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ISSUE 003 APRIL 2011

GAY RAGE IN STEREO

ELEPHANT’S JACKSON & COLEMAN VRANA

THE TRUTH ABOUT HIV

DR. OMAR MINWALLA ON SEXUAL DUPLICITY

OVER (TOLE)RATED

CODY J. SANDERS ON THE TROUBLE WITH TOLERANCE

LESBIANS VERSUS GAYS

ANN ROSTOW ON WHAT MAKES A COMMUNITY The Fight 1


THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM

Jackson: “Older straight men have called us homophobic the most, I believe. We get the feeling that these guys are really closeted gay men who aren’t ready to listen to people like us.”

RECOGNITION Jackson: “Everybody tells us apart because my neck is tattooed. I have a panther.” Coleman: “I have a tattoo on my arm - the word ‘Queer’ with a big heart. It was in the L.A. Times. We were playing “Mr. Black” (The Tuesday night party at the club, Bardot in Hollywood) and they took a picture of it. People come up to me and say, ‘I saw that tattoo.’”

REBELLION Jackson: “We were good students up until the middle of high school when we stopped giving a fuck.”

BY RICK WILKINSON

Coleman: “We got beat up like every day in our Oklahoma high school.” Jackson: “The school wanted us out. We were the openly “hedonistic faggots.” Every day was like a war.” Coleman: “We have pictures of us with black eyes and bloody noses.” Jackson: “I think half the time we’d just allow our parents to think that we were half the problem.”

Jackson: “Basically, we started punching people in the balls.”

FOLLOWERS

Gay twin rappers Jackson and Coleman Vrana on homophobia, “hedonistic

B

rash and ballsy, Jackson and Coleman Vrana make up the controversial band, Elephant - the only white, twin brother, queer rappers on the music scene today.

Expect badass beats, penetrating lyrics and in-your-face performances. Freshly signed to a record label and having collaborated with the ‘Johnny Are You Queer?’ 80’s pop icon, Josie Cotton, the dynamic duo is now poised to make some real noise. Coming to Pride Festivals near you, these two angry young men are hell-bent on trampling the rules and the stereotypes that cage most of us in. In an interview with THE FIGHT, Elephant shares their path of being beaten up but not down, how their Bacchanalian audiences freely take part in mid-show sex and why gay people have every right to be madder than hell about the unfair treatment we still receive from a society full of bigots.

HISTORY Originally from Oklahoma, they came out when they were 14 and got beaten up every day. Both of them left when they were 18. Coleman went to New York and Jackson went to London. They 20 The Fight

faggots” and 1000 bears in diapers

lived separate lives until about four years ago when Coleman paid a visit to Jackson, who had moved to Los Angeles. While they were together in L.A. they discovered that they both had similar musical ideas. They then secretly put together Elephant. What’s with the name?

writing, we were only using cheap stuff in our living room and garage. So we were limited. You can only write what you can record. So now we can record anything. We have studio producers - we have everything. So you write differently, you write bigger, knowing you can accomplish a lot more.”

Jackson: “The name ‘Elephant’ really is about being that proverbial one in the room, releasing the statements people are too afraid to touch, having a presence that’s impossible to ignore.”

Jackson: “Yeah, since we signed the record deal with Scruffy Records, songwriting is a lot more exciting. We just get into that confrontational ‘Elephant’ mindset, and then start the process of creating beats, music and lyrics. We are a band, and we do write, record and produce all of our own music with the help of our legendary co-producer and sound engineer, Paul Roessler.”

EVOLUTION

REVOLUTION of you listen to it, go back, change shit. We come together and do this business thing and music. We don’t live together. We don’t argue about anything. We’re really aren’t involved in each other’s personal lives hardly at all. We need our separate time. When we’re writing a song, we can say anything to each other like, ‘That fucking sucks.’” Coleman: “I feel like I wouldn’t be able to say anything like that

Jackson: “Everybody has their own idea of what this twin thing should be and they won’t get excited until they see it. Those who have no idea what they’re about to see are probably the best. I like it when I can see their eyes and see their reactions. Our songs can provoke people to do drugs and take off their clothes and have sex.” Coleman: “Last year, we did N.Y. Pride events at all these different clubs. You go to one club for 500 people that has this really young, kind of hip-hop crowd - all gay. In the next one, you have 1000 bears in diapers. At this big outdoor thing we had 5000 screaming lesbians. And then, you go to yet another club and it’s completely different. I’d say online, we get followed by a lot of really young, young kids - like 12 year olds a lot. In person, we see people in their 60’s sometimes.” Jackson: “There are a lot more straight people paying attention to us than I’m sure if we were just a straight-up, electro-popsinging, gay band. It’s funny though, especially when you catch a straight guy singing along to the ‘The Tranny Step’ song.”

Jackson: “I think most gay men are very angry about their everyday lives because of growing tired of being called ‘faggot.’ For the most part, gay men are still the butts of jokes. Homophobia plays a huge role in keeping that anger alive in an Elephant song.” Coleman: “We call ourselves ‘queer’ before we call ourselves ‘gay.’” The Fight 21


THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM

Jackson: “Older straight men have called us homophobic the most, I believe. We get the feeling that these guys are really closeted gay men who aren’t ready to listen to people like us.”

RECOGNITION Jackson: “Everybody tells us apart because my neck is tattooed. I have a panther.” Coleman: “I have a tattoo on my arm - the word ‘Queer’ with a big heart. It was in the L.A. Times. We were playing “Mr. Black” (The Tuesday night party at the club, Bardot in Hollywood) and they took a picture of it. People come up to me and say, ‘I saw that tattoo.’”

REBELLION Jackson: “We were good students up until the middle of high school when we stopped giving a fuck.”

BY RICK WILKINSON

Coleman: “We got beat up like every day in our Oklahoma high school.” Jackson: “The school wanted us out. We were the openly “hedonistic faggots.” Every day was like a war.” Coleman: “We have pictures of us with black eyes and bloody noses.” Jackson: “I think half the time we’d just allow our parents to think that we were half the problem.”

Jackson: “Basically, we started punching people in the balls.”

FOLLOWERS

Gay twin rappers Jackson and Coleman Vrana on homophobia, “hedonistic

B

rash and ballsy, Jackson and Coleman Vrana make up the controversial band, Elephant - the only white, twin brother, queer rappers on the music scene today.

Expect badass beats, penetrating lyrics and in-your-face performances. Freshly signed to a record label and having collaborated with the ‘Johnny Are You Queer?’ 80’s pop icon, Josie Cotton, the dynamic duo is now poised to make some real noise. Coming to Pride Festivals near you, these two angry young men are hell-bent on trampling the rules and the stereotypes that cage most of us in. In an interview with THE FIGHT, Elephant shares their path of being beaten up but not down, how their Bacchanalian audiences freely take part in mid-show sex and why gay people have every right to be madder than hell about the unfair treatment we still receive from a society full of bigots.

HISTORY Originally from Oklahoma, they came out when they were 14 and got beaten up every day. Both of them left when they were 18. Coleman went to New York and Jackson went to London. They 20 The Fight

faggots” and 1000 bears in diapers

lived separate lives until about four years ago when Coleman paid a visit to Jackson, who had moved to Los Angeles. While they were together in L.A. they discovered that they both had similar musical ideas. They then secretly put together Elephant. What’s with the name?

writing, we were only using cheap stuff in our living room and garage. So we were limited. You can only write what you can record. So now we can record anything. We have studio producers - we have everything. So you write differently, you write bigger, knowing you can accomplish a lot more.”

Jackson: “The name ‘Elephant’ really is about being that proverbial one in the room, releasing the statements people are too afraid to touch, having a presence that’s impossible to ignore.”

Jackson: “Yeah, since we signed the record deal with Scruffy Records, songwriting is a lot more exciting. We just get into that confrontational ‘Elephant’ mindset, and then start the process of creating beats, music and lyrics. We are a band, and we do write, record and produce all of our own music with the help of our legendary co-producer and sound engineer, Paul Roessler.”

EVOLUTION

REVOLUTION of you listen to it, go back, change shit. We come together and do this business thing and music. We don’t live together. We don’t argue about anything. We’re really aren’t involved in each other’s personal lives hardly at all. We need our separate time. When we’re writing a song, we can say anything to each other like, ‘That fucking sucks.’” Coleman: “I feel like I wouldn’t be able to say anything like that

Jackson: “Everybody has their own idea of what this twin thing should be and they won’t get excited until they see it. Those who have no idea what they’re about to see are probably the best. I like it when I can see their eyes and see their reactions. Our songs can provoke people to do drugs and take off their clothes and have sex.” Coleman: “Last year, we did N.Y. Pride events at all these different clubs. You go to one club for 500 people that has this really young, kind of hip-hop crowd - all gay. In the next one, you have 1000 bears in diapers. At this big outdoor thing we had 5000 screaming lesbians. And then, you go to yet another club and it’s completely different. I’d say online, we get followed by a lot of really young, young kids - like 12 year olds a lot. In person, we see people in their 60’s sometimes.” Jackson: “There are a lot more straight people paying attention to us than I’m sure if we were just a straight-up, electro-popsinging, gay band. It’s funny though, especially when you catch a straight guy singing along to the ‘The Tranny Step’ song.”

