CHALLENGE The Newsletter of the Gay Activist Alliance in Morris County – Serving New Jersey’s GLBTI Communities Since 1972
Volume 36, Issue 9, November 2010
Evolution, a Work in Progress by Andy Skurna
On Sunday, October 9, 2010, New York gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino read a statement prepared for him by male leaders of a religious group, for his address to an all-male audience of that same congregation. The speech was the very picture of the ignorance-driven hate we call homophobia. Mr. Paladino made a fool of himself by allowing someone else to put words in his mouth. But I am grateful to Mr. Paladino for shining a light on this topic. I am particularly grateful for statements he made when he appeared on CBS and NBC (and probably ABC) the next morning to try to clarify his personal viewpoints, in an obvious effort to save his campaign. I saw his interview on CBS's The Early Show. It was classic. Paladino clearly, albeit unwittingly, displayed his bigotry, hypocrisy, and duality. He made all the classic remarks like the fact that he knows gay people and that gay people even work for him. Paladino went so far as to say that he talks to gay people every day. He knows how terribly difficult life can be for gay people, and how we shouldn’t have to fight for our rights. He empathizes with us. He knows that gay people are born gay, and we shouldn’t be discriminated against because of who we are. These are all expressions of an intelligent, balanced, successful man. Then, the brainwashing he received as a child took over, like some demonic possession. He lost control of his mind and mouth, abandoned knowledge and lost all empathy. He repeated the superstitions and stereotypes that fester in too many households, locker rooms, classrooms, most of the popular religions, and some political parties. He went from stating that he knows gays, employs gays, talks to gays, and even feels our pain, to closed-minded paranoia. He justified some of his points by declaring that he is a Catholic, and Catholics believe that homosexuality is a sin; it is not the right choice. He implied that he is not a bad person, just a good Catholic. On National Coming Out Day he exposed his fundamental belief that gays are somehow indoctrinated or converted from being straight, contradicting his assertions of just minutes earlier, that gays are born gay and no one should discriminate against gay people. I take this as clear evidence of an internal struggle he, and many straight and gay Americans, face today.
"believe" what they hear, since that is what clerics are supposed to do...get people to believe things...even without evidence. We call it "faith." The “faithful” who bring those messages into their homes, without filtering them in any way or providing proper context, risk poisoning their children's minds against themselves and each other. This practice is repeated and reinforced by our elected officials in their stump speeches and by their thoughtless, feardriven votes. They are our representatives; they are actually representing the fear, ignorance and bias of their constituents. That is, after all, a part of what they are elected to do, right? As a result, you have the three most powerful forces, "God," family, and country, all reinforcing the same beliefs, all telling each other they are right and righteous for abusing those who are different. It is a wolf pack mentality. And any who try to fight back are clearly among the underdogs. They are branded as the liberals who are trying to break down society by destroying "family values." They speak against "God's" word. They are trying to overtake the government, so that it is no longer "by the people." And society as a whole tries to marginalize those who challenge the accepted beliefs...to drive them from the pack. Where does this come from? I never accept superficial answers to tough questions. I always ask why; then ask why, again, in an effort to get to the true source.
What makes Paladino's remarks such classics? Replace the I believe that bigotry is nothing more than a human defense word "gay" with Catholic, Chinese, mechanism, an anthropological Jewish, Negro, Irish, Protestant, leftover in our DNA. It must be Inside Challenge white, Muslim, Mexican, and there instinctual in humans; I can find no you have it, the same exact bigotry Challenge Information................. page 2 other explanation why something repeated over and over throughout GAAMC Events........................... page 2 so toxic to our peace and harmony our lifetimes… throughout history. The Bulletin Board..................... page 3 thrives millennium after millenThe only differences are the victims, This Month's Contributors............. page 3 nium. I think it is the very same the segments of the human race we We Want YOU! ...........................page 3 force that drove Homo sapiens wish to either insulate ourselves Gleanings................................. page 4 from Africa to exterminate the Nefrom, or dominate. anderthals of Europe, that perseGood Eatin'! ..............................page 5 cuted early Christians in Rome, and Calendar .................................. page 6 There is a triad of influences that PURPLE................................... page 8 is responsible for most of humancontrol society. Clerics often use Dancing to Architecture............. page 10 ity’s wars. The same fear-based fear to control their followers, who instincts carried out the Holocaust GAAMC Information................... page 12 (continued on page 8)
Page 2 CHALLENGE November 2010 CHALLENGE Volume 36, Number 9 November 2010 ISSN 0277-1675 Staff Editor .....................Allen Neuner Assistant Editor ............. Bill Stella Advertising Manager ............. open Circulation Manager ............. open List Manager ................ Sue Harris
GAAMC Events Every Monday OpenTalk Discussion Group This is a regular weekly discussion group, open to all. Moderators: Elias Scultori, Kerry Dinkin, Sherri Rase. 7:00, Library Circles-NJ Discussion Group This is a closed discussion group, lasting roughly eight weeks, with a limited number of participants. Sessions start November 15; see article, page 3. 7:00, room TBA Spirituality Group This is a group exploring both Buddhist meditation in the Rinzai/ Soto tradition (1st and 3rd Mondays) and Shaman Journeying (2nd and 4th Mondays). Sessions start November 1st; see article, page 3. 6:45, room TBA
First Monday of the Month
The deadline for all articles, inserts, and advertisements is the fifteenth of the previous month. All submissions must be provided as electronic files. E-mail submissions to Challenge @ GAAMC.org.
Mature Men's Discussion Group This is a monthly discussion group geared to men age 45 and above. Moderator: Marty Grifone. Discussion topics: November 1, "Retooling for Employment"; December 6, "Erectile Dysfunction". 7:00, Terrace Room
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 © 2010-2011 by the Gay Activist Alliance in Morris County, a 501(c)3 tax-exempt 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.
Main Events November 1: Cheese Fest returns to GAAMC! Ever wish you could actually say some of your comments out loud to a less-than-B movie? Live out loud and talk out proud when GAAMC shows one of the cheesiest films ever made, Big Trouble in Little China! Kurt Russell and Kim Cattrall star, and you get to say what you think – a great time will be had by all! Behold the Power of Cheese! November 8: Match GAYme! Remember the classic 1970s TV show? Do you feel you can match the most popular answers to serious and silly questions of the day? Join your host, Gene Rugburn, for the GAAMC version of this audience participation masterpiece! November 15: What do Mel Brooks and Donizetti have in common? Absolutely nothing, except their work will be heard in "Ward Saxton in The Bravura and the Belt", a concert by that world-renowned singer and former star of television's Sesame Street that no one has ever heard of! The Bravura and the Belt includes the works of Donizetti, Stephen Sondheim, Franz Lehar, Gounod, and Mel Brooks, from The Elixir of Love, Sweeney Todd, Werther, The Producers, Romeo and Juliet, and Urinetown! Get ready to fall on the floor laughing or holding your bladder! Just don't hold the applause! November 22: GAAMC Gives Thanks is the annual celebration where we come together as the GAAMC family to enjoy a potluck dinner that is completely provided by our members and guests. Bring the dish you’re famous for at home or volunteer to make a turkey for the dinner! Whip up some creamed onions with your Aunt Edna’s recipe, bake some bread or a dessert, make whipped potatoes, sweet potatoes, green salad — you get the idea. It’s Thanksgiving so bring enough to feed 6 of your closest or newest friends. We’ll look forward to seeing you there! November 29: GAAMC commemorates World AIDS Day, remembering those we’ve lost and recommitting ourselves to a cure for this epidemic that began more than twenty years ago. Join us for a solemn remembrance and a celebration of those still living. There will be discussions also of how to be safe and safer in this brave new world. Coming Next Month! December 6: GAAMC Chorus presents its Winter Concert! Your favorite singers form the GAAMC Chorus and they will regale you with favorites from several holidays! What a great way to start a season of winter holidays! December 13: GAAMC Elections and Gala GAAMC Holiday Show! GAAMC elects its board and officers on the second Monday of December. Make certain your membership has been renewed as you need to be a member in good standing to vote and to run! As if that wasn’t important enough, there's also the Holiday Show hosted by Mr. Scarlett O’Hara and featuring a talented group of performers — including you! Sign up now via Info @ GAAMC.org and come play the piano, sing, do a puppet show, or whatever as we all celebrate a beautiful season of love and joy!
