amfAR ambassador Janet Jackson and Mathilde Krim, the AIDS research foundation's founding chair, penned a CNN op-ed to remind people that for all the progress made against the disease over the past three decades, plenty of work needs to be done, particularly among communities of color.
While the AIDS research
and activist communities continue to celebrate some major breakthroughs
during the past few years, we continue to struggle with an epidemic in
the United States that grows unabated. Each year, 50,000 Americans
become newly infected with HIV -- the virus that causes AIDS -- and more
than 1.1 million people are living with the virus.
And while everyone is at
risk and should know their status, data tell us that communities of
color -- particularly black women and young, black gay, bisexual and
other men who have sex with men -- are disproportionately affected by
the virus. If we're going to create an AIDS-free generation here at
home, we need to start investing in resources that will curb the
epidemic among these populations.
The OXD Mirror is a weekly music column brought to you by the boys of OCCUPY THE DISCO (OXD), a New York City based movement created by three music lovers, Ru Bhatt, Josh Appelbaum, and Tadeu Magalhães, who want to share their love for disco, house and dance music with the world.
Ellie Goulding - Anything Could Happen
Although Ellie Goulding's debut album was released in the UK in 2010, the bonus single and title track, 'Lights,' is currently topping the charts in the United States. This is fortunate for her as her second album, Halcyon, is released this October. The lead single, 'Anything Could Happen,' produced by Kish Mauve, dives deeply into the synth-pop sound Goulding experimented with on Lights. The poignant lyrics, accented by Goulding's unique warble, give a refreshing, hopeful twist to what easily could have been a somber "breakup" song. The highlight of the track is clearly the bridge: Goulding's chant crescendos as the beat escalates, ending in a gutteral roar, a sound the audience certainly does not expect from someone so delicate.
Blood Diamonds (feat Grimes) - 'Phone Sex'
Armed with a bottle of gin, Blood Diamonds (Michael Diamond) teamed up with his close friend Grimes (Claire Boucher) on a late night endeavour to create "the perfect pop song." Known for his sun-drenched, luxurious productions, L.A.-based Diamond cites K-pop as an additional influence for this summer anthem. He combines calypso drums and Boucher's ethereal voice to give the song a dream-like quality while the catchy chorus reins you in with its flirtatious "hey daddy" refrain. Creating the perfect pop song may be considered a lofty goal but i commend the duo for aspiring to it. Whether they are successful is up to the listener but this is certainly a valiant attempt. I should note that the Lemonade rework complements the original nicely with a production that emphasizes the fantasy elements of the song. Listen to it on our website.
Last night's Glee offered a touching tribute to Whitney Houston in Amber Riley's cover of "I Will Always Love You" which was accompanied by a title card that read “Whitney Houston 1963-2012. We will always love you.”
In related news, Anderson Cooper offered a few previews of his upcoming daytime interview with Janet Jackson in which she talks about her relationship with Whitney Houston and Houston's death.
Director Nicolas Winding Refn cozies up to a dapper Ryan Gosling at Cannes.
Looking a little less cozy, Janet Jackson and her boyfriend also take in Cannes.
Get read for a powerful trio to perform together at the Billboard Music Awards tomorrow night: Britney Spears, Rihanna and Nicki Minaj.
Parents decide not to reveal their baby's gender to anyone outside of their immediate family: "When Storm was born, the couple sent an email to friends and family: 'We've decided not to share Storm's sex for now — a tribute to freedom and choice in place of limitation, a stand up to what the world could become in Storm's lifetime (a more progressive place?).'"
The reward for information related to the anti-gay arson crime that killed eight horses last month has now grown to $22,500.
"It's OK to Say Gay" rally to take place at Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Knoxville tomorrow at 2pm.
California Governor Jerry Brown declares tomorrow the second annual Harvey Milk Day.
Some companies paying for gay and lesbian employees' health care tax - something that heterosexuals are not charged.
Starting Monday, the NYT presents a new feature that documents teenagers coming out: "The New York Times embarked on the project “Coming Out,” which begins Monday, as an effort to better understand this generation’s realities and expectations, and to give teenagers their own voice in this conversation."
Modern Tonic — a blog that highlights gay-approved pop culture gems — delivers a weekly music column on Towleroad. (The site is currently being re-designed and will re-launch later this spring.)
SPECIAL EDITION: 2011 WINTER/SPRING MUSIC PREVIEW
There's so much good new music coming down the pike we're splitting our 2011 Preview into two columns. Next week — a column just for LGBT next-big-things. First up: some sassy sisters, electric grooves for everything from dancing to moping and some quiet tunes for moments of reflection.
