SUPER EGO Everybody talks about how great classic rave was — no one actually does anything about it. The Bay Area has its share of (well-mannered) wiggy music nights, to be sure, but we've basically ceded the legacy of boom-boom big room spectacle to overpriced EDM concerts at Bill Graham.
Fortunately, for us purists, there's a plethora of annual early '90s rave crew reunions that go all out, rehearsing but in many ways improving upon those golden, much-mythologized all-nighters. (Rave was indeed great, but also exhausting, competitive, overambitious, provincial, often tacky and anti-intellectual, testosterone-driven, and prone to entrepreneurial overreach. Kind of like tech! Still, there were Smart Drinks and awesome girls in filthy overalls.)
For an outstanding dose of deep ravity, hit up The Gathering's 22-Year Reunion (Sat/7, 7pm-2am, $55. 401 California Ave, Treasure Island. www.thegathering-sf.com), which actually does gather together members of classic crews like Toontown, Wicked, Sunset, Raindance, Funky Tekno Tribe, Opel, and the Gathering itself, of course, as well as newer crews like Womp and Housepitality. Yes, it's at a licensed venue — thus the 2am end time — but it's a 125,000-square-foot one, with a stellar, 30-DJ lineup including Mark Farina, DJ Dan, Dyloot, Syd Gris, Markie, and Dutch.
Best of all: the Gathering has uploaded two decades-worth of wild DJ sets to its website. Go nuts, Astroboy.
CAKES DA KILLA
Fast-forward, neon-shiny queer hip-hop club Swagger Like Us is on the move until its sunny patio space at El Rio reopens in spring. Swaggerers can swaggy their swag fix, though, with this Swagger-hosted night featuring New York MC Cakes and the fantastic Queens D. Light.
Fri/6, 9pm, $15. Elbo Room, 647 Valencia, SF. www.elbo.com
Insanely talented up-and-coming techno player (and dirtybird crewmember) recently moved back from Berlin after an extended stint, and we couldn't be happier to have her back, along with her trademark hypnotic-bass sound. She's supporting young UK buck George Fitzgerald at the As You Like It party.
Fri/6, 9pm-4am, $20. Monarch, 101 Sixth St, SF. www.monarchsf.com
SOME TYPE OF WAY
"I love it when scenes collide" has been the general reaction to this party, which is bringing the trap, future bass, and queer rap freaks to the floor, in some type of way. Incredible MC Micahtron uses the crowd like a bumper, while co-headliner Nanosaur brings some smart and dirty rumble to the proceedings. Cash IV Gold DJs round it all up nicely.
Fri/6, 9pm-3am, $9.99. f8, 1192 Folsom, SF. www.feightsf.com
This too-cute affair from Seattle brought all the cool gay boys and gurls out to the Eagle with its last installment. Killer house tunes from guest Bright Light Bright Light with DJ Nark and Taco Tuesday -- and the huge Eagle patio for socializing -- help all those cheap drinks go down a bit faster.
Sat/7, 9pm, $7-$10. The Eagle, 398 12th St, SF. www.sf-eagle.com
This night makes me so fuzzy: an annual (this is the 10th year), packed, and so very warm and special tribute to Stevie Wonder. DJ Spinna from NYC joins Hakobo, Proof, and King Most in digging up remixes, rare gems, and sizzling funk from the Motown master blaster. A perfect holiday family-time.