SUPER EGO One of the best things about the San Francisco scene is we don’t have “hits.” You can always escape that tired Kid Cudi dirge or hypothetical Ke$ha-Cannibal Corpse mashup (not a bad idea, as long as it involves rusty chainsaws) by jetting to another spot. Below is a brief survey of four of the city’s most intriguing regular parties, and the music they’ll most likely ravish you with.
YORUBA DANCE SESSIONS
I’ve got to admit I kind of lost it in a good way on the Som floor at this new weekly the last time I attended. (If I huffed down the back of your neck, I apologize.) It’s one of the most diverse-crowded joints in the city, flipping to deep global soul rhythms, and yes there was a dance circle. “There is a negative stigma attached to house music,” DJ and founder Carlos Mena told me. “It is not the stereotype-laden skits that appear on Saturday Night Live. It is soul-filled music, which encompasses rhythms from Africa and beyond. I want to provide a space for dancers to express themselves.” Upcoming guests include Greece’s Osunlade and Ezel from the Dominican Republic.
DJ Spinna featuring Erro, “Butterfly Girl (Casamena Remix)” Babatunde Olatunji, “Saré Tete Wa” Ezel featuring Tamara Wellons, “”In My Lifetime (Deetron Remix)” Fela Kuti, “Ako” Afefe Iku, “Baiao”
Wednesdays, 10 p.m., $5. Som, 2925 16th St., SF. www.som-bar.com
You’ll want to don a fly fedora or pop a fresh gardenia in your hair for this youthful and stylish — but actually not pretentious — free weekly at the revamped Beauty Bar, which just celebrated its first anniversary. Decades of familiar retro (is that redundant?) are definitely on the carefully curated playlist, but mixed into some newer party jams by DJs Roll and Ts with the help of some stellar backup from the likes of the excellent Sweaterfunk crew. Indie, Northern Soul, boogie, glam, Brit, Mod … the night can go in any direction. “It’s always a headful of rad times!” says Roll.
The Juan Maclean, “Happy House” New Order, “Blue Monday” The Ronnettes, “By My Baby” Holy Ghost!, “Hold On” David Bowie, “Queen Bitch” Wham!, “Club Tropicana”
Thursdays, 10 p.m., free. Beauty Bar, 2299 Mission, SF. www.beautybar.com/sf
Tom Thump, Centipede, and Damon Bell — the “highly unlikely yet perfectly unusual” DJ trio behind this two-year-old weekly throwdown at the Make-Out Room are pure quality, mainstays on the SF scene who each light up in individual ways. Loose Joints is a gonzo sonic outlet for their funkier sides, incorporating Italo, Latin, space disco, globaltronics, and even future bass beats into a cutting-edge stew. Says Thump, “We’re like an all-vinyl house party (as in your home) where everyone is so trashed they’re tearing their clothes off. We’re boundary pushing and blurry — but never cheesy.”
Sounds like: The Bamboos featuring Lyrics Born, “Turn It Up!”
Tropical Discoteque 2, “La Rosa (Simbad and F. Francis Edit)”
Stevie Wonder, “Superstition (Todd Terje Edit)” Situation, “Goblin in the Bikini Shack” Gonja Sufi, “Holidays/Candylane”
Fridays, 10 p.m., $5. Make-Out Room, 3225 22nd St., SF. www.makeoutroom.com
“We’ve had people that dress really nice, like from a certain era — and we’ve had people in their underwear, ha ha,” says one of my favorite club people, Primo Pitino, of the attendees at the fantastic, eight-year-old, twice-monthly, doo-woppy Oldies Night, which he puts on with DJs Ivar and Daniel. “But our party isn’t a throwback party for turning back the clock, it’s for playing music we used to dance around the house naked to, like ‘Please Mr. Postman.’ And our cute crowd has a fairly low asshole ratio.” It’s all true, and not a hard sell by half.
Little Eva, “The Loco-Motion” Gino Washington, “Out Of This World” The Montereys, “Without A Girl” Bo Diddley, “Bo Diddley” The Metros, “Since I Found My Baby”
First and third Fridays, 10 p.m., $3. The Knockout, 3223 Mission, SF. www.theknockoutsf.com