Reality bites back at 'Club 1994' 

click to enlarge DJ Vin Sol has been at the helm of "Club 1994" for two years. - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy photo
  • DJ Vin Sol has been at the helm of "Club 1994" for two years.

Grunge, raves, the golden era of hip-hop, the movie "Slackers," the creation of the Internet — the 1990s seem like a dream to those who muddled through them.

It was an era when avoiding a job seemed cool, President Bill Clinton oversaw a government with actual budget surpluses, and the nation's biggest scandal involved an overzealous intern.

Naturally, San Francisco hosts an intermittent, yet recurring, night of '90s music appreciation dubbed "Club 1994," which returns to the Rickshaw Stop on Saturday with DJs Jeffrey Paradise and Vin Sol with hosts Ava Berlin and Andy Vague.

The one-off night is going to be packed with young kids dancing to classic hip-hop, cheesy pop, R&B slow jams, and all the boy bands and girl groups one can handle. We're talking slap bracelets, "Yo! MTV Raps" cards, a 1990s-themed photo booth, and the "Club 1994" dancers.

"It's a young, fun, party vibe," says Vin Sol, a San Francisco native and Cole Valley resident who has been DJing for 15 years. "It's not focused on one genre of music. It's what we all listened to in the '90s, everything from the hip-hop stuff to the pop stuff and the dance stuff as well."

Started by Paradise and Berlin, Club 1994 has occurred irregularly over the past few years at places such as 111 Minna and Vessel. Vin Sol's been DJing them for the past two years.

"It's honestly a breath of fresh air for S.F. nightlife," he says. "A lot of parties are very focused on out-of-town headliners. This is just a party. It's not anything more than a good time. It's about making sure that every single song is like, 'Whoa!'"

The 1990s were a time of unprecedented peace and prosperity for the West, and we look back fondly, says Vin Sol, a full-time producer and DJ who heads the Soo Wavey Records label and will release a Tyree Cooper record in October.

"Even when I play regular gigs I'm playing '90s stuff," he says. "It's a constant source of inspiration. You're talking about the golden era of hip-hop, and also the beginning of digital pop music. The production on an Ace of Base record is like, insane. It's really fun, carefree music. It's not super-serious."


Club 1994

Where: Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell St. S.F.

When: 10 p.m. Saturday

Tickets: $10 to $20

Contact: (415) 861-2011,

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David Downs

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