Party Radar

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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Party Radar: 23 hot fright fests for Halloween

The indelibly haunting Peaches Christ hosts Creatures of the Nightlife (Thu/26) and Mother-Halloween: A Party (Sat/28). Photo by Jose A. Guzman-Colon

PARTY RADAR Three perfect things you should do right now to get into the mood for Halloween:

*** Go see a scary film at the always gore-rific Another Hole in the Head Film Fest! (Through Nov. 8). Like, say, Dead Ant playing Sat/28:

*** Leap into haunting psycho-jazz act Wolf Eyes, playing in town at various unexpected venues through Mon/29:

*** Get into this bewitching video of runway legend Isla Chanel vogueing while pregnant in the video for her group Purple Crush‘s “Witch Stunt”:

OK here are some parties now, please don’t go as sexy Ryan Zinke. Oh! And if you love humongous Hallo-raves featuring the mega-ghosts of dance floors past (guilty), don’t forget to check out this year’s LoveBoat Halloween, formerly Ghost Ship, at Pier 70, hosted by Miss Juanita More! 

Thu/26: CREATURES OF THE NIGHTLIFE Best of the Bay 2017 Best Drag Queen winner Peaches Christ hosts this boo-tiful installment of the Cal Academy’s essential Nightlife parties, with a Stranger Queens drag show, Phantom Lab, Upside Down Arcade, Haunted Hall, and all kinds of mad science. 6pm-9pm, $20. California Academy of Sciences, SF. More info here. 

Fri/27: GREEN GORILLA LOUNGE HALLOWEEN The classic SF party crew brings in delightful UK bassist duo Dusky for a 5-hour set in the Monarch basement, plus some legends playing house for you upstairs. 9pm-3am, $10-$25. Monarch SF. More info here

Fri/27: HELLA WIGS ON HALLOWEEN What goes together better than wigs and rhumba? What about wigs and reggae? Or how about wigs and flamenco? You will get all of this and also flip your wig when live acts Makru and La Mandanga Band plus DJ Izzy Wise brew up this effusive global treat. 10pm-1am, $10. Elbo Room, SF. More info here.    

Fri/27: SURFACE TENSION HELLOWEEN Our most far-sighted techno party goes farther out with the SF debut of Antenes, the New York-based DJ, producer and electronics artist “who operates a laboratory of self-made sequencers and synthesizers using vintage telephone equipment built in the name of sonic and spatial exploration.” Also there will be 400 PPM and HOM so get there, get scared. 10pm-4am, $20. F8, SF. More info here

Fri/27: BLACK FRIDAYS: HALLOQUEEN Ms. Honey Mahogany and her coven of frightfully talented performers summon you to a high-flying night of drag shenanigans and live performances. All are welcome! 10pm-4am, $10. the Stud, SF. More info here

Dress like Bubbles!

Sat/28: A SEA OF BUBBLES Beloved club presence Bubbles tragically left us this year, but his effervescent spirit reigns supreme! This awesome party pays tribute by asking everyone to come dressed as Bubbles, in one of his many infamous guises! A fundraiser for the LGBT Community Center! Go to this! 10pm-2am, free but donation requested. terra Gallery, SF. More info here. 

Sat/28: HORROR STORY: DANCE OF THE DEAD Flamboyant burners Mystopia team with fab party crew Polyglamorous for this spooooooky rave. SF legend DJ Dan will headline, b2bing with DivaDanielle. plus: Harry Cross from Mens Room in Chicago, another legend David Harness, and so much more. 10pm-5am, $15-$55. 550 Barneveld, SF. More info here.  

Sat/28: SCREAMWORKS It has always been my dream to hear the bewitching goth-techno sounds of Mozhgan on All Hallow’s Eve. Welp, wish granted, as the Pound Puppy crew “Call all bloody Marys!” out for a night with her and ace vinylologist from the crypt, Carlos Souffront.  9pm-4am, $15. The Stud, SF. More info here

Sat/28: CREATURE: NIGHTMARE The polymorphously perverse party crew stuns whenever they throw a party, with thrilling decor and fucked-up musical performances. This time they INVADE YOUR DREAMS. Music by Club Chai’s 8ulentina and tons more. 9pm-2am, $10-$15. El Rio, SF. More info here.  

Sat/28: AZAELIA BANKS The infamous rapper who burnt a hole through the world with “212” several years ago is pretty scary! She’ll rap to a packed, enraptured crowd for the Mezzanine x Swagger Like Us Halloween shindig. With amazing DJ Total Freedom. 9pm-2am, $35. Mezzanine, SF. More info here.   

Sat/28: SMITHSFITS HALLOWEEN Yes, in a coup of nightlife punnery that actually manifests as an awesome party, Smithsfits is a night that celebrates both the Smiths and the Misfits. Don’t ask me why, I just work here. This 7th annual Halloween edition features a costume party and DJs Josh Ghoul Omartyr Perez, & Nakobre. 9pm-2am, $5. The Knockout, SF. More info here

Sat/28: MOTHER-HALLOWEEN: A PARTY A creepy drag tradition! Peaches Christ joins Heklina at her weekly show for a fright night that will murder your wig. With about a zillion performers. 10pm-1am, $20. Oasis, SF. More info here

Sat/28: HARD 2 SWALLOW A pre-Halloween evening of immersive performance presented by HUSH-HUSH and R/SF projects’ MASQ (wear a mask!). “It has come to our attention that many of us are haunted I by our guts. The stomach is a no man’s land of emotions, experiences, and other indigestible matter. HARD 2 SWALLOW is a new take on immersive performance: for one night only, find yourself swallowed whole. A journey down the digestive tract. Let’s see what you’re really made of.” 8pm-11pm, $32. R/SF Projects, SF. More info here

Sun/29: DISCO DADDY HALLOWEEN EDITION Watch out for daddy! He’s like the Soul Dracula, but gayer! DJ Bus Station John haunts the decks at the Eagle, with the soundtrack of gay liberation — and a fistful of spooky surprises! This is a fundraiser for the Tipping Point Relief Fund, helping disadvantaged victims of the fires up north. 7pm-2am, $5-$7. Eagle, SF. More info here

Sun/29: SUNSET HALLOWEEN CRUISE I adore the idea of ace Polish house duo Catz and Dogz on a boat, especially joined by Jake the Rapper, DJ Three, and a ton more, plus the cutest rave crowd you’ll ever see on the high seas, high seas indeed. 5pm-11pm, $80. Pier 3, SF. More info here.  

