SUPER EGO Oh! Yes! It hurts! Oh yes! It hurts!
My virtual buttocks are on fire.
After my last little column about stuff I'd enjoyed in Clubland over the past year, I got spanked online for downplaying some of the Bay's ongoing nightlife trends. Namely: breakbeats and house revivals, dubstep and kiddie rave, Burning Man, Burning Man, Burning Man. (Isn't he burnt yet? Sheesh. It's like a spiritual tire fire already.) That's fine, baby: hit me one more time. Getting spanked online was my former profession. If my drag name weren't already Pantaysia, I'd be known as Rudolpha the Red-Assed Tranny for sure. And luckily, it's the new year I can simply wad up my 2006 wall calendar and stuff it down my cut-off liquor store panty hose for some rough-year-behind-me relief. I'm just. That. Crafty. See?
My, but how the sting lingers, the echoing smack of keen reprimands. Whether or not the genres of clubalalia mentioned above and I'm pretty sure one or more of my personalities has dished them all here in the past are curvaceous and bearded enough to attract my one good eye is one thing. Whether or not my mouth is so big it can swallow all the wonders of what happens after dark and spit them whole back in your face is another. I'm just one slightly skinny leather hip-hop disco Muppet queer after all. My day job's at a Wendy's! I leave being everywhere to other gay peeps.
Yet the familiar finds its way into one's regular carousing, no? What if I'm in a hot, wet rut? All those back room encounters, bathhouse sounds, bhangra parties, electro flashes, wet jockstraps, mad drag queens, hip-hop karaoke nights, bedroom DJs, shots of Cuervo ... could they be of a party piece? Didn't I once declare krumping the future? Where's the damn risk?
Yes, I have my broad themes: 2005 was all about the democratization of Clubland via technology and trying to get laid by a woman for the first time; 2006 was about how clubs reflected our culture's apocalyptic visions and the return of the outlaw gay underground. Lord knows what the predawn rubble of 2007 will shape itself into. But here are some nifty things I'd like to stick my nosy pumps in.
DJ Jason Kendig, Claude VonStroke, and a giant swath of relocated Detroiters are injecting tiny bleeps and beats in the strangest of places: dive bars and back rooms. What's the deal?
Bars like Gestalt in the Mission District are serving brewskis to Critical Massers. Clubs like LoGear at the Transfer are making frantic pedalers dance. Will the fixed-gear explosion spawn a raucous rocker renaissance?
Where are the ladies? The fierce rulers of the US club scene at the moment are women from New York City and Los Angeles. For years my money's been on SF femmes like Jenny Fake, Forest Green, and Claire-Ahl to join them. Why are we still ruled by men?
Fine. For the 13th time I'm calling a house revival. House club mainstays like Fag and Taboo are still going strong. Legendary DJ Ruben Mancias is coming back from New York City for a while to restart his influential club Devotion, and DJ TeeJay Walton is launching a new club called Freak the Beat (www.freakthebeat.com), specifically aimed at attracting younger househeds. Fingers crossed.
Last year all the quotes were dropped from retro. People took the sounds and styles of the past seriously, no joke. It paid off in a lot of ways (notably, people stopped laughing and erroneously screaming, "Oh my god, I used to love this song!" when a record had claps or a guitar solo in it). But post-irony was, well, not much fun. Are people on the dance floor smiling yet? That's better. *
It's happening, and it's happening now.