Weekend Parties: Juan Atkins and Balam Acab, Slow Hands, Groove Merchant Holiday Party, and More

WPPslowhands.jpg
Slow Hands performs Friday at Beatbox

The holidays are rapidly approaching and, if you're anything like us, you're probably getting pretty stressed. If that's the case, take some time out for yourself and decompress at one of this weekend's many offerings. Here are four solid options for going out on the last weekend before Christmas. Live it up while you still can!

Friday, Dec. 16
What: As You Like It with Slow Hands
Where: BeatBox
When: 9 p.m. - 4 a.m.
Why: As You Like It returns with its latest installment featuring New York underground house producer Slow Hands. An affiliate of the tasteful Wolf + Lamb imprint, Slow Hands has a style that's been described as "make-out disco." It's a slowed down take on dance music that AYLI promises will "fill the air with sexuality and dancing late into the night." For a better idea of what that means, check out "Fast Tongue," "Rough Patch," and his cover of Sade's "Sweetest Taboo." For an idea of his DJ style, check out some of the podcasts on his SoundCloud. Support for the evening comes from Secrets, Michael Tello, and Briski.

What: Groove Merchant 20 Years Holiday Edition
Where: Som-Bar
When: 10 p.m. - 2 a.m.
Why: Going on strong for 20 years now, Groove Merchant has achieved the status of a local institution. A small boutique record store in the Lower Haight, the shop's exceedingly rare record collection has inspired countless depraved vinyl addicts and DJs (check out the reference in the Beastie Boys' "Professor Booty.") Much of that influence is due to the impeccable curation of "Cool" Chris Veltri, the store's owner. Now, in celebration of the holidays, Chris has arranged a party of epic proportions with an incredibly special -- but secret -- guest. He wouldn't tell us who, but considering last year's guest was DJ Shadow, we're sure he's got something special. He says, "[Let's] just say he is one of my top 3 favorite DJs of ALL TIME, and perhaps the only human to star in a film with George Clooney and own an original copy of the Invaders 'Spacing Out'!" Check out Groove Merchant's recent compilation, Groove Merchant 20, fully streamable on the store's SoundCloud.

Saturday, Dec. 17
What: Icee Hot & Public Works featuring Juan Atkins, Balam Acab, and oOoOO
Where: Public Works
When: 10 p.m. - 4 a.m.
Why: Juxtaposition is the name of the game at Icee Hot's upcoming year-end party. This weekend the forward-thinking party crew has arranged for one of its stranger bookings. Topping the bill is Detroit techno inventor Juan Atkins, whose productions -- as Cybotron, Model 500, and about a dozen others -- have changed the face of dance music as we know it today. Check out "No UFO's," "Clear," "Jazz Is the Teacher," and "Technicolor" for the scope of Atkins' revolutionary material. An accomplished DJ, Atkins' sets are broad excursions through current and classic material with moments in house, disco, and techno. Check out his "We Fear Silence" mix and, if you can, pick up his classic Wax Trax! MasterMix Volume 1. In addition to a hearty helping of techno, the party will also feature live sets from immersive beatsmith Balam Acab (his San Francisco debut), drag house pioneer oOoOO, and Icee Hot's own Ghosts on Tape. To get an idea of this side of the party, check out Balam Acab's "Motion," oOoOO's "Burnout Eyess," and Ghosts on Tape's "Video Void." DJ sets come courtesy of Shawn Reynaldo, Rollie Fingers, and Icee Hot compadre/Lazer Sword member Low Limit.

What: O.K.-HOLE-IDAY #3 W/ Head Shop Boys, Digital Butt, & Velvet Fist
Where: Amnesia
When: 10 p.m. - 2 a.m.
Why: Here's something for those of you looking for something more explicitly holiday themed. Long running techno-not-techno party O.K. Hole returns this month with its much anticipated, third annual "holeiday" party. Topping the bill is the debut performance of The Head Shop Boys, a Pet Shop Boys tribute band. Composed of High Fantasy's Myles Cooper (check out the awesomely lo-fi video for "Gonna Find Boyfriends Today") and Wav Dwgs' Bobby Browser, their performance promises to do the Pet Shop Boys like "you've never heard them before." Also on the bill are performances by Digital Butt and Velvet Fist. DJ support comes by way of Berlin's Alan Always and O.K. Hole residents C.L.A.W.S., Keith Slogan, and Nay Nay. Oh yeah, as per their Facebook page: "Dressing like a reindeer or snowman highly encouraged."

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