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01/02/2014

Clay Aiken Considering Run for Congress

Pop singer and gay American Idol runner-up Clay Aiken is considering a run for Congress in North Carolina, according to sources who spoke to the Washington Blade:

AikenOne Democratic source said Aiken  made phone calls to gauge support, talked to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and has met with figures in Raleigh, N.C., about a potential bid. Although it’s unclear when Aiken might formally announce a decision, the source said Aiken is “actively considering” it and “sounding and acting like a candidate.”

To help explore a run, the source said Aiken has been working with Betsy Conti, a Raleigh-based political strategist who’s worked for former North Carolina Gov. Bev Purdue and Democratic presidential nominee Al Gore in addition to serving as Maryland’s deputy labor secretary in the Glendening administration. It’s unclear whether Aiken has formally hired her or anyone else to help with his bid.

Another Democratic source said Aiken was in D.C. last month meeting with pollsters at Hart Research Association to examine polling data with one of the partners at the firm.

The seat Aiken would be planning a run for is held by Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.). Aiken would need to file to participate in the primary by Feb. 28, according to the Blade.

Posted Jan. 2,2014 at 9:56 PM EST by in Clay Aiken, News, North Carolina | Permalink | Comments (28)


Ricky Martin and Partner Carlos González Abella Split

Split_martin

Ricky Martin and his longtime partner Carlos González Abella have split, El Nuevo Día reports:

The separation from González Abella comes just a few weeks after the artist acknowledged to Agencia EFE that he hoped to get married in Spain. Martin obtained Spanish citizenship two years ago, although he was born in Puerto Rico and considers himself a boricua.

Martin is currently a coach on the television show “The Voice Australia”.

Martin said he would not be commenting publicly on the break-up.

Posted Jan. 2,2014 at 9:47 PM EST by in Couples, Ricky Martin | Permalink | Comments (35)


The OXD Mirror: New Music for 1.2.14

OXD_Mirror1.2.14

BY OCCUPY THE DISCO / JOSH APPELBAUM

The OXD Mirror is a weekly music column brought to you by the boys of OCCUPY THE DISCO (OXD), a New York City based movement created by three music lovers, Ru Bhatt, Josh Appelbaum, and Tad Hães.  It's a new year, so naturally we've got a batch of fresh deep house, garage and of course disco tracks for you all to soak up.  Enjoy!

 

Lancelot: 'Giving It Up (Feat. Antony & Cleopatra)'

Sydney continues to churn out some of the most talented house music producers, including newcomer Lance Gurskik, aka Lancelot.  He's put out two EPs for Nurvous Records, and is back again with the piano-infused 'Giving It Up', which features vocals from Anita Blay and Alex Burnett, who together go by Antony and Cleopatra. The team has produced a deep, vocally-driven house track that was first heard and featured on The Magicican's Magic Tape 38.  This song has enough flair, drama, and the all-important piano backing to make this song a huge dancefloor hit.

 

Rio Shock: 'Moleque Transante'

There are many things I love about Brazil, but one of the things I love most is the country's unique, sometimes tropically-infused taste in dance music.  Rio Shock is a project started by João Brasil that aims to position baile funk as part of the dance music world that's remembered as a genre for more than just a few one hit wonders.  'Moleque Transante' pulls in Portuguese rap (which sounds vastly different from American rap), funky breaks and beats, and even deep house keyboards in to create a beach banger that works oceanside or in a warm nightclub in the wintertime.

Mickey: 'Deepest'

Belgian DJ Mickey has been a music lover from a very young age, following the 60's, 70's and 80's eras closely along with modern deep house music.  His heavy deep sound is felt once again on the appropriately titled 'Deepest'.  It's a little heavy, moody, and perhaps not for someone who is used to build ups and drops in their dance music; I think however, given the chance, this strong deep house track will grow even on those who aren't familiar with the genre.

 MORE NEW MUSIC, AFTER THE JUMP...

