SUPER EGO Three signs that our nightlife spring has sprung, sure as the annual return of the swallows to Blow Buddies: the Sunset season opener party, Hard French's outdoor re-emergence, and the star-studly LGBT Center gala Soiree.
Our queer old-school soul treasure Hard French (Sat/5, 2pm-8pm, $8. El Rio, 3158 Mission, SF. www.elriosf.com) will pack El Rio's patio every first Saturday here on out with the joyous sounds of frugging and jiving. Later, all the drag, queer, and club luminaries will brighten up Soiree (Sat/5, 6:30pm-midnight, $95. City View, 135 Fourth St, SF. sflgbtcenter.eventbrite.com) — the proceeds go for job and economic skills training for LGBT youth, many of them homeless. This year's theme is "A jazz tribute to the Beat generation," so don't forget your beret and bongos. Performances galore.
Sunset (Sun/6, 11am-7pm, $5–$120. Stafford Lake Park, Novato, www.tinyurl.com/sunsetopener2014) is one of our most storied party crews — this is its 20th anniversary. And the huge, yearly season opener blast is like one big, very big, family picnic. There are rave babies, and their own rave babies! And thousands of smiles. And of course special surprise guests and a raging afterparty back in the city. Bring your picnic basket.
PS My column went to press just as I was hearing the sad news of DJ Frankie Knuckles' passing. Here's a list of parties this weekend that will be truly great tributes to his spirit and legacy.
Good ol' four-on-the-floor house, with a bit of ethereal heft behind it, from this prominent, hunky New York DJ. With the UK's Leon Vynehall, whose glorious "Step or Stone (Breath or Bone)" was one of the best tracks of last year.
Fri/4, 10pm-3am, $10–$15. Public Works, 161 Erie, SF. www.publicsf.com
High and dirty times at the Eagle whenever this fantastic party from Seattle comes to town courtesy of force of nature DJ Nark. Get into it with DJs Chip Mint and Guy Ruben, towering drag hosteses Jem Jehova and VivvyAnne ForeverMore, "camera in her wig" videographer Drewnicorn, and a dance floor packed with hot scruffs.
Sat/5, 9pm, $7. The Eagle, 398 12th St, SF. dickslaplyfe.tumblr.com
One of our own, coming up fast with his Sooo Wavey label and housey Sade edits. He's at one of our sweetest (and least expensive!) parties, Push the Feeling, with local player Cherushii, whose excellent recent Queen of Cups EP can get anyone moving.
Sat/5, 9pm, free before 10pm with RSVP online, $6. Underground SF, 424 Haight, SF. www.do415.com/pushthefeeling
Caught this hugely popular German (now based in LA) cat a couple times in the past few years, and he really delivers on that deliciously deep, if now a bit retro, post-minimal Berlin-Ibiza sound. It's all in his perfect control. With beloved Doc Martin and Francesa Lombardo.
Sat/5, 10pm-4am, $17–$25. Public Works, 161 Erie, SF. www.publicsf.com