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HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT? – LGSO

LGSO
Queer people in NornIrl are used to (locally) powerful elements, namely the now-largest political party, the DUP DUP(Democratic Unionist Party) and the Free Presbyterian Church, both constructed by the late Dr. Ian Paisley, being resolutely opposed to, in essence, any rights for LGBTs.  The situation in other places, particularly other parts of the ‘Anglosphere’ can can appear wreathed in a pinko-lavender glow.  We are cosily slotting into British, especially London society, it seems.
How odd, then, was it to read and hear of the puzzlement on the foot of the BBC Proms recent ‘outreach’ to amateur LGSOorchestras.  (Most such bands are not ‘amateur’ in the strict sense of the word, being made up partly of professional musicians who teach or are ‘session’ musicians in recording studios,or are simply retired or bringing up families).
The puzzlement was caused by the LGSO (London Gay Symphony Orchestra), even liberal[ish] blatts were, on the face if things, taken aback.  The blatts seemed not to have been aware of the LGSO’s existence, including the journos who should HAVE KNOWN – LIKE THE ONES WHO DIDN’T TURN OUT WHEN IT was working with the USA choirs.  Even the local blatts, and the (two) in Islington are professional and consceintiously ‘local’ – and have Lefty histories, they were started by Communist Party people who left after Prague in 1968.  A substantial number of them didn’t want to simply dissolve into their surroundings.  That was by an organisation founded on May 1996, that has 150+  members, and gives a minimum of four concerts per annum, usually given in the C of E church Saint Sepulcre, Holborn Viaduct- the up-coming autumn one is billed for  St. S’s.usually in a church on the border of Islington and the City of London.  It first rehearsed and gave concerts in the Drill Hall a Gay-oriented arts centre, since closed down due to ‘austerity’.Drill Hall
With a bit o’luck the LGSO (there’s a similar band in Birmingham) will get ‘picked on’ by the Beeb and show their stuff.  They really ought to make records, some major bands in London, and similar large cities sell recordings of the concerts audiences have just sat through.  The LGSO filled the Royal Festival Hallsome years ago accompanying LGBT choirs from Europe and the USA.  Thus it isn’t unused to critical audiences – though the critics in the ‘straight’ press ignored the event, even though it was given on behalf of two charities.
Further reading:

ROCK AGAINST BOWIE

David Bowie (né Jones) died a short time ago, as ever on such occasions, tributes ‘poured in’, and there is no doubt that Bowie was an artist who could produce very interesting material. He could also, it should be said, produce whole albums-worth of dreck. The person who first broke ranks on the adulation was the comedian (and sharp investigative television reporter), Mark Thomas.

He noted Bowie (“the Thin White Duke”)’s Hitlerian salutes and straightforward racism, shouting “Keep Britain White”, and “Get the foreigners out” in the course of early 1970s gigs. Such people don’t ‘do’ irony, the fact that he was using African-American music crudified for honkie consumption never seems to have ‘fizzed’ on him.

He was, admittedly, one of the few people who composed ‘concept albums’ worth listening to – one on the theme of travelling from Vladivostok to Moscow along the Trans-Siberian Railway. That’s the sort of thing ‘Rock Stars’ did in those days, when not molesting under-age girls or chucking televisions out of hotel windows. Bowie was a quite inconsistent artist and some of his stuff is worthless. The guitarist Eric Clapton, of the band Cream, joined in the racist fun at his own gigs.

A result of this dangerous nonsense was the founding of Rock Against Racism, at the instigation of a professional photographer ‘Red’ Saunders, in a letter to the ‘music press’, presumably mainly NME (New Musical Express) a mass-circulation journal at the time. There already was a group called Rock Against Racism an arm of the SWP (still the International Socialists, becoming a ‘party’ in 1976). The SWP was very gratified at a sudden huge extension of its youth base.

It was less enthralled to learn that the great majority of the base thought their particular analysis of society was surplus to requirements. The SWP personnel were voted out of office in RAR, though the IS / SWP were allowed to sell their wares at RAR gigs – some of which were enormous. The racist Right found that “there ain’t no black in the Union Jack” stirred most teenagers to thump them rather than nod in agreement. Ska and reggae bands were ever-present at RAR gigs and rallies. RAR’s magazine Temporary Hoarding was first published on May Day 1977.

