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Wednesday, December 25, 2002
 
I just read Edwin Faust's year-end thoughts, and wow... basically summed up everything I could ever want to say. It's been completely puzzling me how much praise has been heaped on the Neptunes and mainstream pop/R&B lately; I can't see anything original or innovative about it either, and in a lot of cases, it just annoys me as much as the psuedo-angstful posturing of today's mainstream rock bands.

That said, I have to disagree with one point in the article: rock is most certainly not dead. Lester Bangs has been declaring it a dead form since the early 70s, and it seems like every critic since then has been eager to re-declare the form dead. But I refuse to believe that interesting, provocative things cannot still be said with rock music. Certainly, mainstream rock is in an unbearable slump, and has been for a while now, but that doesn't mean rock is dead. Maybe we'll never hear a band as good as Nirvana (or even the Smashing Pumpkins) on the radio again, but that doesn't mean that the great rock bands aren't out there. Listen to the Fire Show's last album, and tell me that they weren't doing something new and inventive with rock. On a simpler level, this year alone has seen its share of great straightforward rock bands like Hot Snakes--nothing new or inventive, but the music sounds fresh and exciting and true to the spirit of rock anyway.

Anyway, good argument in that article, I really enjoyed it. I just have quite a knee-jerk reaction to people presiding over the supposed corpse of rock music. I've heard too much good rock music in recent years to believe that stuff.
Tuesday, December 24, 2002
 
Joe Strummer-- RIP: Sunday, December 22, 2002
Joining Joey Ramone, and Dee Dee Ramone,
one of punk rock's uberPioneers calls it a life.
Only 50 years old and he's gone (heart failure??)

Is it just me, or does anyone else get the feeling that
Punk's First Wave is fading away...and not burning out.


Monday, December 23, 2002
 
Thug Lovin'

With the prevalence of thug-related songs this year (Thug Mansion, Thug Holiday, multiple Thug Loves/Luvs, et. al) it takes a little something extra to stand out. Something like Bobby Brown. Ja Rule's latest single takes full advantage of Brown's talents, not the least his notoriety.

Watching the video will give you the full picture. Brown shimmies and glides all over the set (with mobile cameras heightening the effect): his New Edition blood courses through his veins. He moves incredibly gracefully, and quickly -- his talent as a dancer is immediately obvious. But his frenetic (perhaps even spontaneous) moves work in tandem with his gruff vocal delivery. Brown sneers at the camera; his rough-hewn mouth has never looked more menacing. He's confident, arrogant. "I know you miss my lovin', thug lovin'," he growls (to Whitney?), a far more convincing thug than Ja Rule. He looks like he's on fire, like he's once again in his element. For a brief few minutes, Bobby Brown reveals himself, all the talent, charisma, menace, and tragedy collapsed into one irrepressible package. The image is startling.

Needless to say, Ja is completely upstaged.
 
Joe Strummer RIP.

Not many finer.
Thursday, December 19, 2002
 
I find that the only thing worth listening to at Christmas is the insatiable heaving of ravenous tweenage souls as they gorge themselves on ideological filth and hyper-contemporary £apitali$t consumer detritus, today's Beyblade being tomorrow's landfil and the next day's cancer-stick.

That or a nice version or Troika.
 
The Vince Guaraldi Trio – “Christmas Time is Here (Vocal)”

Seriously, fuck Christmas and all that—Lord knows I’ve got tons of Baudrillardian or Debordian sentiments on the topic filed away in some seldom-used (or too-often-used, too-seldom-exercised) part of my brain. But I can envision a moment where this seems to be about all that matters, musically, for me, and that moment is right now. Maybe it’s because all those involved (yes, even the kids) seem to have discovered the secret of holiday music, pre-empting the inevitable listener response by making it already sound as sad as humanly possible. There is some antiquated hi-fi grit lurking in the margins of my 330kbps mp3. Maybe it’s line noise, or radio static, or dust pressed directly into the vinyl. Whatever it is, it makes it better.

Tuesday, December 17, 2002
 
I don't know, man.

I really like that Coldplay record. Maybe the reason I like it is because ... I look at it on a much different level than you do, Nick. I don't go to this record for spontaneity, much less creativity. I agree - Chris Martin probably went into the studio, said "sweeping strings here, little orchestral flushes here ..." almost like a producer would. Which is why this album succeeds in my mind - it is an incredibly well-produced and arranged stadium pop album. This is even more so apparent when it comes to the material - no one gave Martin, as Mani would say he has, "a bullshit-meter," for when his ridiculous over-the-top melodies go over the top. There is no way I will ever forgive him for that mid-section crap on this album where he simply wraps his increasingly generic melodies in piano, strings, and fake-ass Matchbox 20 guitar. I feel like I'm at a Dave Matthews Band concert or something. Everyone pull out your lighters, here come the fatties.