November 2010 CHALLENGE Page 3
The Bulletin Board
This Month's Contributors
Circles-NJ offers structured discussions in a safe space. At each meeting, we choose from a list of topics and answer questions designed to promote discussion in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. The next eight-week Circles session will start November 15; members can join the group up through November 29. Participants are invited to suggest topics for discussion. For further information about Circles, contact Gordon Sauer at discussions @ gaamc.org, or call 973-3422360.
To n y P u m a : A c a r e e r i n sales/marketing/advertising and public relations influence my poetry style: less abstract and more to-the-point. Degrees from New York University and Fairleigh Dickinson University. A member of various poetry groups including Italian-American Writers Association, Red Wheel Barrow Poets, Paulinskill Poetry Project, Poets House (NYC), South Mountain Poets, and Hudson Valley Poets-on-the-Loose. A view of life through the prism of poetry; seeing, hearing, and feeling, trying to capture emotions and relate them via words.
GAAMC's new Spirituality Group begins meeting weekly starting November 1st! The group will be studying Buddhist meditation in the Rinzai/Soto tradition on the 1st and 3rd Mondays; participants are encouraged to bring their own cushions or benches. Shaman Journeying will be on the 2nd and 4th Mondays; participants are asked to bring a bandana that you are willing to cut up. For both classes, you must be present by 6:45 pm, without exception. For more information, or if you are a beginner who needs instruction, contact Sean Byrne at Spirituality @ GAAMC.org. RU Pride, the GLBT group from the Newark campus of Rutgers University, invite you to attend "Tackling Homophobia: A Conversation on Homophobia in Collegiate Sports". This panel discussion, consisting of current and former athletes who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or straight allies, tackles the prominent trnd of homophobia in athletic teams across the country, at the high school, college, and professional levels. The discussion will be immediately followed by "Building Bridges: Empowering Unlikely Allies and Understanding the Impact of Their Advocacy", presented by Hudson Taylor, a division I All-American wrestler and coach at Columbia University. Mr. Taylor, a straight ally, will be covering a wide range of topics connected to homophobia within the sports world. This free event will take place November 10th at 6 pm at the Robeson Campus Center on Martin Luther King Boulevard in Newark. Hyacinth AIDS Foundation invites you to join them in their celebration of 25 years of service to the HIV/AIDS community of New Jersey, in New Brunswick at 7 pm on November 13th! Their 25th Anniversary Gala and Silent Auction will take place at the Hyatt Regency New Brunswick, and this black-tie event promises to be "A Night to Remember"! Not only will there be dinner, cocktails, and dancing, but this year Hyacinth honors Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr.; Douglas Michels, President and CEO of OraSure Technologies; and Laurence Ganges, Assistant Commisioner of the Division of HIV/AIDS at the state Department of Health and Senior Services. To purchace tables, tickets (at $250), or advertising, contact Patrick Bocco at pbocco @ hyacinth.org, or call 732-246-0204 ext. 256. Jersey City's Chillfest Film Series continues its sixth season with Eyes Wide Open, an Israeli film exploring the tensions within a devout married man, living in an ultra-orthodox Jewish community, who is devoted to his family and his God but is also in love with a nineteen-year-old homeless Yeshiva student. Eyes Wide Open received the Best Movie award at the 2009 International Ghent Film Festival, and was submitted for competition at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival The film will be screened at LITM in Jersey City on November 14th at 4 pm. For more information, or to order tickets, go to www.chillfest.org.
Bill Realman Stella writes Dancing to Architecture because writing about music is like that. He hosted the eclectic pop music show Highest Common Denominator in his mind for twenty years before getting it on the radio for six, and will host it again. Bill has been collecting music since age 4, when for each song he'd hear on the radio, he'd ask his mom, "Do they have a record?" Making a record good enough to play on the radio remains a small miracle after all these years. If you'd like Bill to write, DJ, or promote for you, get in touch. Comments and suggestions also welcome. Please send your correspondences to bearealman @ gmail.com. The Easton Farmers' Market is the oldest farmers' market in the United States. The Market, located on Centre Square in Easton, Pennsylvania, is open on Saturdays from May through November, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Visit their website at www.eastonfarmersmarket.com.
We Want YOU! GAAMC is in need of a few good members — actually, a lot of good members — who want to move the organization forward. Be a part of guiding the course of New Jersey's longest-running activist organization by becoming a member of the Board. There is still much work to be done to reach the goal of full equality for GLBTI people, and your energy, your ideas, and your enthusiasm are the keys! Elections for the Board will be held December 13th this year. Speak to any current Board Member on a Monday night — look for the glittery star on the name tag and you'll be able to spot us right away. We'll tell you the ins and outs of how to run for a Board position! Put the DVR on, spend one night a month in the MUF Dining Room, and do something that will touch every other organization in NJ. Of a thousand points of light, we're one of the brightest. We want YOU! We need YOU! New Jersey needs YOU!
