PARTY RADAR Nothing heats up winter like a good “bitch track” scalding your ears and setting the dance floor aflame, and I just published an interview with the queen of bitch tracks, Sweet Pussy Pauline. In the 1980s and ’90s you couldn’t escape her voice—”Work this pussy!” “I put one leg on the ceiling and one on the closet door!” “A big ol’ hateful anteater!”—being sampled on every kind of record.
Anyway, please pull up to the warm glow of your laptop or phone, imagine a crackling fire, and touch the hotness, before we venture out to the local dance floors:
PARTIES OF NOTE
THU/6 ORBITAL The classic techno duo come back to the states after a long absence, filling the Midway with light and sound. 8pm-midnight, $40. The Midway, SF. More info here.
FRI/7 AH MER AH SU Bay Area queer dance-pop icon is so delightful, see them with the Molly House crew dropping the crowd to the floor. 9pm-2am, $10. Elbo Room, SF. More info here.
FRI/7 VAGUE TERRAIN Wide-ranging techno goodness at this monthly, featuring “a DJ set from Leipzig’s omnisonic seducer ESCLÉ and a special live set from Venezuelan-born, Brussels-based trip advisor BEAR BONES, LAY LOW.” 9pm-2am, $10. Underground SF. More info here.
FRI/7 THE FINAL DESPERATE LIVING SoMa’s outrageous queer punk party says “fuck off and die”—with a live set by the Lollygaggers and a host of awesome performers. Punk’s not dead! 10pm-3am, $10. The Stud, SF. More info here.
SAT/8 NORM TALLEY Incredible classic bouncy house magician from Detroit, coming to the intimate Phonobar in Hayes Valley? Holy shit. “You better believe he’s bringing fat stacks of wax with him for this one. Unlike most parties in this city we let DJs play for 3 hours or more. Expect Norm to go the distance and flex that Detroit muscle.” 9pm-2am, $15-$20. Phonobar, SF. More info here.
SAT/8 WONDERFULL 15 This is a very good party, hitting 15 years, and full of dance floor treats and surprises. “Globetrotting superstar DJ Spinna headlines WonderFull: a dance party of epic proportions dedicated to Stevie Wonder’s essential compositions, covers, and goodies. 9pm-4am, $25. Mezzanine, SF. More info here.
SAT/8 POUND PUPPY The scruffy gay monthly promises a special “howligay” party that will “get your egg nogs out,” with residents Oscar Pineda and Kevin O’Connor got-gone delicious techno all night long. 9pm-2am, $10. SF Eagle. More info here.
SAT/8 LADY RYAN The Oakland star comes to the Swagger Like Us Party, the queer hip-hop party that keeps scoring Best of the Bay. 10pm-3am, $10. The Stud, SF. More info here.
SAT/8 STUDIO 5’4 A party for vertically-different gay guys that is merciless in its use of puns and healthy self-deprecation. “DJ Omnibot will provide the disco beats. He can’t see over the DJ booth though, so raise your hands up really high.” 9pm-2am, $5. Lone Star Saloon. More info here.
SUN/9 CINTHIE The “queen of the Berlin house scene” finally comes in with musical news of what’s going on over there. This one’s really special for the Werd party family—I’ve been dying to hear her—come out and dance! 9pm-2am, $5 advance. Monarch, SF. More info here.
Named for a famed Arthur Russell disco production (“I want to see all my friends at once!”) and featuring an outright disco legend on the decks in DJ Steve Fabus (a resident of the Trocadero Transfer who pioneered both the tea dance and the bathhouse sound in the 1970s), the monthly Go BANG! party is rooted in disco tradition. But the threesome behind the party—rounded out by DJs Sergio and Prince Wolfe—do anything but stick to musty musical relics and ABBA singalongs, though there are plenty of familiar, fabulous tunes.
No, the party, which draws an astonishing 60-year age range of attendees, actively engages with the history of San Francisco disco while attracting younger people with its debaucherous yet good-natured vibe. One recent highlight for me was seeing the Go Bangers hang a massive multi-mirrorball, handmade by one of the Trocadero Transfer’s lighting geniuses, from the ceiling of the party’s current home, The Stud. (Disclosure: I’m a member of the Stud Collective.)
Go BANG! also musically breaks down generational barriers. You hear the evolution of ’70s disco from the hippie-rock ’60s into the synth-pop ’80s, and guest DJs from around the world showcase disco’s continued influence and diverse sounds.
The Go BANG 10-year celebration Sat/1 has DJ Stanley Frank from LA and local duo Robin Simmons and Elaine Denham joining the Bangers, along with the usual cavalcade of dancing, smiling characters—and features lighting from the person behind that massive mirrorball: Carla Ann Nicholson, the Arc Light Diva of the Trocadero Transfer. I asked the trio, who responded as one because they’re so close, about the party’s origins, SF’s disco legacy, and the sexy times.
48hills How do you feel the old school disco vibe of Go BANG! fits into the scene, and why is it important to continue the San Francisco disco tradition?
Go BANG! Many people and parties continue to connect the dots and forward the story of dance music and San Francisco’s unprecedented impact on this musical form. We have had many times in which the thought to move beyond the ’70s and ’80s disco sound was there, but we’ve been determined to preserve the spirit and story of our city’s sound… The sound of love, respect, and liberation. The sound of joy and pain, love and friendship during the halcyon days of the ’60s and ’70s, through the painful times of the ’80s AIDS crisis, which affected so many of our loved ones, and continues to be a part of the fabric of our party and our city. The spirit of San Francisco culture, which has paved the way for so many of us to find connection with one another and to share moments of love, life, and laughter in times of joy but even more so in times of sadness.
48h Ten years is pretty huge for a party, especially with he constantly changing (and disappearing) nightlife landscape in SF. Share with us a couple fun stories that have happened in the past decade.
GB! Given our start at Deco Lounge (with its infamously-fun basement) and our party continuing at the storied Stud Bar, we personally enjoy stories of makeout sessions, trysts in basements and bathrooms, stolen glances and welcomed touching in dark corners and hidden booths, packed floors and dark alleyways alike. And we also value stories of love connections made on the dancefloor, or in the ether surrounding our party. We’ve had a select few beautiful couples who began their romance due to our party, and we have heard many tales of “a friend to spend the weekend” found on our dance floor. Love, lust, like, joy, smiles, hugs, kisses, and more… These stories of personal connections are one of our greatest motivators.
Before we were on first Saturdays, we landed on the fourth Saturdays had a Christmas weekend installment called Ho Ho Ho BANG!. This was back at Deco. Sergio went to Michael’s craft store and got Walgreens bags-full of fake snow, hung them from the rafters, and found the right time to get on a stool in the middle of the floor, poked those bags with a mop handle, and all this plasticky, itchy, fake snow fell on our sweaty dancers and was UGH. He regretted it the moment it happened. And… that was the last time we did that. Ironically, that was the very party where Steve Fabus first DJed as a guest. The very next month—because Steve saw that Sergio and the party was worth being involved with—Steve agreed to join as a resident and co-BANG!er.
48hI adore that you include behind-the-scenes legends and historical moments in the party, like having Carla Ann from the Trocadero do the lighting.
GB! Carla Ann Nicholson was the Arc Light Diva the The Trocadero Transfer, she has been one of our stalwart dancing friends for so long. We recently purchased two follow spots from legendary SF sound and light man Randy Schiller, who is also a great friend to us. As of the middle of this year, you can find Carla providing the beautiful dance floor lighting— reflected upon a disco ball cluster handmade by her—adding to the authenticity of a true San Francisco disco dance floor. We fondly remember a time, during a recent Trocadero Transfer Tribute, when Steve Fabus played Frankie Valli’s “Soul + Heaven Above Me” (1980) and at *just the right time* Carla made the lights turn bright and sunny during the break of the song, lifting us from elation to ecstasy.
48h I’ve seen 22-year-olds on your dance floor, I’ve seen 80-year-olds on your dance floor (making out, mind you!). What attracts such a range to the party?
GB! In our 10 Years, we’ve been welcomed and loved by so many in our community, and that’s why we continue! We love San Francisco! We love its past and its present, and we’re encouraged by our future as we all work together to share of our art and resistance, our rebellion and unfettered love. We are so lucky to have so many talented friends working with us to make the party so special. It’s really grown into a group effort. We think about the party each and every day, we think about how to make our friends happy, about how to repay them for the joy they give us. We do this for our friends.
