Friday, October 1, 2010

Margaret Cho - Cho Dependent (2010)

Margaret Cho - Cho Dependent (2010, Clownery Records)
Genre: Comedy (music, not spoken-word)

Who knew Margaret Cho could sing? Her new album isn't stand-up; it's funny songs, in the vein of Flight of the Conchords or Stephen Lynch. She's collaborated with an all-star cast here, including Ani DiFranco, Ben Lee, Andrew Bird (who saw that one comin'?) and Jon Brion, among others.

The album is fun and enjoyable, and as mentioned, Cho can sing (and belt!) nicely. The lyrics are often weak and sometimes downright bad, but musically, the songs are so enjoyable that I didn't care. It also helps that the genres Cho chooses to pastiche the most -- '70s pop and rock, country/folk -- are genres I love. But she also twirls through hip-hop, dance, torch songs, anthems... With a soul-inflected ballad called, "Your Dick," a torch song called "Eat Shit and Die," and a hidden track called "Lesbian Escalation," how can you go wrong?

Lyrically, the strongest songs are the Heart-esque "Baby, I'm With The Band," about the joys of groupie-dom, "I'm Sorry," a country song and murder ballad (featuring Andrew Bird), and my favorite, the hidden track, which I'll come back to.

Some songs seem intended to be songs-in-earnest first, with a little bit of humor. I think it takes guts for a comedian to do that. The opener, a collaboration with Tegan & Sara called "Intervention," is like this. So is the sweet, if lyrically weak, country-folk duet "Hey Big Dog," featuring Fiona Apple.

Other standouts include "Your Dick"; the jazzy, torchy "Eat Shit And Die"; a chilly '80s dance number that winks at David Bowie's "China Girl" where the narrator tries to determine the ethnic makeup of a person she decides is "Asian Adjacent"; the electro/disco "Gimme Your Seed," about lesbians in search of a sperm donor; and "Enemies" (featuring Jon Brion), a break-up song that recalls "You're So Vain."

My hands-down favorite is the hidden track, "Lesbian Escalation" (featuring Rachael Yamagata), a sing-a-long, Broadway-ish anthem about the dangers of U-Hauling. Please make this song go viral. It's awesome.

RIYL: dirty jokes, queer themes, catchy music, awesomeness.

Lesbian Escalation (f. Rachael Yamagata)
Baby I'm With The Band (f. Brendan Benson)
Your Dick (f. Ben Lee)
Eat Shit And Die (f. Grant Lee Phillips)

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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Brandi Carlile - Give Up The Ghost (2009)

Brandi Carlile - Give Up The Ghost (2009, Columbia)
Genre: Folk-Rock

I can't stop listening to this album. Carlile's voice is big and bold, soaring and breaking at just the right moments, belting in some songs, using a truly ethereal falsetto in others. The opener, "Looking Out" is folk that packs a punch -- and I feel so feeble and tongue-tied when I try to write about music, so, really, just read the Pop Matters review. "Dreams" is equally catchy, and (like Slant Magazine notes) would've been all over the airwaves during the Lilith Fair days. The lovely, gentle melody of "That Year" feels more like the tune to a love song, rather than a ballad about a high school friend's suicide, but that counterpoint works incredibly well. "Caroline," one of the album's more upbeat numbers, is a girl/girl love song (yay for out lesbian musicians!), featuring piano and surprisingly understated back-up vocals by Elton John (if I hadn't read any reviews, I wouldn't have known it was him).

I wish there were more up-tempo numbers like "Looking Out," "Dreams" and the fantastic "Dying Day," but the slower tunes are growers that ended up lodged in my head. A lot of reviewers ding Carlile for allegedly simplistic lyrics, but simple doesn't always equal bad or dumb, and not all folkies have to be Dylan. Her words work for the kind of music she's making -- they're clear. They feel right. And the spare, understated lyrics to "That Year" just make the song that much more powerful. This is a lovely album, beautiful, catchy and nourishing.

P.S. When I originally popped this in, I totally confused this artist with Belinda Carlisle and was all, "Whoah, she really changed her sound. This doesn't sound like 'Circle In The Sand'. Oh my God, and she's gay now!" Whoops.

