a year ago, I knew that Some Thing was “special.” The weekly Friday drag night (with crafts table!) at the Stud not only filled the city’s missing weekly alternative drag hole left behind by Trannyshack, but it managed to bring something unique, channeling a new sensibility rising in the children that respected traditional performance as well as punk-rock theatrics, and loved to play with the expectations that had arisen around both. The club, headed by VivvyAnne ForeverMore, Glamamore, and DJ Downey, grew out of their ambitiously arty Monday weekly Tiara Sensation, also at the Stud. The threesome — who emanate a intellectual grace as well as a healthy appreciation of improvisatory surrealism and wry humor — have made Some Thing not just the Friday night home base for altqueers, but also a showcase of the diversity of queer dance music styles, with ear-opening DJs guesting every week.
It’s time for the annual, incredibly creative Miss Tiara Sensation Pageant, Sun/5, and the popular Some Thing crew is moving it from the Stud to Temple to accomodate their larger dreams for the contest. (You can read the particulars in my Super Ego column this week). This year, the pageant will be a star-studded fundraiser for awesome local fringe theater The Offcenter. I spoke with philosophy-clad cyber-showgirl Vivvy about Some Thing’s anniversary, the big Tiara to-do, and some of her favorite glamour looks.
TIARA SENSATION PAGEANT Sun/5, 8 p.m.–midnight, $35. Temple, 540 Howard, SF. www.templesf.com, Facebook: Some Thing
SFBGHow does it feel for Some Thing to be one year old? How has the club evolved and changed over the past 12 months? Surely it’s grueling to put on a weekly party. But to put one on with two big drag shows every night, eek. Aren’t you exhausted?
VivvyAnne ForeverMore While the club known as SOME THING is one year old we have been working together for 3 years on Tiara Sensation and other projects. The club has gotten bigger over the past 12 months, and we’ve expanded our family of performers. Also our audience, while it’s changing and growing constantly, has gotten to a really lovely point, there is comraderie. We are all there for each other. The craft table has gotten even more ambitious than in the past. Folks go nuts for it, [crafts leader] Hot Gloo often runs out of supplies before the show even begins. We’ve also gotten to pull in great DJs from SF and abroad, and increased our DJs so now we have two residents Stanley Frank and Juanita MORE!
Also, we’ve made connections with other parties around town, and promoters. Which strengthens the nightlife, and the fringe culture of San Francisco generally. Which is very important to us. We love San Francisco and the creative weird people that land here. We want the nightlife to be vibrant, whether you are at our party or somewhere else. Throwing this party is like having a big fat happy baby, it takes alot of work (fun work) but we love it and it loves us back.
SFBGOne of the things I admire most about Some Thing is your willingness to embrace the abstract in terms of theme. You always utilize the phrase Some Thing — like on 9/11 your theme was “If You See Some Thing Say Some Thing” and the themes can always be interpreted a number of ways (although sometimes, hilariously, you make it extremely narrow, like Some Roisin Thing — all Roisin Murphy songs — or other divas I can’t remember at the moment). But I love how you treat the whole theme notion ironically. How do you come up with the ideas?
VVFM Our themes come from anywhere and everywhere often they arise when the three of us are joking around and playing. We know a theme is a good idea if we laugh a lot about it. It’s a collaboration of our weird senses of humor and quirks. People constantly suggest themes to us. We find that if there is a way to misunderstand the assignment a theme can work on many levels, and the show will be suprising. For instance Some Thing Like it Hot could be a lot of different things. For VivvyAnne it was a Marilyn Monroe night, for others it was about spiciness or sexiness, or the beach.
SFBGWhy are you going rather upscale with the pageant and having it at Temple? It seems like a big change in a way — are there other changes or ambitious projects coming?
VVFM While Temple is upscale-r than the Stud it is a matter of logistics. We want to produce a large scale event and provide a platform for our performers to really shine for a big audience. There’s a thing that happens when a performer hears 700 folks cheering for them, it’s trans-formative. The Stud is our home, but it couldn’t fit the crowd that we want to draw.
We aren’t leaving our weekly show behind, just augmenting it. For us its not about upscale or downscale, we just wanna have fun and take our family on a big ride. Temple made sense to us because we’ve known [events manager] David Peterson for years, so we are keeping it in the family.
As you know we do SOME ARE CAMP, our summertime weekend in Guerneville, and we will continue with that. We have some designs on international travel and other trips as well. SOME THING can and should be everywhere. Most immediately coming up at the Stud, we have SOME THING NEW, New Year’s Eve with Juanita MORE! and our anniversary on January 14th.
SFBGRun down one of your favorite looks of the year for me.
VVFM Our favorite looks on ourselves are:
Vivvyanne — Long see through gown worn over a flesh toned boy corset made by Mr. David, with bangs and a clip on pony tail. Glamamore — Rectangual hoop skirt with huge hair floating 8 feet above the ground lipsynching to Nina Hagen Downey — Teddy bear onesy.
Monistat — a unicorn for Halloween Beff Amphetamine — as a Turkey stage diving Martha T. Lipton — dressed as popcorn by taping white balloons to herself. Suppositori Spelling — as a rich woman with plastic surgery by gluing her upper lip open to look like surgery gone awry. Alotta Boutte — Spinning a huge skirt around, so big in fact that it kept hitting the walls.