Friday, February 28, 2014

Johnny Dangerous • More Dirty Stuff

Johnny Dangerous - White Heat cover

A couple of months ago, I had a post featuring the music of Hip-Hop artist Johnny Dangerous. Well, five months ago, and it is long past time I kicked off another weekend with more of his music. So this Friday morning is a great time to start your weekend with a little attitude, a lotta energy, and a sexy good time. And when it comes to Johnny and his music, that is what you are going to get. Before we get started, I will say both his music and videos are not safe for work, nor child-friendly. But they are meant for consenting adults, like some of the best things in life. I will begin with the music video that first introduced me to the handsome man, if my memory serves me right. A while ago, when Logo was still pretending to be a network supporting the LGBT community, they would play music videos, and it was there I say "Dirty Is The New Black", a single off the 2008 album, 'White Hot'. In the music video, Johnny takes it underground - literally - as it starts with him taking a stroll through an underground structure, shedding a little light on the dirty secrets some might hold about their sex lives. It certainly doesn't stay there, heading out to the stores, and to the clubs. The video was produced by Tori Fixx, and directed by Brian Lange. It also features the talents of God-des & She. Johnny Dangerous wants you to release your inner freak in "Dirty Is The New Black".

In our next clip, Johnny continues with that raunchy edge on "(Wan Dat) Azz Iz". The music video was directed by Jaybones of the Butterhouse, and was shot in the best clubs Chicago had to offer. When speaking about the song, Johnny definitely had a point of view he wanted to share. "I wanted to make a fun, party club record" he explained, "one that makes you want to get up and shake your ass, regardless of where you are!" And that he does, with a great song and music video for "(Wan Dat) Azz Iz".

With the next song, we once again see Johnny doesn't mind sharing some screen time with other talented artists. The music video for "Hotline" was shot on location in Chicago, and feature's UK's QBoy and New York City's Soce, the Elemental Wizard. Once again, it was directed by Jaybones for Butterhouse Studios. Johnny gives new meaning to hot phone conversations, as he lays out for us all just what he enjoys with a partner. QBoy isn't shy either, and you can see with the music video for "Hotline", featuring QBoy and Soce, the Elemental Wizard.

Finally, this is not a song off 'White Hot', but a single from 2011. "Work" is one again sexy with some raunchy special sauce, but I wouldn't expect anything different. I mean, when Johnny explains he likes him men "you, dumb, and thick", you know he means business. The song is a collaboration between Dangerous and Tori Fixx, with a stronger electronic, industrial feel than the others.

The first three songs can be found on the album 'White Hot', which can be purchased on iTunes, CD Baby, and Amazon. To purchase the single "Work", you can find it on iTunes, CD Baby, and Amazon. For more about Johnny Dangerous, visit his official website. You can also 'like' him on Facebook, and 'follow' him on Twitter.

We The Ghost • Straight Up

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We The Ghost, left to right: Dain Samuelson, Matt McHan, Beau Tyler, Jocelyn Rowland, and Jimmy Adams. Not pictured, Calvin Berkenbile.

The generosity of We The Ghost seems to be endless, at least to those who love their music, and follow them. They recorded a studio version of Paula Abdul's "Straight Up", written and produced by Elliot Wolff. The song went to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1988, and made Paula a star. When I heard We The Ghost had their own take on the song, I have to say it brought a smile to my face. I knew the talented group would put their own spin on the song, and make it something special.

Guess what, they not only make it great, they also made it FREE! You can get your download from Bandcamp. To learn more about the band, you can visit the official website, 'follow' them on Twitter, and 'like' them on Facebook.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Pansy Division • Deflowered

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The Pansy Division.

It has been far too long since I have shared some music from one of my favorite bands, Pansy Division. Bold, brash, and full of bravado, the queercore rockers came together in 1991 when singer/guitarist Jon Ginoli and bassist Chris Freeman were joined by drummer Jay Puget to be the first all-gay Punk band in San Fransisco. In 1992, Patrick Hawley had replaced Puget. By 1993, they released their full-length debut album, 'Undressed', which they followed with their first national tour. With songs like "Bunnies", "Cocksucker Club", and "Rock and Roll Queer Bar", it was obvious this was not just another Punk band.

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Once they finished touring, it was time to recorded and release their second album, 'Deflowered'. This time out, Liam Hart was on drums, joining Jon and Chris. The album garnered the attention of critics and other Punk bands, and soon Pansy Division found themselves on tour with Greed Day, who were promoting their album, 'Dookie', their first album on a major label. Previously, Green Day and Pansy Division shared their indie label, Lookout! Records. This gave Pansy Division a much higher profile, and greater exposure to the audience. While on tour, Billie Joe Armstrong was known to sing of the the songs off 'Deflowered', "Groovy Underwear". It is a great one, and I am happy to share it with you now. This is Pansy Division with "Groovy Underwear".

There were some amazing songs on the 15-song collection, all were sexy and fun, never shying away from the gay life and emotions. Another of my favorites off the album was the 8th track, "Rachbottomoff". Yes, the story of a classical music lover and the boy who loved him and wanted to be his first. This is the song that gives this album it's name, and it just makes me smile the moment it starts to play. This is the Pansy Division singing "Rachbottomoff".

