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Saturday, January 13, 2007

The Anatomy of an Electroqueer

Having just read Poster Girl's story on how she became obsessed with music via an iPod and Darius Danesh, it got us thinking about how we became obessessed with music ourselves.  You probably won't be interested in this posting, but please indulge us as we need to get this out of our system...

Having grown up in a small town in Eastern Oregon, USA...we didn't have much in the way of cool music.  If you didn't listen to country music or liked Garth Brooks, you were pretty much a fag.  Which is suprising to us because Garth Brooks used to wear tight jeans that showed off his package...yet somehow, strangley enough, we were the fags for not liking him...I digress.  I decided to be somewhat a rebel.  By the tender age of twelve, I was listening to the Thompson Twins, Huey Lewis and the News, Wham!, Tears For Fears, Duran Duran, Starship, Bryan Adams, Tina Turner, Whitney Houston, Sade and the infamous Madonna.  Side note - one time Mama Electroqueer caught us dancing in full Madonna gear to the Virgin Tour on videocassette...this was the beginning of an Electroqueer in training.  By the time we reached fifteen years of age we found a cool group of friends that embraced pop and electro music.  We started listening to The Pet Shop Boys, Depeche Mode, The Cure, Erasure, Cause and Effect, The KLF and every week we were marching down to our local Safeway to buy 1 of the 3 copies of Smash Hits magazine that they carried - and it was then that we discovered UK pop music.  We found ourselves going on lots of trips to Seattle (the big city) to spend money on expensive import CDs from the likes of Kylie Minogue and Take That and anything rare from Madonna that we couldn't buy at the local Payless Drug Store music department.  Pop and electronic music became our lives. 

Then the 1980's teen explosion happened.  We were shocked that Tiffany knocked Michael Jackson off the top spot in 1987 with 'I Think Were Alone Now' (still one of our favoruite oldies) and we found ourselves in deep conversations about who was better...'Tiffany or Debbie Gibson?'.  'Paula Abdul' or 'Janet Jackson?'  Then of course the phenominom of New Kids On The Block unfolded and also introduced us to Tommy Page (whom we had a massive crush on and still do)...two acts that we had been listening to way way way before they became popular.  We loved pop music and electro music.  We coined the term 'Electropop' back then, but no one really got it except us.  The two of them together were harmony amongst the dullness of growing up in small town USA.  We cherished albums by the likes of Martika, Stacey Q, Paul Lekakis, Glass Tiger and we even had pin-ups in our locker of a-ha which made a few high schoolers question the sexuality of a young Electroqueer at the time.

Then it all seemed to change in the later stages of high school.  Country music was still at the forefront of what people seemed to listen to.  Rap music started to emerge and we never cared too much for it.  Although we could be found dancing to a few Salt and Pepa hits at the high school proms, it was artists like Neneh Cherry, Suzanne Vega, Technotronic, Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam, Lissette Melendez, George Lamond, Noel, Dino, C+C Music Factory, Genesis, Pseudo Echo, Sweet Sensation and Linear that made us jump up and down with glee.  We were even fans of Milli Vanilli and didn't give a toss that they didn't actually sing on their record.  'Girl You Know It's True' was a fucking good pop song.

Fast forward to college - rap and hip hop took over.  You couldn't watch MTV without it being a hip-hop video or some program that had very little to do with music on it.  Our faith in music was depleting.  If it wasn't for artists like R.E.M, Gin Blossoms, Alanis Morisette, Sarah McLachlan, Tracy Chapman or Bjork, we probably would have given up on music altogether during this era.  The alternative music scene also held very little interest to us.  We never could get into Nirvana, Guns and Roses, Pearl Jam or the college radio charts that much...but we seemed to take an interest in The Smashing Pumpkins a bit.  The internet was still in it's infancy at this time (outside of AOL) and finding new pop and electronic music seemed a difficult task until we moved to London.

Moving to London was like a god-send musically for us.  Europe and the rest of the world it would seem wasn't afraid of pop, dance and electro music.  We felt like were born again and that is when the idea for Electroqueer the blog was born.  We think an awful lot about music and hopefully we can continue to muse on it.  We just hope you don't get bored of all this stuff that floats around inside our head and ends up on this blog.  It's like a cheap form of therapy for us.

Coming in 2007, you can expect us to continue with our regular features of 'Don't You Forget About Me' in which we are working on a Deborah Gibson, Paula Cole and Tommy Page post, 'MySpace Discovery Wednesdays' in which our next installment will feature the lovely Gavin Mikhail and Gabe Lopez and of course the fun and sometimes terrible 'Random Rants'. We also have a couple of suprises lined up for you too..stay tuned Electroqueers!


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Debbie Gibson was always better!
I did and still do have a crush on Tommy Page
Check out my thoughts on Gabe Lopez here...
and the absolutely amazing Gavin Mihail here...

i CANT WAIT to see your upcoming posts :)

Ok Paul - I knew we were going to have this debate at some time - - You know I am a hardcore Tiffany fan, but I do have an appreciation for Deborah. I actually met her too - she's fab. For me, It's more the voice. Deborah is an amazing performer and she by far gave better concerts in the 80's...but I'd rather listen to Tiffany's voice anyday. I also have a thing for red-heads...Sorry Debs. If given the choice, I'd also rather listen to Christina vs. Britney too. LOL. Having said that, my Deborah post is pretty much in your honor too - so I hope that you like it and please forgive me if any of my facts are off. LOL. Hugs - Electroqueer.

Brilliant post! I loved it :) Plus, you've made me realize I may need to look into more of the artists you've mentioned, many of whom I only know on a "couple of singles" basis. And how absolutely gorgeous were (are? I'm not sure--haven't seen them lately, though I really liked "Analogue") a-ha? One watch of the "Take On Me" video and I would have been obsessed!

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