Sidecar Records & Producer Entertainment Group
I may as well say this upfront: Alaska Thunderfuck is easily one of my favorite drag performers in town. However, her appeal has waned a bit since she joined up with Willam and Courtney Act to be the “AAA Girls” and sell T-shirts made by American Apparel, a company infamous for its discriminatory employee practices. There is something just not right about a drag performer, who used to sing I Will Always Love You while two men urinated on her, going from that to … this. Still, I can’t blame girlfriend here – the money must be good.
Anus, her debut album, straddles this contradiction between Alaska Thunderfuck, the vulgar and crass self-proclaimed alien from Planet Glamtron, and just Alaska, the cleaned-up mainstream version of the creature that came to be after her stint on the fifth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race.
The title track is far from offensive – it is a very catchy tune with a singalong chorus and plenty of lyrics that don’t make much sense in a “Who cares? Let’s all get drunk and sing along!” way. Pussy, another song with an eyebrow-raising title, is again not offensive at all unless you’re into the notion that men must be men and women must be women: it’s a very catchy and quaint tune that celebrates transsexualism and gender fluidity, as this song is dedicated to a boyfriend who happens to have a vagina. Alaska doesn’t care: she loves his pussy and, besides, love is all about the heart, not body parts. Likewise, Beard is all about breaking down gender norms – men, women, everyone looks good with a beard, she declares.
The messages of such anthems would go down well with the modern day Tumblr crowd, with the exception of that slice of social justice warriors that equate drag with mockery of the female gender, but there is enough deliberately politically incorrect structuring of words and phrases to let people know that the old Alaska Thunderfuck is still in here… somewhere.
This Is My Hair, Nails, Your Makeup Is Terrible, and Hieeee are all the same song, actually. They are all about Alaska – the AAA Girl whose subversiveness only extends to saying some expletives now and then – speaking over club beats. This is the sanitized, mainstream version of Alaska Thunderfuck, the comedy queen who can still bring the house down. The lyrics to Hieeee and Your Makeup Is Terrible alone make them worth a few listens.
Now, I heard this is the best motherfucking club in all the land
Is that correct?
Well, it better be because I never had no stunt shows or shenanigans at the doorway
Mr Doorman, what’s that? You need my ID?
This face is my ID, motherfucker!
I approve of such forthright attitude.
She gets together with her fellow AAA Girls for the amusing ballad The Shade of It All, where Courtney Act once again demonstrates that her falsetto is a weapon of mass destruction for all the wrong reasons. This is a hilariously corny ballad constructed like one of those lighter-waving stadium anthems, only with lines like:
So let’s take all the hate, and replace it with love
Take a journey below so we can get up above
And the world can start rejoicing (halleloo)
Every cliché is tossed inside here, it’s so funny.
If you noticed the halleloo in the above, yes, Alaska cheerfully takes some of the more absurd and memorable catchphrases and memes from RuPaul’s Drag Race – her fellow alumni, in other words – and turn them into beautiful things. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Gimme All Your Money, the duet with Laganja Estranja, the cringe-inducing drama queen from the sixth season. In fact, it was Alaska whose cheerful celebration of the very things that made Laganja so good to dislike after the sixth season that helped make Laganja a more tolerable personality after the show, and this song encapsulates everything beautiful and loathsome about Laganja. Laganja delivers a killer rap here, by the way.
To conclude, Anus is nowhere as offensive as the title may suggest, especially since the old Alaska Thunderfuck is increasingly muted and given a gloss to become Alaska, the less offensive, more mainstream drag performer that celebrates comedy more than subversiveness. Still, that old Miss Thunderfuck emerges now and then, especially in songs that celebrate the breaking down of gender barriers. At any rate, Anus is a cheerful collection of happy songs that are simply so much fun.