Despite that, the racist Right looked as if it was going to make inroads in electoralist politics, it got 10% of the vote in the 1974 London’s local elections. It certainly seemed to be making determined efforts to monopolise the streets. Kevin Gateley was killed in Notting Hill in the Summer of 1976, prior to that Enoch Powell, in April claimed that ‘Britain’ was being “hollowed from within…” a portentous remark, if not a particularly clear one. England, or at least London, experienced a number of long, hot summers. In August 1977 the National Front staged an “anti-mugging” march through Lewisham. It left the south London, largely plebeian borough in a mess, but did very little to wipe out ‘mugging’ (street theft of purses and money off isolated, working class people) mostly women out shopping.

There can be little doubt that the rank and file of the police were sympathetic to the NF. The ‘blacks’ had suddenly become a majority, allegedly, in some London boroughs and parts of other cities and towns. The ‘Asians’ were a slightly more ambiguous matter, they didn’t look all that out of the ordinary, at least when they didn’t wear ‘Asian’ clothes. And they had the proper attitude to women, they should be seen and not heard, and stay in the kitchen. The ‘Blacks’ largely of West Indian origin have now become observably English. Some third, and forth generation ‘Asians’ have reverted to wearing the sort of clothes worn in the Indian subcontinent. Given that even liberals can use phrases like “fourth generation immigrants” possibly this is not too blameworthy.

Rock Against Racism rather fizzled out in the course of the 1980s mainly because groups like the National Front did, there was nothing like an invasion (you’ll recalled Mrs Thatcher used similar language in the 1990s, when she was Prime MInister) or a ‘deluge’. It was for most towns and cities more of a trickle of immigrants. The people coming into the economy proved useful, – most of the Asians were middle class and educated. They were somewhat similar to the Poles of the ‘noughties’, nearly all of whom had skills. Despite which, the Daily Mail attempted to work up grievances against them – then they all went home.

It is worth mentioning that Blair Peach, a New Zealander was killed opposing a National Front celebration of St George’s Day (April 23rd) in Southall. It is in (far) west London, and was heavily populated by Indians – the biggest Hindu temple on the planet is in the area. Peach was part of a crowd of about 3,000 – they were managed by an astonishing number of police, about 2,500. Peach was killed some streets away clearly obviously trying to get away from a baton charge.

He didn’t manage to escape, and died next day of a physical trauma – a huge injury to the back of his head. The London Metropolitan Police took years to admit that they did it. And that they had been very heavy handed dealing with a crowd that was not being physically aggressive and was not much bigger than their own body of men. This was the socio-political ambience that Bowie and Clapton decided to throw their tuppence worth of racist bilge around.

X-Men star opens up about first on-screen gay kiss in music video

Troye Sivan had his first on-screen gay kiss in the video

Troye Sivan had his first on-screen gay kiss in the video

Actor and singer Troye Sivan has spoken about his first on-screen same-sex kiss, which took place in a video trilogy for his album Blue Neighbourhood.

The X-Men Origins: Wolverine star opened up about the emotional video trilogy which was directed by Tim Mattia.

Featuring three songs – ‘Wild’, ‘Fools’, and ‘Talk Me Down’, the videos follow a gay couple from their childhood friendship to a tragic ending.

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“I heard these three songs but I just never listened to them in that particular order before”, Sivan said.

“You see a little girl and a little boy holding hands and everyone’s like, ‘Aww, sweet! When are you guys going to get married?’ I wanted to show that for young LGBT kids.’”

Of the passionate kissing scenes with co-star Matthew Eriksson, Sivan said he had not done anything quite like that before.

“I’d actually done it before with girls… It was my first time kissing a guy on screen. We had been friends on Facebook for a really long time but we had never met in person. The day after we met he was shirtless with his legs wrapped around me.”

Check out the video trilogy below:

https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2016/01/02/x-men-star-opens-up-about-first-on-screen-gay-kiss-in-music-video/

Christmas carols have never been so sexy

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All-male a cappella group Hunkappella have released their latest video just in time for the holidays, and it’s a present we can all enjoy.

Taking on a variety of classic Christmas tunes, the hunky group go through more costume changes than Cher on tour, including a few revealing outfits…

Give it a watch below!

