Friday, December 21, 2007

Seattle Gay News giving away "Sweeney Todd" tickets



In this week's issue of the Seattle Gay News, out today, look for an Arts & Entertainment advertisement revealing the exclusive location where you can register to win free passes for Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. These are movie passes that can be redeemed at the box office for actual tickets. The films opens today, December 21.

Three original soundtracks of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street will be given away as well.

From Seattle Gay News, enjoy the show!



Photo: courtesy of Dreamworks Pictures.



Monday, December 17, 2007

Seattle Gay News announces Best Albums and Singles of 2007


In its December 14 issue, currently at a multitude of distribution points in the metro and suburban areas, Seattle Gay News reveals its picks for the year's best music. Check out all music picks for 2007, including worst choices, in this week's issue. Plus, an exclusive mini-interview with British electronic act Simian Mobile Disco (pictured). Below is a list of the year's top albums and singles.

Best Albums / CDs of 2007
(in order)

1 Neon Bible - Arcade Fire
2 Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga - Spoon
3 Icky Thump - The White Stripes
4 Because of the Times - Kings of Leon
5 100 Days, 100 Nights - Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings
6 Fort Nightly - White Rabbits
7 New Moon - Eliott Smith
8 Myths of the Near Future - Klaxons
9 Crazy Ex-Girlfriend - Miranda Lambert
10 Couples Therapy - The Glass

Best Singles / Tracks of 2007
(in order)

1 D.A.N.C.E. - Justice
2 Golden Skans - Klaxons
3 Rehab - Amy Winehouse
4 Charmer - Kings of Leon
5 Umbrella - Rihanna featuring Jay-Z
6 Keep the Car Running - Arcade Fire
7 Icky Thump - The White Stripes
8 Heaven, Heartache and the Power of Love - Trisha Yearwood
9 No One's Gonna Love You - Band of Horses
10 It's the Beat - Simian Mobile Disco


Photo of Simian Mobile Disco, courtesy of Merge Records

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Best of Music 2007 - in tomorrow's issue

SEATTLE GAY NEWS - BEST OF MUSIC 2007


Seattle Gay News will reveal its choices for the Best of Music 2007 in tomorrow's issue (December 14). Grab a copy at your nearest bar-lounge, coffeehouse, library or a multitude of other distribution points in the metro Seattle area.



Find out what we chose as the year's:



Best Albums /CDs
Best Singles/Tracks
Best Live Performances
Hottest Artists of the Year
Worst of Music 2007

Plus, an exclusive mini-interview with Simian Mobile Disco!




Artist photo: Spoon, courtesy of Merge Records

Thursday, November 1, 2007

OUTBOUND: Seattle Gay News begins exclusive travel coverage of France


Seattle Gay News begins two weeks of exclusive travel coverage of France in tomorrow's issue (November 2).

"OUTBOUND", our in-house written travel column, will feature two informational editorial pieces this week and an additional two next week. In tomorrow's issue, experience Air France's newly launched Seattle-Paris direct flight and find out what you need to know before journeying to France (documentation, currency, tourist attractions, etc.). In next week's issue, we invite you on a five-day trek through the Loire Valley and a weekend in the gorgeous, bustling city of Paris.

Grab a copy of tomorrow's Seattle Gay News and join us in saluting the other red, white and blue - France!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Gay sex scandal costs WA Republican his House seat

State Rep. Richard Curtis, R-La Center, has resigned his seat amid revelations of a gay sex scandal in Spokane (see article).

House Republican Leader Richard DeBolt released a statement saying:

“I am very disappointed by the news reports of the conduct by Rep. Curtis last week in Spokane. After discussing this matter with House Republican leaders, he has submitted his resignation, which we feel is best for everyone involved. The troubling details continue to emerge, however, it has become clear that he can no longer effectively represent the constituents who elected him. We pray that Richard and his family have the strength and support they need to meet the personal challenges they face.”


Curtis issued his own statement:

“Today I submitted my letter of resignation to Gov. Gregoire effective immediately. While I believe we've done some good and helped a lot of people during the time I served in the Legislature, events that have recently come to light have hurt a lot of people. I sincerely apologize for any pain my actions may have caused.

“This has been damaging to my family, and I don't want to subject them to any additional pain that might result from carrying out this matter under the scrutiny that comes with holding public office.”


Read the Seattle Gay News on Friday for an in-depth article on the situation from SGN Staff Writer Liz Meyer.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Pro-Gay protestors dwarf Watchmen at Lynnwood conference



Don't see the video above? Click here!

Story in the Seattle Gay News this week:

On Saturday, October 20, the sidewalks along all four corners of the intersection in front of the Lynnwood Convention Center were packed with men and women of all ages, races, and sexual orientations. Their brightly colored signs, rainbow flags and-in some cases-manner of dress all sought to convey one message: hate is not welcome in our town.

The protestors, approximately 150 people in strength, assembled outside in the wet and chilly Northwest weather to protest Watchmen on the Walls, an international anti-Gay organization that was meeting at the Center for its sixth convention. Past conferences have been held in Bellevue; Riga, the Latvian capital; and Sacramento, California in recent years.

The Montgomery, Alabama based Southern Poverty Law Center recently described the group as "extremist" and warned that the group's rhetoric could potentially incite violence. However, no violence was reported during the weekend long conference, according to a spokesperson for the Lynnwood Police Department.

"The Watchmen has the right to express their beliefs," Deputy Police Chief Paul Watkins of the Lynnwood Police Department told the Seattle Gay News on Saturday. Likewise, the protestors have the right to express their beliefs. Our position on that is neutral-other than it needs to be conducted in a safe and lawful manner."

Protest organizer Cindy Worthen, an Everett resident, said she pulled the protest together in only a couple days through e-mail. She was pleased with the turnout.

"I'm thrilled. I sent out a couple of e-mails. I have been hearing from people all over-King County, Snohomish County, and, even, Whatcom County," she said. "I am hoping that the Watchmen are given the message that they are not welcome here and that other hate groups get the message that they are not welcome here. That is what I am hoping for. I also want Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender people to know that we love them."

Inside, speakers at the Watchmen on the Walls conference spoke less about love for LGBT people and referred to them as "wrong, unnatural, and harmful."

"...[W]e are especially focused against homosexuality, because those who practice this self-destructive vice, and have organized themselves into a political movement, are the chief enemies of the natural family," said lawyer and author Scott Lively during convention's opening night. "We do not apologize for opposing homosexuality because it is morally, physically, psychologically, and socially wrong, unnatural, and harmful."

Lively, a resident of California, wrote the book The Pink Swastika, which contends that Gays were the masterminds behind the Holocaust. The Southern Poverty Law Center previously noted in an article published on its website that Lively had been ordered to pay $20,000 in damages in 1991 for dragging a Lesbian photojournalist by the hair through a church.

Ken Hutcherson, pastor of Redmond-based Antioch Bible Church and longtime foe of LGBT equal rights, also addressed the conference participants. "I believe in the word of God 100 percent," he said. "What we need to take back is the right to disagree."

Watchmen on the Walls has a large number of Russian speaking immigrants among its membership. This was evident by the Russian interpreter present at the conference.

Protestor Charles Fey, a Marysville resident, said that the Watchmen on the Walls had a right to their views but only up until the point it affects another's ability to do the same.

"It is not illegal in this state to be hateful toward Gays. Hate speech is not illegal," he said. "They have a right to their views but when it threatens my well being or it threatens the well being of specific groups of people, it is concerning because it can lead to violence. We should say that we don't respect that.

"I think it is a little bit strange that people from Russia, the Ukraine and the Balkan countries who may have come here from their countries because their religion wasn't respected enough come to this country and expect to put their views on us."

Wallingford United Methodist Church Pastor Jim Carter also took part in the protest. He said groups such as the Watchman on the Walls have a distorted view of Christian teaching. His church openly welcomes LGBT people as they are, he added.

Robert Guerrero, a Native American, dressed in the traditional garments of his tribe. He traveled to Lynnwood from Tacoma, a two hour drive, to participate in the protest.

"Each time we stand up for each other, we not only let the world know that we have a coalition of people that will stand up against hate, we win one more person and put one more brick in the road to a better society," he said. "As far as I'm concerned, Lynnwood is my backyard. Whether hate sprouts up in Vancouver, Lynnwood or Spokane, all of those places are my backyard. I won't have that. I have got to lend my voice to a chorus of people standing up for what's right."

The Watchmen on the Walls had planned for as many as 700 attendees but fell well short of their goal. About 125 people attended the opening event on Friday and just 40 people showed up for Saturday morning's event. This reporter did not attend other scheduled events of the conference.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Tim Burgess: No friend of mine!

As the saying goes: A friend of the right-wing is no friend of mine.

