Loud, vile, discordant, disgusting. These are few of the adjectives that characterized jazz in the ’20s and punk in the ’80s. During the week that Cannes celebrated the roaring ’20s and Manhattan exhibited the rebels of punk in galas of fine champagne, Bushwick was turning up the volume, pumping up the colors, upping the vibe and leveling up with some Banji glitter served with cheap beers and BBQ. The Secret Project Robot set up its colorful dance floor to welcome loud bands, vile performers, discordant freestylers and disgusting drags. Niches of fans came together on a dance floor that was eventually stained with sweat and (fake) blood, their steps stomping on the staleness of the ordinary.
That night we found ourselves in the middle of an extravagantly loud queer culture that called itself Banji for the night. What if Banji is closer to a ghetto girl being loud at 2AM, as Merrie Cherrie told me? That night Bushwick was the loud ghetto girl with performances that included: low-synth pop euphoric songs by Bubbles; a gore drag performance by Jake; apocryphal performances by Geneva Jacuzzi; a disco, punk, raged freestyle by Abdu Ali; and the crying-out-loud, cheerful tone of TEETH.
Shark teeth were destroyed by Geneva Jacuzzi, fake blood covered Jake’s teeth as he performed as a zombie dominatrix, and I saw Abdu Ali’s teeth as he shouted loud his proclamations of vibrant individuality under the beat of Baltimore club music.
The performances were so vivid that they could not be contained on stage, and the performers chose to blend with the audience and create new spaces. The crowd was polarized – some people made me promise that Bubbles was not only the best band of the night but the best band ever, while others proclaimed that TEETH was most dope. Either way, they were all united when Abdu Ali began his performance with the statement: “Tonight is about feeling and not giving a fuck.”
And we didn’t. Because we were loud, we were vile, we were discordant, we were disgusting.