From George Michael, Mykki Blanco to Christine and the Queens: Our favorite queer hits in the new SCHIRN SOUNDTRACK. Happy CSD Frankfurt!
The year 2019 marks 50 years since the Stonewall Riots, an uprising by the gay community against arbitrary police violence in New York’s Stonewall Inn. To this day, the events are considered the beginning of the queer emancipation movement. To celebrate Christopher Street Day in Frankfurt, DJ barbecute björn, resident DJ at queer parties like “Atomic” and “Club 78” in Frankfurt, has created a playlist that ranges right from the classics to a modern LGBTQI* mindset:
Diana Ross “I’m Coming Out”
The title says it all! Legend has it that the song, which was penned by Chic producers Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards, was originally planned as a duet with Aretha Franklin. Inspiration came from a group of drag queens who happened to be passing by on the street below.
Erasure “A Little Respect”
Alongside Bronski Beat, the duo Erasure is considered one of the most successful openly gay bands in the music scene. Shy Vince Clark, ex-member of Depeche Mode and Yazoo, brought chirpy frontman Andy Bell to the microphone, and the pair subsequently delivered one catchy little homoerotic number after another.
Christine And The Queens “Saint Claude” (Dim Sum Remix)
French singer Héloїse Letissier, alias Christine And The Queens, describes herself as pansexual and likes to play with gender roles. She expresses this, for example, in her dance choreographies and live shows, but also through various alter-egos including, most recently, “Chris.”
Mashrou’ Leila “Fasateen”
This Lebanese band with its gay frontman Hamed Sinno has been notching up successes with its Arabian-influenced indie sound for ten years now. With their political texts, many of their songs – including “Ala Babu” or “Shim El Yasmine” – have become true queer anthems. Fans bring rainbow flags to their concerts – an act that can result in stage bans and incarcerations in Arab countries. Yet this does nothing to detract from the energy of the band.
George Michael “Outside”
Get outta here: When George Michael was arrested 1998 by an undercover policeman in Los Angeles for cruising in a public toilet, the singer came out as gay and released “Outside” – a saucy little disco song that openly refers to all and any kind of sexual activity: “Because I think about it all the time – 24-7”. In the video he dances in a police uniform through a club that has been converted to a public toilet – the man certainly had a sense of humor!
MEN “Off Our Backs”
Alongside “Le Tigre”, this is one of the most successful projects by gender-bender JD Samson. In their energetic dance tracks, MEN repeatedly address LGBTQI* rights. The title of this song is a reference to the eponymous feminist magazine: political correctness really can be fun!
Hercules & Love Affair “My Offence”
Positive Power at its best! The New York house combo around Andy Butler shows how gender self-assertion and pride can be celebrated without arrogance and aggression. The flamboyant Rouge Mary shows it to the machos (“Are you talking to me? My name is not Girl!”) and provides the perfect battle cry: “Let yourself feel: Cunt! Cunt! Cunt!”
Cazwell “All over your Face”
New York’s gay disco-fun rapper Cazwell samples Loose Joints’ house classic “Is it all over my face?”, which was originally released by producer duo Arthur Russel and Steve D’Aquisto, and turns it into a funky dance track with a flippant hip-hop attitude.
Sylvester “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)”
Hysteria! Hysteria! Disco hysteria! A rainbow-bright soul and disco entertainer, singer Mighty Real defined the carefree disco era, making even glitter kings like Liberace appear dull in comparison and overstepping gender boundaries with his extravagant outfits. Pure hedonism – but I feel good!
Bronski Beat feat. Marc Almond “I Feel Love / Johnny, Remember Me”
The perfect combination: As an openly gay trio, with “Smalltown Boy” Bronski Beat had already written the coming-out anthem of the 1980s. Marc Almond, an entertainer with a weakness for the bleaker side of glamor, surprised the public after his chart career as the singer of the synth pop duo Soft Cell with numbers including a sailor’s chanson about masturbation (“Mother Fist and Her Five Daughters”). Together they covered the Donna Summer classic “I Feel Love”, interweaving it soulfully with John Layton’s “Johnny, Remember Me”, which originally hadnothing to do with sexuality. Hysterical, camp – high-energy disco!
Beth Ditto X The Shoes “Supernature”
Whether it’s as the frontwoman of queer indie combo Gossip or as a solo star: The self-proclaimed “fat feminist lesbian” can carry off blues rock and disco ball with equal aplomb. Here, she covers one of the greatest disco classics by French producer Cerrone.
Boy George “No Clause 28” (Pascal Gabriel Remix)
After the initially somewhat gentle Boy George shrugged off his media-portrayed asexuality (“Sex? I’d rather have a cup of tea!”), he did not shy away from confrontation in campaigning for the queer emancipation movement. For example, with the song “No Clause 28”, aimed at a law passed by the Thatcher government at the end of the 1980s, which banned public institutions from “promoting homosexuality”.
Mykki Blanco “New Feelings”
American musician Michael Quattlebaum Jr. is part of the new queer rap generation, which is fundamentally changing the macho attitude of hip hop. With “Mykki Blanco,” he has created a female alter-ego with whom he playfully blurs gender boundaries.
The pop-punksters with the poetic band name (literal translation: scrap border) provide the anthem for young, gender-aware and linguistically politically sensitive LGBTQI* community of the IDAHOBITA* generation. They sing “for boys and girls and every in-between. Just love whomever you want”– we couldn’t agree more!
The Smiths “This Charming Man”
The ode to a charming man became a reality in Smiths frontman Morrissey: Looking like he just got out of bed, he sports an unbuttoned shirt and a bunch of wildflowers in the back pocket of his baggy jeans. The singer likes to refer to himself as gender-neutral and a lover of all people. Lately, however, the British star has been increasingly involved with the right wing of the political spectrum.
Wayne County & The Electric Chairs “Fuck off”
Wow: Even at the end of the 1970s, the feisty punk rocker Wayne County – now Jayne County – was showing the hetero establishment the middle finger,pelting her audience with cat food that she fished out of a mock toilet bowl. Let’s not fool ourselves: Punk and queer do not automatically go hand in hand. We have all the more respect, therefore, for this trans activist who is still working to this day.
Melissa Etheridge “Like the Way I Do”
The power song for all broken hearts who want to shout out their rage in the post-traumatic phase! And it comes from a women’s rights and LGBTQI* activist. We’ve listened to it almost ad nausea. But only almost. Still awesome!
Marianne Rosenberg “Marleen”
As the first performer to do so, Marianne Rosenberg brought the original Philly disco sound to Germany. “Er gehört zu mir” (“he belongs to me“) is THE German hit homo-anthem, “Marleen” the more elegant alternative.
Gloria Gaynor “I will survive” / “I am what I am”
Who already carries “gay” in their name… The disco queen and gay icon of the late 1970s delivered two classics that every drag queen must have lip-synched to at least once. Gloria Gaynor’s emboldening call for perseverance has been taken to heart by generations of homos. Happy Pride!