Wire review + Tidal playlist

Still physical, still sharp as nails, Wire magazine has published a super-generous review of Life and Death on the NY Dance Floor that’s left me wondering if it can really be my work that’s being referred to. Niels Van Tomme writes:

“Life and Death on the New York Dance Floor is a remarkably intense piece of ‘community writing’. It breathes life into an iconic historical epoch and sociocultural scene without ever retreating into nostalgia or naive celebration. […] In fact, there’s something unexpectedly electrifying about reading Lawrence’s exceptionally well-researched historical studies [Love Saves the Day and Hold On to Your Dreams as well as L&D]. It is the sensation of remotely yet meaningfully becoming part of something hitherto only secretly known. One comes slowly yet unequivocally aware of how that specific era’s cultural and sociopolitical conditions, so thoroughly reconstructed in these works, resonate with the current sense of cultural and political impasse. […] Lawrence truly performs an act of captivating scholarship, without ever falling into the pitfalls of academic-speak. […] Lawrence is a master of relating these developments [Reaganomics, AIDS, the crack epidemic] to the sonic worlds other have shaped. Despite his narrative being shrouded in loss and anger, you walk away with the idea that ‘given the right conditions, a different city can exist’. This is both energising and politically apt, with that decade’s unscrupulous New York real estate mogul now dictating today’s unforgiving global political climate.”

On request I’ve written a short piece about the music of the 1980-83 era plus created a 46-track playlist for Tidal:

Between the Liner Notes interview

Matthew Billy, who tracked me down during my NYC L&D trip and interviewed me on my return to London, has published a radio doc about the history of disco, “The Dance Floor Doesn’t Lie”. It features the insights of the disco promoter legends Ray Caviano and Joseph Carvello plus added thoughts from me and co-host of Sound Opinions Jim DeRogatis. I haven’t had a chance to listen yet but the feedback on Ray’s FB page was very up:


New US Tour Dates

Besides my new tour dates in the US, it turns out I’ll be returning to Liverpool to speak about the book for the Sound of the City festival on 26 May. Pioneering early 1980s DJ Greg Wilson will be asking questions and throwing in some wisdom. The Human League, the Art of Noise and ACR are playing the night before so I’m glad we’ve got an early afternoon slot. Details to follow on that plus likely book talks in Vienna on 9 June and Warsaw on 10 June, with all info available here.

Saturday 18 March, Limerick, Mother Macs, followed by Backwards party (invite only)
Wednesday 19 April, Pittsburgh, Studio for Creative Inquiry, followed by an after-party at VIA
Saturday 22 April, Seattle, paper at EMP conference
Sunday 23 April, San Francisco, Alley Cat Books, followed by after-party
Monday 24 April, San Francisco, Vinyl Dreams, followed by Christopher Orr DJ set
Tuesday 25 April, Riverside, University of California
Wednesday 26 April, Los Angeles, Mount Analog, inc possible live NTS stream
Thursday 27 April, University of Iowa
Friday 28 April, Iowa, Arthur Russell “Planting a Thought” symposium, Legion Arts
Monday 1 May, Jersey City Free Public Library
Tuesday 2 May, Boston, UMass Boston Campus Center 3540
Friday 26 May, Liverpool, Sound of the City festival
Friday 9 June, Vienna, tbc
Saturday 10 June, Warsaw, tbc