"The Real" funk and hip hop set off Nickie's BBQ; superstar DJs John Digweed and Danny Tenaglia play S.F.

Lower Haight Street is making a go at trying to draw folks back to its nightlife scene after a year of violence and shootings sullied the neighborhood's appeal. Recently closed DJ bar the Top is re-emerging under new ownership as Underground SF, and nearby Nickie's BBQ has upgraded its sound system. This must come as good news to DJs Wisdom and Motion Potion, who host the weekly party “The Real” at the latter. These two offer a history-conscious and considerably funkier alternative to the 20 hip hop tracks stuck in endless rotation on commercial radio and MTV. (Wisdom is also a DJ for KUSF, where he tries to right that wrong every week.) Expect anything from James Brown to Fela Kuti to Run-D.M.C. when these guys bring the real this (and every) Friday; call 621-6509 or visit for more info.

Reversing stereotypes is one of the best skills a DJ can lock down. England's John Digweed is normally associated with his former partner-in-crime Sasha and the light (some would say sissy) melodies of the progressive trance sound they helped usher onto the global dance floor in the '90s. But the truth is both DJs have favored darker, edgier tunes in recent years and are fighting to display their expanded horizons. Digweed's most recent mix CD, the 20th installment of the Fabric series from the London superclub of the same name, won't see a domestic release until March, but it has already raised eyebrows and drawn praise from skeptics with its deft blend of songs from underground house and techno icons like Slam, Angel Alanis, and S.F.'s own DJ Rasoul. Listen for like-minded beats as John Digweed returns to San Francisco on Friday, Jan. 7, at Ruby Skye; call 693-0777 or visit for more info.

Having previously thrown a long-running and aptly named weekly party in the Big Apple, “Be Yourself,” celebrated DJ/producer Danny Tenaglia espouses a philosophy that's at the root of genuine club culture and at odds with what usually passes for it. That alone makes him stand out from his East Coast colleagues, who are few to begin with. Tenaglia draws a mixed crowd and generally favors the humorous and sinister strains of deep house. And since he's a true marathon man behind the decks — known for his six-, eight-, and even 10-hour sets (he basically plays until someone makes him stop) — prepare to get thoroughly worked over. DJ Behrouz will join Tenaglia in celebration of the 15th anniversary of the club night “Release” on Saturday, Jan. 8, at Ruby Skye; call 693-0777 or visit for more info.

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