Music

GrooveOut Shorts: June 2008

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Rachael Sage, Clay Callaway, Ferron, Mariah Carey, Madonna, The Dresden Dolls, Lori Michaels, Koonce, Ron Morris, Solomon, Carole King, Donna Summer, Martha Wainwright, Lalah Hathaway, Leona Lewis, Lady Gaga, Robyn, Curt Smith, Karen Akers, Out.Anthems 3

SageRachael Sage
Chandelier

Sage has been a favorite among Houston music lovers since she performed at one of our Pride festivals a few seasons back, and with amazing creations like “Blue Light,” this disc proves why. Elegant and illuminating as its title, this eighth solo album may likely push the out lesbian into the larger arena of respect she deserves. Mpress Records (www.rachaelsage.com). — Review: Nancy Ford
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Clay Callaway
Darn It, Baby, That’s Love
Openly gay Callaway covers queer cabaret standards like “Can’t Help Lovin’ That Man of Mine” and “You Ain’t Woman Enough to Take My Man.” His partner of 17 years, Ty, joins him on the title cut. Charming, despite its predictability. Self-produced (www.claycallaway.com). — Review: Nancy Ford
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FerronFerron
Boulder
The trailblazing always-out folksinger is supported here with all-star guest spots from Ani DiFranco, Indigo Girls, Jd Samson, and others. But it was Bitch who produced this CD for her new label, Short Story Records. The two legends are currently touring together, but nowhere near Houston, sadly. Available June 17 from Short Story Records (www.shortstory.com). — Preview: Nancy Ford
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Mariah Carey
E-MC2
The legendary octave-leaper has bounced all the way back from Glitter. She has a new fragrance, a new album, and a new husband, rapper Nick Cannon. Mimi further emancipates herself with the CD’s sexy, first breakout single, “Touch My Body.” Island Def Jam Music (www.mariahcarey.com). — Preview: Nancy Ford
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HardCandyMadonna
Hard Candy

While it’s likely that most of the songs on her newest disc won’t make it onto the next Immaculate Collection, M-Dolla offers many solid tracks on her first journey into hip-hop. “Give it 2 me” is a dance-floor classic, as is “Beat Goes On,” which features Kanye West. Warner Bros. (www.warnerbrosrecords.com). More: www.madonna.com. — Review: David Goldberg
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The Dresden Dolls
No, Virginia

