Saturday, April 17, 2010

Gleefully Singing

I attended a special viewing of the first new episode of the returning musical series Glee at Red Box Greenbelt last Wednesday. Still funny and cute. A new character, Jesse, is introduced, played by openly gay actor Jonathan Groff. He’s Rachel’s new love interest from a rival glee club. The ambitious character admits to being a “drama queen.” But nah, I don’t expect him to go bi. Jane Lynch (a.k.a. Sue Sylvester) is gay, but the character she plays is straight. Still, Glee is awesome for a number of reasons, including the fact that it’s a gay-friendly show.

Speaking of gay people, just a few weeks after the Ricky Martin and Anna Paquin announcements, there’s another celebrity outing. According to a CNN article, Christian rock artist Jennifer Knapp recently came out as gay! Oh my God, indeedy! That’s great news. I was introduced to Miss Knapp’s music about ten years ago, when she was among the artists featured in a CNN Christian music special. I liked her voice immediately. I remember seeing her CD in one of those stalls that sell Christian stuff some years back, but I didn’t buy it, and I know her music more because of dozens of YouTube videos. Anyway, she sounds like the middle “sister” of KT Tunstall and Melissa Etheridge. “I would rather be judged before God as an honest human being,” she said. Attagirl, Jennifer! Her new album, “Letting Go,” is about “inner conflicts, spirituality, and life lessons.” Very interesting.

And lastly, speaking of new albums, I’ve listened to a few Natalie Merchant interviews about her new two-CD offering, “Leave Your Sleep.” The eclectic-sounding songs have lyrics that are actually old poems, according to the ex-Maniac. I wondered how her music would change since becoming a parent some years ago, and the answer is this inspired album. I’ve yet to own it, but I’ve heard a number of tracks via YouTube, and some of my faves are “Janitor’s Boy,” “Dancing Bear,” and “If No One Ever Marries Me.I also like her song from David Byrne’s “Here Lies Love” album, “Order 1081,” sung from the perspective of Imelda Marcos’ old yaya. Anyway, here’s a cap from the Maniacs’ “These are Days” video. Cool seeing that again.

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