Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Top Five Parties in San Francisco This Weekend

Posted By on Thu, Sep 5, 2013 at 5:00 AM

  • Skream plays Mezzanine on Saturday.

Burning Man is over, the bridge is back online, and... who are we kidding? -- you don't need an excuse to go out and hit the clubs. But just in case you do, we've got a couple good ones in this top five party round up. This week's list covers some pretty obscure events, with strange delights such as dubstep-informed disco music, Belgian new beat, and even a silent rave. Read on -- your weekend awaits.

Honey Soundsystem presents DJ Athome at Holy Cow

9 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 8. $10

With its central location in Europe, Belgium has long been an integral player in the development of electronic dance music. Its output over the years, though less voluminous than its neighbors, has been an important part of the transatlantic conversation. Belgium's notable years began with Front 242, an '80s band whose aggressive and futuristic "electronic body music" was a formative influence on the American creators of Chicago house and Detroit techno. Then, in the late '80s, a novel, slowed-down style called "new beat" emerged from the nation's clubs and briefly took over the world via Technotronic's anthemic hit "Pump Up the Jam."

Despite the sound's commercial success, there were countercultural undercurrents to it. It was a patchwork, a jumble of samples of new sounds flooding in from America and the rest of Europe. It's this dimension that can be heard in the DJ mixes, edits, and radio broadcasts of Brussels-based radio DJ Athome, a spinner with wide-reaching tastes that all seem to converge around old-school new beat.

New beat arrived in Belgium in the mid-'80s as a domestic response to the foreign imports in the nation's industrial-leaning nightclubs. DJs, armed with samplers, began to create original works of creative appropriation (like Fruit of Life's "Not Afraid to Dance") comprised almost entirely of elements lifted from other tracks: the percussive belches from Yello's "Oh Yeah," the stabs from Inner City's "Big Fun," and even the iconic break from Lyn Collins' "Think." Then, most importantly, they began to slow their records down, playing in clubs with the pitch control on the lowest danceable setting, giving the music its characteristic slow-burn.

This style is best heard in a mix, which Athome demonstrated earlier this year when he recorded "Mixtape Athome," the 175th installment in Honey Soundsystem's "Honey Potcast" mix series. In it, Athome effortlessly burns through a set of tracks that connect '80s new beat, its many influences, and the various sounds today that closely resemble it. His tape may not have been intended to be illustrative, but it's an excellent education in one of electronic dance music's lesser-known forms. Expect him to do something similar live -- and thus another thought-provoking and body moving experience at San Francisco's best Sunday night party, Honey Soundsystem.

Smoke N' Mirrors presents Monika Kruse at Monarch

9:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6. $10-$20

Berlin is flooded with DJs -- so many that it can be difficult for some artists to get noticed. Not so for Monika Kruse, a Berlin-born producer whose studiously concocted tech-house (as can be heard on last year's clubby Traces LP), strong mixes, and long presence in the German nightlife industry have made her an insider's favorite.

Lights Down Low presents Skream at Mezzanine

9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7. $18-$22

Skream may have been one of the original U.K. dubstep producers, but his sound has long since moved on. Throughout the '00s, his music -- such as on "Midnight Request Line" -- explored weedy post-apocalyptic soundscapes full of dread (in both the emotional and Jamaican sense of the word). Now he's all clubbed-out, with a new style that relies on a dancefloor-friendly fusion of American disco, European house, and old-fashioned techno. Check out his recent live mix from the MixMag DJ Lab.

Ryan Crosson at Public Works

9:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7. $10-$20

Tech house is red hot at the moment, and one of its biggest names is Ryan Crosson. A producer from Detroit, he's an integral member in the Visionquest collective, a label and DJ crew that also counts Seth Troxler and Lee Curtiss as members. His DJ sets, like his productions, are loopy, sensual, and psychedelic -- made for altered states and dancing over the long haul. Hear his live mix recorded earlier this year at a club in Italy.

Hush Fest at Treasure Island Great Lawn

1 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 8. $20

This Sunday offers an opportunity to liberate yourself from the confines of traditional nightlife. The event is Hush Fest, a "silent disco" festival where the only way to hear the music is to don a pair of headphones. A quick trip across the bridge and you'll be able to dance alfresco on Treasure Island's scenic Great Lawn to big-name DJs like NY hip-hop party starter Nickodemus and Dirtybird co-founder Justin Martin.

