Handsome out actor is putting together a new album, but takes a break from songwriting to sing Elton John’s “Your Song.” How cute is the dog bit? We love our Cheyenne Jackson.
A caveat before we start — since it dropped in late January, we can’t call it a spring album release, but the hottest queer disc out right now without a doubt is “Heartthrob” from Canadian rock duo (and twin lesbians) Tegan and Sara. After years of working the indie circuit, they came storming out of the gate this year with a shockingly high U.S. debut (No. 3 on the Billboard 200), their highest chart position to date and a more mainstream pop sound that’s earned them strong reviews. Look for them on tour this summer with Fun.
Fresh sounds dominate this spring season with new album releases from Mykki Blanco, Lucas Silveira, the Flaming Lips and more. But others are also reviving some old-yet-classic beats, as Elton John and David Bowie return to form this season and release albums that harken back to their glory days.
Mykki Blanco, a trans hip-hop artist who’s performing at Comet Ping Pong on March 27, is dropping his EP “Betty Rubble: The Initation” at the end of March. A follow up to last year’s mix tape “Cosmic Angel,” the track “Feeling Special” has already been leaked and Blanco has been described as being aggressive as ever. Alter ego for Michael David Quattlebaum Jr., Blanco is a New York-based poet and hip-hop musician who blends traditional rap genres while also making reference to several hip-hop female artists. For more information, visit mykkiblancoworld.com or visit his Facebook page to listen to the leaked track.
David Bowie, straight but perhaps the most androgynous mainstreamer in all of rock, returns with all new material for his 24th studio album “The Next Day” which drops March 12. This will be his first album with new material since 2003. The album took two years and a sporadic recording schedule to finish. The subject matter of the album ranges from Bowie’s personal struggles to a song about a high school shooting, to a story related to a World War II soldier. For more information, visit davidbowie.com.
Grammy-winning alternative rock band the Flaming Lips releases its 13th studio album “The Terror” on April 2. The album consists of nine original tracks that take on an incredibly introspective and darker tone than prior albums. For more information, visit flaminglips.com.
Lucas Silveira, transgender lead singer of Toronto-based band The Cliks, returns after a five-year hiatus to release the album “Black Tie Elevator” on April 16. Silveira comes back with a new sound after discovering his true voice. He is successfully going through the female-to-male transition process, thus making his voice a little huskier but with soul. The Cliks were founded in 2004 and Silveira became the first out male transgender to be signed to a major record label. He also went on to be the first transgender man to be voted “Sexiest Canadian Man” by ChartAttack.com. After living as a man for five years but appearing to the public as a woman, he began the testosterone hormone therapy and found himself reborn in Brooklyn in 2010. The band is expected to be touring in the Washington area when they visit DC9 (1940 9th St., NW) in May. For more information, visit theclicks.com.
On April 23, straight-but-adorable crooner Michael Buble releases his new album “To Be Loved,” his sixth studio album. The new album has Buble’s smooth voice singing a variety of standards along with some of his original music. The single “It’s A Beautiful Day” was released Feb. 25. For more information, visit michaelbuble.com.
The same day, hip-hop recording artist Kid Cudi releases his third studio album “Indicud.” Cudi received attention as an artist after his debut mix tape “A Kid Named Cudi” was released in 2008. For details, visit kidcudi.com.
Despite chronic evasiveness on gay issues, gospel music legend Amy Grant maintains a massive gay following. “How Mercy Looks From Here,” her first studio collection of all-new material since 2003’s mellow “Simple Things,” drops May 7. James Taylor provides backing vocals on first single “Don’t Try So Hard.”
Look out for Elton John’s 30th solo album, “Voyeur,” in May, after the release date was pushed back twice. The album was written by John and Bernie Taupin in collaboration with John. For more information, visit eltonjohn.com or Bernie Taupin’s official website berniejtaupin.com.
Details are sparse but Cher is also rumored to be very close to releasing a new album, her first in more than a decade. According to her website cherworld.com, Warner Bros announced the release of her new album in March. This would be her first album in 12 years and she has described it as “eclectic” with lots of dancing. Mariah Carey is also rumored to have a March release in the works.
Other releases of note include international dance pop diva Inna with “Party Never Ends” (slated to drop today), Dido with “Girl Who Got Away” (Tuesday), former teen heartthrob Justin Timberlake with “The 20/20 Experience” (March 15) which he teased at last month’s Grammys, and Lady Gaga with “ARTPOP” (May 22).
Details are vague but other artists rumored to have 2013 releases up their sleeves include Beyonce, Britney Spears, possibly Janet Jackson, Christina Aguilera (a Spanish album), Jennifer Lopez, Katy Perry, Kylie Minogue and Nicki Minaj. And if you ever got into the boy band thing, both New Kids and Backstreet Boys are said to be working on new material
More than 30,000 people from around the world gathered at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in D.C. in July for the International AIDS Conference.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former President Bill Clinton, former First Lady Laura Bush, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.,) Bill Gates of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé, Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, “The View” co-host Whoopi Goldberg and gay singer Elton John were among the politicians, public health officials and others who spoke during the gathering that took place in the United States for the first time since San Francisco hosted it in 1990. (President Obama in 2009 completed the process that lifted the ban on people with HIV/AIDS from entering the country.)
Mayor Vincent Gray and other D.C. officials used the conference to highlight the city’s ongoing efforts to curb the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the nation’s capital. The NAMES Project showcased tens of thousands of panels of the AIDS Memorial Quilt throughout the metropolitan area in July, while the AIDS Healthcare Foundation and other HIV/AIDS service providers protested what they contend is a lack of commitment from the White House and other American politicians to combat the epidemic. U.S. Park Service police arrested Housing Works President Charles King and 12 others who tried to tie red ribbons, condoms and other items to the White House fence following a protest in Lafayette Park.
The 20th International AIDS Conference is scheduled to take place in Melbourne, Australia, in July 2014.