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Perpetual Change By Pamela DeGroff 8/4/08

| Aug 4, 2008
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It’s one of those months when our musical column author, Pamela DeGroff has gathered together several short bits and pieces from press releases and other sources concerning the activities and artistry of TG muscians. In this edition of Perpetual Change she brings us news about The Cliks, jazz bassist Jennifer Leitham, some sad news from the TG Music Society, and more. 

The Cliks/Lucas Silveira

The Cliks LogoCanadian rockers The Cliks, fronted by transman Lucas Silveira, were first featured here in November, 2007. Since then, the band has toured almost nonstop and have garnered a lot of TV air time, including an appearance on MTV’s Nexty Awards, where they won in the category of Brink Of Fame: Music Artist. Recently, The Cliks were also part of Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors Tour, which hit 24 cities from May 31st through the end of July.

Silveira was gracious enough to submit to a brief interview regarding the tour, and all the other events that have transpired for The Cliks.

TGForum: Congrats on the tour and MTV Nexty Award. In regard to the tour, are you aware of the existing acrimony between HRC (who will benefit from ticket sales) and the greater transgender community. I was under the impression that you don’t usually involve yourself with political things, but I’m interested in knowing if you’ve had any negative comments about being included on the tour?

The CliksLucas: To begin, who told you I don’t like to involve myself with political things? That would be a very untrue statement. I am a very political being and am very open to speak about anything. I am extremely opinionated.

Secondly, I did receive a few emails regarding our involvement in the True Colors tour after the incident with the HRC. I believe that pulling The Cliks out of the True Colors tour based on the HRC deciding to not include transgender language would have been a silly thing to do. I feel the HRC had to make an incremental decision and that they have always been and continue to be a force supporting the rights of the transgender community. Their decision was solely made based on wanting to move one step closer to our goal. Does it suck that we weren’t included? Yes, of course it does, but one step closer to our goal in my opinion is better than nothing.

I feel that if we take an all or nothing stance on these issues that we will not forge ahead, so I support the HRC whole heartedly and was extremely proud to be part of the tour.

TGForum: I saw the L.A. Ink episode. I really liked the way you provided a brief background on being trans during the session. First off, congrats on getting this type of TV coverage. Secondly, it took guts to say what you did. What kind of feedback have you gotten from the show?

Lucas: Why, thanks. I’ve received a lot of really positive feedback. Especially from younger trans kids who were happy to hear a story like their own. I also got a lot of emails from people saying exactly what you just said. It’s interesting because I’m just being who I am and for some reason people think that, like you said, “takes guts”. But I just see it as my story and who I am so I never realized how many people it would touch.

TGForum: Do you try to use appearances such as this, or any gig for that matter, as a chance to do a little education regarding what being transgender means?

Lucas: I think that by just being honest about who I am is all the educating I can do and it’s not something I consciously do. I don’t bring up my gender identity at shows on the stage because when I’m there, it’s not a part of what I’m trying to express. There, I’m trying to not point out the differences in me and the next person, or the similarities for that matter, because my goal is to have a room full of people just feeling connected through music.

TGForum: I understand you’ll be working on a new album after the summer, correct? What can we expect?

Lucas: I’ve already stared writing music and I really think this is going to be a fantastic album. I have a feeling it’s going to be very rock n’ roll but with a lot of elements of soul, especially vocally. I’m very excited!

TGForum: With the band receiving more press and more overall visibility, has this changed your stage show and/or direction in any way? Has it, or will it, change the music in any way?

Lucas: I don’t think the visibility is what will change us. I think it’s just a natural growth. After you’ve been on the road for almost two years, you get to be really tight as a band and your performances just become more elaborate and more confident.

As for the music changing, I hope there is some change. As an artist, that’s always the next level, to create something new that you’ve never done before. I think departures from what is the norm to yourself are a sign that there is room for growth, and that to me is a very positive thing.

TGForum: Any final thoughts?

Lucas: Come visit our My Space page and keep up with what we’re doing.

