INTERVIEW EXCLUSIVE: James Hillard of HORSE MEAT DISCO Talks Grade A Organic Music

11 09 2011

James Hillard (left) and his Horse Meat Disco stable

Best to have things to get your mind off the day-to-day and what better way to do that than loose yourself in a little music and conversation, right?

Enter HORSE MEAT DISCO and their third compilation release. DAA gave you a review of it earlier this year HERE and we thought it best to follow it up with some choice thoughts from one fine stallion from the HMD collective JAMES HILLARD and some FREE downloads you can nab at the end of this post. Huzzah!

And awaaaaay we go … Read the rest of this entry »


Matt Alber’s Cover of Missing is Missing Nothing

18 07 2011

Most songs come and go in and out of your life and your ears, but some linger, some become legendary in your heart. When I moved away from St. Louis to Chicago in the 90’s leaving my friends and family, this became not only legendary, but my all time favorite song.

Everything But the Girl originally recorded Missing for their Amplified Heart CD, a transitional album away from their “Sunday Brunch” sound of the late 80’s, early 90’s to a more contemporary but still soft sound. It debuted to little fanfare but to their die hard fans like me who’d bought their 8 previous albums and loved every one. From the Smiths-like sound of the first 2, to the Swing Out Sister vibe of the middle period, to their minor hit, Driving, a VH-1/soft jazz staple I’d love every one of their eras. Now it seams they were trying to get a bit serious without trying to seem to young. It didn’t work. Until Todd Terry remixed the single for Missing.

After the remix hit the club, it hit the radio and hit the world. Going #1 in Germany and #2 in the US it would be their biggest hit and be remixed and remade many times over the years (most recently by Fedde LeGrand). EBTG went on to embrace this sound with the heavily electronic two following CDs, and Ben Watt and Tracey Thorn’s solo careers which have been primarily house and electronic respectively.

Forward 15 years and DJ Saul Ruiz meets classically trained vocalist Matt Alber. Alber, hot on the heals of hit album, Hide Nothing, due to the single End Of The World was riding high and prepping for his new CD when Ruiz walked in with an idea to cover Missing, followed by a proposed EP of other covers in the dance vein. Unlike Ben and Tracey’s version, Saul’s version is recorded as a dance track, forcing Matt to record it as such unlike EBTG’s which was remixed later. And the result is no less beautiful. Saul’s version, which takes the Todd Terry approach of less is more and sexy is best, caresses Matt’s silky vocals never overtaking. Matt’s appoach is not trying to be Tracey Thorn but to be Matt in his signature seductive manner, without ever sounding too morose for the dancefloor. That is until his otherworldly wail before and after the bridge like a ghost in the night. Nice touch.

The EP, out now (click on the graphic) contains 4 remixes. The best of which is Hector Fonseca’s soaring and epic remix and Saul’s own Peak Hour Mix. Saul told me earlier today he and Matt are working currently on doing a few more covers for a planned EP. Next on the list, Fleetwood Mac’s legendary dreams. Are they stalking my Best Of All Time playlist or what?!

P.S. You can preorder Matt’s long desired second album here for a short time

Saul Ruiz feat. Matt Alber’s Missing (Original Mix)

NOW Coldplay’s new track sounds interesting!

11 07 2011

Oy, who's up for a dance?

After uberstar Beyonce phoned it it with the embarrassing “4” and Gaga and Britney did straightforward club albums with no depth, I was not happy to hear the bland new Coldplay single, fearing even the always reliable Brits had taken a figurative creative Summer off as well. While the single, Every Waterfall Is a Teardrop, was bland as dry toast, the Swedish House Mafia remix is turning me OUT! Can’t wait till the full version leaks is available to buy legally. I’m all over it.

What are the chances Chris Martin and the boys will put out a full dance album?

Chicago Pride Guide for the Gay Tourist

23 06 2011

Welcome to Dancing About Architecture. I see you’re in for pride. Your Melissa Etheride ’97 tour shirt tells me you may be here for music as well as getting your gay on. Glad to see you know that Pride is not only a great time to see a cross section of the Midwest gays or good lesbian spotting, but also a chance to see some great live music over the weekend.
Pride Weekend used to just be about the parade on Sunday, leaving the other days open for you to troll the bars. One year our pals at Northalsted Area Merchants Association decided a Pridefest, in the style of the successful Milwaukee one was just the thing. They were right. After a few shaky years, they seemed to have started to bring it. This year they’ll be bringing you stars like Ultra Nate and Deborah Cox on Friday night; Mya, Kim English, Crystal Waters and Kim English on Saturday. While a little 90’s diva heavy in my opinion, you can’t deny the star power and consistency, especially when there’s drag shows in between each act. If you need a break from all that weave, take a break and come with me and catch Chicago crowd pleasers 16 Candles and Rock Candy. So tasty.
A little drunk now on the music and warm Miller Lite? Let’s dance! You can hit some of boystown’s best clubs with the locals. Start at Scarlet where early is best and the DJ’s are always edgy and addicting. When Scarlet closes, you can go South for avant-guard craziness at Berlin, or more straightforward top-notch spinning at Hydrate. Don’t stay out too too late, the parade is the next day.

