Party Radar

Party Radar: Mardi Gras, huzzah!

Photo from Carnaval 2017 by Marco Sanchez

PARTY RADAR We’re more Carnaval than Mardi Gras folks around these parts when it comes to celebrations of … wait, what does Fat Tuesday celebrate again? But Carnaval isn’t until May, and hey, considering how much of SF’s population surprisingly comes from New Orleans, of course we’re not going to pass up an opportunity to get dressed up and drunk. 

 Luckily, the Carnaval folks are hosting a huge Carnaval San Francisco Mardi Gras Fat Tuesday Kick-Off Party (Tue/13, 6pm-10pm, free) at 17 venues across the Mission. Its kind of like a giant block party, except it will take place in venues serving booze, which, yay!

Live samba drummers and feather-bestrewn dancers will wend their way through spots like Make-Out Room, Latin American Club, El Rio, Pop’s Bar, Bissap Baobab, Cha Cha Cha, and more to brighten up your Hurricane slushie season. 

Other cute things on Tue/13: New Orleans percussionist legend Zigaboo Modaliste comes to the Chapel; there’s an awesome-looking block party in the Fillmore, a neighborhood with deep roots in New Orleans; the North Beach Brass Band livens up Biscuits & Blues; and OF COURSE there is going to be a Mardi Gras rave at Great Northern with the Opel crew, why not?  

DJ Anna Morgan plays 1015 Folsom, Fri/9


THU/8 PUFF It’s a monthly queer marijuana appreciation drag happy hour for everyone! Join 48 Hills and Queers Love Weed for blast of drag and cabaret performance, plus DJ Sergio and lots of news about new local cannabis products. 7pm-10pm, $5-$10 (enters you into a raffle to win cool stuff). The Stud, SF. More info here.  

THU/8 EXCISE: MILKPLANT, MAX GARDNER, MUON I love our local techno heads, and these three are superb. Excise is the record label—it just released Max Gardner’s subterranean whipper “Mona Loops,” for which this is the release party. On top of all that, this is a Direct to Earth party, which makes everything extra all right. 9pm-2am, FREE. F8, SF. More info here

FRI/9 SNEAKER Wierdo new wave and Italo disco jams from this Dresden DJ favorite, who releases some great thonking edits under his Dunkeltier moniker. With DJ Lily Ackerman and Birds of Rhythm in the back room. 9pm-12am, $10. RS94109, SF. More info here.  

FRI/9 TIJANA T Serbian DJ Tijana T sweeps in to the always stimulating Bloom party from the As You Like It crew. Do not miss opener Eris Drew, a young DJ mystic from Chicago who truly understands old school rave DNA. 9:30pm-4am, $15. Monarch, SF. More info here

FRI/9 JONAH SHARP SF techno legend who freaked out the world as Spacetime Continuum celebrates the sixth anniversary of the Pulse Generator party, with Equilet in tow. 10pm-2am, $5. Underground SF. More info here

FRI/9 ANNA MORGAN Very excited about this free party, an SF pre-launch for Costa Rica’s Envision Festival. NYC’s Morgan (appearing here with global bass maven Thornato) “highlights urban diaspora stories while catering to dance enthusiasts, spanning genres from jungle and footwork to halftime, hip-hop and house,” setting the groove firmly at the juncture of urban and tribal. 10pm-3am, free. 1015 Folsom, SF. More info here

FRI/9 CONSUMER ELECTRONICS “Consumer Electronics is a punk / electro / noise trio comprising ageing renegade Philip Best (ex-Whitehouse), his wife, the US artist Sarah Froelich and acclaimed noise/techno guru Russell Haswell.” Expect avant-garde electronics, twisted beats, and apocalyptic performance poetry. 9:30pm, $20. The Lab, SF. More info here.  

FRI/9 VIVVY’S GRAND OPENING She’s wacky, she’s wild…. she’s always hosting a grand opening! This monthly dragstravaganza from VivvyAnne ForeverMore has a lot of big ideas and a little bit of spit and polish. Don’t miss the go-go debut of club kid Matthew, as “pig in a wig.” 10pm-4am, $10. The Stud, SF. More info here.  

FRI/9 SIMIAN MOBILE DISCO Crowd-pleasing techno from the well-established London duo that’s taken on a prettier, deeper, dare I say more mature texture since they’ve been relentlessly trotting the globe. 9pm-3:30am, $17-$30. Public Works, SF. More info here.

Non Stop Bhangra returns Sat/10 to Public Works

SAT/10 NON STOP BHANGRA It’s back! Co-winner of Best Dance Party 2017, and one of my favorite things ever, NSB comes back from winter break to get you whirling to irresistible bhangra beats. The dholrhythms dancers and DJ Jimmy Love (plus a bevy of special guests) invite you to share the love and wear red! 9pm-2am, $15-$20. Public Works, SF. More info here

SAT/10 TECHNOCLAM WITH ANASTASIA KRISTENSEN The fabulous Technoclam collective/project/female-world-domination-scheme throws its third party, featuring this Danish DJ who “is an uncompromising force of nature that shifts sounds and tempos at a moment’s notice.” She’s on deck with local techno wiz Christina Chatfield, SF classic Qzen, and ExHouse. 9pm-4am, $12. The Stud, SF. More info here

SAT/10 IF IN WINTER: A RADICAL VARIETY SHOW Raising funds for the family of Paul Clipson, the SF experimental film-maker giant who passed away last weekend. “An evening of short blasts of live performance: music, dance, drag, sound art and more. with a free raffle filled with radical prizes.” 7-9pm, donations requested. Alley Cat Books, SF. More info here.  

SAT/10 PUNK ROCK BENEFIT FOR TENANTS’ UNION “BANDS: Squishers, My Name is Joe starting at 4 pm. BBQ with meat and veggie dogs, rainbow cheese plate, and extras. Free, donations requested by a man with a hat. Or renew your Tenants Union membership.
Our house is under Ellis act eviction, but temporarily safe due to advocates like SFTU and Tenderloin Housing Clinic.” 2pm-6pm, 2822 Folsom, SF. More info here

SAT/10 SECOND HALLOWEEN “Let’s get rid of Valentine’s Day and replace it with second Halloween!” This is the third installment of the anti-V-Day costume extravaganza, with killer tunes from the likes of Charlotte the Baroness and the Brass tax crew, plus an all-vinyl room upstairs. Whee! 3pm-1am, $10-$15. Brix 581, SF. More info here

SAT/10 POUND PUPPY: PUPPY LOVE The hounds of love are out at the ruff and ready monthly queer Pound Puppy party with the wonderful DJ Carrie On Disco headlining. 10pm-2am, $10. The Eagle, SF. More info here

SAT/10 CHAOS IN CBD Charming New Zealand duo bring their chugging, lo-fi sound to the Brouhaha party—and they’re bringing Australia’s Andras with them for some great grooves. 10pm-4am, $20. F8, SF. More info here

Party Radar: Farewell to the city’s oldest gay bar

A picture taken the morning after the Gangway closed. Photo by Darwin Bell

PARTY RADAR I was alerted late on Saturday night that the long-dreaded transfer of the license had occurred: The Gangway, the city’s oldest gay bar (since the 1960s) and one of its oldest overall bars (since 1910) shut down at midnight, its workers informed by text that it was all over. It’s slated to become—what else?—a kung-fu-themed laundromat, owned by the operators of Polk Street meat market Kozy Kar. Yep, the rape-y one, huzzah.  

So many memories have been pouring out about the space—political organizing benders in the 1970s, drag goddess Juanita More performing her heart out there in the 90s, DJ Bus Station John’s legendary Manquake parties, where people danced to vintage disco in the back beneath a constellation of stars on the ceiling (and several young queer politicos got their start go-going semi-ironically).

I still frequented the cozy joint, taking comfort there after the Ghost Ship fire, ducking in for drinks during shows at next-door record store RS94109, and really just to enjoy the old-school ambience and incredibly diverse (and sometimes hilariously salty) regulars. 

Photo of the inside of the bar the day after it closed by Josh Cheon, as owner Jung Lee attempted to collect some of the historical wall hangings for posterity.

DJ Josh Cheon spoke to former owner Jung Lee, who says new owner Sam Young promised to keep the bar intact as the Gangway. (A similar promise was made to drag bar Marlena’s in Hayes Valley when new owners took over, and it was almost immediately stripped to the studs and renamed.) In any case, I will always fondly remember coming in out of the cold Tenderloin hustle for a cheap shot and a free hot dog or scoop of adobo from the crock pot in the corner. Viva La Gangway.

