Queer Group Therapy

It’s interesting that Boy George and Culture Club, as they are now known, would call its new studio album – its first such release in almost 20 years – Life (BMG) as that’s the one thing it could use more of. For a group that was so influential and groundbreaking in its early 1980s heyday, Culture Club sounds surprisingly out of touch. You have to wonder what it is they’ve been listening to all these years. At a time when electronic dance music is having a strong resurgence, Life would have benefited from some of the house music energy that […]

Queer Group Therapy

It’s interesting that Boy George and Culture Club, as they are now known, would call its new studio album – its first such release in almost 20 years – Life (BMG) as that’s the one thing it could use more of. For a group that was so influential and groundbreaking in its early 1980s heyday, Culture Club sounds surprisingly out of touch. You have to wonder what it is they’ve been listening to all these years. At a time when electronic dance music is having a strong resurgence, Life would have benefited from some of the house music energy that […]

Hell, Yes

Since the late 1990s, queer singer / songwriter Erin McKeown has been making a name for herself as a distinguished performer with a rich and pure distinctive vocal style. McKeown expanded her creative horizons with the stage musical Miss You Like Hell, a collaboration with Quiara Alegría Hudes, for which she wrote the music and lyrics. As you can hear on Miss You Like Hell: Original Cast Recording (Ghostlight), the play is about the reunion between troubled mother and undocumented immigrant Beatriz (Daphne Rubin-Vega), who is facing the prospect of deportation, and her teenaged daughter Olivia (Gizel Jiménez) and the […]

Solo Ventures

The suitably titled Warm (dBpm), the first proper solo album of all original material by Jeff Tweedy (of Wilco and Uncle Tupelo fame), is the kind of musical project that will please the artist’s fans, regardless of when they became followers. As personal as it is universal, the sincerity of the 11 songs on Warm generate a welcome ardor similar to what we heard Kacey Musgraves do on her lauded Golden Hour album. Even the most removed listener can’t help but be moved by songs such as the exquisite “How Hard It Is For A Desert To Die,” “From Far […]

You’ll Love Lucy

The breathtaking Historian (Matador) by out singer / songwriter Lucy Dacus was present near the top of several “best albums of 2018” lists, and rightfully so. You’d never guess listening to Historian that it is only Dacus’s second album. In her early 20s, Dacus is one of those wise beyond her years artists whose songs are sure to strike a chord with listeners from all walks of life. Her talents weren’t limited to her own album, as she collaborated with queer singer / songwriter Julien Baker and Phoebe Bridgers, forming the trio Boygenius and releasing an acclaimed six-song eponymous EP […]

The Early Bird Gets the (Book)worm

With the new year upon us, it’s never too early to begin assembling a reading list for 2019. Visit your favorite independent bookseller or the love-it-or-hate-it Amazon.com to reserve and order copies of these forthcoming LGBTQ books for readers of all (rainbow) stripes. Owen Keehnen’s Dugan’s Bistro and The Legend of the Bearded Lady (Out Tales, 2018) came out at the end of 2018, but it still deserves to be read in 2019 and beyond. To Keehnen’s credit, he achieves something notable by creating a fond feeling of nostalgia for those who remember original club-kid the Bearded Lady and Chicago’s […]

Jewel and Thereafter

Are you sitting down? Jewel’s Atlantic Records debut album Pieces of You was released almost 20 years ago. That’s 18 years before 2019 Grammy queen Kacey Musgraves’ trio of major-label triumphs, and a good ten years before Musgraves’ fellow 2019 Grammy-recipient (and Jewel’s fellow yodeler) Brandi Carlile’s debut album. So, how does the 12-times platinum Pieces of You (Craft Recordings), newly (and officially) released as a 180-gram double LP (officially, because Atlantic released a similar vinyl set in the 1990s) with five non-CD bonus tracks, hold up? Better than you might expect. Released in 1995, when the music world was […]

Every Day is Halloween

Forty years after John Carpenter redefined the slasher film with the original “Halloween,” that movie’s lead character Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis) returns to take care of some unfinished business in the 2018 version of Halloween(Universal / Blumhouse), the 11th in the series, now available on Blu-ray / DVD / Digital. Under the care of Dr. Sartain (Haluk Bilginer), in a locked ward at Smith’s Grove rehab facility, “pure evil” notorious masked killer Michael Myers, who hasn’t uttered a word in 40 years, is about to be transferred to a different facility. Taking full advantage of the interest of investigative podcasters […]

Health & Happiness

We may only be a few months into the new year, but it’s safe to say that Health (FatCat) by gay singer/songwriter C Duncan will find a place on my 2019 best-of list at the end of the year. At turns gorgeous (the title track, “Care” and “He Came from the Sun”), undeniably danceable (“Pulses & Rain,” “Impossible”), irresistibly retro (“Stuck Here with You” and “Somebody Else’s Home”) and sometimes all three at once (“Talk Talk Talk” and “Holiday Home”), Health is music that is good for you. I spoke with Duncan about the album shortly before its March 2019 […]

Bohemian Rhapsodic

Rest assured that from the first moment we see Freddie Mercury (Rami Malek with prosthetic teeth) onscreen in the Oscar-nominated Bohemian Rhapsody, on the morning of Queen’s 1985 Live Aid reunion performance, he is undeniably gay. This was during Mercury’s clone-look era, complete with mustache, short and neat haircut, studded leather armband and tight, faded jeans. Gay, gay, gay. Anything you might have heard about Mercury’s gayness being whitewashed is bollocks. While there are certain charming elements that indicate how committed the filmmakers were to make this movie – the Queen-style guitar used in the 20th Century Fox intro, for […]