Grown Folk scoring wild night at Cal Academy

Call in the baby-sitter. Rising Montreal production duo Grown Folk is curating a night of mature beats as part of the California Academy of Sciences’ hit 21-and-over NightLife at the Academy.

At Thursday’s event, Brendan Neal and Drew Kim will spin a mix of house, techno, R&B and hip-hop in the headlining spot at the Golden Gate Park museum. The appearance represents the  California debut for the 2-year-old DJ duo.

Grown Folk is on a small West Coast tour this summer, building buzz for a second release on San Francisco label Icee Hot as well as two more EPs on to-be-determined labels. The group also makes beats for Oakland hip-hop outfit Main Attrakionz.

“We’re really excited. In the last six months or so, things have really been picking up for us,” Neal says. “We’ve been on a pretty steady trajectory, getting better releases and better shows. Now we’re going to spend the next couple years continuing that and seeing what happens.”

Neal, 23, a Vermont native and hockey player, says he “randomly” met Kim — who is into comics and video games — in college in Montreal, where Neal was getting an undergraduate degree in environmental science and urban planning.

Playing parties initially was just a hobby, but it has turned into a post-college career. Among Grown Folk’s fans is San Francisco party group Icee Hot, which released the spring single “The Boat.”

At South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, this year, Neal and Kim played several packed shows, and met the producer for the Academy’s NightLife events, which pair amazing science exhibits with specially curated eats and beats for possibly the best $12 date night in San Francisco.

Thursday’s party’s theme is “Skull & Bones,” featuring a bunch of bone-related exhibits, plus the Icee Hot DJs Rollie Fingers and Ghosts on Tape opening up for Grown Folk.

“We’re really excited, even though we don’t know what it’s going to be like,” Neal says. “We usually don’t plan out too much what we’re going to do, but usually our style is to play our own tunes, and house and techno — from recent things to stuff that’s 20 years old — just fun dance music.”


Grown Folk

  • Where: California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park, S.F.
  • When: 6 to 10 p.m. Thursday
  • Tickets: $12
  • Contact: (415) 379-8000,
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