Sun/29: HALLOWEEN HANGOVER BRUNCH It’s Bloody Mary time! Plus some serious eats and banging techno from Frankfurt DJ Lauer. Come hang with the ghouls outdoors at the Midway and air out your filthy costume. Noon-4pm, $5. The Midway, SF. More info here

Sun/29: GLOW IN THE STREETS BLOCK PARTY Queer Burning Man camp Comfort and Joy is bringing back the spirit of the now-buried Halloween in the Castro, which was one banished by a lack of imaginative leaders and political will. Get freaky in the streets near Cafe Flore with techno and house DJs Justime, Robin Malone Simmons, Elaine Denham, and many more. Wear something fun duh. 4pm-10pm, $10-$12. Noe between Market and Beaver. More info here

SUN/29: CRAMPS/SUICIDE TRIBUTE Gone are the days when the Cramps would play the Fillmore every Halloween — although we get the B-52s! — so what better way to pay tribute than this cover band show! “Featuring The Smell of Female with Lower Self (formerly The Beat-Offs) as the Cramps. Also Featuring High Priestess as Suicide, and performances by Lady Piranha and Veruca Bathsalts!” 9pm, $5. the Stud, SF. More info here

Tue/31: PARANOID LONDON Mythical monsters rise from the acid house deep! UK duo Paranoid London will bring plenty of live anxious boom and killer electronic splatter to this special As You Like It party. 9pm, $16-$20. The Independent, SF. More info here

Tue/31: ALL HALLOW’S EVE A huge Halloween blowout tradition at DNA Lounge (recently voted best Nightclub in our Best of the Bay 2017). Aerialists, acrobats, a ton of DJs and live acts, plus decor from out of this underworld. Oh, and burlesque from another Best of the Bay winner, Hubba Hubba Revue! Not to be missed for a great hometown Halloween vibe. 9pm-3am, $18. DNA Lounge, SF. More info here.  

Tue/31: STEREO ARGENTO HALLOWEEN Splatter drag extravaganza! High heels and buckets of blood are the order of the night here, as high priestess Meredeath and her all-star queens bathe in the wet horror of the evening. They’re showing movies Evil Dead 2 and Tourist Trap from 5pm-9pm and then unleashing their drag (and dancing powers) onstage for some full-throated screams. Plus a costume contest! 5pm-2am, $5 before 9, $10 after. The Stud, SF. More info here

Tue/31: TECHNO HALLOWEEN Bang out the ghost with Danish DJ Kolsch — he always wears such fetching hats! — at Audio, and dress in a costume, too. 9:30pm-2am, $10-$15. Audio, SF. More info here

Tue/31: GOOD4U HALLOWEEN Cool and spooky shindig at Madrone from the awesome Good4U party kids! Special guest Das Jimmy B and Woo in a fun, intimate setting. 9pm-2am, free! Madrone, SF. More info here.   

Party Radar: Partycopia!

Pittsburgher Clark Price plays the Mixed Forms party, Sat/21

PARTY RADAR I’m knee-deep in counting thousands of votes for Best of the Bay — it comes out next week, and I can’t wait to see who wins all the nightlife awards! So I’m going to have a lot of FOMO about the below. (Oh, who are we kidding, I’ll sneak out at some point and meet you on the dance floor. Keep that poppers bottle warm for me.) 

So here’s a plethora of parties, a partycopia if you will, to keep us on our twinkletoes until Halloween sweeps through. 

> Need a car to get there? Rent one in your neighborhood on Getaround. Sign up today, and enjoy $50 off your first trip:[Sponsored]


THE SOFT MOON I adore the local-made-big, anxious-darkwave-shoegaze sounds of Soft Moon. This concert should be a great elbow rub among the indie scene. Thu/19, 9pm-2am, $25. Mezzanine, SF. More info here

DTE ASTERISK TAKEOVER Local, hard-yet-ethereal techno label Asterisk brings Penumbra, Night Sea, Viewfinder, and Alta Mar to the free Down To Earth Inner Orbit party. Check out some new sounds. Thu/19, 10pm-2am, free. F8, SF. More info here.    

HOE IS COVEN Halloween is coming upon us, and so is night queen Nicki Jizz — join her and a sex cauldron of “hoe-cus poke-us” drag queens for a cut-up show and witchy beats. Thu/19, 10pm-2am, $5-$7. The Stud, SF. More info here.   


MONOLINK Actually the appearance by the euphorically melodic Berlin technoist — alongside fellow Deutschers Dwig (live), Johannes Ton, Ramona Wouters, Feathered Sun, and Fata and Morgana — is a wonderful part of a celebration of the 50th (!) anniversary of our own Goethe Institut (the folks who put on the annual Berlin and Beyond film festival, among other things). A mini-festival of German electronic delights! Fri/20, 9:30pm-4am, $15-$25. Public Works, SF. More info here.     

?UESTLOVE Who doesn’t love this outspoken founding member of the Roots, appearing for an extended DJ set at Midway, and “bringing 30 years’ worth of musical history with him. Hip-hop, funk, soul, R&B, disco, a little bit of everything you love and then some.” Fri/20, 9:30pm-2am, $20-$45. Midway, SF. More info here.   

NIGHTLIGHT DISCO BENEFIT FOR PUERTO RICO The great soul party Hard French and the Stud team up for a queer fiesta, featuring performances by Spice Queers!, Florida Man, Mary Vice, and more. Plus DJs Brown Amy, John Fucking Cartwright, Steve Fabus, and Siobhan Aluvalot. Yay! Fri/20, 10pm-4am, $10+. The Stud, SF. More info here.  

MEKLIT Incredible Ethio-Jazz singer — and delightful presence — Meklit is joined by Balkan ensemble Istanbul Connection and  Haitian-American singer/songwriter Lalin for a border-hopping night of excellent live sounds. Fri/20, 8pm, $15. New Parish, Oakland. More info here

GLOBAL SOUL Or, you could head toward the Brazilian-Detroit-Bhangra side of things, as Braza, Motown on Mondays, and Non Stop Bhangra come together for this boundary-smudging night of awesomeness. Fri/20, 9pm-3am, $12-$15. Great Northern, SF. More info here.  

THE QUEEN IS DEAD Special edition of this night for Smiths and Britpop lovers — DJ Omar, one of our very best (and tireless) exponents of the sounds of yore hops aboard to frankly your Mr. Shankly. Fri/20, 9pm-2am, free with RSVP. Bar Fluxus, SF. More info here

RED BALL: BENEFIT FOR PUERTO RICO “Join the San Francisco Democratic Socialists of America for a fundraiser for Puerto Rico and night of celebrating the 100th anniversary of the October Revolution and the advancements for workers’ rights that came with it! Wear red or join the costume contest!” Fri/20, 8pm-1am, suggested donation $10. Verdi Club, SF. More info here


DJ Elz rocks for the fire victims at Monarch.

