Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Civil Grand Jury Report on San Francisco Entertainment Commission

A civil grand jury has been looking into the policies and effectiveness of San Francisco's Entertainment Commission, and judging from the title of their report, "The San Francisco Entertainment Commission: A Work in Progress," they've not been too impressed with their findings. I skimmed through the report on the SFGov site and it generally seems that no one (including the commissioners) is sure what the commission does, what authority it has over clubs, or what its relationship with the police department is supposed to be. Additionally, they haven't been filing their progress reports, so no one else in the city government knows what's going on, and they don't have performance reviews of the staff or the Executive Director, so there's no accountability either.

This a real shame, since the Entertainment Commission was formed to support clubs and nightlife in San Francisco by taking their permitting and regulation away from the police, who had a vested interest in shutting everything down. As it now stands the Entertainment Commission seems, at best, to have no sense itself of what it can and cannot do, and has not been at all effective in dealing with major issues like the Eastern Neighborhoods zoning proposals, Halloween in the Castro, dealing with issues surrounding street fairs, or even helping to manage situations like the Club Six and Hole in the Wall controversies I reported on some weeks ago. Let's hope this civil grand jury report will shake things up and get the commission to be an effective part of the San Francisco city government.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Event Review: Comfort and Joy's "Lucid Dreams" at The Cinch

On Saturday night Comfort and Joy took over the regular Spunk night at The Cinch on Polk Street for their "Lucid Dreams" party, an auction and raffle event to raise money for the queer Burning Man camp. With blacklight art from resident artist Chickpea, Spunk's regular go-go boys (including one very tasty young man with a green mohawk), big white projection screens on the wall, and classic tunes from DJ Mermaid, The Cinch was more festive than I ever thought possible, and I believe this may have been their largest crowd ever on a Saturday night.

For me Lucid Dreams was mostly about an opportunity to socialize with friends. Though they have an okay DJ set up that you think would mean more dance-oriented events at The Cinch, the actual sound system is, in their own words, "kinda janky," and in the back area, where you have the most room for a dancefloor, the sound comes out of what seem to be old car stereo speakers. Given these pretty severe limitations Mermaid was still able to impart a fun, easy-going mood to the party, and when Juanita Fajita and Winona Juggs toppled up onto the stage for the auction portions of the evening, the crowd was loosened up enough to part with a considerable wad of cash for "experiences" like hanging out with Adrien and Mysterious D of Bootie fame, getting a playa make-over from the Metamorphosis Salon, and a nude photo shoot, among others.

The Cinch is really starting to grow on me as a venue - it's very laid back, I like that there's a back patio area, and the drinks are easily the strongest on Polk Street. There's a punk rock vibe to all the events I've attended there, and I saw scads and scads of queer burners, artsy types, and Polk denizens. It would be nice to see them upgrade their soundsystem and get a little more dancing and less pool shooting in the back area, but in the meantime it remains high on my list of great queer hangouts.

Lucid Dreams Photos by The Boyfriend


The unsinkable Miss Juanita Fajita.






Somehow this photos says it all. Fancy footwear by Misses Juanita Fajita and Winona Juggs.






Ummmm, limber go-go boys. Can I be your back door man?






The devilish DJ Mermaid.

Event Review: Lord Kook, Pup, and Aaron Neonbunny Spin at Naughty

Naughty at the "undisclosed SoMa location" on Friday night was a great little bit of fun, though in our room, the crowd quickly thinned after they'd had enough of using the St. Andrew's cross, and I learned a little bit about what kind of music does and doesn't work in a tag-team situation.

Our DJ appearance at Naughty set a number of firsts - first time that their new DJ rig was used, first time to have live DJs in what was basically the dungeon room, and the first time that I have played in a tag-team situation. As with all firsts, there were some unforeseen complications and outcomes. With the DJ rig, it seemed that no one had considered that turntables need to be grounded, and when they're about two feet away from the mixer on either side, creative solutions need to be found - in our case, scraping some paint off an electrical conduit and affixing the grounding wire with some tape. I guess that turntable DJs are a rarity in this particular venue, since I couldn't reach the turntables themselves while standing at the mixer, a situation that makes it a little difficult to adjust the platter speed while you're mixing in or out. The mixer was a Behringer of a type that I've never used before, and I found the feel of it to be a little clunky.

We were set up in what amounted to a side room, with a double St. Andrew's cross on a stage across from us. The boyfriend and I broke one of them in while Neonbunny took a turn on the tunes, and they got pretty steady usage up until about midnight. We had been told by the promoter that having DJs in this room was something of an experiment, and though we tried several different approaches throughout the evening, it was hard to move the crowd from hanging out and watching the on-stage action to actual dancing. By midnight we had clearly lost the vibe, with some folks stopping by to look in but then heading out into the main dance area, where Shatter was spinning the kind of things he might play at Bondage-A-Go-Go or Substance at The End Up. As with parties of this sort, there are many people who arrive early in the evening to play, and then head out around midnight or so to go home and have actual sex (though there was some real sex action going on in our room as well). I had hoped to bring in a stronger, harder vibe that I thought would appeal to the industrial-oriented crowd, but it was also pretty clear that, in our room at least, it was much more about playing, with less interest in dancing. As long as we could put down a steady beat that you could flog to, the audience was satisfied.

I've not tag-teamed before, and I discovered that much of the music I had brought with me, and my concept of how it worked, depended on my having long stretches of time in which to play it - switching over after three tracks to a different DJ who plays music in a different genre is not conducive to creating the deep techno groove that I usually try for. My first half hour on the decks felt like my best, since I was mixing electro tracks like Solvent's "Radio Ga Ga" and Rex the Dog's "I Look Into Mid-Air" that went well with both Lord Kook and Aaron Neonbunny's music, but later in the evening, when I tried going into Cristen Jost and other artists on the Sender label for a darker, deeper mood, it felt very incongrous and frustrating. I think I played a number of really great tracks, but not being able to get into a consistent sound with the other DJs played a role, I think, in our having such an empty room at 2AM when the party began to wind down.

At the end of the night I enjoyed the chance to come out and DJ, but was disappointed that we had not done a better job of holding that space. The original offer for us to DJ had included getting paid for the night, but, given the lack of energy in our room, plus the fact that the even was also set up as a benefit for one of our acquaintancaes, we declined to take any money for what we had done. Things went over well enough that I think we'll be invited back again, but this time I hope we'll be able to do a better job, now that we also have a better idea of what the venue and crowd are like.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Your Saturday Guide for July 28 2007

My, what a busy night of interesting events! I hope I have the energy to make it through at least a couple of them.

Weeklies and Bar Nights

Drunk and Horny
Sorta like those high school parties you'd wished you'd had. Get drunk, flirt with boys, and dance to good-time party standards. Reliable, easy-going, and a short stumble home. Check out my review of Drunk and Horny.
$5
9PMish - 2.00AM (with maybe an afterparty)
Underground SF, 424 Haight Street x Webster

Frisco Disco at The Transfer
This night just recently started up and I haven't had a chance to check it out yet, but with tunes provided by the likes of Jefrodesiac and Richie Panic, and Lady Meleksah as the cruise director, there's some great potential for a good time.
No cover listed
9.00PM - 2.00AM
The Transfer, Church at Market

Monthlies and One-Offs
The Jaded Gay DJ Recommends: Comfort and Joy Experience Auction Fundraiser at The Cinch
The boys from Comfort and Joy are at it again, this time auctioning off great "experiences" like nude photo shoots, bowling with Miss Trannyshack Raya Light, a limo tour and party experience with Juanita Fajita, make-overs, the list goes on and on! Hosted by Winona Juggs and Juanita Fajita, disco tunes by DJ Mermaid. After party at Score (see below)!
No cover
9.00PM - 2.00AM
The Cinch. 1723 Polk between Clay and Washington

The Jaded Gay DJ Recommends: SCORE!
A new monthly gay boy party featuring a 5000 sq ft "play space" and music for groovin' by Honey Sound System. Bonus: it's 18 and up!
$15 (free water and juice)
12.00AM - 7.00AM
960 Harrison Street between 5th and 6th

The Jaded Gay DJ Recommends: Gentlemen's Techno 5
Oh my, I had an absolute BLAST at the last installment of Gentleman's Techno. With Qzen, Chan Chan, Kelly B., Clawsina, and C.S.A.R. Visuals by That Mold Science.
$5
11.00 PM - ?
3201 3rd Street x Cesar Chavez

Flaming Lotus Girls Party with the Space Cowboys
The Flaming Lotus Girls are taking the Serpent Mother on a world tour and the Space Cowboys are helping them kick it off with a sizzling bar-b-que and party, with the freshly painted Space Cowboys’ UNIMOG and djs.
354 5th Street near Harrison in SOMA
4pm-9pm bbq w/ the Mog outdoors
9pm-2am warehouse party

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Your Friday Guide for July 27, 2007

Is it conflict of interest for me to pimp my own gig here? Well, I've never claimed to be a real journalist, so why not?