Jackson: “I think most gay men are very angry about their everyday lives because of growing tired of being called ‘faggot.’ For the most part, gay men are still the butts of jokes. Homophobia plays a huge role in keeping that anger alive in an Elephant song.” Coleman: “We call ourselves ‘queer’ before we call ourselves ‘gay.’” The Fight 21


November 10, 2011 ❖ Issue 52

HONORING OURS

Parade Salutes Lesbian, Gay Vets

HOOVER’S FBI IS BACK

Eastwood Directs Leonardo DiCaprio

UNFRIENDLY FIRE Out Marine Fears Comrades’ Bullets

ELEPHANT

Twin Rappers Shatter Barriers


There’

20


section 4a | feature

e’s an ELEPHANT in the room BY RANDY MYERS

J

ackson and Coleman Vrana – of the angst-ridden, twin gay brother hip hoppers known as Elephant – return to the airwaves this month with the release of their new single, “Queer Nation.” A call-to-arms for gay youth to claim their rightful place in pop culture, the song is the band’s first track from their new record label, Scruffy Records.

“‘Queer Nation’ takes aim against the rampant homophobia that remains prevalent in hip hop today,” explained Coleman Vrana, from the band’s recording studio in Los Angeles. “Jackson and I decided it was time we emasculate those anti-gay rappers spouting their lazy stereotypical hate rhymes. We’re calling it a sonic castration.” Better known for their tales of rowdy bathroom stalls, heroin binges and month-long hunger strikes, “Queer Nation” is Elephant’s most confrontational track to date. Some say it borders on activism. Elephant calls it their most honest work. “Homophobia plays a huge role in keeping anger alive in an Elephant song,” continues Coleman. “But we’re careful not to take ourselves too seriously. Poking fun at our lifestyle is important to make our point as impactful as possible.” Still, the twins acknowledge the pain of discrimination is real. Originally from Oklahoma, they came out when they were 14 and recall getting beaten up every day. They were called the openly “hedonistic faggots.” Both of them left home when they were 18. Coleman went to New York and Jackson went to London. They lived separate lives until about four years ago when Coleman paid a visit to Jackson, who had moved to Los Angeles. While they were together in L.A. they discovered that they shared

a similar perspective on life. They say years of feeling like they couldn’t survive sober – or high, for that matter – opened their eyes to a mindset of “not giving a f*ck” about other’s opinions or judgments. Forming Elephant was their way of embracing their true identity. “Gay people have every right to be madder than hell about the unfair treatment we still receive from a society full of bigots,” they say. “For the most part, gay men are still the butts of jokes. We aim to be authentic artists that break the mold on what the world sees as cool. We call ourselves ‘queer’ before we call ourselves ‘gay.’” “In our minds, and the minds of many people we love, a queer nation is already emerging,” continues Jackson, pointing to the growing number of teenagers taking a stand against the views of their parents and popular artists like Miley Cyrus speaking out publicly in support of queer issues. “Teen fists are getting tighter. A backlash is on the way. We can feel it.” “A queer nation would be a nation of equality,” adds Coleman. “We’re sure it would look lovely.” Of course the twins recognize the irony of recording songs in a genre of music that has historically fueled the fire of homophobia. They take a fight fire with fire mentality. “Hip hop is arguably the most popular influence on music today,” says

Jackson. “But apart from a few bands, there is no great gay hip hop artist out there representing the community.” Though disco – or club music, as it is more commonly known – is the genre of music most often associated with the gay community, the twins say more young gay men are embracing hip hop. “Most all of my queer friends listen to hip hop or at least some bubble gum variation,” says Jackson. He foresees hip hop overpowering club music in the gay scene in the very near future. However, when listening to bands like Elephant, it’s easy to notice certain elements common in traditional hip hop missing in their music. The twins don’t make any mention of money, bling or guns. Their war is not with the police but rather, intolerance. Even the sound is different. In place of record scratching and hard pounding bass, the twins present an electrobased hip hop, incorporating penetrating synthetic beats with punkladen melodies created from guitars and keyboards. “The name ‘Elephant’ really is about being that proverbial one in the room,” explains Jackson. “Our music tackles issues and releases statements that people are still too afraid to touch, but they’re issues that can no longer be ignored.” Their message may appear scary to some, but they hold firm to the belief that once fans understand the message, they’ll realize there is nothing to fear. The same is true with the twins, themselves. “We may look like hedonistic faggots,” laughs Coleman, “but inside we’re intelligent, friendly guys, and easier to approach than you might imagine.” ❖

21


Hip-Hop | display

Solomon: U Can't F*ck Wit Us.

Tough Gay Guy aus Los Angeles: Deadlee. Zwischen Disco-Glimmer und Rap: Q-Boy.

Die Homo-Hopper kommen! Sie haben genug von schwulenfeindlichen Macho-Rappern: Jetzt stehen schwule Künstler hin und reimen für die Rechte der Gays. Text Beat A. Stephan

Jeder Rapper ist ein Schwulenfeind und in der Hip-Hop-Kultur gilt «schwul» als häufigstes Schimpfwort. Man kennt sie langsam, diese Stereotypen, und man hat endgültig genug davon. Das finden auch Gaykünstler aus der Hip-Hop-Szene. Deshalb rappen sie gegen Vorurteile. Da wären beispielsweise Elephant. Ihren Namen wählten die beiden Rapper in Anspielung auf den sprichwörtlichen Elefanten im Porzellan laden. Denn sie zerbrechen reichlich Geschirr. Ihre expliziten Texte, beispielsweise in «The Tranny Step» sowie in ihrem neuen Song «Queer Nation», sind an Schärfe und Deutlichkeit kaum zu übertreffen. In den USA kleben wohl gleich drei Parental-Warning-Kleber für die Eltern auf jeder Scheibe. Elephant, das sind die Zwillinge Jackson und Coleman Vrana. In ihrer Heimat Oklahoma outeten sie sich mit 14 Jahren – und wurden deswegen dauernd verprügelt. Bevor sie sich jedoch an die ständigen Veilchen und die blutigen Nasen gewöhnten, lernten sie zurückzuschlagen. Mit 18 zogen beide weg von der bigotten Heimat und suchten eine offenere Welt: Coleman zog nach New York, Jackson nach London. Zum Glück kamen sie Jahre später wieder zusammen, um ihre Wut gemeinsam rauszubrüllen und mit harten Beats und noch härteren Worten für die Queer Community zu kämpfen. Zwillinge zwischen Punk und Rap: Elephant. Die US-Boys protestieren gegen die Diskriminierung der Schwulen.

8 | oktober

Elephant parodieren die stereotypischen Hasstiraden der Anti-Gay-Rapper, übertreiben diese und machen sie damit lächerlich. Eine «musi kalische Kastration» nennen sie das. Im Gegensatz zu anderen Rappern schwärmen die Zwillinge nicht von BlingBling-Luxus, Bitches, Kohle und Knarren. Sie treten ja auch nicht gegen die «Bullen» an, sondern gegen Intoleranz und Ignoranz. Und sie sind nicht allein. Auf der Internetplattform gayhiphop.com finden sich zahlreiche Videos von Queer-Rappern und -Rapperinnen: Vom schrägen Sound von Prince SuperStar (Hand Up) bis zu Solomons poppigem «U Can’t F*ck Wit Us». Sie alle wandeln auf den Spuren des legendären Deadlee. Der ansonsten so knallharte Latino aus Los Angeles hatte schon vor fünf Jahren mit seinem sanften, bewegenden Song «Good Soldier» für die Sache der Gays geworben. Aber auch in Europa tut sich was: Londons rappendes Model Q-Boy mit seinem Feel-Good-Sound ist da nur ein Beispiel. Und die Botschaft kommt offensichtlich an: Letztes Jahr rappte der Hetero Blumio in Deutschland gar «Die Welt ist schwul». Darin beschrieb er, wie es wäre, wenn Heteros verachtet und ausgelacht würden, und warb damit für Akzeptanz Schwulen gegenüber. Allmählich merken’s auch die Rapper: Schwul ist cool!

«OFF BEAT»: SCHWULE RAPPER IM FILM Noch nicht so weit wie die Homo-Hopper sind die Akteure im neuen Schweizer Film «Off Beat» von Jan Gassmann: Rapper Lukas und sein Produzent sind zwar ein Liebespaar, doch das darf in der Hip-HopSzene keiner wissen. Das spannende Drama um den 26-jährigen Rapper Lukas, der von seinem 16-jährigen Bruder Sämi auf der Bühne bedrängt und bald ersetzt wird, kommt am 3. November in die Kinos. oktober | 9


Hip-Hop | display

Solomon: U Can't F*ck Wit Us.

Tough Gay Guy aus Los Angeles: Deadlee. Zwischen Disco-Glimmer und Rap: Q-Boy.

Die Homo-Hopper kommen! Sie haben genug von schwulenfeindlichen Macho-Rappern: Jetzt stehen schwule Künstler hin und reimen für die Rechte der Gays. Text Beat A. Stephan

Jeder Rapper ist ein Schwulenfeind und in der Hip-Hop-Kultur gilt «schwul» als häufigstes Schimpfwort. Man kennt sie langsam, diese Stereotypen, und man hat endgültig genug davon. Das finden auch Gaykünstler aus der Hip-Hop-Szene. Deshalb rappen sie gegen Vorurteile. Da wären beispielsweise Elephant. Ihren Namen wählten die beiden Rapper in Anspielung auf den sprichwörtlichen Elefanten im Porzellan laden. Denn sie zerbrechen reichlich Geschirr. Ihre expliziten Texte, beispielsweise in «The Tranny Step» sowie in ihrem neuen Song «Queer Nation», sind an Schärfe und Deutlichkeit kaum zu übertreffen. In den USA kleben wohl gleich drei Parental-Warning-Kleber für die Eltern auf jeder Scheibe. Elephant, das sind die Zwillinge Jackson und Coleman Vrana. In ihrer Heimat Oklahoma outeten sie sich mit 14 Jahren – und wurden deswegen dauernd verprügelt. Bevor sie sich jedoch an die ständigen Veilchen und die blutigen Nasen gewöhnten, lernten sie zurückzuschlagen. Mit 18 zogen beide weg von der bigotten Heimat und suchten eine offenere Welt: Coleman zog nach New York, Jackson nach London. Zum Glück kamen sie Jahre später wieder zusammen, um ihre Wut gemeinsam rauszubrüllen und mit harten Beats und noch härteren Worten für die Queer Community zu kämpfen. Zwillinge zwischen Punk und Rap: Elephant. Die US-Boys protestieren gegen die Diskriminierung der Schwulen.

8 | oktober

Elephant parodieren die stereotypischen Hasstiraden der Anti-Gay-Rapper, übertreiben diese und machen sie damit lächerlich. Eine «musi kalische Kastration» nennen sie das. Im Gegensatz zu anderen Rappern schwärmen die Zwillinge nicht von BlingBling-Luxus, Bitches, Kohle und Knarren. Sie treten ja auch nicht gegen die «Bullen» an, sondern gegen Intoleranz und Ignoranz. Und sie sind nicht allein. Auf der Internetplattform gayhiphop.com finden sich zahlreiche Videos von Queer-Rappern und -Rapperinnen: Vom schrägen Sound von Prince SuperStar (Hand Up) bis zu Solomons poppigem «U Can’t F*ck Wit Us». Sie alle wandeln auf den Spuren des legendären Deadlee. Der ansonsten so knallharte Latino aus Los Angeles hatte schon vor fünf Jahren mit seinem sanften, bewegenden Song «Good Soldier» für die Sache der Gays geworben. Aber auch in Europa tut sich was: Londons rappendes Model Q-Boy mit seinem Feel-Good-Sound ist da nur ein Beispiel. Und die Botschaft kommt offensichtlich an: Letztes Jahr rappte der Hetero Blumio in Deutschland gar «Die Welt ist schwul». Darin beschrieb er, wie es wäre, wenn Heteros verachtet und ausgelacht würden, und warb damit für Akzeptanz Schwulen gegenüber. Allmählich merken’s auch die Rapper: Schwul ist cool!

«OFF BEAT»: SCHWULE RAPPER IM FILM Noch nicht so weit wie die Homo-Hopper sind die Akteure im neuen Schweizer Film «Off Beat» von Jan Gassmann: Rapper Lukas und sein Produzent sind zwar ein Liebespaar, doch das darf in der Hip-HopSzene keiner wissen. Das spannende Drama um den 26-jährigen Rapper Lukas, der von seinem 16-jährigen Bruder Sämi auf der Bühne bedrängt und bald ersetzt wird, kommt am 3. November in die Kinos. oktober | 9


By Randy Myers Jackson and Coleman Vrana - of the angst-ridden, twin gay this month with the release of their new single, “Queer Nation”. A call-to-arms for gay youth to claim their rightful place in pop label, Scruffy Records. “Queer Nation takes aim against the rampant homophobia that remains prevalent in hip hop today,” explained Coleman Vrana, from the band’s recording studio in Los Angeles. “Jackson and I decided it was time we emasculate those antigay rappers spouting their lazy stereotypical hate rhymes. We’re calling it a sonic castration.” Better known for their tales of rowdy bathroom stalls, heroin binges, and month-long hunger strikes, “Queer Nation” is Elephant’s most confrontational track to date. Some say it borders on activism. Elephant calls it their most honest work. “Homophobia plays a huge role in keeping anger alive in an Elephant song,” continues Coleman. “But we’re careful not to take ourselves too seriously. Poking fun at our lifestyle is important to make our point as impactful as possible.” Still, the twins acknowledge the pain of discrimination is real. Originally from Oklahoma, they came out when they were 14 and recall getting beaten up every day. They were called the openly “hedonistic faggots.” Both of them left home when they were 18. Coleman went to New York and Jackson went to London. They lived separate lives until about four years ago when Coleman paid a visit to Jackson, who had moved to Los

Angeles. While they were together in L.A. they discovered that they shared a similar perspective on life. high, for that matter - opened their eyes to a mindset of “not giving a f*ck” about other’s opinions or judgments. Forming Elephant was their way of embracing their true identity. “Gay people have every right to be madder than hell about the unfair treatment we still receive from a society full of bigots,” they say. “For the most part, gay men are still the butts of jokes. We aim to be authentic artists that break the mold on what the world sees as cool. We call ourselves ‘queer’ before we call ourselves ‘gay.’” “In our minds, and the minds of many people we love, a Queer Nation is already emerging,” continues Jackson, pointing to the growing number of teenagers taking a stand against the views of their parents and popular artists like Miley Cyrus speaking tighter. A backlash is on the way. We can feel it.” “A Queer Nation would be a nation of equality,” adds Coleman. “We’re sure it would look lovely.” Of course the twins recognize the irony of recording songs

today,” says Jackson. “But apart from a few bands, there is no great gay hip hop artist out there representing the community.” - is the genre of music most often associated with the gay

Continued on Page 51 www.gaycalgary.com

GayCalgary & Edmonton Magazine #98, December 2011

47


Interview - From Page 49 are not noted. I guess this is my way of making sure they were noted.” the same time that her brother Duray is charged with murder. It leaves the reader wanting more, and her life from that point forward undoubtedly would make another amazing book. It’s not going to happen anytime soon, Arden said. “I can’t even think about that right now, that scares the hell out of me. Who knows what I will be doing 10 years from now? If someone had told me I would be writing a book and doing a radio show and narrating an ER Vet show for CMT and judging Canada Sings and all this stuff that I am doing now I would have just said are you nuts?! I don’t know what’s ahead. I think I have a good decade left in order to not look like a fool, and continue working and being creative and entertaining the masses so to speak, and enjoy myself and then it will be time to tip my hat and move on. I trust Bruce will be looking at retirement for himself sometime along the line and I really think when he packs it in I will too. We will see how it goes. I am really enjoying myself. Family and friends are everything to me and depending on how my parents’ health goes that will negotiate my path as well - I may just need to be at home. I don’t have I survive to the end of March.” The Uncover Me Canada tour kicks off in Victoria in February and wraps up in Montreal in March. Alberta dates include Calgary on February 23rd, Red Deer on February 24th, Medicine Hat on February 25th and Edmonton on February 26th. Her 2009 Free tour saw a bigger band and a video screen

community, the twins say more young gay men are embracing hip hop. “Most all of my queer friends listen to hip hop or at least some bubblegum variation,” says Jackson. He foresees hip hop overpowering club music in the gay scene in the very near future. However, when listening to bands like Elephant, it’s easy to notice certain elements common in traditional hip hop missing in their music. The twins don’t make any mention of money, bling, or guns. Their war is not with the police but rather, intolerance. Even the sound is different. In place of record scratching and hard pounding bass, the twins present an electro-based hip hop, incorporating penetrating synthetic beats with punkladen melodies created from guitars and keyboards. “The name ‘Elephant’ really is about being that proverbial one in the room,” explains Jackson. “Our music tackles issues and releases statements that people are still too afraid to touch, but they’re issues that can no longer be ignored.” to the belief that once fans understand the message, they’ll realize there is nothing to fear. The same is true with the twins, themselves. “We may look like hedonistic faggots,” laughs Coleman, “but inside we’re intelligent, friendly guys, and easier to approach than you might imagine.”

http://www.gaycalgary.com/a2626

“I am not sure what to expect. We have yet to sit down with the lighting and stage directors to talk about the set. I don’t go to lengths where I am being lowered on a plastic horse in the middle of the arena or anything like that. I think our shows always look nice and the band looks and sounds great. There will be some surprises, Bruce and I have been talking about trying different things. It makes me laugh even thinking about into a two hour context. People do need to pee at some point, you can’t be having them sit there for three and a half hours. I think we will have a lot of that sorted out in December with lots of phone calls back and forth and we will sketch it out. We have a week of rehearsals before we hit the road so we will sort it out then.” One of the biggest challenges is narrowing down a set list. Balancing popular songs like , Insensitive, and I Would Die For You with some rarities and songs off the new album becomes harder and harder. “I don’t know how I am going to do it. I have started making lists and sort through a master list of about 50 songs and work down from there. You are asking me all the questions that I lay awake about at night and think about, thank you.”

Jann Arden Uncover Me 2 and Falling Backwards available now. www.JannArden.com 2012 tour Calgary – February 23 Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium Red Deer – February 24 – Red Deer Memorial Centre Medicine Hat – February 24 – Esplanade Arts and Heritage Centre Edmonton – Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium http://www.gaycalgary.com/a2627

www.gaycalgary.com

GayCalgary & Edmonton Magazine #98, December 2011

51


Issue 155 December 2011

mag.bent.com

KYR LFAIE VOURITE POP GODDESS OU

N SUE JOURHITENSROTO YLE OUR FAVO

SSEY SHIRLEURYITEBDAAME OUR FAVO

ASHLEURYITERYNEDPHER EW OUR FAVO

ELEPHANT JOHAN’S BLOG FILMS, BOOKS MUSIC REVIEWS & MUCH MUCH MORE... ISSN 1742-3030

9 7 7 1 7 42 3 0 3 0 0 1

£1.95

€3.00


QUEER HIP HOP NATION By Edward Jonas

Coleman and Jackson Vrana make up the controversial band, Elephant - the only white, twin brother, queer rappers on the music scene today. Originally from Oklahoma, they came out when they were 14 and were bullied and harassed every day until they finally left home at 18. Coleman fled to New York while Jackson went to London. They reunited in Los Angeles where they formed their band and grew a following with their provocative gay-activist lyrics and in-your-face performances. They caught the attention of 80’s pop icon, Josie Cotton – who invited the duo to collaborate on the 2010 remake of her cult classic Johnny Are You Queer? – and were quickly signed to her record label. Now the dynamic duo aim to make some noise on a national level and that’s exactly what they’re doing with their debut release, Queer Nation. How do you describe “Queer Nation”? Coleman Vrana: It’s an in-your-face track that turns hip hop on its head and confronts homophobia with a lot of filthy language. Did you intend for it to be controversial? Absolutely. We intentionally pushed the limit with all four of the tracks on the Queer Nation EP.

How do you feel about celebrities who won’t come out of the closet? It’s hard to imagine staying closeted because our personal artistry comes from our need to express ourselves honestly. Maybe some people are okay with keeping their personal lives private, but we can’t imagine expressing ourselves on stage or in the studio like that. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? Josie Cotton told us that showcasing who you are with your own individual voice is the only way to be successful as an artist. Anybody with talent can be a musician or a performer, but only you can be you. What’s the worst cliche about the gay scene? The notion that gay men are somehow weak-willed or inordinately delicate people is insane. Fighting to be yourself to an intolerant society your entire life most definitely creates more strength in a person than frailty. Best cliche? That we are a severely tight community that embraces everyone with open arms. I think it’s true.

So it’s representative of the rest of your upcoming album? Definitely, but we go to some pretty unexpected places and our political interests and aims extend beyond LGBT-related issues.

Finish the sentence: A good night out starts with… A fat blunt.

When did you and Jackson first realize you had musical talent? We grew up performing in angsty punk bands as teenagers. There was never an instrument we didn’t want to learn our way around in some kinda way growing up.

It ends with... A fat blunt. Shunda K from Yo! Majesty (a lesbian hip hop group) taught me how to roll em’ the best.   What comes first for you - sex or love? Sex. Usually, emotions that stick around don’t come into play until later.

When did you boys come out? At 14. After that, we were huge targets in middle and high school. Those bullying years seem to play a big part in your music today. Most of our songs were written with the angst-ridden motivation we got from those days. We connect with a ton of teenagers who are exactly like we were a few years ago.

What’s the best thing ever invented? Over-sized colonial dolls. www.elephantwave.com

What lessons have you learned as openly gay artists? As artists, we constantly have to prove ourselves to everyone. As gay artists who intend to be taken completely seriously, we’ve learned the struggle is tenfold. People expect us to represent them so specifically that we often have to take a step back and remember what got us here in the first place: our voices, our attitudes and our ideas.

42

Bent Magazine December 2011

When the phone rings, who do you hope is calling? Mary Tyler Moore—to tell us she’s our real mother.

What’s next for Elephant? We’re working on a really exciting project: a gay vs. lesbian rap battle extraordinaire. You’re not kidding about creating a Queer Nation. Fists are getting tighter. A backlash is on the way. We can feel it.


Winter Chill Tracks

Rap Duo Elephant

Baby, it’s cold outside. Luckily, gay dance floors are fired up this winter, thanks to new blazing tracks from our favorite club artists. Here are just a few of the new numbers heating up your favorite gay clubs this winter. “Queer Nation” Elephant Scruffy Records Jackson and Coleman Vrana make up the angst ridden, twin gay brother rap band, Elephant. Their first single since signing to Scruffy Records is their most confrontational ever, taking direct aim at the rampant homophobia in today’s hiphop community. There are obvious elements of Eminem. However their rhymes avoid topics common in traditional hip hop. There is no mention of money, bling, or guns. In place of record scratching and hard pounding bass, the twins present an electro-based hip hop, incorporating penetrating synthetic beats with punk laden melodies created by guitars and keyboards. It works to give a unique voice to a whole new generation of young queer activists. “Last Drag” Traci Lords Sea to Sun The notorious Traci Lords returns to the dance floor with a catchy, full-throttle club track about the cravings that tempt the innocent to the wild side. This is her first release through independent dance label Sea to Sun, “Last Drag” is anything but a drag. It’s perfectly concocted blend of camp and vamp suits Lords to a tee proving she can be as playful as a pussycat; but when it comes to music, she is all business. The main edit is a mix engineered by four-time Grammy Award winner Tom Lord Alge. Remixes by Razor n Guido and StedE & Hybrid Heights. “I’m Your Man” Moses The first single from this out-artist takes listeners on a sonic journey into the mind of a young man who is not afraid to turn convention on its ear. Its dirty synth sound, heavy beat, and harmonies are influenced by 80s new wave pop. The song and its provocative music video explore the idea of masculinity and gender roles, demonstrating how a man can be strong and sexy in many forms. Even dressed in outfits Lady Gaga might wear, Moses packs a punch and his music is no-holds-barred honest and raw. “I’m Not Going Down” Sariah Sariah is as wholesome and well adjusted as they come, except when it comes to her

20 | jumponmarkslist.com

provocative song titles. The follow-up to last summer’s “All About Sex” is a shiny, digitally rendered, huge power ballad. It’s a mix of Britney, Christina and maybe even old school Jessica Simpson. Sariah takes a rather cliché subject about not being in the mood for a dead-end romance but adds a youthful vibe and playful lyrics (with double meanings) to make her message sound fresh and relevant to the young clubbers who adore her. “Who’s In My Mouth?” LaLa What makes club music worthwhile is that you can dance to it, you can make out to it, and you can get silly with it. LaLa does all that with her latest semi-camp, high-energy ditty that captures our celebrity-obsessed zeitgeist. With pop star sass, LaLa belts out lyrics that would make Ke$ha blush. LaLa may be a half-pint sized, but she is a lyrical and vocal firecracker, and her R&B laced music is explosive. “Touch Me” D Alexander D Alexander has been called the Justin Beiber of the gay dance floor and like Beiber, he and his music are growing up. This disco dance romp is a marked departure from the electronic R&B sound of D Alexander’s last hit, “Beautiful.” In this latest, the out-artist displays his flirty, passionate side, demonstrating a love affair with the dance floor. At least it’s a mutual love; his music is spinning in clubs all over the world.


10 U November 3, 2011 - November 30, 2011 U The Rainbow Times U www.therainbowtimesnews.com

TRT Hero: Gunner Scott, pioneering transgender rights in Massachusetts HIV rates goBy: Christine Nicco/TRT Reporter Gunner Scott, a founding member and execu- ing up again. tive director of the Massachusetts Transgender Additionally, Political Coalition (MTPC), a 501(c)(3) organi- t r a n s g e n d e r in zation dedicated to ending gender identity and women expression discrimination, has been at the fore- particular are front of the transgender rights movement since dealing with 1998. In this role, he has truly been a father to s i g n i f i c a n t many. Scott has been named a nationally ac- rates of HIV claimed activist, educator, and community or- with very few ganizer on LGBT issues, particularly relating to programs and health, partner abuse, and access issues for the services directed at that comtransgender community. Under the direction of Scott, the MTPC fo- munity, therecuses on educating the public, advocating with fore increased state, local and federal government, engaging in resources are Gunner Scott political activism, and encourage empowerment needed to inof community members through collective ac- creases services. Q. Which people in the LGBT or allied tion, according to the organization’s webcommunity have been most influential site. To say that he is passionate about in your life? transgender rights and equality is an A. Rita Hester, Nancy Nangeroni, understatement. The MTPC pioGrace Sterling Stowell, Sylvia Rineer can often be found working vera, Penni Ashe Matz long days, late nights and his dedQ. How can the average member ication to the transgender moveof the LGBT community and ally ment is palpable, even to those make a difference in our struggle? who do not know him personally. A. [By] contacting their state legHe has vested his life to the better- ★ ★ ment of the LGBT community and ★★ ★★★★ islator about the Transgender Equal Rights Bill and their federal congresthat is why he has been nominated as a sional members about the Employment NonTRT Hero. Q. What needs to be done to increase awareness Discrimination Act (ENDA) Q. What is the best advice you have ever been of the importance of funding for HIV/AIDS? A. Public education on why and how funding given to do the proactive things you do today has helped to decrease HIV rates and the impact for our community? of the reduction in funding would have on the See Gunner Scott on page 14 PHOTO: GLENN KOETZNER

PHOTO: SCRUFFY RECORDS

★★ ★ ★★★★

heroes

Superior Interior: Designer Joshua Ingraham Shows You How By: Travis Laborn/Special for TRT Joshua Ingraham holds himself to the same standard he does his designs—with class, integrity and always a surprise element of fun. He defines his style as 'Casual Luxury,' utilizing dark colors over light; classic, bold patterns rather than the safe and subtle; and strong fabrics with unusual textures. Counted among New York City’s top fifty designers by HousingWorks Design on a Dime for three years in a row, Ingraham encourages clients to make a statement with their surroundings. Nothing is impossible or ever too big. He believes even the budget conscious should crave rich, lush, fabulous things. “You do not have to be wealthy to enjoy the luxurious things the world has to offer, as long as you follow my lead,” he says. Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the out designer realized a knack for design at 14 when his mother allowed him to select his own bedroom paint colors. “I mean, every boy’s dream, right?” he laughs. Ingraham modeled his room after Sarah Michelle Gellar's bedroom in Cruel Intentions, painting the walls, doors and ceiling a deep navy blue, and adding a trim of baby blue with silver highlights. “I probably thought if I painted my room the same as hers it would make me more like her. Sadly, my high school experience did not include summer romances with Ryan Phillippe.” He studied Architecture and Design at Tulsa University where he discovered he appreciated the creative freedom of interior design more. “Once I understood the only limitation I had in interior design were my own ideas, the possibilities became endless for me,” he explains. Ingraham says walls are meant to be broken down. “Open up your spaces up as much as possible. It will give you more options as to what you can do with your floor plans and furniture.”

PHOTO: GUSTAVO MONROY

the struggle is tenfold. People expect us to represent them so specifically that we often have to take a step back and remember what got us here in the first place: our voices, our attitudes and our ideas. 1 How do you feel about celebrities who won’t come out of the closet? ! It’s hard to imagine staying closeted because our personal artistry comes from our need to express ourselves honestly. Maybe some people are okay with keeping their personal lives private, but we can’t imagine expressing ourselves on stage or in the studio like that. 1 What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? ! Josie Cotton told us that showcasing who you are with your own individual voice is the only way to be successful as an artist. Anybody with talent can be a musician or a performer, but only you can be you. 1 What’s the worst cliché about the gay scene? ! The notion that gay men are somehow weakwilled or inordinately delicate people is insane. Fighting to be yourself to an intolerant society your entire life most definitely creates more strength in a person than frailty. 1: Best cliché? ! That we are a severely tight community that embraces everyone with open arms. I think it’s true. 1: Finish the sentence: A good night out starts with… ! A fat blunt. 1 It ends with... ! A fat blunt. Shunda K from Yo! Majesty (a lesbian hip hop group) taught me how to roll em’ the best. 1 What comes first for you - sex or love? ! Sex. Usually, emotions that stick around don’t come into play until later. 1 What’s the best thing ever invented? ! Over-sized colonial dolls. 1 When the phone rings, who do you hope is calling? ! Mary Tyler Moore—to tell us she’s our real mother. 1 What’s next for Elephant? ! We’re working on a really exciting project: a gay vs. lesbian rap battle extraordinaire. 1 You’re not kidding about creating a Queer Nation. ! Fists are getting tighter. A backlash is on the way. We can feel it. For more information about the group and upcoming events visit: elephantwave.com

★ ★★ ★ ★★★★

By: Edward Jonas/Special for TRT Coleman and Jackson Vrana make up the controversial band, Elephant—the only white, twin brother, queer rappers on the music scene today. Originally from Oklahoma, they came out when they were 14 and were bullied and harassed every day until they finally left home at 18. Coleman fled to New York while Jackson went to London. They reunited in Los Angeles where they formed their band and grew a following with their provocative gay-activist lyrics and in-your-face performances. They caught the attention of 80’s pop icon, Josie Cotton – who invited the duo to collaborate on the 2010 remake of her cult classic Johnny Are You Queer? – and were quickly signed to her record label. Now the dynamic duo aim to make some noise on a national level and that’s exactly what they’re doing with their debut release, Queer Nation. %DWARD*ONAS How do you describe “Queer Nation”? #OLEMAN 6RANA It’s an in-your-face track that turns hip hop on its head and confronts homophobia with a lot of filthy language. 1 Did you intend for it to be controversial? ! Absolutely. We intentionally pushed the limit with all four of the tracks on the Queer Nation EP. 1 So it’s representative of the rest of your upcoming album? ! Definitely, but we go to some pretty unexpected places and our political interests and aims extend beyond LGBT-related issues. 1 When did you and Jackson first realize you had musical talent? ! We grew up performing in angsty punk bands as teenagers. There was never an instrument we didn’t want to learn our way around in some kinda way growing up. 1 When did you boys come out? ! At 14. After that, we were huge targets in middle and high school. 1 Those bullying years seem to play a big part in your music today. ! Most of our songs were written with the angst-ridden motivation we got from those days. We connect with a ton of teenagers who are exactly like we were a few years ago. 1 What lessons have you learned as openly gay artists? ! As artists, we constantly have to prove ourselves to everyone. As gay artists who intend to be taken completely seriously, we’ve learned

★ ★★ ★ ★★★★

Queer Hip-Hop Nation from Elephant: The unique twin brother gay rappers

trt

He eschews the current trend of stainless steel kitchens with granite countertops. “Alone, each material is fine but putting them together could leave your space feeling more outdated than when you began.” He also shuns the trend of master bathrooms with double sinks. “There is never a need for two sinks,” he argues. “That second sink rarely gets used. If you truly require two sinks, for design sake, use a deep trough sink with two separate but matching faucets.” The same goes for separating showers and bath tubs. “Unless it is a true glass shower and soaking tub, please don't split these two up. It’s a waste of space.” How you decorate your home is as important as what you wear, he says. “When a person looks good, they exude a confidence that inspires others. The same holds true for the home. When the place where you rest your head and entertain your friends reflects you and your personality, it projects power.” “If everyone hired an interior designer, the world would be a better place,” he laughs.


online exclusives Go to JumpDenver.com for these special features Online Series, IN BETWEEN MEN is a Change in The Right Direction D ALEXANDER rings in a new generation of gay artist Gay Travel Agent DANE STEELE GREEN shares some travel secrets you might not know. DJ TRACY YOUNG has some new gear New rap duo ELEPHANT takes the queer nation by storm

8 | JumpDenver.com


Elephant Gay Rap Twins Hip Hop Queer Gangsta Interview

11/2/11 2:52 PM

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Elephant In the Room Jackson and Coleman Vrana of the angst-ridden, twin gay brother hip hoppers known as Elephant – return to the airwaves this month with the release of their new single, “Queer Nation”. A call-to-arms for gay youth to claim their rightful place in pop culture, the song is the band’s first track from their new record label, Scruffy Records. “Queer Nation takes aim against the rampant homophobia that remains prevalent in hip hop today,” explained Coleman Vrana, from the band’s recording studio in Los Angeles. “Jackson and I decided it was time we emasculate those anti-gay rappers spouting their lazy stereotypical hate rhymes. We’re calling it a sonic castration.”

Short Link: http://goo.gl/SZRIz To easily move the Elephant Gay Rap Twins Interview & Fan Page onto your phone or iPad for quick reference, shoot the QR Code on the left. Use the short goo link above to Tweet, update your Facebook profiles and spread the word!

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Better known for their tales of rowdy bathroom stalls, heroin binges, and monthlong hunger strikes, “Queer Nation” is Elephant’s most confrontational track to date. Some say it borders on activism. Elephant calls it their most honest work. “Homophobia plays a huge role in keeping anger alive in an Elephant song,” continues Coleman. “But we’re careful not to take ourselves too seriously. Poking fun at our lifestyle is important to make our point as impactful as possible.” Still, the twins acknowledge the pain of discrimination is real. Originally from Oklahoma, they came out when they were 14 and recall getting beaten up every day. They were called the openly “hedonistic faggots.” Both of them left home when they were 18. Coleman went to New York and Jackson went to London. They lived separate lives until about four years ago when Coleman paid a visit to Jackson, who had moved to Los Angeles. While they were together in L.A. they discovered that they shared a similar perspective on life.

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Elephant Gay Rap Twins Hip Hop Queer Gangsta Interview

11/2/11 2:52 PM

They say years of feeling like they couldn’t survive sober – or high, for that matter opened their eyes to a mindset of “not giving a f*ck” about other’s opinions or judgments. Forming Elephant was their way of embracing their true identity. “Gay people have every right to be madder than hell about the unfair treatment we still receive from a society full of bigots,” they say. “For the most part, gay men are still the butts of jokes. We aim to be authentic artists that break the mold on what the world sees as cool. We call ourselves ‘queer’ before we call ourselves ‘gay.’” “In our minds, and the minds of many people we love, a Queer Nation is already emerging,” continues Jackson, pointing to the growing number of teenagers taking a stand against the views of their parents and popular artists like Miley Cyrus speaking out publicly in support of queer issues. “Teen fists are getting tighter. A backlash is on the way. We can feel it.”

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“A Queer Nation would be a nation of equality,” adds Coleman. “We're sure it would look lovely.” Of course the twins recognize the irony of recording songs in a genre of music that has historically fueled the fire of homophobia. They take a fight fire with fire mentality. “Hip hop is arguably the most popular influence on music today,” says Jackson. “But apart from a few bands, there is no great gay hip hop artist out there representing the community.” Though disco – or club music, as it is more commonly known - is the genre of music most often associated with the gay community, the twins say more young gay men are embracing hip hop. “Most all of my queer friends listen to hip hop or at least some bubblegum variation,” says Jackson. He foresees hip hop overpowering club music in the gay scene in the very near future. However, when listening to bands like Elephant, it’s easy to notice certain elements common in traditional hip hop missing in their music. The twins don’t make any mention of money, bling, or guns. Their war is not with the police but rather, intolerance. Even the sound is different. In place of record scratching and hard pounding bass, the twins present an electro-based hip hop, incorporating penetrating synthetic beats with punk-laden melodies created from guitars and keyboards. “The name ‘Elephant’ really is about being that proverbial one in the room,” explains Jackson. “Our music tackles issues and releases statements that people are still too afraid to touch, but they’re issues that can no longer be ignored.” Their message may appear scary to some, but they hold firm to the belief that once fans understand the message, they’ll realize there is nothing to fear. The same is true with the twins, themselves. “We may look like hedonistic faggots,” laughs Coleman, “but inside we're intelligent, friendly guys, and easier to approach than you might imagine.”

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NEW ENGLAND’S GLBT NIGHTLIFE & ENTERTAINMENT SOURCE December 1, 2011

By Mick Sandoval Baby, it’s cold outside. Luckily, gay dance floors are fired up this winter, thanks to new blazing tracks from our favorite club artists! Here are just a few of the new numbers heating up your favorite gay club this winter.

“Last Drag”

Traci Lords Sea to Sun The notorious Traci Lords returns to the dance floor with a catchy, fullthrottle club track about the cravings that tempt the innocent to the wild side. Her first release through independent dance label Sea to Sun, “Last Drag” is anything but a drag. Its perfectly concocted blend of camp and vamp suits Lords to a tee proving she can be playful as a pussycat but when it comes to music, she is all business. The main edit is mix engineered by four— time Grammy Award winner Tom Lord— Alge. Remixes by Razor n Guido and Sted—E & Hybrid Heights.