The next song changed it up a bit, as they slowed down the tempo for "A Song of Remembrance of Old Boyfriends", a touching and sentimental song that offers the best to your first boyfriends, the boys who flirted, and those who were just to afraid to show you they were interested. I hope we are all in a position that we can wish the best for all those men in our lives, just like the Pansy Division do in "A Song of Remembrance of Old Boyfriends".

The final cut on the album is a cover song, and a perfect choice by the band. In 1981, Pete Shelley, former lead singer of punk band Buzzcocks, released an album and a single that was the title cut. "Homosapien" was a hit, despite being banned by the BBC for 'explicit gay reference to gay sex'. Despite, or perhaps because of that ban, the song became a club hit in Europe and North America. This gave Shelley the opportunity to talk about his own bisexuality. Fifteen years later, Pansy Division recorded the song, giving the song a guitar-driven sound. This is the Pansy Division with "Homosapien".

I love this album, and enjoyed revisiting it so I could share it with you. I must admit, I am prejudice, for I have all the Pansy Division album in my collection, and still cannon resist them. You can purchase 'Deflowered' from iTunes and Bandcamp. At this point, the band consists of founding members Jon Ginoli and Chris Freeman, as well as drummer Luis Illades and lead guitarist Joel Reader. To learn more about Pansy Division, you can visit the official website. You can 'like' them on Facebook, and 'follow' them on Twitter. Founding member Jon Ginoli also wrote a book about his time with the band, and it shares a title with this album, "Deflowered: My Life in Pansy Division". You can purchase the audiobook from iTunes.

Kindbud • Don't Touch Me feat Gomi

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I find that I come across music in some interesting ways. Sometimes I get an email of Facebook message from an artists I might not have known, asking me to give a listen. Other times, I stumble across a song or video on YouTube, and am intrigued. Still others, I hear about an artist from JD Doyle of Queer Music History, Bill Northrup of Pride Showcase, or from RightOutTV, all of whom do a great job promoting LGBT artists. And sometimes, I hear mention of a new artist or song from other artists, and that will lead me in a new direction. Recently, I noticed Adam Joseph made mention of DJ Kindbud, and a new single and video for "Don't Touch Me".

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"Don't Touch Me" is the 4th single from Kindbud's debut full length album entitled 'Dead Beat City' on Gomiantion Records. It seems Adam has worked with Kindbud on the album, The track features the talents of Gomi, who collaborated with Kindbud on the track. "I wanted to write a song that speaks to the people at the club that are there to dance, and not be touched," explained Kindbud. I was delighted when I watched the video and saw a couple of artists I've featured on this blog, the stylish Adam Joseph and the handsome and head-banging Corey Tut. The video is imaginative, smart, and beautifully shot, but that is just what I expect from any music video shot by Francis von Legge. And it, of course, stars the good-looking Kindbud, who is de-fed, de-frocked and re-frocked in the process.  This is the official music video for Kindred's "Don't Touch Me" featuring Gomi.

The music is smart, sexy, and has a sense of humor, always a fun listen. While it is great weekend music, you can also play it during the week, when you are just looking for something to give you that puch to make it to the weekend. You can find 'Dead Beat City' on iTunes and BeatPort. For more about Kindbud, you can visit his official website. You can also 'follow' him on Twitter, and 'like' him on Facebook.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

BlooLips • Fond Memories of the 1980s

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A view of Sheridan Square - Circle Rep on the far right

From April 1983 to September 1992, I made my home in New York City. I had finished college and did an internship with the Actor's Theater of Louisville before heading the the city to meet up with the [then] love of my life. For a couple of years, I worked at the Circle Repertory Theatre Company, starting with the Off-Broadway production of 'Fool For Love', starring Kathy Baker and Ed Harris, directed by the playwright Sam Shepard. Sadly, I never met him. But I did work on the show, and met the exceptional cast.

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One of the perks of living in New York City was getting to see lots of off-Broadway and off-off-Broadway theater. One particularly enjoyable experience was getting to see the drag troupe BlooLips performing at Theater For The New City, located on the lower East side. I was lucky enough to attend a few of the productions, since BlooLips were originally based out of London, but I think a couple of the players stayed in New York.

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Performers of BlooLips.

BlooLips was theater on a shoestring, with tiny budgets but huge creativity. With performers like the astounding Bette Bourne, the enchanting Lavinia Co-op, the delightful Precious Pearl, and many others, their makeup was exaggerated, and the costumes self-made. Long before there was 'Priscilla, Queen of the Dessert', there was BlooLips. And best of all, tickets were affordable for poor people to have some of the best fun money could buy. The following clip is from the show, 'Get Hur', the hysterical look at the ancient world of Ben Hur. The song is "If Words Could Kill".

You can find out more about BlooLips at Unfinished Histories. This article was originally posted on July 19, 2009, on 'Soundtrack to my Day. I am re-running it because I can, and I still love the song.

B.Slade™ • So Damn Sexy

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B.Slade™ makes music that defies boundaries, and even definition. However, when it comes to making great music, that is something which cannot and will not be denied. Whether he is creating Hop-Hop, R&B, Pop, or Dance grooves, B.Slade never disappoints. I've been a fan for a couple of years, and haven't heard anything that will change my mind on that. His music is imaginative and fresh. He has a new track out, as "So Damn Sexy" is now available for a FREE DOWNLOAD! Smouldering and sexy, the song caresses the ear and the heart, and might even reach for other organs while have it playing. This is "So Damn Sexy" by B.Slade.