Standout tracks:
- Dreams
- Looking Out

RIYL: Melissa Etheridge, Indigo Girls, Dar Williams, Rachael Yamagata, other Lilith fare

x-posted to LJ & tumblr

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Monday, March 15, 2010

Against Me! - White Crosses (2010) // Cobra Skulls - American Rubicon (2010)

Against Me! - White Crosses (2010, Sire)
Genre: Punk

So, Against Me!'s new album leaked. Already, I'm sure the howls of "Sellout!" are reverberating across the internets. Apparently, Against Me! sold out when they signed with Sire. Or when they signed with Fat. Or when they moved out of frontman Tom Gabel's basement. I'm not sure.

To be fair to the fans that hate what the band's become, Against Me! won over its fanbase with two gritty, screamy, raw, hard-rocking folk-punk albums with song titles like, "Baby, I'm An Anarchist." (BTW, I find that song really fucking obnoxious* unless I read it as way beyond tongue-in-cheek and well into dripping-with-sarcasm. Yep, I'm making no friends here.) Then, with Searching For A Former Clarity, their first album with Fat Wreck Chords, a giant in the world of independent punk labels, they incorporated dance-punk into their sound, and New Wave, their first record with major label Sire, was even slicker and got them mainstream radio airplay. (Horrors!) White Crosses is even more slick than New Wave was.

I'll state my biases: my first Against Me! record was Searching and I adored it. I loved the balance between accessibility and grit, I loved the intelligent, politically charged lyrics (you can find a lot of the latter in punk, not so much of the former), I loved the self-deprecation, I loved how an album this morose could be so catchy and danceable and that it could be dark without making me feel like slitting my wrists.

Meanwhile, I can't stand Reinventing Axl Rose, which most fans adore. I find it literally unlistenable. I've given it a few tries, tried it again today at work, and there are really interesting songs in there. Unfortunately, they're buried under the kind of screaming that had me resisting the urge to gouge out my brain with my tiny, office-provided staple remover. Apparently, screaming like that is cathartic to boys in the throes of puberty, but not so much my thing.

That said: White Crosses disappoints me, and I hate to say that. This is definitely mainstream pop/rock-meets-punk and that bothers me not at all; I don't mind them getting slicker, sounding more radio-friendly, as long as I'm enjoying it. But I was hoping for more dance-punk like "Stop" or "Unprotected Sex," or blistering punk like "Miami" or wistful numbers like "Ocean," and instead this all feels a bit '80s and power-pop-y in a way that just doesn't work for me. It sounds like Sire is trying to remake them into The Killers. And I hate to say that, because I hate when people accuse these guys of selling out, but with this album... I can kind of see where that's coming from.

That said, while I'd feel naive to assume that the move to a major label has nothing whatsoever to do with this further shift in the band's sound, I also don't think it would be fair to accuse an artist as obviously thoughtful and self-reflective as Gabel to throw it all in for the big bucks. And you can tell that they're trying to stretch on this album, that they don't want to be solely known as Those Angsty Ranting Leftist Folk-Punks. Gabel also seems to be trying to pare down his normally verbose lyrics, attempt writing in a way that's a little more direct, which seems like a natural path to take... I can see how a songwriter might worry that they were hiding in all of those words, that it was coming across as affected. I miss it -- it's part of what made the band interesting and weird, Gabel trying to spit out these thoughtful, cutting lyrics as fast as he could, all the words barely able to fit in his mouth. But I can understand moving away from that for reasons that have nothing to do with wanting to take a dive into a giant money-pit.

