PARTY RADAR Festivals fly at us by the fistful these days, it seems. Yet local ones like Treasure Island and Outside Lands are still dominated by indie big names and reunion acts. (Noise Pop at least looks beyond the Pitchfork playlist, thankfully.) And, outside of the occasional local DJ tent or opening slot while the concession stands are still being constructed, good quality dance music gets nary a nod. Sure, we have some incredible experimental music festivals, but when it comes to a nice dance floor marathon situation, there’s been a gaping electronic void.
So when the As You Like It crew, along with other great local party promoters like Sunset and Housepitality, announced the ambitious yet accessible Unabridged Series (Sat/15-Sat/22), it was a revelation. Unabridged organizer and As You Like It co-honcho Jeremy Bispo insists its not an actual festival — but a multi-event collection that spans a full week and some of the city’s best venues on both sides of the Bay will do just fine.
“I was inspired by festival like Movement, Decibel, and Mutek,” Bispo told me. “And there was just so much talent coming through the Bay Area every week, and so many people already traveling here to dance to some of the best DJs, that it seemed weird no one had harnessed that passion and interest to do something like this.”
As You Like It itself has expanded exponentially in recent years, throwing parties in Detroit, Chicago, Vancouver, Miami, DC, Pittsburgh…. “One thing that’s been obvious at some of the festivals and places we’ve been is that there are people who have disposable income to spend on traveling to parties,” Bispo, ever the tactician, said. “So why not bring some of that to San Francisco, in a way that encourages them to stick around for a while?”
There are some big names featuring at Unabridged as well, kicking off with Detroit legend Robert Hood in his ecstatic Floorpan guise and moody duo Tale of Us on Sat/15, and continuing on with Mike Servito (Wed/19), Floating Points (Thu/20), Marcel Dettman (Fri/21), and rounding out with a huge outdoor picnic in Golden Gate Park that refreshingly features a wealth of local talent (Sat/22). You can view the whole schedule here.
Because this is more of a series than a festival, there are no discount passes (or, thank you, bad fashion spreads), so you’ll want to get in early on most of the gigs. And because Unabridged is still growing — and still very San Franciscan — it’s calling for your voice and ideas as it evolves. “We want this series to continue to be the fruition of all our community’s efforts to make the Bay Area a techno destination,” Bispo said. “So we obviously need everyone’s input to make it grow — tell us your ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Various times, locations, and prices
Tickets and more info here.
FRIDAY, APRIL 14
JAHDAN BLAKKAMORE The underground Guyana-via-Brooklyn reggae star’s appearance at fab monthly Dub Mission is a highly anticipated tradition for a reason — he’s great. With Relic Secure. DJ Sep and Maneesh the Twister open up. Fri/14, 10pm, $9-$12. Elba Room, SF. Tickets and more info here.
HOSTILE AMBIENT TAKEOVER Fast becoming one of the most musically necessary parties of the city, HAT moves into Monarch for this installment (that’s anything but ambient) with our latest big live electronic export Russell E.L. Butler, Roche, Solar, Mozhgan, C.L.A.W.S. and many more! Fri/14, 10pm-3am, $10. Monarch, SF. Tickets and more info here.
VIVVY’s GRAND OPENING The glorious, slightly bad taste days of the weekly Some Thing drag show may be behind us (it closed in January with a bang), but hostess VivvyAnne ForeverMore follows her own artistic muse (along with a gaggle of the city’s most interesting queens) at this new monthly that also focuses on dancing the night away. Fri/14, 10pm-4am, $10. The Stud, SF. More info here.
NIGHT SLUGS The thonking, zizzing beats of the tech-grime/nu-vogue Night Slugs crew were all the rage half-a-decade ago, and this sort-of reunion tour brings back some beloved player to the Bay Area: Bok Bok, Girl Unit, Mike Q, and J Heat. Plus, we are hardly mad that the proceeds are benefitting Planned Parenthood. Fri/14, 9pm-late, $15. Mezzanine, SF. Tickets and more info here.
IDJUT BOYS “Infectious dub-heavy disco sampling house” all night long in the rave cave of F8? Si, si, si. With Tyrel Williams, Miguel Solari, and Sepehr. Fri/14, 9pm-4am, $20. F8, SF. Tickets and more info here.
SATURDAY, APRIL 15
REBELLEDO One of house music’s classic Pachanga Boys, the Mexican wiz has been playing harder lately, refracting the post-minimal Berlin sound through cosmic filters. With Barnt and Bubu — it’s a Mayan Warrior takeover, and burners will be in full throes. Sat/15, 9:30pm-4:00am, $10-$25. Great Northern, SF. Tickets and more info here.
MAKEOUT PARTY The Eagle’s fashionable (and other) gay (and other) patrons lock lips for Jell-O shots (guilty!) at this party from Seattle’s Nark that also features some pretty damn great music. Robin Simmons, Eleane Denham, and Viktor Belmont spin. Sat/15, 10pm, $10. Eagle, SF. More info here.
HOT CHIP DJS Everyone’s favorite dance floor brainiacs pull out the stops on their deep knowledge to nerd us the f*ck out of our shoes. Sat/15, 9:30pm-3:30am, $15-$30. Public Works, SF. Tickets and more info here.
PEAKING LIGHTS ACID TEST APC of indie-dance powerhouse act Peaking Lights goes solo as a live performer, and it sounds cute: “Dance floor friendly, the tracks come off as Balearic upbeat and groovy with moving rhythms ranging from 80-124 bpm. The sets tend to have a nice arc as they build up in intensity.” At the ever-awesome Push the Feeling party. Sat/15, 10pm, $5. UndergroundSF. More info here.
SAMPHA The British singer who shone on SBTRKT’s big releases ventures into even more sensitive, personal electronic territory with latest album Process. He’s also opening up for a little act you may have heard of called the xx. Sat/15-Mon/17, $50. Bill Graham, SF. Tickets and more info here.
THE QUEEN IS DEAD BFF.FM BENEFIT Our local monthly Smiths (and more!) dance party is donating proceeds to our essential local internet radio station. Two great things! With Sheila M., Mario Muse, and Cosmic Amanda. Sat/15, 9pm, $6-$8. Milk Bar, SF. More info here.
FRINGE The city’s cutest indie party hosts a “Spring Fling and F U Cancer benefit,” with Blondie K & subOctave. Sat/14, 9pm, $5 before 11pm. Madrone, SF. More info here.
SUNDAY, APRIL 16
EASTER WITH SISTERS So far, this huge annual tradition (now in Golden Gate Park) is still happening despite a rainy forecast — although who would complain about a dripping wet Hunky Jesus? Tons of fun entertainment for the whole family, in the most “San Francisco” way possible. Sun/16, 10am-4pm, free. Hellman Hollow, Golden Gate Park, SF. More info here.
DISCO DADDY After witnessing the hunky son parade, come to the father and get your holy ghost on the dance floor at DJ Bus Station John’s monthly gathering of disco lovers — this time showcasing Prince and co.’s early works! Hallelujah, he is risen. Sun/16, 7pm-2am, $5. eagle, SF. More info here.