West Virginia votes being flipped from Democrat to Republican: "This is the second West Virginia county where voters have reported this problem. Last week, three voters in Jackson County told The Charleston Gazette their electronic vote for 'Barack Obama' kept flipping to 'John McCain.' In both counties, Republicans are responsible for overseeing elections. Both county clerks said the problem is isolated. They also blamed voters for not being more careful."
Ugandan Ethics and Integrity Minister on gays: "Ten years ago, this phenomena was not there, but the disease has penetrated everywhere. Who's going to occupy Uganda 20 years from now if we all become homosexuals? We know that homosexuals don't reproduce. There is now a globalization of homosexuality and people in Uganda are attempting to take advantage of the globalization. It is an attempt to end civilization. It is that serious."
Former Dead or Alive singer Pete Burns to receive £1million payout for botched cosmetic surgery: "The former Celebrity Big Brother contestant said he suffered horrific side effects from the ‘trout pout’, including painful swelling and blisters so severe he could not eat, drink or speak. He claims he was left with weeping sores, felt suicidal and looked so ‘physically repulsive’ he could not leave the house for seven months."
Log Cabin Republicans respond to Palin's break from McCain on federal marriage amendment: "We disagree with Gov. Palin on this issue, but we're glad that Sen. McCain agrees with us. The president sets the policy for the administration. Sen. McCain twice voted against the federal marriage amendment and continues to believe the states should decide this issue."
Vote delayed on gay high school in Chicago: "Chicago Public Schools CEO Arne Duncan said Friday that the school board would see the plan Nov. 19. The proposal was originally supposed to be considered Wednesday. Duncan gave preliminary approval for the the Pride Campus of Social Justice High school earlier this month. The high school be open to all students citywide but would provide a safe, 'gay-friendly' atmosphere."
Two Methodist women offered historic credentials: "Two women blocked from ordination as United Methodist ministers because one is a married lesbian and the other disagrees with church rules on gay rights received "extraordinary ordination" in Baltimore yesterday."
NYT: Tap water safer than bottled water. "The Environmental Working Group released a report Wednesday that charged that some bottled waters were 'no different than tap water.' And it found fertilizer residue, pain medication and other chemicals in some major brands."
Two men who created Social Justice course for British Columbia high school students sue school board for refusing to offer the class: "Social Justice 12, an elective for senior students, was created as a result of a contract the province signed with the Correns in 2006 to end a long-standing human rights complaint that the curriculum discriminated against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered students. Abbotsford officials say they're reviewing the course because of parental concerns, and the board has not yet decided whether it will be offered in future."
Robbie Daw presents a weekly pop music update here on Towleroad! Robbie runs his own site called Chart Rigger.
Many of you -- yes, that means you, buster --are probably reading this while at work. But while some of us are counting the minutes as the day wears on, as Cyndi Lauper points out in a Q&A with Newsweek, things could always be worse.
The singer discusses some of the odd jobs she had before she became a successful recording artist: "I tried to work in an office. Apparently, my clothes weren't right. I was a Gal Friday the 13th. I would answer phones and people would call up very upset. Then they'd call back screaming and yelling because I had to go to the file room and I would get sidetracked. I used to fall asleep reading the mail. I didn't want to. But it was so boring to me and I hated it."
One job Cyndi might be more happy to do is collaborating with Colleen Jackson and New York's West End Intergenerational Residence to create the True Colors Residence, "a permanent supportive housing program for homeless LGBT youth 18-24 years old."
Lauper notes in an open letter: "In New York City, a very disproportionate number (up to 40%), of homeless youth identify as LGBT. Even more disturbing are reports that these young people often face discrimination and at times physical assault in some of the very places they have to for help. This is shocking an inexcusable... We'll be building from the ground up so our residents will have a brand new, modern building with studio apartments for each resident and both indoor and outdoor community space to socialize or attend education and recreation programs. Each resident will be responsible for paying affordable rent based on their income and will receive ongoing assistance in obtaining employment best suited to their individual interests and skills."
