Barbra Streisand Hub




FALL MUSIC PREVIEW: Mika, Basement Jaxx, Gossip, Madonna, Mariah Carey, Barbra Streisand, Gary Go, La Roux, Florence + The Machine

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MODERN TONIC

The editors of Modern Tonic present a weekly music update here on Towleroad. The rest of the week, they scan the pop-culture landscape for movie, TV, book and Web recommendations in their daily email.

6a00d8341c730253ef0120a58f85e8970c-800wi SPECIAL EDITION: FALL 2009 MUSIC PREVIEW   

Fall: The time our thoughts turn to new sweaters, pumpkin lattes and world-class divas who want to rule the music charts through the end of the year. This autumn, at least three of them — Madonna, Mariah and Barbra — are stepping up with big new releases (all on the same day no less, September 29). But they're not the only ones we're excited about: There are plenty of up-and-comers, newly beloveds and at least one old friend, Robbie Williams, trying for the umpteenth time to break America. Go, Robbie!

6a00d8341c730253ef0120a58f85e8970c-800wi RETURNING ARTISTS:

Muse Muse — The Resistance (9-15)
Resistance is futile, though The Resistance most certainly is not. The first track and single, “Uprising,” is rousing anthemic Queen glam rock, and it’s followed by bluesy riffs (“MK Ultra”), a prog-rock epic in three minutes (“United States of Eurasia”), and an actual three movement symphony (“Exogenesis Symphony”) that’s a classical gas. Muse’s stadium-scale ambitions make the term “over-the-top” obsolete. But because they do it with enormous hooks, towering vocal pyrotechnics, and a knowing wink we forgive them their indulgences. Their idea of “big” is massive – musically and conceptually – and that’s the type of size queen we love.

Mika — The Boy Who Knew Too Much (9-22)
Whereas Muse love the brawny theatricality of Queen, Mika (pictured above) channels Freddie Mercury, the flamboyantly insouciant pop star. His follow-up to the madly successful Life in Cartoon Motion offers more of the same bright melodies (“We Are Golden”), good-time hooks (“Blame It On the Girls”), dance-friendly grooves (“Rain”) with extra added depth. The ballads “I See You” and “Lady Jane” are heartbreaking. The boy just keeps getting better, regardless of how much he already knows.

Basement Basement Jaxx — Scars (9-22)
It’s been over a decade since Basement Jaxx had us bopping to its funky debut Remedy. With Scars comes new guest vocalists Yoko Ono, Sam Sparro, Santigold and more, but those dance-fueled grooves just get better with age, if first single “Raindrops” is any indication.

Gossip — Music for Men (available digitally now; on CD 10-6)

A zaftig lesbian with a voice bigger than her girth rides the muscular music of her two cohorts for a gay rock breakthrough that’s longer on party jams than political tirades. “Heavy Cross” pounds like Cyndi Lauper meets Gang of Four, “Love and Let Love” is a funky Madonna rip and in case you miss the message “Men in Love” is a frenzied hump fest with a chorus for the ages. “Nah nah nah nah men in love WITH EACH OTHER!”  Sing along, children.

Rufus Also: Bananarama — Viva (import, 9-14); Marié Digby — Breathing Underwater (9-15); Rufus Wainwright — Milwaukee At Last!!! (CD/DVD, 9-22); David Gray — Draw the Line (9-22); Landon Pigg — The Boy Who Never (9-29); Zero 7 — Year Ghost (9-29); Massive Attack — (EP) (10-6); Noah and the Whale — The First Days of Spring (10-6); Raveonettes — In & Out of Control (10-6); Katherine McPhee — Unbroken (10-6); Erin McKeown — Hundreds of Lions (10-13); Sufjan Stevens — The BQE (10-20); Serena Ryder — Is It O.K. (11-3); Amerie — In Love & War (11-3); Jamie Cullum — The Pursuit (11-10).