Weeklies and Bar Nights

Cosmic Gypsy Happy Hour with DJ Mak at the W Hotel
Get your lounge groove on with DJ Mak in this swank hotel bar.
6PM - 8PM
No cover
W Hotel, 181 3rd Street x Howard

The Jaded Gay DJ Recommends: Charlie Horse at the Cinch
Best place to go out and have a cheap drink while being entertained by drag queen antics. Recently voted Best Drag Show in San Francisco by the SF Weekly! Music by DJ Dirty Knees and Bearzbub is more rock and new-wave oriented, but at least it won't interfere with your conversation. Check out my latest review of Charlie Horse at The Cinch.
9PM - close
NO COVER
The Cinch, 1723 Polk Street (between Clay and Washington)

Fag Fridays at The EndUp
Reliable, not all that exciting, typical San Francisco deep house, but it's gay and you can stay until the next afternoon.
10PM - 6AM, and then Ascension starts up
$20
The End UP, 6th x Harrison

The Jaded Gay DJ Recommends: Lights Down Low at Club 222
This installment features guests Flufftronix and Curtis Vodka, with resident DJs Sleazemore, Rchrd OH! Still smarting a bit from my last excursion there, but I still think this is one of the most fun Friday nights in the city. Check out my previous reviews of Lights Down Low.
10PM - 2AM
$7
Club 222, 222 Hyde Street x Turk

Monthlies and One-Offs

The Jaded Gay DJ Recommends: House of House at The Transfer
The Honey Sound System DJs - Jason Kendig, Robot Hustle, Ken Vulsion, and Pee Play - take you on a tour of the world of House.
9PM - 2AM
FREE
The Transfer, 198 Church x Market

The Jaded Gay DJ Recommends:
Naughty
Come hear yours truly and Lord Kook spin out some tunes for naughty boys and naughty girls.
10PM - 4AM
$15 in advance, $20 at the door
DRESS CODE ENFORCED

Shark Attack!
Residents 0rko, Rubyacht, Starr (Bondage-a-Go-Go), Macro spinning "Electro/Progressive/Techno/Grime/Popdancecrap."
9.30PM - 2AM
FREE before 10, $5 after
Julie's Supper Club, 1123 Folsom x 7th

Starfucker at Deco Lounge
Probably the best club in the 'Loin, though I can't speak to the particulars of this night (yet).
10PM - 2AM
$5 all night.

Mix Download: Honey Sound System DJs

All the boys in the Honey Sound System - Pee Play, Jason Kendig, Ken Vulsion, Robot Hustle, and Derek B (with one on the way from Safety Scissors) - have put out a new set of mixes for your "Summer of Acid" listening pleasure. Check the Sounds link, and watch the site for news of upcoming HSS events.

PS: You can get copies of the mixes on CD, plus a copy of the new "Honey Porn" zine ($10) at their House of House party at The Transfer this Friday. See the Friday Night Guide for July 27 for more info.

Mix Download: Vintage (1995) Gavin Hardkiss Cassette Mix

Thanks to Honey Sound System for putting out this vintage cassette mix from Gavin Hardkiss, circa 1995. The sound quality is a bit off (as you might expect from a twenty-two year-old cassette tape), but this mix definitely harkens back to an earlier era when massive rave monsters like The Orb roamed the earth - you'll hear plenty of dub, some proto-breaks, and overall a very trippy, psychedelic vibe.

Upcoming Event: DJ Pup and Lord Kook Play Naughty, Friday July 27

Yes, that's right, this weekend the boyfriend and I will transform into our superhero identities of DJ Pup and Lord Kook to spin five hours (yes, five hours!) of tunes for Naughty, a regular occurence of decadent behavior and lascivious lounging at "an undisclosed SoMa location." There's a dress code ("What exactly would you wear to bed if you were dressing to impress a special guest?"), a dungeon (whee!), a bar, and, well, naughtiness. We'd love to see some queer boys there so we can have some fun too, so come out and check it out - haven't you been dying for a chance to wear that ensemble from Mr. S?

Naughty
285 9th Street
$15 in advance, $20 at the door
10PM - 4AM
Dress Code Enforced

Monday, July 23, 2007

Upcoming Event: Staple Music with Craig Kuna at Anu, Thursday July 26

Staple Music presents another night of explorations into future house and deep techno this Thursday at Anu, with special guest Craig Kuna of Kontrol and residents DJ Javaight and Fil Latorre.

Staple Music Presents Sabotage, with guest Craig Kuna
Club Anu, 43 6th Street (between Market and Mission)
9PM - 2AM
NO COVER

Event Review: Stiffylube Fundraiser

A sex party is always a tricky proposition, one that can bring up all the anxieties inherent in bar cruising and amplify them by a factor of ten – what if I don’t hook up, what if nobody is into me, what if I’m not into anybody there? Fortunately, Stiffy Lube’s “Bad Men and Dirty Boys” fundraising event on Saturday night was able to walk the line between party and orgy, with considerable support on the party side from the Honey Sound System and the MC talents of Juanita Fajita, so that everyone had the chance for some satisfaction, whether in the arms of passion or just having an opportunity to hang out and enjoy the small crowd of gay Burners and party boys.

The boyfriend and I showed up around 10, and as usual were among the first people there. We left around four, after spending a couple hours on the door shift, and there were no signs that the party was heading for any kind of end. In the back room there was plenty of heavy breathing and other sounds of passion, while up front it was a pretty typical party scene, though with more shirtless guys than I have seen in a while. The crowd was small, some where around a hundred, but there was enough enthusiastic cheering during the deep throat contest, overseen by Juanita Fajita, that the cops showed up and told us to keep it down. Pee Play and Ken Vulsion kept the mood upbeat and festive throughout the night, and as the evening wore on I saw a number of queer luminaries, like John Wood, and Jeff and Gary, in attendance.

In all, it was a fun party in a private space, something you don’t often get to experience these days, and having so many attendees who were connected by the Burning Man experience meant that there was already a kind of built-in intimacy. The fact that it was in a difficult-to-reach location (that the boyfriend and I had to trek down most of upper Market to the Castro before we could get a cab after we left was a big bring-down) kept the attendance lower than it would have been otherwise, and $20 for showing up in street clothes, and then paying $3 a pop for drink tickets, also made it somewhat cost-prohibitive for those showing up after having spent regular bar hours elsewhere, but I think the Stiffylube crew can count themselves as having had a quite successful fundraiser that will only whet the appetite for future events.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Bar Review: The Pilsner Inn

I have many fond memories of the Pilsner Inn at Church and Market - it was the first Castro bar I came to when I moved here in 1999, and it was the first Castro bar in which someone picked me up (leading to my first hung-over stagger home after waking up in my trick's apartment at 6AM). That night I met Warren, who continues to pour drinks there, and it's the bar I took my Mom to when she came to visit in 2003 and I wanted a place she could hang out and meet my friends.

