P!NK – U + UR HAND (2006)

I don’t know how much you know about goth or industrial clubs — at least in Chicago (and excepting EXIT) — but the general rule is: don’t fucking touch strangers, which I realize sounds antithetical for dance clubs. (I’ll note: movies definitely misrepresent these spaces, almost to a dangerous degree.)

Sure, there’s the accidental bumping, but for the most part? The great part of these clubs are: let people dance their dance and don’t intrude. That was kind of a strange idea for clubs when I was growing up, in the age of MTV groping, but damn I’m so glad they had that ethos. I have a lot of issues, but these clubs were safe spaces which — again — I realize sounds antithetical for dance clubs. It helped that most of them were nested in queer communities. I’m stupidly physical, but also extremely wary of anyone who comes into my radius, so it was delightful to have clubs where I could just feel free. (It also helped that I occasionally was the DJ.)

The Chicago club bouncers are very good at their jobs, at being mindful of bad behavior. Hell, even my wife and I were kicked out of NEO [R.I.P.] once for being way too rambunctious, and rightfully so.

To me, that’s what U + UR HAND — both the song and video — is emblematic of:

“Don’t touch — back up.”

While I love the song, I adore the video, especially with it leaning on all sorts of characters and dystopian design. It’s a video I return to time-and-time again, and not just because it’s also heavily riffed on in the severely underrated and under-watched 12 MONKEYS TV show.

I was lucky enough to enjoy this song when it aired (even as an older dude and absolutely knew what this was fully about), but read the YouTube comments and see how influential P!NK has been. She does not get enough credit.

“Just let me have my fun to—night, all—right?”