As well, Cyndi Lauper's first studio album of original material in 11 years -- Bring Ya To The Brink -- will be released in two weeks, from Epic. The first single, "Same Ol' Story," was added to iTunes last week.
In 2001, Lauper was set to release an LP called Shine stateside, but plans with the label fell through, and the album eventually only saw the light of day in Japan, while she self-released an EP of some of the tracks domestically a year later.
Props to Towleroad reader Crispy, who in last week's music column commented that I forgot to mention Nine Inch Nails' digital release of new album The Slip, completely free of charge, on the band's website: "[lowercase sic] as a thank you to our fans for your continued support, we are giving away the new nine inch nails album one hundred percent free, exclusively via nin.com. the music is available in a variety of formats including high-quality MP3, FLAC or M4A lossless at CD quality and even higher-than-CD quality 24/96 WAVE. your link will include all options - all free. all downloads include a PDF with artwork and credits. for those of you interested in physical products, fear not. we plan to make a version of this release available on CD and vinyl in july. details coming soon."
As a fellow Western Pennsylvanian who grew up only a county away from him, I hope Trent Reznor can forgive me for not mentioning it sooner!
It's Jay-Z vs. Noel Gallagher over a "controversial" Glastonbury headlining gig: "We don't play guitars, Noel, but hip-hop has put in its work like any other form of music. This headline show is just a natural progression."
But if jetting off to England to see Oasis and Jay-Z's pissing contest isn't your thing, why not catch this summer's Regeneration Tour, headlined by the Human League and featuring Belinda Carlisle, ABC and Naked Eyes on the bill? Those heading to dates on the West Coast will be lucky enough to catch Pete Burns of Dead Or Alive, who's joining the tour from August 2 - 11.
Not content to just give away their music for free, Coldplay now doing two gigs free of charge in New York and London next month.
Has it really been 14 years? Below is the video for the #1 single on Billboard's Hot 100 chart this week in 1994:
Jeez, and they thought life was demanding without understanding in the '90s...! Ace Of Base's "The Sign" initially spent four weeks at #1, beginning in March of '94, before being knocked off by R. Kelly's "Bump N' Grind." After a four-week stretch for the latter, "The Sign" returned to the top for two more weeks that May.
The Swedish quartet's same-titled album would go on to tie with Disney's Lion King soundtrack for the year's best-seller, at 7 million copies moved.
TODAY'S NEW RELEASES:
Death Cab For Cutie's Narrow Stairs. (And, hey, how about a new Postal Service album while you're at it, Ben?)
Burns slams gay relationships and civil partnerships to The Daily Mail, lamenting that heterosexual marriages are more genuine and longing for his former wife of 28 years, stylist Lynne Corlett.
According to the Mail, "he had been 'optimistic' about his civil partnership, but now he says: 'I learned the hard way. It's a total joke.' Burns accused Simpson, 40, of being unfaithful and admitted he felt disillusioned. Burns added that some gay couples had 'open marriages' where the partners could be unfaithful. He said: 'There's a lot of promiscuity in the gay community. I don't understand why they take that union. How low is their self-esteem? One's on Hampstead Heath meeting men, the other one's hiring rent boys. 'Surely marriage is throwing anchor and saying, 'This is where I'm staying, I've made my choice and this is all I want because I've been on the up and down escalator, through the revolving door and I want to stand still.' That's what I expected."
Added Burns: "I view marriage as a sacred institution. I think two men naturally are predators. Gay relationships are a commercial break, not a whole movie. The relationships I'm aware of, apart from one ... it's as though there's some kind of emotional inadequacy or narcissism, where they feel emotionally inadequate and need more validation, from either a father figure or a mirror image of themselves. "I'm not condemning it, I think it needs researching and help...Would I get married again? If somebody knocked me on the head with a nine-inch nail-studded plank or drugged me with benzodiazepine ... No, no, no."
