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Subtle Beats Master John Grant Stops by Fine Line

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Photo: Travis Meier, John Grant at Fine Line Music Cafe

Months of the year!

Imaginary timelines developed to measure patterns throughout the year in prehistoric times. Since then, months have developed stereotypes of what expect from them. For example, February is a dark, cold, and kinda worthless month in which gentleman are normally fined on the 14th for participating in cuffing season.

November! A time in which male grooming standards are at their lowest, and many metamorphize into Wookie looking creatures for the sake of their special purpose (prostate cancer awareness).

Of course, December. A welcomed relief for nonparticipants of November, because many loved ones return to the babyface standards of Justin Bieber, Psy, or Michael Jackson.

These stereotypes and first impressions rarely accompany truth as little as they do on a John Grant album cover or concert flyer. John’s latest album, Love is Magic, finds him dressed as a bird wearing a cage on his head and singing to a microphone.

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John Grant Album Cover – Love is Magic

Defying Expectations

I expected his music to be some form of psychedelic EDM (electronic dance music). Instead, it’s early 90’s video game sounding beats with brutally honest folk lyrics. He shared some of his new album at the Fine Line music café last Saturday.

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Photo: Travis Meier, John Grant at Fine Line Music Cafe

His stage presence is very unique, beginning with his glitter-encrusted face. His five-piece band brought his beats alive as he shared stories about his childhood struggles with being gay. No song made that clearer than “Jesus Hates Faggots,” which was inspired by his grandmother and can be found on his first solo album, Queen of Denmark. He told many stories about his childhood, sometimes briefly stopping to explain what unfortunate event which inspired the song.

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Photo: Travis Meier, John Grant at Fine Line Music Cafe

John jumped between keys and singing throughout the show. His easy listening vibes could lull you into relaxation, only to bring you back down with a hard, unsuspecting downbeat. At one point, opener and lead singer of Two Medicine Paul Alexander joined him onstage, fitting into his sound nicely.

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Photo: Travis Meier, Two Medicine at Fine Line Music Cafe

John Grant, GMF

After the encore break, everyone knew it was time for fan favorite “GMF.” I didn’t pay much attention to the lyrics initially, as it initially sounded like his other songs. I only realized what GMF stands for when he sang, “I’m the greatest motherf**er that your ever gonna meet!” It was an irreverent, delightful way to end the show.

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Photo: Travis Meier, John Grant at Fine Line Music Cafe

John Grant definitely put on a memorable show. Not knowing what to expect turned out to be a highlight, and I’m happy that my first impression was inaccurate. Instead, I got a humorous, fun, and enlightening performance from a talented artist with endearing messages.

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