Nightlife

Nite Trax: DJ Sprinkles lays it out

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The phenomenal house DJ and experimental musicmaker on mainstream visibility, transgender globalism, Bay Area queer culture, and the "shopping mall diversity" of the current dance music scene.

Techno has always had room for theorists and intellectuals, from Derrick May to the Mille Plateaux label roster, and social activists, like Moodymann and Underground Resistance. Most of that discourse usually takes place musically, however, with concepts emerging from the vinyl itself. The celebrated DJ Sprinkles, a.k.a. Terre Thaemlitz, the American head of Japan-based label Comatonse, tops all that by making intellectually grounded music glimmering with poetic touches and expounding in interviews and writing on such heady, heated topics as essentialism, gender idenitity, surveillance, and authenticity. She leads workshops, goes on speaking engagements, and isn't afraid to let loose in interviews. (For example -- see below -- rather than "born this way" platitudes, she considers her queer identity "beat this way.") 

It's a beautiful thing, especially in the rare context of controversial truth and radical opinion pouring from the mouth and keyboard of an outspoken transgender major player on the stubbornly homogenous global house-techno DJ scene. Of course, it all comes down to the music -- we'll get a treat when Sprinkles (who chose the name because he wanted something that sounded "totally pussy" in opposition to macho DJ culture, to buck the testosteronal scene) performs Sun/24 at Honey Soundsystem -- and Sprinkles certainly has the goods. He's released umpteen pieces in an astoundng breadth of genres under multiple pseudonyms over the past 20 years. Masterpiece deep house album "Midtown 120 Blues" siezed the top of several best of 2009 charts and was, typically, followed by Soulnessless, a 30-hour "mp3 album" of music and video. Because why the hell not?

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Party Radar: Terracotta Warriors come out to plaaa-aay

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I've dreamt of traveling to Xi'an, China and witnessing the ancient army of buried terracotta warriors practically my whole life. The uncanny legions frozen in fired clay, each individual's features uniquely fashioned, were discovered underground in 1974, a kinda creepy burial accompaniment of the first emperor Qin Shihuang (259-210 BCE), in a tomb complex the size of a city.    

Now, some of those mesmerising warriors are coming to me, via the Asian Art Museum's "China's Terracotta Warriors: The First Emperor's Legacy" where a selection of life-size figures and related objects will be exhibited Feb 22-May 27.

So of course it's time to party, electro '80s cult B-movie style!

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Clubs vs. condos

Can new housing coexist with nightlife in western SoMa? A rezoning debate around the 11th Street Corridor heats up

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steve@sfbg.com

The Western South of Market area is ground zero for the city's War on Fun, a place where nightlife often comes into conflict with residential expectations, particularly on the raucous 300 block of 11th Street and, to a lesser degree, Folsom Street's old "miracle mile" of predominantly gay bars.Read more »

Nite Trax: DJ MikeQ leads the vogue beats boom, beats back bandwagon

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"SO TIRED OF PEOPLE DOING RECORDS AND EVEN WHOLE EPS BASED ON VOGUE WHEN ALL THEY KNOW IS PARIS IS BURNING AND HAVE NEVER EVEN BEEN TO A BALL," awesome new-generation vogue beats pioneer MikeQ (appearing with Big Freedia Fri/8 at the Lights Down Low party at Mezzanine) recently posted on his Facebook. And it's true: vogueing culture and its music has been choppin, mopping, and dropping to the fore of dance music lately -- a joyful salute the the glorious pioneers of underground black gay nightlife culture, but also, unfortunately, the latest peg of "authenticity" for producers wanting to get some trendy attention.     

MikeQ would know from all of that -- he's not only deeply rooted in New Jersey and NYC's ballroom scene (and regularly featured at Jack Mizrahi's party Vogue Knights), he and his Qween Beat production company have been at the forefront of a new generation of vogue beats pioneers that exploded in the past few years with their own styles. (I interviewed him about it in 2011). As new and affordable technology makes it possible for bedroom producers to create, emulate, and transform the traditional "Ha" slam beat that drives vogueing battles, the "Ha" has taken on new life. Now it's the "Ha" heard 'round the world. Ummmm....

And MikeQ's at the center of it all, with his ace mixing skills and his ear for cunty beats. I emailed him about his feelings regarding the latest voguesplosion, his future plans, and his upcoming recording session with Azaelia Banks.

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Party Radar: Red Bull Thre3style hypes up the Bay

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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. 

Plus, the competition is kinda tricky!

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Nite Trax: That Icee Hot sensation

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The stimulating and excellently-eared Icee Hot crew is blasting a two-part third anniversary party at Public Works: this Sat/19 sees dreamy R&B chopper Jacques Greene (yes, the guy with the glasses from the Azaelia Banks video, but also one of my favorite producers ever) and Dutch hyperdubber Martyn on deck. Part two on Sat/26 brings in alien techno soundscapist Space Dimension Controller and astral floor-pounder Basic Soul Unit. You will find me face down on the floor in sonic worship for both. (And you may be able to score a pass to both parties for a mere $15 here.)

I've been following the oft-roving party pretty much since its inception.

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Miss Honey

Nightlife: Honey Mahogany races, Icee Hot turns three, Eskmo, Justin Martin, Andy Stott, more parties

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Bizarro mainstream SF sweeps Grindr's "Best of 2012" -- pukes us in the mouth a little

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Dear gay hookup app Grindr,

Maybe it's just an indication of the type of homosexual who uses your service, and who deigns to participate in surveys like your new "Best of 2012" attempt to broaden your reach into hyperlocalism (soooo 2k9, btw). Or maybe its merely very telling of how you've lost any edginess to rivals like Scruff -- which, judging from a Scruff glance, is very sad indeed.

But thanks for the violent retch and terrified giggle yesterday when you unveiled the reader-selected wieners  winners of your besties awards. You somehow managed to record every crap gay mainstream stereotype of San Francisco you could, sorry. Also, craaaazy. Scott Wiener as "best community advocate"? Is Pottery Barn a community? 

Anyway, San Francisco itself won every local category of the national survey. Also telling! What uncruisable gym queen with expensive hair is sitting in Badlands right now, possibly Scott Wiener's best friend, refreshing Grindr and voting wildly? Can someone call their alcoholic Rihanna fan roommate in embroidered jeans and wraparound Gucci shades and find out?

Below is the list of top vote-getters, with commentary

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Nite Trax: Roasting SF club legend Timmy Spence

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See video

If you think you're cool (or merely interesting) -- please drop everything and watch this clubkid-packed 1981 video masterpiece by scene terror Timmy Spence. He's being shamelessly and publicly roasted on the occasion of his 60th(!) birthday this Saturday, courtesy of some might big drag queens. After the jump, Trannyshack's Heklina dishes the dirt and gives the deets.

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