Madonna6a00d8341c730253ef0120a58f85e8970c-800wi SUPERSTARS:

Madonna — Celebration (9-29)
Technically it’s not a new release, but a collection of remastered hits selected by Her Madgesty and her fans. But why do you wanna argue with us, people? Do you need an excuse to celebrate the achievements of She who was born Ciccone? How about two new songs one co-produced by dance-meister Paul Oakenfold? Ready to celebrate now? We thought so.

Mariah


Mariah Carey — Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel (9-29)

In which Mimi covers Foreigner’s soaring ballad “I Want to Know What Love Is.” Like her or not the internet leak of the track last week proved what her voice can do with a song as transcendent and emotional as this. Produced with The-Dream and Tricky Stewart, there’s plenty to satisfy everyone here from bold ballads (“H.A.T.E.U.”) to street savvy pop jams (first single “Obsessed”). If she knocks this one out of the park, she’ll have scored an R&B comeback trifecta.

BarbraBarbra Streisand — Love Is the Answer (9-29) 
In the exclusive “making-of” video posted on Amazon.com, La Streisand says her latest album a collection of jazz standards produced by Diana Krall goes back to her roots. We’re not sure where the intersection of Broadway and Jazz Street is, but she’s not an icon for nothing, and if any voice can light up old warhorses like “Make Someone Happy” and “Here’s to Life” hers would be it.

Robbie Robbie Williams — Reality Killed the Video Star (11-10 – digital only)
We still root for Robbie Williams to break out in America every time he puts out a record. His latest, produced by Trevor Horn (Pet Shop Boys, The Art of Noise), has a sound that reportedly dips into Williams’ Northern roots meaning, well, we’re not sure. Manchester rave? Northern soul? We don’t really care a talented bloke with a great ear for melody, a sense of humor and an outsized personality, he’s still the ex-Take That member we’d most like to take home (we were going to say “to our mothers,” but we really just want to take him home!). (See his brand new video here.)

Tina Also releasing:  Nelly Furtado — Mi Plan (9-15); Backstreet Boys — This Is Us (10-6); Rosanne Cash — The List (10-6); Shakira — She Wolf (10-13);  Tina Turner — Tina Live (CD/DVD, 10-20); R.E.M. — Live at the Olympia (10-27); Sting — If On a Winter’s Night… (10-27); Nirvana — Live at Reading (11-3); Leona Lewis — Echo (11-17); Britney Spears — The Singles Collection  (11-17, unconfirmed); Norah Jones — The Fall (11-17).


6a00d8341c730253ef0120a58f85e8970c-800wi DEBUT ARTISTS:

GarygoGary Go — Gary Go (available digitally now; on CD 9-15)
This British singer born Gary Baker isn’t afraid of a soaring, arena-friendly chorus or a relentless positivity in his lyrical outlook. Check out the single “Wonderful” for proof. Discover him quickly, before he becomes the rom-com falling in love/breaking up scene go-to serenader.

La Roux — La Roux (9-29)
With her reedy voice and ginger mega-quiff Elly Jackson, with multi-instrumental partner Ben Langmaid, have revved up the ‘80s revival and become U.K. chart-toppers in the process. It’s possible to resist pop nuggets like the Yaz-tastic “Bulletproof,” but we ask: why? Put on your Doc Martens and stomp up a storm. 

The Temper Trap — Conditions (10-13)
Oh, the male falsetto! From Smokey Robinson to Bronski Beat and Sigur Ros, the sound of a man reaching for the heavens with that most feminine of instruments is soul-stirring. This quartet from Melbourne adds alt-rock muscle to Dougy Mandagi ‘s spectral vocals in a way that will rouse your inner soprano. If you find yourself negotiating the high notes of “Sweet Disposition also featured in (500) Days of Summer or cooing “ooh baby” along with the thrusting “Push” we assure you you’ll never feel more manly. FREE DOWNLOAD OF "DOWN RIVER" HERE.

