This week’s playlist is unabashedly and aggressively queer. We celebrate queerness in a time that, once again, feels dangerous to be LGBTQIA. This week’s playlist provides a defiantly upbeat mix for the kickoff of San Francisco’s Pride festival, which is this weekend.
This Music Monday is Not Gay as in “Happy,” but Queer as in “Fuck You.”
We start off the mix with Santigold’s “Big Boss Big Time Business” to reclaim power which has recently shifted to the hands of those perpetuating fear and oppression instead of fostering love, support and, in turn, power. The mix moves into Gossip’s “Standing In The Way Of Control,” a declaration of rebellion and queer love. “Vaginoplasty” by Peaches is a playfully crass tune about being proud of a “big pussy,” suggesting that you can “make a crowd of it, bow down to it.”
Le1f, the New York riot boi rapper/producer (who also happens to be a classically trained ballet dancer), carries us through with “Wut.” If the song sounds familiar, it may be because self-proclaimed white ally rapper Macklemore was sued by Le1f for heavily sampling “Wut” in Macklemore’s breakout hit “Thriftstore.” He also suggested that a cis-hetero man should not profit off of LGBTQIA issues as he did in “Same Love.” Le1f does not mince words and we love him for that.
Planningtorock is one of the most forward musicians on the mix, which is saying something. Jam Rostron, the mastermind of Planningtorock, delivers a dance banger with the simple lyrics, “Let’s talk about gender, baby. Let’s talk about gender” over an infectious groove. Rostron uses vocal effects to create a gender-neutral voice throughout their productions. As simple as “Let’s Talk About Gender, Baby” is, the song “Human Drama” is complex. It didn’t the cut, but here’s the video so you don’t miss out:
Scissor Sisters’ “Year of Living Dangerously” is an intensely personal ’80s-inspired ballad. “This is my life, this is my dream. This is my belief, it’s my fantasy. I still haven’t found what’s gonna set me free. This is my year of living dangerously.” After the recent violence, it feels like this is the year of living dangerously as we all gather to celebrate Pride or simply hold space for each other and the community.
Mykki Blanco and Woodkid bring us back into some dark, beautiful territory. “You know what my love’s about. Fuck with my head, let my heart bleed out,” a distraught Blanco sings in “High School Never Ends.” The HIV-positive artist had their heart broken yet again by their new home in Europe because of the Syrian refugee crisis, which the queer Romeo-and-Juliet video is said to be about. “I had once thought Europe was my safe haven from American white supremacy, and how wrong I became,” Blanco said in an interview with the FADER.
Artists Santigold, Mapei, Reema Major and Robyn do not identify as LGBTQIA themselves, but their songs are either gay anthems or songs of hope and power, appropriate for this moment.
There are tons of brilliant artists and songs for you to explore on this mix. Get lost in the mix of emotions and reclamation of power! Come back again next week for a new Music Monday playlist every #MusicMonday!