-- @DerekOpperman

  • Pin It

Tags: , , , , , ,

About The Author

Derek Opperman


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • Nevada City and the South Yuba River: A gold country getaway

    Nestled in the green pine-covered hills of the Northern Sierra Nevada is the Gold Rush town of Nevada City. Beautiful Victorian houses line the streets, keeping the old-time charm alive, and a vibrant downtown is home to world-class art, theater and music. The nearby South Yuba River State Park is known for its emerald swimming holes during the summer and radiant leaf colors during autumn. These days the gold panning is more for tourists than prospectors, but the gold miner spirit is still in the air.

    South Yuba River State Park and Swimming Holes:
    The park runs along and below 20 miles of the South Yuba River, offering hiking, mountain biking, gold panning and swimming. The Highway 49 bridge swimming hole is seven-miles northwest of Nevada City where Highway 49 crosses the South Yuba River. Parking is readily available and it is a short, steep hike to a stunning swimming hole beneath a footbridge. For the more intrepid, trails extend along the river with access to secluded swim spots. The Bridgeport swimming hole has calm waters and a sandy beach -- good for families and cookouts -- and is located 14 miles northwest of Nevada City. Be sure to write down directions before heading out, GPS may not be available. Most swimming holes on the South Yuba River are best from July to September, while winter and spring can bring dangerous rapids. Always know the current before jumping in!

    Downtown Nevada City
    The welcoming, walkable downtown of Nevada City is laid back, yet full of life. Start your day at the cozy South Pine Cafe (110 S Pine St.) with a lobster benedict or a spicy Jamaican tofu scramble. Then stroll the streets and stop into the shop Kitkitdizzi (423 Broad St.) for handcrafted goods unique to the region, vintage wears and local art “all with California gold rush swagger,” as stated by owners Carrie Hawthorne and Kira Westly. Surrounded by Gold Rush history, modern gold jewelry is made from locally found nuggets and is found at Utopian Stone Custom Jewelers (301 Broad St.). For a coffee shop with Victorian charm try The Curly Wolf (217 Broad St.), an espresso house and music venue with German pastries and light fare. A perfect way to cool down during the hot summer months can be found at Treats (110 York St.) , an artisan ice cream shop with flavors like pear ginger sorbet or vegan chai coconut. Nightlife is aplenty with music halls, alehouses or dive bars like the Mine Shaft Saloon (222 Broad St.).

    The Willo Steakhouse (16898 State Hwy 49, Nevada City)
    Along Highway 49, just west of Nevada City, is The Willo, a classic roadhouse and bar where you’re welcomed by the smell of steak and a dining room full of locals. In 1947 a Quonset hut (a semi-cylindrical building) was purchased from the US Army and transported to its current location, and opened as a bar, which became popular with lumberjacks and miners. The bar was passed down through the decades and a covered structure was added to enlarge the bar and create a dining area. The original Quonset beams are still visible in the bar and current owners Mike Byrne and Nancy Wilson keep the roadhouse tradition going with carefully aged New York steaks and house made ingredients. Pair your steak or fish with a local wine, such as the Rough and Ready Red, or bring your own for a small corkage fee. Check the website for specials, such as rib-eye on Fridays.

    Outside Inn (575 E Broad St.)
    A 16-room motel a short walk from downtown, each room features a unique décor, such as the Paddlers’ Suite or the Wildflower Room. A friendly staff and an office full of information about local trails, swimming and biking gets you started on your outdoor exploration. Amenities include an outdoor shower, a summer swimming pool and picnic tables and barbeques. Don’t miss the free vegetable cart just outside the motel in the mornings.

    Written and photographed by Beth LaBerge for the SF Weekly.

  • Arcade Fire at Shoreline
    Arcade Fire opened their US tour at Shoreline Amphitheater to a full house who was there in support of their album "Reflector," which was released last fall. Dan Deacon opened the show to a happily surprised early audience and got the crowd actively dancing and warmed up. DEVO was originally on the bill to support Arcade Fire but a kayak accident last week had sidelined lead singer Mark Mothersbaugh and the duration of the west coast leg of the tour. Win Butler did a homage to DEVO by performing Uncontrollable Urge.