Monday, March 31, 2008

Event Review: Fuck Shit Let's Dance! at Deco Lounge

This past Friday was our third installment of Fuck Shit, Let's Dance! at Deco Lounge, and I was amazed that, at 2AM, we had a crazy dancefloor and, at 3AM, we had to reluctantly shoo people out of the club. The dance action started at 10PM with Neco D's set, continued on through Lord Kook and PeePlay, and I think we could have kept it going until 4AM with a hardcore crowd of draq queens and club kids if one of the bartenders hadn't gotten sick and needed to head out.

I'm beginning to think that the words "Fourth Fridays" are synonymous with rain; as we were loading the gear into our carshare Scion at 7.30 the first cold drops were starting to come down, and when we arrived at Deco it was looking like a soggy night. Fortunately the rain cleared off later in the evening, but I think it might have played a part in a slightly smaller turnout this time. No matter; whatever deficit we had in patrons, the ones who were there more than made up for it with being some of the most dedicated dancers I've seen in ages. There were guys (and a couple girls) who danced their way through all three DJs, from Neco D's housey grooves up through Lord Kook and PeePlay's excursions into Faggot Techno. We gave away almost all our copies of the "Now That's What I Call Faggot Techno Vol. I" CDs that had been put together by Lord Kook, and I talked to a couple guys (including a cutie who works down at Cliff's Variety Store on Castro) who said that, though they had come out to FSLD purely out of random motivation, it was one of the best nights of being out dancing that they had in a long time.

As for me, this was the installment of FSLD that convinced me we might really be on to something, that the very simple idea of a night dedicated to dancing, drinking, and having fun with friends is something that people want, and that the music we're interested in playing is something that others enjoy as well. We had a hugely diverse crowd, everyone seemed to have a good time, and I think it's more than worthwhile to keep this experiment going for a while longer to see what we can really make of it.



Neco D gets the floor moving.



PeePlay gets their hands in the air, and I can only watch and smile.



Lord Kook contemplates his next move.



PeePlay and Lord Kook grooving on some collaborative tag-team action. Bonus points to anyone who can identify the punk rock track where the lyrics "You are the target" come from (contained also in the first track from our "Now That's What I Call Faggot Techno" compilation).

Entertainment Commission Meeting on Promoter Permits, Tuesday April 1

The new promoter permits I've been writing about are coming up on the agenda for tomorrow's meeting of the Entertainment Commission, and the floor will be open for members of the public to make comments (there's a three-minute time limit). The meeting is at 4PM at City Hall, Room 263. If you have an interest in this you should come attend the hearing, and if you are concerned about how this legislation will affect San Francisco nightlife, you should stand up and make your voice heard. There's a good chance we can get this legislation killed before it ever makes it to a board vote, but we need to make it clear to all parties concerned that there is broad-based opposition to it, and that it will have significant, unintended negative effects on the city's culture.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Your Saturday Guide for March 29, 2008

Hey kids, sorry for the tardy post; in addition to getting laid off on Wednesday, I came home that same day to find that my cat has sustained a severe injury that required immediate kitty surgery (I will spare you the details, as I can guarantee it will make every single one of you cringe), so I've been a tetch distracted.

Unfortunately, I kept track of upcoming events through my Entourage calendar at work, and now that I no longer have access to that, my listings for the next couple weeks might be a little thin; but, I promise you, as soon as I get myself set up here at home, I'll provide you all with the very best event information that I can.

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, but beware that it gets claustrophobically crowded. 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
Every Saturday night they're lined up on the street for this party; haven't made it past the sweating crowds myself yet, but this looks like one of the hottest things going right now, you should check it out yourself and let me know what you think.
No cover listed
9.00PM - 2.00AM
The Transfer, Church at Market

Hot Mess at The Stud
A Gus Presents production with DJ Kidd Sysko spinning a little disco punk, a little hip-hop, and a lot of club. Check out the link for his Top 20 and decide for yourself. I hear there's also baby oil wrestling.
10PM - 3AM
$5
The Stud, 9th x Harrison.

Bistrotheque with Ken Vulsion at Cafe Flore
I've been remiss in not previously mentioning Ken Vulsion of Honey Sound System's Bistrotheque at Cafe Flore on Satuday evenings. A great place to go have a bite, warm up with a couple drinks, and groove along with Ken.
6PM - 12AM
NO COVER
Cafe Flore, 2298 Market Street x Noe

Bearracuda at Deco Lounge
For bears and those who love them; this week, Underbear party!. With DJs Boyshapedbox (Viva La Basket!), and Underdog.
9PM - 3AM
$6
Deco Lounge, 510 Larkin x Turk

Monthlies and One-Offs

Manquake at The Gangway
Bus Station John's newest night at a vintage Tenderloin gay bar. "Tremble & quake to the pulse of 70's/80's hi-NRG, disco and R&B classix & curios while enjoying drink specials & xxx-traordinary vintage visuals."
9PM - 2AM
No cover listed
The Gangway, 841 Larkin Street



Friday, March 28, 2008

Your Friday Guide for March 28, 2008

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

KillSwitch Happy Hour at UndergroundSF
Techno happy hour, this week with Dave Aju.
6PM - 10PM
NO COVER
UndergroundSF, 424 Haight x Webster


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. 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
FREE!

