Christian group calls to pray for George Michael’s death

I blogged Monday in Queer Music News that singer George Michael has been hospitalized in Austria due to pneumonia. In that post, I added that Fox News reported there is speculation that his illness is much more severe than being let on. This appears to have spawned the group Christians for a Moral America to action and have called for the singer’s demise.

Huffington Post’s Gay Voices posted tweets by Kyle (@GodsWordIsLaw) from Nov. 26 about their intentions. His profile cites @CFAMABlog as the group’s official feed. From HuffingtonPost.com:

After the Daily Mail reported that Michael’s family and long-time partner Fadi Fawaz had gathered at his bedside in Vienna, Christians For A Moral America took to Twitter, claiming the singer “has AIDS” and calling for followers to pray for the his demise in light of his “satanic lifestyle.”

Read their Twitter posts after the jump.

—  Rich Lopez

Queer Music News: R.E.M. announces breakup; Brandon Hilton releases new video

The big music news of the day is R.E.M.’s announcement that they are “calling it a day.” On their website, the band posted this note followed by comments from band members:

“To our Fans and Friends: As R.E.M., and as lifelong friends and co-conspirators, we have decided to call it a day as a band. We walk away with a great sense of gratitude, of finality, and of astonishment at all we have accomplished. To anyone who ever felt touched by our music, our deepest thanks for listening.”

Queer frontman Michael Stipe had this to add:

“A wise man once said–’the skill in attending a party is knowing when it’s time to leave.’ We built something extraordinary together. We did this thing. And now we’re going to walk away from it.

“I hope our fans realize this wasn’t an easy decision; but all things must end, and we wanted to do it right, to do it our way.

“We have to thank all the people who helped us be R.E.M. for these 31 years; our deepest gratitude to those who allowed us to do this. It’s been amazing.”

Interestingly enough, the band had released their last album, Collapse Into Now, just this past March. The album was a smart collection of tracks that both showed outstanding maturity for the band as well as a renewed raucous energy that reminded of their early days.

Now, after 30 years, the band is no longer.

—  Rich Lopez

Queer Music News: Is Latifah officially out?

Queen Latifah has usually (and gracefully) sidestepped the lesbian issue in previous interviews, but when these pics came out last year, it seemed hard to be anything but out. We’re trying to figure out if that’s the case here. In a recent interview, she talked to Sister2Sister magazine about the ideal woman.

“I just like ladies who have class. Period. And if it’s ‘T and A’ you’re sellin’, that’s fine, as long as that’s what you’re selling. But you don’t have to show everything, you know? You can hold some back and just be yourself and let your personality shine and let your individuality show. To me, that’s sexier. A confident woman is a sexy woman, in my opinion.”

This quote is making the internet rounds but I fear it could be misleading. At least without reading the entire piece. While many other blogs and sites are seeing this as her closet exit, could she just be talking about something else in general? I wonder if the publication saw this quote as a selling piece and on its own, much could be speculated.

—  Rich Lopez

WATCH: Lady Gaga’s ‘Edge of Glory’ with Clarence Clemons, who died Saturday at 69

In sad music news over the weekend, E Street Band saxophonist Clarence Clemons died Saturday, a week after suffering a stroke. He was 69. Although famous for his role as the Big Man in Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, his final big moment could be owed to Lady Gaga. In her latest single, “Edge of Glory,” Clarence Clemons had a feature role in both the song and video with a sax solo as the highlight.

This isn’t to diminish his contribution to rock ‘n’ roll over the years, but before he left this world, Clemons had a high note that likely introduced him to a new generation of fans.

—  Rich Lopez

Queer Music News: Farewell tour for Judas Priest; Lady Gaga video to premiere tonight

• This week’s Rolling Stone reports that Judas Priest is embarking on their final world tour — kinda. While they are sparing no expense on this tour with all the special effects and props, the band isn’t a) breaking up or b) saying no to future dates. So basically it’s the spectacular productions that the bands seems to be saying bye to. The Epitaph Tour is scheduled to start Oct. 12 in San Antonio. They hit the Dallas area Oct. 16 at the Allen Event Center.

Frontman Rob Halford also mentioned a new album for next summer. So thankfully, the guys aren’t really aren’t going away.

“We do have some completed tracks that we’ve been talking about in the last few days, as to how we can feed those out to our fans. We wanted to make at least one more great metal album that really represents all the wonderful things we’ve tried to do. If things go as planned, we want to get this out by the summer of next year,” the out singer said.

The band ripped through North Texas back in August 2009 and killed the then Nokia stage for their 30th Anniversary Tour of British Steel, pictured. With songs from all their other albums, the tour should likely slay once again.

• Lady Gaga’s “Edge of Glory” video premieres tonight in an “extended preview” during So You Think You Can Dance? on Fox. The entire video of her third single can be seen (soon after?) on Vevo.com.

—  Rich Lopez

Queer Music News: ‘Hooray, You’re Gay’ video; Sarah Jaffe covers Robyn on Billboard

• Here’s some #musicMonday for your Twitter feeds. If Gaga’s “Born This Way” isn’t enough of a Pride anthem for you, maybe The Juliettes might can fill in the void with their new song, “Hooray, You’re Gay.” The Seattle band of women posted this song as “a gift. To the LGBT community and to all people who value compassion and equality. Who don’t see ‘Gay Marriage’ but only understand ‘MARRIAGE.’ Who don’t see ‘Gay Rights’ but only see ‘RIGHTS.’ Who think ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ should be and should have always been, ‘Why Ask, Who Cares.’ Who understand that there needs to be no defense of marriage, but defense of the disenfranchised. Love is love. Equality is equality. Truth is truth. We made this for you. We made this for everybody. We feel it is the obligation of every person — starting with us — to work toward true equality.”

