The Best Damn Newsletter in New Jersey!TM In living color and with more content online at issuu.com/gaamc/docs!
CHALLENGE T he New sl etter of the Gay Act iv is t Allian ce in Morris Cou n t y S e r v i ng New Jer sey’ s G LBTI Commu n it ies Con t in u ou s ly S in c e 1 9 7 2 V o lu m e 40 , I ssu e 4, May 2 0 14
Now Is the Month of Maying by Sherri Rase While we know from recent experience that April is the cruelest month, first giving us balmy spring days then plunging us back to icy depths all within about 72 hours, May is when the flowers come.
help children or adults learn to read, if you are willing to drive an elder person to the grocery store, these are more solitary pursuits. However you choose to do it, your hands and skills are needed.
May is Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, and in New Hope, Pennsylvania and Lambertville, New Jersey, mid-May will bring Pride. This is one of the earliest Pride celebrations in the region and it will really put you in the mood for what June will bring all over the United States. How do we connect with people real-time and experience them authentically the way we experience them virtually? Easy — volunteer!
Have you ever wanted to try your hand at something? Volunteer! There’s a lot less pressure and those skills may be applied in your work life and your life outside of work. Imagine what it takes to organize and event for 25,000 of your closest friends — what permitting is involved, what should you serve for food and drink, what kind of entertainment? When should we start visualizing great weather? Now — you’ve organized that event. Is it really that difficult to plan a soiree for 30 people in your office?
There is some volunteer activity that requires group participation. If you are part of GAAMC’s contingent marching in Jersey Pride’s parade June 1st, North Jersey Pride’s parade in mid-June, or NYC Pride at the end of the month, you are one of many. If you are volunteering to give platelets or blood (if you’re able to donate — don’t get me started on the ban on gay men giving blood!), if you are willing to
Give yourself the chance to see what you’re made of by stretching and reaching and learning. Lifelong learning will keep you young, so start now. You will get much more from the experience than you put in, so take that extra step and keep giving back. You will feel FABULOUS!
Inside Challenge Challenge Information .................................... page GAAMC Events.............................................. page What's happening at our Monday meetings Bulletin Board.............................................. page First Joint Lambertville / New Hope Pride Parade Announced............................ page This Month's Contributors ............................... page Upcoming Pride Events ................................... page Gleanings.................................................... page
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Q-munity Calendar........................................ page 6 GSE Board Chair Receives Rutgers Law School LGBTQ Award ................ page 9 App Happy .................................................. page 9 Board Minutes for January 2014..................... page 10 Riddle Me This! ........................................... page 10 Dancing To Architecture ................................ page 11 GAAMC Information ...................................... page 12 Dancing To Architecture Extra: 25 Great, Out, Under-Appreciated 21st Century Albums........ page 13
Page 2 CHALLENGE Volume 40, Number 4 May 2014 ISSN 0277-1675 Staff Editor .....................Allen Neuner Assistant Editor ............. Bill Stella Advertising Manager ............. open Circulation Manager ............. open List Manager ............ Allen Neuner Submissions The deadline for all articles, inserts, and advertisements is the fifteenth of the previous month. All submissions must be provided as electronic files. Email submi ssions to Challenge @ GAAMC.org. Ad Rates Single issue: Full page, $125.00; Half page, $85.00; Quarter page, $45.00; Business card, $25.00. For multi-issue rates, contact the Editor at Challenge @ GAAMC.org. GAAMC members may place one free classified ad per month, of no more than 200 characters in length. Change of Address Please let us know your new address! All address changes should be sent to the List Manager at ChangeAddress@GAAMC.org. Challenge is © 2014 by the Gay Activist Alliance in Morris County, a 501(c)3 taxexempt not-for-profit corporation. All rights reserved. All articles reflect the views of the original contributors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or policies of GAAMC, its officers, or executive board. All copyrights revert to the original contributors upon publication. No portion of this publication may be reproduced without the express written permission of the contributor. All articles, contributions, and advertisements are printed at the discretion of the Editor and/or GAAMC Executive Board.
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GAAMC Events for May 2014 Discussion Groups
OpenTalk: A regular weekly discussion group, open to all. 7:00, in the Library. Moderators: Elias; Gordon (May 12, 26); Kerry (May 26); Liz (May 5); Sherri. Discussion group does not meet on Film Festival nights.
All start at 8:00 unless otherwise noted. May 5: Perry-Oke! Join Perry Riff for an unforgettable evening of song! He'll be performing — and so will you! Perry is an expert karaoke singer and operator, and he invites you to share the joy of connecting with one another through song. Tune up those pipes, we're looking forward to hearing you! May 12: PrimeTimers PrimeTimers is an organization for men of experience that connects them to one another and some dazzling events. Be on hand when members of the North Jersey PrimeTimers talk about life, love, and what there is to do in New Jersey. This program is not only for men but for anyone who has male friends in the LGBT communities, so be sure to hear what PrimeTimers have to offer! May 15: Challenge Deadline Every GAAMC member is invited to submit content to our newsletter so we can keep it "The best damn newsletter in New Jersey! TM" All submissions go to the Editor, Allen, at Challenge@GAAMC.org. May 19: The GAAMC Film Festival presents What the BLEEP Do We Know?! A new type of film, it is part documentary, part story, and part elaborate and inspiring visual effects and animations. The protagonist, Amanda (Marlee Matlin), finds herself in an Alice in Wonderland experience when her daily, uninspired life literally begins to unravel, revealing the uncertain world of the quantum field hidden behind what we consider to be our waking reality. She is plunged into a swirl of chaotic occurrences, encountering characters who reveal the deeper, hidden knowledge she doesn’t even realize she has asked for. Like every hero, Amanda is thrown into crisis, questioning the fundamental premises of her life and realizing that her beliefs about men, relationships, and her emotions affecting her work, aren't reality at all! NOTE: the film starts promptly at 7:00. There will be NO Open Talk Discussion this evening. May 26: Once again, it's time for GAAMC's annual Memorial Day Social and Barbecue! We provide the meats for the grill, the condiments, the rolls, the drinks, and the utensils. You provide the extras — everything from familiar cole slaw and potato salad to fanciful desserts and side dishes! This is the official start to the summer season, so don't miss it!
Coming next month! June 2: Jersey Pride Share Fest You did attend yesterday's big Jersey Pride bash in Asbury Park, didn't you? Well, we all didn't do the same thing at the same time, right? Tonight is when you get to tell your stories from Asbury Park to all your GAAMC friends! Who did you meet? How was the trip down — or the trip back? Which entertainers worked for you? Did you get a chance to dip your tootsies in the Atlantic? Time to dish! June 9: We didn't get a notice for tonight's event by press time. (Well, it happens.) Check out GAAMC.org, or watch for your weekly e-mail blast, to find out what's happening! NOTE: All events are subject to change without notice. Check at GAAMC.org for up-to-date information on all upcoming events!
Bulletin Board On May 4th, five AIDS service organizations around New Jersey will be hosting the New Jersey AIDS Walk 2014. The five locations, and their host organizations, are: Asbury Park, The Center in Asbury Park; Ridgewood, Buddies of New Jersey; Morristown, New Jersey AIDS Services; Newark, North Jersey Community Research Initiative; and Atlantic City, South Jersey AIDS Alliance. For more information, visit www.njaidswalk.org. You are invited to make a difference! Help kick off the campaign to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act on May 4th, from 3 to 5 pm at the home of Gordon Sauer and Javier Montalvo, 15 Yvette Drive in East Hanover. Today we are the closest we have ever been to providing protections from workplace discrimination for all Americans. Help us make this goal a reality! There will be hors d’oeuvres, music, great company, and the chance to make a difference in the lives of people all across the US. Representatives from the campaign to help pass the Employment Nondiscrimination Act will show you how. Today, in 29 states someone can be fired solely based on their sexual orientation, and in 33 states based on their gender identity. This is true despite the fact that 90% of Fortune 500 companies have policies in place to protect workers based on sexual orientation, and 61% have similar policies based on gender identity. ENDA is supported by 85% of Democrats and 70% of Republicans nationwide. So come join us and feel free to invite others! Join The Center in Asbury Park for an evening under the stars at their signature event of the year, Center a la Carte! May 16th is the date and 7 pm is the time to attend The Center's signature event of the year, with over 25 food
First Joint Lambertville / New Hope Pride Parade Announced Join local residents and tourists as they gather for the New Hope Celebrates Pride parade on Saturday, May 17th! For the first time in history, the Annual Pride Parade, the signature event of Pride Week (May 11th to May 18th), will kick off in Lambertville, NJ before marching into New Hope, PA. The theme "Bridge to Equality" will highlight the fight for marriage equality in Pennsylvania and across the country. The parade begins at 11:30am at Lambertville City Hall, site of New Jersey’s first same sex marriages in October 2013, and march down Bridge Street to the state line in the middle of the New Hope-Lambertville bridge. The parade will pause briefly as Lambertville Mayor David DelVecchio performs a same sex marriage for two male Bucks County residents on the state line before the parade continues into Pennsylvania, symbolically bringing marriage equality to Pennsylvania. The parade also celebrates the 200th anniversary of the opening of the first bridge connecting the two towns. Special guests Victoria Lace and New Hope Mayor Laurence Keller will serve as MCs for the parade. The much anticipated Vendor Fair and Block Party in the Bucks County Playhouse parking lot follows, featuring special guest performers Trish Dash, Christine Martucci, Dario, Josh Zuckerman, and Kristine W.! Admission is free, and public parking is available in Lambertville. A Pride Dance Party at the Raven c a p s o f f t h e d a y. F o r m o r e i n f o r m a t i o n , g o t o www.NHCPrideGuide.com
vendors and beverage establishments, a fantastic gift auction, and DJ and dancing, held under their fabulous tent. Tickets are $125 per person, of $1000 for a table of ten, with all proceeds going to The Center's ongoing efforts to provide housing and other services to people with AIDS. For more information or to purchse tickets, go to TheCenterInAP.org. May 17th is that time again — time for the Spring Clubfest, held by the Pride Center at The Club in Woodbridge! This fundraising event features everything you've come to expect from Clubfest — massage, pool, volleyball, basketball, racquetball, raffles, LGBT resources, a singles mixer, social groups, and much more! Go to www.pridecenter.org for details. Garden State Equality is thrilled to announce that its 5th Annual Equality Walk will be held Saturday, June 21st at 4 pm at Erie Park in Montclair. This year’s theme, "Taking Steps to Protect our Future," reflects an emphasis on strengthening our recent wins in anti-bullying and marriage equality, while continuing to push for protections for LGBT youths, seniors, and the transgender community. The Walk, Garden State Equality's biggest yearly event, attracts many supporters each year. Equality is important: in the workplace, in schools free from bullying, and in adult and assisted living housing that is safe and welcoming to our LGBT seniors. But all of this takes significant time and investment. Signing up to walk is a great way to support GSE and keep it a strong and vital voice in our state. For more information about this year's event and to become a walker, please visit Equalitywalk.kintera.org or contact John Mikytuck or Patrick Lenahan at (973) 509-0428.
