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Transvocalizers — Christmas Music

| Dec 15, 2008
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Transvocalizers by Pamela DeGroff

Christmas Music plus

I was sort of wondering what could be done with this new Transvocalizers feature to keep in line with the holidays. Given the extent of our economic downturn (duress, even…), the gift of music is still a highly affordable way to celebrate the season, regardless of your personal beliefs. In our main music feature column, Perpetual Change, I’ve always tried to present a transgender musician or trans themed project that’s applicable for the season. Frankly, that gets to be a real challenge. There’s just not enough new transgender-themed Christmas music being produced. Having said that, though, there are some very interesting CDs that are perfect gifts for that special tranny on your list. CDs by RuPaul, Jackie Beat, The Kinsey Sicks, and even Aderet’s new single, offer not only some new music, but some very clever parodies of Christmas favorites.

Ho Ho Ho

RuPaul

It’s hard to believe that there might be anyone who isn’t familiar with RuPaul. However, if there’s a returning alien abductee who’s a bit out of the loop, here’s a brief synopsis: RuPaul was born RuPaul Andre’ Charles in November 1960, in San Diego, California. Her early musical influences included Diana Ross and The Supremes, as well as ‘60s and ‘70s Motown and funk. High school was unexceptional, except for an interest in drama class. In 1976, Ru moved to Atlanta with her sister. It was there in 1978 that she saw her first drag show, and it was on a local cable access TV show that Ru first did drag in Atlanta. Early musical efforts include a lipsynch/dance group called RuPaul and The U-Hauls, and a band called the Wee Wee Pole. 1985 saw an EP called The Sex Freak released, that was basically culled from demos. The first serious RuPaul album was 1993’s Supermodel Of The World. This was followed by Foxy Lady (1996); Ho Ho Ho (1997); RuPaul’s Go-Go Box Classics (1998); Red Hot (2004); RuPaul, ReWorked (2006); RuPaul: Recollection (the first five years) (2006); and Starrbooty Soundtrack (2007). For a complete list of singles and film appearances, check out her web site. Her newest project, RuPaul’s Drag Race, a reality-type show for aspiring queens, is on the LOGO network. It’s the 1997 Christmas release, Ho Ho Ho, that fits into the holiday music theme. Although Ru has been featured in our companion column before (December 1999, July 2001), her Christmas album deserves further mention. Primarily, the record is a dance album. What would you expect, though? But there are some unique tunes here. Ru covers Dolly Parton’s “With Bells On”, as well as the Gene Autry/Oakley Haldeman classic “Here Comes Santa Claus.” Other songs are more parodied than covered. “Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer” becomes “RuPaul The Red Nosed Drag Queen”, and another seasonal classic is turned into “I Saw Daddy Kissing Santa Claus.” Dance numbers on the album are “Funky Christmas (Christmas At My House)”, and “Celebrate (New Year’s Remix)”. There’s a medley called “Christmas Train” that contains “Joy To The World/Deck The Halls/Come All Ye Faithful/Jingle Bells/Hark The Herald Angels Sing/We Wish You A Merry Christmas”. Although it sounds like little thought was put into the placement of each tune in this medley, it still adds to the holiday ambiance of the CD. Ru says in the liner notes that while growing up, her family had very little money to splurge on Christmas. As an adult, she learned what the season means, though. “Christmas is a celebration of the people you love. It’s a reminder of how lucky you are to share your love with them. This album is my Christmas gift to you…” Thanks, Ru…

Jackie Beat

Jackie Beat

Jackie Beat was our first featured artist in this new column, back in July (2008). She has been a professional drag entertainer for just over 10 years, working in Europe as well as here in the US. Jackie’s CD releases include Jackie Beat Is Coming To Town (2005); Put It In Me (2005); Holiday Ho (live, 2006); Beaver (2007); and Natural Woman (2007). She is also one-third of the techno/dance band Dirty Sanchez, and appears with them on the CDs Really Rich Italian Satanists (EP, 2004); Antonio Says (EP, 2005), and the LP Dirty Sanchez (2006). It’s the Holiday Ho live release that we’re interested in, though. The album was recorded during one of her annual holiday concert tours. It’s not the kind of CD one would play for granny and the kids, that’s for sure. Jackie’s stage banter with a live audience pretty much makes this perhaps the only X-rated Christmas album out there. The track listing pretty much says it all: “Jackie Beat Is Coming To Town”; I” Want 2 Pieces”; “Santa’s Baby”; “Alcoholidaze Medley”; “Cheatin’ & Mac 226”; “With A Sexy Married Man”; “Go To Hell”; “It’s Kwanzaa”; “Do Some Blow”; “Jingle Bell Cock”; “Holiday Ho Medley.” Jackie Beat’s current holiday tour takes her to Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and Houston, through the 19th of the month. (For more information or to order CDs, please check out her web site

Kinsey Sicks

The Kinsey Sicks

TG Forum and The Kinsey Sicks are seemingly made for each other. They were featured in our other column in April 2001, and again in January 2003, plus the occasional update via press release from time to time. They were October’s feature in this column as well. Once again, for the un-initiated, a little background. The group is acapella, and started in San Francisco back in 1993. Throughout the years, there have been membership changes, but the sound has always remained consistent. The group’s first release was a live, self-produced project entitled Everything But The Kitch-N-Sink (1996). This was followed by Dragapella (1997); Boyz 2 Girlz (2000); Sicks In The City (2002); I Wanna Be A Republican (2004); Oy Vey In A Manger: Christmas Carols and Other Jewish Music (2005); and Sicks! Sicks! Sicks! (2008). It’s the Oy Vey… project that’s of interest for the holidays, obviously. Granted, the Kinsey’s perspective is Jewish, and some of their parodies might be considered offensive by some. Once again, not the kind of thing to use for background music at Christmas dinner with the family. As with any act struggling to make a buck, the Kinseys will be touring over the holidays. This announcement was sent out regarding their schedule:

“The holidays are upon us! It is the time to offer the olive branch of peace to neighbors, relatives, pastors, and other loved ones who have wronged you. In fact, nothing says ‘Thank you for voting for Prop 8′ better than a gift of a ticket to see The Kinsey Sicks as they desecrate the holidays in ‘Oy Vey In A Manger’. This holiday season, gather loved ones around, roast worthless 401K statements in the fire, and then step out for a wholesome evening of song…and sacrilege.”

(Their schedule includes Dec. 13, Ft. Lauderdale; Dec. 26 Seattle; Dec 27, San Francisco. Check out their web site for more details and to order CDs, which, by the way, they are offering for a discount during the holidays.)

Aderet

AderetLast but not least, there is a new single Israeli singer Aderet that just came my way. Okay, so we go from Jewish American drag entertainers to an Israeli transsexual dance music diva—the entire Christmas theme just crashed and burned. Nonetheless, Aderet was featured here in September (2008), and even though this has nothing to do with the holidays, new music is always a treat. The single, “Call My Name”, features Aderet with the band IWR, which is a duo comprised of Maor Appelbaum (vocals, bass, synth, programming), and Tal Galfsky (keyboards, synth, programming). This tune is a remix of the IWR song “Ketamine Sedation”, from that band’s second album, Cold Asylum. Aderet’s version will be included on her soon to be r eleased album, Jewish Girl, which will be her first English language album. (For more information on Aderet, check out her MySpace page, or contact her record label ; or her web site.)


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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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