This time of year really ramps up for any queen involved in music and the gay community. This month alone, I've got five gigs, two floats, and three Pride parties, and all of them need a Pride theme. So as I get knee deep in Donna and Whitney remixes, I thought I'd share with you some of my key tracks I'll be playing as you're sipping your blue mimosa and watching Dykes on Bikes roll by in 90-degree heat.
This summer is all about bringing the '90s house riff back. Every DJ has been reloading their Robin S., 49ers and Electribe 101 back into their mix. However, you don't have to dip into Howard Brown's 12" bin to get your '90s on. The debut album from Bright Light, Bright Light is rife with '90s house rhythms, including the MARRS-meets-Good-Vibrations-infused "Feel It," which starts with a pretty T-dance-style vibe with singer Rod Thomas vocalizing pure love optimism: "Give me something to dream about, and be the reason the lights go out." But gradually the track goes from Erasure-like pop to full-tilt diva as Rod adds a Martha Wash level screaming girl singer over a building floor-burning beat erupting in sheer joy, with Rod shouting, "Just open up your lips and say you LOVE ME!".
While we're high on that beat, head over to Gossip's new collection, A Joyful Noise. Their most clubby collection yet, the new album is a fusion of their last pop album with singer Beth Ditto's '90s house EP from last year. Besides the perfect new single "A Perfect World," I'd spin "Get Lost," her take on the theme of Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive." "Get Lost" is one of those great dance cuts that empowers, exorcizes, and yet makes you feel completely lost in the euphoria. With every build of that house piano your hands raise further and further into the sky 'til you're totally caught up in it.
Missing Robyn while she's working on new music? I've got your Swedish fix. Seek out the female duo Icona Pop's new single "I Love It!" These girls have more attitude than a truckload of Ke$has and twice the talent. "I Love It!" screams in your face like a metal song, but with a dance core. And the lyrics sound like they were written by the cast of Bad Girls Club: "I got this feeling on the summer day when you were gone. I crashed my car into the bridge. I watched, I let it burn. I threw your shit into a bag and pushed it down the stairs. I crashed my car into the bridge. I don't care. I love it!"
I'm not done with the Swedes yet; they're on a roll. Eurovision Song Contest winner Loreen has blow me away with the Calvin Harris-tipped floor burner "Euphoria." Imagine Rihanna or Usher's hottest dance cuts with a Celine Dion soaring vocal over the top. This girl and her team pull out all the dancefloor tricks for this surprise hit: War of the Worlds foghorns, strings, Sandstorm beats shout back to Mel C. and Sonique in style. Completely addicting, and well, euphoric.
Kylie Minogue knows her gays well enough to know we need a summer jam even if she's not doing a real album this year. Off her new collection, Kylie's first single is the infections "Timebomb." While admittedly its Kylie-by-numbers formula hearkens back to about three of her other tracks from the past 10 years, this pop nugget seeps into your mind like an earworm in at least three listens. But I don't need to sell you on Kylie, Madonna, Carly Rae or Rihanna in this column, so I'll move on to MY pick as this year's Summer Pride Anthem…
…"Let's Have a Kiki" by the Scissor Sisters. If you're a fan you'll know two things: They're annoyingly playing live the night of Pride, and Ana Mantronic's role in SS has been pruned down to a nub with every album out. This time around, the once-prominent female vocalist is a mere background prop to the Jake Shears solo show, with the exception of the B-side-esque "Let's Have a Kiki." Ana takes slang straight from the Village streets and plops it right in the heart of their album Magic Hour. At first the mostly talking track feels like a bonus track plopped on for Ana fans like me, but then you realize it's the catchiest and most fun track on this whole album. While not a single, ask any queen in the know on the street if they wanna have a kiki, and they's say "lock The dooooor, hunty." Its funny, catchy, bitchy and all about summer and, like us, full of Pride and Love.
Have a safe and joyous Pride Weekend, hunty.
Catch Moose as he emcees and hosts Pride North after the parade on Glenwood Ave. at the Morse Red Line stop with Voxbox and Sixteen Candles performing!