48h Give us a Go BANG! top 10 for 10 years.
GB! Dinosaur L., “Go BANG!”
Lorraine Johnson, “Feed The Flame”
Bryan Adams, “Let Me Take You Dancing”
Two Tons of Fun, “Earth Can Be Just Like Heaven”
Linda Clifford, “If My Friends Could See Me Now”
Sylvester, “I Need You”
Village People, “San Francisco”</p
Dan Hartman & Loleatta Holloway, “Vertigo (Relight My Fire)”
Ashford & Simpson, “Found a Cure”
Donna Summer, “Could It Be Magic”
Gayle Adams, “Your Love Is a Lifesaver”
Go BANG 10-YEAR ANNIVERSARY
Sat/1, 9pm-3am, $5-$10
The Stud, SF More info here.
FRI/16 THEY’RE HERE “Skin tingles in the dark. Flashing lights on your face. Throbbing in your ear…” The They’re Here party crew plays sweetly darker, harder tunes, celebrating the release of Sepehr’s debut EP “Body Mechanics” on Dark Entries Records. Label honcho Josh Cheon will be sipping up as well. 9pm-2am, $5. Underground SF. More info here.
FRI/16 GOLF CLAP It probably can’t quite equal the time I caught this excellent Detroit duo playing a cavernous space above a gay strip club deep in tha D at 5am, but it’s worth a shot at Audio. 10pm-2am, $10. Audio, SF. More info here.
FRI/16 DANCE TO STOMP OUT HUNGER A cavalcade of local tech stars hits the decks at this benefit for Cityteam SF, which has fed homeless people in the bay Area for 60 years. 9:30pm-2am, $5-$20. Monarch, SF. More info here.
FRI/16 LOOSE JOINTS I love this party. DJs Tom Thump and Damon Bell fill MakeOut Room with soul sounds: Boogie, disco, rare groove, afrobeat, latin, funk and more. 10pm-2am, $5 before 11, $10 after. MakeOut Room, SF. More info here.
FRI/16 CREATURE Who needs gender when you can dance however you like? The incredible Creature party moves on from the Stud with this star-studded finale, including DJs London Jade and Ophelia and oodles of post-drag insanity. 10pm-4am, $10. The Stud, SF. More info here.
FRI/16 ASHEQ عشق A queer Middle Eastern/North African dance party? YES PLEASE. 10pm-3am, $10. Oasis, SF. More info here.
FRI/16 oOoOO + ISLAMIQ GIRLS Oooh! OG Witchy house realness with oOoOO. Hosted by the 120 Minutes crew so you know it will be spoOoOOky. 10pm-2am, $15. Elbo Room, SF. More info here.
FRI/16 MAKEOUT PARTY Lock lips for Jell-O shots at this fabulously omnisexual patio party, with Robin Malone Simmons and Elaine Denham as your luscious house music DJs. 9pm-2am, $10. SF Eagle. More info here.
FRI/16 DIGITALISM The ecstatically accessible electronic duo fills August Hall with waving arms and sharp ideas. 10pm, $22.50. August Hall, SF. More info here.
SAT/17 AYBEE One of my absolute techno heroes, an astro-cultural explorer from Oakland (now in Berlin) who finds a sublime connection between afro-futurism and deeply-rooted grooves. He’s at the Mixed Forms party with Atlanta’s Ash Lauryn and more. 9pm-4am, $10-$20. The Stud, SF. More info here.
SAT/17 BONOBO I adore Bonobo when he’s behind the decks, bringing big moods and some highly delectable tunes. Oh, and all that charm. 9pm-late, $25. The Midway, SF. More info here.
SAT/17 RUSSELL E.L. BUTLER Check out this interview I did with Russell to see the full scope of their incredible, inclusive, political vision—and do come down to Vinyl Dreams on Saturday afternoon celebrate the release of their super-anticipated album The Home I’d Build For Myself And All My Friends. 2pm-8p, free. Vinyl Dreams, SF. More info here.
SAT/17 AFROLICIOUS SOUNDSYSTEM Soe of my favorite people on the scene, brothers Oz + Joe and crew, bringing some much-appreciated Afro-Latin funk and jazzy grooves (plus some killer classic house cuts) into the mix. 9pm-2am, $10-$15. monarch, SF. More info here.
SAT/17 PUSH THE FEELING: TOM NOBLE Lovely, glowing disco grooves with a DIY feel, at one of the cutest indie parties ever? Sign me all the way up. 9pm-2am, $7. Underground SF. More info here.
SAT/17 THE CRYSTAL METHOD People really like these guys! (Well, now just a single guy, since one of the duo retired last year.) They stepped in at that big beat moment in the ’90s when rave was briefly arena-sized (presaging EDM), with a funky slinkiness and overt drug references. A fun blast. 9:30pm-3:30am, $20-$25. More info here.
SAT/17 FRINGE: ROBYN TRIBUTE The Nordic electro-pop goddess of the gays/gals just released a new album, and adorable indie dance party Fringe is going to dance about it! 9pm-2am, $5. Madrone Art Bar, SF. More info here.
SUN/18 DISCO DADDY Bus Station John takes over the Eagle for his wildly popular tribute to the steamy disco-funk days of ever-relevant yore. “Dr. DISCO DADDY Sez: As Y’all Know, GOOD MUSIC Is GOOD MEDICINE! This Sunday We’re Gonna Take A Few Hours To Dance Off Our Troubles *AND Help Out Our Fellow Humans In Need, As We’ll Be Collecting Donations For Victims Of The California Wildfires (And Throwin’ In A Good $$$ Chunk From The Door!)” 7pm-2am, $7. SF Eagle. More info here.
SUN/18 CASUAL EUPHORIA: AN ASMR PARTY Do you love the way sounds make you feel? Come to this night of live ASMR demonstrations, with lots of tingles included. 10pm-2am, $5-$10 NOTAFLOF, The Stud, SF. More info here.
THU/25 CREATURES OF THE NIGHTLIFE The Cal Academy of Science’s weekly mixer takes a sinister twist as the creatures of our drag underworld emerge to tingle a few spines. With LA’s Boulet Brothers, DJ Omar, haunted pinball machines from the Pacific Pinball Museum, a dark carnival of animal curiosities, and a “haunted tour of the night sky” in the planetarium. 6pm, $18-$22. Cal Academy, SF. More info here.
THU/25 TECHNOTIHUACAN Halloween will forever be intertwined with Día de los Muertos here in SF, and of course that means Latinx nightlife wonders galore. This huge art show and party “combines live DJing and Video Art remixing into a living, digital mural exploring the intersectional story of Latinx contemporary life. These videos, a mix of original creations and curated works, will be synced with techno/cumbia/quebradita/salsa music remixes that aim to respond to and support the digital visuals.” Hell, yes. 6pm-9pm, donation requested. SOMArts, SF. More info here.
FRI/26 LIFEBOAT HALLOWEEN Howdy, sailor! Headliners and purveyors of sparkling hip-hop and psychedelic house Krafty Kuts, Psychemagik, Fort Knox Five, along with dozens of others, will be baying at the moon—from a boat on the Bay. 9pm, $75. Pier 3, SF. More info here.
FRI/26 NEGLECTED MURDERESSES “Within, we are delighted to bring you the 3rd Annual “Very Gorey Halloween”, featuring the return of Edward Gorey’s “Neglected Murderesses”, an immersive evening of costumes, characters, music, dancing in two rooms all night, and illuminated pop-up theatre to die for.” Featuring Gorey performances by LadyBEAST, Fou Fou HA, Rose Harden, and a host of neglected killers. 9pm-3am, $45. Cat Club, SF. More info here.
FRI/26 STEREO ARGENTO I absolutely adore this splatterific drag night, “with themes paying homage to different horror genres and directors, while also creating original and horrifying theatre experiences. Inspired by the Glamorous Gore that is filmmaker Dario Argento’s work, Stereo Argento creates community for all the San Francisco’s creeps to witness disgusting art installations, curated film projections, Italo Disco and QUEER ART!” With Galaxy Radio DJs and tons of bloody queens. 10pm-3am, $10. The Stud, SF. More info here.