The Jaded Gay DJ Recommends: Sick! at The Matador
A nice dive bar with techno tunes, a perfect place to start your night or to spend it. Residents D Spurlock, Jeffrey Allen, Jonathon Neil, Kuze, and Meekrob. Check out my review of Sick!
9PM - 2AM
FREE
Matador, 10 6th Street x Market

GhettoDisco at The EndUp
With Joe Gauthreaux, Phil B., and Cuervo.
11PM - 11AM
FREE before midnight, $20 until 2AM, $30 after 2AM
The EndUp, 6th x Harrison

Blow-Up at The Rickshaw Stop

With residents Jefrodesiac and Richie Panic (Frisco Disco) and special guests Villians
MissingToof DJs, Danny Ruxspin, and a live set from Wallpaper.
10PM - 2AM
$10 for 21+, $12 for 18-21
The Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell at Van Ness

Faktion at Club Anu
Another little mushroom popping up in the techno scene - excellent! Tonight with Cesare vs Disorder and Sayaka.
10PM - 2AM
$5
Club Anu, 43 Sixth x Market

Lights Down Low at Club 222
With resident DJs Sleazemore and Rchrd OH!? and special guests. 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: Fuck Shit, Let's Dance! (FSLD) at Deco Lounge
Our monthly faggot techno dance party for queers and their friends. This month with DeeJay PeePlay and Neco D, with resident Lord Kook. This month we're giving away a CD compiled and mixed by Lord Kook entitled "Now That's What I Call Faggot Techno, Vol. 1" to the first 100 people to show up, so get there early if you want to be sure to get one!
9PM - 3AM
FREE before 10, $5 after
Deco Lounge, 511 Larkin x Turk

Shark Attack! at the Cat Club
Orko, Starr, Rubyacht, and Macro spin dark indie electro pop minimal prog dance.
9PM - 2AM
FREE before 10, $5 after
Cat Club, 1190 Folsom x 9th

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Layoff Blues

Well kids, I got hit for the second time in three years with the layoff bug today; I can't really say from where, but if you follow the tech headlines or blogs like TechCrunch, you can probably guess. At least I have 119 companions in this situation. Soooooo, if anybody out there knows of a place that needs a good writer, one with a background in technology, new media, blogging, web content development, information architecture, etc., do please drop me an email.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Announcement from Terrance Alan of the San Francisco Late Night Coalition

Just got this via email from Terrance Alan of the San Francisco Late Night Coalition and the Entertainment Commission. If you're concernend about the new promoter permit legislation, this provides some good information about how it came about, what the next steps are, what the major issues are that have been raised by the promoter community, and what you can do to voice your concerns.

*******************

MARK YOUR CALENDARS – Tuesday April 1, 2008 at 4 PM in room 406 of City Hall @ Entertainment Commission

At 4 PM on Tuesday April 1, 2009, the San Francisco Entertainment Commission will hear public comment on legislation that has been introduced to create a permit for promoters. Please read the legislation so that you are informed on what is being proposed.

The idea of a promoter permit first came up a few years ago after the shooting of a 15 year old boy at a party at the YMCA. It turned out that the promoter had a series of violent incidents at his events all over the bay area and often misrepresented the nature of his events and his track record to venue management. Following that unfortunate incident there was discussion of venue owners being able to run a background check on a promoter to check for a criminal background. There was also some discussion of creating a list of problem promoters, but this was shelved primarily because officially labeling someone a “problem” by a city agency would require an expensive and cumbersome process to insure that the list was always accurate and current.

This past year has seen a serious upswing of violent incidents, some of them in the vicinity of nightclubs. Typically, two guys get in a dispute at a club, one goes back to his car, gets a gun, and waits for the other to leave. Some of these incidents may be gang related, but either way, there were 4 deaths last year and two deaths this year. That reality prompted a mayor's office/entertainment commission/club owner/promoter “Nightlife Safety Summit” to discuss ways to stem the violence. The promoter permit came out of suggestions made at that meeting.

The promoter permit was conceived to eliminate the fly by night promoters who come in, deceive club management about the nature of their events, have serious problems including shootings and death, then leave with no consequences and the club is left with the responsibility. The question before us is: “Does the legislation being proposed gets at that problem and at what cost?”

What we at the SFLNC have heard as the biggest issue with this legislation is that “problem" promoters will simply bypass this law by having someone with a clean record/event history, apply for the permit. Meanwhile the 99% of promoter/organizers who cause no problems will be forced to pay for a permit, go through a background check, file a security plan and get insurance; things that are traditionally the responsibility of the venue.

Others have expressed questions about how this permit will apply to the non-profit sector, where events are primarily used to raise money for community work. Any additional permit expense would take away dollars from the causes that are in need.

If this legislation is adopted as written there are many that believe it will financially burden the good and the few problem promoters will simply find ways around it. This is where you come in. Your testimony at the Entertainment Commission will be recorded and summarized. It will then go to the Mayor’s office and the office of Supervisor Maxwell who has introduced this legislation. Your testimony will shape the future of this legislative effort.

Since we are reacting to some serious incidents, we should remember that as you step up to speak, focus on creative ways to get at a solution for the “bad promoter” problem. Here are some suggested “Talking Points” to use in organizing your thoughts. Remember, this is in no way a complete list and that is where your experience, insight, real life stories and passion will come in.

Talking Points

  • Can a blanket solution such as a promoter permit deal with specific problem promoters or clubs?

  • What will the cost of this permit be and will there be a provision for the non-profit community to receive a discount?

  • Most club nights are promoted by small, independent promoters who make little or no money from their events, are well known within the communities they serve and create culture rather than problems. These promoters need no more regulation than what already exists between them, club owners, and the community. How can we take this working system and apply it to problem venues?

  • Security issues are the legal responsibility of the venue, which has already had to go through its own permitting process. How can a promoter have any responsibility for security that is not under their control?

