Queer Burning Man camp Comfort and Joy staged their third Afterglow afterparty at the spacious home of a generous benefactor in the USF neighborhood this past weekend, this time going all out and producing a mini-Trannyshack that featured peformances by both camp members and special guests such as the reigning Miss Trannyshack, Raya Light. The show started well over an hour late and ran about two acts too long, but Raya's performance to Charlene's "I've Never Been to Me" was one of the most amazing and disturbing things I've ever seen, taking full advantage of the "private party" to do some things you could never get away with at The Stud.
Resident DJs Neco D and Lord Kook (also of Drunk and Horny fame) provided the tunes along with guests DJ Mermaid and Xan-X (Ambi-sonic). Neco D laid down a fun, upbeat 80s set, hitting enough well-known tracks to spark nostalgic conversations in the kitchen but also injecting enough unique choices (though I see the t-shirts everywhere, I've not heard Joy Division at a party in a while) to avoid the banality of a This Was the 80s compilation. Faced with what was probably an unexpected "extended" set Neco D soldiered on admirably with support from Lord Kook while the girls got themeslves together, and by the time the show was ready they had such a dancefloor groove going I really wished they had just been able to do away with the show and let us dance. Mermaid took over after the show with a classic disco set that seemed to find general favor with the crowd, but I was too comatose on the couch in the kitchen after eating a brownie to notice much. I was really there to hear Lord Kook, anyway, and after a "command performance" by Erika Kandy Kane I finally got to hear him go on 3.15. Though going on well after the peak and limited to only an hour and fifteen minute set, Lord Kook managed to encompass everything from Modeselektor's "Silikon" to The Infidel's "Love Like Semtex," with enthusiastic and ecstatic (of course) responses from a smaller but hardcore dancefloor. Xan-X picked up from him with more tribal "downtempo" beats from the likes of Sphongle, but this was clearly in prepartion for lowering the flaps and coming down into chillier regions.
The crowd was a terrifically diverse mix of hipsters, Castro clones, bears, faeries, and gay glitterati including Jeff and Gary, John Wood, and Terrance Alan. For the alterna-gay crowd this was clearly the place to be, and after 1.30 the carry-over from Drunk and Horny pushed attendance up close to probably 200 people. As they packed in and the temperature climbed the shirts (and other things) came off. The basement playspace was too hot and too crowded for me to deal with, but clearly that wasn't the case for others. Breakfast champagne was being poured when I left, and a friend reported in at 1PM on Sunday that he, and quite a few other people, were still there.
This was Comfort and Joy's first fundraiser of the season, and word is that they have two more events in planning now, one at a club with two other groups in April, and another for Pink Saturday in June. If you want a party that will remind you of why we love San Francisco, you should check out an Afterglow.