One of the biggest disappointments is "I Was A Teenage Anarchist." With all the drama regarding the band's rise, I was eager to see how Gabel would respond, but as a comeback it's just... nowhere near as complicated or thoughtful as I was expecting. The chorus, "Do you remember / when you were young and you wanted to set the world on fire?" is something I feel like I could hear from any artist. That stamp that made this band interesting and different just isn't there. ETA: Gabel also says of his angry former fans, "they set their rifle sights on me," and to hear a songwriter like this sound whiny is so very, very wrong. /ETA

(Re: Gabel going from "Baby, I'm an anarchist / you're a spineless liberal" to signing with Sire... Speaking as a chick whose politics have been creeping ever-further in the radical and anarcho direction, I still gotta say: it's easy to be an anarchist when you're young. Anyone expecting this dude to have the exact same politics now as he did when he was playing solo shows in his basement is smoking some pretty strong crack.)

The standout is "Ache With Me," a slow, wistful, introspective ballad. Gabel's voice is quite lovely in it.

I want to say: there's a lot of you out there who I think would really love this album, especially if you came to the band with New Wave, or if you've never been introduced to the band before. These are strong songs, and they're pretty (I know that's enough to make some punks vomit right now, but I like my punk pretty. Suck it.) For me, it's not quite doing it, but it might be a grower. If you hate everything post-As The Eternal Cowboy, this will make you puke, but if you're new to this band, it might be your thing.

ETA: Forgot to say, and maybe it's bad I remembered, 'cause it kills me to say this, but: after listening to this, part of me wonders if these guys really are just blowing where the wind blows... '80s vaguely-Springsteen-y stuff here because The Gaslight Anthem blew up (and ironically, everyone would always mention them in the same breath as AM! when they came out), dance-punk on Searching because Franz Ferdinand was big, and (to all of you old-school fans who think the first two albums are the only good stuff), screaming and gritty on the debut LP because that's what the kids like. Or maybe, like any band, they're influenced by their contemporaries and playing with different sounds. Maybe a combination. Who knows. /ETA

Tangentially related: On Tom Gabel's solo album, there's a song where he confesses how jealous he is of an unnamed singer's talent, how much he admires this artist, how he wishes he could be half as brave, half as eloquent, half as honest. It's really touching.

But it would make my life if it turned out that he was singing about Barry Manilow.

To sum up: Poppy rock, bright and accessible, a little reminiscent of The Killers on Sam's Town. These guys are accomplished musicians and songwriters, making for a pleasant listen, but nothing grabbed me, made me sit up and take notice, and this is from a band that used to grab me by the guts and wouldn't let go. Old-school fans will hate it; New Wave and completely new fans might very well dig it quite a bit and feel differently than I did.

Standout track: Ache With Me

RIYL: The Killers, Gaslight Anthem, The Dropkick Murphys.

*Okay, it depends on my mood. Sometimes, it's right-on and awesome.

Cobra Skulls - American Rubicon (2009, Red Scare)
Genre: Punk, Folk-Punk

Cobra Skull's previous full-length, Sitting Army, made this a band to watch. They sound a bit like Against Me!, especially in Devin Peralta's (excellent, endearing) vocals, though he's less gruff. Like Against Me!, they deal in politically-charged folk-punk; however, the Cobra Skulls' sound is more upbeat and with a a little more of a sense of humor. They've also got a splash of cowpunk in their sound and (possibly I'm smoking crack here) even a pinch of ragtime.

Unforunately, like Against Me!'s new offering, American Rubicon also disappoints me, though I'm still holding out hope that this album's a grower. (Three spins in, though, and I'm not sure.) Also like Against Me!'s newest, American Rubicon is brighter, has a vaguely '80s feel, very summery. I hate summery, which isn't their fault, really. The first half is enjoyable enough but unmemorable; the second half is much stronger. In fact, I wonder how my opinion of the album would've changed if they'd lopped off everything before "Overpopulated," a reggae-inflected tune about, well, just what you think it's about. (Though a track from the first half, "Muniphobia," about germaphobes afraid of public transportation (no, seriously), while a little dumb, is kinda fun.)

You can tell the guys are trying to expand their sound and not just box themselves into folky cowpunk; I'm not sure why it wasn't quite working for me, especially on the first listen, because I respect that they're trying to grow.

One experiment that works really well is "One Day I'll Never," a completely un-punk, jaunty piano number where Peralta tries being optimistic about where his life is and isn't going.

Lyrically, they've also expanded beyond just politics, discussing relationships, Peralta's struggles with depression, and problems within the scene.

