New Music: Icona Pop, Sofi Tukker, Tafari Anthony, Lauv, Conan Gray, Sofonda Cox, Nadia Vaeh

Icona Pop and Sofi Tukker in ‘Spa’

The chart-topping duo Icona Pop are back with the official music video for “Spa,” their musical collaboration with electronic duo Sofi-Tukker.

The quirky, retro-inspired video is the perfect pairing for the new wave-ish, techno-pop bop.

Speaking about the collaboration, Icona Pop’s Caroline Hjelt and Aino Jawo explain, “This song is weird in the very best way and we hope that people can have a rave spa at home while listening to it.”

Sofi Tukker adds, “We hope people can feel the joy and giddiness and ridiculousness that we all felt while making it. Even though we miss the club now more than ever, there’s also never been such an important time for self-care. Put some cuces on your eyes.”


Tafari Anthony

Queer pop artist Tafari Anthony releases his latest single, “No Good.”

The soulful electro-pop track features soaring vocals by Anthony as he explores how some relationships are just no good for us, yet we somehow still end up pursuing them for whatever reason.

“It is so much easier than you’d think to get trapped in this cycle of a bad relationship,” Anthony recently told American Songwriter. “I’ve heard too often from people that when a relationship is going well they feel like it’s missing something and that something is the drama.”


Conan Gray and Lauv in ‘Fake’ (screen capture)

Lauv joins forces with Conan Gray for the breezy mid-tempo “Fake,” which skewers vapid, phony social media personalities that seem to prize the number of followers over actual connections.

Amid a series of escalating fake photoshoots, the colorful music video features the duo engaging in staged pillow fights and dancing through super-saturated, bigger-than-life soundstage sets before being returned to reality.


Toronto-based drag artist Sofonda Cox

Toronto drag artist Sofonda Cox recently dropped her new circuit-house track, “Thrive,” featuring piano-based, big-room synth production with plucked strings, sharp drum kicks, and Cox’s gospel-tinged vocals.

This is Sofonda’s first release since signing with LGBTQIA+ music label So Fierce Music.


Out singer/songwriter Nadia Vaeh puts a bold and jazzy spin on this stripped-down version of her dark hit single “1000 Cuts.”

With hints of Jane Monheit and Sara Gazarek, the artist shows she can move with equal ease from sultry pop/rock to sassy jazz.

The playful confidence of the track and Vaeh’s musical virtuosity make this a winning track.

Vaeh is donating proceeds to The Trevor Project, which offers a safe space and support to LGBTQ youth. I previously covered

Streaming Tonight: Divas For Democracy ‘United We Slay’

Guest post by Lawrence Pfeil Jr.

As the 2020 Election heads into the home stretch it’s all hands on deck, but for One Night Only it’s all divas on deck, as in the “stage deck.”

This Sunday, October 18th at 8 pm EST Drag Out the Vote presents the fiercest divas from Broadway and RuPaul’s Runway together for a streaming evening of entertainment, Divas For Democracy: United We Slay.

Hosted by Entertainment Tonight’s Keltie Knight and RuPaul’s Drag Race’s Nina West, Divas For Democracy: United We Slay is a variety show where the divas of Broadway join forces with the divas of the drag world to encourage participation in our democracy.

Broadway divas will sing some of the most iconic musical theatre songs while their drag counterparts match their vocal prowess with lip sync passion and style.

Special segments will feature LGBTQIA+ activists in a nonpartisan fashion to promote the importance of the LGBTQIA+ community engagement and voter participation.

“Drag Out The Vote™’s mission is to educate, register, and turn out voters with the art and activism of drag.”  They also server voter realness:

• 100 million people did not vote in 2016

• 1 in 5 LGBTQ+ Adults is not Registered to Vote

• Youth voter turnout had a historic high in 2018… of only 35%

And you better believe Divas for Democracy is going to have more stars than a Drag Queen’s ass has sequins! See for yourself at  Divas for Democracy 

Divas for Democracy streams exclusively on StageIt, October 18th, 2020 at 8 PM EST. Tickets are “donate what you can” with a minimum $5 donation, with optional “tipping” for additional donations.

