LGBTQ Musicians Are Gearing Up For The 2018 Lesbian And Gay Band Association Conference

Calling all LGBTQ music lovers!

Next week, Kansas City will be rocking because of the annual Lesbian and Gay Ban Association Conference.

Every year, the Lesbian and Gay Ban Association joins together to celebrate LGBTQ people performing music. Multiple organizations around the country and globe build communities of musicians that perform in their local towns and areas, and then every year they all join together to celebrate LGBTQ life and the love of music.

Cliff Norris, the president of the Lesbian and Gay Band Association, talked to news source KCUR 89.3 about the annual conference.

“There are people who perhaps didn’t have a good experience in their high school or college band," Norris says. "There are people who tell us that they were bullied. But yet, their interest in music was still there and our bands offered an open, welcoming space that they could come and rekindle their interest in music.”

Norris also noted the beautiful moment when all the bands and musicians join together for the first time to perform.

"But for me I think of all these different paths that come together in that one moment and intersect, and then we all breathe in the same air in that one breath and make that one note together. I think of it as a moment of unity.”

One particular band that’s excited for the upcoming conference and concert is Kansas City’s Mid America Freedom Band.

Lee Hartman, the artistic director for the band, told KCUR 89.3 that he’s excited for the conference to be hosted in their home town. He wants to show the members flying in from other cities in the US, as well as Australia and the UK, that the Midwest is a thriving place too.

Just look at how the band's grown to see Hartman's point. The Mid American Freedom Band band started 16 years ago in 2002 with only 14 members, and now they boast about having 80 members and counting.

As for the music they’ll be playing, the band plans to perform songs by composers like Ingrid Stoltzel, John Kander, Chen Yi, and Derek Jenkins.

“We really focus a lot on the works of women composers, LGBTQ composers, trans composers, and composers of color," Hartman says. "It’s been a wonderful, wonderful thing to be like look it, there’s great music out there, you just have to do a little digging to find it.”

If you want to hear the Mid America Freedom Band, or the other Lesbian and Gay Band Association members, perform, you should get yourself to Kansas City next week.

The Lesbian and Gay Band Association Conference Jazz Concert and Gala kicks off on Friday May 25 at the Richard J. Stern Opera Center, 1725 Holmes St, Kansas City, Missouri 64108.

In addition the Conference Concert takes place the next day on Saturday, May 26 at 7:30pm at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway, Kansas City, Missouri 64108.

h/t: KCUR 89.3

Go Behind-The-Scenes In Upcoming Documentary "Whitney"

Miramax and Roadside Attractions shares a “first-look” at some of the rare footage included in the upcoming documentary Whitney, which uses never-before-seen archival video, demo recordings, interviews and rare performances to unravel the mystery behind “The Voice.”

Breaking records by every metric in the entertainment world, Whitney Houston’s career soared as she sold over 200 million albums worldwide, starred in blockbuster movies and became the only artist to have 7 consecutive #1 singles.

But along the way, cracks in the perfect veneer began to appear in the form of erratic behavior and behind-the-scenes scandals. Eventually, the unknowable pressures of superstardom were too much for Houston as she died at the young age of 48 in a Beverly Hills hotel suite on February 11, 2012.

The new documentary Whitney - which has the blessing of the Houston family - takes an intimate, unflinching look at the pop superstar and her family going beyond the tabloid headlines to shed new light on the amazing, spellbinding trajectory of Houston’s life.

An earlier, unauthorized documentary - Whitney: Can I Be Me - was roundly denounced by Houston's family in that it touched on Whitney's drug use and bisexuality. Houston’s mother Cissy Houston told Oprah in a 2013 interview she would “absolutely” have been disappointed if her daughter had come out to her as gay.

Check out rare rehearsal footage from the documentary of Houston in rehearsal as she readied for an awards show performance.

Whitney will premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in May and land in theaters July 6.



Franco Noriega's Music Video "Me Aceleras" Is Muy Caliente

Celebrity chef Franco Noriega recently debuted his first music video - "Me Aceleras" ("You Accelerate Me”) and it is hot, hot, hot.

Dancing some of the beautiful people of Miami, this is definitely a party you want to hit up.

Chef-to-pop star may not seem like the most logical of paths but when you’ve got the heat you don’t keep it in the kitchen. 

"I believe a lot in the power of visualization. That's what I do," Noriega told Paper Magazine in January. "It's like the Law of Attraction philosophy. You meditate towards [what you want], and it's incredible, because you really create your own reality." 

And when it comes to music, "I'm super excited for everything about singing, because it's so new. When something is so new, there's nothing really that can go wrong. Because you had nothing before this. There's a beauty in the freedom of the unknown."