“I’m Your Man” Moses

The first single from the out-artist takes listeners on a sonic journey into the mind of a young man who is not afraid to turn conventional on its ear. Its dirty synth sound, heavy beat, and harmonies are influenced by 80s new wave pop. The song and its provocative music video explore the idea of masculinity and gender roles, demonstrating how a man can be strong and sexy in many forms. Even dressed in outfits Lady Gaga might wear, Moses packs a punch and his music is noholds-barred honest and raw.

“I’m Not Going Down” Sariah

Sariah is as wholesome and well adjusted as they come, except when it comes to her provocative song titles. The follow-up to last summer’s “All About Sex” is a shiny, digitally rendered,

huge power ballad. It’s a mix of Britney, Christina and maybe even old school Jessica Simpson. Sariah takes a rather cliché subject about not being in the mood for a dead end romance but adds a youthful vibe and playful lyrics (with double meanings) to make her message sound fresh and relevant to the young clubbers that adore her.

“Who’s In My Mouth?” LaLa

What makes club music worthwhile is that you can dance to it, you can make out to it, and you can get silly with it. LaLa does all that with her latest semi-camp, high-energy ditty that captures our celebrity-obsessed zeitgeist. With pop star sass, LaLa belts out lyrics that would make Ke$ha blush. LaLa may be half-pint sized but she is a lyrical and vocal firecracker and her R&B laced music is explosive.

“Queer Nation”

Elephant Scruffy Records Jackson and Coleman Vrana make up the angst ridden, twin gay brother rap band, Elephant. Their first single since signing to Scruffy Records is their most confrontational ever, taking direct aim at the rampant homophobia in today’s hip hop community. There are obvious elements of Eminem, however their rhymes avoid topics common in traditional hip-hop. There is no mention of money, bling, or guns. In place of record scratching and hard pounding bass, the twins present an electro-based hip-hop, incorporating penetrating synthetic beats with punk— laden melodies created from guitars and keyboards. It works to give a unique voice to a whole new generation of young queer activists.

“Suddenly”

Dalal The Austrian hitmaker’s followup to “Taste the Night” is less immediate and more experimental, a bit more alternative/electronica

Club Photos page 21

sounding than the club thumping zeal of her previous track. To some it will be seen as a tip of the hat to Kylie Minogue, and they may be right. The single’s strength is in large part due to Dalal’s willingness to toy with her sound—even if it’s within the confines of dance-pop. Without risks, there can be no rewards, and the catchy melody of “Suddenly” paired with the young artist’s breathy, forlorn vocals make a tantalizingly smooth and seductive new dance track.

“World Keeps Turning” Sylvia Tosun Sea to Sun

What makes Tosun stand out from the rest of the club diva pack is that her songs are genuine and unlike the pop-machinemanufactured tracks, they are clearly close to her heart. She sings with depth and passion and in her latest single, her power-pipes are on full display. She hits and sustains the song’s climactic note with such force you feel blown backwards. Her over-the-top vocals recall the crystalline euphoria that helped Enya rise to fame a decade ago.

OUT magazine names dbar one of the world’s best gay bars OUT magazine has named dbar one of the best gay bars in the world in a recent roundup of LGBT nightlife hot spots. “This gay friendly restaurant bar serves eclectic, to-die-for food, but the mellow and welcoming ambiance set by color-changing lights, music, and nouveau decor makes for an all around great evening,” Out.com editors wrote. It wasn’t all good news, however. “The only peeve is the lack of a maitre d’—you’ll have to seat yourself—and the oh-so-few male waiters.” dbar joins other New England favorites Gotham Citi, New Haven; and Gifford House Bar, Provincetown. To check out the whole list, visit http://bit. ly/sxnzSW. - Hannah Clay Wareham

Naughty or nice? “Mrs. Grinchley” offers spicy Christmas romp

“Neva Eva Eva”

Faith Michaels The sophomore track from the dance floor’s newest drag diva is another empowering club track about living life on your own terms. Penned by The Rhythm Rehab specifically for Michaels, the song mixes the classic bitch track with a fun campy beat. It’s a tongue-in-cheek warning to those who think they can suck Michael’s joy. The answer is “Neva Eva Eva” and after dancing to this delightfully fun ditty, you won’t want to.

“Mix Magic Music” Sugar House Crew

Tony Moran presents an album that embraces the soul, sympathy and conviction of club music. It is packed with ...continued on page 21

Before your busy holiday calendar fills up with festive fetes and dinner parties, don’t forget to add one of “Mrs. Grinchley’s Christmas Carol” shows to your schedule! The limited run is taking the stage on Saturdays at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sundays at 5 p.m. between Dec. 3 and Dec. 18 at Boston’s Machine Night Club (1254 Boylston St.). Ryan Landry and the Gold Dust Orphans come together to make this holiday season a very memorable one! VIP seats and general admission are available for the show at prices of $45 and $35. Based on Charles Dickens’“A Christmas Carol,”“Mrs. Grinchley’s” draws on popular figures including Adele, Lindsay Lohan, Paul Lynde, and Beyoncé. For more information, please send an e-mail to golddustorphans@yahoo.com. - Hannah Clay Wareham


DECE M BER 2 0 1 1 • out at night • 2 1

Continued from page 18

extraordinary talent including legendary dance icon Jennifer Holiday whose inspiring track, “Magic,” is aptly named. “Tenderness” reignites the powerful collaboration of Moran and Deborah Cox. It’s their first work together since their gem, “Easy as Life,” from Broadway’s Aida. Newer diva faves are also abundant on the album including Wynter Gordon and Frenchie Davis who are particular standouts on an album where pretty much every track is destined to become a dance floor staple.

“Touch Me” D Alexander

D Alexander has been called the Justin Beiber of the gay dance floor but like Beiber, he and his music are growing up. This disco dance

romp is a marked departure from the electronic R&B sound of D Alexander’s last hit, “Beautiful.” In this latest, the out artist displays his flirty, passionate side, demonstrating a love affair with the dance floor. At least it’s a mutual love; his music is spinning in clubs all over the world.

“Who the Hell Do You Think I Am” The Brunettes

Move over Pussycat Dolls, there are new sexy ladies in town. With the help of their producer, “American Idol’s” Randy Jackson, this all-girl group is clawing its way to the top of the pop charts with solid, quasifeminism, I-Don’t-Need-a-Man girlpower anthems. The strong chorus in “Who the Hell…” absolutely bursts out of the blocks and blasts a serious dose

Club Photos Downcity Thanksgiving Brunch - Providence, RI

of high energy into an already wickedly slammin’ house track that is sure to light dance floors on fire this winter.

“Stilettos” Emii

Thank the shoe gods that Emii’s new track is not another Jennifer Lopez “Louboutins” disaster. What makes Emii’s ode to footwear successful is that it doesn’t take itself as seriously as it’s predecessor. It follows the path carved by “These Boots Are Made for Walking” in that it is vibrantly colorful with a glossy “Glee”-inspired music video that adds to the fun. Also, where Lopez’s track was lyrically repetitive and vocally lackluster, Emii’s is an up-tempo pop ditty with ear-pleasing vocals. It’s a solid follow-up to last summer’s “Mr. Romeo.”

All photos: Jack Hartwein-Sanchez Mirabar - Providence, RI


Proudly Celebrating 17 Years Serving Nashvilleʼs GLBT Community

BEAT BOX Single File

By Jimmy Newsum

By Jimmy Newsum

Summer may be over but that doesn’t mean the heat on our nation’s gay dance floors are turning down. Clubs are working overtime to keep floors burning. Here are the top scorchers being played this fall.

“Mix Magic Music” Sugar House Crew

After a two year hiatus, Tony Moran makes his triumphant return to the dance floor with an album fully penned by the Grammy nominated producer/remixer. Clearly meant to embrace the soul, sympathy and conviction of club music, the cd is packed with several diva gems all destined to become dance floor staples. Jennifer Holiday’s “Magic” and Deborah Cox’s "Tenderness" are particular stand outs.

“World Keeps Turning” Sylvia Tosun Her tenth dancefloor release, “World Keeps Turning” has the strength to match the success of Tosun’s "Push n Pull", a song that climbed all the way to number one on Billboard’s club chart. It’s a marked departure from the ethereal and subdued tracks Tosun has become known for, showing a stronger side to Tosun’s voice. She even manages to belt out some notes, proving this girl can sing.

“Neva Eva Eva” Faith Michaels Michaels admits Neva Eva Eva is the song she wanted to write but couldn’t. Paralyzed by the success of her summer smash, Fetish, Michael’s was fearful she might forever be a one trick pony. Luckily, The Rhythm Rehab boys came to her rescue and produced a killer song that fans are going to love. Musically, Neva Eva Eva has the intensity and power of Fetish but its message to define yourself by your own standards – and no one else’s - stands strong on its own.

“Queer Nation” Elephant Taking aim against the rampant homophobia proliferating today’s hip hop, Queer Nation is a call-to-arms for gay youth to claim their rightful place in pop culture. It is Elephant’s first single since signing to record label, Scruffy Records, and displays real artistic growth for a band that is best known for tales of rowdy bathroom stalls, heroin binges, and month-long hunger strikes. While some may say Queer Nation borders on activism – and they wouldn’t be wrong – the track is provocative, no holds barred and fun to listen to.

“Touch Me” D Alexander “Touch Me” is a hands-in-the-air romp that will pull everyone to the dance floor this season. Penned by the artist, it is the follow-up to his summer debut “Beautiful”. In it, D Alexander sheds the electronic R&B sound of his past, opting instead for a fast moving disco track that expresses his passion for life, love and lust. It’s another well-produced, empowering track from a young out artist who is undoubtedly one to watch.

December 2011 • iOut

13.

