Every year, the musical magi at Red Bull scoop up a gaggle of disparately-styled local DJs and feed them into the hype machine, spitting out a DJ battle blast, surprisingly full of fun and Bay Area pride. Although compared to years past, the upcoming 2013 SF Red Bull Thre3style (Thu/24, 8pm at The Independent, $15) has been scaled back somewhat -- only five competitors this year, instead of the usual eight, and all of them are hip-hop/electro heavy dudes -- it's still gonna be a hair-raising time, and a chance to check out some talent outside your micro-niched nightlife comfort zone.
First of all, what the heck are you gonna be for Halloweeeeen?
I'm vacillating between being these amazing but creepy speakers made of artificial muscles -- so many of my interests intersecting? -- and DJ Paris Hilton (I'll just stand there like a stunned gazelle with one headphone, and have someone pop up from under my minidress to fiddle with a mixer). In any case, let's all agree that this can be our Halloween--costume-choosing retro kiki house theme song:
It's strange to me, in the wake of Lovevolution lesving the city a few years ago, that we have all these music-oriented street festivals (and park -- Hardly Strictly Bluegrass was a hardly strictly madhouse this past weekend), yet nothing devoted to local DJs, of which we have many of great quality. CMAC, the California Music and Culture Association, which helps protect and lobby for local nightlife concerns, is out to change that with a huge fest next year.
I finally made it to Tradition, the new bar from the Bourbon and Branch guys that mashes up classic bar types -- English pub, dive bar, Mad Men cocktail hour, classic drawing room, tiki lounge, etc. -- in a gorgeous Tenderloin (oh, sorry, er "Union Square") space with awesome vintage liquor ads plastered on the walls and really cuuute staff.
Well, not quite mashes up: there are no great drunk Irish-whiskey brawlers breaking through the walls of a girl-drink-drunk gaggle of video-bar gays to form some kind of mutant queer neon St. Patrick's Day Parade. Or, you know, the Catholic Church. (Laugh track.)
Uhhhh.... yes, I'm finally recovering from Pride, which was quite a thing. Here's the quick tea: our SFBG Pulling Pork for Pride party was chill in a good, busy, porky way. Nightlife at the Cal Academy was a breezy, star-filled affair -- with baby ostriches, even! The lovely Mr. at Monarch on Friday was packed with stylish yet soulful dancers (along with Quentin Harris at Saturday's Mighty Real shindig, one of the most diverse parties of the weekend, too).
Juanita More's double-venue marathon on Pride Sunday was a high-water mark: its throbbing, post-runway crowd dressed in custom black separates and dripping vintage gold chains. Hard French was also a rockin' delight, its post-Tumblr crowd dressed in custom neon separates and dripping in silver netting. And Honey Soundsystem was just far too hot-hot-hot (both temperaturewise and bodywise), its crowd pretty much naked except for glimpses of Southwest-patterned motifs, whether shaven into baroque haircuts or flashed from acid-washed scraps. The music at every party was pretty amazing, and I even stumbled upon a secret shisha bar in the TL, woot.