Posted in music | pictures on October 6, 2011

photos by Amanda Hatfield

JD Samson @ Brooklyn Museum
Men

The first part of this post's headline is the title of a SPIN article. Here's a snippet:

"Musicians are particularly vulnerable to anti-gay sentiment because, says Ejeris Dixon of the New York City Anti-Violence Project, they "become representations of their communities. When people are attacking public figures, it's a way of sending a broader message of homophobia, transphobia, racism, and all these forms of discrimination that can be a way of really fostering a homophobic and transphobic culture. They're attractive as targets as a message to our community."

As a result, bashing is not uncommon in the non-mainstream music world (we'll call it "indie" here, with the knowledge that Merritt, who has released records on the Warner Bros.-affiliated Nonesuch, wouldn't approve of such a tag). This sphere has more out figures than virtually any other major art form, except possibly theater: [Stephin] Merritt, Beth Ditto, Antony Hegarty, Mark Eitzel, Tegan & Sara, Bloc Party's Kele Okereke, Grizzly Bear's Ed Droste, Le Tigre's JD Samson, Sigur Ros' Jonsi Birgisson, Wild Flag's Carrie Brownstein, Patrick Wolf, Ani DiFranco, Owen Pallett, the Hidden Cameras' Joel Gibb, and Bob Mould (who is comfortable enough to detail his 45th birthday present to himself -- a male escort -- in his recently published memoir See a Little Light)."

The second part of this post's headline refers to a related article on Huffington Post written by JD Samson who says, among other things:
"This summer I tried to rent an apartment in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The process sent me into an emotional crisis and awakened me into a whole new realization of our economy, the music industry at large and, more specifically, what it means to be a queer artist in 2011.

I spent days trolling around Williamsburg, looking at shitty apartments with cockroaches lining the doorways, fighting neighbors, rats in the ceiling, bedbugs infesting the linoleum floors, fifth-floor walk-ups and cat-pee-soaked carpets. The rent was exorbitant, availability was scarce, and I was turned down by two different landlords for being "freelance." To be honest, I don't blame them. Not only am I freelance, but I'm lesbian freelance. Double whammy. What was the reason they turned me down? Because it was easier to rent to a rich, trust-fund, straight-guy banker who wants to live in the coolest borough in the world? Because when he met me he saw a tattooed gender outlaw who makes "queer electronic punk music" and isn't sure when the next check is going to come in? Yeah, I don't blame him. He doesn't give a shit about how kids email me all the time thanking me for keeping them from committing suicide. It's not part of his capitalist business practice. "

Last but not least, this post also contains a set of unpublished MEN pictures from that Brooklyn Museum show. That's the JD Samson band MEN, not to be confused with The Men. The pictures continue below...

Savoir Adore

Savoir Adore

Savoir Adore

Savoir Adore

Savoir Adore

Savoir Adore

Men

Men

Men

Men

Men

Men

Men

Men

Men

Men

Men

Men

Men

Men

Men

Men

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Comments (75)

Here's something to consider JD: I'm a white cisgender male making an ok amount of money and I don't live in Williamsburg because it would make me broke. There's other neighborhoods to live in, but you need to be surrounded by lame sycophant friends 24/7.

Posted by Anonymous | October 6, 2011 4:05 PM

I am having difficulties, it must be because I am gay. That's it. What else can it be? I blame society.

Posted by Anonymous | October 6, 2011 4:16 PM

^^^ yea, that's how it reads. very annoying and pretentious. live somewhere else, i can't afford it either

Posted by Anonymous | October 6, 2011 4:21 PM

I'll rent her an apartment for the cost of 3 non-suicides a month. That way I can feed my family. I'm sure I can keep the building up to code and do all the repairs, too. Someone should give her a Ferrari and a stock portfolio. Since those are given to people as gifts for being so great as to grace us with their gayness. What. a. whiner.

Posted by Anonymous | October 6, 2011 4:23 PM

hahahahaha...

Posted by Anonymous | October 6, 2011 4:33 PM

This is some gay hummus right here.

Posted by Anonymous | October 6, 2011 4:34 PM

Holy crap that letter is written by a moron.

Yes, renters have the choice to make sure they're renting to people who can prove a steady income so they'll PAY THEIR RENT.

Fucking whiner thinks is because she's gay... get a clue. They'd rent to a gay anyone if they were making a big income.

Posted by Anonymous | October 6, 2011 4:35 PM

I definitely agree that there's a lot of discrimination that comes with being gay, particularly as a performer. It's goddamn unfortunate, and people tend to forget about it, as it becomes slightly more acceptable in entertainment spheres.