You can get your FREE DOWNLOAD of "So Damn Sexy" on by clicking on the widget above, or go to BandCamp. For more about B.Slade, visit his official website. You can also follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Schoolhouse Rock! Does Civics!

Four years ago, I did a few posts about the learning tools I remember so well, 'Schoolhouse Rock!'. In the face of the recent laws from Arizona and other places, where a bunch of wealthy politicians are trying to legislate separate and not very equal as a way of life, I thought it was obvious that some elected officials had not seen 'Schoolhouse Rock!'. For those not familiar with them, 'Schoolhouse Rock!' was on television between 1973 and 1980, with 37 exceptional installments of educational television produced and aired while kids were watching. I remember loving every minute of it, despite not being a child myself at the time. In spots running only three minutes, these cartoons taught lessons in grammar, history, science, math and other subjects.

As I mentioned above, it appears there are some elected officials who hold office in many states across the United States, on every level, from municipal to state to federal positions. I will start with an episode named "Fireworks", which takes a look at the Declaration of Independence, and the reasons that groundbreaking document were written over 200 years ago. I particularly would like to draw attention to the line "If a government won't give you the most basic rights, you better get another government." Listen closely, state officials of Arizona. The reason this country began was in reaction to wealthy kings, Dukes, and Earls concocting laws that disregarded the rights of the people living in America, so they fought back, to prevent that from happening. Don't believe me? This is 'Schoolhouse Rock!' with "Fireworks".

With the opening of the next video, we learn something that I believe still holds true, "knowledge is power". Soon, we are watching the clip named "The Preamble", to teach about the Constitution of the United States of American. It opens with "In 1787, I'm told, our founding fathers did agree to write a list of principles for keepin' people free." That is a beautiful thing, and an image I remain proud of. And in case anyone forgot, it also mentions why the colonies rose against the Crown, "our people spelled it out, they wanted a land of liberty." This is 'Schoolhouse Rock!' on "The Preamble".

And, finally, I thought I would offer up another excellent learning device, "The Great American Melting Pot". This reminds us that one of the things that made America great was that all kinds of different people, from all over the world, came together to make this one great country, not a caste system. In fact, the video says "It doesn't matter where you're from or your religion, you jump right in to the great American melting pot." It seems as though it was understood 40 years ago that Freedom of Religion was understood to mean allowing people to believe for themselves, not to be legislating one's beliefs on everyone else. This is "The Great American Melting Pot" from 'Schoolhouse Rock!'.

I am grateful I had 'Schoolhouse Rock!' to teach me about things like grammar, math, and history. I wish it was still around, so some politicians might be reminded.

Eric Himan • I'm Not Going Anywhere Tonight

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In case you didn't know, Eric Himan kicks ass. On the heels of news about Arizona trying to legislate bigotry and hate into law, Eric took to his guitar to send a message of his own to those who seem to what to continually assault the Constitution with laws that are more about themselves than the people they call constituents. So the talented Himan sat down and wrote "I'm Not Going Anywhere Tonight". Enjoy.

Due to the overwhelming demands of people watching the video, Eric has made "I'm Not Going Anywhere Tonight" available for purchase on BandCamp. "100% of proceeds are going to groups fighting to keep this bill from becoming law as well as fighting for full LGBT equality in Arizona" he explained. To learn more about Eric Himan visit his official website. Once there, you can order music, as well as checking out his tour schedule. If you are into the social media, you can also 'follow' him on Twitter, or 'like' him on Facebook. I have all his music in my collection, and you can't go wrong with any in his discography. But I would suggest you add Eric's latest album, 'Gracefully', to your collection. 'Gracefully' is available on iTunes, Amazon, and Bandcamp.

Jen Foster • She4Me

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I first came to know the music of Jen Foster while being both a just and reporter for the RightOutTV Music and Video Awards, as she was nominated in both 2012 and 2013. Her music is big and bold, a bit like Pink, a bit like Kelly Clarkson, with a dash of Katy Perry, and seasoned with a a heaping teaspoon of Melissa Etheridge. Jen's music combines Rock, Pop, and Folk with ease, always offering a a piece of her heart with every track. "She4Me: is no different, as she delivers a message of love and caring, an anthem for marriage equality. I hope you love "She4Me" as much as I do.

I love the song on every level, from songwriting to production to heart. Foster delivers a song from deep down, and it comes across as so authentic. You can purchase "She4Me" at Jen Foster's online store. To learn more about Jen Foster, visit her official website. You can also 'like' her on Facebook, and 'follow' her on Twitter and Tumblr. If you enjoyed this song, you can also find more music on iTunes and Amazon. To learn more about Marriage Equality USA, visit their official website. You can also 'like' them on Facebook, and 'follow' them on Twitter.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Dark Monday • Anthony Rapp & Adam Pascal Sing What You Own

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Anthony Rapp & Adam Pascal pictured from 'Rent' on tour. Photo by Joan Marcusm.