This Month's Contributors The Mad Hatter is a member of GAAMC. This is the Hatter's first time contributing to Challenge. (page 10) Andy Skurna is the Webmaster of GAAMC. He served as GAAMC's Treasurer and three terms as President, and currently is Chairman of the Pride Guide Committee. (page 9) Bill Realman Stella writes Dancing To Architecture because writing about music is dancing to architecture. Bill hosted the eclectic pop music radio show Highest Common Denominator, and seeks sponsors to revive it. To have Bill write, DJ, or promote for you, contact bearealman at gmail, and visit Bill's online 'zines and blogsite http://HowTo FindTheBestMusic.blogspot.com/. Comments, suggestions and fan mail are also welcome. (page 11)
Upcoming Pride Events May 17 th : New Hope Celebrates Pride, 11:30, Lambertville, NJ and New Hope, PA; www.NHCPrideGuide.com June 1 st : Jersey Gay Pride Festival, noon, Asbury Park, NJ; www.facebook.com/JerseyPrideFest June 8 th : North Jersey Pride, noon, Maplewood, NJ; www.NorthJerseyPride.org June 29th: H e r i t a g e o f P r i d e , N e w Yo r k C i t y ; www.NYCPride.org/events August 2 nd : Jersey City LGBTQ Pride Festival, noon, Jersey City, NJ; HudsonPride.org/events/jc-pride-2014
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Queer news from around the world New Jersey was the location for nearly 3,000 same-sex marriages in the six months since they became legal. When compared to the 43,600 heterosexual marriages during the same period, about one of 15 marriages performed in the state was for same-sex couples. John Mikytuck, interim director of Garden State Equality, said, "If you break [the numbers] down, it's about 500 marriages a month. That's a heck of a lot of ceremonies." Same-sex marriages are expected to bring up to $94 million to new Jersey's economy over the next three years. (NJ.com) The U.S. Postal Service formally unveiled the design of a new postage stamp commemorating slain LGBT leader and political icon Harvey Milk (left). The stamp features a black-and-white photo of the late San Francisco supervisor, along with the colors of a rainbow flag in the upper left corner. Scheduled to be released on Harvey Milk Day, May 22nd, the stamp will become the first to feature an openly LGBT elected public official. San Francisco and Washington, D.C., are both being considered as locations for its debut. (Gay Star News) The Supreme Court announced that it will not hear a case involving a New Mexico photography business that refused to record the commitment ceremony of a lesbian couple in 2006. The New Mexico Supreme Court had ruled that Elane Photography violated the state's nondiscrimination protections. Elane Photography had asked the U.S. Supreme Court to consider the lawsuit based on First Amendment protections. (Washington Blade) The Social Security Administration announced that it has updated its guidelines regarding transgender individuals' eligibility for survivor benefits, a change resulting from a case involving a 92-year old transgender widow. A veteran of World War II and pilot, Robina Asti has lived as a woman for nearly 40 years, and was denied benefits for two years after her husband's death because she was born a man. "We hope no one has to ever again endure the disrespect that Ms. Asti experienced," said Dru Levasseur, director of the Transgender Rights Project. (Advocate.com) The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a stay suspending the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples in Michigan, delaying an earlier court decision to overturn the state's marriage equality ban. State agencies will not immediately recognize the same-sex marriages that were performed before the stay was issued, according to Governor Rick Snyder's (R) office. However, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced that marriages of same-sex couples who wed in Michigan would be recognized for federal purposes. "These families will be eligible for all relevant federal benefits on the same terms as other same-sex marriages," Holder said. Over 300 marriages in the state are in legal limbo while Governor Snyder's office challenges the court's reversal of the state's marriage equality ban. (NBC News; Metro Weekly, DC) A Tenth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel heard oral arguments in a case that seeks to overturn Utah's voterapproved marriage equality ban. One of the panel's three judges appeared strongly inclined to strike down the ban, as he cited the stigma faced by the children of same-sex cou-
ples. Another judge indicated that he believes Utah voters have the right to define marriage. The same panel later heard arguments in a similar lawsuit out of Oklahoma. The case centers on whether an Oklahoma county clerk's decision to withhold a marriage license from a lesbian couple violated the couple's constitutional rights. (The Washington Post; MSNBC) U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly has refused to dismiss the case of a gay man who is suing his employers at the Library of Congress for alleged harassment and discrimination based on sexual orientation. Judge Kollar-Kotelly ruled that Peter TerVeer is entitled to protection under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination based on race, religion, ethnicity or gender but not specifically sexual orientation. This ground-breaking decision asserts that LGBT job discrimination is already illegal under federal statutes. (Washington Blade) U.S. District Judge Timothy Black ordered Ohio to recognize the unions of same-sex couples performed in other states, striking down a key portion of the state's marriage equality ban. In a 45page decision, Judge Black concluded that the state's refusal to recognize these marriages violated the plaintiffs' constitutional rights. While the decision does not compel Ohio to perform same-sex marriages, state officials still intend to file an appeal challenging it. Black says he intends to issue a delay on his ruling pending the state's appeal. However, Judge Black did not extend the delay to the four couples who brought the case, ordering Ohio to immediately list both spouses in each couple as parents for the plaintiffs' children. Black noted that he does not believe that the state's appeal will be successful. (Cincinnati Enquirer; Metro Weekly, DC) U.S. District Judge Richard Young ordered Indiana to immediately recognize the same-sex marriage of a woman who is terminally ill. Legal acknowledgement of the union entitles Amy Sandler to an accurate death certificate as well as access to survivor benefits for widowed spouses. However, both the state and the five couples who brought the lawsuit are asking for a summary judgment to resolve the case without a trial. (The Indianapolis Star) A lesbian couple in Puerto Rico filed a federal lawsuit that seeks recognition of their Massachusetts marriage in Puerto Rico. Ada Conda Vidal and Ivonne Alvarez Velez say in their lawsuit, "Puerto Rican law precluding recognition of lawful same-sex marriages denies us those rights in violation of the Equal Protection and Due Process clauses of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution." The couple, who have been together for nearly 14 years, exchanged vows in 2004 shortly after Massachusetts' same-sex marriage law took effect. Puerto Rican lawmakers amended the U.S. commonwealth's civil code in 1999 to ban recognition of same-sex marriages, even those legally performed in other jurisdictions. Unions in which one person is transgender are also not recognized. (Washington Blade) The ACLU filed a lawsuit in federal District Court seeking to overturn a voter-approved marriage equality ban in North
Carolina. The lawsuit involves three same-sex couples affected by critical medical conditions. The ACLU also moved to expedite a 2012 lawsuit challenging the ban, citing urgent health needs. "Nothing should delay loving and committed couples from having the security and recognition that comes with marriage," said Jennifer Rudinger, executive director of ACLU North Carolina. (Winston-Salem Journal) Know Our Enemies Department: National Organization for Marriage co-founder Maggie Gallagher said that she believes nationwide marriage equality is inevitable in the U.S. "Gay marriage advocates now have five [Supreme Court] votes for inserting a right to gay marriage in our Constitution," Gallagher said in an interview. Gallagher said groups like NOM need to refocus their mission on new objectives, including the passage of laws enshrining "religious exemptions" for employers and businesses. (Gay Star News)
enough votes to overcome a filibuster. Conservative lawmakers who supported the filibuster said the bill would infringe on the religious freedoms of small business owners. (Omaha World-Herald) Minnesota Governor. Mark Dayton (D) signed legislation that strengthens the state's anti-LGBT bullying protections. The Safe and Supportive Schools Act will require schools to train staff in how to identify and handle instances of harassment. The bill had been pending in the Legislature for more than two years. (Star Tribune, Minneapolis/St. Paul) A lawsuit targeting Georgia's constitutional amendment banning marriage equality and the recognition of same-sex unions performed in other states was filed on behalf of three same-sex couples and a widow. Georgia had been one of five states with uncontested marriage bans. (WGCL-TV, Atlanta)
A bill in Tennessee that aims to protect the expression of students' religious beliefs is awaiting the signature of Governor Bill Haslam (R). Opponents have argued that the legislation seeks to establish a "license to discriminate." "Attacks on LGBT people and same-sex marriage are automatically protected under this bill, offering anti-gay students a statesponsored license to bully," David Badash of the New Civil Rights Movement said. (Advocate.com)
Proponents of a ballot measure in Ohio seeking to overturn the state's constitutional amendment banning marriage equality have received approval from the Ohio Ballot Board to begin collecting petition signatures. The amendment would require all legally valid marriages to be treated equally under the law, though it exempts any legal obligation for a member of the clergy to perform a same-sex marriage. (Akron Beacon-Journal)
Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant (R) signed a bill that will allow individuals and businesses to deny service in the interest of religious freedom. The Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act passed both legislative chambers by wide margins. Although the bill does not explicitly mention sexual orientation, advocates fear it will essentially legalize anti-LGBT discrimination. The bill is slated to take effect on July 1st. (Advocate.com)
