.Music & Nightlife | Editors’ Picks

DJ Purple

Best No-Slow-Jams-Allowed Karaoke DJ

DJ Purple

The Patio, 412 Emerson St., Palo Alto

Karaoke DJ Steve Hays, better known as DJ Purple, hosts a regular Wednesday-night party at The Patio in Palo Alto, where he has just one rule: no slow songs. That’s because Hays isn’t your run-of-the-mill karaoke DJ. While most karaoke jocks are content to hand out songbooks and then let the patrons run the show, Hays presides over his parties with the care and attention of a skilled emcee. He only spins high-energy tracks with a beat—to encourage dancing and crowd participation—he plays saxophone, harmonica and sings backup harmonies live. “I want to show people around the world what’s possible with karaoke,” he told Metro. (NV)

Best Cross-Dressing Spectacle

Goth Drag Night

Club Apparition, 30 S. First St., San Jose

Goth as a fashion tends toward the androgynous, so it wasn’t much of a stretch when Albert Felix assembled a band of misfits for San Jose’s first and only Goth Drag Night, a macabre twist on traditional drag. Just last week, Felix—known to the underworld as DJ Necromos—celebrated the sixth anniversary of the cross-dressing spectacle set to a soundtrack of deathrock, darkwave or some other iteration of goth-industrial. Less diva-esque than the Vegas showgirl stylings of drag performers at nearby Splash, Goth Drag Night has cultivated its own brand of showmanship with contests to reward the more elaborate costumes—the more ghoulish the better. For the past two years these gender-bending Thursday night fetes have taken place at Club Lido, which shape-shifts into its goth counterpart, Club Apparition, when Necromos has his way with it. (JW)

Tyler Hinz

Best Attorney Moonlighting as a Comedian

Tyler Hinz


Tyler Hinz says he got into comedy to get over his crippling fear of the opposite sex. Maybe an eligible woman in the audience would be so enamored of his wit that she would want to marry, watch boring TV shows and grow old with him. While he has yet to sucker a woman into tying the knot—hang in there, Ty—he has racked up a fair amount of comedy credits. The 30-year-old South Bay standup known for his quirky digressions and keen, off-the-cuff observations—he’s been compared to Rory Scovel—has opened for a number of high-profile comedians at Rooster T. Feathers and the San Jose Improv, including Darren Carter, Ron Shock and Marc Curry (Hanging with Mr. Cooper). Making time for his ascendant comedy career is something of a juggling act for Hinz, a Santa Clara University law school grad who also runs his own legal practice, which he started for reasons much less self-serving, like helping people plan their estates and fend off predatory lenders. (JW)

Best Up-And-Coming Nightlife Hub

ThSoFA District

374 S. First St., San Jose

San Jose’s SoFA district is re-emerging from the shadows and will soon be the coolest place to hang out downtown. For well over a year, Cafe Stritch has been hosting some of the best jazz and indie rock shows in the South Bay, while the newly opened Continental Bar is classing up the block with smart house music and craft cocktails. Word is that Single Barrel is re-branding—maintaining the high-end hooch but ditching the shushing. Then there’s the mixed-use SoFA Market, which will feature street food bites, a bar and coffee shop. And finally, The Ritz: the new venture from Blank Club owner Corey O’Brien, which is slated to open in the former F/X The Club building in early April. If you’ve been spending your nights at San Pedro Square or in the center of downtown, you need to give SoFA a try. (NV)


Best Place to Meet the Venture Capitalist of Your Dreams


2825 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park

Hotel bars and restaurants are typically associated with bleary-eyed business travelers and adulterous rendezvous. But Madera is a little different. Located inside the five-star Rosewood Sand Hill hotel in Menlo Park, Madera is located in the epicenter of Silicon Valley venture capital—Sand Hill Road. Madera’s bar has become a regular hangout for some of Silicon Valley’s wealthiest investors. As such, it has also attracted a crowd of singles seeking a well-to-do mate. With an all-star chef and sommelier on staff, it’s a great place to just grab a bite and a drink while enjoying the view, which overlooks the rustic beauty of the Santa Cruz mountains. (NV)

Best Comedy Open Mic

Woodhams Sports Lounge

4475 Stevens Creek Blvd., Santa Clara

At a poetry slam or a musical open mic, the audience is generally supportive enough to offer whistles, applause and even post-performance hugs, handshakes and exhortation. It’s heartwarming, really. Stand-up comedians, by contrast, practice their craft in stuffy dives populated by ornery drunks with a chip on their shoulder about some wannabe comic interrupting their weeknight booze-fest with some rant about the travails of Tinder dating. Comedy open mics have a quick shelf life. The regulars or the bar staff get sick of the whole thing and run the show out. Not so at Woodhams Sports Lounge in Santa Clara, where veteran South Bay stand-up impresario Pete Munoz has held his Monday night comedy open mics for well over a year. Instead of irking the attendant barflies, comedy night has grown into a draw unto itself, attracting local favorites like Sammy Obeid (Conan), Brendan Lynch (Adam Devine’s House Party) and resident oddball John Hoogasian (Live at Gotham). (JW)


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