MONARCH FIRE RELIEF FUNDRAISER What it’s all about folks. A bunch of spinners — including Elz (above), Shiny Objects, Joey Alaniz, and more electro-funky and deep-house-y peeps light it up for up north. Sat/21, 8pm-3am, $10+. Monarch, SF. More info here

CLARK PRICE The monthly, charitable, and too cute Mixed Forms party brings out one of Pittsburgh’s best queer technoists, alongside Chicago’s Ariel Zetina, and our own excellent Lily Ackerman. Benefitting Trans Lifeline. Sat/21, 10pm-3am, $10-$15. The Stud, SF. More info here.     

PUSH THE FEELING Awesome intimate contemporary indie dance and underground house sounds at this monthly party, this time featuring local favorite Taravel with Touchless (live), Glenn Jackson, and Kevin Meenan. Sat/21, 9pm-2am, $7. Underground SF. More info here. 

FRINGE More indie dance, but this time in retro mode! Come sing along to all your favorites of the distant, dinosaur-ridden 2000s, with DJs subOctave and Blondie K. “We’ll be taking donations in exchange for Candy and donating a portion of the door to the North Bay Fire Relief Fund! Do Good & Feel Good!” Sat/21, 9pm-2am, $5. Madrone, SF. More info here

MOVEMENT 004: A PARTY FOR PUERTO RICO Dancing for a cause (with an ample patio) “~ Movement ~ is a recurring gathering dedicated to inclusion, connection, activation, and transformation. We bring together diverse local artists, people who like to dance and express themselves, and nonprofits working every day to defend the rights of marginalized communities.” This time, DJs Ben Davis, Yaz, West Lee, and more play to benefit ConPRmetidos, a nonprofit based in San Juan doing crucial hurricane relief. Sat/21, 2pm-6pm, $5-$30 sliding scale. Mars Bar, SF. More info here

MAKE OUT PARTY This pucker-up monthly brings queer lip-locking to the Eagle patio (kiss a friend for the camera and get a free Jell-O shot!). With DJs Robin Simmons and Elaine Denham, who are adorable. Sat/21, 9pm-2am, $10. Eagle, SF. More info here

> Need a car to get there? Rent one in your neighborhood on Getaround. Sign up today, and enjoy $50 off your first trip:[Sponsored]

Party Radar: Fundraisers for North Bay fires, Puerto Rico, Mexico

Cassiopeia plays Mon/16 at El Rio's "Nasty! For Puerto Rico"

PARTY RADAR Another devastating tragedy, another round of climate change refugees who will most likely rely on monetized crowdfunding platforms to survive and recover. But while the fires up north continue to destroy so much, the nightlife and arts community is coming together to help those in need by not just raising funds, but also spreading information and gathering actual goods for our friends who have lost so much. 

Here’s a brief list of party things happening this week to help Northern California, Puerto Rico, and Mexico — get into it! 

UPDATE! Tonight (Wed/11, 7:30pm) is a star-studded tribute to Tom Petty, with proceeds split between Vegas and Puerto Rico Relief at Cafe Du Nord. Check it out here

THROUGH THURSDAY AFTER 5PM: The Stud is collecting needed goods for victims of the Northern Cali fires (here’s list of what to bring), and if you come for the excellent Nonprofitfeelings happy hour, Wed/11, 5pm-9pm, %10 of your beverage price will go to relief efforts (order a $5 frozé slushy!)

THU/12: COMEDY AT ASHKENAZ The monthly Berkeley comedy extravaganza is donating 100% of the proceeds from ticket sales will go to Redwood Empire Food Bank (REFB). Audience members may also bring material donations (toiletries, canned goods, clothing…) to the comedy show. Ashkenaz will transport donations up there this weekend. 8-9:30pm, $15-$20. More info here

THU/12: 100% – A BENEFIT FOR PUERTO RICO A wonderfully underground-feeling event at ATA. “Readings by La Suzy & Josiah Luis Aldrete. Film by Faith Arazi. Music by NO/YA + The Creatrix. Empanadas for sale!” 7pm-10pm, $10-$20. Artists’ Television Access, SF. More info here

THU/12: HELP IS ON THE WAY A huge cavalcade of DJs will fill the Starline in Oakland with fantastic hip-hop, dub, reggaeton, reggae, and more sounds! Featuring Rescue, Vinnie Esparza, D-Sharp, Teeko, and dozens more. 8pm-2am, $10-$20. Starline Social Club, Oakland. More details here.

FRI/13: WE LOVE PUERTO RICO “The Great Northern, Monarch, You’re Welcome, Up All Night, YBR, Sunset Soundsystem, Disco Knights, Pink Mammoth, Brass Tax and Housepitalty come together for an amazing night of dance music, food and Puerto Rican culture in response to hurricane Maria. DJ’s, live music, art and vendors! 100% of the net proceeds from the event go to: Unidos por Puerto Rico, CoPRmetidos, and Maria Community Fund. Supported by 9pm-3am, $5-$20. More info here

FRI/13: UNIDOS POR MEXICO SF <3 MX HAPPY HOUR  Hosted by the incredible! “We have all been feeling powerless watching the horrific aftermath of the most recent quakes in Mexico. It’s heartbreaking. So let’s do something! I partnered up with the wonderful folks at Cambria Gallery in SoMa to hold a happy hour-style fundraiser (bites and drinks) for Mexico earthquake relief. There will be bites from Loló, Copita Tequileria y Comida, Sal de Vida Gourmet, queso from WesBurger ‘N’ More, and others, including Green Chile Kitchen. The bar will be shaking courtesy of Rye On The Road and El Techo, including cervezas provided by Cadillac Bar & Grill and Hard Frescos. This event will be a 100% donation to Omaze and Ambulante, helping Mexico rebuild:” 6:30pm-9pm, $35+. Cambria Gallery, SF. More info here

FRI/13: ¡WEPA! AN LGBT FUNDRAISER FOR PUERTO RICO! “Come join us at the Lookout for a Happy Hour Fundraiser featuring the musical stylings of Sergio Fedasz and Stefanie Phillips. This event will not have a cover, so money will be raised through direct donations, raffles and Jell-o shots. The boys behind the bar will keep you well-lubricated to facilate your generosity!” I mean, that does sound like fun. 5pm-9pm, donations requested. The LookOut, SF. More info here 

SAT/14 ARTISTS FOR PUERTO RICO BENEFIT SALE “Please join Oakland’s Interface Gallery and Bay Area artists and merchants for an art sale to benefit Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief. 30+ Local artists will offer incredible, affordable works, including original art, art prints, and artist-made goods. Come have a fun day with us, celebrating our creative community and raising money for the people of Puerto Rico! Food and beer will be served! One hundred percent of the proceeds from this event will be donated to the Hurricane Maria Community Recovery Fund.” 11am-4pm, free but buy some cool art and raffle tickets! Temescal Alleys, Oakland. More info here.  