Overall, it's definitely worth a listen, it's just a little overstuffed. Once you get past track seven, it's quite good, though the songs don't stick with me the way a lot of the songs on Sitting Army did.

To sum up: Folky, slightly country-flavored punk with catchy melodies and a lot of heart, fronted by a really talented singer. Songs are less memorable than those off the previous album. Skip the first six -- the good stuff's in the latter half.

Standout tracks:
- Problems With Preconceptions
- Bad Apples
- One Day I'll Never

RIYL: Against Me!, Fake Problems.

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Friday, September 26, 2008


While it's kind of silly, since I've barely updated this thing (I use this place for the blogroll more than I update; it's like a glorified bookmarks at this point), I changed the name. Since (1) "Hazardous Material" wasn't really grammatically correct; (2) it was kinda boring; (3) "So Very Unhip"'s in the URL, so why the hell not.

If I can come up with something better (and I hope I can), it'll probably change again.

Now back to, you know. Never updating.

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

queercore galore

This is a mirror of a post I did in my fandom journal. (Only now, with pictures!) Whole lotta queercore. If you grab anything, please comment. Thanks.


I had this post written two weeks ago, but I kept dragging my feet on actually uploading the music. So! Here it is! Finally!

Queer punk, aka queercore, aka homocore:

This post owes a big debt to Pansy Division (and the links on their website), the Outpunk label and compilation LP, Spitshine Records, Heartcore Records and the book Homocore by David Ciminelli and Ken Knox, all of which/whom introduced me to most of this music. Also, much gratitude for Wiki's entries on queercore and the various artists here.

And now, the music.


Pansy Division: There's a good chance you're already familiar with Pansy Division. They're probably one of the most visible queercore bands. (Opening for Green Day back in the '90s didn't hurt.)

Pansy Division started out playing funny punk songs about fucking. Low-brow, goofy, rough-edged, crass, and sweetly catchy. Their songs can sound kinda similar, but I honestly can't bring myself to care. They're one of my favorite bands.

- I'm Gonna Be A Slut
- Horny In The Morning - Sometimes I like to say Pansy Division song titles in either a Bertie Wooster or a Jeeves voice. ...What? I make my own fun.
- Flower - I like this cover better than the Liz Phair original.

Later, they decided to do some all-out pop tunes:

- When He Comes Home - Upbeat guitar-pop where the singer's basically saying, "Hey, dude, you cheated with me, but come clean to your boyfriend and tell him what's up." If this song weren't gay, it'd be on the radio.
- No Protection - Disco about safe sex.
- Scared To Death - Witty cowpunk. Great lyrics.
- He Whipped My Ass In Tennis, Then I Fucked His Ass In Bed (Radio Edit) - More raucous cowpunk. I actually think it's funnier censored, so that's the version I'm offering here.

All of those songs come from their album Total Entertainment!, which is full of gooey pop melodies and fun, witty lyrics. The guys really developed lyrically as they went along. (Okay, some of you might think a band that starts out with songs like "Horny In The Morning" has nowhere to go but up, but... um... shut up. That's my witty retort. You can't go wrong with "Horny In The Morning," man.) [$$]


The Outnumbered - Jon Ginoli's band before he formed Pansy Division. Not queercore as far as I can tell, but included for the curious. More mellow than Pansy Division and with less humor.

- You Need A Babysitter - God, I hope this doesn't describe my post-graduation life.
- I Feel So Sorry Now [$$]

Team Dresch and Tribe 8 were two important lesbian queercore bands, and two of the most visible from the queercore movement. While I generally consider any punk band that sings primarily about queer issues to be queercore, the actual "movement," such as it was, seemed to be a burst of bands that formed in Olympia, around the same time (and place) as riot grrrl*.

Now, both these bands aren't really my thing, sound-wise. But you might like them.


Team Dresch - Very '90s indie-rock/punk. Soft/loud dynamics, floaty girl vocals and melodies laid over heavy guitars. (I clearly know jack-all about music, so that's my best attempt at explaining it.) Not as slick as Pansy Division, but most people aren't going to punk and indie for slick, so.

