Celebrate the Life (and House Music) of Frankie Knuckles Tonight and This Weekend
By now, you've probably heard the news: On Tuesday, Mar. 31 2014, Frankie Knuckles, the progenitor of Chicago house music, died at the age of 59. In the late-'70s, his unique sets, played at an after-hours club called the Warehouse, gave house both its aesthetic form and name ("house" originally referred to the kind of music Knuckles' played at his club). His potent mixture of disco and electronics is still a large part of global dance culture today -- house music soundtracks parties in nearly every major city in the world. The suddenness of his death was a tragedy, but that doesn't mean you should stay depressed. Instead, we recommend you go out and celebrate his life at one of the many parties that have chosen to honor his legacy.
Tonight, take a jaunt to the Tenderloin, and step into Aunt Charlie's Lounge for a night of sleazy early disco tunes at Tubesteak Connection (133 Turk St., 10 p.m. $5). In a press release sent today, DJ Bus Station John paid his respects, "I was impressed by [Knuckles'] great taste in music, and was turned on to a number of terrific tracks I didn't know -- tracks i've subsequently included in my own sets over the years. One can safely say "the godfather of house" was definitely an inspiration to "the godfather of bathhouse disco"-- thanks, Frankie!"
Then, on Friday, should you feel bold, head to Mighty for Throwback, its '90s house party (119 Utah St., 9 p.m. Free with RSVP/$20 after). Though not billed as a Frankie Knuckles' tribute specifically, the crew behind it will surely drop a few of his classics -- like "The Whistle Song" and "Tears."
Finally, on Saturday, check out Go Bang!, at the Stud (399 9th St., 9 p.m. $7). Not only will it feature a crackin' set by DJ Apt One (featured in this week's Hey, DJ!), but it will also serve as the party's official nod to Knuckles. Expect spirits to run a little higher here; Go Bang! has strong ties to the Chicago scene, with guest DJs from that city regularly making appearances behind the decks (one of the club's residents, Steve Fabus, is from Chicago, and used to go to Knuckles' parties). Sergio Fedasz, the club's founder and other resident, recently explained via Facebook, "We will be paying our respects to Frankie Knuckles throughout the night at this Saturday's Go BANG! With Love, Respect, and Dancing! Life is precious. Music is life. Dancing is liberating." We couldn't have said it better ourselves.
And, if you happen to be too preoccupied to go out, then say goodbye the digital way -- watch and listen to his last appearance on Boiler Room: