The queer year in music 2008

Hercules and Love Affair

Tired of the best gay everything? Well this is the last list, I promise. And because we are counting down the best albums from 10 this time I’ll try to keep it short and sweet.

10 – Ani DiFranco – Red Letter Year

I mostly gave up Ani along with Doc Martins and wallet chains, just like she gave up women.

But you can’t deny that she played a pivotal role in the lives of most lesbians and that her music has always been rich and thoughtful. Several other lezzie legends released albums this year including k.d. lang, Tracy Chapman, Ferron, Patti Larkin, Janis Ian, Melissa Ferrick, and Amy Ray.

9 – John Barrowman – Music, music, music

Torchwood star John Barrowman is known more for his acting than his music, and it’s a little poppy for my taste but its pretty quality mainstream grown up music and, truthfully, I needed another dude on the list.

8 – Team GinaProducts of the 80s

The beats aren’t brilliant and they haven’t really made it out of the underground queer scene but they’re certainly blowing up Seattle and the lyrics are lezzie comic relief like none other…They’re the dorkiest cool kids you’ll ever meet.

7 – Gravy Train!!!!All the Sweet Stuff

Gravy Train!!!

Another comic relief only even dirtier! (I believe all 4 members, 2 boys and 2 girls, appear on the indie porn site They’re always wearing lame or underwear and I just couldn’t stop listening to “Club Situation” and putting it on mixes all year. They really make a a great club song however and perfect for singing and dancing while drunk.

6 – Athens Boys ChoirBar Mitzvah Superhits of the 80s, 90s and Today

Irreverent spoken words and hip hop artist from Athens, GA, ABC further proves 2008 is the year of the tranny (even though last year featured a trans hip hop artist as well). Switching from serious to silly is easy for this “EZ Heeb” who inhabits so many identities everyone’s bound to find something to relate to. Plus, anyone who has a video called “Fagette” that features white short shorts deserves to be on any gay best list.

5 – Yo MajestyFuturistically Speaking…Never Be Afraid

Straight up hip hop from the ladies. Freaky, funky and just plain dope.

4 – Uh Huh HerCommon Reaction

Leisha Hailey was a musician before she was an L Word star and Murmurs fans can rejoice at her return to music with the debut album from her new band with musician Camila Grey. Although it’s quite a bit poppier than her earlier Riot Grrl-esque project, the sound is solid and the girls are going crazy.

Camila Grey and Leisha Hailey of Uh Huh Her

3 – Kaki KingDreaming of Revenge

The smooth guitar stylings of relative newcomer Kaki King stood out as a singer/songwriter who has used but moved beyond the genre to really get out some innovative tunes. She also released a collaboration with The Mountain Goats called Black Pear Tree and contributed a cover of Justin Timberlake’s “I Think She Knows” to the compilation, which releases in Feb. She’s also working on the scoring for a documentary film on homosexuality and the church called Fish Out of Water.

2 – SiaSome People Have Real Problems

This Australian pop acoustic artist hasn’t always identified as queer but when she fell for Le Tigre’s very out and very boyish heartthrob JD Samson she wasn’t about to hide it. Score one for honest, complex music along with honest, complex sexuality.

1 – Hercules and Love AffairSelf-titled debut

HLA debuted with electronic music that preserved the fun and danceable nature of traditional club fare while incorporating disco nostalgia with strong beats and eclectic sounds that make the album a truly innovative electronic project. And since the world love to dance and have fun they had chart toppers all over the world including the UK, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Sweden, Norway and Ireland.

With out members that are both male and female and a transgendered guest artist HLA spans the gender and sexuality spectrum. There’s a little something for everybody whether it be fashionable eye candy, throught-provoking electronic sequences or straight up toe-tapping anthems.

Honorable mentions go out to The Organ and the New Bloods just because I like ’em, Katy Perry for making girl-kissing poppy, fun and mainstream, and to Cazwell and The Gossip, who appeared on the list last year and will surely top again next year when they officially release their new albums.

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