DJ Drew G Launches The So Cal House Sound to Gay Clubs

By Timothy Larcombe

 

excuse-me-bitchThe last year has been a prodigious one for DJ Drew G and his Dirty Pop brand.  In addition to procuring official remixes for some of the hottest music artists in the world including Lady Gaga and Britney Spears,  Beyoncé and Madonna personally selected Drew and his production partner Brian Cua as the official remixers for their new singles.

Their productions now play in clubs around the world. Even Tiësto has used Dirty Pop’s remixes in his live sets.

While the duo have no plans to stop their collaboration, Drew G announced last week that he is venturing out on his own to explore his latest evolution of tribal circuit, a sound he is calling SoCal House.  “I’m excited to show club fans who I really am,” he says.  “I want them to see where my passions lie, what my motivation is, what my life is like.”

We spoke with DJ Drew G to learn more.

 

What is So Cal House? 

Drew G:  It’s a blend of all the elements of EDM, circuit and house that I have grown to love over the years.  It’s extremely high energy.

 

Is Excuse Me Bitch an example?  

Drew G:  (Laughing) The song is actually my response to a nasty Facebook comment that was

made in regard to my track, “Hands off”.  There’s no reason to get in the mud when you can just make a banging track and giggle to yourself about its meaning.

 

What inspired your new sound?

Drew G:  The fact that so many cities have a sound.  There’s NYC House, Chicago House.  As a resident of San Diego, I figured why not create SoCalHouse?   It’s kinda cool that a lot of DJ in San Diego and Los Angeles are referring to it as their sound now.

 

But you’re from NYC.  Have you given up your NYC roots? 

Drew G:  There are definitely elements of NYC house in the SoCalHouse sound. I take a lot of influence from the greats that have been around long before me:  Peter (Rauhofer), Junior (Vasquez), Victor (Calderone)… all NYC house legends.

 

How did you get started DJing?

Drew G:  I went to see Peter Rauhofer play with a friend at Roxy in New York.  I bought all his cds the next day.

 

What prompted you to move out West?

Drew G:  The weather.  I hate winter and snow.

 

How did you meet your husband?

Drew G:  I met him on Scruff!  We met in August, 2013.  We were engaged that October.  When you know, you just know.

 

Does he call you his Dirty Pop?

Drew G:  (Laughing) No, but he has plenty of other embarrassing nicknames for me.

 

Speaking of Dirty Pop, are you still collaborating with Brian Cua on tracks? 

Drew G:  Brian and I are currently working on the next single with Daniele DeLaite from Australian Idol. It should be out by year end.

 

How long have you been working with Beyoncé?

Drew G:  I’ve been remixing her tracks forever but the first official remix started with “Love on Top”. Then “End of Time”, “Blow”, “711”….

 

What about Madonna?

Drew G:  Again, forever, but our first official remix was “Living For Love”.  It was probably the last true EDM based track Brian and I did.  After that, we started working toward the SoCalHouse sound with “Ghost Town” and “Bitch, I’m Madonna”.

 

What direction are you taking Drew G into?

Drew G:  I just want to continue making music.  I’m so blessed to be able to play my work for an audience. But you know, I never have expectations.  I go where life takes me.

 

Visit http://djdrewg.com

Indiana Queen Kicks Up The Boots and Saddles in “Summon Without Sorrow”

By Timothy Larcombe

 

summon-without-sorrowKevin Thornton, the lead singer of the queer country band, Indiana Queen, grew up as a fundamentalist Christian.

It was the late eighties, early nineties, in small town Indiana, and his whole world revolved around church. There was nothing else really, except Denny’s, where, after bible lesson, he and his buddies would hang out until curfew. He was charismatic and his pastors saw that. By 15, Kevin was delivering sermons in front of a megachurch congregation.

So, when his hormones kicked in and Kevin realized he was gay, it made for some rather conflicted and torturous late teen years.  He says going away to college saved his life.  “I had never been around so many liberal people who couldn’t care less that I was gay. I didn’t even know it was an option before”.

Indiana Queen’s latest album, “Summon Without Sorrow”, and it’s accompanying film, are a visceral journey into music through Thornton’s eyes.  It combines spiritual references with modern dance and homoerotic elements that together, deliver a powerful message of pride, love, and acceptance.

What inspired “Summon Without Sorrow”?

Kevin Thornton: Fans of Indiana Queen have always appreciated the visual imagery of our music videos.  This time around, I wanted to take the visuals as far as I could.  I decided to present the entire album as a film.

Is there significance behind the title?

Kevin Thornton: There’s a theme throughout of looking back at a painful past and coming to terms with it.  It essentially means “summoning up the ghosts from the past and remembering it all without the pain and sadness.”  Today, I look back with reverence at the experiences that helped shape me into who I am.

