As always, I suggest you listen to the songs you're not familiar with. As we get higher up the list, the songs get more recognizable, but the likelihood of you missing something awesome if you ignore the ones you don't know increases. Once again, I've made it easy for you to try them out with
Tori Amos, "Raspberry Swirl" [lyrics]
I am not your senorita! Inhale deeply of Tori, everyone, because the only song after this one that involves any girl-love is by TATU. Tori might think that the song is about being protective of one's female friends in a totally heterosexual way, but if a man delivered the equivalent line of "Everybody knows I'm his girl," (equivalent because a lady's more likely to refer to her female friends as her girls than her women, lest anyone take me to task after I bitched about "girl" in that godawful Counting Crows song the other day) well... this song is queer. Also an awesome dizzy jam--good luck NOT gay dancing to this song! I think it should get some votes, because it's fantastic, and the lack of girl-on-girl in the highest reaches of this list makes me sad.
Garbage, "Bleed Like Me" [lyrics]
Whenever I think about Shirley Manson falling for the JT LeRoy thing, I cringe--it does not take a crack reporter to figure out that the south is not crawling with ladyboy truckstop prostitutes. But yeah, I like the song if I don't concentrate too hard on the lyrics, which... kind of defeats the purpose, doesn't it? It's pretty and the images are vivid, so it may fare very well with people who aren't as bogged down by the backstory as I am.
Garbage, "Androgyny" [lyrics]
This one, on the other hand, always makes me smile, because I've been hatching a plan with a friend to create a Victorian romance story called Boys Fucking In A Parlour for years. (If we get it a good soundtrack, it'll be a cult classic no matter how bad it is!) I don't think it really adds anything new to the world, lyrically--"Girls and Boys" sort of beat it to the "Sleep with whoever! It's all good!" thing--but it may gather votes based on the sheer hotness of Shirley in the music video. Seriously, PHWOAR.
IAMX, "The Negative Sex" [lyrics]
I always perceived this song to be at least a partial commentary on how men in women's clothes and makeup who flirt with bisexuality top the charts while actual female artists are left in the dust, which seems spectacularly apropos on this list! (Also kind of funny, because Chris Corner is a straight man with an incredible collection of ladies' footwear.) It's never been one of my favorites, though; it was hands-down the weakest song on The Alternative, though he did beef up the mix considerably for the UK/US release. I'd save my vote for "Sailor," which is coming up in one of the higher tiers. But the songs do appeal to two different mindsets; this one is more feminist, while the other is more erotic.
The Killers, "Andy, You're A Star" [lyrics]
I'm surprised to see this song and not "Where The White Boys Dance," because the latter isn't swathed in totally bullshit production, but I realize that a lot of people never bought anything the Killers did once Brandon Flowers grew a mustache. This one does have that unrequited high school love thing going on, which is always popular with slashgirls! I think it'd be one of my picks--sweet and a little awkward, like all good things.
Placebo, "Then The Clouds Will Open For Me" [lyrics]
I get that not every established Placebo fan is going to love "Then The Clouds Will Open For Me," because it's kind of weird and folky for them, but if you're desperate to vote for Placebo, it's the best choice in this tier. (Also, I'd think the fact that not every Placebo fan loves it might mean that some NON-fans might like it.) In "Clouds," the relationship between two men seems to have genuinely inspired the song, and there is an actual lyrical thread. Plus, I think "I don't want to be forgotten / I can't be alone / so don't you dare leave me!" is one of the most quintessentially Molko moments recorded. Some scrawny kid with a helium voice acting all vulnerable and then trying to get bossy? Yeah, that sounds like him, all right.
Placebo, "Battle For The Sun" [lyrics]
There's no way anyone's going to convince me that the incidental "dream brother" in "Battle For The Sun" didn't make it in solely because Molko needed a convenient rhyme for "lover." I'll grant you that the song is fun to yell in your car and definitely one of the highlights of the album, but a great queer song? Great because it says something interesting and meaningful about gender or a relationship between two people of the same sex? Definitely not.
Queen, "Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy" [lyrics]
Man, this song is really soothing after getting all het up over Placebo. A lot of (straight, male) Queen fans will try to tell you that this song isn't queer, but there is a chorus of men crooning "Ooh loverboy! Hey boy!" Gentlemen, Freddie is going to woo the shit out of you, and you're going to love it. This one would get my vote, too, because it'll immediately cheer even the grumpiest of grumpboxes up. However, it will be stuck in your head for the REST OF YOUR LIFE.
Scissor Sisters, "She's My Man" [lyrics]
The "she" in question is tough, but she is also a biological female, according to Jake Shears. I understand its appeal--people wanted Ta-Dah to be as overly bent as the first album, and it's easy to see some trans interest here. It's a fun song! I guess it comes down to whether you think it's about a brutally fabulous queen or a vicious riverboat madame.
TATU, "Malchik Gay" [lyrics]
Okay, this is my favorite TATU song on Queerics. It cracks me up every time I hear it! MALCHIK GAY MALCHIK GAY I CAN BE ALL YOU NEED! Sorry, sweetie; the lack of penis may not have been enough to turn him off on its own, but combined with the rack and the excruciatingly high voice and the fauxmo girl band, I think it's gonna be a dealbreaker for him. ... Yeah, my enjoyment is schadenfreude-based. I'm a bad person. It's just so cute! You poor girl!
Patrick Wolf, "Augustine" [lyrics]
Augustine is a traditionally male name, but the -ine suffix is more associated with women these days, so this is another "gay if you want it to be" tune. If it were a heterosexual song, I think we'd all agree that it's about an abusive relationship. If it's queer, I can see how the stress might be coming from outside. In the Ill-Defined Past of baroque pop songs, the long arm of the law would just as soon come for a man for having a boyfriend as for beating his boyfriend. Or it could still just be straight-up abusive. Hmmm.
And here's the poll itself! There are also links to videos in there. I haven't set a limit on how many songs you can pick; I'd suggest between three and seven, if you can.
24-35: Pick your favorite queer songs. Dooo iiiiit.
Etc etc FINALLY: feel free to comment telling me why you love the songs you picked, but remember that Queerics is submission-based. I feel like I should clarify that point--it's not that I'm worried about people getting all butthurt about other people not liking the songs they like, but if someone checks out the comments and discovers that everyone's talking about how lame and not gay a song that they sent me is, they may feel that their efforts are unappreciated. If they feel unappreciated, they may stop sending me songs. If people stop sending me songs, Queerics will sputter and die. I don't know what happens after that, but it probably involves all the polar bears going extinct.
So uh, check the bottom of the lyrics page, and if I thank anyone there, try to keep it positive. If there's no name down there (or it's your name), then fire away!
If you missed the last rounds:
The original list, if you'd like to see what you're going to be asked to vote on next week. (THEY'RE SO GOOD. Might as well start thinking about it now.)