Anthony Rapp and Adam Pascal costarred in the Original Broadway Cast of 'Rent', the Rock musical by Jonathan Larson that took New York by storm in 1996, first as an off-Broadway show that earned praise and the Pulitzer Prize For Drama, and moved to Broadway. The show was nominated for 10 Tony Awards, and took home four, including 'Best Musical'. I enjoyed several songs from the score, including "What You Own", the song sung by Mark (Rapp) and Roger (Pascal), two roommates who look at life very differently. Roger is a straight recovering drug addict who is also HIV positive, struggling to figure out how to find the life he wants, while Mark is a shy straight man, who uses his job as a filmmaker to distance himself from those around him. They both grow on the journey, as is evident when they sing the song "What You Own". This is a clip from the 2005 film version, which featured several of the original cast members. This is Anthony Rapp and Adam Pascal singing "What You Own".

I really enjoyed the way their voices worked together, the way they sounded together. It doesn't hurt both are very good looking, and Rapp is a hot, out and proud gay man. 'Rent' was Larson's retelling of the classic story of Puccini's opera, 'La Boheme'. But instead of taking place in a lush society setting, 'Rent' is inhabited by poor artists living in Manhattan's Lower East Side, and dealing with modern issues, like drug abuse, prejudice, and HIV/AIDs. You can purchase the Original Broadway Cast album of 'Rent' from iTunes and Amazon. There was also an Original Soundtrack album for the movie version of 'Rent', which can be purchased from iTunes and Amazon.

The Voice Season 6 Premieres Tonight

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Season 6 of NBC's 'The Voice' returns tonight with the first blind auditions of 2014. Through the first five seasons, the blind auditions have been the most exciting episodes of reality television music I have seen. We briefly get to know an artist getting ready to audition, and see them walk on stage, not knowing what to expect once the music begins to play. Well, that is not entirely true, for what we have learned is that there are no bad auditions, people seeking attention even if it is for performing badly. I remember the first season, and the excitement of watching and hearing Javier Colon sing "Time After Time" and Vicci Martinez sing "Rolling in the Deep", Nakia talk on Cee-Lo Green's "Forget You" and Beverly McClellan give us some Janis on "Piece of my Heart". This is a clip of Javier Colon, the winner of Season 1, singing Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time".

In Season 4, there were several auditions that impressed me. This was the season when Shakira and Usher joined Blake Shelton and Adam Levine as coaches, which I found to be a wonderful surprise. But, as I said, several of the auditions were memorable. I loved Judith Hill, and truly enjoyed Midas Whale. The Swon Brothers intrigued me, and Sasha Allen was just so impressive. But it was the audition of Michelle Chamuel that grabbed me right away. It was a harbinger of things to come, for she was impressive all season, finishing a close second. This is Michelle Chamuel auditioning with Katy Perry's "I Kissed A Girl".

Fast forward to Season 5 of 'The Voice', and a whole new series of auditions. This season, there was only one that really stopped me cold in my tracks, making me stop, look, and listen. When Jamaican singer Tessanne Chin took to the stage and began singing the opening lines of "Try", the song by the wonderful Pink, I was instantly engaged, and wanting more. Her voice is so rich, and so strong, I knew she would be special to watch as she sung her way to the title. This is Tessanne's audition, as she sings "Try" by Pink.

Tonight the journey begins once again. Season 6 begins on February 24, 2014, at 8PM on your local NBC station. To learn more about 'The Voice', visit the official website. You can also 'like' them on Facebook, and 'follow' them on Twitter.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Mahalia Jackson • Great Gettin' Up Morning

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When I think of great Gospel music, Mahalia Jackson is one of the first names that pops into my mind. There is a wonderful fullness in her voice, and an authenticity in her performances. You can most certainly hear it on "Great Gettin' Up Morning", a song written by Jackson, and released as a single in 1963. This is a wonderful recording of it, and I am thrilled to share it with you. This is Mahalia Jackson singing "Great Gettin' Up Morning'.

You can find "Great Gettin' Up Morning' on 'The Soul of Gospel, Volume 1' from iTunes and Amazon. The 20-song collection can be purchased for $6.99 and $5.99, respectively, and includes some of Mahalia's great songs, nicluding "Joshua Fit The Battle of Jericho", "Down By The Riverside", and "Go Tell It On The Mountain".

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Carrying the Olympic Torch

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Clockwise: Ella Fitzgerald, Jo Stafford, Bessie Smith, and Dinah Shore.

As the Winter Olympics are winding to an end, I thought about what songs might be sung to the athletes. After all, The Olympic Games have been around almost as long as there has been music. And since there is no greater honor than winning a gold medal, it was a no brainer for me to include Ella Fitzgerald singing "Lover's Gold". The song was written by Morty Nevins and Bob Merrill and appeared on Fitzgerald's 1955 album, 'Miss Ella Fitzgerald & Mr Gordon Jenkins Invite You to Listen and Relax'. Here is Ella singing "Lover's Gold".

And while there is always a discussion about who should play in the games, and how they should do it, I always think it is best to keep it simple. And so I thought it was only right to include the next song written by the great Irving Berlin for the 1914 musical, 'Watch Your Step'. "Play A Simple Melody" was also included in the soundtrack to the iconic movie musical, 'There's No Business Like Show Business'. In 1950, vocalist Jo Stafford sang the song with Paul Weston and his Orchestra recorded the song, and did a great job. Here is Jo Stafford singing "Play A Simple Melody".