All these things might give you some picture of the Pilsner as both a typical gay bar, scene of typical gay bar activities, and something akin to Cheers, where you can go and have a pleasant drink with your Mom. In fact, it seems that in the eight years I've been going there, the Pilsner has gone through a number of shifts, starting out as a bit of a hipster bar, then evolving into the waiting room for Chow, and now I notice large influx of lesbian clientele, mostly of the lipstick variety. I think this is largely reflective of the changing demographics of this neighborhood, where the Mission, Castro, and Duboce Triangle meet. Today the Pilsner seems to have more the contours of a neighborhood sports bar, and I don't fancy what my luck would be now if I sat at the bar and had a few drinks to myself (but maybe that's because I'm not quite the cute, young, fresh meat I was eight years ago).

Of course, the absolute best feature of the Pilsner, and the reason I've made it my standard watering hole, is the back patio area. This too has undergone significant improvement over the years and now, in warm weather and cold, it provides a comfortable garden spot to have a leisurely evening's tipple. This is where the younger crowd tends to hang out, and on more than one occasion the boyfriend and I have had pleasant conversation with strangers or someone we know.

The Pilsner doesn't have the mad action of a Castro bar, nor it is as overrun with boys and their hags as say, The Cafe or The Bar. You might meet someone here, chat them up, and then find yourself in a stranger's bed, but it's more likely that you'll come here with a group of friends to have a drink on your way elsewhere, or that you'll be in the neighborhood and decide to pop in for a beer and a smoke after work. Rather than a place to go and get your groove on, or troll for pick-up action, the Pilsner is that rare kind of bar that's simpley a place to go and relax.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Upcoming Event: The Workout at The House of Shields, Thursday July 19 (TONIGHT)

Oh crap, I've been so wrapped up in all my moving angst that I COMPLETELY forgot about The Workout at House of Shields tonight! Okay, here's the dope news:

Buddy Leezle performing live
Guest DJ LL Cool DJ
with residents Johnatron and Pozibelle
9PM - 2AM
$5
House of Shields, 39 New Montgomery Street at Market

Check out my last review of The Workout in their new space.

Your Saturday Guide for July 21, 2007

Oh boy, a little gay underground BM fundraiser for the infamous StiffyLube camp. Maybe I'll see you there, if you can recognize me NAKED!

Spunk
This new party at The Cinch features "electro-burlesque," "filthy go-go boys" and "circus acts." Well, that's quite a bit of entertainment right there. With DJ Malakai, I believe that they're going for an electro groove, and this is a fun place to hang out on the Polkstrasse, so go check it out for something different.
9PM - Close (whatever that means)
No cover listed
The Cinch, 1723 Polk between Clay and Washington


Drunk and Horny
Sorta like those high school parties you'd wished you'd had. Get drunk, flirt with boys, and dance to good-time party standards. Reliable, easy-going, and a short stumble home. Check out my review of Drunk and Horny.
$5
9PMish - 2.00AM (with maybe an afterparty)
Underground SF, 424 Haight Street x Webster

Frisco Disco at The Transfer
This night just recently started up and I haven't had a chance to check it out yet, but with tunes provided by the likes of Jefrodesiac and Richie Panic, and Lady Meleksah as the cruise director, there's some great potential for a good time. This Saturday is even Richie Panic's birthday!
No cover listed
9.00PM - 2.00AM
The Transfer, Church at Market

Monthlies and One-Offs

The Jaded Gay DJ Recommends:
StiffyLube Fundraiser - "Hot Men and Dirty Boys"
Okay, I don't know if this party needs any more description, the title says it all. Buuuuutt there's more - a bar, music by Honey Sound System, a hot tub, yeah baby, that's what I'm talkin' about. Dress to impress, then undress!
Location TBA at the website (but I know it's a swank private residence)
All Night
$10 in uniforms or playa wear, $20 in street clothes

Kompakt's The Field at RxGallery with Broker/Dealer
A little German techno with a side of local talent for your Saturday night? Check out The Field with Broker/Dealer DJing at the Rx, the best little space in the worst little block of the 'Loin.
9PM - 2AM
$12 - $15 at the door
RxGallery, 132 Eddy at Mason

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Your Friday Guide for July 20, 2007

Oh man, what a crazy week this has been kids - especially when I had to write a $2000 check for an apartment deposit. So, dunno where yet, but you can bet I'll be out at one of these nights having a couple stiff drinks and thinking about just how expensive a proposition moving can be.

Weeklies and Bar Nights

Cosmic Gypsy Happy Hour with DJ Mak at the W Hotel
Get your lounge groove on with DJ Mak in this swank hotel bar.
6PM - 8PM
No cover
W Hotel, 181 3rd Street x Howard

The Jaded Gay DJ Recommends: Charlie Horse at the Cinch
Best place to go out and have a cheap drink while being entertained by drag queen antics. Recently voted Best Drag Show in San Francisco by the SF Weekly! Music by DJ Dirty Knees and Bearzbub is more rock and new-wave oriented, but at least it won't interfere with your conversation. Check out my latest review of Charlie Horse at The Cinch.
9PM - close
NO COVER
1723 Polk Street (btwn Clay and Washington)

Fag Fridays at The EndUp
Reliable, not all that exciting, typical San Francisco deep house, but it's gay and you can stay until the next afternoon.
10PM - 6AM, and then Ascension starts up
$20
6th and Harrison

Monthlies and One-Offs

Glitterbox at The Cat Club
The creators of the legendary Litterbox bring it back to The Cat Club with this "funkpunk thrash electro discotheque." This month's there's a Kiki and Herb look-alike contest, judged by the Broadway luminaries themselves. DJs Natureboy and Junkyard.
9.30PM - 3AM
$10
The Cat Club, 1190 Folsom at 8th

Blow-Up at The Rickshaw Stop
Jefrodesiac (Frisco Disco) and Emily Betty mix it up with Guest Hostess Disco Nat, Vin Sole and Morse Code on the tag-team decks, and DJ sets from the Lovemakers and Richie Panic, with a live set from Milwaukee's Code Breakers. Whew!
9PM - 2AM
FREE before 10PM, $12 if you're 18+ (ooooh, youngsters!), $10 otherwise after 10PM
The Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell at Van Ness

MightyBreaks: Show Your Colors, A Burning Man Pep Rally at Mighty
A pre-burning man warmup with all of your favorite crews. Wear the color of your favorite crew and show your support. Multiple challenge arenas of arm wrestling, drinking games, dance contests and more! Featuring the crews that you can't wait to here out *there*
SPACE COWBOYS - Orange - with 8ball, Mancub, Brad Robinson, & rrrus on the Mog
SEISMIC - Red - Murphstar
HOUSE OF LOTUS - Blue - DJ Beth Murphy
DEEP END - Pink - Zach Moore
GARAGE MAHAL - Green - JIVE!
OPULENT TEMPLE - White - Syd Gris
THE FRINGE - Purple - MoPo and DJ Friends
10PM - 4AM
$10
Mighty, 119 Utah Street


Monday, July 16, 2007

Event Review: Tea with Honey at The Transfer

Sometimes it takes a whole weekend to get it right, to catch the right vibe, to find yourself in a state where you're not thinking, or analyzing, or planning, but are finally caught up in the energy of the moment, lost in dancing, staying much later than you had planned on because it's all come together in such a way that you don't want to leave. Tea with Honey at The Transfer, the first attempt at a t-dance by the Honey Sound System crew of Pee Play, Ken Vulsion, and Robot Hustle, with special guest appearances by Safety Scissors and Gavin Hardkiss, was the perfect capper to a long weekend and probably the very best expression of the Sunday evening party that I have experienced in a long time.