Page 4 CHALLENGE November 2010
Queer news from around the world The Jersey City City Council unanimously voted to apthe president of the Mormon anti-gay group Standard of Libpoint Radames "Ray" Velazquez to a recently-vacated aterty. (QSaltLake.com) large council seat. Velazquez is an openly gay and HIVThe Maine Human Rights Commission recently ruled a positive municipal court judge. (Jersey Journal) middle school in Orono discriminated against a transgender Chris Armstrong, the first openly gay student body student by not allowing the child to use the girls' bathpresident at the University of room. While Maine does have an Michigan, became the target Harassment Roundup anti-discrimination law, it has no of a harassing blog created 13-year-old Asher Brown shot himself state policy to guide schools on after enduring repeated anti-gay bully- how to accommodate transgender by Michigan assistant attoring at his Texas school. School officials students. ney general Andrew Shirvell. (New England Cable claimed they did not know of the bully- News) Attorney General Mike Cox ing. Brown's parents claim repeated called Shirvell "a bully" but Carl Paladino, Republican candicomplaints were ignored. defended his right to publish date for governor of New York, Rutgers freshman the blog in his free time. said he does not regret comments Tyler Clementi threw himself from Shirvell has taken a voluntary warning against children being the George Washington Bridge afleave of absence; he faces a "brainwashed" to accept homoter his roommate secretly redisciplinary hearing, and has sexuality, although he insisted he been banned from the U of M corded and broadcast a sexual enis not anti-gay. The remarks were counter between Clementi and campus. The Michigan Civil made to an audience of Orthodox another man. Rights Commission adopted a Jewish leaders. A number of GOP 13-year-old Seth Walsh died from injuresolution calling for Shirvell's ries sustained in an attempt to hang candidates for other statewide firing. Armstrong is seeking a himself. Walsh was subjected to anti- offices have rejected Paladino's restraining order against gay taunts from his California class- remarks, calling them offensive. Shirvell. (Detroit News; De(New York Times; Advocate.com) mates. troit Free Press; CNN; 11-year-old Tyler Wilson had his Ramin Haghjoo, who survived beMichiganMessenger.com) arm broken by Ohio classmates being shot by forces loyal to Iranian Nine gang members in the cause he chose to become a football leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad durBronx are accused in the cheerleader. ing the post-election uprising, has beating and torture of a 30- A woman attending the University of applied for political asylum in the year-old man and two teen Wisconsin-Whitewater was punched United States. Haghjoo escaped to boys. The victims, who were in the face by a male assailant while she was walking down Turkey, but after speaking to the burned, beaten, cut, and the street wearing a T-shirt that said "Legalize Gay." media about his escape and his sodomized, were targeted School officials in Minnesota's Anoka-Hennepin School homosexuality he fears returning to because they were believed District, where four student suicides are attributed to Tehran. (National Public Radio) to be gay. (CNN) "perceived GLBT orientation," struggle to protect GLBT Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) Gay rights activists in Salt students and to balance GLBT-inclusive policies against introduced a comprehensive imLake City staged a silent pro- offending parents and students with anti-gay religious migration bill which includes the test outside the headquarters sensibilities. Uniting American Families Act. of the Mormon church in re- In the wake of Tyler Clementi's suicide, legislation to The act would allow a United States sponse to a church leader's toughen the laws on bullying will be introduced in New citizen to sponsor his or her samecomments that homosexuality Jersey this month, but an "anti-bullying bill of rights" sex partner for naturalization. is an immoral condition that may bring a stand-off with school officials. Updates to (Washington Independent) can and should be overcome. the Assembly bill, co-sponsored by Mary Pat Angelini (RThe activists, dressed in black Monmouth) and Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen), seek A group opposed to a district to symbolize the loss of young to increase the reporting requirements for bullying in court of appeals ruling permitgay Mormons to suicide, lay schools. Glen Rock Superintendent David Verducci says ting gay people to adopt in Florhead to toe on the sidewalks districts are already over-burdened with reporting re- ida is asking the state's Attorney circling the church's downtown quirements, and while he agrees with the spirit of the General to overturn that decision. legislation, districts shouldn't be told how to run anti- Oneal Dozier and others argue campus. (Kansas City Star) bullying programs. that living in a same-sex houseWal-Mart is being criticized for Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) said he'll introduce a hold encourages children to be carrying copies of an anti-gay bill requiring colleges that accept federal money to im- gay. The state's Department of children's book at over 100 plement anti-bullying measures to protect their students. Children and Families says it is stores in the intermountain fine with the court's decision and west. Chased by an Elephant, (Houston Chronicle; WJW-TV (Cleveland); New York will not file any counter legal acthe Gospel Truth about Today's Times; KGET-TV (Bakersfield, CA); Star-Tribune tion. (WSVN (Miami)) Stampeding Sexuality was writ- ( M i n n e a p o l i s - S t . P a u l ) ; A d v o c a t e . c o m ; ten by Janice Graham, wife of TheNorthwestern.com (Oshkosh, WI); Glen Rock (NJ) (continued on page 9) Gazette)
November 2010 CHALLENGE Page 5
Recipes from the Easton Farmers' Market Grilled Apple, Walnut, Blue Cheese and Mesclun Salad Salad Ingredients: 1 apple 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese 1/4 cup walnut pieces 6 cups mesclun greens, washed and spun dry
Chive Vinaigrette Ingredients: 1 teaspoon minced shallot 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 1 lemon, juiced Salt Freshly ground pepper 2-3 tablespoons olive oil 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
Preheat your grill to high heat. In a bowl whisk together the shallot, mustard, lemon juice, salt and pepper. While whisking vigorously, stream in the olive oil until you have a nice emulsion. Whisk in chives. Taste the dressing and adjust for salt and pepper if necessary.
the grate. Grill for about 2 minutes with the lid closed and then flip the apples. The apple slices should be soft but still have enough texture to be flipped. Put the walnuts on the grill as well and cook apples for another 90 seconds. Flip the walnut package over and turn off the grill. Remove the apples and the walnuts. Open the walnut package; they should be toasted and fragrant but not burnt.
Wash the apple and slice it into 1/4″ slices. Toss with a tablespoon of the salad dressing. Grab a piece of aluminum foil big enough to wrap the walnuts in. Place walnuts in aluminum foil and seal. Oil your grill and put the apple slices on the grill. Be careful, as they will most definitely want to try and fall down
Tear the greens into bite size pieces. In a large salad bowl layer greens, then the grilled apple slices, blue cheese and walnuts. Toss with the dressing a few minutes before you are ready to serve. Serves 2 to 4.
Roasted Garlic & Butternut Squash Soup 1 butternut squash 4 cloves of garlic Salt Pepper 4 sprigs of thyme 1 yellow potato
2 ½ cups chicken broth ¼ cup plain yogurt ¼ cup caramelized onions 2 teaspoons finely chopped parley Olive oil
Preheat oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Brush cut side of butternut and garlic with olive oil. Tuck garlic and thyme in cavity and place on baking sheet cut side down. Cook until tender (about 45 minutes). Boil the potato until tender and set aside. Peel the squash and cut
into large pieces. Discard the thyme. Puree the squash, garlic, potato, and chicken broth in a blender. Season with salt and pepper. Heat on stove top until warm, divide into bowls and top with yogurt, onions, and parley.
Blueberry Lemon Bars For the crust: 1 cup butter, softened 1 cup powdered sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 cups all-purpose flour Cooking spray
For the filling: 1/2 cup granulated sugar 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour Juice and zest of 1 lemon 1/8 teaspoon salt 3 eggs 2 cups fresh blueberries
In a medium bowl, mix the sugar, flour, lemon zest, and salt. Add the eggs and lemon juice, then whisk until smooth.
duce the oven to 350 F.
Heat the oven to 400 F. Coat a 9-inch square baking dish with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer on low to beat together the butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla until fluffy. Add the flour and beat until the mixture forms small crumbs. Press about two-thirds of the crumb mixture evenly over the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Set the remaining mixture aside. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until lightly browned. Re-
Spread the blueberries in an even layer over the crust. Pour the filling over the blueberries. Sprinkle the reserved crumb mixture evenly over the top. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the crumb topping is golden and the filling is puffed. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. Cut into squares. Serves 15.
