10. EVENT: Fierce! The International Queer Burlesque Festival, May 2-5
They're here, and they're fierce, so get used to it, because this is the inaugural year of the International Queer Burlesque Festival, set where else but Columbus, Ohio. The slate of events aims to celebrate all facets of burlesque, from its history to its current performers and the fans that keep the form alive. For more information, visit fiercequeerburlesque.com
9. MUSIC: Essential Oils, Midnight Oil
If the lyric, "How do we sleep while our beds are burning?" doesn't ring familiar, it means you didn't live through the 1980s. That was from one of the greatest protest songs ever, "Beds are Burning," which was one of many monster hits that the Australian band Midnight Oil had between 1978 and 2002. The beauty of the band's terrific rock comes across with fury on Essential Oils, their first double-CD chronology ever assembled. It has the best of their 12 albums in these 36 songs including the major hits. While Midnight Oil can't be called a gay band, their original lead singer, Peter Garrett, is now a huge marriage equality activist. After he left the music industry he became a politician and served in the country's House of Representatives, as Minister of the Environment, and is currently Education Minister. Inspired by President Obama, Garrett told reporters earlier this year that he would continue to stick by his principles and support marriage equality despite coming under attack from members of his own political party.