Script for July 28, 2003, QMH:
That was a little bit of the song "Ya Eyo Lublu" by Irina Rivkin, partially sung in Russian. That's just one of the surprising winners at last month's Outmusic Awards, held on June 1st in New York City. And that's what this show is all about. Tonight I'm saluting the awards. Now if you're a fan of music by GLBT artists, and you don't know about the organization Outmusic, well, you should. Outmusic was founded over 13 years ago in the East Village apartment of Dan Martin and his partner, Michael Biello. Dan describes the awards.
<DAN MARTIN QUOTE: "Well, the awards are in their 3rd year, our second year of having a live event, and they're basically a celebration of excellence in queer music, centered around recordings released last year, but we also come together to meet each other and honor people who have come before us and celebrate special people in our community. We had submissions from all over the US plus England and Australia, so it's the first time that we've had international submissions. And what else can I say? I think, other than that we've doing a conference this year, so we have a one-day conference in advance of the awards themselves, and I think that's a really great, ah, great addition because it gives people a chance to really exchange ideas, as opposed to just exchanging music, which is more of what goes on at the awards themselves.">
This year's event was hosted by two
of last year's winners, Alix Dobkin and Jamie Anderson. In 2002, Alix
took home the Outmusic Heritage Award and Jamie was named Outmusician
of the Year. The eleven categories for this year's OMAs, as the awards
are nicknamed, garnered almost 300 submissions from around the world.
And the international flavor was certainly echoed by the song you
heard at the start of the show. The category was for Out Song of the
Year, and that one was voted on by the organization's members.
Irina Rivkin - ya eyo lublu
And besides having a song partly sung in Russian end up on top, Irina Rivkin did not win it alone. It turned out to be a surprising three-way tie for Out Song of the Year. One of the other winners was from one of my favorite albums of the year, called "Scratched." Justin Tranter calls his style of music 'drama pop' and you'll see why with his song "Blend In."
Justin Tranter - blend in
I love that. I got to see Justin do that song live at the Outmusic Awards ceremony and he gives a very powerful performance. Okay, you noticed I said the award for Out Song of the Year was a three-way tie. Sharing the honor was Mark Weigle's song "In The Last 5 Minutes"
Mark Weigle - in the last 5 minutes
That was from Mark's album "Out of the Loop," and it turned out that Mark was the big winner of the day, getting three awards. His album also got him the award for Outstanding New Recording by a Male, and Outstanding Producer.
One of the first categories to be announced was for Outstanding New Recording, Female, and the award went to Mary Lofstrom for her wonderful jazz album, "Ginger Comes To Stay." I featured Mary on my jazz show in February, but I didn't get a chance to play this track. Listen to what she does to the Tammy Wynette song "Your Good Girl's Gonna Go Bad."
Mary Lofstrom - your good girl's gonna go bad
Mary Lofstom, from her album "Ginger Comes to Stay."
The awards are determined by a panel of judges, and I was honored to have been asked to be one them, and I also attended the event, and the show itself was incredible. If you want to hear a more news-oriented report on the awards, complete with clips from the acceptance speeches, that story was aired on This Way Out several weeks ago, but can also be heard on-demand at my website. But for this show I'm going to try to keep my talking down to a minimum so I can fit in as much music as possible. You're going to hear quite a variety of music, touching a lot of different genres. I'm playing songs by all the winners, and a couple of extras. And, the CDs are all from last year, in order for them to be eligible for the awards.
Also at the Outmusic Awards was the presentation of several honorary awards. The Outmusic Heritage Award went to Romanovsky & Phillips, for her early, on-going and far-reaching contributions to our music culture. They were there to accept and they did their first performance together in several years, as they retired as an act in 1999, and now live in different parts of the country. Since I just did my May show as a tribute to their music, it was a real treat for me to see them honored.
Another honorary award went to the radio show Amazon Country. That's been a weekly show since 1974 on WXPN-FM in Philadelphia and has been a trail blazer in lesbian and feminist radio programming. The award was accepted by current host and producer Debra D'Allessandro.
The Outstanding Support award recognizes exemplary involvement by non-musicians in supporting and furthering the work of GLBT artists. This year's recipient was Gregg Shapiro. For many years Gregg has contributed both as a radio host and a journalist in Chicago, for Windy City Radio and with the Windy City Times. And his reviews and columns are carried in over a dozen queer publications across the country, including Outsmart Magazine in Houston.
And another special recognition OMA was given to Dutchboy, for his major contributions in creating and nurturing the GLBT hip-hop scene. He and Shante Smalls, who is a member of his new group, BQE, gave a very striking performance at the awards.
