If you were queer, male, and 15 at the end of 2003, you already know who Richard Cortez is. He was the teenaged song stylist with the abs of a god, the voice of Rufus Wainright's basso-profundo older brother, and the schnoz of a Caesar. He was everywhere then, singing songs of heartbreak and sodomy and self-assertion in all of SoFla's gayest venues. Then he decided to make music his living, and Richard Cortez promptly jumped the shark.
"When I was playing every week, it became almost mundane," says Cortez. "Show up, do a couple shots of Southern Comfort, and just phone it in." Cortez spent a few years bouncing around the country, but he kept losing steam. Ultimately, he wound up working a day job back in Fort Lauderdale. Horrible, yes? But he really doesnt sound like hes bullshitting when he says its been good for him. Not trying to pay my rent by being Richard Cortez has made it all more relaxed, he says. It makes the process of writing and recording so much more organic. It sounds that way, too: the music on his upcoming LP is more fun than anything hes recorded since he becoming legal, and you can hear it tonight at 8 at Radio-Active Records.
Head to Radio-Active, found at 1930 E. Sunrise Blvd. in Fort Lauderdale, to see Cortez as part of Art Explosion. There is no cover. Visit myspace.com/richartcortez for tunes and info.
Mon., Feb. 9, 8 p.m., 2009