I know that this is exactly what's wrong with music, the heart and soul are gone, the studio apings are in ... blah blah blah. I don't care if it's not inspired. Neither are the Vines. And that shit's fun to sing along to too, as long as you don't go "oh, Cobain-in-a-bottle, how derivative is this." That's what this album is - enjoyable on that ignorant level.

But - there is a lot on this album that works. Even "In My Place," shamelessly ripping off the beginning to that Ride track, accentuates the snare drums to the front with a little mini-syncopate thrown in here and there. Those epic "yeah" harmonies work fine, but when all tracks are yanked out and the guitar is left quivering - yeah, it's a ploy to get me to cry like a baby, too bad - that's simply beautiful. "Politik," a sort of abrasiveness-for-dummies track, is fun, and ultimately rewarding simply because of that thump-thump-thump-thump-thump-thump guitar/high hat deal. The same goes for "God Put A Smile On Your Face," another over-produced shit on the indie world's chest. It's hard to deny a rock clang ... you know what I mean. Oh god, and those rolling pianos on "Clocks," the most beautiful studio-canned emotion I've ever heard.

I digress. Is this all there is to Chris Martin? Will he be a massive tool his entire life? I don't care man. I know you hate he's doing the wrong thing. For now, I just don't care. Go off and do your thing. Or ... someone else's thing.
Friday, December 13, 2002
 
Some further thoughts on Coldplay...

If you excuse the pun, on a very basic level, they leave me cold. There's something depressingly average about Coldplay that I can't get over. I've heard the new album a few times, and the singles, obviously, lots more, and yet still nothing from it sticks in my head. Their songs have that quality of being both instantaneously ubiquitous and immediately forgettable. I know many other people find the songs memorable and touching and emotive, but, for me at least, they are unexciting and temporary. I remember the first time I heard In My Place in TV, and being completely struck right from the start that there was nothing about it that made me ever want to hear it again, no hookline, no groove, no level of mystery or surprise or sense of any real depth, of there being underlaying levels of meaning or passion that would be worth investigating, no sense of catharsis. And the rest of the album leaves me feeling much the same way, as did the first album. It's undeniably very pleasant, very professional, very crafted music - A Rush Of Blood even more so than Parachutes - but really great msuic, like really great art or engineering or literature, needs a sense of inspiration as well as a sense of methodical, workmanlike artisanship. It seems to me almost as if Coldplay went into the studio and said to themselves "well, if we want to write a touching ballad we should have this melody, and a chord change from major to minor, and it should get louder with more cymbals after the second chorus, and the main chorus line should be repeated many times during the crescendo, and the lyrics should be just fresh enough to be touching and just clichéd enough for people to think it's about them, and a key change just here, and we should do this, and this, and this..." in a very logical, methodical way that, while perfectly fine in many cases, and wonderous if united with a spontanaeity and inspiration, without spontanaeity and inspiration makes for very bland (in my opinion) music. Inspiration and logical method are both essential for something that's going to have lasting value and quality, just look into the recording processes for albums like What's Going On? and Spirit Of Eden and In A Silent Way, when people who understood the value of uniting both inspiration and logical method took steps towards achieving that. Equally there are lots of albums that turned out great almost by accident, like The Verve's early work, where inspiration takes free-reign over logical method, and where an outside influence (a producer) can take hold of the rampant inspiration and control it by applying logical method to structure the madness. But Coldplay... They lack, as far as I can conceive, the necessary inspiration. It's a job to them, but it should be a vocation. Fuck it, Robert Pirsig puts it a lot better than I can in Zen & The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance, go and read that and have a think about it. I don't hate Coldplay, they're just representative to me of the wrong way of doing things, which, unfortunately (or fortunately if you're Chris Martin), is a very easily accessible way of doing things. Do you ever wonder why Chris spends his interviews fretting about whether his band are any good, over whether he's doing the right thing? Because, maybe subconsciously, he knows he's not doing the right thing, not fulfilling potential, not reaching for something more than normal, not reaching for the extraordinary.
Tuesday, December 10, 2002
 
Small World.

