Archive for the ‘queer music heritage’ Category

data_streams

June 15, 2008

data streaming endlessly through the global networks, flowing into our brains. and before drowning, let me point you to some islands.

less lyrically put: following you’ll find my personal choice of interesting stuff. so let me be your selector.

murcof. something that i keep playing repeatedly – not least because the weather is cold and wet, but especially because it is beautiful and calm is murcof’s last record cosmos from last year. ovelaying textures and a slow deepness – drifting and evolving. and then it fits nicely in the sequence of the two preceeding posts – just more the bearish type. get an ear full of over at his myspace page. for more information, performance dates and a couple of videos please visit his website. and over at smuggled sounds you’ll find a recording of his, together with erik truffaz and talvin singh at the jazzfestival montreux (m even liked it hearing over the phone). and of course sound+ also features one of his performances from seattle in 2004.

convextion. somewhat elusive artist from texas. more textures, overlaying, but less ambient / classical / minimal then a special flavour of electro. it’s one of these sets i downloaded and it just played on my computer and i was doing something else and suddenly i realized that i’m listening to excellent music – yes, it slowly crept into my awareness. and yes, since then it is not leaving my playlist. convextion, live pa , manchester 25.04.2008 – get it here. yep, this also comes from sound+ (where you’ll also find some older live recordings of convextion – and it shows you that you should be on the mailing list – not everything is up on the website).

octave one. robert hood. claudio ponticelli. after all this rather slow electronica time for some techno: via the detroitinstitute comes a nice triple pack of elegant techno. at the moment i prefer the octave one-set. but this changes according to mood… a very nice robert hood mix you’ll also find here at the bodytonic music website.

baroquedub. leaving the electronic a little bit, but not totally – and hoping that summer will come eventually i would like to point to baroquedub (finally!) – mixtapes with many sounds around dub: from dubstep to laptop-dub to classic roots and some surprises. always quality, always interesting – and one can never have enough dubby sounds around, right? so stock up before summer is here!

urbanology. talking of dubby sounds: i mentioned this earlier, but i keep on listening to it, still. it is just so nice and manages to put me in a good mood even when it drizzles with rain. yep, you should finally get fat freddy’s drop. and while you’re there, have a listen at lou courtney – i’m in need of love. one of the great soulrecords. period.

leave your nine at home. and then there is a birthday to celebrate: leave your nine is two years old. that is pretty old in blog years, i suppose. so head over and sing a little birthday song…

the cookshop. and the cookshop celebrated a while ago his 500th post. respect. still bringing us all this wonderfully strange music… thanks!

audiofile. while we’re visiting favourites i would also like to point out a special segment over at the queermusicheritage: if you would like a regular update of new releases by lgbt artists, i recommend you listen to audiofile here. hidden there in the archive is a special show, containing the ten most influental songs for the lgbt community. of course my choice would have been rather different – but then that’s the fun of such lists, right? have a look and a listen here (just scroll down). one song that would have made it on my list as well, i think, is tom robinson’s glad to be gay. which brings us to the next stop in our little journey…

tom robinson. essential listening. zero g posted the first record of the tom robinson band: power in the darkness, which includes the above mentioned song glad to be gay. i repeat it again: ESSENTIAL LISTENING. what a record. and what lyrics. yeah! and he posted as well the live record tom robinson band: cabaret. and zero g is anyway very much worrth a visit. although it kind of bugs me that he posted that (another) record which i try to find since months. but that’s just the collector in me speaking right now. then i also urge you to visit tom robinson’s website: a lot more information, food for thoughts, other intersting stuf, and yes, some of his albums for free.

macho man randy savage. so – to end this post with something very virile…grrrrr….and…errr… rather different: the record of wrestling star macho man randy savage called, surprisingly: be a man. it can’t get much butcher then that. and then the cover! yes, i was just sold after seeing the cover. it’s perfect in its own way, somehow… you can get it over at burning down the dreams of forever.

so – i hope you enjoyed that little trip around and really hope you enjoy at least some of the sounds i pointed you to. as usual: be nice to all these friendly folks making such great stuff available.

et hop! homohop!

March 14, 2008

<drumroll> the last post of the et hop! series!

first i would like to point out the comments of this post to everybody interested in some more arab hip hop – more specifically lebanese and egyptian hip hop (thanks to dj lethal skillz and r!)

then i urge you to read the preceeding post – so you’re ready for the music.

so you think queer hip hop is rather new? wrong. the earliest gay hip hop actually goes back to 1982 – to a crew called age of consent – very outspoken, very d.i.y. – maybe the precursors of indie-hop? thankfully, their music has been unearthed again: it’s a good history lesson, at least. for getting an earful of their sound, watching some vids and getting more information i refer you to their website.

2 years later we have the first recording of gay hip hop. straight out of san francisco came the track gay type thang by jon sugar. again we’re lucky: the music and more information is available online – so you can download the really fun oldschool track for your aural pleasure here.

in the same year came out the first gay electro number – well, more precise one of the classic early electro tracks by gay artist man parrish, hip hop be hop:

so you might missed him here. but then he fits very well here, too. hip hop be hop might be not too obviously gay (whatever that could mean relating to an instrumental track), but then man parrish made some very gay tracks, too. and he worked together with sweet pussy pauline. and with klaus nomi (and i did not know that he was also involved in that klaus nomi song on this compilation). for a full overview of his body of work – which can be bought directly from his website, a lot more information about man parrish (including interviews) and some more stuff you can visit his website here.

in presenting these artists as the early queer hip hop artists, i use the research of jd doyle from queer music heritage. nearly a year ago he made a radio show dedicated to gay hip hop. 3 hours long, it is a very good way to start exploring gay, lesbian, transgender hip hop. from the early tracks (as presented above) to the current artists, from fun tracks to angry tracks to comedy-hip hop, including a couple of interesting interviews. as usual he provides us with a wealth of information – so it is obviously highly recommended! so head over there and have a listen! it has the additional advantage for me that i do not have to explain that much concerning most of the following artists, but can deliver you just some music and some links.

i became aware of an emerging queer hip hop scene end of the nineties. information was still scarce – but around the year 2000 suddenly a couple of gay hip hop records were actually available also outside of the u.s.. i think the first one i obtained was digital dope by rainbow flava. actually a good record – and i do remember how i actually felt relieved that there was finally gay hip hop. yeah, it was really time…

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if you would like to have a listen, you can so by going here (link expired).

two members of rainbow flava actually became in the last years central figures of the queer hip hop scene. dutchboy actually founded the label phat family – putting out a couple of queer hip hop compilations, presenting many queer hip hop artists to the public and obviously always was central to connect queer artists. respect. besides participating in many projects, his main musical project at the moment seems to be b.q.e., together with paradigm.

the other member of rainbow flava whose name tends to pop up all over the place as collaborator, producer and solo artist is tori fixx. i have to admit that i do not know that much of his impressive output – but it seems that he is on the musically gentler side of hip hop. as an example here his track not perfect:

also a gay artist with a high profile is deadlee. he gets a lot of media attention – even in europe. partly this might be due to his image of homothug. gay hip hop using elements of harder hip hop is obviously an attractive topic for the media. also musically partly on the harder side it is especially the, hm, explicitness of his rhymes that really live up to his homothug image. tough shit, that. but as every real man, he also has his softer side – for example shown in the track soldier II featuring micah barnes:

to get a more complete view of his music i suggest you have a listen at his record assault with a deadlee weapon, available here (link expired). be warned…

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if homothug is not your thing – how about some history conscious and intellectual (in the best sense) queer hip hop? i love this record -a nice intro, some of the fastest rapping around, a girl talking with a french accent and a stuttering rap which is fantastic – and i did not even mention yet the lyrics yet… and if that is not enough, the record also has a really great title: bourgiebohopostpomoafrohomo by the equally great named deep dickollective. oh – and a great cover, too. you can get it here (link expired). highly recommended.

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they just put out a new record, on some other. from that record here the track for colored boys:

another artist i encountered early on was soce (the elemental wizard), thanks to his hilarious track i’m so gay – a track i annoyed my friends with for a whole summer…

you can download some music from his website. for anybody understanding german, here you find an interview with him. and well, you just have to like any artist that just…floats.

another artist providing us with quite some tracks on his website is q boy from the u.k.. he is one of the view gay hip hop artists you might be able to catch outside of the english speaking world – for example he will be on the 5th of april in switzerland. i really like his flow -well, i just think an english accent sounds really good… to give you an idea here one of the tracks you can actually download from his website, quarter life crisis:

allright – we are racing here through. now let’s take a deep breath and let me present you my favourite record of the lot, a record i keep on listening over and over again. musically varied and very nice, a great mc together with a great singer, good lyrics it just had me hooked immediatly for its soul and its wit and its musicality. i am talking about god-des and she. their album reality is really a pearl. get it here (link expired).

