Marke B.

Fashion Week for the fierce, pt I: Yao-za!


Fab intern K. Tighe went to Thursday’s Fashion Week emerging designers extravaganza, here’s the take:

What to wear? The big question. When I decided to attend the 3rd Annual San Francisco Fashion Week, I didn’t really think it through. You see, I’m not what one might call a “fashionable” person. Oh, I’ve got style for miles and miles — but trendy I am not. I’ve been wearing a uniform of jeans, cowboy boots and free band swag t-shirts for years — and the thought of dressing up for such an event frankly turns my stomach a little. So I did what any self-respecting journalist does in dicey situations such as these — I put on a sweater. I figure at the very least I can start a trend — the “dude ranch rocker on the slopes” look is gonna be all over the Milan runways next year, you watch.


I head to the Galleria — roughly 15th & Kansas, that highly fashionable district located just between the Mission and Potrero Hill — hoping the walk will open my mind a little. SF’s Fashion Week is not modeled after the stuff of New York and Paris events — tonight will focus on emerging local designers, and that is a cause I can get behind. I hope.

The transformer


SUPER EGO Every time I think of change, I think of robots cutting my hair. Possibly this is because I ate a lot of toothpaste as a kid. But even more possibly, it’s because each time I used to come to on the sidewalk outside the old Transformer hair salon at Page and Laguna, I’d think, “Listen, Wanda. You seriously gotta do something different with your eternal teenage life.” Then I’d cheerily swoosh the asphalt off my mismatched Keds and go again.
But all the signs were lately lining up for a cosmic automatonic buzz cut, at least in clubland. Yes, yes, I know we’re trapped in a the-more-things-change-the-more-they-stay-the-same apocalyptic retro loop, but things were getting seriously weird on the spinning wheels tip. I dashed to the Hush Hush Lounge for a supposedly glam party a couple Saturdays ago, but when I got there it was closed, dark, shuttered, boarded up. Sold overnight (again) — everyone expelled. So I jetted to the Expansion to meet cute Israelis for Jager shots — same thing, dammit. What the hell was going on? Was I a bar curse?
Then three new hot spots were revealed in quick succession, all with highly confusable names: Shine (, Stray (, and Slide ( I’d like to think the sibilant lisp of their similarity is yet another Snakes on a Plane viral marketing strategy, but really, are we there yet? And to power-top it off, some new bling-bling break-dance bar called Double Dutch opened in the old Cama spot, biting both name and concept from Double Dutch Disco, the superstar alternaqueer party of the past eight months. Way to be tone deaf to the scene, brahs.
But the real hot hearsay on the transformation front was Bruno’s, reopened after months and months of remo, shedding its smoky mobster steak house past for a Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, Mission via Marina makeover. Hell, I’ll bite — it sounded horrifying. Besides, I’d been needing to hit up more straight hangs, really. When even your boyfriend says you’re getting too gay, it’s time to toss out the fuchsia wrist limpers and purchase a nice George Foreman or something. Worse, in the blizzard of mind-blowing gay-las I’d been attending lately, I’m afraid I’d come to think of het bars in general like I think of Toronto, which, to quote my club chum Cyril, is a place where all the trannies are named Chris. I hate that.
So me and Hunky Beau hop on the sexy motorbike and head out, eager to sip Corzo Cadillac margaritas by a (hopefully fake) fireplace and pretend to pick up nubile blond sales executives with our extensive ironic vocabulary, Norelco-groomed stubble, and wacky printed shirts. At last, a change was a-gonna come!
But just look what I get for being prejudicial. We’re cruising up Mission Street, trying to remember exactly where Bruno’s is, admiring the dazzlingly slumped-over fauna of the local panorama, when — bam! We crash headlong into the trunk of a parked cop car. Whoops. I pull a total John Woo and flip over the wreck, landing fabulously spread-eagled on the uneven pavement. Dazed, I look up into a halo of stunned hunky cops and the curious gang members they’d been interrogating, flashing lights eerily glinting off jet-black visors and tarnished gold teeth. So this is heaven, I thought. Well, pass me a box of Trojans. Looks like I’ve got work to do.
We’re OK, the bike and the cop car are totaled, and the next night we hauled our bruised egos to Bruno’s for a chill-out dose of Peach Bellinis, leopard-skin carpeting, Lauryn Hill on the turntables, copious Kewpie doll paintings, and busty servers kneeling to take our order. Sure enough, BtVotD was looped on the giant plasma screens, but the fireplace was real, the gimlets were strong, the booths had been replaced by a long communal dining table, and the ahi burgers were under $20. And hey, guess what? Some guy even tried to pick me up in the men’s room. Miraculous! SFBG
2389 Mission, SF
Nightly, 5:30 p.m.–2 a.m.
(415) 550-7455

Pandora boxing


OK OK yes I should be getting back to work, but hey — I’m the clubs columnist, it’s my job to be braindead on Mondays. So I’m about to slip into the wormhole of, which got a few good mentions on NPR (I heard this from friends — I can’t get NPR where I live). It’s part of the Music Genome Project, which aims to categorize music by subjects other than “scene” or “genre.” Basically, you type in a song or artist you like, and a virtual panel of distinguished musicologists creates a radio station of songs that share basic affinities to your choice — I’m imagining things like “melancholy” and “string section” and “Peruvian by way of Iceland” to be examples of the qualifying characteristics that link all the songs together. Or maybe it’s colors and flavors — like “Since U Been Gone” is brunette cheesecake and “Hollaback Girl” is purple baking powder. Or maybe it’s like computer dating, MP3-style. But who knows? I’m always game to learn more about myself from computers, and lord knows with all the wealth of music out there in Webland I’m totally eager to have someone pick out my jams for me. — Marke B

Crawling for a cause


So bar crawls for me are usually literally that — I’ve worn out the knees on so many jumpsuits dragging my ass amongst watering holes that I might as well be a member of the orphan chorus in Annie. Hard knocks, more shots, wrecked stockings. And by any indication, I should probably invest in a pair of those hunky PG&E repair guy knee pads for Thursday the 24th’s BAR AIDS event, during which 15 or so bars will be donating a percentage of bar sales to local anti-HIV and STD warriors StopAIDS.


The fun goes on all evening, all over the city, and it may be the first time you can honestly puke for a good cause. See you in my beer goggles! (You can get more BAR AIDS info here.)

Club kids make good


… club sandwiches. BUT formerly local club kids Justin Bond and Kenny Mellman — aka KIKI and HERB — have really made good. They’re currently alive on Broadway at the (dear lord) Helen Hayes Theatre in “Kiki & Herb: Alive on Broadway,” and they’re garnering effusive raves, like this one in today’s NYTimes.


Way back when I was but a wee thing doing loads of drugs in the light booth at Josie’s Cabaret & Juice Joint, I totally used to groove to them, back when they were locals (they’re bigtime newyawkaws now) — and back when their combo of post-kitsch musical cabaret mentality and slyly sincere emotional buffeting was totally radical. Turns out it still is, as anyone who went to K&H’s New Year’s Eve show this year at Herbst Theater can attest. Go Justin! Go Kenny! See? Club Trash can be artistically relevant. Just like maybe murdered beauty pageant tots. Now all we need is a Jason Mecier retrospective at the Smithsonian and Ggreg Taylor on Oprah.