That's the message that NARAL Pro-Choice Washington relayed to reporters during a morning press conference at a Seattle hotel. The organization released a slew of fundraising letters Seattle City Council candidate Tim Burgess supposedly wrote during a decade of consulting work he did for the right-wing group Concerned Women for America (CWA).

The letters, uncovered in the files of the People for the American Way, a liberal watchdog group, use derogitory language toward Gays and outline CWA's opposition to pro-choice advocates.

Karen Cooper, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Washington, said Burgess told her organization during an endorsement meeting that he wrote the fundraising letters during his comapany's years of consulting work for CWA between 1995 and 2005. Seattle Gay News Publisher George Bakan, who also participated in the press conference, reminded reporters that Burgess told The Stranger during an interview that he was a "copywriter" on CWA projects, a well understood trade term meaning that he wrote, edited and approved much of the language used in the letters.

Among CWA's accusations in the letters:

**Radical homosexual activists and their allies plan to turn America's public school system into full-fledged gay propaganda and recruitment camps
**Homosexuality and pedophilia are both sexual orientations
**Emergency contraception is the same as an abortion
**The National Education Association seeks to promote the "homosexual lifestyle" in America's public schools

One letter dated January 1997, which had been blown-up to poster size and circled in red by press conference organizers, talks about the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, a piece of legislation still under consideration in Congress.

The letter reads: "...ENDA was a blatant attempt to destroy our society's moral foundations. This bill would have forced Christian businessmen and women and other decent Americans to hire homosexuals and those with a variety of 'sexual orientations,' including transvestites and pedophiles."

Bakan said as a newspaper publisher he's turned away advertising from groups professing beliefs he disagreed with, such as "ex-Gay" groups. He said that--in Seattle--few companies would take work from groups such as CWA.

Althought NARAL Pro-Choice Washington and the Seattle Gay News have endorsed Councilman David Della, Burgess' opponent, in the Seattle City Council Position Seven race, Cooper and Bakan said they are releasing the letters Wednesday only in hopes of providing voters with more information from which to cast their ballot.


The above post and photographs can be used by any blogger or media outlet without compensation. However, credit is always appreciated: Seattle Gay Blog

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

White Rabbits interview - October 12


White Rabbits interview with Seattle Gay News


Of all the up and coming bands out there, we can only keep track of a few. One of them is White Rabbits. Their sound is hard to describe in words, so we won't. We'll just say it's layers and layers of goodness. Seattle Gay News is pleased to feature an interview with this talented new band in our October 12 issue. White Rabbits will perform live at Neumos on Thursday, October 18 opening for Tokyo Police Club. For ticket information, visit http://www.neumos.com/.

We'd love for you to ear-sample music by White Rabbits. Visit www.myspace.com/whiterabbits and listen to our favorites, "While We Go Dancing" and "Kid on My Shoulders". Seattle Gay News selected Fort Nightly by White Rabbits as one of the best recordings of 2007 1/2.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Lesbian & Gay Film Festival trailers

The 2007 Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival is still two weeks away, but, if you can't stand the wait, these juicy festival trailers should tide you over...

My name's Dave [Quantic] and I directed these funny shorts to
help promote Seattle's Lesbian and Gay Film Festival.

You can see them on the Festival's website:

http://2007.seattlequeerfilm.org/festivalTrailers.php

As well as on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/3DollarBillCinema

The shorts follow Senior Creative Artistic Director of
New Projects, Camile Schwartzbaum, as she allows
documentary cameras film the most intimate, sacred
moments of the creative process with her theatre
ensemble, The King County Society for Stage
Adaptations of Cinematic Masterpieces, during their
intensive search for the next Broadway Smash!

The thirty second "Brainstorm" version is currently
airing nationally on LOGO, the MTV gay and lesbian
cable channel. 35mm prints of the other three
segments (TOP GUN, SHOWBEARS and DRAG QUEENS) will
screen before features in Seattle area multiplexes a
few weeks before the fest and before every screening
at the festival.

Just thought your readers might like to see them!


For the record, the "Top Gun" trailer is my favorite.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

SGN endorses Della, urges vote against Burgess

The Seattle Gay News editorial staff met this week to discuss the Seattle City Council contest between incumbent David Della and challenger Tim Burgess. After a lengthy internal discussion, the staff voted to endorse David Della for Seattle City Council.


SGN Endorsement
Vote for David Della for City Council - Vote against his opponent Tim Burgess


by SGN Editorial Staff

Seattle Gay News has backed the SEAMEC ratings time and time again over the years. Hundreds of requests for endorsement have been declined over the past 30 years in favor of the community based ratings project.

Breaking tradition, SGN's editorial board has voted to immediately and strongly endorse Dave Della for City Council. Della has completed his first four years on the City Council with a good record. His strong can do style when he tackles issues is fine with us, and his down to earth manner is another plus. Della isn't slick, but forthright and to the point.

His record on civil rights goes back decades. He comes from the Filipino political tradition that has always supported the worker in fights with company bosses and has been strongly Gay and Lesbian supportive as well. Dave admires retired City Councilwoman Delores Sibonga, who was among the first wave of leadership on the City Council that fully supported issues of concern to the GLBT community, working with the long defunct Dorian Group. Della continues in that strong proactive role.

Della's endorsement roster is a star list of progressive political leadership throughout the city. Senator Ed Murray, former Washington State Governors Gary Locke and Mike Lowry, King County Councilmember Larry Gossett, Seattle City Councilmember Richard McIver, former Seattle City Councilmember Dolores Sibonga, King County Executive Ron Simms, State Representative Sharon Tomiko Santos (D-37), former State Representative Velma Veloria (D-11). These leaders do not lend their names easily. That support has to be earned. (For a complete list of several hundred individual and organizational endorsements, visit www.daviddella.com.)

SGN joins this worthy list. Vote for David Della's second term in the upcoming November general election.

BLOOD MONEY AND HATE MONGERING, NO WAY IN HELL

For the second time in its history, the SGN says deliberately vote against a candidate. Tim Burgess is an expert at public relations. That is his business. In the past three days rumors became fact when media reports confirm by interview with Burgess that for seven years he helped run the hate mail operations of Concerned Women of America, a virulent anti Gay front group for the far right. CWA is run by the infamous Phyllis Shafley. Under her leadership and in league with the hired gun Burgess PR firm, CWA has pumped out fundraising mailers for many years: which are the most horrible anti Gay garbage one could ever read. SGN used to be on their mailing list.

Burgess now admits under pressure that his firm earned $2 million plus from helping to write/prepare the hate monger mailings under the terms of a seven years contract for public relations consulting. That admission should make the skin crawl on any proud GLBT activist/voter.

Shame, shame, shame on you, Mr. Burgess. You, sir, took blood money in the millions from Concerned Women of America.

That is a flaw that should keep Burgess off the elected political stage in this city forever.

There is no room for his lack of integrity in the roster of political leadership. Vote against Burgess. He should not be welcomed at the elected councils of power in our fair Emerald City, Seattle

Monday, September 3, 2007

Bumberblog 2007: The last word

Lorelei here, one last time with one last piece of advice: the next time Mocean Worker comes to town - Jazz Alley, Triple Door, your best friend's bbq, wherever - get yourself there. If you have any love, any at all, for jazz, funk, or wild and crazy improv, you'll love MoWo, also known as Adam Dorn. He really drew them into the Northwest Court, most of the folks dancing and jiving, ignoring the free chairs. His first tune, "Chicka-boom," was familiar to me; since I know him as a DJ, I wondered how he was going to duplicate it. The answer: with a live band, including a sax, a flute, a trumpet, keys, drums and bongos. MoWo himself was on bass. More, I want more!

But not this weekend. I'm headed over to the Backyard Stage for the end of The Frames set, then I'm going home. I've been slightly vindicated - the skies opened briefly and I got to take out my poncho. Of course, as soon as it was on, the drizzle stopped; I put the poncho away and it started up again. What's up with that? Next year, B'shoot: I'll leave the poncho at home and it will rain all weekend. 'Til next year!

Bumberblog 2007: Stone-cold Legend


Lorelei back with you and, after waiting for a few journalists to log off from the free wi-fi in the Press Room, I’m live once again. Joss Stone and John Legend are clearly Seattle faves – the mainstage was packed to the rafters, and not just on the shady side of the stadium. Monday afternoon is mellower than on other days: folks stayed quietly seated on the floor until a mere five minutes before showtime. Then, of course, it was pandemonium as usual.

Joss Stone’s choreographed back-up singers and crew were color-coordinated in vibrant reds; the singer followed suit in jeans, a red tank and double-breasted skin-tight black vest. Her purple- and blue-streaked dark hair were also nods to her new punkier image, while her bare feet and the purple scarf tied to her mic were throwbacks to her earthier, hippy-like start in the soul scene.