Troye Sivan: 'These Songs Are About Boys'

troye_primary

 

 

Troye Sivan’s highly anticipated EP Wild is only hours away from its U.S. release when I meet with him on a balmy Thursday afternoon at a West Hollywood coffee shop. With more than 3.5 million followers on YouTube, the singer’s latest effort had no trouble claiming the top spot on iTunes moments after it became available for preorder, but the success of his previous album, 2014’s TRXYE, set a high standard for the artist to surpass. Upon its debut, it was the number 1 album in 66 countries on iTunes and debuted at number 5 on the Billboard 200, and the music video for album’s lead single, “Happy Little Pill,” went on to rack up more than 17.5 million views.

These are statistics that might make any emerging artist antsy on the eve of a follow-up release, but the 20-year-old Australian-raised singer is quite at ease as he saunters into the shop, dressed in a plain maroon T-shirt and skinny jeans, with a satisfied smile splashed across his face. Moments after he joins me at a quiet corner table, he explains why competing with prior success is the furthest thing from his mind.

“Chart positions are very cool and awesome, but my biggest worry between the last EP and this one was that my music would change and grow, and I feel like that’s happened,” he says. “However, when I first set out to work on Wild, it was nerve-racking because I wasn’t sure what I was capable of — I’m still not sure — but as soon as I had that moment where I thought, That’s better than anything I’ve written before, the pressure got better and better because I felt at ease about writing something I was really proud of.”

He cocks his head thoughtfully to one side before adding, “I think the most important thing to me at this point in my career is being able to be honest in my songwriting — and these songs are about boys.”

It’s this kind of fearless honesty that has earned Sivan his legions of loyal followers and placed him on a short list of young out artists like Sam Smith, Shamir, and Years & Years front manOlly Alexander — LGBT trailblazers who refuse to believe the myth that a successful career can only be had by staying in the closet. In fact, Sivan says he feels it’s his responsibility to break new ground for the next generation.

“I have a platform and I should be using it to spread good if I can,” he says. “I know being able to see a gay artist who was living a happy, successful, and healthy life is something I would’ve appreciated seeing when I was 13 years old. The thought of being that for someone else is really awesome to me, and it motivates me to keep living my truth openly, honestly, and proudly.”

For Sivan, living that truth means embracing subjects in his art that others have been afraid to tackle in the past. Writing love songs with male pronouns for his previous EP was the first step, but Sivan says he wanted to help move the needle for LGBT visibility even further this time around.

In his latest music video, for the title song “Wild,” he presents a story of first love between two very young boys.

“I feel like gay relationships are sexualized in the media and I just wanted to show a romantic, adorable, puppy love situation between two little boys because that’s something we never ever see,” he says. “We usually see stories when the teen is grown up, they’re 18, they’re going out, and maybe they’re promiscuous. That’s a part of gay culture — and it’s a fun part of gay culture — but there’s also those little baby crushes you have when you’re younger. I wanted to show that naïveté, that innocence, and that joy before someone tells you there’s something wrong with you.”

He stops and turns his gaze toward the steady stream of traffic rolling by on Melrose Avenue a few feet away and his voice softens before he continues.

“Unfortunately for me, I always felt in the back of my mind that there was something wrong with me. Even when I was a little kid, I remember suppressing any feelings I had towards other boys,” he says. “I was just aware I wasn’t supposed to be having those feelings from a very young age. And the boys in the music video, I only wish that I could’ve had that kind…”

He stops again, this time taking a deep breath before meeting my gaze with a warm smile. “Well, let’s just say I guess I’m a little jealous of the kids in the music video because they get to experience that — if only for a brief second, but they get to experience that relationship without any baggage.”

The subject is obviously one close to his heart, and Sivan says the video is the first installment of his “Blue Neighborhood Trilogy,” which will follow the story of these fictional boys as their relationship develops over years.

“To me the old ways of thinking about sexuality, these are all inevitable things that are going to change and my attitude is, let’s pretend as if they are changed,” he says. “Let’s pretend it’s not an issue to have two boys kissing in a music video or whatever it is. Let’s just do it and do it unapologetically because that is our honest experience. That is our truth.”

He adds, “Hopefully these videos will be the most viewed thing I’ve ever done in my life.”

With his latest music video garnering more than 2.5 million views in its first week and ringing endorsements of his new EP from famous fans like Taylor Swift, the singer appears to be well on his way to achieving that goal. Furthermore, his growing popularity is proof that young LGBT artists making music about their experiences can be power players in the same field as their straight counterparts.

Sivan teases that “a lot more music” from him will drop before the end of the year and he’ll be kicking off a tour “very soon” as well. Nevertheless, throughout it all he plans to stay focused on his primary mission: Creating a more inclusive music landscape for LGBT people.

