Music Hub




The OXD Mirror: New Disco and House Tracks for Your Halloween Celebrations

OXD_TheOXDMirror_102914

BY OCCUPY THE DISCO / JOSH APPELBAUM

Disco's influences can be heard in many different genres today, but probably none greater than house music. In fact, the lines can often be blurred between the two genres, and this track by Vienna-based producer LeSale falls somewhere in between.

Lesale feat. Mavin: 'In Command'

'In Command' is the title track from his upcoming EP, and features vocals from Mavin. The track has already built up a nice buzz amongst critics and peers, with Jacques Renault contributing a remix for the record as well. Check out Mavin's falsetto around the 2:55 mark, which to me at first sounded a little like Florence Welch.

More new music for your ears, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "The OXD Mirror: New Disco and House Tracks for Your Halloween Celebrations" »


Yes, Nick Jonas Is (Sort of) Queerbaiting His Gay Fans. So What?

IMG_9209

The Interplay is a special biweekly series exploring the intersections of sex, pop culture, and current events.

BY CHARLES PULLIAM-MOORE

Last week, Flaunt magazine published its highly anticipated profile of Nick Jonas. The conversation was everything that the pre-release photos of Jonas promised it would be. It was prosaic. It was splashy. Mostly though--it was sexy, or rather, it was about sex. There are songs on the eponymously titled Nick Jonas that the 22 year-old singer wants you to be getting down to. With one hand resting on his proverbial “sword,” Jonas frankly endorsed the idea of you having sex to his new album.  

Like many Disney Channel stars before him, Jonas grew up in the public spotlight. His image, like his music, is maturing as he reorients himself towards a different demographic. Purity rings may have worked to sell albums to pre-teen girls, but Jonas circa 2014 is obviously going for a new market. There’s a big difference between signing autographs during a mall tour and pseudo-stripping your way through the gay NYC club circuit. Make no mistake: Nick Jonas is undoubtedly queerbaiting his gay fans. He’d be a fool not to.

 

In 2013 LGBT buying power was projected to peak at about $830 billion dollars, a figure that Jonas’s representation, Island Records, is certainly aware of. In an interview with Pride Source, Jonas chafed at the idea that he was using his Apollo’s belt to drum up gay interest in his music.

Selfie_jonas"I think it's unfortunate that some people have to find a negative in every situation," he explained in response to allegations of queerbaiting. "Clearly my heart is in the right place, and more than anything, if they just looked at my life and my gay friends and the authentic nature of where my heart is, they'd just see that they're kind of ignorant."

“The nature of where we are today is, we're in a time where we need to make strides and step forward as a society and embrace all people from all different walks of life. When you're trying to make a bold statement like that, some people aren't gonna fall in line with that. And that's OK. You gotta stay on your own path.”

Like any savvy business person, Jonas is quick to point out that he loves his gay fans despite his being straight and he’s totally cool with the fact that a large number of men find him attractive. 

Queerbaiting, in its traditional, insidious usage refers to the practice in which content creators position themselves as being a part of the “queer community” through strategic artifice. Katy Perry may have actually enjoyed kissing a woman at some point in her life and Nicki Minaj has been known to sign a breast or two after a concert. 

Neither of these performers has come out as being queer, opting instead to flirt with the ideas of both implicit and explicit bisexuality or lesbianism. Katy and Nicki love their gay fans too, but their histories of fauxmosexuality are egregious in a way that Nick Jonas’s isn’t. Jonas is queerbaiting only in the sense that he’s being an attractive man in public and inviting gay men to hand over their cash as tribute to his abdominal muscles. 

The harms associated with queerbaiting manifest themselves most clearly within the context of television, where long character-arcs, plotlines, and fanbases commingle in a heady mix of storytelling, ratings, and advertising. In a lengthy analysis of the BBC’s Sherlock and TNT’s Rizzoli and Isles, Autostraddle’s Rose Bridges explains how the two shows have a history of poking fun at canonical homosexual subtext. In doing so, she reasons, the shows’ writers turn characters’ implied queerness into the butt of lazy jokes that alienate queer audiences:

Friend 1.1"Indeed, the idea behind “no homo” is both that homosexuality is little more than a gag, and also that it’s deviant and wrong some way – “of course we’re not gay, how could you even think that” is the underlying assumption behind the joke.

When it’s that deliberate as in the cases of Sherlock or Rizzoli & Isles, there is a distinct feeling that the creators are playing with LGBTQ – and invested-in-LGBTQ-relationships (since the core of the “Johnlock” fanbase is slash-fanfiction-writing straight women) – dollars, but don’t care enough about us that they’d risk actually offending homophobes with explicit queer representation."

Friend2The closest musical equivalent to Bridges’s model for queerbaiting are the members of One Direction. Search for “X kissing Y,” where X and Y are the first names of any two members of the band. You’re guaranteed to find thousands of results--gossip articles, videos, fanfiction, etc.--feverishly speculating about the boys’ sexuality. Are they gay? Who knows? More importantly: who cares?

At its core, queerbaiting is tied in the increasingly less factual idea that there aren’t enough LGBT figures in the media. Nick Jonas isn’t the bait dangling from the tip of a musical hook. Rather, he’s a male pop star working in the age of “peak hot guy.” Explicit male sexuality is a cultural commodity, and if Nick Jonas is to be successful, then Nick Jonas is going to have to give the public its pound of flesh.


