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 duo Telepathe preview new single

Indie Brooklyn-duo Telepathe are on the verge of releasing their next full-length album and give a tease with the release of the 7″-er “Throw Away This.” While they are taking pre-orders for the vinyl single, you can download the song here on Stereogum.

Think of Tegan & Sara but with some dancey flair. The song is short, but oh so sweet with an uptempo beat and some ’80s throwback. This definitely makes me curious for their upcoming album, which is said to be produced by Lewis Pesacov, who produced the sublime debut by Best Coast.

—  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

GvB premieres new song from Hunx and his Punx

Thanks to the peeps over at the Gorilla vs. Bear site for offering up some queer music for the day. How about some Hunx and His Punx for your listening pleasure? Gorilla vs. Bear posted “Lovers Lane” today from the band’s upcoming album Too Young To Be In Love. So far, I can’t stop listening to it. Its uber-gay tune is beautifully nostalgic in that K-Tel kinda way.

The band is also in the process of creating its own TV show, which sounds like a hot mess and by the sound of the band’s last tweet (their feed is as entertaining as their music), they wouldn’t mind a little financial scratch to help out. Take some of your intended KERA money and help a gay out by pledging. They are  halfway to their $3,000 goal.

—  Rich Lopez

Queer Music News: Melissa Etheridge does Broadway; Elton John shows off new baby

Billboard reports that Melissa Etheridge will step into Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong’s role in the Broadway rock musical American Idiot. The show is based on the band’s landmark album. Armstrong agreed to do the show himself for a run of 50 dates in spurts, but is now taking a small break:

Etheridge, best known for her song “Come to My Window,” will play drug dealer “St. Jimmy” from Feb. 1 to Feb. 6. Armstrong, the composer and co-author of the musical, returns Feb. 10.

The high-octane show follows three working-class characters as they wrestle with modern life. One joins the Army, one becomes a father and one descends into a drug-fueled life – thanks to St. Jimmy.

Says director Michael Mayer: “This character is seductive, thrilling and dangerous. Melissa Etheridge is all that and so much more.”

Elton John and David Furnish grace the cover of Us Weekly showing off their new family pictures. Ain’t that cute?

On the cover of the new issue out Wednesday (Jan. 19), John and Furnish are photographed with their new bundle of joy, Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John.

“I’ve never felt anything like it in my life,” says John of holding his son for the first time. “You’re so awestruck. What can you say? You take it in. The feeling, the joy, the warmth of his body, his breathing … I will never forget that experience ever.”

—  Rich Lopez

Queer Music News: Cameras’ Joel Gibb teams with R.E.M.; Gaga tweets upcoming release

Back in 2009, I listed The Hidden Cameras in my top albums list of the year. That was mostly due to gay frontman Joel Gibb who, despite being a tough interview, manufactured a beautiful package of songs in their album Origin:Orphan. The indie folkster teams up with R.E.M. on the band’s new single, “It Happened Today,” providing back ups for the also-out frontman Michael Stipe. The single is part of R.E.M.’s upcoming album Collapse Into Now, which is slated for a March release. I love it when the gays team up with each other. The song itself is reliably R.E.M. and a decent but not overwhelming intro to the band’s 15th studio release.

The video below doesn’t show the band at all, but is reminiscent of George Michael’s “Praying for Time” video where the lyrics are the stars — literally.

—  Rich Lopez

Chatting up Hunter Valentine’s Kiyomi McCloskey

Hunter Valentine
McCloskey, center.

Thursday night at the Cavern on Lower Greenville, a triple threat of queer rock is happening. The Cliks, Hunter Valentine and Killola bring their tour to Dallas, but as a slight preview, Hunter Valentine‘s frontwoman Kiyomi McCloskey took some time to give us her quips on a seemingly burgeoning wave of queer music, how the tour is going and insights to the life of a rock star.

On booking this tour with The Cliks:  “I’ve known (frontman) Lucas for a long time since I was a teenager. We’re both from Toronto and  I just remember trying to throw a queer music night and I booked his band four or five years ago. That first time we made a friendly connection.”

On a growing number of out bands and musicians:  “It’s an awesome thing. Queer music is growing and popping up in mainstream all the time. I feel really lucky to be on tour with solid musicians who are out.”

On Canada’s growth spurt of gay music:  “Must be something in the water.” (Which is what Sara from Tegan & Sara said.)

On being on the tour:  “This chapter is good for the band. We’re touring a lot, at least 200 dates a year. That is fulfilling that goal to play to as many people as possible.

On girl power:  “A big part of our job to encourage girls to pick up guitars and play.”

Diverse audience?  “We have a younger core audience, but the great thing about a Hunter Valentine show is the wide range of people. You have anything from 45 straight males to 13 queer girls at a show. As long as everyone is into the music.”

Queer perspectives in songwriting?  “I just write what I feel. I don’t know if that’s from a constant queer perspective. I try to write about what deeply affects me.”

Coming to Dallas:  “LGBT audiences can [be] straight up honest rock shows. We have lots of emotions and wear our hearts on our sleeves.”

Hunter Valentine performs tonight at The Cavern, 1914 Greenville Ave. 9 p.m. $8.

—  Rich Lopez