“Over the years I’ve met a lot of fans who will whisper things in my ear like, ‘I’m bisexual and no one knows except for you now.’ Those are always awesome moments and I love that people feel like they can confide in me…but I’m fighting for a day when that won’t be necessary,” he says.  “It’s my hope that somewhere, a young gay person who is struggling with who they are will see something like ‘Wild’ and say, ‘Maybe I do like boys, and that’s completely fine because there’s those kids in that music video — so I think I’m going to be just fine.’”

Chad King of A Great Big World Discusses Singing About Loving a Man

A Great Big World

 OUT

 

Chad King (left) and Ian Axel

Ian Axel and Chad King set the world afire with their 2013 single “Say Something.” Coming seemingly out of nowhere, the track exploded and caught the attention of Christina Aguilera who later appeared on a re-recorded version of the song. Earlier this year, that version of the song netted the duo their first Grammy.

Two years on, history seems to be repeating itself. Once again, A Great Big World has dropped a single—this time “Hold Each Other” a cut of their upcoming second album—that’s whipped up a groundswell of support.

“[The reception] has been really good, overwhelmingly positive,” says King, who sings the most buzzed about lyric on the single: “Something happens when I hold him.”

“Originally the lyric in the chorus was ‘something happens when I hold her,’ ” says Axel. “And after a day away from the song, I was like, ‘Wait a minute, how is Chad going to sing that line? We need to change it.’ So we changed it and it became a very powerful song for us.”

The change was subtle, yet it greatly magnified the track’s emotional resonance, especially for its singer. “I think what is really interesting is that I was [at first] uncomfortable singing it as ‘Something happens when I hold him,’ ” King explains. “The fact that I was uncomfortable singing it, as someone who’s gay, it showed me and Ian that we have to spread this message because I shouldn’t be scared to say what’s in pop music. It isn’t done in pop music often, not in this way. The fact that I was scared to say that showed us that we needed to do it.”

As Axel explains, it wasn’t originally a statement. “But it became a statement in a way. It’s so subtle that I don’t think people really hear it on the first or second listen and it’s just Chad singing about the person he loves and wants to hold and it’s really not a big deal.”

The moment was somewhat revelatory for the pair, who had, in swapping a pronoun, slammed into pop music’s generic heteronormativity.

RELATED | Catching Up With A Great Big World

“After that first day when Ian changed the lyric it became second nature,” King says. “The initial switching of that pronoun, I’m not used to seeing [in pop music]. Even when we’re writing, there will be some stream-of-consciousness moments where I’m singing about ‘she’ and ‘her’ and ‘the girl,’ but in no way do I actually feel those things. I feel that it’s a habitual thing that I learned over the years listening to pop music.”

It’s songs like “Hold Each Other” that work within pop’s framework while still innovating and challenging convention that will mark A Great Big World’s upcoming LP, slated for a November release.

” ‘Hold Each Other’ is a positive happy love song because we’re in a much better place than we were when we wrote the last album,” Axel says. “I’m getting married, and we were just writing a love song.”

King agrees: “I’m hopeful that we can bring an emotional aspect to pop music that you haven’t seen before. I feel like ‘Hold Each Other’ is in the direction of our new album, where it’s really emotional songs underlying this track that you want to bob your head to and I’m hopeful that we’re on to something.”

“We were being as vulnerable as we could, writing a song that we needed to write because it was our therapy and all of a sudden it found a lane on pop radio,” Axel says. “I think the pop world is the place we want to be because we get to reach the most amount of people. ”

“I feel like if you’re scared to say it, or you’re embarrassed or ashamed or insecure about it, I feel that the general rule of thumb for us is ‘let’s sing about it.’ Because those are things that need to be said and need to be heard and are what people connect to the absolute most and what people need to hear because we’re all in this thing together and we all feel the same things and our stories are everyone else’s stories.”

Considering that “Hold Each Other” has been met with so much positivity and praise, it seems that everyone is ready for Axel and King’s brand of catchy, yet emotionally honest, pop. Well, almost everyone that perhaps. “I thought we would have had a little more resistance to ‘Hold Each Other’, especially getting it played on radio,” King explains. “There have been a couple stations in the South that have refused to play it because they feel it’s too progressive. But I’m OK with that, because it means we’re doing something right. If they can’t play a song like this, which is only about love, if they can’t play a song about love then I don’t want to listen to their station.”

