Queer duo Matmos (Drew Daniel and Martin Schmidt) has been at the forefront of the electronic music scene since the mid-1990s. But it was their groundbreaking 2001 release A Chance to Cut is a Chance to Curethat earned them their elevated profile. Incorporating the sounds of surgery into their sonic landscape, Matmos offered a cure for the occasional monotony of electro. In a way, they return to the body, the mind this time, with their latest disc The Marriage of True Minds(Thrill Jockey). A thought-provoking concept recording that utilizes telepathic experimentation, it’s a logical addition to the Matmos canon. had the pleasure of speaking with Drew Daniel of Matmos at the time of the release of the disc.
Singer/songwriter and ex-model Sir Ari Gold does not shy away from adversity. One of the first openly gay artists from the start of his 15-year career, Sir Ari has stopped buses, defied decency laws and refused to join the world of the future. With his sixth album about to drop, Play My F**kn Remix, Sir Ari has proven that he has staying power which far exceeds the more conventional model which he was encouraged to follow. He was nice enough to sit down with Baltimore OUTloud and wax poetic about Lincoln Logs, trying to avoid arrest and which musical installations are least likely to hit on you.
Speaking Wiri Wiri (Red Hen Press, 2013) by gay poet Dan Vera is the winner of the inaugural Letras Latinas / Red Hen Poetry Prize. The book, Vera’s second full-length collection, consists of 45 poems in five distinct sections. Taken as a whole, without the “borders,” if you will, there is a cohesive voice and message. Latino, queer, son of immigrants, fascinated with language and memory (two of the sections are “The Trouble With Memory” and “The Memory Of The Tongue”), Vera’s book couldn’t come at a better time, especially with immigration reform and LGBT issues on everyone’s mind. Writing with authority, assurance and passion, Vera’s Speaking Wiri Wiri him his rightful place alongside his poetry heroes, living and dead. I spoke with Vera shortly before the publication of his book. (Full disclosure: Dan Vera’s press, Souvenir Spoon Books, published Gregg Shapiro’s 2012 chapbook, Gregg Shapiro: 77.)
On her new double CD release Peace Becomes You (Calico Tacks Music), singer/songwriter and activist Holly Near draws on the various influences and inspirations of her musical career to create a song collection to satisfy her diverse audience. Standards from the Great American Songbook and songs of protest sit comfortably alongside compositions by women’s music legends (including those by Near herself) and a few modern pop tunes. It’s to Near’s credit (and years of performance experience) that she’s able to be so versatile when it comes to her musical selections. Few other artists would be able to pull of such a move and it sounds perfectly natural when Near does it. As committed as ever to fighting the good fight, Near, who has long been lending her voice to a variety of causes and movements, including peace, environment, women’s and feminist, and, of course, LGBT, took time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions in early 2013.
Musician Will Schwartz, of Psychic Friend, first came to prominence as one of the two gay male members of the San Francisco band Imperial Teen (perhaps best known for its modest 1999 hit single “Yoo Hoo”). As an active founding member of Imperial Teen, Schwartz could be heard most recently on the band’s stellar 2012 release Feel the Sound.
REACHING OUT TO THE GAY AND LESBIAN COMMUNITY?
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