Here’s a shot of Juanita More to see the beloved little pirate-themed bar off. (Now the only gay bars we have in that part of town are Aunt Charlie‘s and The Cinch—please go support! Buy me a drink!)

Juanita More at the Gangway in 1998.

TASTE OF INDIE Sure, sure movies are great, but one of the things I love about SF Indie Fest is the parties. This year at the 20th annual festival, there’s a clutch I’m recommending. And while they’re not quite dance-floor fodder, they’re super-cute (especially for Gen-Xers and their admirers—is that a fetish yet?).

Let’s start with something that isn’t a party, but will send you spiraling into rave visuals flashbacks all the same: an Akira live rescore on February 8. “Using synthesizers, acid basslines, drum machines and audio samples from the film, San Francisco based electronic musical score design duo The Firmament has created a live electronic score to the 1988 cyberpunk anime classic Akira by Katsuhiro Otomo.” Hell yes. 

Also check out: Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure Bingo on  February 10; an Anti-Valentine’s Day Power Ballad Sing-A-Long on February 14; a “shadow cast” live act-a-long screening of the movie that cemented my childhood crush on John Goodman, The Big Lebowski, this Fri/2;  and, indiest of indie, “The Opening Ceremonies of The Olympic Bad Art Gallery” on February 9, which I think is a very elaborate art opening, but for deliberately bad art? Let’s dance.    


THU/1: GRATITUDE FOR GRACIELA Graciela has been supporting a family of five by working at Gray Area, The Castro Theater, and several other places. She’s an amazing member of the community and positive force — but has now been forced from her home. This fundraiser aims to help her get new housing for herself and her family, and features an all0-star DJ cast, including Jackie House, CZ, and Trevor Sigler. 6pm-11pm, donations requested (you can also donate here.) Gray Area, SF. More info here.  

THU/1: INTERSECTION Fabulously out there techno from local stars Russell E.L. Butler and TOPAZU, as part of the Intersection party series  that brings together both sides o the Bay. 10pm-2am, $5-$7. The Stud, SF. More info here

FRI/2: DESPERATE LIVING ANTI-VALENTINE’S DAY PARTY ‘Tis the season for some good ol’ funk rock kick-in-the-teeth romantic cynicism. Queer punk rock monthly Desperate Living is a hoot (and John Waters approved!), this time featuring DJ Rose Gold, live set by Rose Hips, and tons of crazy drag performances. 10pm-4am, $10. The Stud, SF. More info here.  

FRI/2: HVOB Live electronic music with vocals and an onstage drummer may not be a new notion, but duo Anna Müller and Paul Wallner make some really lovely tunes together, part-way between pop and contemporary progressive. The Modular party hosts. 9pm-2am, $20-$35. Mezzanine, SF. More info here

FRI/2: D.A.N.C.E.: A BLOG HAUS NIGHT Welp, we’re finally retro-using the late 2000s, doesn’t it feel great? And while we have several very fine indie dance nights happening (including like five Daft Punk tributes!), this one really nails that ancient blog haus feeling, partly because it’s a party based in LA, and partly because it’s headlined by electro star of yore Them Jeans. 9pm, $10. Rickshaw Stop, SF. More info here

FRI/2: NEUD PHOTO The Vague Terrain party again gives us something intriguing: “Neud Photo is Nico Nightingale, an Electro/EBM/Wave producer from NYC (originally from Detroit). Joining him for this performance is Cristiano Grimaldi, one half of duo INTRZN.” 9pm-2am, $5-$10. Underground SF. More info here

SAT/3: KAFANA BALKAN 11TH ANNIVERSARY One of my all-time favorite parties is over a decade old??? Wow. Find yourself whirling and stomping to live and rare Balkan beats in a super-enthustiatic crowd — this edition features ana amazing show: Inspector Gadje Brass Band joined by Macedonian Roma clarinet maestro Ismail Lumanovski, and the always charming DJ Zeljko. 9pm-2am, $18-$20. Rickshaw Stop, SF. More info here.   

SAT/3: HARD FRENCH WINTER BALL This annual queer classic soul throwdown is THE season event for dressing up and getting down. This year features disco dive Thelma Houston (“Don’t Leave Me This Way”) and a fabulous DJ cast including Bus Station John, carnitas, and Brown Amy. Sold out online, but tickets at the door if you come early! 9pm-2am, $25. Gray Area, SF. More info here.  

SAT/3: THE HARDER, BETTER, FASTER, STRONGER LOVEFEST This is one of those great indie dance parties I mentioned above. “Modern day Indie & Electro meets classic Electronica from the 90s/2000s” with DJ Damon and tons of free dlow-in-the-dark prizes and five-foot aliens (?). 9pm-2am, $5. Slate, SF. More info here.  

SAT/3: DEECEE’S SOUL SHAKEDOWN A classic party! Jah Warrior Shelter and more celebrate Bob Marley’s birthday in a room full of groovers and skankers. Roll ’em up. 9pm, free with RSVP here. Mezzanine, SF. 

SAT/3: GO BANG! Disco DJ legend Lester Temple joins young Jim Collins at this insanely cute monthly disco romp, full of familiar and friendly faces. 10pm-3am, $10. The Stud, SF. More info here

SAT/3: POWERBLOUSE Castro District Supervisor candidate Rafael Mandelman is going to do drag for the first time, eek! Every month, drag legends Juanita More and Glamamore pick a willing newbie and dress them up live on stage. Plus dancing with DJ Rolo. It all benefits the Q Foundation. 10pm-2pm, $5. Powerhouse, SF. More info here

SAT/3: SO TOUGH A night of “all hammer no bammer” — but not really so scary as that. Erica (formerly known as post-witch house maven demon gay) performs live after too-long an absence, with Viewfinder and Controlled Absence. 10pm-2am, $5. Underground SF. More info here

Party Radar: This kitty has claws!

PARTY RADAR My first encounter with Australian diva whirlwind Meow Meow (performing at Davies Symphony Hall Sat/27) was a couple years ago at SF Symphony’s breathtaking experimental-underground cabaret, Soundbox—starting up a new season February 9 with an intriguing “Synesthesia” program. It was a great night that was loosely built around one of the zeniths of global nightlife, the Weimar Era in 1920s Berlin.

Slinky chanteuse Meow Meow was performing the mind-blowing 1919 Sonata Erotica by Czech composer Erwin Schulhoff (an early musical victim of the Nazi regime). The demand that this piece imposes on a singer is this: Meow Meow was required to perform an entire range of operatic-erotic emotions (from first flush of passion to final flush of washing up and demanding a little payment in return) merely through sensual grunts and groans, the kind that made one’s ears blush. She pulled this off with dramatic aplomb, hilariously trailing the lengthy score behind her, eyes flashing from dewy love to twitching impatience.

For her appearance on Saturday, expect just this sort of cheekiness paired with dazzling showmeownship (sorry) as she performs more surprising tunes from the past century, with Pink Martini founder and pianist, Thomas M. Lauderdale. Davies Symphony Hall may never be the same again. Im cabaret, au cabaret, to cabaret! Tickets and more info here

Chattanooga’s Bbymutha comes to Swagger Like Us Fri/26


FRI/26: COSMIN TRG If you are in the mood for some slamming techno from outer space, this Romanian will send you into orbit. At the Direct to Earth party, with rad local Diactritic Collective DJs opening up. 9pm-4am, $15-$20. F8, SF. More info here

FRI/26: A CLUB CALLED RHONDA The huge LA phenomenon (more than a decade old!) that brought quality queer techno to a fabulously mixed audience is back in the bay, with acid house legend Tyree Cooper, Atlanta heady beats babe Leonce, and many more. 9:30pm-3:30am, $15-$20. Great Northern, SF. More info here

FRI/26: BBYMUTHA Ever-fantastic queer hip-hop party Swagger Like Us brings in the ever-fantastic Chattanoogan rapper to throw down for the kids. 10pm-2pm, $10. Elbo Room, SF. More info here

FRI/26: PABLO BOLÍVAR + PABLO SÁNCHEZ Fab Spanish DJ attack! (This is not a cry for help.) Two Pablos from the Seven Villas label in Barcelona light up the Public Works loft with deep house. 9:30pm-3:30am, $15-$20. Public Works, SF. More info here

FRI/26: BLACK FRIDAYS: BUTCHFEMME Drag goddess Honey Mahogany’s powerful and hilarious monthly showcase of performers of color takes on the Butch/Femme sexual divide by erasing all boundaries. Plus dancing all night! A benefit for the Compton’s Transgender Cultural District. 10pm-4am, $10. The Stud, SF. More info here.  

