March 18 (In) The Heart of The City

This post will be short because we're keeping a lot of the details a secret. All you really need is know is March 18, because that's the day we're opening the doors for the next Qoöl pop up event. This will be amazing Qoöl Happy Hour (In) Heart of The City with all of the truly underground music you expect from Qoöl, plus wonderful food in a surprising new location that we're keeping under wraps until the day of the event. We can't wait. 


Saying Goodbye To One Of Our Own - Dave Richardson AKA Hyper D (1962 - 2014)

It is with heavy hearts that we share the news that David Richardson aka Hyper D passed away in late December 2014. Dave was an original Qoöl resident DJ and one of the party’s biggest contributors. He died at home of apparent natural causes, and it goes with out saying that he left us way too soon.

Hyper D played so many rolls for Qoöl and the 111 Minna Gallery  at various times - gallery manager, bar manager, VJ (as Hyperdelic), resident DJ, Loöq Records artist (as Art of Hot), sound man, janitor, advisor, humorist, and confidant. 

There are so many stories about Dave and so many lives that he touched.  This piece written by Qoöl co-founder JD Moyer (AKA Jondi) will give you some idea of who Hyper D was to us, and to many who knew him through Qoöl:

“Hyper D, Dave Richardson, was a friend and part of the family that made Qoöl at 111 Minna Gallery happen for 15 years. I knew him as an artist, DJ, and music maker. He loved entertaining people but not in a comfortable, easy way -- he was a mind opener. He was anti-establishment. He adopted San Francisco as his own and gave tourists incorrect directions. He had excellent taste. He'd hung out with Timothy Leary. As Mike Feeney pointed out he drank beer out of a glass like a human being. He was a Qoöl resident DJ along with Stephen Spesh Kay, Kimon A's Flanagan, Scott Carrelli, Mark Musselman, Marc Kate, and Gil. He released music on our label Loöq Records with Chris Demetras as ART OF HOT. One of their tracks was "Disco Break" which was on Dance Dance Revolution. He was an *originator* of an entire artistic field -- dance floor visuals. He was reliable and loyal and kind -- but also sharp-witted with a mind full of dangerous ideas. I remember many great nights hanging out with Dave and other friends … I wished Dave Happy Birthday (and many more) in June but we never know how many we'll get. I'll miss you Dave!”

We will miss you. Rest in peace, friend. 

If you can, please join us for a celebration of life for David Richardson aka Hyper Dave aka Hyper D on Saturday, January 31, 2:00PM - 4:00PM at the 111 Minna Street Gallery, San Francisco. Snacks and refreshments. Music provided by Looq/ Qool and Art of Hot. 


April 9 Guest DJs Answer Tough Questions and Reveal Top Tracks

Just what kind of guest DJs are we booking at Qoöl? You can take it on faith that they sound darn good, but who are they really? Well, that's what these probing interviews are for. And because DJs are what they play, we've got their top 5 track mini-charts as well. Read the words then stop by Qoöl on April 9 to hear the sounds! 

MARK SLEE

Qoöl: In general, do you think there is enough fire dancing going on in this city of ours? Please explain your answer. 
Mark Slee: In general, and also specifically, yes. Yes, I do think that there is enough fire dancing going on. Is that enough explanation?

Q: Name your favorite hot, room temperature and cold beverages, and what makes them worthy of passing through your lips. 
MS: My favorite hot beverage would be a Starbucks™ Chai Tea latte. I pretty much never drink hot drinks because I don't especially like them, but if I must, Starbucks™ is it. For room temperature, I would have to go with tap water plus a 1000mg packet of Tangerine flavored Vitamin C from Emergen-C™. Love that Emergen-C™, it's so worthy. My favorite cold beverage is Beer™ - I just love what those guys over at Beer™ HQ have been doing lately!

Q: Can you ride a unicycle? Do you have any other skills that might be circus related? 
MS: Can't really ride a unicycle, though I have tried. I am, however, not bad on a pogo stick. And I once ran unsuccessfully in an election to become the Mayor of ClownTown.

Q: True or false.  If you throw salt over the floor before people come into the club then the audience will drink more later on the evening. How do you figure? 
MS: Probably true, but I figure it's because folks will just leave early and get drunk at the bar next door after slipping on salt.

Q: We say super-responsive high compression driver, you say…
MS: Sure, but can he parallel park that thing in the city?

Mark Slee's Top 5 Tracks of the Moment!
01 Marc Romboy, Bajka - Reciprocity - Marc Romboy Treatment - [Rebirth]
02 Michael McLardy - You Feel - [Highway 420]
03 Chriss Ronson - Madaba - Marco Grandi Remix - [Ready Mix]
04 Soukie & Windish - Flatmate Ghost - Kellerkind Remix - [Darkroom Dubs]
05 David Kassi - Things You Do - [Quantized]

Mark Slee, seen here as his normal, radiant self. 

Mark Slee, seen here as his normal, radiant self. 


DEREK HENA

Qoöl: In general, do you think there is enough fire dancing going on in this city of ours? Please explain your answer. 
Derek Hena: Clearly there is never enough fire dancing in San Francisco. My roommate Robin Drysdale actually teaches poi and has been instructing veterans and newbies for over a decade. I love going to Alamo Square park and seeing people do it live. I've had it out in the street in front of Mighty for several Pink Mammoth events with Robin and members of the Fire Arts Collective performing. People LOVE it.

Q: Name your favorite hot, room temperature and cold beverages, and what makes them worthy of passing through your lips. 
DH: My favorite hot beverage HANDS DOWN is the Irish Hand Warmer with Bailey's at Waterbar on Embarcadero. Perfect amount of fresh whipped cream on top and balanced with the chocolate, Bailey's, espresso. I had to savor this one on my birthday last year. Had I not been so stuffed from lunch I would have ordered a 2nd. It's like a warm hug from the inside of your soul. 

For room temperature my favorite beverage is 2005 J.Davies Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from the grapes of Diamond Mountain. I had the wine "epiphany" moment. Simply unreal with rich and dark flavors, fruit bomb notes, and is a true sipping wine. I let it open for over an hour before drinking. I wish they had an IV drip made for it. 

My favorite cold beverage is the classic pisco sour that I make. After living in Peru over 11 years ago I fell in love. Pisco, fresh strained lime juice, simple syrup, egg white all mixed together in a blender or shaker with a couple of cubes of ice. Sprinkled on top with a dash of ground cinnamon. You get the whiff of that in your nose before the deliciousness of the drink on your taste buds. A true experience. Be aware - if you get the proportions wrong for the drink you may as well start over from scratch. You can't "fix" one of these if things go wrong. 