Page 6 CHALLENGE November 2010
November 2010 Calendar
Recurring Contact Information
* Hackensack Peer Support Groups: 800-508-7577; www.njbuddies.org † Pride Center, Highland Park: 732-846-2232; www.pridecenter.org ‡ Hudson County Peer Support Groups: 201-963-4779; HudsonPride.org λ LGBT Center Rainbow Lounge, Princeton: www.princeton.edu/lgbt ♦ Jersey Shore Q-Spot, Asbury Park: www.jsqspot.org Monday – Friday 9:00 am to 1:00 pm - HIV testing, Asbury Park; 800-947-0020 9:00 am to 11:00 am - The Daily Grind coffeehouse, Princetonλ 10:00 am to 5:00 pm - HiTOPS Health Center, Princeton; www.hitops.org; 609-683-5155 x 211 Every Monday 7:00 pm - GAAMC, Morristown (see page 2) 10:30 am - The Wellness Community, Newark; 973-5650300; info @ hyacinth.org 2:00 pm - Sex in the Center, Princetonλ 7:00 pm - Bowling, Union; merenl @ comcast.net 7:30 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 7:30 pm - Overeaters Anonymous, Pride Center† 8:00 pm - Bowling, Green Brook; 732-388-3548; qcrollers @ aol.com Every Tuesday 12:30 pm - The Wellness Community, Newark; 973-5650300; info @ hyacinth.org 3:00 pm - Youth Connect, Jersey City‡ 4:00 pm - Treatment Adherence Support Group, Jersey City; 201-432-1134; info @ hyacinth.org 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, Hackensack* 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
Every Wednesday 10:30 am - The Wellness Community, Jersey City; 201432-1134; info @ hyacinth.org 2:00 pm - "Generation Q", WRSU 88.7 FM; wrsu.org 3:00 pm - Youth Connect, Jersey City‡ 6:00 pm - Positive People peer support group, Hackensack* 7:30 pm - Men’s Living Out group, Pride Center; njwarrior @ aol.com† 7:30 pm - Gay Men’s Coming Out group, Pride Center; njwarrior @ aol.com† Every Thursday 3:30 pm - Youth Connect, Jersey City‡ 6:00 pm - Pride Thursdays, Hard Grove Cafe Bar, Jersey City; jclgo.org 6:00 pm - Our Youth weekly support group, Jersey City; www.myspace.com/our_youth 6:30 pm - Double Jeopardy peer support group, Hackensack* 6:30 pm - Living Beyond HIV Men's peer support groups, Jersey City‡ 7:00 pm - C.R.A.V.E., Jersey City‡ 7:00 pm - Sexual Assault Survivor Support, Princeton; www.hitops.org 7:30 pm - Rainbows on Cleveland Street, Orange; 973256-5936; rbowsoncleveland @ aol.com 7:30 pm - Writers Group, Pride Center† Every Friday 3:00 pm - Youth Connect, Jersey City‡ Every Sunday 10:30 am - MCC of Christ the Liberator, North Brunswick; 732-846-8227; mccliberator @ excite.com Noon - St. Francis of Assisi Church, Glen Ridge; 973-7317765; stfrancisnj.org 2:30 pm - Liberation in Truth Unity Fellowship Church, Newark; 973-621-2100
01 Mon 6:00 pm - LGBT International Student Dinner, Princetonλ 7:00 pm - Support Group for Lesbians with Cancer, New Brunswick; 732-235-6781; slirzero AT umdnj.edu 7:00 pm - Lesbian Hot Topics, Jersey Shore Q-Spot♦
7:30 pm - Alternate Thursdays, Montclair; kjdinkin @ comcast.net 7:30 pm - Coffee Night, Edison; njlgh.onefireplace.com 8:00 pm - Play, Freud's Last Session; www.meetup.com/North-Jersey-Primetimers/calendar
02 Tue 4:00 pm - HIV Testing & Needle Exchange, Jersey City‡ 6:00 pm - Gay Pride Business Network, New Brunswick; www.gpbn.net 7:00 pm - ComeOUT & Play, Pride Center† 7:00 pm - Quesdays, Jersey Shore Q-Spot♦ 7:30 pm - LGBT Fellowship, Belleville; 973-751-0616 7:30 pm - PCNJ Board of Trustees meeting, Pride Center†
05 Fri 7:00 pm - Positive Women peer support group, Hackensack* 7:00 pm - Under the Rainbow, Pride Center† 7:00 pm - Karaoke Party, Pride Center† 8:30 pm - Time for Me, Pride Center†
03 Wed 7:30 pm - Gay Dad's Coming Out/Support Group, Pride Center† 04 Thu 7:00 pm - jsQspot Book Q-LUB, Jersey Shore Q-Spot♦ 7:00 pm - JCLGO monthly meeting, Jersey City; www.jclgo.org
06 Sat 2:30 pm - First and Third for GLBTI youth, Princeton; 609683-5155; www.HiTOPS.org 07 Sun Noon - Plot and Plan with Soup and Sandwiches, Metuchen; njlgh.onefireplace.com 4:00 pm - Dignity Metro NJ Mass, Maplewood; 973-8574040; Dignitymetronj @ msn.com 6:30 pm - Gay Men’s Opera Club; 732-249-9034; hagol @ msn.com
November 2010 CHALLENGE Page 7 08 Mon Noon - "Underlying Conditions: A Prehistory of AIDS", Princetonλ 7:00 pm - Youth Initiative Teenager's Meetings, Jersey Shore Q-Spot♦ 7:30 pm - PFLAG of Morris County, Mendham; 973-7275288; pflag.morris @ verizon.net 7:30 pm - PFLAG, Princeton; 609-663-5155; www.pflagprinceton.org 09 Tue Noon - "Out in the Job Search", Princetonλ 8:00 pm - Lesbians and Gay Men of New Brunswick, Pride Center† 10 Wed 6:00 pm - "LGBT and Religious or Seeking or Questioning", Princetonλ 6:00 pm - Gay Pride Business Network, Asbury Park; www.gpbn.net 6:00 pm - "Tackling Homophobia", Newark (see Bulletin Board, page 3) 7:00 pm - North Jersey Prime Timers' monthly meetup; www.meetup.com/North-Jersey-Primetimers'; 201-841-0826 7:30 pm - TGLCA monthly meeting, Trenton; 609-3969788; tglca @ aol.com 9:00 pm - Dine with Pride, Metuchen ; jennifer.horsey @ cit.com 11 Thu 6:30 pm - LGBT Pride Dinner, Princetonλ 7:00 pm - Qspot Book Club, Jersey Shore Q-Spot♦ 7:30 pm - PFLAG of North Jersey, South Orange; 908-7897489; pflagwaver @ aol.com 12 Fri 7:30 pm - NJ LGBT Cancer Support Group, Pride Center† 8:00 pm - Fashion Show Slide Presentation, Pride Center†
13 Sat 1:00 pm - Youth Drop-In, Pride Center† 7:00 pm - Movie Social, Pride Center† 7:00 pm - Hyacinth 25th Anniversary Social, New Brunswick (see Bulletin Board, page 3) 7:30 pm - Dignity New Brunswick gay Catholic liturgy; 732968-9263; dignitynb @ earthlink.net 14 Sun 1:30 pm - PFLAG Northern New Jersey, South Orange; 973-267-8414; www.pflagnorthjersey.org 4:00 pm - Chillfest film festival, Jersey City (see Bulletin Board, page 3) 6:00 pm - Gay Men’s Classical Song Club, Kingston; pbrown02 @ worldnet.att.net 15 Mon 7:00 pm - Support Group for Lesbians with Cancer, New Brunswick; 732-235-6781; slirzero @ umdnj.edu 7:00 pm - Lesbian Hot Topics, Jersey Shore Q-Spot♦ 7:30 pm - "State of the LGBTQ Movement", Princetonλ 16 Tue 4:00 pm - HIV Testing & Needle Exchange, Jersey City‡ 7:00 pm - Movie Night, Jersey Shore Q-Spot♦ 7:00 pm - ComeOUT & Play, Pride Center† 7:30 pm - Lesbian Alliance of Princeton; 609-924-8174; Loisj @ msn.com 7:30 pm - PFLAG of Hunterdon County, Flemington; 908752-1370; pflaghc @ yahoo.com 8:00 pm - PFLAG of Bergen County, Paramus; 201-2870318; www.bergenpflag.org 8:00 pm - NJ Women, Secaucus; info @ njwomen.org
