Metro Weekly

Sounds Kinda Queer: Queering Sound

For 15 years, JS Adams has celebrated pride in his own way: with an eclectic group of musicians and noisemakers

BLK w/ Bear -- Photo by Intangible Arts

BLK w/ Bear — Photo by Intangible Arts

In the post-Born This Way era, new LGBT pop stars spring up every day, and queer seems to be “en vogue.” Whether it be Sam Smith singing about one night stands or Sleater Kinney’s femme queer rock, the LGBT experience is becoming more and more mainstream every day.

Before Gaga or Lambert, though, one man sought to bring together queer musicians with a bent towards the alternative. For 15 years, JS Adams has curated Queering Sound, “an exploration of expression through audio, the digital arts, performance art, and spoken word,” with “a non exclusive curatorial focus towards gay, lesbian, and post gender-identified participants.”

“The show is for queer musicians who might be involved with experimental music,” Adams says, “We wanted an avenue to celebrate these people, and the LGBT experience.” It happens every June, in the midst of Capital Pride, this year in partnership with Sonic Circuits at the Pyramid Atlantic Arts Center. Queering sound is both a concert and a curated exhibit, challenging participants with innovative digital experiences that use a spectrum of styles and instruments.

For Adams and the musicians, Queering Sound is a labor of love. “We’re completely self-funded,” he notes. Most of the performers that come through have been with Queering Sound for a long time. Adams’ own band, BLK w/ BEAR will be returning this year with their haunting melodies, as will Arthur Loves Plastic and her electronic sonic loops. FLAMERS, Brentwood MD’s punk queer band, will be on the lineup, along with Marcus Webb, and Praxis Cat. In addition to the live performances, there will also be digital contributions from queer musicians around the world.

Although the genres of their music might collide, Queering Sound offers a space and a platform for these musicians’ unique views on Pride. “My friends and I wanted a venue to express our alternative ideas of Pride,” he says. “Those that weren’t being represented in traditional Pride festivals.” Queering Sound represents the answer to those wishes. So if “Stay With Me” has started to grow old, you might want to check out their lineup this Pride season. — Connor J. Hogan

Queering Sound will be held at the Pyramid Atlantic Arts Center 8230 Georgia Avenue in Silver Spring, Md., on Saturday June 6th at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for General Admission, and $5 for Students with a valid Student ID.

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