OutMusic Awards countdown: Album of the year

The wait is over and tonight is the OutMusic Awards ceremony. And there is a possibility that three awards could go to one local. We keep mentioning that only because, um, it’s cool. Gary Floyd is going into the night with three nods. He talked with us a bit about it here. One of them could be this award, which would be huge. But let’s look at what Floyd is up against.

—  Rich Lopez

OutMusic Awards countdown: Best rock song

If you caught it last week, I started a mini-series of sorts on the upcoming OutMusic Awards with the plan of introducing you to a handful of the nominees. The awards are two Mondays from today. Plus, it’s also a buildup before we talk to one local who snagged three nominations. These are definitely the gay Grammys but without the big type of superstars. Maybe that will change someday.

Last week, we looked at those up for Outstanding pop song, but this time, I’m feeling a little more rock ‘n’ roll. Take a look and listen at the five nominees for Outstanding rock song. Who do you think should win? Listen to all five of the nominees below:

—  Rich Lopez

Chatting up Hunter Valentine’s Kiyomi McCloskey

Hunter Valentine
McCloskey, center.

Thursday night at the Cavern on Lower Greenville, a triple threat of queer rock is happening. The Cliks, Hunter Valentine and Killola bring their tour to Dallas, but as a slight preview, Hunter Valentine‘s frontwoman Kiyomi McCloskey took some time to give us her quips on a seemingly burgeoning wave of queer music, how the tour is going and insights to the life of a rock star.

On booking this tour with The Cliks:  “I’ve known (frontman) Lucas for a long time since I was a teenager. We’re both from Toronto and  I just remember trying to throw a queer music night and I booked his band four or five years ago. That first time we made a friendly connection.”

On a growing number of out bands and musicians:  “It’s an awesome thing. Queer music is growing and popping up in mainstream all the time. I feel really lucky to be on tour with solid musicians who are out.”

On Canada’s growth spurt of gay music:  “Must be something in the water.” (Which is what Sara from Tegan & Sara said.)

On being on the tour:  “This chapter is good for the band. We’re touring a lot, at least 200 dates a year. That is fulfilling that goal to play to as many people as possible.

On girl power:  “A big part of our job to encourage girls to pick up guitars and play.”

Diverse audience?  “We have a younger core audience, but the great thing about a Hunter Valentine show is the wide range of people. You have anything from 45 straight males to 13 queer girls at a show. As long as everyone is into the music.”

Queer perspectives in songwriting?  “I just write what I feel. I don’t know if that’s from a constant queer perspective. I try to write about what deeply affects me.”

Coming to Dallas:  “LGBT audiences can [be] straight up honest rock shows. We have lots of emotions and wear our hearts on our sleeves.”

Hunter Valentine performs tonight at The Cavern, 1914 Greenville Ave. 9 p.m. $8.

—  Rich Lopez

The Cliks are finally on the road and come to Dallas tonight

Trans man Lucas Silveira hits the road with The Cliks — a year late

Last summer, Toronto rock trio The Cliks released Dirty King. Coming off strong buzz from their 2007 album Snakehouse and the public approval of high profile bands like The Cult and Cyndi Lauper, the band was on the rise. With King, their sound matured yet still offered the grit of garage rock.

But the band imploded soon after, leaving trans frontman Lucas Silveira with a new album on his hands and a major setback.

“The band on King left and that put a halt in touring and getting the album out there,” Silveira says. “That wasn’t great for the album taking off after its release.”

But The Cliks was always Silveira’s project. He was disappointed that bandmates Morgan Doctor and Jen Benton departed before touring, but he rallied and is on the road with a new incarnation, hoping fans haven’t forgotten the album he’s now supporting. He’ll find out Thursday when their tour brings them to Dallas.

DEETS: With Hunter Valentine and Killola. The Cavern, 1914 Greenville Ave. 9 p.m. $8. TheCliks.com.

To read the rest of Rich Lopez’s article on the band, click here.

—  Rich Lopez