Tag Archive | Disco

Video Clip of The Week: PIG & Sasha Grey, “That’s The Way (I Like It)”


As Bill Hader’s beloved SNL character, nightlife expert Stefon would say, “This Week’s Video Clip has Everything!” Porn Stars and Industrial Music Legends covering what is inarguably among the most iconic songs of the Disco Era is what you get when PIG (aka Raymond Watts) and Sasha Grey deliver their grind-worthy rendition of KC and the Sunshine Band’s “That’s The Way (I Like It).” Babe, oh babe, this clip is all kinds of dark, campy fun.

Directed by Gabriel Edvy, the sensually-charged black & white video is a dark disco romp, shot intimately and playfully with disco balls, light BDSM and sweat. Watts offers that, “The idea behind the video was how to bring a darker, more sinister overtone and texture to what seems to be an initially ‘upbeat’ song.” The foreboding nature of the video is is pervasive, despite the bright, shiny disco elements in the video. Watts continues, “Although we use some imagery that suggests a good time is being had . . . all is maybe not as it seems, possibly a reflection on the current situation we see when looking around at what is happening today in the world.” Well said.

“That’s The Way (I Like It)” is available for your listening pleasure via Metropolis Records, and PIG is on tour in the US right now. Tour dates are below. Enjoy!

PIG TOUR DATES
** – Opening for Killing Joke

09/02 – Portland, OR @ Star Theater **
09/04 – San Francisco, CA @ DNA Lounge **
09/05 – Los Angeles, CA @ Regent Theater **
09/07 – Denver, CO @ Oriental Theater **
09/08 – Merriam KS @ Aftershock
09/09 – Columbus, OH @ Skully’s Music Diner **
09/10 – Baltimore, MD @ Soundstage **
09/11 – Boston, MA @ The Paradise **
09/12 – New York, NY @ Irving Plaza **
09/13 – Richmond, VA @ Fallout
09/14 – Louisville, KY @ Trixie’s Entertainment Center
09/15 – St. Louis, MO @ FuBar
09/16 – Tulsa, OK @ The Vanguard
09/17 – Dallas, TX @ Granada Theater **
09/18 – Austin, TX @ The Mohawk **
09/19 – Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live **
09/21 – Tampa, FL @ The Orpheum
09/22 – Spartanburg, SC @ Ground Zero
09/23 – Philadelphia, PA @ PhilaMoca
09/24 – New York, NY @ Bowery Electric
09/26 – Lancaster, PA @ Chameleon Club
09/27 – Teaneck, NJ @ Debonair Music Hall
09/28 – Detroit, MI @ Smalls
09/29 – Toronto, ON @ TBA
09/30 – Chicago, IL @ Bottom Lounge
10/03 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge
10/04 – Las Vegas, NV @ Beauty Bar
10/05 – Los Angeles, CA @ Union Nightclub
10/06 – Tustin, CA @ Mary’s on Newport

Pig and Sasha Grey
Raymond Watts of PIG with Portraits of Sasha Grey (Photo credit: Mattia Venni and Susannah Doyle; Created By Vlad McNeally)

Video Clip of The Week: Randy Jones, “Hard Times” ( Studio 54 Mix)


As the past is reinvented to serve present needs, ’70s guitar Rock meets Disco’s irresistible call to shake your booty in this week’s Video Clip: “Hard Times” from Randy Jones — best known as the Cowboy from the legendary Village People. With a beat borrowed from Bruno Mars‘ global hit, “Uptown Funk,” this track about beating the blues is lyrically uplifting at a time when we could all use a little encouragement, and harnessed by a rhythm that is virally contagious. Directed by Mikhail Torich, the accompanying visuals are heavy on the glam, delivering sassy back up singers, buff disco boys, mirror balls and everything you need for an immersive club experience. No parking on the dance floor.

The title track from Randy’s brand new album, “Hard Times” is presented here in its super-groovy Studio 54 Mix (courtesy of Mark Saunders). Hard Times is available wherever fine music is procured. Enjoy!

Video Clip of The Week: The Motet, “Fool No More”



If you went out dancing last night, and maybe haven’t quite made it into the bed yet, I’ve got the perfect  segue into your unconscious state right here. In anticipation of their new album, Totem, Colorado-based funk outfit, The Motet reveal the official video for track “Fool No More,” which will be the album’s second single.

The video brings alive the artwork from Totem for a funky, psychedelic journey through a tune that I can’t help but say reminds me fondly of the Pablo Cruise hit from way back 1977, “A Place In The Sun.” If you know that song, great. If you don’t, it doesn’t matter. We are just free-associating here.

Totem was produced by Lettuce and Soulive guitarist Eric Krasno and is set for release on July 8th, 2016. Check out The Motet on tour at the dates listed below. Enjoy!