All proceeds benefit Drag Out The Vote’s get-out-the-vote efforts in 2020 and beyond.

Click here for tickets.

Lawrence Pfeil, Jr., is a freelance writer/playwright who has written for media outlets including The Randy Report, the New York Blade, and Edge Publications. You can follow him at TheOUTfront.com.

RuPaul’s DragCon Canceled Due To Coronavirus Concerns

(image via Instagram/RuPaulsDragCon)

RuPaul’s DragCon has been canceled thanks mainly to safety concerns in light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

DragCon posted on their website:

DragCon’s first priority is always the health and safety of everyone involved and we’ve been actively tracking the situation around the coronavirus. The situation in California (and the world) is rapidly changing, with new information coming out everyday.

Unfortunately, there’s no way for anyone to know what the situation will be like in May. Due to that uncertainty, and out of an abundance of caution, we’ve decided that it’s in the best interest of the talent, staff, and attendees to cancel RuPaul’s DragCon LA 2020.

DragCon LA will return in 2021, better than ever.

We will be working with Eventbrite to issue refunds over the next 7 days.

Thank you for your support. If you have any questions email help@rupaulsdragcon.com.

Several major convention events have been canceled as well including the popular South by Southwest (SXSW) festival which has been held in Austin, TX since 1987. They plan to carry on and prepare for 2021, but they are seeing major financial difficulties and had to lay-off 175 year-round employees.

And E! News reports that the 2020 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is likely to be postponed in light of ongoing concerns surrounding the coronavirus outbreak.

No official announcement has been made yet, but several outlets have reported that the music festival is looking to push the dates until October.

News Round-Up: January 28, 2020

Jeff Ferreira (via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

InstaHunks: Woofy Jeff Ferreira (above), standing in Times Square, “Kiss me, use me! Today I will be all yours!” #HoldMyBeer You can follow Jeff on Instagram here.

MetroWeekly: A pastor and right-wing broadcaster who was recently granted press credentials by the White House has claimed that the coronavirus was sent by God to “purge” LGBTQ people.

Advocate: Thanks to public outcry by queer Los Angelenos, the L.A. LGBT Center will not be losing its funding to offer free tests for HIV, syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia. On Monday, the center was informed its resources were scheduled to be cut – but queens will rise up.

Super Bowl: Rupaul’s Drag Race alums Kim Chi and Miz Cracker are featured in a new commercial for Sabra hummus scheduled for the big game on February 2.

Instinct Magazine: Porn star Armond Rizzo took to his social media after being approached by an adult studio that reportedly pays performers in the bottom bunk less than their co-stars. Armond was not having it: “It’s just unjust you pay bottoms less, and for that I decline working for you!”

Washington Blade: The Virginia House of Delegates on Tuesday voted 63-34 to repeal the state’s statutory same-sex marriage ban. House Bill 1490, introduced by state Del. Nancy Guy (D-Virginia Beach), would officially repeal Virginia’s prohibition the U.S. Supreme Court deemed unconstitutional in its 2015 ruling in the Obergefell case.

LA Times: Sen. Bernie Sanders has taken a significant lead – 6 points over Sen. Elizabeth Warren in number two spot – in the Democratic primary race in California. Under state Democratic Party’s rules, delegates go to candidates who get at least 15% of the vote statewide or in a congressional district.

Netflix: First Look At New RuPaul Series ‘AJ And The Queen’

Netflix just dropped the first look at the upcoming scripted series, AJ and The Queen, starring RuPaul Charles.

previously reported the announcement from Netflix that the ‘Queen of all queens’ would not only be starring in the road trip themed series, but serving as co-creator with Michael Patrick King (Sex and the City).

RuPaul will play ‘Robert Lee,’ aka Ruby Red, who has spent years appearing in clubs across the country saving his coins with the goal of opening his own drag club.

But Lee’s dream is dashed when two grifters swindle him out of his life savings. So Lee hits the road again in an attempt to start over.