That being said, I can't think of anything less likely to make me interested in your records than finding out that you desperately want to live at Bedford & North 8th. Williamsburg is a shithole, that has mild appeal because it's close to the places in Manhattan where most of us sell our souls on a daily basis.

If you're spending all day making records/gluing macaroni to paper plates, and still desperate to live in BK, find somewhere off the G. It's not like you need a convenient midtown morning commute.

Posted by Anonymous | October 6, 2011 4:35 PM

Just about the most pretentious drivel I have ever read.

Posted by Anonymous | October 6, 2011 4:37 PM

Plenty of neighborhoods in Brooklyn and the rest of the city to live in besides Williamsburg. Stop whining.

Posted by Anonymous | October 6, 2011 4:40 PM

"He doesn't give a shit about how kids email me all the time thanking me for keeping them from committing suicide. It's not part of his capitalist business practice."

I knew BV commentators would not let me down. This is a load of shit.

Posted by Anonymous | October 6, 2011 4:44 PM

I'm sure the Polish landlord was very familiar with your "queer electronic music."
Clearly the reason you didn't get the place.

Posted by Anonymous | October 6, 2011 4:47 PM

4:40pm
"Plenty of neighborhoods in Brooklyn and the rest of the city to live in besides Williamsburg. Stop whining."

but that might lead to gentrification and that's just the worst. right?

Posted by Anonymous | October 6, 2011 4:48 PM

Gay or not, music doesn't owe JD Samson a living. Being a gay musician may be harder than being a straight musician, but if you need to take a public platform to complain about money, maybe you really want to be a banker. Cry me a river.

Posted by Anonymous | October 6, 2011 4:48 PM

How about trying to look halfway decent when you're meeting landlords so they trust you to move in? Is that against your ethos?

Posted by Anonymous | October 6, 2011 4:50 PM

I'm sure the Polish landlord was very familiar with your "queer electronic music."
Clearly the reason you didn't get the place.

Posted by Matt Dillon | October 6, 2011 5:05 PM

try staten island bro.

Posted by Anonymous | October 6, 2011 5:05 PM

dont really understand how being gay prevents you from renting an apt in wburg.. that said you can still be fired for being gay in many states in america. maybe the anger should be reserved for things that can actually make a difference?

Posted by Anonymous | October 6, 2011 5:13 PM

Maybe she should move to Detroit -- spaces are dirt cheap and there's a great music scene there. Reduce the cost of living.

Also, maybe she should get a part-time day gig and learn a more salable skill. The ugly truth is very few artists make a living off their art. The fact she's done it this long is commendable, but she wouldn't be the first musician of note to be confronted with the real world. (Why do you think Chuck D became a Air America radio host for a while?)

And c'mon, I really doubt Samson had trouble finding an apartment in Billyburg because she's a lesbian. Most landlord will rent to anyone whose checks don't bounce. Lack of a consistent source of income is the issue, not homophobia.

Posted by zipcity | October 6, 2011 5:15 PM

That bro has clown shit on his face! I wouldn't rent to him either!

Posted by Anonymous | October 6, 2011 5:17 PM

This is one of the most privileged,oblivious, wrongheaded things I've seen in awhile. Things are shitty all over, but rather than talk about the economic issues that exist for everyone it become about her/his "identity"...so
fucking narcissistic

Posted by Anonymous | October 6, 2011 5:25 PM

Teh gheys make fabulous tennants. I mean, really, the idea that any landlord wants to rent to trust fund party chilluns, all things being equal, rather than an oddball from the Isle of Lesbos borders on ridiculous.

Posted by Anonymous | October 6, 2011 5:26 PM

@515 I'm a musician who went to school in Michigan and lives in NYC and can tell your first hand the music scene there sucks.

Posted by Anonymous | October 6, 2011 5:44 PM

Michigan has an excellent hummus scene.

Posted by Anonymous | October 6, 2011 5:48 PM

Oh psyched, it's scarf season again.

And that lame-O, wearing his hat indoors with the blue shirt, is just painful to see.

This is all so very Brooklyn

Posted by Anonymous | October 6, 2011 6:12 PM

I'm freelance and have never had a problem renting an apartment because I can prove my income. If you can't prove to your landlord that you can make your rent on the 1st every month why would they let you move into their property? It has nothing to do with your sexuality. Get your head out of your ass and get a fucking day job so you can pay your way. Stop fucking whining!

Posted by Anonymous | October 6, 2011 6:23 PM

When is Le Tigre getting back together?!

Posted by Anonymous | October 6, 2011 6:27 PM

if it's any consolation, teachers, who actually spend all their time working with "the kids," can't afford to live here either.

