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How 'Cheerleader' Singer Omi Plans to Dodge One-Hit-Wonder Curse

Omi: Where is he now? In 2012, the Jamaican singer, assisted by his producer Specialist and reggae legend Sly Dunbar, recorded an easy-going love song that they thought might be a hit. The song was called "Cheerleader," and over the next two years, it slowly made its way around the globe....
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ASSEMBLAGE: Meet Queer Punk Band bottoms

“ASSEMBLAGE“ is an inquiry into the different ways artists utilize performance and technology to explore and express different notions of identity. An effort to push forward marginalized artists with a focus on people of color, non-western nationalities and those along the queer/trans spectrum, “ASSEMBLAGE” provides a platform for analysis of how art and performance intersect with the lives of these individuals who are visibly and openly existing in the digital age. This is the eighth installment.

Queer punk band bottoms is a musical grouping unlike any other. Made up of two performers -- Jake Dibeler and Simon Leahy aka Babes Trust -- and drummer Michael Prommasit, bottoms is a project that in many ways explores the complicated, nuanced relationship queer people have with themselves and the world around them in 2015.

bottoms came into fruition a bit over a year ago following the break-up of Leahy and Prommasit's previous band Teeth. Dibeler joined the group as the lead vocalist -- a style of vocalization that can only be described as high-pitched screaming in a way that almost sounds manufactured but, in reality, is Dibeler's actual voice.



Dibeler's voice aside, what makes bottoms so unique and important is the hyper-political nature of their work and the shades of queer identity and experience encapsulated in the group's lyrics.

The queer community is at a strange and significant moment in time, as we move out of the aftermath of the AIDS crisis and into an era marked by PrEP, instantaneous access to sex, mainstream transgender visibility and the legalization of same-sex marriage. As specific types of queers become more visible and our relationships with sex, institutions and governance shift, we are at a place where many people are reimagining or rethinking what it means to be queer.

bottom's music heavily explores the intersection of this complicated history marked by violence and disease and modern day realities surrounding visibility and sex.

"We're really interested in a lot of the culture surrounding the gay community during the time of the AIDS crisis," Diebler told The Huffington Post. "There was a great resistance from the conservatives to acknowledge the crisis, so the gay community had to look to each other for support. I hope that bottoms can harness that same sort of energy -- angry queers with a message. I think that we're in this place as gays that's very apathetic. Being able to fuck dudes from your phone in minutes is amazing, PrEP is amazing, but it really makes for this sort of 'pre-AIDS-there's-nothing-wrong' mentality -- and maybe that's true, maybe nothing is wrong and this is the end of HIV and AIDS. But at the moment -- I think we need to balance this 'have unprotected sex with a stranger in an alley' attitude with one of respect and care for a community that lost a huge chunk of themselves in the 90s."



bottoms also deals with notions of shame and self-hatred, shared realities for queer people navigating the world we operate in since the beginning of time. As with any way of existing the world, it can be hard to communicate the realities of queer experience to those who haven't felt the effects of growing up as a faggot, trans person, or anywhere along the queer spectrum. For this reason, music -- or more broadly, performance -- serves as an immensely valuable tool to tell these stories authentically and unapologetically and, hopefully, change our culture.

As Dark Matter mentioned in a previous installment of ASSEMBLAGE, "no matter how many policies we change, no matter how many legislations we pass, people’s hearts and minds aren’t going to change. The only way to actually change people's hearts and minds is to engage them with feeling and emotion. Because often oppression is incredibly irrational." Using art and performance to open a dialogue about these different shades of queer experience, like learned shame and self-hatred, is very present in the work of bottoms. The group's first music video, "My Body," is about the complicated relationships queer people have with their bodies, from issues of gay body shame to the spectrum of transgender identity. Brooklyn performer Macy Rodman stars in the "My Body" video, below.



Performance, of course, also serves a dual role for the performer in the exploration of their own sense of self throughout this process of authentic storytelling. Within the context of a queer punk band like bottoms, the experiences being talked -- or screamed -- about are tangible, real and felt by every queer person in the room. At the risk of making a claim about universal queer experience (of which there is none) it can often feel very much that the pain, struggle, freedom and history of what it means to be a queer person bleeds through bottoms' performances in an unapologetic way that truly does connect with any random queer watching from the audience -- which is truly a remarkable accomplishment for any artist.

