Porter Robinson loves the Bay Area. A DJ and producer who's signed to Skrillex's OWSLA imprint, he cites San Francisco as his favorite place to play out and visit, not least after 2011's packed gig at Ruby Skye marked the emergence of the electro-dance purveyor as as an artist capable of selling-out headlining shows on his own. So ahead of Robinson's Noise Pop-presented show at Oakland's Fox Theater this Friday, Feb. 24, we got him to tell us about the five things he hearts most in San Francisco.
Journey's Former Studio
"There's this studio in the Dogpatch area that was formerly Journey's studio. It was also where [Europe's] 'The Final Countdown' was recorded. It's in this warehouse. There are some artifacts of the time Journey spent there, plus a couple of records up there [on the walls] and a vocal booth that was formerly used by the band. Now The M Machine use it a lot, Penny is often up there, and one of the guys who basically lives at the warehouse goes by the alias of Tron Jeremy -- we have this series of electronic-music-porn aliases... When you walk in there are all these bicycles hanging on the walls. It's a really nice joint. Am I a fan of 'The Final Countdown'? Well, it was featured awesomely in Arrested Development -- there's a character called Gob who used it in his magic show and it's just the ultimate cheese. It's also really catchy."
"This is my favorite coffeehouse in the whole world, and it's just a short walk away from the studio. It's really tasty coffee there. I'm not a coffee snob, and I'm not a purist, and maybe I'm subject to the hype, but this place has eight or nine different named coffees -- I don't think any are espresso-based, they're all brewed -- and I've tried them all and they're all fantastic. I'm a bit of a caffeine addict, I'll admit; I'm not a fan of dark coffees, so as light coffees tend to have more caffeine, I try and go for that. Their gimmick is that they take a long time and it's a really slow experience: You go in there and you chat with other people and your friends while you have your coffee and have a real nice time. It makes it kinda sentimental."
Shopping in the Haight
"I'm a big fuckin' shopper and I shop in every city. So I had a great time just going for brunch in the Haight -- I've had some great Asian food around there -- and then walking around window shopping and looking at all the stores. It was just all this really cool stuff, some antique and vintage things, just really cool stuff you get in San Francisco. Those are some sweet stores."
The Hipster Chicks
"The girls in San Francisco are super hot. I love the hipster chicks. They tend to wear like floral print leggings and vintage dresses and the hairbands and the glasses. With hipster chicks, it's in part an attraction to the style, like the nice cutesy lacy type of stuff, but it's also in part an attraction to the mystique and the coolness of them. At shows I encounter so many raver girl groupies, but what's more enticing to me is the girls that are more refined in taste and culture. And there are absolutely more hipster chicks in the Bay Area than other places!"
"My first show here was formative and iconic for me, 'cause it felt like one of my first real headliner shows and the first time I saw that much excitement and everyone come out and it was sold out and people were lining up around the street. Up until that point in my career I was more doing things like opening for other people like Skrillex and Tiësto, so for me to have my own show and see that volume of people come out was amazing!"