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Queers Make Waves: Seattle’s 2014 ‘Mo-Wave Festival Offers Proof

Mo Wave on HuffPost Gay Voices

(Originally Published on The Huffington Post on 3/5/14)

The Pacific NW has no shortage of music festivals, and Seattle boasts some of the region’s largest and most well-attended. Starting a new festival in this neck of the woods is no small feat, but last year a handful of queers from the Emerald City did just that. The result was ‘Mo-Wave, Seattle’s queer music and arts festival — and it was a huge success.

Now in its second year, ‘Mo-Wave is back with another epic lineup featuring over 20 queer musicians (myself included) alongside dozens of visual and performance artists from all over the country, descending on stages at Chop Suey and PONY Seattle April 11-13.

Named “Best Festival” in its first year by Seattle Weekly, ‘Mo-Wave is unmatched in its eclectic blend of art and diverse queer culture. This mix immediately struck a chord with audiences, and one only has to take a quick glance at this year’s showcases to see that the ‘Mo-Wave crew are back at it. The festival’s mission to “showcase raw queer talent” through “a live and loud acknowledgment that our people do not fit into the simple stereotypes projected onto us by mainstream culture” is perhaps a tall order — but the team who pulled off year one has since grown, and they are about to top themselves. That’s right — I said “top themselves.” Chuckle all you want.

The 2014 lineup includes MX Justin V. Bond, Christeene, Zebra Katz, Carletta Sue Kay, Tacocat, Slava Mogutin, Logan Lynn, Ononos, Night Cadet, Boy Funk, Death Metals, Dust Moth, CZARL1NG (featuring Members of The Need/Grass Widow/Broken Water), Adé, Frederic Fleury, Narcissister, Jordan O’Jordan, L’Orth, Brian Kenny, LoneSome Leash, Tenderfoot, Half Breed, Sashay, Palo Verde, Spear and Magic Helmet, Frank Correa, Michael Horwitz, Your Heart Breaks, Belles Bent For Leather (Judas Priest Tribute), Queen Mookie, Amoania, Glitterbang, Hypnotits, Brian Brittigan, Zackary Drucker, MKNZ, Earl Dax, Crypts and more!

This week I caught up with ‘Mo-Wave creators Jodi Ecklund, Marcus Wilson and Seth Garrison to talk about Read the rest of this entry »

Pacific NW Rockers Pay Tribute to Portland’s Historic Crystal Ballroom

The Crystal Ballroom - Portland Oregon - (2013)  copy

(Originally Published on The Huffington Post on 1/2/2014, HuffPost Entertainment Section)

Portland’s Crystal Ballroom — an iconic, historic entertainment landmark for the city since 1914 — is celebrating its centennial birthday on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014.

To ring in the anniversary, McMenamins Crystal Ballroom has amassed an epic, 100-night celebration, appropriately called “100 Nights!” The party has been going strong since this past October and keeps churning out banger shows nightly until the 21st, with a special performance by Colin Meloy of The Decemberists.

Any band who has ever played the Crystal Ballroom, any person who has every been to a show in that special place, holds some piece of this rich, 100-year history as their own — myself included.

This past week I caught up with Carrie Brownstein (Sleater-Kinney, IFC’s Portlandia), Courtney Taylor-Taylor (The Dandy Warhols), Calvin Johnson (K Records Founder) and Jimi Biron (Music Director, Crystal Ballroom) to chat about the 100 nights of shows, what this birthday means for the NW music scene, and some of the more memorable moments from the ongoing Rock and Roll spectacle that is Portland’s Crystal Ballroom.

 

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  Read the rest of this entry »

Logan Lynn’s “Tramp Stamps and Birthmarks” Video Premier Today on The Huffington Post

Tramp Stamps and Birthmarks Video (2013) Logan Lynn Music

Big thanks to The Huffington Post for premiering my new video “Tramp Stamps and Birthmarks” today! Watch the video and read the mini-interview I gave them HERE or by clicking the screenshot of the HuffPost Gay Voices homepage today just below!

