The forecast in Clubland
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SUPER EGO I like weather. It's everywhere this season. But it's also all over the map: patches of drizzle here, swaths of squinty sunlight there, chilly threads of breeze, and a soft, wet batting of fog. Should someone call People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals on dog days? Are Indian summers racist? What color Converse matches my knockoff Burberry umbrella? Weather's so confusing!
Fortunately, the forecast in Clubland is much more predictable: crazy, as usual. Partly rowdy with a high chance of gusty accordion and slight pratfalls on the runways. Now's the time when dance floors get "wild" and club folks scramble like chipmunks to store up glowing insanity for the long winter ahead. I'm reminded of boob-tube scream queen Elvira's immortal "Monsta Rap": "Somethin' put his nuts on tha side of his head / What in the world were they thinkin'?" Below are some upcoming offbeat joys to enjoy.
PS Every day is Halloween, duh. Check out the Noise blog at www.sfbg.com/blogs/music  for my depraved fright-night party picks.
Face the fear and drink it anyway! That's my motto. It's tattooed on my inner thigh, right next to a butterfly on a Harley, a rainbow of dancing M&Ms, and Tweety Bird pulling dental floss out of his ass with a pair of scalpels. I live for scary cocktail confrontations. But I've never quite been able to overcome my fear of clowns. It's not so much the clowns themselves that terrify but the flesh-eating bacteria that live in their eyes and squirt out when they blink. Honk, honk!
Still, the line between a good night out and a full-on circus grows ever thinner with each new Burning Man, and circus-themed parties are starting to develop subgenres. For instance: Big Top, which successfully mixes double entendre (it's a queer thing: "big top" get it?) and three-ring silliness into one whapping flapdoodle of a monthly Sunday shindig. Promotersclub whores Joshua J and Rayza Burn, who fervently insist to me that they're in no way "hot for clown," lay on the DIY pancake pretty thick. No slick fire-twirler troupes here just a tipsy bunch of drag queens in rainbow fright wigs, guest DJs devoid of shame, and cross-eyed kids sporting giant shoes. Somehow it works. This month: a homo fashion costume ball with designer Kim Jones in the DJ booth.
I can't tell you how to make money, but I can tell you that every time I hear the word milonga I pitch a yard's worth of tango tent. Let's pitch together to the lively plucks and wheezes of local sensations Tango No. 9, an all-star Bay Area quartet celebrating the release of their self-released CD Here Live No Fish with a big ole Piazzola party at Café Cocomo (lessons luckily offered for us absoluto beginners). This is one of those nightlife events I occasionally recommend not because it's going to be a drunken orgy of unfortunate plumbing leaks but because there'll be an element of seductive danger. As in, how many heels will I break trying to get to the center of one of my several hot Argentine dance partners? Three licks.
"If there's anything close to the authentic madness that is true Balkan partying in the Bay Area, it is us," Boban, promoter of the raucous quarterly Kafana Balkan party, told me over the phone. "People come to let it loose in true Balkan-region style. They get up the next morning, maybe with a little hangover, ha, and then they are refreshed in their daily maintenance of the machine." I should add here that Boban has the kind of deep, heavily accented, tinged-with-grins voice that could probably lead anyone into mountainous, oud-and-cümbüs-driven bliss. Lately, indie rock has embraced the Balkan spirits, but Kafana's no mere Gogol BordelloBeirutBalkan Beat Box hoedown: DJ Zeljko brings the Rom and rakiya-fueled real, with selections from the likes of Boban Markovic Orkestar and Fanfare Ciorcarlia. It all whirls round in a carnivalesque atmosphere that includes clowns from Bread and Cheese Circus and live Bay Area Balkan band Brass Menazerie. Plus, Kafana's a benefit for Humanitarian Circus, which performs for Kosovar orphans. Grab your dumbek and get sorry Mace-down-ian.
Vegan donuts are on fire. Nondairy sprinkles litter the runways; free-trade glazing greases the underground wheels of Monday nights. WTF? I'm talking about the sweet monthly Club Donuts, a manic multimedia fiesta that's celebrating its holeinone year anniversary next month. Fab fashion shows, live bands, dance troupes, kitsch movies, and a hot mess on the dance floor have been Donuts' delicious MO for a fat and fluffy year now, and the anniversary party promises to hit new monthly-Monday-night heights, with a live performance by Hey Willpower and DJs Calvin Johnson and Ian Svenonius joining resident Pickpocket on the decks. (It'll be "ambrosial, ecstatic," the club's breathtakingly hottt promoters Kat and Alison promise me. "Total visual and aural immersement, with lots of free vegan donuts.") Plus, you know, cute young Mission party artists. I'll take half a dozen to go. *
Fourth Sun., 7 p.m.2 a.m., $3
198 Church, SF
Nov. 12, 9 p.m.2 a.m., $8
3223 Mission, SF
Nov. 10, 8 p.m.2 a.m., $10$25, sliding scale
2565 Mission, SF
TANGO NO. 9
Nov. 4, 7:30 p.m. tango lesson, 8:30 p.m. performance and party
$15, $20 with lesson
650 Indiana, SF