MON/16: NASTY FOR PUERTO RICO! HURRICANE RELIEF BENEFIT This is huge! A ton of restaurants, bars, and institutions —  from Mission Chinese Food and the Conservatory of Flowers to Alamo Drafthouse and The Stud – converge at El Rio with goodies for a night of live music and performance from Cassiopeia, Eternal Drag, and  Lovesick Deejays. 9pm-1am, $5-$10. El Rio, SF. More info here. 

FRI/20: CLARION MUSIC CENTER BENEFIT FOR PUERTO RICO Performances about at this fundraiser, including “players of SF City Theatre Company, the principle singers of Teatro Mistral; award-winning storyteller Charlie Chin and poets Dave Holt, Clara Hsu and Greg Pond. The evening will conclude with a candlelight vigil. The benefit coincides with Galeria Clarion’s opening reception of ‘the Ungroup Show’ which begins at 6 pm. The show features the work of seven local artists. 100% of the proceeds of the evening goes to Unidos, a hurricane relief fund.” 6pm (show at 7pm), $25. Clarion Music Center, SF. More details here. 

FRI/20: NIGHTLIGHT DISCO BENEFIT FOR PUERTO RICO The great soul party Hard French and the Stud team up for a queer fiesta, featuring performances by Spice Queers!, Florida Man, Mary Vice, and more. Plus DJs Brown Amy, John Fucking Cartwright, Steve Fabus, and Siobhan Aluvalot. Yay! 10pm-4am, $10+. The Stud, SF. More info here.  


Party Radar: Up with Clam

Lauren Flax plays the Techno Clam party, Sat/7.

PARTY RADAR I love diving deep, deep into the Bay Area nightlife scene every week, but sometimes it gets a little lonely rooting around for those party pearls at the bottom of our slippery club basin. (Also, as a queer Arab man-person, I love to see others’ perspectives on the scene occasionally!) So I giggled little bubbles of delight when I discovered TechnoClam, the local site run by Alex McGeagh and Mo Kudeki, aka DJ DpeshMo. 

TechnoClam not only offers weekly nightlife picks that pry open the techno underground, it also hosts podcasts, posts news, pushes merch, and, yes, even throws sharp-as-a-razor-clam quarterly parties, like Sat/7’s TechnoClam #2 in the Public Works loft (10pm-3am, $10). This one features some shell-shattering vibes from NYC’s Lauren Flax, the Bay Area’s Symonne, and Dpeshmo herself. (I am loving her mixes to beyond.) 

“TechnoClam began as a blog, mostly known for its feminist-oriented coverage of women producers, DJs, and party recommendations – especially pushing forward promoters and venues that support women and queer artists,” Alex told me about the Clam’s mission-oriented origins. “There are so many talented women here with so many crews that support them, but there weren’t any all-women-led and -booked primarily-techno parties, so it’s nice to do something a little different. We think it’s really important for women (especially younger ones) to see others performing and producing so they know they can do it too.” 

Symonne plays the TechnoClam party, Sat/7

Look for the Clam-ness to spread: “We’re both on a mission to get to know all the techno women in town and eventually on the planet. Obviously that’s not really achievable, but one of the upsides of the relatively small numbers of women is the opportunity to form connections and support one another,” Alex continued. “Aside from having a lot of generous advice and support from our friends at Permission to Land, Surface Tension, and As You Like It, female:pressure, Discwoman, and Honey Soundsystem have been really inspiring to us. Locally, we really love a few crews that are doing some excellent, more intimate parties — Asterisk and Kosmetik are particularly fresh and forward-thinking. Run the Length of Your Wildness and Housepitality are also really reliably good each week and jive with a lot of our values.

“Hopefully we can also make this scene more woman-friendly via our own booking choices, and by recommending local women artists to others even outside of our own parties. There’s a lot of interest in seeing more diverse lineups these days,  but underrepresented groups can lack the name recognition or followings they deserve, so we’re here to help correct the balance there too,” Alex says.

“It gets back to our mission of celebrating the great work women in house/techno are already doing.”

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RIP DJ STEF The Bay was shocked this week to learn of the sudden passing of hip-hop legend, tireless scene booster, coolest person ever (and personal friend) DJ Stef, aka Stephanie Ornelas. Stef has been so integral to the Bay Area not-just-hip-hop scene as a designer, writer, DJ, and ever-present amiga that the extent of her loss has been impossible to comprehend. (This lovely remembrance by writer Nastia Voynavskaya touches on some of the deeper points.) In the early ’90s, Stef’s zine, and later pioneering website, Vinyl Exchange helped bring so many soon-to-be-famous local names to the fore. Tributes from the likes of Z-Trip, Lyrics Born, El-P, Peanut Butter Wolf, Equipto, and more have been pouring in: testament to her influence. No tribute parties have been planned yet, we’re still reeling, I’ll let y’all know. 

BIG BENEFIT Love to see the Bay Area band together to help. Here’s a benefit for Puerto Rico + Mexico called Live to Give this Thu/5 at 1015 Folsom that’s so chock-full off players I’m just gonna post the flyer: 


DJ Izzy Wise

BRAZILIFYIN’ “Every First Thursday of the month, Brazil Electro presents the most Brazilifyin’ DJs of San Francisco, mixing Tupiniquim rhythms like Samba, Maracatu, Axé, Forró, Pagode, Frevo with global tendencies of dance music.” This one kicks off with DJ Izzy Wise, Saint-Hills, and Paulo Presotto. Thu/5, 9pm-2am, free. Madrone, SF. More info here

PUFF A monthly queer cannabis appreciation night, this month featuring a Harvest Moon hot buns competition? Put it in your peace pipe! Thu/5, 7pm-10pm, $5-$10. The Stud, SF. More info here.

¡¡AYE MEXICO!! It’s drag princess Dulce De Leche’s birthday — and she’s having a performance-studded fundraising fiesta for the victims of Mexico’s recent earthquakes to celebrate,  with Leandro’s tamales and DJ Prince Wolfe’s tunes. Thu/5, 8pm-10pm, $5. Powerhouse, SF. More info here.    

MAKE ME A MIXTAPE Are you ready for a deluge of emo? Get sadly into it at this monthly sing-a-long and friendly mopefest. (There’s some punk and hardcore in there, too.) Thu/5, 9:30-2am, free. The KnockOut, SF. More info here. 


Aurora Halal

AURORA HALAL The splendidly psych-dark techno party We Are Monsters (DJs Mozhgan and Solar) brings in this live Brooklyn boundary-breaker for an evening of bewitching sounds and visions. Fri/6, 10m-3am, $15-$20. Monarch, SF. Tickets and more info here.  