- She's Crushing My Mind - The soft/loud dynamic thing in full force, here.
- Hand Grenade - A little more hooky and melodic.
- Song For Anne Bannon - Hey, that girl's looking at my butt! / Wait, is that a girl or a boy or what? Also, they rhyme "intimidation" with "lesbian experimentation." :D

*(Off-topic digression: It blows my mind, the interconnectedness of these musical movements that, in some ways, vary wildly in sound. Queercore was intertwined with riot grrrl was intertwined with twee was intertwined with grunge and punk and DC hardcore. Kathleen Hannah knew Ian McKaye and Kurt Cobain, Kurt Cobain dated Tobi Vail and had a K Records tattoo, apparently... As a good friend of mine says, "mind = blown." I mean, when I think "Nirvana," I don't think "twee." Generally. It's weird. And kind of cool. The two Washingtons, skipping through indie-rock hand-in-hand. Or something.)

After Team Dresch split up:

Davies Vs. Dresch - Donna Dresch formed this band. (She also created Chainsaw Records.)
- My Friend Is My Hairstylist - The floaty vocals over the heavy guitars, but a little more intense, speedy and slick.

- Jody Bleyle formed Family Outing, for whom I can find no website and no songs and no nothin'...

- The Butchies - formed by Kaia Wilson.


Similar in sound to Team Dresch, but also a bit slicker. I'm still undecided on The Butchies as a whole, but I love these two songs:

- Trouble - Driving, mostly-upbeat rock with a dark undercurrent and a catchy, alt-rock hookiness.
- Your Love - The Butchies transform Outfield's '80s pop hit into a softly sung, restrained ballad with a quiet power. If you love this kinda thing, then here you go. If you hate this kind of thing, I know exactly how you feel, and I'm telling you: download it anyway. Alternaprom slowdance song of your dreams.

Before The Butchies, Kaia did a solo album as Kaia, and before Team Dresch, she was in a band called Adickded. And if I had any songs from either of those projects, I'd give them to you. Kaia also co-created Mr. Lady Records, which is a label all you Le Tigre fans are probably familiar with.

[if you like team dresch et. al., give 'em some money]


Tribe 8 - Dirty, rough, unabashed punk. This stuff is fast and loud and it's not pop. I generally like my punk more melodic, so it's not totally my thing. But they were important to queercore, they've got a cheeky, raunchy sense of humor, and apparently, at shows, they used to have straight guys fellate the frontwoman's dildo. That alone gets props from me. So, if you like L7, or if you prefer your punk peanut butter unmarred by gooey pop chocolate, here's some Tribe 8.

- Butch In The Streets
- Manipulate
- Wrong Bathroom - About how, if you're gender-non-conforming, sometimes you can't even take a piss in peace. Love the horns.
- Prison Blues - Exactly what the title says. Totally different sound from the previous song. The lead singer's rough vocals enhance the mood. [$$]

I didn't have any Tribe 8 before making this post, but knew I'd be remiss if I didn't include them. So I leapt into Soulseek... and one of the people sharing them had them in a playlist called, "The Revolution Is My Fuckbuddy." FTW, soulseeker. FTW.

And now, onto bands that haven't got quite the same amount of attention (in my experience):


Extra Fancy - One of the bands that got closest to the mainstream (they signed to Atlantic) before getting dropped and shunted into obscurity. Frontman Brian Grillo was the only gay member, and he didn't really embrace the queercore label, but the songs dealt with queer themes and issues. More rock than punk.

- Imitating Angels - Cover of a song by The Nymphs. Driving, intense, dark-sounding -- no idea why it wasn't all over '90s modern rock radio. Oh yeah, homophobia, probably. The Nymphs' Inger Lorre sings back-up, as does Exene Cervenka of X, and she sounds fantastic.

- Sinnerman - Traditional song given the rock/punk treatment.

- The Nymphs' original version of "Imitating Angels," in case you're curious.)

