Phew! I don’t know about you, dearest Filthy Dreams readers, but I’m exhausted. This week has been one hell of a doozy. Between Ivanka rubbing her dirty ass feet on seminal art installations by Yayoi Kusama to Trump firing and tweet-threatening Comey to Sean Spicer hiding in the bushes, I feel like I’ve aged a century in a couple days.
Because of this whirlwind of shock, awe and a pinch of trauma, I scrapped my original post–another long and involved screed. But, I think we could all use a break at the end of this seemingly endless week, if even for a moment.
Luckily, your other co-founder Marion discovered that Trixie Mattel, that dolled up drag queen perhaps best known for her heavy-handed makeup job as a contestant on RuPaul’s Drag Race, is a folksy country musician. We discovered this factoid after watching a video Trixie posted on her Instagram playing the autoharp out of drag. That’s something you don’t see every day!
Digging into Trixie’s folk roots a bit more, we discovered that Trixie, on May 2, released her first album Two Birds. And I’m a fan. It’s reminiscent of 50’s style country–more Hank Williams than Toby Keith. Thank bejesus! Actually if there’s any comparable contemporary musician, it would be Daniel Romano and his twangy, plodding musical genre “Mosey.”
How is the album? Well, it’s quite impressive for a couple reasons. First, most of the Drag Race contestants seem to have a drive to release albums, following in the footsteps of Supermodel Ru herself. And let’s be honest, these are typically horrid dance tracks. Now, we, here at Filthy Dreams, love a good shameful dance song or two but have mercy–there’s a limit to how many Sharon Needles club hits the world needs.
Which is why Trixie’s album comes as such a relief. It’s completely unexpected. And, with songs like “I’ll Wear Your Ring” and “Seen My Man,” it’s surprisingly sincere and more than a little sweet, probing the popular country thematic grounds like loneliness, drinking and, well, wearing dresses.
Ok, that last one might not be so typical, which is another reason that Two Birds feels so fresh. It puts the queer back in country–a bastion of straight white male hypermasculine bros declaring, “she thinks my tractor’s sexy.” And instead, here swoops Trixie pining over her man’s cologne in “Seen My Man” (“And I don’t smell you in my sheets/And I don’t hear you in the hall/Without your cologne/Your calls on the phone”). But this doesn’t make Trixie any less American as she later croons about putting on denim and gingham.
In an interview with Unicorn Booty’s Stephan Horbelt, Trixie explains their lifelong connection to folk music: “People know me for comedy, and they know me for the specific look, but I haven’t really made it public or known that my whole life and in my free time I do folk music. Folk music to me is like a family thing, so it never really occurred to me. … There are a million and one white guys with guitars. I’m a realist, and I’m a business person. I was like, ‘Well, I’m never going to do that for a living. That’s not realistic.’ Do you know what I mean? It never occurred to me to have Trixie put those skills to work in drag.”
And she should. I’d fork over a lot of money to watch drag folk. Thankfully, you can get a glimpse of this in her new video “Mama Don’t Make Me Put On The Dress Again,” which features Sordid Lives’ campy queen Leslie Jordan and Trixie both in and out of drag. So put on your cowboy boots, grab a Lone Star and get ready to hoedown with Trixie!