Year in Review: Music 2015

BESTAdeleScreen shot 2016-01-12 at 4.57.23 PMOur final end-of-year wrap up in entertainment has arrived! Our music guru, Chris Azzopardi, ranks the top 10 discs of 2015.

10. Madonna, Rebel Heart. In 2015, it was strange hearing Madonna sound so… human. A cluster of cuts from the queen’s 13th studio album imparted a rare authenticity and striking vulnerability typically not ascribed to music’s self-proclaimed Unapologetic Bitch. Madonna caring about people’s opinions of Madonna — and confessing those feelings? Yup. At least on “Joan of Arc.” Madonna lifting you up, hugging your heart and making this “mad, mad world” just a little easier to cope with? Yes, that too: “Ghosttown” — also the heyday throwback “Living for Love” — reveals, for the first time in years, a deeper, more poignant pop queen.

9. Miguel, Wild HeartLook beyond Miguel’s piercing peepers, winning smirk and that perfectly coiffed just-after-5 o’clock shadow — just try real hard, you can do it — and what you’ll find is a real music man. That’s right: His underheard Wild Heart is as dreamy as he is, all SoCal Prince vibes and hypersexual playfulness (put a condom on when you listen to “the valley”), but also genuinely affecting. Highlights are the introspective, identity-questioning “what’s normal anyway” and “leaves,” an amping guitar-riffed wonder that hurts as much as it heals.

8. Brandi Carlile, The Firewatcher’s Daughter“I miss the days when I was just a kid,” Brandi Carlile sings, sweetly, longingly. Now 34, and out and married and mothering, Carlile was self-reflective on her rustic release Firewatcher’s Daughter, living for tomorrow but remembering today and yesterday. On arguably the album’s most impassioned ditty, “Wherever Is Your Heart,” the Seattle-born singer-songwriter relishes being “born to roam,” which is precisely what this, her first major-label-less release, does. The journey pauses in the past but lives, powerfully, in the present.

BESTChvrches7. Adele, 25. “Hello.” One short, simple word, but it was enough. A gift. A gif. That brief salutation brought Adele back into our lives as if she’d been gone for a lifetime. In pop years, it sure seemed that way, and the meme-worthy lyrics of her first single served as a “Hi, I’m back, bitches” moment and also a searing reminder of the heartbreak the record-breaking belter can inflict when she powers through a sad song. Like “All I Ask,” a gutting assertion to an imminent ex. Like “When We Were Young,” a reminder that your youth is dead, gone, bye forever. So good, though. Yes: Hello from the other side of not-great album sales, Auto Tune and general imperfection.

6. Kendrick Lamar, To Pimp a Butterfly. Kendrick Lamar changed hip-hop last year. Turned it up, down, sideways. And he even had time to team with Taylor Swift for “Bad Blood,” scoring him his first No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100. Not that he needed Swift — Lamar’s second major-label album, To Pimp a Butterfly, speaks for itself. And it speaks boldly, declaring painful truths about race and his own personal demons with rage-filled cinematic flair and simmering jazz flavor.

5. Susanne Sundfør, Ten Love SongsIt isn’t just the ominous lure of mad love on the deliciously fuming “Delirious” — “I hope you have a safety net, because I’m going to push you over the edge” — that lands Susanne Sundfør a spot on the list. It’s certainly enough, though. She ravages every word of that song with a shark’s bite, and it’s a magical moment among many (give “Darlings” all the vocal awards) nestled within the front-to-back brilliance of 10 love songs that are equal parts euphoric, enchanting and enraged.

4. CHVRCHES, Every Open EyeI remember hearing CHVRCHES for the first time at a festival even before obsessing over their then-unreleased debut, _The Bones of What You Believe_. The music was alive, bursting with retro shimmer and sowing the same kind of emotional catharsis of, say, Robyn. I was hooked. The disc did not disappoint, nor did its follow-up, the also-marvelous Every Open Eye. CHVRCHES’ sound is still deeply rooted in the wondrous midnight-hour wheelhouse they shaped on Bones, and, once again, to staggering effect. A slump-less sophomore album as divine as their name.