Clubber’s index


SUPER EGO To paraphrase an even bigger Gaye than me: what the fuck’s going on? Bloodshed and glitter, testosterone and falsies, international hatred and asymmetrical haircuts, Katyusha missiles and fuchsia Converse. It’s the middle of summer: Clubland’s on fire and the world’s going to hell. Everything’s a water-based-mascara blur, a streak of tears and soju. Can’t we keep the wars on the dance floor, where they belong? Help us, Willie Ninja! Save us, Amanda Lepore! Rescue us, what’s-her-name from the Gossip!
It’s really all gone, Pete Tong.
Well, fine with me: I’ve got my apocalyptic outfit all picked out, with two different pairs of tangerine pumps to match the flames. The problem, of course, is which hair — Meyer lemon yellow for the toxic blast or Bing cherry red for the fallout? The earth’s gonna ’splode and I’m going down like an atomic Carmen Miranda, child. But first I’ll be glowing under the black-light sleaze. Our politics of dancing may have lamed out (no mosh pits, break wars, or vogue balls), but there’s still no escaping the thrill of the electric boogaloo, especially when the brink wiggles ever closer, its plutonium-lashed antimatter Betty Boop eyes blasting through you. Party time!
Unfortunately or fortunately, that means I’m writing to you from a denial-induced metafabulous blackout. The last two weeks are coming back to me in strobe-lit flashes, a wet jockstrap here, a fogged-up Prius there, and everywhere the stink of cheap whiskey on my breath. Oh, but I’m dutiful. Below is a Harper’s-like rundown of my recently recalled Clubland affairs, a fortnight of forthright escapist fandango.
Soundtracks: DJ B’ugo, a.k.a. Ugo N’gan’ga Gitau of Montreal ( All three discs of the new Defected Records Eivissa 2006 Balearic house mix. Old Slits. CNN in the liquor store
Shoes: brown suede Emericas. Grape Kool-Aid shell toe Adidas. Fuzzy gorilla slippers. No Crocs
Outerwear: Home Depot and ImagiKnit
Underwear: conceptual
Drag queen out of drag most encountered: Peaches Christ
Drag queen out of clothing most encountered: Rentteca
Burning Man camp fundraisers successfully avoided: 157
Number unsuccessfully avoided: 36
Cute Israeli refugees I managed to drag home: 2
Cute Lebanese refugees who thanked me politely but said they “weren’t having it”: 12
Number I continued hitting on anyway: 12
Roller-skating-oriented nightlife events attended: 5
Bruised inner thighs: several
Trampled wigs: half
Efforts to really go check out that new club Shine ( being derailed by more focused pick-up efforts of eager, scruffy bicyclists on South Van Ness on the way there: many
Formal reprimands received at the Dore Alley gay leather fetish fair for doing something that “wasn’t allowed”: 1
Times I got away with it: roughly 3
Thwarted attempts to register for the upcoming San Francisco Drag King contest just so I could hang out in the dressing room: 2
Trips to the bathroom during the Guardian Best of the Bay party to puke up free petite sirah: still counting
Amount of self-respect somehow retained throughout all of the above: pricey SFBG
Call for time and price
DNA Lounge
375 11th St., SF
(415) 626-1409

It’s (not) easy being Green Gartside pt. deux


Yes, I, Marke B., your friendly ghost club whore, am the Scritti Politti freak on the premises (see Johnny Ray’s post below), the kid who grew up with 1982’s vinyl Songs To Remember under his pillow right on top of Of Grammatology by the one and only Jacques Derrida.


That was in high school when I first discovered Green; in middle school it was Finnegan’s Wake and the Lotus Eaters. It was like poet Elizabeth Bishop eating stinky cheeses at Vassar — somehow I thought having such things at night would cause my dreams to be realer, and then I wrote poems about the opposite process occurring: what happens if you dream something’s real and you vomit Runny Uncle? But I digress.

Green, I love you so, not least when your bleached hair was poofy and your late ’70s Marxist collective proto-rapped such lovelies as:

Rapacious, rapacious
You can never say she ain’t
But my desire was so voracious
I wanted to eat your nation/state

from “Jaques Derrida,” or hymned almost invisibly, most relevantly:

Learn to love the beats in the bar
Make me sick with repetition
Learn to love that one note sound, boy
No surprise or definition
I guess I can learn to love what I’m used to
You can get used to just getting used by
Rock-a-boy blues …

from Rock-a-Boy Blue, pretty much a summation of all my previous relationships.

It was so exciting seeing theory made pan-racial musical flesh, bopping around to the “Nazi shakedown” of “P.A.’s” (We don’t practice with P.A.’s/ We’ve got bills to pay) or puzzling out the lyrics of Bibbly-O-Tek. Then came the super-glossy, superstar Fairlight stage of Scritti Politti, and working with every cool musician alive; the Wood Beez that I remember first hearing in an ice cream shop of my hometown Rickmansworth in England in the 80s. It was astonishing: my prepubescent, queer body rose up from a melting cone.

I absolutely loved Anomie and Bonhomie, especially “Tinseltown to the Boogiedown” with Mos Def, the lyrics somehow predicting the coming apocalypse through a stardust metronome. The way Green can tuck a devastating poetical twist so far back in the spoken inanities of love that most people don’t ever get it. That’s why I love him: exclusivity. I’m a VIP bitch intellectually, and it’s a trip I like to take alone. I’m grooving to Green’s latest, “White Bread, Black Beer” and I’m still a charter member of Scritti Crush Connection, but now that Scritti Politti are being lionized a la Gang of Four, they’re no longer my dirty little secret. and that spells situationist subversive subcultural snob death. lalalala.

Accordion to our party sources ….


The pics from last night’s debaucherous Best of the Bay party are just beginning to flow in and be edited by our censors, but here’s a couple to whet your whistle, courtesy of Kielbasia, winner of Best Drag Queen with an Accordion. (Accordion not pictured, but very present.) Go, Kielbasia!


Kielbasia and Willie Brown (his show won Best Herb Caen Column on the Radio)


Kielbasia and Guardian editor and publisher Bruce B. Brugmann — the man!

we’ll keep you updated as much as our hungover bandwith will allow. — Marke B.



club overload!!! ???? !!! here’s a brief update. and yes, this is her royal pain in the assala Marke B.

ok so first is junk tonite at the stud — yay! back after all these years, the ska-tinged queer living room you always wished your great aunt ida hung out in.


tomorrow is a bunch of fun shit I can’t quite remember (oh yeah! THIS and THIS), then Saturday is Cookie Monster at Harvey’s in the Castro hosted by the nicest drag queen in the world (also quite a Gladys Kravitz, I hear) AND one of my fave new joints ever, Frankie Sharp and Brontez’s gig WORK ME GODDAMMIT at the Gangway in the Tenderloin, it costs like 5$ and has some great and random music. Lots of drunk ass ho’s. and me.

all that stuff above is too queer and I’m too gay. I’ll be into more straight stuff, like, Monday. Sunday I’ll be at the symphony in Dolores Park (1812 Overture! how perfect while we’re at war, again uselessly… ), and then Eagle Beer Bust (for the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence) and the Super Soul Sundays for DJ Spen.

you can comment to add in your own damn party planssss. I wanna k-now! ;)m.