I love the concept of the Sunday t-dance, something that starts late in the afternoon and ends around midnight. It's one last chance to go out, be social, dance, and drink before the work week begins, and since it's Sunday chances are there's not much that requires your attention beyond what you'll slot up in the DVD player. It starts early enough that you can go and leave and still get a good night's sleep, or if you're lucky to have Monday off, you can stay out a little late and feel naughty. And then there's the special element of Sunday evening music; chances are everybody has had enough of the high-energy approach by that point, what you want is something fun and easy-going, something that will move you onto the dancefloor but recognizes that, after a hard weekend of partying, you're probably not going to be looking for a serious aerobic workout. I think that Sunday evenings are when deep house truly reigns supreme, because it lets you groove and be mellow at the same time.

The boyfriend and I showed up at The Transfer a little after six, when the crowd was mainly barflies and a few folks who had come along to support the Honey Sound System. We got to chat a bit with Pee Play and got a copy of the Honey Sound System 'zine; if their musical talent wasn't enough reason to hate them, now they've got the visual thing going as well. Robot Hustle was playing ItaloDisco, a genre I generally don't care for but, here on this Sunday afternoon, seemed especially fitting for the mood. A few folks straggled in, but it wasn't until around 7, when Ken Vulsion took to the decks, that the energy really began to build - I guess everyone got home from the Eagle, powdered their noses, and made their way to the party.

Then, at 8, Gavin Hardkiss took to the decks and things really took off. Up until this point I've not really understood The Transfer as a dance space, but there I was, getting down and loving it. For the first time all weekend I was actually having fun, and Gavin did a bangin' job of keeping the mood upbeat and energetic with just a dash of the techy thrown in to keep it all interesting. The boyfriend got drunk and behaved in the most light-hearted way I've seen in weeks (and took some ah, revealing, photos in the photobooth ), one of our friends came to join us and danced like a madman, there were faerie boys and Burners and even a pirate in attendance. I spotted a few young starlets like Leo Herrera in the crowd, and the word "fabulous" tripped easily from the lips. The only downer was when someone stole a CD I had left up on one of the drink shelves, but I already had it burned to iTunes, so who cares?

We left around 10.30, before I had a chance to hear Safety Scisssors and Pee Play, but with the way these kids are taking off I'm sure I'll have multiple more opportunities. I know that they're planning a "House of House" party at The Transfer on the 27th, which I will be sure to attend, and you should mark your calendar as well. As our friend, Jimmy, said, these are certain to be the "It boys" of the gay party scene for a while, so come out and hear them now so you can say "I remember when they used to have those crazy parties at The Transfer."

Gavin Hardkiss demonstrates his fretting technique.









Ken Vulsion, Pee Play, and Leo Herrera get the boogie fever.







Ken Vulsion practices warding off the paparazzi.








Did I mention that there were pirates?







Event Review: Low End Saturday at The Retox Lounge

If you could pick up The Retox Lounge and set it down in, say, Hayes Valley, and you had Low End Saturday as your main draw, you'd have a club night that would be so crowded you probably couldn't get through the doors. As it is, the remote location of the club, along with its somewhat schizophrenic approach to music booking, keeps a night that has everything going for it - nice ambience, good music, strong drinks - from blowing up the way it should.

After our terrible Friday night experience the boyfriend and I really wanted to just go out, have some drinks with friends, and chill. Since we were able to convince our friend J and his boyfriend to come out with us, we had access to a car, so we elected to check out the Low End Saturday monthly thrown by the Bay Area Beat Drop kids at The Retox, which is waaaaaay out at the end of 20th Street at the corner of 20th and Illinois. Don't be suprised that you don't know where this is, because there is absolutely nothing in the vicinity, though it's only two blocks from the new T-Third rail line.

The Retox is a pretty basic box of a bar, though it's furnished with comfy seating up front - during weekdays I'm sure it must do pretty well with a happy hour crowd from surrounding businesses. To our surprise it also has a downstairs, where we found a blues band in full sweat, but we had to pay a $5 cover if we wanted to hang out down there. Instead we got drinks upstairs and perched ourselves on some lounge seating. For the better part of an hour we seemed to be the only patrons who weren't somehow associated with BABD, aside from the folks who went straight down to the blues room. Kontakt was on the decks and I really enjoyed his set of deep, occasionally dark, minimal techno - the boyfriend found it a bit too abstract at times for his taste, but every time I came to a pause in my conversation I found myself being drawn back into listening to the music, and I would have happily sat at the bar all by my lonesome for a couple hours and have done just that.

We hung out for about two hours, and though there were a few more folks who came in, I don't think there were ever more than about twenty people in the whole upstairs. By booking in bands for the basement that have absolutely nothing in common with techno, the bar management is effectively dooming this night for BABD - they need to get their sound exposed to a larger group of people who will appreciate it, and that sure isn't going to be the kind of crowd that worships bands with three guitarists. And, unfortunately, with so many other things going on in places that are more easily accessed by those without motor vehicles, it's hard to make the case for schlepping out to a bar in the hinterlands - the music is great, but there needs to be more energy to make this a worthwhile evening's destination. If BABD could join forces with another techno or electro group that could take over the basement space for the evening, I think they could have a killer upstairs chill/downstairs dance party that would bring out a bigger crowd, get them more of the exposure that they deserve, and maybe make the case that it's worth taking the trouble to go off the beaten path every now and then to discover something new and innovative. I wish BABD good luck with Low End Saturdays, they certainly deserve it, but I don't fancy their chances with the current situation.

Event Review: Lights Down Low v. Charlie Horse

Sometimes you just can't win - you've hard a hard week and you're ready to go out and lose some of your cares, you pick a night where you've had good times before, but after that the world seems to conspire against you, telling you that, this time, you're in the wrong place at the wrong time. That was the experience the boyfriend and I had this last Friday at Lights Down Low at Club 222.

This past week had seen some significant tremors shaking the foundations of our worlds - for me, it was a big shake-up at work that found me reporting to a new and unknown manager, while the boyfriend found out on Thursday that he had to vacate his apartment that he's been sharing for three years because his deadbeat housemates had been late on the rent one too many times. We scrambled around, took off work Friday morning and started apartment hunting. The whole day Friday we were both a mess of distraction and fretfullness, generally out-of-sorts and feeling thrown to the wolves. We both needed to get out and relax, but then the boyfriend was also anxious about being out late and drinking the night before a training run (he's running in the Seattle half-marathon at Thanksgiving with his step-mother and sister). In hindsight we'd probably have been better off having drinks at the Pilsner and playing XBox, but then we had an actual invitation, and supposed guest-list passes, to Lights Down Low, so we figured we'd play through since we'd had fun there before.

My first instinct for Friday had been to check out Sweet 16 at Mighty with C.L.A.W.S. and the other underground techno kids of that circle, but, in the middle of the week, I got an email from DJ Sleazemore of LDL thanking me for supporting them in my reviews and inviting us to come this Friday, along with a mention of putting me on the guest list. I gave him my real name, but, lo and behold, we show up and there's no one with my particular set of unprounounceable Germanic syllables on the list. Bad Sign Number One. Bad Sign Number Two is that the cover is now $7 - this is a bad pricepoint kids, because no night that is really about a group of people getting together in a small Tenderloin bar and playing music is worth more than $5 - more than that and you're over-reaching. We walked in feeling mildly irritated with the world, and now were feeling positiviely peevish.

We hung out and had a couple drinks, then went outside for a bit while the boyfriend had a smoke, during which time Bad Sign Number Three occurred - someone threw a bottle of Hennesy at us from a window in the building either above or next to the club, missing us by about five feet. Nothing makes you feel welcome like having a bottle of liquor hurled in your general direction.