Adele — 21 (February 22): This superstar was chasing pavements on her debut 19, but at 21 — both her age and the title of her sophomore, Rick Rubin-produced release — she’s "Rolling In the Deep," a title that could reference both her soul and her limitless talent.
Anna Calvi — Anna Calvi (March 1): This English thrush counts Nina Simone, Ravel and Debussy among her influences, but throw in the vocal prowess of Florence Welch and the intensity of PJ Harvey and now we're talking.
Eliza Doolittle — Eliza Doolittle (Spring TBA): Eliza Sophie Caird is veddy British — what’s more English than naming yourself after My Fair Lady’s archetypal lead? But she travels well. Check out her Lily Allen-esque singles "Skinny Genes" and "Pack Up" from her U.S. debut, both big U.K. hits in 2010.
Kimberly Caldwell — Without Regret(April 19): This seventh place rocker from American Idol's second season channels Melissa Etheridge, Pink and — imagine! — Kelly Clarkson on her debut. As she puts it on last year's single, she’ll make a "Mess of You." (Stream the Digital Dog club remix of "Desperate Girls & Stupid Boys" in player.)
White Lies — Ritual(January 18): Gloomy U.K. modern gods of Goth up the ante with romantic anthems and stadium size choruses on their sophomore release Ritual. (Stream a remix of “Bigger Than Us” in player.)
Cut/Copy — Zonoscope (February 8): Australia synth-pop quartet follow-up the eerie dance pop of In Ghost Colours with the full-on radio hooks of Zonoscope, featuring the single "Take Me Over" (free download of a remix in player).
Natalia Kills — Perfectionist(March TBA): This U.K. singer/actress darkens up the electro-pulse of M.I.A., La Roux and Lady Gaga and wraps them all in slamming beats for her forthcoming debut. (Free download of Frankmusik's remix of single "Mirrors" in player.)
Jessie J — Who You Are (Spring TBA): The buzz is deafening for this English performer, already the recipient of the Critics Choice award at the BRIT Awards 2011. Is she all that? Single "Do It Like a Dude" out-snarks Ke$ha, and "Price Tag" is a slice of Adele-like soul. So, yeah, she just might be.
Dom — Sun Bronzed Greek God (February 15) Like the title of their E.P., this Worcester, MA quartet's fuzzed-out surf riffs sound like they've been sun-baked for days. And with their singer’s androgynous voice, they also recall Silversun Pickups riding the wave of '90s alt-poppers The Primitives.
Auditorium — Be Brave(January 18): Auditorium is one Spencer Berger, who grew up on the stage of the Met and now sings acoustic tunes that frame his quivering, unearthly voice. Be Brave may be stripped back and simple, but it’s got variety to spare from the glammy "Girls Will Love Your Lips" (free download in player) to the folksy dirge of "New York Sky."
Tina Dico — Welcome Back Colour(February 1): The seventh release from the Danish singer-songwriter's a double CD of five new tracks, her overseas radio hits and acoustic versions of well-loved cuts. Since many here don’t know her yet, this would be the place to start. (Free download of single "Love All Around" in player.)
Birdsong At Morning — Annals of My Glass House (February 1): These Massachusetts professionals — a professor, a business VP and a new media consultant — make gorgeous acoustic music. This collection of four E.P.s from 2009 and 2010 feature lovelorn originals ("Those Beautiful Words") and inspired covers (Blondie's "Dreaming" is a highlight).
Hercules & Love Affair — "My House" DJ Andy Butler’s NY house music project follows up Hercules' sparkling debut with this teaser single from their forthcoming Blue Songs release. And, honey, this dance jam's so hot it could melt the snow right off your L.E.S. tenement steps.
Penguin Prison — "Golden Train" The video's your standard performance clip with manipulated footage (slo-mo, pixilation, etc.), but Chris Glover aka Penguin Prison, with the help of Holy Ghost's Alex Frankel, is one funky white boy.
Discodeine feat. Jarvis Cocker — "Synchronize" Pulp’s unkempt frontman lends steely vocals to a bouncy dance track from Discodeine’s French DJ-producers Pilooski and Pentile. Note for the squeamish — the close-up of one lover giving another a homemade tattoo is, well, graphic.
Wolf Gang — "Lions in Cages" A gloomy, autumnal clip accompanies the dark, roiling dance-pop of England’s Max McElligott aka Wolf Gang. Debut Suego Faults is due mid-2011.