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Glam gets right

Chat with Brandon Beauchesne

HOT: Brandon Beauchesne. Photo courtesy of MySpace

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I've struggled over the years with glam rock. Accepting its basic concept has been hard - as a genre, it flies in the face of the importance we music snobs put on credibility. It's somehow reassuring to know that 50 Cent really did get shot, or that Isaac Brock learned to play that jagged guitar in a shack in Issaquah. Glam rock puts an emphasis on the illusion of an onstage character. Stories like Gary Glitter's opportunistic jump from punk to glam don't help to lend credence to the genre. Lately I've decided to settle down and focus my incredulity back on people like Toby Keith.

Helping me to finally embrace glam rock is Brandon Beauchesne. He's got real pop chops to back up the persona.

"I've been playing music since I was about 13," says Beauchesne. "I started my first band in the eighth-grade, and ever since then it's pretty much been gung ho." At 23, he's a 10-year veteran of the music scene. In his most recent band he played hard rock, but all along he's been gathering pop knowledge, and he's unleashed it on his new project.

So what instigated this transition from hard rock to the glam side?

"I just kind of matured and started listening to a lot of the influences of the artists I was listening to before," explains Beauchesne. "I started listening to a lot of Bowie and T. Rex. And then I started getting really into electronica like Daft Punk and Air and Goldfrapp. I really wanted to dive into the digital side of it."

While Beauchesne's music reflects these influences, it isn't as cold as music from Goldfrapp. It's warm and welcoming - an invitation to the dance floor, not a command.

If it takes glitter and makeup to help coax this music out of Brandon Beauchesne, that's fine by me. Glam may be the means to a gorgeously poppy end.

[Jazzbones, DJ Switch follows, Saturday, Jan. 2, 9 p.m., $5, 2803 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253.396.9169]

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