Sweat was dripping of the walls last week as Honey welcomed it's first guests, Stanley of Chilidog! and James Hillard of London's notorious Horse Meat Disco. The astute listener would have noted floor fillers from Blanche Mage, Aretha Franklin, Malcom McClaren, and of course Sylvester. Over 100
piping hot chilidogs were served, and the cheap beer flowed. Those braving the cold and rain were richlyrewarded with "Depression Era Discotheque"
This week we a pleased to welcome Jeffrey Sfire, of Ghostly International, coming all the way from Berlin. Our first returning guest, Jeffrey burned down the room at Dancer from the Dance. (see below)
$4 Whiskey Cocktails
Jeffrey Sfire’s introduction to the underground dance scene and illegal warehouse parties of Detroit occurred at the age of 15. This escape from suburban high society led him to some of the city’s most talented DJs and musicians, who soon exposed him to a new culture of creative riches. Learning by example, Sfire’s taste and skills as a DJ developed naturally and he soon began playing out at parties, clubs and sleazy gay afterhours, usually entering covertly through back doors or with a fake ID. At the age of 18, a move to Chicago exposed Sfire to a whole other side of dance music history, including the Italo Disco and High Energy sounds of the 1980s. He spent afternoons digging through record store crates, meeting retired DJs and developing his musical palette. Having held numerous club residencies, he regularly plays in LA, Detroit, Chicago, and New York, consistently offering a finely-tuned selection of Italo Disco, 80’s High Energy, New Disco and Electro.
DANCER FROM THE DANCE
with Guest Jeffrey Sfire
By Joshua Rotter
It's a story as old as disco. Attractive "straight" Midwesterner moves to the big city to find himself, only to get blindsided by a barrage of drugs, sex, and tea dances. True, dancing became a major component of gay life in the post-Stonewall '70s, when the dance floor served as both a place of expression and escape for many gay men. It's this defining period in gay history that novelist Andrew Holleran highlighted in his 1978 novel, Dancer from the Dance.
Taking his title from poet William Butler Yeats's 50 year-old line, "How can we know the dancer from the dance?" Holleran attempted to examine this brain-twister in his chronicle of gays looking for companionship and understanding in pre-AIDS New York City and Fire Island, by focusing on the misadventures of his beautiful yet provincial protagonist Anthony Malone, who loses himself in the shuffle and shag club scene.
Thirty years later, the Honey Soundsystem collective - DJs Pee Play, KenVulsion, Robot Hustle, Jason Kendig, and Josh Cheon - took cues from this groundbreaking work for their most recent theme party.
Transforming a basement segment of 1015 Folsom, the onetime Sutro Baths into a '70s-era gay disco, guest DJs spun a mixture of artists mentioned in Holleran’s book - including Patti Jo and Barrabas - along with other disco classics and Chicago house tracks for the handlebar-moustached crowd.
The genres were tied together by KenVulsion's video projection installation, which juxtaposed images of '90s rave-era “Malones” against the rare 27-minute single "Patchwork Symphony" by San Francisco electronic music pioneer Patrick Cowley, who died of HIV in the early '80s.
But it was a sexy Studio 54-esque performance piece that finally shed light on the night’s question. Searching for lasting partners in da clubs is a fruitless endeavor if one is unable to first divorce oneself from the dance - or nightlife’s many temptations.