The duo’s putting the finishing touches on their sophomore LP and say that the album will still be classic A Great Big World, just a bit more “grown up.”

“I feel like we’re trying to marry the theatrical sense of what we do and the emotional sense,” Axel says. “Trying to hit a little bit more in the pop arena because we want to reach the most amount of people. I feel the album is a little bit more beat driven as well. I think that our fans aren’t going to be disappointed at all, because it sounds like us and it has the same heart that it did in the first album.”

Beyond finishing the album and gearing up to tour in early 2016, the guys also have a Broadway musical in the works that Axel says they’ve been developing for three years. “It’s been a dream of ours to do this since we’ve known each other. We’re pretty much finished with revisions on the first draft, we’re about to go to a director, and there are some Broadway producers onboard,” he says. “It’s a show about family and what family is and how family is what you make it. There are definitely some twists and turns we can’t give away.”

While things are still coming together, King and Axel do have some information that they can share, including the tentative title: Two Blocks Away. “It’s a pop musical,” King says, “So there’s our music but some songs are eight minutes long.”

“It’s kind of our music but on steroids,” Axel sums up. “We don’t have to write to any form or structure and we can just do whatever our hearts desire because of the stage; anything can happen on the stage.”

A Great Big World’s second LP is due in November. “Hold Each Other” is out now.

Bryan Hawn reveals all in new Justin Bieber featured video

GT Hunks

Hilarious!

Shrillex and Diplo have released their new track which features music superstar Justin Bieber.

However, this version of the tracks video is a little different.

The track, titled Where Are U Now now features fitness enthusiast Bryan Hawn in his latest parody as he dances at the sea, gives a touch of camera sex up close and even rides a polar bear in his pants. Yes, really!

Oh, and he wears like no clothes. Complaining? We said nothing of the kind.

So what’re you waiting for?

Get watching…

Words William J Connolly, @wjconnolly

Adam and the Angst

 

 

Photography by Jack Waterlot | Styling by Alison Brooks | Groomer: Abreea Saunders

 

Adam Lambert

For Adam Lambert, Hollywood isn’t just a metaphor for success or disillusionment. It’s a real place — his city for the last 15 years. It was his home before he ran away with all the accolades (if not the title) on American Idol, before he debuted an album at the top of the Billboard charts, before guest starring on Glee, and before fronting a stadium-rock band that ranks among the biggest of all time.

When it came time to write and record his new album, The Original High, he knew where his material would come from.

“I wanted the album to be a real snapshot of my life, my real life, my authentic life in L.A. over the past 15 years,” says Lambert. “I wanted it to sound like music I listen to when I go out or when I’m at the fucking gym or in Runyon Canyon or in my car.” He pauses. “It’s a bit of a melancholy album, you know? It’s talking about the ups and downs of life in Hollywood.”

If Lambert had been singing specifically about his time in the music industry, the ups would certainly include the debut of his sophomore album, Trespassing, at the number 1 spot on the Billboard 200 — a historic first for a gay artist; or being handpicked by Brian May and Roger Taylor to be heir apparent to Freddie Mercury as Queen’s frontman in a globe-trotting tour. The downs might include disappointingly little radio play for Trespassing’s singles, despite that auspicious launch. Or it might include the reaction from his then-label, RCA Records.

During the downtime following the release of Trespassing, Lambert was going out, going to dinners, and hanging out with friends. And his conversations with them had a new and different purpose. He began asking friends heavy stuff: What is it that you want? Why are you in this city? What are you looking for?

He says, “Most of the people that I asked weren’t able to answer it. ‘How the fuck are we supposed to know? I don’t know what I want.’ And I understood that. I was like, Exactly. What is it that we’re chasing? What is the driving force here? Is it happiness? Is it success? Is it sex? Is it love? Is it validation?”

SLIDESHOW | ADAM LAMBERT: ORIGINAL HIGH

Lambert went to RCA, armed with some new insights from those conversations and the experience of two albums, and said, “Let’s try something different.” But RCA had something different in mind as well: a 1980s cover album. Lambert thought about the proposal for a few weeks, and researched New Wave. “It didn’t feel like the right thing. So I said, ‘I don’t really want to do that,’ and they said, ‘Well, that’s what we want to do.’ And I said, ‘OK, I’m going to go.’ ”

Now a free agent for the first time, Lambert approached two of his former collaborators, the Swedish super-producers Max Martin and Shellback, who variously co-wrote and co-produced Britney Spears’s “…Baby One More Time,” Katy Perry’s “Roar,” Maroon 5’s “Moves Like Jagger,” and Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.” He brought a demo of a new song titled “The Original High,” about chasing the rush of first times.