SUPER EGO Oh, the endless string of characters! Clubland just keeps ’em comin’ in glorious, sequin-spangled kablooeys. Go on, children, do it while you still got freedoms. And tits to you for saving Pride. Pink Saturday was a nightmare, the Dyke March was a walkathon, and despite the amazing turnout — that whole outpatient rehab thing must really be catching on — Pride Sunday found me huddled at the foot of the Tylenol PM booth, cursing the sunlight and desperately searching for something, anything, worth following home. If it wasn’t for the Trans March, the underground parties, and the occasional streak of club freaks, the weekend woulda been boot. Best overheard quote: “Let’s make a suicide pact. I’ll kill you and you die.” Gay love!
So OK, it was a slightly flabby hottie in lime green denim daisy dukes and a handlebar mustache. I followed his flashing go! go! bootie up to the Castro until I stumbled over a sandwich board outside Nutri-Sport advertising “New! Ejaculoid!” I erupted with inquisitiveness. A “natural male explosion” product that promises increased virility by thickening my semen? At last! Thank you, Goliath Labs! (Other products: Groloid, Stimuloid, Thermoloid, Tribuloid, Sleep Cycle. Add in Grumpoid and Viruloid and shazam! A list of my seven exes.)
What the hell? It was Pride. I was bored. My body’s an amusement park. Let’s do it.
I downed the stuff with a back-pocket Cuervo shot, pushed my “Thank you for shopping with us!” skirt down, pulled up a George W. Bush Jell-O mold, and . . . where was I? Oh, yes, personalities. Clublebrities. As I felt my resolve slowly stiffen, my self-appointed-arbiter-of-club-cool mind drifted to two of my latest, completely unrelated, faves: MC Cookie Dough and Dee Jay Pee Play. Now, in a segue only a mother could love, I briefly exclaim their greatness to you.
“Cookie Dough is a smile from ear to ear, a kind word said to all,” quoth la Dough. (If there’s one thing I adore, it’s a drag queen who refers to herself in the third person — because the first two are reserved for schizophrenia.) “But Cookie Dough is also a talented, unstoppable force who’ll chip away at every queen in the city, take control of the top, and gloriously welcome the day the name Cookie Dough rolls off everyone’s tongue and melts in their mouth. I do believe it’s happening now.” Look out, ladies, she’s gonna Pills-bury ya.
Cookie’s a bloody-pantied Trannyshack alum who’s brought some greezy downtown flavor to the Castro as hostess of the biweekly trash drag rock ’n’ roll bonanza Cookie Dough Monster Show at Harvey’s. Sublebrity guest performers, send-ups of old-school howlers, cutie audience galore — you know the drill. A local movie starlet and “theatrical personage,” Miss Dough-nuts also gets keyed up, pianowise, with Cookie . . . After Dark, her occasional Martuni’s croonfest, featuring, if you can believe it, live singing. Me love Cookie.
“I don’t know about Ejaculoid, but I worship Sphincterine,” says Pee Play. “I make all my tricks use it.” (Sphincterine? Check out now.) A skater, a hater, and the DJ most likely to throw on Hi-NRG remixes of the Boys Choir of Harlem at a party, Pee Play’s the latest, greatest apocalypse of taste.
Along with his right-hand bag lady Marina Bitch, he revived underground vogue balls, until the cops made him stop (, and is allied with half-assed gay bike gang–party mafia GBG OMFAG. Plus, how can I resist a kid who shows up at circuit parties as “Al Gayeda” with a giant fake beard and “Do Not Rape Me” magic-markered on his chest? His next party is — gasp! ugh! — a masquerade party called M. “Make sure you’re there at midnight when the Masque of Red Death descends!” he says. “Well, actually, it’s just a bunch of people running around giving everyone AIDS.” Cannot wait.
And Ejaculoid? A total wash. If you wanna know the deets, you can find me gulping bubbly in the ejacuzzi. SFBG
For more on Ejaculoid, go to
July 22 and every other Saturday
10 p.m.–2 a.m.
500 Castro, SF
(415) 431-4278
10 p.m.–2 a.m.
500 Castro, SF
(415) 431-4278

Nth loop


SUPER EGO “I’m from Indiana,” confided the partly melted drag queen, after nailing “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” in a wicked patent-leather Duchess of Spades dress. “You know we do things different out there. I just got here a couple weeks ago, and when I first pulled my hair out the box, the other girls asked if it was three wigs or one.”


“So you’re a Hoosier,” I replied. My observation went ignored. “The scene here’s much more weave than cone,” she winked, then disappeared behind a wall of mirrors. A tape-recorded version of “Is That All There Is?” kicked in. Metaphors!

I wish I could remember what she called herself, but I was knee-deep in my English Summer, an acrobatic concoction hovering halfway between a mojito and a Pimm’s Cup. Mnemonic device, it wasn’t. We were at Harry Denton’s, 46 stories atop the Sir Francis Drake Hotel, peeping Scarlet Empress Donna Sachet’s swank new “Sunday’s a Drag” brunch show — me and a posse of party kids looking so out of place we may as well have been Skittles in the deviled eggs. The combined total of our online ages was probably half that of any one of the cackling grandes dames around us.

But no matter: “Sunday’s a Drag” blasted off into outer space and gladly took us with it. A parade of energetic old-school queens teased the roomful of swilling octogenarians into Depends-dampening titters, and the whole affair took on the air of legendary drag club Finocchio’s, circa 1985 — but with better prosthetics. (“A lot of money and a lot of surgery,” rasped the nonorganically gorgeous Cassandra Cass as she handed me a “Cassandra Cass: Fantasy Girl 2006” calendar. Memo to Cassandra: It’s June.)

Donna Sachet’s one of those amazing creatures who do so much I often think there are two of her. (“Well, alcohol is a fuel,” the little voice in my head pipes up, the one I call Deficit of the Doubt.) And it was somehow fitting that I was applauding our fair city’s 30th Empress that afternoon, seeing as how I’d come to three hours earlier on brand-spanking-new Jose Sarria Court in the Castro, named after the ass-kicking queen who’d started the whole gay Emperor-Empress dealie — the Widow Norton, her Big Kahuness, Madame Awe. I had Jose Sarria pebbles in my y-fronts, bits of Jose Sarria laurel bush drifting from my hair.

The afternoon launched to another cosmic level when Hoosier-name executed a full-on backbend to Taylor Dane and one of her press-on nails flew off, somersaulted in midair, and landed on the table next to my blueberry pancakes. Which made me lose my bacon.


“It’s like Mabuhay Gardens or the Deaf Club, only gay,” I thought the first time I went to Sissy, the new punk rock monthly run by my favorite obnoxious club brat, Foxy Cotton. When people see Foxy a-comin’ they usually take to runnin’ — he’s kind of like an amped-up Woody Woodpecker with half the feathers missing — but the queen’s got talent pumping somewhere through his veins and an impecc-pecc-peccable sense of style. Plus, he’s actually kinda sweet to me.

