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Music News: The Cliks, Heavy Rotation, Katy Perry, Courtney Love, ABBA, R.E.M.

Guestblogger 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.


Toronto trio The Cliks — that’s a combo of ‘clit’ and ‘cock’ — have everything it takes to be rock’s next  great band. Pounding tunes, sing-a-long choruses and transman Lucas Silveira — that’s the band’s female-to-male transgender front-person. On their third release, Dirty King, produced by Sylvia Massey (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Tool), The Cliks wrench thrilling Guitar Hero-worthy songs from gender rebellion (“Not Your Boy”) and bad relationships (“Haunted”). Silveira stutters through the slutty surf-rock title track (and first single) “Dirty King.” And the crunchy gender-f**k “Love Gun” would melt the face-paint off of all four members of Kiss.

Check out their sultry brand of rock fireworks with our FREE DOWNLOAD of album-highlight “Red and Blue.”

Rotation In the affecting new collection of essays Heavy Rotation: Twenty Writers on the Albums That Changed Their Lives (out today), various writers delve into the albums that rocked their worlds. Among them are a few LGBT authors who share their personal experiences: Clifford Chase on The B-52s’ self-titled debut, Stacey D’Erasmo on Kate Bush’s The Sensual World, Colm Toibin on Joni Mitchell’s Blue, and Peter Terzian (also the book’s editor) on Miaow’s unreleased album Priceless Innuendo.

Other writers revisit Eurythmics’ Savage (written by Daniel Handler, Lemony Snicket’s alter ego), Talking Heads’ Remain in Light, and the Hedwig and the Angry Inch soundtrack.


Road EMI has served Australian clothing designer Katie Perry with a cease-and-desist order to stop her from using her own name; apparently they believe its too similar to that of their superstar artist Katy Perry, born Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson.

Road Courtney Love is reviving the name of former band Hole for her forthcoming album, due late '09/early '10, though she will be the only person on the album who was in the band. 

Road  Moby's New York vegan cafe, Teany, has been destroyed in a fire. No one was hurt, and they hope toREM reopen in the next two months.

Road ABBA-esque: Benny Andersson Band's new single, "Story of a Heart," co-written by Andersson with Björn Ulvaeus and featuring Anni-Frid/Agnetha-style vocals from Helen Sjöholm, will be released in the U.K. July 6.


The South may never rise again, but it sure can be remastered and re-released. Athens, GA’s finest, R.E.M., get a Deluxe Edition release for their classic, Reckoning, including the entire CD and a bonus live set from 1984.

Big girls don’t cry, but they stomp, shriek, holler and tear up the dance floor on Gossip’s new Music For Men (available digitally only).

PICKUPTHEMICHaving won over both the Strokes and Grey’s Anatomy, quirky Russian songstress Regina Spektror drops Far, her third major-label release.

Fresh from their U.K. debut at #1, Escala — Simon Cowell’s mini-skirted pseudo-classical quartet — release their self-titled album.

Michael Johns — the 2008 American Idol contestant unjustly voted off at #8 — is hoping for some Jennifer Hudson-like love with his new release, Hold Back My Heart.

Pick Up the Mic: The Evolution of Homohop‚ a one-of-a-kind documentary (out on DVD) recounts how a small circle of LGBT rappers carved their own niche within a market that continues to insult‚ if not ignore, them altogether.

Also released: Paulina Rubio — Gran City Pop; Shawn Colvin — Live;  Tift Merritt — Buckingham Solo (Live); Patterson Hood — Murdering Oscar (And Other Love Songs).


Simian Mobile Disco: "Audacity of Huge"
A cornucopia of literal images matches a litany of lyrical items — “Damian Hirst telephone,” “gold thong studded alligator leather” — in this goofy, electro-clash jam from the U.K. dance-master’s forthcoming Temporary Pleasure.

Misstress Barbara ftrg. Sam Roberts: "I'm Running"
Italian-born Canadian dance diva meets sexy, weathered Canuck rocker for abstract urban rendezvous in the mean streets of Montreal. From Misstress Barbara’s artist debut, I’m No Human (out now in Canada).

Pixie Lott: "Mama Do"
Before you yawn and say “Duffy clone,” check out this hand-clapping, choreography-heavy #1 U.K. single and swear you weren’t singing along from the first chorus.

The Temper Trap: "Sweet Disposition"
Bronski Beat are reborn as a space-age Aussie alt-rock quartet on this falsetto-dripping love rave — also prominently featured in (500) Days of Summer — from the band’s forthcoming debut, Conditions.

