Nightlife

Nite Trax: Lady Blacktronika comes for Honey

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Watch your snowballs: the First Lady of Beatdown, Lady Blacktronika, is hopping on her magic sleigh and coming down the mountain for Honey Soundsystem on Sun/22. She'll be giving SF some much-needed transwoman power on the decks, and it will be the tea.

That mountain would be Mt. Shasta, where the prolific, San Jose-born producer and DJ has been headquartered lately, releasing track after track of absorbing, soul-seizing grooves on her Sound Black Recordings label. Her aesthetic takes the expansive and unrushed Detroit beatdown blues-house sound (with which she's had some personal experience) and the mesmerizing moodiness of artists like Theo Parrish and Alton Miller in unexpectedly deep directions -- using her notable experience as a singer and some lovely dubby effects shared with her former production partner Mattski to give the malleable beatdown sound some intriguing new shapes.

In anticipation of her first DJ gig in San Francisco after spinning around the world, I chatted with her over email about her gospel music-loving roots, the challenges of being a transgender woman in the electronic music industry, and some of the women on the scene that she admires.

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Nite Trax: Edwardian Baller Justin Katz tells of Gorey origins, steampunk youth, more

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In this week's Super Ego nightlife column in the paper, I write about this coming weekend's giant Edwardian Ball at the Regency Ballroom, which spans five events and welcomes thousands into its playful goth-steampunk-burlesque embrace. Named for Edward Gorey but encompassing more than a few winks at the Edwardian Era of the last turn of the century, the all-ages ball has come to act as a summit for a certain essential, instantly recognizable San Francisco nightlife subculture.

The ball was launched in 2000 by Justin Katz of "premiere pagan lounge ensemble" Rosin Coven and Mike Gaines of the neo-cirque Vau de Vire Society, and has grown enormously in the 12 years since -- including branching out to Los Angeles. I interviewed the genial Katz over email about the ball's Gorey origins, the challenges of expansion, combatting the dreaded FOMO, and welcoming a new generation of Friends of Ed.

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Get Gorey

Wax those handlebars: the massive Edwardian Ball returns. Plus: DJ Toph One benefits, Laurent Garnier, the Queen is Dead, more parties

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marke@sfbg.com

SUPER EGO Wax up your handlebar mustache, dust off your stripy topcoat, burnish your steampunk petticoats, and oil those wheezy accordions: The Edwardian Ball, that phenomenal annual gathering of exquisitely decked-out freaks, is back for its 12th installment of mannered mayhem. This time it aims to quell any kvetching about crowding by stretching itself over five official local events (and a satellite ball in Los Angeles next month). But the Fri/20 World's Faire and the Sat/20 Ball itself will still be the main attraction for thousands of Friends of Ed.Read more »

Nite Trax: Some Thing speaks!

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As I affirm in this week's Super Ego clubs column, I adore the weekly Some Thing drag party every Friday at the Stud -- and now it's turning two years old. The special Some Thing confluence of onstage shoestring razzle-dazzle, challenging themes, uninhibited embrace of drag diversity, afterhours dancing to braintickling tunes, DIY genius Haute Gloo's craft table, and hot-hot crowd has strengthened the city's club scene, although to many it still remains a secret.

I'm fine with keeping this wonderfully successful event just between you and me, but why? Joy like this should be shared. And I already made out with you anyway.

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Mermaids vs. unicorns

Seapunks and bronies should fight to the finish. Plus: Some Thing turns two, Nguzunguzu, Legowelt, DJ Spen, more party mayhem

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marke@sfbg.com

SUPER EGO The slightly "meh" body of 2011 isn't even cold and already we have two completely ridiculous yet ridiculously adorable, new deliberately manufactured subcultures to pretend argue on blogs about, because who blogs anymore? Seapunks and bronies, yep. I hope they fight, too, because it'd be the 2012 apocalypse in one cute, handy metaphor. Sparkly rainbow annihilation now!Read more »

Nite Trax: DJ Toph One in ICU after hit and run

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[UPDATED BELOW] Gah! One of my favorite SF nightlife people, DJ Toph One, is in intensive care at SF General after being struck by a hit-and-run driver while bicycling on Sunday morning. As reported yesterday by SF Appeal:

"The bicyclist was struck shortly after midnight [Sun/8] near the corner of Ocean and Geneva avenues near City College of San Francisco, San Francisco police officer Albie Esparza said.

"Witnesses said the vehicle involved in the collision fled the scene."

I've just now learned that the victim is Toph -- a longtime bike activist and producer of such quintessential long-running parties as Red Wine and Pepper.

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Newbies

Welcoming in the new party season with a burst of dancing youth. Plus: Folsom Street Fair news, Mayaan Nidam, Lady Tragik, more

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marke@sfbg.com

SUPER EGO And so it came to pass a few weeks ago that I found myself volunteering to chaperone a dance for 500 queer teens. I'm not ready yet to be a DILF! But these weren't just any queer teens. They were activists from Northern California Gay-Straight Alliance high school clubs (www.gsanetwork.org), gathered at Horace Mann Elementary in San Francisco to learn how to help their teachers understand the new California FAIR Act, which requires lessons about LGBT history and people with disabilities.Read more »

The Performant: The Great Leap Forward

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A year on the city's wilder side, and looking ahead to more fine times

End-of-the-year roundups are all well and good, allowing us the opportunity to celebrate one last time the innovations of the past. But I’ve always preferred to look ahead into the future, so in that spirit here’s a shortlist of some of my fave Performant coverage from 2011 of ongoing and perennial events that you can still look forward to checking out in 2012—and beyond!

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Nite Trax: EPS1 of Blaktroniks rings it in

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Local soultronica astronaut EPS1 (aka Edd Dee Pee) of the Bay's rad Blaktroniks project drops this neo-sexy, chills-up mix in anticipation of his upcoming New Year's Eve party in San Francisco. This blend features songs released on the Blaktroniks' label, Tokyo Dawn (with a contribution from my heroes at Oakland's Deepblak). It's seriously warming my winter right now -- calling up some youthful memories of hanging downtown and looking for love, refracted through forward-thinking production techniques, and then moving on into some deep jams.  

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Nite Trax: Comedowns are for losers! New Year's Day parties

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You know what happens if you stop, don't you? The New Year's Eve hangover catches up. So why not just power through until Monday morning with some of the most fortifying party crews in town? Si se puede, honey. Here's the wheres and whenfors:

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