Queer Country: The Book
This week’s edition is going to be devoted to Shana Goldin-Perschbacher’s BRAND NEW book Queer Country! We’ve got an exclusive discount code for the book that I’ll include at the end of this section. Shana kindly curated this week’s update of the Rainbow Rodeo Playlist.
First off, this is not a sponsored post. I am simply super excited that this book exists. For one thing, Goldin-Perschbacher provides a comprehensive, thoroughly researched history of queer country music. I am by no means an expert on the subject, but I have been writing about queer country music for ten years. The book included artists I’d never heard of, as well as some insight into the queer country scene – such as it was – in the early 2000s. (My own frame of reference is pretty much from 2011 on.) Goldin-Perschbacher focuses on the experiences of trans artists such as Coyote Grace and Rae Spoon, who really pioneered queer forms of country music.
The book is also theoretical, focusing on queer studies and how the presence of queer artists in country music play with the integrity of country music – and genre – as a whole. You’ll leave the book thinking about new paths to explore when it comes to performance, gender presentation, and how we ascribe specific meanings and emotions to certain types of music.
You can purchase Queer Country here and get a discount with the code F21UIP. (I don’t know the exact percentage but it knocked nearly half off the paperback version.)
In other news, I am sending Rainbow Rodeo #2 to the printer today! Copies will ship in late May/early June once I recover from top surgery! It’s not too late to preorder your copy or subscribe!
Sweetheart of the Rodeo
I got to interview Goldin-Perschbacher for The Boot! Here’s an excerpt:
Because LGBTQ+ artists are still seen as antithetical to mainstream country music, they are often sidelined (or, put another way, welcomed) into Americana. Goldin-Pershbacher observes that artists like Mary Gauthier, who regularly performs at the Grand Ole Opry, and Chely Wright, who was iced out of the Opry after she came out, are not considered country artists.
“These genre boundaries have been cruel to queer and trans people. It’s been a way of gatekeeping and to keep certain people out of country music.”
As a scholarly work, Goldin-Pershbacher uses queer studied to examine how LGBTQ+ artists navigate – and bend – genre boundaries and expectations. These complex ideas are broken down easily enough for the lay person to understand them, and Goldin-Pershbacher hopes that the casual reader will already feel familiar with theorists like bell hooks and Jack Halberstam, who are frequently quoted on social media.
“I definitely knew that I was writing for a couple of different audiences. One audience is the graduate seminar of PhD students,” she notes. “There’s that classroom of people sort of picking things apart and thinking about the concept of sincerity. But on the other hand, I think that there’s an entire realm of people who are curious about our world and the kinds of stories that musicians tell; the way they share their truth.”
- Mercy Bell’s set at SXSW, the famed music festival, was disrupted by a particularly douchey and oblivious sound tech. The blatantly sexist incident raised a furor on Twitter. SXSW has not released the name of the tech. Thanks for supporting musicians, bros! You can listen to “Codeine” uninterrupted here
Cindy Emchy’s New Song “Think I Do” (premiered on Wide Open Country)[https://www.wideopencountry.com/secret-emchy-society-think-i-do/]
Charlie Mercy, whose music was featured on the playlist a few weeks ago, is hosting a photo exhibition in Nashville
- Most of your favorite queer country artists are touring together this spring! The Roundup features queer country pioneer Lavender Country, Paisley Fields, Austin Lucas, Lizzie No, Mali Obamsawim, and Jett Holden. Will I see you at the NYC show?
##Rainbow Rodeo Playlist
This week’s playlist is curated by Shana Goldin-Perschbacher, featuring artists discussed in Queer Country!