Weekend Parties: White Ring at Elbo Room, François K. at Monarch, Hard French Turns Two, and More
White Ring plays at Elbo Room on Friday
Well, it's now March, and we're officially headed towards spring. The implications of the seasonal shift can be felt in the here and now, with a great selection of events to choose from this weekend. Take your pick: We've got post-witch house, NYC disco originals, the last stand of ESG, and even a wild party seeking to occupy your Saturday afternoon. Read on -- your weekend awaits.
Friday, March 2
What: 120 Minutes presents White Ring and James Ferraro Live
Where: Elbo Room
When: 9 p.m. - 2 a.m.
Why: Fans of both Waka Flocka Flame and Bauhaus have at least one reason to rejoice together: 120 Minutes is back. The monthly party has developed a reputation for a spooky atmosphere that blends hallucinatory visual effects with a soundtrack of bleak hip-hop and goth classics. This time around, the party is back with a promising double feature of an evening. Headlining the bill is 120 Minutes alumnus White Ring, the Tri Angle-affiliated duo whose live spectacle demands to be seen: it's a smoky mess of avant-garde grunge fashion, Yoko Ono squawking, and Dirty South hip-hop beats. Get a feel for their sound by listening to "Roses" and "Suffocation." Joining the duo for the evening is James Ferraro, the prolific artist whose past projects have included The Skaters and, more recently, Bodyguard. Check out this mix he recorded for The Quietus.
What: Time & Space presents François K.
When: 9 p.m. - 2 a.m.
Why: Few people have had such an impact on modern dance music as François Kevorkian. His career began in '70s New York, working at the Galaxy 21 discotheque alongside the DJ pyrotechnics of Walter Gibbons. Quickly rising through the ranks, he soon found himself involved with Prelude records, where his unique, dub-influenced remixing style turned good songs into dance classics. Today the words "Mixed by François Kevorkian" can be found on such diverse releases as Yaz's "Situation," Sharon Redd's "Can You Handle It," and even The Smiths' "This Charming Man." Throughout it all, Kevorkian has remained active in running his Wave Music label, moderating his popular message board, producing classic house records, DJing with Danny Krivit and Joe Claussell as Body & Soul, and, finally, hosting the weekly Monday night party Deep Space at Cielo in New York. If this one seems like a no-brainer, that's because it is. Before you go, get acquainted with his dubby style of DJing by listening to this Essential Mix he recorded for the BBC in 2006.
Saturday, March 3
What: Feliz Cumpleaños Hard French
Where: El Rio
When: 2 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Why: It's hard to believe that it's only been two years for Hard French. Now, at the beginning of its 2012 season -- and on the heels of a successful Winter Ball in Santa Cruz -- the queer '60s day party at El Rio is celebrating its latest anniversary by returning to its Mission District home for six hours of R&B and Northern Soul-fueled "hard dancing and hard cruising." As usual, the soundtrack for the afternoon will be provided by resident selectors Carnita and Brown Amy while visual cues come courtesy of the always-entertaining Hard French Jiggalicious Dance Babes. Joining the proceedings is Portland DJ Beyondadoubt, who promises to bring the deep-crated sound she's honed at her monthly "I've Got a Hole in My Soul" parties. Get in the mood by listening to one of the stunning mini-mixes on her SoundCloud page. Oh yeah, and remember to get dressed up: The venue will be hosting a photo booth created by the eighth-grade advanced art class at San Jose's Joseph George Middle School.
What: No Way Back with ESG and Junior
When: 9 p.m. - 2 a.m.
Why: ESG, one of dance music's most enduring groups, is calling it quits. Coming out of New York's '80s No Wave scene, the group's punky and brash appropriation of the disco beat has influenced legions of followers and an army of MPC-equipped beat junkies. Tracks like "Moody" and "UFO" show off the group's finer points, while a quick glance at Gang Starr's "Work," Big Daddy Kane's "Ain't No Half Steppin'," and the Beastie Boys' "Put Shame in Your Game" all reveal the group's position in popular culture. Joining the girls for the evening is Junior from Sarcastic Disco in L.A. as well as No Way Back selectors Conor and Solar. For a more substantial rundown of ESG, check out my full piece from earlier this week.