Staff Lists: Queer Punk Paradise

Pride month is a HUGE deal here in Seattle, and that might have a little to do with our rich tradition of LGBTQ folks making great music here in the Northwest. Our resident expert Mama Kay put together a list of rad queer-punk tracks to honor the occasion. From songs that gave her courage as a small-town Texas teen, to the bangers you might catch her playing at her DJ night at Revolver Bar, she says "These are the songs I loved before and after coming out!"

Sleater-Kinney Buy Her Candy

This was on the first mix I ever made for someone. Mostly because I wanted someone to buy ME candy. Essential overlooked song on arguably the best Sleater Kinney record.


Gravy Train!!!! Hella Nervous

My friends and I found this song on youtube in 2003 and played it on repeat until our feet hurt too much to dance anymore. You know you're on a path to a queercore future when you discovered Gravy Train in middle school.


Team Dresch She's Crushing My Mind

You ever had a crush that crushes you? This is the sonic equivalent from queercore legends Team Dresch. "Personal Best" has been an essential coming out record for at least a few generations at this point.

Excuse 17 I'd Rather Eat Glass

Does this voice sound familiar? Duh, it's Sleater Kinney's Carrie Brownstein! This rocker is all about calling it quits but continuing to run around in circles to understand the new phase of "post-relationship". Can we call this "post-relationship" rock?

Heavens to Betsy Me & Her

Angsty songs are essential for any pre-out teen (but really like any teen, let's be real). The early Corin Tucker project, Heaven to Betsy's "Me & Her" truly sums up really liking someone only to have it end, then everyone underestimates the pain you're feeling. Another "post-relationship" rock classic! (They re-issuing the 7" this is from on Kill Rock Stars)

The Lookers Leaving Texas

WOW, this slow tune might as well be engraved into my heart. I found The Lookers album "In Clover" on my first road trip to the Northwest and a song like "Leaving Texas" is going to have a lasting impression on a girl who just left Texas for the first time. (And later when "leaving Texas for the last time".) This whole record is an under appreciated queercore classic featuring Sarah Dougher who joined Cadallaca then the Crabs a few years later.

The Crabs Brainwashed

"Brainwashed" from the record of the same name was before Sarah Dougher's time but it doesn't make this toe-tapper about a cute little crush any less important! The Crabs have long been overlooked as a pinnacle of the PNW/K Records gang but I am here waving The Crabs flag (I had it specially made) until the day I die.

Cadallaca You're My Only One

Two things about this song; it is without a doubt the song I've sang the most times and the most loud in my car and if someone doesn't add this into their karaoke song book so I can sing it the most times and the most loud in a karaoke bar soon I'm gonna lose it. This beautiful trio featured two gals I've already mentioned on this list as well, Sarah Dougher and Corin Tucker!

Le Tigre The The Empty

This is a quality banger by certified banger-makers Le Tigre. The The Empty is mostly about fake folks with nothing really going on inside. "I went to your concert and I didn't feel anything" is something I think we've all wanted to say to someone at least once in our lives.

Hunx and His Punx Too Young To Be In Love

I'm so thankful for Hunx and his Punx for putting together a banger mixed with teen angst about regretting young love. Especially recalling the feeling of your teen heart never being able to love again. Nothing compares to the dramatics of teen love.

Shopping Why Wait

New(er) comers to the queercore world, the UK band Shopping gave us angular single "Why Wait" all about wanting to be greedy but kind of hating yourself for it. Shopping is another band that has been consistently releasing bangers into the world.