Post parade, I’ll give you two amazing options. You can follow me up North and avoid the bars and messiness for Pride North, a one night street party featuring live music by 16 Candles with opening DJ Voxbox and hosted by ME! If you’re not ready to pass out, join the legendary Circuit Mom as he presents Revolution, a new dawn in dance parties featuring DJ Brett Henderson and Matthew Harvat’s always stunning visuals. If you make it out of Chicago unstimulated by all this audio, don’t say I didn’t try! Thanks for coming, girl!

Cocaine Blues, Escorts, and Other Obsessions for Summer

10 06 2011

Not going to get too wordy here as I’m all about the fun today! It’s fucking Friday of Midsommarfest Weekend!  Every so often a key disco track hits me hard. So hard, I have to listen to it over and over and over till I’ve built up a tiny cult to worship it with me. Today I logged onto The W’s site, Symmetry Sounds (thanks for the tip, Dane!) and by the third track in the Wet Deck playlist, I found my love. Escort’s Cocaine Blues takes me right back to the disco I don’t remember: Rufus, The Cruisaders, Odyssey.

“A chick in a car and the car won’t go, that’s how we spell Chicago!”

Live is even hotter:

You can get the single legit free at their site


A couple others that have come before:


Putting the Night On Hold by Lauren Grey

Love Sensation 2006 by Lolleata Holloway

Out of Control featuring Paul Parker by Wolfram

Kerli: Some Euro-beats For Your Maifest Weekend!

2 06 2011

Here’s 2 fun, eurotastic remixes by Estonia pop singer/Traci Lords illegit daughter Kerli. I really dug her first album in 2008, just for its pop rock silliness. Now it seems she’s gone a bit more dance with her next step, Army of Love. Army came out earlier this year, but bolstered by her #1 position on Billboard’s Dance Chart, some fun remixes are dribbling, not leaking out to you.

Click on the down arrow on each for a free mp3:

new remix!


11 05 2011

(that's us but we're not married)

Just a decade ago, gay weddings seemed to be nothing more than an ordained lesbian friend officiating a spiritual ceremony for a few friends and your dog. Now, with many states legalizing and Illinois making baby steps, the fancy invites are rolling in and weekends are getting booked with gay weddings rivaling the spectacle of their hetero counterparts. Now I, at one time DJed weddings back in college, some bad, some good, some country, and I always stuck with a few rules and songs I refused to play out of principle. Flash forward 20ish years and it may be time to update that list.

No Play Zone:

  • Celebration by Kool & The Gang (replace with Madonna’s Celebrate). Nothing is more embarrassing than 15 African American men with no funk (also see later Commodores). This turd of a song was cute for a hot minute with it’s “Wa-Hoo!” chorus, but years and Cubs games have passed and its more cringe worthy than dance worthy.
  • Love Shack by B-52’s: Just have the DJ sample “Tin Roof, Rusted!” a 100 times. That’s all they’re waiting for anyway.  Or try the equally campy Groove Is In the Heart by Deeelite.  Diiig!!
  • Electric Slide or Cha Cha Slide (replace with any party rap track like Soulja Boy): Two great examples of bad funk for dumb white people.  Don’t do it, you’ll embarrass yourself. While Soulja Boy’s Crank Dat is equally terrible, at least its current. We’ll add it to the list in 10 more years.
  • We Are Family by Sister Sledge (replace with Family Affair by MJ Blige). No reason, Mary J just says Crunk like 100 times. Mix into her version of 50 Cent’s In Da Club.
  • The mother of all cliché’s YMCA by the Village People. These queens couldn’t be out at the time so straight folks, of course, loved them.  Replace with anything fun by OUT artists: Junior Senior, Elton, Ru, Jonny McGovern, or the late great Sylvester!  Do U Wanna Funk? Yes, but let’s do it right!  It’s OUR turn to create wedding cliché’s. Bring on the Gaga!