Beat Box

Dig the '60s and '70s? How 'bout dancin' DJs? Perhaps Sundays at the Hush Hush will make you "Smile."

The best bartenders drink with their customers, and the best DJs dance with their audiences. Neil Martinson — the DJ responsible for “Smile,” S.F.'s finest retro-pop dance night — spends almost as much time in front of his decks as behind them. Since March 2001, Martinson has been providing a worthy service to those who like to dance to something other than hip hop and electronica. Mostly he plays stomp-worthy tracks from the '60s and '70s, with a predilection for cowbells and handclaps and symphonic strings. But he's not above pulling out a Beatles-y Gene Simmons solo cut or a swirling Saint Etienne nugget, as long as it makes the crowd get crazy. Plus, early in the evening Martinson offers live performances from terrific below-the-radar artists like local harp-stroker Joanna Newsom and French chanteur Sebastien Martel. “Smile” takes place on Sundays at the Hush Hush, 496 14th St. (at Guerrero), S.F. On Jan. 11, Triangle and Spootnik begin the festivities at 10 p.m. Admission is $5; call 241-9944.

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