The Top Five Parties in San Francisco This Weekend
It may be Valentine's Day, but who cares? It's President's Day on Monday, and in our eyes, that's a far better holiday. After all, the Hallmark Corporation may give you a reason to celebrate love, but it certainly doesn't give you a day off from work. To better help you ease into things, we've put together this list for your perusal. Read on -- your weekend awaits.
DJ Assault plays Public Works this Friday.
Lower Haight staple Galaxy Radio returns this month with a special "electric love" edition in honor of Valentine's Day. As it says on Facebook, "Warning!: transmissions from deep inner space are alerting loyal listeners that cosmik love ray blasts have been fired directly at Underground SF for the February installment of GALAXY RADIO!" Helming the decks as a guest is Nicky B., the now Los Angeles-based DJ who was once a fixture at UGSF via his Gemini Disco parties. If his sets back then are anything to go on, you should expect a well-curated blend of rare Italo, uplifting Japanese disco, and other assorted oddities. Listen to "Let Me Be Your Radio," Paul Paul's "Good Times," and Methusalem "Zombie" to get in the mood.
Don't have a date this Valentine's Day? Looking to get into something raunchy? Public Works has you covered with what it calls "a Booty Battle of epic proportions." In charge of the festivities is a whole variety of acts, but we recommend you train your attention on DJ Assault, the Detroit-based ghetto-tech don behind "Yo Relatives" and "Ass & Titties," what may very well be the best XXX anthem of all time. Watch the man totally slay it with live scratching -- on records! -- in Stockholm back in 2005. There's also a secret guest scheduled to play after Assault. One of the promoters offered a teaser by posting this video and saying "Y'all ain't ready for the TOP SECRET trap star we have coming on after DJ Assault... the SF debut of this madman is gonna titillate, twerk-u-late and devastate!"
Though it may have started at Chicago's Smart Bar, Acid Test feels a natural fit for the nightlife climate of San Francisco. Establishing a vital link with the underground house community of the Midwest, it's been responsible for some of the better parties in recent memory. (Check out our review of Steven Tang's appearance in November). This month it hosts a performance by Eric Cloutier, a DJ with Detroit roots who has since found success in Brooklyn as one of the residents at legendary techno party The Bunker (and who is currently moving to Berlin). Listen to this mix of him performing in Amsterdam back in November for an idea of what to expect.
The approach of President's Day means that it's yet again time for a Stompy and Sunset-produced Sunday afternoon party at Cafe Cocomo. Always a fun time, this latest one fits pretty closely with tradition by offering a full day's worth of quality dance music culminating in a headlining set by Parisian DJ Franck Roger. Working in the scene since the early '00s, Roger's had a prolific career that's recently taken a turn towards the techier side of house, as can be heard on "Don't U Know," his pending release on TSUBA. Listen to this mix of him live in London for a glimpse of what he can do behind a pair of turntables.
It's hard to overstate the importance of the role Louie Vega has played in the development of house music. As one-half of Masters at Work, he's been behind some of the most enduring classics of the genre, with a style that combines lush disco production with the swung-out and jazzy rhythms typical of New York in the '90s. Yet while he's mostly known as a producer, he's also an absolutely phenomenal DJ, with a style that has roots in an older and more complicated way of doing things. To listen to him spin is to be given a real education in what it means to be active behind the decks (and that's putting it lightly). Check out his classic track "Deep Inside," this essential mix from 1997, and this review of the last time he played in San Francisco.