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Music & Concerts

Jennifer Knapp comes ‘Back Around’ with new album, tour

Out singer says new indie project turned out more lush, nuanced than originally planned



Jennifer Knapp, gay news, Washington Blade

Jennifer Knapp says she’s still a Christian but doesn’t record gospel music exclusively anymore. (Photo by Gina R. Binkley)

An Evening with Jennifer Knapp

Saturday, June 3

Jammin’ Java

227 Maple Ave.

E. Vienna, Va.

Tickets: $18

6:30 p.m.

For several years in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s, Jennifer Knapp was one of the darlings of contemporary Christian music.

Though only starting out in the field, her major label debut album “Kansas” was ranked at no. 80 in a 2001 ranking by CCM Magazine of the “100 greatest albums in Christian music.” Not just albums for that year — of all time. Her single “Undo Me” was a No. 1 hit on Christian radio and came in at no. 94 in CCM’s ranking of the 100 greatest songs in Christian music history.

All that changed after she took a seven-year break and came out as a lesbian upon returning to the music scene in 2010. Now when the CCM world gathers or takes stock of its own history, significant artists like she and Ray Boltz, who also came out several years ago, are ignored.

She’s now touring just ahead of the release of new album “Love Comes Back Around,” out June 23, her third solo album since returning to music. She plays Jammin’ Java in Vienna, Va., on Saturday, June 3. Knapp touched on many topics during a phone chat en route to a May 22 concert in Washington state.

Jennifer Knapp on:

Keeping fans engaged with new material: “If everybody’s on board and paying attention, I’ll go with it. Otherwise I’ll go, ‘OK, it’s time to move on to something else.’ I always have an escape plan. … It’s a little bit like choose your own adventure.”

Her new album: “I thought it was going to be more folky and acoustic and very bare bones … but it ended up being really lush. There’s a lot of beauty on this record even though it has a very simplistic feel to it. There are so many subtle layers. … It’s not a typical pop record that some people may have been anticipating.”

This phase of her career: “I don’t feel like I’m having to spend all my time on stage kind of trying to explain what’s going on or feeling like I’m being investigated by the audience. Now it’s more about coming together and enjoying the music we all know … and less about trying to figure out what our footing is in this new story.”

Her fans: “It depends on where I go. There are some pockets where they remember me as a Christian music artist and are definitely going to the show to have that kind of experience. And then the next show you go to, they may be familiar with the longer version of my story and aren’t really tied to any sort of religious experience at all. Sometimes it’s a whole room of people estranged from the religious experience. … I’m happy to have either one. It’s just about connecting.”

Going back to school for a master’s in theological studies: “I just want to be very educated and informed and not just having the faith for myself personally but (considering) what are the implications to us as a community. … I want to talk about the confluence of LGBT issues and religious organizations with a lot of wisdom and patience.”

Being written out of CCM history: “It’s kind of passive-aggressive. One day it’s all, ‘Where have you been, we’ve missed you so much …,’ then you come out of the closet and they’re like, “Oh, never mind.’ Or they don’t even say that, they just back away really quietly. I have shed a few tears on that but I don’t really want to participate in that industry anymore. I’m not writing about my faith, although it does show up in some respects in my music now. … But I’m not there anymore. … They can stay silent if they want but that silence says a hell of a lot.”


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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