Mustache Mondays, a long-running Los Angeles weekly club, is something like California's answer to GHE20 GOTH1K, the now-shuttered NYC club night that mashed up goth aesthetics with future-minded rap and R&B, spawning a fashion empire in the process. Mustache's musical programming is similarly all-inclusive, using R&B, rap, and grime as a launchpad for more esoteric sounds. Its crowd is mostly queer people of color, and to this day, nearly eight years after the club's inception, it remains one of the coolest happenings in LA.
Nightsweats is a new pop-up party in San Francisco that looks toward Mustache Mondays for inspiration, and what better way to kick things off than by hosting them here? Josh Peace has been DJing Mustache since the beginning, while MA_NGUZU (the female half of Fade To Mind bombshells Nguzunguzu) came onboard after Total Freedom, former Mustache resident, left LA for Miami. Local DJ Adam Kraft will support, while drag artist Grace Towers works magic throughout the night.
Nightsweats featuring MA_NGUZU and Josh Peace (Mustache Mondays) at 626 Jessie St., 10 p.m.-4 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 23. $5 before 11 p.m. w/ RSVP, $10+ after; facebook.com/nightsweatssf.
Other worthy parties this week
Public Works presents Solomun at Public Works, 9:30 p.m.-3:30 a.m. Friday, Jan. 22. $30+ at the door; publicsf.com.
House music is as American as apple pie. Case in point: For the past 25 years, a cottage industry of European house music DJs and producers has paid homage to Chicago, New York, and Detroit house music circa '88 to '94 by essentially re-creating its sound and feel. But a new generation of European producers have begun reshaping house music, focusing on the melodic elements and leaving the piano stabs behind. Solomun, and his label Diynamic, have led the way. Presales are gone; arrive early for door tickets.
Surface Tension featuring Santiago Salazar and Israel Vines at F8, 10 p.m.-4 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 23. $15-$20; feightsf.com.
Here are two LA-by-way-of-Detroit techno DJs at the top of their game. Santiago Salazar is a Chicano DJ/producer who came up in Detroit's legendary Underground Resistance crew, then returned to LA with those influences in tow. Israel Vines — Midwestern, but based in LA — produces hard-hitting breakbeat-focused techno, and his profile is tipped to rise. Additionally, local label Dark Entries hosts an EBM/wave/synth-pop showcase in the back room, featuring Josh Cheon, Bill Converse, and Carlos Souffront.
Sound Department 015 featuring Sascha Dive and Timelapse at Monarch, 9:30 p.m.-4 a.m. Friday, Jan. 22. $10-$20; monarchsf.com.
“Tech-house” is the colloquial term for a particular breed of modern dance music that uses classic house music as a rubric, but instead of rawness and grit, features smoothed-out edges and a coating of colorful gloss that's been buffed to a high sheen. In Germany, it's become something of a national artform (think Kompakt Records, et al.), and Sascha Dive, from Frankfurt, is one of the genre's premier practitioners. Joining him is Timelapse, a Berlin-based Italian duo, with local support.
WERD. presents Sappho at Monarch, 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 24. $5-$10; monarchsf.com.
Portland-based DJ Megan Andricos, a.k.a. Sappho, has been at it since the '90s, and, as a result, has become a fixture in the Pacific Northwest. Weirdo disco fans take note: Sappho isn't yet a household name, but she ought to be. Her DJ selections are rooted in disco, but they extend outwards from there, incorporating hazy house music, post-punk edits, and cosmic Krautrock-inspired tunes. She sounds, in fact, like she's channeling NYC dance music culture (disco, deep house, DFA Records) through the lens of the PNW.
Party Spotlight: Housepitality
The 9-to-5 crowd gets a pass for not being in the know, but the best weekly dance party in the city happens every Wednesday night — not on the weekend. Last September, Housepitality celebrated its fifth anniversary — that's more than 275 parties under their belt, all of them running till the wee hours of Thursday morning at F8 (located at the corner of Folsom and 8th St., hence the name), their home since day one.
The party started, as many of the finest parties often do, with humble beginnings, spurred by the passions of its creators, Miguel Solari and Michael Tello. (Tello has since moved to New York and is part of disco-house act PillowTalk.) “We both shared a passion for underground dance music, had a really special intersection of like-minded party friends, and there was nothing else going on on Wednesday nights. All the ingredients were there,” Solari tells me. “Some of our friends were skeptical at first, but we knew enough serious party people looking for a place to dance in the middle of the week, so we made it our mission to bring them top-quality DJ talent.”
That, in a nutshell, is why Housepitality is such an excellent party. Housepitality's headliners come from all across the underground dance music spectrum (despite the party's name, they reach well beyond mere “house” DJs), often featuring performances from lesser-known artists who later headline larger venues. “From my perspective, the basic groove elements of disco and early house music are the unifying cornerstones of all underground dance music cultures, and that's the essence we try to portray with our bookings,” explains Solari. Their list of past headliners is miles long, but it has included names like Chez Damier, The Black Madonna, Derek Plaslaiko, Akufen, Roman Flügel, Andrés, KiNK, and many more.
Although the marquee names are what draw folks to the party, it's the open-minded, up-for-anything crowd that keeps them coming back week after week, willing to dance well beyond last call on a school night. They're also Housepitality's raison d'être. “Throwing a weekly party forces you to be consistent and work hard. Our ongoing challenge is not getting enough sleep while producing and promoting 52 noteworthy lineups a year, and that's why it requires a whole crew to do it,” Solari says. “But seeing a thick crowd of party people going full-throttle-bananas at 1 a.m. on a Wednesday night, that's what makes it all worth it.”
You may, in fact, be surprised when attending your first Housepitality party. You might think to yourself, This club is packed to the gills. Who are these people? What is happening here? Fret not: They pass quickly, especially once you find yourself losing your mind on the dancefloor. In the end, Housepitality's motto pretty much sums it all up: “We got you.”