Q: Can you ride a unicycle? Do you have any other skills that might be circus related? 
DH: I can definitely ride a unicycle, though have never tried. I'm sure it just takes a strong core which I don't have right now, but plan on having after getting back to the gym. I've see the people that do it. Can't be that hard to do since there isn't really a big range of motion. In terms of other "circus related" skills I can eat a lot of hot dogs. They sell those at the circus. I can also very accurately count the number of people in large crowds like those at the circus, festival, or flea market.

Q: True or false.  If you throw salt over the floor before people come into the club then the audience will drink more later on the evening. How do you figure? 
DH: False. If you throw salt over the floor, then it gives the annoying B-Boy dance circles more traction when they decide to breakdance and takes up tons of room, and at the same time creates an arena of sorts where spectators stare at them instead of dance with each other or dance to the DJ/band. It's frustrating when trying to move around the club and these circles pop up. I've taken a kick to the head and elbow to the groin because there was a dance circle that brought in their own "traction powder". Bars become less busy because people spend more time watching these circles, or they go outside because they are icing their wounds with free ice from the bartenders. 

Q: We say super-responsive high compression driver, you say…
DH: Avalon by EAW Club sound system at Mighty. Hands down the best on the West Coast. 

Derek Hena's Top 5 Track of the Moment! 
01 Walter Jones - I Feel Loved-  Original Mix - [Permanent Vacatoin]
02 Hot Since 82 - Like  You - Franck Roger Remix - [Get Physical Music]
03 Nick Monaco - Sample Your Soul - Louie Vega Remix - [Vega Records]
04 Nuyorican Soul - Mind Fluid - Nuyorican Soul Shock Remix - [Nervous Records]
05 Erik Bo - Madone - Toka Project Electric Dub Remix - [Maracuja]

We asked for a photo of the artist but his management sent us this picture of an Irish Hand Warmer instead. Note to would-be promoters - artist relations can be tricky !

We asked for a photo of the artist but his management sent us this picture of an Irish Hand Warmer instead. Note to would-be promoters - artist relations can be tricky !

RACHEL TORRO

Qoöl: In general, do you think there is enough fire dancing going on in this city of ours? Please explain your answer.
Rachel Torro: People dance with fire?  Far out!

Q: Name your favorite hot, room temperature and cold beverages, and what makes them worthy of passing through your lips. 
RT: Coffee in any of those forms is hands down my favorite beverage. 

Q: Can you ride a unicycle? Do you have any other skills that might be circus related? 
RT: I've never tried, but I can hula hoop with my knees. 

Q: True or false.  If you throw salt over the floor before people come into the club then the audience will drink more later on the evening. How do you figure? 
RT: False.  The only thing you'll get out of that is a party with no witches.

Q: We say super-responsive high compression driver, you say…
RT: I'm not much of a golfer.

Rachel Torro's Top 5 Tracks of the Moment! 
01 Luca Lozano & Mr. Ho - Dobb Meep - Tim Green Remix - [Disc Over Music]
02 Rico Puestel - Volute - Original Mix - [Pimprinella]
03 Compact Grey, Julian Wassermann - You Don't Know Me - Frag Maddin's Remix - [Gris Musique]
04 Miru & Dima - Miru Mira - Nu & Mira Think About You Remix - [KATERMUKKE]
05 Acumen - Between the Lines - Original Mix - [Time Has Changed Records]

DJs can be notoriously difficult to photograph, but not Rachel Torro! 

DJs can be notoriously difficult to photograph, but not Rachel Torro! 

March 5 Guest DJs Answer Tough Questions and Reveal Top Tracks

Just what kind of guest DJs are we booking at Qoöl? You can take it on faith that they sound darn good, but who are they really? Well, that's just what these probing interviews are for. And because DJs are what they play, we've got their top 5 track mini-charts as well. Read the words then stop by Qoöl on March 5 to hear the sounds! 

RUCHIR 

Qoöl: What's your favorite dessert topping?
Ruchir: Shamrock Shakes!

Q: Do you DJ left handed or right handed? How can you tell?
R: Right handed, because my left is always holding a cheeseburger. 

Q: Got a lucky piece of clothing? Please explain your answer.
R: I have a long set of neck rings that I use to appear taller. It's a power thing. 

Q: Chrome finish, or black?
R: Chrome. What is this, North Korea?

Q: We say tweeter array, you say...
R: Duodenum. 

Ruchir's Top 5 Tunes of the Moment! 
1. Hunter/Game feat Bajka - The Island (Baikal remix) - [Last Night On Earth]
2. Royksopp - Running to the Sea (Pachanga Boys remix) - [Dog Triumph]
3. Toky - About You (Hot Since 82 remix) - [Defected]
4. Canson - Ale La Hop - [Katermukke]
5. Safeword - You Can You Will - [Dessous]

One of these people is not Ruchir. Do not be confused! 

One of these people is not Ruchir. Do not be confused! 

ALEX BLACKSTOCK

Qoöl: What's your favorite dessert topping?
Alex Blackstock: Bourbon.

Q: Do you DJ left handed or right handed? How can you tell?
AB: I'm a southpaw! It's hard to say if it is the cause or the effect of learning on turntables, but I have more control in my left hand from manipulating the record platter on the left side.

Q: Got a lucky piece of clothing? Please explain your answer.
AB: I have a bear hat. I suppose it's not so much lucky as it is a trusted comfort item that I bring with me when things are about to get super weird. It's fuzzy and silly and reminds me to keep it real. By now its absorbed quite a bit of alkali dust and galactic karma that it deposits back into my hair when I wear it.

Q: Chrome finish, or black?
AB: Black like a cool, slightly damp, slab of charcoal.

Q: We say tweeter array, you say...
AB: Why tweet 'er when you can woof 'er?

Alex Blackstock's Top 5 Tunes of the Moment!
1. Ordinary Subject - Moments Like This - Cansons Charmed Mix - [Frieda Musik]
2. Jules De Pearl - Sparkle - Original Mix - [Moral Fiber]
3. Karu, Rush Arp - Airport - Original Mix - [Moral Fiber]
4. Damolh33 - Ascent - Original Mix - [Damolh Records]
5. Michael Mclardy - You Feel - Original Mix - [Highway 420]

Hello Alex Blackstock! 

Hello Alex Blackstock! 

PETKO NIKOLOV 
 
Qoöl: What's your favorite dessert topping? 
Petko Nikolov: Berries. Blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries (even though not technically berries). Simple and natural.

