As Memorial Day approaches, so does the extended pleasure of a three-day weekend. While it might be tempting to turn off your phone and barbecue straight from Friday to Monday, we strongly urge you to look over this short list before checking out completely. Read on -- your weekend awaits.
Friday, May 25
When: 9 p.m. - 2 a.m.
Why: Back in 2008, heads turned when a band called Laughing Light of Plenty released "The Rose." Dropped on the enigmatic Whatever We Want imprint, it sounded like an inspired mix between the neo-Balearic murmurings of that year and the cockshure swagger of The Stone Roses. Though the song proved a success, not much was heard from the group afterwards; an extremely limited edition double LP did little to change that status. However, central member Eddie Ruscha Jr. has put together a new project called Secret Circuit. Pulling from a similar space as Laughing Light of Plenty, but injecting more cosmic and electronic aspects, Ruscha's latest moniker is every bit as weird and danceable. Check out tracks like "Nebula Sphynx" and "Khoi Khoi," before heading over to Selectorate, at Monarch, this Friday, to catch Secret Circuit's first ever live performance in San Francisco.
Where: Public Works
When: 9:30 p.m. - 3:30 a.m.
Why: Listen closely to the music of LCD Soundsystem, and you'll notice the complex network of samples and interpolations that supports the group's sound. For instance, "Get Innocuous" references Kraftwerk's "The Robots," "Dance Yourself Clean" is Pool's "Jamaica Running" redone, and "Throw" is a note-for-note cover of Paperclip People's 1994 dance classic. Though the group has since disbanded, former frontman James Murphy continues to provide a similar experience in his storied DJ sets. A longtime record collector (remember "Losing My Edge"?), Murphy's spent the last decade DJing and evangelizing for the weirder side of disco with Pat Mahoney as DJ duo/party Special Disco Version. This Friday, he'll be dropping by Public Works to grace San Francisco with one of his eclectic sets. Get a feel for where he's at lately with this mix he recorded live at Boiler Room. Joining Murphy for the evening is Jacques Renault, the New York house producer behind some of the best remixes and disco-leaning floor-fillers of the past couple years. Local support comes by way of Lance De Sardi, Conor, and a warm up set by myself (full disclosure).
When: 9 p.m. - 2 a.m.
Why: In this age of thumb drives and laptops, your chances of hearing a vinyl record at a club are growing steadily lower -- and, within the realm of plastic discs, you'd be hard pressed to find 7-inches outside of the soul circuit. Bringing back the humble 45, with crackle and cue-burn in tow, is "All 45s All Night," a party at Mighty curated by respected turntablists Shortkut, Platurn, and Enki. For this month's installment, the party's bringing out Large Professor, the producer behind the beats on some of hip-hop's most classic albums: Main Source's Breaking Atoms, Kool G Rap and DJ Polo's Wanted: Dead or Alive, and Nas' Illmatic. As you can imagine, his crates run deep, and this is an opportunity to hear him digging into the archives for some serious cuts. Get set for the party and read this article on the man's top 10 favorite sample flips.
Saturday, May 26
Where: 222 Hyde
When: 10 p.m. - 2 a.m.
Why: The new year has brought with it some fresh blood in the form of new parties and promoters. An example of this is Neon Vinyl, a roving affair that's dedicated to bridging the gap between classic and contemporary aspects of dance music. Prance is a one-off venture associated with said party that sticks closely to its established aesthetic. Leading the charge are DJs Derek B (of Trannyshack fame) and Chris Orr, two seasoned veterans who've been there, in the thick of it, as San Francisco's club culture has moved through its various iterations and phases. As it says on the party's Facebook page, "We're gonna put the ho back in house and show you how to really use it! Let's get maximal." Decipher the meaning behind that statement by listening to Derek B's Honeypotcast and Chris Orr's "Break-Up 2 Make-Up Mix."
What: Warm Leatherette
When: 10 p.m. - 2 a.m.
Why: If you're looking for a darker vibe, then look no further than Warm Leatherette. Held at Mission punk venue Sub-Mission, the long running party offers a selection of tunes slanted towards the obscure side of late-'70s and early-'80s dance music. Resident DJs Justin, Riegler, Nihar, and Jason P curate a one-of-a-kind bleak mood with tracks like Minny Pops' "Tracking," Sepp Maier's Gloves' "Ambition," and Grauzone's "Eisbär." While the club usually focuses on recorded music, this month promises a live set from Brooklyn noise punkers Pop. 1280. Check out their debut LP, The Horror, and watch the feedback-saturated video for "Step into the Grid," the group's first single.