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Janet Jackson Urges Continued Fight For World AIDS Day: VIDEO

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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.

AFTER THE JUMP, the singer's PSA for amfAR

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The OXD Mirror: New Music for 8.17.12

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BY OCCUPY THE DISCO / RU BHATT

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. 

 

MORE TRACKS, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Janet Jackson Discusses Whitney Houston's Death, Music; 'Glee' Offers Tribute: VIDEOS

Amber

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.

Watch all the clips, AFTER THE JUMP...

Janet

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News: Egypt, Tunisia, Ryan Gosling, NY Times, Minnesota

 road What do the recent revolutions in Northern Africa mean to the gays and lesbians in Egypt and Tunisia?

Ryan  road Director Nicolas Winding Refn cozies up to a dapper Ryan Gosling at Cannes.

 road Looking a little less cozy, Janet Jackson and her boyfriend also take in Cannes.

 road Get read for a powerful trio to perform together at the Billboard Music Awards tomorrow night: Britney Spears, Rihanna and Nicki Minaj.

 road 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?).'"

 road The reward for information related to the anti-gay arson crime that killed eight horses last month has now grown to $22,500.

 road Sean Combs has changed his name yet again. You can start calling him Swag - for now.

Minn  road With just mere days left in the legislative session, both Marriage equality supporters and detractors fill the state capitol in Minnesota today.

 road "It's OK to Say Gay" rally to take place at Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Knoxville tomorrow at 2pm.

 road California Governor Jerry Brown declares tomorrow the second annual Harvey Milk Day.

 road Some companies paying for gay and lesbian employees' health care tax - something that heterosexuals are not charged.

 road 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."

 road Gay rights hero Joseph Norton to be honored in Albany tomorrow.


Music Video: Kat Graham Does Janet Jackson

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Kat Graham offers two Janet Jackson covers for the discounted price of one.

"Love Will Never Do Without an Escapade", AFTER THE JUMP...

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MUSIC NEWS: Winter/Spring 2011 Preview, Part 1 — Adele, Eliza Doolittle, Kimberly Caldwell, White Lies, Cut/Copy, Natalia Kills, Jessie J, Tina Dico; plus five free downloads

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GuestbloggerMODERN TONIC

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.)

RoadSPECIAL 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.

Towleroad - January 11, 2011 by moderntonic.com

RoadSISTERS ARE DOING IT FOR THEMSELVES:

Adele21Adele — 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. 
 
AnnaC 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.
 
ElizaEliza 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.

KimcaldwellKimberly 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.)

Also: Corinne Bailey Rae — The Love E.P., Olivia Newton-John and Friends — A Celebration in Song (January 25); Claudia Brücken — Combined – The Best Of (import, February 7); PJ Harvey — Let England Shake (February 15); Florence + The Machine — Between Two Lungs, Lauren Pritchard — Wasted in Jackson (CD: February 22); Lykke Li — Wounded Rhymes, Linda Eder — Now (March 1); Avril Lavigne — Goodbye Lullaby (March 8); Oh Land — Oh Land (March 15; stream the Jonathan Peters mix of "Sun of a Gun" in player); Lenka — Two (April 19); Lady Gaga — Born This Way (May 23). 


RoadELECTRIC AVENUE:

WhiteliesWhite 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).
 
Natalkia 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.)
 
JessiejJessie 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.

Also: The Decemberists — The King Is Dead, The Script — Science and Faith (January 18); Ben + Vesper — Honors, Cold War Kids — Mine Is Yours, David Guetta — One More Love, Radio Dept. — Passive Aggressive: Singles 2002-2010 (January 25); Green Day — Awesome As Fuck (March 15); The Human League — Credo (import, March 21); Yelle — Safari Disco Club (March 29); Dirty Vegas — Electric Love (get the single free on Amazon today; April 26)


RoadHAVE YOU NEVER BEEN MELLOW?
 
AuditoriumAuditorium — 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."

TinadicoTina 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.)
 
BirdsongBirdsong 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).

Also: James Blunt — Some Kind of Trouble (January 18); Iron & Wine — Kiss Each Other Clean (January 25); Noah and the Whale — Last Night On Earth; Heidecker & Wood — Starting From Nowhere (March 15).


RoadMUSIC NEWS:
Large_3_jake_large
RoadRufus Wainwright and Jake Shears are the subjects of photographer Tim Hailand's two new A Day in the Life... books, due out next month. Hailand spent a day photographing each of them, from morning until night, including live performances. Jake's book has an intro by Elton John and an afterword by Kylie Minogue, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit The Elton John AIDS Foundation; Rufus's book has an afterword by Cherry Vanilla, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit The Kate McGarrigle Fund. Shears and Wainwright each wrote the text that accompanies the photos in their books.

RoadOrchestral Manouevres in the Dark announced North American tour dates to support their History of Modern comeback album, starting March 5 in Toronto.

RoadPenguin Prison (see video at bottom) will be accompanying sample-meister Girl Talk on tour this Spring. Tour schedule here.

RoadGossip's Beth Ditto has released a 4-track digital EP (also on limited edition vinyl) produced by Simian Mobile Disco, with whom she collaborated on 2009's fantastic "Cruel Intentions."

RoadJanet Jackson's new greatest hits tour, Number Ones, Up Close and Personal, begins March 7 in Chicago. She also publishes a diet and exercise book called True You on February 8.

Road Frankmusik-e1293993698572-520x2681 Frankmusik is giving away a new 4-track digital EP, featuring "Our Discovery," a tribute to Daft Punk.

RoadKylie tours America this spring.


RoadMUSIC VIDEOS:

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.



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