It's almost Pride, and DOMA has been struck down. It's hard to imagine a better string of events going into the big day this Sunday. If you haven't had a chance to properly celebrate, here's a list of suitable places to appreciate the good news. Read on -- your weekend awaits.
Sunday, June 30. 12 p.m. $30
"THIS IS NOT A POOL PARTY (PLEASE DON'T USE THE BATHROOMS TO DO YOUR DRUGS)!" About these points, local drag celebrity Juanita More is emphatic. This year, her long-running, much-beloved Pride celebration will be held at Jones, an underutilized rooftop club in the Tenderloin that feels like it ought to be in New York or Los Angeles. The only problem is that this new venue is a departure from the party's usual poolside digs at the Phoenix Hotel. But while the event may have switched locations, all signs point to it being the same wild and fabulous extravaganza that fans have come to expect.
More has been throwing her party for the past nine years. It's earned a reputation as being one of the better alternatives to the straightforward Pride happenings downtown, partly because of its charitable leanings -- each year, the proceeds of the event are donated to a worthy organization (this year it's queer radio station outLoud radio). A larger part, however, is its excellent organization and design, incredible people watching, and long roster of entertainment.
Headlining the musical lineup is Severino Panzetta, one of the founding DJs behind London's famed Sunday night Horse Meat Disco party. Unlike many current selectors, he's not much of a producer, so his globetrotting reputation was built on the back of his huge, disco-leaning record collection and formidable skills behind the turntables. He'll be joined by Kim Ann Foxman, a now New York-based house DJ who cut her teeth in San Francisco's '90s rave scene. Since then, she's risen to international acclaim as a longtime member of DFA-signed live disco outfit Hercules and Love Affair. They'll both be joined by a small crew of local spinners that includes Robin Malone Simmons of Odyssey and, in full disclosure, your very own Lost in the Night correspondent.
"It's the little things that leave the biggest impression on guests, and those are often the hardest to pull off," More says about the trick to a good party. As such, she's also arranged for more than just DJing. There will also be live drag courtesy of New York performer H.R.H. Princess Diandra (you've seen her in Slaves of New York and To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar) and Slow Knights (a side-project of Scissor Sisters' Del Marquis). Finally, there will also be an appearance by Alameda's Cougar Cadet Drumline, an after-school youth drum program that's been featured at More's party since its inception. So while the party might be without a pool this year, it still has plenty to offer. And besides, as More reminds us, "No one could ever get in the pool anyway -- security would only let you look at it!"
Noon Saturday, June 29. $20-$40
Pride isn't the only excuse to get drunk outside this weekend. This Saturday, local crew Pink Mammoth heads to Mighty, and much of Utah Street, to throw an all-day Burning Man fundraiser. Go for the spectacle, and stay for the non-stop soundtrack of Euro-centric tech-house courtesy of acts like Blond:ish and Audiofly.
Saturday, June 29 9:30 p.m. $25
If you're looking for a night of dancing to obscure '80s funk, Sweater Funk delivers. This Saturday, the long-running party celebrates its fifth anniversary with a rare live performance by Leroy Burgess, the pre-digital R&B producer/vocalist behind such club classics as Fonda Rae's "Over Like a Fat Rat," Black Ivory's "Mainline," and Logg's "I Know You Will."
Sunday, June 30 7 p.m. $22-30
Booty-shakers rejoice! This Sunday, Public Works celebrates Pride with a triple-stacked lineup of ass-twitch-inducing dance music specialists. Topping the bill is Big Freedia, the self-styled queen of New Orleans bounce (a blaring and hypersexualized offshoot of hip-hop, try "Y'all Get Back Now"). She's supported by similarly minded XXX techno pioneer DJ Assault and Tumblr lolita Brooke Candy.
Sunday, June 30 4 p.m. $15-$65
Outdoor '60s soul spectacular Hard French returns for its yearly pride celebration. Though usually at El Rio, this time it's down the street at Roccapulco with a roster of guests that takes it well beyond its usual vintage wax-centric soundtrack. Check out performances by psychedelic hip-hop outfit THEESatisfaction, queer post-punk group Magic Mouth, and soul revival group Midtown Social.