Brian Grillo's since gone solo and does acoustic stuff: Democracy [$$ // $$]

Best Revenge - Jangly, rough-around-the-edges punk with poppier melodies than the above stuff, and boy-girl dueling vocals.
- Sacrifice - There are some powerful lyrics hiding in this excellent, upbeat little punk song: No, I won't be the one / to make you more human / and I won't be a martyr for your hate or a victim of your gun ... No, I won't be the one / you leave tied to the fence / And I won't be the headline / on your page of news events.
- Used To Be
- 15 (live) [$$]

Best Revenge's Ryan Revenge also made two other bands, The Exit Plan and Terrazzo, both of which played Best Revenge-esque rough, poppy punk. Might appeal if you like Go Betty Go and The Soviettes:

The Exit Plan
- Channel Zero - My favorite song out of the Best Revenge-spin-off bands offered here.
Political Shakeup

- Off You Go - Second favorite.
- Sneak Attack
- Stand My Ground [$$]

Crowns On 45 - Past Tense - More indie than punk. Female-fronted. Might like if you're into Dead Girls And Other Stories, Coach Said Not To and... I don't know. [$$]

Winterbrief - Days Outdoors II - Electronic, not punk, but they're on a queercore label. Amateurish but fun and catchy. [$$]

Iamloved - Never Forget - Best Revenge-esque. Not my thing, exactly, but you might like it. [$$]

Skinjobs - Burn Your Rainbow - Slick, poppy punk/alt-rock with fun "woo-woo"s in the background. The anthem for Gay Shame? [$$]

Kevin Cahoon & The Ghetto Cowboy - Kevin Cahoon, to my knowledge, is a Broadway actor; I'm pretty sure he's played Frank N. Furter, Hedwig, and one of the hyenas in The Lion King, and probably a lot more.
- Doll - I fucking love this song. Pure pop punk, anthemic chorus. The fact that this isn't all over the radio is a crime. I found this song via LOGO's music videos. He's a gay artist that says the word "fag" in the song, in a reclaiming sense. And LOGO censored it out. WTF, LOGO?! [$$]

Maris The Great And The Faggots Of Death - Yes, this band is real. Think GWAR. Only, with drag queens. Fucking ridiculous. I kind of love that they exist, even though the music is not exactly something I play a lot.
- Fuck You If You Don't Like Rock 'N Roll - They rhyme "down on your knees" with "pull out your wee-wees."
- All The Cutest Boys Are At The Hardcore Shows [site]

Gayrilla Biscuits - Now, I don't listen to a lot of hardcore. So maybe these guys are secret geniuses and I just don't know it. But I have them filed in a folder labeled "hilariously bad queercore" and I had to share. Apparently, they're doing sort of a Weird Al, Only Gay treatment to hardcore songs. (Which, you know, yay! Hardcore's just not my style.)
- Be Gay
- Spray It On My Face - ...on second listen, these guys actually aren't that bad.
- I Can't Believe You're Not Gay - These are all apparently from an album called, Hung Queens Can Suck It. <3

Limp Wrist - another band in the "hilariously bad" folder. As I refresh my memory by listening to them now, I think that, unlike Gayrilla Biscuits, they really do deserve to be there. BUT, FOR YOUR EDIFICATION:
- You Ain't That Fierce - Theme for people tired of Christian Siriano?
- I Love Hardcore Boys / I Love - So far, none of these songs crack the minute mark. You can't say it's not punk, baby.
- Recruiting Time - Best title ever?

Mukilteo Fairies - Featured one of the dudes from And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead. This site (which looks awesome, btw) describes them as grindcore -- fast, loud, super-short, with male shrieking -- and I actually kind of hate 'em more than Limp Wrist, if such a thing is possible. But if you are mad for Jason Reece, here is some Mukilteo love. Tell your friends.
- Oly Latent Boys
- Closet Check
- Crush Crusher - Boys Fuck Rock Stars
- Heavy Into Brett
- Boyfffriend - Why so many mp3s of a band I can't stand? Because apparently this shit is rare. Seriously, go grab your friends into And You Will Know Us By... I don't want this all to go to waste. I'm deleting these after I upload.
- Who's Been Fornicating In My Bed
- Taken Advantage
- Four-Letter Love - See what happens when one of your members ends up in a hip art-rock band? I plaster a shitload of your old band's songs up here, even though I find them unlistenable, on the off-chance this will please a random hipster. (Either that, or I'm just OCD.) C'MON, GUYS FROM LIMP WRIST. JUST MAKE A HIP ART-ROCK BAND. THIS, TOO, CAN HAPPEN FOR YOU!