News: Annie Leibovitz, Sydney Shark, Justin Timberlake, Presbyterians

 road Man in sailor suit gay bashed in Seattle's Central District.

 roadAnnie Leibovitz pawns her life work to save finances: "Last fall, Annie Leibovitz, the photographer, borrowed $5 million from a company called Art Capital Group. In December, she borrowed $10.5 million more from the same firm. As collateral, among other items, she used town houses she owns in Greenwich Village, a country house, and something else: the rights to all of her photographs."

Daniels  road USA Today on Mike Penner/Christine Daniels' transgender regret: "It's unfortunate and it's relatively uncommon but certainly not unheard of. The simplest way to think about it is being trans is something that never goes away. ... There's just a fairly constant social pressure to just go back. You don't have to be a genius to understand that society doesn't really accept this."

 roadEmpathy fat: Model/trainer hottie eats for his clients.

 road Colorado same-sex partner benefits bill clears Senate 22-12 despite hideous comments from homophobe state senator Scott Renfroe.

 road Obama's changing health care plan: "The budget -- and I was cautioned that the wording 'is changing hourly' -- will direct Congress to "aim for universality." That is a bolder goal than simple affordability, which can be achieved, at least in theory, through subsidies. Universality means everyone has coverage, not just the ability to access it. And that requires a mechanism to ensure that they seek it.

 road Protestors continue to harass Portland Mayor Sam Adams.

 roadInequality defied in New York.

 road San Francisco Chronicle in danger of closing: "If it can't reduce expenses dramatically within the next few weeks, the Hearst Corp. said it will close or sell the Chronicle, northern California's largest newspaper with a paid weekday circulation of 339,430. Hearst didn't specify a savings target nor a deadline for wringing out the expenses. A Hearst spokesman didn't immediately respond to messages Tuesday. But management made it clear that the cost-cutting will require a significant number of layoffs."

 road Hedi Slimane tackles Courtney Love.

Shark  road Bull shark hooked, freed in Sydney Harbor.

 road GOP poll on domestic partnerships in New Mexico misstates facts: "The poll, commissioned by the state GOP, found that more New Mexicans were in favor of domestic partnerships (47 percent) than opposed (42 percent). But that support fell when individuals were asked a question that erroneously equated domestic partnerships with same-sex marriage, with 52 percent opposing domestic partnerships compared to 42 percent supporting it. That latter poll question specifically misstated how same-sex marriage became state law in two other states, judging from a handout given to reporters."

 road Phoenix is offering their latest single "1901" as a free download on their website.

 roadCiara - Justin Timberlake "Love Sex Magic" track leaks.

Gaga  roadHaus of GaGa: Lady GaGa launches iPhone app.

 roadHugo Chavez record on gay rights lauded by gay leader despite minimal advances in 10 years: "On Feb. 12, Heisler Vaamonde, a long-time LGBT-rights activist known for his allegiance to the Chávez regime, read a prepared statement in front of reporters expressing the Bloc's strong support for the referendum as he argued that equality for gays and lesbians could only be achieved through the Chavista revolution. As he spoke, he was flanked by ten other members of the organization, who wore t-shirts with an image of Chávez and caps emblazoned with a red star."

 road Kathy Griffin scores $2 million memoir deal.

 roadLargest Presbyterian church in Arkansas elects gay deacon: "The largest Presbyterian Church in the state has elected a gay deacon. This comes just a day after the Presbytery of Arkansas votes to allow gays and lesbians to be ordained ministers, elders, and deacons. The Presbyterian denomination nationally, changed the interpretation of the constitution last June."

 roadAustralian Christian group says gays using children as "trophies": "The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) told the Standing Committee of Law and Justice's inquiry into adoption by same sex couples that children should ideally be raised by a mother and father...The move to legalise adoption by same-sex couples was ideologically driven by gay activists, Mr Shelton said. 'Not content with having discrimination removed, (they) are now pursuing symbolic gains and holding up children as trophies for their own agenda,' he said."

News: Lake Michigan, NASA, Richard Gere, Broadway, Steve Jobs

road.jpg D.C. Mayor Fenty to meet with Gays and Lesbians Opposing Violence (GLOV) over increase in anti-gay bias crimes on January 16th.

Stonehengeroad.jpg Is there an ancient Stonehenge at the bottom of Lake Michigan?

road.jpg Richard Gere frolics in the surf.

road.jpg Toronto-area man shot after homophobic altercation at massage parlor.

road.jpg Three men in custody following drunken air rage flight from Manchester UK to the Dominican Republic: "The trio were allegedly drunk, violent and abusive and the captain was so concerned about fighting on board that he had to divert and land in Bermuda. A 35-year-old man from Burnley, Lancashire, was arrested at Gatwick airport after being returned from Bermuda. He was arrested on suspicion of endangering an aircraft and is currently in custody at Crawley police station. The two other men are still in custody in Bermuda and are due to be flown back to the UK in the next few days. Police said the men would all be questioned about alleged homophobic public order offences, affray and smoking on board the plane."

road.jpg Obama to tear down wall between NASA and Pentagon in face of Chinese space race?

road.jpg Michael Phelps putting himself in a hairy situation.

Streetartistroad.jpg Athletic new street artist covers New York.

road.jpg UK MP and shadow justice secretary Nick Herbert in civil partnership with longtime boyfriend Jason Eades.

road.jpg Clive Davis plays a very brief clip of a demo of Kelly Clarkson's next single, "My Life Would Suck Without You."

road.jpg PR Maven Howard Bragman warns Caroline Kennedy to dig deep before tearing down that wall of privacy she's built her whole life: "I don't like to be too simplistic but you either love life in the public eye or you don't. I don't believe she does. One celebrity once said that privacy is like your health--you take it for granted until you no longer have it. She is putting something she worked hard to create at great risk. Once her wall between public and private comes down, there's no turning back."

road.jpg University of Texas-Austin students working on legitimizing second gay fraternity in Texas: "They will become an official fraternity chapter after initiating three pledge classes. They inducted their first class in November."

road.jpg Broadway bloodbath: Nine shows shutter due to recession.

Miloroad.jpg Milo Ventimiglia bares it in Bora Bora.

road.jpg Rare sea creatures come ashore on north Oregon coast.

road.jpg Croatian woman sent to "ex-gay" therapy treatment center for five years: "Parents sent Rijeka-born Ana Dragicevic (21) to a mental institution in Lopac when she was 16, stating heroin addiction as the reason. Because she spent five years in hospital, she did not gradate and still has nightmares as a consequence...Ana was bound, she put on straight jackets, she was given injections, pills. The girl was in the same ward as schizophrenic patients, whom she was afraid due to their aggression."

road.jpg Apple CEO Steve Jobs announces he's losing weight due to a hormone imbalance.

road.jpg Courtney Love is desperately seeking something.

road.jpg Lesbian gang rape in Richmond highlights anti-gay violence and the need for victims to report it: "'The only way we know about (the Richmond) case is because of the bravery of the survivor coming out,' Virago said. 'Hatred and bias are a routine occurrence for many LGBT people.' That may partly be due to the psychology behind hate crimes, particularly those involving sexual orientation, said a psychology professor at St. Mary's College in Moraga. 'What you get is this kind of immature desire to display power,' said Jose Feito. 'And so they go looking for easy victims, or suitable victims.' In the Richmond case, Feito said, 'suitable' meant someone the attackers could marginalize in their minds. Sexual orientation can serve as a hate crime's 'trigger,' as he called it. But it is often that factor combined with a perception of gender nonconformity that leads to violence, he said."

News: Football, Yair Hochner, iFart, Courtney Love, Stonewall 2.0

road.jpg Top footballers — Sol Campbell, David Beckham, Wayne Rooney — on wish list for anti-homophobia campaign being produced as a collaboration by the Football Association and gay activist Peter Tatchell: "The video will be shown in cinemas, on TV and in stadiums in an attempt to rid terraces and pitches of homophobic chants and slurs...The FA has put aside a budget of £20,000 and is hoping that a major advertising agency will take on the project at minimal cost."

Harry_williamroad.jpg Prince William decides that 'boy' look is so over.

road.jpg Sean Penn to receive Desert Palm Achievement Award for acting at the 20th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival: "Penn is the first artist to receive back-to-back awards from the festival. He is also the first artist to receive awards in two different categories, according to Darryl Macdonald, executive director at the Palm Springs International Film Festival."

road.jpg CAMPAIGN: One million letters for marriage equality.

road.jpg Brody Jenner talks about those awkward gay guy moments.

road.jpg Rex Wockner: Why Stonewall 2.0 isn't fizzling. "That's because Stonewall 2.0 already happened. Stonewall itself lasted three nights in 1969, but it set the stage for much that came after it. Stonewall 2.0 lasted, at minimum, 11 days -- and, I suggest, set the stage for much that will come after it."

road.jpg iFart iPhone app makes $40,000 in two days.

Madonnaroad.jpg Jesus follows Madonna to London?

road.jpg Obama advisor David Axelrod defends Rick Warren decision: "The important point here is you have a conservative evangelical pastor coming to take part in the inauguration of a progressive president."

road.jpg Lady GaGa, Little Boots, La Roux, and Ladyhawke tipped as new electropop royalty: "Every now and then pop music undergoes a dramatic shift, and if you believe the people who influence what we listen to, we're currently on the verge of just such a phase. Out, according to record labels, are the male guitar bands who have dominated the charts and airwaves for much of the decade; in are solo electropop artists who have arrived en masse from Planet Quirky."

road.jpg Courtney Love accuses Kim Kardashian's brother of gay bashing.

Hochnerroad.jpg Filmmaker Yair Hochner opening doors for gay films in Israel: " Hochner's success has put him on the front lines of an Israeli culture war: How permissive should the country be for gays and lesbians? Same-sex marriage is illegal in Israel, and Jerusalem's annual gay pride parade has been the scene of violent clashes in years past, pitting Orthodox Jews against liberal Israelis waving flags and banners. Hochner says that, outside of Tel Aviv, many Israelis are homophobic and that 'in Jerusalem, it's dangerous to hold hands.' This is one reason Hochner wanted to ratchet up the scenes in 'Antarctica' where gays and lesbians do more than hold hands."

road.jpg Naomi Campbell cracks a smile.

road.jpg Chattanooga, Tennessee paper profiles "ex-gay" Chris Delaney: "The question of whether someone can choose to be gay is at the heart of all gay-rights issues, Mr. Delaney explained. By saying that a homosexual is genetically born with gay tendencies in the same way a black person is born with dark skin, gay rights advocates are trying to bolster their arguments for equal treatment of gays, he said. 'What I do flies in the face of their agenda,' said Mr. Delaney, who noted that he periodically is the target of hate messages on his Web site and threatening voice mails. But Mr. Delaney and Mr. Buchanan say they aren’t going to let resistance interfere with their work. Mr. Buchanan said he believes the ex-gay movement will not only continue but will expand."

News: Courtney Love, Missouri, Life, Justin Gaston, Brooke Smith

road.jpg Chilling: Blueprints for Auschwitz found in Berlin flat.

Haringroad.jpg Keith Haring exhibit opens in Palm Springs.

road.jpg Courtney Love voted No on Prop 8, at least I think she did.

road.jpg Gay Missouri man says he's targeted by vandals for hanging rainbow flag.

road.jpg Team of scientists believes they've discovered the chance meeting that lead to life on earth, and it wasn't Adam and Eve: "New research finds that an amoeba-like organism engulfed a bacterium that had developed the power to use sunlight to break down water to make oxygen. The bacterium could have been intended as prey, but instead became incorporated into its attacker's body, transforming it into the ancestor of every tree, flowering plant and seaweed on Earth today."

road.jpg Ellen DeGeneres and GLAAD phone up The View ladies and set them straight on Prop 8.

road.jpg Lance Bass' lavish pad on market again: $3.9 million.

Obama_electionroad.jpg Behind-the-scenes with the Obamas on election night.

road.jpg Congressman Mike Pence (R-IN) says Republicans should make "sanctity of marriage" the focus of rebuilding the party: "But you build those conservative solutions, Chris, on the same time-honored principles of limited government, a belief in free markets, a belief in the sanctity of life and the sanctity of marriage."

road.jpg Ever wanted to have a slumber party at the Guggenheim Museum in NYC? Now you can.

road.jpg Provincetown's oldest art gallery to close.

road.jpg Canada sees increase in homeless male youth getting involved in gay sex trade.

road.jpg Melissa Silverstein on Grey's Anatomy: Why the Firing of Brooke Smith is Bigger Than ABC Wants Us to Think. "The forced statement that Shonda Rhimes released last week mentioned that Smith was not fired because she played a lesbian and that the show still has lesbian on it -- Callie Torres -- rings false. On the episode, Callie denied she was a lesbian which is what led to Dr. Hahn walking away into TV nowhereland. And her constant on the job sexual exploits with Dr. McSteamy proves her sexual confusion. It's like she needs to prove she's not gay. For a show that prides itself on diversity, this doesn't cut it. So was Smith fired because she is not "pretty enough" to play gay on TV? On mainstream TV girl on girl sex is seen as hot; yet a relationship between two normal looking women is what, scary?"

