The biggest drag festival celebrates their 10th anniversary
A conversation between besties and musical collaborators
Miss Boogie: Hey sis. For those who don’t know, tell them who you are.
Trannilish: It’s Trannilish. You could call me Lish, AKA Ms. Titties Gigantic. My look is dramatic.
Miss Boogie: Miss Boogie over here, AKA Miss Boogie What’s Goodie also known as Ms. Douche Down. Sis, so what song are you starting your day with?
Trannilish: I’m going to start my day with a little bit of Kaytranada, Teedra Moses “Be Your Girl.” What about you?
Miss Boogie: So it’s this cute song. It’s like an older song, but it’s called “Hold It Down” by this collective 4hero. I really love the lyrics so you should check that out. I don’t know if I’ve sent it to you yet, but I will soon.
Trannilish: Yeah, definitely send that over.
Miss Boogie: Yes sis, okay. My memory is usually faded because I smoke too much, so what’s our link up story? How did we link up?
Trannilish: We linked up in summer 2009 when I was doing my little fashion thing, you know, body paint, makeup. And you hit me up because you were walking the Latex Ball and you wanted me to do your makeup. Myspace days.
Miss Boogie: Right, a decade ago. I remember like it was yesterday.
Trannilish: Over a decade ago, bitch.
Miss Boogie: So it was the Latex Ball and the category was Female Figure Runway and they said bring it like a magazine editorial. …
Michael Alden Hadreas has been writing, producing, and performing music under his nom de plume Perfume Genius since his debut album, Learning, was released in 2010. Since then he has released four more albums, with the most recent coming out mere days before the world shut down in February 2020. His newest album, titled Set My Heart on Fire Immediately, is a haunting creation filled with beautiful melodies and, in the words of Pitchfork writer Madison Bloom, “grimy, guttural dissonance” (the publication gave it a rare 9.0 score). Other reviews piled on similar praise.
I chatted with Hadreas from the Los Angeles home he shares with his boyfriend of 12 years, who’s also a frequent collaborator, Alan Wyffels. In 2020, not only were Hadreas’ tour plans derailed but he also fell prey to a “really bad Crohn’s flare up.” This thrust the musician into a dark place that he has since been working his way out of. I found Hadreas to be open, intelligent, and witty. It was a pleasure getting to know him.
Where are you now based and where were you last year during the pandemic? Me and my partner, Alan, we moved to Los Angeles from Seattle three years ago. It feels more recent than that, but I guess it was three years ago. So that’s where we were when the pandemic started and we moved in the middle of it, just because our house was cave-like and pretty dark. I liked our neighborhood, but we were not in the neighborhood, we were in our house. …
Isabella Lovestory is like the Kate Bush of reggaeton with the hip bones of “Slave 4 U”-era Britney Spears. A pop star of her own invention, Honduran-born Isabella’s artistic sensibility gives her hot-girl visuals and radio-ready bangers a twisted brilliance. In fact before she released her first EP Humo in 2019, she was showing up in all the cool kid group shows at New York galleries (even while living in Montreal). In the last few years, she’s been making music her focus, often collaborating with Chicken, the downtown New York producer behind the party Club Eat. She loves a super low rise jean and a kitten heel. in fact, she wrote an entire song about the latter.
So you wrote a kitten heel anthem. Who is she, the girl who prefers a kitten heel to say a stiletto or platform wedge? She’s someone who doesn’t need to be desperately loud (or desperately tall) to be the supermodel, the center of attention. She knows she has it all and everyone is obsessed with her. Subtle, iconic, lazy, gluttonous. The world waits for her. She can run faster and dance better than the rest because she’s got the comfiest shoes. The sexy underdog — I mean undercat. She’s definitely a part of me, although I contradict myself everyday. One leg wears a kitten heel and the other a platform stiletto.
You have a very romantic name. What’s your favorite love story, real-life or fictional? A Woman Under the Influence always makes me cry. …
Honey Dijon has been DJing since she was a kid at her parents’ house parties in Chicago. While she’s been a longtime mainstay of house music and queer party scenes since moving to New York in the 1990s, the last few years she’s really grown, doing everything from creating mixes for Kim Jones’s Louis Vuitton menswear shows to headlining dance festivals in Europe to launching her own clothing brand with Comme des Garçons, titled Honey Fucking Dijon (exactly!). Honey was refreshingly open and honest when we spoke, serving up plenty of pearls of wisdom — it was a pleasure to spend some time with her.
