This is JD Doyle bringing you my show OutRadio, and I'm just crazy about that song. Two artists I very much respect, Matt Alber and Tom Goss wrote and recorded the song "Who We Are," and the inspiration was the injustice of the Don't Ask Don't Tell policies. All proceeds of the song will go to The Service Members Legal Defense Network. That song impressed me so much that I contacted Tom and asked him to talk a little about it.
Tom Goss: The song was inspired by the people in our military who are out there day in and day out, fighting for everything that makes America great, and then being treated unjustly because they're in love with somebody of the same gender. And so, Matt and I were hanging out before we did some tour dates together and it was at a time when there was a lot of news about Don't Ask Don't Tell and I was driving by the capitol showing him the sights, and he turned to me and said "we should write a song about Don't Ask Don't Tell" and so that's exactly what we did. You know, it was hard, because our real aim was to give these people a voice, these men, these men and women who can't talk about their lives, their loves, their family that just have to live in secrecy. You know, we worked really hard to do that and neither Matt nor I have been in the military, so it was a challenge for us and hopefully we've done that.
What about the mechanics of the writing who did what or was it easy?
TG: Ah, it was different. It was different for me as somebody who does all my own writing, it was really a fun experience. Both Matt and I approach songwriting differently and so it was fun. We both wrote the song and the music. It was kind of a it was a joint effort, and after we decided to write the song we just drove to my house and started writing ten minutes later we were writing it, and put together a chord progression and Matt's really, really melody focused, which is great, he's a vocalists, so it was really interesting to see him work at that. Yeah, we came up with the chords and then the melody lines and then we would start plugging the words, and then argue about which words to use.
What's been the reaction to the song so far?
TG: It's been absolutely amazing like I said, that's one of the reasons we were really dwelling on the words. We didn't want to write a cheesy pop song. We really wanted something that would be exactly what they were saying. Since we wrote the song we've gotten dozens and dozens of emails from service members saying essentially that we did do that, and they're really grateful for the song, and some of them have been discharged and some of them haven't been discharged, and are serving for our country in Iraq or Afghanistan and really don't feel they can be who they are, or they can serve their country as fully as they could otherwise, and they're grate that our song kind of speaks for that.
I understand you have a new EP and DVD. Could I persuade you to talk about those?
TG: Yeah, I'm really excited about this. First the DVD I shot in June of last year, after being on the road for nine weeks, and I hadn't been home in a long time and I set up this really gorgeous, intimate house concert, in Washington DC, and decided I was going to make a DVD out of it. And it gave me the opportunity to break out a couple songs that kept getting cut off my albums and that I wasn't sure were ever going to make it on an album. And it's just a really intimate performance, a very beautiful and emotional night for me, just to be back home after being so long away and see all my friends and just talk about it musically and
Tell me about the EP itself.
TG: Well the EP the EP's a political EP about marriage equality. I'd been putting together marriage equality songs for the past couple years, but I haven't released them on an album, mostly because I tend to not want to be political, maybe it's because I don't want to be out there in that way. But people kept asking me to put these songs out, so I decided to put together an EP. I wrote a final song for it. And the EP's called "The Politics of Love" and on there is a song about Proposition 8, a song about Joe Biden and Sarah Palin debating, a song about marriage equality in The District, and a piano ballad about marriage equality in general. The thing that's so exciting to me about this EP is it's going to come with a whole curriculum of components, so you can, if you're so inclined, have a conversation, have workshop, have a dialogue about this, with a group of friends, at your church, at an LGBT center. You just go to the website. You'll be able to download the EP, download the music video, download a powerpoint presentation, download handout materials, and that's everything you'd need to have a whole workshop based on this. I'm really looking forward to putting this in people's hands, cause I think it's a great tool and there's no tool out there like this right now, and people are really going to dig it.
[ instrumental background by Rhonnda Cadel from the 2007 CD "After" ]
the EP is called "The Politics of Love" and the DVD is "Live
Tom Goss - You Don't Question Love (2010)
nice. I like that a lot. "You Don't Question Love" from his
new EP "The Politics of Love."
Tom Goss & Eric Himan - Last Train to Clarksville (2010)
Tom Goss OutRadio ID
Tom Goss and for you youngsters, that was his cover of the Monkee's hit song "Last Train to Clarksville." Also, you can hear short interviews with both Matt Alber and Tom Goss on my January OutRadio show.
I started off with Tom and Matt, and another pair of artists singing for a cause are Jason & deMarco. Their 2008 CD and their new 501c3 organization is called S.A.F.E, and that stands for Safe, Affirming Family Environment and helps provides housing and assistance for especially GLBT kids and young adults. That organization became official last September, but a few months before that I did a short interview with them about the album "Safe."
Jason: For years our fans have been telling us how much they love our music, and how much they love our albums, but they've also said that there's something about a live show where the energy's through the roof.
deMarco: And on our new album we decided we were going to bring the band into the studio with us so we could capture this live acoustic sound on our new album "Safe."
So tell me about the song, "Safe."
Jason: The song "Safe" was actually written by a good friend of ours, Josh Duffy, who is also an openly gay singer. And he had written the song and we had heard him record it, and at that time we just felt the connection with that song and asked him if he would be okay with us recording it as a duo. The song really lends itself to have two people singing it to each other. And to me the song was so powerful because there's so many people in my life where I truly know I've been loved, and obviously not only on a romantic level, but my family, my friends. I feel very blessed to feel so much love in my life. But when I heard this song the phrase "thank you for loving me" I thought, how many of us actually stop and say that to someone, even our partners, how many of us stop and say "thank you for loving me" and it just seems like love sometimes is taken for granted and so many people are searching for it, and so when you experience it I just think there's really something special about taking that time and just to say thank you.
deMarco: And the final line, "here in your arms I feel safe"...I mean, on so many levels it really resonated with us, whether it's in the arms of your creator, or your lover, your partner, it's just really a moving line, and what a way to close the song.
Here's their song "Safe."
Jason & deMarco - Safe (2008)
An award winning documentary about Jason & deMarco called "We're All Angels" was released in 2007 and that was touched on with my next question.
How did you pick the tracks for this album?
Jason: Originally we were going to make it a soundtrack album for the film "We're All Angels," but we realized that "Till the End of Time," our last album really is the soundtrack for "We're All Angels" because "We're All Angels" basically chronicles the making of "Till the End of Time." And so what we decided to do was do new material but to also include any of those songs that were in the film that were not on "Till the End of Time," to also include them on this album, "Safe," as well as bonus tracks, which are our two dance mixes.
Have you had people say, oh you left out this song?
Jason: People have actually been really happy I think with the songs we chose. People that bought "Safe," chances are they have some of our older material. You know, this is our seventh album, and so they didn't expect all the songs to be on this one. But I think the ones we chose on this I think they were really happy about those selections. I know people were really happy to have deMarco's "Ave Maria" on "Safe" because that was on our first album we recorded together, which was a Christmas CD, which is no longer available.
Well, there's some of my favorites on there, "All I Long For" and "When Your Spirit Gets Too Weak."
Jason: Oh, "All I Long For" was really the first song that kind of put us out there
deMarco: Oh, we made a little music video for it. That's our first, I guess, single, I would say.
Jason & deMarco - All I Long For (2008)
Is there a song that gets the most audience reaction, not just this album, but in general?
Jason: I would say "This Is Love," because so many people are familiar with that song, because of the music video on Logo, that people just feel this connection to that song because it is also romantic, people that are in relationships, they connect with it, and those that aren't in relationships, they love the song because it kind of gives them hope that they will find someone.
deMarco: Well, even it's really spoken to heterosexual couples I mean, our fan base again took another became even more diverse, because now so many people saw that video, GLBT and heterosexuals, and like, "oh, I'm not gay but your video made me want to sit on the couch with my husband and hold him and cry, it's so beautiful, you remind me so much of us," and really on so many levels it reached so many people.
Is that kind of your biggest hit?
deMarco: I would say so.
Jason: yeah, I would say "This Is Love" probably is our biggest hit.
Jason & deMarco - This Is Love (2008)
Jason: And I would say "Bridge" you know, "Bridge Over Trouble Water," on "Safe" probably I think is becoming another hit of ours, and that gets a really great reaction live in concert.
