It's Pride in San Francisco and the city is about to come alive with a bewildering array of nightlife. There's so much, in fact, that it can be overwhelming to seasoned veterans and the uninitiated alike. But as with everything, planning ahead is the key to making sure you don't miss a piece of the action. So here's our guide to all the fun this Pride weekend, with parties stretching from Thursday night to Monday morning that fit nearly every taste imaginable. Read on -- your weekend awaits.
There's no better way to ease into the madness of Pride weekend than with some disco. To get your fix, head to Public Works on Thursday night for a collaborative party from Isis and Odyssey featuring Horse Meat Disco (9 p.m., $10-$20, 161 Erie St). Now a touring outfit, it's a London DJ collective and party that's been at the fore of the disco revival since the mid-'00s, with a sound that recalls the hedonism, euphoria, and unbridled fun of the genre's '70s and '80s heyday. The collective just released Horse Meat Disco IV, a collection of rare cuts and forgotten classics -- expect the same from its DJ set.
What would Pride be without a little drag? Try the Stud on Friday for Some Thing (9 p.m., $5, 399 9th St.), one of the city's most avant-garde drag parties. Though usually less of a dancing affair, this time around the soundtrack will be provided by local disco disciples and Go Bang! promoters Sergio Fedasz and Steve Fabus. As it says on the party's Facebook page, "I'm not saying we are going all night, but I'm not saying we are not not going all night." In other words, they're going all night. Make sure you check out one of the outstanding drag shows at 11 p.m., midnight, or 6 a.m. However, you might want to conserve some energy and play it cool, as Saturday is the main event.
On Saturday, the House of Babes is offering a disco alternative at Public Works with its Dyke March afterparty (7 p.m. $15-$20,161 Eerie St). Covering both floors of the space, it's an excursion into the decidedly more abrasive sounds of trap, twerk, and other hip-hop-informed offshoots. The draw comes in the form of New York ballroom MCs Cakes Da Killa and Junglepussy. Or, for something more gothic, head back over to the Stud for Dark Room, which is using the venue for an all-night rager with DJs playing bleak industrial, EBM, and '80s darkwave cuts on vinyl.
Then, on Sunday, clear your mind at the Phoenix Hotel (12 p.m., $15-$20, 601 Eddy St.). Local outfit Mighty Real is going poolside for a day party featuring New York garage house spinner Quentin Harris and local mainstay David Harness. Expect a full serving of soulful house, which should be just the thing to catch your second wind for more partying.
The '60s soul-slinging selectors behind Hard French are taking over Mezzanine for Los Homos IV (3 p.m., $20-$25, 444 Jessie St.), a massive six-hour indoor-outdoor block party featuring a live performance by New York disco ensemble Midnight Magic. Its "Beam Me Up" is a modern classic that sounds straight out of 1977, with spot-on diva vocals, Chic-style bass lines, and a heavy dose of that old-school bongo-led Latin percussion. To help warm things up further, there's a full roster of locals from parties like Bearracuda, Mango, and Club Fist, as well as foreign support from L.A. outfit Playgurl.
Take a disco nap and then make the trek to Mighty (8 p.m. $10-$20, 119 Utah St.) to end things on a high note with Honey Soundsystem's latest Pride affair. This year's event features a set by Discodromo, a Berlin duo who plays an oddball style of house influenced by the laid-back "Balearic" sound that dominated Ibiza in the late '80s. As with all Honey events, expect lavish decor and an attention to detail far beyond the norm.