Mark the calendar: Melissa Etheridge is coming to Kansas City at 8 p.m. Wednesday June 24, at the Uptown Theater, 3700 Broadway, Kansas City, Mo.
I grew up in the ’90s, and the first two women I remember coming out as lesbians were Ellen DeGeneres and Melissa Etheridge. So Etheridge, a Leavenworth, Kansas, native who came out in 1993, has always been one of the first people who comes to mind when I think LGBT. Though she is well-known for her music and soulful vocals, she is also known for coming out at a time when revealing your lesbian sexuality didn’t mean that other famous peers would immediately accept you.
Now, when a famous musician comes out, there are usually numerous social media statements of acceptance and admiration.
Etheridge’s musical talent stayed at the forefront of her identity. Catchy songs combined with her breathy voice have yielded 17 Grammy nominations and two wins. She was inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2011.
I would say my favorite albums of hers are Greatest Hits: The Road Less Traveled, a medley of her well-known classics, and This is M.E, her latest CD, released in 2014. Both are amazing. One of my favorite songs is her rendition of Tom Petty’s “Refugee.” She sings it out with a true, ferocious love for the original. Also check out her live rendition of Janis Joplin’s “Piece of my Heart.”
I have too many memories during my growing-up years of belting out with my lesbian friends the songs “Come To My Window” and “I Want To Come Over.” But my absolute favorite song from Etheridge is “I’m the Only One,” for simply being a bad-ass song that I often sing in the shower at the top of my lungs.
Do not miss Etheridge at the Uptown on June 24!
The mastermind behind the chart-topper and Grammy-winning song “Clarity,” Zedd has come out with a second album. It will be hard to achieve the success of such a popular debut effort, but this album retains all the color and zest of the first. It follows the same format: Zedd features a variety of different vocalists, which helps keep the music fresh. Though all the songs are electronica, they have different tones and moods. “I Want You to Know” features Selena Gomez. I’m not a huge fan of her music, but this song is great and extremely catchy. The title song, “True Colors,” is surprisingly serious and moody, and I really enjoy it. “Papercut,” featuring the popular gay YouTube vlogger Troye Sivan, is also good. His voice is subtle but sharp. Every song on this album is worthwhile — do not miss it. My favorite is “Transmission, featuring Logic & X Ambassadors.”
Single, “Some Kisses”
This is the first official single from Madyx, the project from Michelle Blanchard, 22, who first got a taste of musical success with the band Life Down Here. This new project is the result of her seeking a different musical route into the more pop-alternative genre. On this single, I can hear some definite Pink influences. According to the Madyx Soundcloud webpage, Blanchard is also heavily influenced by Brody Dalle of the Distillers and Melissa Etheridge. I hear a bit of Ellie Goulding’s musical style as well. Overall, it’s upbeat, addictive, and danceable. There are some good remixes on iTunes, too. My favorite is the Manhattan Clique Mix. This short song is all I have to judge from, but I am eager to hear more from Madyx.