Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Phranc

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Phranc

Article excerpt

Phranc can't seem to get Neil Diamond off her back--or, more precisely, off her chest. For the past four years, fans have implored the 40-year-old singer to bring back "Hot August Phranc," her hilarious drag-king version of the oily crooner, complete with gold lamb shirt revealing spirit-gummed chest hair.

She finally obliged with an August run at Los Angeles's Highways performance space. But nowadays Phranc's Diamond clone (whom she'll include in a nationwide tour this fall) is merely the opening act to her own guitar-accompanied songs. "I'm bringing him back only to serve Phranc," she says.

That's because the flattopped "all-American Jewish lesbian folksinger," who's featured on Rhino's new compilation Women Like Us: Lesbian Favorites, is showcasing material she plans to release early next year on her fifth recording. The CD will include not only her familiar topical humor but also some poignant songs inspired by her brother's murder during a holdup in his store in 1991.

His death came just as Phranc was poised to expand beyond the audience she'd won, first as a late-'70s punkster in the mostly male bands Nervous Gender and Catholic Discipline, and then as a nouveau folksinger. …

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