Can you recall the first time you heard the Bee Gees’ legendary falsetto or saw Beyoncé don a robot-esque metal glove for the iconic “Single Ladies” video? If you count these as some of your core music memories, then Shattering Gleam is the new podcast for you. Listeners can hear the first episode of the series, “Musical Shape-Shifting: The Many Pitches of Prince,” now on the SXM App, Pandora, Stitcher and other major podcast platforms. Beginning January 20, Shattering Gleam will also air as a weekly show every Thursday at 1pm ET on SiriusXM’s VOLUME (Ch. 106).
Hosted by Glitter Up The Dark: How Pop Music Broke the Binary author Sasha Geffen, Shattering Gleam examines the artists and musicians who have blazed a trail for those who refuse to be categorized. Listen as Geffen hosts conversations with expert guests, writers and authors, digging into how pop stars have reshaped gender through music.
Episodes dive into Prince’s various vocal personas to Beyoncé and Britney Spears’s use of sexy cyborgs in music videos, to the mix of feminine and masculine in heavy metal bands like Judas Priest and the provocative makeup and costumes of glam rock bands like Mötley Crüe. From turning tropes on their heads to queer representation in music, Geffen and guests dig below the grit and glamour to explore artists’ redefining of what gender really means (or doesn’t mean).
“Music has long been an arena where performers and the fans who love them can play outside of social norms and challenge conventional thinking around gender,” said Geffen. “I’m thrilled for the chance to dig into this rich intersection in conversation with authors, artists, and other people who love thinking about music. There is so much to uncover about the ways pop music has bent, broken, and reforged gender throughout the decades, and I love that I’ve gotten the opportunity to learn even more about artists I adore in dialogue with other fans.”
Geffen’s book, Glitter Up The Dark: How Pop Music Broke the Binary, explores the voices that transcended gender and the ways music has subverted the gender binary. Their work focuses on the interplay between gender and pop culture and has appeared in The Nation, Pitchfork, Artforum, NPR, PAPER Magazine and others.
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