  • Insurance is carried by the venue. What is the purpose of the insurance requirement for the promoter? What would that insurance cover?

  • The legislation would require a promoter to provide information pertinent to the promotion of the proposed event, including information as to management, lease arrangements, the size of planned events number of performers, a description of any amplification and etc. How can I give this information as a promoter when I promote events at many different venues and I don’t control any of those variables?

  • The real problem promoters will find ways around the permitting process. What kind of solutions can be created to deal with those promoters?

If you cannot make the hearing and still wish to be heard, please email your comments:

Entertainment Commission:

Commission Secretary crystal.stewart@sfgov.org

Board of Supervisors:

President Aaron Peskin Aaron.Peskin@sfgov.org

Supervisor Sophie Maxwell Sophie.Maxwell@sfgov.org

Supervisor Jake McGoldrick Jake.McGoldrick@sfgov.org

Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier Michela.Alioto-Pier@sfgov.org

Supervisor Carmen Chu Carmen.Chu@sfgov.org

Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi Ross.Mirkarimi@sfgov.org

Supervisor Chris Daly chris.daly@sfgov.org

Supervisor Sean R. Elsbernd Sean.Elsbernd@sfgov.org

Supervisor Bevan Dufty Bevan.Dufty@sfgov.org

Supervisor Tom Ammiano Tom.Ammiano@sfgov.org

Supervisor Gerardo Sandoval Gerardo.Sandoval@sfgov.org

Terrance Alan

Chairman

San Francisco Late Night Coalition

415.346.9165 t

415.974.1952 f

PO Box 77406; San Francisco, CA 94107

You must have long term goals to keep you from being frustrated by short term failures.
-- Charles C. Noble

Update on Promoter Permit Legislation

This past Friday I got together with Ted Strawser of the SFParty Party, Tenderloin community activist Julian Davis, David Peterson of Fag Fridays and Temple, and Sister Barbi Mitzvah of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence to talk with Supervisor Bevan Dufty about the new promoter permit legislation proposed by Sophie Maxwell. I'm pleased to say that Supervisor Dufty supports our position that this legislation will have a severe negative impact on San Francisco nightlife, that it impacts independent hobbyist promoters and non-profits more than the "rogue" promoters it's supposed to, and that, in the end, it really makes no sense. He told us flat out that he wouldn't support it when it came to a vote of the Board. If, that is, it comes to that; it might be possible to convince Sophie Maxwell to withdraw the legislation entirely, and wheels are turning behind the scenes with that goal in mind. Meanwhile, the next legislative step is a hearing before the Entertainment Commission on Tuesday, April 1, at 4.00 PM.

If you're concerned about this legislation, you can check it out on the SFGOV website (click the link for 080321, Promoter permits), then send an email to your Supervisor, or attend the meeting of the Entertainment Commission on April 1 to let the Commissioners know how you feel about it.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Upcoming Event: Fuck Shit, Let's Dance! Friday March 28

It's that time of the month kids, another installment of Fuck Shit, Let's Dance! at Deco Lounge this Friday, March 28. Our line-up:

Neco D - 9 - 10.30ish
Lord Kook - 10.30 - 12.30
PeePlay - 12.30 - 2.30

And after PeePlay it's the freeform set, so we'll see what the crowd is like at that point and who wants to get up on the decks. Whatever happens, it will be a night of Faggot Techno like you can't hear anywhere else!

Here's the deets:

9PM - "late"
Deco Lounge, Turk x Larkin
$5, FREE before 10PM

See you all there!

Friday, March 21, 2008

SoMa Clubs Disappearing?

Dan, one of the promoters behind Lucky Pierre and Heat at the Stud, sent me an interesting link this morning from the San Francisco Business Journal about Club NV on Howard Street being razed to make room for the expansion of their Foundry Square III building. Add to this the fact that the former Sound Factory has now been turned into a sales office for a new high-rise condo, and the transition of 1015 toward being more of a rock venue, and you start to see a trend emerging. I think the 11th Street corridor with DNA, Fat City, Caliente and the other clubs is probably the last solid concentration of clubs in what used to be the city's nightlife neighborhood, with The Stud holding on for dear life over on 9th Street next to the Cat Club (which I have seen almost empty on a Saturday night).

It seems that San Francisco just doesn't have the market to continue supporting large clubs in SoMa; in fact, I would say that the trend is much more toward smaller events in spaces like The Transfer and Deco, at least in the gay scene. Gus will always manage to put on the big weekend parties for the tourist crowd, but the big gay dance scene seems to be just about done (consider, as well, the recent demise of Fag Fridays).

I don't know how to feel about this; on the one hand, the loss of nightlife venues is a pretty serious issue, and I know for a fact that there are political manuevers afoot to make sure that the City's master plan will give due consideration to the impact of development on nightlife. But perhaps this is emblematic of the overall economic situation that has gripped the country for so many years now; the people who are making the money are not the kind who go out to crazy DJ parties, but rather want to bask in the burning of their bucks on bottle service. Meanwhile, the people who do go out, like young people, don't want to pay upwards of $10 for cover and $6 for drinks.

My hope that this is just a re-structuring of the nightlife scene, and that in the next couple years, once we're out of this recession and the mood of the entire country shifts, we'll see a return to a more exciting and dynamic scene. I just hope there are spaces left where an independent promoter can bring forth a vision of what such a scene could be like.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Your Saturday Guide for March 22, 2008

Ah, Spring! Let's all go out and enjoy that little snap of fresh life in the air, let our sap rise, and blossom with good cheer!

