Music News 10.30.17

Countering The Cabaret Law

A 91-year-old New York City law banning dancing in the vast majority of the city’s bars and nightclubs shows strong promise of being overturned tomorrow thanks to a law introduced by councilman Rafael Espinal, who says he’s clinched the 26 votes needed to pass it.

The Cabaret Law was introduced in 1926 allegedly to police the fire safety and populations of NYC bars and clubs, but has been criticized for its racial implications for nearly its entire existence. Initially, the law only permitted the use of keyboards, strings, and electronic sound equipment, which immediately suffocated the Harlem jazz scene of the time.

In the 1940’s the law was expanded to require musicians to carry “cabaret cards” in order to play—a move that put musicians like Billie Holiday, Charlie Parker, and Thelonious Monk out of legal work in the city at various times. In the 1990’s, there were accusations that Rudy Giuliani’s “quality of life campaign” abused the Cabaret Law to directly police “Latin clubs above 59th Street.”

Today, only 97 of NYC’s nearly 25,000 clubs have a license that allows their patrons to dance legally. Not 97%, just 97. A spokesperson for New York City mayor Bill De Blasio said the mayor is in full support of the bill being repealed, but will seek to see some of its later details, such as required security and cameras at larger venues, stay in place.

Radiohead to Release Songbook

Radiohead is releasing the supercollider of all songbooks. Singles, deep cuts, B-sides, it’s all here in this 400+ page behemoth that also features Kid-A era artist and creator of the Radiohead bear logo Stanley Donwood. Pre-orders are available now for Radiohead Complete, out November 27th.

-Taylor Wallace

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