“Lately” was screaming Sunday Funday, but when you realized how much dread comes with the start of the work week, lyrics like “Pussy This Good Don’t Wait Around For No Man” seemed perfect to start Monday off with a smile. Wigstock founder and drag legend (read more about that here ) Lady Bunny is known for her comedic performances and passionate love of vocal disco house. Working with duo Groove Addix, she brings the two together on “Lately,” a modern iteration of the man-done-me-wrong diva anthem. Perfectly fitting with the comeback of ’90s house, the track is happy, bouncy, and sounds classic while being updated with 2014 elements. As a singer, Bunny is surprisingly good, especially compared to the autotuned robotic vocals found on most drag queen-fronted dance tracks. Her voice has a touch of blue-eyed soul (as Dean Ferguson would say), tempered with playful fun. Hearing the robotic and echoed repeat vocal effects, you can picture the live performance (or music video). Just like many classic diva anthems, Bunny moves from singing to talking by addressing the audience, imploring them to take action and pass on the liberating lines, like the mentioned previously “Pussy This Good Don’t Wait Around For No Man.” For club action, a variety of mixes by Nik Denton, Vauxhall Boys, Rick Marshall, and Lam O’Connol will fit any commercial, house, or gay room. “Lately” is a fun, empowering record that is as serious as it is satirical. Good job, Bunny, and I can’t wait to see you perform it live.
Drag queens started the riots at Stonewall which launched the gay rights movement, yet over the years they’ve been marginalized by the “mainstream” gay movement and turned into glamorized dolls that lip-sync for tips. While an edgy queen pops up from time to time (and of course there are the genderqueer and radical faerie movements), it’s quite heartening to find someone use the power of drag (and dance music) to call attention for political action. With its ’90s eurotrash disco beats and earworm of a chorus, “Google Google Apps Apps” is the most entertaining treatise imaginable about the gentrification of the Bay Area. You’ve probably heard about the problem, a distressed area of a town has low rents, which attracts low income people who build it up over time. As things get nicer (or trendier), wealthier people come in to be part of the action and make the area unaffordable to the original people who made it cool. What happened to Williamsburg, Long Island City, and Astoria in New York is happening in the Bay Area. Using biting satire, Drag Queen Persia and visual artist collective Daddies Plastik repeat throughout the clip “I Wanna Be White” leading to a reworking of Madonna’s “Justify My Love” to “Gentrify My Love” for a parody which ranks up with Lady Bunny’s classic medleys. Even the title is a play on the oft-used Google Maps. While issues of gentrification and race might be a lot for Sunday Funday, it’s all about offending some people and making the laugh while getting a point across – so this NSFW clip has been on repeat for me since I first heard about it on Popbitch earlier this week.
Image courtesy of Persia.
What becomes a legend most? Lady Bunny jokes in her uproarious cabaret act that being labeled a legend is simply being dismissed as old. I beg to differ. A legend is a master of his/her craft who stands the test of time. With the barrage of songs being released from recent Drag Race alumni, leave it to a true artist/legend Lady Bunny to show them how it’s done. As a devotee of disco house songs with catchy vocals, she delivers what she loves with her new single “Take My Up High.” With nine remixes it’s hard to discern which is the original version, but I would venture to say that the jaunty retro disco affair by True2Life might be closest. Blending the Disclosure/Prince Club 90s house revival meme with a bit of bouncy hiNRG synths (and a touch of classic 2Step) makes the perfect track for Bunny’s sing-along vocals about having a good time, dancing at the club and partying with friends. While Bunny may not be a classically trained operatic diva, she can actually sing and her perky, fun performance sounds authentic and nuanced rather than like an Auto-Tuned robot. DJs wanting a harder, more big room/electro version should reach for the mixes by Timmy Loop and Edwin Reyes. Keeping the classic vibe firmly in place, Edson Pride brings back the energetic tribal style (before the pots and pans epidemic) and Julian Marsh revisits the land of swirling hiNRG with a touch of sleaze. “Take Me Up High” is a party song about being uplifted by happy music from the DJ. With all the darkness and sadness out there in the real world, shouldn’t the clubs be an escape full of happy, hand-in-the-air music?
Image Courtesy of Lybra