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, but beware that it gets claustrophobically crowded. 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
Every Saturday night they're lined up on the street for this party; haven't made it past the sweating crowds myself yet, but this looks like one of the hottest things going right now, you should check it out yourself and let me know what you think.
No cover listed
9.00PM - 2.00AM
The Transfer, Church at Market

Hot Mess at The Stud
A Gus Presents production with DJ Kidd Sysko spinning a little disco punk, a little hip-hop, and a lot of club. Check out the link for his Top 20 and decide for yourself. I hear there's also baby oil wrestling.
10PM - 3AM
$5
The Stud, 9th x Harrison.

Bistrotheque with Ken Vulsion at Cafe Flore
I've been remiss in not previously mentioning Ken Vulsion of Honey Sound System's Bistrotheque at Cafe Flore on Satuday evenings. A great place to go have a bite, warm up with a couple drinks, and groove along with Ken.
6PM - 12AM
NO COVER
Cafe Flore, 2298 Market Street x Noe

Monthlies and One-offs

Bunny Jam 2008, Luck of the Hare-ish! at Whisper Ultra Lounge
A San Francisco Easter tradition, now with Leprechauns! Performances, art, music, but, as Neonbunny says, don't expect a rave!
8PM - 4AM
$20 bunny/leprechaun, $25 sum bunny, $30 no bunny
Whisper Ultra Lounge, 535 Florida Street between 18th and Mariposa

Gentleman's Techno 6 at The Cave
With Steve Summers (Live), Sammy D., C.L.A.W.S., Pee Play, Captain Savory, Mr. Saturday , Benz, visuals by That Mold Science.
11PM - ?
$5
The Cave, 3201 3rd Street

Viva La Basket at Club Eight
Another of those bangin' bear-centric parties, this monthly installment features DJs Dann Edmond and LUVSIK for a teddy bear pajama party. Now with video games!
9PM - 2AM
$6
Club Eight, 1151 Folsom x 8th


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Your Friday Guide for March 21, 2008

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

KillSwitch Happy Hour at UndergroundSF
Techno happy hour, this week with Dave Aju.
6PM - 10PM
NO COVER
UndergroundSF, 424 Haight x Webster


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. 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
FREE!

The Jaded Gay DJ Recommends: Sick! at The Matador
A nice dive bar with techno tunes, a perfect place to start your night or to spend it. Residents D Spurlock, Jeffrey Allen, Jonathon Neil, Kuze, and Meekrob. Check out my review of Sick!
9PM - 2AM
FREE
Matador, 10 6th Street x Market

GhettoDisco at The EndUp
With an extended set from Dan Deleon, with Frank Wild and Jim Hopkins after 4AM.
11PM - 11AM
FREE before midnight, $20 until 2AM, $30 after 2AM
The EndUp, 6th x Harrison

Blow-Up at The Rickshaw Stop

With resident Richie Panic (Frisco Disco) and guest DJ PJ Pooterhoots, plus a live set from Public, and also Super Dunny and Jay-Sonic.
10PM - 2AM
$10 for 21+, $12 for 18-21
The Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell at Van Ness

Monthlies and One-Offs

The Jaded Gay DJ Recommends: Heat at The Stud
This month's installment celebrates couture! Check out my previous review of Heat.
10PM - 3AM
$5
The Stud, 9th x Harrison

Shark Attack! at the Cat Club
Orko, Starr, Rubyacht, and Macro spin dark indie electro pop minimal prog dance.
9PM - 2AM
FREE before 10, $5 after
Cat Club, 1190 Folsom x 9th

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Event Review: Stockhausen's "Kontakte" at San Francisco Contemporary Music Players

Last night the boyfriend and I attended a performance of the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, mostly to hear a performance of Karlheinz Stockhausen’s “Kontakte” (1959. 1960) with Bryan Wolf, Stockhausen’s personal “sound projection assistant” running the board. It was easily the most thrilling, stimulating, and just plain fun musical event we have attended in a very, very long time.

We were lucky to get seats right behind the sound board, so we could follow along with the score as Wolf and the other conductors for the evening worked their electronics, and seated next to us was a very knowledgeable German fellow who filled in the historical and theoretical background for us that we had expected from the pre-show talk but never got.

Before Stockhausen there were two contemporary pieces, one from Rand Steiger, who teaches at UC San Diego, and another from Georgia Spiropoulos, who is a major figure in Europe for electronic contemporary music. Neither of us cared for Steiger’s piece, “Dreamscape,” which, for me, was as clich├ęd as that name implies – he was using Max/MSP to do some really basic manipulation of the ensemble sounds, and to my ear it sounded like every parody of “crazy electronic avant-garde music” I’ve ever heard. It was perhaps most notable for the sheer skill of the musicians in playing it, but that interests me about as much as a Joe Satriani guitar solo, and I’ve heard so many more interesting things done by other artists with that software (like Jamie Lidell and Modeselektor) that I wondered how such an award-winning composer couldn’t find more to do with it. Spiropoulos’ piece, on the other hand, grabbed me right from the beginning and held on. Unlike Steiger’s piece, which insisted on throwing everything up against each other and allowing some breathing room in the solos, this piece started with all the instruments emulating the same breath sounds being made by the flautist, and then gradually allowed them to distinguish themselves. As the boyfriend put it, it eventually felt like we were listening in on some ancient rite that was going to bring Cthulhu into the room at any second.

