On the House

To the naked eye, San Francisco and Houston don't have very much in common.

One smells of salty Pacific air; the other, barbecue. One has been immortalized romantically in countless film shots. The other has been mocked widely by Super Bowl reporter-snots. Yet lack what we may when it comes to reputation, our "Soulfrancisco" house enthusiasts have had ample reason to cheer lately.

Already this year, local turntables have been graced by the sweet, smooth touch of NoCal legends Miguel Migs and Jay-J. Now fellow Moulton Studios mixmaster Chris Lum is bringing his own hot hand to town for an encore show six months after he rocked us the first time.

A prominent figure in the development of West Coast house, Lum migrated to San Francisco from Los Angeles and established himself as a buyer at a seminal vinyl outlet in the Hayes Valley. He packs out his own crates with funk-lovin' favorites, carting them to clubs the world over. Lum's certainly got a sense of humor. When asked to describe his own style, he offers three possibilities: "deep prance," "shit house" or "postmodern dance music with an early '80s funk influence."

Again Lum will be hosted by Dedicated, the Saturday-night house affair that's nurtured a, well, dedicated following since its inception two years ago. "We may not have one of the top 10 DJs as rated by DJ Mag, but we bring in good talent," says Ben Clark, one of the resident DJs.

Consider Clark your deep house sommelier, judiciously booking personal favorites rather than hawking Wal-Mart electronica wholesale. "We try to keep it local-wise, but we try to bring in headliners," he says. "The people we bring in as far as headliners are producers and label owners that we buy from. We try to say, 'Here's this guy, Chris Lum, and he influences us, so check it out.' "

Now, if only the rest of Houston could follow his lead, we'd have a Golden Gate, a Barry Bonds batting clean-up and a chilly summer.

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Michael Serazio