Vigil held for Father Mychal Judge on eve of Pope's Ground Zero visit: "He had a heart as big as New York. There was room for everybody. We wish that our church had room for everybody, and that was one of our prayers tonight, that our church would be welcoming, especially those who feel excluded, especially gays and lesbians."
Singapore restricts videogames with gay themes: "People Like Us considers this new rule unjustifiably strict. Children should not have to be kept ignorant about the presence of gay people in society anymore than they should be shielded from people of other faiths and ethnicities. The path to acceptance of gay people is through teaching children about diversity from a young age. It is pejorative to lump gay sexual orientation with crime and drug use as the MDA’s new guidelines do, as if gay orientation is some kind of social threat."
Gay bookstore in Vancouver that challenged Canadian Customs is up for sale: "Only two years after the store opened in 1983, the owners took on a fight that bolstered and exhausted them, lasting until just last year and challenging Canada's censorship laws. After 23 years of fighting Canada Customs' seizures of books bound for the gay and lesbian bookshop, the partners have put Little Sister's up for sale. It's time to do something else, Deva says as he plans to get a choir booked for the store's 25th anniversary celebrations. 'It's probably time to pass on the torch hopefully to some younger, energetic people who are willing to work with our store,' he says. 'I'm not in a rush. We're going to take our time.' The fight against Customs put the store at the forefront of the battle against censorship in Canada. Among books seized were Jean Genet's Querelle, Quentin Crisp's The Naked Civil Servant, Joe Orton's Prick Up Your Ears, The Joy of Gay Sex and The Joy of Lesbian Sex."
Artist Ross Bleckner penning a memoir: "'It's based on the journals he has kept for years,' says a pal. 'And he is writing it as if he is giving advice to his younger self.' The New York painter is expected to include recollections about famous friends including Calvin Klein, Diane von Furstenberg and former Mrs. Ron Perelman, Claudia Cohen."
Flowers appear to be losing their scent and experts are worried: "The potentially hugely significant research – funded by the blue-chip US National Science Foundation – has found that gases mainly formed from the emissions of car exhausts prevent flowers from attracting bees and other insects in order to pollinate them. And the scientists who have conducted the study fear that insects' ability to repel enemies and attract mates may also be impeded."
John McCain's campaign manager and chief strategist exit: "In statements, Terry Nelson, a veteran of President Bush's successful 2004 re-election effort, said he resigned as campaign manager effective immediately and John Weaver said he stepped down from his post of chief strategist on Tuesday. But other officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid discussing private conversations, said Nelson was fired."
Former Dead or Alive singer Pete Burns got hitched: "This is the second marriage for Burns, who was married for twenty-five years to his wife Lynne. During Burns' stint on Celebrity Big Brother on live television, he announced the couple's wedding engagement. One break-up and reconciliation later, the two scooted themselves down the aisle."
Bill Richardson apologizes for using "maricón" slur after being goaded by Don Imus in 2006: "Almost exactly one year before Imus was to lose his show for using a slur to describe the Rutger’s women’s basketball team, the shock jock used the Spanish word 'maricón' in an on-air exchange with Richardson. 'Bernard on the staff here has been claiming you’re not really Hispanic so-- that you're just claiming that for some sort of advantage or something,' Imus said to Richardson, tongue clearly in cheek. 'You can just answer this yes or no and this will answer that question. Would you agree that Bernard is a maricón?' Without missing a beat, Richardson replied in Spanish, 'Yo creo que Bernardo, sí — es un maricón si él piensa que yo no soy hispano. [General laughter] Was that good enough or what? [General laughter]' 'That’s good enough for me,' Imus replied."
Victoria Beckham reality show to air July 16th: "It's funny. People really get to see what I'm really like. I have quite a dry sense of humor, which I hope is going to translate to Americans. I'm incredibly blessed and I wanted to show that to everybody."