PARTY RADAR Nightlife in San Francisco is descended more from the acid house-drenched 1988 Second Summer of Love in the UK — brought to our shores in the early 90’s by the Wicked crew — than the first one in 1967, but of course house music itself wouldn’t exist without the sexual liberation and cultural confluence of the whirling hippies and their bongo-laden headtrips.
And while I plotting a through-line from Jefferson Airplane to Matrixxman may be more vertigo-inducing than historically useful, there’s no question that a good spliff and some loud speakers still bring together the masses like nothing else — outside of a Trump protest that is.
Still, the original Summer of Love — 50 years old this year! — is being celebrated more in museums than dance floors, especially after a grand outdoor celebration was aborted due to lack of permits. (The party hopes to regroup for September or October).
This weekend sees two opening parties for SOL 50th exhibits that are unique and worth attending to get some perspective on that monumental event even the Kardashians can’t ruin.
Friday evening, the GLBT History Museum launches its revealingly queer take on the phenomenon, Lavender-Tinted Glasses: A Groovy Gay Look at the Summer of Love (opening reception Fri/7, 7pm-9pm, $5. GLBT History Museum, SF. Show runs through September 27). Here, you can briefly delve into the queer lives of Janis Joplin, Allen Ginsberg, Kenneth Anger, Peter Orloff, and more central figures of the counterculture.
Saturday afternoon sees a grand opening affair for the de Young Museum’s “The Summer of Love Art, Fashion, and Rock & Roll” (opening party Sat/8, noon-5pm, free. de Young Museum, SF). There’ll be tribute bands and tons of activities — best of all, great DJ Jackie Sugarlumps spins tunes from her ’60s arsenal from noon-2:30pm, and there’s an activist area featuring 10 awesome local organizations who are keeping the spirit of the Summer of Love alive.
Check out this guide for even more Summer of Love 50th events, and don’t forget to don your floral kaftan.
THURSDAY, APRIL 6
PUFFY AMIYUMI OK this is a concert, but the coolest kids will be here to see the Japanese rock duo — is that a City Lights book you can glimpse in their Dareka Ga video? Thu/6, 7pm, $30. Regency Ballroom, SF. Tickets and more info here.
BEAST NEST + THE CREATRIX “Beast Nest is the primary performance vehicle for Sharmi Basu, a queer South Asian woman of color focused on creating experimental music as a means of decolonizing musical language. The Creatrix is a sound exploration of multidisciplinary Fanciulla Gentile. Her work considers the ways that post-human beings investigate birth, death and destruction.” Thu/6, 7pm-9pm, $10-$20 sliding scale. Southern Exposure, SF. More info here.
FRIDAY, APRIL 7
COSMIN TRG Elegantly executed techno from the Bucharest-born master that will still melt your face, but elegantly. With Max Gardner, CZ, and more at the Direct to Earth party. Fri/7, 10pm-4am, $15 advance. F8, SF. Tickets and more info here.
AFROLICIOUS Yay! My favorite musical brothers — Ozgood and Pleasuremaker — return with their soulfully rambunctious Afrolicious Soundsystem project (think classic funk with deep Afro-Carribbean and Latin vibes) to celebrate a new record. Live percussion from Diamond Vibes, support from Antonio Guedes of BRAZA! Fri/7, 9:30pm-2:30am, $12. Public Works loft, SF. Tickets and more info here.
JOSH WINK The classic rave DJ from Philly takes us all into a “Higher State of Consciousness” as he comes to Halcyon, with a slew of awesome supporting players. Fri/7, 10pm-6am, $10-$20. Halcyon, SF. Tickets and more info here.
DESPERATE LIVING A punk rock queer party featuring live bands and sear-your-eyeballs drag? YES. For April, this monthly party brings in live bands Hollywood Hotel and Fulminante. Fri/7, 10pm-3am, $10. The Stud, SF. More info here.
LOVEFINGERS One of my favorite records stores, Vinyl Dreams, is launching a cute new monthly nu-disco, Balearic, and house party at Oasis called Mirage. The smooth, sophisticated Lovefingers — a great crowd favorite — headlines. Fri/7, 10pm-4am, $10-$15. Oasis, SF. Tickets and more info here.
SATURDAY, APRIL 8
TONY HUMPHRIES One of the gods of soulful house music! Bring a fan to this one, because once the NYC powerhouse gets going, the Salted party will become an outpost of the legendary Club Zanzibar. Sat/8, 10pm-late, $15 advance. The Great Northern, SF. Tickets and more info here.
PARISDAKAR INTERNATIONAL For more than a decade, this party has been one of SF’s best kept secrets — but those in the know have been treated to various global styles like coupé décalé, HipLife, bhangra, zouk, soukous, Afro-Brazilian, and more. Sat/8, 10pm, $5-$10. Bissau Baobab Village, SF. More info here.
FLEURS DE MAL A bloom of dark and lovely underground techno, synth, and electronic goodies from Josh Cheon (Dark Entries, Honey Soundsystem), Kerri Lebon (Jealous God, Discipline), Tyrel Williams (Secret Studio), and C.l.a.w.s. (Squirrels on Film). Sat/8, 10pm, $10. OMG, SF. More info here.
MAKE ME A MIXTAPE The second anniversary for this emo night party promises tons of hearty sing-a-longs, cute mopes, and a ton of vinyl favorites. Guest DJ Jason Beebout from Samiam. Sat/8, 9pm-2am, free. The Knockout, SF. More info here.
ANTHONY NAPLES That classic smiley-face crew, Lights Down Low, brings in perennial favorite Naples from NYC’s fantastically groovy Mister Saturday Night parties. With Solar and Taraval. Sat/8, 10pm-late, $15-$18. Monarch, SF. Tickets and more info here.
POUND PUPPY The dogs are back — as in, the too-cute gay crew who love actually good techno. This residents’ night will fill the Eagle patio and dance floor. Barky barky. Sat/8, 10pm, $10. Eagle, SF. More info here.
SUNDAY APRIL 9
MOVEMENT A party to benefit immigrants’ rights groups, featuring reps of some vital organizations — plus a full night of music, from disco to glitch-hop. Rad. Sun/9, 2pm-8pm, $5-$20 sliding scale. Public Works, SF. More info here.
SUNSET SEASON OPENER? here’s one of the more humongous signs that party season is on — even if it was rained out on its original March date. The fab Sunset crew welcome a loving crowd that’s as SF as it gets — picnicking and dancing at Stafford Lake. HOWEVER – – check the party page, since rain is on its way again. Sun/9, 11am-7pm, $30. Stafford Lake. More info here.