Nightlife in 2012: Did I leave my bra in the booth?
SUPER EGO Look, if I was doing my job properly, there's no way in Hello Kitty I'd remember what happened on the club scene the past year. It's all fuzzy shapes and drunk colors, like Barbara Bush in a bathhouse. Last February, it took me two whole pages of tiny type just to list my favorite weekly clubs, so I'm not gonna go into all that here. (I will say that parties like Housepitality, Honey Soundsystem, Lights Down Low, Icee Hot, Dub Mission, Non-Stop Bhangra, No Way Back, As You Like It, Forward, Deep, Base, and Sunset continued to introduce us to incredible DJs. And wasn't there someone from Detroit here, like, every week?) Here are some things, however, I do recall
Loudest: Body and Soul at Mighty — my ears rang for a week, my feet for three.
Wowest: Amon Tobin's giant tetris of digital video projections for his ISAM Live 2.0 tour at the Greek Theater.
Scary-Hottest: International leather techno entity Luther at Folsom Street Fair.
Coolest: Marco De La Vega, cross-genre promoter of the year, watching from the DJ booth as a kick-ass $3000 light falls on a table's-worth of Balam Acab and Andy Stott's live electronic equipment at Public Works. Then finishing his cocktail before handling the ensuing panic.
Wowest, part 2: The SF Symphony's American Mavericks concert series (including a Kate Bush-referencing piece by DJ Masonic), SF Opera's "Nixon in China," the amazing Soundwave Festival, the hella robust Electronic Music festival.
Trippiest: Those immersive projections at Public Works, which turned Laurent Garnier's live show into a cartoon-heart-filled rave aquarium and Jeff Mills' into a star-map vortex.
Cutest: The tiny flashing lights on the ceiling of the remodeled, excellent 222 Hyde.
Latest: We got a trap club (Trap City), a new wave of cyber-horror drag performance artists (at Some Thing, Dark Room, High Fantasy), a packed gay sports bar (Hi Tops), a great-sounding new club (Monarch), a lunchtime dance party (Beats for Lunch, also at Monarch), an outbreak of vogueing (everywhere), a queer nu-hip-hop club (Swagger Like Us), a queer funk classics party (Love Will Fix It), and a weird "sparkling alcohol water" (Air). But we lost Club Six, which I loved. Also I think dubstep died.
Loveliest: Dancing in a church with 30 other people to hip-house legend Tyree Cooper, singing along to "Turn Up the Bass." Watching real house parties like The People blow up in the East Bay. Sipping homemade sljivovica behind the decks with DJ Zeljko of Kafana Balkan. Doing the jerk 'til I melted at Hard French. DJing (eek!) Club Isis classics on vinyl at Go Bang. I think I almost made out with Kenny Dope at Red Bull Music Academy? Oh, and running into you.
MARKE B.'S 2012 JAMS
1. Todd Terje, "Inspector Norse" This was a dance music year that sometimes seemed to vacillate among three primary moods — prim sophistication, moneyed "indulgence," and too-broad jokes. But Norwegian Terje dared proffer the sweetest humor in this instant earworm's worth of re-engineered nostalgia, embracing the cheery electronic toodles of early '80s British and Scandinavian TV show themes (cf. especially "Grange Hill" and "Swap Shop," though not "Inspector Morse") and bringing smiles back to the dance floor.
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