Introducing the Bi Jukebox
We need music in the Bi Community! We are a diverse bunch of people but music is something that can bring us all together.
Music matters. It has always has been an important means of cultural expression for ethnic and other groups. Music has been synonymous with the emergence of the Gay community; their embracing of Judy Garland or Dancing Queen gave them visibility.
In the Bi Community we don’t seem to have thought much about music. It’s been absent from BCN and Bicon apart from our recent embracing of Tom Robinson. At Bi events we just dance to whatever the DJ offers. With the Bi Jukebox we want to make people aware that music is a means of self expression for all of us.
Music is a powerful thing. It can make us laugh or cry. A song will remind us of a special time or a person or place; music can help us emphathise with each other and express what we have in common. We’re not saying that we all should like the same music, but we should be able to identify tracks that can mean that little bit more to us.
We want you, the BCN reader, to tell us about that track that you were able to Bi into when coming to terms with your sexuality. How about those numbers that make you feel Bi at clubs or parties? What about the output from your favourite Bi Icon? What do you want the DJ to play at Bicon? We shouldn’t just take whatever the DJ feels like. Don’t be inhibited with your suggestions. Be bold and imaginative, and don’t be afraid to be subversive. Very few tracks were written with bisexuality in mind, so subversion is a necessity, but there’s nothing wrong with that.
Its always been the case that music has been adopted by those for whom it was not originally intended. From Liverpool fans with You’ll Never Walk Alone or of course gay men with Dancing Queen. ABBA weren’t thinking of fags but those disco queens didn’t worry about getting permission. We’re taking the lead with our own inspirations. Thanks to Tom Robinson, and to Uk-Bi and Bisexu-l list people, for help and assistance!
John Flahive and Laurence Brewer
Blur – Girls and Boys (from Parklife)
The obvious and inevitable first inclusion in the Bi Jukebox. The chorus says it all. “Girls who are Boys who like Boys to be Girls who do Boys like they’re Girls who do Girls like they’re Boys”. I play it repeatedly, dancing to it in my room and rushing to the floor in clubs. It gets under my skin, tapping into my psyche, I just want to jump, celebrate, go mad- I’m happy.
The Pogues – A Man You Don’t Meet Everyday (from Rum, Sodomy and the Lash)
A fond memory from my coming-out period. The chorus goes like this: “Oh my name is Jock Stewart, I’m a canny gun man and a roving young fellow I’ve been, so be easy and free when you’re drinking with me, I’m a man you don’t meet every day”. Cait O’ Riordan’s soft dreamy vocals work magically in bringing a Bi subtext more strongly to the fore. There is something deliciously subversive about a woman singing a laddish Irish Rover style ballad. This track makes me feel good about being different. I feel I’m afloat; drifting, I’m myself; I’m free.
1. Magazine – Shot By Both Sides
As a young teenager the fun, rudeness, exhilaration and angst associated with the punk explosion gave me an outlet to express myself and my inspirations. There are too many records and bands to mention. I have reclaimed Shot by both Sides. I loved this song at the time but the intro on it has come to represent the stupidity of Biphobia and remind me why I can be rude irreverent and challenging to bigotry. This track represents for me the position bisexuals find themselves between Straights and Gays. A wonderful ascending guitar line provides the tension to this pop punk classic.
2. My Bloody Valentine – Feed Me With Your Kiss
I can’t really explain it but I’ve always found the war of gender confusing. I’ve never felt comfortable in either camp, the restrictions by definition are too binding. My Bloody Valentine’s ambiguous white noise, harmonies, failure of recognition of structure and sound represent for me a transgression of these boundaries. They are the opposite of the all male masculine rock sound, and are the full mixture of oestrogen and testosterone combining together to cause ultimate confusion. Feed me with your kiss is their fluid climax.
3. Tracey Thorn with Massive Attack – Protection
A beautiful song about the vulnerability of the human spirit, it goes beyond gender differences to show how we all protect ourselves from hurt. Between verses the song changes from “I’m a boy and you’re a girl” to “I’m a girl and you’re a boy”.
Ten Top Bi Tracks:
- Blur – Girls and Boys Magazine – Shot By Both Sides My Bloody Valentine – Feed Me With Your Kiss The Pogues – A Man You Don’t Meet Everyday Tracey Thorn with Massive Attack – Protection Placebo – Nancy Boy Stealers Wheel – Stuck in the Middle with You Joe Cocker – Bi with a little help with my Friends Sleeper – Inbetweener Lou Reed – Walk on the Wild Side
and six more for good measure:
- Ani DiFranco – In or Out T- Rex – 20th Century Boy Green Day – King for a Day God is my Co-Pilot – Bothways Jayne Country – Transgender Rock ‘n’ Roll The Smiths – What Difference Does it Make?