2011 Black Wednesday clubbing and Thanksgiving weekend highlights

With this many options, Thanksgiving weekend may be the new biggest party weekend of the year.

Friday 25


Steve Aoki + Midnight Conspiracy enclave. 9pm; $35. Hipster fave Steve Aoki bounds into the intimate confines of enclave for one of his patented over-the-top sets that sways from techno to electro to hipster and back. Aoki’s appeal really is in the novelty of the tracks he’s slinging—often he has access to remixes so piping hot they threaten to melt the laptop. Not only that, but this go-around he’s armed with fresh heat from his upcoming album debut and the crowd-surfing inflatable raft that’s become an essential part of his DJ sets. Chicago electro darlings Midnight Conspiracy open. 


The Beautiful People: Fathom DJ The Shrine. 10pm; $10. Embracing art, fashion and music, Fathom DJ has been representing on the Chicago neo-soul and underground hip-hop scene since Shrine proprietor Joe Russo’s days running Sinibar. Reconnecting with Russo and his Coup D’Etat lounge, Fathom keeps it jazzy, deep and soulful every fourth Friday. 


Boys Noize The Mid. 10pm; $25. From his early work with International DJ Gigolo and Kitsuné to the barrage of releases on his own label, Boys Noize can be counted on to turn the tables on dance-music conventions. The man roots his sound in techno and electro, but disco, funk, rock and even hints of a hip-hop mentality find their way into the fold. The versatility is key to his popularity, which has already proven steady at this latest Chicago appearance. Early-bird tickets are long gone, so show up early or expect a struggle at the door. It doesn’t hurt that hipster faves Team Bayside High, Phenom and Milwaukee’s Chris V are on warm-up duties.


Dubfire + Anthony Attalla Spy Bar. 10pm; $20, free before 11:30pm with R.S.V.P. at clubtix.com. One half of the popular Washington, D.C.–based progressive house duo Deep Dish, Ali Dubfire has angled toward the minimal side of the progressive house world while the Dish is on a break. The DJ-producer hails from the town that brought us Dischord Records, and he hasn’t forgotten that. He says a punk ethic drives him to make music that’s “groundbreaking, futuristic, unique and organic.” Motor City techno sensation Anthony Attalla cruises south to share the bill, and Wahi mans the opening slot.


Face Melt Subterranean. 9pm; $5, free before 11pm with R.S.V.P. at do312.com. Local purveyor of all things cool in the world of beats, Groundlift Media organizes this monthly exploration of bass-heavy sounds. Each edition spotlights special acts alongside familiar faces Intel and Maker. For this go, the crew has enlisted beatmakers Proh Mic, Beats Cost Money, Maker, Slot-A, Max, Pore and Radius to share the booth and drop their heavy head nodders.


Front 312: Spanksgiving Neo. 10pm; $8, free before midnight with R.S.V.P. at do312.com. Hearkening back to less homogeneous days on the Chicago club landscape, Front 312 and its proprietors Mr. Automatic, Eddie Riot, Pinkmachine and Adam Black have been hosting parties that cover techno, electro, new wave and industrial since late 2008. And the collective fits right in at Neo. The gloves come off for the crew’s post-Thanksgiving bash—or maybe they are slipped on for some leather-clad spanking courtesy of fetishist Maya Sinistress, the host for the night. Sounds come courtesy of Dark Wave Disco’s Mark Gertz, Arturo Valle of darkroom’s Panic monthly, as well as regulars Eddie Riot, Pink Machine and Mr. Bobby.


FREE Funk & Soul Party The Whistler. 9:30pm. There’s no denying Chicago’s longtime love affair with funk and soul. The Whistler does its part for the genres with a rotating weekend soul night. Jay Wells acts as host selector each month, with special guests dropping by often.


Nicolas Jaar + Hernan Sanchez + Striz Smart Bar. 10pm; $15, before midnight $12. Even more buzzworthy than the last time he was in town, New York’s Nicolas Jaar has enjoyed notoriety by turning house music on its head. Mixing downtempo and a soundtrack aesthetic to his four-four framework, he’s playing by his own set of rules and we love him for it. This Chicago live-PA set is what that’s all about. Fusing techno, deep house and moody dance-music textures, local favorites Hernan Sanchez and Striz open.


FREE Pink Party Beauty Bar. 9pm. Chicago-based party starter High Society Entertainment ditches the customary black of this particular Friday and goes pink for this anniversary celebration with beats by DJ Gucci Roxx.


Rock the Mic 4.0: DJ Maseo (De La Soul) Abbey Pub. 8pm; $20. Alongside Posdnuos and Dave (Plug Two), Maseo completes the trifecta that is De La Soul, one of the greatest groups in the rap game. The guys are married with children now, but that doesn’t stop ’em from touring, or in Maseo’s case, rockin’ the decks with his mix of classic hip-hop, soul, funk and all-around dusties. For this appearance, he’s flanked by a slew of the city’s hotter MCs, representing for this fourth edition of Rock the Mic.


FREE Soul Glo Rodan. 10pm. Once a month, DJs Moppy, Raj Mahal and company drop dusty soul-inspired groovers paired with blaxploitation films and Rodan’s always-cheap pints of PBR.


Stuffed Thanksgiving: Freddy Kenton + Trentino V Live. 10pm; $20. Combining myriad styles from his Puerto Rican heritage, Freddy Kenton sifts through salsa, merengue, bachata, reggaeton and Latin R&B, performing songs from his recent record, La Dynastia, while DJ Trentino digs deep into his digi-bag of tricks, adding hip-hop, house and Top 40 to the soundtrack. DJs Gordo and Focus also spin the main room. 


The Twilite Tone + Rude One + Shred One + Tim Zawada + NewLife darkroom. 9pm; $10, free before 10pm. Collecting some of Chicago’s most respected hip-hoppers and crate diggers, this night sees sets from former Common DJ Twilite Tone, the Goodness founder Rude One, West Coast transplant and edit extraordinaire Shred One, dusty groover Tim Zawada and world-beat expert DJ NewLife.