Logan Lynn on The Huffington Post

From “The Huffington Post”: (10/31/2013)

“Logan Lynn is Back With a Spooky New Electropop Single”

Openly gay singer Logan Lynn is back with the fourth and final single from his new album “Tramp Stamps And Birthmarks.”

The electropopper’s latest single, the title track off the album, precedes a planned 12-month in-studio stint in which he will already begin work on his next album.

“The song is about power, control, and the people ‘in charge’ who call the shots and oppress us throughout our lives,” said Lynn in a statement, “whether that’s in relationships, or just in general by way of our rank and positioning in the world. I have been caged and shackled to my experiences in the world over the years, and I am in an ongoing process to free myself. We set out to make a scary, psycho-sexual nightmare about that experience. On the surface, it’s about a man who drugs and kidnaps me, ties me up in an RV that is completely lined with black trash bags, drives me into the middle of the woods and puts me in a cage. You know… Happy Halloween!”

Unsimulated Sex: An Interview With James Franco and Travis Matthews

James Franco Travis Matthews Huffington Post Logan Lynn (2013) Interior Leather Bar

(Originally Published on The Huffington Post on 5/16/2013)

This Friday night James Franco and Travis Matthews‘ stunning, complicated and sexually graphic new film Interior. Leather Bar., a “docu-fiction” exploration of queer sex and BDSM subculture as it relates to Hollywood, mainstream culture and where we all draw the line as people, is making its Pacific Northwest debut at QDoc: Portland Queer Documentary Film Festival.

I had the opportunity to catch up with both Franco and Matthews this week to chat about the public’s reaction to the movie (so far), their intentions behind making it to begin with, how gay sex will save American cinema, and much more.

Watch the official Interior. Leather Bar. trailer and then read our conversation below:

 

 

Logan Lynn: Thanks for taking time out to do this, you guys! I watched the screener of Interior. Leather Bar. this week and ended up recognizing a handful of the actors you cast from Portland. One major focus of the film is the inner struggle of Val Lauren, whom you cast to play the Al Pacino character, and I am just wondering if this is something you experienced with all of the cast. Was there a process you went through with each of the actors and extras?

Travis Matthews: If you mean a process that went as far and as deep and exploratory as it did with Val, no. Initially when we did the casting call, and there were so many guys who were both gay and straight, and a lot of them had different ideas of what they were willing to do, what was OK, what was too much. I kind of thought that we should just bring on extras that were really 100-percent behind this, but then it seemed like it made a lot more sense just to complement the arc that was Val’s story. You look at Cruising; it’s a story that follows that main character in a very similar way. That was a lot of the intent.

Lynn: That makes sense. I’m seeing the term “docu-fiction” used all over the place to describe the movie. In the context of this film, what does that mean to you?

James Franco: I think that describes a lot of different dynamics that are happening within the film. Our source was a piece of fiction, a movie called Cruising, but that fictional feature film had a lot of documentary kind of history attached to it in a very strong way. If anybody knows that film nowadays, it’s very hard to extract the film from its history, the history of its production and the protests that went on, the history of its reception and the personal histories of the people involved. So, from the start, our project was engaged with a source that was already combining docu-fiction in a very strong way. I think that the way that Cruising and its history are tied together informed our approach, and a lot of it really was discovery and exploration as we went. We didn’t have any firm goal in mind. I think that, for me, one of the clearest things about the project at the beginning was that we had an area to explore, but that it would be an exploration. That was a huge part of it. Anyway, I guess that’s a long way of saying our source involved docu-fiction and our approach accordingly involved docu-fiction.

Lynn: Do you have any theories on what William Friedkin’s motivations were in making the original Cruising film? Have you heard him speak to that?

Franco: Yeah, I have heard him speak about it, and he Read the rest of this entry »

Logan Lynn: Stop-Motion Tolerance: An Interview With ParaNorman Director Chris Butler

(Originally Published on Moviefone and The Huffington Post on 11/19/2012)

With Laika Studios releasing ParaNorman on 3D Blu-ray combo pack, Blu-ray combo pack, DVD, On Demand and digital download on Nov. 27, I decided to catch up with my old friend (and ParaNorman creator/director) Chris Butler. We chatted about his dream project coming to life, how this movie of his is changing the world, and why everyone needs to watch it at least twice.

