Right now, as community members across the U.S. watch their state representatives continue to wrangle with the issue of marriage equality, many of those opposed to it still insist on focusing on the morality of “the act,” the dirty deed, the bedsheet scenery, as if the concept of love, or the longing for it, was lost on an entire segment of the population.
More disturbing to me is the insistence of some media outlets to obsess over the sexual behavior buried within the equal marriage argument rather than taking the time to understand the legislation and weed out the carefully crafted language that amounts to nothing short of fear and hate. To discover such ignorance and flippancy masquerading as news is not only disheartening, it’s disturbing — and sad.
When I started DJ-ing at local gay clubs 20 years ago in Santa Fe, it was, in part, about the music. Looking back, however, I realize that the major draw for me was knowing that I had a safe place to go. My coworkers, bosses, and most listeners had my back, despite the slow evolution of LGBTQ acceptance here at the time.
It would be disingenuous to deny the sexually charged atmosphere that blasting techno and diva house — with the aid of two Technics turntables and two first-wave Denon CD mixers— created. But it would also be a shame to deny the fact that, through this small community of turntablists, I learned how to love and accept myself more and to stop being so damn afraid.
A great part of that budding fearlessness came from watching the personal and professional trajectory of people like DJ-producer Melanie Moore, whose Sex on Vinyl Valentine’s Day-themed parties have rocked Santa Fe for nearly a decade. At 9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9, Moore and her collaborators present the 8th annual Sex on Vinyl Valentine’s Show at Rouge Cat (101 W. Marcy St., 983-6603), and this year, they fly a banner reading, “Anything Is Possible.”
Moore and her annual stable of DJs display the kind of camaraderie and creative syncopation that speaks to the power of being a good listener. Multiple DJs perform and play off each other on at least four turntables, and as the night progresses, the number of DJs and turntables fluctuates— five DJs on eight turntables! It’s like a beat-based game of Hot Potato, and the players are insanely talented.
There’s Moore, of course, and her longtime co-conspirator Donovan, as well as Rouge Cat mainstay DJ Oona and Albuquerque dance-floor maven Reverend Mitton, who flips his switches at Burque’s Blackbird Buvette and Rouge Cat with regularity. This year, San Francisco-based DJ Sean Cusick makes his Sex on Vinyl debut. Cusick has a storied past: Sasha and Digweed, Josh Wink — he’s shared the stage with many, but he’s an artist who has come into his own and knows how to juggle the beat potato hard. “Anything Is Possible” is draped in tradition, as Moore rolls out a club-design motif from Sex on Vinyl of years past. Hundreds of birds hang from trees above the dance floor — an ode to a vintage New Mexico Valentine’s Day card that shows two ravens perched together on a branch. But the theme of “Anything Is Possible” holds much more meaning for Moore this year.
On Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012, Moore and her life partner Maggie welcomed their twin daughters into the world. You see, in the face of so much ignorance, fearlessness prevailed. Despite a handful of people who would deny Moore and her partner the legal validation they so deserve, a loving family was created nonetheless.
Surrounding Melanie and Maggie and their brood now are the same people she came up with as a DJ. When a group of DJs shows more clarity of vision and compassion than those in power who pretend to have the community’s best interests at heart, it makes me wonder when that safe place will gain a little more acreage. In the meantime, I’ll have a lot of Sex. On Vinyl. Tickets for the 21-and-older event are $10 in advance with credit card by calling 920-1775, and $10 at the door.
— Rob DeWalt