Q: Do you DJ left handed or right handed? How can you tell?
PN: Right handed because that's the hand that holds the iPod and clicks the mouse. Joking aside, DJing one-handed is like driving a manual car one-handed - it can be done but you'll most likely wreck. But whether there's a dominant hand when using both is actually an interesting question. When using the mixer, each hand performs the same functions - pushing faders, turning knobs. Working the turntables / CD players is a little different - the right hand mostly stays on the pitch control while the left nudges the platter, except when a right hand finger drags along the record's label or pinches the nipple (the center spindle of the turbtable for those of you reading this with confused / outraged expressions). When doing minor adjustments to the EQ or pitch that only require one hand while the other is free, I typically use my right hand. So there you have it - I DJ right handed.
 
Q: Got a lucky piece of clothing? Please explain your answer. 
PN: Not exactly anything associated with luck. But I do have a major attachment to shoes. I have sneakers that I've worn to many memorable events in different cities and countries and they've served me well after many many hours of dancing, and so I associate them with those great memories more than any other piece of clothing. I have pairs of shoes in really bad shape after years of use that I will not throw away because of the special moments we've shared together.
 

Q: Chrome finish, or black? 
PN: Black.

Q: We say tweeter array, you say… 
PN:  
Tweeter array;
stacks of bass bins.
Start the par-tay.

Petko Nikolov's Top 5 Tunes of the Moment! A stylistically varied unordered sampling of the more than 30 tunes that popped into my head...I listen to, collect, and play quality music across a wide range of electronic subgenres and this (very short) list shows some of the tips of the iceberg.

1. Vakula - Dream Drum - [Leleka]
2. Theo Parrish - Blueskies Surprise - [Trilogy Tapes, Sound Signature, Palace Skateboards]
3. Vondelpark - California Analog Dream - Robag's Habay Latoff NB - [Pampa Records]
4. Tr-Ack - Stay - Emanate Remix - [Mioli Music]
5. Mechaniker - Reben - [Supply Records]

Petko Nikolov, obviously right handed. 

Petko Nikolov, obviously right handed. 

Qoöl Introduces "A Really Good Margarita"

Most people just call it Qoöl but the full name is actually The Qoöl Happy Hour, and with a name like that, drinks are an essential part of the mix. So every once in a while we introduce a signature drink. We test drove (test drank?) this one last week, and we think it's going to stick around for a while because, hey, who doesn't love "A Really Good Margarita"? 

Formulated by longtime Qoöl and 111 Minna bartender Gustavo Trinker, "A Really Good Margarita" has tequila, lime juice, agave nectar, and a salted rim (by request), that's it! They're $7 bucks each, and they go down faster than one of our patented 45 minute Qoöl DJ sets.  


Cheers! 

Qool Signature Margarita.jpg

How To Make Your Own Qoöl Qard

Ok, so you've heard about the Qoöl Qard, and are ready to declare yourself a Qoöl VIP.  On top of that you're totally shy and afraid to just ask someone for a Qard, and you also like craft projects. Read on dear Qoölio, because we have your back. 

How to make a Qoöl Qard:

1) Find a nice, blueish macro image of snowflake or ice crystal (Qoöl, get it?)

2) Place the words "Qoöl Qard" in a nice non-serif font right over the middle of the image, then crop or size to 3.375" x 2.125" so it looks like this.

3) Print your image onto overhead transparency film.

4) Cold laminate the transparency once or twice (once gives you a more flexible Qard, twice makes it more durable).

5) Trim.

6) Use your new card at the door at Qoöl instead of cash!

Rebirth of the Qoöl Qard

On February 12 2014, and for every Qoöl thereafter, we're bringing back our modest door charge, and with it, the Qoöl Qard.

So, what is a Qoöl Qard?

For the uninitiated, the Qoöl Qard (gotta spell it with a Q or it doesn't work!) was Qoöl's own original "VIP" card. Those that had it were allowed to skip lines AND the cover charge for every Qoöl. Sweet, huh?

Staring at our next event on Wednesday 2/12, the Qoöl Qard is coming back! It will work exactly the same way as before.  But read on, because there's something about this Qard that you should know.

The VIP aspect of the Qoöl Qard was and is, like many things on the surface of Qoöl, a misdirect. A clever ruse. A charade, if you will. Those who simply loved coming to Qoöl somehow all came to possess a Qard because they were the VIPs. Just loving the party made you important, simple as that. 

The velvet ropes on display outside Qoöl were also a misdirect, and held a secret symbolism. They were always arranged to be "open at the flanks, just like Qoöl itself." (Translation: We don't believe a rope hanging between two brass poles should tell you what to do. No matter how soft it is!!)

You see, Qoöl is really anti-cool. It's not a spot for the seekers of the white-hot and happening. It's not a place to see and be seen. Rather, it's a place to simply "be." And we think that's good. It opens up the field for the open-hearted. Including you.

For those of you that adopt Qoöl as your own, your Qard awaits. Read the FAQ to find out more, including how to get one.

Qoöl Qard - FAQ

Q: How do I get my Qard?
A: Go to Qoöl and ask around. You'll make new friends, and very likely get hooked up with a Qoöl Qard!

Q: I'm shy. Who do I know who has them?
A: Anyone and everyone. We'll be seeding "Qoöl Ambassadors" with stacks of cards to give out at their discretion. An Ambassador could be your childhood friend, your partner, your colleague, or your part-time lover. (We won't tell.) So ask around. They won't bite... unless you ask them to.

Q: Is my old Qoöl Qard from back in the day still valid?
A: Yes! If you can find it, we'll accept it, in any condition! Even if you have a hole-punched card, it'll work. In fact we're thinking about what sort of special thing we can do for anyone with a vintage hole-punch card. Any suggestions?

Q: I lost my old Qard. Can I get a new one?
A: Yes! Come down to Qoöl and let the door person know you need a replacement Qard. It will help if you can tell us how you received your original card in the first place. Our door person is sharp as a diamond tack and can spot someone taking the easy route to a Qard! ;)

Q: Can I make my own Qard?
A: Sure! If you're a DIY'er, just follow these simple instructions.

Q: Will the Qoöl Qard get me into the VIP area(s) at Qoöl?
A: Yes! Only because everyone who goes to Qoöl is a VIP, therefore the entire venue is one big VIP area. Woo!

---

P.S. If any of this is confusing or makes the "nightclubbing" part of your brain go "OMGWTFBBQ?" spend some time at Qoöl. You'll get it. We prömise. :)

QoolQard_2014_FrostyType_72.jpg

Qoöl Introduces Group Dynamic Pricing

The free entrance at Qoöl is over but that's no reason to fear approaching our door. In fact it could get a lot more fun with our new "Group Dynamic Pricing." (Or GDP, for short. We're pretty sure no one else uses that acronym.)

