Why disco, apart from that joke about the OFC? I have a vague idea of this as a real AU one day, with ideas of the characters there taking shape. Here's the project research so far, for anybody else who would like to know: what would this be like as a setting?
A handful of really good compilations allowing you to sample a broad range of disco
- Disco Discharge
- 30 discs of collector's finest picks, themed collections including gay disco, disco ladies, disco exotica, etc
- David Mancuso Presents the Loft (vol 1&2)
- Music played at the original Loft parties, which inspired the disco movement
- A Tom Moulton Mix (2006) - Soul Jazz Records - and the Philly ReGrooved series - Harmless Records
- Moulton invented the extended-play club remix, and had a hand in many disco classics
- Cultures of Soul
- Label dedicated to re-releasing unusual, and particularly international, disco and dance song collections
- Love Saves the Day: A History of American Dance Music Culture, 1970-1979 - Tim Lawrence
- History of disco, centered around key DJs and nightclubs. Lawrence sets out to argue that disco is a radical underground music form/culture, rather than a cheesefest or set of retro cliches. Comes with selected discographies of DJs; a book which adores its topic. Lawrence currently runs underground disco nights modeled on his favourite communities from his research, and has a great blog.
- Hot Stuff: Disco and the Remaking of American Culture - Alice Echols
- Echols was a DJ in the 1970s
Her book is sociology focused, taking chapter by chapter themes like women, race, and sexuality, exploring how changes in american culture were caused by and reflected in disco culture.
- Everybody Dance: Chic and the Politics of Disco - Daryl Easlea
- Exploring the era and music through the lens of a single band, the kinds of worlds and trajectories musicians in disco had - specifically, an artform which wasn't centered around bands or superstars; created instead by curator-DJs selecting discs, in-house and unofficial remixers, and in this case, experienced session musicians.
- Turn the Beat Around - Peter Shapiro
- Extremely grating writing style; reading it is a WIP
- Jahsonic: Legendary Nightclubs
- Fansite collecting interviews and information about key nightclubs of the period
- The "disco sucks" movement and the cycle of white grievance that is still churning - Michelangelo Signorile
- Article putting opposition to disco music into a political context
- Website: The Politics of Disco
- Especially for people with institutional access, this university library webpage is a fantastic resource for books and papers on the history and sociology of disco (some free to read)
- Boys Who Said No: Resources
- A documentary on the draft resistance movement - not easily available online, as far as I can find, but with an excellent resources section for further research.
- NY77: The Coolest Year In Hell
- Modern talking heads MTV documentary about New York musical subcultures in 1977. Mostly not about disco - exploring also hip hop and punk - but a great sense of the era and place, recommended as a 101 introduction.
- The Police Tapes (1977)
- CW: Real footage of police violence from the very beginning Fly on the wall documentary following officers from a particular New York precinct. In the 70s, New York's budget was decimated; this is often conceptualised as a drastic rise in crime due to low police budgets, without taking into account cuts to other parts of the social fabric. Police corruption, bigotry and violence was notorious throught the period.
- The Fire Next Door (1977)
- Documentary about arson and living conditions in the Bronx. Contains upsetting verbal description of violence against animals, and documentary footage of unacceptable living situations throughout. Urban poverty and abandonment skyrocketed in the period. Disco cultures grew in unwanted post-industrial buildings, with names like The Warehouse, The Garage, The Tunnel, The Sanctuary giving clues to their former uses. Radical cultures grew in these semi-squatted and extremely affordable, pre-gentrification spaces. One cause of a desolate landscape was landlords burning down buildings they owned to claim insurance money. This documentary explores this - and other reasons behind astonishing arson rates in the setting (bored kids; domestic violence; getting up the welfare list), as well as showing the kind of landscape, people impacted, other living condition problems and tensions caused in abandoned areas of the city.
- Hearts and Minds (1974)
- Disturbing footage throughout (particularly of harrassment, violence and murder towards Vietnamese people). Anti-war documentary.
- Saturday Night Fever (1977)
- Hoo boy tumblr, you are going to hate this. Based on a newspaper story that was mostly made up, and not really true to the vibrant, communal disco cultures of the era (solo dance became a fad eventually, but it sort of undermines the collective euphoria of a nightclub? Its not about being the best at dancing), and also constantly repellent. Travolta is quite sweet in it, as a tough kid with a vulnerable heart, a metrosexual taste in public peacockery and a dead-end job for life in a paint shop; and I kinda loved this, and loved him in it. Alice Echols does a nice review in Hot Stuff trying to explore the film's deeper themes. Film's attitude to women is horrible, even as it sort-of attempts to critique this. Even the dancing is bad. Absolutely no good reason for you to watch this; I've done it so you now don't have to.