Life and Death on the New York Dance Floor, 1980-1983
Tim Lawrence is Professor of Cultural Studies at the University of East London and the author of Love Saves the Day: A History of American Dance Music Culture, 1970–1979 and Hold On to Your Dreams: Arthur Russell and the Downtown Music Scene, 1973–1992, both also published by Duke University Press.
Life, Death, and the Hereafter
Rooted in intermixing and synthesis, the sounds and scenes that defined the opening years of the 1980s transformed what was supposed to have been a cooling-down period into the convulsive climax of 1970s inventiveness. The period brimmed with ferociously inventive homegrown music and saw party spaces reach a level of intensity that knew no historical precedent. Thoughts of convergence also seemed to be hardwired into the psyche of promoters. Even those who were most committed to producing singular, authored works were immersed in the scene’s collective personality. The activity multiplied because New York held itself together while negotiating the challenges...