"We're definitely doing it, in 2012. Our D-Day is April 30, which is the same day as our first-ever single release, “White Boy”... it’s going to be great fun. If we don’t do it now we’ll do it when we’re 60, which will be really tragic."
The site also suggests that Mark Ronson will produce the band's next album, for promotion on a 2012 tour.
Modern Tonic — a daily email that delivers gay-approved pop culture gems (before they've been co-opted by everyone else) — presents a weekly music update here on Towleroad.
TODAY’S FEATURED NEW RELEASES:
It’d be easy to hate Mark Ronson. Born into wealth, he’s a jet-setting DJ, Grammy-winning producer of Amy Winehouse's Back to Black, and a good-looking bloke. If it weren’t for his pesky heterosexuality he’d be the perfect man. And with the release of his electro-vibing third album Record Collection with his band the Business Intl, he still kind of is. Ronson gets help from pop luminaries and exciting up-and-comers: Boy George, Miike Snow’s Andrew Wyatt and former Pipette Rose Elinor Dougall anchor the skittering "Somebody to Love Me" (stream in player below). The frothy summer single "Bang Bang Bang" with Q-Tip and New York electro duo MNDR’s a hip-hop jam that opens the set on the right foot. And the multitasking Ronson debuts his own vocal chops on the title tune and the breezy pop trifle "Lose It (In the End)." Even the instrumentals — where we usually hit "skip" — are enjoyably stylish.
We’re always grateful for those who don’t squander our precious time. Ellie Innocenti — the Karen O, the Debbie Harry, the Chrissie Hynde of UK/Brooklyn quartet Deluka — is a tough chick who gets right down to it on Deluka’s frenzied debut You Are the Night (out digitally today; on CD October 26). "Oh my God! I start to panic," Innocenti bawls to kick off a skittish New Wave slice of nirvana called "OMFG." And when Innocenti gets agitated you should just stand back and enjoy the fireworks. That is, if you aren’t too busy dancing. You Are the Night’s 11 tracks are diamond-hard gems of pop rock. The perky electronics, the scratchy guitars of angular funk, the slamming crescendos of grunge: all are here, often on the same track. The single "Cascade" sounds like Elastica fronting La Roux. "Snapshot" rages like Metric at the disco. And when she shows us her gentle side on "Waves," Innocenti reaches back to the Ronettes for sweet-natured guidance. In 40 minutes, she handles her panic — about life, about men, about the world in general — and announces that she’s a major talent to reckon with. And she doesn’t waste our time for one single second.
Break out your parachute pants, Aqua Net your quiff and twirl around the dance-floor, because two of the '80s' finest return today. Yaz (or, all right, Yazoo you freaking trademark lawyers) release Reconnected Live: two discs of Vince Clarke and Alison Moyet cuts culled from their two — only two — classic albums. Like the best live sets, this one — featuring hot versions of "Don’t Go," "Situation" and more — makes us wish to go back and experience it all over again. OMD (or, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, you detail freaks) release their first CD in 14 years, History of Modern. And — surprise — it’s as good as their classics Dazzle Ships and Junk Culture. They offer — as they put it in their robotic voices — "electronic soul music" with a vintage Aretha Franklin sample on "Save Me," sweetly sad pop on "If You Want It" and they indulge their musique concrete side with the spectrally gloomy "Bondage of Fate." Welcome back, lads and lady.
Kristian Hoffman — the gay multi-hyphenate who makes L.A. his home these days — is the kind of guy who will, and we quote, "bitchslap you with a flower, child." (Or is that "bitchslap you with a flower child"?!) It’s a line from his latest release, the aptly-titled Fop. Hoffman’s been around for years — as the frontman for the cult band the Mumps, as an illustrative artist, as a musical director for Ann Magnuson and Rufus Wainwright — yet he’s still an underground artist unknown to the general public. We'd love for that to change. Fop features 17 songs that run the gamut from delicate balladry ("Something New Is Born") to theatrical odes ("Out of the Habit") and thumping disco ("Soothe Me"). He may not be to everyone’s taste, but those who enjoy Rufus Wainwright, Vincent Minor and a night at a sophisticated musical have no reason not to like this.
Glee: The Music, The Rocky Horror Glee Show will be available October 19. The seven-track soundtrack EP includes the music from the Rocky Horror-themed episode airing October 26. Tracks are: "Science Fiction Double Feature," "Damn It, Janet," "Whatever Happened To Saturday Night?," "Sweet Transvestite," "Touch A Touch A Touch A Touch Me," "There's a Light (Over at Frankenstein Place)," and, of course, "Time Warp."
The composer/violinist Owen Pallett follows up the rich tapestry of Heartlandwith A Swedish Love Story, four ornately decorated pop tunes heavy with melody, drama and the orchestrations that have endeared him to collaborators as disparate as F**ked Up and Arcade Fire.
Mr. Heidi Klum — that’s Seal to you — releases 6: Commitment, 11 songs full of his silken, dramatic pop, none more passionate than the yearning "Silence" and the soulful single "Secret." For those about to swoon, we salute you.
