Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Sound of Queer Music 2014, Vol. 4

In this four-part, end-of-the-year series, I'm featuring sixteen queer artists or bands that fucked with the heteronormative cultural bias in 2014.

Volume 4 is probably, mostly and sometimes totally NSFW (Not Safe For Work). Seriously.

Dominic Fournier (AKA Abeardedboy)
He's featured in Holopaw's video for "Dirty Boots" (below)

Queen Mimosa 3. That's the pseudonym chosen by French photographer and musician Jonathan Icher. No, I couldn't find an explanation for the number 3.  Beyond describing his gender as "neutral" on his Facebook page, there's not much information about him out there at all -- even though this persona has been around since 2009 (his first album, So Sexy, includes a song called "You Fuck Like a Dog"). However, if you speak/read French you can probably learn a little more from the handful of interviews he's given. If you'd like to see his amazing photography, go here. Nothing about this guy will leave you indifferent. Trust me.

Queen Mimosa 3 (photo: Jonathan Icher)
Song & Video: "Petit Chat." The name translates in English to small cat or kitten. It's a burst of electropop insanity -- sung in French. Lyrically, it appears to have something to do with how much easier it is to be feline. Directed by Icher himself, the video is a boisterous, demented parody of stuff that generates buzz on the net -- you know, cats or sexy men and women dancing. Lots of half-naked folks here, great beards, crazy costumes, some cats and -- trigger alert! -- a couple of big spiders. And twerking. Also, the lyrics are translated into Japanese at the bottom of the screen.

Cazwell. Real name: Luke Caswell. He's been making music since the late '90s, but probably made his first big impression about a decade ago with an explicit dance release entitled "All Over Your Face." A mashup of hip-hop, dance and electropop, some people have described what he does as "homo hop." Whatever it is, Cazwell does it with irreverence, defiant vulgarity and a wicked sense of humor. Visit his website here. His Facebook page is here.

Cazwell (photo: Athena Maroulis)
Song & Video: "Hot Homo" featuring Big Dipper (A Freestyle Parody of Bobby Shmurda's "Hot N*gga"). A little background: In 2014, rapper Bobby Shmurda released a popular debut single called "Hot Nigga." It's one of those aggressive rap songs about guns and drugs and murder that scares the shit out of white people... for some reason that's never been clear to me. Enter Cazwell and queer bear rapper Big Dipper. They've created a freestyle (and dirty) rap parody that hilariously subverts Shmurda's swagger. (If you want to see the inspiration for this parody, here's the video. Yeah, it's seriously not safe for work either.)

Adore Delano. That's the drag persona created by Danny Noriega, an American Idol semi-finalist (2008) and season 6 contestant on RuPaul's Drag Race. According to a recent Facebook post, she personally regards herself as "a musician in drag." Post Drag Race, she released an album, Till Death Do Us Party -- it peaked at number one on the Billboard Dance/Electronic music chart. So yeah, that musician-in-drag thing is working out pretty good for her so far.

Adore Delano (photo: Magnus Hastings)
Song & Video: "DTF." Just so you know, DTF Stands for "down to fuck. Here's what Delano told The Huffington Post upon the song's release last summer: "I always wanted to create a hoodrat raunchy song. 'DTF' is grimy, pop, hood shit. I'm really excited because the sound is unlike anything else out there." Well, okay. All I know is that it's hard to resist a song with lyrics like, "Everybody get some cherry candy yum yum." Simultaneously silly and provocative, the video is a gloriously garish and terrifically photographed blast. (BTW, the sweaty guy prominently featured here is model Max Emerson. You can follow him on Instagram here. You're welcome.)

Holopaw. Despite having been around since 1997, this is the year I finally (and thankfully) discovered this indie band from Gainesville, Florida. It's fronted by openly queer vocalist John Orth, the lineup has fluctuated over the years but currently consists of Orth, twin brothers Patrick and Ryan Quinney, Jeff McCullen and Matt Radick. Orth's sometimes tremulous voice and his unique approach to songwriting create a sound that doesn't fit easily into any musical category. It's genteel, but sometimes eerie... evocative, but also a little off-kilter. Holopaw's latest release -- Academy Songs, Part 1 -- is available on Amazon; their previous albums are on iTunes.

John Orth (via tumblr)

Song & Video: "Dirty Boots." Really, you should just read the lyrics yourself...

He don't hang around no more
He don't wear those dirty old black boots no more
He don't
He don't switchblade like he did before
He don't drift like the virgin snow
If I could be anything in this world that shines
I would be a switchblade pressed hotly against your thigh
At the top of the stairs like a pink kimono hanging over the rails
He didn't notice
He was taking in the smoke like a French inhaler with his headphones on
He had a beautiful tiger painted on his arm but he can't remember where it came from
No, he can't quite recall the other marks on his body, how they got there either
There were daggers drawn on his skin with a magic marking pen
Lines were bruisy, stance was woozy and his head hung low

Holopaw hired Brooklyn-based filmmaker Adam Baran to create a video. It opens with a short narration by legendary (and semi-reclusive) '70s gay porn star Peter Berlin (Nights in Black Leather), and it stars tumblr sensation Abeardedboy. According to director Baran, "the video follows a sexually-charged day in the life a a gay biker gang in Brooklyn. They awake in a tangle of leather, then suit up and ride to an underground sex club to initiate new members. Boundaries are pushed, but the boys find love, family and the unexpected." So, it's like the most adult Disney move ever made. (Let me remind you again: This is not safe for work or your conservative relatives that watch Fox News.)


Something sweet, sexy and sensual from Matt Alber... "Handsome Man." 

Matt Alber (left) and his beau
This cut from his 2014 release, Wind Sand Stars, is a gentle love song to an adored partner. Alber finds the right romantic notes and wears his gay heart on his sleeve here. The video: two men wake up together and spend their morning in a bubble of profound affection. It's photographed with a surprising intimacy that almost makes you feel like you're eavesdropping.

Wanna see the first three blogs in this series? Volume 1 is here, Volume 2 is here and Volume 3 is here. Enjoy!


  1. I'm so happy that you are keeping me informed with such great selections by OUTstanding artists.

  2. If I watch more of this again, I'll need a moist cloth.