The next song first was heard in the 1938 Broadway musical 'Right This Way'. "I'll Be Seeing You" had music by Sammy Fain and lyrics by Irving Kahal, and while the show was not a hit, the song proved to have great staying power. It quickly became a standard many were wanting to sing and record, for years to come. I thought this song would be a perfect choice, as something the athletes would say to one another, hoping to see one another again at the next Olympiad. I picked a version from 1957 by Dinah Shore, that has a wonderfully haunting feel to it. IT also shows off the wonderful range and depth of Shore's vocals. This is Dinah Shore singing "I'll Be Seeing You".

Now, while I have focused on the athletes, I saved this last one for the families of the men and women left at home. "Baby, Won't You Please Come Home" was a Blues song written by Charles Warfield and Clarence Williams in 1919, and it is a great song. But it wasn't a hit until 1923, when it was recorded and released by the great Bessie Smith. Smith was legendary for many reasons, but first and foremost was her ability to sing a song like few others could. She was the most popular female singer of the 1920s and 1930s, and had a profound influence on the singers that followed. Smith also had a live hard, play hard philosophy, which most likely added to her ability to sing the Blues. This is Bessie Smith singing her 1923 hit, "Baby, Won't You Please Come Home".

Have a great weekend!

Van Morrison • Days Like This

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Once I decided to go with the great Irish singer/songwriter Van Morrison, this whole thing took an interesting turn. I started off by thinking I would be posting a song I love, "These Are The Days", but as I was looking for that on YouTube, I came across "Days Like This", and I immediately knew I would have to go with it. Plus, as I watched the video, I thought to myself the backup singer, well, he's really hot. By the second time he was on screen, I was thinking I recognized him, but had no idea from where. This sent me to Wikipedia, where I discovered the hot guy was Irish singer Brian Kennedy, whose music I just discovered in the last week, and I had been listening to a collection of his hits, 'The RCA Years'. Well, it seems as though he started out as a background singer with Van Morrison, and I had his voice in my collection for a very long time. And that is because I really do love Van Morrison, and he's been part of my musical collection since I was in high school. Morrison's music was so interesting to me for not only did I love it, but I was also able to witness it evolve, for it really never sounded the same. This is Van Morrison singing "Days Like This", the title track off his 1995 album.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Date Night • Cafe Com Leite (You, Me and Him)

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'Cafe Come Leite' is a Brazilian film that is also known by the English title 'You, Me, and Him'. Danilo and Marcos are starting to think about their future together then the unimaginable happens. This leaves Danilo trying to figure out how to make room for both Marcos and his little brother Lucas in his life. The film was written and directed by Daniel Ribeiro, and stars Daniel Tavares as Danilo, Diego Torraca as Marcos, and Eduardo Melo as Lucas. There is such warmth and charm in this film, I could just drink it up. They speak in Portuguese, but there are subtitles. This is 'Cafe Com Leite'.

Have a great weekend!

Candy Apple Blue • The One to Say Goodbye

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I always love to hear the talented and stunning siblings of Candy Apple Blue are working on new music, for I know a treat is sure to be coming our way. So when Hoyt and Carly Emerick released a new single, "The One to Say Goodbye", and mentioned is was off the album 'The Fall of Frenzy', I was more than a little happy. The new song is an Electro-Pop romance, as Carly delivers the lament of a love gone wrong. After all, who really wants to pull the plug, especially if you have a gorgeous partner like Carly or Hoyt to keep you warm on a cold winter night? This is Candy Apple Blue with "The One To Say Goodbye".

You can download "The One to Say Goodbye" on Soundcloud. Find the 'Download' button just below the song, hit it, and add it to your iTunes! For more information about Candy Apple Blue, visit the official website. You can also 'follow' them on Twitter, and 'like' them on Facebook. You can also find the collection of their best songs, 'Existential Crisis (Greatest Hits Vol. 1)' on Bandcamp.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Perpetual Detour Want Your Help

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Award-winning band Perpetual Detour are always looking for ways to up the ante, and on the heels of their RightOutTV Music and Video Award for Best Video DIY for their imaginative music video for the song "What If It Was You", the title cut from their 2012 album. With an eye on releasing a new album later this year, the Canadian band is looking for a little help with their first music video. But before we get to that, I thought I would once again share with you their music video for "What If It Was You" by Perpetual Detour.

To get more of an idea about their music, I thought I would also make their first single off the debut album, "Find The Time". The song and music video both have a darker feel, but more moody than sinister. The song is the final cut on the 10-song album, 'What If It Was You'.

As you can tell from both music videos, the band doesn't really have the money to invest in music videos like Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, or other acts with label support. However, what you do see is a band that is investing a lot of themselves in the video, making it a much more personal affair. And for their upcoming music video, they are also asking if you would like to make a little investment with them on this next project. No, not in money, but just a bit of your time, telling a bit of your own story. Rather than have me be coy about it, why not let the band tell you all about it.

From Perpetual Detour:
We need your help!

