Music

Grooveout Shorts: January 2008

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200801rufus28Rufus Wainwright
Rufus Does Judy At Carnegie Hall
Being a huge Rufus Wainwright fan and a fairly sensible Judy Garland fan (I don’t own a pair of ruby slippers and I don’t think anyone would refer to me as a Garland Queen — and live!), I was naturally a bit skeptical about the former’s salute to the latter’s “legendary” 1961 Carnegie Hall concert. I mean Wainwright is an amazing songwriter and a fine enough singer, but why would anyone want to hear him singing “Swanee” or, God help us, “Over the Rainbow”? I mean, what was this boy thinking? But then, only a couple of songs into Rufus Does Judy at Carnegie Hall, which really is a song-by-song recreation of the Garland original, I began to truly enjoy the thing not so much as as homage to, dare I say it, the greatest female entertainer of the 20th century, but more as an homage to the so-called Great American Songbook. Wainwright, doing Irving Berlin, Harold Arlen, Rodgers & Hart, etc., wisely doesn’t attempt to do Judy. And what the New York Times called “a tour de force of politically empowering performance art” may eventually be recognized entirely on its own merit and not the mad ravings of a possibly somewhat dangerous Garland Queen. Geffen Records (www.geffen.com). — Review: Jack Varsi

200801gogirls40 Various Artists
GoGirls Music Fest 07

The beauty of this buffet from indie chick music promoter goddess Madalyn Sklar is that the listener can sample 16 different artists’ work at once. Out lesbian rockers worth an online listen here include Gina Livingston, Christine Havrilla, Manifest Frequency, Pike, and Vanessa Torres. Go Girls Music (www.gogirlsmusic.com). — Preview: Nancy Ford

Patty Larkin
Watch the Sky
This self-sufficient out lesbian wrote, produced, engineered, and edited all 12 tunes on this, her 10th record in 20 years. With complex, layered tunes like “Phone Message” and “Dear Heart,” this could be the release that finally propels Larkin to the mainstream. Vanguard Records (www.vanguardrecords.com). — Preview: Nancy Ford

paperknifeKim-Char Meredith
Paper Knife
This out lesbian, singer/songwriter who once opened for Melissa Etheridge returns to her contemporary Christian roots with 10 original tunes the MCC and gay gospel gang will love. Kim-Char Music (www.kimcharmusic.com). — Preview: Nancy Ford

World Premier Recording
LoveMusik

Letters exchanged by early-20th century café-set icons Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya provide the inspiration for this Tony Award-nominated musical. With music by Weill and lyrics by Gershwin, Brecht, Hammerstein, and other greats, Broadway purists will love this real-life vision of Cabaret. Ghostlight Records (www.ghostlightrecords.com). — Preview: Nancy Ford

200801kristoffer3Kristoffer Ragnstam
Sweet Bills
The gays are loving this languid-eyed, alt/pop Swedish rocker currently opening for Deborah Harry, and reasonably so. Catchy and foot-tappy, “Man Overboard” and “Dr. Give the World a Smile” are the grabbers here, with vocals pleasantly reminiscent of an early Jagger. Bluhammock Music (www.rangstam.com). — Review: Nancy Ford

The Bruises
Connected
Genderless lyrics and the absence of pronouns make us think the two women comprising this indie band from San Francisco are queer. Regardless, they rock, especially with “Distraction” and “Hott Damn!” Available Jan. 22 from Black Heart Blue Starr Music (www.thebruises.com). — Review: Nancy Ford

200801celine49Celine Dion
Taking Chances
The Canadian superstar’s first in-studio product in four years especially triumphs with the bluesy “That’s Just the Woman in Me” and the demure “Right Next to the Right One.” Dave Stewart co-penned the wistful title track here, entertainingly hinting at early Eurhythmics melodies. Columbia Records (www.columbiarecords.com). — Review: Nancy Ford

Seal
System
This fifth album from Mr. Heidi Klum soars and largely satisfies as much as early Seal offerings, especially with the revelatory “If It’s in My Mind, It’s on My Face” and two versions of “Amazing.” But then — oh dear — the wife duets with him on “Wedding Day.” Warner Brothers Records (www.warnerbros.com). — Review: Nancy Ford

00801ovewhiteparty91Various Artists
Party Groove: White Party 8
Warren Gluck and Wendy Hunt mix this most recent installment of the legendary fundraising circuit party, providing uplifting, energetic dance music, prominently including a clever gospel mix (FR’s “Love Is the Music”) and a tip of the turntable to Paul McCartney with DJ Scotty K’s “Goodnight Tonight.” Centaur Music (www.centaurmusic.com). — Review: Nancy Ford

Katy Perry
UR So Gay
Turns out Perry’s parents are pastors, somehow making this quirky, infectious EP even more irresistible. It’s fun lyrics and high production value, not to mention a too-cool remake of The Outfield’s “Use Your Love,” make us await her first full-length release coming this spring with breathless anticipation. Capitol Music Group (www.katyperry.com). Review: Nancy Ford

David Bowie
200801davidbowie71The David Bowie Box
Diehard fans of The Thin White Duke will fall over each other to acquire this limited edition box set of Bowie’s most recent five albums. Don’t expect a revisitation of old hits (except Reality’s “Rebel, Rebel”): with obscure outtakes, remixes, and alternate takes, these 1995–2004 recordings are strictly for the advanced Bowie collector. Columbia Records (www.columbiarecords.com) Preview: Nancy Ford

 

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