Script for July 2004, QMH:
Girlyman - intro/Postcards from Mexico
That song was called "Postcards from Mexico" and it was by the group Girlyman, one of the winners in June at the Outmusic Awards. And that's what this show is all about. I'm JD Doyle. This segment is called Queer Music Heritage and I'm here on the 4th Monday of each month to bring you an hour devoted to our culture's music. But this month I'm going to forego the heritage part and bring you some of the best queer music to be released during 2003, because that music was honored at the Outmusic Awards.
Okay, if you're a fan of GLBT music and don't know about the organization Outmusic, well, you should. It was founded in New York City about 14 years ago, intended to be a group of artists helping each other. In fact their slogan is "music within community and community within music.
This is the fourth annual awards for
Outmusic and the event was held in New York City on June 13th. I was
especially thrilled with their choice of host for the event, one of
my musical heroes, Tom Robinson. I hope you all know that in 1978
Tom recorded what is perhaps our greatest anthem, "Glad to Be
Gay," and he's been an out and queer musician and activist ever
since. During the awards weekend I had the honor of interviewing Tom.
That interview will be featured on a future show, but as a preview
of it here is Tom explaining what Outmusic means to him.
I was honored to have been asked again this year to be one of the judges for the awards, and the show itself was a wonderful showcase of queer music. 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 tonight 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 some extras.
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 two years ago Tammy & Doris were known as Garden Verge. Their debut CD was called "Shadow of a Habit" and it won the award for Outstanding Recording by a Band/Duo or Group two years ago. Well, this year they won it again, for their CD called "Remember Who I Am." The category of Band/Duo/Group actually for this year was split into two categories, so Girlyman won it for Duo or Group, and the new category of Outstanding Recording by a Band was created. And so the winner of that award was a San Diego group called Danielle Lo Presti and the Masses. Here's the title track from their album "22 Mountains."
Danielle Lo Presti & the Masses - 22 Mountains
That was Danielle Lo Presti & the Masses.
Next up are the winners in the two male categories. Rufus Wainwright is probably the most well-known of any of this year's recipients, as in addition to his own recordings he's been showing up on a number of movie soundtracks, like "Moulin Rouge" and "Shrek." He's got great product placement. His album called "Want One" received the award for Outstanding New Recording, Male. From it here's "Oh What A World"
Rufus Wainwright -
Oh What a World
Following Rufus Wainwright was Jim Verraros, winner in the category Outstanding Debut Recording, Male. From his album "Unsaid and Understood" was the song "Welcome to Hollywood." And some of you may remember him as one of the finalists in the first season of American Idol.
In the two female categories I think the competition was particularly tough. And the winner for Outstanding New Recording was Pamela Means. Here's the song "Restless" from her album "Single Bullet Theory." And listen to her play the guitar.
After Pamela Means you heard a very out song called "She," by Jen Foster. Her album "Everybody's Girl" got her the Outmusic Award for Outstanding Debut Recording, Female.
Now I'm kind of proud of the Outmusic organization for the outcome of the award in the category of Outstanding Recording, Chorus or Choir. It was won by the first all transgendered choir, the Transcendence Gospel Choir, for their album called "Whosoever Believes"
Gospel Choir - Safe in the Arms of Jesus (part)
I blended from the song "Safe in the Arms of Jesus" by the Transcendence Gospel Choir into a little of the song "No Matter What Way" by Marsha Stevens, because Marsha was the recipient of one of the Special Recognition Awards given out. She was honored for her music and her ministry. She is the first, and only, major singer in contemporary Christian music to identify herself publicly as lesbian.
Another Special Recognition Award was given for Outstanding Support, which recognizes exemplary involvement by non-musicians in supporting and furthering the work of GLBT artists. To me this year's choice seems like kind of a no-brainer. The recipient, Larry Flick, is so well deserving of the honor. He constantly supported queer artists during his 14-year tenure as a senior editor at Billboard Magazine. And now he hosts a daily talk show for the satellite radio network Sirius OutQ.
And I was also very pleased that the Board of Outmusic honored Maxine Feldman for writing the first openly lesbian song. That was done in the Spring of 1969, before Stonewall, and was called "Angry Atthis."