We went back in and found a seat in the small niche on the back of the dancefloor, and after another drink were starting to relax, though our conversation was focused on whether or not party nights are really all that important to the culture of the world, with the boyfriend being of the now dour opinion that it was all really vapid and stupid. I was trying to argue to the contrary when Bad Sign Number Four occurred (and somewhat undercut my argument).

Four kids, two boys and two girls (and I believe one of the boys may have been part of the LDL crew), came back and formed a kind of screen at the opening of our little seating enclosure, with their backs to the outside crowd. I watched as the girl began trying to "nonchalantly" fish something out of her bag. Instantly the boyfriend I both figured out what was up, and were pretty amused. Then the girl came and sat beside me - though it was barely enough room for her to plant her butt, there was no "hi," "excuse me," or anything else, even when I smiled and said "hi" to her. She continued to dig in her bag, and then one of the boys undid the lightbulb that lit our area, so we were sitting in the dark as the girl once again stood with the boys. And then we saw what she had taken from her bag, and it made the rounds of all four people while they were facing directly at us. Now kids, if you are going to do bumps in front of other people and not offer them any, that's just rude - remember back in grade school when you were told not to pull out your chewing gum unless you had enough to offer everyone a piece? Same principle applies here. Neither of us would have done any (well, I might have), but there's nothing to make you feel quite so small as to have people blantently doing drugs right in front of you, as though you are way too insignificant to be of any threat, or even interest, to them, especially when one of them is probably associated with the event itself. As soon as they left (without even bothering to screw the lightbulb back in, mind you - sorry we took up the "reserved area," next time we'll sit with the rest of hoi polloi), we decided that it was time to make our exit as well - we had already heard Sleazemore's set, which hadn't appealed to either of us, and while the boyfriend recognized several tracks that he liked in Rchrd OH!'s set, we decided to cut our losses and head up to Charlie Horse at The Cinch.

When we left the club we were almost trampled by six Latino guys running down the street in pursuit of someone, and then a moment later another bottle was thrown down onto the street. Okay, okay, we get the message already, I thought. We wandered up through the 'Loin to Polk and Washington, stopping for pizza along the way, and in the vicinity of The Hemlock Tavern overheard a Marina chick in heels say "I'm so glad they're starting to clean this area up." Us too, honey. We got to The Cinch just in time to catch the show, get ass-grabbed by Juanita Fajita, and have a couple laughs that lightened our mood.

So there you have it, a tale of how you can start out with the best of intentions and have everything wind up kind of shitty, so that, in the end, you're better off going with the easy and predictable. I still like Lights Down Low and think it has great fun potential - there were loads of kids having a good time on the dancefloor when we left, though I felt like it was more a party of people who knew each other already rather than a danceclub that was for everyone; there are more cute boys of the complicated haircut and black eyeliner sort than you can shake a stick at; it's getting gayer and gayer all the time; and though the music on this outing put me more in mind of The Cafe than the edgy electro I've heard there before, I still think it's a good place to go and get in touch with a different aesthetic - but on this particular occasion it was a strike-out. If it hadn't been for Juanita getting all flirty with me at The Cinch, I might have ended this Friday feeling pretty non-existant, and that sure isn't the reason I, or anyone else, likes to go out. And kids, if you're going to do drugs in clubs, do them in the bathroom, okay? That's what they're there for.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Mix to Download: Girls Night Out by Richie Panic and Goldchains

Richie Panic of the Frisco Disco at the Transfer, and local legend Gold Chains, have been teaming up to create these mixes for "drinking and driving and getting ready for the clubs." They've been hard at work making their edits and other tweaks to all these tunes, so you all should find plenty here to get you in da mood.

Richie Panic and Gold Chains Present "Girls Night Out"

Your Saturday Guide for July 14, 2007

Sorry so late with the info, kids, the boyfriend and I are in the midst of some kraaaazzy apartment hunting after his deadbeat roommates were late with the rent yet again, leading the landlord to request that they please leave before he serves them with an eviction notice. So, if you know of any swell two-bedrooms where we can practice our beats for under $2400, drop me an email.

Weeklies and Bar Nights

Spunk
This new party at The Cinch features "electro-burlesque," "filthy go-go boys" and "circus acts." Well, that's quite a bit of entertainment right there. With DJ Malakai, I believe that they're going for an electro groove, and this is a fun place to hang out on the Polkstrasse, so go check it out for something different.
9PM - Close (whatever that means)
No cover listed
The Cinch, 1723 Polk between Clay and Washington


Drunk and Horny
Sorta like those high school parties you'd wished you'd had. Get drunk, flirt with boys, and dance to good-time party standards. Reliable, easy-going, and a short stumble home. Check out my review of Drunk and Horny.
$5
9PMish - 2.00AM (with maybe an afterparty)
Underground SF, 424 Haight Street x Webster

Frisco Disco at The Transfer
This night just recently started up and I haven't had a chance to check it out yet, but with tunes provided by the likes of Jefrodesiac and Richie Panic, and Lady Meleksah as the cruise director, there's some great potential for a good time. This Saturday is even Richie Panic's birthday!
No cover listed
9.00PM - 2.00AM
The Transfer, Church at Market

Monthlies and One-Offs

Bay Area Beatdrop presents Low End Saturday at Retox Lounge
I think after a hard weekend of apartment hunting this might be just the ticket. Kontakt will be spinning a five minimal techno hour set, and I hear that drinks are cheap and strong.
NO COVER
9PM - 2AM
Retox Lounge, 628 20th at 3rd

Lush Summernight's Dream with Capsula and Kyma Stream
An all-night journy into psychedelic downtempo and chill with Capsula, Kyma Stream, Saturnia, and others. Fruit and other refreshements will be served.
No cover listed
10PM - 6AM
58 Tehama Street between 1st and 2nd

Murphstar's Birthday at Temple
Come help a Space Cowboy celebrate his birthday at the re-opening of one of San Francisco's most famous clubs, Temple. The theme is "Come as You Were," so dress like you were 10, 20, or more years ago (jeez, I don't know if I still have any of my old goth gear). Space Cowboys DJs plus resident John Howard, two rooms of music including DnB in the Catacombs!
FREE before 11, $10 afterwards
10PM - 4AM
Temple, 55 Natoma Street

Apocalypse! End-of-the-World Fundraiser for the Fandango Burning Man Camp at the Porn Palace
DJs from Friends and Family, Ambient Mafia, Fandango, and others will be spinning deep techno, funk, disco, and whatever else they want at this fundraiser for the Fandango camp. Two rooms!
$10 - 20 in advance via PayPal to fandangoparty@gmail.com
$20 at the door
9PM - 2AM
The Porn Palace, 415 Jessie Street

Thursday, July 12, 2007

I'm Sorry, Can You Repeat That?

We've all had that experience of coming home from a party or show with that faint ringing in our ears, but we all ignore it and pretend that it isn't *really* another marker on the road to hearing loss, right? Well, after a recent installment of Gentleman's Techno I woke up on Sunday morning and realized that I couldn't hear too well in my right ear, and lately I've come to notice that it's more difficult to follow conversations in loud bars. And then there's that lovely ringing sound that comes up every now and then. So yes, kids, I can tell you that eventually your little cilia will die horrible deaths too, unless you get some good ear protection. For the rest of us, though, there's a whole new "chic" hearing aid industry cropping up, according to this article in the New York Times. However, now they're referred to as "personal communications assistants" and come in colors like Pure Passion and Creme Brulee. Some will even interface with your cellphone or MP3 player, making them hearing-enhancing headsets. Me, I'm figuring in another ten years they'll just implant the damn things, and I can socket in whatever device I want to use.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Your Friday Guide for July 13, 2007

Wow, 7-7-07 last weekend, and Friday the 13th this one - truly 2007 is a year of great numerological significance.