Postmodern Jukebox Gives Calvin Harris' 'Summer' A Vintage Latin Twist: VIDEO

Summer

Scott Bradlee and his Postmodern Jukebox have taken on Calvin Harris' "Summer" in the group's latest video of retro inspired covers of contemporary hits. In case you're already missing the warm days of summer, let this smooth and laidback rendition transport you to your favoite warm weather destination.

Go back to Summer, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Postmodern Jukebox Gives Calvin Harris' 'Summer' A Vintage Latin Twist: VIDEO" »


Mykki Blanco Does Not Want To Be Called A 'Gay Rapper'

MykkiblancoYesterday Mykki Blanco spoke with Entertainment Weekly to promote his new album, Gay Dog Food, which drops today.

In the interview, Blanco describes the album as "gross," and he characterizes sound as "like it’s coming out of white noise." He compares the "crunchy" sound to an "air conditioning unit and a blender," and he says his "more pensive and feminine" energy is the yin to the yang of known acts with similar sounds — such as Death Grips, System of a Down, Limp Bizkit.

Blanco talks sexuality, too. On the one hand, being gay means his work is often given less credit. Blanco remembers a particular anecdote: 

To be honest I remember when my song “Haze.Boogie.Life” came on a friend—he didn’t say this to make me feel bad, it was just the f–king truth—he was like, you have one of the hottest f–king songs right now, but because you’re a gay rapper, people are trying to turn a blind eye toward it. If Lil Wayne or somebody came out with this song, it would be on the radio.

He also is annoyed by the labels he is given, saying he finds it "stupid" if a listener hears his new album and still wants to just put him in the simple box of "gay rapper."

Check out the artist's SoundCloud here.


New Music: Sportsman, LemuelG, Black Coast, Beans On Toast, Half Man Half Biscuit, Cash + David - LISTEN

Sportsman - Taylor Swift - Begin Again (cover)

New Music, brought to you weekly by Deadly Music!, will generally avoid most mainstream music - unless it's particularly deadly - to give new, emerging and fringe artists a chance. Most tracks are available on a Soundcloud playlist, some of them on a Spotify playlist....both of which are embedded at the end of this column.

Enjoy!

***

Sportsman: Begin Again (Taylor Swift Cover)

SportsmanI never expected to write about Taylor Swift for Towleroad but when Sportsman - aka Per Magnusson from Sweden, an already-proven maker of beautiful, often downtempo electro pop - drops such a beautiful cover of "Begin Again" you’d be a fool not to.

Magnusson calls himself a “pop melody whore.” This proves he’s not joking.

*** 

 

LemuelG: Life Cap

Lemuel G Life Cap
Just occasionally you’ll hear a track from a new artist that even on first listening is miles above the rest and suggests something seriously exciting.

This first in quite a while to reach those dizzy heights is LemuelG aka Lemuel Wilcox.  

Currently recording his debut album his debut track "Life Cap" is an obviously very personal downtempo indie pop track that comes on like a heady mix of early Radiohead and Modest Mouse with a little bit of potential Martin Grech-level misery thrown in.

A genuinely stunning debut.

*** 

Check out four more acts and some killer playlists, AFTER THE JUMP...

 

Black Coast: TRNDSTTR (featuring M Maggie)

Black Coast TRNNDSTTRStan Rappaport used to be a member of New York-based electro pop outfit Prinze George but has recently branched out into a new solo project.

His first track as Black Coast is a collaboration with New York poet and songwriter M. Maggie.  

A downtempo, tender electro pop number with a wash of warm synth sequences, this is an instant classic that’s up there with the likes of Wet, Naomi Pilgrim and (tried to get through a week without mentioning them) CHVRCHES.

*** 

 

Beans On Toast: The Chicken Song

Beans-on-Toast-The-Chicken-SongBeans On Toast is an English singer doing what he calls "drunk folk" and what generally fits into the burgeoning mini-genre of anti-folk, which also includes the likes of Ha The Unclear, The Vinegar Tits and Half Man Half Biscuit (who probably invented the genre really).

Beans On Toast is something of a scene legend, having recorded with Emmy The Great, Mumford and Sons and Frank Turner among many others.

With a new album The Grand Scene Of Things out in December, he’s just dropped the lead track "The Chicken Song," a sing-along pub folk anthem about man’s enslavement and torture of chickens.

Potentially NSFW.

***
Check out some more acts and a killer playlist, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "New Music: Sportsman, LemuelG, Black Coast, Beans On Toast, Half Man Half Biscuit, Cash + David - LISTEN" »


Kelly Clarkson Performs Soulful Cover Of Taylor Swift's 'Shake It Off' - VIDEO

Kelly

The original American Idol has turned in another noteworthy cover. No Sam Smith this time, Kelly instead sets her vocal sights on Ms. 1989 herself, Taylor Swift and her "screw the haters" anthem, "Shake It Off."

Watch and listen as Kelly shakes it off, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Kelly Clarkson Performs Soulful Cover Of Taylor Swift's 'Shake It Off' - VIDEO" »


Trending



Towleroad - Blogged