The poet Allen Ginsberg called them the “classic stations of the earth” – the points on a map where people seemed to gather, quite spontaneously, to celebrate life and create a scene. We’re calling this new feature about them “inResidence”, as 5 Magazine travels to examine some successful and long-running House Music residencies at clubs in cities throughout the United States.
Some of these places we’re going to visit may have been started only a few years ago. Some have been around for almost two decades. But all over America, residencies seem to have a shelf life that gets shorter and shorter as time goes on. Amid unrivaled competition and unprecedented saturation, we felt the urge to investigate parties in different cities that have stood the test of time.
And we start in San Francisco, with a Hump Day homestead called Housepitality.
“Straight up: this party has seen enough local press and has gained enough of a reputation that after asking your friend, your taxi driver, a bell boy, or doing a quick search online for a dancefloor on a Wednesday night – the only answer you are gonna find is Housepitality at F8 Nightclub.”
Chicago transplant Bryan Bai-ee is a resident at Housepitality, so you might be inclined to take that statement with a grain of salt. But the locals seem to agree. And entering its fourth year, San Francisco’s Housepitality has enough buzz to garner praise from outside the electronic music scene as well.
Housepitality was named the “Best Midweek Throwdown” in the San Francisco Bay Guardian’s “Best of the Bay 2013” issue, and bestowed with the more muted title of “Best Place to Be In the Middle of the Week” by SF Weekly. “It might officially be hump day,” the latter said, “but for dance music purists and 24-hour party people there’s nothing better until Friday rolls around.”
Housepitality was founded by Michael Tello and Miguel Solari, with a mission to provide “a hospitable environment for party people, local and touring DJs alike,” Bryan told us, “while promoting the diversity of House Music and every genre under its umbrella. Hence the name: ‘Housepitality’.”
Bai-ee: Four Play Music Sessions vol 6
Michael has moved on to form Touch of Class Records and tour with his band Pillow Talk (who have released records on Visionquest, Life & Death and Wolf+Lamb). Miguel, however, is still involved, maintaining creative control and working closely with Bai-ee and Tyrel Williams (another name familiar to Chicagoans) to book and manage the club every week.
“We have a solid team of committed individuals with full time day jobs who make it run every week,” Bryan says. “Our resident roster includes Victor Vega, who doubles as our stage manager. Sarah Tedder, who manages much of the booking logistics. Luke Nasaw is our online voice and promotions manager who works closely with Blaine Troxler, street promoter and newly emerging face of the night. The week to week team also includes Lea Camille, our beautiful door girl and the management/security staff itself at F8 Nightclub.”
Also among the residents at Housepitality are Sharon Buck, Sean Murray and Fil Latorre – “staples of the San Francisco scene for nearly two decades,” Bryan says – along with Mike Bee (owner of the prolific Vinyl Dreams record store), Joel Conway, Tyrel and Bryan himself.
“Housepitality is built on the support of local talent,” Bryan adds. Local artists who have headlined include critically acclaimed DJ/producers such as Dave Aju and Alland Byallo, the now-internationally known Matrixxman, Vin Sol, Ton of Arc and South of Chihuahua as well as legendary veterans of the San Francisco scene including Jeno and Garth. With the locals establishing the tone, “we were able to rotate in acts like DBX, Derrick Carter, KiNK, Doc Martin, Andres, Chez Damier, Troy Pierce, Claude Young, Recloose, DJ Spun, Rick Wade and more,” Bryan says.
“The talent we book doesn’t pigeonhole our sound, or present our party as having one particular crowd or vibe. We look to present the diversity of House Music, from all sides of the spectrum.
“Whoever is booked on a Wednesday night at Housepitality, people know it’s gonna be legit. That’s what keeps them coming back.”
Some of the in-house talent congregating at Housepitality have had an influence on another new initiative, SS Records. “It’s growing under the Housepitality umbrella,” Bryan says. “The label includes music we’ve made while hosting Housepitality artists in Tyrel Williams’ and my studio, where we’ve been jamming on gear with the likes of D-Wynn, D’Marc Cantu, KiNK, Stefan Goldman and Tyree Cooper.”
As for the future, Housepitality is “more successful than anyone ever expected it might be. Anyone who can maintain that level of commitment to anything – much less a mid-week rager – over the course of four years is a rockstar! Projecting another five years out just sounds exhausting.
“That being said it’s also why we work as a team and don’t put all the responsibility on one or two individuals anymore.”
Housepitality is every Wednesday at F8, 1192 Folsom Street, San Francisco.