Watch the sexy "Me Aceleras" below. 

Grab something cause you're about to get thirsty.




A post shared by Franco Noriega (@franconorhal) on


And while we're talking about heat...




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Telling A Gay Love Story, Ireland's Eurovision Entry Heads To Finals

Always a huge deal in Europe, the 63rd annual Eurovision Song Contest is currently underway in Lisbon, Portugal, with 43 countries vying for this year’s title.

Representing Ireland this year, former Britain’s Got Talent finalist Ryan O’Shaughnessy took to the big stage to perform his single, “Together.”

The music video for the song, which chronicles the breakup of a couple, features way cute dancers Kevin O’Dwyer and Alan McGrath falling in and out of a tender, romantic dance on the streets of Dublin.

The choreography by Ciaran Connolly is uber-charming as the flirtation between the young men is always the focus and the steps never overwhelm the storytelling.

On Tuesday night, the dancers joined O’Shaughnessy onstage, reprising their roles - and the moment the spotlight hit the duo the crowd roared with approval.

Did I mention the dancers are way cute?

The result? Oh yes, Ireland moves on into the finals!  Let's hear it for sweet pop songs and cute boys!

You can watch the 2018 Eurovision Grand Final this Saturday on Logo, May 12 at 3pm ET/12pm PT.

In reviewing the finalists, The Guardian had this to say about the performance:

“The great surprise of Tuesday’s first semi-final was easily Ireland’s Ryan O’Shaughnessy. His 'Together' doesn’t sound impressive on first listen – a cliche-stuffed love song (“I thought we’d be together ’til we die”) – but in Lisbon it soared, a real tear-jerker. It was helped by great staging: a young couple dancing with each other on a park bench, and twirling around a lamp-post in the snow. Who are the couple? Two men. That might not go down well in Russia with its “gay propaganda” ban, but should everywhere else.”

Watch O’Shaughnessy and company in their Eurovision performance below:



And here’s the original music video with romantical dance moves:



And if you want to know just how seriously some folks take the annual Eurovision competitions, check out this Irish fan who loses it when he finds out his country made the finals:

Folk Duo She & Him Are Joining The "Universal Love" Train With New "His & Her" Wedding Songs

We have another update in the ongoing sensation that is Universal Love.

Last month, we shared with you the news that a bunch of singers like Bob Dylan and Death Cab For Cutie’s front man Benjamin Gibbard were changing the lyrics of classic wedding songs and making them into same-sex love songs.

Then, we shared with you Kesha’s music video for her song “I Need A Woman To Love” in which she helped a real life gay couple get married.

Now, it looks like singing duo She & Him are joining the fun.

If you don’t know She & Him, they’re a folk duo made up of actress Zooey Deschanel and musician M. Ward.

The two have recently announced that they’re joining the Universal Love playlist created by MGM resorts with two different versions of the same song.

Specifically, they recently released the new singles, “He Gives His Love to Me” and “She Gives Her Love To Me.”

“What drew us to this project is that it opens up new ways of thinking about songwriting,” Deschanel and Ward tell Rolling Stone. “It would be amazing if our songs help to inspire other artists to engage with lyrics in a more open, and inclusive way.”

Not only is this a great announcement for fans of LGBTQ entertainment media, but this is also exciting news for She & Him fans as the music duo haven’t come out with new music in five years.

This also marks the first original song to join the now growing playlist of songs for same-sex weddings.

If you want to get excited too, you can check out both singles down below.

Years And Years' Frontman Explains His Perfect Dating Situation

British band Years and Years had an exciting debut two years ago with their first album, titled Communion, that sold over a million copies worldwide.

Now, frontman Olly Alexander and his band are gearing up for the release of their new album, Palo Santo, in July. To prepare for that, Alexander has been doing some interviews.

One recent interview he did was with BBC and during it the singer-songwriter opened up about his dream relationship and his thoughts on the gay community.

“What I think would suit me was if I was in a thruple and the other two guys lived in a house nearby.”

“I could visit them every now and then and they’d cook me dinner, and then I could just go home and watch TV by myself.”

Of course, the singer knows that this kind of relationship setup, while possible, is mostly just a pipe dream. That said, he’s still hoping for something better than the relationship he had with a straight man that inspired his song, “Sanctify.”

Also, the singer opened up about his thoughts on the gay community and the club scene.

“I think a lot about how clubs are almost like queer churches. You go and congregate and you dance. That’s always been a sacred experience for me, although it’s been both positive and negative.”

If you’re excited to hear the new album by Years and Years, you don’t have to wait too long. Palo Santo will be coming out on July 6.

h/t: GayStarNews