When you arrive at our next event, your door price options will look like this:

$5 - One person
$10 - Group of 4 people
$20 - Group of 10 people

If you're solo, the price is a standard $5. 

Show up with 3 friends, and you all enter for a ten spot. 

Or, if you roll deep, assemble 10 homies and cough up just one $20 bill, and you're in for like two bucks each!

Other creative ways to capitalize on this system include: 

  • Round up a posse at the office for after-work drinks (and *ahem* great music from SF's finest DJs)
  • Recruit your FB friends to arrive with you, showing off not only how popular you are, but how smart you are, as you explain to them the concept of "economies of scale" over cocktails.
  • If you're the spontaneous/adventurous type, recruit people right off the street, or even just outside the Qoöl door! SOMA is full of colorful characters with fascinating life stories to share.

We're obviously encouraging you to bring more people to Qoöl, but we're also pointing out that friends make everything better. Interacting with people is great fun and should be tried more often. 

Oh, and by the way, there's *still* a way to get into Qoöl free. It's called a Qoöl Qard, which you can find more about here

Qool Pricing.jpg

Meet New Resident DJ - Will Spencer

Qoöl has crowned a new resident DJ and his name is Will Spencer! He joins fellow resident DJs Dan Sherman and Qoöl founder Spesh at the DJ helm of one of SF's longest running and most well regarded underground clubbing brands.

Will is a 13 year veteran to DJing, has played all over SF, around the country, in Europe, and of course at that dusty proving ground for all excellent DJs, Burning Man. But these raw credentials do not begin to describe what Will has selflessly and enthusiastically contributed to the scene around him, and that's really what makes Will special and a such a natural fit for Qoöl. He's warm and thoughtful, plus he's chock-a-block full of musical knowledge, and all of that translates directly into what you hear when Will steps up to play. 

Our admiration for this particular DJ is no secret. In fact we published a nice little interview with Will just last summer. You can also find Will on Resident Advisor and Soundcloud, and of course in person at the next Qoöl Happy Hour! 

Will Spencer, seen here emerging from obscurity at the 111 Minna Gallery. 

Welcome to Qoöl 2014, The Year of the Pop-Up Party!

 

We here at Qoöl have a history of breaking the mold. In fact, we've never really fit into one in the first place! We were the first to begin bringing DJs and electronic music to the happy hour time slot, thereby introducing a new way to party to a city that thought it had figured out every way there was to have fun.  We gave DJs short 45 minute DJ sets, and we started a music policy of having no real music policy, booking wildly different sounding DJs back to back in the same room. 

So in 2014 we're getting back to our roots of embracing the irregular and the different. We won't be on a set schedule of weekly, or monthly. To find out the when and where and who, you'll have to watch this space, or your Facebook news feed, or get on our email list.

We're also going back to some of the early concepts that set Qoöl apart in the first place, like those 45 minute DJ sets, and excitingly diverse DJ lineups that go against the city's recent trend toward segregated musical cliques. The Qoöl Qard is coming back too, but for now we won't say when or why. What is a Qoöl Qard you ask? Just another reason to watch this space…  

Qool Flyer - January 8 2014.jpg

Mark Slee - One Of The Talented Ones

Mark Slee first wandered into our crosshairs as a DJ, but we quickly learned that there was more to the story. As a DJ, Mark is a founding member of the SF collective known as House-Heads, plays regularly at all of the top-tier SF underground events, and also spins as one half of Manju Masi, a collaboration with the well known DJ, Atish.  Mark is also a music producer steadily on the rise, with two remixes out this year, and three full solo EPs on the way, all on the Jondi & Spesh imprint, Loöq Records. Add to that the fact that he's a compelling visual artist and it suddenly dawns on you that Mark Slee is somewhat of a modern Renaissance Man, and one to watch. 

Mark was good enough to answer our hastily thought up questions about DJing, music production, visual art, hairstyles, and friends.  

Qoöl: What's your personal approach to doing a DJ set, and what distinguishes your personal sound?

Mark Slee: My approach to DJ sets really varies depending on the context. In the club environment, I'm actually a big fan of opening sets, as a lot of my favorite music personally just happens to be the deeper, more subtle stuff. I like setting the mood with little textures and melodies, then slowly building up energy. I find there's a nice give and take with that - reading the room and feeling out what people are looking for, but at the same time using softer stuff to draw them in and then push in the directions I would like to go. So I think my personal sound is wrapped up in that somewhere... thoughtful, with a bit of intention, but also going with the flow. I'll get heady at times, but it's always got to have that groove and a bit of soul.

Q: Does your music production inspire your DJ sets, or vice versa, or both? Is there a synergy there?

MS: This definitely goes both ways. I actually often find that the music I'm making at any given time isn't necessarily the music I'm playing out as a DJ. Curating music and producing music are very different processes, so there's an opportunity to explore different sounds and styles by bouncing between the two. And sometimes I don't even feel like that's fully under my control. When it comes to writing music, I usually try not to be too calculated about exactly what I'm making. Things tend to work best when I just play around and see where the exploration winds up.

With that said, I do sometimes specifically produce tracks for special moments in DJ sets, especially for off-the-grid events like the House-Heads parties or Burning Man. It's super fun having an extra little trick up my sleeve for those events.

Q: Tell us about your visual art . What kind of projects have you been up to, and what might you be planning next?

MS: I have a background in computer programming, and I got interested in LED art about 4 years ago. I wanted an artistic outlet for that skill, and I also liked the idea of creating physical things. All my work is based around full-color programmable lights, in various geometric structures. I really like the simplicity of grid layouts - they're very constrained, but that forces you to explore the possibilities (some examples on my site: http://mcslee.com/#visual). It's loosely analogous to having a 4/4 kick with claps on the upbeats and hats on the eighths. Seems like a rigid template, but it turns out there are *so many* things you can paint on that canvas.

Lately I've been also been exploring interior pieces with higher-end finishes, nice woods and metals. As well as some much more ambitious 3-D structures. Lately I've been working on a big project called the Sugar Cubes, led by Alex Green. We're in the midst of a rebuild, but our first version looked like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0lkcChDN-Q

At some point in the future, I will combine the lights with music, doing a full on original audiovisual composition. This is going to happen, but I'm not forcing it. Waiting for the right moment when I just know that it's the project to take on.

Q: We've also noticed that you're a pretty dapper fellow. Do you have a style consultant? Who cuts your hair?

MS: Hah! Funnily enough, I have a very conflicted relationship with haircuts. I tend to find them stressful. Sometimes I just cut my hair myself, or have a friend do it (often before Burning Man, which then dictates the direction my hair will be going afterwards).

