Alex Blaze

Support the (queer) artist

Filed By Alex Blaze | June 22, 2008 2:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment, Media, The Movement
Tags: Clyde Petersen, Kimya Dawson, LGBT, music, queer, transgender, Your Heart Breaks

Here's some great footage of FTM musician Clyde Petersen of Your Heart Breatks playing "Torrey Pines" with Kimya Dawson:

iPhone users: Click to watch

I post frequently about LGBTQ musicians, mostly because if we want to have a culture, if we want queer art, theater, music, film, websites, media, etc, we're going to have to open our wallets at some point and show some support.

I had the chance to interview Clyde (from the before the jump video) last year, and something he said stuck with me:

Traveling in Europe was the most amazing experience. People there value music in a completely different way. For one, there seems to be a basic understanding that playing music is a way that people can earn money and survive. So people seem willing to pay for shows, and buy albums. I feel like in America, everyone expects music to be this free item, and surviving as an artist is ridiculously difficult.

It's too true. I know a lot of people who search for music to download like it's their right to have that music for free, as if the artist didn't go through a lot of work to put it together.

I suppose it bothers me even more that gays will rush to Best Buy or the Virgin store to get the latest Madonna album, for whom a few hundred albums sales won't affect her bottom line in the least, but won't support openly queer artists who know that every album sale counts.

Take Gawker's reaction to Lindsay Lohan kinda sorta maybe coming out.... She's a "gay hero" because she didn't file a lawsuit on anyone! While obviously misdirected in this case, the excitement about more celebs who aren't afraid to come out is palpable.

We love it when musicians and actors come out as L, G, B, or T, but why don't we start supporting the artists who are already out? Many are already making art about queer experiences and could definitely use a little support. If we want culture and visibility, we're going to have to support it.

I'm saying this after finding out about Your Heart Breaks's new album:

It's not out on any label right now, and it may be a while. In the meantime, you can buy an advanced copy from us. Cause who the hell is patient enough to watch the icebergs melt. Plus, it helps me recover the $money$ I spent on making the record. And then I can pay more $ to the person making the art, and more money to Karl for producing the thing, and eat one delicious sandwich.

Just one though.

The album is $11.25 with shipping. That's not really much in the scheme of things (it's less than Madonna's last album was).

I'm interested in what people think about this. "Support the artist" gets thrown around a lot among people who like music, but does making the sentiment work along lines of queer identity change it? Are you more likely to buy CD's, art, concert, cinema, and theater tickets, and DVD's if the artists are LGBTQ? Should I be linking more queer artists coming out with new stuff to buy that you all might like?

Because music, even if you illegally download it or rip a friend's CD, isn't free. It takes time and machinery to put it together. And someone, eventually, is going to have to pay for it.


On another queer music note, Lucas at Hypeful has put together a whole 'nother bunch of songs from LGBT artists that you can listen to at his place.

Here's the video for Your Heart Breaks's "Will We Ever?" Just for fun.

iPhone users: Click to watch

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I think the biggest problem is that the artists are unknown rather than just unsupported. Most of the artists you feature on Queer Music Friday are people I've never heard of. Sadly, I haven't like the vast majority of their music either, but perhaps that's just the songs you're choosing... It seems like so many of them aren't making radio-friendly songs instead of stuff that plays well for a small cult of followers.