Well, it's a great version of that, and yes, other people have done it, but you brought something else into it.
Jason: Well that was really our goal with that song, cause we knew it had been done so many times, that we knew we had to do something different, and our band and our producer, they did a great job at really coming up with something that was unique.
& deMarco - Bridge Over Troubled Water (2008)
The songs "Safe," "All I Long For," "This Is Love" and "Bridge Over Troubled Waters" are all from the Jason & deMarco album called "Safe," and as you heard them say, the song "Safe" was written by their friend and mine, Josh Duffy, so I thought it fitting to follow them with the song "Ever Be," the latest single and video by Josh, off his CD called "Artificial."
Here's another political song, just sent to me by the duo Cheryl and JaVonne, and you'll quickly see their song is about gay marriage. It's called "Waiting All My Life."
Cheryl & JaVonne - Waiting All My Life (2010)
Again, that was Cheryl & JaVonne.
I recently heard about a new musical currently playing off-Broadway, called "Yank the Musical, a WWII Love Story," and I could hear some clips I very much liked from the website, so I wrote to the producers and asked if they had any full songs available to play on the radio. Well, I was delighted that they sent me a demo of the entire soundtrack, so I get to share a little of it with you way before it will be available on CD. Of course I can't do justice to the show's story but I picked three tracks to give you a taste, of when our young gay hero went off to war and gets taken under the, er, wing of a photographer.
the Musical - A Few Weeks Back (2009)
Of course that's not all the story, but a good introduction to "Yank the Musical."
This is JD Doyle and there's lots more music in Parts 2 & 3 & 4 of this show, but I'm closing Part 1 of OutRadio for April with another anthem. It's by Nick Granato from his album "In Real Life," and he's "Living Out Loud."
Nick Granato - Living Out Loud (2009)
Fowler - Blame the Gays (2007)
Welcome to Part 2 of OutRadio for April. I'm JD Doyle and a couple of years ago I found that very tongue in cheek opening song on the net, just available as a single. Obviously the title was "Blame the Gays" and the artist is Tammy Fowler. And it seemed to fit in well with the other song, which I found on YouTube. It's by a straight artist taking up our banner with her parody "Stupid Callous Homophobic Hateful Legislation." She's Shelly Goldstein.
There'll be lots of variety on this show, so if you don't like a song, well, the next will be different, but for now, as long as we're in kind of an over-the-top vein, this would be a good time to play a couple tracks from the soundtrack for the movie "The Big Gay Musical."
Robinson - I Want To Be A Slut (2009)
As I said, they were very over the top. Daniel Robinson sang "I Want To Be A Slut" and only Marty Thomas could have taken "God Loves Gays" to those "Dreamgirls" heights. Again, both from "The Big Gay Musical." I've been following the work of Marty Thomas for years. He's had a lot of Broadway projects but hasn't released much on CD, and I wish he would. There's only one CD so far, called just "Marty Thomas," from 2004, and from it is "One Night Only."
Thomas - One Night Only (2004)
Magnus Carlsson is a very popular artist in Sweden and from 2008 that was his cover of the gay anthem "I Was Born This Way," recorded decades ago by both Valentino and Carl Bean.
I've been following for a while the work of Andrew Edwards. Under the name Cellar Door he released three CDs and I especially like the first one, from 2004, and I found the title very intriguing, as I had not heard that phrase before. It's the French phrase "L'Esprit de L'Escalier," which means literally staircase wit, or in reality means, well, have you ever had a confrontation with someone and afterwards, when it's too late, when perhaps you're walking down the stairs, you think of the perfect thing to say, staircase wit. Anyway, two songs from that album by Cellar Door are coming up, "Boy Wonder" and "New Boy."
Door - Boy Wonder (2004)
That turned into a double double play, and those last two were from the brand new and excellent debut album by Ryan States, called "Strange Town." The tracks were called "Better When You're Older" and "I'll Give You What You Want." For some trivia, Ryan works as a musician for Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus and recorded the entire album on a circus train.