SAT/27 GLOW IN THE STREETS Despite various crackdowns, Halloween in the Castro continues to be a unkillable tradition, even if a mere ghost of itself. This block party from Burning Man camp Comfort and Joy will fill the evening with neon light and music. 4pm-9:30pm, $10-$20 donation requested. Market between Noe and Beaver. More info here.
SAT/27 NEKROMANTIX + HELLBILLIES Rock out with your spook out to goth-a-billy bands Nekromantix, Oakland’s Hellbillys, SF’s own Lolly Gaggers and Black Coffin at 924 Gilman with all the creepy kiddies. 7pm, $20. 934 Gilman, Berkeley. More info here.
SAT/27 CREATURE XXI This incredible monthly party is filling the El Rio patio with a pumpkin full of gender-blending, post-human insanity. Music by the incredible Ariel Zetina (CHI / Discwoman) and Bianca Oblivion (LA), and tons of eye-popping-out durational drag shows and installations. 9pm-2am, $10-$15. El Rio, SF. More info here.
SAT/27 POUND PUPPY: SCREAMWORKS A scruffy queer dance party at which to “bury your bone”—and then dig it up again along with that weird dead cat from Pet Sematary. Guest DJs Masha (Dig Deeper, LA) , and Elexos Park (Vague Terrain) drench the transformed Stud in bloody and guts goodness. 9pm-4am, $10. The Stud, SF. More info here.
SAT/27 HORROR STORY: ORIGINAL SIN Chicago house legend DJ Heather kicks the spirits into high gear with fellow deck-masters Jim Hopkins b2b Paul Goodyear, James Cerne, CarrieOnDisco, and loads more at this all-night rave. “Taste the forbidden fruit of our sinister sounds. Polyglamorous and Mystopia bring you a dance party of Biblical proportions in celebration of All Hallows Eve.” 10pm-4:30am, $15-$60. 550 Barneveld, SF. More info here.
SAT/27 HALLOWEEN: A PARTY This frightfest from undead drag legends Heklina and Peaches Christ, now at Heklina’s club Oasis, has been a favorite for ages. Stunning performances by Taco Zamora, Raya Light, Meredeath, Hollow Eve, and a bodybag’s worth more, plus a pretty crazy costume contest and tunes from this years Halloween MVP DJ Omar. 10pm-3am, $20. Oasis, SF. More info here.
SAT/27 DUSK TO DAWN OK, here’s my HUMONGOUS PARTY Halloween recommendation. I love rave legend DJ Dan so much, that dancing all night to him at the Midway will be a frightful pleasure. This is an Opel and Vau de Vire party, so there’ll be plenty of Burning Man-style vaudeville, overhead swooping performers, striped tights, and twirling neon. Beetlejuicy! 5pm-4am, $28-$35. The Midway, SF. More info here.
SUN/28 SUNSET HALLOWEEN BOAT PARTY More costumes on a boat with amazing music! Legendary Sunset crew DJs Galen and Solar join forces with the techno kids from the Sunday Werd parties (you know there will be a cool after affair) and Sunset’s patented amazing guest DJ to be announced (it is always someone outstanding). Anyway, I always gush about Sunset parties because I love them so much. Enough to die for.5pm-11pm, $10-$80. Pier 3, SF. More info here.
WED/31 8TH ANNUAL HALLOWEEN HELLRAISER Look, if we can no longer have the actual Cramps perform here on Halloween—an ancient San Francisco tradition—then we can certainly have the Cramp-Ons, an uproarious Cramps tribute band, perform along with Misfits tribute band AstroZombies, and British heavy metal fêters Union Jack and the Rippers. OK, typing all that out just made me really want to rocket from my crypt and go to this. 9pm, $8. Elbo Room, SF. More info here.
WED/31 HONEY SOUNDSYSTEM HALLOWEEN On the eve of their first Asian tour, homegrown heroes the Honey boys come to scare the stuffing out of you at the Stud, Frankentsteining with the Kosmetik techno crew to bring in special guests Violet (Lisbon, PT) and Photonz. 9pm-3am, $15-$20. Then Stud, SF. More info here.
WED/31 AFROLICIOUS HALLOWEEN Hell yeah, live Latin beats and Afro-funk grooves with one of the best full bands in the city, Afrolicious, plus the wonderful Smoked Out Soul ensemble. You might just dance your limbs off at this one. That’s OK, borrow someone else’s! And see the top of this article for how to win free tickets. 7:30pm, $15-$20. The Independent, SF. More info here.
WED/31 ALL HALLOW’S EVE “If there was ever a holiday created just for DNA Lounge that holiday is Halloween, and this is our seventeenth spoooooky year throwing this party! We’re bringing you a double-sized Halloween madhouse in all four rooms!” With the gorgeous Hubby Hubba Revue burlesque and like one million fun DJs. 9pm, $13-$30, 18+. DNA Lounge, SF. More info here.
FRI/2 LOSING MY EDGE: DANCE TIL YOU’RE DEAD Sounds like a real scream, and oh boy we really will be the walking dead after two full weekends of partying in the afterlife-nightlife: “Face Painting, aerial performances, and music from your favorite indie bands: LCD Soundsystem, Hot Chip, Franz Ferdinand, MGMT, Cut Copy, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Bloc Party and MORE!” 9:30pm-3am, $7-$13. Great Northern, SF. More info here.
PARTY RADAR DJ duo Jenny and Omar have been such an important part of the our scene for so long, that even though Jenny moved away a while ago and Omar has become a big-time promoter and DJ (playing with legendary indie and Britpop bands and co-producing the incredible, 23-year-old Popscene party), they’re still at the heart of SF’s wild rock club nightlife.
When it launched in 1998, their club Sixxteen was quite an anomaly on the scene, offering out-of-control, campy rock respite from the serious techno and drum ‘n bass that was de rigueur at both underground and mainstream parties, and the washes of bland pop-house drowning the gay bars. This was where metal-heads could compare denim cut-offs, drag queens could live their Lita Ford fantasies, and cute Pulp-via-Smiths fans could show off their tour buttons. (In its attraction for all genders and styles bent on partying to the end of the night—or at least the end of consciousness—it resembled another, earlier classic club, Baby Judy’s.)
Where else could you hear Hole, The Dead Boys, Van Halen, New York Dolls, Bikini Kill, and the Donnas (and a slew of live bands) all smashed together in a glorious, ahistorical racket of rebellion? The club later morphed into an annual, must-attend Halloween party tradition, but it managed to keep up the same crazy energy, and surprise guest appearances. I talked to Jenny and Omar—who are so melded as the Sixxteen DJs that they answered as one—about the party and its rocking, rolling history.
48 HILLSWhat compelled you to start Sixxteen, and what was the scene like then?
SIXXTEEN We wanted to dance to Rock ‘n Roll and there wasn’t a club that played what we wanted to hear. It honestly started out as innocent as that. There were bars and people’s houses where we could go to nerd out to Dutch Glam and hear Patti Smith, ac/dc or The Misfits, but no room to dance. Once we got the chance to throw the party, we wanted to do away with the misconception that punks, rockers, metal heads, mods, drag queens, and club kids could not get along under one roof. We turned haters into lovers and fighters into dancers.
We had no real idea that others would respond to it the way they did. It was sleazy, sweaty, debaucherous and everything we wanted it to be. A place to get lost, make out with a stranger and do everything in excess. Once the word got out that everyone was having a good time, bands like the Murder City Devils, Drunk Horse, Vue, Black Cat Music and BRMC hit us up to play. One of our fondest and scariest memoies is of the Murder City Devils setting their drums ablaze in the middle of the Cat Club. We’ve come to realize that feeling simultaneous fondness and fear is succinctly Sixxteen.
48HWhat changes have you observed over the nightlife scene in the past two decades?
SIXXTEEN We can say with the utmost certainty that we could never do now what we did back then. There is no way we could get away with all the fun we had… haha. We have some great stories, let’s just say that. When we started, there were more artists and musicians hanging around who needed a place to let loose. No internet and no social media meant that if you wanted to meet someone with the same music or fashion sense, you had to socialize with them in person. Also, once people caught wind that Motörhead, The Smashing Pumpkins, and Blondie would hang at Sixxteen, they showed up in droves for a guaranteed good time.
