Pass the Torch


June 6, 2008

El Rio
Tickets: $8-$15 Sliding Scale
For more info go to:

Tough Tough Skin

Queer Control Records presents the “Pass the Torch” West Coast Tour, featuring queercore bands from all over the country. The “Pass the Torch” Tour will begin in Portland and will continue to Seattle, Olympia, Eureka, Long Beach, Riverside, and San Francisco. Artists include Pariah Piranha, an edgy indie band from York, PA; Tough Tough Skin, a queer punky nerdcore trans-guy band from Minneapolis, MN; 8 Inch Betsy, a pant-rocking girl trio from Chicago, IL; Fruit Punch, a queercore band from Philadelphia, PA; and Oi-Gays, a dyke core band from California.

Queer Control Records is an independent non-profit record label for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer, and questioning (LGBTIQQ) community. QCR provides support services to and sponsors public performances featuring LGBTIQQ and other musicians.


Pariah Piranha – (left to right): Tony Garber (bass), Tara Gordon (guitar/lead vocals), and Andrea Shearer (drums/vocals): Photo by Andrea Shearer

Pariah Piranha Pariah Piranha is a trio of musicians armed with enthusiasm and out to have a good time.  Formed in 2006 Pariah Piranha has steadily been working hard to create a sound that is familiar but that you can’t quite put your finger on.  Now with the addition of a new bassist and with the support of their label, Queer Control Records, PP is ready to dig its heels in and make its musical mark.  The chemistry between the three is obvious and the dancing and handclaps are mandatory.

8 Inch Betsy – (left to right): Stephanie Levi (drums), Meghan Glabraith (guitar/vocals), and Liz Burke (bass): Photo by Liz Burke

8 Inch Betsy – Chicago’s 8 Inch Betsy is an all girl trio with infectious energy on stage.  They deliver their very own brand of raucous, catchy melodic punk/progressive rock with a cantankerous smirk.  Influences all over the map, they nod their heads to Bad Religion, Social D, and even Pat Benatar.  Witness these insatiable, quirky rocksters and know that the bar is being raised.  And, if you are going past the kitchen, bring them a hot coffee and a cold beer, because they are very, VERY thirsty.

Fruit Punch – (left to right): Jordan Miller (drums), Steve Sxaks (guitar/vocals), and Drake Rodriguez (bass): Photo by Morgan Boehm

Fruit Punch – Fruit Punch is a queercore band from Philadelphia.  Their songs cover a wide variety of topics such as queer rights, women’s rights, animal liberation, eco-terrorism, positive body image, anti-capitalism, globalism, and the ever-rising paranoia of “homeland security”.  They are anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-homophobic, anti-transphobic and generally speaking, anti-douchebag.  They encourage all individuals to make their own choices for their own lives and will not support or endorse any individuals or bands who impede the choices or freedoms of others.

Tough Tough Skin – (from left to right): Radford Bishop (guitar/vocals), Zach McNulty (drums), River Gordon (guitar/lead vocals), and Chris Hibberd (bass): Photo by Jocelyn Wong

Tough Tough Skin – Tough Tough Skin is a Minneapolis-based ball of energy that draws on musical backgrounds in old school punk, riot grrl, folk, bluegrass and indie rock to take queer-core in a whole new direction.  Tough Tough Skin can hold their own next to hardcore punk bands and acoustic pop songwriters and still con you out of your last pop tart.  Tough Tough Skin is punk rock for the nerdy kid sitting at home in front of his computer, the bad kids racing around freeways in borrowed cars, the fast ladies, swishy guys and everyone in-between.

(left to right): Nikki Fraietta (guitar/vocals), Chris Hall (bass), and Marlene Melendez (drums)
Photo: Cat Carson

Oi-Gays – Based in San Francisco, Oi-Gays is an all girl queercore band that’s true to its riot grrl roots.  Vocalist/Guitarist Nikki Fraietta and drummer Marlene Melendez, formerly of New York-based The Alter Bois, joined forces with bassist Chris Hall, formerly of fierce Southern California girl band Squab, to create the hilariously politically incorrect Oi-Gays.  The newly formed trio are out to take over the world with there ninja dance moves and rockin’ music!

Queer Control Records Staff Bios:

Marlene Melendez (President/CEO) – Marlene is skilled in web design, sales, and management and has an educational background in Business Administration.  Emerging from her strong sense of connection with the Riot Grrl Movement, the Queercore music scene, and Do-It-Yourself culture, Marlene helped found Queer Control Records in order to celebrate LGBTIQQ music and artists.  A musician herself, she has the vision and passion to build upon the legacy of past queer music movements and create something new and powerful for today’s generation of queer youth to feel connected to.


Jocelyn Wong (Vice President, Development & Finance) – With an educational background in Political Science and LGBTI Studies and a professional background in development and fundraising, Jocelyn works hard to advance the label’s capacity to support its resident artists and other LGBTIQQ musicians.  She works as a Development Associate for one of San Francisco’s largest LGBTIQQ non-profit organizations. 


Amber “Skip” Charlick (Vice President, Public Relations & Communications) – Skip graduated from the University of Central Florida and currently works as a paralegal for a leading law firm in New York City.  Skip develops and maintains great relationships with our resident artists.  She also works with the label’s leadership team to strategize and create new and exciting marketing ideas.


Nikki “The Yag” Fraietta (Sound Engineer) – Risen from the dead to tour with queer bands across the world, Nikki has conquered the touring life in the company of Tribe 8, Spit This (Lynn Breedlove & Sini Anderson), Bitchcat, Triple Creme, Bantam (Gina from the Lunachicks), Gina Young, and many others. Nikki hopes to take over the world touring with many more queer bands in the years to come.  Nikki has an Audio Engineering degree and does professional live sound around the world.  She will tour with resident artists on the label’s tours to ensure that the bands sound their very best!