Happy Birthday Cole Porter! In 1990, Red Hot + Blue, an AIDS benefit album was released featuring covers of Cole Porter's music by an electric array of performers accompanied by a TV special with music videos from the likes of Jim Jarmusch and Wim Wenders. Notable tracks include "Miss Otis Regets" by the Pogues and Kristy MacColl (video Neil Jordon) "Don't Fench Me In" by David Byrne "You Do Something To Me" by Sinéad O'Connor (video John Maybury) "Have You Evah" by Debbie Harry and Iggy Pop (video by Alex Cox) "From This Moment On" by Jimmy Somerville (video Steve mcclean) and "Ev'ry We Say Goodbye" by Annie Lennox (video by Ed Lachman)
Cult favorite punk cabaret duo Kiki & Herb released a Christmas album full of spiteful brio years ago that's been nearly imposssible to find since ...That is until Kenny Mellman (Herb) put the entire thing on soundcloud.
"Lovato's song, on the other hand, is all about desire. She wants the girl because she wants the girl. Her perspective is that of a newbie, but that doesn’t make her a tourist; when she says 'Even if they judge / Fuck it,' she's going through the same process most every queer person has had to go through. Mostly, though, the song is about pop music's favorite topic: being attracted to someone hot." Demi Lovato's 'Cool for the Summer': The Next Great Gay Anthem?, Spencer Kornhaber for The Atlantic [more inside]
In 1976 Elton John was one of the biggest superstars in pop music. His album from the previous year, Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy was the first album to enter the Billboard charts at #1. The follow-up album, Rock of the Westies, was the second album in history to enter the charts at #1. But behind the outrageous costumes and garish glasses was a lonely man whose fame had grown to the point where he and songwriting partner Bernie Taupin started referring to it as "The Beast". Thousands of adoring fans all over the world wasn't enough; as Elton confided to interviewer Cliff Jahr, "I crave to be loved".
Yesterday, the organizers of the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival announced that this summer's festival will be their last. [more inside]
On January 21, The Days of Anna Madrigal, the last in the Tales of the City series, will be released. [more inside]
Hello, my name is Adair and I'm here to recruit you. Texas rapper Adair Lion's song bluntly calls out homophobia in hip hop. He explains the inspiration for the song: "But I thought NO... This needs to be dialoged... this has to be said... this should be accepted.... and they deserve for someone to let them know that they aren't wrong... I NEED TO SAY IT BLUNTLY. "
"Portia Simpson Miller, the former and newly re-elected Prime Minister of Jamaica and representative of the People's National Party, recently took an historically significant position by openly supporting GLBT legal protection in Jamaica, a country internationally notorious for a "culture of homophobia." Miller's statements come at a time of great cultural change in both Jamaica and dancehall music. This is for her." This is a mixtape of dancehall music and some of it is NSFW.
Imma Homo - Rainbow Noise Entertainment [SLYT, NSFW, has "rape" in the lyrics]
Vanessa Mae Nicholson is one of Britain’s most successful young musicians. A classical violinist and former child prodigy who self-describes her crossover style as "violin techno-acoustic fusion," her fans praise her modern creativity and frenetic, lightning-fast riffs. But is her talent learned or genetic? Documentary from BBC1 in 2008: Vanessa Mae - The Making of Me: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. [more inside]
The Gayest Songs of All Time. To celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Sydney's Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras, the Australian LGBT social networking site SameSame asked its members to vote on the campest of classics. [more inside]
Are Jazz And Gay Culture Antithetical? When an American friend of mine told me recently that gay men hate jazz, although that's not my experience in my part of the world, it got me thinking. But the article I found, by Francis Davis, only added to the mystery. Is the audience for Jazz overwhelmingly and creepily white, bourgeois, straight, macho and middle-aged (which, embarrassingly, just about describes this Jazz fan...)? If it is, why the hell is it? Why are there so few outed gay Afro-American musicians, for instance? Is there still a "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" mentality? Or, more interestingly, does it have something to do with Jazz itself? Or even being gay? And what about the other musical stereotypes (Garland, Streisand et al.) used in caricatures of gay men? Is there anything in them? [NYT reg. required for main link; atrocious text garbling in the second.]