DIRECT TO EARTH 6-YEAR ANNIVERSARY One of our more storied techno crews hits six, with a big blowout featuring wizards Ben Sims and Max Gardner, plus lots more. Fri/6, 10pm-4am, $15-$20. F8, SF. Tickets and more info here

SHORTKUT + CUT CHEMIST Absolutely legendary turntablists mix it up for the Future Primitive 20th anniversary (!!!). Do not miss. Fri/6, 9:30pm-2:30am, $30. Great Northern, SF. Tickets and more info here

SUICIDE COMMANDO “Going strong for 30 years, Suicide Commando have not only been pioneers of the harder electro genre, but continue being innovators up to this very day.” With Pankow at the BodyShock party. Fri/6, 9pm-1:30pm, $25. Elbo Room, SF. Tickets and more info here

NIGHT OF 1000 DIVINES Walk like a man! Or at least like a large, iconic queen, as this queer punk rock monthly celebrates the legend with an entire night of Divine/John Waters inspired numbers, looks and filth. Plus live band the Lollygaggers! Fri/6, 10pm-3am, $5-$10. The Stud, SF. More info here


FROLIC: THE FAST AND THE FURRIEST Calling all furries ready for fall! DJs Raid Zero, LycanCatt, NightKat, and NeonBunny. With visuals by Skibit, Groggy, and MaliePono are howling for you to dance at this monthly, well, frolic. Sat/7, 8pm-2am, $12 ($8 with/in animal costume). Eagle, SF. More info here.

DISTRIKT: RETROSPEKT Oh hey, we’re already nostalgic for Burning Man and we’ve hardly decompressed (also the camps still need funds). Tons of DJs at this 12+-hour long party. The party suggests you get there early “to celebrate the Blue Angels buzzing around for Fleet Week” which I guess shows you just where we’re at with that whole Burning Man as alternative utopia thing, LOL shruggie. Sat/7, 1pm-late, $30 Midway, SF. Tickets and more info here. 

GO BANG! CELEBRATES THE TROCADERO TRANSFER Our cutest, most authentic monthly disco party — it was packed last time for its Sylvester tribute — celebrates SF’s disco ground zero in the ’70s, the fabulous Troc. With DJs Gay Marvine, John Torres, Steve Fabus, and more. Sat/7, 9pm-3am, $5-$10. the Stud, SF. Tickets and more info here

KENNY DOPE One half of house maestros Masters at Work — and a totally sweetie besides being a dance floor devastator — pops up to drop some old-school NYC dopeness. Sat/7, 10pm-4am, $10-$20. Halcyon, SF. Tickets and more info here

POWERBLOUSE Each month, drag goddesses Juanita More and Glamamore transform a drag newbie, live onstage, into the creature of her fantasies — and then makes her lip-sync a really complicated song! It’s a hoot. With DJ Rolo. Sat/7, 10pm, $5. Powerhouse, SF. More info here.    

HARDER BETTER FASTER STRONGER “Modern-day indie and electro meets Electronica from the ’90s and ’00s for a rock-synthpop battle of epic proportions. This month, Harder Better Faster Stronger presents DANCE UP A STORM, a unique mobile response fundraiser and dance party to support the victims of Hurricanes in 2017 including some of the most hard hit including Puerto Rico, Florida and Texas.” Sat/7, 9:30pm-2am, $5. Slate, SF. More info here

Need a car to get there? Rent one in your neighborhood on Getaround. Sign up today, and enjoy $50 off your first trip:[Sponsored]

Party Radar: Let’s toast fall

Katya Smirnoff-Skyy leads you on a drag journey through the '90 grunge songbook, in Katy'as Bitter Sweet Symphony, Thu/28 and Fri/29

PARTY RADAR OK so we survived Folsom Street Fair — barely. But it occurred to me in a rare and brief moment of clarity, that Folsom is, in our fabulously perverse way, our very own Harvest festival, that ancient celebration of bounty … and booty. And while we were whipping up a storm, the beautiful early fall light streaming gold on a sea of bared bottoms, it was a turning of the seasons, a pure, clear equinox of licentiousness. 

Er, ok, maybe there was extra tequila in that slushee margarita….

Anyway, that’s over, on to Oktoberfest. The huge SF version was last weekend at Fort Mason, but honestly it is not my favorite: way too crowded and overbearing for my Oktobertaste. Instead, what if I told you the Symphony was becoming a beerhall, and you could polka-along with a big orchestra? That’s right, Tue/3 is the first ever Symphony Oktoberfest. There will be unlimited beer served in the lobby of Davies Symphony Hall for patrons (VIP tickets snag you a whole biergarten with Bavarian bites and polka band) — and a program of drinking songs, Bavarian waltzes and polkas, and much more. It absolutely does not hurt, even ein bischen, that the whole thing is overseen by hottie resident conductor Christian Reif. Clink, clink, Schatzi! More info here


GOLDIE Ugh, my ultimate UK drum and bass crush lands at 1015 Folsom for some toothy shenanigans. Thu/28, 10pm-2am, $20-$25. 1015 Folsom, SF. Tickets and more info here.  

FRONT 242 Industrial gods join forces with equally godlike Severed Heads and awesome Oakland DJ Dimentia for a night of loud grinding and pockets of synths bliss. Thu/28, 9pm, $40. Mezzanine, SF. Tickets and more info here.

KATYA, A BITTERSWEET ’90s SYMPHONY I love a good adventurous drag queen who sings her own numbers and outs a real smart spin on them. Take a trip with Countess Katya Smirnoff-Skyy, Eastern European royal ingenue, through the grunge-y catalogue of the ’90s. Thu/28 (8pm) and Fri/29 (7pm), $25. Oasis, SF. Tickets and more info here.  


HOTLINE A gaggle of our outstanding indie dance parties — Fringe, The Queen Is Dead, Harder Better Faster Stronger, Last Nite, Club Gossip, Indie Cent, Club Satori — come together to help save DNA Lounge … with giant party of course! The last one was packed, and thins one promises more sing-a-long craziness. Fri/29, 9pm-late, $10-$15. DNA Lounge, SF. Tickets and more info here.  

ABSCHIED FRÄULEIN, BUBBLES! Our dear, departed Bubbles is having a real going away party, as the nightlife community comes together in memory of the beloved club character, murdered a couple weeks ago. Fri/29, 8pm-2am, please donate to Eagle, SF. Tickets and more info here. 

AFROLICIOUS Aw, one of my favorite (and tight!) live ensembles is dropping a new album, Destiny, and you won’t want to miss what they bring to the stage, pumping their irresistible global funk sounds. With DJs Ozgood and Antonio Guedes. Fri/29, 9:30pm-3am, $18-$20. Public Works, SF. Tickets and more info here

STEREO ARGENTO A night of horror-movie-based drag? With Italo Disco? Come on, now, this is one of the most unique things you’re likely to be caught dead at. Fri/29, 10pm-3qm, $10. The Stud, SF. Tickets and more info here

AS YOU LIKE IT 7-YEAR ANNIVERSARY Gonna be a real corker! With the Black Madonna, KiNK, and many more. Read our interview feature here. Fri/29, 9pm-4am, $25. The Midway, SF. Tickets and more info here. 


RICHIE HAWTIN The Canadian techno force returns — probably with a great new haircut — to support his sake brand ENTER.Sake for World Sake Day. (I am not making this up.) With Marcel Dettmann and a new favorite of mine, Pattern Drama. Sat/30, 9pm-3am, $25-$40. The Midway, SF. Tickets and more info here

NOSAJ THING + JACQUES GREEN Two veterans of abstract bass music, both on the more melodic side but with different influences: Nosaj is more the psych-soul Brainfeeder type, while Jacques feeds off footwork and ’90s R&B. Both are superb.With Jim-E Stack. Sat/30, 9pm-2:30am, $15. Great Northern, SF. Tickets and more info here

THE MAGICIAN Lovely, French-derived, synthy-house maximalism from this prestidigitator, that doesn’t shy away from pop drama here and there. Sat/30, 10pm-3am, $25. 1015 Folsom, SF. Tickets and more info here.   

All the world’s a party

The Black madonna (center) headlines the As You Like It seventh anniversary party, Fri/29

If there’s just one thing that distinguishes the As You Like It party crew, celebrating its seventh anniversary Fri/29 at the Midway (9pm-4am, $25), it’s that it takes things aaaaalll the way there. Besides the overflow of family feeling and deep local support the crew has carefully cultivated — it won a Best of the Bay Editors Pick in 2012 for its “unabashedly intelligent, yet still madly danceable” gigs — As You Like It packs its lineups with diverse, powerhouse players that underline it’s simple party manifesto: “quality.”   

This time around is no different: headliners include Chicago’s Black Madonna, Detroit’s Floorplan (live), Bulgaria’s KiNK (live), London’s Call Super, SF’s Honey Soundsystem and David Siska, plus back-to-back sets by deep disco giants Gerd Janson B2B Prins Thomas and residents Sassmouth B2B Mike Gushansky. ‘Zwounds, that’s a lineup!

(And in true form the party train rolls on: As You Like it has upcoming dates with Chicago house legend Chez Damier on October 13 and Paranoid London on Halloween. 

Jeremy Bispo cofounded AYLI with Jeremy Linden and gathered a lot of his party knowledge from his underground rave days — including how to assemble a stable of heavy-hitting residents like Christina Chatfield and Mossmoss as well as Siska, Sassmouth, and Gushansky. I caught up with him for some quick questions about the party and the underground scene.    

48 HILLS As You Like It is truly “maximalist” in that each party is packed full of headliners and great talent — how do you plan your lineups, and how did the anniversary come together?

JEREMY BISPO First, I want to thank you, Marke, for being so supportive of As You Like It from the beginning. Your support early on gave us the confidence to take the steps that’s brought us to where we are today.

I’m not sure I’d call us “maximalist.” Each party is different, depending on scale, venue, and process. One show might be a solo headliner with an extended set, another might include adding a second, or a third could be a second room, with as many or more. Each party comes together differently. For a party, we could start with an availability of an artist we have an existing relationship that wants to come back to San Francisco. For a different night, it could start with an artist that we’ve been chasing for years and it’s finally coming to fruition. I then look for the perfect venue to showcase the artist and go from there.

For the anniversary, I was approached to bring The Black Madonna back to San Francisco during the final weekend of September. The Black Madonna, aka Marea Stamper, is a close friend of As You Like It. We’ve now hosted her in a variety of venues and for this date the agent and myself wanted to create a more dynamic way to showcase her. So it started with her and as the conversation came together it became more apparent that there would be several other artists on the West Coast for the CRSSD Festival: KiNK, Floorplan, Gerd Janson and Prins Thomas. We had existing relationships with all but KiNK so it made sense to try to bring them all together to celebrate our Seven Year Anniversary. From there, we reached out to Call Super and Honey Soundsystem. They were both obvious additions to fill out the line-up, showcasing many of our biggest recent and longterm influences.

48 HILLS How have you seen the underground techno scene change over the last seven years? 

BISPO When we started there were a lot more promoters in San Francisco that moved their shows from venue to venue or had home base venues. Now, we find that most parties have become “shows” and not parties and are done in-house by bookers, sometimes bringing in outside promoters to help.

There were a lot more established artists calling San Francisco home seven years ago. Many of those have now moved onto Berlin, New York City, or Los Angeles. We’re lucky now to have some hungry, younger talent and promoters that are coming up, such as Brouhaha, Outpost SF, Direct to Earth, Surface Tension, Diacritic Collective and Techno Clam. With the loss of so many underground venues and places like 222 Hyde, the younger artists now have fewer opportunities to cut their teeth, so they’re still fairly green as performers.

48 HILLS What have you learned in seven years of running As You Like It, both about throwing parties and the SF scene?

A: I’m not sure I’ve learned anything new. My roots come from the underground community of the late ’90s, namely Cloud Factory and Friends n’ Family. It’s been confirmed that first and foremost San Francisco is a community city. This is why, for example Sunset Sound System has such broad support across the generations, as well as the younger generation with Sunset’s excellent bookings, or why Lee Burridge finds such support here, through his decade of SF performances plus his relationship to Burning Man, or Dirty Bird’s growth out of free BBQs in Golden Gate Park and homegrown talent. The city thrives when events or artists grow gradually from the roots up and the support artists, even international artists, receive often comes from the community personally connecting with them, as people first, and musicians a short second.

48 HILLS What are one or two highlights of the past seven years?

BISPO Wow, this is a tough one. Only two? I can’t nail it down to only two: Nicolas Jaar’s San Francisco debut in 2010 at the Compound, Maya Jane Coles debut in 2011 in a sex dungeon, Peter Van Hoesen’s extended set in a last minute warehouse after first losing our venue, both of Jeff Mills (a personal hero) AYLI dates at Public Works, Laurent Garnier (another hero) at Public Works, both DJ Koze dates, Todd Terje at the AYLI 5 year, The Black Madonna and Mike Servito party last year was life affirming and lastly taking AYLI on the road, Seattle, Vancouver, BC, Detroit, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Miami, Washington DC and Los Angeles and deepening relationships in those cities. OK, I tried. 🙂

48 HILLS I know the Ghost Ship fire took away some valuable members of theAs You Like It Family — how has continuing to throw parties helped you and the scene heal?

BISPO I’d like to say that throwing parties has helped me or the community heal. I just don’t think I feel that way. I would say that the through the ongoing grieving process the larger community behind As You Like It has leaned on each other in ways I couldn’t have imagined possible. The love and support we’ve all shown for each other through hugs, kind words, smiles, tears, gatherings, mostly outside of clubs, and certain dance floor moments has blown me away. I hope our parties have been able to provide people with some solace, and through these monthly gatherings, I’ve felt less alone in my grief, but beyond that, every day, together we get through this by leaning on each more, even as there have been  more tragic losses in the passing months.

Fri/29, 9pm-4am, $25
The Midway, SF.
Tickets and more info here.  

Quick ‘n dirty guide to Folsom 2017 parties

The Mr. Drummer 1979 party crew salutes legendary leather bar Fe-Be's. See Thursday.

PARTY RADAR One of the most fun experiences I had this year was writing a history of bathhouse music and, by extension, how queer sex music of the 1960s and ’70s still influences the dance floors of today. Hey, the more we hook up, the better we sound.

This year’s Folsom Street Fair (Sun/24, 11am-6pm) offers plenty of entertainment in and of itself — former executive director Demetri Moshoyannis loved electronic music, and this year follows suit with headliners Austra and Little Boots. But the satellite parties and events are where the real underground fun happens. 

Here’s a selection of deliciously depraved parties (and a sprinkling of other interesting events and shows) suited to every fabulous body type and erogenous area of interest. Pull up/kick off your kinky boots and let’s get busy.  For more sweet, sweet party goodness, from GoGo Penguin to Moodymann, check out this week’s regular Party Radar column

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OUTLOUD STORYTELLING PRESENTS “HURTS SO GOOD” A wild cast of local characters comes together to relate their tales of kinky splendor. Tue/19, 7:30pm, $10. Oasis, SF. Tickets and more info here

HIGH FANTASY Come on down to Aunt Charlie’s to see some true underground SF drag, in all its charming DIY glory — this week soundtracked but he dark, delicious electronic sounds of Exillon. Tue/19, 10pm, $5. Aunt Charlie’s Lounge, SF. More info here.  


MUTANTE: CORROSION A tribute to noisy No Wave/New Wave/Goth (and more!) music at the bear bar. A miracle! “Corrosion. Clanging Industrial, haunting minimal and sharp post punk. Get raw and reckless before Folsom with Mutante. ” Wed/20, 8pm-midnight, $5. Lone Star Saloon, SF. More info here.  

BONDAGE A GO GO Our weekly pansexual tittilation celebration is of curse a HUGE must for Folsom week. DJs Tomas Diablo (who gave us his top 10 Folsom dance tunes in last year’s round-up) and Damon heat things up for a fetish-happy crowd. Wed/20, 9pm-2am, $10. More info here

KOSMETIK The Stud dance floor gets dark, deep, and extra queer, and Jordee, Matthew Paul, Siobhan Aluvalot, and Taco Tuesday pump underground techno. Wed/20, 9pm-2am, $5. The Stud, SF. More info here.   


Clean your half-shirt! Nikki Jizz hosts HoeIsGagged

HOEISGAGGED: A PRE-FOLSOM DRAG The monthly Hoe is Life party gets dirty, with a daring show from the likes of Lady Bear, Cyanide, and Cinnamon Maxxine, and hard-hitting beats from Jibbz and Primo. Thu/21, 10pm-2am, $7. The Stud. SF. More info here

THE TUBESTEAK CONNECTION The original weekly bathhouse disco tribute party — launched 13 years ago! — is also a true San Francisco treasure. DJ Bus Station John plays steamy tracks and decorates Aunt Charlie’s with vintage porn, for a real vintage feel (up). Thu/21, 10pm-2am, $5. Aunt Charlie’s Lounge, SF. More info here.  

GAYC/DC It is a gay AC/DC tribute band. And it is glorious. (Sorry, really trying not to make a Hershey Highway to Hell joke, here.) With Fat Bottom Girls and Zbornak. Thu/21, 9pm-2am, $10. The Eagle, SF. More info here

JUNK An underwear contest? On Folsom? YOU DON’T SAY. But this one is hosted by the fantastic Dulce De Leche and Mister Pam — with beats by DJ Rolo — so you know it will be truly escandaloso. Thu/21, 9pm, $5. Powerhouse, SF. More info here. 

QUEER SEX TRIVIA There’s a “vas deferens” between those who know, and those who think they know. (I totally stole that joke from a DJ friend, sorry.) Test your sexpertise at this cute contest — with sexy prizes! Thu/21, 7pm-10pm, free. The Stud, SF. More info here.  

FE-BE’S The party crew known as Mr. Drummer 1979 is back to pay thematic tribute to one of our legendary leather bars, Fe-Be’s, which was famously featured in the history-making Time magazine photo spread “The Homosexual in America” in 1966. With DJs Jackie House and Matthew Paul. Thu/21, 9pm-2am, $10. Underground SF. More info here.

FIRST CHURCH OF THE SILVERSEXUAL  The ultimate queer Bowie tribute show extravaganza is hitting the road for a tour, and hometown SF kicks it all off. Stellar entertainment — and dancing, too, with DJ RoseGold. Thu/21, 9pm, $15. Elbo Room, SF. More info here.  

CLUB POPPERS FOLSOM EDITION Something in the Castro! Blow your mind with DJs Power Top Ramen, Prince Wolfe of Go Bang!, and Maya Wan at QBar. Thu/21, 9pm-2am, $5. QBar, SF. More info here



NYC’s Joey LaBeija sweeps into Swagger Like Us

SWAGGER LIKE US: FETISH IV Our raddest queer hip-hop-and-beyond party pulls outlaw the stops and clamps with this special night, featuring DJ Joey LaBeija and live bondage demos by Andre Shakti. Fri/22, 10pm-2am, $10. Elbo Room, SF. More info here

PEGASUS VII: FOLSOM KICK-OFF The best little meet-and-greet for scruffy, stylish fetishists. Castro consignment boutique Sui Generis hosts, with beats by Sala Zar and a ’70s leather bar theme. Fri/22, 7pm-10pm, free. Sui Generis, SF. More info here

PHANTASMAGORIA DJ Nark from Seattle blows in for a wild night of “irl installations of sex positivity” with DJs In Flagranti and Kelly Naughton, plus barber cuts, bondage demos, cute hosts from all over, and “interactive dark corners.” Fri/22, 8pm-2am, $20. The Eagle, SF. Tickets and more info here

10TH ANNUAL BEARRACUDA FOLSOM PARTY Bears all up in there! “It’s our largest party in the US with 1200+ furry faces” and sugar-rush DJs Tony Moran, Ryan Jones, and Freddy King of Pants.  Fri/22, 9pm-4am, $20-$30. Public Works, SF. Tickets and more info here

Red Hots Burlesque gets red hot with a femme performer extravaganza.