St a r GAYz i n g H o m o s c o p e s

ARIES Decemberis highlighted by your need to get yourself in gear. Get yourself moving. Put your plans into motion and stop waiting for everyone else to do things for you. Assess each situation quickly and make your move. Believe in your abilities and concentrate on a plan that will work. It's time to focus on your needs first. Get yourself enrolled in a physical activity that you enjoy. The self-motivated will find reasons to move ahead. TAU RU S December is highlighted by your need to please yourself. You are clever, courageous and careful, as well as dedicated to those you trust and love. Forget about trying to do and be everything for everyone. This can be a great week if you are true to your dreams. Get others to help you for a change, so that you too can claim the success you desire. You'll tend to be emotional if you don't get your own way. You have set ideas and like things to be done just the way your way. Count your blessings. GEMINI December is highlighted by your need to stand your ground. If you find or create something good, hold onto it, it may be the missing piece to your puzzle. Someone may question your motives, then try to blame you for things beyond your control. Consider all your options and don't hesitate to take sound advice from a reliable source. Try to be practical and honest. Don't let your emotions take over. You will have to be more compassionate and understanding towards them. Once you do, the ideas between you will flow, both ways. Collaboration will be the key. CA N C E R December is highlighted by an upsurge of your positive energy flow. Recently you have felt as if something was holding you back, this week, everything will click. Your good mood will be highly contagious, others will respond. You'll be everywhere at once, moving so quickly, that people might miss you, if they blink. It's important for you to have your personal touch on everything. Use the resources you have available to you . LEO December is highlighted by your need to put a new contingency plan in place. The changes that were effective last week, may not be doing the job, this week. You are creative and have the willpower to follow through with your ideas. Other's promises may not be very realistic. You can be sensitive, generous and very accommodating when you want to be. You will be applauded for your strengths, but don't allow your weaknesses to dominate. Be loyal to your instincts and you will not change your mind. V I RG O November's scenario is highlighted by challenges that will motivate your spirit. You'll feel magnetized and ready to take on any professional or personal obstacles that stands in your way. Plan to do something special with the family. Obstacles may stand in your way. Ignore people who are trying to lead you astray. You can learn a lot if you are more open-minded. Give others the benefit of the doubt. You'll be able to overcome anything if you stand tall and prepare to push ahead. The harder you strive for perfection, the better you will do. Trusting others may prove to be costly.

LIBRA December is is highlighted by your ability to give some balance to your life. You are creative, opportunistic and will be eager to please. You'll have the ability to start, develop and finish anything you pursue. You are dedicated, sometimes difficult to deal with but always dependable. Extravagance will be your weakness. Don't gamble or take a chance on a fast cash venture. Losses are inevitable if you trust someone else with your money or your possessions. Rest well, and think positively. S CO R P I O December is highlighted by romantic and creative endeavors. If you're looking for love, this is the week to find it. You may be able to rekindle a flame that has almost burned out or meet someone new who will give you a new lease on life. Either way, romance will figure prominently. You have sat around long enough. You should become involved in organizations that will encourage and contribute to your professional interests. New doors of opportunity soon open. Be thankful. SAG I T TA R I U S December is highlighted by you taking "the bull by the horns", to quote an old expression, and asserting your own needs and desires, to communicate to others what you really want. You are sharp, clear, decisive, and articulate. You can't stand being idle now; you are ready for challenging, intellectual activities and attacking difficult problems on the job. Self-confidence, physical energy, and courage run high. You are inclined to take charge or assume a leadership role at this time.. CA P R I CO R N December is s highlighted by uncertainty in your career. You may want to bury your head in the sand. Your awareness of something that is not fair or just at your job could make you want to walk away from some career situations. Be sure you don't cut off your nose to spite your face. If some associates behave like traumatized children, treat them that way. Give people the attention they require. Then you're free to go on your way, unfettered and clear of resentments. You should have good this month. AQ UA R I U S November's highlighted by generosity, yours & others, as well. You don't like to keep score, and generally let life just go where it goes. However, you could be on the receiving end of a beautiful serenade. The next few days will find you walking with a brisk stride and snapping your fingers. If whatever you're experiencing isn't quite reality, it'll seem just as good as the real thing. No walls will be able to contain your excitement. No limitations will seem to apply. You can accomplish anything. PISCES December is highlighted by your ability to direct the positive energy you feel to others. Arguments could lead to trouble. Colleagues are not likely to agree with your concepts or your choices. Do your own thing at your own pace and the result will be successful. You need to feel free to come and go as you please and must be able to follow your creative pursuits. Don't allow your partner to squelch your plans because of his or her jealousy or insecurities. It's time to lay down the law. The weekend will be a restless time for commitment seekers, ignore their requests and maybe they'll go away. Disagreements may will erupt.


MUSIC

BEAT BOX Single File

diva gems all destined to become dance floor staples. Jennifer Holiday’s “Magic” and Deborah Cox’s "Tenderness" are particular stand outs.

By Jimmy Newsum

marked departure from the ethereal and subdued tracks Tosun has become known for, showing a stronger side to Tosun’s voice. She even manages to belt out some notes, proving this girl can sing.

Summer may have come to an end, but that doesn’t mean the heat on our nation’s gay dance floors will be turning down. Clubs are working overtime to keep floors burning. Here are the top scorchers being played this fall. “Mix Magic Music” - Sugar House Crew After a two year hiatus, Tony Moran makes his triumphant return to the dance floor with an album fully penned by the Grammy nominated producer/ remixer. Clearly meant to embrace the soul, sympathy and conviction of club music, the cd is packed with several

28

GRAB Magazine

“World Keeps Turning” Sylvia Tosun Her tenth dancefloor release, “World Keeps Turning” has the strength to match the success of Tosun’s "Push n Pull", a song that climbed all the way to number one on Billboard’s club chart. It’s a

October 25, 2011

“Neva Eva Eva” - Faith Michaels Michaels admits Neva Eva Eva is the song she wanted to write but couldn’t. Paralyzed by the success of her summer smash, Fetish, Michael’s was


fearful she might forever be a one trick pony. Luckily, Rhythm Rehab boys came to her rescue and produced a killer song that fans are going to love. Musically, Neva Eva Eva has the intensity and power of Fetish but its message to define yourself by your own standards – and no one elseʼs - stands strong on its own.

the-air romp that will pull everyone to the dance floor this season. Penned by the artist, it is the follow-up to his summer debut “Beautiful”. In it, D Alexander sheds the electronic R&B sound of his past, opting instead for a fast moving disco track that expresses his passion for life, love and lust. It’s another well-produced, empowering track from a young out artist who is undoubtedly one to watch.

“Queer Nation” - Elephant Taking aim against the rampant homophobia proliferating today’s hip hop, Queer Nation is a call-to-arms for gay youth to claim their rightful place in pop culture. It is Elephant’s first single since signing to record label, Scruffy Records, and displays real artistic growth for a band that is best known for tales of rowdy bathroom stalls, heroin binges, and month-long hunger strikes. While some may say Queer Nation borders on activism – and they wouldn’t be wrong – the track is provocative, no holds barred and fun to listen to.

“Touch Me” - D Alexander “Touch Me” is a hands-inOctober 25, 2011

GRAB Magazine

29


Beat Box

By Jimmy Newsum

BEAT

BOX

Summer may have come to an end, but that doesn't mean the heat on our nation's gay dance floors will be turning down. Clubs are working overtime to keep floors burning. Here are the top scorchers being played this fall.

TRACKS POPPIN' INTO CLUBS

MIX MAGIC MUSIC

Sugar House Crew

“After a two year hiatus, Tony Moran makes his triumphant return to the dance floor with an album fully penned by the Grammy nominated producer/remixer. ” Clearly meant to embrace the soul, sympathy and conviction of club music, the CD is packed with several diva gems all destined to become dance floor staples. Jennifer Holiday's “Magic” and Deborah Cox's "Tenderness" are particular stand outs.

WORLD KEEPS TURNING Sylvia Tosun

“Her tenth dance floor release, “World Keeps Turning” has the strength to match the success of Tosun's "Push n Pull," a song that climbed all the way to number one on Billboard's club chart. “

>>84


It's a marked departure from the ethereal and subdued tracks Tosun has become known for, showing a stronger side to Tosun's voice. She even manages to belt out some notes, proving this girl can sing.

NEVA EVA EVA Faith Michaels

“Michaels admits “Neva Eva Eva” is the song she wanted to write but couldn't. ” Paralyzed by the success of her summer smash, “Fetish,” Michael's was fearful she might forever be a one trick pony. Luckily, The Rhythm Rehab boys came to her rescue and produced a killer song that fans are going to love. Musically, “Neva Eva Eva” has the intensity and power of “Fetish” but its message to define yourself by your own standards – and no one else's - stands strong on its own.

QUEER NATION Elephant

“Taking aim against the rampant homophobia proliferating today's hip hop, “Queer Nation” is a callto-arms for gay youth to claim their rightful place in pop culture.” It is Elephant's first single since signing to record label, Scruffy Records, and displays real artistic growth for a band that is best known for tales of rowdy bathroom stalls, heroin binges, and month-long hunger strikes. While some may say “Queer Nation” borders on activism – and they wouldn't be wrong – the track is provocative, no holds barred and fun to listen to.

TOUCH ME D. Alexander

“Touch Me” is a hands-in-the-air romp that will pull everyone to the dance floor this season. ” Penned by the artist, it is the follow-up to his summer debut “Beautiful.” In it, D Alexander sheds the electronic R&B sound of his past, opting instead for a fast moving disco track that expresses his passion for life, love and lust. It's another well-produced, empowering track from a young out artist who is undoubtedly one to watch.