17 Wed 6:00 pm - Queering the Color Line Family Dinner, Princetonλ 7:30 pm - United in Grace discussion/support group, Jersey City; 201-946-0650; greg.perez @ comcast.net 8:00 pm - Havurah board meeting, Highland Park; njlgh.onefireplace.com 18 Thu 7:00 pm - GAAMC board meeting, Morristown; all GAAMC members are invited to attend. 7:30 pm - Transgender Day of Remembrance, Princetonλ 7:30 pm - NJ Women Coming Out Support Group, Pride Center† 7:30 pm - PFLAG of Northwest NJ, Sparta; 973-729-9909 19 Fri 7:00 pm - Positive Women peer support group, Hackensack* 7:00 pm - NJ Furries Art Workshop, Pride Center† 7:30 pm - Dignity New Brunswick social; 732-968-9263; dignitynb @ earthlink.net 8:00 pm - Out of the Box open mic night, The Cave, 19-21 Second Avenue, Highland Park (sign-up begins 7:30) 8:00 pm - Shabbat service, Edison; njlgh.onefireplace.com 9:00 pm - DJ Chiono Dance Party, Pride Center† 20 Sat 2:30 pm - First and Third for GLBTI youth, Princeton; 609683-5155; 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 7:00 pm - OA Games Night, Pride Center† 21 Sun 11:00 am - Havurah trip to Canstruction© New York City; njlgh.onefireplace.com 4:00 pm - Dignity Metro NJ Mass, Maplewood; 973-8374040; Dignitymetronj @ msn.com 4:00 pm - TrueSelves trans support group, Pride Center† 22 Mon 4:30 pm - "I Am Desi and Queer", Princetonλ 7:00 pm - Funny Bingo, Jersey Shore Q-Spot♦ 7:30 pm - Film, Strella: A Woman's Way, Princetonλ 8:30 pm - Meditation Group, Pride Center† 23 Tue 3:00 pm - Health Center Drop-In, Princetonλ 8:00 pm - Lesbians and Gay Men of New Brunswick, Pride Center† 24 Wed 6:00 pm - Gay Pride Business Network, Asbury Park; www.gpbn.net 25 Thu 7:00 pm - Gay Men's Hot Topics, Jersey Shore Q-Spot♦ 26 Fri 7:00 pm - Rock Hero, Pride Center† 27 Sat 1:00 pm - Youth Drop-In, Pride Center† 2:00 pm - Youth Support Group, Pride Center† 7:00 pm - Gay Bowling, Asbury Lanes, Asbury Park; 732776-6160 7:00 pm - Games Night & Dessert, Pride Center† 28 Sun 1:00 pm - Rainbow Book Group Discussion, Jersey City; www.jclgo.org
Page 8 CHALLENGE November 2010
Evolution, a Work in Progress (continued from page 1)
and lynched African-Americans just in the last century. All of these examples are outrages that were perpetrated against minorities. In 2010, to most of the human race, these atrocities seem incomprehensible. Most of us have evolved and now allow our intellect to override baseless fear. But sadly, our species is still being controlled by the same instinct, which is what gives us the capacity to hate and kill. It is what drove Saddam Hussein to attack the Kurds with nerve gas; it fuels the genocides taking place in various regions of Africa. It is a prime reason gangs control populations of Los Angeles and too many of our cities. Without it, we wouldn’t be at war in Afghanistan. It is the genesis for all terrorism. There must be a very close link to “survival of the fittest.” The preamble to the United States Constitution reads: "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America." "[I]n Order to form a more perfect Union" does not mean we have formed a perfect Union. Perhaps Americans need to be reminded that all societies, whether their foundations are based on faith, race, geography, or any other commonality, are all works in progress. We need to reassert our individual independence, and resist the forces of instinct and the pack mentality. Let us call upon the powers of intellect to combat the evil forces of fear and ignorance.
Let us not allow ourselves to be driven from the pack. Rather, let us bring enlightenment to the pack, in an effort to improve its chances of survival. The true activists of the world are those who have the power to override their fears, to think for themselves, and to return to their packs (families, schools, houses of worship, governments) with courage and conviction, sharing what they have learned. In this way true activists help the human race, by making us all more fit.
by Tony Puma Purple is a color odd worn to mourn and pride. For those who are with God for being gay, chose suicide. For being born, like I with love for same. For those choosing not to die for those choosing not to shame.
KEVIN P. SUSZKO, PC Certified Public Accountant
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November 2010 CHALLENGE Page 9
(continued from page 4) A rally was held at a North Carolina shopping center to rioters were thought to be young soccer fans whose groups have support a lesbian couple who were removed from the prop- been infiltrated by neo-Nazi organiations. Over 100 people were erty. 29-year-old Caitlin Breedlove and her girlfriend were hurt in the clash. (Associated Press) asked to leave Cameron Village shopping center in Raleigh by a security guard who observed the couple holding hands The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a study stating that one in five men and kissing. The owners who have sex with men in the US of the property apolo"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Roundup has HIV, but only half of them are gized to the couple, susHouse Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said the policy will "just aware of it. In the 21-city study, pended the guard, and be a sad memory" after this year, adding repeal "will happen Baltimore has the highest rate of agreed to give all their with or without Congress." HIV infection â€” 38%; Atlanta, with security personnel antiWhite House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, while restating a 6% infection rate, has the lowest. discrimination training. President Obama's firm belief that the policy should be ended, See www.ActAgainstAIDS. org or (MyNC.com (Raleigh/ did not say how that would happen if lawmakers www.CDC.gov/hiv/ for more inforDurham)) are unable to act after the mid-term elections. mation. (Washington Post) Judge Virginia Phillips refused to stay implemenTen states have filed tation of her decision; the Department of Justice Transgender golfer Lana Lawbriefs advising the Ninth is now asking the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to less is suing the Ladies ProfesCircuit Court of Appeals to issue a stay. sional Golf Association, which overturn a lower court Marine Lt. Dan Choi, told by recruiters he was banned her after adopting rules ruling finding California's too old to re-enlist in the Marines, enlisted in the limiting participation to women Proposition 8 unconstituArmy as a specialist instead. who were "female at birth." tional. Alabama, Florida, The Defense Department said it would comply with Judge Lawless said, "I am, in all reIdaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, South Carolina, Phillips' order to stop discharging personnel under the policy spects, legally, and physically Utah, Virginia, and Wyo- while the government appeals the decision, but advised gay femaleâ€Śthe LPGA should not be ming argue that same-sex and lesbian soldiers against revealing their sexual orientation permitted to come into California and blatantly violate my marriage is not a funda- until appeals of the judge's order are resolved. The Department also ruled that openly gay men and lesbians rights." (PinkNews.co.uk) mental right. (San Jose could enlist during this period. Mercury News) President Obama, addressing young people at a town-hall- The ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives, said to be the naThe European Court of style setting, vowed that the policy "will end on my watch." tion's largest collection of historic GetEQUAL, a group of LGBT activists, Human Rights ruled Rusmaterial and books related to staged a volley of highly-visible protests, sian authorities were in homosexual and transgender life, stopping traffic in Las Vegas, occupying the violation of the European is being donated to USC's library Convention on Human Capitol rotunda in Washington, and chalsystem. The collection, considRights when they banned lenging President Obama at a Democratic ered an independent entity until Congressional