90s Nostalgia Sounds Like This

If there’s any doubt that 1990s nostalgia is in full swing, check this out. A number of acts who released their first albums in the 1990s, including The Rembrandts (1990), The Muffs (1993), The Dandy Warhols (1995), Sleater-Kinney (1995), Fastball (1996), Third Eye Blind (1997), and Alice Peacock (1999), have all returned with new albums. When you hear the band name The Rembrandts, the first thing that comes to mind may be the song “I’ll Be There For You,” better-known as the theme song to the smash hit NBC series Friends. But The Rembrandts (Danny Wilde and Phil Solem) actually […]

Watch That Man

Katonah native Ben Mandelker is a funny guy. The Dartmouth College alum moved to Los Angeles a few years ago to be a comedy writer. He’s not the first and he won’t be the last. His is a familiar story of starts and stops, highs and lows. Fortunately for Mandelker, he met fellow funny man Ronnie Karam, and their shared affection for “The Real Housewives” and all things Bravo led them to create the popular podcast “Watch What Crappens.” The title of the podcast, a nod to Andy Cohen’s “Watch What Happens: Live” recap and call-in show, has been well-received, […]

Not Just a Stage

You’ve got to give Michael Longoria, who performed on Broadway in Jersey Boys and Hairspray, credit for being ballsy. On his 2016 album Broadway Brick By Brick he powered his way through a set of popular songs from, you guessed it, Broadway musicals. For his new album, Like They Do in the Movies (Broadway), he turns his attention to songs from the cinema. Longoria begins the album with the catchy original “Kiss Me (Like They Do in the Movies”) before boldly taking on well-known numbers such as “Arthur’s Theme,” “Evergreen,” “Wind Beneath My Wings,” “I Will Always Love You,” “It […]

Martha, My Dear

Few disco divas can make the claim that Martha Wash can. Early in her performance career, Martha Wash sang backing vocals for the one and only gay disco icon Sylvester. Paired up with Izora Armstead as Two Tons O’Fun, Wash and Armstead can be heard singing on the classic Sylvester tune “Dance (Disco Heat),” among other numbers. Wash and Armstead also achieved superstar status with their massive 1982 hit single “It’s Raining Men,” performing as the Weather Girls. Wash made news in the late 1980s and early 90s when unscrupulous music producers and musical acts, including Black Box and C+C […]

Fall for Fiction

Adult readers – Making its paperback debut in time for the autumn weather, Rebecca Makkai’s acclaimed third novel The Great Believers (Penguin, 2018/2019), a National Book Award finalist and a New York Times book review’s “Ten best books of 2018,” more than lives up to the hype in the way that it stunningly tells the story of a group of gay friends in Chicago and the impact that AIDS has on them during the 1980s and beyond. A few years before Rebecca Makkai wrote her loving portrait of the gay community, another straight female novelist, Ann Patchett, created the unforgettable […]

Vinyl Destination

One of the best things about the vinyl revival is that albums initially issued on CD (and in some cases cassette) only, during the mid-to-late 1990s and throughout the early part of the 2000s, are finally getting the chance to be heard in the beloved, “warm,” classic format. Originally released in 1999, the eponymous debut by Disney darling turned sex kitten Christina Aguilera is now available in a 20th anniversary limited edition on vinyl “pressed on genie orange with fiery red swirls” from RCA / Legacy. Keep in mind this is before her Xtina transformation as she and the far […]

Fall into 2019 Prose & Poetry

Summer has come and gone, but don’t be sad. Autumn means a harvest of new books to read throughout the season. Non-fiction shelf – A memoir on par with Patti Smith’s Just Kids, I’ve Seen the Future and I’m Not Going: The Art Scene and Downtown New York in the 1980s (Pantheon, 2019) by gay visual artist Peter McGough, who writes about his long-term creative and troubled romantic partnership with David McDermott when they were “modern artists making a living performance about time.” Speaking of Smith, Year of the Monkey (Knopf, 2019), Patti Smith’s third memoir, finds the poet and […]

Girls Scout An interview with Kristin Chenoweth

Tony and Emmy Award-winning actress Kristin Chenoweth could potentially have a Grammy Award in her sights with her new album For the Girls (Concord). On her most contemporary pop-oriented studio album in nearly ten years, Chenoweth pays tribute to several of her musical icons including Judy Garland, Eydie Gorme, Barbra Streisand, Patsy Cline, Linda Ronstadt, and Dolly Parton. Parton herself joins Chenoweth on a roof-raising rendition of the Dixie diva’s “I Will Always Love You.” Other guests joining Chenoweth on the album include Jennifer Hudson, Reba McEntire, and Ariana Grande. A longtime friend and supporter of the LGBTQ community, Chenoweth […]

Gayer by the Minute

It looks like 2019 is going to be a good year for out R&B artist Rahsaan Patterson. His song “Tears Ago” is one of the few highlights on Dionne Warwick’s new studio album, her first in five years. Patterson himself steps into the spotlight with his sixth studio album Heroes & Gods (Shanachie), a set of songs that strikes a balance between his smooth and funky sides. On rhythmic numbers such as “Soldier,” “Silly, Love Fool,” “Rock And Roll,” “Catch Me When I Fall,” and the title cut, Patterson invites us to join him on a hot and sweaty dance […]

Good as Gold

Nashville-based queer singer/songwriter Becca Mancari is an artist you must hear and one who’s name you should remember. Her 2017 debut album Good Woman, which received high praise from music journalist Ann Powers, landed at number 19 on Rolling Stone’s “40 Best Country and Americana Albums of 2017” list, as well as Brooklyn Vegan’s assemblage of “Five Overlooked Albums of 2017”. In addition to her acclaimed solo work, Mancari has also performed as one third of the trio Bermuda Triangle with Brittany Howard and Jesse Lafser. With a new album completed (and being shopped around to labels), Mancari is embarking […]