May 26, 2011
Better than: This '80s night.
The enduring popularity of the 1980s has been one of the strangest phenomena of the past 30 years. Looking back it seems as though that decade is an ever-present spectre, continually manifesting itself to inform all aspects of popular culture from the underground to the commercial. San Francisco's many '80s revival nights bear this out, with scores of clubbers in garish pastel (or, conversely, hairspray and pvc) revisiting the novel pleasures of the Reagan years.
Dig beyond this surface-level rehashing of the decade and you'll find an entirely different and more vibrant scene. Preferring rare, industrial-leaning sounds from late-'70s and early-'80s continental Europe (the party's namesake track is the Normal's “Warm Leatherette”), there's now an entire global network of parties that trade in an obscure genre loosely referred to as “minimal wave.” Go to one of these events and many of us would be hard pressed to identify any of the music on offer — the entire experience is built on an extremely enjoyable obscurity.