By Advocate.com Editors
Originally published on Advocate.com January 09 2014 8:27 PM ET
10. MUSIC: "Stranger to My Happiness," Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings
Behold the new video from R&B/funk revivalists SJ&TDK, featuring the first single from their forthcoming album, Give the People What They Want (out Tuesday). Diva Jones is in full force, rocking out as a wedding singer in the video. It's hard not to notice Sharon's beautiful bald head, a result of her chemotherapy. "Not wearing a wig and just being bald was an easy decision for me," Jones has said. "I've always been me, and that's not going to change now." — Neal Broverman
9. ART: “Two Johns and a Whore”
Two boundary-pushing gay artists headline this group show at Coagula Curatorial in Los Angeles’s Chinatown. Performance artist John Fleck (pictured), one of the “NEA Four” whose work was targeted in the 1990s by right-wing politicians who thought it too risqué to receive federal funding, exhibits his studio art for the first time. So does John Roecker, a musician and filmmaker best known for the documentary series Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Gay Porn Stars. Twelve other artists join them in the show, curated by Lisa Derrick and focusing on the theme of selling oneself. The opening night reception, from 7 to 11 Saturday, includes a performance by Johnny and the Madcaps, featuring music by Roecker, plus a live DJ set from noted trance composer Alex Gordon. The exhibition is open through January 25. More info here. — Trudy Ring
8. DVD: Four
Appropriately set on the Fourth of July, Four explores love and freedom through the eyes of its main character, Joe (Wendell Pierce), a middle-aged, married black man who goes on a date with a younger white man he first encountered online. Their story overlaps with that of Joe’s daughter Abigayle (Aja Naomi King), who is beginning a relationship of her own with a Hispanic basketball player. Based on a play by Pulitzer Prize nominee Christopher Shinn, Four won several awards on the festival circuit for its outstanding performances and narrative. It debuts Tuesday on DVD. — Daniel Reynolds
Watch the trailer below.
7. MUSIC: That Girl, Jennifer Nettles
Jennifer Nettles, lead singer of country outfit Sugarland, finally releases her first solo album, That Girl, on Tuesday. Led off with the sorrowful mistress single "That Girl" (and its video, which has a slightly sapphic moment at the end), the collection features songwriting by Nettles, Sara Bareilles, and Richard Marx ('member him?!). Nettles also tackles the Bob Seger classic "Like a Rock." — Neal Broverman
6. EVENT: "Heavy and Light," featuring Mary Lambert, at House of Blues L.A.
The nonprofit organization To Write Love on Her Arms aims to provide support and solidarity for those struggling with self-harm, addiction, thoughts of suicide, and depression. It's a heavy topic that the group hopes to shed light on, letting people young and old know that it's OK to ask for help. In an inspirational evening that has become the group's flagship event, "Heavy and Light" is a mix of songs, conversation, and hope, featuring acoustic performances from Jon Foreman of Switchfoot, the Summer Set, Tristan Prettyman, and Grammy-nominated artist Mary Lambert. Although she's best known for providing the haunting chorus of Macklemore's marriage equality anthem "Same Love," Lambert's forthcoming debut album reveals the out artist has some serious spoken-word skills, which she's likely to put on display alongside award-winning slam poet Anis Mojgani at Saturday's "Heavy and Light" performance, at the Los Angeles House of Blues Sunset Strip, starting at 7 p.m. Tickets are available here for the Los Angeles event, and here for the complementary East Coast show, to be held at Orlando's House of Blues Saturday, January 19. — Sunnivie Brydum
5. BOOK: Ham: Slices of a Life
Sam Harris, singer, songwriter, actor, and general multihyphenate, shares essays about growing up gay in the Bible Belt, visiting Liza Minnelli in rehab, getting sober himself, and much more in his first book. He puts a comedic spin on these episodes from his life; advance word is that as a humorist, he’s up there with David Sedaris and David Rakoff. The book is out Tuesday, and Harris will be crisscrossing the nation with a one-man show derived from it. He’ll be in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Dallas, Tulsa, and elsewhere on the tour, which starts next week. For information on the book and the show, visit SamHarris.com. — Trudy Ring
4. FILM: The Legend of Hercules
At long last, The Legend of Hercules, starring the delicious Kellan Lutz (Twilight), opens in theaters, offering viewers a display of male torsos that reaches truly mythic proportions, amid the war-torn world of ancient Greece. The story follows the half-god Hercules, who after being sold into slavery by his royal stepfather discovers his divine origins and employs his powers to regain his birthright and reunite with his love. Hebe (Gaia Weiss). Directed by Renny Harlin (Die Hard 2, The Deep Blue Sea), The Legend of Hercules promises to live up to its legendary title with action-packed scenes of gladiator fights and epic battles. — Daniel Reynolds
Watch the trailer below.
3. TV: The 71st Golden Globe Awards
Numerous LGBT actors, writers, characters, and plotlines are featured among the nominees of the 2013 Golden Globes, and they’ll shine brightly along with the rest of Hollywood’s best when the annual awards show takes place Sunday at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles. Airing on NBC at 8 p.m. Eastern, the 71st Golden Globe Awards will once again be hosted by 30 Rock's Tina Fey and Parks and Recreation's Amy Poehler. Notable LGBT nominees include Jim Parsons, who scored a nomination for best actor in a TV comedy for his role on The Big Bang Theory, and straight actors who have been nominated for outstanding performances as LGBT characters include Jared Leto, nominated for best supporting actor in a film for his performance in Dallas Buyers Club, and Matt Damon, who is in the running for for best actor in a miniseries or TV movie for his turn as Liberace’s lover in Behind the Candelabra. — Jase Peeples
2. FILM: The Truth About Emanuel
For a movie that’s not ostensibly queer, there’s plenty of lesbian subtext in The Truth About Emanuel, the brilliant new film about women, friendship, truth, family and sexuality. Starring Jessica Biel, the film is written and directed by lesbian filmmaker Francesca Gregorini, for her solo directorial debut (she codirected another worthy film, Tanner Hall, in 2012).
The subtext of the film’s friendship includes a kind of a courtship and the fear of homosexuality that underscores modern life. Part of what Gregorini calls “English humor” is set up in the first scene, a traditional family dinner in which Emanuel tells her stepmother that she has had a sexual dream about her the night before. Later, Emanuel’s stepmother tells Linda that Emanuel may have unnatural desires for her because her own mother’s death has left a missing piece in her life. The stepmother creepily urges Linda, “I don’t want her to misinterpret your fondness for her,” and then encourages the character to reiterate her interest in men, asking, “You are interested in men?” The scene cuts back to Alfred Molina and Aneurin Barnard — who play the dad and the boyfriend — leaving the question unanswered. The realness and absurdity provide one of the laugh-out-loud moments in a moving feminist film that’ll keep you guessing to the end. — Diane Anderson-Minshall
1. TV: Chozen
I really love Saturday Night Live's Bobby Moynihan. Really. In fact, one time, during his first or second season on SNL, I had breakfast with him … OK, I was sitting at another table, behind him, at Fred 62 in Los Angeles while I ate breakfast and he had a sandwich. Anyway, when he and I aren’t secret BFFs in my imagination, he's Chozen, a gay rapper who is fresh out of prison and ready to break out in the rap game. His music video "Murder, Sex" includes zombie boners, sexy dancing bears, and the lyric "dead people have sex and then they murder." I'm on board. Mondays, 10:30 p.m., on FX. — Michelle Garcia