Since the topic has been brought up, I have to give a shout here to Spesh's long-standing commitment to whimsical hair. Maybe he's my subconscious consultant...

Q: What's your greatest joy in life?

MS: Oh man, the big question! My answer to this one is pretty abstract. I think a lot about how life is this bizarre temporary thing, we're only here until all of a sudden we're not... so you've just got to go make something out of it and trust that joy will find you along the way. I genuinely love music and art, and my greatest joy comes in those elusive moments when everything else just melts away, leaving me able to stop worrying and just see the very simple beauty of experience.

And of course, the amazing friends I have to share this all with, which at the end of the day I appreciate far more than anything else. It may sound cheesy, but if there can ever be a simple, concrete answer to this question, it's friends.

Mark Slee plays the closing set at Qoöl on August 14, 2013. 

 

Mark Slee, hairstyle #1. 

Mark Slee, hairstyle #1. 

Mark Slee, hairstyle #2. 

Mark Slee, hairstyle #2. 

 Mark Slee, hairstyle #3. 

 Mark Slee, hairstyle #3. 

Press Release: Qoöl To Host Gavin Hardkiss Book Signing Event August 7

Qoöl Happy Hour To Host Gavin Hardkiss Book Signing Event  On August 7

San Francisco, CA – July 17, 2013 – On August 7, the Qoöl Happy Hour will host a book signing and DJ set with Gavin Hardkiss, author, and pioneer of the American electronic music scene. 

The event celebrates Hardkiss’ recently published debut novel, “Cubic Lust”. Published in May of this year, the book is already racking up favorable reviews from the mainstream press as well as from fellow founders of the US electronic music scene such as Frankie Bones. 

“Cubic Lust” is a whirlwind ride through a 24 hour period in which “the old and the new collide for one night in Hong Kong”.  The plot twists and turns around “the stream of consciousness of a young DJ who delves into the finest women, drugs, and music that China has to offer.”

The Gavin Hardkiss book signing and DJ set is a perfect fit for Qoöl’s regular early evening time slot, as well as their self-stated mission of “delivering amazing DJs to you every Wednesday after work”. 

The August 7 event will be held at Qoöl’s regular location, Harlot at 46 Minna Street, in downtown San Francisco. Doors open at 5pm, the book signing begins at 6pm, followed by a Q&A and DJ set with Gavin Hardkiss.  Admission is free, and the event is open until 10pm.  

Book info and on-line purchase options can be found at www.cubiclust.com. A limited number of books will also be available for purchase at the event, but advanced purchase is recommended. 

The Qoöl Happy hour happens every Wednesday at Harlot. More info about the Qoöl Happy Hour can be found at www.qoolsf.com.

 

The flyer. 

The flyer. 

The book. 

The book. 

The man. 

The man. 

Getting to know Nomad In The Dark

Nomad In The Dark is no stranger to Qoöl. In fact this Wednesday will mark his 3rd appearance at our modest happy hour. If you don't already know about him, it's time to get to know the man. 

Hailing from Pakistan, and living in North Carolina, Nomad In The Dark (or Iffy Dean as he's known to his friends) has been something of a Progressive House wunderkind in the last 6 years. He's both DJ and Producer, and on top of that a family man and an incredibly humble person. 

This excerpt from his bio gives you some idea of his stature, and the interview that follows will give you some insight into a down to earth artist who's heart is in exactly the right place. 

"Sasha’s pick is usually a decent bet. In 2009 Sasha named Nomad in the Dark as his pick for breakthrough dj/producer in DJ Mag. Billed as one of the “the leading prog producers of the moment”(Harley Augustine of Kiss FM Melbourne Australia), over the past few years Nomad in the Dark has moved to the forefront of progressive house’s new breed of producers. His work and DJ mixes have been regularly featured on dance music shows including John Digweed’s Transitions and Pete Tong’s Essential Selection on BBC Radio 1."

Qoöl: When and how did you happen to stumble upon the electronic music scene, and what about it grabbed you? Who was the first DJ that grabbed your attention?

Nomad In The Dark: I grew up in Pakistan and in the early to mid 90s and a lot of my friends were British Pakistani kids who were bringing back jungle and rave cassette tapes back to Pakistan. I got into early mix tapes by people like Grooverider, Dj Hype and  Ellis Dee along with the renaissance tapes by Sasha and John Digweed. Sasha and John Digweed’s sound grabbed me from the start. That grooving spacy yet very melodic sound on the first northern exposure album really hit a chord for me too.

Q: Are you a DJ or a producer first, or are you equal parts of each?

NITD: It has always been in equal parts for me. I started out “djing” in Pakistan in the late 90s with absolutely no equipment. I would make these mix tapes by running a Y adapter as a “mixer” between two Sony Walkman professionals with pitch control  (as my decks). Probably the ghettoest setup known to man. I got my first set of decks when I came to the US. I started producing in the early 2000s on fruity loops and then on Ableton and since then it’s been equal measures of both since then. 

Q: What is the role of music in your life?

NITD: Music plays a very essential role in my life although I work full time, am a husband and a father of three. Music is where I go to get away from it all.

Q: You are currently living in Ashville North Carolina, which is also the home of the iconic Moog Synthesiser. Have you connected with those guys?

NITD: Yes I'm friends with a lot of the folks at moog and the dj trio that Im a part of called In Plain Sight has done two shows with them to date at the moog factory. They featured us for their AHA AVL series that premieres local talent and we also played for them around moogfest at the moog factory. The AHA AVL show was quite interesting because used analog moog gear along dj gear to do a dj mix/live production hybrid. 

Q: What kind of sounds or music styles are peaking your interests these days?

NITD: I’m a very big fan of Burial and that nightbus sound. It's great to see a lot of other artists picking up the that sound now and people like Youandewan and Midland really talking that sound to another level. I'm also really liking this early 90s acid house revival  that artists like Dusky are doing. 

Q: Pick a moment in your relationship with music and describe it.

NITD: My second daughter Neriya was born 3 months premature. We spent countless hours with her in the hospital.  I started writing tracks for her and my other daughter Attia in the hospital. Later both the tracks got signed and were played worldwide by a lot of my musical heros and that really touched me. When it really hit me was seeing a video from Womb in Tokyo with Sasha playing the tracks back to back to an absolutely packed out room and the crowds emotional reaction to it. These were tracks written in a rough period in my life and it was amazing to see people getting the feelings that I was trying to convey through them.

Q: What's your greatest joy in life?

NITD: Hanging out with my wife and kids, playing out to a fun and responsive crowd, cooking and eating good food, making a half decent track… in that order.

