Issue 352

Bartender Spotlight

Photo by George Holdgrafer

Who: Zachary

What: Recipe: Thanksgiving Dinner
1 part Stoli Razberi
1 part Bailey’s Irish Cream
2 parts Soda

When: Thursday • 3-8 PM, Saturday • 1-7 PM

Where: 19 Bar • 19 W. 15th St., Mpls. • (612) 871-5553

Why: ““Because we have lots of beer!”

Tickles Bar Opens in Northeast Minneapolis

The Twin Cities GLBT community should be tickled that its newest bar, Tickles, opened with flair on November 14. As the name suggests, it’s a piano bar where some of the best talent anywhere will tickle the ivories on an impressive six-foot Hallett Davis grand piano. Again keying off its name, Tickles as well is a fun place to meet friends for beverages and conversation, while watching sports events on TV, or playing pool, darts, and video games. Read the rest of this entry »

On the Record

4:13 Dream
The Cure

One of the reasons the Smiths are so revered—apart from the considerable talents of Morrissey, Johnny Marr, and the rest—is that they quit while ahead. Not everyone gets the memo, such as Robert Smith and whoever else is in The Cure these days. If the band had quit while ahead (Disintegration would have been a great career topper), they’d be held in higher regard—and fans wouldn’t have suffered through 20 years of increasingly mediocre releases. 4:13 Dream does nothing to change that slide, as it offers little more than an overlong collection of generic Cure songs that have none of the depth or even humor of the band’s best work. What’s worse is that these songs aren’t even aggressively bad (the Cure went in some…interesting directions during the early 1980s). Instead, they just fall off the mind without leaving any impression whatsoever. Come on, Bob, time to put the six-string basses and hairspray away, and try something new.

Back to Now
LaBelle

The team behind “Lady Marmalade” and other great funk/soul hits of the ’70s has reunited, and it doesn’t sound like a day has passed. Back to Now heaps classy songs and heavy-duty playing on top of the unique vocal talents of Patti LaBelle, Nona Hendryx, and Sarah Dash. While the collection employs some hot guests (Lenny Kravitz produces several tracks, and Wyclef Jean joins for a song), this collection is all about the ladies, from the opening salvo of “Candlelight,” which takes about 20 seconds to hit a classic soul moment, as the trio blend their vocals on the chorus. They move strength to strength from there, laying out slow and thick soul, the occasional ballad, and a couple of rousers (the Jean song “Rollout,” is actually the weakest number here) that make the collection fly by. Recent years have seen a number of classic singers and acts return to their past glory. It’s wonderful that LaBelle has joined them.

Little Honey
Lucinda Williams

I love Lucinda Williams. I don’t mean that in an “Oh, I love her music” kind of way. I just purely love Williams. Something about her take on country and rock music just warms my heart. That warmth is in full effect on Williams’s latest, Little Honey. I mean, what’s not to love here? You’ve got a parcel of great love songs; a duet with Elvis Costello (the rambling “Jailhouse Tears”); and enough variety to entertain the heart, no matter what mood you are in at the time. To end it all, Williams gives us a cover of “It’s a Long Way to the Top,” one of the signature tunes of the early AC/DC. Here, it gets recast as a bit of rocking country (without a bagpipe solo) that still keeps the original’s mix of road weariness at traveling and sheer joy of playing rock ’n’ roll for a living. There’s that fun again. That’s why I love Williams.

The Sound Of
The Smiths

As this is, it seems, the hundredth Smiths collection issued in the 21 years since the band split up, the main question should be: Is it worth it? The answer, actually, is an emphatic yes. Even someone like me, who has owned the original albums on vinyl for decades, was captivated by this collection, especially Disc Two, which digs deep for some lesser-known B-sides and stray tracks. Disc One is given over to 23 of the band’s best tracks—a cornucopia of stunning songwriting and performance. Well-chosen and sequenced, these tracks cover the bases you would expect (“How Soon is Now,” “Girlfriend in a Coma,” etc.), but still make for a great listen. The second disc collects plenty of goodness as well, making for quite a Smiths mix tape. Fans of the band will get a chance to hear familiar tracks in a new context, while newcomers can sink deep into one of the signature bands of the 1980s.

Hotel Rendezvous

Spring and summer fashion progresses in a long, languid strip tease. Hems rise, sleeves fall away to reveal bare shoulders, bare calves. When fall arrives, it is curt, abrupt and always too soon. But though falling temperatures may drop the curtain on our seasonal burlesque, the season offers a different sensuality. Soft, sumptuous fabrics simply beg to be touched, and one who plays this to their advantage will not miss summer for long. Layering with different textures only serves to heighten the tactile experience. Read the rest of this entry »

515 Reasons Contracts Aren’t Enough

Some Minnesotans assume that committed same-sex couples and unmarried domestic partners can gain the same rights and protections denied by discriminatory laws by signing legal documents and contracts. This simply is not true. Project 515 is dedicated to debunking this common misperception, a concept that is pushed by those opposed to equal recognition for same-sex couples. Read the rest of this entry »

The Hughes Foundation Giving Hope Through Living Positively

Jerry Hughes strikes a first impression of enthusiasm, vigor, and well-being. It would be easy to think he is on top of the world, and, by all accounts, he probably would agree with you. But his contagious smile and the animated way he relates the story of his namesake Hughes Foundation belie the desolation he endured on his journey to get where he is today. You see, arriving where he is took more than an inspired idea and a little moxie. It took rising above the depths of real despair, looking at the face of death, and deciding to do…to be different. Read the rest of this entry »

Passing: Gene Lippa (AKA Sadie Seville) 1967-2008

Gene Lippa, 41, died of cancer November 14 in Denver, Colorado. He was born June 23, 1967, in San Mateo, California.

After moving to the Twin Cities in the mid-1990s, Lippa was a popular female impersonator as Shady Sadie and then Sadie Seville at the Brass Rail, Trikkx, and the Venetian Inn. He was active in the Imperial Court of Minnesota (ICOM), serving as Empress VIII, Princess Royale VI, and President of the Board of Directors. Read the rest of this entry »

Reagan and AIDS, and the Disease in Africa: An Interview with Thom Hartmann

Air America’s Thom Hartmann widely is hailed as one of the nation’s smartest radio talk show hosts. His devoted fans in the GLBT community love it when, as a straight man, he takes on homophobes, and destroys their arguments oh so civilly on national airwaves. Indeed, he has been in top form recently with bigots who have phoned in their antigay views about California’s Proposition 8. Read the rest of this entry »

La Raccolta at Il Rifugio

Up at 5:30 AM, I slid my feet into foot duvets. Silently dragging myself out of the cottage, and not waking my partner, Chad, I crossed a walkway between the cottage and the villa to enter a large kitchen. Starting a fire in the 300-year-old hearth, I prepared coffee. This morning was special. It was the first day of La Raccolta, the annual olive harvest at Il Rifugio (The Refuge). For the past three years, I have baked my Grandma’s Sticky Buns as a “good luck” start to a successful harvest. This year was no different. Read the rest of this entry »

The Big Cheese: Comté

You thought the French were passionate about wine? That’s nothing. To get them really wound up, just mention cheese. “How can I govern a country which makes 600 kinds of cheese?” President De Gaulle was said to moan. Read the rest of this entry »

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