RED HOTS BURLESQUE: FOLSOM FEMME EXTRAVAGANZA The hottest burlesque show i town salute Folsom with this all-femme turn-up. With Pickles LaVay, Violet Streak, Sgt Die Weiss, and more. Fri/22, 7pm, $10-$20. The Stud, SF. Tickets and more info here.

BLACK FRIDAYS: FOLSOM EDITION After Red Hots, stick around the Stud for this incredible night that features all-QPOC performers: drag, live singing, performance — and, of course, come fun kinky stuff. With DJ Micahtron. Fri/22, 10pm-4am, $10. The Stud, SF. More info here.  

STEAM DOES FOLSOM A steamy affair to maybe remember! Walter Gomez hosts this bathhouse-themed monthly party, with a wet towel contest, “power shoer” go-go booths, massage, and the tunes of DJ MAJR. Fri/22, 10pm-2am, $10. Powerhouse, SF. More info here.  

MAGIC KINKDOM Queer young burner crew Shenanigans are back at it: “Welcome back to the naughtiest place on earth: The Magic KinKdom! Whether you prefer it doggystyle like Ms. Deville or want to take a Captain’s entire hook at once, we’ll be sure to fulfill your darkest Disney desires.” Fri/22, 10pm-3am, $10. Oasis, SF. Tickets and more info here

CLUB LONELY Not really Folsom-themed, but I’m recommending because it is a truly “SF” flavored dance party that is one of my favorites in the city. With DJs Vin Sol, Primo, and Jeremy Castillo. Fri/22, 10pm-late, $10. OMG, SF. More info here


Homobiles, away!

THE HOMOBILES Insanely awesome local dyke+ punk band hits the tour circuit with this send-off, also including the sexy queer Lolly Gaggers and Maya Songbird. Sat/23, 8:30pm-11pm, $10. The Knockout, SF. More info here.  

LOVE HANGOVER: CRUISE DISCO Aww, I love this monthly afternoon party at the Lone Star. This edition features DJs Chaka Quan and Siobhan Aluvalot twirl you into Folsom bliss on the patio — plus free BBQ! Sat/23, 3pm-9pm, $5. Lone Star Saloon, SF. More info here.

SURE THING The Stud hosts an immersive techno experience that will get you all tingly before the big fair. With DJ Wata Igarashi from Japan and SF’s Aaron Jen. Sat/23, 10pm-4am, $15-$20. The Stud, SF. Tickets and more info here

CELLBLOC Pittsburgh underground techno honcho Aaron Clark joins SF’s Dark Entries Records chief Josh Cheon for a night of “intertwined limbs, pulsing meat to a throbbing beat, writhing bodies and stomping feet!” Gonna call out the whole incarceral-state fetishism here — fantasy? Or a huge part of your community’s depressing reality? — but I am down with the musical guests. Sat/23, 8pm-2am, $15 in gear $20 without. The Eagle, SF. More info here

NEW BREED: THE SECOND COMING A can’t-miss party for scruffy dancers. Usually I scroll past any party with “Breed” in the title — not yucking anyone’s yum! — but this huge banger is no goofy sacred-man-seed cum-union party. It’s put on by the awesome Polyglamorous and Pound Puppy crews, for one, and features stellar underground techno talent, like Fabrizio Mammarella, Jacob Meehan, Bears in Space, the Kosmetik crew, and more. Sat/23, 10pm-6am, $40. Club Six, SF. More info here.   

BOOTIE PRE-FOLSOM SF’s original mash-up party kicks it into fetish gear, with live mash-up band Smash-Up Derby and four rooms of shiny metal hi-jinx. Sat/23, 9pm-late, $15. DNA Lounge, SF. Tickets and more info here

SALON KUMALICIOUS You know what’s festive, and oh so SF? Getting together at the fancy STD clinic for an artistic salon. “Come draw hot and hunky queer bigger men of color (…and the men who love them) posing in their finest gear, leathers, fetish and kink accessories in celebration of Folsom Street Fair weekend.” Sat/23, 7:30pm-9pm, free. Strut, SF. More info here


DEVIANTS: ADULT ARCADE As always, the incredible dance party you don’t want to miss, with plenty of fantastic music and performances you won’t see anywhere else. This year features DJs Jennifer Cardini, Josie Rebelle, and Honey Soundsystem — and special surprises will abound. Sun/24, 6pm-2am, $40. Mezzanine, SF. Tickets and more info here.  

AIRTIGHT Lesbian daytime cruising and BDSM demos! All right, it’s air tight. With DJs Rolo, Lorant, Jordee, She Must Be Trouble, and La Frida. Sun/24, 2pm-9pm, free. The Stud, SF. More info here.  

DADDY DAYCARE Poppa needs a pamperin’ (which can have a lot of meanings when it comes to Folsom!) Join DJs Carrie On Disco, Bezier, Michael Romano, and Kelly Naughton at Driftwood for some disco funtime. Sun/24, 1pm-9pm, free. Driftwood, SF. More info here. 

FOLSOM STREET FAIR PARTY! Well, can’t argue with the name! And can’t argue with one of my favorite pastimes: Enjoying the fair from a perch atop Oasis, drinking fruity drinks on the generous deck. Sun/24, 11am-10pm, free. Oasis, SF. More info here

CAT CLUB CELEBRATES FOLSOM I will never forget the moment, in 2000, when a mind-blowing pack of human poodles rollerbladed into the Cat Club and onto the dance floor, just in time for Safety Dance. Cat Club is the perfect old-school bar/club to duck into during the day for a drink and some food ol’ SF surrealism. Sun/24, noon-10pm, free. Cat Club, SF. More info here.  

EAGLE PARTY ON THE PATIO Good luck getting into the Eagle during Fair time. (I love hitting the bar up for shots in the morning before the rush, though.) But in the evening things get a little easier, and you’ll have the pleasure of dancing to folks like the Go Bang! DJs (closing set) and DJ Bus Station John. Sun/24, 8pm-2am, $5. Eagle, SF. More info here

WERD FOLSOM ROUNDUP Sweet techno weekly Werd throws down at Monarch for those still on the go-go-go! With Jimmy B, Zoz, and Woo. Sun/24, 9pm, $5. Monarch, SF. More info here

TEENAGE DREAMS Why not wind up your crazy weekend at this shindig, which brings major underground Oakland flavor to SoMa. Piano Rain (Live Set) and DJs Shawna Shawnté, Brown Amy, and DURT keep you going until 4am. Sun/24, 9pm-4am, $10. The Stud, SF. More info here


Drink myself down all day on the Mix or the Lone Star patio and eat some motherf*ckin’ burritos because I don’t have to fit in this sequined codpiece anymore. 

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