The Gossip signs to gay-leaning major label

Oh my but I am always torn when I hear this kind of news. That’s why it’s taken me nearly a week to sit down and write this entry. And I should have known it the moment I saw The Gossip’s “Yr Mangled Heart” video as I sat and waited for the neices in the overstuffed in American Eagle Outfitters couch at Lloyd Center 4 months ago. Yes, indie purists, you will be disappointed to learn that soulful Beth Ditto and her crew have left Kill Rock Stars, like so many rising stars before them, to land a deal with Columbia’s “Music With a Twist” label.

On one hand, and beyond any indie snob in me, I am saddened by the band’s leaving of Kill Rock Stars because it symbolizes a certain breaking with their local roots. And certainly future access will be much tighter, and all their shows bigger and more crowded, filled with less and less of the Portlanders I am used to seeing at Gossip shows.

On the other hand, the band may have more freedom now to put the full force of their days into their music. The band members will not have to worry that an illness will drain their non-insured pocketbooks indefinitely. Their message will be spread farther and more people will be introduced to a chubby dyke who can belt like nobody’s business. I don’t begrudge the tiny middle school girl going ga-ga in the front row…I do mind the 6 foot jock with nothing else to do that night that just saw them on MTV2 and pushes to the front.

Ultimately, I guess we’ll have to see how an openly queer band reacts to what Columbia may throw at them. Will all of The Gossip’s otherness break through to the mainstream to aid them in becoming the patron saint of Portland’s underground-made-good? Or will they cave, resulting in Beth Ditto’s Kelly Osbourne-like diet transformation?

The Gossip performs April 4th, 8p at the Wonder Ballroom (128 NE Russell). Tickets are 10 bucks for now but you know that can’t last forever…

VIdeo stills from “Jealous GIrls”

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