Browsing Category

Artist

Artist Current Event Holidays

Goodbye 2016

2016 Has been a really rough year

Beyond all of the politically motivated lies, distortions and animosity generated by the U.S. Presidential election, 2016 was intense, to say the least. My friend James passed away early in the year. His long battle with lung cancer and COPD sort of prepared us, but it was still shocking when his passing finally happened. He was one of the first people I met when I moved to San Francisco. While he hadn’t been a day-to-day friend for some years, he was still in the mix. I’ve thought about him quite often throughout the year, and for me, I’ll always remember 2016 as the year of James’ passing.

Good things happened in 2016, too.

One of the definite highlights of 2016 for me was the 25th anniversary of the Wicked Sound System. I’m proud of all that we’ve accomplished as a collective over the past quarter century. We held several events to celebrate our milestone, and it was awesome to see so many people that have supported us over the years. Wicked represents a community of like-minded, musically-focused people and we create a powerfully uplifting energy when we groove together. I’m looking forward to another 25 years of dance-magick with a touch of mayhem.

I’ve been interviewed for and featured in several documentary films. All of them are at various stages of production, but one finally had a premiere. I thought it was OK, but it reflected the filmmakers’ version of events and IMHO the story telling was tepid at best. I believe they received a lot of similar feedback because they told me the film is being recut. We shot my parts about 4 or 5 years ago, so it was cool to see the work come to fruition. I’m glad I got to go to the film festival and experience the premiere, overall, it was a great experience.

Another lovely but mainly bittersweet experience of 2016 was the memorial service for my friend James. His partner of 16 years did an excellent job of organizing everything through his grieving process. He had help, James had quite a few friends, and it was a beautiful and fitting tribute. We held the service in Golden Gate Park on a lovely spring day. It was sad, and I cried more than a few times that day, but it was so nice to reconnect with people I haven’t seen live and in person for years. As much as I love the Internet and social media for keeping in touch with far-flung friends, nothing beats being together IRL.

I had a lot of fun traveling in 2016. I got to reconnect with friends in the Mid-West, and I even met some new friends. It was busy, but still an exciting summer for me.

In Autumn of 2016, I focused mainly on work. One of the highlights was participating in my first NaNoWriMo. I met some interesting writers, and I won NaNo by writing 50,000 words in the 30 days of November. To document the project, I set up a YouTube channel and that has been a cool experience. I was in the AV club in Junior High and the video club in High School. I went to film school for a couple of years before dropping out for financial reasons. It’s been exciting to see how the technology has evolved. Production and editing are so much easier now, and I’m learning a lot about the platform and the medium.

Music Lost Some Luster

IDK if this is a comprehensive list of those who passed in 2016, but it sure made me sad to compile it.

From my world of late night dancing:
David Bowie, David Mancuso (DJ & Pioneer of NYC Dance Culture), Colonel Abrams (House Music artist).

From my world of 80’s classics:
Prince Rogers Nelson (better known as Prince)m Denise Matthews (aka Vanity), John Berry (Beastie Boys). As well as Pete Burns (Dead or Alive) and George Michael (Wham!).

From my world of 90’s classics:
Attrell Cordes (aka Prince Be from P.M. Dawn), and Malek Isaac Taylor (aka Phife Dawg from A Tribe Called Quest).

From my world of black radio:
Nicholas Caldwell (Whispers), Maurice White (Earth, Wind & Fire), Joey Feek (Joey + Rory), Leon Haywood (The singer is best known for, ‘I Want’a Do Something Freaky to You’). Also, Bernie Worrell (Parliament-Funkadelic), Juan Gabriel, Prince Buster (original pioneer of Ska music),

From the realm of, I never knew how much I should have appreciated you:
Rod Temperton (Band member of Heatwave; Songwriter who penned ‘Thriller,’ ‘Rock With You,’ ‘Off the Wall,’ ‘Give Me the Night,’ ‘Boogie Nights,’ ‘Always and Forever’).

