Nightlife

Nite Trax: DJ Pickpocket's top 11 parties of 2011

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Wily DJ Pickpocket of the invaluable roving Donuts parties -- which combine forward-thinking, often experimental live acts with crazy-fun dancing and DJs, plus donuts! -- offers some of her best party experiences from a busy year spent on the local scene. She's got a wild night planned for us tomorrow, Fri/30, at SF's Public Works for the Donuts anniversary-birthday party with Gavin Russom, LA Vampires, and Magic Touch. Here are her Pickpocket '11 party picks:

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Pop your cork

New Year's Eve blowouts (and New Year's Day backups) to get you properly toasted

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Below are our picks to ring in the new. Events are listed alphabetically. Parties end at 2 a..m. except where noted. For more New Year's parties, see This Week's Picks. For New Year's Day parties, click here. Lampshade hats not included.

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Nite Trax: Folsom date moved, KiNK-y Bulgarian techno, pop 'n lock Santa

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Local and glocal nightlife notes, reviews, tunes, and more

>>First off, the I Love Cochina Tonga's party at the LookOut last night was wonderfully fun. Ambrosia Salad delighted with her explosive Barbra Streisand-Miami Sound Machine medley, replete with broken glass and sleigh bells. And there were some serious salsa moves happening up in there later, especially with the dancing banana named Mike. It was, yes, peanut butter jelly time.

>>Second off, my intense footwear nightmare has finally become reality! The first one to wear these in the clubs wins forever.

>>No outdoor oral for Oracle, alas. For the first time in two decades, the official date of the gargantuan, scandalous Folsom Street Fair has changed, moved up to September 23 from its traditional spot at the end of the month. The reason? Oracle World has sold out all the hotel rooms that weekend (bummer for those programmers looking for a two-fer). Here's the official statement:

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Nite Trax: Housepitality warms, Jason Kendig's solstice mix chases winter chills

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Local and global nightlife notes, reviews, tunes, and more

I'm still buzzing over last night's fantastic installment of the Housepitality weekly at Icon, which was a classic San Francisco get-down, a warm intersection of smiling hotties, sweet freaks, and warm tunes from main men DJ Bus Station John and Honey Soundsystem's Ken Vulsion. A gay old time indeed in a perfectly pan-orientational venue.

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Hail, Mary

Tis the season for a super-queeny, super-juicy nightlife gossip column. Plus: DJ Ken Vulsion, I Love Cochina Tonga's!, more

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SUPER EGO This is gonna be one of those super-queeny "I do this, I do that" gossip-type columns because some of you schadenfreudanistas have been poking me relentlessly for that — and, well, happy Kwanzaa ladies! Here's the tea.Read more »

Nite Trax: Nebakaneza's top 10 dubstep tracks of 2011

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DJ Nebakaneza of the always raging Ritual Dubstep weekly (every Thursday, 9pm-3am at Temple) has one of the finest ears on the dubstep scene and a generous taste when it comes to the often narrowly defined genre. The Anonymous-like masked mixer has definitely turned us on to some great tunes this year. Here's his tops in the wobble department for 2011:

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The Performant: Please appropriate me

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Bryan Boyce and Negativwobblyland pump up the culture jams at L@te

Nighttime at the Berkeley Art Museum. An undercurrent of glee emanating from the patrons, as with a roomful of children up past their bedtimes. Enhancing the playground vibe, a giant orange mountain of rippling wooden waves designed by Thom Faulders, squats in the middle of the room, serving as seating for the assembled crowd, as well as pre-show entertainment as we scramble up its sides.

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Nite Trax: The Gathering raves past 20

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Talking to founder Martin O'Brien about the party crew's latest get-together -- and an upcoming film about the early Bay rave scene

Earlier this year, SF's Wicked rave crew celebrated 20 years, and now another seminal and actually legendary party, The Gathering, will mark two full decades of debauchery on Sat/17 (10pm-6am, check the website for location and price -- it's ravey that way! -- and here's the Facebook invite). This party will feature an all-star lineup of much-loved DJs, from Justin Martin and many of the cross-pollinating Wicked and Sunset party DJs to Raindance's Little John and club stalwart Toph One. 

The Gathering started when promoters from separate, then-smaller parties -- Malachy from Come-Unity, Tony from Destiny, Kenny and Harry from Pieces, and Martin Eklypz -- decided to combine forces for something huge, "and the circle was complete" according to the Gathering's legend. "Malachy busted out an old Hopi prophecy book" with a passage for that year, 1991, that read:

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Nite Trax: Slow Hands drops the BPM

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The singular DJ speaks of slow house, fraud players, and the pop future of dance music

"Oh, the slo-mo thing. I guess I can see how people came to associate me with that." DJ Slow Hands, a.k.a. New York's Ryan Cavanagh, was playing down his status as poster boy for the slow house movement. 

A couple of years ago, some DJs, mainly from the East Coast, started slowing things down to a sultry 100 beats per minute from the standard, boppy 120 BPM. And Slow Hands -- a fast talker, I learned, in wide-ranging phone interview anticipating his appearance this Fri/16 (9 p.m., $15 before midnight, $20 after. Beat Box 314 11th St., SF., www.ayli-sf.com and Facebook) -- came to the fore, with a dynamic combination of disco-dubby aesthetics, a willingness to let songs breathe a little, and an impeccable instinct for track selection. Does it hurt things that's he's rather dreamy in the brains and looks department? It certainly does not.

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Bass Odyssey

YEAR IN MUSIC 2011: Pop goes the world -- a whirlwind year of nightlife and dance music. Plus a nightlife top 11 for 2011 

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marke@sfbg.com

SUPER EGO Is it really such a bad thing that mainstream pop is riding the underground's ass so hard, assimilating alternative nightlife trends almost before they cycle off our freakish dance floors? I'd almost grown addicted to apoplectic pearl-clutching. Britney made a dubstep song! Kanye's using 808s! The Black-Eyed Peas are referencing JJ Fad! Skrillex in general!Read more »