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:
1) Icee Hot with Anthony Shakir at Public Works
"Detroit legend Anthony “Shake” Shakir has been making techno music for more than 20 years, and I think this was his first time in SF. He played an epic set and Brooklyn's Creep opened up."
2) Sunset Campout with Larry Heard, Steve Summers live, Miracles Club live in Belden, CA
"Imagine an entire town on a river turned into a house music party zone for an entire weekend. Cabins, tents, a crazy soundsystem, floaties, live acts, and the legendary Larry Heard, a.k.a. Mr. Fingers. It was unreal!"
3) No Way Back & Honey Soundsystem with Virgo Four (live!) at Public Works
"Merwyn Sanders and Eric Lewis (a.k.a.Virgo Four) put out a seminal house album in 1989 straight out of Chicago. in 2011, they put out Resurrection, a massive batch of previously unheard and unreleased material from 1984 to 1990. This legendary duo played a memorable live set in the intimate Oddjob Loft at Public Works."
4) Omar Souleyman at Mezzanine
"Coming all the way from Syria, Omar Souleyman played a sweaty party with his funky folk and boogie pop sounds of Syria. The whole crowd was bobbing up and down in a sweaty craze."
5) Sweaterfunk with Dam Funk at Li Po Lounge
"Dam Funk got really intimate with old friends and fans to a free party in the basement of Lipo Lounge on a Sunday night. Playing obscure boogie tracks and MCing on the mic, he won everyone's hearts and got the whole crowd dancing til they turned the lights on at 1:30am."
6) Donuts and No Way Back with Optimo and Mi Ami at Public Works
"JD Twitch and Jonnie WIlkes of Glasgow are better known as Optimo, the duo not only are amazing DJs but are known for throwing their crazy Optimo Espacio parties in Glasgow with live acts. Mi Ami (who have actually been a guest at Optimo Espacio in Scotland) opened up for them, playing a dancey live set to a sweaty crowd in the Oddjob Loft at Public Works."
7) As You Like It, Donuts, and No Way Back with Mike Huckaby, Steffi, and Beautiful Swimmers at Public Works
"All-star lineup, two floors, about 900 people dancing until almost 4am. Need I say more? Beautiful Swimmers killed it in the Oddjob Loft with their mix of everything from disco to italian house, Mike Huckaby opened up for Steffi in the main room--and the crowd wouldn't stop dancing even when the lights came on."
8) Sunset Boat Party with Magic Touch live at Sunset Boat Party
"Sunset has been throwing amazing parties in the woods, on boats and in underground spacessince the 90's. If you've never experienced one of the boat parties it's something you have to experience at least once. Imagine dancing to live or DJed dance music on the upper deck while floating underneath a full moon or swaying on the main dancefloor with views of the city and the Golden Gate Bridge through the windows."
10) Donuts with Legowelt, Miracles Club, Xosar, Tres Lingerie at Public Works
"Donuts presented a night with numerous live electronic acts. Tres Lingerie opened up with their boogie disco songs fronted with vocals by the charismatic James Anthony, Miracles Club delivered a 90's era house performance complete with stage dancer Ryan Boyle, and to top it off the dark synth debut live set by Xosar, as Clone describes as "occult-tinged public access house music". Dutch electronic genius Danny Wolfers, aka Legowelt joined her and ventured off into his solo live set which closed the night."
11) L.A. Vampires at High Fantasy, Aunt Charlie's Lounge
"High Fantasy is one of the most fun and unique weekly parties in San Francisco. Hosted by the infamous Alexis Blair Penney and Myles Cooper, this night brings together drag queens, gay boys, straight music lovers, and hot girls to the dance floor for some of the most underground dance music. LA Vampires is the solo venture of Amanda Brown. Amanda is also the founder of 2011′s most talked-about labels 100% Silk. The impact and influence of 100% Silk, was huge this year. 100% Silk harked back to a time in club music when energy and attitude were more important than polished production."
***BONUS! The Beat Electric Dance Show 2 at Mezzanine
"What is actually 2011 footage of San Francisco's club night "The Beat Electric Dance Show 2" looks like found footage from golden disco's past, not just thanks to the added VHS grain, but because of what appears to be totally unbridled nightlife bliss at Mezzanine. The Beat Electric dance show had live VHS video taping of dancers on the stage, on the dancefloor to Beat Electric DJs and an epic live set by Magic Touch with a crazy guitar solo by Josh Anzano. Tres Lingerie and Corinne also played, and HOTTUB and Jihaari T were MC's for the night."