Here are a few items I didn't get the chance to post earlier today.
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...
A Quinnipiac Poll released Tuesday finds support for same-sex marriage in New York: "State voters support 54 – 40 percent a law allowing same-sex couples to marry, with voters under 35 supporting the measure 70 – 26 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday. Voters 35 to 64 years old also support the measure, while voters over 65 oppose it 57 – 37 percent."
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is hoping for some momentum on other issues from the NY marriage win.
New York Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos thought people were celebrating outside Stonewall because: "Asked on Tuesday what he thought about the scenes of teary-eyed jubilation on the streets of the West Village and other areas of Manhattan following the 33-29 vote, Skelos had this to say: 'I saw people that were happy.' Later in the conversation, he said the joyful outbursts came because citizens 'saw government function.'"
An upstate New York town clerk is refusing to sign marriage licenses for gay couples.
NY GOP Senator Mark Grisanti, who voted for marriage equality, is being hit hard by conservatives and won't rule out running as a Democrat in the next election: "The Buffalo Republican, whose underdog victory last November swung control of the Senate to the GOP, also would not rule out running as a Democrat when he faces the voters again in 2012, backing off on a blanket rejection of such a move that he made after the Friday vote. 'I'm not saying I will rule it out,' he said during an afternoon news conference in the Mahoney State Office Building, 'but I do not see that -- jumping over to the Democratic side.'"
NY GOP Senator Saland, another vote for marriage equality, discusses the decision: “I realized I had voted on Lord only knows how many thousands of bills, I’ve had to make many many difficult decisions, but I don’t think that any of them quite rose to the magnitude of this decision. I think this may have been the most difficult decision that I’ve had to make.”
Watch Colbert's segment, AFTER THE JUMP ...
GOP Presidential hopeful Rick Santorum spoke out against same-sex marriage at an Iowa press conference yesterday, warning of the "devastating impact" it would have on children, families, and religious liberties.
He also rants that children will learn about transgender children and it will have a "profound" impact as they are forced to learn about all these issues.
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...
MUSIC NEWS: Beyoncé, Patrick Wolf, Taking Back Sunday, Missy Elliott, Hunx & His Punx, Oh Land, CocknBullKid, Darren Hayes
Norman Brannon is a pop critic, musician, and author based in New York City. He presents a weekly music update here on Towleroad and writes regularly at Nervous Acid.
Follow Norman on Twitter at @nervousacid.
The early word on 4 indicated that Beyoncé was moving into some uncharted territory: Reports surfaced of a recorded collaboration with Diplo and the Brooklyn noise-rock duo Sleigh Bells. The underperforming lead single "Run the World (Girls)" seemed to confirm a forward-thinking direction of some sort, sampling Major Lazer's "Pon de Floor" and pairing fidget-house pioneer Switch with R&B stalwart The-Dream on coproduction duties. And Odd Future's Frank Ocean got the call to write and produce. In the end, some of those things made it onto the album, but "forward-thinking" is not quite the right word for the outcome — in fact, just the opposite. Beyoncé's fourth album is, by and large, a record guided by the rearview, and the bulk of its material — downtempo, occasionally sullen, grasping for timelessness — ends up in some sort of mid-'80s R&B limbo. When they're there, the hits are forceful and definitive: "I Still Care" boasts an incredible urgent vocal delivery over a beat-driven, ambient soul track and "Countdown" is a midtempo open-letter-to-the-ladies empowerment song as good as any Beyoncé's ever given us. Unfortunately, the misses are just as pronounced — whether it's the Bruce Hornsby '80s rock-lite of "Best Thing I Never Had" or the grossly anachronistic "Love On Top," time-stamped by Shalamar in 1982 — and by album's end, the difference between 4 and its predecessors is a psychic one. Beyoncé says that she became "focused on [these] songs being classics, songs that would last," but in doing so, she tempted a well-known artistic truism: Longevity is achieved with time, not intent.
Stereogum compiled a list of reactions to last week's passage of the Marriage Equality bill in New York, including notes from LGBT artists like Kaki King, Justin Bond, Tegan & Sara, JD Samson, and Vampire Weekend's Rostam Batmanglij, as well as allies like Ted Leo, The Decemberists' Colin Meloy, Best Coast, and Passion Pit. But the most personal reaction came from Grizzly Bear's Ed Droste: "As a gay man in a 7-year relationship getting married later this year, I can't tell you how thrilled I am about NY marriage equality!"
Missy Elliott has been largely out of the public eye since The Cookbook was released in 2005, and recent revelations might explain the gap. This week, Elliott revealed to People magazine that she's been suffering from Graves' disease — an autoimmune disorder better known as hyperthyroidism. "I couldn't write because my nervous system was so bad," she said. "I couldn't even use a pen."
Hunx & His Punx recently stopped by the KEXP studios in Seattle to share their brand of queer retro-rock. A full performance stream is available for listening now.
