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Mind-blowing musical nearly all-nighter

Taylor Wiles | Photo: Alejandro Chavetta | June 17, 2011 | Story Best of the Bay

After a long workweek, there’s nothing better than rocking out to ’70s Nigerian Afrobeat, vintage soul, and Cambodian surfer rock, right? The dance party known as the International Freak-Out A-Go-Go outgrew the Knockout after a year and moved to a zany, all-things-strange warehouse dubbed the Totally Intense Fractal Mindgaze Hut, in West Oakland. Now, once a month, it usually invades a similar space called the First Church of the Buzzard. The sounds are mind-bending, and not for the faint of heart. Live bands play anything from Turkish folk music to Fela Kuti; DJs spin out-there funk, pop, and disco; a third turntable, let loose for sound-effect interludes, boosts the experimental quotient. Like the music, the crowd is an eccentric mashup—artists, musicians, burners, and international types fill the dance floor. “It’s a place to get down and dirty to some of the most far-out, insane, and beautiful music your ears have ever been graced with,” says cofounder psychedelic soul DJ Paul Costuros. The creators of the venue, all musicians themselves, know their trade; last fall, in the Mission, one of them opened the event’s unofficial storefront, the Explorist International, and packed it with Freak-Out–style LPs. $5–$8; first church of the buzzard: 2601 Adeline St., Oakland; the explorist international: 3174 24th St., S.F., 415-400-5850



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