—They’re here! They’re queer! They’ll play for shitty beer! Latest wow-where-have-they-been good news is the October 20 Reggie’s appearance of Pansy Division. The snarky and sometimes smutty power-pop ‘n’ postpunk powerhouse formed in 1991, after guitarist Jon Ginoli and bassist Chris Freeman got tired of “being ostracized by other musicians for being openly gay and by other gays for being openly rock.” It was the heyday of Riot Grrrl and Queer Nation, when a generation of activists was learning just how much fun it could be to freak the mundanes —all the better if you’re really fucking funny doing it. Pansy Division always were, not to mention sexy and poignant too. Recent “we were pioneers” highlights include a version of Judas Priest’s “Breakin’ the Law” recorded with Rob Halford and Willie Nelson’s version of “Cowboys Are Frequently Secretly Fond of Each Other,” which Pansy Division didn’t write but made as famous as it ever was beforehand. Recent “now we’re an institution” developments include last year’s 30-song CD/DVD The Essential Pansy Division. Yes, it includes “He Whipped My Ass in Tennis (Then I Fucked His Ass in Bed).”
This is the band’s first national tour in four years, and it was galvanized by a previous generation’s ephemeral legend: the Avengers, early 80s California punk will-o-the-wisps who will be doing their first full-fledged tour ever with some relatively young bucks filling in the gaps, including Pansy Division drummer Luis Illades and guitarist Joel Reader.