January 2009 Script

Gaye Adegbalola - Queer Blues (2008)

Welcome to Queer Voices on KPFT and I'm JD Doyle. This time on Queer Music Heritage things are going to be a little different. It's not only my ninth anniversary show but as it's a January show, I thought I'd look back on 2008 and bring you the best of the year. Of course this is my own brand of doing that.

During the year I do get to hear a large number of new CDs by GLBT artists, and therefore have a lot to go through. So I've really little time for casual listening. But these are the ones that I found that time for, the ones I kept going back to and playing over and over. Yes, this is a Very subjective list, and I didn't worry about trying to represent particular genres or so many boys and so many girls, but I do think I landed on quite a variety.

Gaye and JD, June 2005, in Chicago

Okay, back to the music. I started off with a very logical and very queer song, and that's part of it's name. "Queer Blues" came from the album "Gaye Without Shame" by Gaye Adegbalola. That's the same song I used to start off my show last October, when I was honored to feature an extensive interview with Gaye. And Gaye recently wrote me that she's been nominated by the Blues Foundation for their annual awards, in the category of Contemporary Blues Female Artist of the Year. That won't be announced until May, and she doubts she'll win, but says it is testimony that the blues community embraced the message of her album.
Next up is a Brooklyn artist named Jennifer O'Connor. This is her fourth full-length album since 2002 and she's currently touring with Amy Ray, of the Indigo Girls. I picked the title track from her album "Here With Me."

Jennifer O'Connor

Jennifer O'Connor - Here With Me (2008)
Phil Putnam - Here to Stay (2008)

I followed Jennifer O'Connor with Phil Putnam, and I've become quite a fan of his over his last several albums. This one is called "Casualties" and track I played was "Here To Stay."

Phil Putnam

This next choice for my favorite albums of 2008 may seem a little odd, as I guess you don't expect a Christmas album to make this kind of list, but why not? If you heard my December show you heard me absolutely gush over this one. I think it's a terrific album, which is no surprise coming from Melissa Etheridge. But since it's now a month after Christmas I tried to pick a sort of less Christmasy song, but I think the message of this one works all year. Melissa Etheridge from her album "A New Thought for Christmas" and "Light a Light."

Melissa Etheridge - Light a Light (2008)

This next album came out so late in 2007 that I didn't even find out about it until January. I'm bending the rules and honoring it this year, and I love this album. It's the only musical to make the list and it's already been on Off-Broadway and done in many productions around the country. It's called "Bare the Musical," and that's b-a-r-e, but unfortunately there's no nudity in the show. It's the characters that bare their souls, in particular, two closeted Catholic high school students named Jason and Peter. Jason is described as the handsome golden child of the Senior class, and Peter is his clandestine boyfriend. I picked a song early in the plot called "You and I" where Peter is leaving Mass and Jason catches up with him.

Bare the Musical - You and I (2007)

"You and I," as sung by James Snyder and Matt Doyle, from the album version of "Bare the Musical."

Also (shameless plug) check out my February 2008 show, with an interview with Damon
Intrabartola, one of the creators of "Bare the Musical" and much more of the show's music

Matt Doyle and James Snyder

Jeff Heiskell, with his band just going under the name Heiskell, is the only artist to repeat from last January's Best of the Year show. He ably followed up last year's album "Soundtrack for an Aneurism" with one called "Clip On Nose Ring." It covers a lot of subject matter, but I thought especially cool his song about a big, big love. It's called "The Chubby Guy Song."

Heiskell - The Chubby Guy Song (2008)

Jeff Heiskel

That was Heiskell, from "Clip On Nose Ring." I was really impressed with the debut album by Melange Lavonne, called "The Movement," especially the song you're going to hear. Even before the full album came out I featured the song on QMH, when I did my special on Gay Hip Hop Music in 2007. The song is called "Gay Bash."

Melange Lavonne - Gay Bash (2008)

Melange Lavonne

"Gay Bash" by Melange Lavonne. And this is a good time to invite you to check out my website. If you visit it while you're listening you can see the playlist and follow along, while looking at photos of the artists and recordings. I've always considered our music history as a visual as well as an audio experience. Again, that's at www.queermusicheritage.com, Also, for more very queer programming, please listen to After Hours with Jimmy Carper, every Saturday night/Sunday morning from 1 to 4 am, on KPFT, it's Queer Radio, with attitude.