From my world of Baby Boomer Rock:
Glenn Frey (Eagles), Signe Andersen (Jefferson Airplane), Paul Kantner (Jefferson Airplane), Greg Lake (Emerson, Lake & Palmer), Keith Emerson (Emerson, Lake & Palmer).

While their work doesn’t personally resonate with me, the world also lost Leonard Cohen, Leon Russell, Gato Barbieri, Sharon Jones, Lemmy from Motorhead, and Merle Haggard.

Connect with Q

I won #NaNoWriMo2016 by writing the first 50,000 words of the first draft of my current work in progress #WiP. You can follow the development of this project on my YouTube channel

Otherwise, if you have a question or comment, please connect with me on one of these social platforms:

Quartknee is an internationally beloved author, storied entertainer, and legendary night-life impresario. He’s also a prominent aesthete and all around tall guy.
Artist Current Event News

RIP: Alexis Arquette

Rest In Peace - Rest In Power

Alexis Arquette died today

Alexis made her transition surrounded by family in the late night hours of September 11, 2016. We were quite friendly for several decades and it was extremely shocking news to wake up to this morning. Continue Reading

Quartknee is an internationally beloved author, storied entertainer, and legendary night-life impresario. He’s also a prominent aesthete and all around tall guy.
Artist Concerts

Albums are a fading barometer.

This week I was reminded of how irrelevant albums have become. Back in the day, they were kind of shoved down our throats and albums were the only way to get certain cuts by favorite artists.

There are relatively few albums that I would never fast forward less than two or three songs. So out of all the albums I’ve purchased over the years, the skip-to-listen ratios were always quite high. Continue Reading

Mister Cue is a former DJ, remixer, music producer and nightlife entrepreneur who now mentors up-and-coming talent as a life-coach and consultant.
Artist Current Event

A Post-Prince World

prince dearly beloved banner

Like many people, I’m still coming to grips with the passing of Prince. Dave Chappell called it “The Black 9/11” and it certainly feels like the same kind of earth shattering occasion with such a poignant sense of loss that touches every aspect of my world. Music means so much to me, and to many people #SoundtrackToMyLife Continue Reading

Mister Cue is a former DJ, remixer, music producer and nightlife entrepreneur who now mentors up-and-coming talent as a life-coach and consultant.
Artist Current Event

The Kingdom of Music Has Lost its PRINCE

Prince, the musical megastar is dead at 57. It’s an unbelievable shock to think of a world without his light, love, truth and beauty. He brought so much joy to the lives of so many and it seems like the whole world is mourning his passing. Continue Reading

Mister Cue is a former DJ, remixer, music producer and nightlife entrepreneur who now mentors up-and-coming talent as a life-coach and consultant.
Artist

Prince’s Purple Reign

On this day in 1984, Purple Rain by Prince began its 24 week run at top of the album chart. It’s tied for 6th longest chart topper of all-time!

Mister Cue is a former DJ, remixer, music producer and nightlife entrepreneur who now mentors up-and-coming talent as a life-coach and consultant.
Artist

RIP Tony De Vit

Rest In Peace - Rest In Power

14 years ago today Tony De Vit made his transition to the other side of Life. Tony was a British club DJ, Producer and Remixer. He was also one of the first gay friends I met when I moved to London.

His single “Burning Up” reached number 25 in the UK Singles Chart in March 1995, with “To The Limit” making number 44 in September 1995. When I arrived his star was on the rise but he was always so friendly and nice – not just to me, but to everyone.

He is widely credited with helping to take the “Hard house” and faster “Hard NRG” sounds out of the London gay scene and into mainstream clubs.

So many young producers now seem to be rediscovering the sounds of that era. Tony was such a musical innovator and a total sweetheart – he remains gone but not forgotten!

