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Showing posts from May, 2012

Born For Broadway.

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When Jimmy told me that the benefit he would be doing last night would be hosted by Tony Goldwyn, I was, like, all in. I just think he's one of the most interesting actors alive. And he can sing! So, in the holding pen for all the performers after the show, I made Jim shoot this one. The tie I'm wearing is called an Endangered Species tie, and it was in a gift bag at another Christopher Reeve Foundation fundraiser Jim directed back in L.A. (There were a bunch of gift bags left over, so we went around taking the ties out of them.)
 Jim and Christine sang "I Remember It Well," with a few lyric changes to recall Chris and Dana Reeve. They're both gone now, sadly. Tony mentioned, in the prepared remarks, that when Chris and Dana began their foundation to study nerve damage to the spine, the field was all but empty. It was just assumed that there was no way to "fix" the spinal cord. But research has proven otherwise -- and their their foundation that has fu…

Robin Gibb.

When I was a kid, it was totally -- and I mean TOTALLY -- uncool to like the Bee Gees. Long before their disco days, they were considered to be Beatles-Lite. Their unapologetically sentimental love songs were for, you know, girls! So, of course, I LOVED them. Especially this song, from one of my favorite records of all time. I probably went through three of these:

Donna Summer, Freddie Mercury and Musicians.

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A straight friend of mine, online, sent me a link to Freddie Mercury and Queen singing at Live Aid, said he put it on, dimmed the lights and just played it loud. At the same time, I read Bob Lefsetz latest newsletter about how "the musicians" knew how good Donna Summer was. He writes:
They're testifying online about "I Feel Love", the Donna Summer hit from 1977. So I decided to play it. And instantly realized this sounds just as modern today as it did when it was cut, that this is the sound filling the Sahara Tent at Coachella, making the little kids go wild while their parents stand still in front of stultified rock acts on the main stage.Yup, we've got a white concert business and media marginalizing the exploding EDM scene, ignoring music that has a direct lineage to the hits of twenty five years ago.But the musicians know.Doing a little research, I found out that Bronski Beat covered "I Feel Love" in 1984, that everybody from the Red Hot Chili…

Obama's Evolution.

The wisest response, I've heard, to Obama's endorsement of gay marriage is that many people who currently are victims of both psychological and physical abuse at home were just told by their president that they have an ally and friend.

Yesterday was the 17th anniversary of the death of Bill Clayton, who I wrote about in New World Waking.

These voices usually go unheard because they are hidden behind a wall of violence, where silence equals death.
I come from a conservative Christian family, and though I was terrified to tell them my Horrible Secret, they've never treated Jimmy with anything but total respect and full acceptance. 
I try to steer clear of politics these days, because I feel like we can't really know anything. But what I do know is that words matter.

Oh, and that my friend, Richard Skipper's picture was on the Fox News graphic. He gets everywhere.

In The Bonus Round, You Never Stop Learning.

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This week, I challenged myself to write a new choral anthem for the upcoming Ascension Day services on May 17. I went online to the Episcopal liturgical calendar and tried to find something that would inspire a song.
(I don't think I've ever just pictured a choir and tried to write for them. Instead, my process has been to just write a basic song at the piano, and then do an arrangement of that song. This was more like painting with music, repeating the same phrase over and over again, almost like a chant.)
I found my lyric theme in the Psalm -- which is not too surprising, given the fact that the book of Psalms is, essentially, a song book. There in Psalm 93 is a phrase about how the waters lift up the voice of God. IOW, that if you look all around you, you can't help but be in awe of nature. David was writing that these things ARE the voice of God.
So, putting it into first person, I took that fragment and started with a simple melody, repeated it, harmonized it, flippe…

Out of The Silence. A School Bullying Project.

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I'm very excited to announce a new project, Out of the The Silence, that was conceived during my concert in Olympia. I was approached by a well known calligrapher named Sally Penley who told me she was very moved by the evening, especially Gabi's Song and other stories about GLBT kids who were bullied. So, she put together an idea for a traveling exhibition featuring great calligraphers making works of art out of both my lyrics and the words of kids who were victims of violence. So, now they're raising the money for the project through Kickstarter. I would encourage you, reader, to go to the site's page and help us put this together. It's very exciting, and I'm honored to have inspired this kind of passion. 

Monkey Helpers

h/t: Andrew Sullivan

I'm Singing Sunday night for St. Clement's Cabaret

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Come out and support the wonderful work of St. Clement's Episcopal Church. I'll be singing, along with a whole list of wonderful performers.