15 Queer/Trans Musicians You've Never Heard Of (And Some You Have)

Categories: Lists

Nate "Igor" Smith
Big Freedia, queen of twerk
By: Amanda Savage

It's no secret that the world has grown a bigger conscience when it comes to the understanding and acceptance of the LGBT community, and with that many openly gay, bisexual, transgender etc. musical talents have emerged from their hiding places.

Whether you're gay, curious or just looking for some new music, here are 15 singers, songwriters, producers and musicians who are out and proud and making waves in music.

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Five Memorable Percy Sledge Samples

Categories: Lists

Percy Sledge, R.I.P.
Last Tuesday, we at the Weekly were saddened to hear of the death of one of R&B's all time most memorable voices, Percy Sledge. Most famous for "When A Man Loves a Woman," a song adored by any and every living organism with two ears and a heart, the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer's legacy is sure to be around for as long as there's music. While we at the Weekly knew of his music's success worldwide, we (perhaps foolishly) didn't realize how far his influence and impact resonated overseas as much as it did here. In loving memory, we present five memorable Percy Sledge samples.

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The 10 Most Underrated Guitarists in the History of Rock

Categories: Lists

Asylum Records/Wikimedia Commons
Joni Mitchell: One of history's most underrated guitarists.
By: Adam Perry
While traveling a few weeks ago, I could not stop listening to Mutiny on the Bay, the searing collection of '80s Dead Kennedys performances released in 2001; East Bay Ray, it occurred to me, is one of the most underrated guitarists in the history of rock.

To me, being underrated doesn't mean that a musician has missed out on accolades and commercial success. It means that, for whatever reason, millions of music lovers probably haven't been exposed to a certain musician's talents and thus haven't had the chance to enjoy him or her. So here -- up for potential enjoyment and probably heated discussion -- are ten guitarists I believe are history's most underrated.

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How Rare is a Great Seventh Album? Here's 5 We Like.

Categories: Lists

Capitol Records
The Beatles' Album with a Gun Title!

Great bands are called stars for a reason: once we realize how bright they're shining, they may have already burned out into a ball of gas. It's rare we get a listenable fourth album from a group or artist, let alone one who can sustain that consistency for seven whole releases. The same goes for film franchises. Only the sleekest and most inventive ever make the elusive seventh installment (James Bond, Godzilla, Air Bud) but next week we'll see if lightning strikes for the seventh time with Furious 7, the seventh Fast and the Furious film. It is with our hopes pegged on this new flick that we present five sevenths albums that are actually pretty good!

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The Five Best Rocket from the Crypt Songs

Greg Jacobs
You know that old saying parents love to use about how impossible it is to pick their favorite child? Well, I don't have kids, but I bet choosing little Marisa over that brat Johnny is much easier than having to choose the five best Rocket from the Crypt songs. Don't believe me? Consider these three facts:

1. Most kids suck, so if one is good it's gotta be pretty easy to figure out your favorite.

2. According to the all-knowing Wikipedia.com, the San Diego sextet has released seven full-length albums, a live record, three compilations, two EPs and more than 20 7-inches. Them's a lot of songs.

3. Rocket from the Crypt is the greatest band in the world. Similarly, Rocket from the Crypt has been, since its inception in 1990, the greatest band in the world, was the greatest band in the world even when they took a hiatus from 2005-2013 (and when they took a hiatus from their hiatus for 2011's appearance of the children's television program Yo Gabba Gabba!) and will continue to be the greatest band in the world until the day all humans die and robot cockroaches take over.

So picking the five best songs ain't easy. Also not easy is seeing Rocket from the Crypt this weekend as San Diego's finest are playing two sold-out shows as part of Alex's Bar's 15-year anniversary. And even harder is the fact that the band was supposed to play Sunday at the Observatory as part of the Indigo Fest, but that has been canceled.

Here, then, are the five best Rocket from the Crypt songs to get you through if you can't see them this weekend. And, in full disclosure, I love this band so much this list could be
completely different if I wrote it tomorrow.

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The Five Best Dead Kennedys Deep Tracks

Dead Kennedys Plastic Surgery Disasters album cover
Every punker worth his or her liberty spikes knows the Dead Kennedys songs "California Uber Alles," "Chemical Warfare," "Too Drunk to Fuck," and "Holiday in Cambodia." However, unlike many other '80s American hardcore groups, the San Francisco-based quartet also has a slew of material that is just as interesting (both musically and lyrically) as the so-called "hits."

But for some reason, these songs don't make it to t-shirts or on the backs of leather jackets. Thanks to this list, which details the five best Dead Kennedys non-hits, perhaps they will. Or, more likely, perhaps the group (guitarist East Bay Ray, bassist Klaus Flouride, drummer D.H. Peligro and singer Skip Greer) will play some of these Friday when they come to the Observatory.

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The 10 Best Heavy Metal Concept Albums

Categories: Lists , Metal

Opeth, My Arms, Your Hearse
Everyone loves a good concept album. We just love it when heavy metal artists take a central theme and develop it over the span of a cohesive collection of tracks to create an experience for listeners that takes us into an alternate world of sci-fi, Norse mythology, wizards, classic literature...the nerdier the better. Here's a list of the 10 best heavy metal concept albums. 

See also: 20 Heavy Metal Albums Turning 25 This Year

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The 20 Best OC Music Videos of 2014

Categories: Lists

YouTube screenshot
Kiev, "Be Gone Dull Cage"
Usually when you hear the phrase "local music video," you think of a group of musicians with a shoe string budget (mostly to buy beer) and a borrowed digital camcorder. But local artists of all stripes greatly surpassed our expectations when it came to their music videos this year. At a time when visuals to a song are just as important as ever, we see OC acts continually rise to the occasion and use plenty of balls, guts and imagination (and in some cases, lots of weed) to come up with a concept that will bring their songs to life. Though there were probably too many videos to mention in a single post, these are the handful that were funny, creative, and daring enough to make our list of the 20 Best Orange County Music Videos of 2014.

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Top 10 War Sampling Hip-Hop Songs

Categories: Hip-Hop, Lists

Thumbnail image for war_evolutionary.jpg
WAR is evolutionary...
The Christmas season in in full-swing, New Year's Eve is just around the corner, and the legendary band War is coming to funk up Anaheim! For the past few years, the classic sounds of singer/keyboardist Lonnie Jordan and crew echo through the walls of the City National Grove after the holidays. This Friday is no different, save for War low riding into Anaheim armed with Evolutionary their first studio album in 20 years since 1994's Peace Sign. Looking back at their acclaimed body of work, the LA-bred band created a living legacy by mixing genres with funk. Jordan calls the concoction "universal street music" and it has withstood the test of time now enjoying a multi-generational appeal.

It comes as no surprise that hip-hop producers and artists dug into the crates over decades to sample from the War. The band even gave their blessing to a 1992 album Rap Declares War dedicated to the practice. The Weekly did its own digging ahead of Friday's show in presenting the 10 best hip-hop samples of War. Enjoy! And don't let no one get you down!

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The Best Punk Albums of 2014

Categories: Lists

There's no shortage of cynics who would love to have you believe that punk is dead. But we'll have you know that if those people would dig the earwax out and pay attention, they'd know that today's punk bands are still creating volatile, relevant, inspired songs year after year. Of course 2014 was no different. Several generations of punk's finest made their mark on the genre this year with all the guts and grit we've come to expect and maybe a little extra. Here is our list of the Best Punk Albums of 2014.

See also: The 10 Best Punk Christmas Songs

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