Todd Snider Comes Out as a Peace Queer

Song Cycle Featuring “Mission Accomplished” Is More Than “War Is Wrong, With A Beat,” Musician Says

‘Peace Queer’, due out October 14th from Todd Snider, is a record of brevity, humor and hope.

Fans of rock ‘n’ roll, folk, country and Americana music have long been held in Snider’s sway. His last album, 2006’s ‘The Devil You Know’, landed him on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno and Late Night With David Letterman, and appeared on numerous year-end Top 10 lists.

The overtly political ‘Peace Queer’ takes a bit of a left turn for the outspoken Snider, beginning with the cover photo, which depicts Snider being held at gunpoint by a shirtless hippie. “Clearly, anyone who looks at the photograph can tell that I had been abducted by an international league of peace queers and forced to write protest music. You know, for their cause,” says Snider.

The eight tracks on ‘Peace Queer’ include a Civil War sea shanty, a plaintive cover of the classic “Fortunate Son,” a spoken-word number, a rocket-fueled meditation on contemporary culture (“Stuck On The Corner”), and a Fred Sanford-ish funeral dirge. The emotional centerpiece of the album is the wistful “Ponce Of The Flaming Peace Queer.”

“‘Peace Queer’ is a six-song cycle, starting with a song called ‘Mission Accomplished,'” Snider explains. “In six sentences, the record goes like this: Here’s the kid being told everything’s going to be great. Here’s the reality of that. Here’s that kid when he comes home a sad and banged-up and angry ‘winner.’ Here’s the breakdown of why I think that’s happening. Here’s the guy in our culture that I think is causing that to happen, and it’s not a president. And then here’s what I think is going to happen to that guy. And then we roll credits.”

On ‘Peace Queer’, those credits include Patty Griffin, Kevn Kinney, Don Heron, Doug Lancio, Will Kimbrough and other luminaries.

“Things happen in this album besides you being told that war is wrong, with a beat,” Snider says. “I don’t know that war is wrong. I just know that I’m a peace queer, and I’m totally into it when people aren’t fighting, in my home, at the bar where I hang out, or in a field a million miles away.”

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