The only thing to expect from New York songwriter Nellie McKay is the unexpected. On her fourth release Home Sweet Mobile Home she tackles reggae ("Caribbean Time"), blues ("Coosada Blues") and — wtf?! — straight up pop ("Bruise On the Sky").
Lauren Pritchard — "Not The Drinking" A grunge-y basement party turns into a handclapping dance fest all around the house on this soulful single from the Broadway "Spring Awakening" star's forthcoming debut Wasted in Jackson.
The Superions — "Fruitcake" Oh, Santa, we must have been very good this year to receive this holiday gift from the B-52's Fred Schneider and his side project the Superions. A paean to nobody's favorite holiday treat, this kitschy clip precedes their forthcoming album Destination...Christmas!
Joe McElderry — "Ambitions" This out English model and singer — winner of the sixth season of the U.K.'s The X Factor — has an angelic voice like Will Young with extra Euro beats on this hi-NRG cut from his forthcoming debut Wide Awake. There's loads of dancing across what looks like a Hollywood backlot, and the boy's enthusiasm — and his cuteness — is infectious.
Andrea Faithful — "Booby Trap" This U.K. disco dolly is a robotic bimbo in her sci-fi dance clip. We love that she borrowed her outfit from early-period Berlin (the band, not the city), but what's up with the undearwear that looks like haute-couture Depends?
Modern Tonic — a daily email that delivers gay-approved pop culture gems (before they've been co-opted by everyone else) — presents a weekly music update here on Towleroad. TODAY’S FEATURED NEW RELEASES
Knitting together a tapestry of post-modern indie-pop with echoes of Tin Pan Alley, openly-gay Vincent Minor is nothing less than major on his eponymous debut. Known for the better part of the last decade in the Los Angeles music scene by his birth name Michael Mangia, the artist’s alter ego affords him a tenacious vehicle to announce his cheeky songwriting style to the world. Tracks like "Late Night Show," "Jack and the Waltz" and "Friday the Thirteenth" swell with Minor’s knack for harmonious orchestral arrangements (and a little help from Fiona Apple’s keyboardist and the brass from the Magnetic Zeroes), but the subtle baritone’s wordsmith gifts are most apparent in the no-frills "Dead Air" and "So F**ked Up." Those unsatisfied with the overproduced and 808-saturated offerings from gay and gay-adjacent artists will find refuge in Minor’s Broadway-ready arms.
The brains behind much of Brooklyn’s music boom, former TV on the Radio member David Sitek, makes his return to the other side of the microphone with Maximum Balloon. With a list of guest stars who have benefited from Sitek’s new-millennium producing career (minus the disappointingly absent Scarlett Johansson), Maximum Balloon’s self-titled release is a lush cornucopia of grooves cool enough for Williamsburg loft parties but sonically satisfying for Sitek’s diehard fans. The shoegazer electronica of "Absence of Light" (featuring Tunde Adebimpe) reeks of Röyksopp filtered down Flatbush Avenue, while the sedate, haunting "Communion" (with Yeah Yeah Yeahs singer Karen O) lifts up and out of this world. If you’ve ever wondered what Groove Armada might sound like in the chill tent at Coachella, wrap a warm set of headphones around your ears cradled by Maximum Balloon for the answer.
In the post-rave music world, band/seminal-hipster-label DFA has satisfied whatever percentage of hearing remains in those who regularly hugged bass woofers until dawn in the ‘90s. The latest effort from the NYC-based label is Shit Robot, whose album From The Cradle to the Rave might be the most appropriate entry in the dictionary when looking up DFA’s trademark disco punk sound. Sure, there are more cowbells on the disc than can be heard in an Oklahoma pasture, but the minimal beats paired with genre-necessary ADD guitar riffs make for more than a one-note album. "Take 'Em Up" and "Tuff Enuff?" manage to walk the line between dance-floor crescendos and engaging musical compositions, while "I Found Love" is the rarest of drum machine finds: a sentimental love song set to rumbling retro basslines. Who said drum machines have no soul?
Merry Christmas II You (out November 2), Mariah Carey's follow-up to her massively successful 1994 album Merry Christmas, will include a brand new recording of "All I Want For Christmas Is You," four original songs composed by Mariah, including the new single, "Oh Santa," plus some traditional holiday classics.
MORE NEW RELEASES
Singer-songwriter Paula Cole comes full lasso from her "Where Have All The Cowboys Gone?" start forIthaca, her fifth studio album, featuring songs written entirely on her own.
Grammy-nominated Jane Monheit returns to her jazz-standards origins with Home, featuring renditions of Rodgers and Hart, Schwartz and Dietz and other jazzy re-imaginings.
Tegan & Sarah release The Complete Recollection (1999-2010), a comprehensive digital bundle with all six studio albums, a never-before-released live album, Live at the Phoenix 2005, and all thirteen of their music videos (seven of which are commercially available for the first time).
Though it’s easy to become anxious when Barbadian beauties switch up the R&B formula for something more experimental (looking your way, Rihanna), Shontelle might actually pull it off with her edgier second release, No Gravity. Its lead single, "Impossible," hit the Billboard 100 in May, quickly becoming the singer’s most successful and hinting that the words sophomore slump might not apply here.