“Kontakte” was the real highlight of the evening. The piece is based on what were originally sounds derived from tape manipulations, with a percussionist and piano for accompaniment (though I should mention that this piano playing included thumping out chords with the elbows, as specified in the score). The sheer ferocity of the sounds was, at times, so startling that I felt like I should run out of the room. Stockhausen’s main idea was to play with the idea of “moments” rather than progressions, and the 34 minute piece made me think of touching down on an alien planet, where you’re thinking “Oh, what a cute little creature OH MY GOD WHAT THE HELL IS THAT THING?” Some of the crescendo moments had the intensity of volcano eruptions, and aroused in me feelings of near terror. I could understand how early critics might, at times, have thought that it sounded like a dumptruck load of pots and pans being emptied onto a roadway, but that was part of what made it thrilling; you could either react by saying “god, what a clatter,” or you could let go of your preconceptions and just experience the sound as it came at you.

When I got home afterwards I was in the bathroom, perusing The Rough Guide to House Music that we keep in there, and I was filled with this sense of emptiness; “Kontakte” is nearly fifty years old, and yet it still has this tremendous power and is brimming with ideas. House/club/techno music, on the other hand, is so ephemeral, and so caught up in consumerist culture, that any meaning or ideas within it are easily overwhelmed by everything around it, or it winds up sounding dated and nostalgic. The boyfriend and I have not had any conversations about club music that were nearly as inspiring as the conversation we had about the three pieces we heard, and, in the end, it brought me back around to a very important idea: you shouldn’t care about conforming to the musical ideas of others, but instead you need to forge ahead with your own vision, because that’s the way you create something truly original. Be a little crazy, and the other crazies will want to join you; be normal and conform, and you’ll disappear into the crowd.

Upcoming Event: Bunny Jam 8, "Luck of the Hare-ish," Saturday March 22

Easter is here early this year, and so is Bunny Jam! To celebrate both leap year and it's proximity to St. Patrick's Day, the Bunny Jammers have gone with an Irish theme this year, so show up as either a bunny or a leprechaun.

The party will be at Whisper Lounge, 535 Florida Street, from 8PM -4AM, and will feature all the whacky bunny craziness, art, and performance you've come to know and love.

$20 bunny/leprechaun
$25 sum bunny
$30 unbunny

Upcoming Event: Honey Sound System Presents Dancer from the Dance, Sunday, March 23

This Sunday Honey Sound System will present "Dancer From the Dance: A Recreation" at 103 Harriet Street (yep, that's the downstairs lounge of 1015) from 9PM to 3AM, with special guests Jeffry Sfire (Ghostly International NYC) and Steve Summers (Confused House SF). I had a pretty good time at their last Sunday night disco event back in December, so if you're into a recreation of the poppers-fueled house/disco scene of late 70s New York, you should definitely check it out.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Paul David Addis Pleads Guilty to Misdemeanor Charge from Grace Cathedral "Arson Attempt"

Reality seems to finally be catching up to Paul David Addis, who pleaded guilty on Friday to a misdeanor charge in connection with his being caught outside Grace Cathedral with a bag full of fireworks after having previously told someone that the cathedral "wasn't going to be there anymore." Addis is still facing trial for his burning of The Man at last year's Burning Man. I wonder how this conviction is going to work for him in that instance?

Back in the Saddle

Hey kids, you know what sucks? Viruses that aren't quite the flu, but are easily among the worst colds you have ever had. That's what I spent most of last week, and this weekend, contemplating, as I dosed myself with Nyquil, laid on the couch, listened to NPR, and futher discovered how nice it is to have a kitty curled up with you and purring when you feel truly awful.

As a result, I'm afraid I don't have much to report on for this past weekend; I did make it out for a drink at Bender, but I didn't have any real stamina for the events I really wanted to check out, like Audion at Mighty, or Boys Noize at Fat City. Sooooo, if any of you did make it out to something cool over the weekend, tell us about it in the Comments section so your fellow readers won't be deprived of their weekly dose of scene reportage.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Mix Downloads: Vintage Live Mix Downloads

Thanks to reader Mark for turning me on to Ezeskankin Mixtapes, a HUGE collection of live mixes from 1998 and back, including San Francisco shows from DJ Dan, vintage Jeno and Mark Farina, really dozens, if not hundreds, of sets from a special period in electronic dance music history . Note that these really are mixtapes, with Sides A & B, but the sound quality seems to be generally good.

Your Saturday Guide for March 15, 2008

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, but beware that it gets claustrophobically crowded. 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
Every Saturday night they're lined up on the street for this party; haven't made it past the sweating crowds myself yet, but this looks like one of the hottest things going right now, you should check it out yourself and let me know what you think.
No cover listed
9.00PM - 2.00AM
The Transfer, Church at Market

Hot Mess at The Stud
A Gus Presents production with DJ Kidd Sysko spinning a little disco punk, a little hip-hop, and a lot of club. Check out the link for his Top 20 and decide for yourself. I hear there's also baby oil wrestling.
10PM - 3AM
$5
The Stud, 9th x Harrison.

Bistrotheque with Ken Vulsion at Cafe Flore
I've been remiss in not previously mentioning Ken Vulsion of Honey Sound System's Bistrotheque at Cafe Flore on Satuday evenings. A great place to go have a bite, warm up with a couple drinks, and groove along with Ken.
6PM - 12AM
NO COVER
Cafe Flore, 2298 Market Street x Noe

Monthlies and One-Offs

Playa Dreams Opulent Temple Fundraiser at Matador Bar
With Opulent Temple DJs Cosmic Selector, Nathan Vain, Dex Stakker, Dulce Vita and Drew Drop.
9PM - 2AM
$5
Matador Bar, 6th x Market

Chrome at The Gangway
A queer rock monthly from the same guys who bring you Trans Am. The night tends to get started on the later side.
9PM - 3AM
$3
Larkin x Geary

