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04/19/2007


Music News: Matt Lauer Interviews Kylie Minogue, Plus Jesse McCartney, Fall Out Boy, George Michael

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

Between R.E.M., George Michael and Kylie Minogue, it's a gay ol' week as far as new music releases. Kylie's X finally officially drops in the U.S. today, after making a brief three-week appearance on iTunes back in February.

Australia's "singing budgie" is doing stateside promotion all week for X -- including performances of new single "All I See" tonight on Dancing With The Stars, tomorrow on the Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson and then Thursday on Ellen -- and yesterday she sat down for an interview with the Today Show's Matt Lauer.

During their chat, Kylie responded to rumors that she'll soon marry French actor Olivier Martinez, tried to explain her elusive chart success in America and instructed Lauer on how he'll have to greet her once she's awarded the OBE (Order of the British Empire) this summer by the Queen of England.

The U.S. version of X contains an extra mix of "All I See," featuring rapper Mims.

road.jpg SEEING DOUBLE: The pixelated cover of Jesse McCartney's new album Departure, due out May 20, might evoke some "rude" thoughts from Robbie Williams.

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Amydrwhoroad.jpg Amy Winehouse to appear alongside David Tennant on Dr. Who? April Fool's!

road.jpg Following suit with Madonna, U2 have signed a 12-year deal with concert promoting firm Live Nation, though Universal will continue to distribute the Irish band's actual music. Says Bono of Live Nation, who has managed U2's tours for three decades: "We've been dating for over 20 years now. It's about time we tied the knot."

road.jpg U.K. gossip site Digital Spy finds Beyoncé, Limp Bizkit, Sugababes, Steps, Fiona Apple, Blink 182 and Michael Jackson all have one thing in common: they've got the worst album titles of our times.

road.jpg Think you've got what it takes to remix Radiohead? Five separate tracks from their new single "Nude" are up for purchase on iTunes, and buyers are encouraged to create and upload their own GarageBand creation to Radioheadremix.com. Net surfers have to May 1 to vote for their favorite mix on the site.

road.jpg Fall Out Boy's plan to gig on every continent within two weeks falls apart. FOB frontman Pete Wentz: “It’s an utter disappointment… I read [on the MTV Newsroom blog] someone compared it to Geraldo opening Capone's vault, but it's worse than that, because, like, Capone's stuff is in there, you just can't get the light on. There's no spin for it; we got two hours away from Antarctica and we can't go.”

road.jpg POP BLOG WATCH: Miss feeling like a clove-smoking, coffee-drinking teenage girl running rampant in the record store? Hit up Eurovision- and Swede-obsessed Poster Girl.

Accelerateroad.jpg TODAY'S NEW RELEASES:

George Michael's Twenty Five, a two-disc collection of various hits -- including four from Wham! -- and six songs previously unreleased in the U.S. The deluxe edition contains Michael's music videos.

R.E.M.'s 14th album Accelerate, produced by Jacknife Lee.

Moby's Last Night, which finds him returning to his dance roots.

A Town And Two Cities, the debut from British alt rockers Your Vegas. They also have a line of fashion accessories coming to U.S. Bloomingdale's.

Van Morrison's Keep It Simple, his 33rd studio album, and first since 1999.

Attack & Release, from Akron, Ohio blues-rock duo The Black Keys.


Towleroad Guide to the Tube #190

YITZHAK RABIN: New video of the Israeli Prime Minister's assassination on November 4, 1995, never seen before.

ARCTIC SEA ICE: New NASA video showing sea ice cover in the Arctic. "The 2007 Arctic summer sea ice has reached the lowest extent of perennial ice cover on record - nearly 25% less than the previous low set in 2005." (source: De-smog blog)

POLITICS TV: Breaks down the Matt Lauer-Larry Craig interview. (source: queerty)

THE GENETIC OPERA: Co-starring Paris Hilton, an instant camp classic. (source: perez hilton)

Check out our previous guides to the Tube here!


Another look at the Larry Craig - Matt Lauer Interview

From the folks at Super Deluxe. (language nsfw)


Larry Craig and Wife Tap Toes with Matt Lauer in First Interview

Here's a transcript of last night's Matt Lauer interview with Idaho Senator Larry Craig if you missed it, and a short clip.

Craig_wifeThe interview was, for the most part, a rehash of what we have already heard before from Craig, though this time the home fires were burning and Craig was surrounded by a defense wall of artfully-arranged family photos that filled the front of the frame in many camera shots, no doubt strategically placed to boost Craig's image as a devoted husband and father. Craig and his wife seemed poised, unshaken.

And Lauer's interview was a softball event. It seemed odd that in his 49 years, Lauer had never come across the term "cruising" before - "whatever that means". The gay "lifestyle" was referred to time and time again. Also annoying were the constant apologies with which he prefaced his questions.