Posted by Anonymous | October 6, 2011 6:37 PM

MY ROFLCOPTER GOES SWA SWA SWA!!

Posted by Anonymous | October 6, 2011 6:57 PM

I love gentrification.

Dear failshit artists: For once, move to a neighborhood you can afford - without turning it into some kind of fantasyland for dorks - and then no one will follow you there and price your sorry asses out.

Posted by Anonymous | October 6, 2011 7:11 PM

It's actually a pretty common policy for landlords not to rent to tattooed gender outlaws.

Posted by streetdude | October 6, 2011 7:24 PM

"Gender outlaw"? HAHA! Was she trying to rent in the town from Footloose?
(sorry, the trailer for the new Footloose movie came on).

But really? She thinks she's not getting an apt because she's gay? What a joke. Try broke.

Posted by Anonymous | October 6, 2011 7:51 PM

Plenty of Queers in Williamsburg who can afford their rent. NEXT!

Posted by Unanymous | October 6, 2011 7:58 PM

I guess its not really being gay because gay men seem to make good money and take care of their places, for the most part. Sucks to be a woman.

Posted by Anonymous | October 6, 2011 8:07 PM

Do you know what else haunts the indie scene?
Pita Triangles.

Posted by Anonymous | October 6, 2011 8:11 PM

will somebody please name their band FantasyLand For Dorks?

hipsters nationwide will dig on it

williamsburg, arcade fire and LCD are dying or dead. pounce on this opportunity.

Posted by Anonymous | October 6, 2011 8:39 PM

maybe JD should start tripping like Kathleen Hanna to make ends meet.... or not

Posted by Anonymous | October 6, 2011 8:40 PM

The only thing that haunts me is the possibility of poor farming conditions in Mexico which would drive the cost of chickpeas up... And my 70k salary is already spread out thin.

Posted by Anonymous | October 6, 2011 8:50 PM

um, heres a question; since when do potential landlords inquire about sexual orientation?

Posted by Anonymous | October 6, 2011 10:19 PM

Don't gays generally keep a clean house with flowers around and whatnot and do lots of good interior design as well? Geez.. Seems like they would make good tenants right?

Posted by Anonymous | October 6, 2011 10:30 PM

the ADS are getting impossible and make this sight HARD TO READ!

Posted by Anonymous | October 6, 2011 10:33 PM

seeing ads on either side of posts MAKES THIS SITE HARD TO READ.

Posted by Anonymous | October 6, 2011 10:35 PM

JD used to live near me off the Graham L stop circa 2002. Times have changed. Not sure why living in Williamsburg would be desirable now.

Posted by Anonymous | October 6, 2011 11:10 PM

Try 5th Ave in Park Slope

Posted by Anonymous | October 6, 2011 11:49 PM

Once the hummus comes... The rent skyrockets.

Posted by Anonymous | October 6, 2011 11:59 PM

wait, people still want to move to williamsburg? is this 2004?...

Posted by Anonymous | October 7, 2011 1:29 AM

Yes really why live there? Go there for some music and leave when you can because generally the neighborhood is an annoying joke. So your willing to live in some bug infested dirty place for the train that doesnt run often in a neighborhood that is considered a caricature of moron hipsters by the rest of the country?
Get an extra job at Beacons Closet JD with the rest of the vapid hollow fools.

Some of us have to work in restaurants long late hours non freelance.

Posted by Anonymous | October 7, 2011 3:50 AM

It's true there are no lesbians in Williamsburg at all. Oh the oppression.

Posted by Anonymous | October 7, 2011 4:38 AM

Haha those comments are fun to read, thx guys

Posted by Anonymous | October 7, 2011 5:02 AM

I've had good times with some bad guys.

Posted by Anonymous | October 7, 2011 6:04 AM

Hank, Johnny, and JD are the trifecta this week. Hey JD, care to clear this up?

Posted by Anonymous | October 7, 2011 6:38 AM

"Ev-Ry-Thing's
Tur-Ning Up
HUM-MUS!"

Posted by Anonymous | October 7, 2011 8:48 AM

Surprised that the Doctors of Spin were not there. They're about as gay as you can get.

Posted by Anonymous | October 7, 2011 8:49 AM

Why on earth would a landlord not want to rent to the bearded lady?

Posted by Anonymous | October 7, 2011 9:04 AM

woof

Posted by Anonymous | October 7, 2011 9:09 AM

Yeah noone has fun hunting for apartments, it sucks, quit your bitching... You live in the neighborhood least likely to oppress you based on your sexual orientation. I don't feel bad for you at all. You float around doing the odd gig or dj set. Most people have to hump their ass to work day in and day out. You're still riding high because you wrote Deceptacon...People need to stop complaining about stupid shit and open their eyes to some real issues..

