"Promise me you won't call me 'gemo'! I could kill my publicist for saying that. I'm great with gay-tronic, emo-tronic, crybaby, whine-o...anything but gemo !!!"
Logan Lynn, a 27-year-old local queer boy who plays next week at Holocene as part of MusicfestNW, was trying to describe, over a six-inch Subway chicken sub, his music. That is, now that it's been dubbed "gemo" (a.k.a., gay emo) by his PR person.
"I guess I'm a singer-songwriter you can dance to," Lynn says about being tagged with that particular g-word, which evokes images of Dashboard Confessional's Chris Carrabba being strapped into a leather sling. "But, really, I don't know what I am. The music I make is basically me just whining."
Growing up in a fundamentalist Christian family, Lynn has plenty to whine about—including his father. A preachy proponent of a Promise Keeper-like touring seminar, for nearly a decade Lynn's ministering dad, Dennis, dragged his family all over the country. That was, when he wasn't smashing his son's "heathen" CDs to bits or asking others to pray with Lynn in hopes of curing his son's homosexuality.
"That's why I make this mopey type of music. It helps me deal with the self-hatred that was instilled in me since I was a young kid," Lynn says of his somewhat clichéd, Footloose- sounding Christian childhood. "I try to take the ugly in my life and make it sound pretty."
Although his melodies are indeed sweet and easy to dance to, most of Lynn's lyrics are far from pretty.
On his new album From Pillar to Post, which comes out Oct. 30, Lynn take stabs at his religious past in songs like "Clean and Stupid." "If God made me, then who are you to tell me what the fuck to do?" he sings. And on "Bleed Him Out," where he asks to be "tied to a bedpost and burned with a cigarette," Lynn seems to be dabbling with the dark side of his soul.
It was those darker lyrics that got Lynn a gig last September at San Francisco's Folsom Street Fair, the world's biggest BDSM-lifestyle fair. Playing in front of an audience that was literally bound and gagged was exhilarating for the once-shy, 6-foot-4-inch redhead.
But what's got Lynn gagging himself is how his audience has grown from a few friends to a real, live fan base via the music machine that is MySpace. The Folsom folks found him there, as did Logo, MTV's gay network, where his song "Burning Your Glory" has been in rotation all summer.
"I used to hand out homemade CDs to my friends," says Lynn, who works as an assistant for American Apparel's Tacee Webb. "Now I have 51,000 'friends' on MySpace, and some of them are actually buying my music." Still, Lynn isn't used to the attention.
"I'm more used to people beating me up rather than building me up," Lynn says. "Fans make me uncomfortable."