Jamie Anderson - No Closet
Welcome to OutRadio for July, this is JD Doyle and this is one of my, well, I think, special shows. Usually on OutRadio I showcase new and recent music by GLBT artists, and every January I've been doing a Best of the Year show. But, I didn't start doing those shows until 2007, so there's a lot of music you may have missed. So from time to time I'm going to try to make up for that. Last October I did a show I called my 5/10/15 show, where I covered music from five, ten and fifteen years ago, in that case being 1996, 2001 and 2006. This time you might call the show a 10/15/20 show, as I'll feature what I consider the best music of 1992, 1997 and 2002. And starting us off, from 1992, was Jamie Anderson and a song of hers that I love, called "No Closet." It's from her album "Center of Balance," which was her third full release of what is now ten albums. I played the song on my very first show, in January of 2000, so it's an old favorite of mine.
Again all of the music on this first segment is from 1992. The recordings by these next two artists were only available on cassette tape, and first up is Joe Bracco. His tape, called "True to Myself," was a very out-of-the-closet and politically aware recording, with commentary on gay life and living in the shadow of AIDS. Unfortunately he died in 1991, and his good friend Paul Phillips, of Romanovsky & Phillips, used his studio and arranging talents to make sure this album got released. Its first track, "Friend in My Pocket," talks about safe sex.
- Friend in My Pocket
And that was Ted Fox, with "Tell Me Why," from his album "One of Us." It's a fairly obscure release, but on this show I'm playing you music I think is not only the best but music you should know about, not necessarily just recordings that sold well or had wide distribution. You may wonder how I picked the playlist. Well, kind of systematically .yeah, that's how I roll. While I don't file my recordings by year I do keep a spreadsheet of what I have, so I did a sort by year, pulled the data for the three years for this show and then oh so painfully narrowed them down to what would fit in an hour. And, yeah, I'm bad and with little willpower, so each of these segments will run over the hour mark.
Time for some more lesbian activism, and the band Yer Girlfriend. Most of the songs from their albums are filled with great harmonies, but not this one, it's angry. From their album "L-Word Spoken Here" is the song "L-Word."
I love that one, and actually the entire cassette it's from. They called themselves Destiny, and to make sure you got that, the tape was named "We Are Destiny." The trio was Mary Abt and Diana Bitting and Mary Jo Paranzino, who provided the power vocals. The album is very lyrically lesbian and "Softball at Belmont Plateau" covered a beloved lesbian pastime.
Let's slow things down for a moment and bring you the second album by Suede, called "Barely Blue." I think she's wonderful and from the album is a song written by an excellent songwriter, John Bucchino. It's called "If I Ever Say I'm Over You."
If I Ever Say I'm Over You
One of my all-time favorite acts, The Flirtations, blessed with the voice of Michael Callen. "Mr. Sandman" was from their middle album, "The Flirtations, Live Out on the Road." Their third and last album, by the way, was called "Three," and by then Suede was a member of the group. She's told me touring with them was hysterical.
Time for a bit of punk, by one of my favorite bands, Pansy Division. Their debut album was called "Undressed," and as many of the songs were quite short I'm giving you two by them, "Fem in a Black Leather Jacket" and "Rock & Roll Queer Bar."
- Fem in a Black Leather Jacket / Rock & Roll Queer Bar
Melissa Etheridge, one of our three women icons, and she and kd lang and Janis Ian are all on this show, and they all came out within a few months of each other. kd came out in an article in The Advocate in August 1992, Melissa at an inauguration party for President Clinton, in January 1993, and Janis around the same time. Melissa's album "Never Enough" was her third, and by that time she already had three Grammy nominations for Best Rock Vocal Performance Female. This song, "Ain't It Heavy" won it for her.
And I mentioned Janis Ian and kd lang, coming up are songs by them. The career of Janis Ian of course started in the 60's, with the hit single "Society's Child." In 1975 she won a Grammy for the song "At Seventeen," and then her career was rather low-key for a while. In 1992 however her album "Breaking Surface," was successful and was one of the first indie albums do so. From it I picked the song "Walking on Sacred Ground."
- Walking on Sacred Ground
What a terrific song. Kd lang's "Ingenue" album sold millions and garnered multiple Grammy nominations, including the big ones, Record, Song and Album of the Year. "Constant Craving" won the one for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. Here are two more lesbian artists, not superstars, but all excellent, starting with Deidre McCalla. Her first album was in 1973, so she's one of our pioneers, and I'm playing the title track from her fourth album, "Everyday Heroes and Heroines."
McCalla - Everyday Heroes & Heroines
After Deidre McCalla was the bisexual of the show, Ani DiFranco, a very prolific artist who formed her own label. The song "In or Out," from her album called "Imperfectly," deals with her orientation and people's reaction to it. And next was the UK alt-pop band Kitchens of Distinction, which I've just noticed is the only non-American act on this segment. Led by openly gay Patrick Fitzgerald, they did not shy away from gay lyrics, as you heard in that song, called "4 Men."
