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Monday, February 28, 2011

Saturday at Noise Pop: Peanut Butter Wolf and Dâm-Funk Drop Sweet, Funky Love on Public Works

Posted By on Mon, Feb 28, 2011 at 12:42 PM

Peanut Butter Wolf at Public Works Saturday night.
  • Peanut Butter Wolf at Public Works Saturday night.
Peanut Butter Wolf


February 26, 2011

@ Public Works

Better than: Sippin' Moet at a fancy hotel with those friends who are seriously convinced that a G6 exists.

If you ever dreamed of being on Soul Train, grooving to funky hits while nodding ecstatically at the camera, your probably got your wish Saturday at Public Works. Parties with as many big acts on the bill as this rarely achieve a cohesive feel, especially at venues with different rooms and floors, but the vibe emitted throughout the converted warehouse on this culminating night of Noise Pop could only be described as sweet, funky love. No crying hipsters, no Top 40 hits, and definitely no elitism here.

Many might have opted to stay in due to frigid weather, but there was already a substantial line outside at 10:15 p.m. After a sparring match with just about everyone pretending they were media, we managed to make our way to the main room while Sweater Funk's DJ Guillermo was putting down funky disco tunes. He was followed by DJ Hakobo, who was fresh from judging the Redbull Thr3estyle contest last Thursday. While it might have been intimidating that Dam Funk and Peanut Butter Wolf were only playing 45s that night, the opening DJs capably set the scene for what was to be a night of sweaty, carefree dancing.

One thing that did stand out was the eclectic crowd downstairs. A mixture of die-hard Peanut Butter Wolf and Dâm-Funk fans were getting down in front of the stage, while the sides were adorned with seemingly confused hipsters who'd just been rejected at the Best Coast/Wavves show. However, they too soon found themselves dancing to what could be categorized as retro disco. There was no shortage of drinks being poured, consumed, and spilled by 11 p.m.

Sweater Funk DJs Livin Proof and Two Step Lou
  • Sweater Funk DJs Livin Proof and Two Step Lou
Heading upstairs, we found ourselves in a smaller version of downstairs, yet with the same amount of good spirits. Sweater Funk DJs kept the party going the entire night. First up was Jon Blunck, who founded the Sunday R&B night at Li Po. He was followed by Two Step Lou, who played hidden gems like James Mason's "I Want Your Love." Everyone was dancing upstairs, with some ladies even doing choreographed moves. Thankfully the unimaginative freak-dancing gyrations were missing -- it was refreshing to see people grooving to the music in a tasteful manner. 

Walking about 10 steps to hear sounds of the main room, we were soon greeted with the sounds of Peanut Butter Wolf. He'd tweeted earlier in the day that the system in Public Works seems to penetrate heartbeats, and it did. As Peanut Butter Wolf took the decks and Dâm-Funk watched from the side, it was clear that there were truly were no headliners that night, only people who weren't afraid to boogie.

  • Dâm-Funk
​Dâm-Funk and Peanut Butter Wolf alternated on the decks while both showed their undying love for the city of San Francisco. "San Francisco knows their underground shit, and that's why I love this city," exclaimed Peanut Butter Wolf on the microphone. The ever-so-cool Dâm Funk, sporting a Giants hat with shades, demonstrated his skills at keeping a cool old-school feel with a modern twist. Just after the recent Prince concerts rocked the Bay Area, he dropped the "Dirty Mind" single, while Peanut Butter Wolf answered with "Private Joy." The crowd responded harder than ever with hands raised and hips lowering. The dynamic between the two DJs/producers truly reflected off each other, and the gift they gave the audience was one that could not be reprised.

By 2:30 a.m., the crowd was still bouncing hard to the music, with Peanut Butter Wolf and  Dâm Funk entertaining the crowd while showing off their wide-ranging taste. Although this event may not have fit right in with all the indie bands and experimental projects of Noise Pop, it served as a reminder of the timelessness of funk and soul. San Francisco, we've always known you had those dance moves in you.

Critic's Notebook 

 Number of people seen making out: 32

Overheard in the crowd: "This is real music. This. Is. It."

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Christina Li


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