She pulled out all of the stops, playing a broad sample of her albums, noticeably heavy on her latest (Introducing Joss Stone). It was a solid, tight set, including "Baby Baby Baby," "You Had Me," "Bruised But Not Broken," and "Girl They Won't Believe It." Her “final” song, “Tell Me ‘Bout It,” gave a nice spotlight to her band’s musicians and back-up singers. She returned for an encore of "Right to Be Wrong," throwing purple roses out to her audience and throwing in a bit of “No Woman, No Cry.”

There was no rest for the crowd that stayed for John Legend: we pushed closer to the stage, hoping, as it got hotter, to catch a little of the warm water splattering from the hoses. (Personally, I was hoping not to get hit in the head by a giant inflatable ball. No such luck.) Legend came to the stage dressed in white pants and a gray short-sleeved button-down shirt, which was quickly drenched. He seemed delighted and a little surprised to see the huge afternoon crowd as he encouraged Seattle several times to make some noise. Oh, we did.

The water cannons were cruelly absent during Legend’s set, which included hits like "Heaven," "Ordinary People," "Stereo" and "Lifted." He called up a young woman to the stage to rub up against ... er, I mean dance with him on "Slow Dance," and he confused a lot of teenagers when he wove one of his tunes into the Beatles’ “I Want You.” Inevitably, and much to the delight of the audience, Legend removed his shirt before beginning "We Just Don't Care," otherwise known as "The PDA song." Sorry, boys: he had a white tank underneath, which he left on. Sigh.

Must dash - want to try to catch Steve Earle's mini-performance. I'll be back one last time with a wrap-up of Labor Day's B'shootage. TTFN.

Bumberblog 2007: Another hot Labor Day at B'shoot

Lorelei here. I may not have needed my poncho yesterday, but in my defense it did sprinkle the teeniest bit at around 10:30. Besides, wouldn't you rather have it and not need it than the reverse? (I know: nice try, Lorelei.) Today, however, has the highest chance of rain for the three days, and the highest humidity. I'm already schvitzing. So reapply that SPF!

I've been meaning to mention that if you do find yourself short of cash, in addition to secret stages and secret performances there is also a secret ATM! The Bank of America machine between the Pacific Science Center and Mural Amphitheatre is wedged between some fencing. It's still accessible but since no one can see it there's never a line. I should know, I've been to it twice.

Today I'm following m'colleague Albert's advice and bringing in my own food. I'm a little fed up with dinky $7 pita sandwiches and schtick on a stick - I'll save my moolah for the overpriced ice cream. Speaking of ice cream: how whacked is it that there's no ice cream stand on the 100-degree Memorial Stadium Floor?

And speaking of Memorial Stadium: Albert asked me to remind you that tonight's 9:30 pm mainstage show is Wu-Tang Clan, opened by Lupe Fiasco at 8:00 pm. It's sure to be crazy, and it's also sure to be packed, so pick up your passes early!

Me, I'll be avoiding those evening crowds. I'm getting too old for this. Last night I found myself wanting to smack a couple of teenagers who didn't know how to cross the street (sirens mean stop!), not to mention the idiots who think it's cool to slam dance getting into the mosh pits. Who's teaching these tykes manners? No, instead I'll be hitting the afternoon acts at Memorial: I can't wait to get me some Joss Stone and John Legend (1:15 pm and 3:00 pm respectively).

I thought I might try to sneak over to the Literary Arts Stage between the R&B sets to hear Wesley Stace (aka the hot John Wesley Harding) read from his new novel, by George. I thought I might, but decided I probably won't, since I don't want him to think I'm stalking him. Or anything. (Call me.) Perhaps I'll catch the end of Kultur Shock's gypsy punk set at Fisher Green (3:45 pm). I hope to have a chance to blog before even more shows take over my time ... there's Mocean Worker and Steve Earle's mini-performances at the KEXP Bumbershoot Music Lounge, and I want to see Irish rockers The Frames before heading off to bed. Actually, I want to see Frames' lead singer Glen Hansard so I can dream sweet dreams... but that's another story. I'll blog ya' later!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Bumber-blog 2007: Fergie mini-review / first-half


Fergie, taking her very sweet time, finally appeared onstage to the roar - or screeches - of teenage girls and expected herds of gay boys at around 10ish.

The half-time Pea went for a glittery opening, tiara on her permed head and sparkles on her face, not to mention a skimpy mini-skirt and bra-top. She performed "London Bridge" in the first half of her set, complete with dancing lookalike English guardsmen.

I admit to mildly liking one Fergie tune, the it-grows-on-you "Glamorous", although the semi-packed house would have to wait until the second half, much later than I agreed to stay.

She did add a Black Eyed Peas medley, including "Where is the Love" and "Don't Phunk With My Heart".

I was most surprised at how dirty her stage performance was - no wonder they made an announcement for small kids to be removed from the front of the stage. This chick is one naughty mama.

Fergie did say that she enjoyed saying the word "Bumbershoot". I bet.

Well, time for me to fly. From the Alki Room at Bumbershoot 2007 - adios!

Bumber-blog 2007: Army of Me mini-review


Army of Me was just added to the Bumbershoot lineup last week when another band canceled. And in short time, fans of this DC-based trio got word of their appearance and flocked to their evening show tonight at the Exhibition Center.

Lead singer Vince Scheuerman, who interviewed with Seattle Gay News a few months ago, sounded amazing. This was a more confident, more vocally-consistent, and more comfortable Sheuerman than I saw at Chop Suey back in June. He looked pretty hot too, dressed in skin-hugging jeans (let's just say my imagination got the night off), a dark-colored waist-length coat, and a T-shirt. Midway through the group's set, he tossed the jacket - much to the delight of adoring female cheers.

Guitarist Brad Tursi cut his hair from the last time I saw Army of Me, and went for a non-rock star image tonight in orange'ish V-neck T-shirt and charcoal casual pants. He looked great too. Dennis Manuel pounded away on drums, and a temporary fourth member helped out on bass.

The band played a great set that included "Rise", "Going Through Changes" (currently getting airplay nationally), and a dandier version of "Perfect" from the previous live rendition at Chop Suey. They also threw in older favorites and a cover tune by Oasis, who Scheuerman credited for making him want to form a band.

I'm quite impressed by how tighter Army of Me sounded tonight. I enjoyed this performance far more than their last one. They also seemed to be more upbeat, smiling and interacting more with the audience.

Army of Me will begin touring with The Used, but the tour isn't passing through Seattle. After the show, I spoke briefly with Tursi outside and he was excited by tonight's turnout and how many Seattleites have become AOM fans. The group flies out tomorrow to Florida, very early in the morning.

Bumberbog 2007:

Lorelei here again. Okay, so I lied: I didn't make it over to Rose Hill Drive. The trek over to the Backyard Stage, through the dinner-seeking crowds, was too daunting. Instead I hung out in the vicinity of the Key Arena, near the Press Room.

What's here, you ask? Well, there's the Literary Arts Stage, where you can enjoy performance art and readings; the Visual Arts Exhibits in the Northwest Rooms; and the Comedy Stage West located in the Vera Project.

Then there's the festival's real secret stage: my beloved Northwest Court, where Origins Music sponsored a Northwest Jazz Showcase today. The Sam Yahel Trio grooved for a good hour! Yahel, an organist who lives in New York and works with artists like Norah Jones, Joshua Redman and Madeleine Peyroux, jammed with Seattleites, drummer Matt Jorgensen and Mark Taylor on alto sax. The set included material from Yahel's latest release, Truth and Beauty.

Of course, I had to stick around for John Wesley Harding, who brought with him San Francisco guitarist Chris von Sneidem, Kurt Bloch and other members of his Seattle-based band, Minstrel in the Galleries (I know I should recognize them all, but JWH didn't introduce them properly so why should I? I'm feeling guilty). His 13-song set included solo acoustic, both new and old, as well as some rocking folk. I'm not kidding: with Minstrel JWH really rocks out on old tunes like "Canadee-I-O," "Do Not Fear the Dark" and "The Humpback Whale." Complete with air kicks.

The beginning of the set closely resembled his July show at the Triple Door, including a joke about Japanese audiences not wanting to make requests but still being disappointed when they don't hear their favorite songs. Songs included "Here Comes the Groom," "Top of the Bottom," "Congratulations," "The People's Drug," "Humble Bee" and Jake Thackray's "The Bull." Harding also performed the lovely "Sleeper Awake," "Some Day Son" and "Kiss Me, Miss Liberty," and wrapped the show with a rousing rendition of "Three-Legged Man."