My dad's just got a Christmas card off his old boss, with the usual "how are your kids, ours are fine" type bollocks in it. Only this one says "Christopher's singing in a band and doing very well, you might have heard of them, they're called Coldplay..."

My reply - "Don't tell them I write on a website for God's sake, I gave their LP zero!"

Odd, odd, odd.
Monday, December 09, 2002
 
Aye, I was maybe a bit hasty using hip hop as an example. I guess I've just heard that Jenny From The Block song too many times in the last month or so. To suggest that music is 'sullied' or 'ruined' by its popularity / interpolation into the mainstream isn't necessarily true - after all, there are doubtlessly still fucking loads of rock and pop artists producing great music. It's not so much about individual exponents of the artform becoming crap or producing crap, but the entire genre as a whole being sullied by practitioners and peddlers of crap, whoever they are, in whatever genre, and whyever they're doing it, from your pop muppets to your talentless but well-intentioned indieboys, your nu-metal lugheads and soulless hip hop blingers. They're out there in every genre.
Friday, December 06, 2002
 
"Look at hip-hop..."

But hip-hop wasn't a culture working on the fringes that was discovered by and integrated into the mainstream and then ceased to exist as it once did, it was a new culture that over the past 25 or so years has gone from nothing to being synonymous with mainstream pop (esp. in the U.S.). I see your lament -- you want hip-hop to be what it once was -- but it hasn't necessarily been sullied or ruined by its popularity. I won't start that argument but underground and mainstream hip-hop cultures both thrive. I'd say its road is less an interpolation than it is a revolution -- it seems more analogous to rock's move from '55 to its dominant, album-format days appx. 10-12 years later.
 
Culture Shock.

Every form of marginal culture is eventually interpolated into the mainstream, repackaged and sold back, both to the original members of the individual cultural group and to a much larger, more mainstream audience. This is because marginal cultures are, by their very nature, new, elite, and microcosmic in terms of their relation to general culture. Why are they always interpolated and sold back? Because culture-at-large, ie contemporary capitalist culture, is a ravenous and expanding entity which needs to feed itself with new products (cultures) and new markets (audiences). And who are the most marginal cultures? Racial / class sub-groups. Blacks, gays, the educated working class, etcetera. Look at hip-hop, originally an exclusive, reactionary, politically motivated and marginal musical form, now a huge (well, 26% less huge in the first quarter of 2002 according to sales stats) and, frankly, often grotesque caricature of itself. VW bagdes have been replaced with platinum chains, 911 Is A Joke has been replaced with Jenny From The Block. Hip hop artists no longer get roles in movies - movie stars get hip hop careers; hip hop has been interpolated in massive fashion, and is now part of the huge and disgusting capitalist culture industry. But I digress (as usual).

House music, particularly in evidence in Britain, was the most voraciously interpolated msuical culture we've ever seen, sucked out of the margins, the warehouses, and pumped into every nightclub in every town at every weekend for every silver-buckled-shoe-wearing Thomas to take drugs and have a seizure to. It's not a church for these people, is it? And if it is, do they understand the ontology of the ritual? But I'm getting all Betjamin here. Every form of popular music, blues, house, hip hop, punk, rock, started out as a marginal culture, and every form has been interpolated eventually. There is no escape for the individual or for the individual's sanctuary. This is the basis of Marxist cultural theory as expressed by Louis Althusser. Our chruches all become supermarkets in the end.
Thursday, December 05, 2002
 
Marginalization

I guess in the end what's most interesting to me about these ideas we're throwing around here is that the music seems to be always very much a huge part of a very fervent crowd's lives. Tying it into Nick's post a bit, music that is marginalized by the majority of the population can and does thrive very strongly among individuals and groups and I guess what I'm trying to uncover is some of these marginalized movements and discover the how and why they were so tightly hung onto by the people involved.

Beyond what my original post posited- what happens when the majority wants in? As dance music became more and more popular did African American gay people turn people away or become inclusive? This was their sacred space, wasn't it? I'm guessing a culture based on PLUR wouldn't be so exclusive- especially one that was already being exluded themselves? As Scott hints, the Studio54 exlcusion perhaps signaled the end for the Disco mainstream acceptance, but what happened when large groups want back in now? Or is it happening right now with teens, etc. going to raves instead of rock concerts?