FRI/26: CLUB LONELY I must say, this raucous little party is one of my favorite secret joys. Only for the lonely! (And awesome.) 10pm-2am, $10. OMG, SF. More info here

FRI/26: STEAM “$100 wet towel contest! Deep tissue massage! Drink specials by Patrón and Red Bull! The infamous (and improved!) PowerShower!” Plus DJ Shawn Perry and a wet-hot crowd at Walter Gomez’s monthly bathhouse-themed benefit for Larking Street Youth Services. 10pm-2am, $5. Powerhouse, SF. More info here

SAT/27: LOVE HANGOVER Feisty and furry DJ Kevin O’Connor gives you some of the hair of the dog (and great dance tunes) at this daytime dance party at the Lone Star bear bar. Free BBQ! 3pm-9pm, $5. Lone Star, SF. More info here

SAT/27: GUSGUS Legendary Iceland techno/film/art/performance collective was formative for so many on the scene. Founding members Biggi Veira and Daníel Ágúst pop in for a DJ set that will span synthpop delights and more ruminative sounds. Not to be missed! 9pm-2am, $20-$25. Mezzanine, SF. More info here

SAT/27: INTERVAL Todd Sines is one of the true OGs of techno—his gear knowledge completely blows me away. His new crew Interval will perform at essential record store RS94109 with HELIC.AL, Vertical Silence, and, from Mexico, Artefacts de Dolor. 8pm-midnight, $5. RS94109, SF. More info here.  

SAT/27: CLUB CHAI 2-YEAR ANNIVERSARY Incredible Oakland collective-project-experiment-community turns two and goes all out, with piano Rain, Fela Kuchii, Foozool, 8ulentina, and many more. 8pm-2am, $10. Alena Studios, Oakland. More info here

SAT/27: BRIDGE CLUB! Debaucherous queer collective out of Portland hits the road to take over the Stud, with DJs Orographic, Casual Aztec, Hold My Hand, Pocket Rock-It, and Troubled Youth in tow. Special guest Gossip Cat. Fun, fun, fun. 10pm-4am, $5-$10. the Stud, SF. More info here

SAT/27: POLYGLAMOROUS The Por Detroit party in Mexico City—really where all the cool stuff is happening lately—is a fantastic rave that has hosted so many DJs and parties from the US that it’s time to give back! DJs Kodemul and Perfect Lovers, plus performer Posse, are making the trek from CDMX to wreck the monthly, lovely Polyglamorous party’s decks. 10pm-4am, $7-$12. F8, SF. More info here.  

SAT/27: DAVID HARNESS FRIENDS IN HARMONY RECORD RELEASE PARTY The soulful house guru OF SF is back, bringing revered singer Ultra Nate and Mark de Clive-Lowe in tow. Read my interview with David here. 10pm-4am, $15-$20. Halcyon, SF. More info here

SAT/27: TURBO DRIVE: SHREDDER 1984 If you’ve ever wanted to live out your synthy, neon-drenched dreams of listening to the Drive soundtrack in a vintage Tron arcade game, the totally rad Turbo Drive parties are here for you. The one features a live set from Shredder 1984, while brings a punk-rock sensibility to the mix that reminds me of the hardcore electro/French Touch scene of the mid-2000s. 9:30pm-1:30am, $11-$13. DNA Lounge, SF. More info here

Party Radar: Fierce and lovely for MLK Weekend

A celebration of the life of club legend Miss Who Who (left, with dancer Stacey) takes place on Sun/14.

PARTY RADAR As always, but especially in the last politically horrific year, the dance floor is a beacon for and a bastion of love, peace, and unity that transcends race, sexuality, and gender. Even the harshest noise show and the most clinical techno underground offers a communal warmth the outside world does its best to shut out and up. This weekend, set aside to honor Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. offers plenty of opportunity to spread his message through music, dancing, and some glorious carrying on. 

FRI/12: MARTINEZ BROTHERS The adorable Bronx duo rocketed to fame as teens full-bent on reviving classic house vibes: That’s a ubiquitous goal these days, but the Brothers keep rocketing ahead of the pack with a sunny attitude and serious skills. 9pm-3:30am, $15-$25. Public Works, SF. More info here

FRI/12: SWAGGER LIKE US PRESENTS JIBBZ The Bay’s most vibrant queer hip-hop etc. party brings in Oakland global bass and Afrobeat producer to swag the decks. Don’t miss this. 9pm-2am, $10-$12. White Horse, Oakland. More info here

FRI/12: EDDIE C, MARK E. QUARK Fabulous disco-rave vibes from classic DJ Eddie C, while another legend, Mark E. Quark, brings the funky techno. Local duo Diskoalition opens up. 9:30-late, $10-$15. Monarch, SF. More info here.  

FRI/12: WETWARE, ENTRO SENESTRE The Surface Tension parties always guarantee a boundary-pushing experience, and experimental-techno-noise act Wetware and lauded Bank NYC label conch Entro Senestre will not disappoint. 10pm-4am, $12-$15. the Stud, SF. More info here

FRI/12: NEON BLACK Sexy synthy retro and future grooves at this party that feels like you’re floating through the Drive soundtrack inside a vintage Tron arcade game. With DJs Pendaison, Wyram, Danny Dolorean, and Fact.50. 9:30pm-3am, $5-$10. Cat Club, SF. More info here

FRI/12: VRIL “Seemingly out of nothing, through dust and with no bang, Vril appeared on the scene.” The burbling-techno Giegling label brought this “shadowy German” to light, the Modular party brings him to the Midway. Don’t miss opener Lily Ackerman, one of our most exciting rising DJ stars. 9:30pm-4am, $20. Midway, SF. More info here

FRI/12: LAST NITE This fantastic and popular 2000s revival night will have you Strokes-ing out all over again. “It’s like we ate Pitchfork, stole your iPod and then rode off on your track bike.” 10pm-2am, $5-$10. Make-Out Room, SF. More info here

SAT/13: KETIOV AT VIVVY’S GRAND OPENING Vivvy’s Grand Opening is our most surreal drag night, with enormous concepts a Payless budget. Ketiov is a solo project by Voitek, half of incredible techno duo Catz ‘n Dogz. Vivvy will be dropping jaws, Ketiov will be dropping deep disco-update jams. 10pm-4am, $10. The Stud, SF. More info here

SAT/13: EVIGT MÖRKER Swedish techno wiz wows with incredible selection and mixing skills — I’d expect nothing less from the awesome Sure Thing party. The back room on this one will be an ambient wonderland, with Topazu, Experimental Housewife, and more. 10pm-4am, $15-$20. F8, SF. More info here

SAT/13: NICO STOJAN (AND FAREWELL PETER BLICK) One of the most awesome people on the scene, Public Works honcho Peter Blick, is moving to Colorado (he’ll still be popping in to throw some great parties) — say farewell as he DJs alongside Berlin expansive-technoist Nico Stojan, with Oceanvs Orientalis and Ramona Wouters. 9pm-4am, $15-$20. Public Works, SF. More info here

 SAT/13: POUND PUPPY Woof, woof, sailor. This monthly scruffy circle-sniff is all about cute beards and very good music. DJ Jeremy Castillo from Club Lonely paws the decks this time around, with space jams galore. 10pm-2am, $10. Eagle, SF. More info here

SUN/14: LANDO AT WERD Aw, nice one! One of my favorite local producers of the aughts is back in town for this semi-union of the great Icee Hot party at weekly techno joint Werd. With Elexos Park and CZ. 9pm-2am, $5. Monarch, SF. More info here

SUN/14: MISS WHO WHO’S CELEBRATION OF LIFE A beautiful and legendary presence on the dance floors of SF left us last month. I’ve known Miss Who Who (and her ever-present handkerchief) for decades, since we danced together every weekend, all weekend, at the End Up. The SF scene is diminished with her passing, but this celebration of life will be a joyous reunion in her honor. With DJ David Harness. 5pm-10pm, free (donations encouraged). The Midway, SF. More info here

SUN/14: RESIST – THE DOWNWARD SPIRAL A dazzling troupe of drag performers — Dia Dear, Profundity, Nikki Jizz, Miss Rahni, Uphoria, Qween, Reverend Lysol, Kuntrol Alt-V, Glamamore, more —  taking on the seminal Nine Inch Nails album in its entirety? In order to make a powerful political statement? Sign me up, tie me down(ward). Sun/14, 8pm, $15-$25. Rickshaw Stop, SF. More info here

SUN/14: MLK & HNY Honey Soundsystem’s annual MLK Weekend celebration comes into its 10th year (!) I’m dying to tell you the special guests, but suffice it to say they represent the incredible diversity of the underground queer dance music scene. One of my favorite parties of the year. 9pm-4am, $20. Audio, SF. More info here.  