This song kind of grew on me pretty quick. Four femmes goofing around with rock ‘n’ roll is hard not to love, but they also have a catchy tune. OK, yes, it sounds like it could easily come off a South Park or Avenue Q soundtrack, but I can’t help but applaud their efforts in doing a song they didn’t need to. Now that’s an ally.

• Folk and electronica don’t go quite hand in hand, but local singer Sarah Jaffe, who we’ve profiled before, is a big fan of alt-dance queen Robyn. I even saw her at the concert. Jaffe went and had a chat with Billboard and even performed a bit for Mashup Monday. Here, she covers Robyn’s “Hang With Me.” Jaffe does a beautiful job with an already beautiful song keeping her melancholic touch to it. Although they play the dance version of the song also in the video, Robyn released it as a ballad in Body Talk Pt. 1, the first of her 2010 trilogy.

—  Rich Lopez

Queer Music News: Gaga benefits GLSEN; remembering Kurt Cobain as a gay ally

The country-fied version of Lady Gaga’s “Born this Way” has already buzzed around the Internet, but today she makes the song official. She released the song on iTunes today, but a portion of the money for every download will go toward the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network (GLSEN) which they thanked her for today, also.

Today marks the 17th anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s death. He and his band Nirvana pretty much changed the face of music with their second album Nevermind and introduced the world and radio to grunge music. Cobain was an ally to the community before it became the thing to do. He’s been quoted as identifying as gay in his high school years and speaking out on his disdain for homophobic fans.

In the liner notes of the band’s 1992 compilation release Incesticide, he included: At this point I have a request for our fans. If any of you in any way hate homosexuals, people of different color, or women, please do this one favor for us – leave us the fuck alone! Don’t come to our shows and don’t buy our records.

He once told Spin magazine, “I would like to get rid of the homophobes, sexists, and racists in our audience. I know they’re out there and it really bothers me.”

Perhaps his most famous gay quote was from the film Kurt Cobain: About a Son which was really audio of never-before-aired interviews placed to imagery that wasn’t of the band. He talked about identifying himself as gay in school and the consequences of it. It’s somewhat mindblowing still to hear him say these words. As the years went on, he discovered he was not gay, but often claimed to be bisexual it was often rumored that he was bisexual. Here’s video from About a Son where he discusses identifying as gay.

—  Rich Lopez

Queer Music News: George Michael video; disco/soul legend Loleatta Holloway has died

I posted a few days ago that George Michael was releasing his newest single, a cover of New Order’s “True Faith.” Soon after, this video has been making the rounds. Michael looks pretty good after his stint in jail.

Disco fans are discovering that the powerful voice of Loleatta Holloway is now a silent one. The singer died late Monday. It’s been reported that Holloway slipped into a coma and died from heart failure, but I’ve yet to find where that has been confirmed.

The singer famous for disco and soul classics like “Love Sensation,” “Hit and Run” and “Dreaming,” had sort of a resurgence in the ’90s with her sample tracks on Black Box’s “Ride on Time” and her vocal work for Marky Mark’s “Good Vibrations.” She was initially uncredited for the Black Box song but sued the band and settled out of court.

 

—  Rich Lopez

Queer Music News: Singer Rufus Wainwright is now a daddy; James Franco is no Cher

• I had no idea singer Rufus Wainwright was in want of a family. And now he has one — in that modern family kinda way. This was posted on his website this past Saturday. And this doesn’t makes us feel icky like another celeb and his new baby.

Feb 18, 2011

For Immediate Release:

Darling daughter Viva Katherine Wainwright Cohen was born on February 2, 2011 in Los Angeles, California to proud parents Lorca Cohen, Rufus Wainwright and Deputy Dad Jorn Weisbrodt. The little angel is evidently healthy, presumably happy and certainly very very beautiful.

Daddy #1 would like to offer everyone a digital cigar and welcome the little lady in with a French phrase from his favorite folk song, A La Claire Fontaine : “Il y a longtemps que je t’aime, jamais je ne t’oublierai.”

CORRECTION: In many of the articles announcing the birth of Viva Katherine Wainwright Cohen, Lorca Cohen is characterized as “the surrogate.” Of course, she is no such thing. She did not carry the child for someone else. Lorca Cohen is the mother of the baby and Rufus Wainwright is the father.

Towleroad posted this track of James Franco’s version of Cher’s “You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me” from Burlesque, which was to be an apparent gag drag performance for this weekend’s Oscars. Now, it isn’t — and that’s a good thing.

—  Rich Lopez

Queer Music News: Lady Gaga previews album cover; Culture Club getting back together

• Lady Gaga Twitpic-ed her album cover (right) for Born This Way and it’s already getting flak. Apparently it’s a Kylie Minogue ripoff. At least according to Entertainment Weekly. Whatever. Pop musicians rip off each other all the time.

The title song is now supposed to debut Friday instead of previous reports of Feb. 13.

• Boy George appeared on Larry Flick’s The Morning Show on Sirius XM OutQ gay radio Tuesday with some big news. At least big for ’80s music fans. The decade’s iconic band Culture Club is slated for a reunion marking the 30th anniversary of their inception. And they are going all out with a tour and an album. I just hope they make a stop in Dallas and that Mr. George isn’t so bitchy.

Listen to what he told Flick here. And after that, enjoy my favorite CC song below.

—  Rich Lopez