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.
Mort Zuckerman rises following Harold Ford Jr. exit.
Expelled NY Senator Hiram Monserrate's Hail Mary: "Today, Monserrate announced he's being supported by a bunch of clergy who are praising him for his support on one particular issue: same-sex marriage. Specifically, his opposition to it.
The clergy members announced their support of Monserrate in response to a a pro same-sex marriage P.A.C. that is trying to oust Monserrate."
CA GOP gubernatorial candidate Tom Campbell is pro-marriage equality, against Prop 8 court challenge: “I believe the people of California should be allowed to decide this decision – make this decision. I believe people should be allowed to be married –whether they’re gay or straight but I do not believe that the courts should find this somehow when the Constitution is obviously silent on it.”
Can you tell the Oscars are being produced by a gay man? "Gerard Butler, Bradley Cooper, Tom Ford, Jake Gyllenhaal, Chris Pine, Keanu Reeves, Ryan Reynolds and Sam Worthington will present on the 82nd Academy Awards, telecast producers Bill Mechanic and Adam Shankman announced today.
This in addition to previously announced Zac Efron, Taylor Launter and Channing Tatum.
Gay nurse loses job over drag show from the 70's: "For the past 15 years, Fetcho has been an acclaimed and honored employee at Victoria Villa, an assisted living facility in Davie, recognized for his 'compassionate service to the elderly.' On March 31, 1976, Fetcho, performing as ‘Tiny Tina’ at the Copa in Dania Beach, was charged and convicted of promoting ‘lewd and lascivious’ behavior by throwing small buckets of water on boys’ briefs while hosting the irreverent ‘Wet Jockey Shorts’ contest."
Dustin Lance Black to pen biopic of J. Edgar Hoover: "The story will follow the career of Hoover from his founding of the F.B.I. in 1935 where he remained as director until his death in 1972. It's expected to be a warts-and-all look at the man from his success efforts in the gangland wars of the 30's, his paranoid concern about "subversives", his links with the Mafia and Freemasons, rumors of him being a deeply repressed gay man, and the often dirty and illegal methods he sanctioned to bring down people and organisations he considered threats.
Atlanta City Council subpoenas officers over Atlanta Eagle gay bar raid: "The Atlanta City Council will issue subpoenas to force 18 police officers to answer questions from the Citizen Review Board about a raid last September at a gay bar where patrons said they were verbally abused and forced to lie face down on the floor, some for more than an hour."
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.
TODAY’S FEATURED RELEASES:
Significant days deserve observance, and September 29 is now apparently Gay Icon Album Release Day. Today, three superstars — Mariah, Madonna and Barbra — vie for the No. 1 spot with new album releases. We probably should have used a sick day to take it all in.
After being blindsided by the film Glitter, the resilient
R&B artist and actress Mariah Carey has not only re-risen as high
as her glorious voice can go, she’s gone higher. Since her comeback
album The Emancipation of Mimi in 2005, Carey’s been on a roll unmatched by any singer of comparable stature and her latest recording, Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel,
isn’t going to stop it (nor will her role in the forthcoming film Precious.) She’s always been a superlative singer, but
she’s gotten better with every release — not just technically, but in
the tangle of emotions she can evoke in a single note. Proof? Put Memoirs
on your iPod on shuffle. If forced to choose favorites, we’re voting
for the low-riding jam “More Than Just Friends” and the transcendent
Foreigner cover “I Want to Know What Love Is.”
Is there anything else that can be said about Madonna?
Kaballah blah blah blah divorce blah blah blah African child blah blah
blah. But what about her songs? If you’ve forgotten about the musician
behind the celebrity, Celebration — a two disc best-of with two
new tracks (plus a third on the iTunes version) — is here to remind us
how much we love the way she sounds. From late-disco hits “Holiday” and
“Borderline” to the slinky slut-fest of the underrated “Erotica”
through the alt-electro “Ray of Light,” 36 tracks produce an
unerring 2½ hour high. And that includes the two new cuts —
“Revolver” featuring Lil Wayne and the party-starting title track, both
new-styled Madge turns that can stand tall with her body of hits. And, there’s a bonus track on iTunes: the
slamming new disco jam “It’s So Cool” which is, well, so cool. (A Celebration DVD collectionincludes 47 MTV-tested videos.)
Like sipping a smooth cognac while the rain patters outside, Streisand’s latest studio album is pure sonic buttah. Guided by pianist/producer Diana Krall — that’s Mrs. Elvis Costello, alt-babies — Babs' jazzy Love Is the Answer takes on standards like Frank Sinatra’s “In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning,” Jacques Brel’s “If You Go Away (Ne Me Quitte Pas)” and affirming opener “Here’s To Life.” Now is it too much to ask that our favorite Funny Lady make another movie?
"I Should Be So Lucky": Kylie Minogue's long-anticipated debut U.S. tour kicks off tomorrow night in Oakland, California. Over the next couple of weeks,
the performer, who enjoys a Madonna-style level of popularity outside of
America, will also hit Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Chicago, Toronto and New
York. Towleroad and Modern Tonic are giving away three pairs of tickets
to see Kylie at The Hollywood Bowl this Sunday, October 4. To enter to win, click here. Contest entry period ends Thursday September 30 at noon EST.
Britney Spears' new single "3,"
with the controversy-courting subject of the joys of being in a
threesome, debuted on New York's Z-100 this morning. It will be featured
on her second compilation, The Singles Collection, due November 24.
MUSIC VIDEOS: Priscilla Renea: “Dollhouse” This fierce Floridian rips a page from The Veronicas' playbook with a punky tale of wrestling back control from her overbearing boyfriend. She starts like a little girl in her dollhouse until she grows too big to be contained. (From her debut album Jukebox, out December 1).
Snow Patrol: “Just Say Yes” The earnest Scots, intoning from their forthcoming import compilation Up To Now, are a vision in white on another aching love song that will echo for years.
Amerie: “Heard ‘Em All” If you want to get with this Korean-African American princess from Massachusetts, listen up. Amerie and her grimy futuristic dancers shimmy like Tina Turner herself through this tribal track from new album In Love & War(out November 3).
Ke$ha: “TiK ToK” Flo Rida’s feisty collaborator on “Right Round” steps out for a night on the town in a clip that’s every suburban mother’s nightmare. She mouthwashes with a bottle of Jack, can’t keep the boys from touching her junk and interrupts the family meal in the latest slut chic her parents’ plastic can buy.