"I'm definitely always performing -- literally always," Dibeler elabprated. "'All the worlds a stage,' all that bullshit. It's true, every moment is basically a standup comedy show for me, whether you want to be there or not. bottoms doesn't really step into a role when we get on stage, and it's the same with my own performances. I think a reason why it's relatable in this way is because you can actually see a real person on the stage. That's actually why I don't really like being on stage when I perform. I'd rather be in the audience because I think it's important to break down that wall of this 'We're a band and you're an audience and you're here to stand and listen to us.' We want the audience to be, like, 'Those fags in wigs are screaming about death and disease and fear are me, and I am a part of this too.'"



As the nature of what it means to be a queer person shifts and changes with the passing of time, one can only hope that we always have art and performance that accurately reflect the intricate nuances of what these experiences are like -- politically, socially, emotionally, physically.

At this strange and complicated period for the queer community, bottoms seems to be accomplishing this in an impressive way that is not only informed by our history with AIDS, persecution and violence but also the current climate of agency and self-identification that parallels mainstream LGBT "acceptance." We hope to see more work like this from others along the spectrum of queer performance in the future.

bottoms is currently prepping to record the group's second EP later this summer.. Their first EP, "Goodbye," can be found here or head here for their Soundcloud.

Missed the previous installments in ASSEMBLAGE? Check out the slideshow below.

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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He's believed to be ISIS' leader in Afghanistan and Pakistan

Should U.S. bomb ISIS oil fields? | Turkey arrests 21 suspected ISIS members | Photos: Terror group leaders
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Escaped Inmate Appeared to be Intoxicated When Killed

Escaped prisoner Richard Matt appeared to be acting intoxicated at the time he was shot and killed, an official briefed on the matter told ABC News.
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Disney gets sick of selfie sticks, bans them from its parks

The next time you pack up the car and head to Disneyland, you’ll want to leave the selfie stick behind. The Orlando Sentinel reports that Disney will ban selfie sticks from its theme parks over the coming days. 

The ban goes into effect at Walt Disney World and Disneyland on June 30th. Visitors to Disneyland Paris and Hong Kong Disneyland will be subject to the ban starting the following day—July 1st.

For Disney, the ban is all about visitor safety. Disney World’s Kim Prunty tells the Sentinel that “selfie-sticks have become a growing safety concern for both our guests and cast.” According to the paper, Disney employees will check bags for selfie sticks at park entrances: If they find one in your bag, they’ll hold onto it for safe keeping until you leave the park. Alternately, you can leave it in your car or hotel room.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

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More than 500 people injured in explosion, fire at water park

Flammable powder may be to blame | Photos from the scene
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What Happens When the Sea Swallows a Country?

If sea levels rise as feared, some of the world's island nations may disappear this century. Does that mean they no longer exist as countries?
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A Tall Assignment: Overcome Your Fear Of Heights, 555 Feet In The Air

Jesse Brown has a fear of heights, but a need for money. When his job as an electrician required him to climb to the very tiptop of the Washington Monument, he had to figure out a plan.

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'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice' Shares Epic Trailer

It's hard to top three minutes of Star Wars: The Force Awakens footage, but the epic Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer just dropped major shockwaves on San Diego's Comic-Con. In this in-depth preview for the film, fans of the DC Comics heroes get their first taste of Jesse...
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Slipknot, Judas Priest, Korn Booked for Knotfest 2015

Slipknot will host their third Knotfest this October at San Bernardino, California, where the group will be joined by a lineup that features fellow metal icons Judas Priest, Prepare for Hell tour mates Korn, Mastodon, Gwar, Corrosion of Conformity, Cannibal Corpse, Suicidal Tendencies and many more. Ghostface Killah, Body Count, Mobb Deep,...
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Low Libido? 11 Drugs That Affect Your Sex Drive

Yes, there are some medications that can dampen your sex drive.
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Dear Future Husband (Assuming You Exist): 16 Things You Need To Know

Originally published on Unwritten by Mallory Arnold.

If you know me like I imagine you one day will, you know that I'll start this letter off awkwardly.

Um, hey.

A future husband is like some mythical creature...like the Lochness Monster or Bigfoot.

