Firefly Pointer Fiberglass Jacket: The Gay Music Scene

Friday, July 19, 2013

The Gay Music Scene

This past Gay Pride weekend was a lot of fun. I got to see my San Francisco friends that I rarely see, and my reflectively white skin got some sun for a change. I'm always paying attention to the music around me, and at these kind of festivities the music is impossible to ignore. Every time I am at a Gay Bar, club or event the only music I ever hear is beat heavy techno. It always stands out in a kind of offensive way to my ears. I just don't get that kind of music, simply put.

Within the LGBT community, it's everywhere. There's a stereotype about that, but it's also kinda true. You'd be hard pressed to enter a gay bar in the Castro San Francisco without there being blaring electronic music. I even wrote a blog about a remix I heard there, really really loudly. Being openly transgender, third-gendered, what have you, I feel comfortable making these observations. For the past almost 2 years I have been performing regularly in a drag troop called "The Rebel Kings." All of the Kings and Queens have funny or tongue-in-cheek names like "Vegas Jake" "Andy Topser" "Logan Cumswell" and my drag name is "Lou Weed".

Lou Weed performing at The White Horse
Photo By Davey Hi

My character focuses on rock inspired performances. Thankfully, and oddly enough, I seem to have some fans, who are always at my shows and all are over the age of 40. Every LGBT, Trans, event I've been to there was always loud electronic music. I have the stern policy that I can't dance to music I don't like. Some folks can just dance, and that's fine. But I just can't do that. But you put on some Queen, Ramones, Rolling Stones and I am overcome with a 'possessed'-like need to dance. When I was growing up, all my heroes happened to be gay. I was all about Freddie Mercury and Joan Jett as a kid. To me, that was what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wanted to rock! I think of Freddie as an awesome and empowering gay icon. Heavy techno music lacks, and yet has an abundance. It's super loud and there usually is barely any lyrics. To me it's neither here nor there, it's just noise. I literally can't tell one song from the next. Heck, I'd much rather listen to Abba.

In my gay music scene mind, they would be playing Freddie Mercury's solo work "Living on my own", and David Bowie's "D.J." I kind of appreciate when folks make dance mix versions of classic songs like "Let's Dance" by David Bowie. These days mash ups are quite popular, which also interest me. Re-mixes as much as I resent them, are clear examples of the evolution of music. And more often than not (hopefully) it turns a new generation onto an artist that their grandparents probably listened to. I feel like the contemporary gay music scene is pretty disappointing. It doesn't have to be all rock and roll, but techno music aint got the same soul.

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