BESTSufjan3. Patty Griffin, Servant of LoveWhat does the world need? Peace… and Patty Griffin’s voice. The former is especially apparent to anyone who, you know, is living right now, but: Have you heard Griffin’s most recent Grammy-nominated release? The alt-folk phenom sings like angels must; “Rider of Days” sounds like thousands of winged beauties, soaring to the afterlife, dancing through the clouds. It’s a sweet reverie, and one of the most gorgeous pieces of music this universe has ever heard. But also, it’s a rare sliver of light on yet another one of Griffin’s masterworks, a brooding, beautiful catharsis of a world on fire.

2. Carly Rae Jepsen, E•MO•TIONPeople, what gives? One of 2015’s greatest unsolved mysteries, Carly Rae Jepsen’s absurdly looked-over E•MO•TION didn’t find its commercial sweet spot. And fine. Their loss. Our gain: the charming Sia-written jam “Making the Most of the Night,” a punchy piece of pick-me-up pop; “Warm Blood,” a cuddly come-down; and “When I Needed You,” which sounds like her winning audition to be the fifth member of The Go-Go’s. And on and on and on. Yes, Carly: I really really really like this.

1. Sufjan Stevens, Carrie & Lowell. On Carrie & Lowell, Sufjan Stevens’ quiet descent into the dark corners of grief and despair after the loss of his mother, the sexually ambiguous singer-songwriter says so much with so little. Leaning on minimalist atmospherics, his open-book outing sounds as if it were recorded in the late hours of the night in the quiet of his bedroom, just Sufjan’s guitar and his lonely stream-of-conscious. It’s powerful and potent. And it’s death, and it’s life. The weirdly comforting truth that “we’re all gonna die” on the lullaby-like “Fourth of July” — a final exchange with his passing mother – is a stinging reality, and “Blue Bucket of Gold” feels like a dream.

— Chris Azzopardi

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Who said that? Our 20 favorite celebrity quotes of 2015

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Ricky Martin

Jane Fonda was so moved by a question she cried. Josh Groban recalled the moment he learned about his big bear following… and how he mistook them for a sports team. And Sarah Paulson opened up in a candid conversation about her sexuality. We interviewed a ton of celebrities in 2015. Here’s a look back at the most memorable words from some of Hollywood’s hottest gay-adored celebs:

“When I sent that tweet a few years ago just letting people know that I am gay it was the most amazing day of my life after the birth of my kids.” — Ricky Martin

“I’m so excited. What a big day. It’s a huge step toward equality. Everyone should be able to be who they are, love who they want and marry who they want. It’s 2015; for us to still have judgment about people being gay is ridiculous, so I can’t believe it’s taken this long. It’s definitely a big day in history, and I’m just so excited.” — Hilary Duff, on June 26, the day the Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality

“I find the question so moving that it makes me cry. I had never thought of it before, and it makes me so moved.” — Jane Fonda, when asked why there’s always been a place for older women in the gay community

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Josh Groban

“I was at some kind of shop, and I was walking around with someone — it was probably my girlfriend. And this guy comes up to me and goes, ‘Hey, I just want you to know, the bears love you.’ I’m like, ‘Excuse me? What?’ And I didn’t know what that meant! I’m like, ‘Are you a baseball team?’” — Josh Groban

“All I can say is, I’ve done both, and I don’t let either experience define me. I don’t let having been with a man make me think I am heterosexual, or make me want to call myself that, because I know I have been attracted to women — and have lived with women. So, for me, I’m not looking to define myself, and I’m sorry if that is something that is seen as a rejection of or an unwillingness to embrace [my sexuality] in a public way, but it’s simply not. It’s simply what’s true for me, and that’s all I can speak to.” — Sarah Paulson

“It was the LGBTQ community that inspired me to be the kind of person I wanted to be. I wanted to be authentic and courageous, and for so long I wasn’t.” — Judith Light

“I think everybody does, no matter who they are. I do, yeah, of course. Absolutely. I think it’s healthy to gain a perspective on who you are deep down, question yourself and challenge yourself; it’s important to do that.” — Selena Gomez, on questioning her sexuality