Like growing up fundamentalist Christian?

Kevin Thornton:  My favorite song on the album is “This Is How It Goes” because it is the most vulnerable. It’s about remembering when I was young, when my whole world was the church, and falling for a guy. There was a lot of repressed sexual tension between us. We were so afraid. The song is about looking back, remembering him, and wondering if he made it out of that hell like I did.

Did anything physical happen between you two? 

Kevin Thornton: We were teenagers so not much.  There were some shame-filled, post-church hand jobs.

Has your family come around to accepting your homosexuality? 

Kevin Thornton: Oh yes. My immediate family has become quite liberal.

Have they heard and seen the album and film?  

Kevin Thornton: Not yet but they’ll be just fine with the album. All the nudity and man-kissing in the film might be a bit much for them. Although, my family usually surprises me.

Why did you pack the film with fetish instead of scenes on the ranch that we typically see in country music videos? 

Kevin Thornton: (Laughing) Do we need anymore country videos with scenes of ranches and wheat fields? I’d rather explore different spaces and textures. I’m more interested in being subversive than sanitary. It’s provocative imagery. I also like the juxtaposition of pairing folk and country music with beefy guys in leather, kissing each other.  Or maybe it’s just an excuse for me to get beefy guys in leather to make out in front of me.

My favorite track is “Nashville Don’t Give A Damn.” 

I’ve had an on again off again love affair with Nashville for two decades. There were times where I felt like hot shit in this town. Then lots of other times where it felt like she didn’t even know my name. That’s how it goes, I guess. The song comes from an empowered place. Nashville doesn’t give a damn. That’s true. I’ve decided to forge ahead anyway.

What does the northern LGBTQ community need to know about gay life in the south?

Rural communities are still quite opposed to queer people. I sometimes feel like I still need to look over my shoulder to see who’s watching. But the world is changing fast. Even here in the south. Luckily, Nashville, where I am now, is a pretty progressive village and it’s quiet easy to live here.

 

indiana-queenVisit http://indianaqueen.com

c.2016, W.W. Norton                         $25.95 / $33.95 Canada                      284 pages

miss-jane

Your mother called it an “angel’s kiss.”

Ugh. Lots of people are born with birthmarks or unique features but you saw yours as a flaw and you hated it for years. Slowly, though, you came to embrace it, to see it as something that sets you apart, and now you wouldn’t erase it for the world. As in the new novel, “Miss Jane” by Brad Watson, it’s a part of who you are.

In her later years, Jane wasn’t afraid of anything. Oh, sure, she didn’t care much for horses or bodies of water until her father taught her differently, years ago, but grown up, she was fearless. She just lived her life by her Mississippi garden, unafraid, and vexed by but accustomed to the incontinence she’d endured since the day she was born.

Jane’s mother was too old to be having another baby back then and everybody knew it, especially Ida Chisolm. It was 1915, and Ida had already lost enough children so she wasn’t putting too much stock in the life of this’un. When Jane was born with something wrong down there, Ida blamed herself for a good long time, and never really did cozy up to her youngest daughter.

Because of that, Grace, the oldest daughter and the only Chisolm child left at home, was saddled with babysitting. It rankled her; everything did, in fact, and even though she was barely old enough to be in school, she knew right then that motherhood was not for her. Even at that tender age, Grace couldn’t wait to get away.

When Jane was born, Sylvester Chisolm was unsure what to call his child. Clearly, she was a daughter but something was wrong. Still, though men of his day never fussed much about babies, Chisolm took particular delight in his youngest. He taught her about trees and birds, how to fish, and how to be self-sufficient. She’d need that.

For many years after Dr. Thompson helped Jane into the world, he kept an eye on her. He advised her, taught her about her body, and counseled her when she started noticing boys. He was her friend.

And when Jane was old enough for the truth, he told her…

Here’s a challenge for you this fall: find a book that’s as beautiful as “Miss Jane.”

Wait, don’t bother. It’s impossible.

From almost the first page of this story of a hard-scrabble life, you’ll find yourself basking in words that set difficulty awash in lushness. Based on a real person, author Brad Watson’s Jane is a dutiful daughter, smart and a little too nosy, and remarkably unabashed about her physical anomaly – at least, at first. Watson wisely allows his character to mature, both in body and in mind, which inevitably leads to the sweetest, loveliest bust-your-heart-in-tiny-pieces passages you may ever read.

Be aware that parts of this book may make you squirm, if you a sensitive type but mostly, you’ll just float on the sentences inside this book. Start “Miss Jane” and kiss your afternoon goodbye.

miss-jane-author-credit-nell-hanley