The Top 4 Parties in San Francisco This Weekend: James Murphy, Mike Q, Profligate, and More

James Murphy headlines Public Works on Thursday

Public Works and As You Like It present James Murphy and more at Public Works, 9 p.m-3 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 16. $25-$30; publicsf.com

This one needs no introduction, really. If you're over the age of 14 and under the age of 40, you probably know James Murphy — or, at least, his band, LCD Soundsystem. LCD called it quits in 2011, but since then, Murphy has ramped up his DJ career, lugging records around the world, and even developing his own massive, globe-trotting sound system called “Despacio.” As a veteran of the New York scene, Murphy has a record collection that's bursting at the seams, but you can be sure his DJ set will focus on the disco-flavored post-punk (and post-punk-flavored disco) that made his band and record label one of the most-loved of the mid-2000s.

What makes Murphy especially important as a DJ is the way he's able to bridge musical gaps in his audience — the LCD Soundsystem fanbase, for the most part, was not particularly concerned with the trappings of house or disco music. Nevertheless, they were exposed to it through the steady influence of these genres throughout LCD Soundsystem's career, which in no small part paved the way for electronic music's steadily increasing relevance in American music culture writ large. 

Murphy's audience still follows him wherever he goes, so at the time of this writing, presales for this party have likely sold out — early arrival is highly suggested. 

[jump] 120 Minutes, Public Works, and Swagger Like Us present Mike Q, Cakes Da Killa, and Rye Rye at Public Works, 9 p.m.-2:30 a.m. Friday, Oct. 17. $10-$15; publicsf.com

Combine two rappers, one New Jersey ballroom/vogue DJ and two San Francisco party crews — one queer hip-hop (Swagger Like Us), the other post-health-goth (120 Minutes) — and you have yourself a situation. This party is a living testament to the way the internet has dissolved borders of all kinds: between music genres, between genders, between styles, fashions, scenes, and sexualities. Musically, the highlight here is Mike Q, the aforementioned ballroom DJ (if you're unfamiliar: “Ballroom” is a fast-paced, highly sexed, highly stylized take on house music, developed in conjunction with vogue dancing) whose productions, edits, and remixes have been making waves over the past several years. Make sure you come to this party equipped with a strong look — you're gonna need it.

Discipline presents Profligate and Encapsulate at Riddim (Oakland), 9 p.m.-3 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 18. $7; riddimdancehall.com

If you're looking for something darker on Saturday evening, head east to Oakland's newest club, Riddim, near Jack London Square. Discipline, an irregularly occurring club night focusing on post-industrial music, plays host to Profligate, aka Noah Anthony, a Philadelphia-based artist who creates bleak, murky grayscale techno — dance music with a thousand-yard stare. Profligate's sound owes a great deal to old-school industrial and minimal synth music, but his closest brethren seem to be those young American producers who craft so-called “outsider house,” i.e. off-kilter dance music that, on its face, bears little resemblance to classic house or techno. Encapsulate, a mysterious affiliate of Arizona's industrial/experimental artist collective Ascetic House, shares the bill with Profligate.

Direct To Earth's Three-Year Anniversary Party with [a]pendics.shuffle, Bryan Zentz, and more at Audio San Francisco, noon-2 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 19. $10-$20; audiosf.com

Direct To Earth celebrates three years of Bay Area techno parties by throwing a 14-hour blowout, beginning Sunday at noon and ending in the wee hours of Monday morning. Headlining is [a]pendics.shuffle, the latest pseudonym of Kenneth James Gibson, a long-active L.A.-based producer. As [a]pendics.shuffle, he produces minimal techno with a playful, kinetic, slip-n-slide groove. Co-headlining is Bryan Zentz, another veteran producer whose recent releases are of a similarly minimal, rubbery bent. Local DJ Nikita joins Direct To Earth residents Bob Campbell, Brian Knarfield, Patrick Gil, and Max Gardner for support all night long.

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