Amoeblog

Music Videos of Ten Gay Club/Dance Classics

Posted by Billyjam, June 30, 2012 10:29pm | Post a Comment

As this year's LGBT Pride Month comes to a close here is one last installment in the series of Amoeblog specials celebrating the occasion It is ten music videos of gay disco/dancefloor favorites culled mostly from the 70's & 80's / disco/new wave eras (some 90's too) - and compiled from various lists and playlists drawn up by music fans and DJs.

Naturally it only scratches the surface and doesn't include a ton of great songs/videos. So feel free to post in comments any ones you think that should be added. But it does have some classic gay dancefloor staples in there including such ever popular ones such as the Village People's "In The Navy" and the Pet Shop Boys' later decade single/video cover of the Village People's "Go West."

Also included is Diana Ross' 1980 hit single "I'm Coming Out" which song producer Nile Rodgers reportedly got the idea for the track after noticing at some discos drag queens dressing like Ross. Of course the song, which was a disco and mainstream radio hit, was perceived on different levels by different people. For Ross herself it was her signature concert entrance opening theme as in the video below from her 1981 Great Western LA Forum show (note the clip also includes her doing "The Boss").

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Black [gay] History Month, 2012

Posted by Job O Brother, January 29, 2012 04:30pm | Post a Comment
black history gay

Ethel Merman’s voice makes my stomach acids sour and the very idea of shopping for clothes gives me a panic attack; despite these and other suspicious facts, I am a member of the LGBT community. For this reason, the issue of equal rights is ever-present in my mind.

There’s been a lot written and said about comparing the history of intolerance between racial minorities and the gay community, most especially in late 2008 when Prop. 8 was passed in the state of California amidst reports that large numbers of black people, urged by their church heads, voted to end the briefly instituted marriage equality of the state.

There were, of course, many exceptions to this and I don’t mean to angle this as a blacks-versus-gays situation – it's far more complicated than anything I'll do justice to here – but it did shine a light on an issue that often ruffles feathers. Knowing my place here on the Amoeblog as “light entertainment,” I will eschew any prolonged essays on the matter (for great, long-winded crap like that you should check out Charles Reece’s blog), but I will say that equal rights for all people is not only a victimless proposition, it’s one that benefits all people. Whether you think it’s appropriate to compare the struggle for gay equality with those of racial minorities, the fact is that everyone should have the same basic, human rights.

It would be one thing if a child was struck with bone marrow cancer every time two lesbians kissed, but kids, that’s just not the way it is and the sooner we let the gays get married, the sooner they can set up homes that will raise the property value of your block.

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Rolling Stones 1978 Album "Some Girls" Gets Reissued This Week In Remastered Deluxe, Super Deluxe, and LP Editions

Posted by Billyjam, November 22, 2011 08:08am | Post a Comment

This week, 33 years after its original release, the Rolling Stones' critically and commercially acclaimed 1978 album that topped the Billboard 200 album charts and spawned the crossover disco-blues fused worldwide megahit "Miss You," Some Girls is being re-released in a newly remastered form that is now available at Amoeba Music in three versions: the Some Girls remastered LP pressing, Some Girls Deluxe edition CD, and the Some Girls Super-Deluxe edition CD which include unreleased songs and a single for "Beast of Burden."

As aptly noted by the Amoeba Online Store reviewer of the Some Girls Remastered 2-CD Deluxe Edition, "The remaster gives the drums especially a terrific crispness. And the bonus disc is far from inessential, showing a range of different tacks the band could have taken on Some Girls, including the country jangle of “Claudine” and the rollicking “Do You Think I Really Care,” in which Jagger outsneers the punks coming up behind him."

That comment makes reference to the fact that Some Girls was released at a time when punk was in its prime and established rockers like Jagger were seen as old fogies past their prime and creativeness. Recorded between October 1977 and March 1978 Some Girls, with its obvious punk influences, was seen as Jagger's reaction to this attitude. But beyond punk and its even more obvious disco/dance influences Some Girls was really Jagger's paean to New York City (the song "Shattered" with lyrics like "Life's just a cocktail party on the street, Big Apple people dressed in plastic bags directing traffic" "or "Miss You" with Jagger singing how "I been walking Central Park" - are among the album's many examples) with countless references and nods throughout to the Big Apple which, at the time, was in its most run-down, albeit decadent, best.

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(Wherein Spring Fever takes over the jukebox.)

Posted by Job O Brother, March 28, 2011 04:25pm | Post a Comment
80's keyboard

Well my little dreamlets, we’re ten days into Spring, and it’s already clear to me what music is going to carry me through into Summer – it’s all about synthetics. Synthpop, that is, of the late 70’s and early 80’s variety.

This amuses me, because for much of my life I detested a lot of the music I’m going to celebrate here. A lot of the hatred stemmed from being so unhappy in the 1980’s; by association, the music “sounded” like unhappiness. Think of it this way: When was the last time you were taking a shower and felt like listening to the soundtrack to Psycho? Exactly.

Some say that synthpop began when Giorgio Moroder teamed up with Donna Summer and created the hit single "I Feel Love." Calling this the “start” of synthpop is convenient, but an over-simplification, because so much came before that informed it. What can be said is that the song was influential, both in terms of inspiring artists who would go on to develop the synthpop genre, and give mainstream audiences a taste for it.

What follows are some synthpop songs that bring me joy. Many can be claimed by other sub-genres of music, but they're all related. Some are guilty pleasures – the sonic equivalent to a Snickers bar, in that they are bad for me, but make me feel great for the duration I’m imbibing – and others I stand by as solid accomplishments. I’m also putting a spell on them: listening to these songs will make you feel a little ticklish in the deepest part of your brain, which will result in your not hating your fellow man as much (even though they totally deserve your hate). Enjoy!

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The Roots of the Irish Disco/Dance Club Scene

Posted by Billyjam, March 17, 2011 06:10pm | Post a Comment
Paul Tarpey (Cheebah crew, Limerick, Ireland)
In keeping with the theme of Saint Patrick's Day for today's Amoeblog, I invited my good old friend, fellow Irishman and longtime fan of hip-hop and electronic music Paul Tarpey to be a guest Amoeblogger. For this post Paul, who is a Limerick-based DJ, photographer, & writer from that Irish city's Cheebah crew (who throw amazing parties and run the Cheebah and All That website), has sketched out a history of the Irish dance music club scene. Nowadays dance / electronic music and clubs are an integral part of the Irish music landscape. But it wasn't always that way; on the contrary. Long resistant to both hip-hop and electronic dance music, the homeland of U2 and countless other rock bands was for the longest time supportive of rock to the point of being discriminatory against disco and later dance/beat driven genres, something the guest Amoeblogger calls "rockist."

Tarpey said he felt compelled to research and write this piece when he "realised that the period before 1993 was overshadowed by the rockist history of the Irish music scene and that these early days merit some sort of record before memories fade and we forget about that scene’s pioneering activities." Here is what the Irish hip-hop/electronic music historian had to say:

Assemble any metropolitan club history, from the Paradise Garage in New York to The Hacienda in Manchester, and the same details are arrived at: innovative DJs within a specialised environment create their own rules to soundtrack a communal experience while being spurred on by a dedicated crowd. These classic night spots build slowly and peak after a few influential years, leaving behind them reputations and energy flashed memories. The Irish files to be dusted off from this period contain sections marked Flikkers and Sides. In remembering the history of these Dublin dance clubs, we consider the roots of an Irish dance movement that is as important in its own place as those overseas mythical dance palaces with their own associated cultural legacies.

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