WATCH: Murs’ pro-gay “Animal Style”

Internet buzz is ramping up for L.A. rapper Murs’ newest video. Well, it’s a week old officially, but the gay blogs are just catching wind of the pro-gay stance of “Animal Style” taken by the indie hip-hop artist. Much like Texas rapper Adair Lion, Murs, who is straight, pushes queer issues into the hip-hop arena. Huffy Po’s Gay Voices blog analyzes the video while Out talks to Murs about his gay kiss and what his wife thinks about it.

Murs has a healthy stance on the issue and his chat with Out reveals some insight to why he’s gay friendly. The video and song play a bit roughly with both graphic imagery and language, but also in structure. While I appreciate what he’s doing, dang it’s hard to vibe with his flow. But with Lion, Frank Ocean Y-Love and A-list musicians either supporting LGBT rights or coming out, queer identity and big and small ways looks to be changing the face of hip-hop.

Watch “Animal Style” after the jump.

—  Rich Lopez

WATCH: Brandon Hilton’s “Frozen”

Dallas-based singer Brandon Hilton celebrated the holiday with the release of his new video “Frozen.” Financed out of his own pocket, Hilton prominently features the Large Marge bridge in the background and some interesting product placement.

Hilton’s getting more confident in his singing and the song has some assertive energy. And he is working those wedges!

Watch the video for “Frozen” after the jump.

—  Rich Lopez

JCPenney taps Girl in a Coma’s brand new “Heatwave” cover for July national ad campaign

To get in the summertime groove, Girl in a Coma just released their cover of the classic “Heatwave.” Personally, as a big Martha and the Vandellas fan, this made my day and am adding to my summer playlists. But the bigger news is that North Texas-based retailer JCPenney has picked up the song for its July national ad campaign. Whether by coincidence or design, this should reinforce the company’s support of the LGBT population. But they pretty much have won the community over already.

“Heatwave” is now available on iTunes.

—  Rich Lopez

GIAC scores an Independent Music Award

In March, I posted the LGBT nominees for this year’s Independent Music Awards which included RuPaul, Melissa Ferrick and San Antonio’s Girl in a Coma. But GIAC was the only queer act to walk away with an award. At last week’s winners announcement, GIAC tied with Company of Thieves for top indie/alt-rock album for Exits & All the Rest. And deservedly so. Exits is really their best work to date.

The band returns to Dallas later this month as part of this year’s Homegrown Music and Art Festival lineup at Main St. Garden Park in Downtown. Only this time, they come to town as award winners.

 

—  Rich Lopez

WATCH: The Magnetic Fields’ “Quick!”

The Magnetic Fields posted this new video today from their latest album Love at the Bottom of the Sea which I reviewed earlier this year. So far, one of the more charming albums of the year, this video is just as much so with its quirky 2-minute tale of trash-can inhabitants. Both the song and vid are adorbs, but the album has perhaps received the most traction from its single “Andrew in Drag,” which gay frontman Stephin Merritt told CBS News “he wrote the song on a night of blackout drinking, waking up at home to a notepad with the lyrics written and an empty driveway.”

The closest TMF got to Dallas while touring for this album was in Austin at SXSW. Now the band is on its European leg of the tour, but I’ll cross my fingers they swing back by this way.

Watch the video after the jump.

—  Rich Lopez

Local lez musicans to go west for their first out of state tour — and wouldn’t mind some help

I received an email from local musician Sonya Jevette that she was about to embark on her first tour outside of Texas with two other musicians. She along with SuZanne Kimbrell and Rocio Aranda, AKA Immigrant Punk, announced their tour to Los Angeles earlier this month and they are doing it on the DIY. It was an easy decision for Jevette, once Kimbrell suggested it.

“My whole attitude for this year is go big or go home,” Jevette says, “so when SuZanne said ‘Let’s go to L.A.,’ I said ‘When?’”

And they’re doing it. You can see all their upcoming dates here.

Now they are just asking for some help.

—  Rich Lopez

Queer Music News: Jay Brannan, Brandi Carlile, Adam Lambert and more announce releases

This has already been a strong year for queer music releases and it’s only March. But we have a few more to look forward to starting as soon as next week.

Jay Brannan will release his second album of original material after 2009′s In Living Cover album stocked with a fascinating selection of remakes. Rob Me Blind is set to drop March 27, but you can get a major preview of it now. Idolator posted the entire album on its page, sorta like we just did here.

—  Rich Lopez

RightOutTV announces nominees for its inaugural music video awards

The last time I wrote about RightOutTV, they were just getting started with their mission of providing an outlet for music videos by LGBT musicians. A year later, the site is about to give out its first awards. They posted the nominees for the first RightOutTV Music Video Awards. OK, it’s not MTV, but the channel, started by Sugarbeach duo Marlee Walchuk and Tully Callender, has remained committed to their mission and the list is a healthy representation of the past year’s offerings by queer musicians. They even have judges!

Texas didn’t fare too well in the nominees list. Actually, it didn’t fare at all. But several artists that we have reported on made the cut including Sonia & Disappear Fear with three noms, Nhojj with two and Melissa Ferrick with one. There are some impressive videos in the bunch but I’m kinda pulling for Yovanni’s “Hello.” The production on that is insanely good.

A list of the nominees is after the jump. Winners will be announced Nov. 27.

—  Rich Lopez

Queer Texas singer Patrick Boothe hints at new EP release with ‘Crystal Blue’

Even though we lost Dallas singer Patrick Boothe to Austin, we’re still curious what he’s up to. The last we heard from him was his 3010 EP release Jump In as well as a return to Dallas with a show in Deep Ellum.  On Thursday, he filled me in to tell me he’s working on a new EP release and only hinted that “it will be coming out soon.” In the meantime though, he did offer up his newest single, “Crystal Blue,” as a preview.

I like Boothe’s approach to music quite a bit. He attacks keyboards, he doesn’t caress them and yet he can still show off technique. Plus, his voice is just unique enough to make you stop and listen closer.

—  Rich Lopez

Houston based homo-hop gets air time on ‘OMI’

Sir Rah Pro hosts an interview with queer hip-hop artists every Tuesday. On the BlogTalkRadio‘s show Outing the Music Industry, they gave what looks like coincidental airtime to a couple of Texas artists. We don’t have a huge queer presence of hip-hop in Dallas, but Houston seems to be jumping with a scene as I’ve written a bit about before.

This month on OMI, the show featured H-Town duo The Qure who talk about their latest release The Virus. They gave us a sneak peek of it back in April, but the full album dropped on Monday this week. They don’t appear until about an hour in so if you’re just interested in the Texas stuff, skip ahead.

Rapper, activist, teacher and author Tim’m West was also featured on OMI this month. West, who came to Dallas last October, reflects on his career and being queer in the industry. The show features DaQuan and his first solo work in the first half and then West takes over the second.

Check it out.

—  Rich Lopez