48HWhy are you ending Sixxteen, and what can we expect at the final party? Will there be a rock ‘n roll funeral?
SIXXTEEN We think the 20-year mark is as good a place as any to celebrate the party, the friendships, the amazing and lasting support we’ve had from our patrons, as well as a great stumbling-off point to ride out in a spectacular manner as ungracefully as possible. This is very much a celebration of the wonderful eccentrics that made the nightlife thrive, so we’re not expecting to spend too much time grieving because we will be rocking out to some maximum rock n roll at maximum volume!
SIXXTEEN: A ROCK ‘N ROLL NIGHTCLUB’S 20TH ANNIVERSARY!
Fri/19, 9pm-3am, $10
Cat Club, SF. More info here.
PARTY RADAR Welp, it took me two weeks to recover from Folsom Street Fair, so that means we’ve got a lot to catch up on! First, let’s admire the look my friend Hunter, aka drag legend Felicia Fellatio, put together for the fair.
I had to stop watching “Handmaid’s Tale” after the third episode because I was so traumatized, but sexy woke leather handmaid might reel me back in?
EL RIO TURNS 40 I cannot believe this vibrant Mission patio hot spot is twice my age! It’s a true SF treasure, mixing Latinx neighborhood vibes with queer community. Kudos to owner Dawn and crew for keep El Rio true to the spirit of the city when so many have sold out as the area has become gentrified. I love it so much. Hit up the special Sat/13 40th Anniversary Party featuring a glorious amalgamation of El Rio’s best parties: Swagger Like Us + Mango + Hard French + Soulovely + Sazon Libre and more.
ELBO ROOM FINALLY CLOSING After many false starts, promises, news releases, and controversies, there’s finally a date on the shuttering of the Elbo, one of the few adventurous nightlife spots left in the Mission. January 1, 2019, the 30-year-old Elbo will turn into condos (probably), so dive into a final lineup of parties until then that includes Literary Death Match, White Ring, Tormenta Tropical, and the classic Saturday Night Soul Party. www.elbo.com (PS the new Jack London Square Elbo Room will remain open, give it a visit.)
CALLING ALL ICE QUEENS Drag Queens on Ice is one of the essential SF holiday traditions, and some of them are very good on those skates. (Some are, well, not so good but make it up with endless charm—I see you Motha Chucka!) The call is going out to any queens who want to audition. “From fierce to festive, applicants are asked to don their gayest apparel and record a short video of them showcasing their act or routine.” Then the Union Square Ice Rink will share it across its social media so people can vote on your frosty moves. Check here for more info
GHOST SHIP HALLOWEEN CANCELLED Look, there were already questions about whether the humungous, two-day Halloween rave could stage its 10th installment at newly refurbished venue SVN West (which still has bulldozers parked outside of it). How do you compress a sprawling carnival that once filled Pier 70 into a large but limited indoor space? Do you put the neon Pirate Ship ride on the roof? And how do you continue to produce such a massive party when most of your artists have fled the Bay Area because it’s too expensive?
Those are not the reason the organizers originally gave for cancelling the party, though. Last year, it changed its name to Love Boat out of respect for the survivors and friends of those lost in the terrible, wholly unrelated Ghost Ship fire. But this year—despite putting out advance promotional materials with the perfect name Barco Fantasma—the organizers decided to change it back to Ghost Ship, igniting a small firestorm of social media comments (which it then proceeded to respond to pretty unsympathetically). Then suddenly, it was announced that the whole thing was cancelled due to this easily resolvable controversy, which seemed a bit overboard.
Finally, Hush Hush promoter head Robbie Kowal, who is one of the Ghost Ship Halloween founders and a great guy, cut through the BS on the Ghost Ship Facebook account to talk about the real reasons, which included a mass artist exodus from the area and the pressure of finding a solid venue. Those of us who lost friends and family in the fire are still a bit put out about being scapegoated for all this drama, but at least there’s some honesty happening. And there are still tonsoffunHalloweenparties to be had (my full guide’s out soon), including Life Boat, put on by some of the Love Boat promoters in an attempt to salvage some fun out the whole debacle, and not leave much of the booked Barco Fantasma talent high and dry.
PARTIES OF NOTE
FRI/12 MERCURY SOUL: GAVIN HARDKISS I love the Mercury Soul parties, which aren’t afraid to experiment with the nightlife experience itself. This one takes on a “future folk” theme, “to dive into the world of folk music with performances of folk-inspired electronic, classical, and bluegrass music, interspersed with DJ sets spanning the global folk music landscape.” With DJs Gavin Hardkiss (legend!so good!), Mason Bates, and Justin Reed, plus band bluegrass band Hot Buttered Rum, “as well as classical musicians from Vitamin Em performing works by American classical composers such as John Adams and Mark O’Connor in addition to classical favorites by Brahms and Bartók. 9pm-2am, $20-$25. Great Northern, SF. More info here.
FRI/12 DAEDELUS + HUXLEY ANNE LA’s mad scientist of knob-twiddling Daedelus and “liquid wax aboriginal broomstick riding free base electric sorceress” Huxley Anne explore artistic identity and creative process in conversation, Q&A, and performance. 9pm-2am, $10-$15. The Midway, SF. More info here.
FRI/12 LAST NITE The 2000s have been back! But not in that awful Bush way that’s happening in the political world. No party gives me more confidence we will dance this mess around than 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.” 10pm-2am, $10. Make-Out Room, SF. More info here.
FRI/12 VIVVY’S GRAND OPENING: PUNKIN Wild monthly drag night Vivvy’s Grand Opening always has some jaw-dropping performances in store. This time for all hallow’s the Church of Nihilism takes over. “Suggested dress code: Witch fail, ethical zombie, sexyscaredycat, spooky ooky cookie, Headless, HoresMan, Mystery Meat, Smug Slug.” 10pm-3am, $10. The Stud, SF. More info here.
SAT/13 FLAGGING IN THE PARK Flagging in the Park is the most gay San Francisco thing you can go to ever, paying tribute to one of the great gay nightlife traditions, but in the sunshine—and this installment with the brilliantly chill CarrieOnDisco on decks will be indescribably cute. 1pm, free. AIDS Memorial Grove, SF. More info here.
SAT/13 BARDOT-A-GO-GO 20TH ANNIVERSARY We’re pretty far from Bastille Day, when this fabulous party brings out the French kisser in all of us. But, mon dieu!, the crew is gonna have a 20th anniversary blast. “All three co-founders—Brother Grimm, Pink Frankenstein, and Cali Kid—will be spinning the best in decadent ’60s French pop and other International and American garage/soul/bubblegum sounds.” 9pm-2am, $10. Rickshaw Stop, SF. More info here.
SAT/13 BREAKBOT Woah, a throwback to the glory days of Ed Banger and melodic hardcore electro. Art school grad Thibaut Berland found fame creating singalong, dance-a-long tunes that fuse disco vibes and yacht rock sensibility with Daft Punk grooves. It worked! 9pm-late, $20-$25. Mezzanine, SF. More info here.
SAT/13 ONE NIGHT ONLY W/ DAVID HARNESS The Bay Area’s version of Frankie Knuckles has come out about suffering from diabetes: Come dance all night to his impeccable soulful house groove and help raise money for a good cause. Sat/13, $20-$40. The Foundry, SF. More info here.
SAT/13 JULIANA HUXTABLE The multi-talented, outspoken NYC DJ-performer-magical being lands in town to show the children how it’s done at the Molly House party. Juliana’s sets are voracious! Also featuring super electronic BB Russell E.L. Butler. 10pm-4am, $10 advance. The Stud, SF. More info here.
SAT/13 POUND PUPPY Scruffy, woofy gay dancing to the far-reaching techno sounds of the local Kosmetik crew, Jordee and Matthew Paul. 9pm-2am, $10. The Eagle, SF. More info here.
SAT/13 AURORA HALAL The Brooklyn artist operates on the shadowy side of electronic music, and her psychedelic sensibility makes her a perfect fit for the We Are Monsters party. 9:30pm-3am, $10-$15. Monarch, SF. More info here.
SUN/14 AS YOU LIKE PICNIC Techno in the park! Techno in the park! Spend a lovely Sunday with the As You Like It crew/family (BYO-everything). Chicago/SF’s Chrissy plays with Lily Ackerman, Patrick Lotilla, Rich Korach, and more. Noon-6pm, free. (donations accepted) Elk Meadow, Golden Gate Park, SF. More info here.
