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10. MUSIC: “Gaudete” by Erasure
There comes a time for every group, band, or singer with longevity to release a holiday record. It’s now Erasure’s time. The first single to Snow Globe, out November 11, is “Gaudete,” a cover of a Christmas carol from Renaissance days. Andy Bell and Vince Clarke include their usual synthesizer touches in the song, which has a creepy, Claymation-ish video. —Neal Broverman
9. ART: “David Hockney: A Bigger Exhibition”
San Francisco’s de Young Museum mounts the first major retrospective of the great gay artist’s 21st century work, which incorporates new technologies as well as traditional media. For the show, Hockney has selected monumental paintings, Photoshop portraits, digital films that track the changing seasons, vivid landscapes created using an iPad, as well as never-before-exhibited charcoal drawings and paintings completed this year. His subjects include his native England, California, Iceland, and Norway. The show opened last week and runs through January 20, and various docent lectures and other special events are scheduled throughout this period, including a cocktail party and after-hours viewing November 13. —Trudy Ring
8. FILM: Living Dolls
Some people collect stamps, others collect coins. But the most intriguing collectors are those who collect dolls. In award-winning filmmaker Maureen Judge's Living Dolls, Judge features four doll lovers whose collections have dominated their lives. Their reasons for harboring such an intense fascination with dolls vary from sexual fantasy to loneliness. Of particular interest is Mike, a gay doll collector who lives with his partner and parents. The documentary explains that Mike's Barbie doll collection is a facet of his sexual identity, both of which were forbidden secrets of his childhood. There is also a Living Dolls contest, in which the winner is awarded a doll made by Michael Sullivan, an artist and doll collector who is featured in the film. Sullivan's art installation "The Sex Life of Robots" is currently on display at the New York Museum of Sex.
Living Dolls will make its U.S. broadcast premier November 4 on LOGO TV at 10 p.m. Enter the contest here. — Nicholas Cimarusti
7. EVENT/CONCERT: Jay Brannan at The Mint L.A.
Out singer/songwriter Jay Brannan brings his characteristic wit, snark, and sarcasm to Los Angeles when he takes the stage at The Mint tonight at 8 p.m. I've loved Brannan's earnest, funny songwriting and angelic voice since his early appearance in John Cameron Mitchell's sexually adventurous Shortbus — where he sang a song into another man's ass during a hilarious threesome scene. Now, if that doesn't make you curious to get to know this baby-faced Texas native better, maybe the swoon-worthy romanticism in his newest video for the title track off his new album, Rob Me Blind, will do the trick. Watch that below, and find out where Brannan takes his talents next here. —Sunnivie Brydum
6. MUSIC: Luscious Jackson, Magic Hour
There was a period of time in the 1990s when you couldn’t go a day without hearing Luscious Jackson’s smash hit, “Naked Eye.” The band graced the cover of major lesbian magazines and had legion of queer girl fans, but even more compelling were the celebrity rockers — like Debbie Harry — who showed up at their New York concerts. Drummer Kate Schellenbach, who was drummer for the Beastie Boys before forming the band, reached Joan Jett-levels of adoration from gay girls. Her relationship with The Breeders’ Josepine Wiggs landed the duo on the cover of The Advocate in 1997 under the banner “Rock’s New Revolution”). Legions of fans were crushed when the band broke up, or in LJ terms, took an 11-year hiatus, coming back together two years ago to work on their new album on their own label, City Song. Magic Hour, out Nov. 5, is the all-female band’s fourth album and their first full-length offering since Electric Honey came out in 1997 (one of the songs on it skyrocketed to fame after appearing on Buffy the Vampire Slayer). Magic Hour features Shellenbach and two of the three original founders Jill Cunniff (still a fine songwriter and lead vocalist) and kick-ass guitarist Gabby Glaser doing the kind of music only they can do and I’m sure their fans — many now in middle age — will be competing with teens to download the album first. —Diane Anderson-Minshall
5. WEB: The 3 Bits
The brainchild of gay and lesbian writing/directing duo Max Freeman and Margaret Singer, The 3 Bits is a hilarious and inventive new web series following the adventures of three siblings with interweaving stories. Viewers can choose between watching episodes featuring Henry, a geeky young gay who desperately wants to have an orgy but has no idea how to get one started, Roman, a shaved-headed lesbian who thinks she wants a quiet life but can’t break away from the money and excitement of her former, drug-dealing self, or Madison, the housewife who wishes she were the love child of Martha Stewart and Mick Jagger. Minimal storyline crossovers gives viewers the option to follow one, or all three characters to customize their viewing experience. View the first 9 episodes at The3bits.com. —Jase Peeples
3. FILM: The New Black
The New Black, an award-winning documentary that examines race and LGBT issues, opens November 1 in Los Angeles. Directed by Yoruba Richen and produced by Yvonne Welbon, the film explores how African Americans are responding to the accelerating LGBT rights movement. In the church, in the street, and at the kitchen table, The New Black takes viewers directly into the conversation of race, politics, and homophobia in America, with especial attention to the campaign to gain marriage equality in the state of Maryland.—Daniel Reynolds
The New Black, which won the Audience Award at AFI Docs, Philadelphia QFest, and the Frameline Film Festival, will screen exclusively at the Laemmle Music Hall Theatre, 9036 Wilshire Boulevard, Beverly Hills, Calif. Watch the trailer below.
2. THEATER: We Will Rock You
The music of Queen forms the basis for this “rock theatrical,” which has been running in London for 11 years and is now on its first North American tour. It’s set in a futuristic world in which our planet is under total corporate control and individuality is taboo — but then a group of rebel bohemians rises up. With a script by British comedian and writer Ben Elton, it features such Queen hits as “Another One Bites the Dust,” “Crazy Little Thing Called Love,” “We Are the Champions,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and “We Will Rock You,” and characters including Scaramouche, Galileo, and the Killer Queen. Queen’s Brian May and Roger Taylor are musical supervisors. The show is playing this weekend in Pittsburgh before going to Boston, Nashville, Minneapolis, Miami, and more. Info here. —Trudy Ring
1. MUSIC: Loved Me Back to Life by Celine Dion
Many gays appreciate the charm, kitsch, and sheer talent of Celine Dion, regardless of what any hipper-than-thou Vampire Weekend fan says. Most people dragged to her knockout Vegas show became believers (trust me, I’ve seen it). The sweetheart of Quebec is back with her first English-language album in six years, Loved Me Back to Life, out on Tuesday. The title track and lead single, written by bi songwriting phenom Sia Furler, is a perfect mix of classic Celine belting and modern dubstep flourishes. Also, look for an “Overjoyed” duet with Stevie Wonder and a cover of “At Seventeen,” written and originally recorded by lesbian icon Janis Ian. —Neal Broverman