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April 2nd, 2012

April Starts Out Strong For Those Interested In Gay Indie Rock


For a second there, it seemed like maybe Philadelphians would have to choose their heavy-hitting queer-flavored indie rock titan-of-the-moment: Seth Bogart’s Hunx (and his Punx) or Mike Hadreas’ Perfume Genius. They’re both in Philly one after the other. A one-two punch of queer music for the quietly anti-mainstream indie rock fanatic if there ever was one!

For the young gay man or woman, there isn’t a huge stable of out musicians whose music inspires and gives catharsis. Sure, they’ve got divas to revere and the women of pop music are always reaching out to money-having homosexuals (Madge, Katy, Britney, Bey, Christina, Kylie, Gaga, etc.). Sometimes it’s truer than others in the sense that here and there, it feels fake. For the money and fame-whoring. Yes, we’re lookin’ at you, Gaga. “Born This Way” seems like the most blantant attempt to get a queer fanbase to rally around a record. But what started with vaguely queer rock in the late ’70s (Bowie) and early ’80s (Joan Jett), hasn’t really seen many OUT-out musicians writing, performing and singing bluntly about being gay.

Xiu Xiu’s Jamie Stewart’s been a trailblazer; an unapologetic gay man who thrives on making people wince with the reality of queer politics and confessionals. He’ll be bringing his near-terrifying approach to making music to the First Unitarian Church next month at the First Unitarian Church (Thursday, May 3rd). The Gossip comes to mind, with Beth Ditto’s flagrant love-the-fat-woman-loving-me act. They’ve got a new record out soon. Or maybe Fischerspooner. Casey Spooner’s love of theatrics, dance music and performance art have been earning a loyal queer constituency for a couple decades. But what about the piano-possessed and guitar-swinging homos who like to write earnest love songs and sad breakup laments?

That’s where Perfume Genius and Hunx and his Punx come in. They do this in spades. Take Hadreas’ “Mr. Peterson” or the new “Hood.” This is the stuff that isolated and saddened-by-the-heterosexual-state-of-affairs young queers need. His Put Your Back N 2 It is new and great, and he’s sure to play most of it tonight at Johnny Brenda’s. Bogart’s Hunx act is here the following night at Kung Fu Necktie. His brand new Hairdresser Blues is pretty awesome, too. They’re both going to be magical nights.

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