The Motet’s US Tour Dates Through Fall 2016:

6/25 Atlanta, GA Big Bang Block Party
7/2 -3 Quincy, CA High Sierra Music Festival
7/15 Lone Tree, IA Camp Euforia
7/22 Morrison, CO Red Rocks Amphitheatre
7/28 Aspen, CO Belly Up Aspen
7/30 Canton, MA Festival at the Farm
8/4- 6 Thornville, OH The Werk Out Music Festival
8/5 Salt Lake City, UT Sky Bar
8/11-14 Scranton, PA Peach Fest
8/13 Fairfield, CT The Warehouse
8/18-20 Bartow, WV Camp Barefoot
9/4 Seattle, WA Bumbershoot Festival
9/7 Tulsa, OK The Vanguard
9/8 Fayetteville, AR George’s Majestic Lounge
9/9 St. Louis, MO The Ready Room
9/10 Urbana, IL The Canopy Club
9/17 Deadwood Jam Deadwood, SD
10/28–30 Live Oak, FL Suwannee Hulaween
1/20–25 Miami, FL Jam Cruise 15

The Motet

Recommended Listening: American Hustle Soundtrack

American Hustle Album Artwork

Have you seen American Hustle yet? It is the best movie, about a story that happened during my favorite decade: the 1970s. The Seventies were a time of amazing visual stye in everything from furniture design to fashion, but it was also the decade of the best music ever. Just think about it: the worldwide phenomena that was Disco book-ended by The Beatles and Punk Rock. Wow. Mind blowing. It all happened in The Seventies!

It stands to reason then that American Hustle’s Original Motion Picture Soundtrack would be liberally studded with some serious seventies musical gems. There is something for every musical taste on this disc, from big band action courtesy of Duke Ellington’s “Jeep’s Blues” to timeless classic rock (Elton John’s “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”), to an original instrumental track by veteran soundtrack composer, Danny Elfman. There may not be any Beatles’ songs on here, but Paul McCartney (the world’s first Billionaire Rock Star) makes an appearance with his post-Beatle’s band, Wings, delivering the epic spy film theme song, “Live and Let Die.”

Not unexpectedly, revisiting songs that I first heard when I was a pre-teen music snob has inspired me to have a bit of an epiphany. America’s mega-hit from 1972, “A Horse With No Name” was dismissed by me at the time of its release as a Neil Young rip off full of lyrical nonsense. But in a modern day context, the part where the narrator is “looking at a riverbed” and reflecting that, “The story it told / of a river that flowed/ made me sad to think it was dead” is positively sobering. Because remember: he’s in the desert. This song is genius.

Of course, it would not be a full-on 70s experience without some crotch grabbing disco fun, and Music Supervisor Susan Jacobs hits it out of the park by including Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” — a song that says more about the pervasive hedonism of Disco culture with just three words and a wildly hypnotic, insistent electronic beat than any other song ever has. And while I was originally bummed that the included performance of “Don’t Leave Me This Way” is by Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes rather that the classic Thelma Houston version, I got over it pretty quickly.

Speaking of covers, I very much enjoy the faithful-to-the-original arrangement of Jefferson Airplane’s classic “White Rabbit” sung in Arabic by vocalist Mayssa Karaa.

But the song which has unarguably received the biggest shot in the arm for its inclusion in the film is Electric Light Orchestra’s prophetic and compelling “10538 Overture,” which has probably been downloaded a hundred times since you started reading this review. I can’t believe I have survived for forty years without having this song at my finger tipis to replay over and over and over again. Seriously, this song is just insane. ELO appear again with “Long Black Road” and vocalist Jeff Lynne also contributes “Stream Of Stars,” a previously unreleased instrumental track that just takes its own little journey to the center of your heart in under three minutes.

Tom Jones, Jack Jones and Chris Stills (son of Stephen Stills, providing the only song not actually written and previously recorded in the seventies) round out this A+ collection of songs that rank as a must own album for any music fan.

American Hustle – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, Track Listing:

1.    Jeep’s Blues | Duke Ellington

2.    Goodbye Yellow Brick Road | Elton John

3.    White Rabbit | Mayssa Karaa

4.    10538 Overture | Electric Light Orchestra

5.    Live And Let Die | Wings

6.    How Can You Mend A Broken Heart | Bee Gees

7.    I Feel Love | Donna Summer

8.    Don’t Leave Me This Way | Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes

9.    Delilah | Tom Jones

10.  I’ve Got Your Number | Jack Jones

11.  Long Black Road | Electric Light Orchestra

12.  A Horse With No Name | America

13.  Stream Of Stars | Jeff Lynne

14.  Live To Live  | Chris Stills

15.  Irving Montage | Danny Elfman

Mirrored Pineapple Disco Ball

Disco Pineapple

That is All.