Logan: Hey, Chris. Thanks so much for chatting with me today. For you, what is ParaNorman about?

Chris: I think mainly it’s about tolerance. It’s about how judging people is often misjudging people. The original seed of the idea was something as simple as “how cool would it be to make a stop-mo-animated zombie movie for kids?” and I think that had more to do with growing up on a gleeful diet of Ray Harryhausen creature features and cheesy horror movies. But then beyond that I started thinking that all the best zombie movies are really social commentary — zombies as metaphors. I had the lofty ambition of trying to do that on my movie, only making it a social commentary for kids. I think by far the hardest issue I faced as a child was “fitting in.” I was different, and when you’re a kid, “different” is considered “bad.” The world isn’t a tolerant place for people who don’t conform to the accepted norm. When I embraced that as the heart of the movie, the story really clicked. I wanted to juxtapose the fictional horror of the walking dead with the very real horror of what it is to be 11 years old and different.

Logan: Oh, God. Seriously. How long had this project been in the works?

Chris: I started writing it about 15 or 16 years ago. I kept returning to it over the years. There was something about it that just wouldn’t die, which I guess for a zombie movie is pretty appropriate.

Logan: Aww, it’s your baby!

Chris: This truly is my baby, from initial idea through first draft of the script to the finished movie. It’s a very personal project to me.

Logan: Clearly. I was also struck by the craft of it all. In a world of mass production and CGI, to see something so labor-intensive come to life is a real treat. Was it hard to convince people to come on board with your way of doing things instead of taking an easier animation route?

Chris: We’re an odd bunch in the stop-motion world. We live, breathe and fight for our medium. We love what we do, and for that reason this type of animation will always be around and will always attract amazingly talented people. I think there was a degree of passion among the crew for this project in particular that I don’t think I’ve seen before. Obviously, I’m biased, but I genuinely think people wanted to give this their all.

It was always conceived as stop-motion, right from day one. As soon as I saw the skeleton fight in Jason and the Argonauts as a kid, I knew that stop-motion was the best way to bring the dead back to life!

Logan: It’s really special, Chris. And clearly, Casey Affleck’s ginger character is based on me. If one of the characters in the film were based on you and your experience in the world, who would it be? Read the rest of this entry »

Watch: Father Tiger’s Instagram Masterpiece (VIDEO)

(Originally Published on The Huffington Post on 8/20/2012)

I was recently introduced to Los Angeles-based electropop outfit Father Tiger by my friend/collaborator Jeffrey McHale, who directed both my “Bottom Your Way to the Top” video in 2009 and my “Quickly as We Pass” video in 2011, and who has now directed Father Tiger’s debut video, “Shell,” which just premiered this past week.

The video was made entirely with the photo app Instagram, and it is a real piece of genius. Jeff worked with artist John Parot (from Bravo’s Work of Art: The Search for the Next Great Artist), who also did the illustrations for our 2009 collaboration.

Watch Father Tiger‘s video for “Shell” below and be amazed:

Read the rest of this entry »

Logan Lynn: Crabs in the Barrel – The Problem with the Gay Press

(Originally Published on The Huffington Post on 2/22/2012)

As individuals in a marginalized group, we are often all placed together into a single pot by society. In this case, I am referring to the queer pot (but this happens around race, gender, age, religion, class — you name it). All of us, as members of the LGBT community, with all our differences, have this one thing in common: we are the minority. There is something about all of us that is unlike much of the rest of the world, and much of the rest of the world’s reaction to that difference can be painful, isolating, and dangerous.

Frequently, members of the greater community become fixated on our sexuality or gender expression, and they try to lump us together, assign us roles within our designated letter of the acronym, and dehumanize us in the process. One would hope this outer pressure would be enough to bring us together as LGBT people, that we would unite and become stronger in numbers and build a community so organized and powerful that our being a minority no longer mattered. Sadly, this has not been my experience as a man-loving man, nor in my work with gay organizations, nor as an out artist in the entertainment industry.