As I said, I think Reynolds gets a very good handle on class issues in GE, but I don't think that race issues were necessarily, especially since, in my opinion race takes the place of class as the major issue of discrimination in America. But yeah, I'm just thinking aloud here. What do you guys think?
 
Re: The sacred dancefloor

Todd's post immediately called to mind pre-Emancipation spirituals and shouts in slave communities. What follows is a rough rundown of the history of spiritual music in the black religious experience.

Christianity took hold in slave communities, often in spite of efforts of slave holders (who were afraid that Christianizing slaves would acknowledge that Africans had a soul, and that this acknowledgement would require them to set the Africans free). Its main appeal was that Christianity had power over both slaves and slave holders, unlike the conjuring tradition (a derivation of animism) which only held power over believers. Masters and slaves were subject to the same moral codes. Also compelling to slaves was the tale of Moses and the emancipation of the Israelite slaves in Egypt.

Thus Christian mythology merged with the spiritual traditions of Africa, which relied heavily on ritual, dance, and song (song became especially important as a means of transmission across diffuse and illiterate populations). In the future Continental United States, this manifested in the "ring shout." Call-and-response spirituals about Biblical tales (Moses being the most popular) were performed in a circle of shuffling dancing. Clapping, stomping, and banging sticks on the floor made for a rudimentary rhythm section. Lead singing would proceed counterclockwise, always with the call-and-response structure, which was supposed to induce a trance. While in the trance, worshippers would shout as a spontaneous response to being spiritually moved by the songs.

After the Great Awakening, the Christianizing of slaves became a more accepted practice. However, slaveowners feared letting slaves organize under any pretense (the aforementioned rituals were strictly clandestine). They also balked at sharing churches with slaves. The solution was to have whites minister to slave congregations. This proved unpopular with slaves, who resented the often-manipulative and cloying sermons from members of the master class. Slaves therefore developed their own system of worship in "hush harbors," which attempted to recreate evangelical services (heavily reliant on explosive proselytizing) while combining them with music, dance, and drama. This structure persisted through Emancipation. Changes began to sweep the black church after the war, as leaders began to discourage the shout as "too primitive." The spiritual chants and percussive effects were abandoned. Some congregations replaced the spirituals with European hymns.

The Pentecostal movement, a response to a desire for a more emotionally involved religious experience, revived many of the old shout traditions. Ecstatic preaching, driving music, and furious dance supposedly induced possession by the Holy Spirit. The nature of the music was repetitive, both lyrically and rhythmically, in order to encourage trance. Modern instrumentation -- piano, drums, tamborine -- were incorporated into what was called "sanctified music."

Now we come to the evolution of blues. Blues was originally dance music, influenced by the original ring shouts, where listeners "stomped out" as a form of catharsis. The songs were also a form of coping, of making personal problems communal, and therefore depersonalizing them. Blues is the first black musical form with the solo "I," emblematic of the newfound identity for freed slaves (blues originated in the late 19th Century). For a variety of reasons, blues found itself at odds with the black church. Typically, blues performances took place in jook joints, rural clubs full of drinking, gambling, and occasional violence. Blues songs often had risque themes. But perhaps most antagonistic towards the church was blues' emphasis on tough-minded resignation as a means of coping with problems. The Church stressed faith in God, rather than a reliance on self.

Modern gospel emerged as a way of bringing sanctified music into the mainstream black chuches. Thomas Dorsey organized the first gospel choir in the 1930s and composed over 400 gospel songs. He trained several female singers -- Willie Mae Ford, Sally Martin, Mahalia Jackson -- in his style. Gospel was controversial at first -- church leaders accused Dorsey, a former blues writer and pianist, of trying to bring the blues into the church, a valid point as his music showed a considerable blues influence. More threatening perhaps was the fact that Dorsey's missionaries were female at a time when female preaching was strictly forbidden.

Gospel proved irresistable however, as it drew from the basis of black spirituality in America. By the end of the 1930s, gospel was accepted as legitimate in the eyes of the church. Gospel choirs are ubiquitous in black churhces throughout the country, and many aspects of the original shout -- clapping, rhythmic dancing, call-and-response -- continue today in both choirs and congregations. Even the shout itself -- the spontaneous exclamation of overwhelming spiritual feeling -- exists in a modified form, as congregations are encouraged to stand, shout praises, weep, and dance.