You don't need to guess what three-letter word I think best describes JWH, do you? No, you don't, because I'll tell you again: h-o-t.

Tomorrow I'm ready to be wowed by R&B artists Joss Stone and John Legend. Plus I'm planning to catch DJ Mocean Worker, and maybe another secret session with Steve Earle. I hope to end my day with Irish rockers The Frames. So I'll be workin' hard, not hardly workin', at Monday's B'shoot. Come spend your Labor Day with me! (And 10,000 other maniacs.)

Bumberblog 2007: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - intimate show mini-review


I was privileged to be five feet away from Black Rebel Motorcycle Club when they gave an intimate mini-performance this evening at the Eve Alvord Theatre. The six-song set was part of KEXP's on-air broadcast from the Bumbershoot Music & Arts Festival here at Seattle Center.

Peter Lind Hayes, in greased-back hair and side chops, opened with a solo acoustic performance of a song from their latest album, Baby 81, which I believe is called "Fault Line". He was then joined by Nick Jago, who played tambourine on "Ain't No Easy Way". On the third song, guitarist Robert Levon Been joined in on acoustic guitar and also took over lead vocals. The trio, true to their name, was decked out in all-black attire, including "cheap-o" boots as described by Hayes when I spoke to him briefly afterwards.

The roughly 100 guests, both fans and press-media, enjoyed a few more songs including "Weapon of Choice" before the band had to leave. Well, not quite.

Hayes greeted diehard fans afterwards, and he and I spoke for about five minutes. He said, "I'm a little interested in Fergie". Hmmm...he actually did sound interested. At first, I thought he was joking - and I laughed.

Anywho, BRMC kicked some royal ass tonight at this intimate little shindig, following their hour-and-fifteen minute set at Memorial Stadium. I'll have more to say about BRMC and lead singer Hayes in "The Music Lounge" on September 7.

Okay, I gotta skidaddle to catch the opening of Miss Fergie. The gay boys are out there, I saw them earlier when I popped in to get a glimpse of Sean Paul's set.

I'll let Lorelei take it from here, while I get Fergie-fied.

Bumberblog 2007: More Sunday

Lorelei again, back from wandering the Center grounds. Breaking news: if you were coming strictly to see Ryan Shaw (Fisher Green, 7:45 pm), then don't bother. He's canceled, to be replaced by locals Blues Scholars. Also canceled: The Horrorpops (Exhibition Hall, 4:15 pm).

I did manage to check out The Watson Twins' secret show at the KEXP Bumbershoot Music Lounge, where they previewed a few songs from their upcoming album due out in January. The two songs I heard were very different from the country-gospel on Southern Manners; the pop-py "Fadeout" has a '60' girl-group feeling.

From there (secret location) I trotted over to the Backyard Stage for the punk girl quartet The Trucks. Quite a contrast! Their lyrics were fun, but I couldn't take much of the tunes. On my way over to Memorial Stadium for the afternoon mainstage event I heard North Twin at the Mural Amphitheatre - bluesy goodness!

At the mainstage, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club blew out an amp connection early in their set and had to switch gears; they managed to plug in with their next song, but could've been a bit more nimble. The smoke machines and syncopated lights were a bit over the top for a daytime show, but it still wasn't enough to hold my interest. The set was dreary - I almost fell asleep despite the volume. The gloomy bassline was relentless and depressing. I was glad they finished a little early.

Kings of Leon
, on the other hand, were full of energy, despite lead singer Caleb Followill's announcement that they were under the weather and almost had to cancel. KOL's opening notes had folks flocking to the floor and stands. My complaint: none of the Followills (three brothers and a cousin) cracked a smile! Maybe it's those skinny, tight black jeans and rock and roll posturing that makes them grumpy. Or maybe it's that sumer cold. Bleh. Early in their set they invited the crowd to sing along, then launched into "Molly's Chamber," but it seemed like they weren't having nearly as much fun as the audience.

Most welcome mainstage addition: the super fan that blasts the water from the fire hoses across the pit crowd! One Reel should install these at other outdoor stages. Except, of course, when it's raining. I anticipate needing my poncho before the B'shoot day is over - clouds are encroaching, and it's very muggy.

But right now I'm going to try to check out rock and blues trio Rose Hill Drive (Mural Amphitheatre, literally right now!) If there's time to blog between that and the hot, hot, hot John Wesley Harding - if I don't go see Sam Yahel or someone else equally intriguing - I'll let you know what I thought very soon. Otherwise I'll check in with y'all before I leave the grounds with a wrap on the day. Laterz!

Bumber-blog: Kings of Leon mini-review

Believe me, Lorelei and I are indeed "working" this weekend at the festival, even though at the moment we're eating free ice cream that's been given to us in the press-media room. And having our own, frequently-stocked Pepsi fridge isn't too shabby either.

Now, onto Kings of Leon.

Honestly, I've never really warmed up to this group before. And I can't say that I'm a new convert either, after seeing and hearing them slap Memorial Stadium with a whopper of a performance. But I can say that I have more respect for them, as they commanded a lively show - even as rumor swirled that the Southern-based unit with biblical names to match was a tad under the weather.

Lead singer Caleb Followill, dresed in a tank top and vest and jeans with enough room to barely slide a piece of dental floss through, has a raw and powerful voice that draws you in. The huge crowd that gathered at Memorial Stadium were treated to songs from the band's albums, Aha Shake Heartbreak and Because of the Times. Like Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, who opened the afternoon double-bill, Kings of Leon appeared to race through their set. Um, did they have Seahawks tickets or early din-din reservations?

Regardless of pace, Kings of Leon were on fire. Their sound was tight, a mix of fierce guitars, rockabilly drums, and toe-tapping bass lines, plus Caleb F's impressive vocals. These guys are real-life brothers (and a cousin to boot) - so I expect their phone bill on Mother's Day is expensive if they're on the road.

btw - Near KOL's finale, Caleb F asked the audience if they were waiting for Fergie, scheduled on the same stage at 9ish tonight. Almost everyone booed.

I also caught part of BRMC's set - and it was fine. The crowd was really into them - but they zipped from one song to the next.

Well, on my way to get a massage, eat some shitty and expensive food, then catch Apples in Stereo, The Cody Rivers Show (comedy), Army of Me, Art Brut, and Sean Paul w/ Fergie.

Bumber-blog: Sunday, early PM

Hey, it's Albert and we're live at Bumbershoot 2007!

Heading out in just a bit to catch the remainder of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club at Memorial Stadium. I could hear them play as I entered the press-media gate. I might catch part of Janeane Garafalo's act as well.

Also today, Army of Me, Art Brut, and the show many gay boys are looking forward to --- Fergie w/ opener Sean Paul. Make sure you get a free wristband when you get into the festival, you'll need it to get access into Memorial Stadium this evening.

The good news is my ears have stopped ringing (kind of) from last night's Head Automatica show. I can therefore enjoy today's performances. It's a tad cooler than yesterday, so bring a light sweater or coat to brave tonight's mild chill.

Lorelei and I will be posting updates throughout the day. Until then, signing off from the Alki Room at Bumbershoot 2007!

Bumberblog 2007: Sorry for the bumber delay...

Lorelei here. You surely noticed a dearth in blogging yesterday. I'll splain: a miscommunication about computer availability led to no Saturday on-line time. But the nice folks in the Bumbershoot press room wanted to make sure you got the scoops! (Thanks, Court!) So while I'm not sure how often either I or m'colleague Albert will be able to blog, here's what happened yesterday and what's new for today and tomorrow:

It's extra crowded. Either there are more people at B'shoot this year, or the folks at One
Reel haver put up more fencing to herd us together, because it seems like we're even more cheek to asscheek than usual. If you leave a mainstage performance between opening act and headliner, you'll find it claustrophobic south of the Fountain. I recommend peeling off down the vendor ave, even if it takes you out of your way.

Speaking of Crowded. If you missed Crowded House yesterday you also missed a classic B'shoot surprise moment: Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder. Vedder shared lead vocals with Neil Finn on "The World Where You Live" and played guitar on "Something So Strong."

+44 cancelled as opener for Gym Class Heroes and Panic! At the Disco - Seattle's Schoolyard Heroes graciously - and happily - stepped in.

It doesn't matter because it seems like everyone was at Gogol Bordello's show at Fisher Green. I'd guess there were close to 2,000 folks bobbing up and down on that lawn - and that was just at the beer garden. Kidding. A shirtless Eugene Hutz screamed lyrics in Ukranian, Russian and English, and the masses loved it. GB's cult following just got, uh, cultier.

