(July 1989) Bite Down - Ann Arbor, MI

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Adam and Eve, Adam and Steve. Which is wrong and which is right? If you don't know that it's the latter, then this is a record you need to hear. And if you already know that it's a beautiful night making love to every guy in sight, well then, you can throw away your Judy Garland, Barry White, and Gwendolyn McRae records because, from now on, The Frogs are all you need.<br&> <br&> The Frogs are Jimmy and Dennis Fleming, they hail from Milwaukee, they are musical geniuses, and, oh yeah, they happen to be gay. So what you say? Homo music has been floating around the edges of rockdom for nearly twenty years, so what's the big deal? Well, that may be true, but almost everything in the genre has been either pseudo decadent accommodationist bisexual crap (Reed, Bowie, Elton, Iggy...) or totally worthless pabulum (Bronski Beat, Frankie Goes To The Mineshaft). THIS is the stuff that gave fag rock a bad name in the first place. Sexual orientation is a moot point, but nobody likes a wimp or a simp, gay or straight. Enter The Frogs. The Frogs are America's one and only GAY SUPREMACIST band and when I say they play with balls, I mean they literally play with balls!<br&> <br&> Lyrically, vocally and musically The Frogs are astounding. They have mastered every aspect of their craft and, given this artistic genius, their savvy sexual politics is mere icing on the cake. At the risk of seeming presumptuous, It's Only Right and Natural is THE great folk record of the eighties; only the Jad Fair/Daniel Johnston record can possibly top The Frogs' strumming, humming, cumming brand of iconoclastic and way affected acousto-blare. Regardless, this is the antidote to your all of your sexual and spiritual needs and to deprive yourself of such beauty, warmth and intelligence is simply unconscionable.<br&> <br&> From the touching and defiant "Dykes Are We", to the adamant "Women Clear Out", to the seductive "Richard Dick Richards", to the anthemic "Homos (We Love Homos)", The Frogs' delineate the fears, joys and foibles of gay male culture like nobody since Jean Genet, if not Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs. ("Been A Month Since I Had A Man" could have been one of Willy S.'s famous "I ain't got no dick..." letters to Allen, as a matter of fact.) For The Frogs, gayness isn't something to be brushed aside or merely tolerated. Rather homosexuality is a state of mind and a way of life that's to be cherished. The beauty of manly love is to be evangelized throughout the world so that everyone with two ears and a schlong will truly know the pleasures of tropical love with the boys and being oiled down by furry young men.<br&> <br&> While The Frogs are vigorous and ceaseless promoters of homosexuality, unlike so many social daredevils they do not sacrifice their God for their sex. Like Prince (whom The Frogs have expressed their admiration for), The Frogs view sexuality as an expression of spirituality. God gave us the gift of orgasm and to not use and enjoy God's gift would be an act of blasphemy. In songs like "Savior #2", "I've Done Drugs" and "Thank God I Died (In The Crash)", the line between bonin' and prayin' is crossed so many times it's made meaningless. Attacks on priests and the Catholic hierarchy segue into odes to of unspecified God into detailed explications of social criticism into blatant praise for the pleasures of the mano-a-mano lifestyle with unbelievable strength and ease.<br&> <br&> It'd take hundreds of pages to fully explain The Frogs metaphysical and epistemological underpinnings of The Frogs' philosophy, and, unfortunately, I just don't have the space. Nonetheless, I must say that The Frogs are the most radical thinkers in the history of rock and roll and even if you're the kind of intolerant douche bag who reviles homosexuality as much as the plague, you'd be wise to listen to what The Frogs have to say. They'll blow you blind tonight, if you give 'em half a chance.<br&> <br&> There was a time when giants roamed the earth, though I never thought it'd happen in my lifetime, out of the mist, the messiahs of rock and roll have finally arrived. Feel the heat, feel the meat, feel the heat running down your streets! Our saviors walk among us and I, for one, am bending over in subservience. If it's to the bathhouse they say, it is to the bathhouse I will go. There is no choice.<br&> <br&> (Tour de Gay)<br&> <br&> Walls Have Ears? The Horrible Truth About Burma? 390 Degrees Of Simulated Stereo? Live 1969? Kick Out The Jams? I DON'T wanna hear about it, because this is the greatest live recording in the history of rock and roll. Seriously, as great as The Frogs' two studio albums are, this "blows" them away. There must have been a lotta juicy asses in the club this night because The Frogs don't play any games; they just ram up and down through thirty plus minutes of their fierce, funny and utterly convincing revolutionary gay anthems.<br&> <br&> With an unidentified rhythm section, Jimmy on guitar and Dennis on vocals, The Frogs swing effortlessly from "hard" electro pop strum ("Lifeguard Of Love") to heart wrenching torch ballads ("Been A Month Since I Had A Man") to gnarly wall-of-feedback metal ("Hot Cock Annie", "Adam And Steve") and back again like the master electicians they are. A godlike and inspiring document of the America's best band and I shit you not, The Frogs' stage presence makes Handsome Dick Manitoba seem like Wayne Newton.<br&> <br&> (NOTE: Some asshole I know says "There's no way The Frogs are gay" because they're, now get this, "too gay". Listen pal, just because The Frogs don't fit your stereotypical view of homosexuals, that's no reason to make such a bigoted and derogatory comment. If you deny The Frogs' gayness, you deny their very existence. For these men who are fighting desperately and valiantly to bring supporters to a cause, nay, a lifestyle that you're too closed minded to understand, let alone accept. Homosexuality is inextricably linked to the reality of life itself. And don't you forget it! END NOTE.)<br&> <br&> Brian Berger