The Illinois House failed to pass a measure seeking to outlaw "conversion therapy" on LGBT minors, falling seven votes short on a roll call vote. Under the bill, medical practitioners who used the treatment would have been in danger of having their licenses revoked. "The practice of conversion therapy is dismissed by every major scientific organization and should not be utilized," said state Representative Kelly Cassidy (D), an openly lesbian lawmaker who proposed the bill. (Chicago Sun-Times) (continued on page 8)
The Maryland House of Delegates approved a measure that would add gender identity protections to the state's nondiscrimination law. The Fairness for All Marylanders Act passed the chamber in an 82-57 vote after receiving committee approval. The bill now heads to Governor Martin O'Malley (D), who has said he would sign it. (Advocate.com) Attorneys defending Virginia's ban on marriage equality are arguing that Federal District Judge Arenda Wright Allen, who ruled the ban unconstitutional, overstepped her authority. A brief filed in a federal appeals court last week argues that marriage equality could lead to marriages involving close relatives. However, Virginia's Attorney General Mark Herring backs the two couples who filed the lawsuit, claiming in a brief filed with the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals that same-sex couples have the same right to marry as interracial heterosexual couples. A three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals will hear arguments May 13th. (ABC News) The Louisiana House Criminal Justice Committee voted 9-6 to advance a bill that would remove same-sex intercourse from its “crimes against nature” statute. "This bill is a common sense solution to a silly problem. It just makes sense to move an unenforceable law off the books,” said Equality Louisiana President Tim West. However, the House rejected the bill under pressure from the Louisiana Family Forum, conservative Christian activists. (Gambit Weekly, New Orleans; Advocate.com) A bill in Nebraska seeking to protect LGBT individuals from employment discrimination this week failed to garner
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M a y 2 0 1 4 Q- m u n i t y C a l e n d a r Recurri n g Con t act I n form at i on
* Hackensack Peer Support Groups: 800-508-7577; www.njbuddies.org † Pride Center, Highland Park: 732-846-2232; www.pridecenter.org ‡ Hudson Pride Connections Center: 201-963-4779; HudsonPride.org λ LGBT Center Rainbow Lounge, Princeton: www.princeton.edu/lgbt ♦ North Jersey PrimeTimers: www.meetup.com/North-Jersey-Primetimers Every Sunday 10:45 am - MCC of Christ the Liberator, Highland Park; tombohache10 @ gmail.com Noon - St. Francis of Assisi Church, Glen Ridge; 973-731-7765; stfrancisnj.org 2:30 pm - Liberation in Truth Unity Fellowship Church, Newark; 973-621-2100 5:30 pm - Central Jersey Rainbows Bowling League, Bradley Beach; CJRBowling @ gmail.com Every Monday 10:30 am - The Wellness Community, Newark; 973-565-0300; info @ hyacinth.org 7:00 pm - GAAMC, Morris Township (see page 2) 7:00 pm - Bowling, Union; merenl @ comcast.net 7:00 pm - S.E.L.F. HIV Men’s support group, Hackensack * 7:30 pm - New Jersey Gay Men’s Chorus choir practice, Princeton; 609-396-7774; www.njgmc.org 8:00 pm - Bowling, Green Brook; qcrollers @ aol.com Every Tuesday 12:30 pm - The Wellness Community, Newark; 973-565-0300; info @hyacinth.org 4:00 pm - Treatment Adherence Support Group, Jersey City; 201-432-1134; info @hyacinth.org 6:30 pm - TransView, Jersey City ‡ 7:00 pm - NA Group, Jersey City ‡ 7:30 pm - Tuesday Night Lesbian Connection, Bound Brook; 908-791-3764 7:30 pm - Men’s HIV support group, Asbury Park; 732-7755084; apstillpoz @ yahoo.com 7:30 pm - Positive Yoga, Oradell * 8:45 pm - Bowling, Belleville; 973-256-5936; NJGLB @ aol.com 9:00 pm - Bowling, Jersey City; 201-933-6028; JoeyNJ @ aol.com 9:15 pm - Bowling, Edison; 732-548-4550; cnjgbl @ yahoo.com 01 Thu 5:30 pm - Breast Cancer Education, Jersey City ‡ 7:30 pm - PCNJ Marketing Committee, Highland Park † 02 Fri 9:30 am - Rummage sale, Far Hills ♦ 1:30 pm - "Active Allyship: Being an Ally to Yourself: Self-Care and Mindfulness", Princeton λ 7:00 pm - Positive Women peer support group, Hackensack * 8:00 pm - Karaoke, Highland Park † 03 Sat 2:30 pm - First and Third for GLBTI youth, Princeton; 609-683-5155; www.HiTOPS.org 7:30 pm - WAMP, Highland Park † 04 Sun 1:00 pm - NJ AIDS Walk, 5 locations (see Bulletin Board, page 3) 2:00 pm - Central NJ Rope Share, Highland Park † 3:00 pm - ENDA Campaign Kick-Off, East Hanover (see Bulletin Board, page 3) 4:00 pm - Dignity Metro NJ Mass, Maplewood; 973-509-0118; Dignitymetronj @ msn.com 6:30 pm - Gay Men’s Opera Club; 732-249-9034; hagol @ msn.com
Every Wednesday 10:30 am - The Wellness Community, Jersey City; 201-432-1134; info @hyacinth.org 2:30 pm - RU Pride, Newark; 973-353-5716 6:00 pm - Positive People peer support group, Hackensack * 6:00 pm - SAGE, Jersey City ‡ 7:30 pm - Men’s Living Out group, Highland Park; njwarrior @ aol.com † 7:30 pm - Gay Men’s Coming Out group, Highland Park; email@example.com † Every Thursday 6:00 pm - Our Youth weekly support group, Jersey City; www.myspacenj.org 6:00 pm - Ties Like Mine, Jersey City ‡ 6:00 pm - JC LGBT Fitness Explosion, Jersey City ‡ 6:30 pm - Double Jeopardy peer support group, Hackensack * 6:30 pm - Hudson Men of Pride, Jersey City ‡ 7:00 pm - Sexual Assault Survivor Support, Princeton; www.hitops.org 7:30 pm - Rainbows on Cleveland Street, Orange; 973-256-5936; rbowsoncleveland @ aol.com 7:30 pm - Writers group, Highland Park † Every Friday 3:00 pm - Youth Connect, Jersey City ‡ Monday – Friday 8:00 am to 4:00 pm - HIV testing, Morristown; 973-889-6802 9:00 am to 1:00 pm - HIV testing, Asbury Park; 800-947-0020 10:00 am to 5:00 pm - HiTOPS Health Center, Princeton; www.hitops.org; 609-683-5155 x 211
05 Mon 7:00 pm - Support Group for Lesbians with Cancer, New Brunswick; 732-235-6781; slirzero @ umdnj.edu 7:00 pm - Lesbian Hot Topics, Ocean; schiffman @ rocketmail.com 7:30 pm - Spanish speaking social/support group, Highland Park† 06 Tue 5:00 pm - Out on the Town, Princeton λ 6:00 pm - Gay Pride Business Network, New Brunswick; www.GPBN.net 7:30 pm - LGBT Fellowship, Belleville; 973-751-0616 7:30 pm - ComeOUT & Play, Highland Park † 7:30 pm - NJ Women Coming Out Support, Highland Park † 07 Wed 4:30 pm - "Beyond the Binary", Princeton λ 7:30 pm - Gay Dad’s discussion group, Highland Park † 7:30 pm - Jersey Boys of Leather, Highland Park † 08 Thu 7:00 pm - Qspot Book Club, Point Pleasant; outdoorgirl @ optonline.net 7:00 pm - Under the Rainbow, Highland Park † 7:30 pm - PFLAG of North Jersey, South Orange; 908-789-7489; pflagwaver @ aol.com 7:30 pm - Alternate Thursdays, Montclair; kjdinkin @ comcast.net
08 Thu 7:30 pm - Kollege of Kink, Highland Park † 8:00 pm - Booked for Supper, Highland Park † 09 Fri 6:30 pm - Dinner, Parsippany ♦ 7:30 pm - Rock Band/Guitar Hero, Highland Park † 10 Sat 12:30 pm - IPG Gender Spectrum Support Group for Youth & Parents, Jersey City ‡ 1:00 pm - Youth Drop-In, Highland Park † 1:00 pm - Women of Pride, Jersey City ‡ 2:00 pm - Lavender Graduation, Princeton λ 4:00 pm - Breast Cancer Education, Jersey City ‡ 7:00 pm - Men's Movie Night, Highland Park † 7:30 pm - Dignity New Brunswick gay Catholic liturgy; 732-968-9263; dignitynb @ earthlink.net 11 Sun 4:00 pm - Out Pagan Discussion Group, Highland Park † 6:00 pm - Gay Men’s Classical Song Club, Kingston; pbrown02 @ worldnet.att.net 12 Mon 6:30 pm - HIV Testing, Highland Park † 7:30 pm - PFLAG of Morris County, Mendham; 973-727-5288; pflag.morris @ verizon.net 7:30 pm - PFLAG, Princeton; 609-663-5155; www.pflagprinceton.org 13 Tue 7:30 pm - Pride Center Board Meeting, Highland Park † 7:30 pm - Yoga for Men, Highland Park † 8:00 pm - Men's Social, Highland Park † 14 Wed 3:00 pm - Driving range, Willowbrook ♦ 7:30 am - Living Out Women, Highland Park † 6:00 pm - Gay Pride Business Network, Asbury Park; www. GPBN.net 6:30 pm - North Jersey Prime Timers' monthly meetup, Little Falls ♦ 15 Thu 6:00 pm - New Volunteer Orientation, Jersey City ‡ 7:00 pm - GAAMC board meeting, Morristown All GAAMC members are invited to attend. 7:00 pm - GLSEN Training, Highland Park † 7:00 pm - Center a la Carte, Asbury Park (see Bulletin Board, page 3) 7:30 pm - NJ Women Coming Out Support Group, Highland Park † 7:30 pm - PFLAG of Northwest NJ, Sparta; 973-729-9909 7:30 pm - Volunteer Group Meeting, Jersey City ‡ 16 Fri 7:00 pm - Positive Women peer support group, Hackensack * 7:30 pm - Dignity New Brunswick social; 732-968-9263; dignitynb @ earthlink.net 8:00 pm - Out of the Box open mic night, Highland Park (Sign-up begins 7:30); outoftheboxinfo @ mac.com 8:00 pm - Fiddler on the Roof, Clifton ♦ 17 Sat 11:30 am - New Hope Celebrates Pride, Lambertville NJ / New Hope, PA (see article, page 3) 2:00 pm - Male Drawing Session, Highland Park †
2:30 pm - First and Third for GLBTI youth, Princeton; 609-683-5155; www.HiTOPS.org 7:00 pm - Rainbow Bowling, Bradley Beach; 732-774-4540 7:00 pm - NJ Gay Film Society & Potluck Dinner Club, location TBA; gayfilms @ bigfoot.com 8:00 pm - Spring Clubfest, Woodbridge † (see Bulletin Board, page 3) 8:00 pm - NJ Gay Men's Choir, Asbury Park ♦ 18 Sun 4:00 pm - Dignity Metro NJ Mass, Maplewood; 973-509-0118; Dignitymetronj @ msn.com 4:00 pm - TrueSelves trans support group, Highland Park † 8:00 pm - Varla Jean Merman, New Hope, PA ♦ 19 Mon 7:00 pm - Support Group for Lesbians with Cancer, New Brunswick; 732-235-6781; slirzero @ umdnj.edu 7:00 pm - Lesbian Hot Topics, Ocean; schiffman @ rocketmail.com 7:30 pm - Spanish speaking social/support group, Highland Park† 20 Tue 6:30 pm - Dinner, Millburn ♦ 7:30 pm - ComeOUT & Play, Highland Park † 7:30 pm - Lesbian Alliance of Princeton; 609-924-8174; Loisj @ msn.com 7:30 pm - PFLAG of Hunterdon County, Flemington; 908-752-1370; pflaghc @ yahoo.com 7:30 pm - Caregiver Support Group, Highland Park † 8:00 pm - PFLAG of Bergen County, Paramus; 201-287-0318; www.bergenpflag.org 8:00 pm - NJ Women, Secaucus; info @ njwomen.org 21 Wed 7:30 pm - United in Grace discussion/support group, Jersey City; 201-946-0650; greg.perez @ comcast.net 7:30 pm - Board Meeting, Edison; njlgh.onefireplace.com 8:30 pm - Bowling, Boonton ♦ 22 Thu 7:00 pm - Under the Rainbow, Highland Park † 23 Fri 7:30 pm - Living Soulfully, Highland Park † 24 Sat 1:00 pm - Youth Drop-In, Highland Park † 1:00 pm - Women of Pride, Jersey City ‡ 7:00 pm - Gay Bowling, Asbury Lanes, Asbury Park; 732-776-6160 25 Sun 3:00 pm - The Lavender Cinema Club, Highland Park † 3:00 pm - Members' Cookout ♦ 27 Tue 3:30 pm 7:00 pm 7:30 pm 7:30 pm 8:00 pm
Drop-in Hours, McCosh Medical Center, Princeton λ Stonewall Democrats, Highland Park † Yoga for Men, Highland Park † Donald's Events, Highland Park † Men's Social, Highland Park †
28 Wed 7:30 pm - Board Meeting, Edison; njlgh.onefireplace.com 7:30 pm - Living Out Women, Highland Park † 29 Thu 6:00 pm - Gay Pride Business Network, Asbury Park; www. GPBN.net 6:00 pm - NJ Furries, Highland Park †
Riddle Me This! Answers: 1. Eyes. 2. A reflection. 3. A star. 4. Icicles. 5. A teapot.