“Shell got really excited,” says Lambert. “He immediately heard how he could turn it into an even stronger song.” Martin and Shellback talked with Lambert about where life had been taking him, and he says they told him, “What if we executive produce the whole thing, the whole album?”

“I breathed a sigh of relief because, at that point, I wasn’t sure what the fuck was happening next,” Lambert says. “These two guys are people I respect so much and I also really enjoy them as people. They answered my prayers.”

Lambert spent eight weeks in Stockholm, working on new songs and meeting Martin and Shellback’s collective of musicians, known as Wolf Cousins. “Habits” singer Tove Lo was a part of that group, and together they wrote and recorded the song “Rumors” in Stockholm. She says collaborating was “a lot of fun, and also easy because he can sing the shit out of anything! We kind of want to share similar emotions in our music, so we understand each other lyrically.”

Lambert calls Shellbeck the “mad scientist” of the studio. “He understands how to worm into people’s brains,” Lambert told a Stockholm audience in June. “He came up with this melody,” says Lambert, “and Tove Lo and I sat down and were like, ‘How do we make a story out of these cool sounds?’ ”

The album’s first single came from those earlier, ambivalent conversations about Los Angeles. “ ‘Ghost Town’ is kind of setting the scene,” Lambert says. “You moved to the big city, you have these ideas, you have these ambitions, and then what happens when you get to a fork in the road, or you hit a wall, and you’re like, Oh, it’s not what I thought it was going to be, or I’m not getting what I thought I wanted, and everything I thought I knew is being called into question? How does that make you feel?” He quotes his lyrics: “ ‘My heart is a ghost town.’ I feel empty. I feel unfulfilled.”

So the song wasn’t primarily about a breakup? “It rolls into that,” he says, laughing. “You can spend a lot of your energy in a place like Hollywood chasing ass.”

“Evil in the Night” — despite high-energy steel guitar, bombastic lyrics, and just a touch of Jamiroquai-esque funk — feels like a refinement of a signature Lambert sound.

“I chilled out a little bit. I don’t know if it’s just being in my 30s,” he says. “When you’re younger and you’ve got a skill, you tend to show off more — you feel like you have more to prove. Over the last few years, I’ve gotten into a place where I feel a little more confident in what I do, and I don’t feel I need to prove myself as far as ‘look at all the tricks I can do.’ Now music for me is more about wanting to prove that I can feel something.”

With a new album in full swing, Lambert had to publicly announce his parting of the ways with RCA in July 2013, simultaneously announcing that he’d signed on to appear on Glee’s fifth season. Warner Bros. contacted Lambert the next day.

“It was scary leaving the label,” says Lambert, but WB’s arrival made him feel confident. “It made me feel better about all of this, made me feel like there was a light at the end of the tunnel. That paired with Max and Shellback’s interest in doing the whole album — it was just like, This is all going to work. I know it’s going to work.

Lambert grew up in San Diego, joining a children’s theater company at age 10. At 12, he floored the audience with a powerful operatic solo in Fiddler on the Roof.

After moving to Los Angeles, he worked in theater, including Ten Commandments: The Musical with Val Kilmer, and the first national touring company and L.A. production of Wicked. Though he’d been out since age 18, his newfound fame on the eighth season of American Idol brought the kind of scrutiny at age 27 for which an ensemble performer and Fiyero understudy couldn’t have prepared himself. His skillful reworking of Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire” and Tears for Fears’ “Mad World,” accompanying his darkly glamorous stage attire and affect (in contrast with his ultimately forgettable competition), made him an Idol audience favorite.

But before the season ended, Lambert appeared on the cover of Entertainment Weekly; the accompanying article speculated on his sexual orientation in light of his winking onstage sensibility and outré fashion. Pictures surfaced of him making out with a man (whom he later revealed was an ex-boyfriend) on a Burning Man social media site, Tribe.net. Lambert neither confirmed nor denied anything, to the frustration of many. Shortly after Idol wrapped in May 2009, and Lambert was awarded the runner-up spot, he came out in a cover story in Rolling Stone, but continued to field complaints for appearing in a Details photo shoot in which he suggestively grabbed a naked woman, and for subsequent tightly orchestrated media appearances. He essentially wasn’t being gay enough.

