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Pansy Division is back! They never really went away, but they're putting out their first album in five years, TOTAL ENTERTAINMENT!, on a new label, Alternative Tentacles Records. The first all-gay rock band, Pansy Division first emerged a decade ago, when being gay and playing rock & roll seemed like diametrically opposed ideas. Though there are many queer musicians out today, in the early '90s this was not the case, and that obvious lack of visibility is part of the impetus that formed the band.

But that was ten years ago. Many rock musicians are now out, if not on the radio or MTV. Where does that leave Pansy Division? A lot less lonely than before! Seriously, Pansy Division is a great rock band that sounds better than ever. The fact that they are gay is important, but it's not why they are still here a decade later. They're still here cause they're a great band, known for their lyrics but underrated for their music, and they took the time to make a great album before reemerging. They've always written great songs, and TOTAL ENTERTAINMENT! has fifteen of their best ever.

They began in 1991 in San Francisco, started by guitarist/singer Jon Ginoli. Soon joined by bassist/vocalist Chris Freeman, they both had the experience of being ostracized by other musicians for being gay and by other gays for being rock. "We tried to turn our alienation into something positive," says Ginoli. "Instead of being depressed about it, we tried to make music that would make us - and our audience - happy. We could laugh about it, so we put that joy into the music." They wrote in-your-face lyrics, but did it with a sense of humor. Raised on a diet of 60s pop and 70s punk, their sound was suitably crunchy and catchy as hell.

Starting in 1993, they put out an album a year for six years on Lookout Records. Their music caught the attention of former Lookout band Green Day, who took Pansy Division on tour for a couple of months in 1994 at the height of Dookie-mania. Says Ginoli, "When we started our band we thought we'd be playing our music to people in their 20s & 30s who were gay or gay-friendly. Suddenly we faced thousands of high school kids each night, an amazing opportunity we never expected to have." The response was decidedly mixed, but their popularity soared. Pansy Division toured and recorded almost non-stop for five years. Along the way they recruited a permanent drummer (Luis) and a lead guitarist (Patrick Goodwin), making them the quartet they are today.

Their previous album, ABSURD POP SONG ROMANCE, was a departure from their earlier work, a more serious album both lyrically and sonically. TOTAL ENTERTAINMENT! finds a happy medium between the broad humor of the early records and the more (dare we say it?) mature approach of the last album. In an era where most albums have the same sound and tempo from one end to the other, they've made a diverse album that'll kick your ass in a bunch of different ways.

OK, so what does it sound like? It sounds like a combination of Cheap Trick, The Ramones, Neil Young, Galaxie 500, AC/DC, The Sonics, The Beatles, Tom Petty, Blondie, The Muffs, The Saints, Tones On Tail, Queen, XTC, The Go-Betweens, Motown, and more...that is to say, a thorough blending of influences that ends up being great rock & roll.

Personnel: Chris Freeman - bass, vocals Jon Ginoli - rhythm guitar, vocals Patrick Goodwin - lead guitar, vocals Luis - drums

"Who Treats You Right?"
"Blurry Down Below"
"No Protection"
"Alpine Skiing"
"Total Entertainment"
Taken from virus304Total Entertainment!

List all available merchandise by Pansy Division

1995 The Unholy Handjob
2003 Total Entertainment!
2006 The Essential Pansy Division
2009 Average Men
2009 That's So Gay
2009 Life In A Gay Rock Band
2016 Quite Contrary
2016 Blame The Bible

Other Releases

2006 Undressed
2006 Wish I'd Taken Pictures
2006 More Lovin' From Our Oven
2006 Absurd Pop Song Romance

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