Public Works is legendary DJ Mark Farina’s house 

click to enlarge Mark Farina
  • courtesy photo
  • Longtime DJ Mark Farina headlines “Made in S.F.” this weekend.
Mark Farina, elder statesman of San Francisco dance music, producer and DJ-label head, returns to the Mission district Saturday for “Made in S.F.”

The night features local food vendors, performers and Farina in the headline slot, spinning Chicago House with some Bay Area style. DJs Pleasuremaker, Senor Oz, 29th St. Swingtet and Uni & Her Ukelele are the openers.

Just back from Belgium’s Tomorrowland festival (150,000 attended), Farina is about to head off to British Columbia’s Shambhala Festival.

Still, the veteran, Outer Sunset resident makes time to do at least two shows a year at Public Works, a large, open club venue in the red-hot Mission.

With San Francisco an economic powerhouse and multimillion dollar paydays for the world’s biggest DJs, it’s a good time to be a house DJ, he says: “I’m kind of pleased that the EDM thing is getting a younger crowd into club music and house. Things are quite busy in the DJ world.”

Farina, who born in 1969, started DJing in 1988 when he met DJ Derrick Carter at a record store in Chicago. He went on to start the widely acclaimed jazzy hip-hop mix series Mushroom Jazz on San Francisco’s Om Records as well as S.F.’s Mushroom Jazz club night, which ran for three years.

“There’s not a lot of DJs doing what we’ve been doing as long as us,” he says.

Farina spins on CDJs at Public Works Saturday, playing everything from new promos to house classics from 20 years ago, to nu-disco, old disco and even some old rock.

In the traditional underground house style, Farina likes long blends of tracks, or maybe some a cappella rock vocals laid over a whole house track.

“My set’s kind of Chicago meets San Francisco — jacky and sultry. I never super-plan my set. I know the feel of the room there. You can play super-deep stuff and it all kind of comes across quite well in there,” he says.

Farina, the father of a 4-year-old son, has a booked calendar this summer as well as a number of fall releases lined up. “Mushroom Jazz 8” will come out on Om this year, and things are going well at his own label Great Lake Audio. He says, “A lot of good artists are coming to me. There’s lots of good things in the works.” Among them is the debut LP from the Bay Area’s Lurob.


Made in S.F.

with Mark Farina, DJs Pleasuremaker, Senor Oz, 29th St. Swingtet, Uni & Her Ukelele

Where: Public Works, 161 Erie St., S.F.

When: 5 p.m. (food, performance, vendors), 9 p.m. (music) Saturday

Tickets: $5 (door before 9 p.m.); $13 (pre-sales for late night)

Contact: (415) 779-6757,



Andy Cabic (DJ Set): Vetiver’s Cabic handles the turntables in Golden Gate Park for NightLife, themed “Big Picture,” with a photography exhibit, photo gear, tips and tricks. 6 p.m., $12. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park, S.F., (415) 379-8000,


Lil Jon (DJ Set): What? The Grammy-Award winning Southern rapper Lil Jon went back to his roots as a DJ with residencies at The Wynn/Encore in Las Vegas, where he was named Las Vegas resident DJ of the year, yeah! He spins a DJ set downtown where the question remains, “Turn Down For What?” 9 p.m. $20-$50. Mezzanine, 444 Jessie St., S.F., (415) 625-8880,

All Good Everything: Oakland’s mysterious “First Friday” underground art special — think mysticism, disco, dope beats, dancing feet and art-gasms — features LiquorBox (Beth Schlenger), Ellis D., Ronny Ronny Ronny, DJ Vis, Carlos Palacio and BLU J. 9 p.m., $10. For location, visit

Correction: This story was updated July 31 to correct the spelling of DJ Andy Cabic's name.

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David Downs

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