Now, after music I hate -- music I love.


The Open Mouths - These Brits appeared on the scene recently, made only one LP (which is out of print), a split-7", and then broke up. Making me very, very sad, because I love them to bits and pieces.

Think Pansy Division, but mid-tempo pop/rock/new wave instead of punk. Catchy tunes. Smart lyrics. Good, solid pop songs. I love them so much. Come back, Open Mouths!

- Sex Change Regrets - Exactly what it says it's about.
- False Positive - Biting lyrics about a guy's lost weekend.
- Frisco - The Pansy Division-gone-pop-i-est of them all. Sad, pretty, mid-tempo jangly ballad with a great hook to it.
- Razzle Dazzle - Another solid pop song. I go back and forth on whether or not this song's got some biphobia going on, which, if so, is not cool... but like I said, I'm not sure, so draw your own conclusions. [myspace]

The lead singer has since formed a new band called Metro Boulout Disco, an electronic outfit. MySpace is here.

Outpunk Dance Party - Outpunk Records - 1995

An out-of-print compilation put out by the now-defunct Outpunk Records. Normally, I don't share albums in their entirety which is pretty goddamned hypocritical of me but since it's no longer available legally, here you go. I love this album. It's rough. It's amateurish. It's weird. But when I was falling into a zombie-like stupor at my temp job, this snapped me out of it right quick. And it's fun.

1. Intro
2. Mukilteo Fairies - Queer Enough For You (.m4a) - The only Mukilteo song I like. It lives in my Alarm Clock application with the rest of my hardcore.
3. Power Snatch - Booty Go
4. Sister George - Handle Bar
5. Double Zero - Pacer (.m4a) - I'm not into screaming. And I'm not into S/M. But somehow, I love the hell out of this punk song that's essentially just lesbians screaming about S/M, spanking and genderfuck roleplay. Dark and not melodic, but weirdly catchy.
6. Swine King - All Broke Down
7. CWA - Chickenhawk (.m4a) - Goofy lesbian sex rap.
8. Pansy Division - I Can't Sleep - Classic punk Pansy Division.
9. Hyperdrive Kittens - Rock 'N Roll Drag Queen (.m4a) - Sweet, jangly, rockabilly-tinged tune. One of my favorites.
10. Jolt - Rise
11. Sta Prest - Nelly Strut / Suspiria - This is some weird shit. (Yep, that song title's a reference to the film. Or so I assume.)
12. Tribe 8 - Oversize Ego - Halfway through, this morphs into a cover of Devo's "Girl You Want," and then back into the original song.

And here's CWA's other song, Only Straight Girls Wear Dresses - more goofy, explicit lesbian sex rap about not judging a book by its cover.

BTW: I have been trying to find other stuff by the Hyperdrive Kittens with very little luck. (I found one other song off one of the "All Kindsa Girls" compilation, but a girl was doing lead vocals, so I don't know if it's the same band or not.) So, if you've got any and you wanna share, please let me know.

And, since I'm gonna be uploading for the rest of my life anyway:

Queer country:

Mark Wiegle - These Lips Of Mine (Made For Suckin' You) - Leatherdaddy crooning about blowjobs.

Devin & The Straights - Fantastic country group. Just so, so solid. Highly recommended.
- Why Don't You Be A Man - Up-tempo break-up ditty.
- Used To Being - Mid-tempo break-up ditty. Are we sensing a theme? Great voice, great lyrics.
- Boys Behind Me - Another fast one. Devin is mining that relationship angst. Okay, guys, I'm shite at describing music in general, and even shittier at describing country music, plus I'm low on sleep. Just take my word for it.