Weeklies and Bar Nights

Cosmic Gypsy Happy Hour with DJ Mak at the W Hotel
Get your lounge groove on with DJ Mak in this swank hotel bar.
6PM - 8PM
No cover
W Hotel, 181 3rd Street x Howard

The Jaded Gay DJ Recommends: Charlie Horse at the Cinch
Best place to go out and have a cheap drink while being entertained by drag queen antics. Recently voted Best Drag Show in San Francisco by the SF Weekly! Music by DJ Dirty Knees and Bearzbub is more rock and new-wave oriented, but at least it won't interfere with your conversation. Check out my latest review of Charlie Horse at The Cinch.
9PM - close
NO COVER
1723 Polk Street (btwn Clay and Washington)

Fag Fridays at The EndUp
Reliable, not all that exciting, typical San Francisco deep house, but it's gay and you can stay until the next afternoon.
10PM - 6AM, and then Ascension starts up
$20
6th and Harrison

The Jaded Gay DJ Recommends: Lights Down Low at Club 222
This installment features guests Le Castlevania and Blake Miller, with resident DJs Sleazemore, Rchrd OH!. Five bucks, swell space, fun kids, what the hell more do you want on a Friday night? Check out my previous review of Lights Down Low.
10PM - 2AM
$5
222 Hyde Street at Turk

Monthlies and One-Offs

Ginormous at The Rickshaw Stop
A new techno monthly with residents Alland Byallo (Kontrol), Christian Martin (Dirty Bird), Dave Aju, and Jason Short.
10PM - 2AM
$7
The Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell at Van Nexx

The Rod at Deco Lounge
For all the gay boys who want to pretend that it's 1979. Unfortunately, I'm not one of them. Check out my review of The Rod.
10PM - 4AM
FREE before 10PM, $5 After
Deco Lounge, 510 Larkin at Turk

The Jaded Gay DJ Recommends: Sweeet 16 at Mighty
A veritable smorgasbord of San Francisco underground techno and electro talent with C.L.A.W.S., Jefrodesiac and Richie Panic(Frisco Disco), Omar (Popscene), Safety Scissors, Lemonade, OonceOonce, and more. Sure to be packed with the technorati.
10Pm - 4AM
$5 before 11, $8 afterwards
Mighty, 119 Utah Street at 15th

Upcoming Event: Kontrol v. Bunker in NYC, July 20

Continuing with their trans-continental pollination, the Bunker boys of New York will be hosting our local favorites Alland Byallo, Craig Kuna, and Sammy D at the Galapagos Club in Brooklyn on July 20th. If you're travelling to NY, or are already there, you should check it out for a great evening of techno from two super collectives.

More on Dancehall and Homophobia

According to this Planet Out article on Yahoo, it seems that the situation for gays and lesbians is getting even worse in Jamaica, and dancehall culture has a lot to do with it, despite the Reggae Compassionate act recently signed by leading artists Capleton, Sizzla, and Beenie Man. I knew a long time ago that, despite its embrace of the ganja, and its embrace by frat boys across the land, Rastafarianism was ultimately a fundamentalist religion that shared many traits with its American equivalent. Given its connection to this kind of intolerance, I wonder how anyone can support this scene and its music? I guess so long as you get to smoke a blunt with your buddies, it doesn't matter. Here's the killer quote:

Sociologist Orville Taylor suggested the situation could get worse before improving.

"The majority of people in this country are not pro-gay. The gays are fighting a losing battle. If it comes to a confrontation, the gay community and the acceptance level is going to be set back decades because it is a battle that people who are on their side and in strategic positions are not willing to fight," Taylor said.

"The kind of antipathies which have existed are now open hostilities. The gay community has taken on the dancehall culture, and when you take on the dancehall culture, you take on almost an entire population.

"And it is the dancehall population that wins and loses elections, and the politicians know this."

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Upcoming Event: Tea with Honey T-Dance, Sunday July 15

Honey with Tea: A Tea Dance with Honey Sound System and Special Guest Gavin Hardkiss!

Fresh off his appearance at Supperclub on Saturday night, Gavin Hardkiss will join Honey Sound System DJs Ken Vulsion and Pee Play, as well as Robot Hustle and Safety Scissors, for a tea dance at The Transfer.

6PM - 12AM
No Cover Listed
The Transfer, Church and Market Streets

Monday, July 9, 2007

Take Your Medicine

This past weekend I completed my annual Filial Piety Tour back to Charlottesville, Virginia. On the occasion of this year’s pilgrimage back to my roots there was the usual amount of resentment at having to undertake this grueling trek as well as having to take time out of my busy San Francisco social life, though this time that general resentment was also leavened with some specific dread over the condition of my step-father following his massive heart attack, as well as the conditions under which my grandmother now lives following the death of my grandfather and her having to move into a nursing home. As it turned out nothing was as bad as I thought it would be, to echo my Grandmother’s assessment of her situation, and now that my nephew, Joel, and my niece, Alexis, are old enough to have personalities, I was able to derive some enjoyment from at last being able to play the role of corrupting Uncle that I have so longed for.

I could spend this whole blog entry enumerating the ways in which Charlottesville offends my sensibilities, from the preponderance of eatertainment establishments to all the guys clad in the frat boy uniform of Birkenstocks, khaki shorts, polo shirts, and baseball caps, to the craven politics of the NPR horse-farm bourgeoisie, but that would miss the point of these trips, which have more to do with family than any of the usual reasons I travel outside of my Northern California bubble. Much of my resentment over these trips stems from my experience of trying to have a social life in this land of white-haired Republican CEOs and jam-band aficionados, and having to leave behind what I’ve built for myself in San Francisco for this cultural wasteland, even if it’s only for the span of a few days. What I finally realized on this trip, though, is that none of that should really concern me any more, since it is to San Francisco that I do eventually return.

Just as I’ve been able to gradually give up a general loathing for my family’s city of residence, I’ve also developed a greater appreciation for the time I spend with my family, especially since my niece and nephew have finally reached an age (7 and 9, respectively) where I’m able to interact with their nascent personalities (I have a second niece as well, but her vocabulary is presently limited to the word “mine!”). At long last I get to be as avuncular as I want to be, indulging their interests, taking them to bookstores and skate shops, and engaging them in conversation on topics as diverse as tattoos, piercings, gangs, how I met the boyfriend, and other things that my sister and her husband are either unable or unwilling to talk about (while sex and drugs have not yet been broached, they certainly loom on the near horizon). I spent an enjoyable evening sitting on the front porch with Joel, tuning his new half-size Gibson electric guitar and explaining a few music fundamentals to him (and correcting his friend’s assertion that Djing is all about showing up and setting up your gear), and sitting in the Starbucks cafĂ© at the local Barnes and Noble with Alexis as she read to me from a copy of Maurice Sendak’s Chicken Soup with Rice that I had just bought here. My prediction is that Joel will turn to an artistic path of some sort, while Alexis, with her love of wordplay and her ability to call bullshit on you with just a cock of her eyebrow, will be the family intellectual.

My step-father and Grandmother, both having recently found themselves in positions of that required them to deal with their own mortality, provided a contrast to the life blooming within Joel and Alexis. After surviving a heart attack, and surgery, that all the medical specialists thought should have done him in, my step-father continues to exhibit his characteristic laconic wit, and on Saturday we awoke to find him manning the leaf-blower in the back-yard. At the same time, he has lost 35 pounds off an already thin frame, regards it as an accomplishment that he can walk a half-mile to the end of our road, and has to sit in the back seat on trips to doctor’s appointments – the wire sutures holding his chest together could break if he was sitting in the front seat when the airbag went off. Though not the sort to make any outward show of it, I can tell that there are large questions weighing upon his mind concerning the path of his life now that he can no longer continue on with the kind of grueling physical work he did as a underground electrical line construction supervisor. The shadow of the Grim Reaper passed over him, and I believe he caught a chill that it is going to take a while to shake off. My Grandmother, meanwhile, is adjusting as well as can be expected to her new residence in a nursing home, aided, in some degree, by the Aricept prescribed for her failing memory and mental faculties. She says that the situation is not as bad as she thought it would be, and I would say that the home is not the Bedlam I expected, though it did lead me to reflect that we are more humane towards our pets at the end of their days than we are to other human beings. I had a pleasant enough afternoon with her, eating lunch and then taking a drive in the countryside, but her mind is clearly fading, and we looped back upon the same four or five topics of conversation during our time together. However, I can also see that the mental storehouse is being cleared, and many things unknown to my mother and myself are finally seeing the light of day after decades of being hidden away, including some information that leads to the strong conclusion that my Grandfather was probably homosexual – this makes sense of many things, but it also makes my Grandfather’s silence about his personal feelings, which I always took as a general reticence to engage in unmanly talk of emotions, a sign of a greater personal tragedy. All was well with my grandmother until the night of my departure, when she called me, and in between sobs of great emotion, told me she loved me and had forgotten how much I mean to her. My mother told me that my Grandmother is afraid that she will forget me, as she has forgotten my Grandfather’s face and the sound of his voice in only four months, and that she won’t see me again, either owing to her own death or her inability to recognize me when I make my next visit. As someone who believes that there is always a solution to every crisis, and who will do almost anything I can to save someone I care about from physical or mental pain, it’s difficult to deal with a situation like this in which I am powerless to do anything except send cards, and make phone calls, that I hope will provide a temporary buffer against inexorable physical processes.

I may resent my trips home because they take me away from things I want to do here, but in retrospect I think it’s more important to have these messy encounters with the passages of life, and my own roots, than it is to have yet another roll at Kontrol. It seems that almost everyone in San Francisco comes here from someplace else, a city full of seekers and those anxious to re-invent themselves, gay boys escaping the cultural oppression of their small towns, kids out of college seeking their fortunes, artists and freaks who come here seeking fertile grounds for self-expression. We are a city populated by those looking to make something of themselves, and that's a large part of what brought and keeps me here, but in the process of building our worlds it’s easy to mistake our personal constructions, our social cliques, our career maneuvers, for being the sum total of reality, rather than just as a set of toys we get to play with while we’re here. Going back to Virginia is like a taking a tonic so powerful, so restorative to my mental and emotional perceptions, that taking it more than once a year runs the risk of making all that I believe is so important here seem, at best, the trifling conceits of a self-centered child.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Your Saturday Guide for July 8, 2007

Weeklies and Bar Nights

Spunk
This new party at The Cinch features "electro-burlesque," "filthy go-go boys" and "circus acts." Well, that's quite a bit of entertainment right there. With DJ Malakai, I believe that they're going for an electro groove, and this is a fun place to hang out on the Polkstrasse, so go check it out for something different.
9PM - Close (whatever that means)
No cover listed
The Cinch, 1723 Polk between Clay and Washington


Drunk and Horny
Sorta like those high school parties you'd wished you'd had. Get drunk, flirt with boys, and dance to good-time party standards. Reliable, easy-going, and a short stumble home. Check out my review of Drunk and Horny.
$5
9PMish - 2.00AM (with maybe an afterparty)
Underground SF, 424 Haight Street x Webster

Frisco Disco at The Transfer
This night just recently started up and I haven't had a chance to check it out yet, but with tunes provided by the likes of Jefrodesiac and Richie Panic, and Lady Meleksah as the cruise director, there's some great potential for a good time. This Saturday is even Richie Panic's birthday!
No cover listed
9.00PM - 2.00AM
The Transfer, Church at Market

Monthlies and One-Offs

The Jaded Gay DJ Recommends: Kontrol at The End-Up
San Francisco's biggest techno night in one of its best clubs, just don't let the doorguy catch you with anything or he'll stomp on your toes (or so I'm told). With guests Bruno Pronsonto, Drumcell, and JamesPatrick.
$15 - $20
10PM - 6AM
The End Up, 6th and Harrison

Your Friday Guide for July 6, 2007

This week I travel back to the homeland to fulfill my annual filial obligation, so while I'm suffering in Central Virginia heat, humidity, and provincialism, you all go out and have a good time on me, okay?

Weeklies and Bar Nights

Cosmic Gypsy Happy Hour with DJ Mak at the W Hotel
Get your lounge groove on with DJ Mak in this swank hotel bar.
6PM - 8PM
No cover
W Hotel, 181 3rd Street x Howard

The Jaded Gay DJ Recommends: Charlie Horse at the Cinch
Best place to go out and have a cheap drink while being entertained by drag queen antics. Recently voted Best Drag Show in San Francisco by the SF Weekly! Music by DJ Dirty Knees and Bearzbub is more rock and new-wave oriented, but at least it won't interfere with your conversation. Check out my latest review of Charlie Horse at The Cinch.
9PM - close
NO COVER
1723 Polk Street (btwn Clay and Washington)

Fag Fridays at The EndUp
Reliable, not all that exciting, typical San Francisco deep house, but it's gay and you can stay until the next afternoon.
10PM - 6AM, and then Ascension starts up
$20
6th and Harrison

Monthlies and One-Offs

Garth and Jeno Back2Back at Club222
San Francisco house legends Garth and Jeno in one of the best intimate dance spaces in the city.
10PM - 2AM
$10
Club 222, 222 Hyde Street

Club Loaded at The Rickshaw Stop
I'm always a little leery of nights with slogans like "Love Music, Fuck Genres," but with DJs like Omar of Popscene, Ryan Poulson of Gun Club, and special guests, I'm pretty confident that this will be a good time. This week's live band is Darker My Love.
10PM - 2AM
$8 before 11, $10 after, with advance tix at www.virtuous.com
The Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell x Van Ness

The Jaded Gay DJ Recommends: CLAWS and Special Guests at the Li Po Lounge
Don't have much in the way of details about this, but it promises to be a night of great techno in a kooky Chinatown dive bar. Kid606, DJ PeePlay, Mi Ami, Lemonade DJ Mind-Meld.
Li Po Lounge, 916 Grant Street x Washington

Lucky Pierre at The Stud
Man, the third month in a row I've had to miss this party! If you go please drop me an email an let me know how it is, the pix look awesome. This month's theme: Beach Party!
10PM - 3AM
$5
The Stud, 9th x Harrison

DiverseCity at 111 Minna
A benefit for the SVDP Feed the Homeless Fund, with DJs Syd Gris, Aaron Jae, J-Rod, Shabadoo, DJ Gunz, Aaron Pope, Still Rob G, Ace Tatsu, and Kimani in two rooms.
9PM - 2AM
$10, plus optional donation of canned goods, clothing, etc.
111 Minna Street x 2nd

Updates on Club Six and The Hole in the Wall

Back in April I wrote about the difficulties being faced by the venerable "dirty little biker bar," The Hole in the Wall Saloon, as they tried to move to a new location, while in late May I wrote about Club 6's struggle to deal with noise complaints being filed by residents of the SRO hotel above the club. Though a bit late with the reporting on my side, it looks like both situations have reached some accomodation. According to this Examiner article, the Hole in the Wall was expected to get clearance for the move from the Planning Commission, while Jim Meko, who also sits on the Entertainment Commission and was fingered as the ringleader for neighborhood groups who opposed the move, said he would drop his protest of the bar's move to the ABC Board if the planning commission gives it the stamp of approval. Meanwhile, according to this Examiner article, Club 6 went before the Entertainment Commission and got slapped with a 30-day license suspension, but this was held in abeyance, seeing as how the club owner, Angel Cruz, had taken steps to rebuild the ceiling of the club so that noise levels above it wouldn't exceed 88dB. However, if the club violates the noise ordinance within the next 120 days, they'll face another 60 day suspension in addition to the 30 days held in abeyance - in other words, they'd have to close down for three months, and that would probably be the end of Club 6.

