January 29, 2010 | by Joey DiGuglielmo
Two indie singers join forces for D.C. show

A Washington-based gay indie singer/songwriter is joining forces with one of his West Coast counterparts for a D.C. concert and mini tour next weekend.

Tom Goss, who lives in Columbia Heights but spends most of the year on the road, met Matt Alber last May when Goss was performing in Los Angeles, where Alber lives. Though their styles are different — Goss gravitated toward hook-laden pop confections on last year’s “Back to Love” album while Alber is a retro-influenced, electronica-doused crooner — they discovered in each other a mutual admiration society.

“I knew who he was already,” Goss says. “The gay singer/songwriter circles are so small, we all kind of know of each other. Matt’s been kind of one of these people who really broke out in the scene in 2009. He’s got such an amazing instrument in his voice and he touched a lot of people, including me.”

Alber, who enjoyed a Grammy-winning stint in the San Francisco-based classical group Chanticleer, found widespread gay acclaim last year for his video “End of the World,” a “Mad Men”-esque, vintage-looking video in which the singer finds unlikely romance in a barber shop. It won an OutMusic Award and is from his solo album, “Hide Nothing.”

They’re sharing the bill on two Feb. 6 concerts in Washington at DeLaski Theater in Adams Morgan. The 8 p.m. show sold out so a 5 p.m. show was added. Tickets (tomgossmusic.com/store) are $20.

Alber, during a break from a commercial recording session in L.A., says he’s excited about co-headlining with Goss.

“I really admire Tom on a lot of levels,” he says. “He’s brave enough to do this full time and that’s been a challenge for me. How do you sing songs for a living? It’s kind of a leap of faith. But Tom did that early on and he’s a huge inspiration.”

The somewhat unlikely duo, who’ll also play Baltimore and Norfolk, Va., next week, say the concert will feature collaborations on each other’s material, something Goss is excited about.

“We’re both individual artists and do our own thing and fans love that, but it’s boring playing by yourself if your songs always have the same dynamics,” he says.

Goss is just catching his breath after a whirlwind 2009. He sold about 2,500 copies of his “Back to Love” album, which went into a second pressing, and performed 130 shows in 80 cities. His only regret is spending so much time away from his partner, Mike Briggs. They postponed their wedding last fall because Goss was gone too often to make plans, but a new date is set. They plan to wed Oct. 2 in Washington.

Goss has a four-track EP of political songs set to drop in April. He wrote them in various modes of disgust after several same-sex marriage setbacks last year.

Joey DiGuglielmo is the Features Editor for the Washington Blade.

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