Musicality – Sylvester, Alpine, ‘Behind the Candelabra’

Performances for Pride Month
Daisy Buckët at Hamburger Mary’s on May 31: Daisy Buckët will be bringing along Summer Tryst, Bernadette, and Daniel Beeman for a night you will not want to miss. The Facebook page for this event says they will feature even gayer Broadway material than usual! The show starts at 7:30 p.m. For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/447424645350774.
Kansas City Pride Festival in Westport May 31-June 1: This year, the Kansas City Diversity Coalition will have the festival in front of Bistro 303 in Westport. On Friday, the party goes from 6 to midnight., and DJ Jerry Griffin, DJ Aaron Fries and DJ Mandy Lix will perform. That same night, Josh Zuckerman will sing at 7 p.m. On Saturday, the festival will go from noon to 10 p.m. in Westport. Visit their Facebook page for more information: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kansas-City-Diversity-Coalition/100584923375722.
Heartland Men’s Chorus on June 8-9: The Heartland Men’s Chorus is taking a journey back to the 1950s, and you’re invited. “Heart and Soul” will be at 8 p.m. Saturday, June 8, and at 4 p.m. Sunday, June 9, at the Folly Theater, 300 W. 12th St., Kansas City, Mo. Visit the website at http://hmckc.org/summer-concert.
Shawn Thomas at Spirit of Hope MCC on June 22: The Spirit of Hope Metropolitan Community Church is hosting a concert by openly gay Christian singer/songwriter Shawn Thomas. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. For more information, go to http://www.spiritofhopemcckc.org/.

Sylvester
Mighty Real: Greatest Dance Hits
(Concord Music Group)
Before listening to this album, I had next to no knowledge of Sylvester. I only knew that he died from complications of AIDS in 1988 and was iconic in gay dance music. One of his more notable hits, “You Make Me Feel,” which is one of my favorites from this compilation, was inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame in 2004. Halfway through this first song, I understand. I could easily see how Sylvester was important in those early days of the gay movement. Listening to it now, I can hear the backbone of every dance song that has been ever been embraced by gays in the last few years. I can feel LGBTQ history in its beats. They sound like classics, like the long-lost father of gay dance music who died too soon. I think the album deserves a listen for two reasons: It’s wonderful, with some really great songs, and the influence of his style of music still remains, even if the younger generations don’t realize it. Having just learned about Sylvester, I am touched by the music and his history. I suggest looking him up in general, not just his music.
Alpine
A Is For Alpine
(Ivy League/Votive)
“Lovers 1” and “Lovers 2” is basically one song split into two, only separated by track numbers and mood changes, but I’m going to judge it as one because the feeling of listening to one right after the other elicited a specific mood. Here it goes. The scene in the movie Garden State when Natalie Portman’s character makes Zach Braff’s character listen to a song by The Shins on her headphones and then as he slowly realizes that it’s actually a good song, she flashes the sweetest smile at him. It basically foreshadows their journey, which followed after that one moment. This is how the start of the CD made me feel. For the rest of the album, imagine a combination of the Shins, a calmer version of the way the Strokes songs progress, and the ambiance of Metric. Throw in a sprinkle of Tegan and Sara’s catchy hooks with better-sounding vocals, and this is what you get. Fans of any of these bands need to squash any reasons for indecisiveness about whether to check out Alpine. It is now one of my favorite indie/alternative albums that I’ve heard in a long time.
Behind the Candelabra:
Music from the HBO Original Movie
(Elektra Records)
If this movie is even half as good as the CD is, I will enjoy it. This album is everything a soundtrack should be — creating emotions through tones. Most of the songs don’t have lyrics, but they convey a sort of darkness or a secret, which, considering the history of Liberace himself, is more than appropriate. One of the songs has a rushed Latin edge to it that I enjoy. One of my favorite songs from the soundtrack is the wonderfully bluesy “When Liberace Winks At Me.” Even if you don’t watch the movie, I definitely recommend this soundtrack, because there are some great piano songs.

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