Gastonroad.jpg Justin Gaston scores 'Just Cavalli' campaign.

road.jpg Nicole Kidman to play transsexual in new film.

road.jpg NY Senate Democrats still at war: "After seeing one of their Gang of Four defect, two renegade Senate Democrats dug in their heels Sunday and threatened to hijack state government by letting a leadership battle drag on for weeks or even months. Sen. Carl Kruger and Sen.-elect Pedro Espada Jr. denounced their ex-compatriot, Sen.-elect Hiram Monserrate, as a turncoat and refused to join him in backing current Minority Leader Malcolm Smith despite mounting pressure from fellow Democrats."

road.jpg Two openly gay MPs elected in New Zealand.

road.jpg Hateful bigot Marilyn Musgrave still hasn't conceded: "Bitterness generated by the bruising battle between Betsy Markey and Marilyn Musgrave apparently lingers days after voters decided the winner of the 4th Congressional District. Incumbent Republican Musgrave, who lost to Democrat Markey by a 56 to 44 percent margin Tuesday, has yet to call and congratulate Markey on her win. Musgrave also hasn't conceded the race, said Markey spokesman Ben Marter. "She has yet to admit defeat," he said. 'It's a little bizarre.'"

Music news: Chris Brown Doubles His Gender, Doubles His Fun, Plus David Cook, Christina Aguilera, Norman Whitfield, Courtney Love


GuestbloggerRobbie Daw presents a weekly pop music update here on Towleroad! Robbie runs his own site called Chart Rigger.

Leaked tracks. It happens all the time. In the past week alone, both a snippet of Britney Spears' new single "Womanizer" and the full version of "Human" from the Killers made their way online.

So, unsurprisingly, when several demos Chris Brown was working on for his third album leaked last month—including one meant to be a duet for he and Rihanna, called "Electric Guitar"—the 19-year-old singer/songwriter was a tad miffed.

“I’m mad that it’s leaked,” Brown told The Associated Press. “The record’s not finished. It’s supposed to be me and Rihanna’s duet.”

That said, even in demo form, "Electric Guitar" is some pretty great pop. Maybe Chris is just mad that it's out there now before Rihanna got to lay her vocals down—i.e., with Brown singing her parts, including all the "he" pronoun bits.

Christina_aguileraroad.jpg   The Nashville radio station (107.5 The River FM) that aired the leaked snippet of Britney Spears' "Womanizer" last week has apparently been fined by Jive Records to the tune of $250,000, while the DJ who played the clip has been suspended.

road.jpg   It's the fourth quarter—so in other words, greatest hits season! One compilation on the way: Christina Aguilera's Keep's Gettin' Better: A Decade Of Hits, out November 11. "Dynamite" and "Keeps Gettin' Better" are two new tracks that will be included, with the latter available as a digital single next week.

road.jpg   American Idol winner David Cook's first single off his debut album will be "Lights On," which was written by former Soundgarden frontman/singer of the last James Bond theme, Chris Cornell.

road.jpg   Janet Jackson is a free agent.

Temptationsroad.jpg   Pop songwriter and Motown legend Norman Whitfield has passed away at 67: "The Grammy-winning Whitfield was the most prominent of Motown's second-wave songwriter-producers, sculpting deeply textured, sophisticated music for artists such as the Temptations, Marvin Gaye and Rare Earth. In the late 1960s, he helped propel the Detroit label into ambitious new territory, pushing Motown beyond the sweet melodies and puppy-love tales of its early days into edgier, more expansive music."

To give an idea of his impact, without Whitfield there'd be no "Ain't Too Proud To Beg," "Papa Was A Rolling Stone," "I Heard It Through The Grapevine," "War," "Ball Of Confusion" or—hello—"Car Wash." NPR put together a short but eloquent clip remembering the songwriter last week.

road.jpg   Good Lord, Courtney Love, this is


The Pussycat Dolls' Doll Domination, containing their MTV VMAs-winning "When I Grow Up," plus collaborations with Missy Elliott, Lady GaGa, Timbaland and Ryan Tedder.

"Poker Face," a new single by Lady GaGa.

Radiohead's "Reckoner" EP, containing the basic elements of the song as different tracks for your own remixing pleasure.

Cold War Kids' sophomore album Loyalty To Loyalty.

Dear Science, the third set from TV On The Radio.

Kings Of Leon's Only By The Night, containing the current U.K. #1 single "Sex On Fire."


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