DJ Sprinkles, Francis Harris, Steve Mizek | Smart Bar | Dance | Chicago Reader
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DJ Sprinkles, Francis Harris, Steve Mizek Recommended Soundboard

When: Fri., Nov. 29, 10 p.m. 2013
Price: $15, $13 in advance
As an electronic musician and DJ who’s also busy as an author, lecturer, and activist with a focus on queer and transgender identity, Terre Thaemlitz is a walking rebuttal of the widespread misconception that dance music can’t be politically charged. Though Thaemlitz dabbles in a number of styles, on her excursions into house music (which she spins under the name DJ Sprinkles) she synchronizes her political and musical sensibilities in a smooth and crowd-pleasing manner. She’s a veteran of the 80s and 90s club scene, and her selections tend to be drawn from that era or emulate its sounds; as a result her mixes evoke the period during which house music and gay culture (and its politics) were becoming inextricably linked. The music of that era was often fiercely political—even though the messages were deeply, subtly coded—and Thaemlitz continues the tradition with mixes such as this year’s Where Dancefloors Stand Still, which behind its jacking beats is intended as a protest against restrictive antidance laws in Japan. She maximizes house’s transcendental-slash-euphoric aspects as well, so there’s a lot to enjoy even if you don’t have a revolutionary bone in your body. —Miles Raymer Francis Harris and Steve Mizek open.

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