Howdy, cowpokes! I hope everyone is staying warm! Sorry this one is coming out pretty late!
A coworker of mine is getting divorced.
Last year, her husband released an Americana album that wound up in my inbox. At some point, he made another one that will be out soon. Knowing the circumstances around the divorce, I saw the e-mail and thought, "I will never write anything about that rat fucker again!!!!"
I said as much (more politely) to his publicist.
Once I calmed down, I said to myself, "OK. So who played on this rat fucker's album?"
I felt sick to my stomach reading the press release. Nothing on there was awful in and of itself -- songs about love: failing relationships, the burgeoning of a new romance, etc etc. A glib little quote about how "prescient' some of these songs ended up being. I had a hard time looking my coworker in the eye the next day.
This is country music. What would it be without heartbreak? Sharing our universal grief is the whole point.
But when the song is over, the story fades into the distance. That's really hard to square with the human I see every day, dealing with the actual mess of a marriage in shambles. Behind so many of those songs, there's a real-life tragedy.
Moving forward, I hope to write about these kinds of songs with more compassion for the other person in that sad dyad: the one who gets left, even if it's for the best.
And I'll have a more critical eye towards narrators: yes, it's sad when the shine wears off, but there are always options that don't involve ripping the universe away from your former beloved.
Jessye DeSilva is crowdfunding their new album, Renovations! They hope to raise $10,000 by March 1st through PayPal, Venmo, CashApp, and vinyl preorders. We'll hear more from Jessye next week, but in the meantime you can drop some cash their way here!
Speaking of crowdfunding, I'm just starting to wrap my brain around Rainbow Rodeo issue 3!
You can purchase ad space in the zine itself, this newsletter, or the podcast here. There are different tiers for indie artists, nonprofits, publicists, and companies.
I can't believe that this was true in the year of our lord 2023 but Mya Byrne's kiss with her partner Swanreal in the music video for "It Don't Fade" is the first kiss between two trans women on broadcast TV, thanks to CMT
Flamy Grant's got a West Coast tour! Hop to it!
You can get almost 50% off the book Queer Country using this code: F21UIP
This thread gives advice on self-managed transition in Alabama and other states that restrict our bodily autonomy
Here are all of the queer country album releases this month! Let me know if I should add something to the list!
2/3 — Sunny War, Anarchist Gospel
2/3 — Terry Blade, Ethos: Son of a Sharecropper
2/17 — Jaimee Harris, Boomerang Town
2/17 -- John-Allison Weiss, The Long Way
2/20 — The Belle Curves, Live at Pete’s Candy Store (pre-save here)
This month’s episode of Rainbow Rodeo features Mariel Buckley! Her music is somewhere between outlaw country and Canadicana; her most recent album Everywhere I Used to Be reminds me of Sarah Shook and the Disarmers’ exploration of indie rock. In this episode, we discuss post-pandemic blah, gender diversity, and how Mariel almost ruined my wedding.
Tell your friends about the podcast!
2/14 — Leslie Jordan tribute show at the Ryman in Nashville
2/18 --Baby's First Rodeo in Philly is hosting a queer country night! There will be dance lessons!
4/15 & 16 — The High Water Festival in Savannah, GA will feature a number of queer artists like Rainbow Kitten Surprise, SG Goodman, Orville Peck, Ezra Furman, and the Black Opry. Who’s buying a ticket for me?
Updated every week!
Thanks to Catie Pearl-Hartling for making a parallel list on Apple Music!
Thanks to Heike Hausmann for making a parallel list on Tidal!
Wilmington, DE festival the Ladybug Festival is taking artist submissions! Deadline is 2/28! Thanks to Brittany Ann Tranbaugh for sharing on the Discord!
Eli Conley is hosting an LGBTQ+ songwriter circle online! Join in!
Are you on Mastodon or another part of the Fediverse? Get your music on RadioFreeFedi! https://radiofreefedi.net/
Submit your music and events to The Q LGBTQ Creative Network
This Twitter thread has a whole list of places to find jobs in the music industry
And here’s a list of resources for “women” entering the music industry — presumably they also encourage nonbinary participants
Submit your profile to the Country Everywhere which seeks to unite BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and disabled artists and professionals
Sign up to the Black Opry Revue’s interest form!
Check out the weekly Queerfolk Fest show in Nashville
Twitter kind of sucks right now and can you really make friends on Instagram? Join us on the Rainbow Rodeo Discord! We've been talking sci fi, tour lineups, press contacts, allyship, gender, and more! Just respond to this e-mail to get the link!