Quartknee is an internationally beloved author, storied entertainer, and legendary night-life impresario. He’s also a prominent aesthete and all around tall guy.
Artist News

RIP Robin Gibb

Rest In Peace - Rest In Power

The Brothers Gibb, aka The Bee Gees brought the underground sound of black disco to a largely white mainstream audience which paved the way for so many artists to cross over to the pop charts.

In many ways the homophobic disco backlash in the early 80’s helped obscure many of Robin’s contributions to music but not for long as the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.

I was shocked when his fraternal twin Maurice died in 2003. As a twin myself I could only imagine the horrific grief he must have felt. When they announced a new Bee Gees tour a couple of years ago I thought it was amazing that he could be so resilient and it’s so tragic that he’s gone now too.

Quartknee is an internationally beloved author, storied entertainer, and legendary night-life impresario. He’s also a prominent aesthete and all around tall guy.
Artist News

RIP Donna Summer

Rest In Peace - Rest In Power

Undeniably talented but such a conflicted character. As the “Queen of Disco” Donna Summer was a gay icon. As a reborn Christian she said some amazingly ignorant things about gay people. When the gay backlash began she began to deny that she ever said that AIDS was a punishment from God for the immoral lifestyles of homosexuals. She wrote letters to Act-Up and the Advocate Magazine but the gay boycott was in full effect. From 1987 to 2012 I never heard a Donna Summer song ever played in a gay bar, restaurant or dance club.

During her “Geffen Years” which coincided with the height of the boycott, she released the single “Dinner With Gershwin” and I heard it on the radio while driving around LA. I always liked that song but because of what she allegedly said I couldn’t bring myself to buy the single. Even now, decades later it’s still painful to think about how the allegations affected all my sick friends, now dead, who loved her music in the late 70’s and early 80’s.

The statements alleged to be hers were quite common from the “reborn” at that time. There was much fear and loathing not just of gay people but also of the newly discovered disease of AIDS which seemed to only affect gay people as far as the mainstream media was concerned. I will never know for sure if she was misquoted or if her denials were motivated by commerce or conviction. I do know that my friend Charles died believing she turned her back on people like him who loved her so much. I also know that to this day, I can’t hear a Donna Summer song without thinking about Charles.

Such an amazing talent, squandered by personal demons… hopefully now she can finally be at peace.

Quartknee is an internationally beloved author, storied entertainer, and legendary night-life impresario. He’s also a prominent aesthete and all around tall guy.
Artist Current Event

Whitney’s Same-Sex Relationship Explains A Lot

Finally someone in the media remembers and acknowledges Whitney’s bisexual moments:

Whitney Houston’s relationship with Robyn Crawford does much to explain her tragic life and death.

Whitney was happiest and at the peak of her career when she was with Robyn. Sadly, she suffered family and church pressure to end her greatest love of all. Continue Reading

Quartknee is an internationally beloved author, storied entertainer, and legendary night-life impresario. He’s also a prominent aesthete and all around tall guy.
Artist Concerts

Subway Violin

violin subway joshua bell

A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that 1,100 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

Three minutes went by, and a middle aged man noticed there was musician playing. He slowed his pace, and stopped for a few seconds, and then hurried up to meet his schedule.

A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping, and continued to walk.

A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work. Continue Reading

Quartknee is an internationally beloved author, storied entertainer, and legendary night-life impresario. He’s also a prominent aesthete and all around tall guy.
Artist News

RIP Whitney Houston

Rest In Peace - Rest In Power

After the erroneous Internet reports of Jon Bonjovi turned out to be false, I was reluctant to believe that Whitney Houston died tonight. When someone so young dies it’s shocking but in her case, it’s also not very surprising. I feel she kind of died inside years ago.

Such an amazing talent, squandered by personal demons… hopefully now she can finally be at peace.

I wish Whitney listened to the lyrics of her song and let them lift her the way they’ve lifted me over the years.

