NOW PLAYING We're all in agreement that the best thing that ever happened to Neil Patrick Harris (career-wise) was the Harold and Kumar films, right? Just as the former child star was coming out of the closet and reasserting his talents on stage and screen, he was also playing a hilariously wrong version of himself: "Neil Patrick Harris" as an oversexed overdrugged womanizer. Having a sense of humor about oneself is endearing and it suddenly didn't matter if the actor was gay or straight, whether he was once a child star or was suddenly a comeback kid. All that mattered was that he always gives the audience a good time. The third installment HAROLD AND KUMAR'S VERY 3D CHRISTMAS, with the fratboy crude tagline/punchline "Christmas Comes Prematurely" opens tomorrow.
Scientists say they've been able to bring back the quagga, an animal extinct since 1883: "It started when a local taxidermist by the name of Reinhold Rau thought it might be feasible to rebreed the quagga using living plains zebras by choosing some of the lesser-striped ones."
Blackbeard anchor discovered off the coast off North Carolina: "New evidence about the terrifying and deadly tactics employed by Blackbeard is emerging from the diving expedition on the vessel’s presumed remains. The divers have discovered that weapons used by the pirate were not only intended to kill but were designed to strike terror into survivors and force them into a swift surrender."
Colon cancer awareness billboard with the slogan "What's up your butt?" banned in Washington state."
Illinois county clerks gear up for the legalization of civil unions, which are expected to start taking place in that state on June 1.
In a 19-6 vote, the state Senate in Hawaii has approved the civil unions bill. Next stop: The House of Representatives.
Hope College in Holland, Michigan amends its 16-year-old Statement on Homosexuality. It's really not much of an improvement: "...the board said that the college would continue to not recognize or support on-campus groups aiming to promote a vision of human sexuality contrary to Scriptures, but would invite the entire Hope community to a “renewed encounter” with the biblical witness regarding human sexuality."
NY Times reporter remembers his meeting with LGBT activist David Kato in 2009: "He was a small man with thick glasses and thin wrists. He said police officers had broken his arm and cracked him in the nose after he held Uganda’s first gay rights news conference several years ago. He talked fast, constantly scanning the darkness. He struck me as clearly brave and deeply frightened."
Ugandan woman who fears for her life if she were to return to her home country wins last-minute stay of deportation in Britain: "Her lawyer said she had already boarded the flight when immigration officials were notified of the judge’s ruling and then escorted Ms. Namigadde off the aircraft and returned her to the detention center."
Twin power: American twins win Australian Open doubles title.
Dogs get their own ice cream truck in the UK. Flavors include dog eat hog world — a gammon [ham] and chicken sorbet topped with a biscuit and served in a cone, and canine cookie crunch — a combination of mixed dog biscuits and ice cream.
L.A. journalist Karen Ocamb wonders why nobody showed up to the Log Cabin Republicans' DADT trial: "Was driving to hot Riverside just too inconvenient? Does the fact that the plaintiffs are gay Republicans play a role in LGBT and civil rights groups ignoring the case? Would there be a similar deafening silence if the plaintiff was photogenic Lt. Dan Choi or some fire-breathing progressive who wanted to stick it to President Obama, the Pentagon or the Department of Justice?
What does it say about the real principles of the LGBT movement for equality that no one but three local LGBT activists, a couple of Log Cabin members from Palm Springs and a handful of reporters showed up for part one of this trial?"
Michigan gay rights group endorses Lansing mayor Virg Bernero for governor: "Democratic gubernatorial candidate Virg Bernero says the discrimination his gay brother faced before dying of AIDS is one reason he strongly stands up for gay rights...Bernero supported a 2006 human right ordinance in Lansing that bans discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and supported similar measures as a state lawmaker.
His brother, Victor, died of AIDS in 1990 at age 29."
Stephen Fry unveils new BBC TV series on language: "Language is my real passion. So, I'm going to Beijing to interview the man who invented Pinyin, a phonetic version of the Chinese language. He's 105 years old … if he dies on me I'm going to be so annoyed."
Sun-Sentinel: U.S. falling further behind on gay rights. "Argentina now joins Canada, South Africa, a handful of nations in western Europe, several states of the United States and the District of Columbia in recognizing that the full rights and privileges of marriage ought to apply to all people, regardless of sexual orientation.
Sadly, the United States, which has traditionally been at the vanguard of human rights developments, finds itself falling behind in one of the great trends of human history."
Gays in rural Ireland isolated: "Despite recent progress for LGBT people in Ireland, a significant number still find it difficult to be 'out' and remain living in their local communities. Much of this is the result of a lack of recognition that all communities are made up of people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. Many LGBT people migrate towards Dublin or other cities because they feel they cannot play a full role in the community in which they were born and raised."
