"Body Moves" is the QPOC house party Chicago needs
Ahh, April. In Chicago, wave two of seasonal depression has set in and we're all looking at each other with dead eyes thinking, "why the fuck do I still live here?" While the West Coast basks in Beychella, we're still wrapped up in bed under blankets and cookie wrappers with a packed bowl in one hand and our iPad (streaming a video of Beychella) in the other. Despite the excruciating wait for 50+ degree weather and the vitamin d bukkake we're all dying for, Chicagoans stay up, out, and lit until the sign rises - even when it's below freezing. As Chicago staple bars close and gentrification disembowels our neighborhoods, qpoc (queer people of color) create our own spaces and parties flourishing with creativity, talent, and love.
Each day, as the sun sets and our radiators clank to life, we hop in the shower, get dressed, and grab a few cocktails at a local bar before going out to dance. House music is a popular choice in some of our oldest and most popular clubs - its rich Chicago history still permeating through the sidewalks and graystones and sky, reminding us that our fears and anguish melt away once we step on the dance floor. Body Moves, a new monthly party at Progress Bar in Boystown curated by Josh Maggio and William Patrick, aims to bring everyone together to shed their cold skin and bring down the house.
What is Body Moves? Josh: Body Moves is a celebration of music, cultural identity, and individuality in these troubling times. House music has always been an important staple in the nightlife and celebrations of the LGBTQ community.
Is that why you chose house music as the genre for this party?
Josh: At most gigs ([I'm usually playing] pop or r&b), I’m always asked by folks in the community when I'm going to do a house set. I approached some folks in the business about starting a dedicated night to house. I was met with good vibes and positive feelings about it. It just stemmed from there really.
For those of us who have been in the nightlife scene for some time, we've seen Boystown turn a blind eye to queer, poc issues. Why did you decide to host there?
Josh: I love Progress Bar. I love the space and the art cloud installation inside. I have been djing there for about 6 months. They are always so good to me and the staff is just top notch. They treat me good. They respect me. But they trust me and they encourage community and togetherness. They really are about moving forward. I’m always so happy seeing all my people out on the dance floor and the bartenders dancing and the staff just vibing out. It makes me feel good. What does Body Moves mean to you? What makes it stand out from other (house) parties in Chicago?
Josh: House is an emotion that causes your entire body to just lose it to the rhythm. I wouldn’t say we are trying to stand out. Because it’s not about being the most. We are really all in this together. I would say we are trying to provide another option for people. You read stories about gay bars closing down and people losing jobs. We are very fortunate to live in a community where everyone supports each other. We just really want to provide an option for people who come to Lakeview on a Wednesday night and just want to dance and let loose. From whatever background whether it be gay, straight, bi, trans, qpoc, non-binary etc. We want everyone to just come leave their stresses at the door and get on the floor and move. How long have you been a dj? What are some of your favorite tracks/artists/genres to play?
Josh: I have been a dj since I was about 16. I’m 33 this year. So a long time. Some of my favorite artists are Azealia Banks, Janelle Monae, and Kelela. I love my hip-hop and r&b and love playing house music.
We’ve all seen the drunk wypipo who interrupt your set and ask you to play shit like Taylor Swift. Do you have a go-to response when this happens?
Josh: Depending on the night or the venue if someone requests something that’s popular. I no doubt usually have it. JUST in case. Any dj worth their weight knows how to read a room and work a vibe. If someone is aggressive with a request I just react in the moment. I try to oblige but there’s really only so much you can do. But I don’t typically get flooded with requests too often *wink*
You're a meme queen on social media. What is one of your favorites at the moment?