Being a public figure in the queer community is tough. You have to have pretty thick skin to tolerate the external homophobia that comes at you as a result of increased visibility, but I think I was raised to expect this, so it’s never a big shock when it happens. I know the world wants to see me dead on some level, or at least see me stop being such a “goddamn fag,” so it doesn’t surprise me when that pressure arrives. I recognize it coming a mile away and have learned methods of processing the external hate in such a way that it no longer hurts me. I have not, however, found or been able to develop a way of moving through the crab mentality of my own community without injury.

For those of you who have not heard this saying before, “crab mentality” (also known as “crabs in the barrel,” or “crabs in the bucket”) refers to the metaphor of a pot of live crabs about to be killed. Individually, the crabs could escape from the pot without any trouble, but when they are all in the pot together, they grab at each other in a pointless domination game that prevents any of them from escaping, thus ensuring their collective demise. When related to human behavior in social movements, the term is most commonly used in association with a short-sighted, non-constructive approach instead of a unified, long-term, productive mentality. As an openly gay musician, I have experienced this problem mostly via the gay press. Certainly, I’ve received my fair share of nasty emails and messages from people online and in person over the 10-plus years I’ve been doing this, as well, but there’s a distinctive sting that comes from someone in the queer media pulling me and my people back into the pot, and I believe that action trickles down into our culture and leaks out into our community consciousness from there. Read the rest of this entry »

Logan Lynn: The Treasure of Your Being

(Originally published on The Huffington Post on 2/14/2012)

My mom has been taking a Tao Te Ching class recently, and she posted the following quotation from William Martin’s book A Path and a Practice on her Facebook page today, which struck me:

So we become silent. We stop looking for approval. We cease taking offense at the opinions of others. We no longer complicate our thinking or our lives. We do not seek the spotlight but instead become a simple part of all that is. We can be loved or shunned, make a profit or suffer a loss, be honored or disgraced, and never lose the treasure of our being.

OK. Yes. That sounds amazing. But… how?!

We become silent.

How is one ever truly silent? I’m not talking about staying quiet or not using my voice for an extended period of time, but actually finding a completely still place within where there is only me — no sound, nothing. Where has that place gone? Much of the time the noise I battle in my own life is an inner static. I just can’t ever seem to shut up about me, about you, about my boyfriend, about my job, about my dog, about music, about the government, about money, about the queer community, about what total strangers are doing at the store — and this is all happening inside my head all day long, 365 days a year. It’s exhausting, and moreover, it’s loud.

We stop looking for approval.

I have basically spent my entire life up to this point doing this and only this, attempting to accomplish it in a variety of ways over the years, with mixed results. I realized very early on that I was different and that my particular kind of different was not the type that most people around me took kindly to, so I started figuring out ways of getting people to value my existence externally, and I just never stopped doing that. I have looked for approval from my friends, family, God, record labels, men — you name it. I chased a professional dream down a path that has led me to here and now, in this very moment, still seeking your approval, hoping that what I write is good enough for you, that my thoughts are interesting enough, and worrying that you might not think I’m worth anything once you know how desperately I need you to think I am.

We cease taking offense at the opinions of others.

This part truly offends me. I will not legitimize it with words.

We no longer complicate our thinking or our lives.

I spend hours every day over-thinking things. From the small stuff to the big stuff, my inner thought process of choice has always been circular, and it leaves me dizzy and paralyzed much of the time. Read the rest of this entry »

Logan Lynn: Some Great Love is Making Its Way to You

(Originally Published on The Huffington Post – 1/10/2012)

I spent my 20s in complete solitude. Even when I was in relationship or around friends, I was impossible to reach and might as well have been by myself. It was a decade spent mostly alone, and I think there were many times when I felt like this was just how life was going to play out. I watched as my little brother married his high-school sweetheart, and in the 10 years since, I’ve had the great pleasure of holding their babies as they joined us in the world. Loving these beautiful creatures has in many ways made my own as-of-yet-unrealized dream of building a family an easier pill to swallow — but I have always hoped that some great love would make its way to me, as well.