Secret shows. Like SIFF, B'shoot has a Secret Festival: KEXP's Bumbershoot Music Lounge. You can pick up a pass at the KEXP booth on-site. These are very intimate performances - the theater seats about 100. I'm now a fan of American roots rockers The Gourds. In fact, I'm headed over there now to catch The Watson Twins. Later I'll be catching up with Kings of Leon, Rose Hill Drive and my man, the hot John Wesley Harding. See you around the Fountain!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Bumber-blog 2007: Head Automatica mini-review


Seattle Gay News is without web access at Seattle Center. The on-loan computer station we were supposed to be using this weekend is mysteriously not up and running. Even so, the Internet was down considerably for those journalists filing on-premise, making it a bit frustrating for some members of the press corps today.

Anywho, the good news is that Head Automatica gave a super knockout performance this evening at Exhibition Hall. I was front and center (um, first row) for the show, and my ears are still ringing very, very bad as a result. At times, lead singer Daryl Palumbo was directly in front of me - and his pants were so tight that I could make out the loose change in his pockets. He worked that stage like a young Mick Jagger, sexy and confident and full of incredible energy. Undeniably, Palumbo owns one of the nicest derrieres in the biz. And he's one of the most entertaining frontman I've seen with my own rock star-gazing eyes.

The band played songs from their two albums, Decadence and Popaganda, including "Brooklyn is Burning", "Beating Heart Baby" and "Laughing at You". The best cuts of the concert were "Nowhere Fast" and "Lying Through Your Teeth", which activated a busy mosh pit near the stage. I was pinned against the rail the entire time - but I didn't mind because I was being treated to a very impressive performance. These guys truly rock!

Bassist Jarvis Morgan Holden (I think that's his name) looked boyishly hot in a quasi-Mormon missionary ensemble: white button-down shirt, buzz cut, dressy slip-on shoes, and black pants that were skin-tight and high-watered. I saw the loose change in his pockets too. And he can recruit me to his religion any day of the week.

Head Automatica, due to the time crunch of the festival, gave no encore - even though the audience cheered "one more song!!!". But they'll return to Seattle, I'm sure. Probably not until they finish their next album, which they're currently working on.

Other Bumbershoot buzz --- today was a much busier day than expected. The crowds were huge, everywhere. The weather was really hot, so people definitely came out in full force today. I missed The Shins and Crowded House, but I'm pretty sure Lorelei (Quenzer) caught the latter because she's a big fan. Also, Rosie Thomas canceled her scheduled performance at the last minute. I bumped into a friend who told me that I definitely had to check out Rodrigo y Gabriela, but me no likes Rodrigo y Gabriela - to their credit, I hear they kick ass. Just not my ass.

Tomorrow (Sunday), I'm really excited to see a new band whose music I love considerably called Army of Me. Lead singer Vince Scheuerman interviewed with Seattle Gay News about two months ago. He's a sweetheart, and coincidentally enjoys his pants on the tight side as well. And I'm not complaining. Hopefully, I can catch up to the band before or after they jam at the Exhibition Hall at 7:45pm. I'm also looking forward to Sean Paul, opening for girlie Pea Fergie, and Art Brut - who start banging at the Sound Transit Stage at 7:30pm

If attending Bumbershoot tomorrow or Monday, use the ATM machine before entering Seattle Center. Lines are very long at times, and you'll have to cough up an annoying service fee (aside from your own bank fee) just for using it. Also, if commuting from Capitol Hill - take the #8 bus. It drops you off at 1st and Republican, two blocks away from the entrance by the Intiman Theatre.


Okay, it's almost time for Panic! At The Disco to go onstage and it's actually time for me to log off this borrowed computer. From the Alki Room at Bumbershoot 2007, have an awesome night and hope to see you tomorrow!

Photo of Head Automatica, courtesy of Warner Bros. Records.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Bumber-blog 2007: Leave the bumbershoot at home!

Hey! It's Lorelei here, and m'colleague Albert and I are your B'shoot guides. Our primo music festival may presage the end of summer - notice how the skies opened up right on cue? - but that doesn't mean acting like it's also the end of the world. We'll be blogging like mad all weekend, in between shows and raindrops, letting you know the latest about the lineup, who we've seen and what's going on in general Bumbershootage. By now you've read my recommendations for your listening pleasure; here are my recommendations for keeping your body and soul thriving over three strenuous and exciting days of music.

1. Bring a poncho. No umbrellas - bumbershoots - are allowed on the premises. Think how annoyed you'd be if someone opened up a big parasol and blocked your view of the Backyard Stage act, and you'll understand the rule. Plastic ponchos are also great for sitting on when the ground is wet - protecting your, uh, assets.

2. Wear sunscreen. I know it seems silly to wear your SPF if the weather is overcast, but you'd be surprised how badly you can get burned when the sun's not blazing. This means bringing a hat, sunglasses, the whole nine, and reapplying liberally and often. You'll thank me when your face isn't peeling off at work on Tuesday.

3. Take Metro. I don't drive, so I don't have an option, but you can avoid the parking hassles by sucking it up on public transportation. From downtown numbers 1, 2, 3, 4 and 16 take you right by Seattle Center; from Capitol Hill the 8 is also direct. An all-day pass is only $2.50; just make sure you tuck it in a safe place or you'll find yourself digging for quarters at 10:15 at night, with a bunch of irate passengers waiting in line behind you.

4. Dress in layers. It's a hassle to carry around extra clothing, but I'm totally serious. It may be 80 degrees when you're standing in line for your wristband, but if you're staying for the night's mainstage show you'll want at least a light jacket. Your poncho - did you remember your poncho? I'm not your mother - will insulate you a little, but if you're only wearing a short-sleeve t-shirt it will be chilly touching your skin when it's raining.

5. Play it by ear. Sure, go with a rough idea of who you're going to see, but try not to be heartbroken if your favorite group - even your raison d'Bumbershoot - cancels. It hapens. I usually arrive with a packed schedule and only make it to half of the shows I planned. Keep your ears open; a surprising act may capture your attention and become your new fave!

6. Bring your TICKET! I hope you pre-bought your B'shoot ticket while it was still fairly cheap, but if you don't put it in your wallet you'll end up paying in both moolah and embarrassment when you have to shell out $35 per day.

Bumber-blog 2007: SGN heads to Bumbershoot


We're all smiles here at Seattle Gay News. It just so happens that aside from being minutes away from a three-day weekend, we're also heading to Seattle Center tomorrow through Monday night to catch all the action at Bumbershoot.

Two of us music writers will be there the entire weekend, rushing from stage to stage and catching up with a few performers. Log onto this website for updates, mini-reviews, and possible run-ins with the stars (well, I know one band I'm meeting up with already). Plus, we've got access into intimate, hush-hush performances throughout the three-day festival.

Admission is $35 per day. Gates open at 11am. Below are tips I've put together for you, if you're joining us tomorrow, Saturday, and/or Sunday. Lorelei Quenzer will also chime in later this afternoon on some suggestions of her own.

It's Bumbershoot 2007 --- and we're Bumber-blogging all weekend long from the Alki Room at Seattle Center!!!


Tips

1 Don't drive. Take Metro (buses #1,2,4,8,13) or ride the monorail from downtown.
2 Food lines are often long. Eat before entering Seattle Center, and spend less money.
3 Weather is unpredictable. Pack a light sweater or coat. Backpacks are permitted.
4 ATM machine lines are very long. Stop at a bank machine before entering Seattle Center.
5 All evening performances at Memorial Stadium will require wristbands, aside from admission. Make sure you arrive early to pick up a wristband if you want to see Panic! At The Disco w/ Gym Class Heroes and +44, Fergie w/ Sean Paul, or Wu-Tang Clan w/ Lupe Fiasco.


(Pictured: Head Automatica, photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Records)

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Joss Stone interview tomorrow


Grab a copy of the Seattle Gay News tomorrow, August 31, or over the weekend and read a one-on-one interview with multi-Grammy nominee Joss Stone. The young pop diva talks about her thrilling performance two years ago with Melissa Etheridge and about life as a touring artist. Stone comes to Seattle this weekend, one of many acts scheduled to play at the Bumbershoot Music & Arts Festival. She goes onstage at 1:15pm on Monday, September 3 opening for John Legend at Memorial Stadium. All-day admission, which includes entrance to all stages at Seattle Center, is $35 (per day).

Before heading to Bumbershoot, hear what Joss Stone has to say inside the Seattle Gay News.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

PI columnist writes about Gay-bashing

Seattle Post Intelligencer columnist Robert L. Jamieson Jr. writes about the Belltown gay-bashing we first reported on Friday.

That the cops weren't considering the beating a bias crime was news to Wrenn and Hudy until a reporter told them. Hudy says he had a "bad feeling" about the police investigation, partly because an officer who interviewed Wrenn never got out of his patrol car.