Party Radar: A Too-Cute New Year’s Eve 2017 Party Guide

LA's Dâm Funk kicks the 2018 party off right at Public Works.

PARTY RADAR Halleloo, halleloo! This dumb-ass year is ’bout to get kicked in the dumpster. I’m off to Palm prings to hide from the holidays with a giant margarita, poolside beneath some chili lights strung from a Joshua tree — Merry-juana Christmas, everybody! But folks have been hitting me up for SF NYE recs, so here are some bright beacons in that blizzard of amateurs we call NYE. And don’t forget to stay tuned for my “Comedowns are for Losers” annual guide to what matters most, New Year’s Day parties, coming soon. Right after I finish up this next marg. Bon voyagee.

PS If you’re looking for bigger parties, there are these galore, of course, from the all-night POPNYE EDM rave at the Armory (and the not-so-all-night Kaskade EDM rave at Bill Graham) to the hippie electronic jams of STS9 at the Warfield, the Steampunk-folk Burner jams of Beats Antique at the Midway, the monster mash-up mosh of Bootie NYE, shirtless hairy men galore at Bearracuda NYE, and the gay dragstravaganza, featuring rapper Cazwell and some of my favorite performers, at Oasis.  

PPS Might I suggest you kick everything off with something gorgeous New Year’s Eve morning: taking a swing at a 2,100-pound, 16th-century Japanese temple bell at the Asian Art Museum

PPPS New Year’s Eve gets all the presss, but there are some other great parties this weekend, too, including the awesome Hotline Winter Wonderland Bash — with a real snow machine (Fri/29), Yungg Trip and Felex Up Crew at Dub Mission (Fri/29), Hot Froot (Fri/29), KINGDOM! Drag King Black and Gold NYE Ball (Fri/29) Chulita Vinyl Club at the KnockOut (Sat/30), and drag goddess Glamamore’s Pre NYE Eve rager, Glamamore’s Nutz

ACID TEST NEW YEAR’S FREAKOUT! “A psychedelic happening featuring lights and sounds,” with groovy psych-rock music by LA five-piece The Creation Factory and Berkeley’s The Pop Club Group, plus DJs Steve and Noemi, Jodie Artichoke, and more. Sun/31, 9pm-2am, $10-$15. Elbo Room, SF. More info here.  

SWEATER FUNK NEW YEAR’S EVE This adorable crew of local vinyl funkateer DJs comes together to play you classic “boogie – modern soul – steppers” at the Knockout. Your angora will get itchy! Sun/31, 9pm-2am, $10-$20. The Knockout, SF. More info here.    

INSPECTOR GADJE Nothing resounds so wonderfully and woozily with the feeling of a great New Year than a BBBB — big Balkan brass band. Whirl and stomp with the awesome Inspector Gadje band at this artists’ extravaganza evening, put on by the eye-popping Salles des Artistes. Sun/31, 8pm-2am, $35. Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church Hall, SF. More info here.    

NYE PACHANGA Launch into 2018 with some Latinx love. Virgil’s Sea Room and Gallerie de la Raza in the Mission are teaming up for food, fun, a little piñata-whacking, and of course dancing, courtesy of DJs Sizzle, Crasslos, Carnitas of Hard French, and FlyLoveSong. Sun/31, 9pm-2am, $15-$20. Virgil’s Sea Room, SF. More info here

UP ALL NIGHT AT THE STUD Fifteen dollars (presale) for 12 hours of dancing and drag — including Midwest underground techno powerhouse DJ Noncompliant aka Shiva, psychedelic electronic sorceress Mozhgan, a Club Lonely takeover at dawn, and oodles of friendly queer faces. It’s also the anniversary of the Stud Collective taking over the space and converting it into the country’s first worker-owned cooperative nightclub! (I will be there and a fun mess.) Sun/31, 9pm-9am, $15-$25. The Stud, SF. More info here. 


AFROLICIOUS NYE This local funk-electronic collective contains some people I adore, playing Afro-House, Latin Grooves, classic funk, island jams, and everything under the sun Wear comfy kicks: With a live band and ace DJs on hand, you’ll be on your feet all night. Sun/31, 9pm-2am, $50. Rickshaw Stop, SF. More info here.   

POOLSIDE + DÂM FUNK LA funk deity Dâm Funk will launch Public Works into space after dreamy duo Poolside (starring our own Jeffrey Paradise) dunks the crowds in sunny melodies. With Body Music and Groovewell. Sun/31, 9pm-3:30am, $25. Public Works, SF. More info here

SWAGGER LIKE US Vibrant queer hip-hop and deep beats at this Best of the Bay winner, with the amazing Bearcat from Discwoman and Atlanta’s Leonce. The crowd at this party cannot be beat for fabulous looks and warm attitude. Sun/31, 9pm-3am, $20+. F8, SF. More info here.   

NEW YEAR’S EVE FLAMENCO The dramatic, addictive Spanish dance genre — which built the foundation for modern nightlife — whirls into the new year at Thirsty Bear. Three shows starting at 8pm, plus a menu of tapas goodies. Sun/21, 8pm, free. Thirsty Bear, SF. More info here.   


METRIC Beloved indie dance group returns with their Canadian synth ways to light up Mezzanine. Their live show is fantastic — at least when I avidly followed them in the aughts — and this will be both a reunion and a bang-up celebration. Sun/31, 9pm-3am, $80. Mezzanine, SF. More info here

TURBO DRIVE NYE The smooth-synth retro minds behind latest party phenomena Turbo Drive and Neon Black — think the Drive soundtrack in an ’80s arcade — are taking over Emporium, the giant new arcade on Divisadero, and pinballing you into 2018 via 1989. With DJs Danny Delorean, Fact.50, and more. Sun/31, 8pm-2am, free + five game tokens. Emporium, SF. More info here.   

FATHER OF THE YEAR LOL, this incredibly cleverly titled gay shindig brings out the dadbods (and not-so-dadbods) to Driftwood for dad-dance music by Mark O’Brien (Polyglamorous), Sergio Fedasz (Go BANG!), and “ResiDAD” DJs Michael Romano and Kelly Naughton. Plus a Double Scorpio brand “midnight magic poppertunity toast!” (wink) Sun/31, 9pm-2am, $10.50. Driftwood, SF. More info here

TYCHO Our hero of electronic pop-atmospherics returns for a night spent ballooning out the walls of the Fillmore. Bring your edibles, throw on your Ray-Bans, and bid the dark of 2017 adieu. Sun/31, 9pm-1am, $75. The Fillmore, SF. More info here

CLUB LONELY NYE One of my supreme favorite small house music parties with a huge vibe, Club Lonely, brings in an awesome DJ, Myles Cooper, from another equally delectable party, High Fantasy, to join resident DJs Vin Sol, Jeremy Castillo, and Primo in burning 2017 to the ground. Sun/31, 9pm-4am, $15. Club OMG, SF. More info here

MANGO NYE This lesbian wonder-party has been around for more than two decades and still rules the scene with its super-diverse blend of dancers, and house and hip-hop beats by legend Olga T. With DJs Lady Lu and La Coqui and El Rio’s strong drinks. Juicy! Sun/31, 8pm-2am, $15. El Rio, SF. More info here

Party Radar: The best club ever?

Club 57 party artwork by Kenny Scharf as Jet.

PARTY RADAR I just flew in from New York City, and, boi, are my nasal passages tired. From a muddy-sounding multi-warehouse Brooklyn rave with The Black Madonna to a raucous cabaret evening at actor Alan Cumming’s new post-Eastern Bloc Club Cumming — with stops at Bushwick neighborhood hang Bossa Nova Civic Club (which just happens to host the world’s best techno DJs) and incredible, neon-ceilinged Bushwick spot Analog (which hosts one of my favorite gay parties, Wrecked, coming to SF next month!) … Child, I did a lot.

Photo by David Schnur

Probably the most amazing thing, however, was the stunning, nightlife-affirming “Club 57: Film, Performance, and Art in the East Village, 1978–1983” show at the MoMA. Like the sprawling show itself, which took over the MoMA’s basement, Club 57 was located in the basement of a Polish Church on St. Mark’s Place — the real underground, on zero budget — and involved every early 80’s club, art, and music icon you could think of.

