Script for July 2002, QMH:
Garden Verge / Intro
Tonight's show is kind of a special one. It salutes the winners of the Outmusic Awards. Now if you're a fan of music by GLBT artists, and you don't know about the organization Outmusic, well, you should. Outmusic was started in New York City about 12 years ago, intended to be a group of artists helping each other. I've got a quote by one of the founders, Dan Martin, that really does a better job of describing it.
Dan Martin: Outmusic is a really beautiful family of queer musicians that started in New York, and is now really all over the world. It's a network of queer musicians who listen to each other's music, support each other's work, and try to advance the state of queer music in the world.
This is the second annual awards for Outmusic and the event was held in New York on June 9th, and was hosted by Randy Jones, of the Village People, and his partner, fellow musician Will Grega. Dan Martin tells us more about the awards.
Dan Martin: The Outmusic Awards celebrate excellence in queer music and also in cultural activism, and we are now in our second year of presenting these awards. They are basically an awards program on the model of the Grammys or the Oscars in which queer musicians from all over the world submitted music in a variety of categories.
I was honored to have been asked to be one of the judges for the awards, and I also attended the event, and the show itself was wonderful. If you want to hear a more news-oriented report on the awards, complete with clips from the acceptance speeches, that story was aired on This Way Out earlier this month, but can also be heard on-demand at my website. But for this show I'm going to try to keep my talking down to a minimum so I can fit in as much music as possible.
You're going to hear quite a variety of music, touching a lot of different genres. I'm playing songs by all the winners, and a couple of extras. And, the CDs are all from last year, in order for them to be eligible for the awards. Now, if you were paying attention to the very start of the show, you heard a harmony intro by a group that introduced themselves as Girlyman. Well, Girlyman is made up of Tammy Greenstein, Doris Muramatsu, and Nate Borofsky. Before Nate joined the group this year Tammy & Doris were known as Garden Verge. You might describe their style as harmony-driven urban folk. Their debut CD was called "Shadow of a Habit" and it was good enough to win the Outmusic Award for Outstanding Recording by a Band/Duo or Group. From that CD, here is "Shining Through" and after that you'll hear a song by the Best Male Artist winner.
Garden Verge - shining
After Garden Verge you heard the song
"Dominoes" from Skott Freedman's album called "Anything
Worth Mentioning." Skott is a bisexual artist from New Jersey,
and won with his second album. I think he's very talented and I interviewed
him on my show in May of last year. You can hear that interview on
my website. In addition to doing his music, Skott's also is very active
in doing speaking engagements at colleges on the subject of bisexuality.
One of his intriguing lectures is called "Battling Biphobia and
In the category of Outstanding Producer of the Year, there was a tie for the winner, and the artists have quite different styles. First you'll hear Magdalen Hsu-Li, singing a song about Matthew Shepard, called "Laramie" from her CD "Fire."
Magdalen Hsu-Li - laramie
We're used to Magdalen doing outstanding work. Her first album, "Evolution" from 1998 was nominated for a GLAMA award. For this year the other winner of the Best Producer award was Eve Sicular for producing the album "Mosaic Persuasion." Now, this is klezmer music, something you've never heard on this show, and the album features two groups, Metropolitan Klezmer and the Isle of Klezbos. The members of the groups overlap and Eve is the drummer and leader of the groups. From the album "Mosaic Persuasion" here is a selection called "Brandwein in the Lotus Groove"
Metropolitan Klezmer - brandwein in the lotus groove
I'm going to stay in the instrumental mode for one more song. The category was Outstanding Songwriter and the winner was Drew Paralic for his debut CD "Too Little, Too Late." Now something that I think is remarkable about this win and really demonstrated the quality of the work, is that this was an instrumental jazz album, and even with no lyrics he won the songwriting award. When I heard his name announced as the winner, I leaned over to one of the hosts, Will Grega, and said, "hey, we got class."
Here's the title track from Drew Paralic's CD "Too Little, Too Late."
Drew Paralic - too little too late
From a soothing jazz tune I'm switching to a powerful selection by the Boston Gay Men's Chorus. As you might guess, they won in the category of Outstanding New Recording by a Chorus or Choir. Here's the title track of their Christmas album called "Gloria."
Boston Gay Men's Chorus - gloria
Also at the Outmusic Awards was the presentation of three honorary awards. The Outmusic Heritage Award went to Alix Dobkin, for her early, on-going and far-reaching contributions to our music culture. Alix was there to accept the award and gave a memorable performance. And Grant King and Deian McBryde were honored, not only for being gifted performers, but for their extensive volunteer work within the Outmusic community. One facet of Grant's involvement is that he has been a continual champion of the work of other artists, and in finding ways to involve Outmusic members in his own projects.
Deian was Artistic Director last year and created the Outmusic Awards and helped revitalize many of the programs for the group. Last year he recorded a show ID for me, and since I know he has a sense of humor, I'm going to let you hear the outtake first.
QMH IDs - Deian McBryde
Next I'm going to throw in some music by a group that did not win a award, but they have the distinction of being nominated twice in the same category. The category is Outsong of the Year, and this category is kind of unique, as Outmusic is the only organization giving such an award. It's criteria is that a song must speak to or from the LGBT experience. The group Estrogen is made up of Corinne Curcio, Carol Markowitz and Lori Muskat, and Lori wrote both songs, "Lesbian Time," and "Lesbian Moment." They appear on their album called "Tales From Lesbianville." You'll hear both songs, and after that will be another song that was nominated for the Outsong award, by Amy Fix.