According to police, Wrenn and Hudy passed a group of five or six guys standing in the 2200 block of First Avenue. One of the men in the group offered Hudy $20 to say that a man in their group, who was urinating in public, had a small penis, the police report said. Hudy declined.

But moments later, Hudy says, the man who was urinating confronted them. And what was said next somehow didn't make the police report, he said.

"He stopped peeing, came over to us and said, 'What are you guys, fags?' " Hudy said in a phone interview Monday. "Mike was like, 'Yeah, I'm gay. What's your problem?' "

That's when Hudy said he got punched in the arm. Wrenn got pushed down and beaten.

Sounds like a bias crime to me.


More

Monday, August 13, 2007

Gay & Proud in Tokyo

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Win a "Hairspray" goodie bag with free movie pass


Seattle Gay News is pleased to be the media sponsor for a special advance screening of Hairspray, starring John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer, Queen Latifah, Christopher Walken and James Marsden.

Grab a copy of Friday's (July 13) issue of the Seattle Gay News and find out where and when we'll be giving away free passes to this special showing.


--- BUT ---


We're offering a very special giveaway online, offering you a chance to win a free Hairspray goodie bag that includes:



  • Hairspray limited edition handbag

  • Hairspray advance screening pass (admits two)

  • Hairspray mini-poster

  • Can of Sebastian "Ultra Clutch" shaper/hairspray (as seen in the film)

  • Hairspray pin button, air freshener and other film goodies

Send an email with your name and address to sgnfilms@yahoo.com by Friday, July 13 (5pm) and include "Hairspray me" in the subject line. Enter as many times as you wish.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

SGN's 2007 Pride special Travel, Music, Theater sections now online

If our five-section Pride issue was too heavy to carry home from the parade, you can now find it online.

Go to http://sgn.org/sgnnews35_26/index.cfm and click on the "Seattle Gay News Pride '07" banner on the home page and you'll find our special sections on travel (Oahu, Dallas, Victoria BC, and more), music (summer concert preview, The Police review, and more), and theater (exclusive Tony Awards red carpet coverage, and more).

Please note that these files are PDF, so make sure your computer is able to open and download them first.

The standard sections of our Pride issue, with local news and Arts & Entertainment features, can be found at http://sgn.org/sgnnews35_24/index.cfm.

Seattle Gay News really enjoyed putting together this special Pride issue for you, and we look forward to doing it again in 2008!

Friday, June 29, 2007

Mike Webb's body found at his Queen Anne home

The King County Medical Examiner's office said that a body recovered from a Queen Anne home is that of missing openly Gay talk show host Mike Webb. The death has been ruled a homicide due to stab wounds found on the body.

Longtime Gay rights advocate and real estate agent David Neth discovered the body Thursday under a blue tarp in a crawl space at a home he rented to Webb for the last 14 years. The entry to the crawl space had been blocked.

Family and friends filed a missing person's report in May after not hearing from Webb.

Webb had hosted a top-rated radio show for years on 710 KIRO AM until December 2005. He also hosted a show from 1999-2000 on the nation's first GLBT radio network, GAYBC. in recent years, he hosted a radio webcast from his website, MikeWebb.org.

GAYBC Radio founder John McMullen is hosting a tribute webcast from the GAYBC.com website from 3 to 5 pm Pacific, 6 to 8 pm Eastern on Friday, June 29. Webb's former KIRO producer Jeremy Grater, close friend Bob Vesely (who filed the original missing person's report), and Webb's former program director, Tom Clendening, are among the guests. An archive of the tribute will also be available beginning on Monday, July 2, at GAYBC.com.

On a personal note, I had been on Webb's KIRO program several times, his GAYBC.com radio program and, more recently, on his MikeWebb.org webcast. I had also been to his Queen Anne home once several years ago. As a fan of Mike Webb, I am truly saddened by the news of Webb's death.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Band of Horses interview in this week's Seattle Gay News


Here are a few reasons to get acquainted with alternative rock trio Band of Horses.

# 1 : "Everything All the Time", the band's latest release, was one of ten finalists for the 2006 Shortlist Music Prize, an industry award given out by a select panel of fellow artists.

# 2 : Their upcoming concert at The Showbox, in downtown Seattle, on July 2 is entirely sold out, and has been for several weeks.

# 3 : "Everything All the Time" made Seattle Gay News' list of Top Ten Albums/CDs, 2006.


This week's issue of the Seattle Gay News, out tomorrow (June 29), includes an interview with Band of Horses lead singer and guitarist Ben Bridwell. Find out how far along the group is with putting together its next album and find out which Capitol Hill gay bar Bridwell once went to for 'happy hour'.

Pick up a copy of the Seattle Gay News tomorrow or read it online this weekend at http://www.sgn.org/ and get to know Ben Bridwell from Band of Horses. The interview will be in "The Music Lounge" column. You can ear-sample music by Band of Horses at www.myspace.com/bandofhorses. We recommend grabbing a copy of the CD at Easy Street Records or Silver Platters and skipping directly to the track "Wicked Gil".


Band of Horses photo, courtesy of Sub Pop Records.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Army of Me interview - tomorrow in the Seattle Gay News


Washington DC-based rock band Army of Me is headed to Seattle, and you have three ways to check them out.


1 Free in-store performance at Silver Platters (5th and Roy, Queen Anne) on June 25 - 4:50pm.

2 Full-set performance at Chop Suey (1325 E. Madison, Capitol Hill) on June 25 - 9pm. Advance tickets are $10.

3 Pick up a copy of tomorrow's Seattle Gay News (June 21) and read an interview with lead singer Vince Scheuerman. Find out what he's listening to on his iPOD and where he intends to go shopping when he comes to Seattle.

Ear-sample music by Army of Me (pictured) by visiting www.myspace.com/armyofme. We especially like the tracks "Going Through Changes" and "Perfect".

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Best tunes of 2007 1/2


Featured in this week's five-section Pride issue of the Seattle Gay News are our picks for some of the best albums and singles of 2007 1/2. Below is the list. Check these songs or CDs out on YouTube or at your favorite music store. In Seattle, we recommend Easy Street Records and Silver Platters.

Albums

Back to Black - Amy Winehouse
Children Running Through - Patty Griffin
Fort Nightly - White Rabbits
Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? - Of Montreal
Neon Bible - Arcade Fire

Singles

Ankle Injuries - Fujiya & Miyagi
Girlfriend - Avril Lavigne
Going to a Town - Rufus Wainwright
Icky Thump - The White Stripes
Let's Call It Off - Peter, Bjorn and John



* Photo of White Rabbits, courtesy of TAYR.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Best Albums, Singles of 2007 - so far?


Which 5 albums and 5 singles made our "Best of 2007 1/2" music list?

Find out tomorrow in the special MUSIC section of the Seattle Gay News Pride issue, June 15. Our special MUSIC section also features a preview of this summer's most anticipated live concerts, including Kelly Clarkson and Josh Groban, and an interview with Canadian band The Reason. Plus, concert reviews of The Police and The Raveonettes.

Pick up a copy of our Pride issue, hitting streets tomorrow afternoon, and see what our top picks for music are at the halfway point of 2007.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A Luau To Remember

Hello again! My last day in Hawaii started off with a massage at the spa at the Aqua Palms & Spa (where I've been staying). It was an incredibly relaxing way to start the day. It started with a foot bath and ended with a relaxing cup of tea. I was then ready to face the world.

Did some shopping at the Ala Moana Mall, just a few short blocks from the hotel. It is a huge shopping space, with high-end stores galore, as well as every other kind imaginable – from Neiman Marcus to Sears to Long’s (where I picked up some wonderfully silly souvenirs for my friends back in Seattle).

The day was topped off by attending the luau at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, an 80-year old landmark building, parts of which seem untouched by the years. An incredible structure, it has been dubbed the Pink Palace of the Pacific. It stands out brightly among the other buildings on the beach. The luau was attended by a few hundred of us tourists (and some natives, I found out). It started with a huge buffet dinner with traditional Hawaiian foods. Following this was The Royal Polynesian Extravaganza - a song and dance show complete with band, hula boys and hula girls. It had just the right blend of music and kitsch to delight me.

I am off to Seattle tomorrow - hoping that the sun is out there to greet me. For my recap of the Honolulu Rainbow Film Fest, check the next edition of the Seattle Gay News. Aloha!


Monday, May 28, 2007

Hot in Hawaii


Greetings, again, from paradise! Another clear, hot, sunny day here in Oahu. I had time to lie in the sun for a bit today, right near the pool at the Aqua Palms & Spa. A welcome change from our fair – but cloudy -- Emerald City.

Did some more exploring – beautiful Ala Moana Park, and went back to the International Market Place to get some souvenirs of Hawaii for my buddies back home. Wanted to get a flower for my hair, but – alas – I had it cut too short. So, I bought a beautiful lei and the friendly woman that made it took a photo of me with my camera. Very welcoming.

