2496 S. Wentworth Avenue, Milwaukee, WI | Booking Inquiries

Event Details

Sun 10/31/21
7:00PM
18+
$12 ADV // $15 DOS

Cosmic Lavender Country Tour: Lavender Country • Andrew Sa • Cosmic Country Showcase

Notice: Proof of vaccination is required for entry into this event. Please show a valid vaccination card, clear photo of card, clear photocopy of card, or your state immunization registry which can be accessed online. No refunds will be offered for individuals that are unable to provide proof of vaccination upon arrival.

Lavender Country

(BREMERTON, WA)

Lavender Country was an American country music band formed in 1972, whose self-titled 1973 album is the first known gay-themed album in country music history. Based in Seattle, Washington, the band consisted of lead singer and guitarist Patrick Haggerty, keyboardist Michael Carr, singer and fiddler Eve Morris and guitarist Robert Hammerstrom (the only heterosexual member).

Haggerty was born on September 27, 1944 and raised on a dairy farm near Port Angeles, Washington. After college he joined the Peace Corps, but was discharged in 1966 for being gay. He later became an artist and an activist with the local chapter of the Gay Liberation Front after moving to Seattle to pursue graduate studies at the University of Washington.

The 1973 album was funded and released by Gay Community Social Services of Seattle, with funding and production assistance from activist Faygele Ben-Miriam. Just 1,000 copies of the album were pressed at the time of its original release. The band performed at the first Seattle Pride event in 1974, and performed at numerous pride and other LGBT events throughout Washington, Oregon and California until their dissolution in 1976. Shan Ottey, a DJ for Seattle radio station KRAB, played the band’s song “Cryin’ These Cocksucking Tears” on the air in 1973, resulting in Ottey’s dismissal from the station.

After disbanding Lavender Country in 1976, Haggerty ran two unsuccessful campaigns for political office, once for Seattle City Council and once as an independent candidate for a seat in the Washington House of Representatives, and continued to work as a gay rights and anti-racism activist.

In 2000, the Journal of Country Music published an article on gay country musicians, focusing in large part on Haggerty and Lavender Country. As a result of the renewed attention, the album was rereleased on CD in December 1999, and in 2000 the band released a five-song EP, Lavender Country Revisited, which featured three rerecordings of songs from the original album and two new songs. The band reunited briefly in 2000, performing the album in its entirety at Seattle’s Broadway Performance Hall in January 2000, and at that year’s Seattle Pride. In addition, the album was archived at the Country Music Hall of Fame by former Journal of Country Music editor Chris Dickinson.

Their song “Cryin’ These Cocksucking Tears” was included in the 2012 compilation album Strong Love: Songs of Gay Liberation 1972–1981. The 1973 album was rereleased on independent label Paradise of Bachelors in 2014, and the band have played several reunion shows in 2014 to support the reissue.

Haggerty recorded a story for StoryCorps about coming out to his father in 1959, which was adapted into the animated short film The Saint of Dry Creek in 2015. In 2016, director Dan Taberski directed a short film titled These C*cksucking Tears which starred Haggerty and told the story of his life and career.

Andrew Sa

(Chicago)

Actor and Vocalist Andrew Sa has earned the title of Chicago’s premiere queer country crooner. Sa’s career has always been rooted in songwriting that highlights his easy and elegant voice, but when he met mentor and pioneer Patrick Hagerty of Lavender Country, “Lonesome Andrew” was born. Diving headfirst into the catalogs of Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, and other classic songwriters that defined his childhood, Sa easily slipped into this new but familiar persona. It wasn’t long before all of Chicago was seeking out his voice.

 

“Lonesome Andrew” quickly became the star of The Cosmic Country Showcase, an instant smash hit camp-country revue based out of the Hideout, a bar that has fostered many a golden voices for decades.  One of those legendary voices, Kelly Hogan (Mavis Staples, Neko Case), instantly recognized Sa’s abilities and quickly the two were booking gigs across the city as a duo. The young and talented Liam Kazar (Tweedy, Marrow) also recruited Sa for a duet on his debut album Due North. Audiences and fellow artists alike reveled in Sa’s intra-generational appeal that, while timeless, is rooted in a definitively young, queer perspective.

Cosmic Country Showcase

(Chicago)

This quarterly cult-hit is an homage to country variety shows like Grand Ole Opry with an extraterrestrial-psychedelic twist. A diverse group of guest vocalists, who you may not otherwise find singing country classics, sing some covers with an all-star band. Some of the best names in, alt-comedy, drag performers, and other variety acts are showcased followed by a set from an original cosmic-country headliner. 

Originally started as a way for creators Dorian Gehring (Foxhall Studios) and Sullivan Davis to start a covers night, the show quickly evolved into an intergalactic revue. A cast was formed, and the night soon had duets with a two-person horse costume, giant raccoons teaching an audience how to dance, fully dressed set of multi-colored cacti, and even more alien events. Shows saw original sets from folks like Dougie Poole, Cassandra Jenkins, Sam Evian & Hannah Cohen, and cover sets from Lillie West (Lala Lala), Tasha, Jeff Tweedy, Tenci, and Hawk Colman the memorable Hideout door person working the event. The comedic talent was insane, original sets from Megan Stalter, Alex Grelle, and Brenden Scannell, also a memorable drag performance from Irregular Girl. The house band had several iterations, but there formed a core line-up of Sima Cunningham (Ohmme), Sullivan Davis, Dorian Gehring, Liam Kazar (Tweedy), and Spencer Tweedy.

Our Bike Benefits Program: 2-for-1 on all beers and rails during happy hour if you ride your bicycle to the club
Cactus Club
2496 S. Wentworth Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53207
414-897-0663
Hours
  • WED & THURS: 4:00 PM—12:00 AM
  • FRI: 4:00 PM—2:00 AM
  • SAT: 11:00 AM—2:00 AM
  • SUN: 11:00 AM—10:00 PM
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