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Sunday, October 21, 2007


ModMusic: Ari Gold

On the surface of Ari Gold's recently-released Transport Systems, it seems like nothing out of the ordinary is happening. This is not to dismiss his musicianship, which is as solid as anyone in dance music these days; his melodies are pleasantly groove-laden, and the rhythms catchy and cutesy in equal measure. (Few of the arrangements would have been out of place on an N'Sync album from the late 90's.)

But where Gold excels is in his intent, which is pretty damn impressive. That he is openly gay is not unique; that he is American (not British or Canadian) makes him a rarity. More importantly, however, he eschews the genderless lyrics of Elton John, the ambiguity of Mika, the careful avoidance of Michael Stipe, the esoterics of Morrissey, and the winking comedy of Jake Shears. On Transport Systems, Gold heads directly into the minefield of gay male life in the new century: his songs directly address the down low phenomenon, nontraditional relationships, crystal meth addiction, gender identity and spirituality.

They also are unabashedly sex-positive. On "Ride To Heaven", Gold's desire to consummate a first date is as happily horny as it could be. There's also the powerful sentiments of "Mr. Mistress", in which a man refuses to continue to be the "other woman" to a closeted married man. Listening to Gold's songs, I am reminded of the first time I ever heard Bronski Beat in the early 80's -- music that clearly and directly sang of boys who loved boys. I hope that Transport Systems has the same life-changing effect on teenagers today that Bronski had on me.

Watch The Video:
"Where The Music Takes You", Ari Gold
"Love Will Take Over", Ari Gold
"Wave of You", Ari Gold
Download (For One Week):
"Ride To Heaven", Ari Gold
"Mr. Mistress", Ari Gold
Visit: Official Site, Elbo.ws, MySpace, iTunes
Then Buy: Transport Systems, Ari Gold

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