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10. MUSIC: Lorde, "Royals"
This New Zealand prodigy -- just 16 years old! -- is a cerebral pop starlet, with influences like T.S. Eliot and The Smiths. Discovered at 12, Lorde (real name Ella Yelich-O'Connor) spent four years crafting her EP, The Love Club, which includes the clever and catchy "Royals." See the video, with stars a pair of attractive, rough-housing guys, below.
9. EVENT: Back-to-School Carnival for Oklahomans for Equality, Aug. 4
Gamily, Oklahomans for Equality's family group, is hosting on a carnival on August 4 to gather school supplies for the kids as they head back to school this fall. In addition to enjoying an afternoon with the kids, Gamily is looking for donations of basic school supplies like folders, pens, pencils, notebooks, and crayons. Stop by the carnival on Sunday from 2 -6 p.m. at the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center in Tulsa.
8. BOOK: Dreadful: The Short Life and Gay Times of John Horne Burns
The title of David Margolick's new biography of oft-forgotten novelist John Holmes Burns is intended less as a summary judgment on the author's character, and more as an homage to a phrase Burns used to refer to quietly closeted gay men, like himself, in mid-20th-century America. The cultural amnesia around Burns is perhaps warranted, since he published just two books after his critically acclaimed 1947 novel The Gallery, and both were critically panned. But The Gallery did make its mark as the first critically acclaimed novel to provide an unflinching look into gay life in the military. Similarly, Burns' personal correspondence with a gay former student offers surprisingly detailed accounts of the author's same-sex exploits. The New York Times commended Margolick's biography as strongest when it draws from this correspondence, noting that Burns' letters were written with "a keen, extravagant pitch," full of "purplish eloquence." Dreadful is now available as an e-book and in hardback from Other Press.
7. COMEDY: Tig Notaro, Live
The 2012 set of comedian Tig Notaro (The Sarah Silverman Show) at Hollywood's Avalon club, where she unloaded the story of her near-death experience from a bacterial infection, her break-up, mother's death, and just-discovered breast cancer diagnosis, is the stuff of legend. Now, it's on CD as part of Live, which includes the monologue (called "Live at the Moth") and other material from the rising star.
6. EVENT/MUSIC: Diana Ross at the Hollywood Bowl
Pop icon Diana Ross will grace the stage at the beautiful Hollywood Bowl for a performance on Saturday, August 3, celebrating four decades of work from the Supremes throughout her epic solo career. This show is worth attending just to hear "I'm Coming Out," sung live by the diva herself. Find tickets and more information at Hollywoodbowl.com.
5. EVENT: Third Annual Portland Queer Music Festival
The Portland Queer Music Festival is an annual festival held in Portland, Ore., that recognizes and celebrates musicians from within the LGBT and queer community. Aiming to showcase the diversity of artists from around the country, this weekend's lineup includes Friday headliners AB Soto and Portland-based favorites Sisafist. Saturday's headliners include homegrown heroes Mattachine Social, and Seattle's up-and-coming Night Cadet. The festival, expanded this year to two days from its original one, takes place at Crush Bar in Portland, at 1400 SE Morrison St. Tickets for either day are $8 at the door, and the festival starts rocking at 4 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Basic Rights Oregon in support of its initiative to put marriage equality on the Oregon ballot in 2014. Find more information, including a complete festival lineup, at Facebook.com/PDXMusicFestival.
4. MUSIC: KT Tunstall, Invisible Empire//Crescent Moon
The Scottish singer-songwriter returns with her fourth album, Invisible Empire//Crescent Moon, on Tuesday. Heralded by critics, the country-folk-pop album is led off by the single "Feel It All," with a title and sound that bring Feist to mind. See the video below.
3. DVD: Community: The Complete Fourth Season
Time to catch up on anything you missed with your favorite study group last season, including the continued bromance between Abed and Troy (who move back in with each other), the adoration of Joel McHale (er, we mean Jeff Winger) by everyone, great guest stars -- including Malcolm McDowell, Matt Lucas, and James Brolin, just to name a few -- and of course the spectacular (or should we say fabulous?) return of James Rash's queer and crossdressing Dean Pelton (who adores Jeff Winger more than anyone else...except Jeff Winger). The DVD also features outtakes, deleted scenes, the Inspector Spacetime Convention tour, and a table read with cast puppets.
2. DVD: On the Road
Bringing this boiling, stream-of-consciousness novel to the screen was a risky proposition at best -- so many readers of a few generations feel ownership over the novel and its characters. So Brazilian director Walter Salles (The Motorcycle Diaries) had quite a challenge in rendering the bible of the Beat generation. It's faithful in concept, but some have issues with the casting of Sam Riley as Sal Paradise (author Jack Kerouac's alter-ego) and Garrett Hedlund as Dean Moriarty (proto-hipster Neal Cassady's counterpart.) They look more like boys than the men they were portraying. No one can argue that this isn't a beautiful film: the achingly lonely roads opening up to a post-WWII America with Charlie Parker's music setting the pace is spot on. Find it on Amazon.
1. EVENT: GaymerX
GaymerX, formerly known as GaymerCon, kicks off on Saturday, August 3, in San Francisco. The convention is the first of its kind dedicated to gaymers (gay gamers) and queer geek culture. The two-day event began with a Kickstarter project launched last year, with a modest fundraising goal of $25,000. By the time the convention's fundraising campaign ended, more than $90,000 had been raised, proving LGBT geek culture is alive and well. "Honestly, something like this, it should have happened five to 10 years ago," says GaymerX founder Matt Conn. "Gaming is the largest entertainment sector in the world and until now there has not been a single company focused on LGBT advocacy in the gaming world." Tickets are available at Gaymerconnect.com.