This next duo is a comedy act, called Dos Fallopia, comprised of Peggy Platt and a long-time favorite of mine, Lisa Koch. Lisa has recorded a number of solo albums I adore, but as this duo they've been doing shows for many, many years in their home-town of Seattle. They take on zany characters, several different ones per show, and this show got recorded, with the ear-catching title of "My Breasts Are Out of Control." From it is "A Camp Song."
- A Camp Song
I love that song and Disappear Fear. I've known its lead singer Sonia, for many years and whenever I see her live I always request that song, "Box of Tissues." It's from the album "Live at the Bottom Line."
Another mellow song coming up, written by John Calvi. I've interviewed him about it, and the original meaning is that it was directed to those gay folks who are not able to come out of the closet, though it's often used to honor people who have passed. It's been recorded by several folks, including Meg Christian, Suede and this artist, Bill McKinley, and it's from his album "Everything Possible." It's called "The Ones Who Aren't Here."
Bill McKinley - The Ones Who Aren't Here
This is JD Doyle with OutRadio for July, and my show honoring the best music, in my opinion, of the years 1992, 1997 and 2002. For 1992 I saved this song for last as it would be just about impossible for anyone to follow it. It was a huge hit for RuPaul, "Supermodel (You Better Work)."
RuPaul - Supermodel (You Better Work)
Kinsey Sicks - Dragapella
Well, they introduced themselves. That was the "Kinsey Sicks Theme Song," from their debut album "Dragapella," and I just can't get enough of that group. This is JD Doyle with Part 2 of OutRadio for July, and this segment covers music I want to honor from the year 1997. And we're going next to Dave Hall, and a song from his album "Playing the Man," called "Do You Remember?"
- Do You Remember?
Two musical questions. After "Do You Remember?" by Dave Hall was "Which Way Do You Go?" by the band Paxton, from the CD of the same name. And here are two songs that are kind of angry. The first one well, there was a musical in 1976 called "Starting Here, Starting Now," and it contained an often-performed song named "I Don't Remember Christmas." Well, this version changes the lyrics to that song, a lot. In 1997 cabaret artist Lee Lucas released an album called "The Big Strappin' Fag Show," and how could I resist something like that? He called his version "I Don't Remember Stonewall."
- I Don't Remember Stonewall
"I Want Everything," by Steve Cohen, and I've often over the years told people that I think his album "Silent Too Long," is an essential album, one that belongs in every queer music collection. Coming up, a long set of some very out music.
Tremblay - I'm Ready
Great stuff. Lucie Blue Tremblay gave us the title track from her album "I'm Ready," the Indigo Girls sang "It's Alright," from "Shaming of the Sun," Marsha Stevens delivered in her Christian anthem "No Matter What Way," and from Ireland, the duo Zrazy just said, "Come Out Everybody." The Indigo Girls album was a hit, by the way, debuting at #7 on the Billboard charts.
Sadly this next artist died of AIDS, in 1996, and this album was released posthumously by his family the next year. Sid Spencer released some excellent, excellent country and I sure miss the music that could have been. From the album "Chasin' That Neon Rainbow" is the song "Dancin' Thru Texas."
Sid Spencer - Dancin' Thru Texas
Up next are two songs that are a bit more mellow, and I think they are wonderful. First, from the album "Parody Romantic," by Ernest David Lijoi is his song "Chandler Street."
David Lijoi - Chandler Street
I much respect that song and its album, "History Remembers." I love the way the song looks back, and forward, with pride. It was John Whitley singing compositions by Peter Saxe, and on that particular track they were helped out by the NYC Gay Men's Chorus Chamber Choir.
I've been a big fan of Veronica Klaus since her debut album, called "All I Want," and there are a number of songs from it I usually pick, but I want this time to share the very cool job she did on mixing together the songs "Remember Walking in the Sand" by the Shangri Las, and the Irma Thomas song "Ruler of My Heart."
Klaus - Remember Walking in the Sand / Ruler of My Heart
I love that, the closing song from the musical "The Last Session." I got to see that in Houston and was so impressed I went back the next week to see it again, and brought friends. Written by Steve Schalchlin, who put together a talented cast. It's the only musical to make the show this month.
Next is a track from an album by Rick Berlin. He has a long history in music, being in a number of bands, such as Orchestra Luna, and Berlin Airlift, and he's released a number of solo albums. The one that first caught my attention, and made me a fan, was called "Live at Jacques," and as you might guess it's a live show, where he tells his musical stories. It's a bit unfair to take any of them out of context but I think this one holds up that way. It's called "Dangerous Man."
- Dangerous Man
After Rick Berlin was Daniel Cartier and the title track from his album, "Avenue A." And then, a UK band with openly bisexual frontman Martin Rossiter. The band was called Gene, and the CD was named "Drawn to the Deep End," and I've always just loved the song "Fighting Fit," as it has a real 60s vibe to it, like it could have been done by The Who.
And here's another artist I've liked for years, Catie Curtis. Her first album was in 1990 and I have all twelve of them. This one was her third, just called "Catie Curtis," and it got her a GLAMA award for Album of the Year. From it is the song "Soulfully."