You can catch Nomad In The Dark at Qoöl on July 31. Cheers!

 

Nomad In The Dark, seen here forging one of his musical works of art. 

Nomad In The Dark, seen here forging one of his musical works of art. 

Meet Qoöl's Newest Resident DJ - Dan Sherman

We have a new resident DJ! Yes indeed, moments ago, we crowned a new resident DJ. Or to be more exact, "the first official resident DJ of the Nü Qoöl".  However you want to put it, we are beyond pleased to be able to announce Dan Sherman as a Qoöl resident DJ. Dan now joins Qoöl founder Spesh at the DJ helm of one of SF's longest running and most well regarded underground clubbing brands. 

Ever since it's inception, Qoöl has stood behind concepts and DJs that dare to be different.  Actually that may be overstating things a bit. Often the difference is made with no daring involved, just a following of one's own path. The difference that Dan brings is along those lines. It's an independent streak that seamlessly flows from his personality through to his music. Dan marches to the beat of his own drum machine, and we like what we hear. You will too! 

Below, Dan Sherman answers our interview questions, including the a surprise question at the end. 

You can hear Dan play a 5 hour set at Qoöl on July 17. If you happen to miss that, check qoolsf.com for future dates! 

 

Qoöl: When and how did you happen to stumble upon the electronic music scene, and what about it grabbed you? Who was the first DJ that grabbed your attention? 

Dan Sherman: Well, a little history: I got into the electronic music scene in the late 90's, in Ames, Iowa, of all places. I'd been listening to electronic music for awhile at the point, stuff like 808 State, Aphex Twin, The Chemical Brothers, The Crystal Method, Propellerheads, Fatboy Slim, Orbital, The Orb, stuff like that. Then, I think around 1998 or 1999, these three DJs - Jack the Lad, Solarz and Kryptic - started a weekly house music night at this bistro in Ames, a bistro I happened to be working at during that time. The night was originally called Lock, Stock and Three Smoking DJs. It happened every Thursday night and I was there each week, not working, just observing the DJs mix and dancing and hanging out. That's when I became interested in DJ'ing. So, maybe after a few months, Jack the Lad sold me two 1200's, a mixer and about 200 records. I set everything up in my bedroom at home and began teaching myself how to mix through trial and error and factoring in what I learned from observation. Eventually, Solarz booked me for an opening gig (my first) on a Thursday at the bistro. And eventually, Solarz would move away, Kryptic would move away and Jack the Lad would move away, which left a void as far as managing Thursdays went. I took the night over, so I was now in charge of booking DJ's and promoting the party. I had a pretty good relationship with a guy who managed a copy shop in campustown: I'd provide free drinks for him and his friends each Thursday and in exchange he'd print off as many flyers as I wanted each week. A few friends and I would hang and distribute flyers all over campus (Iowa State University) and campustown every week to promote the party, and it worked beautifully. From there, over several years, I got gigs in other cities in the midwest. I eventually moved to Auckland, New Zealand and had a weekly residency at a small (now defunct) club on Upper Queen Street. When I came back to the U.S., I sort of let go of music for a few years, until moving to California. So, my initial involvement with the electronic music scene was in promotion. DJ’ing followed. What about the scene grabbed me? Well, first and foremost, and naturally, the music. I loved it, and still do, even more now (love at first listen). I fell in love with the "journey" feel of a mix, with the feeling of being told a story, and eventually came to see the DJ as a storyteller above all else, personally. Being around other people who shared that feeling was awesome and dancing with those people was a beautiful way to build friendships and connect in really deep ways. I think I was also a bit fascinated with the culture of the scene, with how music functioned as the center of gravity in that culture. The first DJ who really grabbed my attention? Well, make it plural. Sasha and Digweed. Northern Exposure. Hands down. That album blew me away, and it was the first time I’d been blown away by that (a mix). I lost track of how many times I listened to it. It was just such a beautiful, mysterious story, told so well, so seamlessly and you could listen to those mixes over and over again without getting tired of them or bored. Those two guys were pretty inspirational for me. I dreamed of being in their shoes, travelling the world, telling stories to people by mixing music and making people dance and wonder and dream for hours. 

Q: What is the role of music in your life?

DS: Music has played a pretty central role in my life for a long time. I guess I emote through music. The way you can communicate through it, through mixing, I don't know, there's something pretty magical about it to me, about finding ways to string together tracks in a way that tells a story and expresses emotions and makes people feel all sorts of feelings that can, honestly, at times, be quite life changing. It's therapeutic too. I use it to bring myself up when I'm down and make myself go round and round (in a good way). I use it for meditation and to understand myself, through examining the emotions that get expressed, intentionally or intuitively or both, in what I create. Being out in a club with friends and dancing to beautiful music being mixed beautifully by a DJ - it's the best therapy I've come by in life so far. It's inspiring too. I think I originally fell in love with electronic music because of how much I daydreamed when I listened to it, and because somehow that daydreaming functioned as some type of inspirational energy I could use in a variety of ways. So, there’s a lot of utility in music for me, and a lot of joy. It’s indispensable.

Q: We noticed that you are very active on the controls when you mix, almost constantly manipulating the sound. Is that something that you just do naturally, or did you evolve that approach to create a certain sound or feeling in your DJ sets?

DS: So, a bit of both, I think. I don't know when, but at some point I guess I just got bored or antsy (or both) between tracks while mixing. I mean, structurally, most (not by any means all) mixes to me seem to be track/mix/track/mix and so on, and while there's knob twisting and effects and whatnot going on during mixes and also outside of mixes, I'm used to feeling like what I'm hearing is one track, then another track  being mixed in while the other is mixed out, and then that new track, and so on, with about at least two or three minutes where the new track stands alone. I don’t have a problem with this. I love mixes like that and listen to them all the time. But, when I played, I found myself getting bored during that stand alone time, and my response was to try to always be mixing, where then the structure is more like mix/mix/mix and there's as little stand alone time as possible – you’re constantly mixing, or very near constantly. And I learned from this that one result is that there isn't much time to drink a beer. Another result, I think, is that your programming becomes much more improvisational, where instead of having two or three minutes in between mixes to figure out where people are and what to play next, you force yourself to make your next pick as quickly as possible, maybe in twenty or thirty seconds or less. And for me I feel like that forces me to know my collection more deeply. It’s like telling a story that you’re making up as you tell it. And it helps to generate or cultivate and improve some sort of intuition the more I do it, not intuition that necessarily relates to dancing, but maybe that relates more to storytelling. And, it feels more dynamic. My preference, both in listening to others play music and in playing music myself, is to have things be really dynamic as often as possible. Exercising some restraint so things aren't too dynamic is necessary though. So I do think things can be too dynamic, there can just be too much going on – you don’t want the story to be to complex or hard to follow. You want it to take you in. Sometimes I do too much though, but I don’t know if it’s too much mixing as it is too much twisting of knobs and cutting in and out with the volume faders and using effects too much. I do, however, think that really awesome stories can be told that aren’t that dynamic, that don’t necessarily have long mixes or that are more minimal or atmospheric or more restrained. And I’m not against or averse to stand alone track time at all. It’s just when I play live, my nature tends towards doing a lot but not too much.