We are seeking fan contributions for an LGBT equality-themed music video. The video will accompany our track “Little Earthquakes”, which appears on our upcoming 2nd album 'Tired of the Scenery' in June 2014.

With the ongoing persecution occurring against LGBT individuals world-wide, the band wants to show the world that love looks the same, no matter who it is you love.

How to Participate
The band is seeking the following types of content:
     1. Show your love: A short 10 second video that shows the world what love means to you as an
          LGBT person. Examples:
           a. Cuddling with your sweetie
           b. Chilling at your favourite café
           c. Dancing at the club
           d. These clips should provide a visual snapshot of your relationship. Please keep it PG!
     2. Send a message: A video of you holding a short written sign with a message about LGBT
         equality. Examples:
           a. A favourite quote about equality (properly attributed of course)
           b. A short message you would like to share with the world
           c. A brief sentence that describes some difficulties you’ve experienced because of being LGBT
           d. A message of support (allies).

Keep it short – your message must be able to be read in 5-10 seconds.

All content should be sent to by March 24th, 2014. If your content is large, please use a service like WeTransfer. Be sure to provide the names of the people in the clip, your location, and your email address.

As a thank you, all participants will receive 3 digital tracks from Perpetual Detour’s upcoming album, 'Tired of the Scenery'.

Help us spread the campaign on twitter using the hashtag, #LittleEarthquakes.

So there you have it. Perpetual Detour is asking LGBT people from all across the world to send short clips about love and support for their upcoming music video. It sounds quick, easy, and like a ton of fun. And as a bonus, you will be getting some new music! In case you were wondering, "What If It Was You" and "Find the Time" can be found on the album 'What If It Was You', which can be purchased from iTunes, Amazon, and from the online store. If you have any questions about the project, you can get in touch with Perpetual Detour at the official website. You can catch them on the social medias, like Twitter and Facebook.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Mark Weigle • All That Matters

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I have never made any attempt to hide just how much of a fan I am of the talents of Mark Weigle, and how I remain truly sad I never had the opportunity to see him performing live. I have all six of his full-length albums in my collection, and still listen on a regular basis. While I still long for more music from Weigle, I understand he 'retired' from the music business in 2007. He moved on for he was unable to support himself making music, a statement I have heard from several artists over the years, including some incredibly talented individuals.

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In 2000, Weigle released his second album, 'All That Matters'. It is a wonderful collection of songs with several strong influences from Folk, Rock, Pop, and Country. The first song, "A Good Day", had Country-Fried Rock flavors that are had to miss. So is the joy, and the wonder of fresh love. Mark wrote the music and lyrics, and clearly expressed something heartfelt. I remember playing it for the first time, and just allowing the song and the emotions to wash over me, making my day that much brighter. This is Mark Weigle's recording of "A Good Day".

Like the rest of the album, the title cut was also written by Weigle. It starts off so simply, so beautifully, the rich acoustic sound of a great Folk tale being told. Between the guitar and the richness of Mark's voice, I find it impossible not to listen to what he has to say. And yes, there is a wonderful honesty to the song, one that draws you in even more. This is Mark Weigle singing "All That Matters".

If I am going to showcase some of the great songs written and recorded by Mark Weigle, I couldn't leave off the tribute to one of the founders of the Mattachine Society. Founded in 1950, Mattachine was one of the earliest groups formed to promote the rights of homosexuals. This obviously inspired Mark, who wrote "Harry Hay Song" and included it on the 2007 album, 'Mark Weigle'. The song wrote using Hay's voice, utilizing the bravery, the strength, the love, and the righteousness of the man. For the video, I used images of the cover of the album, as well as images of Harry Hay I found on the web. This is Mark Weigle singing "Harry Hay Song".

To learn more about Mark Weigle, visit his official website. You can also 'like' him on Facebook. To purchase Mark's 2001 album 'All That Matters', it is available on iTunes, Amazon, and CD Baby. For his 2007 album 'Mark Weigle', you can find it on iTunes, Amazon, and CD Baby. Both albums are exceptional, and a valued part of my music collection.

Justin Jaymes • You Don't Know How Hard

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Justin Jaymes - You Don't Know How Hard photo JustinJaymes002_zps319ea583.jpg Justin Jaymes - You Don't Know How Hard photo JustinJaymes003_zps6b3fd13f.jpg

Like a comet streaking across the night sky, out gay rapper Justin Jaymes stole some headlines with his devilish good looks, bold and brash rhymes, and some sizzling hot boys joining in his performances. Justin just released his brand new music video for the latest single, "You Don't Know How Hard". The groove captures the pain and anguish of living the life of a gorgeous Rap star, as only Jaymes can attest to. Don't let your eyes drift away, you won't want to miss a frame of this. This is the music video for "You Don't Know How Hard" by Justin Jaymes.

