There's nothing like a long weekend right? It's the Fourth of July, and that means it's time for BBQing, celebrating America, and, well, partying. We assume you already have the first two covered so let us help you out with this handy guide to all that's good in nightlife: We've got disco, we've got techno, we've got house, and we've even got a free party at Public Works. How's that for freedom? Read on -- your weekend awaits.
9 p.m. Saturday, July 5. Free
As any red blooded American knows, the Fourth of July is about celebrating freedom. And what's a better way to celebrate that most cherished of American values than with a free party? This Saturday, Skyystream (yes, the vodka company with the creepy lady robot mascot) and internet TV show Boiler Room are teaming up for a gratis event at Public Works with Honey Soundsystem and disco-laced DJ duo Cosmic Kids. It promises to help freedom ring not only on the Fourth of July, but on the Fifth and Sixth as well.
Top billing for the evening goes to Cosmic Kids. Comprised of DJs Ron Poznansky and Daniel Terndrup, they're a California-based duo specializing in a heady blend of spaced-out disco, retro house, and slowed down '80s Balearica. This mixture was particularly evident on their breakout 2011 track "Reginald's Groove," which floated dubbed-out and elastic old-school house stabs over a percolating '80s synth arpeggios and heavy disco percussion. It was something of an anthem for that year, and set the tone for later material on New York labels Let's Play House and Throne of Blood that took a similarly retro-hued direction.
Cosmic Kids' most recent music, however, has been more laid-back. "Freight to My Soul," released on White Label imprint Chit Chat last year, was a muted late-night affair that drifted off into a spacey and summery euphoric haze. The duo has covered a lot of ground, and that's particularly evident in its DJ sets: They're broad in scope and reflect the variety of '80s and '90s (as well as contemporary) influences beneath their productions.
On their own, Cosmic Kids would be quite a draw. But this party has an extra level of panache thanks to Honey Soundsystem's Jason Kendig, Jackie House, and Robot Hustle, who will be sharing DJ duties with Cosmic Kids throughout the night. Though Honey began in 2006 as a disco outfit, its sound has evolved into something more rugged and contemporary -- nowadays you can find Honey DJs dropping bleeding-edge house cuts at clubs around the world (Kendig just got back from a set at the legendary Panorama Bar in Berlin). And, as is always the case with Honey-affiliated parties, expect a level of immersive decor far beyond the norm.
Combine the two groups and you have the makings of quite a night out. However, we ought to caution: It's only free if you RSVP on Ticketfly beforehand.
9 p.m. Thursday, July 3. $20
At the center of the contemporary techno universe sits Berghain, the Berlin club famous for its weekend-long parties, hedonistic atmosphere, and fantastically curated music. Its sound is generally considered the apex of hardcore purist's techno, and Marcel Fengler -- a resident DJ since Day 1 -- is no exception. Fengler blends booming machine rhythms with hypnotic melodic loops that transport both mind and body to far-off worlds.
10 p.m. Friday, July 4. $5-$10
Who has the best collection of disco records in San Francisco? It's a contentious question, but the odds are in James Glass' favor. Though he doesn't play out often, his sets are characterized by absurdly rare jams deftly mixed with old favorites that span the full gamut of the genre. Expect rare, synthesized Italian disco cuts, New York classics, and a sprinkling of rare home-brewed edits.
10 p.m. Saturday, July 5. $15-$20
Sometimes one night of disco just isn't enough. Dimitri from Paris is a French DJ whose passion for the genre has been proven over the years through his voluminous output of remixes, edits, and compilations (like the fantastic Kings of Disco). As a selector, he's revered for sets that approach the technical proficiency of the '70s New York masters, but add a modern touch.
10 p.m. Saturday, July 5. $15-$20
The End Up is the only club in San Francisco that can legally provide a weekend-long nonstop party experience. Normally, the music isn't the main draw. But that changes at Play, a monthly party that uses the space for more adventurous artists. This weekend's edition features Jay Tripwire, a Canadian DJ whose trippy, late-night tech house sound is the perfect complement to a morning spent wondering when the sun came up.