Jennifer Leitham

Jennifer LeithamJazz bassist Jennifer Leitham has been extremely busy with her trio (which includes Josh Nelson, piano; Randy Drake, drums) and has been doing several high profile gigs. Jennifer and the trio did a live broadcast/web cast from Slyman Saville Theater over station KSDS 88.3 on August 5th; the Mammoth Lakes Jazz Fest; and on Labor Day weekend, will be part of the Sweet And Hot Music Festival at LAX Marriott.

She also wishes to announce the upcoming release of her latest CD, Left Coast Story.

“For those in the L.A. area, my 55th birthday celebration is at the Lighthouse in Hermosa Beach, August 10th,” Jennifer said. “The CD release party for Left Coast Story is August 19th, at Charlie O’s.”

Being a jazz fan, I’m looking forward to this new album. And I have to say, Ms. Leitham looks pretty damn good at 55.

Oestrogenix

CJ of OestrogenixEngland’s TG band Oestrogenix (featured here October 2005), called it quits a few months back. But, since nothing in life is certain except death, taxes, shaving, and the common cold, the band has decided to reunite. They had this to say in a press release.

“It’s been an age! Too long in fact, with a silly argument causing our split. Yet with new hope, there is new cooperation. We have overcome the differences, the past is behind us, and in the new peace … Oestrogenix is making music again.”

The band has been jamming a lot and even writing new music. Several new tunes can be heard at www.myspace.com/oestrorock Email: [email protected]

And now for something completely different.

The Transgender Music Society discussion group has a member who posts obituaries of musicians and other entertainers whom she finds to be interesting. Now before you think that’s just a little too weird and/or morbid, the historical information value alone is incredible. It’s also the first place that I personally learned of the passing of a musician I performed with many years ago-Larry Norman-one of the true pioneers of Christian rock.

Recently, an obit for Nick Sanderson of the British glam band Earl Brutus, was posted. I had never heard of Earl Brutus before, but the glam rock thing got my attention. Especially since the band’s two album releases Your Majesty…We Are Here (1996) and Tonight You Are The Special One (1998) were recorded and released long after glam rock had its heyday. Some traditions are forever, it seems.

Sanderson was born in Sheffield, England. He was 11 when Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust was released, which infected him with a lifelong love for glam rock. He started listening to Genesis, the music of Richard Wagner, and was particularly fond of the soundtrack for Clockwork Orange.

He became a drummer as well as a vocalist, and after a few stints in local bands, in 1987 Sanderson joined the American band, The Gun Club. By the 1990s, he was back in England with a band called World of Twist. The guitarist from that band, Gordon King, along with Jamie Fry, formed Earl Brutus with Sanderson in 1992.

Although the music was rough and in-your-face, Sanderson never toned down the glam. A fan review of the band said the music “…smacks you in the mouth one minute with a bit of pub brawling glam rock and then twiddles you brain with Elizabethan cod-operatic rock…the lyrics make absolutely no sense at first.”

Sanderson did side gigs for The Jesus And Mary Chain and Free Heat. After Earl Brutus called it quits in 2004 Sanderson followed his love of all things having to do with railroading and became a train driver, retiring from music for good. He was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2007. Nick Sanderson passed away June 8th. He was 47.

Long live glam rock.

(For information on Earl Brutus, Google it. Amazon.com also provides some information.)


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Category: Music, Transgender Fun & Entertainment

Pam Degroff

About the Author ()

Pamela DeGroff been writing for TGForum since the start of 1999. Her humor column, The Pamela Principle, ran until 2005. She started the Perpetual Change music column in May of 1999, and in 2008, Angela Gardner came up with the idea for the Transvocalizers column and put Pam to work on that. Pamela was a regular contributor to Transgender Community News until that magazine's demise. While part of a support group in Nashville called The Tennessee Vals she began writing for their newsletter, and also wrote for several local GLBT alternative newspapers in Tennessee. Pamela is currently a staff reporter for a small town daily paper in Indiana, and is also a working musician.

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