I know, I just compared you to Bigfoot - but I swear it gets better. Keep reading.

Point being, when we were little, creatures like unicorns and elves sounded amazing and we couldn't wait to find one someday. Sadly, as we grew older, it seemed like it was less and less likely that we'd see anything of the sort. The closest that we'd get was the leprechaun on a Lucky Charms box, and don't even get me started on the disappointment Santa Claus caused. Likewise, a husband - a future soul mate - seems too fantastical nowadays to be real. We once dreamed about a prince charming, and nowadays we're accepting we might just have to crawl out of that tower and find him ourselves.

But I know you're out there. Maybe you're going through the same things I am. Are you working at some summer job you hate but secretly like? Do you feel that pit of anxious excitement about a future career? Or maybe not. Maybe you're actually a professional bullfighter/puppy rescuer and we're not doing anything similar right now - who knows.

Here are just a few things I'd like to tell you while you're somewhere out there.

Be safe while driving. I'm assuming you're jamming out to something on the radio - whether it be country, rock, classic, or rap (please don't be screamo), don't get wrapped up in scrolling through songs. If your good buddy Jim from the office (rodeo?) texts you, let him wait until you're parked. It would be a shame if something happened to you before we could even meet. Be safe.

Collect extra T-shirts and hoodies. Just warning you ahead of time, because I'm a T-shirt bandit. Might as well be prepared.

We're getting a dog. If you're not a dog person, I'd suggest starting to become one, because dogs are life. If you already love canines, be ready to brainstorm names. Because our dog's about to be awesome.

Don't give up - ever. These are the days where life starts to get serious and sometimes when you fall, no one is there to pick you back up. I wish I could reach a hand out, but since I can't, I want you to keep going. Never stop doing something you're passionate about.

I can make a pretty mean bowl of spaghetti. ....Just thought you should know.

If you're thinking about getting a tattoo... You get drunk when you're out with your buddies, and now you're romping around town with that swagger you have. Suddenly a batman tattoo stamped across your face seems like a pretty good idea, right? Please, think twice. I beg of you.

I've been hurt. I'm sorry to say, but you may be receiving me bruised and a little bent. While you were not present in my life, boys have wandered here and there. Some good, some bad. The bad ones I will gladly hand over their names so you may threaten to kick their butts.

I'm bad at taking compliments. More than likely, when you compliment me, I'll respond with a frown or a gentle punch in the arm. Please don't be discouraged, I'll get better at it, I promise. Just don't be surprised if I fall out of my chair or something.

I don't like beer. So that beer in the fridge? Don't worry about it disappearing. All yours.

I'm rooting for you. When it seems like everyone's turned their backs against you, just know somewhere I'm out there cheering you on.

I'm horrible at making decisions. Ask me where I want to go for dinner? I won't know. Ask me what movie I want to see? I can't decide. I panic. A lot.

Spend good time with your family. They're always gonna be your best friends no matter what, and I like them already.

Accept my arm wrestling challenges. I may lose every time, but never deny me the chance to try. And don't let me win. I got this.

Prepare to own every Disney movie ever made. Preferably on VCR, if possible.

No, please don't ask to see old pictures of me in braces. I know you love me now and all that jazz...but you don't wanna know.

I can't be more excited to fall in love with you.

To all the girls out there wondering if there is ever going to be someone for them - we can't give up. It's easy to say "Forever alone" and put yourself down all the time. But if you put yourself out there and do something you're passionate about, you'll find him. If you give up now, you're letting him down. If you give up and wait in your tower, you'll never get the list he's writing you.

So right now, future husband, I guess you're a mystery like Bigfoot or those darned unicorns we just can't seem to track down.

But I know one day when we finally meet, you'll be my best friend. And I can't wait.

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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Grey's Anatomy Star Jesse Williams and Wife Aryn Drake-Lee Expecting Baby No. 2

Jesse Williams is expanding his family again! E! News can confirm that the Grey's Anatomy star and his wife Aryn Drake-Lee are expecting their second child together. In fact, the...
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David Sweat will choose whether he lives or dies: sheriff

It's up to escaped convict David Sweat if his 22-day taste of freedom ends with a return trip to prison — or a one-way ticket to the morgue.
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