The Blessed Madonna’s listening diary: ‘You cannot argue with logic like ‘booty, booty, booty, booty” | Music

November 11

7pm I was at my manager’s office because it was the day my new single was dropping and we were hosting a secret launch party later in the evening. Rosa Parks Outkast was playing on someone’s Spotify. I grew up with Outkast because I’m from Kentucky, so it felt nice that that song was on. It had been a long day (I had to get a hotel room in the middle of London to take a nap halfway through because I knew the party was going to run late) and I was a bit stressed out. It’s my first record in five years and it felt like an enormous chance to screw everything up – so it was actually very comforting to hear Outkast, like a nice little love letter from home.

10pm I was in the dressing room at the venue. It was a real hole-in-the-wall, punk rock space, with glitter and graffiti from however long ago. All the dancers were getting ready and I put on Fifty Dollar Bills by Sworn Virgins. It’s not a new record, but I am obsessed with it. I’ve listened to it like 30 or 40 times in the last few weeks. The lyrics are totally absurd in that way that you only get every once in a while on a dance record. “She’s got a big ass and nobody’s gonna stop” – come on, that’s just the energy I’m trying to get into. It took the edge off a little bit before the show. There’s always that worry that you’re throwing a birthday party that no one will show up for. That’s my fear, but it’s just me and my own set of worries, it doesn’t have anything to do with the party. So it’s nice to kind of take me out of my head a little bit. And think about big butts instead.

1am We had a pretty packed schedule: Shaun J Wright flew in from the US for it, we had Gideon from NYC Downlow, Chrissy and Wes Baggaley. I played from 1am to 2am, just a dip in and out, as I mainly wanted to hear the other DJs play and to not make it all about me. Within three seconds, I was covered in glitter, fishnets and Haribo. One of the songs I played was Sage Comme Une Image by Leo. We used to have these underground parties in Chicago and Kentucky, and this is one that my friend Jason Garden used to play all the time. Jason loved that record, with a purity. It’s such a happy little cutesy tune and we would watch the video because Lio’s easily the most adorable person that has ever walked the Earth. It’s just a sentimental record for me. The crowd loved it too. You know, everybody pretends to sing along in French that they don’t really know. It’s just a good time.

1.30am I played the last three tracks from my new album and it was absolutely nuts. It was really thrilling to see people react in real time to Serotonin Moonbeams and to already know the words. I had been rolling it out over months but this was the first day that people have been able to listen to it all. We were filming the video for the record with body cams and stuff, I wanted to just let it be about what the party was. And it was absolute chaos, like legitimate chaos. People were deep-throating bananas and this 67-year-old raver in a onesie was on the floor, humping the air. There’s nothing like playing for 100 degenerates in some hole-in-the-wall place with trash all over the floor. It felt free, and that’s what the song is about. It’s a sentimental love letter to fall in love at a party. And it was very satisfying. It’s been a long road to get to this point, so it was good to see it out in the wild a little bit.

Bonnie Pointer of the Pointer Sisters in 1979.
‘It really brought me around on it’… Bonnie Pointer of the Pointer Sisters in 1979. Photograph: Harry Langdon/Getty Images

3am When Chrissy played, the last 50 bedraggled, glitter-smeared, sweaty, messy ravers threw their hands in the air to Jump by the Pointer Sisters. I bought quite a lot of Chrissy’s record collection from him about 10 years ago, and it is a fascinating window into the mind of a true maniac. There was a lot of the Pointer Sisters’ hi-NRG stuff and it really brought me around on it because I had branded it in my mind as radio stuff from when I was a kid. Hearing it through the lens of his brain and how it fits in with Patrick Cowley and all of the other good hi-NRG stuff coming out of San Francisco made sense. I have really grown to love all of those. Me and Chrissy have been friends for a long time so it felt nice to kind of get the band back together.

4am At the end of the night, I felt a lot of relief and astonishment. I was very tired and very ready to lie down. Me and my friends crammed into a van and the driver put on Rush by Big Audio Dynamite. It was so nice because I’d had a little cassette single of it when I was a kid.

5am Back at my house. I have this chill home playlist that I put on a lot of the time. We listened to Everybody’s Got to Learn Sometime by the Korgis, a really bizarre synthesizer ballad that’s beautifully written. I think it’s one of the most perfect pop records ever. After that, I put on Fern Kinney‘s Baby Let Me Kiss You, which is a banger. Fern is like a super-duper slay and everything she does is amazing. The record is so slow and it’s almost got this sort of reggae drumming on top of the arpeggio and her voice is so flirty. It’s a great afterparty record.

November 12

3pm I was in a restaurant for a late breakfast and Echo Beach by Martha and the Muffins came on. I listen to it all the time, I love it. When I’m not preparing for shows, it’s nice to leave the emotional impact of dance music for when you need to have that experience. I feel like it’s the difference between watching a porn and being with somebody that you actually like.

4pm On my way back from breakfast and When I’m With You by Sparks came on in the car. I love Sparks, my husband and I are both just sort of crazy superfans. I think they’re so brilliant, and like the most important songwriters of the last 20 years. That’s the hill I’m gonna die on.

8pm I was extremely tired. I have a giant bathtub in my house and I will go in there to nap. It’s big enough that I can enjoy it but not big enough that I will fall under the water if I fall asleep. Small Talk by Sly and the Family Stone and Conscious of My Conscience by Womack & Womack randomly played on my phone; they are the last two songs I remember hearing before my little nap in the bathtub, which now also has glitter in it. Small Talk is one of my favorite records of all time. You can hear Sly and the mother of his child on the mic; the baby is crying and he’s singing so softly. It’s a chill, deep but still incredibly funky record; the perfect way to wrap up a glitter-soaked weekend. The whole album is phenomenal, it’s also got Loose Booty on it, which is one of the best – you cannot argue with logic like “booty, booty, booty, booty”.

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