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frankzappa

Limp Wrist & Wendy Carlos : 25 of music’s most underrated trailblazers across the queer spectrum

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Limp Wrist

The hardcore world has its own brand of fist-throwing ultra-machismo, the kind which only legendary aggro queers such as Limp Wrist have been able to transcend. Formed from the ashes of a handful of disparate bands in 1998, Limp Wrist’s name flaunts a cheeky retort to the hypermasculinity of the punk underground – a space that frontman Martin Sorrondeguy would claim for the queers while donning a leather cap and harness. Sonically, Limp Wrist is hard to distinguish from droves of so-called powerviolence bands – but fan-favorite songs like “I Love Hardcore Boys, I Love Hardcore Boys” invert the sub-genre’s preoccupation with by focusing instead on risqué desires. Swapping out punk moralist clichés for LGBT issues, the themes underlining the group’s music give voice to both fury and hope for gay punks. E.S.

Wendy Carlos

A classically-trained pianist, with degrees in physics and music from Brown University, Wendy Carlos pioneered digital music in the Sixties – first by writing commercial jingles, then by concocting Moog-assisted renditions of Bach songs, which comprised her 1968 debut, Switched-On Bach. The release of Bach brought Robert Moog’s controversial invention some much-needed critical acclaim; the record won three Grammys and sat at Number One on the Billboard Classical Albums chart from 1969 to 1972. Carlos, however, struggled to balance an increasingly public life and private truth; she began hormone replacement therapy and underwent gender-reassignment surgery in 1972, but performed in masculine appearance throughout the Seventies by wearing suits and glueing sideburns to her face. She changed her legal name on Valentine’s Day 1979, and that same year came out as a transgender woman in Playboy. “There had never been any need of this charade to have taken place,” she said of her years spent presenting as a man. “It had proven a monstrous waste of years of my life.” After Bach she scored two Stanley Kubrick films – 1971’s Clockwork Orange and 1980’s The Shining – plus the 1982 cuberpunk masterpiece, Tron. Following the release of her celebrated 1984 opus, the cosmic Digital Moonscapes, she found herself totally taken with the stars. Now 75, she enjoys a quiet life of photographing solar eclipses and hanging out with her cats. S.E.

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