David Bowie made me gay….
It’s official. Robbie Williams in drag is not a pretty sight. In the video for the new Robbie/Pet Shop Boys co-single “She’s Madonna,” Robbie pontificates on the subject of himself while in hideous drag, sporting some gargantuan Dorothy Zbornak shoulder pads, chest hair and some supersized Nelly Furtado bangs. Yikes! I have to admit, it is an entertaining video. Best of all, tranny cultural terrorist Alexis Arquette makes an appearance. I’ve loved her ever since I saw her performance as Boy George in The Wedding Singer. We need more Alexis in the world, methinks. Incidentally, Pet Shop Boys have recently remixed The Killers’ brilliant new single “Read My Mind.” Killers frontman Brandon Flowers has never made a secret of his love for the boys. In the band’s new DVD documentary A Life In Pop, Flowers mentions that Pet Shop Boys’ “New York City Boy” was the first song he ever danced to in a club.
A fundamentalist Christian organization in the US called Love God’s Way has come out with a list of “gay bands” to avoid. Their astonishingly ignorant and grammatically hilarious website (Lovegodsway.org) states that “one of the most dangerous ways homosexuality invades family life is through popular music. Parents should keep careful watch over their children’s listening habits, especially in this Internet age of MP3 piracy.” Predictably, the list mentions obvious sinners like Scissor Sisters, Depeche Mode, David Bowie, Wilson Phillips (?) and Rufus Wainwright, but mystifyingly includes others with a brief description of why they made the list: Marilyn Manson (“dark gay”), Morrissey (“questionable”), The Grateful Dead (“drugs, too!”), Elton John (“really gay”) and, funniest of all, Ted Nugent (“loincloth”). Thanks for the chuckle. Hey, where’s my loincloth at?
Speaking of gay devil music, Erasure (“one half gay,” ha ha) is releasing its new album Light At The End Of The World in May. I am praying (to Satan, naturally) that this new record isn’t ballad heavy. Although I adore the group, I could do without the mush overload that has typified the recent offerings. Keep your eyes and ears open for the first single “I Could Fall In Love With You,” which sounds like a Celine Dion title but, apparently, is a fast dance track.
Angst rockers Smashing Pumpkins are making a return to music this year, albeit with only half the original lineup. Frontman Billy Corgan (whose nasal tone drives me nuts) has confirmed that they’re back and will drop a new album called Zeitgeist this summer. However, bassist D’Arcy Wretzky and drummer James Iha are MIA and apparently will not be a part of this new incarnation. Iha, a strong talent in his own right, has recently produced the critically acclaimed comeback album of pop-hippie band America, best known for “A Horse With No Name” and “Sister Golden Hair,” the latter being one of my favourite 1970s songs.
Sarah Nixey may not be a familiar name to most, but she was the voice of the sublime but now defunct British pop group Black Box Recorder. Her solo effort Sing, Memory is out later this month and features some very nice edgy pop tunes like “Beautiful Oblivion” and “Strange Love.” She’s worth an iTunes preview. Check her out. Another track worth a mention is the new collaboration between Swedish production team Kleerup and ex-poptart Robyn, who has successfully buried her pop past, Alanis-style. The song “With Every Heartbeat” is a melancholy but powerful electro track, a combination of Kraftwerk synths, Kate Bush-esque vocals and a gorgeous string arrangement. It’s quite haunting and is a real grower. Robyn rules!