Meanwhile, the Eastern Neighborhoods Draft Impact Report was just released this week, and it includes three options for re-zoning the Eastern Neighborhoods, which includes SoMa. Since the Eastern Neighborhoods represent some of the largest tracts of space available for residential development, there's sure to be some impact on the ability of clubs to open, or even function, in the area that has been traditionally reserved for them. According to the Examiner article Entertainment Commissioners Terrance Alan and Bowman Leong are working with members of a civil grand jury to determine the future of entertainment in the area. Let's hope that they are able to figure out a way to bring some badly needed housing development to the area while also still maintaining what remains of San Francisco club culture.

Luxxury in Billboard and Pontiac Ads


I'm not a TV watcher so I haven't seen the marketing blitz around the Transformers movie, but local artists Luxxury have had their song "Drunk" used for a Pontiac/Transformers tie-in commercial, enabling, as detailed in the Billboard article here, the paying off of a mighty big loan (pull the image onto your desktop and it will be big enough to read). All in all, it's a nice success story for a local artist, and goes to show that sometimes that big break can come out of nowhere if you've put the time, effort, and money into a solid promotions strategy. As one of my friends is fond of saying, "you can't win if you don't enter." Here's hoping that Luxxury will be able to capitalize on this success and help put San Francisco electronic music back on the map.

If you want to get in on some of the Luxxury action for yourself be sure to drop by the monthly Workout party at House of Shields, where the Baron and Johnatron spin, and also keep your eyes peeled for their appearances around town. Check out my review of the Luxxury "Sweet and Vicious" remixes, as well as the Workout parties at House of Shields and the former location, Le Duplex.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Event Review: FilterSF at Fat City

The boyfriend and I made it out to FilterSF at Fat City on Saturday, and while we both enjoyed the tracks we heard from residents Solekandi and Saya, our personal energy levels, and that of the party, were too low to keep us there much beyond the 1AM mark; I think this is one of those events where it's best to show up, and stay, later.

We arrived at Fat City, the former Studio Z, around 10PM, and, in our typical fashion, were the first guests at the party. Fat City is a pretty minimal club space, really nothing more than a warehouse with a bar and a disco ball, though the sound system was easily one of the best we have heard in the city. The space seems to be set up mainly for live performances, with a large stage at the front of the room and a live mixing board in back. Our mutual impression was that this is a difficult space for a DJ, since it puts you right up front for everyone to watch, rather than letting you be more “behind-the-scenes” to create a vibe, and being a big space, it’s difficult to raise the energy level when it’s populated by a small number of people. The minimal lighting makes for a boring visual environment and, again, with nothing else to draw the attention of attendees, the only thing to look at is the DJ and the assortment of gear that’s been put up on the stage - the whole time people were dancing, they were also staring straight forward at the stage. Drinks were reasonably priced for SoMA, with well drinks at $6 and a Stoli and tonic running $7.

Solekandi was on when we first arrived but soon traded out with Saya. Their tracks were in the vein that I go for myself, deep, minimal, and almost trance-like, and both the boyfriend and I could say that we heard a lot of stuff that we didn’t know that we really liked. The flow between tracks was a little disconnected at times, but since they were largely playing to an empty room for the first hour I think this was just a matter of trying out some different grooves; at the end of Saya’s set she was playing some pretty big tracks that I thought would have worked better with a correspondingly big dancefloor later in the evening, but that was my only substantial criticism. Solekandi came on again at midnight to a small crowd of 75-100 people; her mixes and track selection were much tighter, and I could see that she was really getting down with her tracks, but even then it seemed difficult to shift the people on the dancefloor from head-bobbing and the zombie shuffle into full-on dancing.

The whole time we were at the club we kept smelling grilled onions, and between 12.30 and 1.00 our hunger for greasy street food got the better of us. We found the source of this mouth-watering aroma at a hot-dog cart on the corner of 11th and Folsom, and then decided to wander down to the Cat Club to see what was up with The Grind; however, the $15 cover along with the HI-NRG disco anthems we could hear when the door opened made us think that it probably wouldn’t be worth it. We considered going back up to FilterSF, since we had the requisite wrist stamps, but with a picnic in Golden Gate Park planned for the next day, and still-depleted energy reserves from Pride weekend, we opted instead to get some much-needed sleep.

I liked what I heard at FilterSF, and I think this crew is bringing a different sound to the San Francisco techno scene, a sound that I generally appreciate. This was a pretty tough night for them, being up against two Burning Man fundraisers, as well as being the weekend before a major holiday, when many people have left the city. It’s also a difficult space to warm up, and I expect that when that dark, empty cavern has about a hundred more people in it, the energy is significantly different. I don't think this was the best weekend for really getting the measure of this event, so I’ll be making plans to attend another FilterSF party soon, though next time I’ll probably plan on coming, and staying, much later.

Record Store Review: Open Mind Music on Market Street

Open Mind Music just moved into a new location on Market Street, between Church and Sanchez (sorry, I don't have the actual address), and since it's only a few blocks from home, and has bins after bins of vinyl, I'll be stopping in quite a bit; I just hope they bring some better organization to their Techno/House section as they get the shop more in order.

Open Mind is mostly about "collector vinyl," the stuff that's now out of print, or was originally mastered for vinyl release. Walk in and peruse all the great stuff up on the wall, which can range from rare David Bowie twelve-inch remixes to original pressings of Commander Cody. The Rock section is probably the best, with a pretty substantial focus on classics up through the 80s. They also have seperate sections for Ambient/Experimental, Reggae, Jazz, and Disco (at least, these are the ones I looked through). In the very back there is bin after bin labled Techno/House, but after a half hour of digging I couldn't find a single record I wanted to hear (they have both vinyl and CD listening stations). Most of what I found was pre-2002, fairly generic "club" music, though the various color codes, notes, and BPM notations on the sleeves showed that many of these tracks had once been part of some DJs repertoire. Even after all that, though, there was nothing I could find that was even vaguly familiar outside of big club trance producers like Christopher Lawrence. The owner admitted to another customer that the techno section was "a shambles" and that they are in the process of cleaning it up; after some re-organization I'm hoping that it will be easier for me to mine the occasional nugget from here without having to spend a couple hours doing it. My feeling is that the folks behind the counter are much more knowledgeable about and interested in the "classic" vinyl in the rock section than they are what DJs spin, otherwise they'd be more discriminating in what they buy (after all, who do you know who would spend $4 for a track that was produced in 1997 if it isn't something "classic" or by a big name?). Nonetheless, if you're into other genres, like Disco (which was also a very substantial section), or just cool old vinyl, you should definitely stop into Open Mind, just make sure you slot enough time for some serious crate digging.

Upcoming Event: Dyn-O-Might! at Mighty, Tuesday July 3rd

Evil Breaks, Sister SF, In Deep, and the Ambient Mafia, team up to bring you a 4th of July party you're not going to forget. Since everyone has the following day off, why not come and spend your Tuesday night in debaucherous style with us at one of the best venues in the city? Many of us know and love the music of our headliner, Carbon Community, but no one has seen him do his live show in SF since we brought him out waaaay back in December of 2005. Carbon Community Live has been constantly compared to Uberzone's Live show, and with the addition of the hanging, light-up drums, it just might be taking it one step further.

Line-Ups
Carbon Community - Live!
Evil Breaks (djs: Aaron Jae, Bam, M.O.D., Athena)
In Deep (djs: Clark Hamon, Shooey, Zach Moore)
Sister SF (djs: Forest Green vs Seraphim, Samira vs Icon, Melyss vs Amber)
Ambient Mafia (djs: Sixty4k vs Redstickman, Peek vs Speakeasy Ray, Squelchy vs
Olde Nasty, Cubik vs Rafiq (Live!), The Captain)

$10 Pre-Sales at www.evilbreaks.com
$10, $15 at the door
10PM - 4AM
Mighty, 119 Utah Street