The Show at The EndUp
Underground house night with Paul Smith and Ross Barringer of Wildlife, DJ Adnan, Michael Anthony, and DJ Seven. The Early Show kicks off at 6AM with residents Ben Seagran and Dean Sasmaras, with guest Greg Eversoul
10PM to 12 Noon Sunday (yes, 14 hours)
FREE before 11, $10 with RSVP to www.sensesf.com/show
The EndUp, 6th x Harrison

Boys Noize at Fat City
Blasthaus presents Boys Noize with DJ support from Sleazemore (Lights Down Low) and Richard Oh?!
10PM - 4AM
$12 Advance, $16 at the door
Fat City, 314 11th Street x Folsom

Bearracuda at Deco Lounge
For bears and those who love them, with a special "Hibernation awakening" show from Heklina.
9PM - 3AM
$6
Deco Lounge, 510 Larkin x Turk

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Your Friday Guide for March 14, 2008

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

KillSwitch Happy Hour at UndergroundSF
Techno happy hour, this week with Auralism Records DJs Jason Short and Clint Stewart.
6PM - 10PM
NO COVER
UndergroundSF, 424 Haight x Webster

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. 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 Jaded Gay DJ Recommends: Sick! at The Matador
A nice dive bar with techno tunes, a perfect place to start your night or to spend it. Residents D Spurlock, Jeffrey Allen, Jonathon Neil, Kuze, and Meekrob. Check out my review of Sick!
10PM - 2AM
FREE
Matador, 10 6th Street x Market

GhettoDisco at The EndUp
With Sean Greene, Hawthorne and Adrian
11PM - 11AM
FREE before midnight, $20 until 2AM, $30 after 2AM
The EndUp, 6th x Harrison

Monthlies and One-Offs

Lights Down Low at Club 222
With resident DJs Sleazemore and Rchrd OH!? and special guests. Check out my previous reviews of Lights Down Low.
10PM - 2AM
$7
Club 222, 222 Hyde Street x Turk

Electric Boogie 80s Disco at Pink
With DJs Nicky B. and Derrick Love, hosted by Chris McVick and Le Dinosaur.
10PM - "late"
$10
Pink, 16th and South Van Ness

The Jaded Gay DJ Recommends: Bender at The Transfer
Always a lively crowd. With resident DJs Candy and DJ6 (Lucky Pierre).
9PM - 2AM
NO COVER!
The Transfer, Church and Market

The Rod at Deco Lounge
I've warmed more to Bus Station John's retro disco since my initial review, but whether you'll be into it really depends on how you feel about late 70s and early 80s gay nostalgia. Check out my review of The Rod.
10PM - 4AM
FREE before 10PM, $5 After
Deco Lounge, 510 Larkin at Turk

Funky Expedition at Cell Space
A jungle theme party, complete with midnight wild animal stampede. DJs include Aaron Jae (Space Cowboys), EPROM (Nexus, Raindance), Motion Potion ( The Fringe,Sunset Promotions), Kirk (Space Cowboys), Mozaic (Raindance, Nexus), Little John (Raindance), J Tonal (Lo Pro Lounge), Timonkey (Muti music), Digital Honey (Raindance), Tha Scritch (Flow), Nisus (Nexus).
9.30 to "sunrise"
$10 advance (hit the link), or $15 at the door
Cell Space, 2050 Bryant x 18th

Audion with John Tejada at Mighty
A chance to check out two techno greats.
10PM - 4AM
$15 advance (hit the link), $20 at the door
Mighty, 119 Utah x 15th

Monday, March 10, 2008

Event Review: Dirty Bird 3rd Anniversary at Mighty

On Saturday myself, the boyfriend, Kitty, and our friend Matt G went out to Mighty for the Dirty Bird label 3rd Anniversary party, where we were looking forward to hearing what the producers behind one of our most up-and-coming techno/tech-house labels would put forth as representative of their sound. We got a pretty broad cross-section of music, from lush and deep to tribal and almost full-on trance, but then Christian Martin dropped the one track that will make me leave the dancefloor, if not the club, every time, and that, combined with the generally schizophrenic vibe from the crowd, convinced us to head over to Sparky’s for burgers before Claude vonStroke, the label’s founder, ever came on.

We arrived around 10.30 as Justin Martin was just getting into his set, playing what, for me, was the best music all night. He started out with a deep, very lush house sound and gradually built in more techy elements as he went along. As the boyfriend remarked, you can tell he has a background in production, as he was constantly fiddling with knobs and effects to push the sonic elements of his tracks around. There was a complaint that he was perhaps too oriented around breakdowns, but his mixes were tight and kept everyone moving along quite nicely.

After Justin, Worthy took to the decks with a tribal house sound that eventually worked its way up into what almost sounded like hard trance – there was a moment toward the end of his set when I could have sworn that I was back at a candy rave, and there were plenty of hands in the air to help with that impression. Unfortunately, by this time the dance floor, and the entire club, was so packed that the best I could manage was to hang out toward the back of the dancefloor and nod along – if Dirtybird has a 4th anniversary party next year, I hope they’ll take it to a larger venue, like Mezzanine.

And then Christian Martin came on and dropped a remix the one track that I absolutely cannot stand as his opener, Khia’s “My Neck, My Back.” For me, no matter how smart, innovative, and fun the music has been before this track, once it gets dropped it turns the entire club into a strip joint and lowers the IQ of every person present by ten points. I’ve walked off the dancefloor when it got dropped at gay nights, I left the dancefloor when Joakim dropped it, and my thought this time was, if this is Christian Martin’s indication of where he plans to take the mood of the night, I’m going elsewhere. At the time that simply meant a trip to the loo, but when I got in there I walked into the middle of some shout-down between two guys, and that was enough to convince me that it was time to leave.

