SotW: Hard Wired by Smokey Graves Sunday, Nov 16 2014 

Smokey Graves (Alejandro Rose-Garcia) is one of PJ’s and my favorite musicians. He came to the Nelsonville Music Festival this year, and we were determined to finally make it into the no-fi cabin to hear him. (After years of trying to year bands in there, we finally made it!) It was wonderful seeing/him perform just a few feet away from us.

His second album, And the War Came, was released a few months ago, and I love it! It’s definitely going to be one of my favorite albums of this year. My favorite track is “Hard Wired”:

And today, PJ had me watch a few videos of Smokey Graves on eTown. We both especially liked his version of “You’re the One that I Want”:

He also performed one of my other favorites from the album, “Dearly Departed,” a duet with Esmé Patterson:

I highly recommend the album and everything else he does. I wish we could see him in concert again soon!

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SotW: “Handsome Man” by Matt Alber Wednesday, Oct 1 2014 

This just might be the sexiest video ever!

SotW: “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran Tuesday, Aug 26 2014 

This summer I’ve clearly listened to more male solo artists than I usually do. While many of these have been gay (Adam Joseph, Sam Smith, and Eli Lieb), some have also been straight. Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud” is one of my favorite songs right now. Here’s a live version:

I love the sentiment and romance of this song. While the latter part are more particular to Sheeran’s experience as a musician, overall the song is universal is expressing love for that someone special. I especially like the lyric about falling in love every day. That’s definitely how I feel about PJ! 

 

SotW: “I’m Not the Only One” by Sam Smith Monday, Aug 11 2014 

Sam Smith’s In the Lonely Hour has rapidly become one of my favorite albums of the year. He recently released his latest video, “I’m Not the Only One.” This is one of my favorite tracks on the album, and I think the video is hauntingly beautiful:

 

SotW: “Square One” by Jay Brannan Monday, Jul 28 2014 

How did I not know that Jay Brannan has released a new album? It came out a couple of weeks ago. “Square One” is his new single/video:

I bought it/downloaded it last week and am really enjoying it!

SotW: “Queen” by Perfume Genius Tuesday, Jul 22 2014 

Perfume Genius has a new album coming out and has just released its first single: “Queen.”

Can’t wait to hear the rest of the record!

SotW: If I Were a Boy from Glee Sunday, Nov 24 2013 

A couple of weeks ago I flipped the channel briefly to see what was happening on Glee, a show I don’t watch much anymore, since it conflicts with Project Runway. The beginning of this video is exactly where I came in:

I wasn’t sure what had happened to lead to this song — I asked PJ later, since he watches Glee — but part of the beauty of this performance is that you didn’t really need to know what had happened to precipitate it. It’s moving and beautiful without any context.

A few years ago, Glee was on the forefront of depicting gays and lesbians on television. I’m glad that it’s continued that progressive tradition by depicting a trans character like Unique. Just as younger audiences have arguably learned greater acceptance of gays and lesbians by watching them on television, hopefully the same positive acceptance will come soon for transpeople. Orange Is the New Black and Glee are leading the way. Hopefully other shows will soon follow.

SotW: “I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz Monday, Jan 30 2012 

The first Song of the Week of 2012 is Jason Mraz’s new single, “I Won’t Give Up,” which I love!

I love Mraz’s music — his last album, We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things, was especially great — so I’m looking forward to his new album, which is set for release sometime this year. In the meantime, this song is a beautiful one!

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SotW: Somebody That I Used to Know by Gotye Thursday, Dec 22 2011 

I heard Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know” in the car recently and immediately fell in love with it:

Gotye was born in Belgium but grew up in Australia. After listening to this song a few times, I tried out some of the other tracks on Gotye’s new album, Making Mirrors, which is great, and so I bought it. It’s now one of my favorite albums of 2011. Gotye has been compared to Sting, especially in his interest in drawing on various forms of world music, which seems an apt comparison.

Part of what makes this song great, of course, is that he inserts the woman’s point of view, underlining the male perspective, who ultimately comes across as kind of whiny. I think this is bloody brilliant! It’s also risky. I love it.

I also found a great live version of “Somebody I Used to Know”:

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SotW: Take a Bow by Matt Alber Tuesday, Dec 13 2011 

Last week I bought Matt Alber’s new album, Constant Crows. I haven’t had a chance to really listen to it carefully yet, but so far I really like its quiet, acoustic sound. Alber is most known, at least in gay circles, for his wonderful “End of the World,” a beautiful, romantic love song that had a great, Mad Men type video. I’ve been waiting for his follow-up all year.

One of the highlights that immediately stand out is his cover of Madonna’s “Take a Bow.” Here’s a live version I found on YouTube:

I’ve uploaded the album to my iPod so that I can listen to it more. “The River,” “Velvet Goldmine,” and “Tightrope” also stand out as potential favorites. I hope he puts out a video or two too — “End of the World” demonstrates that he has the video aesthetic to be a great video artist.

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