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(continued from page 5) Texas state district judge Barbara Nellermoe ruled the state's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. The ruling stems from a case of a woman, seeking to divorce her wife of three years, to gain visitation rights to her child. After the ruling, state Attorney General Greg Abbott, running to become the next governor, demanded the state be allowed to defend its law in court. He plans to appeal the ruling. In February, U.S. Federal District Court Judge Orlando Garcia found Texas’ ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional, but stayed his ruling pending appeal. (The New Civil Rights Movement.com) Same sex couples in England and Wales began marrying, as the law legalizing it took effect. U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, Queen Elizabeth II, and numerous lawmakers have expressed support for the law. "This...is an important moment for our country. It says we are a country that will continue to honour its proud traditions of respect, tolerance ,and equal worth," Cameron wrote in an op-ed article. Scotland begins issuing licenses to same-sex couples later this year. (GayPolitics.com) The Supreme Court of India ruled that transgender citizens can identify as a third gender on official documents. The decision stems from a lawsuit argued that transgender people are denied basic human rights by being unable to apply for official identification documents. The transgender community is now officially recognized as a minority group that is eligible for welfare benefits, health care access and employment opportunities. (New York Times) Legislators in Ethiopia are expected to pass a bill that would prohibit the president from pardoning people who have been convicted of crimes related to their homosexuality. The law would place homosexuality alongside crimes such as corruption, terrorism, rape, smuggling and human trafficking. "[I]t seems the government is trying ... to emulate Nigeria's and Uganda's anti-gay laws," advocacy group Rainbow Ethiopia said in a statement. (Metro Weekly, DC) The Israeli parliament passed a law prohibiting discrimination against students based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Twenty-five Members of the Knesset (MK), Israel's parliament, voted in favor of the bill. Only two MKs opposed it. The bill’s sponsor, MK Dov Khenin (Hadash Party), said it was the first law in Israel to prohibit discrimination based on gender identity. Research by Israel’s Gay Youth organization indicates that 52% of LGBT youth in Israel have been exposed to hate speech and 84% reported the Hebrew equivalent of the words “gay” or “lesbian” were frequently used as slurs. Alongside verbal violence, a quarter of LGBT youth reported sexual harassment at school, with one in ten experiencing physical violence, nearly half complaining that teachers did not respond or take action against verbal violence, and nearly a quarter saying teachers themselves used hate speech. (LGBTQ Nation) A district court in Russia ruled that two rallies advocating for LGBT rights could proceed as planned despite opposition by local officials. Two lower courts had ruled in favor of local officials seeking to prevent the rallies. "It is heartening to see Russian judges supporting important personal freedoms and demonstrating independence from the current anti-LGBT sentiment throughout Russia," Shawn Gaylord of Human Rights First said in a statement. (Advocate.com)
Northern Ireland is being called to defend its ban against gay men giving blood. Jeremy Hunt, the Northern Ireland Health Secretary, has previously claimed banning "gay blood" ensures public safety. He has begun a legal appeal, after a judge ruled it was up to him whether gay men could donate blood. A ban enforced during the 1980s, 90s and 00s was lifted in England, Scotland and Wales in 2011. New rules allow gay and bisexual men to donate blood as long as their last sexual contact with another man was more than a year ago. (Gay Star News) The Maltese parliament approved a law to recognize samesex partnerships on a legal par with marriage, including allowing gay couples to adopt. The law was greeted by joyful celebrations by some 1,000 people in a square just outside Parliament in Valletta, the capital. Divorce was legalized only two years ago in the predominantly Roman Catholic Mediterranean island nation. Labor Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, elected one year ago, said: "Malta is now more liberal and more European and it has given equality to all its people." (Reuters) Andraya Williams, a transgender student at North Carolina's Central Piedmont Community College, claims she was humiliated by campus security after using the women's restroom. Williams had just exited when she was approached by a security guard who allegedly asked Williams whether she was male or female. After Williams displayed her student ID, the security officer called for backup. Williams was escorted from the campus by approximately six security guards, suspended, and informed that she would only be allowed to return if she would agree to exclusively use the school's gender-neutral restrooms. Williams is asking that the school apologize for its actions, but does not rule out possibly of filing a civil complaint. (Advocate.com) The Boy Scouts of America, nearly a year after announcing that it would admit gay boys but still prohibit openly gay leaders from its ranks, has dismissed a gay scoutmaster. Geoffrey McGrath, 49, is an Eagle Scout and software engineer in Seattle who is married to his longtime companion. He helped form a troop, sponsored by the Rainier Beach United Methodist Church, to serve low-income and immigrant children in his area of south Seattle. Reverend Monica Corsaro, the church pastor, said that McGrath had offered to help in a less formal role, but she insisted that he serve as scoutmaster. The Boy Scouts then revoked the charters of the two Scout church-sponsored groups for refusing to dismiss McGrath. (New York Times; ABC News) An openly lesbian U.S. Navy veteran is seeking to have her ashes buried with those of her late wife in an Idaho state military cemetery. The state's ban on the recognition of same-sex marriages bars the cemetery from granting a side-by-side burial, despite the fact that the couple married in California in 2008. "I'm not surprised. I've been discriminated against for 70 (continued on page 11)
Garden State Equality Board Chair Receives Rutgers Law School LGBTQ Award Luanne Peterpaul, Garden State Equality Action Fund Board Chair, received the Rutgers Law School LGBTQ Caucus Award at a ceremony on April 15th at the school’s Newark Campus. Ms. Peterpaul is being recognized for her tireless work fighting bullying. She was a coauthor of New Jersey’s AntiBullying Bill of Rights(ABR), a bold new model to counter school bullying signed into law by Governor Chris Christie (R) in January 2011. Ms. Peterpaul currently serves on the Anti-Bullying Task Force, having been appointed by Senator Stephen Sweeney (D) and Assemblywoman Sheila Oliver (D). “We wanted to give a special award focused on a lawyer in the NJ community who had done a lot to fight bullying. Ms. Peterpaul’s work on the Anti-Bullying Task Force made her a natural choice,” said Robert Strobel, Rutgers Law School LGBTQ Caucus Board member. “New Jersey has the most progressive bullying law in the country. We wanted to reward someone who helped make that happen.” The award is being given for the first time by RutgersNewark Law School's LGBTQ Caucus, an organization that represents the interests of the gay and lesbian students at the school. Members accepted nominations and then voted to select the candidate. Peterpaul, along with former Chair of Garden State Equality Steven Goldstein, former NJ Director of Civil Rights Frank Vespa-Papaleo, and many legislators including Assemblywoman Valerie Vanieri Huttle (D) and Senators Loretta Weinberg (D) and Diane Allen (D), were lead architects of the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights. Garden State Equality along with its allies led the statewide campaign for its passage. “I am honored to receive this award. I am one of countless individuals and organizations, such as Garden State Equality, who work tirelessly day in and day out to create and maintain a safe educational climate and culture for our children. This is how we make a difference,” said Ms. Peterpaul. Ms. Peterpaul, a law partner with Gluck Walrath, LLP, specializes in all phases of labor, employment, and education matters. She handles legal issues in federal and state courts and before administrative agencies including the Department of Labor, Division of Civil Rights, PERC, and the NLRB. Garden State Equality is New Jersey’s largest civil rights organization. GSE has helped enact over 200 state, county, and local LGBT laws since 2004, including the freedom to marry and the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights. Garden State Equality continues to be at the forefront of the safe schools movement
HRC's "Buyer's Guide to Workplace Equality" Has Gone Mobile by Andy Skurna I love the Buyer’s Guide to Workplace Equality, and the newest edition gives us even more to love. It is now freely available for installation in our favorite Andriod or iOS devices! Once you experience its ease of use and speedy results, you will love it just as much. Download yours today from the App Store or Google Play! Here's the description from the Google Play store: “The Human Rights Campaign Foundation's Buying for Workplace Equality App is your guide to brands and products from businesses that support LGBT workplace equality — businesses that don’t discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity, provide benefits for LGBT employees and their families, and respectfully market to or recruit employees from the LGBT community. Based on the HRC Foundation's Corporate Equality Index rating (www.hrc.org/cei), businesses — and their products — are divided into red (brands that receive our lowest workplace quality scores), yellow (brands that have made some progress and receive moderate workplace equality scores), and green (brands that receive our highest workplace equality scores) categories to help consumers support businesses that have inclusive LGBT workplace policies.” Features: • Find thousands of LGBT-friendly businesses and their products • Search by shopping category or browse alphabetically. • Browse distinct shopping categories like Food, Apparel, Household Products, and Banking & Finance. • View detailed information about each business’ rating of LGBT-inclusive workplace policies from the HRC Corporate Equality Index. • E-mail, Tweet, or post Facebook status messages about your favorite and least favorite brands to your friends and family.
providing training, support and guidance for schools and communities. GSE provides the state’s only one-on-one, anti-bullying support Helpline: 1-877-NJ- BULLY. Visit www.gardenstateequality.org for more. The Rutgers Law School LGBTQ Caucus was organized in 1976. Its main objectives are to represent the interests of the gay and lesbian students of the school; to encourage the study of law affecting gay and lesbian people; to educate the general school community on important issues relating to the rights of gays and lesbians; and to provide information, leadership, encouragement, and debate on the important issues affecting gays and lesbians, such as the right to marry and divorce, the right to privacy, the right to be free from employment and public accommodations discrimination, the right to child custody, and criminal law reform. The organization coordinates efforts with all schools in the metropolitan area and with national professional organizations such as Lesbians in Law.
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Minutes of the GAAMC Board of Trustees Meeting, March 20, 2014 Attendance Voting Trustees: DeLeeuw, Grifone, Gygax, Kennedy, Lucek, Rase, Sauer, Suiter Non-Voting Attendees: none The meeting began at 7:08 pm. I. Adoption of minutes: The minutes of the February meeting were approved 7-0-1 (moved, Kennedy; seconded, Sauer; Sauer abstaining). II.Old Business: None. III.New Business: GAAMC Outings, Act One: Scheduled for Saturday, April 12 at Lincoln Center Theatre. Rules of Engagement for Socials: The Board discussed such items as considering different floor layouts, getting earlier food commitments, what to do with leftovers, and assigning volunteers to tasks before, during, and after the event. Pastabilities: The Board discussed what they would be bringing and what they would encourage others to bring. The mailing should be expanded to include those whose membership has expired in the past year. Gordon reminded the Board that publicity for the event should use all means. In a related issue, the Board discussed getting
figures on attendance by weather by month from the weekly intake report. IV. Reports: President: Sherri Rase — No report. Treasurer: John DeLeeuw — Written report on file. Challenge: Allen Neuner — Written report on file. Programs: Sherri Rase — Written report on file. Discussion Group Resources: Gordon Sauer — Written report on file. V. Save These Dates: March 24th, Hyacinth visit; March 31st, NJ Leather Family; April 7th, NJ Leather Family; April 14th, extended discussion groups; April 21st, Networking with Len Resto; April 28th, Pastabilities; May 5th, Perry-Oke VI. Ideas & Suggestions: Joe Gygax offered his thoughts on forming a younger men's group. Gordon reported he had touched base with Bob Cominski of Prime Timers on using UF as an alternate meeting space. Gordon also called upon newer Board members to help revive the Development Committee in an attempt to increase membership and participation. VII. Adjournment: Motion to adjourn passed unanimously (moved, Sauer; seconded, Kennedy) The meeting adjourned at 8:15 pm.
(continued from page 8) years, and they might as well discriminate against me in death as well as life," Madelynn Taylor said. (KBOI-AM, Boise) Chelsea Manning’s new legal defense team, Nancy Hollander and Vincent Ward, gave their first public presentation alongside NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake, FBI whistleblower Mike German, and Courage to Resist organizer Emma Cape on April 13th. Video of this event is on YouTube. Manning's appeals will touch on issues of freedom of information, overclassification, and unlawful pretrial punishment. A judge granted Manning's request to legally change her name from "Bradley Edward Manning" to "Chelsea Elizabeth Manning" on April 24th. "No journalist has spoken to Chelsea Manning. No. journalist. has spoken. to Chelsea. Manning. Not in four years. No interviews. No nothing," Daniel Ellsberg, Pentagon Papers whistleblower and activist, said in a C-SPAN video. (PrivateManning.com; C-SPAN)
Christie Lee Van De Putte, a transgender woman and pioneer who challenged a Texas court ruling invalidating her marriage to her late husband, died on March 15. Van De Putte made history as the plaintiff in a wrongful death lawsuit filed against the doctor who had treated Van De Putte's then-husband of seven years, Mark Littleton. Several Texas courts determined that Van De Putte was not eligible for survivor benefits, agreeing with a district judge who claimed that the widow was "male" at the time of her marriage to Littleton, despite the facts that she had undergone gender-confirming surgery more than 10 years earlier and was recognized as female by the state of Texas. Subsequent appeals all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court either upheld the initial ruling, or declined to review the case. The decision essentially declared the legality of marriage should be determined by the chromosomal makeup of the parties, not by the actual or legal gender of those involved. Van De Putte was 51. (Advocate.com)
Riddle Me This!
submitted by The MaD HAttER 1. Be you ever so quick, with vision keen, By your eyes we are never seen Unless, perchance, it should come to pass You see our reflection in a looking glass. What are we? 2. Though eyes I have, they have no sight. I can't be seen in black of night. When I move left, you move right. In looking glass I come to light. What am I?