Posted by Sean | October 7, 2011 9:39 AM

Is your creative process so glacial that you can't work 40 hours a week for the rent and compose your outlaw electronics on nights and weekends? As someone wrote above, music does not owe you a living.

Posted by Anonymous | October 7, 2011 9:58 AM

What I would recommend she do is start a petition to convince any potential landlords to lower the rent so she can actually afford to live in these places. I'd gladly sign such an online petition.

Posted by Anonymous | October 7, 2011 10:02 AM

hardy har har

Posted by Anonymous | October 7, 2011 10:53 AM

"Stephin Merritt, Beth Ditto, Antony Hegarty, Mark Eitzel, Tegan & Sara, Bloc Party's Kele Okereke, Grizzly Bear's Ed Droste, Le Tigre's JD Samson, Sigur Ros' Jonsi Birgisson, Wild Flag's Carrie Brownstein, Patrick Wolf, Ani DiFranco, Owen Pallett, the Hidden Cameras' Joel Gibb, and Bob Mould"

I didn't know all these people were gay. You just outed a whole bunch of, excuse the expression, motherfuckers.

Posted by The Drums | October 7, 2011 11:23 AM

i ain't got no job but the landlord don't give a fuuu.. cuz i ain't no goddamn sodomite.

Posted by Anonymous | October 7, 2011 12:11 PM

this isn't homophobia. i think the landlord had probably heard the shitty music she makes.

jd needs to realize that if she had a job with a steady income she might be more attractive to potential landlords. i wouldn’t rent to a “freelancer” over someone who has a full time job with a steady income.

and you live in ncy not nebraska. i doubt some shitty tattoos were the reason you didn’t get the place.

on to bob mould.
i used to love this man and his music. i often wished that he had come out sooner so that growing up i would have had a gay figure to look up to. the idea of a gay male in indie guitar music who did things on his terms was appealing. after reading his book my respect level has gone. he came out and became the biggest queen, partying, doing drugs, having anonymous sex and renting hookers….way to add to that stereotype.

Posted by headhunter | October 7, 2011 12:21 PM

12:21 - Bob Mould can do whatever he wants, he doesn't owe you anyting. He's a person, not a flag for a cause. Plus, he wrote "Something I learned today;" Free pass right there.

Posted by Anonymous | October 7, 2011 12:48 PM

what stereotype... those are things that all people do whether you know it or not. YOU'RE the one perpetuating a stereotype with your idiotic statements.

Posted by Anonymous | October 7, 2011 1:02 PM

Yeaahhh... can't live in Williamsburg. Life is tough.

Posted by Kelly Zullo | October 7, 2011 2:12 PM

i'm sure east new york would welcome her with open arms; considering the kinship forged through abject subjugation fostered by wasp patriarchy.

Posted by Anonymous | October 7, 2011 2:39 PM

I've lived in Williamsburg for over 20 years. Now I have 2 kids and am looking for a bigger place and Williamsburg is still convenient for us to get where we need to go. Landlords would rather rent to slick rich wall street guys than families, so I can't find a place either. I have money too and can prove it. So, I wouldn't necessarily blame your apartment seeking problems on your sexuality.

Posted by Anonymous | October 7, 2011 3:12 PM

I have had dreams of living close to Oasis since 2004.

Posted by Anonymous | October 7, 2011 3:48 PM

"Plus, he wrote "New Day Rising". Free pass right there."

I agree.

Posted by Anonymous | October 7, 2011 4:27 PM

wow! So there's something you don't see everyday. A near general consensus on a BV post. Sounds like JD should shut up and keep her thoughts to herself. She should also probably go get a day job, or she's gonna have to ride that L train a few more stops to Bushwick.

Posted by Anonymous | October 7, 2011 4:56 PM

that mustache is disconcerting.

Posted by Anonymous | October 7, 2011 6:23 PM

there are no desirable (transplanted hipster) people in Williamsburg. nobody gets excited to be with anybody else.

when those rare couplings occur, they have to move into THE EDGE

Posted by Anonymous | October 7, 2011 9:54 PM

I'm straight and I work as a sanitation worker. I was looking for an apartment on 5th Ave. facing Central Park. When I told these people what I did for a living. They wouldn't even have a sit down to talk to me. It was because I was straight. I know how you feel.

Posted by Anonymous | October 7, 2011 10:05 PM

canned vocals haunt indie rock also

Posted by Anonymous | October 8, 2011 5:04 AM

I still can't get over what a moron this woman is.

Posted by Anonymous | October 11, 2011 1:52 PM

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