Marke B.

Nite Trax: Ana Sia, back on home court

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For those of you who haven't been listening: Ana Sia is kind of a big deal. One of those quaintly San Francisco nightlife things -- you blink for a hot minute, and someone familiar on the scene blows up, their hard work rewarded with major festival gigs, a large and growing following, and DJ sets being featured on NPR. Heeeey.

I've been a fan of the poised yet energetic Ana for a long while, and I must say I'm pleased as punch for her continued success -- and to see what she's got in store for us as she plays again in SF. (She's one of the headliners, along with the UK's excellently house and techy Ben UFO, at Friday night's As You Like It party at Beat Box.) Onstage, the local Frite Nite label head quickly pulls you into her zone, tempering a concentration born of pure appreciation of the music with some playful bouncing and disarming charm. "I'm having a shit-ton of fun!" you can hear her shouting from the decks.

Categorizing her actual sound, however, can prove challenging.

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Nite Trax: Tormenta Tropical whips up 5 years of cumbia madness

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Five years ago the local nightlife scene was broadening its scope in a multitude of awe-inspiring musical directions, from contemporary Afrobeat and baile funk to experimental global indie. In that atmosphere of diverse ferment, a couple of super-talented kids, recently returned from Argentina, started Tormenta Tropical (along with label Bersa Discos), a monthly at the Elbo Room dedicated to the electronic spin many Latin American artists were putting on the traditional cumbia sound.

The sound centered around club Zizek in Buenos Aires and its ZZK label -- but it also found a home, strangely enough, in the tropical-hungry underground clubs of Montreal. Tormenta Tropical provided a third leg of the nu-cumbia triangle, and has been known ever since as a go-to for cutting edge global bass and electro-Latin tracks. There were also a lot of glowing Virgin Marys on the DJ booth and a taco truck parked outside. 

This Saturday, oro11 and Shawn Reynaldo (formerly Disco Shawn), celebrate the fifth anniversary of the club, and it's gonna be a humdinger, chicas.

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10 winter essentials

Stay haute with our picks for braving the cold

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culture@sfbg.com

MARINE LAYER HI-LO CROPPED SWEATER, $88

American Apparel's appeal fades when we discovered this line of comfy basics made right here in the city. Marine Layer (2209 Chestnut, SF; 498 Hayes, SF. www.marinelayer.com) specializes in men's and women's tees, but we love its warm-yet-trendy cropped sweater, whose hemline dips low in the back.Read more »

Phantasms

A new wave of cyber-horror drag hits club stages. Plus: Gigamesh, Disquiet Night, Accidental Bear, Tormenta Tropical, more nightlife

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marke@sfbg.com

SUPER EGO Scene: Midnight, Tiara Sensation drag pageant, Rickshaw Stop, September. A naked, enormously white-and-purple-bewigged figure in two-foot-high Plexiglass heels, laid across three raised Plexiglass pillars, faces away from us. The pitched down strains of Frank Ocean's "Pyramid," his voice syrupped into a slo-mo Judy Garland phantasmagoria, drown us in waves of bass. Sheee's wooorkiiing at the Pyyyramid toniiiight.Read more »

Balls out

New gay sports bar Hi Tops scores. Plus: Moodymann, Tin Man, more nightlife

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SUPER EGO If, by some miracle, I manage to make it through this entire column about a new gay sports bar in the Castro without dropping a single awful double entendre, then I totally deserve a Stanley cup, a Heisman trophy, and a Super Bowl ring. IMPOSSIBLE! Why does everything jocky sound so dirty when you sprinkle a little fairy dust on it?Read more »

Nite Trax: Honey Soundsystem feels love anew

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Honey Soundsystem, that handsome group of techno and disco rarety-loving DJs and purveyors of one of the best weekly parties in SF (Sundays at Holy Cow), has gone through a few changes this year, parting ways with a couple members -- perhaps temporarily -- to side projects and expanding their reach greatly with several international appearances.

But the honeycomb hasn't stopped pumping out great tunes, and it looks like Honey's latest record label, HNYTRX, has launched with an expansive, uplifting new house tune, "Face Love Anew" by Australian favorites Stereogamous featuring singer Shaun J. Wright, formerly of Hercules and Love Affair. It's a keeper.

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Beating the poop log

My family adopts an ancient Catalonian tradition

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marke@sfbg.com

Poop log, log of Christmas,

don't poop herrings, which are too salty,

poop sweet almond cakes, which are much better!

if you don't poop well, I'll hit you with a stick,

Poop log!

HOLIDAY GUIDE Despite its media image, Detroit is a vastly diverse place, full of Hmong, Arabs, Christian Lebanese, Chicanos, Jews, Greeks .... but very few Spaniards, at least that I know of.Read more »

#winning

An interview with Obama's DJ

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marke@sfbg.com

SUPER EGO What's the biggest, actually good DJ gig you can think of? Festivals, of course: Glastonbury, Sonar, Mutek, those insane-looking events inside that arena in Amsterdam with the indoor fireworks.Read more »

Party Radar: Booty Call Wednesdays celebrates 5 years (of booty calls)

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I remember it as if it were yesterday's Instagram. Five years ago tonight, drag goddess Juanita More and club promoter Joshua J. took one look at the LCD mess the Castro party scene had devolved into and went, "meh!"

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