[Editor's note: SF Weekly nightlife writer Derek Opperman had to take a break over the last two weeks to wrap up some academic projects. He's back in action now, thankfully -- so expect our usual slate of weekend dancefloor advice every Thursday, and the Lost in the Night party review column every Monday. Every other Wednesday starting next week, Opperman will return to rounding up some local favorite dance tracks in his Signal to Noise posts.]
And we're back again with another installment of Weekend Party Preview. Hopefully you managed yourself well enough during our two-week absence. If you didn't, our apologies -- it won't happen again. Anyway, this week we've got a solid list of parties for you to look over, with the usual divide between abstract head music and concrete four-on-the-floor dance. Read on -- your weekend awaits.
Friday, April 27
Where: Public Works
When: 9 p.m. - 3 a.m.
Why: Have you ever felt that your nightlife experiences are undertheorized? If so, Public Access is responding to your desires with a hyperconceptual experience that blends the "dreamlike glamour of amateur video" with "beloved cliches of the nightlife." Featuring five headliners and a full roster of local DJs, it's quickly shaping up to be the weekend's can't-miss spectacle. Headlining the bill is UK production outfit/merry pranksters Hype Williams, who'll hopefully grace Public Works with a humor-laden moment as they have on songs like "Get Choong and Look at the Sky" and "Your Girl Smells Chung When She Wears Dior." Next up is Zebra Katz , whose Rick Owens-approved horror-vogue anthem, "Ima Read (ft. Njena Reddd Foxxx)," has him out and about touring. Gatekeeper ought to keep the dark vibes rolling; its entire discography so far sounds like the soundtrack to some lost Dario Argento film. Total Accomplishment will cast an even darker shadow, with a set of punishing "nu' acid tech perfection." Finally, Teengirl Fantasy will be up from L.A. to deliver one of its always enjoyable hardware-centric live sets (it's older, but be sure to check out John Talabot's excellent remix of "Cheaters"). If none of that has convinced you, then check out the party's bizarre TV Carnage-esque promo video.
When: 10 p.m. - 2 a.m.
Why: Earlier this year we ran a story on the wild 6 a.m. party scene at Monroe. Based in North Beach, it's so far distinguished itself as a destination in an area not usually known for tasteful nightlife. Now, the pioneering club is celebrating its first anniversary with a weekend-long party that will usher in the venue's new "M-card' membership service. Swing by, scarf down some hors d'oeuvres, dance to some tunes, and there's a good chance you'll get to pick an "M-card" up for yourself.
Saturday, April 28
When: 10 p.m. - 5 a.m.
Why: I have this idea that pops in my head every once in awhile: In 10 or 20 years we'll look at old school house DJs in the same way that jazz musicians and bluesmen are viewed today. Well, maybe, but even if that's not the case, there's no denying the physical dexterity and narrative genius that seems to flow from the masters of New York-style house DJing. If you've never experienced it, here's your chance to catch three of that city's unrivalled best on a soundsystem straight from the heyday of house. Louie Vega is one half of Masters of Work, the era-defining production outfit responsible for such anthems as "The Ha Dance," "Deep Inside," and "I Can't Get No Sleep." In addition to being an influential producer, he's also one of the most jawdroppingly good DJs I've ever heard, with a style that leans hard on the EQs without ever seeming excessive. Next up is Tony Humphries, who's an East Coast legend in his own right. Humphries was a radio DJ on the influential 98.7 Kiss FM (check out this three deck mix from 1993), and held a storied residency at Zanzibar, Newark's answer to the Paradise Garage. There he would play an instrumental role in promoting the "Jersey Sound," a form of garage house that's steeped in gospel. Last but not least is David Morales, a man who at one time was considered the highest-paid remixer of all time. A DJ who's played at The Loft, The Paradise Garage, Sound Factory, The Red Zone, and just about every other notable New York venue, to say that Morales is a big figure in dance would be a real understatement. Get a feel for his style by listening to these remixes: Bjork's "Hyperballad," De La Soul's "Saturdays," and Black Sheep's "Strobelight Honey." Also, check out this mix of Morales DJing live at Red Zone in 1990. Particularly relevant considering the three of them will "tag all night long playing ONLY '90s house music!"
Where: The Hot Spot
When: 9:30 p.m. -2 a.m.
Why: With so much focus on larger venues, it can be easy to lose sight of the local scene. Dark Room is a monthly descent into all things dark, freaky, and high concept. Located at an under-the-radar bar called Hot Spot, the party "blends vintage and new dark electro, punk, industrial, gothic, and more into a QUEER positive and blended environment." In practice, that means the party blends dark music with the theatrics of drag. This month the party boasts a live performance by Violent Vicky and a guest DJ set by Anna Conda. Five bucks gets you through the door; arrive before 11 p.m. and I'm told you'll get a free shot of whiskey.
Sunday, April 29
What: Deniz Kurtel
When: 7 p.m. - 2 a.m.
Why: At this point Deniz Kurtel might as well be a household (sorry, couldn't resist) name in techier circles. The American producer excels in moody dance cuts with deep atmospherics and clean production: tracks like "The L Word," "Best Of," and "Whisper" all show off her unique vision. Music Watching Over Me, her debut LP, was one of 2011's most highly regarded releases. Now, Kurtel is back with a follow-up album called The Way We Live, and an associated tour that's got her traversing the country performing live. Along for the ride is INTROSPETACULAR, a traveling LED installation that can be best grasped through this video. Support comes by way of DJ sets by Tanner Ross, Pillow Talk, and Navid Izadi.