Divas by the Dozen

There aren’t a lot of musicians who have a backstory as fascinating as Jenny Lewis’s. A child actress who appeared in the camp/cult flick Troop Beverly Hills (alongside Shelly Long!) and the CBS series Brooklyn Bridge (alongside Marion Ross!), she went on to form the indie pop band Rilo Kiley. Her solo albums, in particular the amazing The Voyager (from 2014) and her new one On The Line (WB) put her in league with brilliant songwriters such as Aimee Mann. On The Line feels like an intentional companion piece to The Voyager and Lewis’s ongoing development as a songwriter of […]

Big Blasts from the Past

Known for his unique comedic style and innovative TV shows, Ernie Kovacs’ influence lived on long after his untimely death at 42 following an automobile accident in 1962. To commemorate the Kovacs centenary, Kovacs’ Grammy-nominated album has been reissued on CD for the first time in an expanded version as The Ernie Kovacs Album: Centennial Edition (Ominvore), featuring six bonus tracks. A compilation consisting of “bits and pieces of Kovacs’ World of Kraziness,” the album functions as both a worthwhile introduction for newcomers and a pleasant reminder for those already familiar with Kovacs’ substantial talents. As innovative and influential artists […]

Country Club

Grammy-winning 21st century country diva Kacey Musgraves has forever changed the sound of country music. Before Musgraves, it was Rosanne Cash (yes, daughter of Johnny) who was putting in the hours of hard work to do so. Forty years into her recording career, Cash continues to dazzle us with her 13th album She Remembers Everything (Blue Note). The remarkable thing about the record is the way that she succeeds in offering something for everyone. Songs such as “The Only Thing Worth Fighting For,” “Not Many Miles To Go,” and “The Undiscovered Country” are classic Cash, certain to bring smiles of […]

Columbia Film Festival Shows Pride This June in Howard County

The 2019 Columbia Film Festival recently announced its upcoming 2019 season to the delight of Maryland audiences. With over 40 films, including the five-time Emmy-Award winning series, After Forever, the festival will run from Thursday, June 27th to Saturday, June 29th. Baltimore OUTloud recently chatted with Executive Producer Robert Neal Marshall. “Audiences can expect great diversity of entertaining films,” explained Marshall. Presenting over 40 films, many Maryland-based, the festival will offer a wide menu including comedy and dramatic features, documentaries, a range of entertaining shorts, student films, world cinema, and the cutting-edge LGBTQ-themed After Forever. “We were very lucky to […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Oh, What a (Queer) Year

 When it comes to LGBTQ music, the present, as well as the past and future, are female. Since the very early days of popular queer music, the women have been the ones to take the lead. While that definitely holds true for 2018, male artists are definitely making certain that they are being heard. 1) Nostalgia Kills (Pinko), Jill Sobule’s first album in four years is another masterpiece and one that deserves the largest audience possible. Living up to its title, the record is a reminder that the past is always with us and it’s up to us what we […]

Cover Stories

The concept of singer/songwriters revisiting their work in new and different settings is not an original one. Some of the most interesting include Joni Mitchell’s Travelogue, Cyndi Lauper’s The Body Acoustic, and, more recently, the Indigo Girls’ Live with the University of Colorado Symphony Orchestra. On In the Blue Light (Legacy), a new studio album that marks Paul Simon’s return to the Sony Music family of labels, the legendary artist offers “fresh perspectives” on ten of his favorite songs. That’s an important distinction, because if you were expecting to hear some of your favorites, you’ll have to look elsetwhere. Simon […]