Will Grega - shambhala
A new category this year at the awards was for Outstanding Instrumental Recording. You've been hearing in the background a song from that album. Will Grega won the award for his album, "Stereotonic," which he co-produced with his lover, Randy Jones, who was the original cowboy from the Village People. They co-hosted last year's OMAs. The song I picked from his album is called "Shambhala," and I'll let you enjoy a little more of it in peace.
Again, that was from Will Grega's album "Stereotonic." Up next is the winner for Outstanding Debut Recording Male. The award went to Reuben for his album, "Dusk." Here's my favorite track from it, "Me&rico."
Reuben - me&rico
That was "me&rico" by Reuben.
Now, instead of my usual middle of the show break, where I tell you to listen to After Hours with Jimmy Carper on KPFT, yadda yadda yadda, I thought I would just put it to music. This is not for the faint of heart. You are warned.
JD Rap (1:41) Click for the lyrics and to hear it...
My sincere apologies go out to Aretha Franklin, Lou Reed and Aaron-Carl, whose backing track I borrowed. And since I abused his song so much, I'm going to play a track by Aaron-Carl. He had a song nominated for Out Song of the Year. He didn't win, but I'm using a producer's prerogative in throwing in a couple of songs by nominated artists who I think you should know about. By Aaron-Carl, from his album "Uncloseted," here's "Bring It On"
- bring it on
I bet you guessed the title of that last song was "I Like Mike." Yes, following Aaron-Carl was Jay Spears with his CD called "Boy Howdy," nominated for Outstanding New Recording, Male. It contains a lot of very catchy and very Out songs. And I got to see a preview of the video for the song "I Like Mike," very neat, lots of hunky baseball players and locker rooms, and shower scenes, and gee, that's all I can remember except that I can't wait to get my own copy. Are you listening, Jay?
Anyway, time for the other big winner of the day at the Outmusic Awards. The duo Wishing Chair are comprised of Kiya Heartwood and Miriam Davidson. They won the Outstanding Band/Duo/Group award for their CD "Crow," and Kiya won the Outstanding Songwriting Award. That album is so superb that I have trouble picking my favorite song from it, but this one has the most Out lyrics. It's called "She's Everything."
Wishing Chair - she's everything
That was "She's Everything" by Wishing Chair.
One of the most competitive categories this year was for Outstanding New Recording by a Choir or Chorus. The OMA went to Vox Femina Los Angeles for their album called "Simply " It included this Holly Near song, called "Simply Love"
Vox Femina Los Angeles - simply love
Up next is another of the day's tie awards. In the category Outstanding Debut Recording, Female, one of the winners was Tarey Wolf for her album "Magnificent Obsession." Here's the title song.
Tarey Wolf - magnificent obsession
And also tying for debut female recording was Allison Tartalia with her album "Ready." From it I know you'll enjoy the song "Absolutely Fabulous."
Allison Tartalia - absolutely fabulous
So there were the two winners for Outstanding Debut Recording Female, Tarey Wolf and Allison Tartalia.
We've got one category left, and besides Out Song of the Year, it was the only other category voted on by the Outmusic members. That category is for Outmusician of the Year, and it not only honors an artist's music but also their contributions to the Outmusic community. This year it went to Yolanda. Yolanda uses her larger than life drag queen persona and huge talent to promote her own brand of activism. One of her accomplishments was to approach the owners of a lesbian bar in lower Manhattan called Meow Mix. She wanted to start a GLBT performance night at the club, and she was told that men were not allowed to perform there. In her words, when she told then she was a trannie they gave her an opportunity, and it evolved into a music series where anyone is welcome, thus breaking down many barriers.
The song I've picked by Yolanda to close the show is one I've played before, and I think it's a powerful anthem. But before we hear it, I want to thank you all for tuning in, and I want to thank Dan Martin for his interview comments. And while I'm sure you can tell I'm a little biased, I definitely recommend you visit the Outmusic website, at www.outmusic.com, to find out more about this organization, and to get acquainted with the artists who belong. On the members page you'll see listings for over a hundred GLBT artists. So, if, like me, you think queer music is more than the music you hear at circuit parties, or that of divas, and showtunes, you should visit the Outmusic site.
And, of course I've got to plug my own site again, at www.queermusicheritage.com, If you have questions or comments about any of the music I've featured, please write to me. This is JD Doyle for Queer Voices on KPFT in Houston, and I'll be back on the 4th Monday of next month with another installment of Queer Music Heritage. Now, I'm very pleased to bring you by Outmusic's Outmusician of the Year, Yolanda, the song "Freedom."
Yolanda - freedom