"It was Kate Moss. She doesn’t care. It’s a great story for the grandchildren so...yeah. Kate wasn’t doing a lot of drugs. It was just a thing that happened in Milan in the ‘90s. It happened and it was fun and whatever. And she talks about it and so I hope she doesn’t get mad that I outed her about it...I feel like such a kiss and tell...Kate’s great, though! Kate’s a good friend of mine. I almost bought Kate’s house in St. John’s Wood (London).”
The editors of Modern Tonic — a free daily email that serves up eclectic pop-culture picks with a homo slant — present a weekly music update here on Towleroad.
FEATURED NEW RELEASES:
As TMZ has told us time and again, Courtney Love’s a mess. But she’s put aside the scandals and she’s coming back strong with Hole. Nobody’s Daughteris Love as we like her: 11 caustic tracks of warts-and-all songwriting. When she lets loose with her primal yowl, Nobody’s Daughter is unstoppable. On the scathing single "Skinny Little Bitch" Micko Larkin (from the U.K.’s Larrikin Love) riffs with punk-rock efficiency while Love cuts down a "nasty piece of work." And "Samantha," about a whore who can’t remove "the gutter from the girl," is up there with anything on Live Through This. It’s rock-and-roll unhinged, with a chorus revolving around Love screaming "f**k" like a football chant. The only time Nobody’s Daughter stumbles is when she indulges her mellow side. The album closing "Never Go Hungry" is a whiney downer. But what a relief to see Love make news again for her music.
It must be tough chick week because right behind the new Hole is Melissa Etheridge. (Um, don’t think too hard on that please.) Fearless Love is her 10th release since her self-titled debut in 1988. That’s 22 years of rock anthems, straight to the soaring title track of her latest. Has Etheridge been listening to Coldplay? Seems so. Those opening piano notes are very "Clocks," while elsewhere there’s some Edge-y U2 guitar work ("The Wanting of You"), some heartland rock ("Miss California") and some ZZ Top Texas swing ("Nervous"). Sure, there’s also some folkiness ("Heaven on Earth") and a few rough-and-tender ballads ("To Be Loved," "Gently We Row"). But after the recent announcement of her separation from her wife Tammy Lynn Michaels, it’s good to hear Etheridge getting fearless again.
The Irish trio Two Door Cinema Club sounds like Vampire Weekend weaned on world music. That is, on their debut Tourist History, they’re punky and maniacally fast but also playful and experimental. Hotly-tipped as a band to watch in 2010 in numerous U.K. year end polls, their debut arrives on our shores lean, mean and ready to make a scene. They rev up jangle pop to a head-spinning speed on "Do You Want It All?" On the U.K. single "I Can Talk" they ape the sinuous angularity of Editors with none of the Gothic overtones. And they out-stomp Franz Ferdinand on the foot-slamming "Come Back Home." The entire album’s a brief, dazzling tour of tasty alt-pop; if it were an actual movie you’d want to see it over and over.
We have four pairs of tickets for Sia's current "The We Meaning You" tour; one pair each in Boston (May 1), Philadelphia (May 2), Washington, D.C. (May 4) and New York City (May 8). Click here to enter; contest ends at noon EST tomorrow (Wednesday April 28) and we will notify winners soon after then. The tour supports Sia's forthcoming album We Are Born, out June 22. See player above for a free download of the Diplo remix of single "Clap Your Hands" and click here for song's video. M.I.A.'s new video was yanked from YouTube for excessive and graphic violence. If you really want to see it, go here.
The Essential Carole King showcases the Brill Building songwriter in a novel way. Disc one features her 70’s smashes (like "It’s Too Late"); disc two features hits she wrote for others (like "The Loco-Motion"). Either way, you can’t go wrong.
Brazilian rhythms — courtesy of composer Berna Ceppas — highlight the latest Cirque du Soleil extravaganza touring the U.S., Ovo.
Mick Jones’ post-Clash gig, Big Audio Dynamite’s debut gets the double-disc Legacy Edition treatment. This Is Big Audio Dynamite features the hits "E=MC2," "Medicine Show," and some elastic 12" remixes.
Avi Buffalo, four alt-happy young ‘uns from Long Beach, Cali, come on all Shins-y and folksy on their self-titled debut.
Wideband Network — "Attention" This futuristic clip adds just the right level of menace to this low-key mid-tempo tale of caution from the Seattle/Toledo electro duo’s third album, Oxygen and Atmosphere.
Devendra Banhart — "Foolin’" Banhart adds extra freak to his freak folk on his ska-inflected song from last year’s What Will We Be with this clip of a bi-racial same-sex S&M love affair.
The xx — "Islands" The intimate Londoners translate their minimal electro with modern dancers reenacting each musical motif and variations with elegant precision.
The Bang Bang Club — "Chemistry" This photogenic UK dance duo strikes evocative black-and-white poses until colorful paint drops stain their suits and they take it full in the face. The tune — like Empire of the Sun with added bass and beats — is from their forthcoming debut.