Headed back to the Rainbow Film Fest (on its last day) and saw two very different films: Saint of 9/11, about Father Mychal Judge, chaplain for the Fire Department of New York, who perished in the World Trade Center disaster – and Coffee Date, a farce about a straight man who finds himself dating a gay guy. Look for my wrap-up of the festival in the next issue of the Seattle Gay News.

Tomorrow is my last day in Oahu before heading back to Seattle – capped with a luau tomorrow night. Check this blog for all the delicious details.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

More Sun, Sand and Movies from Oahu!

Aloha again from Oahu! The past two days have been busy ones. Yesterday I was up at the crack of dawn to get a bus going north to Kualoa Ranch, a huge land reserve that offers multiple tours and breathtaking scenery. I took the movie/TV tour, which took me through some gorgeous landscapes, some marked with the names of the shows filmed there (including Lost). I also took the Jeep Tour, which put about 10 of us tourists in a large jeep, taking us deep into jungle-like terrain. It was a very bumpy ride (we were warned ahead of time) – but, again, very beautiful. A buffet lunch was served after our journeys – with some of the best ribs I’ve tasted in a long time.

Returned to my hotel, the Aqua Bamboo and Spa -- a very spiffy (and affordable) boutique hotel in the heart of Waikiki -- for a short breather, then headed back to the Honolulu Rainbow Film Festival – about a 15 minute cab ride (or 30 minute bus ride) to the Honolulu Academy of Arts. I saw A Four Letter Word, a romantic comedy about an improbable gay pair. The producer, director and some cast members (including Charlie David from the here! TV gothic gay soap opera, Dante’s Cove) answered questions from the audience after the screening. Also saw The Sex Movie, where two men and two women, gay and straight, confront each other about their sexuality.

Today a native Hawaiian buddy of mine took me to lunch at an undiscovered gem, the Gulick Deli, where you can get a huge plateful of Japanese food for less than $7. My favorite was the sweet and sour spare ribs. To walk off our big meal, we went to the aptly named Queen’s Surf, a very small strip of beach catering to our crowd. Then it was back to the film fest for more movies – and a benefit gala at the new (and very hi-tech) Honolulu Design Center. More delicious food and friendly faces. As you may have guessed, I’m having a great time here!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Aloha From Oahu and the Rainbow Film Fest

Aloha! This is Ron from the Seattle Gay News greeting you from Oahu, where the skies are clear, the breezes are blowing and the surfers are tanned and buff. Got here last night and am already seduced by the sun and the scent of flowers. This is my first trip to Hawaii – and so far it is as magical as everyone told me it would be.

Just got back from opening night at the 18th Annual Honolulu Rainbow Film Festival – a major event in Hawaiian queer culture. The Honolulu Academy of Art was filled with high anticipation for the showing of No Regret, the first gay film to come out of South Korea. After the showing, most audience members -- and some of the filmmakers -- showed up at Hula’s, Oahu’s premier gay bar. It is a very friendly place that put me at ease right away. The fest continues through Sunday, and I will be filling you in on the latest buzz.

Spent the afternoon wandering through Waikiki (where my hotel is) checking out the markets, stores and boutiques. Had lunch at the Rainbow Drive-In, a legendary local eatery whose specialty is the plate lunch, which will satisfy even the heartiest appetite.

Tomorrow morning I am off to Kualoa Ranch, where many Hollywood and TV blockbusters (Jurassic Park, Lost) are filmed. Since I have to be up at the crack of dawn, I will sign off now and will check back with you all tomorrow.


Monday, May 21, 2007

Virgin Festival 2007: The Killers wrap up two-day fest with hot performance


Brandon Flowers is so delicious, I could literally ice him with frosting and serve him for dessert.

Flowers and company, aka The Killers, delighted thousands of fans tonight when they appeared at the Virgin Festival shortly after 9pm. The seven-time Grammy nominees were rumored to possibly cancel their performance, since Flowers had been ill for a few days - forcing them to reschedule Seattle's concert to May 27. But, early in the afternoon the band confirmed with festival organizers that they were okay to play. And that they did.

The Killers (pictured) opened with the title track from their sophomore disc, Sam's Town, under a sparkly banner with those exact two words (album title) emblazened on it. Flowers, dressed in form-fitting charcoal slacks and matching vest, with a red ribbon tie, had me at hello. He looked so hot, and you honestly couldn't tell he'd been ill before this show.

"When You Were Young" and "Somebody Told Me", which had everyone jumping in the oversized pit, were performed in the first half of the set. "Bones" and my personal favorite, "Jenny Was a Friend of Mine", were also tossed into the top portion of The Killers' show. This marks the second time I've seen them, and they've impressed me both times.

Earlier on the main stage, Hot Hot Heat dazzled V-Fest attendees with an exuberating, whopping performance that included a terrific version of "Dirty Mouth". Lead singer Steve Bays stood out in a nice pair of dress pants, white button-down shirt, and a curly mop of hair.

I missed AFI's set because I was hanging out with Canadian band The Reason, specifically group members Jeremy Widerman and Cam Bordignon. They are two of the sweetest, cutest rock dudes I've ever met, seriously. And I've met several, including Brandon "of The Killers" Flowers, who by the way still sports a mean moustache. The Reason are in the process of hopefully being signed to a US record label, and they should because their music is heavenly. Great, bouncy pop-rock. I'll detail the conversation I had with Widerman and Bordignon in an upcoming print issue of the Seattle Gay News. I will say, however, that The Reason recently joined forces with Sara, of Tegan and Sara fame, for a song on their album called Things Couldn't Be Better. They'd also have no problem playing at a gay wedding reception, and would play free of charge if it was a friend of theirs tying the knot.

Take a listen to The Reason's cool single, "All I Ever Wanted", at www.myspace.com/thereasonrock and help spread the word about this exciting new band. More on The Reason in the coming weeks.

Well, I'm wiped out from two days of festival gazing. It's time to retreat to my room here at the Opus Hotel, Vancouver's hippest spot, and fall asleep watching TV.

I've had an awesome time covering the Virgin Festival for you, and now it's time to pass the blog torch to Ron Anders, who flies out to Oahu this week to bring you special coverage of the Honolulu Rainbow Film Festival.

Ciao from Vancouver!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Virgin Festival 2007: Muddy good fun on first day


It's Albert from the Seattle Gay News, in Vancouver for the big Virgin Festival at Thunderbird Stadium.

The first day of V-Fest was awesome, despite the buckets of rain that poured down on us. Yet, that didn't stop the large crowd from trekking out to the University of British Columbia campus, about a ten to fifteen-minute drive from downtown Vancouver.

I arrived just in time to catch Stars of Track and Field, from Portland, on the main stage. A fan requested that one member "drop trou" - and he did. He unsnapped his jeans and let em' fall. Hmmm...and they say Northwesterners aren't hospitable.

Next was a band called The Bled, from Arizona, that I'd never heard of until today. Lead singer James Munoz had a floppy mop of hair that looked adorable on him and his belt buckle could've doubled as a tea tray. At the end of the band's performance, Munoz jumped out into the pit and surfed the crowd.

Mute Math (pictured) went onstage next. Admittedly, I haven't given this New Orleans-based unit very much attention when they've come through Seattle. And I really should. While I don't entirely dig their experimental-rock sound, they are very talented musicians and put on a terrific show. Lead singer Paul Meany, after the band wrapped up its forty-minute appearance with the song "Reset", jumped off the stage and then climbed and wiggled himself back onstage, then jumped atop a large speaker or instrument of some kind. They were very exciting!

Rise Against, not to be confused with Rage Against the Machine, were up next. They had the crowd bouncing furiously. I LOVED frontman Tim McIlrath's semi-hawk hairdo and I also loved his onstage personae. He really knows how to command an audience, and they were so loud and so contagious!

Canadian rockers Billy Talent have made a huge name for themselves here in this beautiful Maple Leaf country, but they've yet to make a big splash in the US. Their sound is booming, and they certainly validated their national popularity. But I still say Arcade Fire is Canada's coolest rock export. Billy Talent could impact US music fans when they record (in Vancouver) their upcoming third album. By the way, lead vocalist Benjamin Kowalewicz looks a bit like actor Jeremy Piven.

Unfortunately, I didn't stay for today's headliner My Chemical Romance. Although I did see them in December at Seattle's Key Arena. I was cold, wet, hungry, and exhausted - so I bus'd it back to my hotel (best hotel in Vancouver, Opus) and grabbed some food, and jumped into a long hot shower.

Tomorrow, it's The Killers! And let's hope lead Killer and rock hottie Brandon Flowers feels better. They were forced to cancel tonight's show in Seattle, per doctor's orders.