Xx The xx — xx (available digitally now; on CD 10-20)
Their vibe: low-key. Their visual style: austere. Their music: minimal. And their vocals: an intimate boy/girl sing-speak. So why is this South London quartet a hot property right now? Because their 11-track debut balances love’s ecstasy with its menacing undertones, and its subtle musical and lyrical concentration never smack you in the face with fake “look-at-me” showmanship. Instead, it compels you to listen. Imagine that. FREE DOWNLOAD OF "BASIC SPACE" HERE.

Florence Florence + the Machine — Lungs (10- 20)
Available digitally since July, the U.S. CD release of Florence + the Machine’s Lungs gives us reason to revisit her much-hyped debut. Was all the critical caterwauling worth it? On second (and third and fourth, etc.) listening, Ms. Florence Welch’s deeply English, pagan, mysterious, over-the-top and unashamedly passionate songs sound better than ever.

Also releasing:  Kid Cudi — Man on the Moon: The End of Day (9-15); Alan Cumming — I Bought a Blue Car Today (9-22); Asteroids Galaxy Tour — Fruit (9-22); N-dambi — Pink Elephant (10- 6); Kristina Train — Spilt Milk (10-20); Space Cowboy — Digital Rock Star (11-3).


6a00d8341c730253ef0120a58f85e8970c-800wi BOXED SETS / REISSUES:

Duran Duran — Rio Collector’s Edition (9-22); Kraftwerk — The Catalogue (10-6); Hall & Oates — Do What You Want, Be What You Are: The Music of Daryl Hall & John Oates (10-6); Dolly Parton — Dolly (10-27); Bee Gees — Ultimate Bee Gees - 50th Anniversary Edition (11-3).


6a00d8341c730253ef0120a58f85e8970c-800wi BONUS FALL MUSIC PREVIEW DOWNLOADS

Spiralbeach Spiral Beach — “Domino”
From their second release The Only Really Thing (out 9-22), Canada’s Spiral Beach interpolates The Munster’s theme riff over a go-go beat that’s an invitation to frug wildly. Add 60’s girl-group harmonies and you’ve got a killer B-52’s rip that could pass for the real thing. FREE DOWNLOAD HERE.

Greg Laswell — “Your Ghost”
This San Diegan singer-songwriter goes the Covers route on his forthcoming EP (out 10-6), and we can’t wait. Why? This spooky lament – a cover of a Kristen Hersh solo song. It’s just as haunting as the original, but with added muscle. FREE DOWNLOAD HERE.

Erin McKeown — “The Foxes”
This lapsed folkie previews her forthcoming Hundreds of Lions (out 10-13) with a music-hall ditty about – and we quote – “love can’t be fun if you don’t put in the work.”  This girl’s working, so start loving her now. FREE DOWNLOAD HERE.



Towleroad Guide to the Tube #419

BARACK OBAMA: His first weekly radio YouTube address.

EMOTION: A blast from the past for you Streisand lovers. Analysis here.

CADBURY: Presents kids with some very talented eyebrows.

QUEEN'S GUARD: Douchebag gets smacked.


News: Stock Plunge, Dinosaurs, Jetpack, New Hampshire, Paul Newman

road.jpg Bailout REJECTED, stocks plunge!

road.jpg Project Runway saved? NBC wins first round in 'fierce' court battle.

Jetpackroad.jpg Man jetpacks across English Channel.

road.jpg October surprise: a Levi Johnston-Bristol Palin wedding?

road.jpg Does Sarah Palin believe man and dinosaurs existed at the same time? "After conducting a college band and watching Palin deliver a commencement address to a small group of home-schooled students in June 1997, Wasilla resident Philip Munger said, he asked the young mayor about her religious beliefs. Palin told him that 'dinosaurs and humans walked the Earth at the same time,' Munger said. When he asked her about prehistoric fossils and tracks dating back millions of years, Palin said 'she had seen pictures of human footprints inside the tracks,' recalled Munger, who teaches music at the University of Alaska in Anchorage and has regularly criticized Palin in recent years on his liberal political blog, called Progressive Alaska."

