Marke B.

Party Radar: Mutant Beat Dance, Safeword, Matmos, Harvey, Frankie Knuckles

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In my weirder '90s paisley dreams, all clubs in Montreal look like this. In my weirder 2013 Tumblr dreams all clubs in New York look like this. But I will CERTAINLY take all clubs in the here-and-now looking like the SF quintet of fantasticality that follows. N'est-ce pas?

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Nite Trax: DJ Sprinkles lays it out

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The phenomenal house DJ and experimental musicmaker on mainstream visibility, transgender globalism, Bay Area queer culture, and the "shopping mall diversity" of the current dance music scene.

Techno has always had room for theorists and intellectuals, from Derrick May to the Mille Plateaux label roster, and social activists, like Moodymann and Underground Resistance. Most of that discourse usually takes place musically, however, with concepts emerging from the vinyl itself. The celebrated DJ Sprinkles, a.k.a. Terre Thaemlitz, the American head of Japan-based label Comatonse, tops all that by making intellectually grounded music glimmering with poetic touches and expounding in interviews and writing on such heady, heated topics as essentialism, gender idenitity, surveillance, and authenticity. She leads workshops, goes on speaking engagements, and isn't afraid to let loose in interviews. (For example -- see below -- rather than "born this way" platitudes, she considers her queer identity "beat this way.") 

It's a beautiful thing, especially in the rare context of controversial truth and radical opinion pouring from the mouth and keyboard of an outspoken transgender major player on the stubbornly homogenous global house-techno DJ scene. Of course, it all comes down to the music -- we'll get a treat when Sprinkles (who chose the name because he wanted something that sounded "totally pussy" in opposition to macho DJ culture, to buck the testosteronal scene) performs Sun/24 at Honey Soundsystem -- and Sprinkles certainly has the goods. He's released umpteen pieces in an astoundng breadth of genres under multiple pseudonyms over the past 20 years. Masterpiece deep house album "Midtown 120 Blues" siezed the top of several best of 2009 charts and was, typically, followed by Soulnessless, a 30-hour "mp3 album" of music and video. Because why the hell not?

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Party Radar: Terracotta Warriors come out to plaaa-aay

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I've dreamt of traveling to Xi'an, China and witnessing the ancient army of buried terracotta warriors practically my whole life. The uncanny legions frozen in fired clay, each individual's features uniquely fashioned, were discovered underground in 1974, a kinda creepy burial accompaniment of the first emperor Qin Shihuang (259-210 BCE), in a tomb complex the size of a city.    

Now, some of those mesmerising warriors are coming to me, via the Asian Art Museum's "China's Terracotta Warriors: The First Emperor's Legacy" where a selection of life-size figures and related objects will be exhibited Feb 22-May 27.

So of course it's time to party, electro '80s cult B-movie style!

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All the rage

25 years ago, queer activist network ACT UP redefined AIDS, changed politics, and saved lives. Can the rebooted ACT UP/SF mobilize a new generation?

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marke@sfbg.com

AIDS is so hot right now.Read more »

Is the trailer for 'The Internship' the most cringe-worthy of all time?

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See video

The answer is yes. "THE INTERNSHIP stars Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn as salesmen whose careers have been torpedoed by the digital world. Trying to prove they are not obsolete, they defy the odds by talking their way into a coveted internship at Google." Is this movie from 1998? Eeugh.

Here is your Trannyshack Star Search winner, riding a giant ejaculating donkey

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See video

Congratulations and ejaculations to you, Sue Casa -- a new "talent" taking it back to the Trannyshack old school last Friday. (Hey, she beat out the poop-eating.)

SF Weekly dumps on transgender people, all of Tenderloin

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Oh hey, isn't it funny to watch (possibly) transgender people get punched in the face and repost a video of it that calls them "trannies" insultingly, without comment? What a barrel of laughs to compare transgender people to "pickpocketing assholes and crooks who know a crime of opportunity better than they know anything else." Well hey, to SF Weekly online news director Erin Sherbert, it's "Just another day in the Tenderloin!"

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Nite Trax: DJ MikeQ leads the vogue beats boom, beats back bandwagon

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"SO TIRED OF PEOPLE DOING RECORDS AND EVEN WHOLE EPS BASED ON VOGUE WHEN ALL THEY KNOW IS PARIS IS BURNING AND HAVE NEVER EVEN BEEN TO A BALL," awesome new-generation vogue beats pioneer MikeQ (appearing with Big Freedia Fri/8 at the Lights Down Low party at Mezzanine) recently posted on his Facebook. And it's true: vogueing culture and its music has been choppin, mopping, and dropping to the fore of dance music lately -- a joyful salute the the glorious pioneers of underground black gay nightlife culture, but also, unfortunately, the latest peg of "authenticity" for producers wanting to get some trendy attention.     

MikeQ would know from all of that -- he's not only deeply rooted in New Jersey and NYC's ballroom scene (and regularly featured at Jack Mizrahi's party Vogue Knights), he and his Qween Beat production company have been at the forefront of a new generation of vogue beats pioneers that exploded in the past few years with their own styles. (I interviewed him about it in 2011). As new and affordable technology makes it possible for bedroom producers to create, emulate, and transform the traditional "Ha" slam beat that drives vogueing battles, the "Ha" has taken on new life. Now it's the "Ha" heard 'round the world. Ummmm....

And MikeQ's at the center of it all, with his ace mixing skills and his ear for cunty beats. I emailed him about his feelings regarding the latest voguesplosion, his future plans, and his upcoming recording session with Azaelia Banks.

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Out of the Batcloset

"Batman on Robin" group art show unleashes Dynamic Duo's unspoken desire

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marke@sfbg.com

VISUAL ARTS "When I first saw the 1970s comics version of Batman by Neal Adams, I got a bit weak-kneed — though I was too young to know what that meant at the time," comics artist Justin Hall ("No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics," "Glamazonia") told me over a beer at his Mission apartment. "Here was a more realist Batman, with muscles and chest hair ... and he had gotten rid of Robin at that point, which left room for me!"Read more »