3. Higher than house, higher than tree, Oh! Whatever can I be? 4. Glittering points that downward thrust. Sparkling spears that never rust. What are we? 5. I start with a T, I end with a T, And I have T inside of me. What am I? (Answers appear on page 7)
(The Mad Hatter, © The Walt Disney Company; used without permission)
Dancing To Architecture™ Music Reviews & News with a Queer Ear by Bill Realman Stella
ROY SCHNEIDER ~ WALLS THAT TALK
What's so great about Walls That Talk? Practically everything. Might you call it Alternative Folk, or Contemporary Country? Toss in a little Acoustic Texas Blues? Forget genres, I don't like genres.
I like people. I like musicians. I like Roy Schneider and his music. Perhaps the happiest 4:41 of the album is "One for the Rabbits," which begins charmingly with "Think I'll play a little dinner music for the rabbits in the backyard" before meandering into merry philosophizing, playfully music where his spirit takes him, from the worries to the day, to keeping balanced, focused and present. (What the hell is it about the inspirational powers of rabbits these days? Everywhere I look, it's another rabbit! Loving it!) On this "One…", Roy surprises the heck out of me: He channels early Cat Stevens for the first 1:30 of it and then some more later and again. It's Cat's "Where Do The Children Play?" given a Schneider treatment. The Bluegrass-inspired "Signs" has a kinetic energy evocative of leaves in a breeze, as Roy "turns to the woodlands instead." The gentle Country Fox Trot of "Fill The Well" turns a dry rumination of drought conditions into a effective and mild metaphor for the humble needs of Any Man. "Dancing on the Mountain," an acoustic two-step featuring the harmonica of Charlie McCoy, gets the video treatment. And "Cedar Ridge" is a blue hill, its bluesy players trading centerstage for a few seconds each, Dixieland-style — the let-loose mandolin giving in to a fiddle's pull, harmonica hovering up and out as pick-up percussion and chunks of honky-tonk piano break through. Since I first noticed him on Reverbnation.com in 2006, what I've noticed is that Roy's genuine nature attracts people to him, gathering appreciative fans, slowly building a career the steady, struggling, traditional way. Besides laid-back singing, Schneider plays most of the guitars here, plus mandolin and banjo. Roy also wrote all but two of the thirteen songs, David Crosby's "Long Time Gone" and one co-written by Guy Clark. Erik Alvar on upright bass and the "fiddle/violin" of Keven Alund also figure prominently into the overall sound. Roy's wife Kim Mayfield on piano and backing vocals should not be overlooked. Clearly she's the essential secret weapon supporting the creative enterprise. I celebrated my birthday this year at a rare New Jersey Roy and Kim concert coincidentally scheduled for that very day. (They were also billed as "of the Roadside Turtle Rescue," which I take to mean their next album, set to arrive within the year, may arrive with them fronting a band by that name.) Along with his many fine originals, he covered John Hiatt, Steve Earle (two of my favorite songwriters), B.B. King (an impeccable choice) and the Wood Brothers (new to me). Add the spirits of Stevens, Crosby and Clark, and a picture should be forming of an artist whose characteristic impressions draw on the past and emboss a gentlemanly new luster on the well-worn. How many other folks do you know of with the talent to revive weathered leather with his songs?
Inspired To Celebrate Great Out Music of the 21st Century by The Greatest Out Album of All Time 1998: A remarkable, lifeBARNES (AKA MICAH BARNES) impactful album arrived from ~ LOUD BOY RADIO Barnes, the songwriter for all of its obviously heartfelt, heart-stopping finger-gripping gutwrenching songs. 1999: I get introduced to that album, hear songs from Micah Barnes' Loud Boy Radio sung live by the artist, then going by simply Barnes. This was the performance that changed my life. If not for Barnes, I would not have committed to writing about music. Among dozens of other consequences, there would be no Dancing To Architecture without Loud Boy Radio's brilliance getting to me first. Under my skin, and "Inside Out". 15 years later, 2014: I realize that it's the 15th anniversary of that event in my life. Loud Boy Radio remains the strongest ever Out Album. Yet it also remains deeply under-appreciated, barely recognized but by a very few die-hard Out music fans. Allow me to try to fix that: Q THE Best Out Gay Album Ever: LOUD BOY RADIO ~ BARNES
7 songs. 7 masterful songs. This album introduced me not just to a talented songwriter and recording artist but opened my eyes to just how wide the world of Out Gay musicians speaking to Out Gay audiences was. 1. Loud Boy Radio For many years this was the opening theme song for the long-running radio show Generation Q on WRSU-FM. 2. Boy With A Secret is about coming of age and out of the closet: "I'm the boy that the priest picked from the choir... talking God while his eye was on my crotch." It's as Out, lyrically, as a song can get. 3. Do I Get What I Want deserves to be a theme song of its own, for times when you deserve what you haven't got, and have the dignity to raise the issue without becoming an issue yourself. 4. Inside Out still gives me chills as I relive the experience of hearing the hard-shell exterior of a man of great passion and with great doubts give way to a strong vulnerability underneath. "If I were Inside Out / would you love me as you do / ... Feel my passion / Burning raw like a sun deep inside / ... If I were Inside Out / And you were looking at my fear / Would you have to turn away?" 5. Human is hauntingly assertive of one's humanity: "How I need you... flesh and blood and nothing less than human." 6. If I Was The D.J. then we would all dance to this often. 7. I Will Follow knows no peer among songs which are an epitaph by a survivor toward a lover. As the long-gone Outvoice.com put it once, "These are simply just great songs that come from a place of unflinching honesty." I simply love this album. (continued on page 13)
Dancing To Architecture and Media Outage ©2014 Bill Stella. All ©, ® & ™ items included for review purposes are ©, ® & ™ their respective owners. The stylized Q indicates albums by (or significantly contributed to by) Out Bisexuals, Gay Men, Lesbians and Transgendered persons. GAAMC is pronounced "GAY-mick".
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GAY ACTIVIST ALLIANCE IN MORRIS COUNTY
Officers President (President@GAAMC.org) — Sherri Rase VP Community Services (Info@GAAMC.org) — Gordon Sauer VP Operations (Operations@GAAMC.org) — Mickey Suiter Secretary (Secretary@GAAMC.org) — Ron Kennedy Treasurer (Treasurer@GAAMC.org) — John DeLeeuw Trustees Kerry Dinkin, Marty Grifone, Joe Gygax, Frank Lucek, Rich Schaublin, Liz Slicer Committee Chairs & Functional Officers Challenge Editor — Allen Neuner (Challenge@GAAMC.org) Discussion Group Resources — Gordon Sauer (Discussions@GAAMC.org) GAAMC Outings — Open Information — Andy Skurna (FreeLibrary@GAAMC.org) Membership — Open Pride Events — Mickey Suiter Pride Guide — Andy Skurna (PrideGuide@GAAMC.org) Programs — Sherri Rase (Programs@GAAMC.org) Publicity — Open Socials — John DeLeeuw (Socials@GAAMC.org) Webmaster — Andy Skurna (Webmaster@GAAMC.org)
GAAMC, the Gay Activist Alliance in Morris County, has served New Jersey’s gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, and intersexed communities since 1972. GAAMC is a notfor-profit volunteer-run organization that provides social, educational, and outreach programs. GAAMC also offers opportunities for individuals to become politically active on issues related to the GLBTI communities. Our intent is to maintain a positive, healthy, respectful, and supportive environment in a safe space. Meetings are held every Monday evening at the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship, 21 Normandy Heights Road, Morristown, NJ (near the Morris Museum). Discussion groups usually meet from 7:00 to 8:00. The evening's program usually starts shortly after 8:00. Refreshments are available. For program information, check our homepage at www.GAAMC.org. Members and non-members are always welcome. Annual membership dues are: Regular, $40/single, $70/couple; Students/Seniors, $30/single, $60/couple. Those looking to help out at GAAMC can contact Gordon Sauer at Info@GAAMC.org. How to reach GAAMC Mail: PO Box 137, Convent Station, NJ 07961 Telephone: 973-285-1595 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Home page: www.GAAMC.org Mail List: groups.yahoo.com/subscribe/gaamc Facebook: www.facebook.com/gaamc Challenge online edition: issuu.com/gaamc/docs
PREVIEWS OF COMING ATTRACTIONS! May 12th
Ready for Prime Time?
Kickin' Off the Summer Season
See "GAAMC Events", page 2, for more details!
(continued from page 11) Reviewing the musical past gets me thinking: What are the GREATEST UNDER-APPRECIATED OUT ALBUMS? The list would begin with Loud Boy Radio. But I realized I could do my best if I focused on hese past 15 years. So, the idea of the 21 Best, Under-appreciated, Out Albums of the 21st Century came to mind. Which left Barnes out in the cold, a 1998 album 3 years short of the 21st C. The uniquely outstanding Loud Boy Radio, deserved the new review, anyway, and writing it has inspired this appreciation of slightly more than 21 of the 21st Century's under-rated and often lost gems.
25 Great, Out & Under-Appreciated Albums of the 21st Century A l l al bu ms des ignat ed Q
T HIS MUSIC LOOKS AT LIFE DIFFERENTLY ! T HESE SOUNDS HAVE SOULS , WHOSE PURPOSE IS TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE , TO BE DIFFERENT — T O DIFFER ! T HAT VERY CHARACTERISTIC WHICH Q UEER FOLKS ARE GOOD AT, ALLEGEDLY, BUT WHICH IS RARELY FOUND IN CONVENTIONAL, CONFORMIST QUEER REALITY. T HIS IS A COMPILATION OF MUSIC THAT LIVES NOW . T HIS MUSIC GRASPS FOR TIMELESSNESS . IT MAY NO LONGER BE CUTTING EDGE, IF EVER IT HAD BEEN. B UT IT LIVES ! L ET ' S LOOK BACK — NOT FOR NOSTALGICA , BUT LOVE ! I T TAKES YOU TO LISTEN TO IT FOR IT TO BECOME LOVED . F OLLOW UP AND LEARN MORE ABOUT THESE ARTISTS . L IKE THEM ON F ACEBOOK , STREAM THEM , ETC . S URE , DO ALL THAT . I T ' S OUR CULTURE , DAMMIT ! B UT I ALSO HAVE THE UNREALISTIC FANTASY THAT EACH ALBUM MIGHT SELL BETTER . F OR ALL BUT THREE LISTED ALBUMS (# S 2, 9 & 21) ANOTHER 1000 COPIES SOLD WOULD AMOUNT TO FROM A 20% TO AN OVER 100% INCREASE ABOVE PREVIOUS SALES . I N OTHER WORDS : I T WOULD MEAN A LOT TO THE MUSICIANS .
1. IT'S ONLY LIFE ~ JOHN BUCCHINO & CAST: BROOKS ASHMANSKAS, ANDREA BURNS, GAVIN CREEL, JESSICA MOLASKEY, AND BILLY PORTER (2006) Composer/pianist Bucchino and the five vocalists of It's Only Life all have very respectable reputations within cabaret and musical theater circles, including the now Tony Award winning Billy Porter, with the definitive version of "Grateful," perhaps the best song of the last 20 years. How about now everyone else hears it? Bucchino is only rivaled by Stephen Sondheim for quality of memorable songs and depth of catalog. Despite this, at the mention of John Bucchino's name the most common response is "Who?" or a similar admission of unfamiliarity. Let me repeat in other words: John Bucchino's "Grateful" is perhaps The Best Song Written since Bill Clinton took office. But the attentions of Julie Andrews and Art Garfunkel couldn't make it a hit in the business and media climate of our times. "Grateful" is but one of nearly two dozen songs on It's Only Life, all topnotch, most displaying a depth of smart observant discerning insight, empathy for people, and careful skillful talent to blow any other composer out of the proverbial water — if any other songwriter's set of songs would be set side-by-side for comparison. Yeah, I don't know about predicting popular taste or sales, but I know how to hear greatness. And these songs are soaking in it. Director Daisy Prince praises: "His catalog is staggering in number, variety and most important achievement. His voice is distinctly his own: intensely personal, soul searching, honest and just plain funny. In laying himself bare he has given tremendous company to all of us who know and love what he has written."