But a “scrappy, streetwise 10-year-old escaping a difficult home life” upends Lee’s life as he is thrust into a new role: de facto parent.

According to the official synopsis, the duo finds themselves “fabulously mismatched yet perfectly paired” as they criss-cross the country together, often teaching each other new tricks.

So, two misfits – one tall, one small – sashaying across the country, spreading a message of acceptance and love.

Michael-Leon Wooley and Katerina Tannenbaum also co-star.

The one-hour comedy, described as “equally heartfelt and gritty” about “finding family in the unlikeliest of people when they’re needed most,” also promises showstopping performances from Mama Ru each week.

Sounds like a cross between BJ and the Bear & Touched by an Angel, just with a lot more sass and style.

Deadline has reported that the streaming platform has ordered a 10-episode first season.

Netflix announces the premiere date is scheduled for January 10.

Podcast: Mayor Pete Surges In Iowa, Indiana Teen Stands Up For Himself, LGBTQ Representation On TV Hits All-Time High

In this episode: the NFL's homophobic email scandal, Pete Buttigieg claps back, and new music from out singer/songwriter Michael Lazar.

The Randy Report podcast delivers the week's top stories in a quick, convenient podcast - 'the 60 Minutes of gay news - only shorter'

In this week’s podcast:

• Mayor Pete Buttigieg has surged to number one in the latest polling for the upcoming Iowa caucuses

• Gay men in Malaysia have been sentenced to months in prison and being whipped with a cane for having sex at a private residence

• A gay teen heard the slur ‘faggot’ one time too many – and took care of it. Link to story at The Randy Reporttherandyreport.com/a-gay-teen-had-…g-called-fggot/

• Two male dancers were featured on the UK’s ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ and the world didn’t end. Link to the story on The Randy Reporttherandyreport.com/strictly-come-d…tunning-effect/

• Get ready small-town America – the queens are coming!

• Representation for the LGBTQ community on TV rose to an all-time high according to the ‘Where We Are On TV report from GLAAD

All that and more in this episode of The Randy Report.

If you enjoy catching up on LGBTQ news in a quick podcast, I’d appreciate it if you would share The Randy Report with your friends. I like to think of the podcast as ‘the 60 Minutes of gay news…only shorter.’

Hit the play button and thanks for listening 🙂

Get Ready, Small Town USA – The Queens Are Coming!

L-R Bob the Drag Queen, Shangela & Eureka O'Hara (image via HBO)
L-R Bob the Drag Queen, Shangela & Eureka O'Hara (image via HBO)
L-R Bob the Drag Queen, Shangela & Eureka O’Hara (image via HBO)

Get ready, small-town America – the queens are coming!

HBO Network has announced a new unscripted TV series titled We’re Here starring RuPaul’s Drag Race alumni Bob the Drag Queen, Eureka O’Hara, and Shangela.

Over six episodes, the trio of RPDR royalty will travel to small towns across the country with the goal of “empowering local communities with the magic of drag.”

Each installment of the series will feature a different town where locals will be recruited to participate in a one-night-only drag show.

The three queens will work to inspire their ‘drag daughters’ to step out of their comfort zone.

We’re getting a Queer Eye / To Wong Foo vibe here…

Creator and executive producer Johnnie Ingram says, “We’re bringing the art of drag into small-town America in an effort to make connections in unexpected places.”

“Drag is about confidence and self-expression,” says Nina Rosenstein, EVP, HBO programming in a statement. “We are so thrilled to showcase the transformative power of the art form with our audience.”

All three queens will contribute as consulting producers on the series with Ingram and co-creator/executive producer Stephen Warren.

