Poetic Beats Fill Athens Boys Choir's New Album "Heartstrings and Hamstrings"
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It's been a few years, but Athens Boys Choir (aka Katz) is back with a new album, Heartstrings and Hamstrings, and will be starting a new tour next week on the west coast to promote the album.
This sixteen track album blends poetic beats with some good ol' homo hip-hop; there's even a remix of ABC's hit song "Fagette."
Never one to shy away from the provocative, ABC opens Heartstrings and Hamstrings with "Lindsay Lohan Was Right" ("Lindsay Lohan was right, / High school's like a jungle"), and he plays upon our queer music knowledge with various allusions and references to the Indigo Girls ("When I was 14 I Was Closer To Fine"). Thematically ABC gives us what we know him best for: songs about gender identity, songs about desire and heartbreak, songs about feeling our way through the world that continually wants to box us in. Just take a few lines from the astro-inspired "Saturn's Back" to get a feel for both the complexity and intensity: "How many times do I need to repeat / Not the wrong body. / Not the wrong body. / I was not born in the wrong body."
That said, ABC always makes us laugh—well, he's always made me laugh. His lyrics have traditionally tested the thinned-skinned queers out there through his positive linguistic appropriations—the catchy, tongue-in-cheek "Tranny Got Pack" (2003), even though he issued an apology for it last year, still stands out to me as the most memorable, and memorably provocative (and has me thinking of that line from Kate Bornstein's memoir about how she's a "bionic tranny").
In addition to being humorous, ABC's lyrics are often dreamy:
I sure as hell took him out for pie and passion.
All those “thou shall not’s” felt constricting
And led to a whirlwind of sinnin’
A tornado of teabaggin’ if you will…and I did. —"Pie and Passion"
When we first Kissed,
I peeled my windpipe off the ground and said
“nothing good will come of this” out loud
When we first fucked,
You traced the ropes of my forearm veins and said
I was your drug.—"Addiction. A Diction. A Dick Shun"
Look for Athens Boys Choir at a city or college town near you. In the meantime, here's his amazing video for "Fagette" to pique your interest: