Earlier this month, Vancouver, BC hosted the first (and fingers crossed, annual) Shout Back! — an all-ages, queer, radical, D.I.Y., anarcha-feminist music festival. Nearly 50 bands played over the hectic span of 2.5 days. From cabaret to punk, twee pop to noise, this BitchTapes is devoted to a few (yes, 15 is a few) of the bands and solo musicians from the Shout Back! 2012 bill.
One fateful evening in a kitchen in Brooklyn in the winter of 2008, I stood leaning on a window, freezing air seeping into the sweaty room. A woman emerged from the bathroom wearing a modest black dress with a white collar. In the smallest voice, she said, "We're Screaming Females and we're from New Jersey." My eyes lit up.
Welcome then to the second installment of Queercore Now and Forever More! I regret to am thrilled to inform you that the last BitchTapes devoted to contemporary queer music was incomplete. Limited to under 20 tracks with links flickering to former + side projects, there is so much more queer music to share with you reader/listener! Plus, after Not Enough! and the self-motivating cultural ripples the Portland-based queer arts/music festival creates, a heap of queer projects in the Northwest alone have started up since the last mix 10 months back. Check out the latest tracks from Queercore's lesser-known-soon-to-be-faves as well as established contemporary artists:
Punk Start My Heart began as a punk booking agency run by Sheana Corbridge and Marlena Chavez dedicated to promoting musicians of color and queer artists for shows around Portland, Oregon. Inundated with requests from superb bands on the Internet, they came up with a DIY innovation: Not Enough!, a festival designed for queer artists to get together, collaborate, and come up with new art and music projects. Now they're taking things a step further and starting a record label for some of the acts they've booked and worked with in Not Enough!—some bands you've even heard on Bitchtapes and B-Sides past. To get their record label off the ground they've made a Kickstarter video (Flash video below, download video description in .doc form here):
Social Life (Last Bummer Records), Making Friendz' first album channeling punk, '80s pop, and R&B through a lo-fi filter, is a great time whether you're sharing it with your crush de jour or or having a lone sing-along pining sesh in your bedroom.
With lyrics like "Don't want to hurt nobody/just want to touch your body" ("Situation") and "Don't make me cry, I just want to be inside you" ("Don't Make Me Cry"), Tami Hart's songs are less about love and more about friends with benefits, and her beats are sharp but have a sloppy fuzziness that adds to the party appeal. This isn't cold, electronic-driven pop, Hart's inflections (and goofy flourishes from the 80s--cheesy synth takes on a new sincerity when it's about getting in someone's pants) give it warmth and personality that brings together dancefloor fun and hardcore longing.
I spent my weekend hanging out at FOC (Females of Color) FEST, a new Portland-based festival celebrating musicians of color from the West Coast. Two nights of bands in an empty bike shop may sound meager for a music festival, but by the time 2am rolled around on Saturday night I was completely exhausted (in a great way) from the weekend of awesome music.
After a year or so of touring with only three MP3s online, MEN's debut album, Talk About Body finally came out last month. From the heady opener "Life's Half Price" to the mesmerizing "Simultaneously," its tight electronic beats, smart feminist lyrics, and a non-stop urge to sing along and shake your body makes for a record that's as fun as it is thoughtful. Now you can catch the trio of JD Samson (formerly of Le Tigre), Michael O'Neil, and new bassist Tami Hart (of Making Friendz) on tour! Expect homemade, abstract outfits and set designs, a restless dance floor, and every beat, bass line, and guitar riff of Talk About Body amplified by some great stage presence. I spoke with Samson before MEN's set last week in Portland, Oregon about queer visibility, the politics of dance, and Lady Gaga.
Who needs overpriced beer and heatstroke when you can enjoy a music festival in the comfort of your own city? That's how I feel about Musicfest Northwest, taking place in Portland next week from September 8-11. Bitch Media will doing special daily blog posts on the upcoming acts. Don't worry--we won't flood the interwebs with any more updates on the Walkmen or The National, we'll be covering queer and female artists who maybe aren't getting as much attention as the bigger acts. PDX-ers can be informed about which shows to catch and non-locals can look forward new music, mp3s, and videos from shows. This week's mix is emblematic of the Pac-NW unknowns and international stars playing Portland next week. From New-Orleans bounce to artsy-dance and folk rock, hopefully you'll find something you like! Track list after the jump.
The Dallas Cheerleaders they're not, but the Queertastics are using radical cheerleading to spread their message of body acceptance and good times both in and out of the queer community. Danny Hayes spoke with Deacon and August in Austin TX (the Queertastics' hometown!) at Gay Bi Gay Gay this spring.