SUN/14 DISCO CABANA, MONSTER MASH The goofy-fun Disco Katz crew is at it again, for Halloween of course, with some real house legends to get you all the way through Sunday: Charlotte the Baroness, Chris Orr, and tons more. 2pm-10pm, $8 advance. Natoma Cabana, SF. More info here.
PARTY RADAR It’s that time, almost! Time to coordinate your leather-chic looks, eat whole grains, polish up your spurs, and tackle that jumble of raw bodies and tanned cowhide we call Folsom Street Fair (Sun/30). Obviously, you will not need sleep, and I’m here to help. Below are the 20+ essential parties for the week/end, so stay upright and erect!
(Oh, and looking ahead, and down, on October 17 don’t miss the 48 Hills + Litquake celebration of Tom of Finland at the Eagle, Beefcake! It’ll be kind of like Decompression but for Folsom.)
PARTIES OF NOTORIETY
WED/26 KOSMETIK With JEFFREY SFIRE Detroit Italo and early house maven Sfire (who gave us this eternal anthem) actually sets dance floors aflame. He’s with Dallas’ TX Connection at this Folsom edition of the weekly techno Kosmetik party. 9pm-2am, $5. The Stud, SF. More info here.
WED/26 MUTANTE: CYBORG DOMINATION Pummeling and outré electronic music is usually the name of the game at this weekly party: For this Folsom edition dancing robots rule, with “Bay Area veteran and disco dominator” Bad Girl Bailey on the decks. 9pm-2am, free. Lone Star Saloon, SF. More info here.
THU/27 FOLSOM PRISON The Mister Drummer 1979 party crew recreates the look and feel of classic leather bars of yore inside other bars, and makes a damn good dance party out of it (plus there are t-shirts!) This time around it’s quintessential Miracle Mile biker hangout Folsom Prison—which in this day and age of wokeness around the oppressive prison-industrial complex would be a very problematic name, the kind of valuable perspective these reincarnations bring up—with absolutely wonderful DJ Carlos Souffront and Matthew Paul taking us back to sweatier, leatherier times. 9pm-2am, $10. Underground SF. More info here.
THU/27 THE TUBESTEAK CONNECTION DJ Bus Station John kicked off the whole bathhouse/cruising nostalgia wave more than a dozen years ago, with his awesome weekly tribute to steamy disco and vintage man-meat. If you want an authentic taste of old school gay life, traipse to his vinyl tunes all night on Aunt Charlie’s carpeted dance floor. 10pm-2am, $5-$7. Aunt Charlie’s Lounge, SF.
THU/27 JUNK It wouldn’t be Folsom without an underwear party? Hosted by the effervescent Dulce de Leche and Mister Pam, with beats by DJ Bugie, there’s a cash prize for the skivvies master. (And a Bare Chest Calendar jock strap auction, which confuses me.) 9pm-2am. Powerhouse, SF. More info here.
THU/27 PORN: QUEER SEXWORKERS DANCE PARTY “Cum and dance your delicious hardworking queer asses off in preparation for Folsom 2018! Watch amazingly hot DIY porn while cruising for your next date or networking with new heaux friends.” 9pm-2am, $7-$10. The Stud, SF. More info here.
FRI/28 PEGASUS One of my favorite Folsom traditions, toasting the weekend with fashionable and cute friends at Castro store Sui Generis, the one with the cute leather-chic window displays. Ace DJ Rich King, who I adore, will be spinning tunes while we sip champagne. 7pm-10pm, free. Sui Generis, SF. More info here.
FRI/28 HONCHO The boys of Pittsburgh’s scandalous Honcho crew have been credited with helping to open the East Coast gay scene to underground techno sounds and nouveau rave culture (you might be reminded of our own Honey Soundsystem here), and now they’re bringing their incredibly popular party, visual design and impeccable decks skills and all, to the Stud in their West Coast debut. Do not miss ’em! 9pm-4am, $25. The Stud, SF. More info here.
FRI/28 BEARRACUDA A honking huge bear party full of lusty mens and stretched waistbands (I stan)—but you’ll want to make your way upstairs through the carnival atmosphere, to the Public Works loft where two great DJs—Victor Rodriguez of LA’s Bears in Space and Perfect Lovers of CDMX’s Por Detroit club will be making fur fly. 9pm-4am, $25. Public Works, SF. More info here.
FRI/28 STEAM DOES FOLSOM Eternal cutie Walter Gomez’s monthly salute to bathhouses, but inside a bar, gets Folsom-y with dancers in shower stalls, a wet towel competition, massages, and awesome DJ Lorant Duzgun from NYC. 9pm-2am, $5 benefits Queer Lifespace. Powerhouse, SF. More info here.
FRI/28 CLUB LONELY My secret favorite club falls on Folsom and features Oakland’s rad 8ulentina of the Club Chai collective, so beats will be banging. Expect a colorful, pan-everything crowd under Club OMG’s weird dancefloor dome. 10pm-2am, $10. Club OMG, SF. More info here.
SAT/29 LOVE HANGOVER Wondrous afternoon dancing at the bear bar, as this super-queer party brings in NOLA’s Mark Louque and PDX’s Sappho—gah they are sooo good! 3pm-9pm, $5-$10. Lone Star, SF. More info here.
SAT/29 GEARED UP More sippin’ & shoppin’ & slippin’ & slidin’ at the infamous Mr. S leather shop’s annual instore party. Go here, get some looks, dance to DJ Fawks, who is a very good boy. noon-6pm, free. Mr. S, SF. More info here.
SAT/29 THE ROAST OF DONNA SACHET The leather community’s Scarlet Empress, the Lady in Red, who has given her long and storied life to supporting the community, finally gets the roast she deserves. With emcee Bruce Villanch and a star-studded panel of roasters, including Cleve Jones, Mark Leno, and Sister Roma. Love this crazy lady. 7pm, $30-$50. Castro Theatre, SF. More info here.
SAT/29 MISCHIEF Our biggest queer hip-hop party, Swagger Like Us, and our biggest lesbian party, UHAUL, are joining forces for a kinky Folsom affair, with DJs DavOMakesBeats, JiBBz, Lady Tragik, and Micahtron. So much QTPOC magick. 9pm-2am, $20. Verso, SF. More info here.
SAT/29 BONDAGE A GO GO One of SF’s longest-running pansexual weekly parties is also a total hoot, and dipping into the red zone for Folsom. Rope demos and burlesque performances, plus DJs Tomas Diablo, Damon, and special guest DJ Bit of Death Guild “spinning a sinister blend of goth, pop, industrial, punk, rock, and electro.” Interactive play space! 9pm-3am, $10-$20. Cat Club, SF. More info here.
SAT/29 GOD SAVE THE QUEENS A queer punk night in the Mission might be the perfect way to ease into the festivities … with DJs Scott Toxsin and Jimmy Swear. 9pm-2am, $5. El Rio, SF. More info here.
SAT/29 THE HACKER An electro god for several decades—and one of the pioneers of electroclash—this Parisian will bring funky-dark sounds to the Stud. With Mozhgan, Solar, and more, plus “anti-gogo” from the Creature crew. 10pm-4am, $25. The Stud, SF. More info here.
SAT/29 ELECTROLUXX Literally and figuratively a ton of good DJs and cute artists coming together for this wheeling romp, which also includes “2 indoor stages & silent disco outside, face painting, tarot reading, photobooths, performances, and more!” 9pm-4am, $15-$30. Public Works, SF. More info here.
SAT/29 THE FIGA More leather history!“On the eve of the Folsom Street Fair, Jonesy and Jamie C Knight premier their film, “The FIGA,” an oral herstory of the legendary San Francisco Catacombs; featuring Dr. Gayle Rubin. Post film chat between Jonesy and Dr. Rubin moderated by Andy Campbell. Screening and chat to be followed by a very special Catacombs inspired DJ set by Gayle Rubin.” 5pm-8pm, $5. The Stud, SF. More info here.
SAT/29 GLAMAMORE’S FILTHY FOLSOM NUTZ Legendary drag performer Glamamore can do no wrong, so why not throw a party about it? With DJ Guy Ruben and lots of dancing. 10pm-2am. Powerhouse, SF. More info here.