A profile in the Guardian this weekend revealed two little-known facts about the ongoing rise of Nanna Øland Fabricius — or Oh Land to you and me: For one, the Brooklyn-via-Copenhagen singer had been originally tapped to open for Shakira at Madison Square Garden. (She declined.) But more perplexing, a random meeting in a London studio led Rihanna to request that Fabricius write a song for her. That never happened, she said, because "I got so intimidated that I didn't give a proper response."
This week's premiere listens are plentiful: Björk's "Crystalline" is our first full taste of her forthcoming Biophilia, Wilco's "I Might" is the lead single from The Whole Love, Gold Panda released a new and unreleased track for download called "MPB" in advance of his forthcoming U.S. and European tours, and my personal favorite track of the week goes to Bombay Bicycle Club, whose upcoming third album A Different Kind Of Fix promises to be a rhythmically-oriented follow-up to last year's largely acoustic Flaws. The first single is called "Shuffle."
Following up on a cameo for the new Beastie Boys album, Brooklyn's Santigold is hard at work prepping her second full-length album with help from friends like Karen O and Nick Zinner from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, TV On The Radio and Jane's Addiction member Dave Sitek, and even Jay-Z — who called the album so far "epic" and "important." You can also expect to see Santi in an upcoming movie starring opposite Community's Donald Glover.
In support of his just-published memoir, Bob Mould sat in with The Roots on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon this week — and tackled a kind of awkward version of Sugar's "If I Can't Change Your Mind" in the process.
Arcade Fire will be releasing a deluxe edition version of The Suburbs on August 2, which will also feature Scenes from the Suburbs — a Spike Jonze-directed short film inspired by the album. The movie is currently available to watch, free of charge and in its entirety, from the indie film site Mubi.
Patrick Wolf's long-awaited Lupercalia is an album about love, and on "Bermondsey Street," he makes it clear that this is a love that dares speak its name. He sings: "Love knows no boundaries / Sees beyond sexuality / And holds the sun in the palm of its hand / And laughs down on the cynical man." On some level, Wolf is singing from an autocritical standpoint: His fifth album is a kiss-off to cynicism and a love note to the idea that romanticism and realism are not as far apart as many might suggest. To that end, there are countless images of space ("The City," "House") and time ("The Future," "Time of My Life," "Slow Motion"), but none more vivid than the 51-second long ode to his fiancé, also named "William," in which Wolf counts his blessings, and asks, "Oh William, will you be my conqueror?" It's a far cry from the title track to his last album, The Bachelor, where he swears "I'll never marry at all," but it's also a much better look: Whereas Morrissey seems intent on staying miserable forever, Patrick Wolf is finally ready for joy. It really does get better.
Taking Back Sunday have had more ex-members than they've had records, so the line-up for their self-titled fifth album seemed like kind of a big deal: For the first time in almost ten years, the original members behind their breakthrough debut Tell All Your Friends were reuniting for an all-new set. Of course, recreating the past is more boring than inventing a new future, and on Taking Back Sunday, the band does a little bit of both. Lead single "Faith (When I Let You Down)" is an all-grown-up version of the band that filters a clever lyrical conceit through church organs and a choir-like middle-eight, while "Sad Savior" mines the past with an unflattering tribute to Weezer's Blue Album and an outro heavily lifted from Braid's "Never Will Come For Us." But if Adam Lazarra has any one gift, it's the one that allows him to sing simple things like "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, come back" with a sympathetic pathos that easily forgives its own lack of profundity.
Also out today: The Feeling — Together We Were Made (Island UK), Gillian Welch — The Harrow & The Harvest (Acony), The Chemical Brothers — Hanna: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Sony UK), John Digweed — Structures Two (Bedrock), Dolly Parton — Better Day (Dolly)
SOUND & VISION:
CocknBullKid — "Yellow"
The fourth UK single from CocknBullKid gets a video this week and gives new evidence to establish Anita Blay's unique position in the pop music canon: The bells and whistles and glittery outfits worked fine for Beyoncé at Glastonbury, but the first thing Blay does in the video for "Yellow" is take the bells and whistles off — choosing instead to rely on simple sets, an exultant everyman cast, and the best song Sugababes never wrote.
Darren Hayes — "Talk Talk Talk"
After four years away, Darren Hayes returns with the lead single from his upcoming Secret Codes and Battleships. A collaboration with Swedish producer Carl Falk, who is currently riding high after a UK #1 single for Nicole Scherzinger, "Talk Talk Talk" pits Hayes' pensive delivery against a silvery club track — and, so far in 2011, I'm hard-pressed to recall a more confident comeback.
Anna Calvi — "Desire"
She's got the co-sign from Brian Eno and the producer of PJ Harvey behind her, and that right there says a lot about what to expect from Anna Calvi. "Desire" is at once widescreen and soft-focus, with Calvi's unmistakable voice as its deep and expansive anchor. Like Harvey, you get the idea that we're really only scratching the surface of her depth.
