The Top Five Parties in San Francisco: How to Party for 28 Hours on New Year's Eve
Secular or religious, no matter your faith, we hope you had a good and relaxing holiday, and that you're feeling rested for the mayhem to come. This week's party rundown is a little different, and that's due to the monumental nature of New Year's Eve. To better prepare you, we've augmented our usual coverage with a full-blown guide to all that's happening this Tuesday evening and Wednesday day. Read on --your weekend (and New Year's Eve) awaits.
Matthew Dear plays Public Works on New Year's Eve.
From Dusk 'Til Dawn and Back Again
A 28-hour party agenda for New Year's Eve and New Year's Day
Though it's a holiday worth looking forward to, New Year's Eve gets a bad rap. Much like Halloween, it's a true amateur's hour, with expensive parties catering to a sloppy subset of the population that thinks the phrase "blackout drunk" is the key to a good time. This may be true, but you can still make the best of it if you surrender your inhibitions and enter the void. Instead of sitting this one out, we're going to show you how to stay in the game like a professional and party from 10 p.m. on Tuesday to 2 a.m. -- or later -- on Thursday. It's going to be hairy, and you'll need to pace yourself, but you will get through.
This is a choose-your-own-adventure guide, and we're placing you at a fork in the road with three ways to begin your Tuesday at 10 p.m. The first option is the traditional route: Honey Soundsystem and Sunset's party at Public Works (161 Erie St. 9 p.m.-5 a.m., $25-$40; publicsf.com) has long been the discerning clubber's destination for NYE, and this year its bash is futuristic, with a white-noise and drop-laden DJ set from Detroit minimal techno selector Matthew Dear. If that sounds too genre-specific, then head to Bill Graham Civic Auditorium for Sea of Dreams (99 Grove St. 8 p.m.-3 a.m., $90-$170; billgrahamcivicauditorium.com), an eclectic night out that pairs poppy Swedish indie electronica band Little Dragon with big-name, big-room spinners like A-Trak, Dillon Francis, and Thievery Corporation.
Depending on how you play your cards, these options should carry you well past last call. You'll probably be tired, so drink a Red Bull and cue up at BeatBox: This year the SOMA warehouse will open its doors at 4 a.m. on New Year's Day for Morning Glory (314 11th St. 4 a.m.-close, $10; beatboxsf.com), a disco- and house-centric afterparty whose marketing copy ominously declares, "You'll feel better than you look" and which features DJ sets by a long roster of talented local party personalities like Odyssey's Robin Simmons, Lyfe's Robert Jeffrey, and Go Bang!'s Steve Fabus and Sergio Fedasz.
Six a.m. on New Year's Day is magical. Much like 2 a.m. on a normal evening, it's the moment when the kids go to bed and the fun really starts -- 'cause it's the earliest time that alcohol can be sold legally in California. Put on your sunglasses and grab your first Bloody Mary at Monarch (101 6th St. 6 a.m.-close, $10-$20; monarchsf.com): No Way Back and Honey Soundsystem are teaming up to handle the after-after party mess with help from Hunee, a DJ who recently moved to L.A. from Berlin and brought the late-night house sound of the German capital with him.
Alternatively, hitch a ride to F8 for Housepitality (1192 Folsom St., 6 a.m.-4 a.m., $10-$25; feightsf.com), where the popular Wednesday night weekly is hosting a madcap 22-hour edition with headlining sets by Los Angeles bass line house slayer Doc Martin and Berlin techno heavyweight Heartthrob. It's also offering complimentary breakfast, should you be hungry.
Finally, an exhortation: Don't forget Cafe Cocomo (650 Indiana St., 2 p.m.-2 a.m., $10-$20; cafecocomo.com) The pleasantly appointed indoor-outdoor Dogpatch space will be closing in 2014, which means this will be your last chance to experience Sunset and Stompy's much-loved New Year's Day party there. Get some lunch and limber up for an intense last hurrah -- it features the considerable talents of revered Chicago house innovator Lil' Louis.
Then, if you somehow manage to do accomplish all of this, please check into a hospital and don't tell the authorities we had anything to do with you.
As You Like It Ugly Sweater Party with Mathew Jonson at Public Works
9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 28. $13-$15
As one third of Canadian deep house supergroup Cobblestone Jazz, Mathew Jonson has been behind a bewildering amount of classics (like "5th Element"). As a solo artist, he punches things up, augmenting his signature melodic depth with careening bass lines and catchy synthesizer riffs that are all funk and no cheese. Be sure to don your worst wool and acrylic, since he's headlining As You Like It's holiday-themed ugly sweater party. Check out his Boiler Room.
Bob Moses at Monarch
9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 27. $20-$-$25
Though it might sound like one person, Bob Moses is the name of a production duo from New York (by way of Canada). Their music is much less confusing, offering straightforward and poppy dance tracks with ethereal Benoit & Sergio-esque vocals tempered by slick tech-house percussion. Far From the Tree, their latest EP, made for great late-night listening, so expect them to conjure a similar vibe when they perform a live set this Friday.
Fred Falke at Audio Discotech
10 p.m. Friday, Dec. 27. $10-$20
When it comes to French house music, it's hard to beat Fred Falke. His career took off in the early '00s when he teamed with countryman Alan Braxe to release a string of now classic tracks (like "Palladium" and "Intro") that pulled liberally from disco to create a hybrid sound that still fills dancefloors today.
Spilt Milk with Vin Sol at Milk Bar
9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 28. $5
As we've noted elsewhere, it's been a good year for dance music in San Francisco, and part of that is due to the efforts of Vin Sol. He's a long-time local selector and producer whose aggressive dance tracks (like "It's House feat. Tyree Cooper") and high-intensity DJ sets are evocative of that portentous moment in the mid-'80s when disco met drum machines and became house. Check out his "The Dark Side of Dance Mania" mix.