Palinroad.jpg Newsweek's Sam Harris on Palin freaknomenon: "The problem, as far as our political process is concerned, is that half the electorate revels in Palin's lack of intellectual qualifications. When it comes to politics, there is a mad love of mediocrity in this country."

road.jpg At Sarah Palin's Ground Zero visit, she accepted and carried with her a book about gay celibate priest Mychal Judge, who was the first recorded death on 9/11.

Ronaldocristianoroad.jpg 365 days of Cristiano Ronaldo.

road.jpg The New York Times comes out against Proposition 8. Board of Rabbis of Southern California come out against the measure. AP declares battle the War of the Rings.

road.jpg Karen Ocamb: Paul Newman taught me how to clean fish.

road.jpg Brand Beckham smells up New York City.

road.jpg Canadian talk show host Kevin O'Keefe comes out covering series on gay parents: "I figured it's a series on gay parents, and it's for National Coming Out Day. I can't pretend I don't have a vested interest in this topic, so I felt I had to say 'I am gay'."

road.jpg NYT on the current state of being gay in Hollywood: "...for most gay actors, Hollywood is not a warm and fuzzy episode of 'Will & Grace.' Today, it is certainly more acceptable to be openly gay. But these actors must still answer wrenching questions: Just how candid do you want to be? Would you be happy appearing only in comedies, or being pigeonholed as a character actor? And what does the line 'You’re just not right for the role' really mean? Jasika Nicole, 28, an F.B.I. agent on 'Fringe,' a new Fox drama, said that as bigger parts became available, her manager, John Essay, sat her down and asked how public she wanted to be about being a lesbian. Some roles could be lost, he told her, as would some fans."

Sextaperoad.jpg New claim: Britney sex tape for sale.

road.jpg The worst gay person ever performs a session with BBC2.

road.jpg Utah gay rights activist Laura Milliken Gray moving out.

road.jpg GOP candidate with no chance to win quits party in order to dedicate his campaign efforts to passing Proposition 8. Jeff Taylor: "Proposition 8 has always been my main core issue."

road.jpg Apple to make iTunes and iPod accessible to the blind.

road.jpg Barbra Streisand: Is this a democracy or a monarchy???

road.jpg New Hampshire lawmakers to face gay bills upon return to session in January: "Portsmouth Democrat Jim Splaine, who sponsored the state’s winning civil unions law, is now backing a bill to legalize gay marriage. He says winning enough votes will be tough but he thinks the conversation needs to start. Meanwhile, Deputy Republican Leader David Hess is sponsoring a proposed repeal of part of the civil unions law. He wants to strike out the language that recognizes another state’s same sex marriage as a civil union in New Hampshire."

road.jpg Former Real World cast member Dan Renzi interviews former Project Runway contestand Jack Mackenroth.


McCain Sings Streisand: A Must for all Log Cabin Republicans

Mccain_streisand

Seriously. As a follow-up to my previous post.

Says McCain: "I've been in politics for over 20 years, and for over 20 years I've had Barbra Streisand trying to do my job. So I've decided to try my hand at her job...A portion of all sales will be used to damage Alaskan Wildlife Preserves."

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "McCain Sings Streisand: A Must for all Log Cabin Republicans" »


News: Alan Cumming, Taxis, Esquire, Booker Prize, Sarah Palin

road.jpg While Palin was mayor, Wasilla billed victims for their rape kits.

Stpeteroad.jpg Taxi service for gays to launch in St. Petersburg, Russia?

road.jpg Pete Wentz: I once almost put a bullet through my head.

road.jpg Gay softball team disqualified from world series for having too many straight players: "D2, a team from San Francisco, beat the Atlanta Mudcats in the series to qualify for the A Division championship game against the Los Angeles Vipers. But the Mudcats filed a protest, alleging that six of D2’s players were straight. North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance (NAGAA) rules state a team in the series may have no more than two straight players on its squad."

road.jpg Some guy relieved himself next to David Beckham and confirmed previous reports from Posh.