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Matt Bomer

“For me, having kids and being married, it was important to maintain the integrity of those relationships and not teach my kids that this is a shameful secret and that my husband has to be waiting in the wings all the time.” — Matt Bomer, reflecting on coming out

“What a child needs when they’re growing up is support and love, mainly love. … And if they do happen to be gay, that’s going to be a harder hurdle to get over. What a parent needs to do more than anything is jump in there with love and support. You made ‘em. They’re a gift from God. Love ‘em as they are.” — Reba McEntire

“I just hope she finds love. It took me a while, man. And there was a lot of heartache throughout those years. You know, as long as she’s happy, I don’t care either way, and neither does my husband. And we have two other kids as well, and we don’t care either way for all of them.” — Kelly Clarkson, on how she’d feel if one of her kids were gay

“I do feel like I occupy — not in any self-aggrandizing way — a space where I have looked to my peers and looked around me and said, ‘Well, who else can I look to?’ And there isn’t anybody else. That to me is significant and personally gratifying as I consider my own journey to self-acceptance.” — Zachary Quinto, on the lack of LGBT action heroes

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Kelly Clarkson

“You always have to take their stories with a grain of salt. It’s like when there’s a traffic accident and you ask five witnesses and they tell you five different stories.” — filmmaker Roland Emmerich, on the Stonewall film controversy

“I would like to think I changed lives — I mean, I get lots of emails saying, “Seeing Torch Song changed my life, seeing this changed my life,’ and that’s wonderful. But I don’t need to worry about if I’m gonna be remembered. I ain’t gonna be here to know if I’m being remembered or forgotten!” — Harvey Fierstein

“When we got marriage equality and there was a celebration for that in New York City, it was an honor to be a part of that. I can’t explain it. There are some performances that you do and you’re like, ‘That was cool, that was fun.’ That one was different fun. It was so memorable and an incredible thing to be a part of.” — Carly Rae Jepsen

“[Doing The Danish Girl] was extremely educational for me. I went to ballet school for nine years, so I did have a lot of gay friends coming out during my years there. [I would use] my fake ID with my gay friends [to get] into gay club and I met [trans people], but before we started to film, I didn’t have any close friends in the trans community. Learning the vocabulary [was very important].” — Alicia Vikander

“I’m searching for something that can alarm me, that can astonish me, that can make me think of something in a different way and surprise me, and that sometimes is shock.” — John Waters

“I’ve had sex scenes with girls, and I feel very relaxed because I’m not worried about anything popping up — I’m just worried about her world and making sure she’s comfortable.” — Russell Tovey

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Lea DeLaria

“What I like to say is that being unique and original is what makes me happy, and I think that rubs off on them. My sons did nails just the other day, and the only reason was because their nails were so disgusting! Like, they were in the mud and I was like, ‘We have got to do your nails!’” — Gwen Stefani

“I think because she hasn’t been a member of our community, actively involved like Laverne has been her entire career and life, it’s gonna take time for her to get to that sarcastic funny queer community way of dealing with things. Although I have to say she started out with that fabulous joke about the nerve-wracking experience of trying to pick out a gown. Brilliant.” — Lea DeLaria, on Caitlyn Jenner’s controversial statements

“I would like to think that Madonna would most definitely approve of my career and name. We’re both over-the-top performers who constantly push the boundaries of dance music and performance. We’ve both probably reinvented ourselves numerous times in our careers as well.” — DJ Kidd Madonny, on the source of his stage name

 — Compiled by Chris Azzopardi

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—  Arnold Wayne Jones

The 10 most viewed posts of 2011

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Hate crime victim Burke Burnett

In this coming Friday’s Year in Review issue of Dallas Voice, we’ll recap all of the top news and entertainment stories from 2011. But for now, below are the 10 posts from this year that generated the most page views on DallasVoice.com:

1. Gay man stabbed with broken beer bottle, thrown onto fire in apparent hate crime in Reno, TX

2. Larry and KC Jansson found love in the midst of anti-gay ‘reparative’ therapy

3. LISTEN: Southwest Airlines pilot’s anti-gay, mysoginistic rant over stuck cockpit microphone

4. PIC OF THE DAY: Gov. Rick Perry deep-throats corn dog at the Iowa State Fair

5. Anthony, your wiener isn’t that big a deal

6. WATCH: Rick Perry’s anti-gay Iowa ad

7. An open letter to the Texas A&M Student Senate, signed ‘An Aggie No More’

8. New rumor: Is Rick Perry ex-gay?

9. Southwest Airlines pilot James Taylor of Argyle apologizes for anti-gay, misogynistic rant

10. VIDEO AND TRANSCRIPT: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s speech today on LGBT rights

—  John Wright

Body & FItness: 4 Steps to a Healthier New Year

It’s only February, and you’ve probably abandoned every New Year’s resolution you made between Jaegermeister shots on Dec. 31. Well, it’s not too late to re-up your commitment to a healthier you.

Dr. Karim Harati-Zadeh, a double-certified acupuncturist and chiropractor with Spectrum Chiropractic on Lemmon Avenue, offers these four tips for making 2011 your healthiest year yet.

1. A year in review: Review your health status. What has your health been like for the last 12 months? Do you feel fit and energetic or are you tired all the time? Do you suffer from chronic pain, allergies, or anxiety? Don’t let problem areas fester. Identify points in your health that need attention immediately.

2. Setting goals: Do you want to be able to run up and down your stairway without pain and discomfort? Or do you want to get back in shape? Or just finally quit smoking? You need to make yourself ready to do something to address the stress and anxiety that you have been experiencing. Make sure to set realistic goals and avoid drastic measures such as a great amount of weight loss in a short period of time. Small steps yield long-term results that quick fixes don’t.

3. Analyze your health goals and get the proper help and motivation: The spirit is willing but the body may be weak. Make sure your body is primed to start an exercise program. Find out what additional resources you need to reach your health goals. I recommend all my patients to come in for an evaluation before getting started with an exercise program or starting a new diet.

4. Getting started: Today is a great day to get started. Don’t allow yourself to put your health goals on hold.

Karim Harati-Zadeh, DC, FIAMA, FASA, 3906 Lemmon Ave, Suite 214. 214-520-0092. SpectrumChiropractic.com.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition Feb. 18, 2011.

—  John Wright

Twist GLBT announces 2nd show in East Dallas, but where are all the gay male artists?

SuZanne Kimbrell put on such a great night of gay musicians, that I had to include it in our year in review list. And that was just the first night. She’s made some tweaks for this second edition of Twist GLBT where she brings mostly local LGBT bands with original music and gives them a stage at the Lakewood Bar & Grill. This lineup already looks vastly different than the one in November.

Kimbrell and I met to talk about the local LGBT live music scene and wondered where the boys are. Lesbian women dominate the scene but she and I agreed that there have to be a slew of gay men doling out the music as well. We listed a few names, but they were far outweighed by the number of female artists. And Kimbrell wants to keep the Twist lineups diverse. So here’s a call to all the gay male musicians and singers as well as trans and bi folk to land a slot on upcoming Twist nights. It’ll be so worth it — not just to you, but to local LGBT music supporters as well.

—  Rich Lopez

In case you missed it …

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Our top 10 news photos from 2009 have been posted here. Above is my personal favorite, but then again I took it so …сайтпродвижение калининград

—  John Wright

I'll be taking an even longer, harder look back at 2009 on Houston's Queer Voices tonight

Already had your fill of “year in review” and “decade in review” content? Too bad, we in the media are going to milk this for all it’s worth!

Jack Valinski, host of Houston’s weekly Queer Voices radio show, has invited me on tonight to talk about 2009 in LGBT Texas. And hopefully he’ll also want to talk a little about 2010, when much, much better things are surely in store for all of us — or maybe not. In any case, you can tune in live beginning at 9 p.m. by going here.imei-poiskметоды раскрутки сайтов

—  John Wright