If last weekend was the city's slowest, this weekend is easily its most packed. New Years Eve is a tough night to sort out, but don't worry, we've collected a few of our top picks for you to peruse. We've got a triple headliner at 103 Harriet, a KiNK-y experience at Public Works, a classy soul party at Knockout, and a ravey affair that starts at 6 a.m. New Years Day. Read on -- your weekend awaits.
Friday, Dec. 30
Where: 103 Harriet
When: 9:30 p.m. - 3 a.m.
Why: There's no doubt about it, 103 Harriet and Lights Down Low throw solid parties. Addison Groove is a U.K.-based producer that's made a quick name for himself by way of his hyperactive Chicago juke productions. An uptempo maniac, his live sets are performed in the old style, with hardware (he lugs an 808 across the Atlantic -- that's dedication). Get an idea of his sound through his universally approved 2010 dancefloor smash, "Footcrab." Sepalcure is the uber-hyped duo of Travis Stewart (a.k.a. Machinedrum) and Praveen Sharma. Together they produce dubbed-out future house tracks like "Love Pressure" and "Pencil Pimp." Their recently released self-titled debut has earned them top marks; one of its cuts was even featured in the club scene from Darren Aronofsky's The Black Swan. Also on the bill is Mux Mool, one of Ghostly International's first beatsmith signees. Check out "Get Better John" from Mux Mool's 2010 LP Skulltaste.
Where: Public Works
When: 9:30 p.m. - 4 a.m.
Why: A party that's in it for the right reasons, Donuts has been ahead of the curve for a long time. Now celebrating five years in existence, it's throwing a huge bash at Public Works. Following in the tradition of previous Donuts NYE-esque events (like the "island" themed party at the Knockout with Lovefingers), this year's event features a headlining set by New Yorker Gavin Russom. A multi-faceted artist, Russom is DFA's resident sound guru and records under a number of aliases: Black Meteoric Star, The Crystal Ark, and Black Leotard Front. Get an idea of his sound via his recently released single "Night Sky." Adding further weight to the bill is a showcase of the up-and-coming L.A. label 100% Silk featuring Magic Touch, Bobby Browser, and 100% Vampires (an alias of 100% Silk label boss Amanda Brown). DJ support comes by way of Donuts founder DJ Pickpocket.
Saturday, Dec. 31
When: 9 p.m. - 4 a.m.
Why: The tagline says it all: "It's Nasty." Oldies Night is one of the longest running parties in the city. Focused on the soulful side of the '50s and '60s, DJs Daniel, Ivar, and Primo have created something beyond just an event -- they've constructed an entire experience surrounding their combined collection of extremely rare records. Looking to finish 2011 with bang, they've done a couple things: First, they're keeping the venue open til 4:00 a.m. Second, they've enlisted the help of East Bay group The Cuts to grace the party with a set their acerbic power pop. Get a feel for the evening by listening to Tony Harris' "Swing! Swing! Swing!," Val Martinez's "Pay Day," and The Ladybirds' "Handsome Boy." Dress to impress for this one and expect "crazy dances and extreme decorations."
Where: Public Works
When: 9 p.m. - 5 a.m.
Why: A sequel to last year's New Year's Eve party at Public Works, this year Honey Soundsystem and Sunset are getting together something that promises to be even bigger and better. Topping the bill is Bulgarian producer KiNK. Known for his solo works and for his chart-topping retro tracks made with Neville Watson, KiNK specializes in a form of dance music that seamlessly simulates aspects of classic Detroit techno, Chicago house, and '90s electronica (it works, we swear). For an idea of his sound, check out "Existence," "Blueprint," and "Leko." This will be his San Francisco debut, and he's pulling out all the stops by performing a live set of his works. Joining him for the evening are the full DJ rosters of both Sunset and Honey.
Sunday, Jan. 1
When: 6 a.m. - ?
Why: If you're looking at this you're either planning on staying up all night for New Year's (godspeed to you) or you're planning to take it easy. In either case, No Way Back has you covered with a whole day of wild raving. Headlining the day party is Thomas Bullock. A big figure in San Francisco's '90s rave culture (by way of Wicked Soundsystem), he's since moved to New York, where he formed the Rub N Tug DJ duo with partner Eric Duncan. Get an idea of Thomas' sound by way of this recent Beats in Space mix. Also on the bill is prolific disco collector/re-editor James Glass, local production outfit 40 Thieves, and No Way Back resident DJs Conor and Solar. Ought to be a good place to keep the party going or nurse your hangover with a mimosa and some tunes. And don't miss the psychedelic light show courtesy of Donovan.