A word about the crowd: I have yet to figure out who these people are that come to Mighty. I see more button-down shirts, black cocktail dresses, and expensive handbags than any club outside of North Beach here, and nobody really struck me as being that much of a music head (but, I will say, they do dance, which is far better than a bunch of people standing around looking vaguely ill-at-ease, which you find at so many gay nights). I did see some folks there representing the club freaks, which was great, but every time I go there I get this vibe of white collar professional guys taking their girlfriends out to this dance club that they think is kind of edgy, trying to impress them that they know about places other than North Beach and the Marina. There’s also a seriously ugly undercurrent to the vibe here, perhaps because so many people get packed into a small space with bad traffic flow, inadequate bathroom facilities, and no place to sit down. While standing outside waiting for Kitty to fetch his coat I saw two other guys get into a shouting match, with one calling out to the other “yeah, yeah, what’s your name, where do you live?” Even the bouncers get into it here; standing in the smoking area out front I saw a guy hop the barricade, only to have a security guard grab him by the throat and essentially force him back over the barricade. Hey, you know, sometimes talking to people works too.

So, having heard Claude vonStroke last week at The End Up, where there was plenty of room to dance, a much more congenial atmosphere, and a better sound system (seriously, unless you’re right at the focal point of that big new 7-way system at Mighty, it sounds like crap, and too loud crap at that), getting burgers at Sparky’s before the 2AM rush sounded like an excellent way to end the evening. I like a lot of the stuff Dirtybird is putting out, and they certainly demonstrated that, both individually and collectively, they’ve got serious chops and a mastery of a wide variety of genres; I just hope that, next year, they’ll be partying in a better venue, with a crowd that’s a bit less B&T.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Dueling Drag Diva Divertisements

I was postering through the Castro yesterday evening for Fuck Shit, Let's Dance, and as I was about to tape a poster to a lightpole I noticed something; every other event that had postered that pole featured a drag queen. There was Suppositori Spelling on the Lucky Pierre poster (who, that night, actually played strip poker and we got to see how much of a boy she really is!); Heklina on the Bearracuda poster (which advertised a full-on drag show at midnight); the Monster Show with Cookie Dough at Harvey's; and two Trannyshack events, the Big Sleazy and the Trannyshack Reno show.

Now, granted, I assumed that the forces of Heklina were behind several of these posters, but it did stop and make me think about something I've been pondering for a while, which is the significance of drag to the San Francisco gay nightlife scene. Aside from these events, there's also Charlie Horse at The Cinch and other events at Deco and Aunt Charlie's Lounge, and drag shows have also been big parts of parties from Comfort and Joy and Honey Sound System; in fact, it seems that, if you don't have some kind of drag performer or performance associated with your event, you're missing an important component of what people have come to expect.

Now, I'm not being critical of this - Lord knows, after the dust-up with the furries, the last thing I need is a bunch of pissed-off drag queens on my ass - but I do find it curious, as I don't remember drag being such a big deal when I first moved here in 1999. I was later talking with a friend about this, someone who has lived here a lot longer than I have, and he confirmed that drag queens did seem to be a much bigger deal in the scene now than they were back then.

My theory is that it all has to do with the success of Trannyshack, and the number of Miss Trannyshack winners who have decided to use their title to further themselves in the nightlife scene, which is entirely appropriate. I think Juanita More is the first former Miss Trannyshack I became aware of as an actual promoter, and then there's Midnight Mass from Peaches Christ as well.

So, I'm curious to hear from you all about this; do you think that drag has increased in prominence in the SF scene over the past decade or so, and, if so, why? If it's because of Miss Trannyshack, do you think that, since it's now coming to an end, this will change the complexion (so to speak) of the overall scene? What do you think drag means for the scene in general?

Friday, March 7, 2008

Your Saturday Guide for March 8, 2008

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 reviews of Drunk and Horny.
$5
9PMish - 2.00AM (with maybe an afterparty)
Underground SF, 424 Haight Street x Webster

Frisco Disco at The Transfer
Every Saturday night they're lined up on the street for this party; haven't made it past the sweating crowds myself yet, but this looks like one of the hottest things going right now. Check it out yourself and let me know what you think.
No cover listed
9.00PM - 2.00AM
The Transfer, Church at Market

Hot Mess at The Stud
A Gus Presents production with DJ Kidd Sysko spinning a little disco punk, a little hip-hop, and a lot of club. Check out the link to see his Top 20 and decide for yourself. I also hear there's baby oil wrestling.
10PM - 3AM
$5
The Stud, 9th x Harrison.

Monthlies and One-Offs

The Jaded Gay DJ Recommends: Dirtybird Label 3rd Year Anniversary
In three years Dirtybird, home to the Martin brothers of Justin and Christian, Claude vonStroke, Style of Eye, Riva Starr, Catz n Dogz, Worthy, The Rejects, and Sammy Dee have almost single-handedly put San Francisco on the techno map. Come celebrate with them as Worthy, Claude vonStroke, and the Brothers Martin lay down the tracks to keep you techno-funkin' all night.
10PM - 4AM
FREE before 11, $5 before 1AM with RSVP to going.com/dirtybirdrecords, $10 otherwise
Mighty, 119 Utah Street x 15th

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Upcoming Event: Disco Happy Hour Fundraiser for Under One Roof, Friday March 7

This just showed up in my inbox, go have a drink, twirl to classic disco sounds, and contribute to a very worthwhile AIDS organization. Here's the deets:

Under One Room Disco Happy Hour Fundraiser
Friday, March 7, 6 - 10pm
518A Castro Street

  • Guest DJs Bus Station John and Steve Fabus spinning classic disco to dance to -- of course we have disco balls! DANCE, DANCE, DANCE!!!