 
"Look at it this way; religion and pop music were both always trying to achieve the same thing, namely synaesthesia, sublimation, the overwhelming of the senses and the subsequent loss of the ego leading to communal euphoria, release, joyous catharsis. Whether you get it in a church, in a sweaty moshpit, in the rush of heroin down your spine, standing on a mountain top, at the moment of orgasm; that sense of divine release, of no longer clutching hang-ups and neuroses to your chest as if they were you rather than just your problems, the loss of identity in a rush of something greater than yourself… That sense of the sublime is the thing that we’re all, maybe, secretly looking for..."

All human cultures (which is a slightly sweeping statement but there is plenty of research and theory to suggest this is true [anthropological, theological, philosophical, cultural, even {consider Dawkins} biological]) are looking for this sense of "[many] personalities becoming one personality," the whole concept of religion is based around this sublimation of individual humanity into something greater than itself (ie; the godhead). Cultural religions and cultural products are in this way analogous; think of going to a cinema, a stage play, a sporting event - not just nightclubs, not just live gigs, not just music (though music, perhaps, is [for us and people like] the cultural medium that most fully realises this phenomenon). Everytime you become part of an audience, part of a crowd, you engage in the activity of sublimation of yourself, consciously or, more likely, subconsciously, only the godhead of the activity is altered - no longer are we sublimating ourselves to a God or deity but to a godhead be it a film, a song, an entire event. Authorship in this context becomes almost irrelevant because it could equally be Mozart or Ronaldo or Luc Besson who takes us out of ourselves but it is the THING, the event, not the performer or creator or executor of the event itself, that has importance. In a church it is not god who causes euphoria, it is the event of worship, the singing, the prayer, the forgetting-of-your-'self'. I'm drawn to the last time I saw The Flaming Lips, and Wayne Coyne's exhortation of the audience to scream louder and louder for the last song because it is not the songs or the band or whatever that excites us, it is the people and the event - "science has shown that the most exciting sound a human being can hear is other human beings being excited" - because that is the point of sublimation. Theatre, pantomime, carnival, sport, live music, even, on a microcosmic level, sex. Listening to music alone, is, again microcosmically, the same thing, immersion of your-'self' within something else. It's the reason we watch films, read books, play sport. Maybe it's the only path to joy (which is why right-wing economics is inhumane!). Depression is a very insular thing because it is the opposite of sublimation of the self, like Sartre's existentialism (but not Heidegger's) it is the over-emphasis of the self to the level of exclusion of the external (Heidegger's concepts of authenticity and dasein suggest, to me at least, something akin, in a skewed, western way, to Tao, or Buddha [the realisation of the Godless godhead of any culture]). To deny ourselves that sublimation is to deny something of what it means to be human, maybe. You read John Betjeman's 'Slough' and see his criticism of the mindless, thoughtless society around him, and yes, he's right that drunkards and fools in provincial nightclubs (the US equivalent, maybe, of the midwest [the piece of America that most non-Americans are unaware of in terms of our Platonic understanding of the essence of America, but which, ironically, most Americans actually consider to be the heartland whether that is a good or bad thing]) looking for sex and beer (and sublimation, subconsciously?) are inhumane on one level, animalistic in their quest to lose themselves, to forget about the world and their worries, to "dance and drink and screw" as Jarvis Cocker put it, but then you see some of Betjeman's last words, sitting atop a hill in his wheelchair, asked if he regretted anything about his life and he says "yes, I wish I'd had more sex," the classic intellectual's tacit, perhaps unknowing, admission that he wished he had sublimated more, he wished he had sought more joy, he wished he had been able to bridge that gap between himself, the observer and chronicolor of life, and the ugly, base people of 'Slough', those who are life, or, more pertinantly, Robert Pirsig's romantic/classic split and quest to unite that split by finding quality, the godhead, the buddha, the tao (in Heidegger's case dasein, in Nietzsche's the superman, in Christ's case the father [which is where Christianity went wrong, naming itself after one man, because the trinity is then forgotten and the most important piece of it is lost, the holy spirit, which is quality, or tao, or dasein, and is not external to us or the world but is the moment at which we are in the world, is the interface if we can find it and not define it or conquor it or even understand it but just realise it, and it is in every religion I know of and every non-religion too and simply has different names and faces given unto the same essence]), the secret of our selves and our existence, which is the quest that all of us are on. Only we spend our time looking for one individual special answer that is exact and precise and unique, and it is not that at all, it is something much much bigger than that, it is everything.