In October 2010, after spending the better part of two years in single-man lockdown mode recovering from a long-winded, ugly breakup, I went to celebrate my 31st birthday with my dear friend at a local Portland patisserie. We sat and chatted about life for a while, and then I noticed this man walk through the door and sit at a table just to the right of the dessert counter. He was wearing a tight, white, v-neck t-shirt, and I found myself unable to stop staring at him. It may have been his big arms, his dark chest hair, his thick-framed Dita glasses, his pretty face — I’m not sure — but something clicked in that moment.

At one point my friend stepped out to take a call, and I took that as my cue to undress him with my mind and get down to fantasy business. (I’m not a sex maniac, but I had sworn off men and had been celibate for over a year, and my fantasy life had become both really involved and easily accessible during that time). So I imagined us getting freaky on the dessert counter until my friend’s return jolted me back to my sad, clothed, birthday reality. From across the room, I kept hearing my pretend boyfriend laughing this enormous, joyful, shameless laugh with his friend, and I tried not to stare. As we were leaving, I pointed out my exotic find to my friend and said, “I gotta get me one like that,” which, in retrospect, is a bit crass and actually isn’t all that romantic-sounding, but I figure the story’s no good if I don’t just tell it like it happened, and that’s how it happened. It may not have been poetry, but it came from a very real place.

Over the next two months I thought about this mystery man a lot, which was not a common thing for me to do when it came to random people from coffee shops whom I had never spoken to. Often, the thoughts were naked ones, but sometimes they were not. At times I was awake when he was there; other times he would appear in my dreams. What had happened to me there amongst the candy and cakes? I couldn’t figure out if I had been possessed or if I was just really horny from swearing off sex. Maybe I just needed to get manhandled on a dessert counter somewhere. Either way, I hoped I would run into him again and promised myself that I would speak to him if I did.

One afternoon in early December I looked up from my desk at Portland’s Q Center, and there he was, standing in the door of my office Read the rest of this entry »

Logan Lynn: Unhappiness is a Strange Muse

(Originally Published on The Huffington Post – 1/2/2012)

The first 12 years of my career were spent writing songs about loss and longing, so in some way I suppose I owe the fact that you are even reading this on The Huffington Post to my own unhappiness. Historically, I have felt most at home in heartbreak, both in art and in life. It’s largely what I knew growing up, so everything else felt foreign and wrong as an adult. For years, people being kind to me felt painful. I was terrified of anyone actually knowing me. It’s pretty fucked-up — and I still struggle with this. It’s a jagged part of my makeup that I will most likely be working on for the rest of my days.

I first learned about how sad the world can be when I was 7 years old, courtesy of a much older family “friend” who just couldn’t keep his hands off me. I won’t get into the specifics around the abuse suffered, but it was ongoing and horrible and went undetected for many years. The scars from this experience in my formative days have done just that: they formed me. They changed who I was and how I looked at the world, and they altered my sense of self at its core. All of this was complicated by the fact that I also happened to be a gay man born into a fundamentalist Christian home. It was a perfect storm for me to go completely apeshit, which I did.

I began experimenting with drugs and music around the same time, both before my 11th birthday. By 14 I was a full-blown, cigarette-smoking, drug-addicted alcoholic with headphones and a notebook who fancied himself a singer-songwriter. Those same old scars now rooted me on as I built an impenetrable wall of sadness and sound around myself. They gave me words and melodies to purge the feelings that could not be killed chemically, and I began seriously writing and recording music when I was 17. Those first songs would become my debut record, GLEE, which was released in 2000. At the time of its initial release, nobody knew what I was trying to do. I recall a lot of head scratching and people being really uncomfortable with the lyrical content, mostly, so I decided to take a break and focused solely on partying my brains out for the next five years.

In 2006, prompted by more unfortunate heartbreak of the drugged-out variety, I Read the rest of this entry »

LOGAN LYNN IS NOW BLOGGING FOR THE HUFFINGTON POST!

Hope everybody is having a great new year so far. We are just 2 days in and I am already announcing exciting stuff! I was recently asked to come on board as a blogger for The Huffington Post and they published my 1st piece today in the Gay Voices section HERE. It’s called “Unhappiness Is A Strange Muse“. Please comment, share and click the “Like” button…and you can subscribe to my future posts on my official HuffPost author page HERE.

Cray Cray, huh?


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