As you can tell by the end of the music video, Justin Jaymes was recently found brutally murdered, making this his last work. You can purchase his final single on iTunes, CD Baby and Amazon. Well, that is not entirely true. You see, Justin Jaymes is a character from an upcoming film from Guest House Films and producer Rob Williams, 'Out To Kill'. Power-Pop singer/songwriter Tom Goss plays the character, and from the looks of this video, he plays it a bit too well. To learn more about 'Out To Kill', you can visit the Facebook page, and get the latest information.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Dark Monday • Remembering Shirley Temple (1928 - 2014)

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With the passing last week of Shirley Temple, I couldn't help but think back to my youth when I would spend weekends watching old black and white movies, several featuring the adorable young Shirley Temple. I remember being enchanted with her cute face, and her ability to tap dance and to sing. although many of the films were made 25 years before I was born, they still spoke to me in much the same way the Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney movies did. The movies had charm and sweetness, even if many told the same story. But when I was thinking about this post, I knew what I was looking for, and could sing along with the songs, all these years later.

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While it might not be true now, when I was growing up, I think everyone could sing "On the Good Ship Lollipop", Shirley's great number from the 1934 film 'Bright Eyes'. The song was composed by Richard A. Whiting and the lyrics were supplied by Sidney Clare. The story was a classic one - a career-riented bachelor finds out he has a godchild who needs a home, and he resists. But somewhere along the way, he succumbs to Shirley's charms, and can't live without having the orphan with him. The movie featured the song "On the Good Ship Lollipop".

It might sound funny, but this is another song I think everyone knew, and was sung all the time, whether it was meant with warmth or with sarcasm. "Animal Crackers In My Soup" is a great musical number from the 1935 film, "Curly Top". The lyrics were written by Irving Caesar and Ted Koehler and the music by Ray Henderson. Again Shirley played an orphan looking for a home, and found a career-minded bachelor who gets involved with her life, and this leads to a happy ending. But when you have Shirley singing "Animal Crackers in my Soup", how could it lead to anything but a smile?

With her hair done with big curls flopping around her face, it is Shirley who is the title character of 'Curley Top'. She was cute and precious, and kept all the kids watching. She had a second hit from the film, as "When I Grow Up" did quite well in sales. The song was written by Ray Henderson. In the film, we got to see this adorable little girl go so far, and still be the same cutie we knew her to be. This is Shirley Temple singing "When I Grow Up".

I can literally remember sitting in front of the console TV and watching the final film featured tonight. While she might have been a few years old when filming the 1938 hit 'Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm', she was still cute and talented enough to make it work well. Once again, Shirley played an orphan, one who had won a talented contest. She was discovered by a career-minded bachelor, who became her champion, alongside her aunt, who must battle with an evil stepfather to save Shirley from a sad fate. But this tale also gave Shirley sever musical numbers, including one with the great Bill Bojangles on "The Toy Trumpet", a number written by Raymond Scott, Sidney D. Mitchell and Lew Pollack.

Shirley Temple did not transition well from child star to working actress. She retired from acting at the age of 22. She went on to have a family, and eventually entered into the public eye again, this time as a public servant. She was a delegate to the United Nations, and later was named ambassador to Ghanna and Czechoslovakia. A life-long Republican, she was named to those posts by President Richard Nixon, President Gerald Ford, and President George H. W. Bush, respectively. Shirley Temple was 85 years old when she passed away on February 10, 2014.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Anna Gutmanis • 2 New Singles!

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Anna Gutmanis (photo by Joshua Meles)

Singer/songwriter Anna Gutmanis has released two new singles, both hitting the store shelves this week, much to my delight. You know what is even better? I love them both! The Canadian artist lists musical greats like Laura Nyro, Billy Joel, and Joan Armatrading among her influences, and it is easy to hear them all in her most recent release, "Glimmer in the Dark'. Her music is stylish Pop, often piano-driven, with lyrics that make stand alone with both grace and strength. And when she started working on the new singles, she brought all that and more. With the guitar and harmonica opening for "Lately It's Cold", bringing the blues to a winter's day. I was getting some Bonnie Raitt realness, with a bit of Armatrading's edge, and when blended together, I sit up and pay strong attention. This is Anna Gutmanis with her new single, "Lately It's Cold".

To purchase "Lately It's Cold", you can find it on iTunes, Bandcamp, and CD Baby.

From the opening bars of "Diamonds and Stiletto Shoes", we know we are getting a different type of song with the second single. The song is piano Pop, more Billy Joel than Raitt. But there is more, with a tropical underpinning that adds depth to the chorus, and a richness to the song. While the lyrics was co-written by Gutmanis and Georgia Wilder, the song maintains the feel of a classic Gutmanis song, with a lyric bite wed perfectly to the Ska beat and feel. I started getting a feel of one of my favorite 80s bands, with one of my favorite songwriters (Terry Hall), The Specials. Enough of me, I think you should give a listen to Anna Gutmanis singing "Diamonds and Stiletto Shoes".

To purchase "Lately It's Cold", you can find it on iTunes, BandCamp, and CD Baby. To learn more about Anna Gutmanis, visit her official website. To find her on the social medias, you can also 'like' her on Facebook, and 'follow' her on Twitter. I am sure she'd appreciate a chance to say "hi".

Sunday Morning • Surely God Is Able

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I am a fan of men's choral groups, and surely Chanticleer has to be considered one of the best. In 2004, the San Fransisco-based "Orchestra of Voices" released the album 'How Sweet The Sound: Spirituals & Traditional Gospel Music', a collection of great spirituals from the past. "Surely God Is Able" was written by Rev. William Herbert Brewster. In this recording, Rev. Yvette Flunder is the featured artist along with the men of Chanticleer. The song was first released in 1950 by The Ward Singers. This is Chanticleer, featuring Rev. Yvette Flunder, singing "Surely God Is Able".