SAT/29 NEW BREED THE all-night rave of Folsom, but you’ll have to get there early for tickets! The Polyglamorous Crew always puts on a great joint, and DJs Massimiliano Pagliara (Italy) and Chris Cruse (LA) will make the Folsom fireworks pop. 10pm-6am, $60. Club Six, SF. More info here.
SUN/30 AIRTIGHT “Dark corners for cruising, spanking benches for bruising, and SOMA’s cutest dance floor” — with DJs Gayphex Twin, Gag Reflex, and more. A dyke-centered space but all are welcome! 2pm-9pm, $5-$10. The Stud, SF. More info here.
SUN/30 DADDY DAYCARE The raunchy boys of the D.A.D. Dudes and Disco party get wild in the daytime, with DJ Robin Malone Simmons, Rich King, Sergio Fedasz, and more. Noon-8pm, free. Driftwood, SF. More info here.
SUN/30 ANTIQUES ROADSHOW: FOLSOM EPISODE More of the magical DJ Sappho as she and Zoz play Hayes Valley’s Phonobar for an afternoon Folsom getaway. I think also it may be an impromptu flea market? 3pm-9pm, free. Phonobar, SF. More info here.
SUN/30 TEENAGE DREAMS DJs Brown Amy, The Creatrix, HEAVY PLEASURE, La Frida (live set), Moths Protect Me and more come together to send you to heaven on a little dancefloor. 9pm-4am, $10-$13. The Stud, SF. More info here.
SUN/30 WERD. FOLSOM STREET FAIR AFTER AFFAIR One of my favorite local techno DJs, Lily Ackerman, is headlining this weekly shindig that will have all the stragglers rejoicing. 9pm-2am, $5. Monarch SF. More info here.
SUN/30 HOUSE OF BLACK LEATHER Honey Soundsystem brings in Munich’s banging Zenker Brothers, Londons Debonair, and Portland’s Orographic, plus tons more surprises, as this awesome party returns to round out the fair. 3pm-4am, free before 6pm. Audio, SF. More info here.
PARTY RADAR Who’s the Best DJ? Best Nightlife Venue? Best Dance Party? Best Drag Queen of King? best Late-Night Dancing? Best fucking Burrito? Yes, yes, it’s all a popularity contest—which mean you need to vote now in our 43rd annual BEST OF THE BAY poll. Do eeeeeeeet!
NOW HEAR THIS I missed the cute AF launch party at fantastic Monday joint Run the Length of Your Wildness this part week—also its last as a weekly!—but please do check out its incredible “Run The Length Of Your Wildness Vol 2,” its second digital collection that benefits the family of Cherushii, who we lost in the fire. “Tracks from Cherushii, Experimental Housewife, Roche & Lavender, David Last, Pleasure Corporation feat Roche and Kara Marie, Golden Donna, Lily Ackerman, Nihar, gayphextwin, North County, Water Feature, Ilya G, burnet207, Loren Steele, Paramour, Doc Sleep, Vidiian, DJ Patrick, Its Own Infinite Flower, CB Radio, Area Mann, Elexos Park, Atlas Of Nothing, Caltrop, Tristes Tropiques, Ben R Brown, Michael Claus, Hydroplane and Plaza. All proceeds will be donated to Cherushii’s family❤”
PARTIES OF NOTE
THU/13 RONI SIZE The superstar of classic UK drum ‘n bass hist the Independent, with amazing local emcee Audio Angel and UFO! opening. 8:30pm, $20. The Independent, SF. More info here.
THU/13 PUFF A drag/live rock/420-dancing queer marijuana appreciation happy hour? You got it. AND you can win a plumbus-shaped pipe. (Happy birthday DJ Dank!) 7pm-10pm, $10. The Stud, SF. More info here.
THU/13 ASTERISK The Asterisk parties are bright and happening, rooted in some supreme local techno talent. “Eugenia will grace us with her refined minimal techno grooves again. Max Gardner and Muon will play their second ever live show after their searing set at ZORG during Mutek SF. Experimental Housewife will close out the night with an hour and a half of transcendent dancefloor rhythms.” 9pm-2am, $10. F8, SF. More info here.
THU/13 MAKE ME A MIXTAPE “Playing all your favorite emo & indie nostalgic anthems on vinyl, including saves the day, the promise ring, the get up kids, alkaline trio, sunny day real estate and more.” 9:30pm-2am, free. The Knockout, SF. More info here.
THU/13 HODGE Deliciously deviant techno parties They’re Here and Surface Tension join forces to bring in this Bristol technoist, of the Berceuse Heroique and Livty Sound labels. With CM-4 and tons more. 9pm-2am, $10-$15. Underground, SF. More info here.
FRI/14 LEON VYNEHALL The Portsmouth, UK producer is deep into downtempo house, and latest album “Nothing is Still” balances cerebral beauty with expansive grooves. He’s joined by one of my favorites, Cooper Saver, and Taravel. 9:30pm-3am, $15. Great Northern, SF. More info here.
FRI/14 INDIEGALACTIC Cute. “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger presents INDIEGALACTIC, a cosmic indie & electronic dance party crash landing at the venerated Public Works for one epic night of Total Alien Mayhem! Come as your favorite alien, robot, astronaut, or Human life form 👽👨🚀” 9pm-3am, $8 advance. Public Works, SF. More info here.
FRI/14 HOUSE OF BASS It’s the four-year anniversary of this rumbling party, with plenty of folks still spitting up playa dust helming the decks. 9:30pm-3am, $10. Public Works, SF. More info here.
FRI/14 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. This month’s theme: Denim. This month’s incredible DJs: Siobhan Alovalot and Rich King. 10pm-4am, $10. The Stud, SF. More info here.
FRI/14 LOOSE JOINTS Love this loose joint with DJs Tom Thump and Damon Bell: “Boogie, disco, rare groove, Afrobeat, latin, funk and more. All for the your imbibing and dancing pleasure, ALL NIGHT LONG.”10pm-2am, $5-$10. Make-Out Room, SF. More info here.
FRI/14 LAST NITE More indie dance bliss. “DJs Jamie Jams and Rocky bring you all the hits from a time when punks suddenly remembered how to dance. 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/15 MIDLAND The infectiously jovial UK house DJ comes to the Stud for the fabulous Mixed Forms party, which also features Oscar from Pound Puppy and benefits RAICES. 9pm-4am, $15-$20. The Stud, SF. More info here.
SAT/15 RED AXES Underground Israeli dance music duo with a dark side and lots of cowbell. Love them to death, and the Lights Down Low party they’re playing. 10pm-3am, $10-$15. Monarch, SF. More info here.
SAT/15 MOM DJS 9-YEAR ANNIVERSARY Holy moly, do the macaroni: Our fabulous crew of Motown on Mondays DJs (not just on Mondays anymore, obvs) is celebrating almost a decade of soul satisfaction. 8pm-4am, $5-$25. Public Works, SF. More info here.
SAT/15 PROJECT NUNWAY: 9 TO 5 WORK! What a hoot! This annual over-the-top fashion show (using all recycled materials) features our patron angels of charity, The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, as they show it all off for charity. It’s quite a thing. 7pm-11pm, $20. SomARTS, SF. More info here.
SAT/15 HEIDI + KIM ANN FOXMAN OMG two of my absolute favs, Heidi the hard technoer from Detroit and Kim Ann the high-style early 90s revivalist from NYC, together at one huge daytime party, called Altitude, with Tyrel Williams, Sepehr, and more. Squeeee! Noon-7pm, $16-$22. The Midway, SF. More info here.
SAT/15 BEESMUNT SOUNDSYSTEM I am not lying here, this Saturday is a clusterfuck of amazing DJs and parties, and I or you may die. Drink water. This duo, which weaves together snippets of obscure tunes from throughout the history of dance music into something wholly new, blew me away at a Honey Soundsystem party last year. Now they’re back in the Public Works loft, plying the afterparty for the Fantastic Voyage dance cruise. 9:30pm-3:30am, $10-$15. Public Works loft, SF. More info here.
SAT/15 PUSH THE FEELING One of the cutest parties going, that delves into the more independent and idiosyncratic sides of dance music. This one’s got Keil from STRFKR (DJ Set), Marcogliese, Kevin Meenan, and Glenn Jackson. 9pm-2am, $5-$10/ Underground SF. More info here.