I've gone off-topic slightly.
Wednesday, December 04, 2002
 
The Church of We

Todd: Yes, you're right, dance has of course been used in rituals and religions for centuries, but w/in modern dance culture -- from Northern Soul to the early days of disco to rave -- it has often been considered communal and spiritual. And, yes, you are correct that has been most often in house, which is what I assume is being referenced in the quote you provide. (Disco is more characterized with post-Stonewall gay liberation, but it wasn't limited to the "African-American Gay Community" -- New York was much more permissive of homosexuality than the rest of the country, although obviously these were the first steps of the pride movement, and disco itself was very inclusionary and even utopian, in a way. In its earliest days places such as David Mancuso's The Loft were built on ideals of love and community and the like. Mancuso's unofficial theme was "The Message of Love" by MFSB. All the more sadly ironic then that, despite its massive popular appeal, disco eventually became so exclusionist at the top, with the velvet-rope decadence of Studio 54 as its defining image to most and anti-hedonism as much of a catalyst for Steve Dahl's Disco Demolition night as anti-authenticity and the unspoken but very real racism and homophobia.)

I'd mention, too, that another one of New York's major early discos was an old church called The Sanctuary, but Dahl's stunt -- which took place in Chicago's Comiskey Park -- neatly (finally!) leads to my point: Chicago House. The anti-disco sentiment that boiled over to Disco Demolition was the attitude in which Midwestern Gay Blacks would have lived, even as disco was the nation's most popular music. So when DJs such as Ron Hardy and Frankie Kunckles (a childhood friend of Paradise Garage DJ Larry Levan, Knuckles moved to Chicago from NYC where he had seen disco's early days -- I think to fill in for Hardy's DJ spot) began to spin in Chicago, it was something thrilling and new.

Actually, the section of house music in the excellent Last Night a DJ Saved My Life begins with Knuckles comparing the experience to church:

" 'For me it's definately like church," [Knuckles] explained. "Because, when you've got 3,000 people in front of you, that's 3,000 different personalities. And when those 3,000 personalities become one personality, it's the most amazing thing. It's like that in church. By the time the preacher gets everything going, or that choir gets everything going, at one particular point, when things start peaking, that whole room becomes one, and that's the most amazing thing about it.'

In Chicago, as the seventies became the eighties, if you were black and gay your church may well have been Frankie Kunckles's Warehouse, a three-story factory building in the city's desolate west side industrial zone. Offering hope and salvation to those who had few other places to go, here you could forget your earthly troubles and escape to a better place. Like church, it promised freedom, and not even in the next life. In this club Frankie Knuckles took his congregation on journeys of redemption and discovery."

The church parallels are also helped because it was, at its start, a weekly event: Knuckles would spin from Saturday night until Sunday mid-day and at the start, the same crowd -- or congregation, if you like -- ("as many as 2,000 people -- mostly gay, nearly all black") would generally attend.
Tuesday, December 03, 2002
 
Dance Music

I was reading some articles for my History of Same-Sex Sexuality class last evening and a most interesting one caught my eye and made me do some thinking. Since the blog can be used for failed ideas and theories let me recount where I went with it.

Some background: the article was entitled "Feeling the Spirit in the Dark: Expanding Notions of the Sacred in the African American Gay Community" by E. Patrick Johnson and it detailed a club, which ostensibly was like many others, during what I gathered to be the apex of the DJ set the DJ interrupted a house track with his own preaching- talking about remembering brothers and sisters who aren't with us anymore, and he said "Thank Him! He kept you safe over the dangerous highways and byways. Thank Him!...Grace woke you up this morning! Grace started you on your way! Grace put you your food on your table!" and this goes on ending in climax to an old folk church song "Ninety-nine and a Half Won't Do". The main thing about this theological dance floor was that it was inclusive to gay African Americans when the traditionally black churches were definitely not (or so Johnson claims). A discussion in the class today revealed that don't seem to be ostracized publicly as much as Johnson seems to relate in his article.

Anyway, my question/theory to all on this blog and other people reading this thing is have other people written and talked about the sacredness of the dance floor/dance floor as religious space? I believe in Generation Ecstasy that Reynolds talks a little more about class issues than sexuality in relation to dance music- but I haven't read it in a while, so I may be forgetting some of the early chapters in there. It seems like there was a definite taking back of house and disco to gay clubs in the early 80s after disco was pushe to the fringe of society (especially the Midwest), so I'm thinking that what a club became is a sanctuary for both the music and the gay African American to thrive where they could not.

I have to believe this has been written about elsewhere, though. Can someone point me there, please?

.