Wynter Gordon — "Til Death"
Honesty time! When I first got the link for "Til Death" a few weeks ago, I passed on it. A club track about partying "til death" and a tautological video of people at a party gave me the impression that, somewhere along the line, somebody ran out of ideas. But this weekend, while I was clearing out some of the promos on my desk, I threw on Wynter Gordon's With The Music I Die EP for a second-chance listen, and — maybe I was under the influence of this week's Pride festival — but this damn song really grew on me! I'm not one to believe in guilty pleasures, but OK: I might feel a little bit guilty here.
Posted Jun. 28,2011 at 5:36 PM EST by Norman Brannon in Arcade Fire, Beyoncé, Bjork, Darren Hayes, Grizzly Bear, Music, Music Recommendations, Music Video, Norman Brannon, Patrick Wolf, Spike Jonze | Permalink | Comments (11)
GEORGE TAKEI: Mr. Sulu weighs in on NY's marriage equality victory.
SINKHOLE: Spectators watch (a little too closely imho) as a massive sinkhole swallows a beach in Inskip, Australia.
MICHELLE BACHMANN: Don't know much about history.
SOLSTICE: A lantern festival in Poznan, Poland. May not be too fire safe or environmentally friendly, but it sure looks good.
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David Frum: I was wrong about same-sex marriage.
Rapper climbs light pole, stops traffic in Times Square.
Warehouse 13's Aaron Ashmore talks about SyFy's decision to make his character gay.
Madonna rekindles romance with most recent boytoy.
Maryland family witnesses NY Gay Pride: "In the crowd along the avenue were old people and young and folks across the ethnic spectrum as well as families and out-of-town tourists like ourselves. What seemed to most invigorate both the marchers and the watchers was a sense that American freedom had once again triumphed, and small-minded bigotry had been pushed further into the past."
Bronx gays and lesbians celebrate Gay Pride, ideological defeat of Ruben Diaz.
Sean Avery wants the NHL to get behind marriage equality: “It would be great for the NHL to take the lead among professional sports leagues in terms of social equality and justice and be out front and progressive regarding issues like this."
Lindsay Lohan joins NOH8 campaign.
Massachusetts Democrats call on Senator Scott Brown to stop opposing marriage equality: "Statements issued from the Massachusetts Democratic Party, as well as some of the Democrats competing in the primary to challenge him next year, are part of a coordinated effort to cast Brown as out of step with the state’s liberal political tradition. The allies have also cited votes against extended unemployment benefits and summer youth jobs programming with the same intention."
Will the Portland Trailblazers be anti-bullying trailblazers?
Madonna releases 'I Love New York' footage to celebrate marriage equality.
Leonardo DiCaprio to join Beyoncé in A Star is Born remake?
Seafarers, watch out for whale tails.
Of course, this is how all football games, men's or women's, should begin.
Major New Republic story on transgender rights. "Transgender people are some of the least protected, most persecuted people in the United States. In a recent study of transgender students, nearly half said they’d been 'punched, kicked, or injured with a weapon' at least once in the last year. On average, a transgender person is murdered because of their identity every month, according to the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund."
Big Brother 13 house revealed.
The NYPD says it raided The Eagle on Pride weekend because of complaints: "According to the 311 Service Request Map, there have been zero complaints of any kind. Am I missing something here? Most of the complaints in this largely unpopulated area are about construction noise...What's really going on? Was the Eagle raided because it was Pride Weekend? Or because gay marriage just passed in New York? No. It was raided because the city wants to shut it down--because this block is changing fast and the Eagle boys are not what the Bloombergians want here."
Brown Coffee responds to the firestorm surrounding its homophobic tweet (background here if you missed it) posted shortly after the marriage equality victory in NYC.
Writes the company on its blog:
Recently, a Twitter post that was made via our company’s Twitter account has exploded into something it was never meant to be and we want to correct the record. In the post, it mentioned the differences between Natural Law and Human Law and mentioned that they were different and unequal. This was a post about CLASSICAL PHILOSOPHY and LAWS (a la Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, etc.), not PEOPLE; but somehow people began to twist what was written and added their own lies to the post to mean that somehow we at The Brown Coffee Company are hateful, homophobic, intolerant people. Those are not the facts and we regret that this has descended into something very ugly based on other people’s incorrect reading of the Twitter post. People have begun to attack our friends and business associates based on these incorrect lies and not based on the facts themselves. Other Twitter posts from others began to crop up ascribing words, thoughts and intentions to us and what we said that were NEVER said.
Again, we have been viciously maligned for something we never said.
We at the Brown Coffee Co have never (ever) advocated for intolerance, hatred, bigotry or exclusion of any person, anywhere and positively believe there is no place for such thinking in our society. WE ABSOLUTELY REJECT THE LIES PEOPLE HAVE SAID ABOUT US AND THIS TWITTER POST.
Yeah, because that kind of language is never used about gays and same-sex marriage.
NYC Cafe Dumps Brown Coffee After Company's Homophobic Tweet [tr]