Campaign Committee fundGLBT Pride demonstranow, has been housed rent-free raiser in Miami. The protestors held signs tions in Moscow from in a USC-owned building near the 2006 to 2008. The ruling demanding the commander -in-chief issue Los Angeles campus for the past is seen as a victory for an executive order ending discharges under decade. (Los Angeles Times) the policy. Russian GLBT activists Senator John McCain (R-AZ) said he would and an embarrassment Jersey City Lesbian + Gay Outfor the Russian govern- again block passage of a bill containing a reach (JCLGO) voted unanirepeal of the policy, "until we have a thorment. (PinkNews.co.uk) mously to close their doors, ough and complete study on the effect of GetEQUAL moving the Jersey City Pride Russian gay rights pro- morale and battle effectiveness." co-founder festival and all other JCLGO testors were allowed to As of press time, the Ninth Circuit Court of Kip Williams pride events under the auspices picket the offices of a Appeals issued a temporary stay of Judge PhilSwiss airline in Moscow. lips' order pending further review before making a final decision of Hudson Pride Connections Center. JCLGO co-founder Paul This is seen as a sign that on a stay pending appeal. authorities could be more The Pentagon has revised its procedures for discharging Mendoza said, "This move is the tolerant of the city's GLBT servicemembers under the "don't ask, don't tell" policy. Ap- next great step for our commuA thank-you event for movement, now that proval of a discharge can only be made with the approval of nity." JCLGO volunteers is planned for longtime anti-gay Mayor the appropriate service branch secretary, and only in consulth at The Cage in November 13 Yuri Luzhkov has de- tation with the department's general counsel and the UnderHoboken. Challenge congratuparted. (Associated Press) secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness. lates Hudson Pride Connections Police in Belgrade, Serbia (Washington Independent; Advocate.com; Washington Post; USA To- C e n t e r o n t h i s m i l e s t o n e . battled anti-gay rioters day; Edge Publications (Boston); Huffington Post; Las Vegas Sun; (HudsonPride.org) while GLBT advocates Reuters; San Francisco Chronicle; MetroWeekly (DC)) gathered for a Pride march in a downtown park. The
Page 10 CHALLENGE November 2010
Dancing to Architecture
Music reviews & news with a Queer ear by Bill Realman Stella Announcing a new feature for readers of Dancing To Architecture! Look for it below at the ⚧ symbol. And last month's SPECIAL OFFER — The Giveaway — is extended. Find it below, too; look for the arrow ➡ . I am committed to making Dancing To Architecture unique, unlike nearly every other review column I've ever read. I'm inspired by legendary former Village Voice music columnist Robert Christgau's Consumer Guide to have as broad a scope as I can, but I'm not so stingy with my grades. I hope you'll join me and we'll discover plenty of great new music together. Go ahead: Take me up on my "special offer," follow links to the bands' websites with DTA online, and email me with your thoughts.
Favorite Albums of 2010 — So Far, Part 2
Listed in alphabetical order by artist's last name or band name (sans "The")
anarchist, but the politics were too convenient.…but then the scene got too rigid. It was a mob mentality, they set their rifle sights on me.… [Y]ou want me to surrender my identity. I was a teenage anarchist. The revolution was a lie."
I recognize that journey. I'd like to meet him, and definitely want to hear more from him — Don't you? Top Songs: "Teenage Anarchist," "Rapid Decompression," Ache With Me," "Suffocation"
Bad Religion ~ The Dissent of Man
30 years into their career, Bad Religion still want to pick up the gauntlet The Clash laid down when they split. Undistilled lyrics railing against the frustrating bullshit of the status quo with pure punk thrash still predominate — and Bad Religion dominates Modern Punk like few else. But as if to hide their skills the back-end songs have bulletin-like lyrics and the bouncing melodies The Clash proudly employed throughout London Calling, plus harmonies The Turtles, Hall & Oates or Green Day would admire. "Someone To Believe," "Cyanide," "Turn Your Back On Me," "Where The Fun Is" and almost ¾ of "Ad Hominem" are well-honed pop-punk-rockers that could appeal to open-minded fans of any of those bands. Green Day, huh… I wonder, is Bad Religion Broadway bound? Top Songs: "Cyanide," "Where The Fun Is," "Won't Somebody," "Pride and Pallor," "Turn Your Back On Me," "Ad Hominem," "The Devil In Stitches"
Dancing To Architecture presents Part 2 of the Preview of the (More than) 50 Favorite Top 10 Albums of 2010 list coming in December's DTA. The big December issue of Challenge will contain a colQ Bitch ~ Blasted! umn listing more than every album covered in this issue and the last, but Indiefolk wordplay and rockin' violins, self-proclaimed "Theatrical ranked 1 to 10, with each position describing a level of high quality. For Punk," —What's not to love? RIYL: Ani DiFranco, Laurie Anderson now, this month's portion of the expanded Top Songs: "Kitchen," "Lost You," "Open year-end compilation continues to list as many Who wrote: "No matter how life is today... Up," "Punk-chew-ation," "Bugs," "Blasted!" of the year's noteworthy releases as will fit. Q Brady Earnhart ~ so few things I won’t let another moment slip away… ➡ Special offer EXTENDED to ALL GAAMC MEMBERS: I'll email any one MP3 you request There’s a crack in the gutter where a flower grows Pure songwriting mastery. Top-notch poetic FREE of your choice from most of the albums Reminding me that ever ything is possible lyrics, entrancing melodies, understated apt arrangements. If he sang stronger and his on this or last month's list (subject to availability, as they say). Write me at bearealman @ Reminding me that nothing is impossible." ? acoustic guitar stayed in tune longer, wishes Find "The Sound of Sunshine" and find out. would come true. RIYL: Nick Drake, acoustic gmail.com. All mp3s are good-enough quality, Bob Dylan Top Songs: "Wild Nights," "As You but not paid-for quality. This offer is meant as Were," "Everywhere," "Elkton," "Lullaby" a promotion of good music, not to deprive musicians of income. This stylized Q indicates albums by, or contributed to by, out bisexual, ✩ Michael Franti & Spearhead ~ The Sound of Sunshine A month has come and gone, yet every time I hear "Hey Hey Hey," or gay, lesbian, or transgendered creators. Some entries have a RIYL (Recsimply read the lyric, I allow Michael Franti to save my life another day. It ommended If You Like), a short list of artists who share styles similar to touches that deep, that real. It's a gift I give myself, and short of somethat entry's. "Top Songs" are tracks I love. Start your listening with these, one requesting a copy to listen to (no one has) the only way to explain it find their samples online first, or focus on buying these songs if (let's be is to give you a big chunk of the lyric. real) the entire album doesn't click with you. Speaking of online:
⚧Announcing a new feature for readers of Dancing To Architecture.
