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Music & Concerts

‘Debutante’ ball

Cait Brennan debut shimmery, nostalgic and promising



Cait Brennan, gay news, Washington Blade
Cait Brennan, gay news, Washington Blade

Cait Brennan shows promise on her debut album out last week. (Photo courtesy Devious Planet)

Singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Cait Brennan has an interesting story. Although raised as a boy, Brennan, as it states in her biography, “rebelled against her assigned gender in her teens, causing a minor uproar in her conservative ‘80s school.”

She had been a compulsive songwriter since youth and had a knack for picking up any instrument and learning it in short order. She started performing live gigs and picked up a solid fan base, along with some high profile supporters, including fellow transgender artist Laura Jane Grace of Against Me!

Eventually she met Indie-rocker Fernando Perdomo and he became enamored with her and her music. Together they collaborated on the 13 tracks for Brennan’s debut album, “Debutant,” out last week from Black Market Glamour Records.

“Debutante” is a collection of easy-going, highly melodic power pop with strong harmonies sung with conviction. The album as a whole is an entertaining listen. It opens with “Good Morning, Good Morning,” a summery rocker that sounds like it should have been played on ‘70s radio alongside Fleetwood Mac, ELO or Supertramp. It has a decidedly retro feel, especially in the chorus. “Underworld” is another catchy acoustic rocker, this time with a bit of a Matthew Sweet vibe. “Dear Arthur” is a switch to a mellow acoustic guitar accompaniment for Brennan’s rich and emotional vocal.

“Lines” is a fuzz-toned, mid-tempo rocker that adds a bit of a different color to the album, although it doesn’t stray from the ‘70s classic-rock feel. “Once Upon a Nevermind” is a folk singalong with a lively, whimsical charm. Next comes the rollicking “I Want You Back,” built on a frenetic drum pattern and a richly whirring order. Brennan pulls off urgency needed to make the track work and ultimately it’s one of the most successful pieces on the album.

“Showman” is an obviously personal piece of romantic turmoil that vaguely echoes George Michael’s classic “One More Try.” Brennan wears sincerity on her sleeve and delivers a passionate vocal performance. A stronger melodic hook may have amped up the song’s power and appeal, but no one can doubt Brennan’s conviction.

“Father McKenzie” is one of the characters in the Beatles’ chilly expression of loneliness, “Eleanor Rigby.” We couldn’t get further from that territory here, with a song that owes a lot to buoyant ‘60s pop, complete with the soaring backing vocals. Brennan veers into bluesy rock on “Meet Your Maker’’s introduction before lurching into a briskly marching pop section, then retreating back to the heavy blues. It’s nicely executed but doesn’t seem to serve a purpose. The song’s most powerful moments by far are the soulful guitar blues. Had “Meet Your Maker” been recorded wholly in that vibe, it might be the album’s standout.

The album closes with the strongest track, “Black Diamond,” a stark acoustic and piano ballad with a gorgeous vocal by Brennan. It’s stirring and exquisitely beautiful.

“Debutante” is a solid effort and worth picking up, for sure. Cait Brennan is a talent to watch. The instincts are there, and she certainly knows how to write a catchy song, but the arrangements are a little clunky and simplistic, the mixing is off at times (particularly with the backing vocals, which are way too high in the mix) and sometimes there is a certain sameness in Brennan’s vocals. Many of the songs occupy the same sonic territory and 10 tracks instead of 13 would have arguably resulted in a more focused and cohesive collection.


Music & Concerts

New dance single pays tribute to Town Danceboutique

Local musicians pen ‘Town’ in honor of shuttered club



Bryce Bowyn (Photo by Clarissa Villondo)

The closing of the LGBTQ nightclub Town Danceboutique in the summer of 2017 was heartbreaking to local musician Bryce Bowyn. He and his Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter friend Lexie Martin decided to honor its legacy in their new single, “Town.”

For Bowyn, who moved to the District about a decade ago to attend school at American University, the memories he has from Town Danceboutique are endless. And when it closed, it was a massive loss to Bowyn and many others. 

“It was such a cool space,” Bowyn said. “It was just disappointing to see a place that brought so many people together become part of the landscape again.” The building Town Danceboutique used to be housed in is now home to upscale apartments and a CVS. 

Town Danceboutique was a formative place for Bowyn and Martin, and it was Bowyn’s first experience in an open and accepting LGBTQ environment. His favorite memories at the club were always on Halloween, he said. Patrons, including Bowyn, would go all out with their costumes to look their very best. 

Bowyn and Martin met while they were both in the musical theater program at American University. Despite their years-long friendship, “Town” is the first song they have written together. They sat down over FaceTime and got to work. It was Martin’s idea to pay homage to Town Danceboutique, and the song follows the story of pre-gaming, going out, and hitting the dance floor. 

