Thursday, January 12, 2006


Sony Goes Gay

New Sony Label Geared Toward Gay Artists

I suppose I should be glad about this, but to be honest, it just irks me. Just what the music business needs - a gay ghetto. Someplace we can tuck away the gays, but still get some money out of them and get a little good PR out of it.

"It's a home that says to artists, 'We not only are OK with who you are, but we embrace that as part of your identity'"

Well, why aren't you embracing it on a regular non-gay label? Answer: You don't think gay musicians are marketable to anyone but other gay people. What you're looking to embrace is my wallet.

I think it's insulting to the artist to slap the "gay music" tag on them, implying that their music doesn't fit in in the real world. Unless someone's singing about b*tt-sex, "gay music" is nothing more than changing a few pronouns around. It bothers me to think that someone's going to be banished to the gay label just because he said "him" instead of "her".

I wonder how eager Wal*Mart is going to be to stock the titles on this label?

There's another article here that mentions targeting bisexuals. How the hell do you do that? Unless every song is about mixed-3-ways that doesn't make any sense.

There's also this quote:

The label also plans to release various compilations geared toward gay and bisexual audiences, as well as music fans everywhere, featuring hit songs by established artists that have been embraced by gay, bisexual and trans-gendered audiences as well as tracks from emerging gay artists.

To me that sounds like they're trying to attract non-gay audiences by throwing on a couple of Madonna tracks (you know the gays can't resist that) and a few gay artists as an afterthought. I can tell you exactly what these compilations will include: A Madonna track (or some similarly straight-but-the-gays-love-'em artist), some Sandra Bernhard, a bunch of lounge/cabaret singers, a token country track, a couple of rockin' (but not too threatening) lesbian songs and some circuit party music. Blech.

Nothing bothers me more than being told what kind of music gay people like. As I type this, AC/DC is playing in the background. Will there be any metal on these comps? A little Judas Priest, perhaps? I seriously doubt it. Is Sony going to pick up Pansy Division? Doubtful. I'll bet they're just a little too gay for the execs at Sony.

I know I'm just cynical, but this gets on my nerves. I think Logo probably has their heart in the right place. I think Sony sees the opportunity to go for the almighty gay dollar without dirtying up any of their regular labels.

I'm with you on this one. What the hell is "gay" music? Music made by homosexuals or made popular in traditional urban gay settings? How many homosexuals will a band have to have to qualify as being gay enough to sign to the label (our band has only a 1-to-3 gay ratio, is that high enough?). It's all very odd...
I don't know--have you heard the Gwen Stefani cover of "Beercan Boy" yet? I think you're selling Pansy Division short.
It's offensive. What does sexual orientation have to do with what record label your music should be on or what your particular musical tastes may be?
I'm not all that offended, but the gay record idea does seem kind of dumb. There's a music video show on Logo (one of the gay TV networks), and I can't figure out what's so gay about it. Mostly it's like a watered down version of Subterranean with a few pop songs thrown in.
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