The word ethereal is employed too often in music reviews, but here, for How To Dress Well’s Love Remains, it fits. Atmospheric slow-cooked beats accompany sleepy synths in standout tracks like "Ready For The World" and "My Body," making for a cinematic offering that could just put Ambien out of business.
Maroon 5 abandons the synthpop accents it flirted with on It Won’t Be Soon Before Long to return to its funkier roots for Hands All Over. With "Misery" already getting plenty of airplay, expect the infinitely catchier "Stutter" to take over its lead, culminating in what will surely be an autumn dominated by the So-Cal quintet.
Starsmith — "Give Me a Break" U.K. producer-of-the-moment Starsmith arrives with the video for his own track, "Give Me A Break," as much an homage to New York City as it is to stop-motion technology.
Mark Ronson & The Business INTL (ftrg Boy George) — "Somebody To Love Me" (live) Mark Ronson seems to gravitate to singers with larger-than-life personalities (see Winehouse item above) so no surprise, perhaps, he did this collaboration with Boy George. The performance is from Later...with Jools Holland.
Shit Robot — "Tuff Enuff?" Shit Robot crowns stop-motion as the official music video medium for electronic music with its offering for "Tuff Enuff?," starring a painfully adorable, never-satisfied yellow-box.
Shakespears Sister — "It's a Trip" For "It’s a Trip," Shakespears Sister (going strong after a 13-year hiatus) interprets the song title literally, with a futuristic Cleopatra and gender-bending Zoot Suits.
Reuters: Obama backers show signs of disappointment. "Gay rights supporters, abortion rights activists, environmentalists and backers of immigration reform all have seen their agendas stalled, with watered-down healthcare the main accomplishment of Obama's once-ambitious agenda."
FOX News' Greg Gutfeld: Gay Obama hecklers did it because they are racist. "But I wonder, couldn't this heckling be a precursor to violent extremism? And could this agitation toward our president, said to be based on policy, really be thinly veiled racism? I mean, the president did say he agreed with this gay group and yet they still heckled."
China to drop ban on HIV-positive tourists: "'The ban was imposed in the 1980s because of a lack of knowledge and is now obsolete and discriminatory,' said He Xiong, deputy head of the Beijing centre for disease prevention and control.
'HIV/Aids cases have been seen in all of China's provinces and a travel ban on foreigners will not help improve local public health,' he said.
China has 740,000 people who are HIV-positive and is one of 60 countries that denies entry to sufferers of the disease."
Boy George on prison fashion: "You have to wear these really horrible denim trousers and a stripy shirt tucked in. I looked like a lesbian. You wear your own clothes in the daytime - nothing too fancy - you're not allowed hoods. Hoodies are banned. It wasn't anything like the new Lady Gaga video: it was not like that at all."
UK travel show reality stars gay bashed even though they're not gay: "The two men, Romane Hole and Nathan Evans, are both straight and are just friends, but they jokingly held hands when they boarded the bus at the start of the journey, which commenced in Athens.
'We had no idea how gay we were going to look by holding hands,' said Evans. 'Then all the way through the series, the [episodes] seem to have been edited to make us look as if we are a homosexual couple, rather than a pair of straight friends.'
... Some viewers not only have gotten the wrong idea about the men, but have allegedly acted in violently homophobic ways based on that impression.
Senator Barbara Boxer introduces Equal Access to COBRA Act: "...would allow many domestic partners the same access married spouses currently have to COBRA health coverage if their partner loses a job."
Boy George on his early years: "My parents had been very mystified by me for ages. They were quite despairing about it all.
I was into the New Romantic style of the early Eighties, and even before Culture Club hit the big time I'd been DJ-ing and creating my image. I'd go home with clippings of myself in magazines – I was even on the cover of Stern, one of the best-known magazines in Germany – and my parents didn't know why.
Finally, they dared to ask, 'What do you do?' and when I said, 'I've got a band', they were really relieved. At last they understood there was a good reason for my androgynous looks and flamboyant personality."
Lawyer walks out on Canadian lesbian heckling case.
Freedom to Marry's Evan Wolfson on the court challenge to civil unions in New Jersey: "Representing the same committed loving couples it fought for in the last round, Lambda Legal reactivated its New Jersey marriage case, Lewis v. Harris, filing what's known as a 'motion in aid of litigants' rights.' That motion seeks to compel the state of New Jersey to follow the law and obey a high court order now more than three years old."
Demographic changes near Palm Springs may put gay man in Congress: "Pougnet represents the new face of Palm Springs. He’s openly gay and openly critical of Bono Mack for not holding more town hall meetings on health care reform. And he’s one of the backers of a petition demanding that Congress repeal the 'don’t ask, don’t tell' policy for gays and lesbians serving in the military."
In an interview with the UK Mirror, Boy George talks about his first meeting with Lady Gaga. She asked him for his autograph: "She asked me to sign her vagina. I didn't have a pen, so I just did her hat instead."