Estrogen - lesbian
You just heard Estrogen singing "Lesbian Moment," and "Lesbian Time", and closing the set was the song "Closet" by Amy Fix. Amy did not win the Outsong award, but she's not complaining, as she picked up the award for Outstanding Debut Recording by a Female, for her album called "Spoon." I like the description of her from her website "Amy writes hilarious, quirky, earnest teen love odes to the girls she loved when she went to High School High in Anytown, USA. She's the wholesome poster-child of bisexuality." And also, "Amy Fix is also gaining momentum as a singer of healing songs and an inspiring speaker on the subject of overcoming childhood sexual abuse." That she manages to bring together such different subjects on an album, and make it work, is a tribute to her talent.
You know, that song "closet" by Amy Fix, was so short, only two minutes, that I'd like you to also hear the title track from her CD. It's called "spoon" and it's also short, but very delightful.
Amy Fix - spoon
Okay, Amy Fix won for the category of Outstanding Debut Recording by a Female. For Outstanding Debut Recording by a Male, the honor was taken home by Ari Gold. Ari is a talent I've been aware of for quite some time because I got to hear a demo tape of his three years ago. I couldn't wait for the album, which was released last year. And, now that I got to visit with him a little in New York, and see him perform, I can't wait hear his new material on his next album. His debut album is just called "Ari Gold" and from it here is the song "Home."
Ari Gold - home
An artist that I had the pleasure of meeting last year, when she performed at the Houston Pride Festival, is Suede, and she's as nice as she is talented, and that's saying a lot. Her latest album is called "On The Day We Met," and it brought her two awards for the evening. One of these was for Outstanding New Recording by a Female. Now, since I was a judge I got to see the albums that were submitted in the various categories, and this one was perhaps one of the toughest. The caliber of the not only the nominations, but also for those not nominated, was excellent. And, no, in case you're curious, I was not a judge in that category, so I fortunately did not have to make that hard decision.
Suede was the only two-time winner of the awards event. Her recording of the song "Emily Remembers" also won the Outsong of the Year award. It was written by Shirley Eickhard, and is notable because it is one of the few songs that talk about our lives when we get older. And it does so beautifully. Here is "Emily Remembers," by Suede.
Suede - emily remembers
Again, that was Suede singing "Emily Remembers." I've got time on this show to slip in one more artist who was nominated but did not win. I know it sounds cliché, but the caliber of those vying for the awards in all of the categories was so high, that you felt bad that only one could take home an award. So I want you to hear this artist, who I know you'll hear more of in the future. I was real pleased that I got to meet her and see her perform this song live. Her name is Alix Olson.
Alix brings us her own blend of rock and slam poetry, and her music is totally unique and refreshing. Her debut album is called "Built Like That," and to show the scope of her talent, she was nominated in three categories, Outstanding Debut Recording by a Female, Outstanding Producer, and Outstanding Songwriter." Alison Bechdel, who writes the comic strip "Dykes to Watch Out For," has a wonderful description of Alix Olson. She says "Alix is a red-hot, fire-bellied, feminism-spewin' volcano. Plus she rhymes."
Be ready to be blown away, here is Alix Olson, singing "Checking My Pulse."
Alix Olson - checking my pulse
That was Alix Olson. I'm down to the last Outmusic award category of the their show and mine, the award for Outmusician of the Year. As the name might imply, this is an important award because it not only honors the artist's music but their contributions to the Outmusic community in the terms of cultural activism. And this category, like Out Song of the year, was unique in that it was voted on by the members, rather than a panel of judges. The competiton was very tough, but the award went to Jamie Anderson. Now, anyone who's been listening to my show for very long knows that Jamie's a favorite of mine. She's been releasing wonderful albums of openly lesbian music since 1989. Her community work includes countless benefit concerts in order to bring attention to a variety of GLBT causes. And the song I'm playing to close the show was also nominated for the Out Song of the year. So that means you will have heard all five of the nominees in that category.
Now, I guess to be journalistically complete, I should mention there was another members choice Outmusic award, for Outstanding Support. That award recognizes outstanding involvement by non-musician members in supporting and furthering the work of LGBT music and the Outmusic organization. I am very honored to have received that award, and to be able to accept it on that stage before a room full of artists who are providing us with the music I love, well, that will be a memory that will last a lifetime.
But I was telling you about the last song of the show, by Jamie Anderson. Before we hear it, I want to thank you all for tuning in, and I want to thank Dan Martin for his interview comments. And while I'm sure you can tell I'm a little biased, I definitely recommend you visit the Outmusic website, at www.outmusic.com, to find out more about this organization, and to get acquainted with the artists who belong. On the members page you'll see listings and links for over a hundred GLBT artists. So, if, like me, you think queer music is more than the music you hear at circuit parties, or that of divas, and showtunes, you should visit the Outmusic site.
And, of course I've got to plug my own site again, at www.queermusicheritage.com, because I've recently added the ability to hear my shows on-demand, as they stream into your computer. So, if you have questions or comments about any of the music I've featured, please write to me. This is JD Doyle for Queer Voices on KPFT in Houston, and I'll be back on the 4th Monday of next month with another installment of Queer Music Heritage.
Now, back to Jamie Anderson, Outmusic's Outmusician of the Year, with the title track from her latest album, "Listen"
Jamie Anderson - listen