Barring perhaps a handful of isolated individuals, the dance music industry is populated by a loose collective of the immensely frazzled and substantially talented.
When promotional ability is typically measured by the intensity of the vibe inside a club a certain lateralness in the worldview of the industry leaders can be expected. Extreme personality traits are appreciated for their entertainment value and tolerance of diversity is not only admirable but required in the course of one’s daily duties.
So when the dance music industry stands up and accuses another body of dangerous lunacy, it pays to take note of who the finger is being pointed at. Take a bow, the lawmakers of the United States.
Junior, probably not in a forest
US lobby groups ROAR!, the National Dance & Music Rights Alliance, with the support of the ACLU, Drug Policy Alliance, and the D.C. Nightlife Coalition got together with Junior Vasquez, Jesse Saunders, Polywog, and D:Fuse and 2000 supporters at Upper Senate Park to protest at the likely consequences of a proposed legislation with wording so broad if applied universally the organisers and sponsors of every party you’ve been to this year could be prosecuted.
John Murph of www.Metroweekly.com explains:
Although, the [recently-passed] RAVE Act is considerably watered-down compared to its original draft, two new threatening bills have been introduced. The CLEAN-UP Act (Clean, Learn, Educate, Abolish, Neutralize and Undermine Production of Methamphetamines Act) and the Ecstasy Awareness Act make the club owners, event promoters and sponsors even more liable for the illegal drug use of their patrons. The CLEAN-UP Act would hold concert promoters in violation if they know or "reasonably ought to know" that someone will use illegal drugs at their events, while the Ecstasy Awareness Act would make it a federal crime, punishable up to 20 years in prison or up to $2,000,000 in fines, to profit "monetarily" from a rave or similar event, knowing or "reasonably ought to know" that illegal drug use and trafficking are taking place at the event.
As that kid on the Sopranos would say, that’s dicked up. Main man Junior Vasquez is of the opinion thse statutes would land his ass in jail. Here he speaks to Space-Ibiza.com about the event last Saturday.
How did the music event + rally go?
: I had a good time, though before I got to DC I was apprehensive about what I had gotten myself into. It was great to see that everyone who was there realized that being an ACTIVIST about our music being attacked is crucial right now.
Who were the main speakers? What did they say?
I didn’t hear the speakers, but I was told that they got everyone fired up.
Who played? Was it a good party? Any problems with the police?
I don’t know who else played, except some Abraham Lincoln-looking lesbian or something after me. No problems with the cops here – they were apparently too busy shutting down the clubs to make it to the protest.
Who organised it? Why did you decide to do it?
Eric Tomasi put it all together. My manager and I face more problems all the time when we just try to have parties in NY, and I realized that this was getting out of hand. It’s our ability to enjoy music that was under attack.
Are drugs enough of a problem in the dance music scene in the to warrant this kind of legislation?
This isn’t the way.
Are drugs a problem in the US dance music scene?
Drugs are a problem in some clubs, but not worse than at concerts and at universities, where the police and narcs could much better spend their energies.
Is it wrong to take pills?
Without a prescription though.
Is it wrong to make money from people who take pills?
Yes, unless you’re a pharmacist.
What's the NY club scene like at the moment compared to how it was before?
It’s not as restrictive as it was under the last years of Giuliani’s administration, but the City still doesn’t seem to want going to nightclubs to be a fun and safe experience and a real tourist attraction to the millions of tourists who come to NY every year.
What's the San Francisco club scene like at the moment compared to how it was before?
Never been there.
What's the rest of the country like?
Probably even more miserable than NYC from what I’ve seen. Especially LA – how dreadful.
What will it be like if the legislation goes through?
Frightening, mostly because our civil rights will have been trampled.
What's your next move?
We’re starting a weekly afterhours at a much smaller, tighter, membership-only venue, but our mega-events with concert-style performances are still at various large venues in and around NYC.
More on www.juniorvasquezmusic.com/[/center]