by Joe Payne

The first thing one notices about Hard French, El Rio's still virginal afternoon soul dance party, is the line. Despite arriving to the Outer Mission at an early hour, we were welcomed with a queue thirty-plus people deep. The $5 admission aside, the concept of an afternoon French-tinged soul party is, more or less, groundbreaking. Being able to see people dance in the sunlight alone was worth the fiver -- The Attic, Knock Out and Edinburgh offer dark anonymity during their soul night's. El Rio's backyard at two PM offered no such hiding places. Which is to say: you see pores. Lots of them. Anyway.

Despite stiff competition from Saturday's usual activities (e.g., 2 p.m. brunches, Dolores Park, drug addiction, etc.), people were lining up to get in for Hard French's six-hour soul marathon. Why? Well., thanks to DJ Carnita and DJ Brown Amy, as well as musical interludes by SheBeast.

Did we mention that there's food? Because there is.A mere $10 gets you unlimited beer and a BBQ ticket. (Vegetarian options, alas, are minimal.) Food will be necessary to keep up one's strength/eroding sobriety.