Keith Haring performing na “Act of Live Art” in 1980 at Club 57. Photo by Joseph Szkodzinski

Seriously: Keith Haring was its visual art selector, Ann Magnuson was its performance curator, Susan Hannaford and Tom Scully were the film programmers, and from there you also get Kenny Scharf, Klaus Nomi, John Sex, Fab 5 Freddy, Future 2000, Kenny Scharf, Taboo!, Divine, Lisa Lyon, Africa Bambaataa, Johnny Dynell … RuPaul, Cyndi Lauper, the B-52s, The Fleshtones, and Madonna hung out there. Everybody hung out there. There were wiggy rock performances, experimental film nights, DIY fashions galore, and music that popped with early New Wave, hip-hop, Alt Country, jangly indie, and electro.  

A plastic cape worn onstage by Klaus Nomi. Photo by David Schnur
Club 57 calendar, hand-collaged by Ann Magnuson. Photo by David Schnur
A cheeky ad by Lypsinka
Painting by Kenny Scharf

It’s a club kid paradise, yes, but with some very important art and purpose. The club’s gritty, relentlessly DIY aesthetic was fueled by reaction against the stifling mores of the Reagan era. Some of the art revels in an ironic, plastic-elastic realm as sleek as the Gipper’s coif — this was the height of gender-bending, post-punk sheen, albeit held together with Scotch tape and nail glue — and the ballooning-cartooning of Haring, Scharf, and the Downtown graffiti scene. Other provocative, agit-prop bits remind you of just how affecting that form can be: I dare anyone not to weep as Wojnarowicz famously beseeches, in a hallucinatory film called Listen to This, to dump his body on the White House lawn when he dies of AIDS.

The gang at 57. Photo by Tseng Kwong Chi

You get so much in between its hard to take it all in — Joey Arias pop-and-locking out of a wheelchair, Charles Busch and Lypsinka aggressively deconstructing gay drama on stage, Magnuson’s hand-collaged club calendar’s, the art of a young SAMO (aka Jean-Michel Basquiat in his first street art phase), gorgeous pieces by photographer and gadabout Tseng Kwong Chi (who deserves a major retrospective of his own). There’s even a full-on  dazzling fluorescent “secret” backroom by Scharf called Cosmic Closet! And it turns out a lot of the club founders were kids from San Francisco, who felt they weren’t fitting into the punk scene or the gay scene, so they started something new: 

I was overwhelmed by this tribute to the power of nightlife, synthesize so many different streams of expression into one phenomenal hullaballoo. Pure inspiration, and a hot goose to nurture that spirit here at home. What we do is real, folks. 


BOYS NOIZE That good ol’ hardcore electro feeling returns with this favorite of the late aughts, who now seems to be going through a more EBM than EDM phase, which is great. Dark and euphoric is just fine. Fri/14, 10pm-late, $20-$30. Halcyon, SF. More info here

KATYA: A HOLIDAY SPECTACULAR I adore Russian Drag Duchess Katya Smirnoff-Skyy. “Now in its 11th year, and sure to make your Yuletide Gay. With music director Joe Wicht and special appearences by her Elves, Katya will delight you with a fun-filled evening of belting, banter, and ball gowns to bolster your holiday spirit(s)! With songs ranging from classic holiday fair, to Popera, and disco, there is something for everyone in this heartwarming and brilliantly funny journey through Katya’s holiday misadventures.” Fri/15 and Sat/16, 8pm, $21-$50. Feinstein’s, SF. More info here.

CREATURE This multi-theme, multimedia, multi-genre party at the Stud is one of the best new parties of the year. “All we wanna do for the holidays is M/U/T/A/T/E. ya know, become our creepiest selves, queer our form, develop some evil powers.” With Casual Aztec, Troubled Youth, Brown Amy, Skin, and lots more. Fri/15, 10pm-late, $10. The Stud, SF. More info here

THE QUEEN IS DEAD An excellent all-Smiths and Smiths-adjacent night? Reel around the fountain, kiddos, it’s time for the feels. With Tu Vu and Mario Muse and special guest Sarah Star Child from Chulita Vinyl Club. Fri/15, 9pm-2am, free with RSVP here. Bar Fluxus, SF. More info here.

MNML:FUN w/ KYN and Normalien “KYN is an electronic duo that explores experimental dance music with a dark, minimal and atmospheric aesthetic. With influences from films like Blade Runner, Alien and Ex Machina to the sounds of Northern Electronics, Stephan Bodzin, Ital Tek and Andy Stott, KYN weaves an odyssey of electronic sound through live performance. Normalien utilizes modular synthesizers to create improvisational hardware-based dance, downtempo and experimental electronic music, all of which are controlled by dozens of different voltage signals flowing through wires in realtime.” That is truly some mnml fun. Fri/15, 10pm-2am, $5. Underground SF. More info here


VOLVOX This is pretty huge. Three of our biggest party crews — Lights Down Low, As You Like It, and Honey Soundsystem — are joining forces to bring you not just deep-dark-techno Volvox, one of the best up-and-coming DJs in the world, but also the wonderfully miasmic, slow-burning Dorisburg. And it’s a full-on charity party to benefit the LYRIC queer youth services org in the Castro. Don’t miss! With Lily Ackerman, Sassmouth, and Siska. Sat/16, 10pm-4am,  $15. The Stud, SF. More info here. 

MARK FARINA AND DOC MARTIN It’s been a while since we had these two rave-era legends playing together, and I can’t wait for a heaping dose of funky techno and jazzy house — plus some new tricks these seasoned but still incredibly popular dogs have learned (including Doc’s penchant for cutting edge deep grooves). Fantastische. Sat/16, 9pm-3:30am, $15-$25. Public Works, SF. More info here.  

HANUCON! Good morning to everyone who survive the horrifying ritual known as SantaCon. Now it’s time for a big queer Jew party (all are welcome!). “We’ll have latkes, vodkas and a mishmosh of folks. First 50 people in the door get their very own blue and white hat. An evening of community Hosted by the infamous faux queen Miss Shugana (reigning Grand Duchess of San Francisco) in conjunction with Keshet, the National Jewish LGBT Organization and Congregation Sha’ar Zahav.” Chag Sameach! Sat/16, 6pm-9pm, $10. Oasis SF. More info here

FRINGE Time to ring those Sleigh Bells. Dance, dance, dance to the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs and more favorites from the indie-dance apex of the aughts at this favorite get-down. Glitter make-up station, tons of giveaways, and a warm and toasty crowd. With Blondie K & subOctave and special guest Mario Muse. Sat/16, 9pm-2am, $5. Madrone, SF. More info here. 

GUY GERBER Israeli innovator of hypnotic techno (who else could pull off a collaboration with Puff Daddy?) comes to big room Great Northern for the On&On party. His “Timing” is still one of my favorite records. Sat/16, 9:30pm-3:30am, $15-$22. Great Northern, SF. More info here

BEATPIG Every month, the gay dance floor at Powerhouse goes HOG WILD, as Walter Gomez and Juanita More pork up the joint, with rib-licking tunes by John Walker. Yes, it is pig-themed. Sat/16, 10pm-2am, $5 benefits the Transgender Law Center. Powerhouse, SF. More info here


A BARRY WHITE CHRISTMAS Well, who doesn’t think of a sexy big poppa in the Yuletide? That Disco Daddy scallywag DJ Bus Station John dedicates his wildly popular monthly party to the Velvet Force that is soul legend Barry White. Get into it, and let’s wish together for a Teddy PendergrEaster. Sun/17, 7pm-2am, $5-$7. Eagle, SF. More info here.    

EXPERIMENTAL HOUSEWIFE Been meaning to see this rising SF star, appearing at the weekly Werd party. “Experimental Housewife is exactly what you’d think: an experimental DJ and producer. With an impeccable taste in house, deep house, and techno classics, ExHouse often slices through all genres with her hard techno and noise side. Also a drummer and professor, her sets are bizarre treats for the mind, replete with rhythmic force and nostalgic layers.” Sun/17, 9pm, $5-$10. Monarch, SF. More info here

DAVID HARNESS Soulful house for your spiritual season? Si si. The local legend lights up Halcyon’s formidable sound system and rings all the bells at this Mighty Real reunion party. Sun/17, 10pm-4am, $15. Halcyon, SF. Tickets and more info here 

Party Radar: Wild nights — wild nights!

Chulita Vinyl Club celebrates three years of insanely good Latin grooves, Fri/8.

PARTY RADAR This has been a huge and heavy week for Bay Area nightlife: So much love going out all who didn’t let Ghost Ship anniversary grief stop them from communing on the dance floors, and props to all the parties that took part in the moment of silence for the victims last Saturday. Now we’re on to the criminal case preliminary hearings, and it will be a long while, probably, to see some justice.

