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Scheherazade in Blue Jeans
freelance alchemist
Conversations with my husband tangentially related to disco. 
6th-Feb-2010 01:24 pm
Brain worms
Me, about Erasure, who are not disco, but have some roots there: "I love that they are happy and genuine. When they ride out in a giant swan? It is not a marketing tool. You can totally see them hanging out saying 'Oh! Dude! You know what would be totally awesome? If we came out on stage in a giant swan!'. Hell, I want a giant fuckin' swan. Who doesn't want a giant fuckin' swan?"
Adam: "I don't."
Me: "But if someone offered you one, you would take it and give it to me."
Adam: "Yes. But only if it was a fake swan. A real giant swan would shit all over the place."
Me: "And they're mean."
Adam: *laughs*

But they are!

Adam: "I actually liked disco when I was eight. But I was eight."
Me: "Yeah. You didn't know any better."
Adam: "You have to like YMCA, though."
Me: *involuntary shudder and voluntary look of horror*
Adam: *laughs*
Me: "Too. Many. Bar mitzvahs."
Adam: "But the dance-"
Me: "NO."
Adam: "But you'd want to see Victoria do the dance."
Me: "NO I WOULD NOT WANT actually, I'd kinda like to see that."

Me: "It's impossible for someone of my generation to judge 'I Will Survive' on its own merits. Because we are steeped in pop culture and it is no longer a song, it is lazy-ass plot shorthand in every damn crappy movie of the 80s and 90s. TV, too. It's not its own thing, it's the thing drunk bimbos belt out in place of character development. ...it's the anthem of the Woo Girls."
6th-Feb-2010 06:24 pm (UTC)
If I come across any swans, I will send them your way. This includes clothing items, such as:

6th-Feb-2010 06:25 pm (UTC)
I would wear that. I'm just sayin'.
6th-Feb-2010 06:35 pm (UTC)
And you'd look RAMBUNCTIOUSLY HIP, my friend!
8th-Feb-2010 07:37 pm (UTC)
I totally don't get why that dress gets no love.
6th-Feb-2010 06:32 pm (UTC)
Oddly enough, just a couple of weeks ago, I contacted the music publisher who owns the rights to "Y.M.C.A." to get permission to quote a very small part of it in my book.

6th-Feb-2010 06:34 pm (UTC)
A swan for you. Just because.
6th-Feb-2010 06:50 pm (UTC)

I LIVED through the disco era! My 13th birthday got me my own stereo, and the LP of SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER!

And I can state, unequivocally and for the record, that Gloria Gaynor's I WILL SURVIVE is the SOLE JUSTIFICATION FOR THE DISCO ERA TO HAVE EXISTED!

(In the same way, TRUE FAITH by New Order completely justifies the '80's music scene. Not by much, but still...)

Edited at 2010-02-06 06:50 pm (UTC)
6th-Feb-2010 07:11 pm (UTC)
(In the same way, TRUE FAITH by New Order completely justifies the '80's music scene. Not by much, but still...)

Ah, the glory of that song. And the joy of how much that video annoyed my brother. Kind of made me want to dress up like the backwards-running guys just to annoy him further. (I was in junior high when that song came out.)

What was it about "True Faith" that made it click with you?

P.S. I'm glad the world also has the Cake cover of "I Will Survive," one for the profanity, two for the wonderfully jerky way John McCrea sings it. I once tried to sum up the cover's rhythm as "like Pee Wee Herman running and winning the 400m." The song's flailing all over the place yet keeps moving in the right direction, is what I meant.
6th-Feb-2010 07:19 pm (UTC)
Generation gap: For my... 8th? 10th? birthday, I got a Walkman. Got my last LPs at age 11.
6th-Feb-2010 06:50 pm (UTC)
I can't listen to "I Will Survive" without mentally adding in the didgeridoo accompaniment from "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert." So I associate it with drag queens stuck in the Outback, helping an Aboriginal man come out in flaming glory.
6th-Feb-2010 07:50 pm (UTC)
6th-Feb-2010 07:05 pm (UTC)
"We Are Family" is my least favorite, most likely because it gets overplayed at the end of all family functions. As soon as I hear it, I'll tell Bryan that it's time to go.
6th-Feb-2010 07:18 pm (UTC)
The only Woo Girl I can really remember is Ted.
6th-Feb-2010 09:39 pm (UTC)
I graduated high school in 1980. So I lived, as a teenager, the peak disco years.

Also there was a night with ABBA and a girl dancing on a bar in a babydoll dress but no underwear. I love ABBA.
8th-Feb-2010 09:02 pm (UTC) - So we are the same age, but that's about it
I LOATHED disco. I mean, with a fiery flaming DIE DIE DIE level of passion.

Disco was the watered-down, blenderized, sanitized, supposedly safe pap that white people made in response to those SCARY SCARY black folk who were doing funk.

It's like R&B/Soul/Motown were somehow tri-parents to two children. One was funk, and it was nasty and loud and extravagant. Funksters wore 12" platform shoes with fucking GOLDFISH in them and sported pimp hats and fluorescent boas. Funk had phat horn sections and raucous shouting and when you danced to funk you just let go.

The other child was disco, which was safe for very white Swedes and John fucking Travolta of all people to wear very clean very white clothing with. Disco wasn't played by bands so much as it was played by machines, some of which had human beings somewhere near them. Shouting wasn't on, and when you danced to disco you followed a programmed series of steps that would've made a ballroom dance instructor nod in approval.

Funk gave us rap, which begat hip-hop. Disco drove the Scandinavians to death metal, of all things. And George Clinton could kick ABBA's collective ass single-handed and have time for a fine solo afterward.

*goes off to pet his atomic dog*
6th-Feb-2010 10:35 pm (UTC)
I Will Survive will always be epic. One of my first memories:

Me -- five years old -- standing on the kitchen counter belting out "I Will Survive" complete with hand motions and deep fake!angst.

Always. Epic.

6th-Feb-2010 10:52 pm (UTC) - What's wrong with the YMCA dance?
7th-Feb-2010 09:15 pm (UTC)
Eh, I and my friends loathed disco growing up. Though I no longer hate it with the heat of thousand suns, I still don't like it. However, in the chain of music evolution I understand it was necessary to bring me the music I *do* like today. First there was disco, which eventually became house, and then became techno. The past is prelude. Just like all those cool velociraptors had to die out in order to make way for say the chicken. Tasty, tasty chicken.
8th-Feb-2010 02:05 am (UTC)
I was first exposed to I Will Survive in 1995, when it was our anthem before Social Time at camp. This made me imprint on it for life.
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