SUPER EGO There's a reason many of us got all churchy when word came down last month that Frankie Knuckles, the Godfather of House, had passed to that vast, sweaty dance floor in the sky. As dance music continues to grow, it seems more necessary than ever to affirm its root credo of love and acceptance. Frankie was house music's apostle: He could make you glow in the light of the deepest underground track or a remix of the hoariest pop hit. (I'm not lying when I tell you that his 10-minute reconstruction of "You Are Not Alone" saved my life once.)Read more »
Guy Gerber is blowing his nose. A lot. He's also trying to talk to me, through a massive hangover, over the phone from NYC. His chopped-up vocal snippets, mashed into long expulsions of compressed air, spiked with a woman's giggle, rustling sheets, and clanking bottles somewhere in the background of his room, could almost be one of his driving, hypnotic, yet always surprisingly human, techno tracks. Good lord, even this protean dance music creator's phlegmatic exudations are musical.Read more »
SUPER EGO One of my supreme happy places, apparently, turned out to be the packed dancefloor of an underground fundraiser for Radical Faerie Burning Man camp Comfort and Joy, right around 3am a couple Fridays ago, when the drag queen DJ dropped "Rock the Casbah" and some behooded elfin rogue's giant LED rainbow wings lit up and blinded me. Joe Strummer smiles from heaven, surely.Read more »
I finally made it to Tradition, the new bar from the Bourbon and Branch guys that mashes up classic bar types -- English pub, dive bar, Mad Men cocktail hour, classic drawing room, tiki lounge, etc. -- in a gorgeous Tenderloin (oh, sorry, er "Union Square") space with awesome vintage liquor ads plastered on the walls and really cuuute staff.
Well, not quite mashes up: there are no great drunk Irish-whiskey brawlers breaking through the walls of a girl-drink-drunk gaggle of video-bar gays to form some kind of mutant queer neon St. Patrick's Day Parade. Or, you know, the Catholic Church. (Laugh track.)
Wild brass and shaking floors at the Kafana Balkan party.
Hi-ho, the gypsy life. While the reality of living as a member of a marginalized, nomadic population is really not quite the Technicolor dream romance conjured by 19th century poets and Hollywood producers, the music created by the roaming “Romani” is as lushly romantic as it gets. Combining exuberance with melancholy, abandonment with abandon, musical traditions as far-flung as Spanish Flamenco, Romanian Manele, Gypsy jazz, and even the youthful strains of modern-day Gypsy punk, have a way of getting under the skin right on down to the toes—which will almost assuredly be tapping. Label it folk music if you must, but don’t expect a lot of polite purists holding forth while holding back. Gypsy music is party music, and Zeljko Petkovic aka DJ Zeljko’s (in)famous Kafana Balkan evenings are always one of the consistently best parties in town.