Brontez Purnell, frontman of garage rock band the Younger Lovers, is a locally renowned musician, dancer, choreographer, and writer. But perhaps most fascinating of all is that, although mainstream museums and publications have championed his work, Purnell’s approach to his art has been adamantly DIY. Originally from rural Alabama, Purnell came to Oakland in the early Aughts and quickly immersed himself in its punk and queer scenes. His electro-punk band Gravy Train!!!! became well known locally for its uninhibited live shows and, as the band’s singer and hype man, Purnell gained a reputation for his flamboyant stage persona. Though the group dissolved in the late-2000s, Purnell continued to make waves with his other creative ventures. He started the Brontez Purnell Dance Company and published his first book, The Cruising Diaries
, an illustrated memoir he adapted from his earlier zines chronicling his sexual exploits. Simply put, Purnell is a force of nature. His current music project, the Younger Lovers, performs at Eli’s Mile High Club with LA rockers Contrafang and Oakland DJ collective Trill Team 6 this Saturday.