But the single also serves as a hype song for going out in any city, at any place. 

“It was important to me for the song to remain relatable and accessible,” Bowyn said. “So the whole foundation of the chorus, ‘Let’s go to town,’ can either mean Town Danceboutique, or painting the town red and having the night of your life.”

Bowyn started writing and producing his own music in 2018. He released an EP titled “A Rosy Retrospect” in 2022, and most recently released a single “A Bridge Burned Down” in June. His music is inspired by late 2000s pop and ‘80s synthpop, influenced by stars like Madonna and Charli XCX. Lexie Martin released her self-titled EP in 2019 and most recently came out with her single “SUPERPOWER” in 2021. 

Bowyn has been a lifelong pop music enthusiast. He distinctly remembers watching Britney Spears perform “Oops!…I Did It Again” at the MTV Video Music Awards when he was a kid and thinking “That was what I wanted and what I was set to do in life.”

“My heart was always with pop music,” Bowyn said. 

“Town” is available now for streaming on Spotify, Apple Music, and Soundcloud.

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Music & Concerts

From Monáe to Madonna, fall will rock in D.C.

Local venues hosting array of queer artists in coming months



Madonna’s delayed tour is slated to hit D.C. Dec. 18 and 19. (Screen capture via YouTube)

The D.C. area has many LGBTQ musical acts to look forward to this fall. Starting with pansexual and nonbinary actor and R&B singer Janelle Monáe, performing at the Anthem on Sept. 24-25 with ticket prices ranging from $135 to $301 on StubHub.

Janelle Monáe comes to the Anthem later this month. (Screen capture via YouTube)

Singer Hozier’s “Unreal Unearth Tour” is coming to the Anthem on Sept. 26-27. Tickets are available on StubHub starting at $324.

On Sept. 28 the CFG Bank Arena in Baltimore will see lesbian pop artist SZA’s “SOS Tour” with tickets starting at $165 on Ticketmaster. 

Queer indie pop singer Ashnikko is coming to the Anthem on Sept. 29 to perform their “Weedkiller Tour.” Tickets available on StubHub range from $49 to $279.

Coming to Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Md., is the All Things Go Festival. Performing are lesbian singers Tegan and Sara, alt-pop singer Lana Del Rey, pop singer Carly Rae Jepson, and more. The festival will take place Sept. 30-Oct. 1 with two day passes starting at $397 on SeatGeek.  

Rock band Queen will perform “The Rhapsody Tour” at the CFG Bank Arena along with Adam Lambert on Oct. 4-5. Tickets are starting at $181 on Ticketmaster. 

Pop star and trans woman Kim Petras’ “Feed the Beast World Tour” will reach the Anthem on Oct 12. Tickets range from $72 to $817 on StubHub. 

Kim Petras brings the ‘Feed the Beast World Tour’ to the Anthem in October. (Photo by Thom Kerr)

Queer pop singer Kesha is coming to the Anthem on Oct. 29 to support her new album, “Gag Order.” Tickets go from $86 to $261 on Event Ticket Center. 

Queer pop rapper Shygirl is co-headlining with bisexual singer Tinashe for the “Nymph” tour at the Anthem on Nov. 5. Tickets range from $45 to $145 on Ticketmaster.

Indie band Men I Trust is performing at Echostage on Nov. 15. Tickets are available on Ticketmaster for $30. 

Nonbinary rapper Lil Uzi Vert’s “PINK TAPE TOUR” will be at the Anthem on Nov. 21. Tickets start at $90 on StubHub. 

Doja Cat’s “The Scarlett Tour” will reach Capital One Arena on Nov. 27. Tickets start at $100 on Ticketmaster. 

Madonna will bring her highly anticipated and delayed “The Celebration Tour” to the Capital One Arena Dec. 18 and 19. Tickets are available on Ticketmaster starting at $110.

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Music & Concerts

Tom Goss to perform at Rehoboth Beach Bear Weekend

Out singer entertains at the Sands Hotel



Tom Goss (Photo by Dusti Cunningham)

Out singer Tom Goss will perform at the Rehoboth Beach Bear Weekend on Saturday, Sept. 16 at 7 and 9 p.m. at the Sands Hotel. 

He will sing his memorable songs like “Son of a Preacher Man” and “Bears,” as well as tracks from his new album, “Remember What It Feels Like,” where he sings about being a 42-year-old gay man still reeling from his husband’s infidelity who was recently conned by a lover with a secret life now serving time in prison. 

Tickets to Rehoboth Beach Bear Weekend start at $20 and can be purchased on Eventbrite

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