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The pop-tastic techno of Michael Mayer; the '80s assault of "Soundtrack Night."

This may come as a surprise to those of you who think that dance music begins and ends with the trance-y poo of Pauls Oakenfold and Van Dyke, but the best thing going at the moment is techno, specifically German techno. Right now in Berlin, on any night of the week, you can find insanely packed houses dancing to the sleek, majestic sounds of DJs like Ellen Allien, Thomas Fehlmann, and Michael Mayer . When those DJs spin at places like Fabric in London, it's as if G N' R had come to town. When they come here, however, the crowd varies -- if it exists at all. Luckily for us, they keep coming. Mayer is doing so this week. As the whiz behind Kompakt Records, he's reintroduced pop to techno, breeding the former's bubble-icious bite with the latter's mechanical thrum. Mayer's also partly responsible for giving the world Schaffel, a kind of techno based around the triplet that makes for electronic music Fred Astaire might have gotten down to. If you're sick of living in the past, support the future of dance music by checking out Mayer when he graces "further" on Friday, March 4, at Mighty; call 626-7001 or go to www.blasthaus.com for more info. -- Garrett Kamps


The recurring club night "New Wave City" has long been a prime spot in San Francisco to get your '80s groove on, but the party's upcoming offshoot, "Soundtrack Night," will take the proceedings to new heights of guilty pleasure. Expect to hear ditties from St. Elmo's Fire and Sixteen Candles, as well as see a giddy, sharply dressed crowd. The kids will be singing every note of songs like Simple Minds' "Don't You Forget About Me" and Modern English's "Melt With You" as if they were at some sort of grand karaoke event hosted by John Hughes. If this sounds totally tubular, gather your own brat pack on Saturday, March 5, and scoot on over to Space 550; call 675-LOVE or visit www.space550.com for more info. -- Tamara Palmer


DJ Vanka has been a local champion of funky grooves for many years, and his weekly party "Misturada" (Portuguese for "mixed") is the best place to catch the man in action. Vanka's musical ear is impeccably worldly, and thus his sets are packed with the easygoing yet insistently booty-shaking sounds popularized in other nations, particularly the Latin American take on hip hop and dancehall known as reggaeton. Dance away the night in several languages this (and every) Saturday at the Make-Out Room; call 647-2888 or visit www.makeoutroom.com for more info.-- Tamara Palmer

 
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