Did you know that both Ronald Reagan and John McCain both opposed the creation of a federal holiday for Martin Luther King? It's something of an inconsequential fact, but we thought you might like to think about that while you're busy celebrating the good reverend's legacy this Monday. To get you in the mood, we put together this list for your perusal. Read on -- your weekend awaits.
Thursday, Jan. 17, 10 p.m. - 2 a.m.
It might only be a month old, but Tougher Than Ice is quickly becoming a go-to event for midweek partying. Part of this is due to its unique mixture of sounds, with DJs 99levelz, Ant-1, Ruby Red I, and Vin Sol blasting out a well-curated playlist that blends "heavy new and old house/deep house and hip-hop vibes." It might sound like an odd mixture, but believe it or not, that's how things used to be played back before everything splintered off into micro genres in the mid-to-late '90s. Get a feel for the vibe of the night by listening to Vin Sol's "Phantoms Mix." This one's free all night.
Saturday, Jan. 19, 9 p.m.-2 a.m.
Described by promoter C.L.A.W.S. as a "multi-generational SF techno event," the latest O.K. Hole promises an evening of superb electronic dance music. The appeal is in the stacked line-up of live performances by three notable local acts. Topping the bill is Polk & Hyde, a duo consisting of 222 Hyde owner E.O. Giraudbit and techno producer Jonah Sharp (a.k.a. Spacetime Continuum). Together they make jammy and organic music that never loses sight of the groove. Listen to "Cafe Z Jam." Also on the bill is the more atmospherically oriented Austin Cesear (check out "N.P.R."), the synth funk duo Kit n' C.L.A.W.S., and a DJ set by Tasho, the Stompy resident also behind Its Own Infinite Flower. Read our review of O.K. Hole's Four Year Anniversary for a better idea of how the night might pan out.
Friday, Jan. 18, 9 p.m. - 2 a.m.
In a city whose nightlife has become dominated by big-name headliners and huge productions, it's refreshing to have a few events that focus on the aesthetic experience of going to a club. Galaxy Radio is the high-concept party at Underground SF that carries a rather novel radio station theme. It describes itself as "part discotheque, part radio show, Galaxy Radio is where San Francisco's underground community of spacelings, droids, robots, robettes, and cybernetic organisms gather in secret to re-broadcast mankind's vision of its arpeggiated future." This month the party welcomes Caltrop (a.k.a. Christoph Caominh) a transplant who came to the Bay Area from Munich and brought with him a sound rooted in Italo, old-school '80s house, and retro-futuristic techno. Listen to "Shine On," "Salerno Dance," and his "Banter Box Mix" to hear what he's all about. Be sure to get there at midnight for "Lover's Lane," a special segment dedicated to the slow and sultry side of Italian disco music.
Friday, Jan. 18, 10 p.m.-3:30 a.m.
"Glacial" and "elegant" are the first two adjectives that spring to mind when thinking about the recent work of Andy Stott. Originally making a name for himself in the mid-'00s as a producer of top-notch dub-techno, just last year he changed directions with the jaw-dropping Luxury Problems, an LP that made its way to many year-end lists. What made it so compelling was the way in which he applied a new and more textural approach that leaned heavily on expert sound design. Tracks like "Numb" and "Luxury Problems" evoke dark mental soundscapes haunted by samples and drones. All this ought to sound fantastic at Mighty when he headlines this Friday alongside fellow electronic experimenter Christian Löffler (have a listen to "Aspen").
Saturday, January 19, 9:30 p.m.-3:00 a.m.
"First, I'd tell you to leave your camera and hula-hoop at home. It's a party that is 100-percent focused on the music." These words from Ghosts on Tape -- taken from our recent interview with the Icee Hot Crew -- are the best way to begin to understand what makes Icee Hot so special. For the past couple years it has stood on the very edge of San Francisco nightlife, bringing out tons of critically acclaimed artists that weren't getting much shine in the city previously. Last year marked the beginning of a new label arm, a development that seems to have continued to pick up momentum in the new year. Needless to say there's a lot to celebrate this weekend when Icee Hot kicks off its two-part third anniversary celebration with Dutch dubstep-turned-techno producer Martyn (check out "Hello Darkness") and Montreal-based bass music favorite Jacques Greene (watch this video for "Ready"). Simply put: Icee Hot throws some of the best events in the city, so believe us when we say that this one will be epic.