Near the end, some fresh territory:

Matt Lauer: You have taken, senator, several opportunities to say, come out point blank and say, "I am not a homosexual."
Larry Craig: Uh-huh (affirm).
Matt Lauer: Which raises two questions in my mind. One of them, and you're going to have to forgive me for this, are you technically not a homosexual? Is it possible you're bisexual?
Larry Craig: It's no to both.
Matt Lauer: The other question is do you think it would be something that would be awful? In other words, do you view it as something that would be awful to have to admit that you were gay?
Larry Craig: I don't agree with the lifestyle. And I've said so by my votes over the years and by my expressions. Have I viewed it as awful? I viewed it as a lifestyle I don't agree with.
Matt Lauer: You wouldn't view it as one-- something that would be a source of great shame if you had to admit it?
Larry Craig: I'm not sure that I've ever looked at anyone else's sex life as great shame.

Lauer_larryWhat is a shame is that no efforts were made to point out that the gay "lifestyle" to which they refer — the clandestine naughtiness in airport men's rooms — is an activity taken on, to my knowledge, by men who identify as straight. Being gay is an orientation, certainly not something that is chosen, which "lifestyle" of course implies. What is a choice is to not come clean about one's orientation. What is a choice is for a lawmaker to work feverishly for "family values" and against gay rights while engaging in homosexual liaisons in airport men's rooms.

Tom Shales at the Washington Post brings up some good points about this in his criticism of the interview:

"Craig himself brought up his voting record and said of homosexuality, 'I don't approve of the lifestyle.' Lauer should have followed up; why did he call it a 'lifestyle' and what about it does he disapprove of? At one point, reading from Craig's history, Lauer said the records included 'a guy who claims you 'cruised' him -- whatever that is.' This, it seemed, was Lauer's way of winking into the camera and saying, 'I'm not gay.' You hardly have to be gay in 21st-century America to know what the phrase 'cruising' means. It was even the title of a movie starring Al Pacino. Lauer needs to worry less about his own image and more about getting valuable information when conducting an interview. It seemed highly likely that Craig and his wife agreed to sit down with Lauer because they knew they had nothing, really, to fear."

Sen. Larry Craig's interview with Matt Lauer [msnbc]


Larry Craig and Wife to Discuss Men's Room Arrest with Matt Lauer

Lauer_larry

Matt Lauer has snagged the first interview with Larry Craig since his disorderly conduct arrest in a Minneapolis airport men's room in June.

According to MSNBC, "The interview with Matt Lauer, anchor of NBC’s TODAY morning program, was scheduled to air Tuesday night on NBC stations. The network said Lauer would also interview Craig’s wife, Suzanne."

Craig, who was recently chosen to be inducted into the Idaho Hall of Fame, reacted to a judge's decision not to allow him to withdraw his guilty plea in the case by saying he would stay in the Senate and continue to fight charges leveled against him:

"I will continue to serve Idaho in the United States Senate, and there are several reasons for that. As I continued to work for Idaho over the past three weeks here in the Senate, I have seen that it is possible for me to work here effectively. Over the course of my three terms in the Senate and five terms in the House, I have accumulated seniority and important committee assignments that are valuable to Idaho, not the least of which are my seats on the Appropriations Committee, the Energy and Natural Resources Committee and the Veterans' Affairs Committee. A replacement would be highly unlikely to obtain these posts. In addition, I will continue my effort to clear my name in the Senate Ethics Committee - something that is not possible if I am not serving in the Senate. When my term has expired, I will retire and not seek reelection. I hope this provides the certainty Idaho needs and deserves."


News: Al Gore, Manatee, Shirtless Matt Lauer

road.jpg TIME poll: Not-running Al Gore trails Hillary Clinton by five points for Democratic nomination.

Lauer_shirtlessroad.jpg Shirtless Matt Lauer photo has tongues wagging across the internet.

road.jpg Most New Yorkers support gay marriage, but not by a clear majority: "When you talk about Democrats who vote in New York's primaries, you're talking about a very liberal subset of the general population so for gay marriage not to muster a majority among these liberal voters is significant."

road.jpg Are the struggle for gay rights and the black civil rights movement comparable struggles? One USA Today contributor thinks so: "The fight for gay rights is like our civil rights struggle, however, and it's hypocritical for groups that have had to fight long and hard to win their own constitutional rights to turn around and try to deny them to the next group. We're seeing this in the descendants of immigrant groups that were despised and vilified during their early days in this country, and that now want to deny recent immigrants the means to become lawful citizens. This hypocrisy was apparent to me as I was growing up in a black Baptist church. I routinely heard ministers condemn gays from the pulpit, even though half the male choir members, the choir director, the flower arranger and plenty of other male church members were obviously gay. The church would have had difficulty functioning without them."

Manatee_rhodeislandroad.jpg More manatees...now one spotted off Rhode Island!

road.jpg Oz gays ask, why do we want Ian Thorpe to be gay? " Maybe because we need have a need for some good, solid gay role models. Young gay people have a very limited range of international celebrities who are out and who model to them what it means to be same sex attracted. They have Elton John, tired, old, flambouyant and grumpy with a hair transplant, they have George Michael, who says random toilet sex is ok even though he is in a "committed" relationship. Darren Hayes recently came out and he certainly does make a good role model for young guys who have ambitions of becoming pop stars, what about those who don't relate to that?"


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