New Years Eve Guide
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All the Devilís Parties

A Long Weekend on the Edge

The difference between a three-day weekend and a regular weekend is that everyone checks out early when thereís a holiday in sight. Plenty of my friends were already gone for Burning Man, and the ones that did have to be at work on Friday were ready for some R&R.

The city was a little less full and I needed a little of my own personal space, so I decided to go out alone on Thursday night. I headed to Upper Haight to see what was happening at the Milk Bar, a place I hardly ever get to as it is so far away from everywhere else. Of course, I ran into friends on the way, on the bus, and at the club, so my plan for a night alone was thwarted.

You know how every club stamps your hand so you can go in and out? And sometimes itís so cool you kind of want a tattoo of it, but usually it just really sucks to have a black mark on your hand the next morning that tells everyone you are probably hung over? Well, the Milk Bar uses invisible ink, and I think every club should take the hint.

When I arrived, Wampier was about to play. I didnít know what to expect as I hadnít really heard of them, but I knew Epicsauce always puts on a nice, eclectic lineup that gets you dancing and leaves you with ringing ears. Thursday nights thrown by Epicsauce are the perfect marriage of indie rock and electro dance party, without the drunken 18-year-olds. No one with a fake ID is going to go that far out of the way to go to a bar with no other options around.

The lead singer of Wampire had a scary mustache and a young look, but he and his bandmates rocked out, making love in the audience and floating around the stage. They did a cover of Kraftwerk and lit up while performing, which is always hardcore. Then came Reporter, also from Portland Oregon, which busted out the lasers, a fan (for perfectly wind-blown hair), and fog. It only enhanced their amazing performance and dancey love songs. Everyone got into it. I really enjoyed the blend of live drums and presumably pre-recorded dance beats.

I had plans Friday night to see Miami Horror live. When I arrived there was no line, which was weird because the only other time I had been to Mezzanine there was such a long one for Bootie. Inside, it also wasnít crowded, but there were definitely a good amount of people ó most of whom were already wasted. Parallels was halfway through its set, thank god, because they really rubbed me the wrong way. It was like a bad version of an 80s nerd girl bedroom band.

I was excited for Miami Horror, but they were equally disappointing. There just wasnít enough energy or originality. It felt like the crowd was riding a different wave, bouncing around to some other sounds on some other kind of drug. A girl bitched me out because I brushed by her to get through the crowd. She looked like everyone else ó in her mid-to-late 20s wearing business casual gone slut (men too). My friend and I had more fun dancing to Yeasayerís song ďO.N.E.Ē that played on the loudspeaker in between sets than we did the entire time the real acts were on stage.

Luckily, Mezzanine is a sweet venue and usually has fabulous parties, with headliners like Too $hort, Flying Lotus, Rusko, and Neon Indian coming up, so I will definitely be back soon ó hopefully to a better crowd.

After a 90s throwback interlude with Debase at the Knockout on Saturday, the weekend was capped with a night in the Richmond District on Sunday. People that live in the Richmond always complain about how far away it is from everything and how that kind of sucks, but it has great sushi and some great bars.

Buckshot is one of my favorites. It has darts, shuffleboard, food, and DJs that play music you want to dance to when you are drunk ó itís all there in one place far, far away from the Mission.

Everyone was friendly and in casual everyday clothes, but I didnít feel weird being dressed up having just gone to a birthday dinner. It was a good time. Eventually, though, my busy weekend caught up to me and I felt exhausted. I also realized I didnít want to spend more than ten dollars on a cab so I had to leave early in order to catch a bus and get back to my neighborhood.

I got off the bus, alone, and got my own version of R&R: walking slowly down Valencia past the packed bars and the cigarette smokers, past the crazies and the drunken crowds, over the sparkling sidewalks to my house. Upon entry to my bedroom I passed out. I didnít go out Monday.