Sissy hit me as the potential realization of all my stuck-in-the-Midwest teenage dreams, which imagined the underground punk scene of ’80s San Francisco as a writhing network of gay-friendly mohawks, complete with carpeted dance floors, passed-out hotties, and who-knows-what in the bathrooms. Dead Kennedys in the front, Mutants on the roof. Plus it’s after hours. Rad!

Since its early days (no naked mosh pit, alas), Sissy’s expanded its musical format — but it’s still the ginchiest metal-heavy queer experience out there. Where else you gonna hear L7 nowadays outside a lesbian jukebox? And it’s fun to drop that brainy “post” from post-punk and just let loose. Although clubs may have stopped moving into the future, they’re at least digging into the past with sharper queer nails.


“Did you hear about Kevin Aviance?” It was a friend from New York City calling me, which always means more now that there’s e-mail. Kevin was one of the fiercest things of the ’90s, a club queen with chart-topping dance records, a towering hulk of ferocious, ebony-skinned femininity. Like Eartha Kitt on stilts, but breathier. And bald.

He was famous for never wearing falsies. Now he was in the hospital with a fractured jaw and a useless knee, felled as he left a Manhattan gay bar by six kids shouting “faggot” as they kicked him in the chest. People just stood around and watched.

Every year around Pride I overhear some visitor squealing, “Your Pride here’s so political!” and I think, what’s the opposite of politics? Advertising? Circuit music? Sex on marijuana truffles? This year when I heard it, I wanted to spin around with my slapping hand out and scream, “Kevin just got gay-bashed, dammit! Everything’s political!” But when I turned I saw the person who had said it was smiling. He had a “Queers Bash Back” bumper sticker on his bike bag. He was wearing a T-shirt that read, “It’s The Tits.”


Suddenly I was surrounded by munchkins. They were everywhere — in the lobby, on the dance floor, hanging over the balcony railing. “Oh, no,” I thought with a pang, “my cocktails are interacting. Better dance it off.” I slammed another Stoli Cran and wobbled through the knee-high crowd toward the speakers.

“When I stop the music and yell freeze, everybody freeze!” hollered DJ Sake 1 over “Groove is in the Heart” by Deee-lite. “Freeze!” I looked around again. Dear god, these were children. Even more horrifying, I was at Ruby Skye. It was Saturday afternoon. Obviously my medication wasn’t working. I backed slowly off the dance floor before anybody’s parents mistook me for a Pampers snacker.

Luckily, the ’rents were too busy mobbing the bar. I had landed at “Baby Loves Disco,” the mind-blowing summertime monthly new wave and disco dance party for toddlers ($10 for walkers, free for crawlers). The place was packed with young ’uns running every which way, occasionally chased after by their stumbling progenitors. The club was completely trashed. The music veered from “Celebration” by Kool and the Gang to “Controversy” by Prince, and the whole thing had more than a whiff of bar mitzvah party, but less mature. What’s less mature than a bar mitzvah party? Oh yeah, Ruby Skye.

I made my way upstairs to the VIP lounge — why not? To get there, I passed chilluns with pink mohawks, chilluns with sunglasses, chilluns with full-on ’80s-fierce attitude. I entered the dimly lit backroom. There, on a VIP chaise, reclined the most beautiful toddler I’d ever seen. His little fedora was pushed back on his perfectly round head. His leg straddled the chaise’s red velvet arm. He may have been smoking an inflatable cigar. For a moment our eyes locked, my being immersed in the crystal clear beam of his unjaded, baby-blue gaze.

“Someday,” I realized, “this baby will rule the world.”

SUNDAY’S A DRAG Sundays, noon and 3 p.m. Harry Denton’s Starlight Room 450 Powell, SF $30 (415) 395-8595 SISSY CLUB First Fridays, 10 p.m.–4 a.m. Deco Lounge 510 Larkin, SF $5 (415) 346-2025 BABY LOVES DISCO July 15 and Aug. 19, 2–5 p.m. Ruby Skye 420 Mason, SF $10 (415) 693-0777

Tea – totaled



SUPER EGO Gurl, I woke up on the wrong side of Tuesday afternoon. I don’t know if it was that pint of Cuervo I ordered for appetizers the night before or that quart of quinine I downed soon after for the tetanus I got from sitting on someone’s iPod, but I was hella hungover. My jaw was swiveling, my heart was pounding, and my languid extremities felt so hot that the unicorns on my nails nearly melted. One minute I was hosting the World Cup in my fantasy bra and panties, the next I was hosting it in my actual head.

“This is it,” I thought through the shuddering echo of tiny cleats. “Mama’s gettin’ middle-aged.” I’d finally hit one of midlife’s big Hs: hot flash, hair loss, hangover. And I’m only 19! Good thing I carry some Remifemin and an extra wig in my beaded Whole Foods evening bag.

Fitfully I scanned the Dumpster for any half-smoked butts and chased my scattered thoughts to their grim conclusions. Folks think I’m frickin’ Carrie Bradshaw, being a columnist, lolling around in my Blahniks, whimsically riffing on the romantic wiles of my telegenic brunchmates, leaping with a shy giggle into the magical dilemmas of contemporary life. But this is clubland, Samantha: Dive too deep down in it and hey, presto! abracadrinkingproblem. Ain’t nothing wrong with a little party-party, y’all, but us clubbers gotta watch for that border cross over the Rio Messy: Shit’s about as tasteful as soyr cream on a tofurkey burritofu, but with almost twice the calories.

So, maybe it was time for a tiny hooch holiday. Me, I’m an uncurbed child of the streets, where “time-out” is code for “free clinic” (and “free clinic” means “trick’s bathroom”), but in my new semifully employed state I’m always running into vibrant-looking Guardian people taking “a personal time-out” from drinking, from smoking, from imported prickle-backed Peruvian shellfish, whatever. You’d think my health insurance here would cover hangovers, what with the professional risk involved in my line of work, but alas, “no dice.”

“You can do this,” I assured myself. “Just for a week. It’s not like when the government made you give up Wal-Trim diet pills. That was forever.

But just because I wasn’t drinking didn’t mean I wasn’t going out altogether. She’s still gotta earn a living, and her living’s spilling tea. Luckily, along with the current wine bar burst, San Francisco’s having a tearoom explosion as well. (No, not that kind of tearoom, perverts. Leaves first, then you pay not the other way around.) And the goddess of cups provides several venues for bar-hour tea-totaling glee. The slightly hoity-toity yet still chill Samovar Tea Lounge ( in the Castro is a bookish, cruisey mecca and just opened a Yerba Buena Gardens outpost to boot. Modern Tea ( has taken hold in Hayes Valley, with its stylish presentation and unequaled view of all the tipsy drag queens stumbling from Marlena’s down the street. Hang on to your saucers, ladies.

But the real news on the late-night tea front is the hip-hop-oriented Poleng Lounge. Yep, you read right, it’s a hip-hop tearoom. The kids from Massive Selector have transformed the former 1751 Social Club space into a Bali-inspired wonderland that also hosts performances by some of the top names in roots and electro (Ohmega Watts, Vikter Duplaix, Triple Threat). Poleng’s restaurant and tearoom opens to the public June 9, with a huge kickoff bash featuring Faust and Shortee, Amp Live, host Lateef, and probably more than a few chipped handles. Food and tipple are also available, but the focus, of course, is on the leaf green and otherwise.

