Easy Bay's inventive hip-hop heads Zion I and Trackademicks

If you think San Francisco's gay club scene is populated exclusively by fabulous gangs of slender men in tank tops, you've overlooked important niche parties like Planet Big, where fabulous gangs of large men in tank tops rule the dancefloor. “Planet Big” is a gay party for the full-figured, which is as about as simple a premise for a club night as they come. From what I hear, it's a very welcoming scene: A 21-year-old female friend wandered in by accident one week and spent the entire evening there, a princess surrounded by bears and shapely boys. Planet Big's resident beat dropper is DJ Amadeus, and special guests like DJ Chub Jim make occasional appearances. So whether you're somebody who's big and gay, somebody attracted to big gay people, or a 21-year-old heterosexual girl who was supposed to meet me across town at Charlie Horse and got lost, there are signs of life on Planet Big. The event takes place on Friday, Jan. 11, (and every second and fourth Friday) at the Stud, starting at 9 p.m. Admission is $5; call 863-6623 or visit www.studsf.com for more information. — Evan James

Oakland's Zion I (MC Zion and producer Amp Live) and Alameda's Trackademicks possess some of the most inventive minds in East Bay hip-hop. Trackademicks crafts songs for a spectrum of artists from street (Mistah F.A.B.) to abstract (J*Davey), while Zion I is known for its experimentation, embracing drum 'n' bass and other rhythms into its sound. This week, Amp Live releases Rainydayz Remixes, a digital remix album of Radiohead's In Rainbows, free to those who purchased the original. Throw these artists together on one bill, and the possibilities are vast. This hella fresh fest goes down on Saturday, Jan. 12, at the Independent at 9 p.m. Admission is $20; call 771-1422 or visit www.theindependentsf.com for more info. — Tamara Palmer

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