In the online version of Challenge at issuu.com this column has links to nearly every album listed. Just hover your mouse over the artist and album title for the artist's website, or hover over the Top Songs: for where to buy the album. You can find those links, and read more about albums previously reviewed — indicated with a star: ✩ — in back issues of Challenge posted at http://issuu.com/gaamc Get a jump on your holiday shopping with these suggestions for the best in new listening pleasures:
Against Me! ~ White Crosses
Tom Gabel, the core creator within the band Against Me!, is writing short prose stories, rich with the poetry a good short story demands, and has set them in modern rock song-styles. Just a sampling of those styles: The band borrows from classic Springsteen on "Because of the Shame," adding blockier chords; shakes classic Def Leppard tropes loose to sprinkle into "Suffocation," raises "Rapid Decompression" into the best Buzzcocks song they never wrote; crosses The Zombies' garage pop with Sam Cooke's "Chain Gang" hook on "Ache With Me;" and wants for a gymnastic voice to add to the arena-ready rock of "We're Breaking Up." The wondrous contradiction of White Crosses is that, in a rare instance of the exception making the rule irrelevant, the rock-infused melodies and purpose-charged, literary lyrics don't fit each other, seem mis-matched and acting at cross-purposes at first. But each tells its story so compellingly they sink their claws into your attention. The stories the lyrics tell, the stories charging ahead on legs of hard rock riffs so well-worn as to sound like folk songs, are stories that never promise more than they deliver, miniature word-riff-pictures of people one learns to like even as they hang their wounds out for all to see. I recognize this guy: "I was a teenage anarchist, looking for a revolution. I had the style, I had the ambition. I read all the authors, I knew the right slogans. There was no war but the class war. I was ready to set the world on fire. I was a teenage anarchist, looking for a revolution. Do you remember when you were young and you wanted to set the world on fire? I was a teenage
"When I wake up in the morning all I do is pray / For some guidance and protection on the streets today / And an answer to the questions I ask everyday // So tell me why do the birds that used to fly here / Tell me why do they come to die here / And all the kids that used to run here / Tell me why do they load their guns here // I remember, in the days when / We were one heart, no need to defend / I just wrap my arms around / Don’t give up, this song is for you // Hey, hey, hey, no matter how life is today / There’s just one thing that I got to say / I won’t let another moment slip away // From the tops of the buildings to the streets below / From the Wall Street banks to the empty homes / Between the lines of the people standing all in a row / There’s a crack in the gutter where a flower grows / Reminding me that everything is possible / Yeah reminding me that nothing is impossible / You gotta live for the one that you love you know / You gotta love for the life that you live you know."
To the rest of the album: On one hand, half are just as boundary pushing and inspirational as any of his astonishing catalog from the previous decade. (See the Top Songs list, below.) On the other hand, unfortunately the other five songs have a same-y -ness, an un-extraordinariness — all right, they're average, I admit it. Guilty pleasures, at best; somewhat disappointed. Hopefully it gains him more happy fans. But Franti fundamentally retains his identity, so he gets to add financial well-being to the spiritual happiness he projects. RIYL: John Lennon, Stevie Wonder, The Clash, Prince, The Roots. You can still hear the entire album streaming at www.tinyurl.com/frantitsos Top Songs: "Hey Hey Hey (No Matter How Life Is Today)," "The Sound Of Sunshine," "The Thing That Helps Me Get Through," "Shake It," "Headphones"
Grinderman ~ Grinderman 2
Now this is edgy music, music for tribal rituals, music for casting out demons. Damn, but it's good, like steam, like a sweat house, like dervish dancing. "Grinderman" explicitly describes the amplified steel clashing against itself, threatening all words in place, then searing through the ground to be recast into the next cut. It's loose. It's inventive. It's a new kind of Blues. Top Songs: Featured song & first video "Heathen Child" has almost instantly been remixed as "Super Heathen Child," featuring Robert Fripp's (King Crimson) unique guitar let loose, "Bellringer Blues," "Mickey Mouse & The Goodbye Man," "Worm Tamer"
November 2010 CHALLENGE Page 11
Q Elton John, Leon Russell ~ The Union
I utterly defer to David Fricke's masterful review in Rolling Stone (#1116, October 28,2010, also online of course). Russell is one of the masters that the Rock Hall of Fame seems determined to overlook (preferring ABBA fergawdsakes). His command of multiple styles — backwater bar blues, elegant New Orleans syncopation, British dance hall, Tin Pan Alley — all combined into a unique compositional voice (one of his songs was the Carpenters' hit "Superstar") and, with his unique singing voice, a handful of underappreciated but confident releases under his own name after providing an essential element to the appeal of some of the best releases by Joe Cocker and George Harrison. Elton John's earliest successes obviously sprang as hyper evolutions of Russell's solid musical persona. The two of them together? This is the best new collaboration of the year. Moreover, superstar producer T Bone Burnett manned the board. Top Songs: “Gone to Shiloh,” "There's No Tomorrow," "Monkey Suit"
Freedy Johnston ~ Rain On The City
Why there isn't room for plenty of Freedy songs on a popular radio or web station mystifies me. Staccato strings strummed, boisterous buoyant observations and quiet music with resilient strength co-exist on an altogether classy album of optimistic songs clad in cautious garb. Top Songs: "Don't Fall In Love With A Lonely Girl," "Lonely Penny," "Livin' Too Close To The Rio Grande," "The Kind Of Love We're In," "It's Gonna Come Back To You"
Kings Of Leon ~ Come Around Sundown
When is a band's fifth album their sophomore slumper? When their fourth album was huge. I'd like not to be in reactive disappointment mode, but the hype is too disproportionate. It's not bad music, it's just not the second coming, nor a second helping of Only By The Night. The investors are speaking: Millions have been plowed into Kings of Leon by record companies, radio stations, music media of all stripes, promoters and venues worldwide. With tens of millions of songs sold, a bona fide rock and roll band has broken through to a mainstream audience in these decidedly un-rock-n-roll, rockiest of times. The investment must be protected; the machine protects itself. The Kings are proclaimed the U2 of our time! Hold on now: As these songs play all I keep thinking is "It'd be so easy to turn this stuff into Muzak." So what? you might ask, All those Beatles songs were Muzak'd. But their performances had to be significantly tamed, especially the love song vocals, which were turned from sincere to sappy. But a string section could play "Pyro"'s melody intact — or anything on Come Around Sundown really. No taming necessary, just mute the reverb and dampen the distortion. If an entire album of songs aspiring to "Lite" rock hit status (like 90s Aerosmith or Nickelback) is your desire, here's the album for you. Put it on repeat, and pretend no other modern rock exists. Top Songs: "Pickup Truck," "No Money," "Pony Up"
Hilary Kole ~ You Are There
Ms. Kole, a poised, sultry torch singer, duets with 11 jazz pianists on 13 standards. Top Songs: "If I Had You (w/Hank Jones)," "Lush Life (w/ Kenny Barron)," "Softly, As In A Morning Sunrise (w/ Benny Green)"
Q Cyndi Lauper ~ Memphis Blues
Inhabiting territory similar to what Candye Kane has performed so successfully in for 15 years, Lauper makes room for her inimitable voice in the realm of the bluesy little big band. Allen Toussaint is featured on three tracks, joined also by B.B. King on one of those, "Early In The Morning." RIYL Toussaint, Candye Kane, Wanda Jackson, Ray Charles. Top Songs: "Romance In The Dark," "Early In The Morning," "Down So Low," "How Blue Can You Get" (w/ blues guitar & vocals by Johnny Lang)
OK Go ~ Of The Blue Colour Of The Sky
Don't hate them because their videos are beautiful. Where every other album I heard this year seemed to think their miscellaneous noises and noodlings and machine-cold-generated sounds were somehow "experimental" or "artistic," OK Go astonishes with how effective a well-placed noodling can be, how emotional a well-tweaked generated sound can be, how compositionally rich mining the untapped veins of pop music can be. They're a fun band to see in concert too. Give them credit for going where no man has gone before but seeming like it's business as usual: David Bowie never pulled off as great a persona. Top Songs: "Skyscrapers," "WTF," "Needing Getting," "This Too Shall Pass (When The Morning Comes)," "White Knuckles"
