What does it mean that house has largely danced over the Bay Bridge? Plus: Brownout, 2562, and Twilight Circus Dub Sound System
SUPER EGO "The Oakland house scene? Yeah, it's *^&^*&#! great!" exclaims DJ Dedan, who along with DJ Eman puts on fantastic long-running soulful house party Brothers and Sisters, which moves to Fridays every week starting Fri/13 (10pm, free. Paradiso Lounge, 2272 Telegraph, Oakl. Facebook invite). "We are now home to some great DJs like Cali, Cecil, Rahiem, Deep Cee, Rob Rhythm, Wazir, Eric Groove, Kincaid...," he continues to me over email. "And we've got some great parties like The People and Deeper Side of Soul. So we seem to be putting Oakland on the house map!"
A video from the former location of Brothers and Sisters:
I would add Blessed, Evolve, Taboo, and Elixir to that solid Oakland topography of deep, uplifting, family-style parties. Indeed, other than the monthly Harlum Muziq label showcase at EndUp, celebrating one year on Sun/15 (second Sundays, 8pm-4am, $15, free before midnight with RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org before Sunday noon. EndUp, 401 Sixth St., SF. www.facebook.com/harlum.muziq), and Mighty's Deep and Mighty Real parties (last Saturdays 9pm-4pm, $20-$25. Mighty, 119 Utah, SF. www.mighty119.com), reliable old school house vibes have slipped almost wholly across the Bay.
I'm absolutely loving the abundant cultivation of Oakland's house soul (www.thismustbetheplace.net is a good guide) which is bringing dancers from all walks of life together on the floor. But is the growing hole in SF's own a kind of coal mine from which the kooky canary of demographic change peeps? One thing that also seems to be draining from SF parties is crowd diversity. Sometimes I look around and notice that the only people of color at many otherwise quality gigs are the security. It is creepy!
I'm not saying that it's necessary to draw on communities of color to somehow "authenticate" certain cultural experiences, even if those cultural experiences are mostly derived from those communities. The music will always lift us right out of our skins. I'm just saying that some thriving Oakland parties still look, sound, and feel like the ones I grew up on in San Francisco — often more than the current ones in San Francisco themselves. That might be something to think about, as long as we're all still dancing.
Austin Latin rock band Grupo Fantasma puts on one heck of a cerebellum-searing show — but wait 'til you peep its funky party alter ego Brownout, in which the Grupo members indulge in filthy-sexy covers of the favorite songs of their youth. DJ Senor Oz from Afrolicious and local tropical art-pop fantasy act Chucha Santamaria open up.
Fri/13, 10pm, $10 advance, $12 door. Elbo Room, 647 Valencia, SF. www.elbo.com
Last month, the dominating As You Like It techno crew performed the neat trick of throwing a party on the roof of the W Hotel while still retaining an underground vibe — it wasn't LA douchy at all! Now it's time for AYLI's more earthbound monthly blast at Beatbox (with obligatory debaucherous attendant after party beginning at 6am at 222 Hyde). Deliciously dubby Dutch techno number 2562, a.k.a. A Made Up Sound, and dreamy-groovy German John Osborn headline.
10pm-late, $10 before 11pm, $20 after. Beatbox, 314 11th St., SF. www.ayli-sf.com