This obvious alt follow-up to The DD’s award-winning Yes, Virginia (2006) includes its b-sides and unreleased sessions, including “Lonesome Organist Rapes Page Turner” and “Gardener”. Less than half the CD’s songs are new, but it’s dramatically enjoyable, nonetheless. Roadrunner Records (www.dresdendolls.com). — Review: Nancy Ford
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LoriMLori Michaels
Living My Life Out Loud
This gorgeous, out musician delivers fine vocals and arrangements that sound influenced by Justin Timberlake, or even Timbaland. The dames of the Dinah Shore Weekend loved Michaels this past season, with good reason. High-quality, solid pop. Available June 3 from Reform Records (www.lorimichaels.net). — Review: Nancy Ford
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Koonce
The New 45s
Texas’ own Katy Koonce takes time from her work at Austin’s OutYouth and assorted activist’s endeavors to self-produce this appealing seven-pack of mostly-original, straight-up rock-‘n’-roll. Fellow former Girls in the Nosers Terri Lord and Darcee Douglas contribute, as does Koonce and her partner, Paige (Soul Force) Schilt’s young son. Wailin’. www.myspace.com/kooncerox. — Review: Nancy Ford
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RonMorrisRon Morris
Truth Stained Lies
Pleasant though somewhat repetitive folk-pop originals from openly gay artist who often gets airplay on Logo. Nicely produced by the artist, with an especially nice arrangement on “Believe What You Will”. (www.ronmorrismusic.com). — Review: Nancy Ford
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Solomon
Rhyting Rhymes Vol. 1
He won’t play straight for the record companies, so Solomon is self-producing his hip-hop himself. The openly gay San Diego rapper is shopping around a 26-cut mix tape; listen in at www.myspace.com/thatsolomon, if you like. — Preview: Nancy Ford
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CKingCarole King
Tapestry: Legacy Edition
Expect diehard CK fans to freak at this double-disc re-do of the 1971 masterpiece, which contains not only a remastered version of the original LP, but also previously unreleased live versions of the same songs, recorded in 1973 and 1976. Sony BMG Legacy (www.caroleking.com). — Review: Nancy Ford
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Donna Summer
Crayons
As track four boldly states, “The Queen Is Back.” Summers returns to the studio for the first time since 1991 to deliver a platterful of good, solid dance pop. Expect the album’s infectious opener, “Stamp Your Feet” (interestingly, co-written with Danielle Brisebois of All in the Family fame) to be co-opted as a sports anthem. Burgundy Records (www.donnasummer.com). — Review: Nancy Ford
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MWMartha Wainwright
I Know You’re Married But I’ve Got Feelings Too
Rolling Stones’ Barry Walters writes: “If you think Rufus Wainwright possesses an uncommonly expressive voice, check out his sister.” Her distinctive vocal quality and quirky pen are perhaps best displayed on originals like “Jesus and Mary” and “Hearts Club Band”. Available June 10 from Zoe/Rounder (www.zoerecords.net). Review: Nancy Ford
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Lalah Hathaway
Self Portrait
Donnie’s little girl is all grown up with her fourth solo, soulful collection of R & B tunes, masterfully led by “Let Go.” But the lush, deep vocal tones of “Little Girl,” ironically, provide this CD’s finest moments. Available June 3 from Stax Records (www.lalahhathaway). Review: Nancy Ford
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SpiritLeona Lewis
Spirit
Simon Cowell calls this Brit beauty “the next Whitney Houston.” That could mean a lot of things, but in this case, it’s all good. Driving and passionate, her “Bleeding Love”, the CD’s first single, appropriately dominated Billboard magazine’s Hot 100 for most of May. J Records/Syco (www.leonalewismusic.co.uk). Review: Nancy Ford
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Robyn
Robyn
The implied hyperbole is understood, but a self-aggrandizing hip-hop introduction that goes so far as to introduce the artist as having found the cure for AIDS is going too far. Couldn’t get past track 2—sorry. She’s cute, though. Konichiwa Records/Cherrytree Records/Interscope (www.robyn.com). Preview: Nancy Ford
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CurtSmithCurt Smith
Halfway, Pleased
Now mid-way through life, he says, the sopranic front man for the ‘90s-era pop duo, Tears For Fears (“Everybody Wants to Rule the World”) goes solo and autobiographical on this sleep-inducing collection. KOOK Media (www.curtsmithofficial.com). Review: Nancy Ford

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Karen Akers
Simply Styne

Show tune lovers (and who of us aren’t?) will love this collection of tunes penned by Jule Styne. The Tony-award nominated Akers is right at home here, especially when she delivers the Gypsy medley. DRG Records (www.drgrecords.com). Review: Nancy Ford
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WEB ONLY

Various Artists
DJ Ricardo! presents Out Anthems 3

It’s Pride month—get up and dance! This club CD includes David Guetta & Chris Willis’ “Love Is Gone”, named Club Anthem of the Year at the Club World Awards. Pumpin’. Ultra Records (www.ultrarecords.com). Preview: Nancy Ford
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Various Artists
The Very Best of Outlaw Country

Crack open a long neck and enjoy the crème de la crème of country barroom sing-alongs, including Willie Nelson’s “Whiskey River (Live)”, David Allan Coe’s “You Never Even Called Me By My Name”, Tanya Tucker’s “Texas (When I Die)”, and 17 more. Down and dirty and pure gold. Legacy Recordings (www.legacyrecordings.com). Review: Nancy Ford

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