The divas shared the news with similar messaging on their Instagrams:

View this post on Instagram

WORK WORK WORK!!! I’m so excited to scream it from the Roof Tops!!!!!! Big News! I’ve been working on a new series with HBO called WE’RE HERE, traveling to small towns across the country with these ladies @bobthedragqueen and @itsshangela ! #WereHere is coming to @hbo in Spring 2020 💜Always stay focused and determined and you’ll be where you wanna be. I’m so proud of everyone that’s worked so HARD to make this happen. Creators: Steven and @johnnieinstagram Glam Team Eureka: @patryq65 @callher6 @wigsandgrace Costume: @patryq65 Hair: @kouturekaozhair Makeup: @callher6 Cosmetics: @jeffreestarcosmetics @esthers_styles #drag #plussize #phat #elephantqueen #beyourselftofreeyourself #phabulous #gay #bigsexy #dragrace #rupaulsdragrace #vh1 #emmywinnerscircle #nonbinary #familygenderneutralperson #iloveyoumom #🐘👑 #werehere #hbo

A post shared by Eureka! The Elephant Queen! (@eurekaohara) on

Look for We’re Here to debut on HBO in Spring 2020.

Manila Luzon Wows The Crowd At Chippendales

RPDR alum Manila Luzon takes the stage at Chippendales in Las Vegas

RuPaul’s Drag Race alum Manila Luzon headed down to Las Vegas, Nevada, this weekend as one of the headliners for Sin City’s Pride Weekend festivities.

Las Vegas holds its Pride events in October because temperatures get so high in the desert city in June, the traditional month for Pride events.

After performing on the MainStage on Friday evening after the Pride Night Parade, Luzon decided to check out the men of Chippendales on Saturday.

Not content to leave the diva in the audience, the Chipps asked Luzon to take part in a segment of the show where audience members are asked to give THEIR best lap dance to one of the hunky performers.

Miss Luzon did NOT disappoint.

Later in the evening, the show’s host spoke to Chippendales support for LGBTQ Pride in Las Vegas (several of the hunks showed up at the festival to pose with attendees) and introduced Luzon from the audience.

And, of course, the evening wouldn’t be complete without a photo with the men of Chippendales.

Note: the guys are wearing pink cuffs in the pic in tribute to Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

@chippendales I screamed the whole time!!! #chippendales #lasvegas #lasvegaspride

A post shared by Manila Luzon (@manilaluzon) on

Drag Queen To Aaron Schock: ‘You Can’t Have Your Cake & Eat It Too’

For months now, the LGBTQ media has reported on totally-not-gay former Congressman Aaron Schock as he’s turned up in photos and video clips making out with gay men at Coachella, tipping go-go dancers at gay clubs in Mexico and posing on the beach with gay social media mavens.

The interest in Mr. Schock is borne out of the fact that while in office he openly opposed LGBTQ rights. His public positions and anti-gay votes included supporting a  constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and voting against the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.

He has never apologized or addressed his reasons for such policy positions while continually denying he is gay. He’s never publicly come out.

His most recent foray into LGBTQ social life was a visit to the popular West Hollywood bar Revolver when he attended a karaoke night hosted by local drag queen Jonnie Reinhart.

When word got back to Reinhart that Schock was in the audience, Reinhart felt a responsibility to do or say something.

In a video post to his Facebook page, Reinhart admits that he’s not “a confrontational person,” but in light of Schock’s well-documented hypocrisy, couldn’t shake a sense of obligation to address Schock.

In his video, Reinhart says he knows there are folks who would have loved to have seen Schock thrown out of the bar or had a drink thrown in his face.

“My job is to literally make people feel comfortable and in comes this situation, where clearly other people were aware he was there,” Reinhart recently told Insider.com. “There was a general elephant in the room.”

Instead of calling Schock out on the microphone, Reinhart decided to perform “F*ck You” by Lily Allen. As the song began, Reinhart told the crowd, “This song goes out to someone in the audience. And it goes out to anybody who votes against gay rights.”

Reinhart figured that would send a subtle message, and expected Schock to leave.

But after the song, a friend of Schock’s approached Reinhart to chat, which inspired the drag queen to speak to the former congressman directly.

Like many, Reinhart believes Schock still owes the LGBTQ community a public apology for his anti-gay positions. 