There’s no way to know exactly how much being out has contributed to or detracted from Lambert’s career, but it would be easy to understand why he may have felt he’d rather unfairly gone through the ringer. But he says he feels no envy for those musicians who’ve come out since he did, and may be having an easier go of it. Lambert praised gay singer Sam Smith to Attitude recently, saying, “I’m so happy for him, and I’m so happy his sexuality wasn’t a big thorn in his side.”

“It was just the way things went down,” Lambert says. “At that time, how many mainstream music artists did we have that were out? Elton John and George Michael — and his whole coming out was tabloid fun. There hadn’t been a blueprint to follow. That was the one thing I wished I’d had: a little more guidance. There were definitely moments of frustration and pressure, but there’s been a lot of goodwill as well, a lot of support from fans and media people, and it’s balanced out. I don’t have any sort of bitterness about it.”

Lambert has also forged a connection with Freddie Mercury, a queer artist of the past of whom he was a fan, and with whom he shares more than an octave-defying range. In 2009, May and Taylor performed Queen’s “We Are the Champions” live on the season finale of Idol with winner Kris Allen and runner-up Lambert in a vocal duet. Impressed with Lambert, they invited him to serve as their frontman at the 2011 MTV Europe Music Awards, on a brief European tour the next year, and on a world tour in 2014 and 2015.

“I’ve heard nothing but incredible stories about him,” Lambert says of Mercury. May and Taylor both told him that they’d have gotten on well, that he shared Mercury’s sense of humor. “From what I gathered, he seemed like a really sweet guy, actually — and a bit shy socially. I would have loved to meet him.” Lambert and his Queen bandmates have talked a lot about Mercury, including how out he was. “Technically, he wasn’t really closeted. I mean, he did interviews early on where they were like, ‘Are you gay?’ and he was like, ‘Oh, yeah, gay as a daffodil, darling,’” Lambert says and laughs. “But nobody really believed it because they didn’t want to. It was so taboo at that time that people didn’t actually think he would have been.”

In the promotion of his new album, fans have noticed Lambert’s new look, a touch easier on the velvet and mascara. “I just generally grew out of that old look and enjoyed new ones — it’s as simple as that,” he says. “There’s also a point where I was working really hard to achieve a look that I was really into, and it was really fun and I wanted to stand out and be crazy and be weird and make a statement with the stuff I was wearing. I look back on some of those red carpet looks, and I’m like, What were you thinking?

“It’s like growing pains, but I was just trying to express myself. Looking back on it now, I can see that I was probably hiding behind it a little bit, sort of like the kid that goes to high school dressed like a goth because they’re actually really sensitive and they don’t want to interact with people and they’re a little scared.”

Though the studio work is meticulously planned, some other parts of Lambert’s life aren’t, and that’s OK. “Everybody thinks everything is so premeditated and thought-out,” he says. Some things are “just impulse…because I felt like it.”

But he says, “Six years is a while, and now I’m in a new space and time in my life, and I’m hoping that my music and my image all match where I’m at.

Ricky Martin sings on The Tonight Show

We get to see Mr Put It Down

Did you miss it? Were you asleep or in a different country? Well you’ve got no excuse now because it’s online.

Ricky Martin performed his new single on The Tonight Show.

Mr Put It Down ft. Pitbull is the first single from Ricky’s upcoming English project which is arriving later this year.

He’s currently touring around America as part of his One World Tour.

So if you can’t see him live, check out this rather amazing performance of Mr Put It Down.

We All Want The Same Thing

Republished from Gay Times

Rixton release their new music video

The band give us a flashback to the 70s

Rixton have just released the video to accompany their new single We All Want The Same Thing.

The track is the third single from the band’s widely anticipated debut album Let The Road, following the success of last summer’s number 1 single, Me & My Broken Heart.

The video takes inspiration from US musical variety show Soul Train, channelling a 70s vibe through some eyebrow-raising floral prints, flared trousers and oversized sunglasses. So you know it’s going to very groovy.

A grainy video is combined with a number of clips taken from the original TV show, giving us something colourful and incredibly fun to watch.

Check out the video below…

We All Want The Same Thing is released on 7 June and Rixton’s album will be available from 8 June.