CD Waterlilies By Bruce Munro

Discolily original

Artist Bruce Munro created the remarkable and eye-catching installation, Waterlilies — located on the Large Lake in Pennsylvania’s Longwood Gardens — from 65,000 recycled CDs secured atop floating foam discs. While this installation is best viewed by day, you can see from the photo below that it looks pretty cool at night as well.

See more pictures at This Link!

Discolily3 Detail

Thanks to Geoffrey Dicker for the Tip!

RIP, Donna Summer

Donna Summer Classic
Someone Left the Cake Out In The Rain

Disco legend Donna Summer has passed away today, May 17th, 2012, after a brief battle with Lung Cancer. She was 63 years old. Favorite Donna Summer Songs: “On The Radio” and “MacArthur Park Suite.”

Rasputin Restaurant & Cabaret: A Taste of Russia!


Welcome to Rasputin! ( Image Source)

On the topic of a visit to Brooklyn’s famous Russian hotspot, Rasputin Restaurant & Cabaret, whether you read an online review or ask people who’ve been there what to expect, what you’ll likely hear is that you are in for a real “Experience” – capital E intentional. Rasputin successfully combines an evening of multi-course fine dining with a full sensory night of entertainment that progresses from live singers to a Las Vegas Style floor show to an afterhours disco inferno. Every step of the way you can immerse yourself in an authentic slice of Russian American culture.

Pomegranate Bliss Cocktail: Drink a few of these to start the night off right! (All Photos By Anne Raso)

Upon arriving, my friend Anne and I were greeted warmly by the manager, Serge, who promptly seated us at the “best seats in the house” –  one of two tables arranged at the front of a beautiful, horseshoe-shaped second floor balcony overlooking the stage, dance floor and all the diners down below. From where we sat, we felt like we were spying on a very lavish wedding feast and its accompanying reception; and though we were slightlyremoved from the immediate festivities (being seated away from the dance floor) we felt very much a part of the jubilant atmosphere permeating Rasputin on a Saturday night.  It did seem apparent that many people come to Rasputin specifically to celebrate a special occasion (birthday, anniversary or whatever), or at the very least to just enjoy dining with a large group of friends. With the plentiful food served family-style on huge platters, this place is the ideal venue for a one-stop festive evening of dining and dancing.

An evening at Rasputin is as much about the entertainment as it is about the food, and while the two take place simlutaneous, let’s get to the food first. Since there were just two of us, the restaurant staff tailored one of the simpler “banquet” menus to accommodate our small party. I would recommend dining at Rasputin with a minimum party of four, because this place definitely has a “the more the merrier” vibe, which is reflected in the menu’s array of “banquet” prix fix menus ranging in price and extravagance from The Noble Banquet, which we were served ($75 pp Friday and Sunday, $100 pp Saturdays and Special Events) up to the Banquet Rasputin ($145 pp Friday and Sunday, $165 Saturdays and Special Events). Each Banquet features literally dozens of dishes including appetizers, first and second courses, entrees and desserts – so no one is leaving hungry, that is for sure. They do offer an ala carte menu, but if you really want to taste a lot of different Russian foods, as we did,  you’ll get the best value by choosing one of the banquets. Drinks are another matter entirely. Anne and I cut ourselves off after two cocktails, but it is customary to order a bottle of vodka chilled on ice for the table and just let it flow freely throughout the evening.

Our first courses consisted of an array of mayonnaise-based salads such as potato salad with boiled eggs and vegetables, chicken salad studded with sliced grape tomatoes (seasoned with just a pinch cayenne pepper) and a delicious shredded crab salad served with boiled shrimp (pictured above). Of note was a delicious selection of Seared Ahi Tuna with a Sesame Seed Crust served with Creamy Wasabi Sauce that was absolutely mouthwatering. The hot foods were up next!

Yukon Gold Potatoes & Mushrooms a la Moscow were hearty and delicious.

Parisian Pierogi stuff with Mushrooms, Meat and Cheese. The flaky croissant pastry elevated these pierogis to a level above the boiled or fried variety that you’ll find at a Ukrainian diner such as Veselka.

Roasted Quail with Wild Rice: The bird was tiny but tender.

Next up: Lambchops and Chicken Kabob with Whipped Potatos. The chicken was super tender while the lamb came off the bone easily and was perfectly juicy. The fresh rings of raw onion added a kick of flavor.

A “light” dessert of mixed fresh fruit and mini, mousse filled pastries was challenging to sample because we were so stuffed from all of the delicious foods we’d already indulged in. Most of the portions could have easily fed two more people. Fortunately, our attentive waiters were happy to pack up most of our leftovers so that the feast could continue the next day.