When you were a kid you used to DJ at your parent’s parties. I was curious if you remember which songs and artists you were playing? Like many African-American families, music was a huge part of our lives. My parents were middle-class/working-class, and every weekend they would have these massive parties. It was awesome because I would sit at the edge of the stairs and I would hear glasses clinking and people cursing each other out. I was just so attracted and drawn to that energy. I think the laughter and the joy was probably the thing that really attracted me because it just seemed like people were having such a good time. I grew up at a great time when there was a lot of conscious music — you know, music was one of the things that helped black people deal with oppression and racism and all of these things. …
In their “American Flag Bikini” music video, Michael Love Michael sings holy as Jesus.
Roddy Bottum and Joey Holman are the musical duo MAN ON MAN. The two started dating 14 months ago and during quarantine this past spring, they began working on an album together, due out early 2021, they have already released two singles, “Daddy” and “Baby You’re My Everything.” Both songs are gorgeous odes to man-on-man love and lust.
“Daddy” is a thumping, melodic rock song made for moving your body, while “Baby You’re My Everything” is slower in tempo and golden-toned — it’s made for smoking weed and cuddling with a lover. The music video for “Baby You’re My Everything” features Roddy and Joey in khakis and casual button-down shirts, meditatively wandering hand-in-hand in the desert. They eventually make it to a river where Roddy baptizes Joey by spitting in his mouth and then dipping him under the water.
Roddy has been creating music for decades. During the ’90s he was the keyboardist for the massively popular rock group Faith No More. Joey has been playing music for some time, but is newer to the industry. MAN ON MAN was born out of necessity. Both men had recently lost a parent, and their answer to the grief that was all around them was to get busy. The restrictions OF quarantine only fueled their creativity: “As queer people, we work well with parameters. The history of our culture is judgement and homophobia that we’ve had to work around for our whole lives.”
How did you two meet? …
This autumn, Shamir released his seventh full-length release, Shamir. Our favorite countertenor has been taking his time to nurture his craft, game, and it-ness in Philly’s DIY scene. Since Hope and Revelations (both released in 2017), Shamir has released the full-length statement records Resolution (2018), Be the Yee, Here Comes the Haw (2019), and Cataclysm (2020). These document Shamir’s artistic growth from cutie caterpillar eco-nerd toward the winged pop star we encounter, cocoon-less, on Shamir. We love to see it. I spoke with the artist in the late summer about pop stardom and visibility, the butterfly, mental health, Scorpio, Capricorn, the Oracle Twins, and two pairs of twin moms. Peep our star-crossing conversation below.
I noticed you began to use the butterfly image during Revelations, and by now it’s really flourished and multiplied. What does the butterfly help you symbolize? It was always a natural thing. It’s weird, one of my closest friends lives in Ottawa, and there’s a moth outburst there. At first, we thought it was butterflies, but he actually did some research and talked to his neighbors, and it’s a moth outburst. They’re blind; they run into you and hit you, and that shit hurts, you know? Anyway, I told him, “moths are cousins of butterflies,” and then I sensed this tingle — this was literally yesterday — and I was brought back to another time in my life. At the beginning of middle school, that’s when I was an eco-nerd, I had three different fish tanks in my room. …
stick your head in a song, not the sand.
This is a season of enduring hunger, and keeping alive the promise of being fed. Our vaccine is held up by a pharmaceutical trade race, weapons and violent tongues keep rising, and we’re losing lights every week. For some of us, this is the first time the world’s burned too hot, and for others, this feels like only the latest fever.
By our lights, culture can only do what it has always done. Music keeps our pain and our hope company; it clothes and shelters us when the world will not. In music is strength.
So set your SpaceX brainchip to sickening~ and stream yourself a rhythmic river to freedom… Here’s our Summer 2020 Playlist (in no particular order):
Flo Milli – Ho, why is you here?
“Beef FloMix” made fancam happen and introduced the world to Flo Milli. Flo Milli is Flo Milli. This July, Milli released her first mixtape, Ho, why is you here? and you could fit its flaws in the space between its title’s “here” and “?” Flo Milli delivers insistent jabs gloved in goofy punchlines, and insists on the immediacy of every syllable. Her wordplay checks each box like sevens on a slot machine. Her rhetoric is truer than Benjamin Franklin’s; her flow goes farther, faster, than Paul Revere. Flo Milli could have written the Declaration of Independence, but no Founding Father could have written “Weak.” Give Flo Milli her flowers, and wrap a twenty around each bloom. …