Morgan Fitzgibbons: Wigg Party Leader and Dubstep Enthusiast

When non-natives think of San Francisco, I feel like the images that come to their minds are hippies, weed, and people that are trying to be environmentally friendly. Sure, we have all of those things. But we also have a really good sense of community – be it in the dubstep/electronic music world or getting together to work on a community garden.


Poster at the Wigg Party One Year Anniversary Party

I recently sat down with Morgan Fitzgibbons, co-founder of a San Francisco community organization called the Wigg Party. They focus on being a leader in their hyperlocal community of the Wiggle (which extends from lower Haight to the Panhandle) regarding sustainability and resilience.

Morgan of the Wigg Party
Morgan on the steps of his SF home.
Photo by: Julie Michelle, iliveheresf.com

They want to have fun with it, to inspire other people to follow their lead. They wear wigs, listen to electronic music, and talk about the important things impacting their community while hoping to kick up involvement with the younger generations existing in the city. Originally wanting to start in the mission, they chose the area surrounding the Panhandle to influence its young inhabitants to become more involved.

Anyone is welcome to join, but they do take their work seriously, even though they try to have fun with it. After all, the Wigg Party’s slogan is “If it’s not fun, it’s not sustainable.”

Take a listen to Morgan, the man behind the mission, as he explains what the Wigg Party does.

To read a more personal version of Morgan’s story, check out his story and additional photos by Julie Michelle from her website iliveheresf.com – Her stuff is awesome!

EPR, Eternal Frequency, Club 6 – It’s a good week for Dubstep

As the month of February comes to a close, it is a good week for dubstep and for people to get out and let loose in the Bay Area.

Tonight, EPR – Electric Pop Rocks – returns to 525 Howard St. This time, it’s EPR’s Dubstep edition, featuring 12th Planet, Nit Grit, Getter, KTheory, and more. Presale tickets were available, but now you can only get them at the door. Get there early! The show goes from 9 pm to 2 am but over 1,000 people have already given their RSVP. To find out more about the lineup, take a peek at fellow dubstep blog Bayss, in a post EPR/DPR 139 Brings Us To 12th Planet, by Hunter Mulich.

This Friday, February 25, Eternal Frequency presented by Collective Unity will be going on in Sacramento. There are two stages, one solely dedicated to dubstep. The lineup includes 7 Electro/House DJs and 6 Dubstep or Drum&Bass DJs, including DJ Getter – who will also be at EPR! Although this isn’t in San Fran this time, it should still be given recognition since it’s in the Bay Area. And it’s All (Reponsible!) Ages!

DJ Getter
You can also catch DJ Getter live online at Filth Cabin, Wednesdays from 4-6 EPT.

For those that dont want to go all the way to Sacramento this weekend, check out Club 6 at 60th Sixth Street, between Market and Mission in SoMA. This week they are kicking off their Bass Time Continuum -their contribution to SF dubstep fans- to happen every other Friday. The lineup currently consists of all San Francisco DJs: UltraViolet, Mr. Kitt, and Stressknot. It’s only $5 after 10 pm!

Mr. KITT

UltraViolet

Stressknot

Spring is Electro Season

If summer is the time for festivals around the United States, then it appears that spring is the time for electronic music. Between now and the end of April, the Bay Area has an influx of amazing performers, both well known and unknown.

BlowUp had its grand opening at the DNA Lounge this past Friday, February 11 with music by local residents The Tenderlions and guests Midnight Conspiracy blasting the speakers.

Blow Up w/Jeffrey Paradise, Tenderlions & Midnight Conspiracy from Motion Eccentricá on Vimeo.

The line was down around the block for advance ticket holders, forcing people who didn’t previously buy tickets to wait until 12 AM in the cold on 11th St. to be let in.