2. T HE W OODS ~ S LEATER -K INNEY (2005) The one album I considered leaving off this list because it appeared on many (many) Best of the Year lists in 2005. But I say it's the best Rock and Roll album of the 21st century. It's not that well-appreciated — yet. So on the list it goes. Also the video for "Entertain," the first featured track from The Woods, was the first thing ever aired on LOGO TV. "Entertain" premiered LOGO! (after a brief introductory welcome at sign-on).
Which makes the song (and the album it came from) a historical marker. Which should count for something in our forgetful cultural memory! Sleater-Kinney should earn Rock and Roll Hall of Fame honors as soon as they become eligible. If they don't, it'll be proof of just how fucked the Rock and Roll establishment has become. The Woods is the cockiest cockless rock. Listen deeply. You can learn a lot.
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3. M ODULATE ~ B OB M OULD (2002) Mould has a dedicated fan base, and many of them malign this album. It's my favorite of his. Typically, the rage for bombastic, wild EDM/Electronic Dance Music bores me. Mould explored if not invented many EDM ideas here, fascinatingly. Whenever a hit EDM track is touted as "fresh," "creative," or (goodness help us) "new," I think: "Modulate got there first."
4. THEY CALL ME MR. FREE ~ SCOTT FREE (2004) Won Outmusic's Album of the Ye a r a w a r d . Scott Free red e fi n e s t h e "Gay Blade." But nationally he can't catch career momentum. Other musicians perform under the same name. Wikipedia removed his page. But he is a respected mainstay of a vibrant Queer music scene in and around Chicago. Although uncountable anti-love songs have been composed over the years (overwhelmingly most by heartbroken saps), never in the history of songwriting (to my humble knowledge) has ever existed a song that stuck its romantic heart out as far as does "The Muffin Song (No One's Ever Been In Love With Me)" — They Call Me Mr Free's kick-off track. Here's an unvarnished, illusions-free, spells it out in detail, NO WHINING ALLOWED true story. So honest it hurts — but hurts good. Pull your brain over to the curb for a moment and sit with these lyrics: No one’s ever been in love with me / No one’s ever sent bouquets of flowers / Counted the hours to be in my company / No one’s ever been in love with me // No one’s ever cared and been sincere / No one’s ever kissed and called me muffin / Had sweet nothings whispered in my ear / No one’s ever cared and been sincere. // I’m falling for you / and I feel when I look deep in your eyes / the feeling isn’t mutual // ... No one’s ever been in love with me // No one’s ever given up their heart / No one’s ever wanted to be near me / Didn’t disappear before it even starts / No one’s ever given up their heart // ... No one’s ever come to find their heart’s been / Ripped apart from my infidelities / No one’s ever made me their obsession / Their worldly possessions everything to me // No one’s ever up and left their lover / Significant other / Lost their religion / Joined the opposition / Commit harikari / Joined the military / Been ready and willing / To jump off a building / Go on a killing spree / Just for me. // No one's ever been in love with me // (© Scott Free) And the greatest strength of the album is that nowhere else does Free try to repeat anything like "The Muffin Song". He goes to great lengths not to repeat styles or forms. (Two songs tacked at the end, composed for a zombie movie, are the only exceptions to the set's exceptional quality.) The through-
line of the album is depicted on its c o v e r : E v e r y phrase — e v e r y w o r d , every measure, every impact, fall, resistance and every bit of grit to get back up — is that of a fighter. In the GaygaygaygaygaygayGAYgaygaygaygagGAY attitude which most Out music takes, even the fiercest tracks by the majority of Out musicians usually stand alone among a buffet of fierceness-free, less offensive attitudes. That's "offensive" both in its "that which offends" — deservedly throughout — and "to move on the offense" meanings. It's the offensive thrust that's key here. Mr. Free — in the very best sense — is offensive top to bottom, from "brutally honest" lyrics to attention- (and tonal-leeway-) demanding vocals. Free explores Hip-Hop, Hard Core and Punk — and doesn't stop there. In a moment of lucidity years ahead of the "It Gets Better" campaign, Scott advises teens enduring "Another Day of the Cruelty" (reported in explicit detail within) to drop out of their high schools and make their way the the Harvey Milk School in NYC, to an homage/parody of Eminem track. He takes aim at "When Queers Become Rock Stars" and "Gospel Singers" and "Disco Divas", skewering targets. "Divas" has a point of view I've taken to heart: "Disco Divas sing at Pride Fests / to remind us we're second-class citizens." He ups the Hard Rock ante to psychotic on "Mouthful," turning his sights squarely on a most aggravating aspect of queer society — our sometimes/too-often tendency to turn from camp satire into meaningless debasement. He goes all Brit Rock for "John Loved Paul," inventing an alternate history where Lennon and McCartney reunited in the 1970s — as lovers; sounding for all the world like the song we've waited a lifetime for Ringo to write and sing in tribute to his mates. In "Ronald Reagan's Funeral" he honors those truly worthy of memorializing, caused in large part by the then-morerecently departed ex-prez. It's a Punk Rock wake in which "We honor the dead", in the template of Jim Carroll's "People Who Died", becomes a punk prayer for fallen AIDS victims whose names and whose bright, lost potential futures remain typically forgotten even as Raygun has become a political god. Near the end, "The Emperor's New Song" is a beautiful recording that highlights just how unbeautiful the same-old pop jingles and their messages really are, be they political ads or Top 10 bullshit. And just when you thought all is satire and caustic, track 16, "Who Do I Thank?" arrives to end the album (really). It is the most beautiful ballad not covered by another singer. That status quo is a sin. Please, someone, cover it.
5. V ISCERA ~ S ACHA S ACKET (2010) Easily the most unknown and therefore most under-appreciated of great albums produced in the 21st century by Out musicians. Viscera is a beautiful, readily accessible set of songs. Primarily, it may not have reached an audience largely because Sacket didn't (could not?) tour extensively behind it. If I could program a radio station in what I'd call a "New Standards" format, every song on Viscera would be part of its core. Viscera blows away all those trendy list-toppers that keep appearing on the year-end lists of credentialed critics. These songs are the real deal. Several of them are worthy of repeated reinterpretation. I can't wait to hear every new crittersong which Sacket releases into the wild. A few Top Songs: "Cellophane," "Helium," "Lazy Eye," "Ire," "Breed," "Chalk," "Seven Years," "Creeping," "Fucking With Your Flow," "Wave Goodbye" Hear it all at his Bandcamp.com page.
J UST SOME OF THE AMAZING IMAGES WHICH ACCOMPANY THE
S ACHA S ACKET
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6. NAMELESS AND AWAKE: EIGHT POEMS BY JOHN WILLIAM CARROLL ~ REUBEN BUTCHART & THE MILLWORKERS (2012) I wrote in Challenge about it three times in 2012. It stands up. Go read the back issues.
7. TOTAL ENTERTAINMENT! ! ! ~ PANSY DIVISION (2003)
The most-inexplicably low-selling, massively fun Pop Rock album of the decade. Another instance of a band's fanbase that's largely incapable of hearing their band do something different and do it excellently. Hear it all on Bandcamp now — for free. Try it. And buy it.
8 . T HE H EY Y' ALL S OUNDTRACK ! ! ! ~ Y' ALL (2002) Talk about a band that gave their all and got far too little recognition back. "As a lowbrow, southern-fried, trailer park Simon & Garfunkel, it is astonishing how well these two men illumine the gay experience. It is really surprising that, performing as Y'all, they have gotten overwhelming positive and downright affectionate coverage for their stage act (performed by the six-foot three-inch Jay Byrd in his lucky green dress, and shirtless Steven Cheslik-DeMeyer in beat-up overalls) in both the gay and straight media. Their sound is a mix of rural Americana -- gospel, country & western, and bluegrass music -- performed hee-haw style with superb harmonizing." - Will Grega Cheslik-DeMeyer and Byrd were lovers, partners, and collaborators in the big adventure/experiment that was Y'all. And, for all the good will they generated, they struggled against overwhelming odds and poorlytimed challenges, if I can say so without implying they dealt with any of it as victims (they did not). Started near the dawn of webbased search engines, a search for Y'all came up with lots of irrelevant hits back then. So they named their website Lucky GreenDress.com (long defunct), and confused a mess of people. After a few years, they succeeded at developing their concept of the "Hey Y'all!" TV show into a concept album — no show was ever filmed — but because they named it a soundtrack, to this day it is consistently misfiled and incorrectly referred to as a soundtrack, making it a consistently difficult album to find. Later, they filmed a real documentary, the extraordinary "Y'all: Life In A Box" (a whole other story), which didn't seem to catch enough breaks and get into enough film festivals to make the impact it deserved to receive — and it never did generate a soundtrack album. But OH THE MUSIC IS FUCKING GREAT.
9. S AME T RAILER , D IFFERENT P ARK ! ! ~ K ACEY M USGRAVES (2013)
It's too Country for Pop music fans (and radio); too Pop for Country music fans (and radio). And EASILY ranks among the 10 Best Albums of 2013, period. Queer or not. It's been stuck between two fragmented audiences who'd be better served if they didn't behave so polarized. But that's all about to change. Part of the Country music establishment awarded Same Trailer, Different Park Album of the Year in April. And Musgraves goes out on tour with Katy Perry in August. If both camps agree, by this time next year STDB probably won't fit the contours of this list. In an era when every genre is picked over to the bone, and every rhyme in English seemingly reworked endlessly, the fact that Musgraves refreshes the sound of very traditional instruments in very traditional combinations and finds new perspectives and turns of phrase in every song is nearly miraculous. Wherever tuneful stories have a home, Musgraves' accomplishments should be heard, and raved about, and get under the skin of people who "don't like Country."
10. G OLDEN B OY ! ~ R EUBEN B UTCHART (2007) Every track is great, not one clinker or less-than-stellar realization of ideas into art. No lie. A journey from a man's shimmery memories of his boyhood into the sunlight of a man living fully from the heart. 11. W OMAN D ANGEROUS
~ D ORIA R OBERTS (2006)
Don't be turned off by the title. Do be turned on by that elegant cover photo. Woman Dangerous is the epitome of the superlative self-produced album. I'm in awe of its genuine swagger and its radio ready sheen. "Perfect," indeed.
12. S O M UCH S HOUTING , S O M UCH LAUGHTER ~ A NI D I F RANCO (2002) Two wondrous discs. A disc of studio recordings, including "To The Teeth", which features DiFranco at her best with how-does-she-dothat?, masterful guitar playing. And the real strength of the set, a disc of songs recorded live at various venues that flows like an indelible evening. Central is the brilliant personal-is-political poem-rant "Self-Evident." Whenever I hear some contemporary of mine acting all aging-hippie in my face, complaining about the lack of protest songs during the Iraq war, after I complain right back to them about the stranglehold our generation has on the airwaves that prevents any unique or different opinions from getting heard, "SelfEvident" nears the top of the long list that proves great new protest songs exist. 13. V OLUME 4
~ J OE J ACKSON B AND (2003)
Of course, Joe Jackson "isn't out." Yeah. Right. Sure. I have literally been laughed at for not "knowing" that Boy George was Gay immediately upon first watching the "Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?" video, years before he came out, based on how he looked and acted. I can't bring myself to treat everyone the way I've been when it comes to Jackson. Just listen to his songs, people! I'm astonished that people the world over haven't clued in to Joe Jackson's gayness based on the content of many of his songs. In retrospect, his first big hit sounds gayer and gayer every year. You can practically hear the dishy-toned voice shouting in a stage-whisper: "Is She Really Going Out With Him?" In Volume 4's tracklist, "Fairy Dust" is not the only title that one might infer contains a Gay perspective. Take a look: "Take It Like a Man," "Still Alive," "Awkward Age," "Chrome," "Love at First Light," "Little Bit Stupid," "Blue Flame," "Dirty Martini," "Thugz 'R' Us," "Bright Grey" It only takes a little imagination to shade these titles Gay. Do you see it?