From the Virgin Festival, I'm signing off.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Virgin Festival 2007: The night before


Hey, it's Albert from the Seattle Gay News. I'm in Vancouver covering the inaugural Virgin Festival, featuring The Killers (pictured), AFI, My Chemical Romance, Hot Hot Heat, Metric, and over 40 bands and performers in the course of two days.

The festival takes place on the University of British Columbia campus. I'm catching up with Adam White, lead singer of the Canadian band The Reason on Sunday, and I'm also on the list for a VIP after-party that night. Hopefully, some of the bands from the festival will show up for cocktails.

On an un-related music note, I'm told Sting is in Vancouver practicing for the upcoming Police reunion tour. Although, I can't verify it at this time.

If you're headed to Vancouver anytime soon, bring a warm coat. It was cold today.

I'll wrap-up the first day of the festival, tomorrow late night. I'm off to my hotel to catch some zzz's.

Friday, May 4, 2007

SOAP, LGBT Center reach agreement

Representatives of Seattle Out and Proud and the Seattle LGBT Community Center met Friday, May 4, with Seattle City Councilmembers Tom Rasmussen and Sally Clark during a morning meeting in a City Hall conference room. The two sides hammered out an agreement in the spirit of cooperation.

The two groups will hold separate events on Pride weekend. On Saturday, June 23, the Seattle LGBT Center will sponsor a march/parade down Broadway to Volunteer Park, where a festival will be held. SOAP will hold a parade downtown along Fourth Avenue on Sunday, June 24.

The terms of agreement also include, among other things:

*The two groups will hire a spokesperson to speak for both groups.

*The two groups will work cooperatively to collect sponsorships. Cindy Baccetti, who has been consulting with SOAP on sponsorships for their event, will lead the effort.


SOAP Vice President Weston Sprigg and board members Gabriel Ferguson and Troy Campbell represented the downtown parade. Seattle LGBT Community Center Executive Director Shannon Thomas and media consultant Brad Davis represented the Capitol Hill events. Michael Wells of the Broadway Improvement Association and Baccetti were also present.

Both sides said a joint statement would be released to the public shortly.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Angelique Kidjo in "The Music Lounge" this Friday


Four-time Grammy nominee and much-praised world music artist Angelique Kidjo slides into "The Music Lounge" this week, in the May 4 issue of the Seattle Gay News.

The short and sweet interview precedes Kidjo's three-night run at Dimitriou's Jazz Alley (May 4-6), and we recommend highly that you consider seeing this vibrant performer in concert. For reservations, call (206) 441-9729 or visit www.jazzalley.com.

Grab a copy of the Seattle Gay News on Friday and get the lowdown on Angelique Kidjo.

Monday, April 30, 2007

SGN Pride Update

From this weeks SGN:

SOAP OPERA
The latest: Downtown parade and Capitol Hill parade/march and festival


by Robert Raketty
SGN Staff Writer

In a series of press releases beginning on Saturday, April 21, Seattle Out and Proud (SOAP), organizers of the Seattle Pride Parade and Festival in 2006, announced plans to cancel their events and declare bankruptcy. On Tuesday, April 24, the group changed course and, in a very surprising change of direction, announced that they will move ahead to organize a parade along Fourth Avenue on Sunday, June 24, but, unlike in many years past, no festival will be held at the end of the proposed parade.

Troy Campbell, a SOAP board member and current media spokesperson, said the group did an about-face after having a closed-door meeting of the board on Tuesday evening in Seattle's Belltown neighborhood. "The board had not met [about declaring bankruptcy] and there were still options available. Those needed to be discussed," he said. "We needed to collectively meet. The press release that went out earlier was done prematurely."


MORE

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

SOAP to declare bankruptcy, Times says

The Seattle Times reports that SOAP is filing for bankruptcy...


Seattle Pride organization disbanding, filing for bankruptcy

By Lornet Turnbull and Sharon Pian Chan
Seattle Times staff reporters

Organizers of the Seattle Pride parade and festival said they are disbanding and filing for bankruptcy.

Seattle Out and Proud, the volunteer group that puts on the celebration for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, owes the city $102,000 for the 2006 event at Seattle Center.

"It's unfortunate but we are a supportive group of people that want the best for our community and hope now that someone will step up and take the events to the next level," said Weston Sprigg, vice president of Seattle Out and Proud. He said the group is meeting with bankruptcy attorneys.


MORE

SOAP to 'step down' as Seattle Pride organizers

Seattle Out And Proud (SOAP) to "step down from producing the Seattle Pride Parade and Festival, and allow someone else to step in and take over Seattle Pride." Press release:


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Monday, April 23, 2007 Seattle – In 2006, the Seattle Pride March and Festival moved from Capitol Hill to Downtown Seattle and the Seattle Center. Event attendees, organizers and city officials all hailed the events as great successes. Unfortunately, the increased scale of both the March and Festival produced poor financial results including the well publicized and still unpaid debts.

The move created a lot of controversy and a competing event was produced that divided sponsorship opportunities and divided the community. Simply put, the income from both events was not adequate to cover the costs of the March and Festival.

In 2007 Pride organizers Seattle Out and Proud (SOaP) voted in new leadership and SOaP’s primary concern was to produce a financially sound March and Festival in 2007. This week, after months of intense research and negotiation, it has been concluded that producing a Pride Event at Seattle Center is not financially prudent at this time. While most people believe that the 2006 March and Festival in Downtown Seattle showcased the LGBT Community extremely well, a fiscally responsible 2007 March and Festival, no matter their physical location, is the most important goal.

With all of the baggage that has built up over the last year, the SOaP board has decided the best thing for the community and the future of Seattle Pride is for SOaP to step down from producing the Seattle Pride Parade and Festival, and allow someone else to step in and take over Seattle Pride.

We have honestly tried to do our best as a volunteer board with no agenda other than to produce a great celebration for our community. We hope that whoever does step in can unite the community behind them and likewise lead with no alternative agenda. We look forward to supporting whichever group of people can step up. We must agree that as a community we must cut our losses and start anew. We must keep moving forward with energy, strength, unity and passion.

The SOaP Board of Directors will be meeting tonight to start working out the details. This press release is being sent out as heads-up and courtesy to the community. A formal press release will follow in the near future. No further information or interviews will be granted until after our Board meets tonight.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Sources say Seattle Center on verge of pulling plug on SOAP

Several credible sources, who asked not to be identified, have told the Seattle Gay News on Friday that Independent Event Solutions (IES) has pulled out as the event production company for the Seattle Pride Parade and Festival on Sunday, June 24.

An agreement with the Seattle Center regarding SOAP’s $100,026.33 past due debt from 2006 required that SOAP pay $50,000 in immediate debt service and hire an event production company. IES had originally agreed to put up the $50,000.

Without IES, according to the sources, the Seattle Center is unlikely to proceed with a final contract with SOAP to use the Seattle Center for their event.

John Merner, Seattle Center’s Director of Productions, would not confirm or deny our sources. He also said that the Seattle Center had extensive conversations with all the parties and would issue a more factual statement early next week.

Several calls and an e-mail to Dave Meinert, co-owner of IES, went unreturned on Friday.

The Seattle LGBT Community Center has called an “emergency session” of their board to discuss a “situation” with Seattle Out And Proud and what the LGBT Community Center might do if the Sunday event collapsed, according to an e-mail on Friday afternoon from Executive Director Shannon Thomas to a planning committee for Pride events on Saturday.

The e-mail reads, in part:

We have potential to make some significant change with Seattle's pride festival, and the board needs to ratify any next steps and responses. Per their lead, I'm in a brief holding pattern with QueerFest until they decide how to proceed with this potential opportunity for The Center and our greater community.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Klaxons CD-release party at Manray tonight - Win tickets, CDs!


Seattle Gay News joins Geffen Records and Manray Video Bar for a Klaxons CD-release party tonight at Manray (514 East Pine).

Tickets to see Klaxons live at The Crocodile Cafe on April 23 will be given away tonight, plus CDs, posters, and other delicious goodies. We'll also play selections from the English trio's debut album Myths of the Near Future. The special event is part of this week's "Alternative Tuesdays" club night, a weekly offering co-sponsored by Seattle Gay News and Manray Video Bar.

Click here to watch the shirtless, glittery-masked Klaxons in action performing the hit single "Golden Skans": http://youtube.com/watch?v=sAO1nadsrgQ

There is never a cover at Manray. 21+ welcome. Come watch music videos tonight by Radiohead, Snow Patrol, We Are Scientists, Ladytron, Beck, The Strokes, The Killers, and other alternative music favorites, and mingle with other gay-gay friendly alt music fans.