For more about Chanticleer, check out their official website. You can purchase 'How Sweet The Sound' from Chanticleer, or buy the physical CD from Amazon. If you enjoyed this music, take a moment to support Chanticleer and other men's chorus who continue to make great music available to us all. Buy their music, attend their shows, or give a small donation, to help keep the music coming.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Love Songs For Valentine's Day

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Blossom Dearie photo BlossomDearieMayIComeIn_zpscdf6564d.jpg Julie London photo JulieLondon-MakeLoveToMe_zpsd353470b.jpg
Clockwise: Anita O'Day, Sarah Vaughan, Julie London, and Blossom Dearie.

As we are less than 24 hours removed from Valentine's Day, the aroma of roses, chocolate, and wine is still on the air. Yes, that means love is still in the air, and so I thought I would continue that mood. After all, I often think this world could use more love and less hate. And I will do it using some of my favorite ladies to deliver them. I will begin with a song recorded by Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra. "I'm Getting Sentimental Over You" was composed in 1932 by George Bassman, with lyrics by Ned Washington. It was a popular hit for Dorsey, and was sung by the great Frank Sinatra when he was with the orchestra. But I do love the recording made by Anita O'Day. There is such a depth to her vocals, and I can't get enough. You can find her recording on the album 'Skylark', which has some other great songs. But the one that matters most right now is Anita O'Day singing "I'm Getting Sentimental Over You".

The next song up was written by J. Fred Coots and Haven Gillespie in 1938, and recorded by some of the great names in the business, including Billie Holiday and Judy Garland. Tonight, I'd liek to share with you the recording by Sarah Vaughan, having recorded it with Count Basie and his Orchestra. I have long been a fan of Sarah's style, a true Jazz singer who takes each song on a journey that is clearly her own. This is Sarah Vaughan with Count Basie performing "You Go To My Head".

I have long enjoyed the song "Que Reste-t-il de Nos Amours?", which translates to "What Remains of Our Love?". It was composed by Léo Chauliac and Charles Trenet, with lyrics by Charles Trenet. It was recorded in 1942 by Trenet, a popular hit in France. In 1957, the song was given new lyrics by Albert A. Beach for the first solo album by Keely Smith. She introduced the American audiences to the song, now known as "I Wish You Love". The song became an instant favorite of many, all offering their own take on it. I do love many of them, but thought I would share the one by Blossom Dearie, the woman who ruled dinner clubs and Jazz rooms in New York City. Her style is special, and so very sweet. She included the song on her 1964 album, 'May I Come In'. This is Blossom Dearie with "I Wish You Love".

I do remember listening to Julie London when I was young, as my mother loved her music. She would play her on the Hi-Fi, and I remember thinking the lady on the cover was just beautiful. Her style was so smokey and sexy, it is easy to understand why she was so popular. I found her recording of "I Left My Heart in San Fransisco", a song written in 1953 by George Cory and Douglass Cross. While the song is very much identified with Tony Bennett, he was not the first to do so. It was sung by Claramae Turner, who often sang it as an encore for her live shows. In 1957, the song appeared on 'Make Love to Me', an album of love songs performed by London. I truly enjoyed her take on it. This is Julie London singing "I Left My Heart in San Fransisco".

Interestingly enough, Tony Bennett didn't sing the song until 1961, but the song considered 'his'. Have a great weekend!

Ian Shaw • Lover Man (Oh, Where Can You Be?)

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Since last night was Valentine's Day, I thought it only right to continue with the theme of love with a version of the iconic song "Lover Man (Oh Where Can You Be?)". The song was written in 1941 for Billie Holiday, who had a great hit with it. It was written by Jimmy Davis, Roger Ramirez, and James Sherman. British Jazz singer Ian Shaw first recorded the song for the 1995 album, 'Ghostsongs'. Being an out and proud gay man, Shaw left the pronouns in place, and just sang the song like he should. This live version heard here can be found on 'Live at Ronnie Scott's: The Best of Ian Shaw'. This is IAn Shaw singing "Lover Man (Oh, Where Can You Be?).

I just love it - and can't get enough of just about anything Ian sings. To learn more about Ian Shaw, visit his official website. You can also 'like' him on Facebook, and 'follow' him on Twitter. You can download a copy of 'Ghostsongs' from iTunes or Amazon, or you can download a copy of 'Live at Ronnie Scott's: The Best of Ian Shaw' from iTunes.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Date Night • Shrine

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Okay, so when I saw this movie described as the story of a witch, her husband, and his gay lover, I knew I couldn't resist watching it. In fact, I knew I'd have to post it. The film stars Justine Martin, Dan Fry, and Johan Venter as the aptly described characters, all living together in seeming dysfunction. The young twink is sleeping in, the witch is cranky as she prepares to go to an appointment, and the husband seems more interesting in whining than either partner. Can she sort out her problems speaking with a supernatural therapist, or by communing with nature? At just under 14 minutes, this is certainly a fun watch. The film was written, directed, and edited by leading man Dan Fry, while Venter handled the lights and cameras. This is "Shrine".

Enjoy your weekend!


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