Sleepy genius

PGcover

Mike Hadreas — aka Perfume Genius — has grown into an ethereal messenger since 2010’s Learning. Touching on themes that can apply to anyone, Hadreas is both a beacon of hope and a teller of dreamy tales on his new CD, Put Your Back N 2 It (Matador Records).

Hadreas starts the album on a sleepy, languid path with “AWOL Marine” and stays consistent throughout the 12 tracks. This can be a turn-off for someone looking for a more spirited album, but Hadreas is about depth and his lyrics reveal a major advance since Learning.

Finding inspiration from homemade basement porn never sounded so exquisite as it does in “Marine,” but the minimalist approach adds gravitas, not to mention beauty. He adds stunning emotions to “Take Me Home” (based on “hookerism”) and “Floating Spit” (about overdosing). Hadreas is fearless about turning out butterflies from such depths of social standards.

On “17,” Hadreas writes an ode to gay men who have issues with image. He admits the song is a “gay suicide letter” (and a short one, too, at 2:30) but it’s a shattering one. He doesn’t shy from abstract lyrics but they still bring enough poetic power to have a heartbreaking impact. When he quietly sings In the body of a violin/String it up on a fence/Cover it with semen/I am done, I am done with it, the words are piercing even through his simple delivery.

From suicide to romance, the title track is a love song that floats on a lush piano and brings to light the feelings of budding love and awkward gay sex. Hadreas is gloriously blatant, but decidely poignant. Lyrics like There is love with no hiding/Nothing you’ll show me I will never leave here/Let me be the one to turn you on whisper gently and before you know it, it’s already on your mixtape to your beau.

Put Your Back N 2 It is impressionistic in its package and addresses life as a gay man, but also life in general. He sings about his mother, holding his boyfriend’s hand and even death, all with a delicacy that speaks volumes if you listen closely.

— Rich Lopez

Three and half stars.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 24, 2012.

—  Kevin Thomas

Queer Music News: Big Freedia’s new vid, George Michael hospitalized, new album by Lambert

Spinner posted this new video by rapper Big Freedia. He told the site, “I recorded the song in response to all the people getting mad at my success. You watch that video, feel that beat and see those dancers coming hard, and I’m like ‘Na Who Mad’?” I love seeing the fringe rapper grow his profile and the video is hella fun, even with the ladies dry humping the street. Yaka yaka yaka.

The song is from the his upcoming mixtape, God Save the Queen Diva. You can download this track for free though by clicking here.

Read more Queer Music News after the jump.

—  Rich Lopez

RICH’S MIXTAPE: POST-PRIDE EDITION

We appreciated the Pride theme “It Only Gets Better,” but it also sounded a little like a self-help mantra. Now that Pride is over, we’re looking to keep our groove going with a little fun. These tunes should turn a frown upside-down.

“I Could Be Happy” — Altered Images: Of course you can, especially after this 1981 New Wave hit by Scottish post-punkers fill your brain with its bouncy, joyful sound.
“Dreams” — The Cranberries: Bubbling with optimism, it is pretty hard not to think your dreams will come true after this alt-pop classic plays.

“A Little Less Conversation” — Elvis Presley: The King isn’t on a self-help kick here, but who could resist this kind of beat? For those who can, you need far more than this mixtape.

“Don’t Fucking Tell Me What To Do” — Robyn: This popster takes a different approach to self-empowerment, but it works. Listing everything that bugs her, she sounds just like us. Sometimes we just need to vent and curse.

“Firework” — Katy Perry: Don’t deny it: You get a rush when Perry builds to her chorus and then the beat drops.

“Louder (Put Your Hands Up)” — Chris Willis, pictured: While we keep waiting for his full- length debut, the out singer delivers the ultimate uplift anthem, and it’s a good dance tune, too.

“I’ll Take You There” — The Staple Sisters: There are few lyrics in this song, but all we need to know is I know a place / Ain’t nobody cryin’ / Ain’t nobody worried. Let’s go.

“Roam’” – The B-52’s: Sometimes the B’s are out there, but they make the world a better place here. Who figured permission from the band to roam around the world would feel so good?

“Hell With You” – …Silenze: These queer-centric metalheads don’t take crap. Declaring I’m someone unlike you, the band forgets the fuzzy-wuzzies and takes a stand.

“Move any Mountain” – The Shamen: Though their hit “Ebenezer Goode” came off rather dark, the rave house band gets all Dr. Phil with this addictive and encouraging dance track.

“I’m Sorry Baby, But You Can’t Stand in my Light Anymore” – Bob Mould: Sometimes it’s the one you’re with that’s bringing you down. Kick ’em to the curb the way this queer indie rocker says: Hate to leave you standing in the corner on your own. Fact is, sometimes you have to.

“Express Yourself” – Madonna: You had to see this coming. Truer words have never been sung than Don’t go for second best, baby. Even if it is a song about relationships, it’s always said so much more.

—R.L.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 23, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

What’s love got to do with it? Locals let us into their hearts, share some Valentine’s Day tunes

Last year, in the print product, I wrote up a Valentine’s mixtape which was filled with all types of love songs. The only thing was finding those that weren’t gender specific, and that can be a total bitch. Or maybe it’s just my anal retentiveness. So instead of going through the hassle again, I asked local peeps with a penchant for music what songs struck that heartfelt fuzzy chord with them. I asked why their selection stuck out and if there are any gay aspects to it whether by an out artist or not gender-directed. The selections ran the gamut. Check ‘em out below.

—  Rich Lopez

RICH’S MIXTAPE: Valentine’s edition

Not a big Valentine’s person? Love got you down? Just broke up? Hey, no worries. Single people aren’t forgotten here on the Mixtape. Just turn it up and drink away.

“Skin” — Sade: The sultry singer pretty much drop-kicks that bastard right out of your life. And she does it in the sexiest way possible.

“Wish You’d Just Hate Me Like Everyone Else” — Patrick Boothe: Face it, sometimes you want people to leave you alone but they just don’t get it.

“Sex Robot” — Fritz Helder and the Phantoms, pictured: Perhaps it’s encouraging bad behavior, but yes, go out and have all kinds of sex. Hayyyyy!

“Goodbye Earl” — Dixie Chicks: OK, so you don’t wanna tuck that ex into the back of your trunk and dump the body, but you can pretend. Venting’s good.

“Sweet Tooth” — Otep. Heavy metal. Chocolate. Sure she sounds like Hades opened up and released a wrath, but sometimes that’s what you need.

— Rich Lopez

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition Feb. 11, 2011.

—  John Wright

LISTEN: Denton gay rapper Infidelix releases online mixtape available for download

Infidelix told me weeks back that his mixtape would be available soon. Finally, it’s s hit the streets, or rather the web, with a healthy tracklist of 10 songs.

So, for your listening pleasure, click here to either listen to or download Infidelix’s Shakalaka Boomboom The Mixtape. He’s down and dirty, but there are some gems to be found here. I’m kinda stuck on “Steppin’ Up My Game,” with Lil Flip.

—  Rich Lopez