Music News

The Used

In the video for "Pretty Handsome Awkward," an entertaining track from Lies for the Liars, the latest CD by the Used, bassist Jeph Howard dons drag — and he believes he pulls off the look pretty well. As he points out, "I think I could fit in on Santa Monica Boulevard" (a Los Angeles strip he describes as "trannie central" in a Backbeat Online Q&A accessible at Not that achieving this level of attractiveness was easy. "I tried on, like, five different dresses," he reveals, adding, "They were doing my makeup for, like, five hours, and they got a little gem-crazy around my eyes." Plenty of emo artists wouldn't participate in such prankishness, let alone flash their testicles for the camera, as Howard does in an alternate version of the clip currently floating around on the web. Then again, the Used, which will appear at the Fillmore alongside the Bled and Josephine Collective, is more straight-ahead rock than whiny pop punk. That's a good thing, whether Howard looks pretty, handsome or awkward.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts