Pride Publics Mixtape no. 1 – “Lush Longing” (released August 19, 2021)
This exhibition soundtrack is created by artist Paul Outlaw, a writer, vocalist and theater maker, at home in the worlds of performance art, spoken word, text-based drama and American popular song in its various incarnations.
Paul Outlaw’s mix features various renditions of “Lush Life” composed by gay jazz musician Billy Strayhorn including: the first live performance by Kay Davis and Billy Strayhorn in 1948, a jazz version by John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman (1962), and a studio recording by Donna Summer (1982). This set also includes a recording that features Paul Outlaw himself as an arranger and a vocalist, performing live at THE LATE, LATE SHOW in Los Angeles in 2013.
In Paul Outlaw’s contribution to the Pride Publics: Words and Actions exhibition, he pays tribute to Billy Strayhorn. Read Paul’s contribution and his excerpt of Billy Strayhorn’s work.
Read what Paul has to say about his mix:
This mixtape features multiple versions of the two songs whose lyrics are displayed on my poster in the exhibition. I first heard Billy Strayhorn’s “Lush Life” as the closing track of Donna Summer’s eponymous 1982 album (track 1), a notable departure from her previous work. The opening lyrics “I used to visit all the gay places…” immediately grabbed my attention. The 1963 version by Johnny Hartman and John Coltrane (track 2) has long been considered a definitive rendition of the song, written by Strayhorn when he was a teenager and first introduced to the public in 1948 (track 3).
Around the time of the fall of the Wall, I awoke from a dream one morning in Berlin with an entire song in my head. It began: “Do you know what longing is…?” (track 4) I went to the studio and recorded it immediately. Like “Lush Life,” the song was first introduced to the public years after it was composed, in a new arrangement created for a theater project in Los Angeles (track 5). One of my bandmates from the Berlin days later conjured up a dub mix of the song (track 6), bringing things full circle.
And I’ve been performing “Lush Life” for more than a decade now; it was a centerpiece (track 7) of the same production that included “Longing.”
Pride Publics Mixtape no. 2 – “Darkness, Brutality, Eroticism, Noise”
This exhibition soundtrack is created by Peter Kalisch, a 25-year-old visual/performance artist based in Los Angeles, CA. His work “attempts to point light to the condition we are living in, the postmodern condition which has resulted in a particular type of disconnection; from shared values, lived intimacy, from actual human connection, and primarily, from our physical bodies.”
In Peter Kalisch’s contribution to Pride Publics: Words and Actions exhibition, he talks about the effects of post-postmodern culture on the body and the role of vulnerability in our contemporary life. Read Peter’s words and an excerpt that he selected from David Wojnarowicz’s Close to to the Knives: A Memroi of Disintegration (1991).
About this mixtape, Peter says the following:
Darkness, brutality, eroticism, noise. All aspects of queer identity which are burgeoning under the surface of the fanfare of pride. Aspects of queer identity which are often not touched on in art. These are the aspects I identify with.
Pride Publics Mixtape no. 3 – “DoYou”
This exhibition soundtrack is created by Yozmit The DogStar, a transgender singer-songwriter, performance artist, and designer. This mix contains original tracks by Yozmit, based around “DoYou”, a concept central to Yozmit’s spiritual and artistic performance art and music. “DoYou” refers to “‘Do’ing ‘You’ – a process of becoming fully self-realized and acting upon by balancing the Sacred Feminine and The Masculine using the gender and identity as a subject.”
In Yozmit’s contribution to the “Pride Publics: Words and Actions” exhibition, she talks about the gender duality as a source of suffering. Citing Federico García Lorca as an inspiration, she highlights the vitality of mystery in our lives. Read Yozmit’s contribution.
About this mixtape, Yozmit says the following:
These songs are my own songs. In particular, “DogStar” is about new possibilities for transformation. “DoYou” is about Realizing Self through identity, and “Sound of New” is also called “Sound of new pussy” which is about the sound from a new mother or portal which is about compassion to oneself and others.
Pride Publics Mixtape no. 4 – “You Can Be You”
This exhibition soundtrack is created by ¿LA PREGUNTA? (Taco Guillen), a punk performance artist, musician, actor, and dancer based in Los Angeles. Taco has been a fixture on the stage of Club SCUM, a queer POC-centered punk night club in East Los Angeles, performing no-wave body positive go-go dancing (NØ-Nø dancing) and playing and singing in anarcho-punk band ARGUMENT?. Taco’s 90-minute mix offers a range of empowering sounds from punk classics to anthemic dance tunes, all unapologetically identity-affirming.
In Taco’s contribution to the Pride Publics: Words and Actions exhibition, Taco talks about the significance of acceptance and chosen family while citing lyrics from Tomata du Plenty, singer in the late 1970s and early 1980s LA-based electropunk band The Screamers. Read Taco’s contribution.
About this mix, Taco says the following:
This mix contains music that pushed the boundaries of standards with the beats to make you move & with artists’ flamboyant ways of performing or presenting themselves in daring looks. From classics to modern jams, these songs can make you feel empowered. These queer or femme artists make me feel seen & i hope they bring the same energy to the listener’s body.