And for more of a punk rock edge, here's a new act called Pink Sheep, from their debut album "The Pink Sheep of the Family," singing the songs "Thatz My Man" and "Wild Heart."
Sheep - Thatz My Man (2010)
And I followed Pink Sheep with a band called Now It's Overhead. They've released a number of albums, and from one from 2006 called "Dark Light Daybreak" that was "Believe What They Decide."
I just love this next one, called "Fighting Fit." To me It has a real the band Who vibe. It's by the UK band Gene from the 1997 album "Drawn to the Deep End."
- Fighting Fit (1997)
And that was the band Lesbians on Ecstasy, and "The Cold Touch of Leather," from their 2007 album "We Know You Know." On the album they pay direct tribute to the women's music that came before them, and I would bet the title is a direct nod to Meg Christian's 1974 album "I Know You Know."
This is JD Doyle and it's time to close this segment. I'm doing that with Dusty Springfield, who I adore, and by her from 1989, thanks to the Pet Shop Boys, is one of her comeback hits, "In Private."
Dusty Springfield - In Private (1989)
Fields - I Thought You Were My Boyfriend (2004)
This is JD Doyle and starting off OutRadio, Part 3, for April are two songs by the Magnetic Fields. "I Thought You Were My Boyfriend" was a CD single for them in 2004, and "When My Boy Walks Down the Street" came from the much respected 3-CD set from 1999 called "69 Love Songs."
Up next is the almost hypnotic song "Little Drummerboy" by the German duo The Snoopy Lads. It's from their 2008 album "A Ruby in Blue."
Lads - Little Drummerboy (2008)
Using the name Doveman, that was New York artist Thomas Bartlett, and I don't know if he is gay, but one project he took on was to cover the entire soundtrack for "Footloose," so that made "Let's Hear It For the Boy" of interest for this show.
And you probably will not be neutral about these next two songs. First up is one by Julie Schurr called "Ode to My Strap-On."
Schurr - Ode to My Strap-On (2008)
Following Julie Schurr was a band from Montreal calling themselves "We're Coming." Their song was called "Strap-On Blues," and following them was Faith Soloway. From her 1995 EP "Training Wheels" was one called "Lesbo Song."
This next artist was the drummer in a San Francisco band in the late '70's called Baba Yaga, and they released a very collectable album in 1978 named "On the Edge." The drummer's name is Susan Cornall, and she's from Australia and lived in the U.S. for a few years before returning home, around 1979. In Melbroune she got involved with a theatre company and wrote a musical called "Falling In Love Again," and in 1980 a soundtrack was recorded, but it was not put out on CD until 2006. From it is a very opinionated song called "Better Than Het"
Cornall - Better Than Het (1980)
That was the song "Uhaul" and I found that band on myspace. They call themselves Homosquared.
Up next are songs by Jeremy Henry and David Mahr.
Henry - Just One Love (2009)
Both from 2009, that was "Just One Love" by Jeremy Henry and "Relentless" by David Mahr.
I'm going to change the pace a bit now, for an artist whose been touring with Tom Goss. He's Jeremiah Clark and from his EP from 2008 is the title track "Leaving a Broken Heart."
Jeremiah Clark - Leaving a Broken Heart (2008)
This next act is sort of new wave powerpop electronic, and I know one of the band members, Gordon Smith. He's been in a number of bands over the years, one of them calling themselves Rubberlegs and the new band is The Wavos. I'm playing a track from each act. The Rubberlegs track I always thought would have made a great video. It's called "People Who Talk In Elevators."
- People Who Talk In Elevators (2005)
By The Wavos, brand new from their EP called "Wave Crazed," that was their song "I Will Show You Mine."
I have time to slip in a little hip hop, especially if it's very queer, and this one fits and I think it's pretty good. The artist is Anye Elite and his song tells us "I Got Him." It's from his brand new album "Sneak Preview."
Anye Elite - I Got Him (2010)
Closing Part 3 is the very sexy Israeli artist Yehonathan Gatro. He's already had a number of hit videos on Logo and now he's released a full length CD called "The Remix Album Remember When." From it is "Way Back Home."