Whew! After all that tea I need to take a leak. But before I saunter off, look at me I’m fantastic, I’m radiant, I’m slightly hypercaffeinated. I feel like I could do yoga in the street. Maybe I should do this personal time-out thing more often. As they say, the liver the better (just kidney!). Now somebody order me a damn mai tai already. SFBG


With Faust and Shortee and Amp Live

Fri/9, 9 p.m.–2 a.m.

Poleng Lounge

1751 Fulton, SF

(415) 441-1751

Attack of the NIMBYs!



A fairy tale: Once upon a time there was a stone-hearted ogre named Capt. Dennis Martel of the San Francisco Police Department’s Southern Station. The Ogre Martel either through manic moodiness, misguided morality, or perpetual constipation owing to the enchanted stick up his ass was determined not to let people party like it was 1999. Thus he began terrorizing the nearby Clubbers of SoMa, a benign race of ravers, burners, and freaks who desired nothing more than peace, unity, respect, and free bottled water near the dance floor.

The ogre was relentless. Soon, after-hours party permits were being pulled, club owners fined for "attracting loiterers," and gentle electronica fans in bunny suits hauled downtown for daring to reek of reefer. SF’s premillennial party scene was in grave danger of becoming extinct, until a brave group of party people banded together and formed the San Francisco Late Night Coalition. These fair Knights of the Twirl-Around Table dedicated themselves to political action, local petitioning, and raising community awareness about the harmlessness of all-night dancing. Slowly but surely, they won over the hearts and votes of the townspeople, making clubbing safe again for all and banishing the evil Ogre Martel to parking lot duty at the airport. The end.

Well, not quite. Once again, good-natured fun in the Bay seems to be under attack. Only this time the threat comes not from one rogue cop and his wonky "cleanup" attempts, but from several nervous Nellies among the citizenry. As Amanda Witherell details in this issue, many of the city’s most revered street fairs, festivals, and outdoor events are now threatened by, among other things, higher fees, lack of alcohol sales permits, and sudden, oddball "concerns." And the story doesn’t stop there. The Pac Heights ski jump, amplified music in public spaces, and car-free Saturdays in Golden Gate Park have all recently been nixed by our supposedly green-minded go-go-boy mayor and his minions, under pressure from crotchety party poopers. Well-established clubs like the DNA Lounge, the Eagle Tavern, and irony of ironies the Hush Hush Lounge have had to dance madly and expensively around sound complaints. A popular wet-jockstrap contest in the Tenderloin was raided last month by cops, not because of the (whoops) accidental nudity and simulated sex, but because it was … too loud. Huzzacuzzawha?

While money and politics are certainly involved, the one common denominator in all this anti-fun is the squeaky wheel, the neighborhood killjoy who screams "not in my backyard!" These irksome drudges, the NIMBYs, are strangling San Francisco’s native spirit of communal cheer and outrageousness. Big business and corrupt political interests hinge their arguments for more money and less mirth on the whining of one or two finger waggers, despite overwhelming community support for the events being targeted. As often occurs in life, a single complaint carries far more weight than a hundred commendations. A few whack cranks bust the bash.

At this point one wants to shriek, "Move back to Mountain View, spoilsports!" And that’s exactly the message of the San Francisco Party Party, the latest grassroots effort to combat what Party Party leader Ted Strawser calls "the rampant suburbanization of the most gloriously hedonistic city on earth." NIMBYs are hard to spot; they come in every class and color and don’t always sport the telltale Hummers and French manicures of the previous generation of wet blankets (although they do often smell like diapers). The changing demographics of the city suggest that many new residents, mostly condo owners, commute to out-of-town jobs in San Jose, say and may be trying to transform San Francisco into a bedroom community.

"I don’t know who these quasi prohibitionists think they are, but they don’t belong here, that’s for sure," Strawser says. "Street culture and community gatherings are the reason San Francisco exists. We live our happy lives on the sidewalks and in the bars. And it’s bad enough we have to quit drinking at 2 a.m. Now we have to be quiet, too?"

The San Francisco Bike Coalition, the newly formed Outdoor Events Coalition, and the still-active Late Night Coalition are out in fabulous force to combat the NIMBYs. But, realizing the diffuseness of the problem, the Party Party is taking a less directly political, more Web-savvy approach to fighting San Francisco’s gradual laming, using its site as a viral locus for disgruntled partyers, a portal linking directly to organizations combating NIMBYs, and a guide to local fun stuff happening each week. "We’re a bunch of partyers, what can I say?" Strawser says. "We’re doing our best to shed light on all this insane NIMBY stuff, but we also love to go out drinking. And that’s a commitment many folks can relate to."

Let’s hope we can win the fight again this time (tipsy or no). San Francisco is a progressive city, dedicated to the power of microgovernment and the ability to have your voice heard in your community. If you don’t like what’s happening next door, you should be able to do something about it. But it’s also a city of constant reinvention and liveliness, exploration and celebration. That’s the reason we all struggle so much to stay here. That’s what shapes our soul.

If some people can’t handle it well, the less the merrier, maybe. SFBG

Oh, behave!



Where’s my babymama! I want my babymama!
That’s what I planned to shriek at the Be Nice Party. I was gonna strut myself right up to the bar at Catalyst, the party’s venue, and politely order a babymama cocktail (strawberry vodka, banana liqueur, and pineapple juice, spiked with a flash of grenadine claw, strained and served on the rocks. Britney Spears in a short glass, darling). Then, without warning, I would flip a total schizo switch and attempt a full-on, foaming Whitney-Houston-out-of-butane meltdown, exclaiming the above, appalling every pleasantry-spewing goody-two-socks within earshot. I even intended to strew a few glass pipe shards and fling stray weaves about during my one-queen crackhead kabuki act (visuals). And maybe toss around a couple stained toddler jumpers or a threadbare bib with a faded Little Mermaid on it (poignancy). Britney, Whitney, and Disney that’ll teach ’em to try to “be nice” at me.

But intentionally getting 86’d from something called Be Nice was far too obvious a reaction, like snarking Madonna at Coachella or shooting Phish in an alley. Me? I’m all about subtlety. I try to keep my scars behind my ears, thank you. So I hit up Be Nice with an openish mind and, instead of babymamas, got soused on redheaded sluts (Jägermeister, peach schnapps, and an ample screech of cran, shaken and quickly poured out Kathy Griffin in a shot glass, darling). If there’s one thing I’ve learned on life’s Naugahyde stool, it’s that liquor’s the best revenge. And sluts are fun. And Tyra Banks is an alien pterodactyl.

Wow, I sound super gay this week.

So what’s Be Nice about? Once a month, a diverse group of randoms meet in a space “where you can make eye contact without it being ‘cruisy,’” with “music just loud enough to hear, but quiet enough to easily talk over,” to “say hello to someone new (or old)” but not to “impress people with how cool you may want them to think you are.” (“And … it’s early!”) Somewhat contradictorily, this “low-key public event” aims to bring the spirit of Burning Man’s Black Rock City to the heart of San Francisco. But the promoters mean in the sense of BRC’s ethic of PLUR and kindness (BRC PLURK?) not in the sense of “Oh god, it sounds like Burning Man on a stalled elevator why not just throw in Whoopi Goldberg and call it German expressionist mime kill me now?”

