In 1993, a group of women banded together to form Your Sister's House, a traveling collective of female DJs whose message — women can work a crowd just as well as men — was revolutionary in the male-driven dance scene. The collective eventually dissipated, but over two years ago a new group, Sister, was spawned. Moving past the understanding that women can be DJs, its members assert that women should be taken seriously and given equal opportunities because of talent, not gender.
Consisting of DJs Forest Green, XJS, Polywog, Siren, and their MC, Linzee, the collective covers the club music gamut, spinning house, techno, jungle, hip hop, drum 'n' bass, and breaks. Though they once resided weekly at the Cat Club, recently they've become more itinerant, holding nights about once a month at various venues in San Francisco, and collaborating with the guys as well. Their drag nights — in which they invite male DJs in to spin, as long as they do it in a dress — have also proven popular. Usually, one of the Sister DJs will hold a makeshift salon at her house before the gig, at which the Sisters primp and preen the boys. According to one Sister, male DJs in the area are desperate to put lash to mascara; there's even a waiting list.
For Sister's second anniversary event at Rico's there will be little drag — or any men at all — in the DJ booth. The Sister residents and invited guests (including three who are making their debuts) will offer up their dance music mélange, and in true holiday fashion all proceeds from the event will be donated to Breast Cancer Action, a local grass-roots advocacy group for breast cancer survivors and their supporters. More benefits are in store for the new year, but social and political drives aside, Sister is first and foremost about a party. Says XJS, “If it's not fun, don't do it. We're just about having a good time.”
Forest Green, XJS, Polywog, Siren, the Baroness, and more spin on Wednesday, Dec. 22, at Rico's, 78 Minna (at First Street), S.F. Hours are 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Admission is a $10 minimum donation at the door; for more information call 255-4333.