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December 11, 2012 by joesonotheque

Maria’s Packaged Goods & Community Bar presents
Thursday, December 27 – 9PM-2AM – No cover
Featuring DJ Michael “Moc Artsy” Latham
960 W. 31st Street, Chicago, Il. 60608 – 773.890.0588 –

During the upcoming Christmas celebration of festive and lavish window displays, trees decorated with shinning baubles and crystalline garlands and houses illuminated with over-the-top indoor and outdoor lights that could be possibly be used to land aircraft, we pay tribute to one of rock and roll’s most garish, outrageous and extravagant musical manifestation, Glam Rock.

When the Rolling Stones concert at Altamont finally put the decade out of its misery, it was fitting that Mick Jagger had already moved on to his glam phase as he returned the intimidating stare of dead-end 60’s masculinity trained upon him by Hell’s Angels leader Sonny Barger. Glam had its origins in the late 60’s, but it would come to define the early 70’s and distinguish a new generation of pop music consumers, especially in the UK, that abandoned notions of authenticity in rock as blithely as it would abandon the conventional gender norms that had belied the progressive status of late 60’s rock.

Drawing inspiration from a vast field of influences that incorporated science fiction and fantasy, 1940’s Hollywood glamour, Weimar Republic cabaret and decadent Victorian symbolism in art and literature, Glam was a celebration of artifice and gleaming surfaces that could scoff derisively at the quaint notion of pale and slender British boys somehow inhabiting the genuine core of African American musical forms. The slightly older generation of musicians sought to turn “rock” into a very serious undertaking, no longer hiding their classical training in “progressive” rock bands that were often more properly regressive, or in the frequently ponderous and empty endless soloing of hard and acid rock.

Glam brought back the three minute song, the anthemic sing-a-long choruses, and the primal stomp of early rock ‘n’ roll, but looked back as well to the fluid sexuality of Little Richard and early Elvis Presley and not to the declarative masculinity of the blues. This was not a generation of musicians to turn “I’m a Man” into some kind of musical proving ground.

Glam did have its handful of older opportunists and bandwagon jumpers, of course, and the image of already middle-aged washouts like Alvin Stardust and Gary Glitter in full androgynous glory is as creepy as anything from a good horror film. Even the real artists of Glam, David Bowie and Marc Bolan, already had substantial career arcs by the time the picked up the eyeliner pencil and pulled on the platform boots, or in the case of David Bowie, modeled frocks and announced to the British press that he was gay. One of the enduring delights of Glam is its appropriation of gay culture–in the 1970’s still very much a post-war taboo–and the often uncomfortable displays of effeminacy in the straight boys of Slade or in Bowie’s brilliant guitarist Mick Ronson, or Roxy Music’s Geordie construction-worker drummer Paul Thompson.

In the US, the New York Dolls came more easily to their highly heterosexual drag, coming up as part of the Max’s Kansas City/Mercer Arts Center/Warhol factory milieu in which gender and sexual borders had long been dissolved. In California, glam centered on the Sunset Strip and drew in another storied veteran in the person of Kim Fowley, but the gender dysmorphia of glam proved intimidating enough to California culture that it would require actual women to adopt the banner, and thus was the world graced with the Runaways.

No less transformative was the influence of glam on established musicians like Mick Jagger, Rod Stewart or Roy Wood, and the effect this influence would have in the music of the Stones, the Faces, early ELO and Wizzard in the UK, and on Lou Reed, Iggy Pop and Alice Cooper in the States.

You will have a chance to experience all of this on a single night of non-stop solid gold easy action at Maria’s Packaged Goods and Community Bar on Thursday, December 27th as DJ Michael “Moc Artsy” Latham draws from an extensive collection of originals in an all vinyl night of endless Glam with GLAM, BAM, THANY YOU MA’AM! This gender-bending, carnivalesque musical movement intermingled the theatrics of a Broadway musical with the overt humor of roadshow burlesque (Olsen and Johnson’s anything-goes comedy Hellzapoppin’ can be sighted as an influence) paved the way for such artists like Prince, Marilyn Mason, Madonna and Lady Gaga, especially in their mixture of spectacular and androgyny.

We will start off the night with a DVD screening of “David Bowie and the Story of Ziggy Stardust.”, an hour-long BBC4 documentary that covers the first part of Bowie’s career from struggling solo artist until he killed his creation Ziggy Stardust. It also includes contributions from another giant of contemporary music, Elton John and many of Bowie’s contemporaries. During the DJ portion of the event we will be showing other Glam footage from artist including T. Rex and Roxy Music.


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