But yes, I expected a cult. What I found was about 40 hip-but-nonhuggy characters sprawled across Catalyst’s booths, nary a silver Nike among them. The first thing that hits you when you enter a club whose music is pitched to pin drop is the odd, nostalgic staccato of conversation. I’m usually surrounded by jibber-jabberers aplenty hello, mirror and music can make a great escape pod. Hell, half the time I’m not even sure what I’m saying myself at the club, but that could just be my thick Vicodinian accent. Seriously, though, when was the last time you walked into a roomful of people talking and could hear both sides? It was fuckin’ spooky, Scooby. Waves of mutual exchanges washed over me as I leapt in, latching on to a couple groovy goth chicks and a freelance programmer in golf pants. Soon I was gabbing away, natch. I must have had fun because here are my notes: “Internetz … herpes scarf … deep-fried diet pill.” Oh yes, and Ramsa Murtha Begwagewan is the Anointed One, all praise him.

That there can be a successful club whose hook is friendly conversation may say more about technology’s limits than it does about a possible resurgence of Moose Lodges or canasta parties although bingo is definitely in. Nightlife, this business we call tipsy, took a sucker punch from its former friend the Interweb, of course. (Why go out when you can get drunk online?) And we’re pretty much used to thinking of clubs at this point as either struggling to imitate the ethernet with hyper-adverbial interactive “concepts” or fetishizing things that computers cannot touch yet. Face-to-face give-and-take now joins classic cruising, live performance, art exhibits, sculptural environments, oxygen bars, professional mixology, vinyl archaeology, sweaty bodies, and chocolate syrup wrestling ( in clubland’s Museum of the Mostly Mouse-Free.

Clubs. Is there no index they can’t gloss?

One other nightlife experience that can never be truly virtualized: that predawn abandoned bus ride home, muffled sounds of the club still ringing in your ears. I like to think of Muni in those moments as my personal stretch Hummer; the driver is my handsome Israeli chauffeur/bodyguard/secret paramour who will someday betray me, and I’m a (kind of smelly) target of salivating paparazzi. Then I start to feel a tad snobbish and base and also possibly paranoid. But then I have a Snickers and I’m OK.   — Marke B. (

Be Nice Party

Second Wednesdays, 6–11 p.m.

Catalyst Cocktails

312 Harrison, SF


(415) 621-1722

Wine Rave Cancelled!


I can’t believe it — Napa’s long-anticipated 3-hour “Wine Rave” has been cancelled! I wrote so movingly about the anticipation here.

“We apologize for any inconvenience. Due to a scheduling conflict, COPIA’s May 13th Wine Rave has been postponed until further notice.” These are words that broke my heart. What could the possible scheduling conflict be? Is Robert Goulet making a surprise Copia concert appearance? He’s a raver, isn’t he? Isn’t he? This sucks.


Our gang


"Oooh, I do detect/ I can’t go on/ Without you," the latest lesbionic Chaka Khannabe, Leela James, rasps in the spooky reedit of "My Joy" that’s dominated dance floors worldwide for about five months now. The mix is by NYC’s deep house genie Quentin Harris, whose last smash crack-up, of Jill Scott’s "Not Like Crazy," whistled lonely through the graveyard on the grounds of soul’s asylum. "My Joy (Quentin Harris Shelter vocal)" is a classic melancholic spine-tingler. A Hammond B3 swirls toward climax, the bass skips a heartbeat, strings of life collide, and the woeful diva’s voice is drawn and quartered, pulled in four directions, wailing "My mind! My mind!" despite an uplift in the chorus: "No, no, no, ain’t no way/ You gon’ take away/ My joy, my peace, my strength." In the end, James dumps her psycho lover and moves on but we’re all left shaken to the bone.

Whatever happened to house? It devolved into circuit, all shrieking modulations and lame-ass breaks, the pale lingua franca of gays worldwide. It rode the elevator down to easy listening lounge, the wallpaper tube-topped bimbos spilled appletinis on. It got all lush and gospel, overeagerly fronting its blues-black roots. It stripped off its base and went seriously loony, fattening up Fat Boy Slim’s paycheck and Paul Van Dyke’s portfolio.

Poor little house, kicked to the curb with its shoelace untied, crying foul in its white-label milk. What’s an unabashed househed freak who loves working it out gonna do?

Go to Fag Fridays at the Endup, for one. Despite all the lip service to a house revival and a titilutf8g resurgence of underground queer clubs dedicated to old-school jacking, the national house scene’s been whittled down to a mere trifecta of well-respected bastions Shelter in NYC, Deep in LA, and our very own Fag, which gathers all the varied arms of house back into one long, sweaty embrace. I’m not saying Fag’s the only happening house gig in town, far from it, but it’s the only weekly joint where you’re guaranteed to hear slices like "My Joy" and not feel obliged to wonder if you look a mess while you lose your shit over it. No matter what you do, you will never, ever be the messiest-looking freak up in there.

Fag was started by grassroots impresarios David Peterson and Jose Mineros a decade ago, when queer was still a dirty word and sex columnist Dan Savage was getting hate mail from homosexuals because he allowed readers to address him as "Hey Faggot." The golden age of local fun houses Klubstitute and Product had just petered out, folks were still dying left and right of AIDS, and gay men were heckling me on the street because I sported gasp! baggy pants and a wallet chain. Homo-hop was unheard of, gay youth was a derogatory term, and Manhunt hadn’t been invented. People who did drugs had to actually leave the house to get laid! For the group of streetwise queer kids of color who clustered around Peterson and Mineros and had roots in House Nation, Fag was heaven a clubhouse, a get-down, and, for some of us, a home.

Now, 10 years later, Fag’s still going strong, featuring not only some of the best known SF DJs as regulars (David Harness, Pete Avila, Neon Leon, Rolo) but pulling in the globally acclaimed as well (Frankie Knuckles, Tony Humphries, Angel Moraes, Honey Dijon). The upcoming anniversary celebration kicks off with singer Dajae, she of back-in-the-day "Brighter Days" and "U Got Me Up" fame. Sure, Fag’s now become a kind of institution, associated by some with shirtless boys, GHB casualties, shit-faced queens, and on one occasion, raids for Versace’s killer. But it’s hung in there, proving that house isn’t dead. It’s alive. It’s joyful. It’s kicking.

It’s also relevant. I went there last month to hear Quentin Harris himself on deck, and he did this thing all night where he kept a little fuzz box of white noise going on behind the mix, which to my overanalytical mind, at least (metaphors! metaphors!) was a perfect representation of the global mess outside we were all hopping around to escape. Groovy, cute, and smart? Hey, Quentin, wanna date?


10th anniversary with Dajae

May 12, 10 p.m.–6 a.m.


401 Sixth St., SF


(415) 646-0999 

Sign language


This just in: whoremongering club kid, Polaroid artist, and dear, dear friend Darwin Bell is part of a Cinco de Mayo art show at Artist Xchange in the Mission on May 5, 7 p.m. -10 p.m. His Polaroid art, which consists of pictures of words he finds in the course of his street adventures pulled together into slyly poignant punditry, has really taken off of late. All the cool kids want a piece. Since I’m so used to finding Darwin just this side of passing out at the club, it’s nice to see him expressing himself through pictures. (Just kidding, baby!). Stop in on Friday to take in all the fuss.


