Few weekends spent in San Francisco feature as manic an energy as San Francisco's annual Gay Pride celebration. Nonstop disco mixes takes over the airwaves, rainbow flags are flown high, and tourists from all over the country flock to the city. For many, this is a date to look forward to year round: a high holiday of sexual expression. Yet beyond Pride, it's another weekend in the city, and that means ample partying for people of all sexual persuasions and interests. Read on -- your weekend awaits.
Friday, June 22
When: 9 p.m. - 2 a.m.
Why: What would Pride be without some wild disco celebration? Answering the call is the team of Mezzanine and Popscene, who have organized what looks to be one of the year's best bills for dancers and disco heads alike. Headlining the evening is London's Horse Meat Disco, an influential collective of DJs who specialize in bridging the divide between '70s NYC classics and more contemporary fare. Check out the HMD podcast for a taste of what they're all about. Also on offer are two live performances: the first by laid-back L.A.-based disco outfit Poolside (check out "Slow Down"), and the second by proggy New Yorkers The Crystal Ark (listen to "The City Never Sleeps"). Finally, local selectors from Honey Soundsystem will keep things jumping throughout the evening.
Where: 222 Hyde
When: 10 p.m. - 2 a.m.
Why: Long-running tastemaker event Lights Down Low returns to its original home, at 222 Hyde, to celebrate a big occasion. Local producer Kastle has launched a new imprint called Symbols, and in honor of that achievement, he'll be headlining the evening with labelmates Cosmic Revenge and Grenier. As if that wasn't enough, it also happens to be resident DJ Richie Panic's birthday. All this and it's at one of the city's most unusual venues. If you've yet to go, then check out our recent review of 222 Hyde for a preview of the club's cool light installation.
Saturday, June 23
Where: Deco Lounge
When: 9 p.m. - 3 a.m.
Why: Go Bang!, one of the city's longest running disco parties, returns once again with its annual "Go Pride!" bash. This time around it's outdoing itself by importing Chicago's Redux DJs, a disco-leaning duo with ravey tendencies that's quickly established itself as one of the Windy City's best. Get a feel for what it'll bring to the table by listening to this "Flight Sessions" mix provided by the twosome. Lending weight to the bill is local house DJ Marcus Jerard -- check out his PodOmatic page for a comprehensive list of downloadable mixtapes. Expect a maximalist atmosphere and good vibes provided by resident DJs Sergio and Steve Fabus. You can get a better idea for what the evening will be like by reading this write-up from last year.
When: 9 p.m. - 2 a.m.
Why: Standing somewhere at the intersection of hip-hop and UK dubstep lies the world of bass music. Recent years have seen the form's paradoxically smooth yet anxious sound become increasingly adopted by the world's underground dancefloors. If you've yet to catch the bug, then this is your chance to hear some of the medium's masters at play. First up is Mala, one-half of innovative dubstep duo Digital Mystikz, whose sound is best heard on gritty tracks like "Don't Let Me Go," "Level Nine," and "Eyez." Representing the other side of the Atlantic (or, rather, the Pacific) are West Coast heroes of head-nodding Eprom (listen to "Realization"), Salva (listen to "Yellobone") and Dials (listen to his edit of Dom & Roland's "Punish Me").