SUPER EGO Is there any phrase lamer than "the future of dance music"? Every time I hear it, I flash unflatteringly back to the tagline for some horrid 2k5 Dutch hardcore trance Internet station: "The future of dance music … pzew! pzew! … is now on Osterpoopen Trance-Radiogeschmacken Internet Stream-Schmeirtz!" Apologies, poi-twirling Netherlanders, but I do.
Future bass, a.k.a. lazer bass, a.k.a. turbocrunk, has willingly been saddled with the "future" burden but if you haven’t hitched your hover-wagon to its woofer-cracking, hip-hop-deconstructing bleeps from the Death Star, you may really need to. Laptop dubsteb, future bass’s quaalude cousin, turned its back on hip-hop when Burial drowned Todd Edwards’ clunky house beats and got moody with the two-step diva samples in 2k7. Future bass ups the tempo and reinjects blingy rhymes, but runs them through the Ableton Moebius strip so much so that San Francisco’s own Lazer Sword can flip Lil’ Flip’s "I’m a Balla" chorus into an Obama chant.
Until last month, alas, there’d been no regular party here to rep the baby genre. And with the general disarray of hip-hop nightlife, you’d think any sound that twists together T-Pain and Flying Lotus would be bong hits to those exhausted by the hip-pop vs. indie rap divide. Tired. Welcome, then, Bass Camp, a third-Thursday monthly at 111 Minna, brought to us by ArtNowSF’s Joseph Gross, Mochipet from Daly City Records, Josh Pollack of Euphonic Conceptions, and indie promoter Aaron Ketry. Although future bass is the highlight, this cluster of ravenous-eared rumblers, along with residents like Quitter, Shane King, MC Buddy LeRoy, and the totally crushable Epcot and Salva, just want to slap up SF’s low-end. Because, as the old saw goes, "Where’s the fookin’ bass?!?" The next Bass Camp on Feb. 19 takes a metal-crunk-mashup turn with Ludachrist, Kill the Noise, and Hookerz and Blow.
Bass Camp every third Thursdays, 9 p.m., $10. 111 Minna, SF. www.111minnagallery.com
THE ID LIST
Proof of intelligent nightlife in the universe? The brand-spankin’ new Cal Academy of Sciences gets batty every Thursday evening with primo local DJs in a laid back atmosphere, paired with informal talks with the biggest scientifical brains out there. First up on Thurs/12: Darwin gets OMmed, with OM Records’ DJ Fluid and J-Boogie, plus renowned natural historian Keith Thompson. Smart! Thurs/12, 610 p.m., $10. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Dr., SF. www.calacademy.org/nightlife
ALY AND FILA
If trance should come from anywhere, it should be Egypt where they used to fatten you up with honey before they ate you. Cairo’s Aly and Fila, current princes of that most globalized, if not diversified, dance genre, will satisfy any cravings for the blam-blam, plink-plink-plink, blam-blam and should be worth braving the usual weekend 1015 crowd for. SF’s Taj leads up. Fri/13, 10 p.m.4 a.m., $20. 1015 Folsom, SF. www.1015.com, www.alyandfila.com
MY BOOTY VALENTINE
OK, new nightlife rule: after this party, anything with the word "booty" in it gets gacked. But and this is a big but I’ll make this one exception, if only because Miami’s DJ Craze, despite his Kanye associations, kicks serious cheek with his three-time World DJ Championship skills. Vinyl’s got back. Sat/14, 10 p.m., $10$15. 330 Ritch, SF. www.330ritch.com, www.hacksawent.com
"This Valentine’s Day, use those tears for lube" reads the tagline to this Homochic and Herrera Brothers succor for lonely alternaqueer boys. How could I improve upon that, except to tell you that DJ Jason Kendig will unleash some erotic disco at new hotspot Triple Crown. Bring your own towel. Sat/14, 10 p.m., $5. Triple Crown, 1760 Market, SF. www.triplecrownsf.com, www.homochic.com
Is electro dead? Maybe, but let’s raid its grave. New local electro label Unicrons, of the energetic Work parties, still generates neon hearts from a spark. Its launch party includes superstar signatories Futuristic Prince, Media, and my current fave raves the Tenderlions, whose "In Addition" track makes me believe in life everlasting. Feb. 21, 9 p.m., $8. Mezzanine, 444 Jessie, SF. www.mezzaninesf.com
BALKAN MARDI GRAS
Wow, I’m totally not going to even touch on the similarities between the Balkans and New Orlean’s Ninth Ward except to say they both sure know how to party, and there are usually a lot of tubas involved. The outrageous Kafana Balkan crew team up with puff-cheeked Brass Menazeri to celebrate Fat Tuesday with woozy Romani stomps and hyperkinetic reeling. Feb. 24, 8 p.m., $10. Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell, SF. www.rickshawstop.com, www.myspace.com/kafanabalkansf