Spangled tongues


O’zog, kenstu sehn, wen bagin licht dervacht,
Vos mir hoben bagrist in farnachtigen glihen?
Die shtreifen un shtern, durch shreklicher nacht,
Oif festung zich hoiben galant un zich tsein?
Yeder blitz fun rocket, yeder knal fun kanon,
Hot bawizen durch nacht: az mir halten die Fohn!
O, zog, tzi der “Star Spangled Banner” flatert in roim,
Ueber land fun die freie, fun brave die heim!

Forget Spanish, it’s the national anthem in Yiddish, as translated by Dr. Abraham Asen in 1943, in commemoration of the centenary of Francis Scott Key’s death. Honey, ya just gotta love it.

Sorta corny Copia


So this weekend Hunky Beau and I hitched it up to Napa to dine with the ‘rents at Copia, the giant food-wine-museum-garden “experience” launched by Robert Mondavi (with some star power oof from Julia Child) a few years ago. It’s an awfully Wine Country thing to do, all bourgeous mauves, flowing linen skirts, and bipolar smiles. The ghost of Cesar Chavez hovered.

There are edible gardens with patches like “Sauvignon Blanc” and “Petite Syrah” planted with the fruits, herbs and trees associated with each individual wine’s flavor (grapefruit, rasperries, vanilla, tobacco, etc.) That was pretty cool, as were some of the displays in the food museum, which is actually a reliquary of antique name-brands. (I now know the entire back story of Kool-Aid.) We dined in a “lunch program” that took place on what looked like a television cooking show set, and were treated to carcass-heavy details about the lamb being served, followed up, for some reason, with an a capella version of “Georgia On My Mind” from our really gay presenter, a baritone. Luckily, copious amounts of wine were served throughout.


Copia also offers frequent seminars led by super-friendly, slightly crazed blondes who gush about “marketing to millenials,” “emerging alternative wine packaging,” “biodynamics: moving beyond organics” and “the rebirth of pink!” Considering the retired-looking crowd, however, all this marketspeak probably only served to make wine more intimidating, which in turn, as happens with wine, probably made it all the more fascinating. The best thing, though, was when we were cheerily yet firmly urged to come back on May 13 for the “Wine Rave,” which artfully combines wine tasting with a DJ in an effort to “market to the millenials” (ages 11-24) on a “level they can relate to.” The rave is from 9 p.m. to midnite. I’m so going.



First off, what the frig’s up with Schwarzenegger’s hair? It’s like all day-glo puke-brown and shit. It looks like someone yodelled beef stew on his coif. Just sayin’.… Secondly, the Alternative Press Expo may have come and gone, but curator-cartoonist Justin Hall’s double whammy of gallery shows, featuring classic queer cartoonists at one and hot-hot Bay Area doodlers at the other, are still going strong — and you should really check ‘em out.

Cool stuff from Lark Pien, at “APE$#!T”

No Straight Lines” is at the Cartoon Art Museum, and it’s a mad dash through all the wacky, wonderful gay comics we wymynhandled when we were younger. Alison Bechdel of Dykes To Watch Out For and Howard Cruse of Wendel get a spotlight, and there’s even a vitrine full of the complete Gay Comix series. We’re finally under glass — eek The whole thing’s a wayback freakout for those of us who huddled under the blankets with such things, and actually brought a tear to my one good eye about how actually great (and, alas, perhaps, topical) the stuff still looks. The show benefits the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.

APE$#!T” is Hall’s collaboration with Bay wunderkind Jesse Reklaw, at Space 743 in S.F., and features some of my ultrafaves – Lark Pien, Paul Madonna, Mats!?, Hsaio-chen Tsai, and others, as well as Hall and Reklaw themselves. Hall’s gotten pretty famous for his “True Travel Tales” and “Glamazonia” comics (I wrote about him last year here) and my bf has a yummy Reklaw hanging in his bedroom, so please buy more of his stuff so the value goes up. Mama needs some rent, baby. Just kidding.

Warm fuzzies



SUPER EGO Fur suit! Is there anything better? The darling buds of May are peeping through, the beautiful ladies of the Bay are showing out their zirconia belly-bling, and clubby bears are waking up from long, wet winter naps with raging hankerings for fun (as opposed to raging hankerings for little girls in Appalachia). "Lhudely sing goddam!" the poets shout, "it’s spring & all." And for once they’re right, you know? I feel downright exuberant. The city stretches out its arms, scratches its stubbly ass, and yawns. What’s for breakfast, Goldilocks? A party, dude. A freakin’ party.

So what could be more natural than to throw on a big, fuzzy purple costume and break-dance in public on a sunny afternoon?

At least that’s what I’m hoping. Do you know the guy I’m talking about? He’s at almost every street fair, hopping around like Jiffy Pop, cute as a Great Grape Ape. You know spring’s really arrived when you see him making the scene on the sidewalk, a violaceous blur, all velutinous and shit. I’ve had a super boy crush on him for years now. We once connected briefly at Queer Pride when I was Gaydor the Cockodile, but it would never work, I realized. A furry Grapeasaurus and a drunken, gay green reptile the time had not yet come for our illicit kind of love. Sigh.

Still, my heart beats faster when I see his head spins zagging down the pavement, and I’m wishing that he’ll send me all atwitter at the upcoming How Weird Street Faire. Not that it’ll be easy to spot him, mind. The joint’s a jungle of fabulous freaks, and that’s just how we like it. In all its fur-suited, stilt-walking, fire-twirling, rave-a-licious glory, the How Weird’s in its seventh year as the kickoff of San Francisco’s outdoor festival season, but this year seems to be the first it has appeared on so many party folks’ radar screens. There are a couple good reasons for that.

The first is that How Weird was always a kind of stealth fair, dedicated to both the underground psy-trance scene and the techno-hippie notion of global peace through half-naked dancing. The joy of it was that one minute you’d be strolling through SoMa on the way to a beer bust, when blam! there’d be several blocks of booming Goa beats and shirtless gyrators waving glow sticks in the daytime. It was like you stepped through a quasi-magical doorway into the mid-’90s. The fair didn’t promote itself much, which made it seem spontaneous and comfy. This year it’s stepped up its outreach efforts and expanded its offerings, with seven stages of local floor-thumpers manning the tables and a Mermayd Parade up Market Street featuring art cars, wacky "mobile works of a naughtical nature" (i.e., pirate ship floats), and some sort of undelineated May Day celebration of the spring equinox. Don’t quote me, but I’m guessing it’ll somehow involve nude pixies.

The second reason is that many folks affect being allergic to such things. "What is it supposed to be, some sort of daffy collision of Burning Man and the Renaissance Faire?" they wonder, retching into their lattes. Well, kind of. The guy behind it all is indeed Brad Olsen, he of the legendary, way-back-when Consortium of Collective Consciousness parties and a prime Burning Man mover. His organization, Peace Tours, is dedicated to "achieving world peace through technology, community, and connectedness," which, as mentioned above, pretty much plays to woowoo shamanism type. (The fair even has booths selling "peace pizza." I shit you not.) And, of course, all medieval jouster wannabes are welcome as are their jangly jester caps.

