Happy Pride month. Want to see something that feels really queer? Not rainbow-themed platitudes from otherwise anti-gay corporations, but the kind of nervy, wary seductiveness that makes you think of lipstick and riots?
Sons of an Illustrious Father’s cover of “Don’t Cha” by the Pussycat Dolls dares you to look, to desire but not approach — unless you’re willing to join. If you’re just going to watch, and you’re not sure how you feel or why you can’t tear your eyes away, then be warned. The longer you stand there, undecided, the riskier this becomes. Maybe vines will grow around your feet and you won’t notice until it’s too late.
Just kidding. It’s only a music video. Go ahead and watch it. Nothing will happen to you.
Band member Lilah Larson told Another Man magazine that they thought up the cover and video in response to “ostensibly hetero couples, who were sort of uncomfortably ogling the frolicking queers – including us – in a way that belied their envy and lust.” There’s danger when they look at you like that and you see in their gaze that they don’t know if they find you beautiful or if they might attack you because they find their own desire repellent.
In such moments, you glow twice as beautiful, ten times as beautiful, and there’s a knowing smirk that goes with this power. It’s in the last shot of this video, at the 5-minute mark. Take a look.
And listen to the song. There’s a hypnotic hook that band member Ezra Miller calls, in an ecstatic bit of wordplay, “the descending catatonic scale.” The melding of music and madness in that description is a rapture in itself.