A decade before Frank Ocean's song of spurned first love for a man helped his tour in support of his album Channel Orange turn out mobs of adoring fans, and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis had their Hip-Hop Culture Can Be Hetero-Allies to Queers hit, "Same Love" (with Lesbian Mary Lambert's hook/chorus), the open secret that is Jackson's improbable closet permitted his halls full of fans to act as pick-up collaborators during his live shows, documented most tellingly on the "Is She Really Going Out with Him?" included in the limited edition version of Volume 4's bonus CD of live material from the 2002 UK tour. Heck, here's that tracklist, too. Polari-savvy readers might also infer more now than one did originally from the classic Joe Jackson titles "One More Time," "Is She Really Going Out with Him?," "On Your Radio," "Got the Time," "It's Different for Girls," and "I'm the Man" New Jersey note: The Joe Jackson Band's longtime bassist, Graham Maby, a fellow British native, resided in Milltown in the 00s. Let's just say that a great deal of my confidence about Jackson comes from having spoken to Mr Maby when he visited WRSU-FM while I worked there.
14. SILVER AGE ~ BOB MOULD (2012) "I don’t know if there’s an arc to this record," Bob Mould says. "But if I had to boil it down to one core idea, it would be: I love music. I love my life. I love what I do for a living. It’s right there on the lyric sheet; it references itself, really. More than any other record I’ve made, this one gives a real glimpse into how much making music means to me as a means of expression, as well as what music means to me as a fan." New music from Bob Mould is always reason to celebrate. I'm unapologetically fannish about him. I believe that he's one of the greatest of all under-appreciated songwriters living. On Silver Age Mould recommits to guitarchurning rock, and every track shines. He's journeyed from growly Post-Punk Rocker to Electronica/EDM innovator to Gay Men's Party DJ, has lived through those changes, exploring, investigating and investing, winding up a few levels beyond where he started. Mould takes us on a new
Page 18 road trip, engines roaring loud and irrepressible, but matured and becomingly well-worn. Mould is now a consistent conjurer of transcendent Rock. He's not rattling around, he's glowing with heat and enlightenment. Bob Mould's Silver Age is golden.
15. Q UEEN OF D ENMARK ! ~ J OHN G RANT (2010) It intimidates me. Not the album per se. Naw: Queen of Denmark is charming, creamy, with lyrics where sweet nothings and actual sweets are name-dropped unexpectedly. I join a crew of reviewers smitten by Grant's endearingly naive world of love and pain. But I'm afraid to speak aloud about it, should I break a spell. Dare I? Perhaps it's best I just point you to interviews, so Grant can speak for himself. Follow the links, and hear for yourself. May you become smitten, too. I call it The most romantic album of 2010. MOJO magazine named Queen of Denmark its #1 Album of the Year. At MOJO's interview, learn how his childhood ice cream parlor inspired the lyrics to one of the songs. (Queersighted.com calls MOJO "the leading UK glossy for rabid, mouth-breathing music fans.") So read at Queersighted how in "Sigourney Weaver" Grant "thought it was clever and funny to express that hostile environment (the vicious cruelty of classmates in his new junior high school) as Sigourney Weaver fighting the aliens, because that's exactly how I felt." How could anyone, least of all Gay Men, resist the love story of "TC And Honeybear" with a title like that? These lyrics just make you wanna go "awwww…": "For TC and his Honeybear, the world will not stop moving / For rendezvous and longing stares and hearts that won't stop burning / Before that Honeybear had given up, He felt so sad and lonely // Then one night he looked up and he saw, he saw his One and Only / When TC came onto the scene, He entered in on golden wings / And with him he brought butterflies of crimson red and emerald green" Top Songs: "TC and Honeybear," "Caramel," "I Wanna Go To Marz," Where Dreams Go To Die," "Sigourney Weaver," "Silver Platter Club," "It's Easier," "JC Hates Faggots" (Also,
see Ing, below, for more on the unexpected theme of Gay Men releasing intentionally naive opuses in 2010.)
16. M O O N ~ M ARTIN S WINGER (2011) Not only is M O O N one of the most underappreciated albums of the 21st century, Martin Swinger is one of the most underappreciated Out songwriters going. The multi-layered metaphor of the trickily unpretentious "Little Plastic Part" is the first "Whoa! Did I just hear what I thought I heard?" song among many similarly appealing MOON songs. Enjoy the gentle loving
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strengths of "From Your Gravity," "Stay With Me" and "Home To You", and the humor in "Consider the Oyster!"'s nerd-appeal and the soft tease in "My Old Shoe". Then marvel in the strongest final three songs of any album on this list: The heart-wrenching (and all too familiar) story of the "Wooden Boy," the crowd-pleasing "Betty Boop and Buddah," and the glorious, singalong folk-spiritual "Music In The Rafters." You don't know what you're missing!
17. R EMEMBER W HO I A M ! ~ G IRLYMAN (2003) Almost everyone who has ever heard them loves Girlyman. The thing is, getting anyone outside of Contemporary Folk touring circuits to hear them was a Sisyphean task. Girlyman deserve a place in the "Adult Contemporary" pantheon alongside people like David Gray and Bruce Hornsby. They certainly out-sing and creatively out-produce young turks like Mumford & Sons and The Avett Brothers, but Girlyman did their best without those band's sympathetic breaks. BEFORE THE DAWN OF THE 21ST CENTURY, A YOUNG, HONEST WORKING MAN BY DAY, A TROUBADOUR BY NIGHT, FOUND HIMSELF AMIDST THE NEWFOUND COMMUNITY OF BEARS — OFTEN FURRY, STOCKY, AND MASCULINE GAY MEN WITHOUT THE TRAPPINGS. HE SAW THAT IT WAS GOOD. THE TROUBADOUR REALIZED THAT BEARS WERE CREATING A CULTURE FOR THEMSELVES. HE SAW THAT IT COULD HAVE ITS OWN MUSIC. WHILE A FEW PREVIOUS SONGS HAD CLAIMED A STAKE, WITH HIS ALBUM BEAR NAKED THE TROUBADOUR WE NOW KNOW TO BE MARTIN SWINGER COULD BE SAID TO HAVE INVENTED THE SUBGENRE CALLED BEAR MUSIC, BY CREATING THE FIRST RANGE OF SONGS FOR AND ABOUT SELF-IDENTIFIED BEARS. A FEW ALBUMS OF MUSIC WORTH LISTENING TO LATER, AND MARTIN HAS GIVEN US THE EXTRAORDINARY ALBUM M O O N.
May 2014 They began by asserting Remember Who I Am. They ended as bigger, renewed, transformed people, like a supernova â€” with their 2012 album Supernova. Girlyman gave us six authentic, truly collaborative albums in about a decade, music made by individuals who came together to stand behind the gestalt of their name. On their worthy debut new listeners begin their discovery of that gestalt, of the Girlyman sound, of tight harmonies containing the contradictory quality of sounding like they're on the verge of pulling apart, the frisson of three songwriters committed to composing for each member of the band to shine.
18. STILL RIGHT HERE ! ~ MELISSA FERRICK (2011) All jittery ambition, "Headphones On" moves like a manifesto to face fear and truth by, revealed thru the persona of a character who only appears to want nothing more than to disappear into the holy rhythms which rattle her head beneath her 'phones. She's a force to be reckoned with, burying her broken places in her love of forces of sonic nature. I can relate. Arriving with her 1993 major label debut (featuring the perfect "Happy Song" with the perfect line she perhaps should be credited with coining: "I am sick and tired of feeling sick and tired"), Ferrick for various reasons released one uneven album after another, each with at least a couple brilliant tracks, including 1998's "Everything I Need (Is right here in my hands)" and 2000's slow-burning, highly erotic "Drive". But it was Still Right Here, her return after a hiatus to writing and recording (prompted by a New Jersey student of hers, as she details in this interview in Go! Magazine) in which everything came together. Consistently energetic and in touch with her nature, it's a strong work of songwriting and concert intimacy in a studio recording, overlooked perhaps because too many people have concluded they know what Melissa Ferrick music is already. They'll be [satisfyingly] surprised. 19. BITTERLY EVER AFTER YOU / SATURN IN RETROGRADE: THE DEATH OF A SELLOUT SLUT ~ JEREMY HENRY (2006 / 2010)
Jeremy Henry's full-length suite, Saturn in Retrograde: The Death of a Sell-Out Slut, could also be seen as the end of an era and the beginning of a new one. (Perhaps its title should be: Janus Goes Both Ways: On My Back Catalog, Facing Forward.) (It's OK: Jeremy and I have long teased each other.) It expands beyond a retrospective of his best tracks into his early discoveries of his future, now his current, path. Saturn basi-
cally expands and repackages Bitterly, now that Henry as often appears credited as Haus of Glitch as by his own name. Top Songs: "Selfish Song" IS BRILLIANT! BRILLIANT, I TELL YA'S, BRILLIANT!! [ahem.], "Streets Of New York," "You From Here"
20. SOULSEX (WRESTLING THE ANGEL |VERSATILE) ! ~ MARK WEIGLE Have you ever encountered a better word to describe the sense of the spiritual and the sensual together as one than "SoulSex"? The intimacy of Mark Weigle performing live, in person, frequently puts chills down the spine. The intimacy of Mark Weigle's soft but supple voice in your ear when this album spins could cause you to blow an erotic gasket, just like when you hear _____. (Fill in the blank with your favorite sexy singing voice, be it Barry White or Bonnie Raitt, or your true choice.) Weigle also is noteworthy for being among the pioneers of Out musicians to identify with Country music. What with Steve Grand fans, who viewed his videos over 2 million times since last year, supporting him to have the most successful new music Kickstarter campaign ever, and with Kacey Musgraves perhaps on the cusp of crossover success, the fact that Weigle, in debt accumulated from self-financing his music, was forced to shift gears and stop touring and JEREMY HENRY releasing albums, is a a.k.a. HAUS OF GLITCH lesson in nearly-lost. recent history. ''Mark Weigle's deep, flannel-warm voice is the stuff of bunkhouse fantasies, but his story-telling lyrics are so much more than seductive. They reach to the very core of what it means to be a man loving a man. If you like your hard-on with a heart on its sleeve, this is the cowboy for you.'' -Armistead Maupin. If you'd like a taste of some of his earlier music, a good place to start is to read the recent blog (February 2014) by Howard Stump.