Skirtroad.jpg Marc Jacobs closes New York show in a skirt.

road.jpg Barbra Streisand to sing for Obama: "Streisand will perform at a $2,500-per-person reception and concert fund-raiser at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, with upwards of 700 people expected to attend. Among the co-hosts of the event are DreamWorks partners Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen, as well as political consultant Andy Spahn. It'€™s being organized with Obama's Southern California finance team."

road.jpg UK Booker Prize shortlist announced: Aravind Adiga The White Tiger: A Novel, Sebastian Barry The Secret Scripture, Amitav Ghosh Sea of Poppies: A Novel, Linda Grant The Clothes on Their Backs, Philip Hensher The Northern Clemency, Steve Toltz A Fraction of the Whole.


road.jpg Kevin and Scotty pics from the new season of Brothers and Sisters.

road.jpg "No on 8" office opens in SF's Castro: "Activists have already been working for months to build up a grassroots operation to defeat the anti-gay constitutional amendment, but now they will have a spacious centrally-located office to organize. San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, Assemblyman Mark Leno, Supervisor Tom Ammiano and Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums worked up the crowd with reminders of this historic struggle--and how a defeat by the radical right would be a huge setback for the LGBT community."

Esquireroad.jpg Esquire celebrates 75th anniversary with E-ink cover.

road.jpg Alan Cumming becoming U.S. citizen to vote for Obama.

road.jpg Living strong: Lance Armstrong to come out of retirement for Tour de France?

road.jpg UFC fighter Evan Tanner found dead after walk into desert.

road.jpg WSJ's Kirchik claims GOP is kissing gay-bashing goodbye: "...it was refreshing to see that gays were not part of the agenda this year. Indeed, the only speaker to make mention of them was the former Arkansas governor and Baptist preacher Mike Huckabee, and he did so only tangentially, stating that Mr. McCain "doesn't want to change the very definition of marriage from what it has always meant throughout recorded human history." (The same, of course, could be said of the supposedly gay-friendly Barack Obama, who also opposes marriage equality for gay couples). The absence of antigay rhetoric has much to do with Mr. McCain; he is comfortable around gay people, and his old-fashioned sense of honor proscribes against making them pariahs for political gain."

road.jpg Katy Perry-hating church hit with 'God loves gays' vandalism.

road.jpg McGreevey's partner Mark O'Donnell offers to pay for daughter Jacqueline's school: "O'Donnell's offer was disclosed in a letter filed Friday in Union County Family Court by McGreevey lawyer Stephen Haller, who called it 'an incredibly generous gesture.'"

road.jpg Gay porn killers to be tried together...


Joan Rivers and Barbra Streisand Once Swapped Spit

Joan Rivers tells the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that she and Barbra Streisand played lovers in a 1959 theatre production of the off-off Broadway play "Driftwood" because the director couldn't find a leading man:

Streisand_rivers"We played lesbian lovers. That was the first thing Barbra did; soon after that she really got going. Let me tell you, Barbra is a great kisser, but no tongue....I don't really see her anymore. I got an invitation from Barbra asking me to please come see her show when she was in New York. I thought, 'This is a joke,' but it wasn't. I wrote her back, 'I can't come because I'm working that night,' which was true. Barbra is so involved in her own life. When I do see her, she always asks, 'So, are you still in the business?' And she's not making a joke. She has no clue what anyone else is doing."

Rivers also talked about her experiences with Andy Warhol: "Bad wigs, oily skin. He looked like an albino. Not a pretty man. Andy wanted to do me, but Cher said, 'Don't. He charges $40,000 a portrait, and he'll always tell you the first one isn't good.' I wasn't going to make an $80,000 commitment. I said, 'Andy, if you want to do it for free, great,' but he picked Elizabeth Taylor instead."

And Robert Mapplethorpe: "He wouldn't agree to retouch the photos, so I said no."

Rivers is playing a concert in Pittsburgh over the weekend sponsored by the Lambda Foundation.


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