Graham Parker ~ Imaginary Television
Is Graham Parker thinking outside of “the box,” or from inside it? Unsure which, but he sounds as lanky if not as ornery as ever. Since the New Wave era this
favorite curmudgeon of Rock has always gotten antsy around artifice. Good thing all of us have an honest reporter like Parker to draw on from time to time. He can still write lyrics which cause one to inhale sharply upon first exposure. Top Songs: "Weather Report," "It's My Party (But I Won't Cry)," "See Things My Way," "1st Responder"
Q John Raymond Pollard ~ Deep in the Red
/ Black & Blue: Songs for a Great Depression; Disk Covered 80s
"Shelter" from DITR/B&B:Songs for a Great Depression (whew!) has the feel of waves lapping a shore and breezes running through its veins. No drowning in tears on "Well of Sorrow," a song that makes real the sound of a veil lifting as the beginning pangs of healing propels one out of depression. Atmospheric swells, crackling pebbly textures and sultry shimmers resonate through the tracks, and makes the album percolate. On Disk Covered 80s, Pollard covers hit songs from the 80s. "Caribbean Queen" always seemed destined to be covered by an out gay man, so: It's about time! Very cleverly, he hears shared chord progressions as an opportunity to link The Eurhythmics' "Sweet Dreams" with INXS's "Need You Tonight" as a medley — performed as a duet! In addition to the Latin touches, the sound of coins dropping on The Pet Shop Boys' "Opportunities" (also known as "Let's make lots of money") is a brilliant touch. Pollard uses unexpected, often everyday sounds musically on both albums — not as sound effects or even as percussive hooks but as elements in themselves. By successfully employing such sounds, Pollard moves into a leading edge of 2010's musical zeitgeist, making "non-musical noises" positively musical. I hope the trickle of examples becomes a trend. Rediscoveries await. Top Songs: "Shelter," "Well Of Sorrow," "Opportunities," "Sweet Dreams / Need You Tonight"
Robert Randolph & The Family Band ~ We Walk This Road
So tasty. Thick slabs of pedal steel guitar played like nobody else, like nobody's business. Gospel-as-impure-fever, served up with vocal harmonies seasoned "by feel," in the tradition of harmonizing relatives since forever. True family funkiness, representing New Jersey at our best. RIYL: Eric Clapton, Cream, Sly & The Family Stone, Hot Tuna. Top Songs: "Traveling Shoes," "Back To The Wall," "If I Had My Way," "Walk Don't Walk," "Dry Bones"
Eli "Paperboy" Reed ~ Come And Get It
Summery, teenager paeans to love and sex. In a decade, he'll be credited with inspiring a baby boom. RIYL: The Jackson 5, Marvin Gaye, Ne-Yo. Top Songs: "Young Girl," "Name Calling"
Q Sacha Sacket ~ The Viscera Project
Not a CD, not even an album (yet. (…ever?)) But the songs of The Viscera Project absolutely are the most beautiful collection of new songs in 2010. Posted weekly online, Sacha Sacket lets the world in on tunes so well done they defy the long-haul of his commitment. I've heard of marathon writing or recording sessions, of Keith Jarrett or Ryan Adams or They Might Be Giants (for examples) releasing seemingly ungodly amounts of decent-to-masterful music. But has anyone ever attempted a full-fledged song each week? "Cellophane" should be a new American Songbook classic, if such a thing were possible anymore. Give in to what Sacha calls the "simple and sweet, structured but loose" piano. Top Songs: "Cellophane," "Helium," "Lazy Eye". Follow as new songs are posted weekly at sachasacket.bandcamp.com.
✩ tUnE-yArDs ~ Bird-Brains
Simply the most creative, most preconceptions-defying album of the year. Top Songs: "Hatari," "Lions," "News," "Safety," "Jumping Jack"
Various Artists ~Treme: Music from the HBO Original Series, Season1
An amazing N'awlins assortment, most of it made for the series and previously unreleased, but it just scratches highlights off the surface of a season chock full of amazing music. (Single episodes had excerpts from as many songs as are in this collection.) How cool is an Irma Thomas/Allen Toussaint duet, plus Mardi Gras Indian chanting, plus the lagniappe of a new Steve Earle song? To list artists isn't enough (Rebirth Brass Band, John Boutte, Kermit Ruffins, Trombone Shorty, Soul Rebels, Lil' Queenie); choosing Top Songs, redundant. If you're not already familiar with the musicians, many of whom I wasn't aware of until this year, all are worth discovering.
Neil Young ~ Le Noise
For 3 songs out of 8 it's like Euro-Classical solo or duo chamber music, if you fully embrace that the solo instrument is a loud, growly, echo-laden electric guitar. Add Neil Young vocals; stir. For the rest of it (that is, most of it) Le Noise is accurately titled. But unencumbered Young performing his short poem-songs of doubt, contradiction and faith is an undeniably powerful experience. Top Songs: "Walk With Me," "Angry World," "Rumblin'" Dancing To Architecture® contents © 2010 Bill Stella.™, ® & © items included in the column for review purposes are ™, ® & © their respective owners.
Page 12 CHALLENGE November 2010
GAY ACTIVIST ALLIANCE IN MORRIS COUNTY
Officers President....................................................Andy Skurna........................................President VP Community Services.................................... Sherri Rase.............................................. Info VP Operations............................................... John Livoti Secretary .................................................. Gordon Sauer ....................................... Secretary Treasurer (acting)......................................... Andy Skurna....................................... Treasurer
@ GAAMC.org @ GAAMC.org @ GAAMC.org @ GAAMC.org
Trustees Paul Greenberg, Marty Grifone, Mitch Rubin, Mickey Suiter Trustees Emeriti Sue Harris, Robin Schneider, Mark Wydner Committee Chairs Activism.............................................................. open......................................... Activism @ GAAMC.org Archives....................................................Mickey Suiter ........................................ Archives @ GAAMC.org Discussion Group Resources............................ Gordon Sauer ..................................... Discussions @ GAAMC.org Facebook....................................................Andy Skurna Fundraising............................................. Paul Greenberg..................................... Fundraising @ GAAMC.org Information..................................................Mitch Rubin..................................... FreeLibrary @ GAAMC.org Member Services/Front Desk............ John Livoti, Allen Neuner Membership ................................................... Sue Harris................................... Memberships @ GAAMC.org Pride Guide................................................... Sue Harris......................................PrideGuide @ GAAMC.org Programs..................................................... Sherri Rase........................................ Programs @ GAAMC.org Public Relations............................................. Sherri Rase.............................................. Info @ GAAMC.org Socials................................................... Charlie Murphy........................................... Socials @ GAAMC.org Speakers Bureau........................................... Chris Selitto................................ SpeakersBureau @ GAAMC.org Volunteerism.................................................Sherri Rase....................................... Volunteer @ GAAMC.org Webmaster ................................................. Andy Skurna..................................... Webmaster @ GAAMC.org Yahoo! Group................................................. Sue Harris GAAMC, the Gay Activist Alliance in Morris County, has served New Jerseyâ€™s gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, and intersexed community since 1972. GAAMC is a not-for-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 community. 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 Rd., Morristown, NJ (near the Morris Museum). Discussion groups meet from 7:00 to 8:00. The evening's program starts at 8:00 pm. Refreshments are available. For program information, call our information line or check our homepage (see below). 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 the Volunteer Coordinator, Sherri Rase, at Volunteer @ GAAMC.org. How to reach GAAMC Mail: PO Box 137, Convent Station, NJ 07961 Telephone: 973-285-1595 E-Mail: info @ gaamc.org Home page: http://www.gaamc.org Mail List: http://groups.yahoo.com/subscribe/gaamc