The Top Five Parties in San Francisco This Weekend
As we ease on into the latter half of November, things begin to slow down in San Francisco. Temperatures get cooler, the rains come, and the succession of holidays throws the natural order of things out of balance. Or rather, you might think so, but the truth is rather different. In fact, the next few days are loaded pretty heavily with events you really ought to check out. Here's a small list to help you navigate the complex waters of nightlife in the city. Read on -- your weekend awaits.
Model 500 plays at Mezzanine this Friday.
Though once a major force in S.F. nightlife, the influence of drum 'n' bass has waned in recent years. Nevertheless, there's a strong community of diehards that still go out in search of the genre's wild kinetic energy and spastic breakbeats. Both of those things will be doled out in ample quantity at this party, starring drum 'n' bass innovator LTJ Bukem. Getting his start in the early '90s, Bukem injected aspects of jazz and Detroit techno into the nascent form, giving it a stylistic direction that has remained through the present. Get ready for the night and stream Logical Progression, his era-defining mix CD on Youtube.
It's not a secret: San Francisco is really into the new sound of vocal tech-house. Few labels exemplify this movement better than Hot Creations, a label started by Jamie Jones and Lee Foss. Emphasizing the funk of deep-pitched basslines and '80s-indebted arrangements, the sound is less moody than some other takes on the same genre -- a fact that's responsible for its widespread adoption within club culture. If that all sounds too abstract for you, this Sunday offers a chance to hear it for yourself with a headlining set by Lee Foss at Monarch. Check out "Electricity," his recent cut recorded with MK and vocalist Anabel Englund, and expect another wild time in Monarch's fantastic-sounding basement.
Are you the kind of person that wishes summer would never end? If you are, you might consider moving to L.A., because the city you're in currently doesn't really specialize in year-round warm weather. If that seems like too drastic a move, this party might satisfy you with an L.A.-centric roster of up-and-comers that includes such indie-leaning producers as Classixx (check out "Into the Valley"), Cosmic Kids (listen to the just released "Freight to My Soul"), and Jerome LOL (formerly of LOL Boys, and one of the entities behind the rise of the "Seapunk" aesthetic that's garnered so much attention lately). This is probably the last reference to summer we'll be seeing for a long time, so enjoy it before San Francisco gets cold and rainy.
Though he's better known for his role in LCD Soundsystem, James Murphy has always been a DJ. Working together with Pat Mahoney, he created the Special Disco Version parties and re-introduced New York to the sounds of its clubland past. Today he continues much in the same vein, touring the world and playing extended sets of disco, '80s electro, and bits of house. We really enjoyed his last set at Public Works back in May, and imagine this weekend's party will be a natural sequel. For an idea of what to expect, check out "Losing My Edge" and his recent set on Boiler Room. Local support comes from Eug and -- full disclosure -- myself.
Two major events rolled into one, that's the best way of thinking about this week's top pick. Friday marks the three-year anniversary of No Way Back, one of San Francisco's most consistently excellent parties. To celebrate, the crew is bringing out Model 500 for a special headlining set that promises to dive deep into the roots of techno. For those unfamiliar, Model 500 is an alias/band created by Juan Atkins, a figure largely considered to be the "godfather of Detroit techno." Back in the '80s and '90s, tracks like "No UFO's" and "Jazz is the Teacher" were instrumental in creating the blueprint for the form. On hiatus for a while in the '00s, Atkins resurfaced recently alongside some rather important Detroiters to form Model 500 as a modern entity that releases singles and tours. Check out "OFI" and "Control" to hear the group's latest dancefloor hits.