Lost in the Night: 12 Hours of New Year's Eve Partying

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Different rules apply when it's after-hours. In San Francisco, this refers to the dead zone between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m. The city resembles a scene from the Omega Man, with an eerie silence replacing the usual bustle. I thought about this as time once again compressed like an accordion and spat us out at the bar in the basement of Monarch. It was 6:30 a.m. and I was enjoying a bloody mary with Avalon and my former DJ partner Nicky B. Despite the hour, the club had already started to fill up with a mixture of people mostly comprised of recognizable faces and dedicated partiers. Opening DJ James Glass played an effortless set of Italo and disco that felt rejuvenated after a soundtrack that mostly consisted of harder and more synthetic sounds. It's a real pleasure to hear Glass spin. He rarely plays, but he's a one-in-a-million DJ with an understated style that makes his killer song selection and razor sharp mixing seem effortless. Looking through his record bag, he pulled out a 12-inch, placed it on the platter, and then we were listening to Mr. Master's "Dog in the Night."

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Kahley Avalon Emerson

Across the room, Donovan set up his equipment and began projecting trippy overlays on the slowly growing dancefloor. Red-hued circuit diagrams flickered across a wall of moving bodies before shifting into other shapes and designs. Solar was behind the decks now and he was playing The Beat Club's "Security." A skinny girl danced alone on a stage in front of a morphing projection of Salvador Dalí's Human Skull Consisting of Seven Naked Women's Bodies.

By now the sun had come up and a trip to the bar upstairs was an uncomfortable proposition. "I'm very interested in the population dynamics of cities! The demographic flow! Like how people live around the city center in Paris! The whole world is becoming suburbanized! I think it's safe to say! That I'm feeling the effects of a drug right now!" Said a completely twisted friend of mine who punctuated his points by throwing his arms wildly in the air. Another friend walked up, "Here man, do you want another whiskey and Red Bull? I brought you another one." He turned to me and said, "You know, this is the only 6 a.m. party of the year I know I won't regret going to." They left together to go mingle.

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Kahley Avalon Emerson

Finally, Justin Vandervolgen hopped on the decks at 9 a.m. Surprisingly the party was still at moderate capacity, with a new group of people arriving fresh-faced from having slept all night in preparation. Vandervolgen toyed with the dance floor, playing with their ears by pulling the music in and out and using tons of effects. The music itself was good, but he didn't mix so much as trainwreck between songs. We hung around for a while, but finally decided we'd run a few miles past the finish line. I looked at my watch and realized it was almost 10 a.m. We gathered our things and stepped out into the unforgiving light of the morning sun. 2013 had arrived, and so had we.

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Kahley Avalon Emerson

Check out more of Kahley Avalon Emerson's photos from the party here.

-- @DerekOpperman @Avalon_Emerson




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161 Erie, San Francisco, CA

Category: Music

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