 

Anna Lunoe: 'Breathe (Cosmo's Midnight Mix)'

I first posted this song in September and then included it as one of my top 2013 tracks a few weeks back.  A slew of remixes for Anna Lunoe's 'Breathe' debuted recently, including edits from A.N.D.Y., Treasure Fingers and of course this edit by Cosmo's Midnight.  These twin producers, who also hail from Anna's hometown of Sydney, have rearranged the song with some garage beats and some lighter breaks.  It's softer than the original version but still bouncy in the way you'd want a dancefloor hit to be.

 

St. Lucia: 'All Eyes On Me (Goldroom Remix)'

2013 was a great year for St. Lucia.  The band, started by vocalist Jean-Philip Grobler, quickly became popular for their light modern rock sound and boyish good looks. As the group starts their world tour in the coming weeks, producer Josh Legg, aka Goldroom, has remixed the group's biggest hit, 'All Eyes On You' to tide us over. The original song has been featured in commercials for Taco Bell and Victoria's Secret, and now Goldroom has added in his ethereal and dreamy production.  The marriage of the two styles is a happy one, ands the collusion of styles plays out nicely for a sweet, yet still upbeat version of this great song.

We are on Spotify!  Subscribe to our 'As Featured on Towleroad' Playlist to listen to tracks posted from past weeks.  For more information on OXD, check out our website and accompanying blog at www.occupythedisco.com, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter: @OccupyTheDisco

Posted Jan. 2,2014 at 5:22 PM EST by in Josh Appelbaum, Music, Music Recommendations, Occupy the Disco | Permalink | Comments (7)


News: Enrique Iglesias, Shia LeBeouf, Issac Asimov, Breaking Bad, Disney

Road War veteran with PTSD becomes first person to buy legal marijuana in Colorado.

Road Enrique Iglesias claims his worst defect is "from the waist down." "I go skinny-dipping if there are no paparazzi around,” Enrique said. When asked if he goes full frontal, he added: “I’m not going to tell you because it would ruin my career. There’s not a lot to show off.”

Screen Shot 2014-01-02 at 2.46.23 PMRoad Shia LeBeouf offers a sky high apology for plagiarism

Road Duck Dynasty clan launches their own line of guns. 

Road The Atlantic looks at why Republican belief in evolution has declined so rapidly in the past four years. "One possibility is that respondents who identified as Republican and believed in evolution in 2009 are no longer identifying as Republicans. Fewer scientists, for example, are reportedly identifying with the GOP, and the overall trend is for fewer Americans to call themselves Republicans. But both Gallup and separate polling from Pew found approximately the same party ID in 2009 and 2013."

Road Issac Asimov's 1964 prediction for what the year 2014 would look like.

Road A Chinese man who attempted to fly a hot-air balloon to an island between Beijing and Tokyo had to be rescued by Japan's coastguard after ditching his balloon at sea

Road James Avery of 'The Fresh Prince of Bel Air' passes away at the age of 68.

Road Miley Cyrus takes a shot at Beyonce. “Beyonce has been a big inspiration to me but she’s been out for such a long time. She’s so talented and I think she’s at the top of the game now but people are always looking for new blood and that’s what I bring to the game now, new blood.” 

Road What your favorite drink says about your political inclinations.

Road Man who won contest to meet cast of "Breaking Bad" arrested on drug charges

Magic bandsRoad Disney World's new NSA-style "Magic Bands" track guest movements. "The MyMagic+ 'vacation management system' can track guests as they move throughout Walt Disney World and analyze their buying habits. If parents allow certain settings on the Magic Bands, employees playing characters will be able to see data with the use of hidden sensors --- so a child might walk up to Mickey Mouse, who says, "Hi, Bobby! Happy birthday!" Some rides will be designed so that there's interaction between the machines and people with Magic Bands in waiting areas, thus keeping guests entertained as they wait in line. 

Posted Jan. 2,2014 at 4:45 PM EST by | Permalink | Comments (20)


Chris Kluwe Claims He Was Likely Fired Due to Homophobic Bigotry & Cowardice of Vikings Coaches

Chris kluwe

When punter and vocal LGBT ally Chris Kluwe was cut from the Minnesota Vikings back in May, many (including the governor) suspected that there was more to the story than what was being told by team officials. Although officials said they cut him early to give him a better chance at singing with another team, many believed he was cut for being too outspoken on LGBT rights issues. Kluwe, for his part, maintained the same answer when repeatedly asked his thoughts on the speculation: "I honestly don't know, because I'm not in those meetings with the coaches and administrative people."

