Paracetamol

milkboys Music, Music & Dance 4 Comments

Young musicianDeclan McKenna tells of how the death of Leelah Alcorn, a transgender teen from Ohio, spurred a flurry of songwriting he hopes will encourage people to care.

I’m 17 now. I wrote Paracetamol between the ages of 15 and 16. With many of my songs, I have this strange habit of spending months fumbling over song structure ideas before suddenly writing all the lyrics in one day, and that’s what happened here. What sparked that flurry was a story I read about a transgender girl called Leelah Alcorn who committed suicide in December 2014. Her mother told her she would never be a girl, and she had been compelled to undergo Christian transgender “conversion” therapy.

It was a disgusting story. Not only must it have been a truly horrific experience for Leelah, but knowing that this wasn’t an isolated case genuinely terrified me.

So I wrote this song called Paracetamol – without really noticing it at first – from the perspective of this ambiguous authoritative figure, talking about somebody they are oppressing, in a sort of disconnected tabloid speak. I guess I’m being the bad guy. I didn’t really want to write it as a victim, firstly because I’m not, but predominantly because it wouldn’t feel right to write it that way. Paracetamol is not written specifically about Leelah’s case, but about sections of the media’s representation of LGBT communities in general. On the odd occasion they are represented, the media tends to be handle it so horribly that the cumulative effect is that their readers – quite understandably – just don’t quite get it either.

It’s pretty important to note here that I’m not trying to suggest that I know everything about this topic, because I don’t, but I do care and I wanted to act, and I think more people need to start actively caring.

When making a music video, it becomes quite difficult to find a director who can puts all your words into pictures and convey the same message. Paracetamol needed somebody who genuinely cared about what the song was trying to say. Trans music videos can be pretty bad and send out the completely wrong message. We approached the brilliant Matt Lambert, whose previous work is fascinating. It’s provocative. Check him out, if you’re not familiar with his work already. I think he has done an amazing job with the video, and he had loads of really great, interesting ideas from the outset. One of the primary things he wanted to focus on, which was important to me and the song, was that it wasn’t portrayed as a tragedy. Many films about trans people have this weird suggestion that they don’t have the chance to be happy. We wanted to make something positive, with people who are actively affected by the topics in the video.

The teenagers that Matt and his team cast were from east London, and watching their friendship develop, almost in real time, was awesome. Those guys are 15, and the story resonated with them. This video doesn’t tell them that their life is going to be shit simply because some people won’t accept who they are. I really hope it’s a video that can speak to people.

It’s a cliche, but although we’re all different, we’re also pretty similar. Rather than caring about the problems that affect us alone, maybe we should start caring about the problems that we’ve created and start reversing them.

Video submitted by Tom, text first published by The Guardian

Back on the Wall

milkboys Music, Music & Dance 19 Comments

Greyson Chance (remember about him?) just released his new music video. And while this kind of generic pop is really not my thing, it’s nice to see that he’s still making music even though he seems to have the same difficulties as Ronan Parke when it comes to translating the amazing voice they impressed the world with into a unique brand now that they’re getting older.

Jack Higgins

milkboys Music & Dance 19 Comments

Oh, Britain’s got Talent… everything about that show is just so terrible. The production, the judges, the fake audience “reactions”. But sometimes the contestants aren’t. And if 14-year-old Jack manges to grow up like Ronan did he’s gonna be one hell of a pretty dancer, that’s for sure.

Melodifestivalen 2016

milkboys Music, Music & Dance 7 Comments

It’s that time of the year again, the Eurovision Song Contest is around the corner and few countries are as obsessed with it as Sweden and Germany; for some reason especially the queer populations of said countries. The big difference between the two being that Sweden is actually doing very well in the contest on a regular basis ;)

After 2012 (one of the greatest winning songs ever if you ask me) the Swedes took the crown again last year with the anti-bullying song Heroes performed by Måns Zelmerlöw. If you have a few minutes I urge you to check out his entry from last year just so you’re properly prepared for the epicness that was his performance during Melodifestivalen last night which you can see below.

Watch the whole thing, it’s absolutely worth it, promise…

Melodifestivalen is the annual Swedish competition in which the country decides which artist gets to represent them at Eurovision. This year it will be 17-year-old Frans; you can check out his song below. See you at the Eurovision finals on May 14!

via Destroyer Jorunal

PWR BTTM

milkboys Music, Music & Dance 4 Comments

PWR BTTM is an American queer punk duo composed of Liv Bruce and Ben Hopkins. Gender and sexuality are major topics in the music of PWR BTTM. Bruce and Hopkins identify as queer, and address this in the music they make. They discussed the subject of creating “queer” rock music in an interview with Village View:

“We’re queer people, and our truth is that and the music we make, and what we say in our music is representative of who we are . It is us making ourselves feel less alone through our work. Sexuality has always been a part of rock music but that didn’t necessarily mean that it was queer. One of the things that made me excited about writing about my own sexuality and asserting it was doing that in a queer voice and using that to tell a queer story.”

I want a boy, to keep the bed warm while I shower
I want a boy, to keep the bed warm while we’re watching TV
I want a boy, to keep the bed warm when the whole house is freezing
I want a boy, who isn’t anything like me
I want a boy, who doesn’t like to go out shopping
I want a boy, who thinks it’s sexy when my lipstick bleeds
I want a boy, who can go all night without stopping
I want a boy, who knows exactly what he needs

So if you think that you’re the boy for me and I’m the boy for you
Drop me a line at ob8419@bard.edu
Tell me a little bit about yourself, send a picture or two
Hurry up now, because it’s only getting colder

Submitted by Chimel