Start your weekend off with a trip to the Williamsburg Waterfront, where downtempo DJ duo Thievery Corporation celebrate their new release Culture Of Fear with an epic outdoor hang. Tonight their mix of dub, jazz, classical music, and loungey bossa nova will be complemented by performances by neo-soul crooner Raphael Saddiq and Stones Throw’s heady funkmaster DâM-FunK. Show starts at 8; tickets are a spendy $50 at the door.
If you’re watching your wallet, breathe easy. There’s plenty of other options in the neighborhood. For something a little different from your usual dance fare, head to Big Sky Works for DJ Smallchange and BAMiAM TV’s first Bikini Beach Blowout, where the DJs will be bringing the beach to you for the first weekend of summer. Since the party’s inspiration comes from their collection of “fuzzed out 45s from the 60s and 70s”, you can expect a mix of funk, soul, ska, surf, and garage from Young Chris, BoogieMan, Small Change, and Primitive Sound System. Hula hoops and beachwear are encouraged but not required for entry; tickets are $10 at the door. Showing summer skin is encouraged at Trophy Bar as well, where the Magnum party hosts its inaugural “hot legs” contest. (It’s not as bad as it sounds—men and women will compete against each other for $100 in cash and $75 in lingerie store gift cards.) Tonight the main goal is to dance to a mix of disco, boogie, funk house, and probably some newer dance favorites at the hands of resident DJs Snack n Cmish, CB Radio, and James Mulry.
Elsewhere in Williamsburg the Pendu Disco takes over Public Assembly with guest DJs Jokers of the Scene (of dance label Fool’s Gold). The party brings a mix of experimental electronic music, tech-house, club, acid, techno, dark disco, and rave to the venue’s back den. Other performances include sets by Follower and White Ring, as well as appearances by the party’s resident DJs. Tickets are $12 at the door. Or you could try next door at the Cove, where this weekend’s edition of TurrboTax hosts Hessel Audio’s Ben UFO and 501 Recordings’ Oneman. You’ll be dancing to a mix of UK funky and 2-step (and a bit of house and techno) with these London bass fiends. The party is free before 11, $5 until midnight, $7 after.
And if you’re in the city for the night, make your way to the American Museum of Natural History for One Step Beyond, which tonight features Nadastrom and DJ Sabo. Nadastrom is mostly known for their high-energy club-meets-tech-house production, but over the last year or so they’ve crossed over into full-fledged moombahton grooves. (Moombahton is a reggaeton-influenced house sound created by the duo’s own Dave Nada.) While we’ll expect it to stay on the clubbier side with with Nadastrom, DJ Sabo brings a tropical flair to the night with a mix that will include Latin house, cumbia, reggae, and more. Tickets are $25 at the door and include a free return trip to the museum.
On Saturday, stick around Brooklyn for your fill of house and disco. Get an early start to your evening at South Brooklyn’s Halcyon Shop for Slow Disco Saturdays. The early-evening soirée is meant to wean partiers (particularly the hung over) into Saturday night with a mix of cosmic disco, balearic tunes, and slow-grooving funk. Today the Rapture-founded label Throne Of Blood takes on DJ duties with a “electro-boogie-techno-disco” set by the group’s Andy Pry, James Friedman, and Populette. It’s in the lounge from 4 to 8 p.m., and there’s no cover. When you’re ready to dance head over to Park Slope, where this month’s Underground Rebel Bingo Club leaves its venue-hopping warehouse vibes for the main room of Southpaw. Tonight the self-proclaimed master of “chillrave” Blacky II headlines with a set of tech-house, industrial music, and experimental electronic dance jams. Also scheduled to perform are Shane Maux, Crash Na, and Jasmine Cruz. Tickets are $15 at the door.
For less rave and more soul, head to Williamsburg where Aqua Booty fills the back room of Cameo with DJ sets by Greg Cuoco, Rong Music’s DJ Spun, and Runaway’s Jacques Renault. The party started about ten years ago as a spinoff of the downtown underground dance party House Nation and after years of hopping all over the city (with resident DJs that included the likes of Danny Tenaglia and Tony Humphries), it’s finally settling into Brooklyn. Expect a mix of deep house, disco, boogie, and some newer electronic dance music—listen to Cuoco’s “Brooklyn Deep For Spring” mix to warm yourself up. Party starts at midnight, tickets are $10 at the door.
If you’re staying in the city, get ready to soak in as much Michael Jackson as possible; it’s the anniversary of the King of Pop’s death and the city’s biggest parties are celebrating his memory. At Santos, DJ Spinna conducts the Forever Michael dance floor with a six-hour set of everything MJ—this includes Jackson 5 and collaborative projects, too. This doesn’t come highly recommended enough. I went to Spinna’s tribute on the day after MJ’s death two years ago and it easily goes down as one of the most memorable club nights of my time in New York. The room is one sweaty sing-a-long with people from every burrough in New York (and beyond), and the moonwalking impersonators are just a bonus. Doors at 10 p.m.; tickets are $15 at the door. The Freedom Party will host their annual tribute to the legend at the Village’s Le Poisson Rouge. Expect heavy doses of Michael mixed into sets of r&b, funk, soul, reggae, and more by the crew’s Herbert Holler, Marc Smooth, and DJ Cosi. Party starts at 11, tickets are $10 at the door.
And if you’re still fiendish for house music, head to the west side for the launch of Giant Step’s Yotel New York series. The free rager takes place in the hotel’s 20,000-square-foot space and includes Latin house, boogie, disco, funk, r&b grooves, and other dance fare served up by Louie Vega, Nulu’s Anane, and Blaze’s Josh Milan.