21. GO; Go Live ~ JONSI (2010) Icelandic musician JĂłnsi Birgisson, a member of the criticallyacclaimed band Sigur
Rós, collaborates with his boyfriend on his first solo project, Go, only Jónsi's second recording in English. Go captured fans who never heard of Sigur Ros, and deserves many more. Jonsi lets loose with a voice that soars into the atmosphere, not a falsetto. With maybe the most blissfully beautiful voice I've heard in ages and some of the most similarly beautiful newborn music in existence—and some of the most mysterious and ephemerous— this unique sound is a must-listen. Go Live, recorded in England and Belgium, includes songs not on Go. Plenty happens live that doesn't replicate but simulates the studio album's sophisticated effects. By doing it that way Jonsi and band retain the immediacy of a live performance. It's a beaut. Top Songs, Go: "Boy Lilikoi" is a flittering, jittery intertwining of flutes and beats, bowings and plucks, all swelling, all gliding, like a multichambered rococo courtyard. Hyper-euphony often rises on the wings of Jonsi's gorgeous voice into a fever pitch, seeming to generate its own shine at the precise moment prior to searing its speeding elements into a harmonics-rich tonal singularity. "Go Do" is every bit the hikingdownhill pastoral as its "surrender to summer" lyric. Driven by vocals approaching boy soprano range, "Grow Till Tall" is rooted in the longer-held atmospherics familiar to Sigur Ros fans, before tipping into a staccato stampede of snares and fuzzy static." Top Songs, Go Live: "Icicle Sleeve," "Kolnidur," "Tornado," "Boy Lilikoi," "Animal Arithmetic, "Around Us"
22. 8 SONGS ABOUT A GIRL ~ DEEP DARK ROBOT (LINDA PERRY & TONY TORNAY) (2010) IT'S LINDA PERRY! DEEP DARK ROBOT IS LINDA PERRY! (Mostly…) It's a crime that this album was a commercial flop. Linda Perry has a long, gold album-studded history. A few of her dozens of credits: Her
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initial splash came with 4 Non-Blondes, writing and providing indelible vocals for their hit "What's Up?" (aka "What's going on?"). She wrote "Beautiful," among a slew of other songs recorded by a roster including Christina Aguilera, Pink, Gwen Stefani, even the Violent Femmes' Gordon Gano. But Deep Dark Robot, her new band with drummer Tony Tornay, has created a fundamentally great Rock 'n' Roll album. It's seriously caustic and punk in all the right ways: taut, thick, frustrated, bluesy, classic hard-driving Rock'n'Roll angst about a girl, written, sung, and performed by the girl who fell hard for her. Perry, only human, needed to exorcise her obsessive demons. Even when it quiets down for a stretch, as at the start of "No One Wakes Me Up Like You," the sexual tension seethes. Or on the future-classic heartbreak song "You Mean Nothing To Me," the atmosphere drips with echoes of dissonance-turned-bitterness, a Rock staple. "Can't Getcha Out Of My Mind" borrows that steamy, seething, swamp-boogie from Creedence Clearwater Revival, down to a teenaged John Fogerty raspiness when the vocals wail. But it's the gonads-to-the-wall rockers that hit hardest. Bounce along and off-thewalls, with the distressed screeches of "I'm Coming For You." "Fuck You, Stupid Bitch" takes its Dance Rock cues from Prince's "Controversy," flaunting a tough but nasty! falsetto. (A Lesbian sings falsetto. How cool is that?) And "Won't You Be My Girl?" is the best Lesbian Rock anthem since "Come To My Window." Of the band's name, Perry says, "Deep Dark Robot is an artificial agent trying to be human." Given life's complexities and the mysteries of the heart, she adds, "Aren't we all just trying to be human?" CLASSIC HARD-DRIVING ROCK'N'ROLL ANGST ABOUT A GIRL, WRITTEN, SUNG, AND PERFORMED BY THE GIRL WHO FELL HARD FOR HER
23. BUILT LIKE THAT ~ ALIX OLSON (2001) Olson touts herself as a spoken word artist, and yes that's true, but she records her work with a band. True, it's spoken word, but it comes out as songs, just as Ani DiFranco — whose voice and delivery she resembles — does on songs like "Self-Evident." Top Songs: "Checking My Pulse," "America's On Sale," "Eve's Mouth"
24. B IG F REEDIA ! ~ HITZ VOLUME 1, 1999-2010 (2010) Big Freedia channels Little Richard for the 21st Century. Freedia, Queen of Bounce music fame, performed on HBO's Treme, twerking with her fans in New Orleans clubs. Those scenes were filmed after a decade's worth of the recordings on Hitz, and years before whasername's trend-making spectacle made twerking a household term in the weirdest way. Someone had to invent it first. OK, Freedia doesn't claim to be the inventor. She, Katey Red and Sissy Nobby among other musicians, all twerked and bounced and raised Hell, good-golly-molly, since well before Hitz 1999 start date. But surely she's twerking' all-good since, leaving its breakout VMA's moment in the historical dust. Her version of "Rock Around The Clock" — Yes, the Bill Haley classic — is revelatory, the kind of revision for the post-Hip Hop generation I usually can only dream of. Here, it's a raucous reality. It's just the prime highlight of a compilation that challenges, annoys, and ultimately reveals how old your ears are. Jump to the present day, and the TV series Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce starts its second season this June on Fuse.
25. D IAL ~ I NG (2010) Once upon a time New Jersey boy Mark Smotroff and his band of chosen brothers named Ing decided to revisit the idea of "rock opera," to revive its potential and redress its reputation. Thus was born the "operock" — specifically, Dial: an Operock. Ing and guests "[encourage] people to make the most of their lives, be in the now, enjoy live theater and music, and look for the good in the world."
Insight into the audio goingson come from Michael Layne Heath's liner notes: "[I]f you’re a musician with a lifetime’s mental scrapbook... and the passion to make a unique mark, … [you want to] look beyond welltrampled playing fields, to [create] something more long-form, thematic and dig-this-maaan ambitious. [T]hat led Smotroff to…[shape] the vocal and instrumental components that make up this journeyman (and bird’s) tale: Dial. The effort exerted would be admirable even if the music wasn’t as delightful as it is. But believe me, friends, it is. Dial, in so many words, is: cinematic, Herculean, protean and highly terpsichorean, comprising a cast of searchers, seekers and sleepwalkers.... Spiritual, scary, provocative. Transporting & transforming. Optimistic & ominous. Bubblegum & acid (both the dance stream & hallucinogen), demanding of both the outer and inner space of the listener. Spruce, engaging and earwiggingly delightful. Smotroff’s is an oracular odyssey sculpted from lessons learned and audio vibes absorbed, via endless spins in Monkeemobiles & Magic Buses, with destinations as far flung as Swindon, Sausalito & Blue Jay Way." The physical CD comes with a bonus DVD featuring the accompanying video for "Astrophobia" and also features specially-segued continuous songs & Hi Resolution 96/24 audio. Smotroff, Ing's primary songwriter, is an audiophile and magazine reviewer of audiophile recordings, so that Hi resolution audio feature is no mere window dressing. Top Songs: "The Big Sleep (Wake Up)," "Drop," "Long Walk Home," "Astrophobia," "Kick Start Your Day," "Orbiting The Truth," "Somnambolution," "Pretty Bird," "Eyes Wide Open"
T HIS LIST OF "25 G REATS " WAS COMPILED FROM MEMORY. O NLY ALBUMS WHOSE QUALITIES URGED THEY BE INCLUDED WERE . O THER EQUALLY UNDER - APPRECIATED ALBUMS OF GREATNESS MAY BE ADDED IF I EVER REVISIT AND RECONSIDER THIS LIST . DOZENS OF GREAT OUT ALBUMS ARE NOT INCLUDED IN THIS LIST EITHER BECAUSE THEY ARE AS WELL - APPRECIATED AS THEY SHOULD BE ( OR ARE OVER - APPRECIATED ), OR BECAUSE I CUT OFF THE LIST AFTER EXPANDING MY ORIGINAL 21 G REAT A LBUMS OF THE 21 ST C ENTURY CONCEPT TO INCLUDE 4 MORE TITLES THAT INSISTED THEY BELONGED . I T HAD TO STOP SOMEWHERE . Y OUR RESULTS MAY VARY .
CH AL L ENG E Ma y 2 0 1 4
HONORABLE MENTIONS FOR THE NEXT 10 NOTEWORTHY ALBUMS:
SILVER WELLS ~ Justin Vivian Bond (2012) ODYSSEY ~ Fischerspooner (2005) SIRENS OF BROOKLYN ~ Robert German (2006) LEAVES OF GRASS ~ Fred Hersh / Walt Whitman (2005) TRESPASSING ~ Adam Lambert (2012) THE BILLY WHITE ACRE SESSIONS; MONSTERS ~ DUDLEY SAUNDERS (2005; 2012) MED SUD I EYRUM VID SPILUM ENDALAUST ~ Sigur Ros (2008) WILD FLAG ~ Wild Flag (2011) PRETTY ON THURSDAY ~ Leah Zicari (2004) JUST RELEASED!!!
RYAN CASSATA ~ SONGS FOR ALEXIS The documentary Songs for Alexis by Danish filmmakers is a classic coming of age love story about two passionate teenagers stuck in American suburbia. The album collects songs from Cassata's already extensive catalog, and more from the soundtrack: 1. Oh, Alexis 2. Day Dream 3. New York to California 4. Soda Cans 5. Naked (Protest Song) 6. The Rhythm 7. Together Again 8. Freedom Nation 9. Mayday 10. Hands of Hate
ABOUT THE FILM
"Ryan Cassata is a passionate and talented 18-year-old musician with long hair, a lip ring, dark glasses and loose jeans, who rarely lets his acoustic guitar slip from his side. He met his 16-year-old girlfriend, Alexis, during summer camp the year before and they fell madly in love. After appearing on a television talk show, Ryan’s popularity as a musician grows and he becomes a bit of an icon in the transgender world (he began his transition from girl to boy four years earlier). But his girlfriend’s parents disapprove of their relationship and the pair must confront the harsh realities of the adult world. Alexis will have to choose between her family and the man she loves. This is an inspiring coming of age story about two teenagers who, with surprising poise and resolve, try to assert their identities in a sometimes unwelcoming world."
EAGERLY EXPECTING GREATNESS FROM THESE ALBUMS SCHEDULED TO ARRIVE IN 2014: MICAH BARNES ~ NEW YORK STORIES BIG FREEDIA ~ JUST BE FREE ~ FEATURING "EXPLODE" ~ WITH TRACKS: 1. TURN DA BEAT UP 6. OL' LADY 2. DANGEROUS 7. WHERE MY QUEENS AT 3. N.O. BOUNCE 8. EXPLODE 4. JUMP ON IT 9. Y'TOOTSAY 5. LIFT DAT LEG UP 10. MO AZZ ROBERT GERMAN ~ SUNRISE AT THE SPEAKEASY ~ WITH TRACKS: 1. FLAPJACKS 6. MR. CARPENTIER 2. MAMA DON'T LIKE NO CHOCOLATE 7. LIFE WAS SIMPLE 3. THROW THAT BOX 8. CHICKENS AND EGGS 4. GLITTERS AND SPARKLES 9. DUCT TAPE AND SUPER GLUE 5. UNPLUG 10. ASHES AND DUST STEVE GRAND ~ A LL -A MERICAN B OY SCOTT FREE & RICK KARLIN ~ WITCHES AMONG US: THE WITCH REVOLUTION MUSICAL B R O A D WAY O R I G I N A L C A S T (Featuring Neil Patrick Harris) ~ H EDWIG & T HE A NGRY I NCH BOB MOULD ~ BEAUTY & RUIN ~ FEATURING "HEY MR GREY" & "I DON'T KNOW YOU" ALIX OLSON ~ PROTAGONIST ~ PRODUCED BY MELISSA FERRICK ~ FEATURING "DEAR 16 YEAR OLD ME" SIGUR ROS ~ AGAETIS BYRJUN JILL SOBULE ~ DOTTIE'S CHARMS ~ FEATURING "WOMEN OF INDUSTRY" & "I SWEAR I SAW CHRISTOPHER REEVE" Additions to this edition of Dancing To Architecture, including expanded links about the 25 albums, can be found in the mini-zine version of Dancing To Architecture at http://issuu.com/realman/docs . Dancing To Architecture and Media Outage ©2014 Bill Stella. All ©, ® & ™ items included for review purposes are ©, ® & ™ their respective owners. "Writing about music is like dancing about architecture."~Martin Mull "I'm dancing to architecture."~Tris McCall The stylized Q indicates albums by (or significantly contributed to by) Out Bisexuals, Gay Men, Lesbians and Transgendered persons. GAAMC is pronounced "GAY-mick".
The monthly newsletter of GAAMC.org, the Gay Activist Alliance in Morris County NJ.