And now, a few words about the entertainment!

The pre-show entertainment features a variety of talented nightclub singers who take turns performing solo or in duets, accompanied by a live guitarist and backed by prerecorded rhythm tracks. The two female singers performed what might have been Russian pop dance standards (we could not understand the lyrics but everyone in the place seemed to know the songs very well) mixed with American pop favorites, and even a medley of Gypsy Kings covers which packed the dance floor with energetic couples. The music was great and we were soon swept up in a feeling of celebration. It is easy to see that Rasputin is where many Russians go not only to be reminded of their home country, but also to seriously party!

Close to Midnight, it was time for the main event! The lights went down as projections on the screen behind the stage announced that we were about to be treated to “Pure Emotions.” Pure Emotions consisted of a series of elaborately costumed and choreographed musical dance numbers, meant to interpret various emotions, such as Joy, Love and Ecstasy among others. Despite the show’s overt cheese factor (think: Chris Angel), I have to admit it was a lot of fun! The dance numbers range from a traditional Russian dance by a lone male dancer to a quartet of dancers clad in black robes and white, glow-in-the-dark Phantom of the Opera-style face masks, to a group that Anne and I nicknamed the “Russian St. Pauli Girls,” who danced an upbeat routine to Madonna’s “Respect Yourself.” One of my favorite sections of Pure Emotions was entitled Ecstasy, where a stage full of dancing gypsy girls dressed in peasant blouses and full  skirts somehow managed to reveal layer upon layer of different colored fabric so that their skirts changed color  from black to green to red to a floral print as they danced. The finale, Triumph, was soundtracked by an earnest cover of Queen’s “The Show Must Go On” and featured actual aerial acrobatics – not as impressive as Spiderman: Turn off The Dark, but still pretty cool!  

According to Michael Levitis, Vice-President of Entertainment and Marketing, and part of the family that owns the restaurant, “Rasputin is modeled after the leading Moscow cabarets and nightclubs.” We called it a night close to 2 AM with the disco dancing still in full swing, feeling that we had just experienced a little bit of Moscow’s nightlife in Brooklyn!

Rasputin is located at 2670 Coney Island Ave in Brooklyn, NY. Phone (718) 332-8111 for Reservations. Expect a well-dressed crowd and plan your wardrobe to impress!

RIP Boney M Frontman Bobby Farrell


Farrell with the Lovely Ladies of Boney M

Bobby Farrell, outrageous front man for the German disco group Boney M has passed away on December 30th, 2010, following a performance in Russia. He was 61, and the cause of death is under investigation at this time. While Boney M were virtually unknown in the US, the group was absolutely huge in Europe, scoring great chart success with hits like “Ma Baker,” “Rasputin,” “Daddy Cool” and the Christmas favorite, “Mary’s Boy Child.” I was first introduced to the music of Boney M by my friend Randy, and their videos were always an in-demand and much-loved staple of his semi-annual video parties. Bobby’s dance moves were unrivaled.

Please enjoy the video for “Daddy Cool” – one of my favorite Boney M Songs – below. RIP Bobby. You were truly one of a kind.

Crazy Like a Fool

MacArthur’s Park is Melting in The Dark

A Cake in the Rain
Image Source

Holy shit. I was just in the local bodega buying a bottle of dish washing liquid and a housewarming gift for some friends I’m visiting later (pot holder / oven mitt / dish towel set – so cute!) and Donna Summer’s extended disco dance mix of “MacArthur Park.” came on. And I almost lost my shit right in there the store, because that song is just insane. You know, it’s Donna’s version that goes on for, like, 20 minutes and just takes off on its own little journey? Hot damn, what a great fucking song.

When I was a kid in the ’60s, listening to Richard Harris’s overwrought, melodramatic version of this arguably enigmatic song, I thought the lyrics were meant to be taken literally, and I could not comprehend why the fuck someone would leave a fucking cake out in the rain. I mean, what the hell? It used to just kill me; wondering why the person singing had left what must have obviously been a very delicious cake (hence the degree of chagrin this act caused) out in the rain? And why would they “never have that recipe again”? What did it all mean, and why did it feel like the world was ending over some fancy pastry every time he sang that line? Even back then, I was a big fan of cake, so “MacArthur Park” never failed to cause me significant emotional distress. Because, anyone can see that cake left out in the rain is bad news.

Of course, now that I’ve lived life to adulthood, and had the opportunity to have my heart stomped on and ground into tiny pieces of detritus, I understand that the lyrics to “MacArthur Park” are a metaphor for tragically lost love. It’s a sad song, for sure.

Even now, I would still rather have the cake.