k.d. lang’s Watershed

When I saw k.d. lang perform live recently for the first time, I was so incredibly invested in and taken by her presence onstage, in her suit and bare feet, crooning so intimately with the audience. I felt connected in a way I hadn’t felt at a concert before, and I wasn’t sure exactly what that was, until I realized that it was probably one of the first times I’ve seen a butch woman perform. Okay, so I’ve been to Michfest, I’ve seen Ferron and Alix Olsen and Melissa Ferrick – but somehow this was different, I’m not exactly sure how. Maybe because we were at Radio City Music Hall, and the audience wasn’t particularly queer? These were jazz lovers, a highbrow audience.

k.d. is one of the few artists whose albums I will go out and buy the week they come out. I have almost her entire library in my collection, and I often go back to her old albums just as often as her new. Hymns from the 49th Parallel is just as brilliant as Drag and as Ingenue … I love ’em all.

Watershed, which came out recently, is really worth a listen. It’s her first collection of songs written by her since 2001, and it’s gorgeous. Here’s the ad trailer (!) for the album.

L-word fans (or, if you’re oldschool, Murmurs fans) probably know that k.d. lang dated Leisha Hailey for a few years … man, to be a fly on the wall in that bedroom. Talk about a power couple. That’d be some good fan fiction, if I wrote that kind of genre.

Published by Sinclair Sexsmith

Sinclair Sexsmith (they/them) is "the best-known butch erotica writer whose kinky, groundbreaking stories have turned on countless queers" (AfterEllen), who "is in all the books, wins all the awards, speaks at all the panels and readings, knows all the stuff, and writes for all the places" (Autostraddle). ​Their short story collection, Sweet & Rough: Queer Kink Erotica, was a 2016 finalist for a Lambda Literary Award, and they are the current editor of the Best Lesbian Erotica series. They identify as a white non-binary butch dominant, a survivor, and an introvert, and they live outside Seattle as an uninvited settler on traditional, ancestral, & unceded Snoqualmie land.

6 thoughts on “k.d. lang’s Watershed”

  1. Robin says:

    I love her new album! I saw her at the Paramount (perfect place for her eh) and was mesmerized by her feet. She has such great presence and interacts well with everyone in the audience. She is coming thru Seattle again in March so I am debating whether I can swing it again.

  2. LJ says:

    when i was just a baby dyke of 14, i bought a copy of absolute torch and twang – it helped me in my coming out journey but also helped to cement my femme identity (an identity that is still horribly rare in scotland). i saw in kd something that i wanted and needed, and have subsequently found in butch women since.
    i saw her play in glasgow a few weeks ago and she was back to her butch best – her voice soaring and her comfortable masculinity mesmerising.

  3. CC says:

    i first saw a picture of kd in vegetarian times when i just out of college. it was one of the pix off the absolute torch & twang album, and i was mesmerized. i’d never seen such an elegant butch woman – i remember thinking, wow, can we DO that? grew up into a femme, but continued to love kd – seen her perform live three times, twice with my mom, who also became a fan.

  4. terroni says:

    i’ve been studying to this cd all week.

    she arrives like autumn in a rainstorm…ahhh

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