Northern lite

Checking out the nightlife scene across the border. Plus: Motor City Drum Ensemble, Gemini Disco Farewell, Le Perle Degli Squallor, Labor of Love, and more
Motor City Drum Ensemble swans through Kontrol

SUPER EGO My friends, there is another America. One where the teeth are clean, the streets nonthreatening, the nightlife tidy, the needle exchanges plentiful, and the gays legitimized. No, not Guam or Puerto Rico: I'm talking about Canada. OK, OK, one would be hard-pressed to identify any fierce contemporary regional dance music exported from the Great White North — there is no son Canuck — yet techno artists from Richie Hawtin (hard at work compiling a 25-year Plastikman retrospective) to Circlesquare (whose recent Robert Longo-ripping vid for "Dancers" caused several international heart palpitations) have at least kept Canada on the electronic music map. And there's a thriving hip-hop scene as well, although rappable subjects of urban strife in this most civilized of countries are mostly restricted to stern public transit inspectors and spotty free wireless.

I just zipped back from four days in dazzling British Columbian hot spots Victoria and Vancouver, and while I came across no glorious cybernetic dance hybrid of Scottish strathsprey and Inupiat blanket toss, northern nutters like Calgary filter hip-house duo Smalltown DJs and deliciously deep divers Eames and Fatso of Victoria's Soft Wear party caught my roving ears. Also discovered: Canada might be irony-free. At otherwise fantastic alterna-faggy party Queerbash, the boys and girls may have been torn from my hunky, uninhibited lumberjack fantasies and the stout drag queens unafraid to creatively camp up odd diva house classics like Sunkids' "Rise Up" — but the tunes were pure Gaga-wave punctuated by 2k7 Britney, which I guess is retro now? And can every pop "club remix" stop sounding like someone scratching a new pair of nylons over the telephone? Elastic-synthetic, I get it. Still, the punky kids ate it up with nary a wink, and it would have been too impolite not to join in. But Canada, dear Canada: your homosexual party music drives me loony. Please fix.



Two of the biggest indie dance clubs team up again for rock debauchery, with DJs Omar and Aaron Axelsen and live gigs from localistas the Limousines and Lilofee.

Fri/3, 10 p.m., $13. Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell, SF.



The kids behind this incredibly popular and stylish retro-disco affair are ending on a high note — on this, their four-year anniversary, they're packing up the mirrorball and move-move-moving on. Do the hustle, shed a tear with DJs Vin Sol, Nicky B., and Derrick Love, and hosts Le Dinosaur and Christopher McVick.

Sat/4, 10 p.m., $5. UndergroundSF, 424 Haight, SF.



He's not from the Motor City and the only drums are your feet on the dance floor, but knob-nymph Danilo Plessow from Stuttgart sure knows his way around dance music history. He's exemplary of a new wave of German techno-ists who aren't afraid of that little thing called "funky." Catch him opening for revered slow-and-low Frankfurt producer Roman Flugel (once described as "Patrick Cowley on ketamine") at the monthly Kontrol party.

Sat/4, 10 p.m.–late, $20. EndUp, 401 Sixth St., SF.



For a dozen tight moons, DJ Bus Station John has carved out a monthly space at wondrously gritty mid-Market dive the Hotspot for cruise-y gentlemen with low goals and high minds. Revel in lusty disco rarities, luridly cheap drinks, upstairs pocket-pool, and several indecent exposures.

Sat/4, 10 p.m., $5. The Hotspot, 1414 Market, SF.


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