As for the rest of February, Nebakaneza (dubstep), who hails from Oakland, will be at Ritual Dubstep at Temple (Ritual is always free and goes until 3 AM!) this thursday February 17. I HIGHLY recommend checking out Nebakaneza’s blog if you are just getting into Bay Area dub or are looking for other dubstep artists/blogs to follow.
Chromeo (electro-funk) will be promoting their new album Business Casual with a sold out show at the Fox on Friday the 18th, and for all those Jersey Shore lovers, DJ Pauly D will be at union square club Ruby Skye on Saturday.

Crystal Castles (electropop) starts off the month of March with a show at the Warfield, and HARDfest kicks off their year with their spring tour of Fake Blood (electro/grindcore) and Destructo (techno) at the Fox in Oakland on March 11, the same day that Designer Drugs (electro/house) dirties up the DNA Lounge at BlowUp. The next day, March 12, Axwell from Swedish House Mafia (dance) will be at Ruby Skye. Also Excision (dub/drum & bass) will be at the Regency Ballroom the same night.

For all the people that want some new, raw, local dubstep, I know of an event put on by Akashic Records SF on March 5. More info to come.

Again at Ruby Skye, Kaskade (dance/house/trace) begins April with a performance on the 2nd, and The Crystal Method (electro/dance) will also be there on April 8th.
Rusko (dubstep), who originally got beef for reportedly producing Britney Spears’ new single Hold It Against Me, kicks off his 2011 tour at the Fox in Oakland on April 14.

Another third of the three-man group Swedish House Mafia appears at Ruby Skye on April 14. This time the appearance will be made by Steve Angello! If you want to learn a little more about Swedish House Mafia, check out this documentary about these guys, called Take One.
The next day, Grammy winner Afrojack (dance) also spins into Ruby Skye.

All of these artists are kind of blowing my mind a little bit. With all of this happening, I have just enough time to turn 21 right in the middle of it, which I am ridiculously excited about. I think the biggest problem I have is choosing which shows to go to!

Electronica

Electronic music has been around for a while. From underground music scenes in the UK to massive raves all around Europe, techno, house, and other forms seemed to be what people were listening to. But, truthfully, it really wasn’t my thing.

But that was then. I grew up in Napa, where the only things I really learned outside of school were how to drink and where the nice restaurants are. Since moving to San Francisco 3 years ago, my entire lineup of things I like to do has changed. Not surprisingly, one of those involves electronic music.

Three weeks ago, I returned to San Francisco from studying abroad in northern Italy for 5 months. One of the things that I noticed most while being away was how different their music scene is from California’s. Although I constantly heard the same 3 Rihanna songs and the same multiple Lady Gaga songs that played all last year, I was also introduced to other artists that not very many people seemed to listen to while I was in California. I started getting more into these artists and then I was completely enveloped in the European electronic music scene. One of the highlights of my European adventure was traveling to Belgium for I Love Techno. And it was awesome.

When I got home, I got to thinking: Why is it so different in the U.S. than in Europe? One of my first thoughts was dubstep. Dubstep seems to be everywhere, especially in the Bay Area. Festivals like Coachella (which sold out 3 months in advance), BFD, and Outside Lands have all featured areas for electronic music lovers to go and get down, but in recent years those tents have been more and more wobbly with more dubstep and electronic beats blasting from the sound systems. Ultra in Miami is an electro-only 3-day music festival featuring artists from all over the world. Burning Man is a completely different subject altogether, but still incorporates all forms of music from the electronic world, with lots of followers and bloggers excited for this year’s event.

As for the Bay Area, there is always a show or event to go to and ways to find out about them. There are a lot of free or cheap venues, like Ritual and Redline in SoMa, to California Academy of Sciences, which hosts a nightlife event on Thursdays with electronic music. Blogs like Gotta Dance Dirty, The Filth, and DaftWho give people the lowdown on where to go and also what tracks have just been released.

But this blog isn’t just about where to go and how to see cheap shows. It’s also about the local talent that entertains SF. This Friday, the Tenderlions, who are from San Francisco, will be at the DNA Lounge, the new venue to host BlowUp, which has been bringing local (and also non-local) DJs to San Francisco for the past couple years.

So let’s turn the music up, stay out ’til dawn, and see what San Francisco has to offer.