SAT/15 FRINGE A back-to-school indie dance party (featuring a giant dancing pencil, we hear), playing the hits and the singalongs. “We invite all former school geeks, freaks, punks, etc to join us on the dance floor!” 9pm-2am, $5 after 10pm. Madrone, SF. More info here.
SAT/15 BEATPIG Drag goddess Juanita More went to the market! DJ Stanley had roast beef! Scantily dressed host Walter had none! It’s a piggy dance party, y’all, benefitting the Transgender Law Center. 10pm-2am, $5. The Powerhouse, SF. More info here.
SUN/16 DJ STINGRAY Absolutely banging techno from a Detroit legend on a Sunday. Do it. 9pm-2am, $7. Monarch, SF. More info here.
SUN/16 CASUAL EUPHORIA: AN ASMR PARTY On the complete other end of the spectrum, what about going to a party that privileges ambient sensations over mind-muffling bangers? Live performance with djs and sensory installations with make you tingle all over. 8pm-2am, $5. The Stud, SF. More info here.
SUN/16 DISCO DADDY Legendary DJ Steve Fabus (Trocadero / I-Beam / Go Bang!) is taking over DJ Bus Station John’s tremendously popular and salacious Sunday night disco affair—with a full seven-hour mega-set! 7pm-2am, $5-$7. SF Eagle. More info here.
PARTY RADAR Oh yes, its almost party time: But first I want you to win tickets to the massive 30-hour Public Works anniversary party coming September 21 (full lineup just announced and it is spectacularrrrr). That’s right, she’s doing a giveaway — 2 Weekend Passes, and 4 Single Day tickets (2 for each day). Shoot me an email [email protected] with subject line Winner Winner and I and a distinguished panel of judges (my friend’s cat, I’m cat-sitting) will pick names out of a hat on Monday when we’re hungover and looking for something to do that doesn’t involve scrolling.
And while you’re at it, why not vote for Best of the Bay. And check out some other fun things this weekend (like the SF Electronic Music Fest, Oakland Pride, and Bay Area Now opening party) in Arts Forecast. Oh, and do sign up for our newsletter, please. That’s a lot. Good luck to you!
FINAL HIGH FANTASY I couldn’t let this go by unmourned: The final installment of one of SF’s best parties, the eight-year-old High Fantasy, is happening Tue/11—and you know it’s going to be wild. The fabulous Myles Cooper, who puts on the drag-show-dance-party-wild-night and always performs a dapper number, is leaving to focus on his job at the library. He says another night will replace his that will keep the same “only in the Tenderloin” spirit. Do wish him well! 10pm-2am, $5. Aunt Charlie’s Lounge, SF. More info here.
PARTIES OF NOTE
FRI/7 NAVID IZADI: A CELEBRATION OF LIFE “On Friday, September 7th, 2018 we will Celebrate the Life of Navid Izadi! Navid passed away in a tragic plane crash on August 4th, 2018, along with his beautiful mother Floria, and 3 other passengers. He was a huge presence in the house/techno dance community, with a bunch of music releases and collaborations with many artists. He was beloved by many, and will be remembered forever in our community as an amazing artist and human being.” A stellar lineup will raise funds and link friends, with Justin Martin, Michael Tello, Ray Zuniga, Mozhgan, Shiny Objects, Davi A., Lando, Sinéad. 9pm-3am, $20-$60. Monarch, SF. More info here.
FRI/7 FORRÓ FRIDAYS: BRAZILIAN INDEPENDENCE DAY So much forró you may not be able to handle it. Live forró with Dona Francisca and Forró Picasso (feat. Papiba from SambaDá), plus DJs Fausto Sousa, Danado, Carioca, and more. 9:30pm, $10-$15. Elbo Room, SF. More info here.
FRI/7 DJ HEATHER AND COLETTE Name a more iconic late ’90s Chicago underground house duo, I’ll wait! 10pm-4am, $10-$25. Halcyon, SF. More info here.
FRI/7 DESPERATE LIVING Queer punk in SoMa, oi! Live music from Year of the Fist, plus drag hostesses Versa Bathsalts, Kochina Rude, and more. 10pm-3am, $5-$10. The Stud, SF. More info here.
FRI/7 VAGUE TERRAIN I absolutely love the electronic genre-melting Vague Terrain crew, and this installment of the party features Berlin’s M.E.S.H. and Portland’s Etbonz, but I have to give it up to the for including this joke on the invite:
💁 “How do you turn down a date with the Invisible Man?”
🙅 “You tell him you’re seeing someone.”
My god, why? 9pm-2am, $10-$15. Underground SF. More info and possibly jokes here.
FRI/7 THE AFTERBURN The glorious period of rockstar parking and short lines at Tartine is over, Theburners have returned—and they are ready to bring all that playa fairy dust into the fault world via more parties. This one features Monolink live, Sabo, DJ Three, and many, many more. 10pm-6am, $20 advance. 1015, SF. More info here.
SAT/8 LEONCE The production wiz from the ATL is also a queer pioneer with a complex origin story and a dedication to mind warping beats. He plays at the Molly House Records monthly showcase with Club Chai’s FOOZOOL and DaveOMakesBeats. 10pm-4am, $10-$15. The Stud, SF. More info here.
SAT/8 DR. RUBINSTEIN The German hard techno (but fun!) maestro always wows when she comes to town. She’s in with the As You Like It party, also featuring CCL, Lily Ackerman, and Max Gardner. 10pm-4am, $15. Monarch, SF. More info here.
SAT/8 CHULITA VINYL CLUB 100% vinyl, 100% women, 100% cumbia-reggaeton-salsa-EVERYTHING. 10pm-2am, free. The Knockout, SF. More info here.
SAT/8 DUST OFF More post-BM comedown glow-up, this one featuring Stanton Warriors, the storied duo that’s somehow also conquered viral media, which is truly an untold story of our times. Also they do good music. 9pm-3:30am, $15-$20. Public Works, SF. More info here.
SAT/8 POUND PUPPY WITH SPRKLBB Arf! Arf! I adore special and very talented guest SPRKLBB from NYC, playing this queer, scruffy, ruffy monthly party where you can truly “bury your bone.” 10pm-2am, $10. Eagle, SF. More info here.
SAT/8 STUDIO 5’4 ANNIVERSARY Studio 5’4 is a dance party for short guys and the guys who are into them, and let me tell you it is a blessing. For this celebration, there will be sexy go-go monkeys and kooky drag hostesses, plus resident DJs Omnibot and Patty Meltdown playing their favorite soul, funk, disco, and house tracks. 10pm-2am, free. Lonestar, SF. More info here.
SUN/9 AFTER DAWN Morning party! Kind of my favorite—and here’s an observation: it’s weird and wonderful that all the after-afterparties have migrated to North Beach, which seems to be the new End Up? In any case, this post-sunrise rager features our own brilliant Carlos Souffront, Russel E.L. Butler, and Sepehr, so it’s not to be missed. 6am-noon, $10. Monroe, SF. More info here.
PARTY RADAR This week, BFF.fm aka Best Frequencies Forever internet radio is celebrating five years of broadcasting some of the most diverse programming heard outside of a bong-strewn liberal arts college dormitory at 3am. The station is addictive, and the freshest thing in our current weirdly conformist climate is its signal boost of diverse voices. Here’s just one show description: ” Zuha Khan, aka DJ Baqvas of Fractal Chambers weds the global to the local, and feminism from a Muslim perspective, playing on one recent show a traditional Gujarati garba folk song performed in metalcore style, and then ‘Anything’ by Mannequin Pussy.”
So yeah, it’s an entertainment and an education, which is perfect.
Now the station is breaking out of the waves with a series of anniversary events and fundraisers. Fri/31 sees a dance party at Bar Fluxus featuring BFF.fm DJs and friends to benefit the station. On September 7, a birthday bash comes to at Off the Grid Fort Mason Centerfeaturing DJ Cosmic Amanda, Love Jerks, and other bands. And from September 1-30 BFF.fm is building a mini radio station in the window of Artist’s Television Access on Valencia Street, where they’ll air special live radio shows.
