Music Tastes Good — 7 queer musicians to see

Audiences at Long Beach’s two-day music festival Music Tastes Good will hear more than 40 bands and sample food from 18 chefs serving their favorite dishes.

Food vendors and speciality beer and wines also will be on site at Marina Green Park during the event, which takes place September 29 and 30.

Tickets are $85-$300, fees not included.

New Order, James Blake, and local up-and-comers Forest of Tongue are on the musical menu as well as some queer bands.

Janelle Monae

Janelle Monae had Stephen Colbert during on his desk when she appeared on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” in July. Monae will have audiences dancing on their feet when she appears at Music Tastes Good September 30. Photo: Scott Kowalchyk/CBS

Here are seven fabulous, queer musicians to see at Music Tastes Good.


1:10 p.m. Sept. 30 on Franklin Stage

B.A.G. is Blimes Brixton and “Gifted Gab” (real name Gabrielle Kadushin). The creative duo’s smooth, old-school rap hits nostalgic notes as well as introduces a fresh and lyrical back-and-forth that’s too catchy to quit. Their collaboration, “Come Correct,” has been viewed more than 10 million time across media platforms.

Kadushin, who is heterosexual, was raised in Seattle where she grew up singing in the church choir and raping in elementary school. Kadushin eventually went on to rap at festivals and major venues and has opened for acts like DJ Quik and Cam’ron. She was named one of 15 female rap artists to watch by XXL Magazine and one of seven female rappers to listen to by Time magazine. Brixton, on the other hand, hails from San Francisco and comes from a musical family with a jazz playing grandfather and a blues playing father. Brixton came up in the rap scene as a gay, female rapper and has worked with artists such as Too Short, Adam Vida, and most recently Method Man on her track “Hot Damn,” which went viral.

The Blow

2:10 p.m. Sept. 30 on Franklin Stage

Lesbian couple Khaela Maricich and Melissa Dyne make up art-pop band The Blow, which blends performance art, a keyboard, and a synthesizer to make their songs light as air and easy on the ears.

Maricich has the performance art background, while Dyne’s comes from installation art centered on the physics of sound and light. These skills are evident in the duo’s concerts. The twosome are also the founders of Woman Producer, a platform that allows users to share data on female, trans, and non-binary producers and sonic innovators.

Ezra Furman

2:50 p.m. Sept. 30 on Franklin Stage

Ezra Furman, who identifies as bisexual, will give audiences a feel for his crackling, blues-y voice, and his latest CD, “Transangelic Exodus,” which he calls “a queer outlaw saga.”

After making three albums with his band The Harpoons, the musician-songwriter went solo in late 2013 with “Day of the Dog.” Furman, 32, played the rite-of-passage music festival Coachella for the first time in 2017, cementing Furman as an exciting up-and-comer. Often seen on stage with a signature strand of pearls and a stylish dress, Furman’s performances carry both a hint of unrestrained defiance and candid emotional sentiments.

Janelle Monáe

7 p.m. Sept. 30 on Franklin Stage

Grammy-nominated, innovative, colorful, and newly out as a pansexual artist, Janelle Monáe will bring her pop act and songs from her newest and third studio album, “Dirty Computer,” to Long Beach. The CD also is the soundtrack for an accompanying “emotion picture” or short film that features Monáe and friends living in a futuristic, surveillance state and running from an oppressive authority.

Monáe’s music career began in 2007 with her EP “Metropolis: Suite I (The Chase),” which was released by her own label, Wondaland Arts Society.  In 2010, Monáe released her critically acclaimed first, full-length studio album “The ArchAndroid,” a concept album sequel to her first EP. Her second studio album, “The Electric Lady,” was released in September 2013.

Monáe, 32, came out as pansexual during an interview with Rolling Stone in April.

“I’m open to learning more about who I am,” she told the magazine.


5:30 p.m. Sept. 30 on Gold Stage

Known for her confidence, “genre-less” style, and hit song “Good As Hell,” Lizzo’s voice is just as effective in pop as it is in gospel or R&B.

Lizzo, (aka Melissa Jefferson), 30, grew up in Houston and rapped throughout high school before joining a rock band at 19. Her influences are as varied as her own style, ranging from Aretha Franklin and Beyoncé to Queen’s Freddie Mercury.

Lizzo also has been an outspoken member of the LGBTQ community.

“When it comes to sexuality or gender, I personally don’t ascribe to just one thing,” she told Billboard. “That’s why the colors for LGBTQ+ are a rainbow! Because there’s a spectrum, and right now we try to keep it black and white. That’s just not working for me.”

Princess Nokia

5:35 p.m. September 29 at the Franklin Stage

Princess Nokia, aka Destiny Nicole Frasqueri, is a fierce rapper from New York who first caught the world’s attention with her hit “Tomboy,” where she freely raps about self-love and confidence.

Her most recent CD, “A Girl Cried Red,” was called a “strangely addictive 21 minutes of pure and messy emotions” by Pitchfork.

Nokia blends rapping with themes of self-respect and an I-don’t-give-a-fuck attitude. Her beats vary from tribal to R&B.The bisexual artist also helped start Smart Girls Club, which helps women of all ethnicities in music and the arts.

About the author

Lauren Torres

Lauren Torres is a journalist who has watched enough "Investigation Discovery" to be obsessed with chasing investigations through writing for the rest of her life. When not chasing investigations or aliens, Torres writes non fiction, collects anything Spider-Man related, and eats copious amounts of Hot Cheetos while watching "The Office."

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