Many years ago, at a time in my life when I was absorbing queer culture as though I were an unquenchable sponge, I visited the Charm City Kitty Club at the behest of a close friend. We wound up getting a group of lovely ladies together, dolled ourselves up and joined the hip, indie queer scene in one of my favorite towns. The performances were pretty fantastic, with local troupes and interludes of poetry and other inspirational art. The evening concluded with a band with which I was previously unfamiliar. As the musicians walked onto the stage, I believe I smacked the arm of my not-quite-yet-but-soon-to-be-BFF and let my jaw drop to the floor. To be honest, they could've played Mary Had a Little Lamb and I would've been sold...these people were HAWT. But as they lifted their mics, drumsticks, fiddles and guitars and started to perform, I was solidly convinced that these folks were quite possibly one of the best queer bands I had ever seen...and would ever see.
The Shondes "make dramatic rock music that has been compared to Sleater-Kinney, Patti Smith, and Rasputina." While in many ways I am just naive enough to have little idea what that means, they are skilled musicians who can speak to an audience on many distinct levels. For music connoisseurs, their technique seems to be spot on (I can't even play the recorder, okay, but I know it's true!). For people who love an energetic and visually appealing show, the band puts every ounce of heart and soul contained within their bodies to the stage...jumping, sweating, pounding, ripping fiddle strings to shreds. And for people like me, who require a inspiring lyrical component, generally with a social justice edge, The Shondes do not disappoint.
Their songwriting fuses the various musical traditions of feminist punk, classical, Jewish, and queercore, while their vocal melodies move effortlessly from anthemic to haunting, textured by the distinct qualities of each of their voices.The Shondes are playing Sunday night at the Black Cat (note: one of the few bars in the city committed to keeping the stupid cast of The Real World DC out...which basically makes them multiple degrees of awesome). Tickets are $10 for the backstage performance, with The Bitter Tears, and the show starts at 9:00pm. I really hope that during this season of Pride and reflection, you support queer/trans-identified artists like The Shondes who continue to push the envelope and inspire us to live with strength, conviction and to always put on one hell of an amazing show.
And I'm telling you folks...they are hot. I mean, look at the picture! Whatever...sometimes it's ok to be a little shallow. Right?