Monday, September 7, 2009
photo credit: Dadisi Olutosin
This weekend the annual "House in the Park" festivities took place here in Atlanta. House music is a descendant of disco and has its origins in Chicago during the early eighties. It quickly spread to large cities like New York, Detroit and New Jersey. Initially music that was enjoyed in the underground club scene, by the late 80s many mainstream clubs in New York were playing the music consistently. House music is infused with elements of soul, R&B, disco and is held down with a heavy percussion beat. It is funky music that is guaranteed to make you move.
House music has played a tremendous role in my life. When I was a teenager I frequented the New York Club scene and just missed enjoying dancing to house at the Paradise Garage in New York which many consider the birthplace of House music in NYC. But you could find me at The World, The Sound Factory, The Tunnel, The Red Zone, The Palladium, Webster Hall (in the make-up room), The Shelter and in later years after graduating from college, The Tea Party in Brooklyn. I went to so many different clubs it is difficult for me to remember the names of them all. During college I have memories of taking a nap to wake up in the middle of the night to go to Plastics, a club that opened at 1:00 am and went all night long.
Yes, I love House music and I rarely have an opportunity to go to a party and dance with other folks that appreciate this music. Attending a party filled with folks that appreciate "House Music" is like a gathering of kindred spirits. The music just moves you, one of the songs says "it will set you free" and every single time I dance to this music I lose myself in the rhythm and energy of the crowd. This music is appreciated by young and old, it is ageless and in my opinion timeless.
More than 20 years after its inception it is still going strong and the party in the park this weekend was a serious celebration. There had to be several thousand people in attendance, cooking out and enjoyed carefully prepared packed lunches with family and friends. On the dance floor I saw a babe in arms and people that had to be in their sixties - if not older. And we all were there to enjoy House. It was like a reunion for me, friends that I haven't seen since college were there and I was completely overjoyed.
My good friend Yolanda was on the dance floor with her kids who are 11 and 14 and they all were having a great time. I recalled the days when she and I were in college and danced the night away without thought of the children in our future. It truly was an event that was not to be missed. Great music, dancing, and fellowship. A beautiful celebration to end the summer.
Not familiar with House music? Take a listen to Barbara Tucker's Beautiful People.
Or the classic, Marshall Jefferson's "House Music Anthem"