Issue:  Vol. 47 / No. 42 / 19 October 2017
 

Just a little bit gay?

Music


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James Franco was recently quoted as saying he's "a little gay," which earns his new musical project Daddy (with Tim O'Keefe) a place in this column. Let Me Get What I Want (We Are Daddy/Kobalt), said to be inspired by the work of The Smiths (and featuring Andy Rourke of The Smiths on bass guitar), probably would have benefited from having a singer of Morrissey's stature on vocals. That said, there's enough intriguing material here, much of it about a character named Sterling, to warrant repeated listens. Suggestive without being graphic, songs such as "Lime Green Dress," "Sword Swallower," "I Think That I Loved Him," as well as the rhythmic "You Are Mine," "I Am on the Sidelines" and "I Am All These Things," and the spoken-word exercise "Car Ride Home," give us another glimpse of what the multi-faceted Franco has to offer.

On Eight Is Enough (kinseysicks.com), its first album with original founding member Winnie (aka Irwin Keller) in a somewhat reduced role (he has since retired from the group and has been replaced by Nathan Marken), dragapella superstars The Kinsey Sicks continue to mine their trademark a cappella parody tunes. The best and most brilliant of the parodies is "What Does Fox News Say?" (based on Ylvis' "The Fox"), a new high point for KS parodist-in-chief Ben Schatz (aka Rachel). Highlights include parodies "Let It Grow," "Crappy" and the gross-out "Enemal Crackers," and originals "There Are Worse Things Than Getting Hurt," "Why the Fuck Aren't We Famous?" and "Preach, Shout and Judge (Your Fellow Man)."

Former RuPaul's Drag Race season six contestant Adore Delano really wants to sing. Prior to appearing on Drag Race, Delano (aka Daniel Noriega) made it to the semi-finals on the seventh season of American Idol. After Party (Producer Entertainment), the second album by Delano, boasts the kind of club tunes you might expect, including "Bold As Love," "Take Me There," "Foreign Lover" and "Dynamite." No life-changing revelations here, but that's probably not what you're looking for from a Drag Race competitor.

When it comes to cabaret crooners, there's a fine line between being the top or over-the-top. Talented actor-singer Telly Leung comes dangerously close to crossing that line on his second album Songs for You (Yellow Sound). A little restraint would have probably made Leung's interpretations of Michael Jackson's "Human Nature," the "I (Am What I Am) Have Nothing" medley, "I Just Had To Hear Your Voice," and Sondheim's "Being Alive" less jarring. His reading of "Second Chances," a song from the recent Broadway hit Allegiances, proves that a little subtlety goes a Leung way.

Your Dying Wish Come True (jimandralis.bandcamp.com), the solo debut by Jim Andralis of "gay post-punk sensations" The Isotoners fame, is one of the best solo discs of the year by any musician gay or straight. The song "For a Minute or Two" alone is enough to justify that statement. Also notable are astonishing numbers "Just Driving," "Good News" (feat. Larry Krone), "It's Not Love" and bonus track "Someday I Will Lead the Parade."

Boston music legend Rick Berlin (of Berlin Airlift and Orchestra Luna fame) is still going strong in his 70s. The five-song EP Badville (rickberlin.bandcamp.com) by Berlin and The Nickel & Dime Band, featuring the wild "(Like Em) Crazy," is proof positive of that. Fox Eyes, Whale Heart (bobbyjovalentine.com) by award-winning gay singer/songwriter Bobby Jo Valentine makes a case for answering the question about how Christian music and queer musician can co-exist peacefully. Songs "Ever Since" and "Fox Eyes" are two of the best examples.






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