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Tori Amos, Glee, Adam Lambert, Kathy Griffin
by Albert Rodriguez - SGN A&E Writer

It's going to be a very special Pride this year, thanks to Tori Amos. The alternative music diva, a heavy Gay favorite since the early '90s with her groundbreaking albums Little Earthquakes and Under the Pink, called me recently to talk about her new album, upcoming tour, and her disappointment of Prop. 8 in California. A vocal supporter of our community for many years, it's no surprise to find Amos sitting on our side of the bleachers on the issue of Gay marriage. Nominated for multiple Grammy and MTV VMAs, the acclaimed singer-songwriter was an absolute peach to speak with over the phone - genuinely sweet, articulate, thoughtful, and quite passionate about her Gay fan base. Amos, whose drummer-husband Matt Chamberlain was once based in Seattle, released her 10 studio album entitled Abnormally Attracted to Sin on May 19 and will launch her forthcoming "Sinful Attraction" tour right here in the Emerald City on July 10 (www.wamutheater.com). Amos begins production rehearsals next month in Seattle, so keep an eye out for her at your neighborhood cafe or record shop. But the one place you're guaranteed to catch her is right here at Seattle Gay News - a first-class diva, uniquely gifted musician-performer, and strong Gay ally, it's a pleasure to announce this exclusive Tori Amos interview for Pride 2009.

Here's a bit of a surprise this week in the music world: neither Adam Lambert (who I'll discuss in the next paragraph) nor Kriswhatshisname scored the most popular single of the week - in fact, with 11 released tracks combined, they still didn't even crack the top five. Instead, "Don't Stop Believin'," that '80s mullet classic by Journey, made a whopping entrance at number four in its chart debut with the help of its primetime appearance on TV's newest, Gay-friendliest comedy Glee. The hour-long musical show, written by Nip/Tuck scribe Ryan Murphy, had Gay men from coast to coast blogging and posting Facebook kudos the day following its big debut on Fox. I totally loved it and have watched it three times now. It gets better with each viewing, and I can't wait for the full season to begin this fall. The story of a high school teacher who takes a chance on a newly assembled music club by guiding them to a regional competition, Glee has all the components of a Queer hit - its got dynamite tunes like Amy Winehouse's "Rehab" and Earth, Wind & Fire's "Shining Star," it's got dancing, its got a big black girl with attitude, it's got a Kenneth Cole-wearing queen, it's got a cute football player who sings R.E.O. Speedwagon's "Can't Fight This Feeling" in the shower, it's got snooty cheerleaders, and it's got Lesbian funny lady Jane Lynch of Christopher Guest-Judd Apatow fame, but most of all it's got class - it doesn't have to sink to any lows to be entertaining and hilarious. Visit www.hulu.com/glee to watch the episode in its entirety. I'm so ecstatic for the next episode of this sing and dance show come September - um, Adam who?

Oh yeah, let's talk about the Idol bridesmaid.

Was Adam Lambert robbed of the American Idol crown? Robbed, as in pick-pocketed and hand-delivered to Kriswhatshisname by corporate sponsor AT&T? We'll never know, but I presume the tall and striking vocalist will not suffer from the dismal loss - instead, he could trail in the footsteps of another successful Idol loser, the ridiculously hot Chris Daughtry. At 6-foot-1 with Siouxie Sioux looks, Lambert stood out from the pack at the start of the season, but he may have been too heavy a favorite to win. Everyone from zany pop diva Katy Perry to pill-popping judge Paula Adbul had prepared victory parades for the mascara-basted Gay singer, and here's where things took a sudden turn, because what America loves more than a heavy favorite is a come-from-behind underdog. That's really why Kriswhatshisname won. Plus, to be completely honest, Lambert didn't nail his final performances as I expected he would and left the door partially open for the other guy to win - Lambert has to take fault for being less-than-explosive when he really needed to be. So will Lambert recover from his unfortunate runner-up showing? Without a doubt, he'll rocket to stardom by year's end. However - and there is a big however - it all depends on whether he chooses the right material to record in the studio. Remember when Kelly Clarkson fired her manager and changed her sound from her debut to sophomore albums? Has Carrie Underwood done anything other than country? Is Daughtry singing showtunes? No, no, and hell no! Lambert will have to record music that is suitable to his style and be able to sell it to a mass audience, while at the same time avoid going into cookie-cutter territory - he can do it, but let's hope he picks a great producer like Rick Rubin or better yet, Jack Douglass, to work with. Stay glued for American Idol tour dates to be announced in the near future, our first opportunity to see Lambert strut his moneymaker in person.

Just when I was starting to plan a Labor Day weekend in the San Juan Islands, the Bumbershoot (www.bumbershoot.org) lineup just got a whole lot better; the latest addition to the roster is our experimentally minded, yoga practicing, Gay marriage supporting, Grammy-nominated friend Jason Mraz. A major pop star these days, who I interviewed a year before the Times or P-I even gave him a line of ink, Mraz was announced on the latest round of festival performers that already includes Katy Perry, Franz Ferdinand, and Issaquah-based Modest Mouse. The 20-something Californian campaigned against Prop. 8 last year, extending his support to the Gay community and to the delight of his non-hetero fans - he also enthusiastically backed Obama. Mraz, believe it or not, is still promoting his globally successful album We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things, a tour that began at the start of 2008. If you want a double shot of Jason Mraz, consider joining me in San Francisco for the Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival (www.sfoutsidelands.com) the weekend before. Did you know he grew about two inches taller, perhaps from doing yoga and cutting out artificial sugar from his diet? True story; Jason Mraz is a lean, mean music machine these days. By the way, I've already booked him for my Gay wedding, so you'll have to find someone else to perform at yours - try the mute girl from Destiny's Child, she ain't doing anything.

Speaking of American Idol and Gay men, former bridesmaid Clay Aiken was in a super bitchy mode when she slammed Adam Lambert for not being a real talent. Aiken, who's had a disastrous singing career since his second-place finish on season two of Idol, basically said the show no longer features people with real talent like it used to and that Lambert wasn't the best contestant. Um, really, Clay? Aren't you performing in a rundown stage production of Spamalot? Don't all of your songs suck? So, what's with the bitchslapping of Lambert? Ah, could it be that the self-professed "real talented" Aiken requested a duet with Lambert but was rejected? Could it be that Aiken was dropped from his record label because not enough people purchased his boring renditions of Christmas carols? Or, could it be just plain jealousy and Queer rivalry? Whatever the case may be, and I suspect Aiken wears bitch well on any day of the week, and we did learn that Adam Lambert is a much more graceful runner-up than the self-professed real talented Clay Aiken. Poor thing - at one point Aiken was nearly adorable, now he's a trash-talking sister with an unimpressive career. Wah.

Be sure to catch the first episode of My Life on D-list's fifth season on June 1, when host and two-time Emmy winner Kathy Griffin welcomes none other than the Divine Miss M on the program. I have no idea what they're up to, but they're both nuts, so expect the very unexpected. From what I gather, Griffin attended Bette Midler's glitzy Vegas show, and afterwards the two chummed it up for the camera. Griffin, veteran hag and celebrity pistol, recently accepted the GLAAD Media Award for her contributions to the Gay community - she even spoke against Prop 8 at a Los Angeles rally. Her question to those who oppose Gay marriage, "What the fuck is it to you?!" Word, Kathy!

Finally, get ready for The Ting-Tings! I'm on the phone tomorrow with Jules De Martino, the male portion of this hot, Gay-pursued pop-punk duo, so grab a copy of next week's issue to hear what he has to say inside The Music Lounge.
picture above: Tori Amos
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