Rock rules Monarch's Retroburn 

Rock isn't dead, it's just balkanized. As the Burners hit the Playa this week, people inThe City will gather en masse at Monarch to hear vintage vinyl played on a killer modern sound system, and dance to 1960s, '70s and 80s psych rock, garage, rock ‘n’ roll and soul. Mission District DJ Omar Perez – a veteran of indie rock night Popscene for almost 19 years – says Retroburn is less about Burner hate than it is about room to rock.

Where did Retroburn come from?

Last year, the idea was to do just a “F--- you, Burning Man” party in San Francisco, but that's a terrible name. I had a lot of friends doing dance parties on their own around what you wouldn't refer to as dance music. I decided it would be cool to join together for the music that we love. It seemed like a great weekend to do it and Monarch would be completely empty.

What do you have against Burning Man?

I have no opinion on it. I've never had a deep desire to go. San Francisco people look forward to this week coming. There's going to be more parking and less people around. It's a chance to do something at a venue [rockers] would never set foot in on a weekend.

Am I going to get beat up if I show up in an art car?

Nope. Just park it next to the Vespas.

Does Retroburn mean rock is so dead it can only have good sound when dance leaves town?

Rock and roll isn't dead. It's kind of separated. People are doing it in small clusters.

How did Retroburn go last year?

It was great. … It's like herding cats, but cats that have been drinking a lot, but it's great.

How's Monarch sound?

Vinyl sounds really good there. Old rock and roll, and soul records have such great deep tones.

You're DJing along with 11 others including Jacob Fury & Mario Muse from “The Queen Is Dead” Smiths night at Milk Bar, The Stooges' guitar tech Derek See, and U.K. imports Steve Bowstead and Liam Caton. Why them?

They all have amazing record collections and they all do it for the love and appreciation of their music.

You know, Burning Man got rained out. Happy?

No, no, no. Burning Man is open now. Everything is OK. I say, “Go, have a good time.” We'll be having a good time in our own way over here.



with Popscene's Omar Perez, Mario Muse from “The Queen Is Dead,” 10 others

Where: Monarch, 101 Sixth St., S.F.

When: 9 p.m. Friday

Tickets: $5 to $8

Contact: (415) 284-9774,



Apollo: Triple Threat and Invizibl Skratch Piklz DJ Apollo headline the Labor Day weekend kickoff of “Grand Total,” with Oakland Faders’ Platurn and Allattractive’s Swang. 9 p.m., $5-$10. Parliament, 811 Washington St., Oakland, (510) 251-9911,


David Harness: The Oakland DJ, house music icon and Moulton label head returns to his quasimonthly residency “Mighty Real” in the Mission, with headliners Todd Terry and Frankie Feliciano. 10 p.m., $15-$20. Mighty, 119 Utah St., S.F., (415) 626-7001,


Dub Mission 18th Anniversary: The Bay’s longest-running dub and reggae night turns 18 with all the residents — DJ Sep, J. Boogie, Vinnie Esparza, Maneesh The Twister and J. Boogie’s Dubtronic Science (live). 9 p.m., $8-$11. Elbo Room, 647 Valencia St., S.F., (415) 552-7788,

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