In the meantime, the dance music community continues to come together to raise money for legal fees and family — and to release some incredible tracks from these talented souls. Three new releases take center stage. The first is based on weekly Monday party Run the Length of Your Wildness, via a stellar EP bearing the name on LA label Hobo Camp, featuring music from Cherushii, who ran the party, and Nackt aka Johnny Igaa, both lost to the fire. There’ll be a release celebration, at the party, Mon/18.

Nackt also has a new four-track EP on local label Left Hand Path, finalized just before he passed, entitled, perfectly, “Private Property Created Crime.” You can score a copy here

And then there’s the monumental Silk to Dry the Tears, an album featuring 31 artists associated with the label 100% Silk, which was originally named in the civil suit, has been released from the list, but now owes huge amounts of legal bills. Proceeds from the sale go to help that out — and you’ll be helped out, too, with some incredible tracks, like one of Octo Octa’s lovely, kicky peregrinations through house history, “Not Sure What To Do (Variation Zoning 4):

But beyond all this, how incredibly comforting it is to know we haven’t let this tragedy extinguish our wild nights together. See you out there! 


CHULITA VINYL CLUB 3-YEAR ANNIVERSARY Insanely talented collective of vinyl lovers — now with franchises all over the country! — comes together to celebrate three years of kicking ass on the decks, and bringing some gorgeous cambia to the dance floors. Fri/8, 9pm-1:30am, free. Legionnaire Saloon, Oakland. More info here

DEEPCHORD + FLUXION An audiovisual world premiere at Gray Area (the perfect place for such a thing) called “Transformations”  from these two lauded dub techno players. Openers bvdub and Chris Zaldua will set the gritty electronic vibes. Fri/8, 9pm-2am, $20-$25. Gray Area, SF. More info here.  

UNIIQU3 Neon-colorful and so-so-styish queer hip-hop party Swagger Like Us brings in this Newark rapper for some tight vibes (and an untouchable crowd). Fri/8, 10pm-2am, $10. Elbo Room, SF. More info here

ION LUDWIG I am loving typing out all these names after a glass of wine — I feel like Friday’s got a total back-in-the-rave-day lineup, at least when it comes to flamboyant monikers. Ion Ludwig’s heady, trippy Dutch techno certainly fits the bill, presented tonight by Housepitality and the Diacritic Collective, which I must write about soon. Fri/8, 10pm-late, $15-$20. F8, SF. More info here.    

NEON BLACK: DIE HARD Synth-happy party Neon Black (think the soundtracks to Drive and Stranger Things but with a tad more Italo disco) is hosting a tribute to Christmas action movies, including Die Hard, which is wonderfully weird and totally in-step with Neon Black honchos DJ Danny Delorean and Fact50’s vibes. There are also video games because of course. Fri/8, 9:30pm-3am, $5-$8. Cat Club, SF. More info here

LAST NITE The 2000s are back, ahem. This long-running party keeps getting more and more popular, which may be a comment on the growing nostalgia of aging millennials — but probably just because the DJs Jamie Jams and Rocky have all the right Strokes. Fri/8, 10pm-2am, $5-$10. Make-out Room, SF. More info here.  

VIVVY’S GRAND OPENING Ugh I love this party so much! Every month, Vivvy comes up with something drag-spectacular, be it two drag shows happening simultaneously, a 45-minute journey through a dystopian space colony, a very weird Cats, or a dozen drag queens interpreting the same song. Plus, all-night dancing. Fri/8, 10pm-4am, $10. the Stud, SF. More info here


DAVID HARNESS The legendary local soulful house DJ and producer has a new album about to drop (ran into him at the cheese store today and he was ready to let us have it). He’ll be making his debut at the Stud, with Berlin’s Alison Swing from the Dig Deeper party, at the Mixed Forms party, which is one of those magical “every different type of person is here” type deals. Don’t sleep. Sat/9, 10pm-4am, $20. Proceeds go to Trans Assistance Project (TAP) and Community United Against Violence (CUAV). The Stud, SF. More info here

WONDER-FULL This is such a positive and affirming event, exactly what we need right now. Every year, brilliant NYC DJ Spinna comes in to pay tribute to Stevie Wonder all night long, with favorites, rare cuts, and surprising edits. Ready for some songs in the Key of Life. Sat/9, 9pm-4am, $25. Mezzanine, SF. More info here

CLARK PRICE I love this Pittsburgh techno-ist so much. (He’s also staying at my house so I better say nice things! Ha.) His Honcho crew has transformed underground gay dancing over on that side of the country, and now he’s coming to play at Pound Puppy, our woofy monthly pawty at he Eagle. Sat/9 10pm-2am, $10. Eagle, SF. More info here. 

ORIGINS BALL We’re havin’ ourselves a Vogue Ball, y’all! “In celebration of the House of Energi’s 15 year anniversary, Founder Ultraa Energi and Father Ryan Energi are proud to present the Origins Ball in San Francisco! With Origins, we honor the traditions and memories of those who paved the way for Ballroom. We look inward towards the source of our own creativity to unleash on the runway.” Categories include: FACE – FLAWLESS, FOOT AND EYEWEAR – BODAK YELLOW, BIZARRE – STRANGER THINGS, and BLUE COLLAR DOLLARS. Sat/9, 9pm-6am, $20. Danzhaus, SF. More info here.    

LONG LIVE THE NEW FLESH  A killer night of live electronics from local favorites Stress Therapy, Identity Theft, and Bellona, with intermission tunes from DJ Zlaya and Bit. Hosted by Body Rapture. Sat/9, 9pm-1am, $8. Eli’s Mile High Club, Oakland. More info here

NINE “Nine is a musical moniker of Nihar Bhatt, member of the post-techno Surface Tension DJ collective and co-head, (with Chris Zaldua), of the Left Hand Path record label. While deeply rooted in the architecture of ’90s acid and rave, Nine’s live hardware sets are constantly searching the landscape of the modern dystopia for ideas to bring to life.” I adore Nihar! This great-looking In Too Deep party also features Kyn, Greg Kappes (visuals), and Jesse Austin. Sat/9, 9:30pm-11:30pm, $7-$15 sliding scale. Studio Grand, Oakland. More info here.   

STUDIO 5’4 There is a party for short gay men and their admirers, and it is wonderful. This month’s theme? “All that’s little is gold!” Sat/9. 9pm-2am, $5. Lone Star, SF. More info here

Party Radar: Fortnight of fun, fun, fun

Sophie's mega-pop fizzes up the Midway, Sat/19

PARTY RADAR I’m off for a wee break to restore my sanity and grow back some of my liver — who am I kidding I’ll be in NYC — so below is two weeks’ worth of Radars for your bleeping pleasure. Basically a handful of bright highlights in our continued plunge toward wintry debauchery. 

First, though, I finally made it to Ginger’s, an actual underground gay bar downtown that’s part cozy throwback cocktail spot (Japanese fans, tiki-like bar), part church basement, and part British bomb shelter circa 1941. Ginger’s itself is relatively new, but it’s also the ghost of Ginger’s, Ginger’s Two, and Ginger’s Trois, the chain(ish)of downtown gay bars that served the thirsty of the Financial District for years. I may or may not have been spotted fishing for hefty portfolios in the bathroom stalls of those old school gems.  

Ginger’s cocktails based on gay bars of yore.

Ginger’s Trois was closed in 2009 to make way for the trendy Rickhouse bar, and apparently the Rickhouse peeps wanted to raise Ginger’s queenly spirit, reopening Ginger’s in the basement around the corner of small alley Hardie Place earlier this year. Here’s the crazy thing: The bar menu includes tribute cocktails to closed queer bars — the Esta Noche, the Deco Lounge Sidecar, the Lexington Manhattan, and even the Ghost of Ginger’s. It was a trip, and of course Hunky Beau and I tried as many as we could.

The experience was unique — especially locating the unmarked door on the small dark alley and climbing underground, a thrillingly problematic mimesis of the oppressed gay experience of yore. The crowd, however, was hip and very mixed (straight people love this shit!) and the whole thing was only marred by an obnoxiously giant screen playing…. Forrest Gump? I think I felt the original Ginger, goddess bless her soul, rolling in her probably-mythical grave.   

PS Oh hey! Sat/18 sees an amazing cavalcade of nightlife movers and shakers coming together for a panel/party entitled Shifting Spaces: Queer Nightlife in the City — addressing the future, present, and past of creating spaces for queers to let it ll hang out. Check it out!  