Maxine Feldman - Angry Atthis (1971, part)
But one of the main events of the show for me was getting to see Jayne County accept the Outmusic Heritage Award. It was given to her for her four decades of work in experimental theatre and punk rock music, breaking molds and influencing legions of musicians. Her 1971 song "Are You Man Enough to Be a Woman" was just the beginning of her celebration of her transgendered identity.
Jayne County - Man Enough To Be A Woman (1971, part)
Well, you couldn't get much farther from punk rock music than the winning entry in the category of Outstanding New Recording, Instrumental. It went to Metropolitan Klezmer for their recording "Surprising Finds."
Metropolitan Klezmer - Shiver's Sher
The Outmusic Award for Outstanding Producer went to Jinx Titanic. Now, due to FCC regulations I cannot say the name of his group or album title on the air, or, for that matter, play very many of their songs. And I understand they just changed the name of the group to his name, Jinx Titanic, because they could not get advertising or mention in the press. Gee, you'd think they would have thought of that. Anyway, here's a radio edit version of their song "I Love A Boy"
Jinx Titanic - I Love A Boy (radio edit)
Similar in name confusion to the artist formerly known as Prince, that was Jinx Titanic, the group formerly known as oh, I can't tell you that, but you can see a photo of their album, and learn their former name, at my site www.queermusicheritage.com. And you can also find there photos of all the artists and recordings featured on this show, with links to their websites. This is a good time to remind you to listen to After Hours with Jimmy Carper, every Saturday night from midnight to 4am, on KPFT. It's Queer Radio with attitude.
Tom Robinson QMH promo
These next two artists were nominated for awards, but did not win, but I'm going to use a producer's prerogative in playing them because I think they are artists you should really get to hear. Brady Earnhart released his sophomore album in 2003, called "Manalapan." I think the album is amazing, and from it I picked a song I just love, "Honey, Don't Think Your Mama Don't Know."
- Honey, Don't Think Your Mama Don't Know
Following Brady Earnhart was Steven Franz with "Double My Wardrobe" from his debut album "The One You Choose." It's another wonderful album and I hope to hear much more from both these artists in the future.
In my opinion the toughest category by far this year was for Outstanding Songwriter, with some incredibly talented nominees like Deidre McCalla, Rachael Sage, Rufus Wainwright and Leah Zicari. But someone had to win and I'm just as delighted that it went to Michael Holland. I had trouble picking which song to play from his album "Beach Toys Won't Save You," but finally settled on one called "Beatrice's Boyfriend"
Michael Holland - Beatrice's Boyfriend
Michael Holland, from "Beach Toys Won't Save You." We're down to two categories, and they are special because instead of being decided by panels of judges, they are voted on by the members of Outmusic. The award for Outmusician of the Year not only honors an artist's music but also their contributions to the Outmusic community. This year it went to Alix Olson. She has provided a constant representation of queer voice, spirit and courage both nationally and internationally. She has toured non-stop for years with her lesbian spoken word CDs. Her first album "Built Like That" was nominated for several Outmusic Awards two years ago, and brought her edgy songs to the forefront. Her second album, "Independence Meal" does no less. From it here is the track "Beautiful Bones."
Alix Olson - Beautiful Bones
Alix Olson, Outmusic's Outmusician of the Year. That brings us to the last category, Outsong of the Year, for the songs that best speaks to our GLBT experience. This year there were ten songs nominated, which made it a very tough field, and again, these were voted on by the Outmusic members. I know I had a hard time deciding my choice.
Before we hear the winning song, I want to thank you all for tuning in, and I want to thank Tom Robinson for his 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. 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, where you can see photos of the artists and recordings and also about 300 candid photos I took at the awards and related events. And, if you have a high speed connection, you can hear the actual Outmusic awards show and much more. 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.
The final artist, Catie Curtis, is no stranger to winning gay music awards. When the Gay & Lesbian American Music Awards, the GLAMAs, were still in existence, she was nominated seven times, and won four of those, which included their Out Song award, twice. And now she's been given Outmusic's Outsong award for a song I think is excellent. In fact I used it to close my January show, which featured an interview with Catie. From the album "Acoustic Valentine" here's Catie Curtis with "Honest World."
Catie Curtis - Honest World