Christmas in February

If you missed kooky / tearjerky rom-com Last Christmas (Universal) during its brief run in multiplexes in December, fear not. It’s arriving on digital disk just in time for watching or giving as a gift on Valentine’s Day on February 14th.. When Kate (Emilia Clarke) was a young girl she got solos in the church choir. While still chasing her dream of becoming a singer and actress, she works dressed as an elf in a Christmas shop run by a woman who goes by the name Santa (Michelle Yeoh). As if the costume and constant disparaging remarks from Santa aren’t […]

Forever Young

If you’ve been dancing in a club any time in the last 20 or so years, chances are very good that you’ve hit the crowded dancefloor to a remix by Grammy Award-winning lesbian DJ and producer Tracy Young. The Mid-Atlantic native and Miami resident has left her distinctive mark on songs by Pet Shop Boys, Cyndi Lauper. P!nk, Shakira, Lady Gaga, Gloria Estefan, Cher, Beyoncé, Demi Lovato, Stevie Nicks, Katy Perry, Chaka Khan, Christina Aguilera, and most significantly, Madonna. In fact, it was a Madonna tune, “I Rise” from 2019’s Madame X, that earned Young her Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical […]

Don’t Pull the Plug

Even the most devoted listeners to electronic music must admit that things were getting kind of stale. But things have changed over the course of the last year, beginning with Billie Eilish’s thrilling and Grammy Award-winning When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? The good news is that there’s more where that came from. Eilish wasn’t the only plugged-in act to score Grammy gold in early 2020. Far from being the Chemical Brothers best album, No Geography (Astralwerks) nevertheless scored two Grammys, one Best Dance / Electronic Album and one for Best Dance Recording (for the song “Got […]

More Than Just a Memory

In the hierarchy of divas, few would disagree that Betty Buckley ranks close to the top. From her Tony Award-winning star turn in the Broadway musical Cats and her recent run in the national tour of the revival of Hello, Dolly, to the countless other musicals in which she’s performed including 1776, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Triumph of Love, and Sunset Boulevard. Not limited to the stage, Buckley has been acting on the big and small screen alike for more than 40 years, beginning with her portrayal of compassionate gym teacher Miss Collins in the Sissy Spacek version of […]

Mad Respect for the Elders

The immeasurable loss of Leonard Cohen, who died at 82 in 2016, is still being felt. There was only one Cohen and there doesn’t appear to be another on the horizon who can replace him. As hard as it was to take, fans resigned themselves that You Want It Darker, released shortly before his passing (eerily similar to David Bowie and Blackstar) would be his final album. That, however, is not the case. Thanks for the Dance (Columbia / Legacy), a project by Adam Cohen (musician son of Leonard), incorporates nine more of his father’s compositions, completed after his death […]

2020 Winter Reading List

It doesn’t matter if you have perfect vision or if you need to slip on a pair of reading glasses, the following books, to be released in early 2020, all deserve to have your eyes on them. Fiction for adult readers Peter Kispert’s debut short story collection I Know You Know Who I Am (Penguin, 2020), is separated into three sections – “I Know”, “You Know,” and “Who I Am” (clever, right?) and focuses on lying liars and the lies they tell themselves and others, mixing the real (“Touch Pool”) with the fantastic (“How to Live Your Best Life”), in […]

Too ‘Goo’ to be True

Chris Hamill, best known to all as Limahl of new wave act Kajagoogoo (“Too Shy”) fame, is having a heck of a year. The out singer / songwriter’s biggest solo hit, the theme song to the beloved 1984 family fantasy movie The Neverending Story, written and produced by Giorgio Moroder, was back in heavy rotation following its inclusion in a pivotal episode of the third season of Stranger Things. Meanwhile, “Too Shy” continues to be heard in regular rotation on oldies radio and was included in the Black Mirror movie Bandersnatch. Additionally, Limahl took the leap into holiday music with […]

Songs of Long Ago

It must have sucked to be Frank Sinatra during the 1960s. After being a dominant musical force throughout the 1950s and recording some of the most timeless albums in pop music history – including In the Wee Small Hours, Songs for Swingin’ Lovers, Come Fly with Me and Only the Lonely – he was suddenly adrift. To add insult to injury, The Beatles, who were kicking Sinatra’s proverbial ass, were Capitol Records’ label-mates, essentially pushing him aside. But Ol’ Blue Eyes had a few more tricks up his sleeve and his 1969 album My Way (Capitol / UMe / Signature […]

All the Way

Have you ever watched a movie or a TV show set in or near where you live or socialize? There’s a kind of thrill of recognition that takes place when you do. It’s fun to see streets, bars, restaurants, and other businesses, even people you recognize, on screen in an area that you frequent. The 2019 doc, All Male, All Nude: Johnsons (Breaking Glass), filmed in and around Wilton Manors, is a follow-up to director / writer / actor Gerald McCullouch’s All Male, All Nude, a 2017 doc which focused on the notorious Swinging Richards male strip club in Atlanta. […]

Here, Queer

Currently at a laughable 47% on Rotten Tomatoes, the winter holiday rom-com (and waste of a perfectly good Henry Golding) Last Christmas may be better remembered for the 15-track album Last Christmas: The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack featuring the Music of George Michael Wham (Sony / Universal) than anything else. Movies inspired by songs (The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia, Convoy, Ode to Billy Joe, Harper Valley PTA) don’t have the best track record. Nevertheless, the gathering of these songs on the soundtrack, including the title tune, “Faith,” “Praying for Time,” “Waiting for that Day,” “One More Try,” […]