San Jose native and 30-year veteran DJ Peanut Butter Wolf returns to The City with some of his Stones Throw Records crew for a challenging party at Mighty on Friday night.
Wolf (aka Chris Manak) opens for De La Soul producer Prince Paul, with support from Dam-Funk, J Rocc, Shortkut and Oakland's DJ Platurn — all of whom will be spinning vinyl 45s as part of the Bay Area's recurring "The 45 Sessions" night.
Manak says the $20 show in the South of Mission area — which features free barbecue all night — stems from an undying affection for the tiny, vinyl format. He's been buying 45s since the late 1970s and started doing all-hip-hop 45 sets in the mid-1990s.
In 1999, Stones Throw began releasing the format, and "45 Live" parties with Mayer Hawthorne, J Rocc and Dam-Funk followed.
"We all go up at the same time and go back and forth like a house party — the Four Musketeers," he says. "Mayer wasn't available for this S.F. date, so I pitched the idea of Prince Paul rounding out the bill to the guys at Mighty and they bit. I've spun countless gigs with Paul, but never 45s with him. So I guess it's '45 Live' meets '45 Sessions.'''
Not like spinning 45s is easy.
"It's definitely way harder than 12 inches, which are way harder than computer DJing. ... The speed of a 45 is much faster than a 33, and it's usually got the big hole in the middle, making it much easier for the needle to jump off the record when you're 'manipulating' it. ... You always have to plan more with vinyl than computer. That's a blessing and a curse."
Manak was born in 1969 in San Jose, began DJing in 1983, and has released four albums and seven mixtapes. In 1996, he founded Stones Throw in Los Angeles and released classics from lauded visionaries such as J Dilla, Madlib and dozens more. In June, Stones Throw released the label documentary, "Our Vinyl Weighs a Ton," to major acclaim.
"I never really perspire, but sitting in that theater for the premiere stained my shirt in the armpits," he says. "All things considered, though, the film has been received very well by fans and industry heads. And my mom and dad learned what their son has been up to the past 20 years, so that's pretty cool."IF YOU GO
Peanut Butter Wolf
Opening for Prince Paul as part of "45 Live"
Where: Mighty, 119 Utah St., S.F.
When: 9 p.m. Friday
Contact: (415) 762-0151, www.mighty119.com
Daily Spin, Thursday July 11
Blockhead: Ritual presents one of its favorite producers of all time, with support from Sixis, Ren the Vinyl Archaeologist, Bluz, Sedriss and Self Dustrukt. 10 p.m., $10 pre-sale. Mighty, 119 Utah St., S.F., (415) 762-0151, www.mighty119.com
Beirut (DJ set): Bassist Paul Collins from indie band Beirut holds forth on the ones and twos, with Mr. Little Jean, Hard French, Justin Milla, DJ Mykill, White Mike and Richie Panic. 10 p.m., $17.50. 1015 Folsom St., S.F., (415) 431-1200, www.1015.com
Miguel Migs: Celebrate Salted's eight-year anniversary with tasty house beats from Miguel Migs, Julius Papp and Tortured Soul Live. DJ Gray offers funk-disco-soul in the side room. 10 p.m., $16. Mighty, 119 Utah St., S.F., (415) 762-0151, www.mighty119.com