Country Queer

Lifting up LGBTQ+ voices in country and Americana.

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QueerCuts: Two Nice Girls

Happy Monday Campers!

I wanted to bust out one of my favorite bands that woke me up to #queercountry way back in the 1980’s. I was a DJ at a college station and this amazing album by lesbian band Two Nice Girls crossed my turntable.

Let me tell you – there is nothing better than working the overnight shift at a station and discovering one of your new favorite albums. My original entry song to the band is a charmingly hilarious song called ‘Birth Control and Beer‘ – which is absolutely worth checking out.

However for today’s QueerCuts I wanted to bring you a more sensitive side of the band. They created this gorgeous mashup of Joan Armatradings ‘Love and Affection’ with the Velvet Underground’s ‘Sweet Jane.’ It’s the song that got them signed to a label and it’s just absolutely and exquisitely captivating.


A Honky-Tonk of Our Own

Here’s a bit more about the band and this particular song from Enjoy!

Before the term “riot grrrl” was coined or Melissa Etheridge and k.d. lang came out of the closet, Austin band Two Nice Girls wrote songs about women falling in love — with each other — and the joys of being queer. The group first formed in 1985 when Gretchen Phillips set out to create what she called a “particularly lesbian band.”

Back in the mid-1980s, she initially hooked up with local musician Laurie Freelove, and they later asked Kathryn Korniloff to join. Even after adding a third band member, they decided to keep the band name, Phillips explained, because they didn’t want to be like the “Jackson Five going to The Jacksons.”

Inspired by radical indie-punk bands like The Slits, The Roaches and The Avengers, among others, the trio shared all songwriting responsibilities. From the beginning, each member brought a distinct sound to the group, which musically is often described as folk in melody and harmonies, but punk in lyrics.

Korniloff credits Phillips and Freelove’s different songwriting styles as one of the band’s greatest strengths. “Their writing style is polar opposite,” she told, “but somehow it all came together through the arrangements and harmonies. Gretchen’s sense of humor was the counterpoint to Laurie’s deeply introspective style.”

The band’s unique sound took off, and after playing at the first South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin, Texas, they began working with manager Jim Fouratt. When Geoff Travis of Rough Trade Records heard their rendition of “Sweet Jane (With Affection),” a rare and beautiful mash-up of Lou Reed’s “Sweet Jane” and Joan Armatrading’s “Love and Affection,” he signed them immediately.