Last weekend it was Outside Lands; this weekend it's Identity Festival. And while Identity isn't exactly in the city per se, it's apparently close enough to rub off some of its festive vibe on the city's nightlife: we've got nine-piece disco bands, an old school DJ on a classic soundsystem, a big name in the Texas rap game, an avant-garde Londoner, and a lot more. Read on -- your weekend awaits.
Thursday, August 16
When: 6 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Why: Need something unique for this evening? Nightlife is a long-running series put on by the people behind the California Academy of Sciences. Every Thursday night, the museum gets out the liquor and opens its doors for an evening of drinking, dancing, socializing, and -- this time around -- crafting. You heard right, this week's party focuses on the art of making things, and, to help you get into the spirit, booths will be set up featuring craft experts from the likes of The Crucible, Make:SF, SCRAP, GoGo Craft, and Spindles & Flyers. If you're not so DIY inclined, the museum will also have a mini-edition of the Bazaar Bizarre, a marketplace for local makers of craft goods. All this, plus Lost in the Night (that's Avalon Emerson and myself) will be on hand to DJ both the main room and the aquarium. If you ever wanted to hear disco records underwater while also perusing an offline version of Etsy, this is probably the closest you'll get.
Friday, August 17
When: 10 p.m. - 4 a.m.
Why: On the heels of his headlining gig at the Sunset Campout, DJ Harvey makes an unexpectedly quick return to the Bay Area. One of the most prolific DJs in the world, he's the figurehead for a cultish group that's jokingly referred to among ravers as the Harvey Krishnas. A British ex-pat living in LA, he was behind the infamous Harvey Sarcastic Disco parties, warehouse raves fueled by NY garage, loopy disco re-edits, and a near-library sized collection of fantastically obscure dance music. He comes to San Francisco to play a four-hour set on Mighty's unique Richard Long Associates soundsystem (with pieces from the Paradise Garage in New York). Get a feel for his unique style: listen to his Resident Advisor podcast, read our review of his set at Public Works last year, and watch him destroy $10,000 worth of DJ gear at a festival in Australia.
Where: 1015 Folsom
When: 9:30 p.m. - 3:30 a.m.
Why: It's a rare occasion when a club puts together a bill this strong and doesn't charge for it. Yes, you heard right, for the low cost of free you can get in to 1015 Folsom this Friday and be a part of one of the most interesting party concepts in recent memory. Like a clubland version of Disney's World Showcase, Scene Unseen is an attempt to represent San Francisco's many club cultures under one roof. The full line-up features over 15 artists, but the real draw is in the party's out-of-town headliners: UK-based avant-house producer Floating Points, Chicago party DJs Flosstradamus, and Mad Decent-signed/Soulja Boi-affiliated hip-hop MC RiFF RaFF. The only catch is that the party isn't free unless you RSVP on its proprietary website. Kinda quirky, but you can't argue with free.
Where: Public Works Loft
When: 10 p.m. - 4 a.m.
Why: The past two years have seen the introduction of a fresh perspective in dance music, one that's paradoxically rooted in the old school. New producers, with a taste for the classic sounds of Detroit and Chicago, have begun to re-inject aspects of noise and punk into dance music. In San Francisco, this is nothing new; the L.A. label 100% Silk has a strong presence here through artists like Bobby Browser and Magic Touch. Yet, while the West Coast strain of this sound is well represented, it's semi-surprising that New York-based label L.I.E.S. has taken so long to get here. This Friday, No Way Back will host a DJ set by label founder Ron Morelli as well as live performances by three of its affiliated artists. At the top of the bill is Legowelt (who could have been a write-up in his own right), the prolific Dutch producer behind such cuts as "Total Pussy Control," "Disco Rout," and the recent "Sark Island Acid" (on L.I.E.S.). Joining him with another live set is LA-based SF-transplant Xosar -- listen to her recent "Wednesday Nite Jam Session" for a taste of her trippy, almost industrial, style of dance music. Finally, Chicago producer Svengalisghost rounds things out with a set of jacking tracks like "Deep Into Memories."
Saturday, August 18
Where: Rickshaw Stop
When: 10 p.m - 2 a.m.
Why: Blow Up, the long-running electro party, has returned from its temporary hiatus for a reboot at the venue that started it all. Now a 21+ event at the Rickshaw Stop, promoters Jeffrey Paradise and Ava Berlin promise that the club will have "all the dancers, madness, photos, sexuality, and fun" that it's always had. What's more, however, is that this time around it'll feature a performance by Midnight Magic, a New York-based nine-piece disco band that scored a major club hit in 2010 with Beam Me Up." Composed of players from Hercules and Love Affair, the group's live show is reportedly as intense as its recordings. Listen to "Drop Me a Line" and the band's cover of Native Underground's "Push 4 Love".
Where: W Hotel
When: 1 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Why: We've spilled a lot of ink over As You Like It pretty much since this column began. And that ink's been worth it: AYLI is behind some of the best parties in San Francisco, with a booking policy that routinely brings in the world's deepest artists. Now, the crew is celebrating two years in the business with a second rooftop party on top of the W Hotel (fans can get a refresher as to what that was like in this review). On deck for this auspicious occasion are two serious artists from the house underground. First up is Mark "MK" Kinchen, the producer behind "Burning," The Nightcrawlers "Push the Feeling On (Dub Of Doom)," and scores of classic "MK" remixes. For an idea of what to expect, listen to this recent XLR8R podcast featuring Kinchen and his brother Scotti Deep. Joining the bill alongside Kinchen is London-based artist The Revenge (aka Graeme Clarke). Working since the early-'00s, Clarke is behind some of the best disco re-edits of the past couple years, like "Cadillac" and "Nightflight," as well as a full discography of deep-leaning, but still disco-influenced, house. To help you get ready for the party, AYLI resident DJ Mossmoss has selected five of his favorite tunes for this week's edition of Signal to Noise.