But the time for trendy uppitiness about such things has passed. There are no big clubs in the city left where you can get down with thousands of freaks anymore, and the millennial explosion of street protests has keyed more people in to the power, if not exactly the purpose, of vibing with crowds who share their general intentions. As the drag queen said, it’s all about expression. And these days (has it really come to this?) any expression of hope and peace especially if there’s beer available is very greatly appreciated.

So please, purple fuzzy boy, if you’re reading this please come down to the How Weird Street Faire. After all, it’s spring. We need you. SFBG

How Weird Street Fair

May 7, noon–8 p.m.

12th Street and South Van Ness, SF

$10 donation, $5 with costume, free for kids

Hey Culturatti


Welcome to the Guardian’s new Pixel Vision blog — our day-to-day guide to the Bay’s best film, art. theatre, food, fashion, cultural, and goodness-knows-what-all happenings. If you’re a bleeding heart liberal like us, you’ll want to check back here often for the most organic, free range, fair trade, meatless news and views about our fair City’s goings-ons. But hey, we can’t tell you what to do — we’re not the government… yet. We just want to get the word out that you don’t have to waste much blood-for-oil fossil fuel or tap Big Pharma to get a healthy dose of culture — it’s all right here under your unbobbed nose. Cheers!


Sweet squares


SUPER EGO Hi, sexy. I’m a bored robot. I’m doin’ the strobe-lit worm on linoleum irony. I’m freakin’ worn poses in the mirror of YouTube. Klink klank klunk. Drink drank drunk.


Yesterday morning I had a Technicolor waking dream. I was flipping through the Gospel of Judas, standing outside Trendy Hair Fixin’s on Seventh and Howard at 6 a.m. under a sky that looked like God shit his underpants. The ice-blue veins of the overpasses crisscrossed in the distance, the distance you feel when you realize your absent-eyed friends are all television addicts. (Not you, though. No, never you.) I was shivering wet in my "Bitch or Slut?" spray-painted halter top, Leslie and the Lys’ "Gem Sweater" rocking my knockoff iPod. It was cold, but if I layered on even one spare shred of poly blend, my Bang Bus implants would be partially obscured, and then what krunkhed mens would want me? I’d be childless forever.

Suddenly, my nueva amiga Frankenchick coughed up a pair of fake eyelashes and gasped, "When I was a little kid, I use to own a frog named Sweet Squares!"

It’s so boring reading other people’s dreams. But, of course, it wasn’t a dream. It seemed, just then, my life. And more important, my nightlife. When it feels like your whole being’s been dunked once too much in the reborn-again media stream, there are only two ways out: You can either blow up or get down. Drop the cooler-than-thou attitude completely, or go all in and get extreme.

DJ Jefrodisiac’s our homegrown version of NYC club whiz Larry Tee, and his wild nights are our closest energy-equivalent to the world’s reigning name-drop weekly, Misshapes, in Manhattan. Of course, Jefro’s been eating postirony for breakfast since way before Misshapes tossed up its hectic brand of antiposeur-poseur Corn Pops (cf. his long-running Frisco Disco, at Arrow Bar, every Saturday), but no one takes our club scene seriously. We’re too dang "out-there." Like most top jocks today, he’s less a turntablist than a mood meddler; his clubs may draw in more literal-minded people with one-off Bloc Party B-side remixes but just as quickly drive them out for a smoke with Eric Prydez’s "Call on Me" (an endless, cheery loop of Steve Winwood wailing "Valerie" … eek). The folks who say "fuck it" and stay on the dance floor, anyway, win.

Blow Up, at Rickshaw Stop, is his best joint yet, and every third Friday he and table partner Emily Betty whip their fan base into an antitaste frenzy with records from the outer bins up front and outré sex acts on the side. (What is it with all the het-porn lesbo action at clubs these days? I love it.) If some see the supertight, dressed-to-the-tens crowd as impossible snobs, they don’t get it it’s rising above by screwing it all. User-friendly nihilism on a MySpace Mountain level. It’s Blow Up’s first anniversary this week, and the guests are apocalypto-emblematic: LA street-whore rapper Mickey Avalon, London’s shambolic DJ teeth-kickers Queens of Noize, the Star Eyes of Syrup Girls from NYC, and our very own Richie Panic. Too cool for school? Nah. This is school.

And then there’s something completely different. Blow Up’s the go-all-in, but also this weekend’s let-it-all-out. Believe it or not, square dancing just got fierce. Seriously. Pimping itself as a "thriving, boisterous DIY alternative to the queer bar and circuit scenes" (thank you!), the San Francisco Queer Contra Dance may just be the perfect antidote for today’s style-fatigued clubbers. At the very least, it’s a return to what we loved about going out in the first place: meeting up with like-minded strangers at someplace new (a church, even) to dance new dances to music you can’t hear anywhere else attitude free. Contra dancing’s a venerable form of folk dancing, all whirling skirts and changing partners and whatnot, and while it may seem goofy well, look what you’re wearing, hot stuff. Everything’s goofy right now, and in this case it’s also sweet. The monthly event has taken off (even organizer Robert Riley has been shocked by the unbridled turnout), and Saturday marks its second anniversary. Dances will be taught, punch will be imbibed, and new friends will be made. Kilts and Mohawks encouraged. All bored robots welcome.

Blow Up’s One-Year Anniversary


10 p.m.–2 a.m.

Rickshaw Stop

155 Fell, SF

(415) 861-2011


SF Queer Contra Dance Second Anniversary


7:30-10:30 p.m.

United Methodist Church

1268 Sanchez, SF

$10 sliding scale

Faggots everywhere!


So I was falling out at promoter Scott Brown’s fave queer monthly Faggot at the former Daddy’s, now 440 Castro, last week (somebody slipped me a half-ate Payday bar, and I was using it to terrorize gaybots on their way to Bar on Castro down the street — needless to say the nutty goo got stuck in an overwrought fauxhawk and sashayed doe-like away) when doorboy of the moment Jacob Laurent lassoed me into a mutual admiration session with Jon Ginoli of Pansy Division. No sex, just love.

Payday means “faggot” in French, har har.


Jon’s and my affection from afar has blossomed ever since homocore kicked ass in the early ‘90s, though I lost touch a bit when P.D. went through their Green Day phase — oversize frat house fauxpunk fame makes my amour awfully itchy. Fortunately, the Pansy asses just released a 30-song retrospective that serves to remind me of the good, actually superb, ol’ days. But now that our teenaged dreams of circuit-music death and gym bunny submission to the power of rock ‘n roll (or at least electroclash) have been realized, does that mean old skool homocore is THE MAN IT MUST BE STUCK TO?

I’ll let you know when they stop putting fucking Madonna on the cover of Odyssey Magazine.

Meanwhile, Felecia Fellatio took the stage and did a rousing tribute version of “He Whipped My Ass at Tennis (So I Fucked His Ass in Bed).” Considering she could have cashed in on the current Boreback-Willie-Nelson-meets-iTunes-stoked fever for “Cowboys Are Frequently Secretly Fond of Each Other,” I thought it was mighty ballsy of her. But then anyone who’s seen Felecia in a tennis skirt knows she’s pretty ballsy already…

(doozy of a photo by Guillermo Torres)