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Fri/17 CLUB CHAI + RUSSELL E.L. BUTLER If you don’t know that this insanely talented Oakland techno-outside-the-box crew is blowing up on an international level … well now you know. And you better go. The Midway, SF. More info here

Fri/17 GREG WILSON He was the first DJ to scratch on British television in the ’80s, and then went on to become the king of the contemporary disco edit scene. Never fails to please the crowds while also making them think a bit. Monarch, SF. More info here.  

Fri/17 JACKMASTER He will jack you! The perennial, Glaswegian favorite returns to turn you out at the Lights Down Low party, with other guests Tiga, Carlos Souffront, and more — plus don’t miss the Techno Clam takeover in the Red Room! Great Northern, SF. More info here.   

Sat/18 SOPHIE “Pop. Art. Lights. Music. Fashion. Rubber. Plastic. Latex. Persona. Personality.” The brain-meltingly singalong maximalist pop from this once mysterious artist (now slowly revealing themself) has perplexed and excited the techno scene since breakout 2012 hit “Lemonade.” The branded soft drinks, the PC Music label shenanigans, the possibly sardonic chipmunk-chirp of the melodies …  The Midway, SF.  More info here

Sat/18 NINA KRAVIZ The techno wiz from Russia brings effervescent energy to the decks and a winking deconstruction of the male-dominated techno-hierarchy. Oh, and her tunes smash. Public Works, SF. More info here.

Sat/18 FRINGE Dance like the 2000s are right behind you! This too-cute indie dance party will have you shaking like Yelle. This is their 100th party! Madrone Art Bar, SF. More info here

Sun/19 GARY NUMAN The godfather of electro pop once asked Are Friends Electric? Now he roams the earth (sometimes with his exquisitely-voiced daughter in tow!) as a darkly romantic electronic nomad, as heard on his new album, “Splinter (Songs From A Broken Mind).” Fillmore, SF. More info here 

Wed/22 BONDAGE-A-GOGO SPANKSGIVING A true SF tradition! “Don’t spend Thanksgiving trapped in a house with your blood relatives without an afterglow, a hangover, and maybe some lovely welts and bruises.” Dancers and DJs and whips and chains. Hurray! Cat Club, SF. More info here.  

Wed/22 BASSGIVING Another beloved SF nightlife tradition, this time around featuring tons of DJs bringing you classic forward-thinking drum and bass bass baaaaasssss. Great Northern, SF. More info here.  

Thu/23 CREAM OF BEAT REUNION All the old hip-hop/turntablist gang comes together to celebrate umpteen years. With DJ Mind Motion, DJ Ivan, Dark Money, DJ Apollo, DJ D-Sharp, Big Von, Scotty Fox, Toure, Joe Quixx. Great Northern, SF. More info here

Fri/24 BLACK COFFEE I absolutely adore this South African house marvel (and the incredible South African house scene). He’ll be here with Moscow’s Geju for a true global house underground experience. Public Works, More info here. 

Fri/24 DJ DEEP French techno bliss from this slick mover, who’s been at if for more than 20 years. With Exos, Muon, and U-SRD. F8, SF. More info here. 

Sat/25 PEGGY GOU Brilliant acid-techno colors from this Korean DJ, here at the As You Like It Party with Detroit’s excellent Delano Smith. Great Northern, SF. More info here.

Sat/25 ELEXOS PARK Some enthrallingly lovely techno from the local boy Elexos Park (formerly Ghosts on Tape), who’s celebrating a new cassette release with Roche at this Outpost party. This will be the priceless $5 underground vibe. Underground SF. More info here.   

Sat/25 BROWN AMY The incredible 45-soul DJ from Hard French has been surprising us all with some stunning all-vinyl, old school house sets at late night spots. Now she steps out to headline the Polyglamorous party. F8, SF. More info here.

Sat/25 BJORK RAVE It is a rave. It is all Bjork. “Dance to a massive dose of Bjork all night, spanning her entire career from Sugarcubes until now. All mixed with the artists she has inspired and been inspired by, with a focus on electronic, dance, and alternative of the 90s, and all on video.” Public Works, SF. More info here

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Party Radar: A tenth of Honey

Honey Soundsystem portrait by Ian O'Phelan

PARTY RADAR Good goddess, I’ve written about Honey Soundsystem for more than a decade. Certainly, in terms of a groundbreaking nightlife collective that injected new energy (and crowds) into the underground gay dance music scene, there’s been a ton to write about — from its resurrection of abandoned porn soundtracks to its latest label releases.    

But it would be nothing without the dedication and quality of the queer quartet’s parties, which broke ground as well with their minute attention to detail, theme, decor, design, location, and general weirdo-perfect novelty — even if now they’re so internationally famous we have to settle for one-offs here and there. Daddies, come home! 

Welp, the daddies have arrived for a 10-year jam, that of course crosses all boundaries without any party fouls. The festivities start Thu/9 evening with Goin’ Home: The Gay Porn Soundtracks of Patrick Cowley, celebrating the release of another round of erotic film music classics from the local genius, who died in 1982, with a multi-media extravaganza at CounterPulse (7pm-11pm, $10). That’s followed by an afterparty, of course, at Bus Station John’s legendary Tubesteak Connection club at Aunt Charlie’s (10pm-2am, $5). 

The there’s the real big to-do on Sat/11, a 10-hour rave at Public Works (6pm-4am, $40) featuring an enormous lineup of Honey faves, including Danny Daze, Kim Ann Foxman, Beesmunt Soundsystem, Justin Cudmore, Octo Octa, Eris Drew, TWINS and the Honey boys themselves, Jason Kendig, Josh Cheon, Bézier, Jackie House. Oh and hey, then there’s an afterparty for that, too, at the Stud called High Steaks (4am-9am, $10). So this is like some serious End Up, but good End Up, ish. Get there, Honey. 

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DJRUM Lovely and complex (in terms of music history reference and production) from this London bassist at the Surface Tension 4-year anniversary. With Bergsonist, E-Saggila, and the ST residents. Fri/10, 10pm-4am, $20. F8, SF. More info here

RON LIKE HELL Four paws up for the Pound Puppy party’s fourth anniversary, featuring this incredible and incredibly undersung here of New York’s underground, who can pull out wiggy disco and house jams like no one else. Fri/10, 9pm, $10. Eagle, SF. More info here.  

BUFI Mexico City DJ whose “eclectic sound that subtly combines driving techno and slick disco with delicate jazz and classical influences” comes to the always cute Modular party. Fri/10, 9:30pm-3:30am, $10-$15. Monarch, SF. More info here

NEON BLACK Love this retro-Italo-y, basically entering a combination of the Halloween + Drive soundtracks if they were located inside an ’80s video game. I am serious. There are even video games set up for you to play. Special guest DJ Ophelia. Fri/10, 9:30pm-3am  $5-$8. cat Club, SF. More info here

LAST NITE The 2000s have been back! And no party makes me happier about that then this one, in which DJs Jamie Jams and Rocky really pull out the indie dance numbers. “It’s like we ate Pitchfork, stole your iPod and then rode off on your track bike.” Fri/10, 10pm-2am, $5-$10. Make-Out Room, SF. More info here

VIVVY’S GRAND OPENING Mindfuck drag at its best and mindfuckingest. Every month, Vivvy comes up with something spectacular, be it two drag shows happening simultaneously, a 45-minute journey through a dystopian space colony, a very weird Cats, or a dozen drag queens interpreting the same song. Plus, all-night dancing. Fri/11, 10pm-4am, $10. The Stud, SF. More info here


COLETTE AND HEATHER Two of Chicago’s finest, the legendary funky techno-house DJs drop in to launch the Great Northern dance floor into spacey-space. Sat/11, 9pm-3am, $10-$15. Great Northern, SF. More info here

MOZHGAN  Mozhgan is my favorite SF DJ right now. There’s something deeply fascinating going on in her goth-tinged psychedelic techno sets, which aren’t afraid to keep things slow and extremely sensuous, while wigging you out in witchy ways. She’ll be playing the upstairs lounge at Monarch all night for this party called “Alleys of your Mind.” pop in for a drink and a listen. Sat/11, 10pm-2am, free. Monarch, SF. More info here

CHULITA VINYL CLUB Another total favorite of mine, a collective that delivers with vinyl! ” DJ Sin Amores, Spin & Sparkle, Leesa, La MalaVida and Lizzy will be on the decks. We’re starting the night out with oldies courtesy of Leesa, and then picking up the speed with cucucucumbia, funk, disco, and more.” Sat/11, 10pm-2am, free. The KnockOut, SF. More info here.  

