DJ and dancing on deck for all vinyl DICKSCO cruising party
DJ Connie Kway-Lewd returns for December 17 DICKSCO!
DJ Connie Kway-Lewd returns Sunday, December 17, 2023 for DICKSCO, and afternoon and evening Sunday Bunday dancing and cruising party. DICKSCO takes place inside the backroom bar
A Boystown Sunday tradition is getting a big change this week.
For the first time in its five year history, Cell Block’s Sunday Bunday party will have a live DJ playing the sounds that folks can dance, cruise, and…connect to inside the bar’s backroom spaces.
DJ Connie Kway-Lewd, also known as Rogers Park resident Leo Meere, takes the decks at Sunday Bunday’s DICKSCO this Sunday, November 19. Meere will make his Chicago DJ debut with an all disco, all vinyl set.
“I’ll play what gay men and queer folks were actually dancing to at the time,” Meere promises while referring to disco’s first rise to pop culture prevalence in the mid 1970s.
“DISCO IS IN OUR QUEER DNA”
Disco connects gay men and LGBTQ folks, Meere surmises.
“There’s something about cruising in the backroom of a leather bar on a Sunday afternoon that taps into our queer DNA. The ability to do this is something that’s pretty unique to the queer community and we are fortunate enough to live in a place that has venues like Cell Block which give folks the opportunity to do that,” he says.
The gay men and queer folks who show up Sunday for DICKSCO will hear a curated mix of selections that showcase the sonic diversity of disco’s wide genre.
Classic disco records run the sonic gamut from full big band orchestrations to heavy R&B and funk.
Meere, a professional pianist and organist, wants to make sure folks who come through for DICKSCO get to hear it all.
“I love everything from overly orchestrated TSOP and Salsoul to the primitive synth sounds from Giorgio Moroder and Patrick Cowley to the boogie funk and hi-NRG which sprouted after disco supposedly died. And I want to play it all,” he says.
For all his encyclopedic knowledge of classic disco recordings, Meere’s love of the genre really began on a dance floor during a San Francisco trip.
“I saw fliers for this disco reunion party. These folks went into the space which had been the Trocadero Transfer nightclub in the 70s and 80s and brought back one of the original djs and put up some of the original lighting,” he remembers.
“It was an amazing experience. The only thing close to queer disco I had ever experienced was retro night on Tuesdays at a gay club in DC where I was living at the time. It was always the same handful of songs every week. This was a totally different experience,” recalls Meere.
After that night, Meere says he was hyper focused on learning all he could about disco and its much gayer roots.
“Soundtrack to queer liberation”
Like so many of us, Meere’s knowledge of disco began with the popular iconography of “Saturday Night Fever” and fingers pointed diagonally out of polyester suits. Meere says he likes all that but strongly prefers to celebrate and preserve the queer, underground roots which eventually grew into the late 70s disco zeitgeist.
“Disco was the soundtrack to that golden age of queer liberation in the years between Stonewall and the AIDS epidemic. This music allows us to access the energy of those folks and that period,” he says.
“I love queening out and twirling to some swirling strings. I love the production values. I love screaming divas. I love mindlessly repetitive studio singers. I love the retro-futurism of primitive synths.