"Obviously, I'm trying to escape myself."
CLUBS Future Farmers of America, Baby-Mama Drama Club, Toilet Scouts
QUOTE "Obviously, I'm trying to escape myself."
"It's so fucking weird," says Randy Walker, a.k.a. Carletta Sue Kay, singer and songwriter for his eponymous chamber rock quartet. "I'm a total fagatron, but I write sad, heartfelt love songs addressed to imaginary women. Then I throw on a big ugly dress and a bad wig and sing them on stage to an audience of mostly gay men. I guess that makes it queer."
Probably. Either that or Psycho. Walker's made a career of inhabiting various musical personae ever since he scored a Screen Actors Guild card for a production of Peter Pan when he was 10. After moving to San Francisco 12 years ago, he made a splash in queer indie-rock circles as Emile, the oft-bruised lead shouter of thrash-dance foursome Mon Cousin Belge. The sound of MCB edged outright metal terror with a glimmer of glam, splashing enough contempo-emo sincerity onto the band's hilariously over-the-top antics to light a fire in many a queer boy's heart. (Now recording a CSK album, Walker promises that MCB, which disbanded in May, will return later this year in a sleeker version.)
"I love Emile," Walker says. "I've been being Emile for years, but I'm constantly writing songs I'm sitting on about 300 and most of them are just waiting for me to find the right personality inside me to perform them." Thus, in the way of Sybil, Carletta Sue Kay was birthed, to give voice to Walker's more lilting, Emmylou HarrismeetsMagnetic Fields tunes. Backed by Metal Bob on guitar and Danyol and Mark Mekaru on piano, cello, rhythm guitar, and accordion, Carletta croons her way through an lovely echo chamber of gender-benders, including "Joy Division," about a girl who loses her boyfriend to the titular band. "Carletta Sue Kay was named after my actual cousin, who's serving time in Iowa for trying to blow up her boyfriend's house. She was charged with possession of terrorist materials," Walker explains. "Isn't that fabulously trashy?" (Marke B.)