MIJA The LA producer brings a global-eared, funky twist to some of the more familiar dance floor sounds of recent years (think Major Lazer, reggaeton, crunk), and reinvigorates them in her own stellar way. Sat/11, 9:30-2am, $16-$28. Audio, SF. More info here

LUMBERTWINK DJs Jimmy Swear and Spaz will play some sort of appropriate music for tons of gay bears in lumberjack gear. Please, please play this. Sat/11, 9pm, $4 in plaid flannel, $6 without. Lone Star Saloon, SF. More info here

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Party Radar: Fall drags you in

DJ Rolo takes the drag plunge for the first time at Powerblouse, Sat/4.

PARTY RADAR It’s recently come to my attention that I love autumn. I know it’s a bit nipply out, but the extended cover of darkness emboldens shenanigans and helps obscure underground intentions. With Day of the Dead, of course, a spirit of cozy community is unleashed in the city, and I can’t wait to spike some cider, smoke some pumpkin spice, and head deep, deep into the approaching solstice. Here are some neat things coming up:

*** A FRIEND IN DRAG… Have you ever seen someone who has never done drag before transformed live onstage into the queen of her dreams by two legendary drag goddesses — and then forced to perform an overly complicated Broadway show tune? If you missed me go through this wonderful, terrifying process a couple years ago, you won’t want to miss my bestie DJ Rolo get gussied up at the monthly Powerblouse (Sat/4, 10pm-2am, $5 benefits the Q Foundation. Powerhouse, SF.) SF native Rolo has been DJing for more than 25 years, but watch the wrinkles leap off his face with the application of a bucketload of base. Ha ha, love you Rolo!  

*** THE BOOTIE 500 A huge congratulations to DJs Adrian and Mysterious D on their upcoming Bootie party (Sat/4, 9pm-3:30am, $15. DNA Lounge, SF). Bootie, perennial Best of the Bay “Best Overall Best Party” winner, basically created the mashup party scene back in 2003, became one of the most successful local nightlife franchises with parties all over the world, and has barely paused to take a breath. They are still featuring rocketloads of energy: “At 11pm, house band Smash-Up Derby gives a history of mashups (according to them), and Bootie co-creator Adrian A will be spinning a ‘Greatest Mashup Hits’ set!” All this plus  a ton ore entertainment, including aerialist Jonbenet Butterbuns (!)

*** TWIRLING THROUGH LA’S DOWNTOWN SCENE I write a regular column for Red Bull Music Academy (very well-respected despite its weird corporate association!) about the queer nightlife and dance music scene past and present. Last month I got to focus on one of my favorite clubs, Mustache Mondays, which is celebrating a decade of “expanding the queer nightlife nightlife vernacular.” Very inspiring: Check out my profile of Mustache here.

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ADRIATIQUE Two cute boys from Zurich with the same name, Adrian S, team up for entrancingly pretty music that wanders from contemporary progressive to moody, impressionistic modern “deep house” and Burning Man electronica, somehow avoiding much of the monotony those scenes can impose. Fri/3, 9:30pm-3:30am, $15-$25. Public Works, SF. More info here

SECRET CIRCUIT “Secret Circuit is Eddie Ruscha // Secret Circuit is cosmic dance // Secret Circuit is exploding nebulae // Secret Circuit is non-Euclidean geometry // Secret Circuit is secondary psychedelic semaphore // Secret Circuit is a pulsing throb // Secret Circuit is going to make you freak.” At the Vague Terrain party. Fri/3, 10pm-2am, $5-$10. Underground SF. More info here

BROUHAHA  I love this party crew, this time bringing Swedish bouncy house and techno wiz Kornél Kovács to the fore, with Spanish techno experimentalist DJ Seinfeld in tow. Also featuring Rouse, Patrick Lotilla, The Disco Volante, and CamDaze. Fri/3, 10pm-4am, $15. F8, SF. More info here

DESPERATE LIVING A queer punk party in SoMa! With live band Bitch, Please, and tunes By Dj Bj , Jerk Of All Trades, and Teeny Turner, plus special guest DJ Gabriel Garcia, and of course tons of punk rock drag, duh. Fri/3, 10pm-3am, $10. The Stud, SF. More info here.

STANK: THE FIFTH SMELLEMENT OMG I had to include this monthly armpit-sniffing contest at the Powerhouse (with dancing!) because of the hilarious name they came up with for their fifth anniversary. It is perfect. With DJ Robin Malone Simmons. Fri/3, 10pm-midnight, $5. powerhouse, SF. More info here.  


Photo by Odell Hussey

NON STOP BHANGRA This year’s Best of the Bay “Best Overall Dance Party” co-winner(tied with Bootie, see above), one of my favorite parties in the world returns to put the bang in bhangra. Special Guest DJ Mixtabishi (Australia) joins the Dholrhythms Dance Company,  DJ Jimmy Love, DJ Rav-E, DJ Nix, Marcus Murray (live art), and Odell Hussey (photos). Sat/4, 9pm-2am, $15-$20. Public Works, SF. More info here

LUMINARY Techno heavyhitters WhoMadeWho, Machinedrum, DJ Three, Christina Chatfield, Vin Sol join forces to bring the beat to this mind-blowing affair: “The human body itself serves as creator and subject as guests travel through and become part of exhibitions by world-class visual and performing artists. Wearable tech couture tracks and responds to a viewer’s gaze, percussionists create explosions of color and light, sculptures bloom and transform before our eyes…” Sat/4, 7pm-2am, $29.50. The Midway, SF. More info here

PHASE FATALE “Robot Ears and Direct to Earth are teaming up once again for our first ever Live A/V show at the Gray Area Theatre with special guests Phase Fatale (Ostgut Ton, 47) and Hyperactive (Droid, Blank Code). Also featuring the customized 360 degree sound system. That in combination with a rare appearance of mind-bending visuals from Etcher/Engraver will take the room on a cosmic journey.” Sat/4, 9pm-2am, $15. Gray Area, SF. More info here. 

LOVE KEPT ME Genuine deep house delight! Celebrating the birthday of another of my besties, the legendary DJ David Harness, this soulful house extravaganza all features Mar Stevens (Drum Warrior), Dedan (Brothers and Sisters), Brian Salazar (Endup, Lifesf, Soul Camp, Housemen), and DJ Theo (Theoretical Soul Recordings) — and live vocals by ELLE. Sat/4, 9pm-2am, $5-$10. BRIX581, Oakland. More info here.

HARDER BETTER FASTER STRONGER FIRST ANNIVERSARY “Modern-day indie and electro meets Electronica from the ’90s and ’00s for a rock-synthpop battle of epic proportions.” They’ve fought, and won, for a full year! With special guest DJ sets from Fringe DJs Blondie K & subOctave and, as always, colorful surprises. Sat/4, 9:30pm-2am, $5. Slate, SF. More info here.  

KIMMY LE FUNK GOING AWAY PARTY I don’t know where she’s going! But we will surely miss this turntable classic, who has lit up many of my nights with her vinyl funky house goodies. Sat/4, 9:30pm-2am, free. Monarch, SF. More info here.  

WITH LOVE TO PUERTO RICO Some very cute techno DJs — Bradley P, Jim Collins, and Christopher Foor come together for some daytime dancing and fundraising for the Ricky Martin foundation to help Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. Sat/4, 2pm-7pm, donations requested. Mars Bar, SF. More info here

EXILLON Dark and killer local live techno from this awesome dude combines with the dance floor energy of DJs Teeyam (outpost | tm/pm | they’re here) and One A (Romper Room) for a night of, in their words, “All hammer, no bammer.” Sat/4, 10pm-2am, $5. Underground SF. More info here.   


THE SYNTHETIGERS This roaring local house duo — with special live performance by Tobirus Mozelle — takes over the New Parish patio for the Afternoon Delight monthly party. Oh, and hey, I’m playing the closing set. Come out, Oakland! Sun/5, 3pm-8pm, $10. New Parish, Oakland. More info here

PERMISSION TO LAND This neato daytime party takes over the Midway for some serious cosmic techno dancing with YokoO, Rachel Torro, and Peter Blick. Sun/5, 2pm-8pm, $15-$20. Midway, SF. More info here.  

BYREL THE GREAT it’s the final outdoor patio party at El Rio for queer hip-hop party Swagger Like Us, and it’s gonna be typically brilliant. Headlined by Qween Beat Productions’ Byrel the Great from New York, get ready to vogue like the north wind. Sun/5, 2pm-8pm, $10. El Rio, SF. More info here

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