I don't listen to a lot of hip-hop, but there is queer hip-hop out there. While I don't have very much, I can point you to some resources.

Scream Club - Love 'em. Great voices, fun lyrics, pretty vocals on the hook.
- And You Belong

Deep Dickollective - I Am - Just good.

Sugar Truck Recordings
Gay Hip
Phat Family
Out Hip Hop blog
Tori Fixx
Miss Money
God-des and She - Have liked what I've heard.


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Monday, July 30, 2007

Against Me! - New Wave

[This is a copy/mirror of a post I made in my fandom blog. Music posts showing up here will probably be mirrors of stuff posted there from now on. I'm not linking to my fandom blog because, aside from music, I'd rather not cross the streams for some reason.

Sorry for the insane lack of updates, by the way.

Against Me! released their fourth album, New Wave recently and so far, I think I'm liking it. At first, it wasn't grabbing me in the throat like their previous album did, but I do think it's good stuff.

I recommend giving these songs a try:

Stop - Disco-punk that sounds more blood-and-guts than most of what I've heard in this genre. It seems to be about the band's decision to sign to a major, and it's my favorite song on the album. (My favorite song on the last album was also all about the record-industry, too. Huh.) I wish they'd chosen it for the first single.

Ocean - The driving, dark sound of the song counterpointed with the yearning vocals and the vulnerability expressed in the lyrics about faith and gender and family make this song one of my favorites. Tom Gabel sings it so well.

And, just for fun, the aforementioned favorite song with the lyrics about the record industry from the last album: Unprotected Sex With Multiple Partners [radio edit].

If you like what you hear, support the band: here and here (or possibly here and here.)

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Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Punk Wot I Liked ('06 Edition)

As it says on the sidebar, this place is my attempt to contaminate the blogosphere with my woefully unhip taste in music. That said:

Music Wot I Liked During '06

When I was a kid, I was thrilled when I finally got my hands on a pair of slip-on sneakers. I was so happy that I'd finally be "in" and hip and possibly immunized to teasing, all due to the trendy magic of slip-ons.

The day I bought them was pretty much the day they'd gone completely out of style.

That said, none of the albums and songs listed here actually came out during '06.


The Soviettes - LP III - Fat Wreck Chords - 06/28/05

Fun, fast, loud, brassy, catchy -- I'm heartbroken that these kids are on "hiatus" because I like this band and love this album. Three girls, one guy, trading vocals, and I can't tell which woman it is that provides the most powerful and memorable vox on the record because they're all egalitarian and modest in the liner notes. Aww. Upbeat and hooky without being saccharine, full of great Misfits-esque "whoah-uh-ohhs." Absolutely free of pretention.

Middle Of The Night (.m4a)

You Should Know (.m4a)

What Did I Do (.m4a)

Support the Soviettes at: iTunes - MySpace - Fat Wreck Chords

Against Me! - Searching For A Former Clarity - Fat Wreck Chords - 09/06/05

Against Me! savages the state of the Union, the record industry and themselves on their third release. Tom Gabel's vocals are snarly-yet-tuneful, emotive and affecting. The lyrics, whether they're taking aim at Condoleeza Rice ("From Her Lips to God's Ears"), the industry they're a part of ("Unprotected Sex With Multiple Partners" -- still lovin' that title), or their own relevance as artists ("Don't Lose Touch"), are clever, passionate, sardonic, and self-deprecating... and it's the self-deprecation, most of all, that made me sit up and take notice. One of my favorite albums of the year and one of the most refreshing voices in the genre at the moment. (I know that sounds hyperbolic, but seriously, give 'em a try.)

Unprotected Sex With Multiple Partners

Don't Lose Touch (.m4a)

Support Against Me! at iTunes - MySpace - Fat Wreck Chords - their official site


The Matches - Salty Eyes (buy)

The Gossip - Keeping You Alive (.m4a) (buy)

Mon Frere - Drain (.m4a) (buy)

Zombina and the Skeletones - Nobody Likes You When You're Dead (buy)

Horrorpops - Crawl Straight Home (buy)

Christ, it's 2AM. More to come.

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