This week's party preview celebrates San Francisco's famous diversity, with a mixed-up jumble of parties representing the full spectrum of our city's nightlife. We've got 18+ events, techno, house, hip-hop, and plenty more all selected and assembled for your perusal. Read on -- your weekend awaits.
9 p.m. Friday, July 12. $15-$20
DJ culture is in a state of rapid transformation. As money continues to flood into the electronic dance music market and computer controller technology continues to get better, the meaning of the term has moved far away from anything related to jockeying discs. In fact, many of today's DJs don't work with physical media at all -- they might be more appropriately thought of as "thumbstick jockeys" or "hard disk jockeys." But, as the craft continues to mature, there are thankfully still plenty of people dedicated to keeping the old ways of the disc jockey alive.
And, in the perspective of the old-school, few things are as fabled as the practice of collecting and spinning 7-inch vinyl records. This Friday, Mighty hosts a night dedicated to this dying phenomenon called 45 Live, with some of the most influential hip-hop DJs from the past 20 years playing songs exclusively on 7-inch, 45-RPM records.
Smaller than a 12-inch record, but larger than a compact disc, 7-inches are an outdated technology. They're lo-fidelity, brittle, and only contain about three to five minutes of music per side. As you might imagine, they're difficult to spin with; to do it right, a selector has to think fast and apply an extremely light touch. Similarly difficult is acquiring a collection of playable 7-inches, which involves long hours spent digging in record shops and basements. Yet limited as they are, there's an appeal that's mostly absent in other formats. All 7-inch DJ sets get back to the roots of hip-hop DJ culture, when turntablists used to compete with each other over traits like manual dexterity, depth of record collection, and overall dancefloor appeal.
The DJs at 45 Live embody these traits in their own way. The headliner for the evening is Prince Paul, the East Coast DJ and producer known for his sample-heavy work with De La Soul. A life-long record collector, he was also a pioneering scratch DJ in New York's fertile '80s hip-hop scene (in interviews he claims to have been one of the first players to stutter words, as he can be heard doing on Stetsasonic's "Just Say Stet"). Also on the bill is Stones Throw spinner and A&R man Peanut Butter Wolf, L.A. turntablist and Beat Junkies founder J-Rocc, '80s funk revivalist Dâm-Funk, and local scratchers Shortkut and Platurn. Add them all up and you've got a night that promises old-school fun at the agreeable speed of 45 revolutions per minute.
10 p.m. Thursday, July 11. $20
If you're under 21, you're basically screwed when it comes to nightlife in San Francisco. That's just an unfortunate fact. So when something --- anything -- pops up that appeals to the underage crowd, it's worth lauding. That's the case with globetrotting trance jock Bryan Kearney, who'll be bringing his sound to the candy- and glow-stick crowd at Temple this Thursday. Listen to his recent "Kearnage" mix.
9 p.m. Friday, July 12. $10-$20
Parties come and go, and few stick around like long-running deep house event Pepper has. This Friday the party celebrates its 20th anniversary with New York house music original Pal Joey (aka Joseph Longo). A fixture in his own right, Longo has worked on some of the genre's most enduring tracks, like SOHO's "Hot Music" and Earth People's "Dance."
9 p.m. Friday, July 12. $5-$20
This Friday, TechAngle offers clubbers a chance to make a difference with a party whose proceeds will benefit the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Japan Cat Network. Sound comes courtesy of a minimal techno-leaning bunch: a headlining show by Kompakt-affiliated artist [a]pendics.shuffle, multiple live-with-hardware performances, and a two-hour set by techy local spinner Max Gardner (check out this mix recorded live at Direct to Earth's recent Treasure Island party).
9:30 p.m. Saturday, July 13. $10-$15
Even with only one other party under its belt, newcomer Isis looks to be one of the city's better promoters for old-fashioned disco and leftfield house. This Saturday, organizers have commandeered the Public Works OddJob Loft to offer a night of dance music New York style, with seasoned nu-disco veteran Jacques Renault. Hear this recent mix he recorded for Let's Play House, his NYC-based record label.