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SinCityTimes - J.Son's Guide to Gay Las Vegas

10/17/11 2:38 PM

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Elephant in the Room By Randy Myers Jackson and Coleman Vrana - of the angst-ridden, twin gay brother hip hoppers known as Elephant ! return to the airwaves this month with the release of their new single, "Queer Nation". A call-to-arms for gay youth to claim their rightful place in pop culture, the song is the band's first track


from their new record label, Scruffy Records. "Queer Nation takes aim against the rampant homophobia that remains prevalent in hip hop today," explained Coleman Vrana, from the band's recording studio in Los Angeles. "Jackson and I decided it was time we emasculate those anti-gay rappers spouting their lazy stereotypical hate rhymes. We're calling it a sonic castration." Better known for their tales of rowdy bathroom stalls, heroin binges, and month-long hunger strikes, "Queer Nation" is Elephant's most confrontational track to date. Some say it borders on activism. Elephant calls it their most honest work. "Homophobia plays a huge role in keeping anger alive in an Elephant song," continues Coleman. "But we're careful not to take ourselves too seriously. Poking fun at our lifestyle is important to make our point as impactful as possible." Still, the twins acknowledge the pain of discrimination is real. Originally from Oklahoma, they came out when they were 14 and recall getting beaten up every day. They were called the openly "hedonistic faggots." Both of them left home when they were 18. Coleman went to New York and Jackson went to London. They lived separate lives until about four years ago when Coleman paid a visit to Jackson, who had moved to Los Angeles. While they were together in L.A. they discovered that they shared a similar perspective on life. They say years of feeling like they couldn't survive sober ! or high, for that matter - opened their eyes to a mindset of "not giving a f*ck" about other's opinions or judgments. Forming Elephant was their way of embracing their true identity. "Gay people have every right to be madder than hell about the unfair treatment we still receive from a society full of bigots," they say. "For the most part, gay men are still the butts of jokes. We aim to be authentic artists that break the mold on what the world sees as cool. We call ourselves 'queer' before we call ourselves 'gay.'"


"In our minds, and the minds of many people we love, a Queer Nation is already emerging," continues Jackson, pointing to the growing number of teenagers taking a stand against the views of their parents and popular artists like Miley Cyrus speaking out publicly in support of queer issues. "Teen fists are getting tighter. A backlash is on the way. We can feel it." "A Queer Nation would be a nation of equality," adds Coleman. "We're sure it would look lovely." Of course the twins recognize the irony of recording songs in a genre of music that has historically fueled the fire of homophobia. They take a fight fire with fire mentality. "Hip hop is arguably the most popular influence on music today," says Jackson. "But apart from a few bands, there is no great gay hip hop artist out there representing the community." Though disco ! or club music, as it is more commonly known - is the genre of music most often associated with the gay community, the twins say more young gay men are embracing hip hop. "Most all of my queer friends listen to hip hop or at least some bubblegum variation," says Jackson. He foresees hip hop overpowering club music in the gay scene in the very near future. However, when listening to bands like Elephant, it's easy to notice certain elements common in traditional hip hop missing in their music. The twins don't make any mention of money, bling, or guns. Their war is not with the police but rather, intolerance. Even the sound is different. In place of record scratching and hard pounding bass, the twins present an electro-based hip hop, incorporating penetrating synthetic beats with punkladen melodies created from guitars and keyboards. "The name 'Elephant' really is about being that proverbial one


in the room," explains Jackson. "Our music tackles issues and releases statements that people are still too afraid to touch, but they're issues that can no longer be ignored." Their message may appear scary to some, but they hold firm to the belief that once fans understand the message, they'll realize there is nothing to fear. The same is true with the twins, themselves. "We may look like hedonistic faggots," laughs Coleman, "but inside we're intelligent, friendly guys, and easier to approach than you might imagine."

!


Beat Box

Tracks Poppin’ Into Clubs By Jimmy Newsum After beating a retreat in the face of the hip hop explosion, great pop music is on the march again. The last couple of months have seen brilliant singles from pop artists Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and Ke$ha. Here are some of the best new tracks popping into gay clubs this month. “When the Lights Go Down” Grace Grace, the protégé of American Idol’s Randy Jackson, is a Russian pop goddess that will no doubt appeal to Britney and Kylie fans. In her debut single, she delivers a high energy track with just the right amount of sass, pounding beat, and diva fierceness to shake gay dance floors into a heated frenzy this summer. By the time the blonde bombshell hits the chorus of “Let’s see what happens when the lights go down” - and in the video, walks a sashay that puts RuPaul to shame - clubbers are at Grace’s command. Give the girl her microphone; Grace turns up the fun ‘when the lights go down’.

“All About Sex” Sariah Sariah leans more than a bit toward the provocative in her latest ‘party hard and live life to the max’ track. Less concerned with aiming at the mainstream radio dial, she and her collaborators make “All About Sex” as street and club ready a record as possible. Following Lady Gaga’s lead, Sariah’s out to bend current trends to her needs. “All About Sex” is an impressively produced, rambunctious record that may become the celebratory party anthem of the summer. “Beautiful” D Alexander The f bomb is thrown in the track, but that’s not what is raising eyebrows with “Beautiful”. It’s that the voice flirtatiously belting lyrics like “Look at me when I step on the scene, I’m the hottest thing that there is” isn’t from a girl. They’re sung by a boy, er… man. A cross between tweendom’s Justin Beiber and post nsync’s Justin Timberlake, the young D Alexander is turning convention on its ear with his unabashed, delightfully catchy high powered electro-pop dance romp that a mere few years back would likely have been given to Christina Aguilera. But this is 2011 people and D Alexander is proving boys, er… men, can be beautiful too.

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“See the New Hong Kong” Josie Cotton The artist behind the cult classic “Jonny, R U Queer” has clearly sharpened her pencil with this artfully written track about a doomed lost love. Cotton is reminiscent of Cyndi Lauper circa early 80s, with cutesy vocals that seem girlish but are deceptively sophisticated and soar into the stratosphere. Cotton’s mind bending lyrics soar into the stratosphere too, making you wonder if Josie is, in fact, from out of space. She may very well be and that’s part of her magic. “See the New Hong Kong” is way ahead of it’s time. It’s melodic, smart, and mesmerizing. It’s the direction music should be heading, if only more pop divas had brains. Remixes by Love Rush U.K., CCW and Baggi Begovic. “Fetish” Faith Michaels (See interview in this issue) In Fetish, Faith Michaels digs into clubland’s hard-core underground roots. The record is a throwback to early nineties dance floors - BG (Before Gaga) - when Madonna reigned supreme with grungy, dark dance tracks. Like Erotica, the substance of Fetish resides in haunting, straight-talking vocals that intimately educate the meaning of a fetish. The vocals are alluring and with the help of catchy grooves, Faith Michael’s draw listeners into her cavernous sex den. There’s a strange heaviness amidst the naughtiness on the track: at its core is a lesson of acceptance of others that resonates well beyond the dance floor.

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Summer may have come to an end, but that doesn’t mean the heat on our nation’s gay dance floors will be turning down. Clubs are working overtime to keep floors burning. Here are the top scorchers being played this fall.

Popular Stories in Entertainment Fresh Fruit Fest back for fall run By Scott Stiffler | Oct 23

"Mix Magic Music" - Sugar House Crew After a two year hiatus, Tony Moran makes his triumphant return to the dance floor with an album fully penned by the Grammy nominated producer/remixer. Clearly meant to embrace the soul, sympathy and conviction of club music, the CD is packed with several diva gems all destined to become dance floor staples. Jennifer Holiday’s "Magic" and Deborah Cox’s "Tenderness" are particular stand outs.

"World Keeps Turning" - Sylvia Tosun Her tenth dance floor release, "World Keeps Turning" has the strength to match the success of Tosun’s "Push n Pull," a song that climbed all the way to number one on Billboard’s club chart. It’s a marked departure from the ethereal and subdued tracks Tosun has become known for, showing a stronger side to Tosun’s voice. She even manages to belt out some notes, proving this girl can sing.

Think Fresh Fruit Festival and you get a summertime vibe. This week, though, the summertime theater event returns for an autumn run. Here’s our preview.

Busted: The Musical By Steve Weinstein | Sep 29

"Busted: The Musical" showcases the talents of transwoman Bianca Leigh as a woman in prison, framed for a crime she didn’t commit, through October 10 at the Laurie Beechman Theatre.

Justin Timberlake fights the clock (& grim reaper) in ’In Time’ By Fred Topel | Oct 24

In the new futuristic thriller "In Time," people stop aging at 25, but to live longer they must buy time. Justin Timberlake plays a man whose time is set to expire. How can he survive? EDGE spoke to Timberlake about the film & being an action he...

"Neva Eva Eva" - Faith Michaels Michaels admits "Neva Eva Eva" is the song she wanted to write but couldn’t. Paralyzed by the success of her summer smash, "Fetish," Michael’s was fearful she might forever be a one trick pony. Luckily, The Rhythm Rehab boys came to her rescue and produced a killer song that fans are going to love. Musically, "Neva Eva Eva" has the intensity and power of "Fetish" but its message to define yourself by your own standards - and no one else’s - stands strong on its own.

"Queer Nation" - Elephant Taking aim against the rampant homophobia proliferating today’s hip hop, "Queer Nation" is a callto-arms for gay youth to claim their rightful place in pop culture. It is Elephant’s first single since signing to record label, Scruffy Records, and displays real artistic growth for a band that is best known for tales of rowdy bathroom stalls, heroin binges, and monthlong hunger strikes. While some may say "Queer Nation" borders on activism - and they wouldn’t be wrong - the track is provocative, no holds barred and fun to listen to

"Touch Me" - D Alexander

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"Touch Me" is a hands-in-the-air romp that will pull everyone to the dance floor this season. Penned by the artist, it is the follow-up to his summer debut "Beautiful." In it, D Alexander sheds the electronic R&B sound of his past, opting instead for a fast moving disco track that expresses his passion for life, love and lust. It’s another well-produced, empowering track from a young out artist who is undoubtedly one to watch.

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