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and to give you an idea how smooth and beautiful their music is here their track love you better:

allright – so i have the feeling i just have thrown a personal selection of music at you – to give you some background: the queer hip hop scene might seems to be not that big, but constantly growing. and they are well connected, so most artists mentioned above did work together and alsot oured last year together on the homorevolution tour across the u.s.. additionally there are also two documentaries around that i know of: hip hop homos (featuring deadlee and god-des) and the more recent pick up the mic which seems to be more general. unfortunately i have not seen either.

it is anyway somewhat difficult to get these films and most records outside of the u.s. (and yes, i am always interested in pointers and material!) – but then you are able to obtain quite some records via cdbaby (they now also send stuff outside the u.s. – and have a prelistening function). but then there is luckily the internet -two links to get started if you want to explore the world of queer hip hop further are first gayhiphop.com, which evolved over the years from website into a discussion forum. second i recommend larry bobs gay hip hop links – a lot to discover! so -that should keep you busy for a while!

but what about queer hip hop outside the u.s. and the u.k.? well, to my knowledge not much – actually nearly nothing. i seem to remember that there was a french artist – but i have not been able to find any information on the net so far. as for the german speaking area: well, there has been the track schwule mädchen (“schwul” being german for male homosexuality – so it is translated “(male) gay girls”), that some gays found – well, gay. i rather found found it – well, it reminded me of axl rose wearing a “nobody knows i am a lesbian” t-shirt. more recently the daddys of german hip hop, die fantastischen vier, used quite extensivly drag in their video ernten was wir säen:

but the only german speaking hip hop act i know which was explicitly pro-gay, playing around in their lyrics with alluding to being gay (for some not explicit enough – but then i think it had to do with the fact that not the mc’s were gay, but the beatmaker) and working with the gay community was the austrian crew schönheitsfehler. they used to be quite successfull in austria – but it seems that these days they are more into drum ‘n’ bass.

i remember not liking their record when i first bought it, but relistening to it i actually quite like it now -it si actually quite wicked and it does have one of the nicest, most spaced out and relaxed dope-smoking songs on it that i know…

if would like to have a listen, get it here (link expired).

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to give you an idea what it sounds like and because it is a really hilarious video (i love the women distributing these flyers!) here fuck you !:

so here it ends – as mentioned above, i am always interested to learn more about gay hip hop, so keep the information coming! and although this has been the last post in this series, this does not mean that i will not post any hip hop anymore, of course. so i hope you enjoyed some or all of it and discovered some new stuff, got into some new artists.

thanks for listening!

actualité: congratulations! queer music heritage radio is 100

January 30, 2008

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congratulations to jd doyle!

although the thing with 100 is a little bit more complicated: as he states on his website:

“… it’s my 100th Broadcast show. I make the distinction of “broadcast show” because there
have been additional shows available only on my website. And also the total hours are much
more than 100, because many shows have longer versions and additional parts,
totaling around 150 hours on the site.”

pfuuh, i know this is somewhat overwhelming.

in any case, it is a good occassion to point you in the direction of jd doyle’s website which is indeed a huge resource for glbt music. interesting and entertaining. so head over to queer music heritage, have a look around and maybe sing a little birthday song…

aids and music

November 30, 2007

yeah, we introduced the topic aids and music already with the post “i’ve got you under my skin”. and today is world aids day. hm, somehow i don’t want to comment on that topic right now.

but i have seen that j d doyle of queer music heritage made in november a radio show (of three hours) to the topic of songs referring to aids. queer music heritage is a fantastic, i repeat fantastic website with a lot to discover on it. i have to admit that i am still discovering a lot of unkown music there. and i have already planned to refer to some of his shows in coming posts.

so if you would like to listen to this show, go here. the general link to his website is www.queermusicheritage.us. just be warned – he makes a show every month since seven years…

then there are two songs he did not play on this show (there are quite a lot of other songs one could have played – but then diamanda galas is not exactly radiofriendly, huh?), but which are for me somehow essential songs dealing with aids – and were at the time important for me also because of this context. the first one is a rather obvious choice, it’s one by u2. not the new version (which i do not like), but the old one. although there has been a strange story not about the song, but about the first video (there are three in total), done by anton corbijn, usually called the berlin-video. soon after its release it has been pulled again – there was some official statement at mtv that the band was worried that showing them in drag would give a wrong idea of the personality of the band members… errr, what? well, i haven’t seen that particular video around for a while, but thanks to youtube we can watch it again. and yes, it is a very fine song. and for me it is about aids…

and now to a lesser known song, a song i already cried to. one of jimmy sommerville finest’s. for a friend from the communards album red. have a – good? bad? mourningful? – aids day…