Yehonathan Gatro - Way Back Home (2010)
Rent (aka Sponge Finger) - I Love To Be Queer (2000)
This is JD Doyle and Part 4 of OutRadio for April 2010, and I love, love that opening song, and there's a story to it. Around 2000 I downloaded from the used-to-be-good website mp3.com several tracks by a UK duo calling themselves Rent, and the name was a nod to the Pet Shop Boys song of that title, and you can obviously hear their influence. There was almost no info about the act on the mp3.com page and I didn't know their names and after a while their page just vanished. I had tried over the years to track down some information on them without any luck. Then about a week ago I found a listing on line for a song by the same title, "I Love To Be Queer" but by an act by the name of Sponge Finger. I kind of blindly ordered it and am glad I did. It's the same people, and that 12" single gave me four more mixes of the song. And it told their names, Clayton Littlewood and Rob Brown, and I was easily able to find them on myspace and facebook, and wrote to Clayton. He was surprised to hear from me, as that single was from 1995, and he's given up music and is now an author. It was his singing partner's idea to use the name Rent instead of Sponge Finger, to get more life out of the music, so my mystery about them is solved. Here's another song from them from 2000, called "Looking For A Lover."
(aka Sponge finger) - Looking For A Lover (2000)
"Looking For A Lover" by Rent, also called Sponge Finger, and then you heard Shawn Thomas, with an updated version of his song "Out In This World," from his latest a album "Revisted Volume 2," from 2009.
And here's a fun duo I found on myspace, calling themselves Clint Michigan, and of course a song called "Be My Man" would get my attention. It's from their upcoming album "Hawthorne to Hennepin."
Michigan - Be My Man (2010)
After Clint Michigan was Australian artist Guy Blackman with "I Still Think of You" from his 2008 album called "Adult Baby." And I'm always pleased by all the success Jen Foster has with her work. I shared with you the song "Venice Beach," which is the official theme song of the TV show "Venice Beach."
Now, it's very, very rare for me to play a song with no gay content sung by a straight artist, and I have to assume singer/actress Grace Hightower is straight, as she's married to Robert DeNiro. She was in the recent hit movie "Precious" and sang a song called "Somethin's Comin' My Way." It's Dan Manjovi, the writer of the song that gets my attention, because whenever an openly gay singer/songwriter lands a song on the soundtrack of a major motion picture, that's news. You'll hear Grace Hightower doing that song, but I'm not going to slight Dan as you'll also hear a track called "Forgotten How to Dream," from his 2008 release, "Woke Up This Morning."
Hightower - Somethin's Comin' My Way (2009)
For a change of pace, here's the London Gay Men's Chorus.
London Gay Men's Chorus - Gimme Gimme Gimme (1998)
Again that was the London Gay Men's Chorus and "Gimme Gimme Gimme a Man After Midnight" is from their 1998 album "Hear the Difference."
I've been a big fan of Sonia & Disappear Fear, for oh, about twenty years now, but her brand new CD really surprised me, as it's quite a departure for her. It's a trip to blues Americana called "Blood, Bones & Baltimore," and I'm starting off with the song "Call Me Sonia."
& Disappear Fear - Call Me Sonia (2010)
Ah, I can hear Irma Thomas doing that one, but that was written and sung by Sonia, and was called "Pack of Newport."
These next artists will get you ready for the end of the show. First is John-Fredrick and from 1994 is his song "Drag Queen.
- Drag Queen (Radio Mix) (1999)
After John-Fredrick you heard one of the most popular drag performers in New York City, Peppermint, and her debut album is called "Hard Core Glamour." Helping her out on that track was another talented artist, Adam Joseph, who also produced the album.
Lipsync for your life
I know you know that voice. This is JD Doyle and opened Part 4 of OutRadio for April with some dance music, and that's how I'm closing it, this time with our most successful drag queen, RuPaul. Her latest show on Logo, "RuPaul's Drag Race," is a guilty pleasure of mine, and if you've seen the show at all you've probably heard the song "Jealous of My Boogie." You can find it on her latest CD "Champion" or a bunch of remixes of it on a separate CD. I'm pairing that one up with another track from "Champion" called "Throw Ya Hands Up." That one features Lady Bunny.
- Jealous of My Boogie (2009)