LISTEN: Hunx’s ‘Always Forever’

Throwback garage popsters Hunx and His Punx marked the year with their first full-release Too Young to Fall in Love back in April which I liked enough. This time, Hunx (aka Seth Bogart) strikes out on his own with Hairdresser Blues. He released the preview single “Always Forever” which has some similar tones to the band’s retro-ish sound, but he delivers some added ferocity that makes it his own.

Bogart says that “whenever I write Hunx and His Punx songs, I have to imagine putting on a show to them. People want to see me go crazy, and sometimes it’s hard to sing about something really sad when I’m wasted in a wig and makeup and screaming my head off on stage trying to dazzle people. A lot of this album deals with topics I don’t usually write about. I wasn’t concerned with entertaining people with these songs. I just wanted to get them out of me. Hairdresser Blues doesn’t feel like a Hunx and His Punx album, so I’ve decided to call this just Hunx. It’s the closest thing I’ve done to a solo album. I played all the instruments myself, except for the drums, which were played by Daniel Pitout of Nu Sensae.”

According to Pitchfork’s post Thursday, Blues is set for a Feb. 28 release.

—  Rich Lopez

Spin magazine posts special report on homophobia in indie rock

Leisha Hailey cried 'homophobia' when she was booted off a Southwestern flight. Other LGBT musicians have endured many different types of attacks while moving forward with their art.

Following the Leisha Hailey/Southwest Airlines incident, Spin magazine’s Rich Juzwiak wrote this piece on homopobia toward LGBT musicians, mostly independent ones. The article wasn’t just sparked by the plane episode (by the way, have you seen this?), but also by the bashing incident against Violent Lovers band members Brontez Purnell and Adal Castellon at Club Paradiso in Oakland in August and a few other accounts of out musicians suffering literally for their art.

The piece is compelling with perspectives by the likes of Vampire Weekend’s Rostam Batmanglij, Hunx and his Punx’s Seth Bogart and MEN’s JD Samson, all who have graced our pages or blog as well. While it may not answer questions or find solutions to homophobic tendencies in the industry, it does paint a picture of what smaller queer bands have to endure just to play music. From SPIN: ‘

Purnell, Hailey, and Grey are far from the first gay artists to encounter serious resistance as a result of their sexuality, of course. In fact, if you ask most out musicians about their experiences with homophobia, you’ll hear a story that will break your heart. I did, at least, when collecting anecdotes for this piece. Magnetic Fields’ Stephin Merritt was pelted with bottles, rocks, and slurs outside a club in Philadelphia in the 1990s. Xiu Xiu’s Jamie Stewart was called a “fag” and had lit cigarettes thrown at him onstage in 2003 in Austin, Texas. After Holly Miranda recently played her song “Pelican Rapids,” about Proposition 8, the 2008 California amendment restricting marriage as only between a man and a woman, she was confronted by a “big, burly door guy” who said that “if I got with him, he would make me do a 360,” says the singer-songwriter. “I was like, ‘I think you mean a 180. You’re more right than you know.’”

I would love to have heard input by the somewhat elder statesmen of LGBT music like Melissa Etheridge or Elton John. Does the homophobia go away once your big or is it just easier to shield away from with awards and gazillions of dollars.

Be sure and check it out.

 

—  Rich Lopez