Catie Curtis - Soulfully
This is JD Doyle finishing up 1997. Please come back for one more segment, on the best of 2002. And what a marvelous job the Pet Shop Boys did on this song. It's an appropriate one to close this part. From "West Side Story" is their version of "Somewhere."
Pet Shop Boys - Somewhere
Josh Zuckerman - Totally New Sensation
Okay, what year is this? Well, for the purposes of this show, it's 2002, as this is my ten, fifteen, twenty show, where I'm honoring the best music of the year, chosen quite subjectively, for the years 1992, 1997 and now, 2002. This is JD Doyle for OutRadio and I started this last segment with Josh Zuckerman and the title track from his debut album "Totally New Sensation."
Keeping the beat going are The Booklickers, and from their album "Huge" is the song "Love Comes Back."
- Love Comes Back
I love the work of Kristian Hoffman, going way back to The Mumps, in the 70s. In 2002 he released an album called "&." And the angle was each track was a duet with a different guest artist, such as Rufus Wainwright, Van Dyke Parks, Paul Zone, and so on, including the guest on that track, Steve McDonald of the band Redd Kross. The song was the oh so catchy "I Could Die for Cute."
Here comes Ember Swift with a five and a half minute romp. It's from her album called "Stiltwalking," and the song is "Boinked the Bride."
- Boinked the Bride
And that was "grrrl" spelled g-r-r-r-l. I had wondered who could follow Ember Swift and "Boinked the Bride" and I think Gina Young did a good job, with "So Called Str8 Grrrl," from her debut album "Intractable." And over the years I've also played a different incarnation of her, in a duo called Team Gina.
Changing the pace considerably is an album that got very little distribution, so you may have missed it, but I'm glad I didn't. It's by the duo Y'all, who I followed for many years. In 2002 they put out an album called "Between the World and Me, (Steven's Songs)" and that meant it was showcasing half of the duo, Steven Cheslik-DeMeyer, with the other half, James Dean Jay Bird, just providing backups. This was different from their normal fare, which included a lot of humor. Instead we can feast on Steven's sweet tenor voice, and I picked the title track, "Between the World and Me."
Between the World and Me
I think any album Mark Weigle released, in any given year, would make my best of the year list. He's one of my favorites and I not only admire his talent as a singer and songwriter, but for the choices he made in getting this important music out there. Between 1998 and when he retired from music in 2007, he released six albums, and they are all wonderful. His 2002 album was called "Out of the Loop," and you heard "In the Last 5 Minutes."
Here' s another song that I consider a songwriting masterpiece. From Wishing Chair's album "Crow," is the song "Copernicus."
Chair - Copernicus
After Wishing Chair was "Boy in a Dress," by one of our finest transgender artists, Namoli Brennet, and it was the title track from her first album. And that last song may have seemed like an unusual choice, but I think it's gorgeous. But I doubt very much you'll find it. It's the title track of an EP by Tony Jones, and I don't think very many copies were pressed, as it was done by the website mp3.com. In those days, when the site was still worth visiting, you could order a CD and they'd make a copy and send it to you. So, the artist didn't have these made, no doubt a very limited distribution. So, I was glad to share that with you.
Next a couple excellent songs by female artists. First from the album "Ginger Comes to Stay," by the late MaryLofstrom, is the song "Ginger."
In the middle was Allison Tartalia from her debut album "Ready,"
with the song "Absolutely Fabulous." Then Toshi Reagon told
us what was and what wasn't going down, with the song "Oh No No
No." That's from her album just called "Toshi Reagon."
Mary Gauthier - Sugarcane
Aaron-Carl was one of my artist friends, and a well-respected producer of house music in Detroit. Unfortunately he died of cancer in 2010, but he left behind several releases. My favorite was called "Uncloseted," and he was very, and put that message into his lyrics, like on the song "Coming Out Story (B.I.T.C.H)."
Aaron-Carl - Coming Out Story (B.I.T.C.H.)
I've got to set up this next song. It's by the duo Testosterone Kills, who were part of the so-called anti-folk sound, which I never quite understood, but I liked it. One member of that duo, TimPermanent, now has his own solo releases. Anyway, Testosterone Kills had an album called "War All the Time," and I picked the song "Arizona." It's not many songs that start out this way.
Kills - Arizona
And that was Justin Tranter, a very creative artist who I got to see a number of times at the start of his career. The song was "Blend In" from the album "Scratched." He released two solo albums, and then changed direction a bit, and formed a band, called Semi Precious Weapons. They've done quite well, opening for Lady Gaga on her tour for about six months, during 2011.
This is JD Doyle for OutRadio, and thanks for indulging me in my salute to what I think is the best music of the years 1992, 1997 and 2002. I had no doubt what song to end the show with, as I think it's the catchiest song of 2002, and I just know it will stay in your head after you finish listening. You're welcome. Here's Jay Spears and his album "Boy Howdy," and the song "I Like Mike.
Jay Spears - I Like Mike