“I started the station because I’ve always loved community radio—I joined my college radio station at 17 and never left, until moving to San Francisco in 2012,” station honcho Amanda Guest aka Cosmic Amanda told me. (She was part of WMWM, the Salem State University radio station in Massachusetts, and started BFF.fm in 2013.) “I think it’s really important in highlighting undiscovered and emerging artists and bringing this artists to the forefront. I felt like San Francisco had room for another community radio station, especially featuring new underground music and local acts. And we wanted to broadcast that 24 hours a day.”
“The station has grown beyond whatever we could have imagined it to be,” Cosmic Amanda continued, “because now not only do we have the music, but we provide a platform for so many different diverse voices that represent what the Bay Area is. It’s music but it’s also art, community passion, and all sorts of cool stuff.”
Operating a 24-hour community radio station, even an online one, comes with challenges. BFF.fm is a non-profit and is staffed totally by volunteers from a gorgeously kitsch-filled little room off a “secret alley” in the Mission. (You may have been to some fundraising parties there.) The station relies on listeners to keep the lights on (sound familiar!) and Amanda has been working a full-time remote job as well as running things—until she was laid off a couple month ago. “That really focused me on making BFF a sustainable organization, because I think it’s valuable for the city, and it’s something that I want to be around for a very long time, even beyond my involvement in it.”
SF has a wonderful history of underground and pirate radio (thinking recently of Radio Valencia and KUSF in Exile here), and, as print and news and arts media continue to shrink in SF, BFF.fm is a vital reminder of the amazing diversity and can-do spirit of our fog-shrouded home. Go party and support!
MORE PARTIES OF NOTE
FRI/31 CHOLO GOTH NIGHT Dave Parley of LA’s dark Latino duo Prayers comes in to DJ “new wave, darkwave, industrial and ’90s hip hop” with guest DJ S4NtA MU3rTE of the swell 120 Minutes party. 9pm-2am, $10 advance. Elbo Room, SF. More info here.
FRI/31 SQUIRRELS ON FILM Our leading label for the recently revived psychedelic house sound—part Beat poem, part gothic groove, all lysergic enhancement—is repped here by founders/legends Solar and C.L.A.W.S. at the They’re Here party. 9pm-2am, free before 10, $10 after. Underground SF. More info here.
FRI/31 LAURINE Berlin’s Slow Life collective/label is “a multidisciplinary hispano-italian project built on a commitment which is beyond fashion” has been producing techno DJs who concentrate on rare vinyl, queer spirit, and other curios of quality-gone-by. Slow Life’s Laurine is joined by Seattle’s Flora FM and our own Bezier and Jordee for a night of dancefloor space exploration. 9pm-3:30am, $10-$15. Public Works loft, SF. More info here.
FRI/31 STEREO ARGENTO A drag night that celebrates horror films? You bet your sweet Suspiria. This installment features an original thriller put on by the queens called “Complex”: “Get locked in with Six Tenants in their ’70s Italian Apartment Complex! A Mysterious, Black-Gloved Killer is loose in the building and is out for BLOOD! Watch in HORROR as our tenants drop like flies at the hands of this knife-wielding lunatic! But who could it be??? A Guest? A Stranger? Or perhaps one of the Tenants themselves…” 10pm-3am, $10. The Stud, SF. More info here.
FRI/31 PENCIL SKIRT: A BRIT POP, POST PUNK, INDIE DANCE NIGHT The name says it all at this new party, but the DJs are the real treat: Omar from Popscene, Mario Muse from The Queen is Dead, and the great Chulita Vinyl Club’s Sarah Star Child. 9:30pm-late, $5-$8. Slate Bar, SF. More info here.
FRI/31 BAMBUNOU + RUSSELL EL BUTLER The rad Brouhaha party offers an esoteric pairing of electronic intrigue, with Paris’s genre-bending Bambounou making his SF debut and Oakland’s outspoken Butler doing their fascinating thing live with the machines. 9:30-3:30, $15. F8, SF. More info here.
SAT/1 GO BANG! SYLVESTER TRIBUTE NIGHT Our cutest monthly disco party pays tribute to the ultimate disco diva: grab your glitter shorts and come feel mighty real with special guest DJs Jim Hopkins and Chaka Quan. 9pm-3am, $5 before 10pm, $10 after. The Stud, SF. More info here.
SAT/1 DERRICK CARTER The Chicago high-energy house master pops into Halcyon to slay the soundsystem. With Jon Cummings and Jamie Swing. 10pm-4am, $15-$20. Halcyon, SF. More info here.
SAT/1 BLOODY MARY “EBM, Cold Wave and lots of Techno collide for a very special and ultra dark edition of Lights Down Low. Let your body learn!” Berlin’s Boody Mary joins LA’s Silent Servant and Vancouver’s minimal violence. 10pm-3am, $15-$18. Monarch, SF. More info here.
SAT/1 HARDER BETTER FASTER STRONGER The monthly indie dance night pays tribute to the 2000s with a special installment highlighting the “women of electro/nica”: Bjork, Grimes, Moloko, CHVRCHES, La Roux, and more. 9:30pm-2am, $5-$10. Slate Bar, SF. More info here.
SAT/1 POWERBLOUSE “Juanita More and GlamaMore invite one lucky person to the stage of the Powerhouse for a full-fantasy drag makeover. Watch as they use all of their sacred drag queen powers to tuck, tape, shape, glue and staple this person together. When the vision is complete they will push the newbie onto the stage for their first-ever live lip-sync performance! The magic mascara wand will be casting spells!” With DJ Rolo. 10pm-2am, $5. Powerhouse, SF. More info here.
SUN/2 MHYSA Queer hip-hop party Swagger Like Us its the El Rio patio with lots of vibe and Maryland rapper MHYSA + DJs Boston Cherry, DavOmakesbeats, and JiBBz. 2pm-8pm, $10. El Rio, SF. More info here.
SUN/2 AFTERNOON DELIGHT House and disco music bliss on an Oakland patio? Yes, please. Featuring DJ Paul Goodyear alongside Allen Craig (Moulton Music) with a performance by Mama Celeste. Good times. 3pm-8pm, $20. New Parish, Oakland. More info here.
SUN/2 HONEY SOUNDSYSTEM LABOR DAY PARTY As is tradition, the headliners (from SF and Bristol) are secret, but the support is insanely stellar: The In-Training crew from Cleveland will show you what’s happening to techno in the deep Midwest (expect some lovely contemporary drum ‘n bass) while London’s Siren DJs will insure you take Monday off. 9pm-4am, $25. Audio, SF. More info here.
SUN/2 LIP SERVICE: DISCO GODDESSES Oodles of drag, bucketloads of disco hits, and a club full of fun-seekers? Join Mandy Coco, Vanity, God’s Little Princess, and more for dance floor delights. 10pm-2am, $10. The Stud, SF. More info here.
SUN/2 DUB MISSION WITH ROBERT RANKIN Awesome booming bass party Dub Mission returns for a special engagement with Robert Rankin, who’s “been a reggae and dancehall DJ and Bay Area treasure for over 20 years. In addition to spinning memorable club sets full of roots and dancehall gems, Robert hosts the weekly radio show “Solid Foundation” Friday nights from 6 pm to 9 pm on KKUP/91.5 FM.” With residents DJ Sep and Maneesh the Twister. 9:30pm-2am, $7 advance. Elbo Room, SF. More info here.
TUE/4 JUANITA MORE BIRTHDAY BASH The ever-industrious drag goddess is taking over the restaurant of Jones nightclub—and you know there’s going to be some fried chicken in there! This party celebrates her 30th (ahem) birthday as well as the opening of her new venture. With DJ Rolo and lots of free surprises. 6pm-9pm, free. Jones, SF. More info here.
WED/5 DANCE PARTY BENEFIT FOR THE WEST COUNTY DETENTION COMMUNITY FUND Party to assist ICE-detained individuals! “Come by the Knockout at 9:30pm this Wednesday as we deepen our understanding of the events unfolding at the West County Detention Center, contribute to the West County Community Detention Center Fund, and get our “Soul”idarity on as we dance. Disc Jockeys Paul Costuros (Soul Party), Maria Victoria (Soul Time), DJ Guillermo (Sweater Funk), Bryan Duran (World Ain’t Round). Playing a mix of 60s Soul, Latin Rock, Boogaloo and Cumbia!” 9:30pm-2am, donations requested. The Knockout, SF. More info here.