This next artist has gotten a lot of exposure over the last couple years, and I'm not only talking about his appearance in the movie "Shortbus." He's Jay Brannan, and he's released an EP called "Unmastered," and his first full-length album is called "Goddammed." It's full of very intimate, personal and brutally honest songs, that are easy to identify with, like this one, called "Housewife."

JD & Jay Brannan at his Nov 21, 2008, Houston show

Jay Brannan - Housewife (2008)
Eric Himan - Protest Song (2008)

Eric Himan in Houston, March 2006

And following Jay Brannan was a very upfront song by Eric Himan, called "Protest Song," and this is perhaps his most out of the closet song in his long career. I've been a big fan of his for years and his album "Resonate" is his eighth since his debut in 2000.

Scott Free

Another artist I've been a fan of for a long time is Scott Free, and I think his latest CD, called "The Pink Album (A Pop Opera)," is the masterpiece of his career. It will a tough one for him to follow, and I had a tough time picking which song to play from it, but settled on the track whose video got a lot of play on the Logo network this past year. It's called "Free."

Scott Free - Free (2008)
Mike Rickard - Natural (2004)

  Mike Rickard & JD in Chicago, June 2005

Yes, "it's only natural baby, that I would fall in love with a guy like you." That was Mike Rickard and his song "Natural." Now that song was originally released on Mike's 2004 CD "Stirred Not Shaken," but appeared again this year on an album that is perhaps an unusual choice for a Best of the Year show. It's a double CD various artists compilation, and it's only the latest in a fine line of albums released by Greg Hudson and his Woobie Bear Music label. He's been terrifically supportive of GLBT artists and created his own label to get the word out. The latest album is called "G CD Global 2," "2" because it's second in a series, and it features a whopping 39 tracks and artists from 14 different countries, an amazing compilation. The selections are heavily dance oriented, but also include some surprises, like this artist from the UK named Matt Fishel. He's not released his own album yet, but I'm looking forward to it. I couldn't resist his song "When Boy Meets Boy."

Matt Fishel - When Boy Meets Boy (2008)

Matt Fishel

Matt Fishel, and as the "G CD Global 2" CD has two discs, well, I shared with you two of it's artists. Another new artist who made a big impression on me this year is Jake Walden, and I found his debut album "Alive and Screaming" hauntingly beautiful. People talk about what they call his "velvet gravel" voice, and I think that fits.

Jake Walden

Jake Walden - For Someone (2008)

Jake Walden and the song "For Someone," from his album "Alive and Screaming."

This next artist struck the public's fancy in 1986 when he won the TV competition "Star Search" with his, okay, let's admit it, very over the top version of "Over the Rainbow." I loved it. It would make Patti Labelle proud. He's Sam Harris and he's had a long career, many albums, appearances on Broadway, television roles, etc etc. His latest album, called "Free," has a big range of material, from beautiful ballads to the title track, "Free," which has an anthem quality to it. But of course I picked the most lyrically gay song, and frankly I never expected him to do such an out of the closet song. It's a tribute to his partner and the song is called "He Is."

Sam Harris - He Is (2008)

Again, Sam Harris, from his album "Free."

Before I close I want to say that picking these fourteen albums to showcase was difficult, because of course there are many more recordings from last year that I enjoy and admire. But, only so many fit into an hour show. And I want to mention that if you have questions or comments about any of the music I've featured, please write me. And please check out my website, at www.queermusicheritage.com. You can find links there to the sites of all of the artists featured on the show. This is JD Doyle for Queer Music Heritage.

Okay, the last song, and I doubt any of the artists on the show would want to follow her. She was just named one of Curve Magazine's seven Entertainers of the Year for 2008. And she's been touring the country with her show, packed full of singing and dancing. She's been dubbed "The Dyke Diva," and has been living up to the title of her debut album, "Living My Life Out Loud." She got a drag queen friend name Sasha A Mess to help out on this track. Here's Lori Michaels and "Meet Me at the Partay."

Lori Michaels - Meet Me at the Partay (2008)

Lori Michaels