MP3 Mark Weigle - Different and the Same
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15 MP3 Songs
FOLK: Folk Pop, COUNTRY: Country Folk
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(See Mark's site for reviews from the Advocate, Out and Billboard magazines.)
Bob Steele, Baltimore Gay Paper (BGP) May, 2003
This time out, queer hero Mark Weigle has lent his supple, expressive voice to a collection of tributes, from a version of the Trisha Yearwood hit "What I Like About You" to a parody of the Jackson 5's "ABC" called "AZT". From a cover of queer country goddess Mary Gauthier's "A Different Kind of Gone" to readings of songs by little-known singer/songwriters both gay and straight. Fans have heard some of these songs in concert; some will be a revelation.
"This is a collection of songs I have always loved," says Weigle. "They say things I want to say. I wish I had written them."
Weigle includes two songs from his high school days.
867-5309 is the 80's hit about the girl's number left on the bathroom wall; Weigle turns it queer by transforming the song's "Jenny" to "Jimmy." "And I Moved" is a song from Pete Townsend's solo album Empty Glass. "I was a
monster Who fan in high school," says Weigle, who started out playing in a metal band before he switched to acoustic-based folk/pop. "I was amazed that the other guys like my brother could listen to it without realizing how queer it was." "He laid me back like an empty dress," sings Weigle. "His hands were like ice exciting." Indeed, who could have missed it?
The CD unearths a nugget from the sexual revolution, Joan Baez's song about a one-weekend affair "Love Song to a Stranger." Weigle sees this an a "celebration of sharing a sexual experience with someone you may never see again, or someone who may become a friend, although you may never have sex with them again." To some the song might seem bittersweet rather than celebratory ("Don't tell me of love everlasting and other sad dreams / I don't want to
hear"), but listen and judge for yourself.
Another mainstream song given a queer reading is Roseanne Cash's "The Truth About You," which in context becomes a song to a closeted man. "I know the truth about you, babe," sings Weigle. "I can feel your heart locked up inside you."
Weigle has made a name for himself as a chronicler of queer stories outside the queer mainstream. Written by lesbian songstress Diana Jones with Michael McNevin, "Jo and Libby" is a hauntingly beautiful song about the love between two women on the Midwestern prairie that
does for lesbian history what Weigle's own "All That Matters" did for gay male history. Woven behind Weigle's voice are the ghostly echoes of singer/songwriter Veronica Klaus's voice and Rusty Gauthier's fiddle as Weigle sings: "I want to take you for a ride / And stay by you tonight /
Spend my life with you again / I want to marry you if it's all right." The song celebrates a lifelong love that survives even death, which is a worthy ideal for all of us. In a perfect world it would hit the top of the country charts.
Different and the Same sets its sights beyond merely chronicling the queer experience. Written by the late Dave Carter, "When I Go" is a native-inspired dream about death told through images of falcons and coyotes, pillars of dust and war drums over the prairie. Weigle's arrangement adds flutes and native drums to produce a haunting, hallucinatory effect. "Mountain Lion," written by California's Copperwimmin, is a lament for the loss of connection to the natural world that Weigle says "runs close to my deepest feelings." "Frank Was Not My Daddy's Name" by Tim Bays and Curt Blair is a carefully crafted country song that honors ties of love above accidents of biology. David Wilcox's "East Asheville Hardware" wryly entreats us to save neighborhood businesses endangered by corporate sprawl. Being queer is also being human: issues of spirituality and family, of nature and globalization, are also our concerns.
Weigle says his next CD will treat "more complex issues in the gay community, like how we treat each other, issues of healing, issues of body image." Meanwhile, he's working on a "porn CD" that may come out not under his name but under the name of his band.
That's right, his band. For the CD release party in San Francisco, Weigle has put together a rock quartet (singer, guitar, bass, drums) that hearkens back to his earliest days as a musician. For now the band doesn't have a name, although Weigle is considering Space Coyote Experience
after the nicknames of two of its members. "We'll play together as much as we can, although I'll probably still be touring solo."
Visit https://www.tradebit.com to view the latest photos of Weigle cuddling up to daddy bears during his recent tour of Germany, and of course to order CDs.
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