  • Cash Bar featuring a menu of Svedka Vodka drinks courtesy of Svedka and the Lookout. Beer, wine and non-alcoholic also available. Alcoholic Beverages are $5, Non-Alcoholic $3 -- there will be some limited munchies.

  • Raffle drawings every 1/2 hour for great prizes including: Frisee Restaurant $100 Gift Certificate, Kubuki Springs & Spa Package and Foreign Cinema $100 Gift Certificate.

  • NO COVER CHARGE! Bring this email and give us your email/address to enter.

  • Bring your friends!

We're kicking off a month long capital campaign to support the relocation of Under One Roof's store and offices. There will be opportunities to make a donation and have your name and photo (or photo of an honoree) included in a 6'X6' photo mural being placed permanently in the new store location. No donation is required to attend the party! Campaign gifts start at $25 for a name only, $101 for a 4X4 photo, $501 for a 6X6 photo and $1,001 for a 12X12 logo or photo -- space is limited and you will actually be able to pick your photos location on the mural wall at the party this Friday night. All donations are, of course, fully tax deductible. Under One Roof is a registered 501 (c) 3 which has been raising funds for Bay Area AIDS services since 1990.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Upcoming Event: Dirty Bird 3rd Anniversary at Mighty, Saturday March 8

This Saturday Dirtybird will be celebrating its 3rd Anniversary with a blow-out party featuring Claude vonStroke, Justin Martin, Christian Martin, and Worthy at Mighty!

10PM - 4AM
$10, free before 11 with RSVP, $5 before 1AM with RSVP
Mighty, 119 Utah x 15th

Your Friday Guide for March 7, 2008

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 reviews of Charlie Horse at The Cinch.
9PM - close
NO COVER
The Cinch, 1723 Polk Street (between Clay and Washington)

GhettoDisco at The EndUp
With residents Vince, Chris Cox, and Jim Hopkins.
11PM - 11AM
FREE before midnight, $20 until 2AM, $30 after 2AM
The EndUp, 6th x Harrison

Sick! at The Matador
Just found out about this techno night that started up in November in the location of the old Arrow bar. Residents D Spurlock, Jeffrey Allen, Jonathon Neil, Kuze, and Meekrob. Check out my review of Sick!
9PM - 2AM
FREE
Matador, 10 6th Street x Market

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
With live sets from Brazilian electro-punks Lucy and the Popsonics, Gil Mantera's Party Dream, and local techno boy wonder C.L.A.W.S., along with resident DJ Audrock.
10PM - 2AM
$8 before 11, $10 after
The Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell x Van Ness

The Jaded Gay DJ Recommends: Lucky Pierre at The Stud
The one year anniversary with Suppositori Spelling as hostess!
Check out my review of Lucky Pierre!
10PM - 3AM
$5 before 11PM, $7 after
The Stud, 9th x Harrison

Monday, March 3, 2008

Event Review: Claude vonStroke at Kontrol

And, my review of Claude vonStroke at Kontrol is up over on Beatportal as well. This was definitely the best Kontrol I've been to since they moved to The End Up, and though I'm still trying to figure out exactly what to expect from Claude vonStroke, whose tracks have struck me as moving from the gimmicky ("The Whistler") to the truly deep ("Who's Afraid of Detroit"), it was pretty exciting to see our local guy up there really putting some effort into defining a sound for himself. His label, Dirtybird, will be celebrating their 3rd Anniversary this Saturday at Mighty, so you should go check it out for yourself, it should be quite an event.

Event Review: The Last Fag Friday

My main review for the end of Fag Fridays is up over on Beatportal, so you should check it out there. But, the one thing I couldn't mention in that article is that David and Jose of Fag Fridays are starting a record label, Thread Recordings, and their first single, "The Rhythm," by David Harness, will soon be available on Traxsource.com (I couldn't mention this because Traxsource is a competitor to Beatport).

It was a very fun event, to sum up, though the crowd was definitely more mixed than straight-up fags, and I'm starting to understand, now that I've seen it full, why people have issues with Pink as a space. Simply put, it's got no flow. When the dancefloor is full you're constantly being bumped by people trying to get through to the restrooms or coat check, and then there's that corner you have to turn to in order to get to the back bar. It's a weird space, and I would find it difficult to spend a lot of time hanging out there (plus, I don't usually hang out in places that advertise bottles of Dom Perignon for $300 on the mirrors behind the bar).

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Saturday Night Guide for March 1, 2008 - Oh Shit!

Jeez kids, for the first time in a year I forgot to do the Saturday Night Guide. Crap! So, real quick:

The Jaded Gay DJ Recommends:

Kontrol with Derek Plaslaiko and Claude vonStroke at The End Up
I heard Derek play an awesome set over Thanksgiving break a year ago when he was a resident at Bunker in New York, and Claude is our local boy made good, so go check it out!
FREE before 11, $20 after
The End Up, Harrison x 6th

Bearracuda with DeeJay PeePlay and Underdog at Deco Lounge
A few weeks back the boyfriend and I, distinct non-bears, and slightly suspicious of this whole "bear subculture" thing, had an enjoyable, laid-back time at Bearracuda, esp. after we had a couple corndogs from the snack table. If this isn't your scene but you're curious to check it out, tonight promises some great music from PeePlay and Underdog as an enticement.
$7
Deco Lounge, Turk x Larkin