A country music party in queer Brooklyn? Yazzz! Metropolitan’s Bar Babe Christopher Gilkey aka DJ Save A Horse discusses the popularity of his monthly HO-down there, the merits of lettuce and Billy Ray Cyrus, the RuGirl he’s about to party with, and the epic end of summer event that is GiantFest.
Thotyssey: Hello DJ! How are you liking these last weeks of summer? P.S., I almost just said “howdy” there but I thought that would be tacky!
DJ Save A Horse: Well, I’ll say it: howdy! It’s been a great summer, and I’m looking forward to sending it out with a Big Bang.
You’re definitely gonna be part of one of nightlife’s most interesting end-of-summer offerings! Now in the meantime, you are bartender there in Brooklyn, right?
Do you have a signature drink that you make?
I make a mean Bud Light.
Lol my favorite!
So where are you from originally?
I’m from Salinas, California. Where lettuce comes from.
Two American institutions from one town! What’s your favorite lettuce?
Oh, that’s a tough question… but there’s something about the crispness and lack of nutritional value that makes me love a good head of Iceberg.
We all love a good head! So, I guess with Salinas being a farming region, you were exposed to the country way of life growing up… musically as well?
Yeah, you could say that. Music was always very important in my house growing up.
Who or what were your first favorites?
Well, apparently I really loved reggae when I was a baby. But if we’re talking country, it would have to be Dolly, George Strait and the 90’s gateway drugs to country: Shania and the Dixie Chicks.
It’s hard to say that country music is inherently somehow anti-gay when there’s a Dolly and a Shania. And even “save a horse, ride a cowboy” is the most hilariously gay lyrical suggestion ever.
People like to think country music is anti-gay, but a lot of the music is really subversive and empowering. Especially the women in country.
Do you approve of the Dumplin’ soundtrack’s dance remix of Dolly’s seminal “Joline?”
Although I haven’t finished the movie myself yet, I approve of anything that helps spread the gospel of Dolly.
What ultimately brought you to NYC?
I always wanted to live In the big city, and after a brief stint in San Diego I transferred here for school a million years ago. Which I think is one of the reasons I love country music so much now… it keeps me grounded to my first home. Small towns are a great place to miss being in.
And how did DJ Save A Horse get born?
I was working at my friends southern bar Doublewide in the East Village, and I realized there were a lot of country queers in this city and not a lot of places for us to go. And the name–I just thought it was tacky. “Save a horse, ride a Gilkey” was a joke me and my sister used to make.
Tell us about Whose Boots, the monthly kiki that you and Goldenchild are in charge of.
Whose Boots is a queer country party I started that is the second Monday of every month at Metropolitan Bar. Goldenchild (Wiley Gaby) is our resident troubadour, and we try to feature other queer performers who perform or love country music–whether it be Nath Ann Carrera performing songs from his gothic Dolly Parton show, or traveling artists like Mercy Bell when she’s on tour from Nashville. And then just a lot of good ole’ country music for yer queer country ears.
And this Friday, August 30th, I see you will be mixing it up and joining forces with another resident Metro DJ–Manila Ice–for Hella Britney, which will feature Drag Race’s Tatianna coming through to do numbers with Brooklyn’s own Ruby Fox!
I am indeed! It’s going to be real Circus.
And then right afterwards–
The next day I get to play GiantFest at 3 Dollar Bill with my country boos. It’s my ideal weekend: great Pop, great queer art. [At GiantFest] I will be providing those sweet country tunes between Mercy and Goldenchild. Or who knows… maybe just play “I’m Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman” on repeat if I’m still hooked from the night before.
And how are you wrapping up that amazing weekend?
By BBQin’ at Metro on Sunday.
Have an amazing weekend, and see you at GiantFest! In closing: “Old Town Road“… yay or nay?
I think it’s amazing that a black queer artist can make Billy Ray cool.
And his daughter Miley must be so jelly.
Yeah, she’s like… “but what about this song about Mom?”
Ha! That’s all, folks!