Squeeze me

THE FREE ISSUE: A rundown of the city's best free clubs. Plus: Watcha-Clan, Smack, Pheeko Dubfunk, and more
Sista K. of Watcha-Clan reacts


SUPEREGO Obama's been in office for a whole 200,000 blog centuries, but times are still so tight I have to make my own mascara out of Marlboro butts and melted-down pantyhose. Why won't he magically fix everything immediately! Flasks are making a flashy comeback on the club scene, spontaneous street parties are all the rage, and 2 p.m. at Dolores Park is the latest rave time for the hip, half-naked underemployed. (The free San Francisco Symphony performance then and there on Sun/19 will be an awesome culture clash.) It's a freakonomical conundrum that just as delicious-sounding specialty cocktails are taking off and a new crop of fascinating DJs are touring, no one really has the ducats to taste or hear them.

But the worst thing you can do is stay home. Fortunately, some of the best parties in the city are free — and many more, don't forget, are gratis if you arrive early enough (bring a crossword or something) or pimp inventive drink specials to help you fight the squeeze. Look Out Weekend (Fridays, 4–9 p.m., free. Vessel, 85 Campton Place, SF. www.lowsf.com) is a bumpin' electroish happy hour that boasts two-for-one well drinks and an überstylish crowd. The weekly hip-hop-laced glass of adventure that is Red Wine Social (Wednesdays, 8 p.m., free. Dalva, 3121 16th St., SF. www.myspace.com/dalva_cocktails) has been getting scruffsters loopy for the better part of a decade, while hip-hop upstart West Addy (Wednesday, UndergroundSF, 424 Haight, SF. www.myspace.com/westaddy) gooses the neon youth. The eclectic Drunken Monkey (Tuesdays, 9 p.m., free. Annie's Social Club, 917 Folsom, SF. www.anniessocialclub.com) brings together goth and hip-hop — goth hop? Gnip gnop? — while the occasional, usually free Alcoholocaust parties (various dates, Argus Lounge, 3187 Mission, SF. www.arguslounge.com) get your rock rocks off.

The gays love it the free: Honey Sundays (Sundays, 9 p.m., free. Paradise Lounge, 1501 Folsom, SF. www.honeysoundsystem.com) brings the best underground queer sounds in town to a lovely cross-section of post-weekend freaks — and is celebrating its second anniversary Sun/19 — while Charlie Horse (Fridays, 9 p.m., free. The Cinch, 1723 Polk, SF. www.myspace.com/charliehorsecinch) is an actual delicious freakshow, with Anna Conda and her merry band of blackouts dishing out punk rock drag for a packed house. Tiara Sensation (Mondays, 9 p.m., free. The Stud, 399 Ninth St., SF. www.myspace.com/tiarasensation) is a mad mix of outré drag themes — Bea Arthur never died here — and DIY outfits, many of them constructed onscene. Freesational!


Breakbeat revival in full effect? Maybe, but how about "world 'n bass." French-Algerian phenom Watcha-Clan puts a refreshing, live global spin on the fractured obsession of yesteryear, in keeping with our borderless times. The Afrolicious boys crack it all open.

Wed/15, 8 p.m., $10. Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell, SF. www.rickshawstop.com


My fave 'Loin-hearted electro band, the Tenderlions, will be rocking it with super-naff Ferrari Party kids Jason D. and Primo and glam-slam DJs Sarah Delush, Mario Muse, Pony P. and other razor-sharp untouchables.

Fri/17, 10 p.m.– 3 a.m., $5. 103 Harriet, SF.

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