Well cowpokes, this is the last e-mail for 2022! (Unless something earth-shattering happens, of course.) On Adobe & Teardrops, I always like to do my year-end round-ups in January since, after all, anything can happen between now and January 1st. In January, I'll send out a reader poll to vote on our favorite albums! (Ranking is stressful so you will be able to pick as many boxes as you want.)
Your homework is to write to me and tell me your favorite and least favorite things about queer country music this year and, with your permission, I'll include it in the newsletter!
I'll tell you what one of my least favorite things was: Monarch. If you missed it, you're fine. It was billed as a TV show about a legendary country music family and their in-fighting. Beth Ditto starred as the less-favored younger daughter who happens to be gay.
That's not why the show was cancelled. It was just plain awful. The writers thought it would be campy enough to go viral and rested on that. Some of the performances were just plain unwatchable. The character beats made no sense and the sense of place and chronology was just non-existent.
If you want to avoid spoilers, scroll until the Tweet
Worse, is that Beth Ditto's wife, with whom she's raising two kids, is...fucking her brother. I was excited for the show to explore navigating country music as a queer person, but, unlike Nashville, which it was clearly trying to imitate, it had almost zero basis in reality. We were spending so much time focusing on a toxic stereotype about bisexual people that I didn't even both to stick with the show past episode 3. Just re-watch Nashville instead, I say.
ANYWAY, here is a delightfully unhinged thought.
Next time, I'll do a little recap of everything Rainbow Rodeo has accomplished this year (zines! Podcasts! This newsletter! A Discord server!) with a big freakin announcement about what 2023 has in store.
This week, I released a 2018 interview I did with Patrick Haggerty of Lavender Country. Patrick passed away in October. You can listen wherever you find your podcasts. Here's an excerpt of Patrick's thoughts on mainstream country music.
Straight white country musicians have been approaching me repeatedly. Really good, straight, white country musicians, top notch people. In St. Louis in particular. What's going on? What's going on is all of them are hungry to sing something authentic. They don't believe that bullshit they're singing any more than I do.
They know it's pap, they know it's crap that they have to feed into the corporate structure in order to make any kind of headway in country music, it's the sacrifice you have to make. Do you hear me, Shania Twain? I know you know what I'm talking about, right? You probably wanna do a Lavender Country show worse than anybody.
Why? Because you're sick of putting on a corporate face and you want to sing something real, true, valid, and authentic that you actually believe in. Come and sing with me, Shania. If you have the nerve, that's how it is. But they all get it. They all know that racism is a really ugly chimera that we have to get rid of.
They all know that country music used to represent the working class struggle. They all know that they can't sing about Karl Marx and get away with it in Nashville, so they don't. So they have empty souls because of the compromises they've had to make.
And the reason they like me so much isn't because I'm a fabulous musical technician.And it's not because I have a beautiful ruby-throated voice.
It's because I'm singing. A truth that resonates with them and they want to sing truth too.
Last week, Shania announced that she is taking openly queer country singer Lily Rose out on tour.
Here are all of the queer country album releases this month! Let me know if I should add something to the list!
12/2 — Adeem the Artist, White Trash Revelry
12/9 — Justin Hiltner, 1992
Heather Mae has a Kickstarter going for a double-album of Americana and pop music — with an all-women production and musician crew. Pitch in today!
It's listicle season and queer country artists are slaying. For example, a number of our faves are on NPR's top 100 albums, Adeem the Artist and Brandi Carlile made NPR's top 100 songs, and almost half of Bandcamp's top 10 country albums feature queer artists.
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
12/31 — There’s gonna be a queer country New Year’s Eve party in Nashville featuring Chris Housman, Lila McCann, Autumn Nicholas, Shelley Fairchild, and Ty Herndon. Get your tickets now!
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 two weeks!
Thanks to Catie Pearl-Hartling for making a parallel list on Apple Music!
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