Q: Do you think the growing phenomenon of experiencing DJ sets on-line through sites like Soundcloud, Mixcloud and Boiler Room has in turn influenced the sound of underground club music in general?  In other words, do you think a lot of DJs are tailoring the vibe of their mixes for solo listening experiences instead of for the dance floor?

DS: Yes. When I'm at home or at work or hiking or hanging out on the beach or whatever, via Soundcloud or Mixcloud or Boiler Room or a download, the sound system won't really matter, and there isn't a dancefloor or lights or a bar and just that sense of environment and occasion - but you can have really awesome experiences listening to mixes on your headphones or in a living room or with a boombox on the beach, and whether they're awesome, I think, now doesn't depend on the lights or the sound system or orchestration of some party or festival and all the rest that goes along with that. Whether they're awesome mixes depends solely, or near almost solely, on the mix itself, the tracks, the order of the tracks, the manner in which the DJ intertwines all of them over the course of the mix. So, if you know that when you're making a mix, you're making it for that type of environment and occasion, rather than a club environment and occasion. It matters a lot if dancing is a central component of the experience. If not, you make the mix this way, rather than that way, so you tailor it depending on how it's going to be experienced. An ambient mix in a big club which has a bunch of people that want to dance, that mix may not do well - but an ambient mix you listen to while hiking through a forest, that may change your life. So yea, I think there are a lot of DJ's making mixes exclusively for solo listening experiences. I think it's awesome. It's a good thing. I think it results in more experimentation and variety. Is this affecting the sound of underground club music in general? I can't say with any surety. I guess it depends on what people want out of the experience of going to an underground club. I think it's pretty common for people to want to dance in that context, but I don't think it's impossible, or unlikely, that people may want to forego the dancing for something a bit less dance-able, but that's still awesome to experience. The latest example of this for me was seeing Patrice Baumel. And while it was natural to move your body to the music he was playing, it was also a different type of experience, more of like a kind of still, relaxed reverence for what was going on.

Q: Pick a moment in your relationship with music and describe it.

DS: Hmm. Well, there are a lot. The first one that jumps to mind was when I played Qoöl last October. I opened the evening, starting at five and going until about seven or so. Few people were there. Among them, a friend and an incredibly beautiful woman. Aside from them, I don't know, maybe there were no more than ten other people, maybe less. I'd acquired a lot of fresh music for the gig and hadn't played on a system like that in some time, and I was just happy to have the opportunity to play, and play there, particularly for Qoöl (thanks Spesh). Well, it ended being one of the best sets I feel like I've ever performed, maybe the best, and it didn't matter at all that hardly anyone was there, and it was cool that it didn't matter. It was intimate. Personal. And at least for me, powerful, in some way. I've forgotten about a lot of the times I've played, but it's not possible to forget this one. 

Q: You have been toiling away as the "unofficial Qoöl resident DJ" for a while now, so we would like to ask you, right here in this little interview, if you'd like to be the first official resident DJ of the Nü Qoöl. How about it?

DS: (hopping aboard) Thank you. (handshake and smile) Happy to be part of the crew, Captain. 

Q: We couldn't be happier to have you, sir! 

 

 

Dan Sherman. He's actually taller in person. 

Dan Sherman. He's actually taller in person. 

Qoöl resident DJ Dan Sherman, massaging your ears at Qoöl. 

Qoöl resident DJ Dan Sherman, massaging your ears at Qoöl. 

Have A Qoöl Experience Even When You Can't Get To Qoöl

We think it's so much nicer to see you at Qoöl in person, but if you can't make it because you're stuck at the office, out of town, or just don't live or work anywhere near Qoöl, we now have a couple "to go" options for you.  

The first and perhaps most exciting is the live stream. It is exactly what the name implies, a live stream, directly from The Qoöl Happy Hour, as it happens (duh).  We tested an audio-only version of this last week and it worked brilliantly. We're going to add video as soon as we can, probably this week. We are using ustream.tv to make it all happen which means you'll have to endure a quick little one time only signup with them in order to get your streaming going.  They've also got a mobile app that works amazingly well, so Qoöl on the go is possible too! 

Here's our url for the live streaming:

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/the-qoöl-happy-hour

Special thanks to Mr. Dan Sherman for spearheading the streaming project. 

The second option we have for remote seekers of the Qoöl experience is our newly dusted off Soundcloud page. We'll be posting DJ mixes here for you to stream or download whenever you want. We are inaugurating Qoöl soundcloud page with a fresh mix series entitled "Qoöl Sessions". Spesh has stepped up to do the first in the series, it's available now, and it's quite good so check it out! 

Here's the Qoöl Soundcloud link: 

https://soundcloud.com/qoolsf

 

Qoöl is now available wherever you see this sign. 

Qoöl is now available wherever you see this sign. 

The Consummate Professional You've Likely Never Heard Of: Will Spencer

If you are familiar with Qoöl, even just casually, you'll probably understand that we approach DJ talent very differently. Part of that difference is our apparent bias for unsung heroes. It's always the great music that gets you, then you see the talent and immense dedication behind the music and you're hooked. Enter Will Spencer. He's logged countless hours behind the scenes listening, track hunting, and even doing his own music production work. He's also a smart guy who's followed the electronic music scene closely for more than 10 years so his perspective on the scene alone is valuable (like music? you should talk to this guy!). It follows then that his DJ sets are something of value. 

We caught up with Will in our usual last minute manner to ask him a few questions. As always, his replies are thoughtful. Did we mention that we just love this guy? 

Qoöl: When and how did you happen to stumble upon the electronic music scene, and what about it grabbed you?

My wonderful sister (who’s reading this; thanks Liz!!) took me to a rave when I was in college. I had no idea what to expect. I ended up dancing for hours that night wearing a big pair of angel wings. Then I went to sleep that morning at home, and woke up later in the day, and I remember looking at the ceiling in my room and thinking, “I have to do this.” ‘This’ meant being a DJ. There was no question.

