Posted by Billyjam, November 11, 2008 08:45am | Post a Comment
pansy division
As typically seems to be the case with any published "best of" music list, not everyone agreed with the recent Top 100 Gayest Albums of All Time compiled by Out Magazine, which was Amoeblogged about here on September 6th. After reading over this list many disagreed with numerous entries, suggesting certain additions and/or deletions. Most did agree however that Out Magazine's Top 100 list, based on a survey by the respected gay publication of 100 gay music authorities, was a pretty darn good list, albeit not perfect.

"There are a lot of omissions including The Cure, Nina Hagen, a ton more disco artists -- and of more recent artists Basement Jaxx and Miss Kittin" was an Amoeblog comment posted by A.D.Depp.  "It seemed to be a little hipster heavy. It seemed like it missed many gay iconic artists," critiqued Amoeblogger Gomez Comes Alive. Meanwhile Larry Bob of the website, who updates the exhaustive dally Queer things to do in the San Francisco Bay Area list,  posted this comment to the Amoeblog, "No Pansy Division? Ridiculous. At least they managed to get Team Dresch and Fifth Column to rep the queercore. Also no Tribe 8."

The webmaster is absolutely right, especially about Pansy Division (pictured above and whom FYI are the number one most popular act, by a landslide, in this Amoeblogay music survey series, which runs over the next few days).  In fact, besides lacking in the queercore department the Out Magazine Top 100 albums list also displayed a glaring lack of any so-called homo-hop from artists such as the Bay Area's Deep Dickollectivelike  (DDC), whose song "Straighttrippin' (feat. Doug E)" from their album BourgieBohoPostPomoAfroHomo was featured on the Independent Sounds: Amoeba Music Compilation Vol. III -- another omission that the ever astute Larry Bob also noted.

In fact, Larry Bob, who was interviewed in the Amoeblog himself last year, had so many wonderful ideas that I invited him to draw up a list of 25, which he did. It's actually 26 since (as is often the case) right after submitting his Top 25, Larry Bob realized that he had left off the Tom Robinson Band (TRB) whose popular song "(Sing If You're) Glad To Be Gay" off the 1978 album Power In The Dark was ahead of its time. Special thanks to Larry Bob, whose list appears below along with links (provided by the contributor) to info on each of the artists.

Inspired by Larry Bob's list, I then invited several Amoeba folks, including many of my fine fellow Amoebloggers, to submit their suggestions or lists, but with pretty loose guidelines. Not as structured or lengthy as the Out  Magazine Top 100 Gayest Albums list, these could instead be either the best "queer" or "gay" or "gayest" albums. They could also be EPs or singles or just songs or music videos, or even movies -- one contributor included several (a couple starring Tom Cruise) in his Top Ten Gayest Releases list. Especially encouraged were items omitted from the Out Magazine list. Also, those polled could suggest as many or as few as they felt like (a Top Two or a Top Ten or  a Top whateva' list). However, like the Out Magazine list the artists listed could be gay, bi, or straight. The general idea was that the music (or movies) be "gay" in some broad sense of the word, including both camp and ironic.

Those who partook in this informal poll included Jon Ginoli, Mark Beaver, Eric Brightwell, Amoeba Brady, Job O'Brother, Brent James, Brad Schelden, Whitmore, Miss Ess, and myself. Note that unlike the Out Magazine list, which surveyed exclusively gay/lesbian music enthusiasts, the Amoeba folks interviewed were not restricted to any one sexual orientation but inclusive of all, straight not excluded. This way, in my opinion, it is much more rounded and fair. 

Out of all of these submissions, as well as Larry Bob's, the overwhelmingly consistent artist nomination was San Francisco's queercore band Pansy Division, which features Amoebite Jon Ginoli, who are the clear Number One choice in this survey. Other artists who got nominated duplicate times included Deep Dickollective, Jobriah, Klaus Nomi, Wayne County, The Dicks, Depeche Mode, and  Village People.

Check back here over the course of this week under the Amoeblogay Music Lists heading to read all of these lists. Of course, without doubt, people will find fault with each of these lists, so please feel free to add in the COMMENTS below your objections and/or suggestions.

And now to kick off this series, here is Larry Bob's list. "Hopefully I haven't made too many glaring omissions. If I was going the Out Magazine route of including straight musicians, I would include Tender Pervert by Momus. Also, really should give tribute to Joe Meek but he's really more of a producer, and of singles at that. I think Top 10 Queer Music Producers might be another list," said Larry Bob.


1. Pansy Division: Absurd Pop Song Romance

2. Hidden Cameras: The Smell of Our Own

3. Team Dresch: Captain My Captain

4. Deep Dickollective: BourgieBohoPostPomoAfroHomo

5. Two Nice Girls: 2 Nice Girls

6. Tribe 8: Fist City

7. Limp Wrist: The Official Limp Wrist Discography

8. Sister George: Drag King

9. Phranc: Folksinger

10. Tom Robinson Band: Power in the Darkness

11. Matmos: The Rose Has Teeth in the Mouth
      of a Beast

12. Pedro, Muriel and Esther: The White To Be Angry

13. Kitchens of Distinction: Love Is Hell

14. Glen Meadmore: Hot, Horny and Born Again

15. Fifth Column  36-C

16. Jayne County (as Wayne County and the Electric Chairs): Man Enough to Be A Woman

17. Go!: Existence

18. Chris Robison: Chris Robison and his Many-Hand Band
19. Klaus Nomi: Klaus Nomi

20. Steven Grossman: Caravan Tonight

21. JenRO: Hate it or Love it

22. Katastrophe: fault, lies & faultlines

23. Smoke: Heaven on a Popsicle Stick

24. Jobriath: Jobriath

25. The Need / Nomy Lamm: The Transfused

26. The Dicks: Kill from the Heart

Again, thanks to Larry Bob for his Queer Albums Top 26 List. Check back here tomorrow for Amoeblogay Music Lists Part II with contributors Whitmore, Amoeba Brady, Brent James, and J.Mark Beaver each offering their suggestions.

Relevant Tags

Amoeblogay (5), Pansy Division (7), (1), Larry Bob (1), Deep Dickollective (2), Trb (1), Gay (18), Queer (15), Glbt (14)