And while Kluwe contends that he still doesn’t know for sure if his activism was the reason for his firing, he now says he is pretty confident it was. In a new article published on Deadspin, Kluwe blasts his former coaches, saying in part:

It's my belief, based on everything that happened over the course of 2012, that I was fired by Mike Priefer, a bigot who didn't agree with the cause I was working for, and two cowards, Leslie Frazier and Rick Spielman, both of whom knew I was a good punter and would remain a good punter for the foreseeable future, as my numbers over my eight-year career had shown, but who lacked the fortitude to disagree with Mike Priefer on a touchy subject matter.

Screen Shot 2014-01-02 at 1.32.54 PMKluwe says that Priefer (pictured right), who is the special-teams coordinator for the Vikings, repeatedly used homophobic language in his presence, including an instance back in November 2012 where Priefer went on a rant saying “We should round up all the gays, send them to an island, and then nuke it until it glows.” As the season went on, Kluwe says Preifer became increasingly irritated with his activism.    

Kluwe also says that others on the coaching staff were uncomfortable with his outspokenness and attempted to dissuade him from speaking out on the matter of same-sex marriage and LGBT equality.

Later in the piece, Kluwe goes on to explain why he waited so long to tell his side of the story and closes by bringing up the larger question of homophobia in the NFL

If there's one thing I hope to achieve from sharing this story, it's to make sure that Mike Priefer never holds a coaching position again in the NFL, and ideally never coaches at any level. (According to the Pioneer Press, he is "the only in-house candidate with a chance" at the head-coaching job.) It's inexcusable that someone would use his status as a teacher and a role model to proselytize on behalf of his own doctrine of intolerance, and I hope he never gets another opportunity to pass his example along to anyone else.

[...]

Some will ask if the NFL has a problem with institutionalized homophobia. I don't think it does. I think there are homophobic people in the NFL, in all positions, but that's true for society as well, and those people eventually get replaced. All we can do is try to expose their behavior when we see it and call them to account for their actions.

The entire article is well worth a read. If you are interested, head over to Deadspin HERE

Posted Jan. 2,2014 at 3:20 PM EST by in Chris Kluwe, Football (American), Gay Rights, Minnesota, News, NFL, Sports | Permalink | Comments (37)


Ani DiFranco Hosts, Then Cancels Songwriting Retreat At Former Slave Plantation

Ani DiFranco Nottoway Plantation

Bisexual singer Ani DiFranco had originally planned to host a songwriting workshop retreat for women, wanting a setting that would "become a participant in the event," so she decided on Nottaway Plantation. The problem is that Nottoway is not just a plantation, but a former slave plantation. What's more, as Callie Beusman at Jezebel points out, it is a particularly unapologetic plantation that does its best to whitewash its history of slave labor. Nottoway's website states:

Ever the astute businessman, Randolph [Nottoway] knew that in order to maintain a willing workforce, it was necessary to provide not only for his slaves' basic needs for housing, food and medicine, but to also offer additional compensation and rewards when their work was especially productive.

For those unclear on how the English language works, slaves are by definition the polar opposite of a "willing workforce."

When DiFranco received backlash for her choice of venue, she took to social media to "apologize", saying (sic throughout):

when i found out it was to be held at a resort on a former plantation, I thought to myself, "whoa", but i did not imagine or understand that the setting of a plantation would trigger such collective outrage or result in so much high velocity bitterness. 

How someone who claims to be a feminist and thus in tune to the plights heaped upon a discriminated class could not have predicted a toxic backlash to patronizing an institution that celebrates its own black mark on U.S. history is mind-boggling. DiFranco ultimately canceled her event.

Image via Our Legaci.

Posted Jan. 2,2014 at 3:00 PM EST by in Music | Permalink | Comments (39)



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