“Keep in mind, my blood was boiling, my heart was pounding,” shares Reinhart in his video. “So I went up and shook his hand and I explained to him why I was upset that he was there, why other people were upset that he was there, and I basically told him that he wasn’t going to be welcomed in gay spaces until he began the process of apologizing and healing the harm that his actions have caused.”

According to Reinhart, Schock listened and expressed appreciation for addressing him directly.

Addressing his political record, Schock apparently told Reinhart “that he did not identify as gay at that time, and it wasn’t until years later that he began to explore and understand his sexuality.”

Then, Schock shared with Reinhart “his experience of being publicly outed” and how his family had reacted to the news of him being gay.

“Basically, he told me his family’s reaction was not positive, it was very bad,” shares Reinhart. “And he insisted that he wasn’t looking for sympathy, and he said that he was working on putting out a statement.”

Reinhart didn’t go into Schock’s personal details that were shared in the conversation that night since “he’s actually no longer a public official.”

Schock apparently asked about Reinhart’s own coming out experience and the drag performer shared that he was publicly outed when he was 13, so he grasps how difficult it is to be outed. But, says Reinhart, “It doesn’t excuse his [Schock’s] behavior.”

“I told him that he can’t have his cake and eat it too, and I told him that I’ll be waiting for his statement,” added Reinhart. “He told me that he hoped that he could talk to me again, we shook hands, and that was that.”

Reinhart concludes by telling the viewer his goal in the conversation was to “extend an olive branch,” adding “I believe you can have a respectful conversation with somebody while still telling them that they have f*cked up and they need to do better.”

While I find Reinhart’s civility in his encounter with Schock admirable, it’s worth noting that Schock has now been out and about with his openly gay forays for several months.

If he’s planning to address his anti-LGBTQ past, how long does it take to pen a statement?

As I have previously reported, Schock left office in public disgrace in 2015 amid corruption charges including mail fraud, filing false tax returns, theft of government funds, and more.

In March, he was offered and accepted a sweetheart deal by federal prosecutors who agreed to drop all charges if he repaid $68k to his campaign fund and $42k to the IRS.

(source: Insider – images via Facebook, Instagram)

Las Vegas: Strip’s Longest-Running Headliner Frank Marino Joins Legends In Concert

This fall, the longest-running headliner in Las Vegas history, Frank Marino, will join the longest-running production on the Las Vegas Strip, Legends in Concert.
Frank Marino (via Facebook)
This fall, the longest-running headliner in Las Vegas history, Frank Marino, will join the longest-running production on the Las Vegas Strip, Legends in Concert.

“I’m truly honored to be joining the cast of Legends in Concert for a limited engagement,” said the former star of Divas Las Vegas. “I’m simply ecstatic to be going from Diva status to a Legend inside the world-famous iconic Tropicana Las Vegas.”

Marino also shares that this will be his swan song appearance as the legendary first lady of comedy, Joan Rivers.
Marino joins the cast of Legends beginning September 11 and will be joined by a new cast of tribute artists singing some of the biggest hits of recorded music. 
Fans will be taken into a “Bohemian Rhapsody” with Fernando Castro’s mesmerizing tribute to the one and only Freddie Mercury and the iconic catalog of Queen; moved far from the “Shallow” with Tierney Allen’s breathtaking homage to Lady Gaga; and transported to the 80s with Jill Burke’s stunning recreation of Pat Benatar’s “Love is a Battlefield.” 
Elvis also returns to the Legends in Concert Theater with hunk of “Burnin’ Love” Matt Lewis and his beloved portrayal of The King, Elvis Presley.
The acclaimed production featuring stunning tribute artists also dazzles fans with historic showgirl costumes curated directly from iconic Vegas productions of the past, creating a special tribute to the showgirl glamour that is synonymous with the Entertainment Capital of the World.

Legends in Concert performs at Tropicana Las Vegas Monday through Saturday (dark Sunday) at 7:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased in person at the Tropicana Box Office, or online at ticketmaster.com and ticketbat.com


For more information about Legends in Concert, visit LEGENDSINCONCERT.COM.