READ: Life and Death on the New York Dance Floor, 1980–1983 by Tim Lawrence
Tim Lawrence, the London-based author, professor and party connoisseur has unpacked New York City’s legendary party culture of the past, bringing these aspects into the light of London’s dance scene. In Life and Death on the New York Dance Floor, Lawrence argues “that the era, largely neglected by historians, stands as one of the most prolifically dynamic and inventive periods in the history of New York City or indeed any Western city.” (quote from his bio) As an incredibly creative time in history, Lawrence shares the people, records, clubs and bands that shaped the early 1980s post-Disco, post-Punk, and Hip Hop universes of New York City.
In addition to the book, a collection of music from the time was hand-picked and programmed by Tim Lawrence. The album includes David Byrne of Talking Heads, Arthur Russell’s Dinosaur L and Loose Joints, and Suicide’s Alan Vega, in addition to Gray, 2 Teens Kill 4 and Tuxedomoon. Overall, the tracks open listeners up to the incredible range of sounds, styles, and emotion that encapsulate the time– when music, fashion, innovations in music technology, DIY attitudes and freedom from corporate politics combined with the booming creativity and expression.
You can listen on Bandcamp from Reappearing Records, a label also led by Tim Lawrence.
FROM THE PUBLISHER
As the 1970s gave way to the 80s, New York’s party scene entered a ferociously inventive period characterized by its creativity, intensity, and hybridity. Life and Death on the New York Dance Floor chronicles this tumultuous time, charting the sonic and social eruptions that took place in the city’s subterranean party venues as well as the way they cultivated breakthrough movements in art, performance, video, and film. Interviewing DJs, party hosts, producers, musicians, artists, and dancers, Tim Lawrence illustrates how the relatively discrete post-disco, post-punk, and hip hop scenes became marked by their level of plurality, interaction, and convergence. He also explains how the shifting urban landscape of New York supported the cultural renaissance before gentrification, Reaganomics, corporate intrusion, and the spread of AIDS brought this gritty and protean time and place in American culture to a troubled denouement.
Get it Here
WATCH: NewFest Pride Film Festival
Founded in 1988, NewFest is New York’s largest presenter of LGBTQ+ film & media and the largest convener of LGBTQ+ audiences in the city. For the start of Pride, they are holding a weekend long summer series, featuring six new films, a shorts program presented with Vimeo, and a bunch of LGBTQ-focused panels and special events. You can buy a pass for access to the entire weekend program lineup for $25 or get individual tickets for $12. The films will be available Friday the 4th at 12 AM through Monday, June 7 at 11:59 PM EST – available to stream anywhere within the United States. All features and short films playing the series will be accessible via NewFest’s on-demand platform.
The film lineup includes six intriguing titles that we can’t wait to see!
Get more info Here
LISTEN TO: Moon Bounce
Moon Bounce is Corey Regensburg–producer, songwriter and vocalist. The classically trained musician creates all of his own samples, taking inspiration from R&B and dance rhythms. The electric sounds of pop will leave the listener in a trance thanks to the hypnotizing percussion and synths. Skip Intro, his most recent album, caught our attention as a very under-appreciated collection of songs.
Check out the video for ‘Better Now’ above– the trippy visuals are intoxicating.