This is probably my favorite Whitney song – def my fave mix:

Continue Reading

Quartknee is an internationally beloved author, storied entertainer, and legendary night-life impresario. He’s also a prominent aesthete and all around tall guy.
Artist

Top Ten With Ten+

Rihanna has just scored her eleventh pop chart #1, prompting an update in Billboard’s list of acts with ten or more chart-topping pop singles.

1. Beatles – 20
2. Mariah Carey – 18
3. Elvis Presley- 17
4. Michael Jackson – 13
5. Madonna – 12
6. The Supremes – 12
7. Whitney Houston – 11
8. Rihanna – 11
9. Janet Jackson – 10
10. Stevie Wonder – 10

NOTE: Paul McCartney has nine additional #1 singles as a member of Wings and as a part of duets with Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson. Similarly, Diana Ross had six number one pop singles as a solo act.

ALSO NOTE: Mariah Carey’s initial string of consecutive #1 singles is highly questioned by some, as at the time she was romantically involved with Sony president Tommy Mottola, who dumped millions of Carey’s singles into the retail market at hugely discounted prices. Those singles often sold for 99 cents at retail when other releases were selling for three to four times that much. I’d love to see her get three more and show all the H8ers that she earned her place in history.

Quartknee is an internationally beloved author, storied entertainer, and legendary night-life impresario. He’s also a prominent aesthete and all around tall guy.
Artist

Thank You Shakespeare

So many common phrases and idiomatic expressions in English come from the works of Shakespeare… here are just a few:

Seen better days

Too much of a good thing

Send him packing

Laughing stock

Wear your heart on your sleeve

Continue Reading

Quartknee is an internationally beloved author, storied entertainer, and legendary night-life impresario. He’s also a prominent aesthete and all around tall guy.
Artist Birthdays

Happy Birthday Sylvester

Sylvester James known as a one-name artist, Sylvester, was an American disco and soul singer, and a gay drag performer. He was sometimes known as the “Queen of Disco,” although that moniker has also been bestowed on some of the best known women of the disco era (i.e. Gloria Gaynor, Donna Summer).

He’s probably best known for his exploits in the milieu at the I-Beam Disco and his many collaborations with Patrick Cowley. His most significant works are the songs “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)”, “Dance (Disco Heat)” (both 1978) and “Do You Wanna Funk” (1982).

Sadly Sylvester made his transition in December of 1988 and I never got to meet him but I have met many of his friends and I-Beam family and I’ve always loved hearing stories about his fabulous life and amazing music.

 

Happy Birthday
Sylvester!

Continue Reading

Mister Cue is a former DJ, remixer, music producer and nightlife entrepreneur who now mentors up-and-coming talent as a life-coach and consultant.
Artist

A Hall & Oates Kinda Day

A friend IM’ed me this morning asking how my day was going and I replied, “It’s a Hall and Oates kinda day”. Apparently unfamiliar with their body of work, my friend wanted an explanation…

SRSLY – it’s a mellow Saturday – do I really need to explain the finer nuances of Soft Rock and it’s place in the Adult Contemporary landscape?

When he asked what my ‘favorite’ song by the band is, I couldn’t decide. They have so many songs that I enjoy so I checked the play counts to see which songs I listen to most. Play counts don’t lie. Apparently it’s a tie between two songs that shocked me…

Continue Reading

Quartknee is an internationally beloved author, storied entertainer, and legendary night-life impresario. He’s also a prominent aesthete and all around tall guy.
Artist Birthdays

Happy Birthday To Cathy Dennis

I’ve been lucky to have met all the famous people I’ve ever want to, except for Cathy Dennis. Of course it helps that I was never fascinated with film stars and never cared to meet Hollywood A-Listers or people like that.

I’ve loved Cathy’s music since she first burst on to the nascent British House Music scene with D-Mob back in the 80’s. Since then I’ve become enthralled with her song writing ability – she’s had her finger on the pulse of dance pop for decades.

Continue Reading

Quartknee is an internationally beloved author, storied entertainer, and legendary night-life impresario. He’s also a prominent aesthete and all around tall guy.