There’s something magical about a quality dance music set. It is simultaneously the most energizing and relaxing thing. An outstanding DJ can make you forget about everything except that moment, or even make time seem like it’s stopped. A great set absolutely demolishes barriers between people. I don’t experience that in any other genre. Experiencing one of those moments brought me here, and the search for more of those moments keeps me here, really.

Q: What's the roll of music in your life?

Hah, what isn’t the role of music in my life! Music has defined how I spend my time on evenings and weekends, my social circles, where I live (so I can play records at a decent volume), where I’ve worked, how I spend or save my money, where I travel to, and even the amazing woman I love. (We met at Qoöl’s former afterparty Satellite. Love you, babe!!!) And what I love about dance music is that I’m not alone in this.

Then every day, the pursuit of music as a passion continues to teach me more about myself and life than I ever thought possible. And music reminds me of things that are true. A great song is someone speaking truth out loud. We live in a world where people are often afraid to do that. It reminds me that there is much goodness in the world when things get rough.

Q: What's the coolest phenomenon in the electronic music scene today?

I think it’s the growth of women’s influence in the scene. When I got into dance music, it was a boy’s club behind the decks and in the industry. In the past few years, there’s been an explosion of outstanding female DJ’s and businesspeople (agents, managers, etc.) that have really come up and led the way. 

Technology is technology; there’s always going to be a new democratizing tool that comes out next year and attracts new people. But if your whole industry is hostile to the professional aspirations of an entire gender, then that really says something. So I’m so very glad that’s getting sorted out.

Q: What's your personal approach to doing a DJ set?

It depends on the set. Opening sets get opening music, late-night sets get late-night music. It’s just common courtesy, not only to the DJ’s you’re playing with, but the dancefloor, as well. No one likes it when the DJ up there is hammering it out before you’ve had your first drink, you know?

But what I appreciate about Qoöl is that those rules don’t apply. The local new kid can play a 5pm slot like a headliner, bringing his best stuff, and the crowd is up for it. Play well enough, and you can earn a 9pm slot, no matter who you are. It’s unlike any other party I’ve seen. It’s brilliant. So for Qoöl my process is a little different. I make an effort to find interesting music that I love, that showcases who I am as a DJ, and what I want to say with my time up there. It’s a unique opportunity to be myself without too many professional constraints. Then I follow the tried-and-true route to Carnegie Hall. :)

Q: Pick a moment in your relationship with music and describe it.

Less than a year after my first rave, I met a kid who asked me to bring my turntables and mixer to a warehouse party in exchange for playing the sunrise set. Not knowing any better, I said sure. Turns out he didn’t have a permit for the warehouse, and the party got busted. Swarms of cops showed up. I had to stick around because it was my gear. I got a nice ride in back of a squad car that night.

I almost gave up on dance music totally after that. I was going to keep one turntable and a few records, just as a memento of a brief but fun time. But then I sent an email to SFRaves sharing some of my thoughts about dance music, and someone who would become a dear friend reached out and asked if we could get together sometime. The rest is history. (Thanks, Jason!!)

Q: What's your greatest joy in life?

Moments of connection. To another person, to a song, to the moment, to the universe, to myself and my own heart.

Also, really amazing food. When I taste something wonderful, I laugh. I can’t help it. It’s joy. Maybe not The Greatest Joy™ , but it sure is up there!

You can hear Will Spencer spin at Qoöl on June 5, from 7pm to 8pm. Missed it? Don't worry, we'll do our best to have him back. Keep your eyes on our events! 

 

Will Spencer, seen here with no caption needed. 

Will Spencer, seen here with no caption needed. 

From The Crowd To The DJ Booth: Biri

Some of the most intriguing DJs we have come across have spent many years among you, the audience. Meet Biri. Long time music fan, early adopter of Qoöl back in the day, voracious music listener, and now DJ. When a man like Biri gives you his heart through a DJ set it is time to stand up and listen. 

We caught up with the busy Biri (through Facebook of course!) to ask him a couple of hastily thought up questions. 

Qoöl: When and how did you happen to stumble upon the electronic music scene?

It started back in late 80s during college in Cleveland; I used to play electronic/alternative on the college radio station and there was an pioneering club called Nine of Clubs in downtown Cleveland where it came together and clicked for me

Q: What's the roll of music in your life? How did you evolve from music fan to DJ?

Very deep and interconnected with almost everything we do (my two daughters, wife & I). Played alternative rock/electronic on college radio way back in college...in 2011, after 25+ years of listening/dancing, decided I wanted to play, so essentially taught myself, and learning every day... my progress here: https://soundcloud.com/biri-x

Q: Pick a moment in your relationship with music and describe it.

I'll do two if that's OK: (A) my first concert ever - Jethro Tull, 1985 in Chicago, we sang the entire 45+ mins lyrics to the 'Thick as a Brick' album; (B) went to Coachella this past year, and got to see Johnny Marr/The Smiths & New Order, after 25 years, along with my daughters....they song along to almost all the songs(!)

Q: What's your greatest joy in life?

Greatest joy: my daughters

You can hear Biri spin at Qoöl on May 29, from 5pm to 7pm. Missed it? Don't worry, we'll do our best to book him again soon. Keep your eyes on our events. 

Decades of listening goes into every set. 

Decades of listening goes into every set. 

At the core.

We've been at this after work clubbing thing for a long time. In fact we're fairly certain we invented the concept back in 1995. Over the years we've seen The Qoöl Happy Hour morph, change, and change again.  For years it simmered away in happy obscurity amid the tall buildings of San Francisco's downtown, and then for a short period of about 8 years it sustained a peak of around the block lines, freakish amounts of buzz, and media attention.  It was a thing. 

Take any point in the timeline and there was only one thing that mattered. Large crowd or small, under the spotlight or undiscovered,  the thing that has always made Qoöl worthwhile is a spirit of "wanting to be there". The people who go to Qoöl and the DJs that play share this spirit and it's what makes the party fun. 

Today Qoöl is more like it was in the formative years. Every Wednesday at about 4:30pm our sound guy and unofficial resident DJ Dan Sherman enters the basement at Harlot to switch on the many amplifiers and processing units that power the sound. Upstairs he pieces together the gear for the DJs and discards random things left in the booth at 2am the previous weekend, making a nest for the nights DJs. 

Dan gets what's at the core of Qoöl. He's got that "wanting to be there" in him. So do a lot of his friends and their friends too. It's what Qoöl is made of. It's is how a thing starts.  Lets see how it goes, shall we? 

 

Alain Octavo gets it =)

Alain Octavo gets it =)

A new generation of Qoöl, sitting while the seats are still available.  

A new generation of Qoöl, sitting while the seats are still available.