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So far out
Queercore pioneers keep rock 'n' roll from closing the closet door
Pansy Division with guests
Saturday, September 13
San Francisco's Pansy Division have been heralded as the original queercore - or as they put it, "queer to the core," - punk pioneers. Perhaps, but consider Little Richard's (as if just considering Little Richard weren't enough) original lyrics to "Tutti Frutti": "Tutti Frutti, good booty/if it don't fit, don't force it." Or the Kinks' "David Watts." Or "Walk on the Wild Side." Or "Jet Boy, Jet Girl." Let's face it, rock and roll has never been the ultimate expression of hetero-machismo that your favorite classic rrrawk DJ would have you believe it is.
But giving credit where credit is due, Pansy Division have certainly been one of the most lyrically prolific groups in matters of homo-erotique horniness (i.e., boy meets boy, boy bangs boy... ad nauseam - witness the 21 tracks on their latest release, More Lovin' From Our Oven). None of which, by the way, causes much fuss for their predominantly straight audience.
"Fags don't listen to punk rock, they've got their Donna Summers albums," quips PD drummer Luis, explaining this apparent anomaly to me via telephone from Seattle, their latest touring pitstop. But Luis, who joined the group a little over a year ago after interviewing them for a San Diego weekly ("I'm a little nervous talking to journalists now, you're not a drummer are you?" he jokes. No, and I'm also not... well, actually, after a half-dozen drinks off your rider I might discover a... new side to myself. Drumming that is. Really.), acknowledges that the group have come across their fair share of chiding from the largely liberal rock press for perpetrating the stereotype of sex-crazed homosexuals.
"I've heard that criticism a lot," he says. "I mean, before I was in the band I bought their records, so yeah, it seemed a little one track at times. But it's fun. It's celebratory. If people don't like it - fuck 'em. What else can you say to that?"
However, Luis does say that the next Pansy Division record won't be all "dick, dick, dick," but rather a more adult, introspective affair. In the meantime though, punk rock kids can still delightfully bash along to blitzkrieg boffs like "I'm Gonna be a Slut" and "Two Way Ass."
Hell, even Judas Priest's Rob Halford got into the act recently, joining the group for their cover of his metal anthem "Breaking the Law."
So, did Pansy Division effectively "out" this aging, leather-clad headbanger?
"Well, come on... who didn't know?" replies Luis before an off-the-record discussion of other possible candidates in the Bic-flickin' world of spandex-clad hair farmers, bringing to my mind a classic KISS number.
"Flaming youth are gonna set the world on fire...."
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