BY OCCUPY THE DISCO / TAD HAES
The Politics of Dancing...or Why Occupy The Disco?
Before Stonewall happened in 1969, two people of the same sex were not legally allowed to dance together in New York City. You could get busted for engaging in such act, and people often got in trouble with the cops for doing exactly that. But over the years following the Stonewall riots and the consequent repeal of the city’s cabaret law in 1971, dancing would become gay people's most powerful form of protest, and the main tool for expressing who they are. It laid ground for the gay civil rights movement to flourish by connecting the right people across dancefloors. And this social, political and dance revolution would be powered by uptempo black R&B records played by gay DJs at queer and racially diverse places like The Loft, The Gallery, the Paradise Garage and The Saint, which were only to be labelled “disco music” by the mass media towards the end of the '70s decade. The rest is history, and gay culture, civil rights and even the mainstream music industry would change forever.
Disco (and house music later in the '80s) is more than a music genre – it has a history of gathering under one roof people that wouldn't otherwise come together: gay, straight, black, white, rich and poor. It started as a revolutionary gay movement with direct social and political consequences. Forty years later, disco and house still push boundaries and change concepts by simply inspiring us to dance (and collectively protest) all night long.
Annie feat. Bjarne Melgaard: ‘Russian Kiss’
The politics of dance music are obvious in Annie's latest release, 'Russian Kiss,' a collaboration with fine artist Bjarne Melgaard. Scheduled to coincide with the kick-off of the Sochi Olympics, the song and video are blunt statements against Putin and his gay-hating laws that have been broadly covered by all media channels at this point. Part of the proceeds from the song will go to the gay rights advocacy non-profit All Out. The track is heavily inspired by Lil’ Louis’ 1989 classic hit, 'French Kiss,' with an important twist: the infamous female orgasm break is replaced with a sexy male version. A tweak that could perhaps shake Russian’s authorities suppressed homoerotic feelings?
More new music AFTER THE JUMP...