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Monday, November 29, 2010

Saturday Night: DJ Brenmar Burns Off the Turkey Day Calories at 222 Hyde

Posted By on Mon, Nov 29, 2010 at 7:44 AM

click to enlarge Brenmar at 222 Hyde on Saturday
  • Brenmar at 222 Hyde on Saturday
Icee Hot w/ Brenmar
Disco Shawn
Ghosts on Tape
Saturday, November 27
@ 222 Hyde

Better than: Trading new recipes for that 20-pound turkey sitting in your fridge.

Thanksgiving weekend is infamous for "not tonight" excuses of the food coma variety, coupled with an onslaught of ill-fated club events. But with Christmas songs newly out in force, it's a good time to escape from that joyous (er...) family reunion to find sanctuary in dance music and justified alcohol consumption. That safe haven for us this weekend came in the form of Chicago-raised DJ Brenmar's set at 222 Hyde on Saturday.

We'd heard rumors that 222 Hyde is notorious for something like a 30-to-1 guy-girl ratio. Walking in, we were greeted by a warm orange glow, along with the clinking of liquor bottles -- commonly known here as the sound of comfort. An initial glance at the bar confirmed that there were definitely more boys than girls, yet all seemed to converse comfortably with each other over the bass-heavy beats emitting from the other room. With the guy-girl balance ratio mystery solved, and with a shot of whiskey to combat the last traces of the outside freeze, the night radiated jolly promise.

click to enlarge Ghosts on Tape
  • Ghosts on Tape
In the back dance room, Ghosts on Tape played a slamming warm-up set of tropical grime sounds as the club quickly filled with familiar San Francisco party faces. Polite chatter about Thanksgiving was soon replaced with discussions of music and whose turn it was to buy shots.

click to enlarge Disco Shawn
  • Disco Shawn
The migration towards the dance floor shortly began. As Disco Shawn of Bersa Discos fame came on around midnight, the crowd intimately pushed up against one another. But two dancing bodies are better than one, so synchronized hip-shaking of became the dance move of the night.

click to enlarge crowd_222_1.jpg
As the room and music picked up steam, it seemed like tropical rainforest flowers might bloom out of the brick walls. Brenmar came on around 12:45, showcasing the turbo soundsystem for which 222 is known, and wearing a tribal t-shirt that looked like it just came off a loom in Mexico. He began his set with a warm-up of Dutch house beats. As he segued into heavier bass, coupled with juke and hip-hop, it was easy to hear the musical influences of his hometown Chicago. When he dropped his well-known house remixes of R&B jams like Aaliyah's "Are You That Somebody" and Cassie's "Me & U", the crowd was sweating and burning calories faster than a post-holiday boot camp. Halfway into his set, audience members raised their arms while people rapped to their favorite dirty hip-hop jams. Yet as the night wore on, Brenmar managed to never stray too far from his signature house sound.

Two a.m. came faster than imagined, as the crowd slowly trickled out, exhausted yet happily buzzing about this up-and-coming DJ. And thus was this year's post-Thanksgiving workout accomplished.

Critic's Notebook

Overhead in the crowd: "Yeah I went all Kanye on her. Then I punched her in the face."

"Are you really getting just water? Water is cold."

Random notebook dump: Taxicabs should be banned from playing Christmas jams. Listening to "Winter Wonderland" after a night of whiskey and booming bass doesn't put anyone in the holiday spirit. Does it?

Follow us on Twitter @SFAllShookDown and @ChrisxtinaLi

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Christina Li


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