The fabulous Leela James played at the Paradiso in Amsterdam this week. The R&B songstress' third album, My Soul, was released in May and debuted seventh on the Hip Hop/R&B chart. Leela sings "Tell Me You Love Me" and the funky Rolling Stones "Miss You"-inspired "I Love Music" AFTER THE JUMP ...
On Monday, Rod 2.0 posted our interview with Macy Gray where we discussed The Sellout, the Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter's first new album in more than 3 years. The Sellout debuts June 22. Macy told R20 that she was headed to Europe and over the weekend she appeared live on the Dutch version of X Factor to perform "Beauty in the World."
The dance remix of "Beauty" is currently No. 3 on Billboard's Hot Dance/Club Play Songs—a career-high for Gray on that chart, which saw her song "Sexual Revolution" reach No. 4 in 2002. And last week Macy debuted her new track "Lately" on the UK talk show Later With Jools Holland. Watch them both AFTER THE JUMP ...
After years of avoiding questions on his sexuality, Kele Okereke, the lead singer of indie rock sensation Bloc Party, more or less came out in a January 2007 interview with The Guardian. The singer is notoriously shy and usually tries to avoid discussing his race or sexuality, as they "don't relate" to his music. But the British singer speaks more candidly in the Spring 2010 issue of BUTT, the critically-acclaimed Amsterdam-based 'zine. Okereke admits that he rarely discussed his sexuality in interviews because of his his "super-Catholic" Nigerian parents.
"My parents are super-Catholic and they come from a culture in Nigeria
where there weren’t any visible gay people who were out and were happy. I left home when I was 20. My parents threw me out [for being gay]. Which I knew they would. We didn't speak for like a week. ... My parents are getting older and I didn’t like the idea that they could
possibly die without knowing something that is a big part of my life.
It’s not easy. ... We've been talking about it."
Okereke hasn't had sex in months:
"I've been celibate for five months, which isn't that long, but it's the longest I've gone without sex. I just decided the next person I slept with, I wanted to be in love with, rather than feel nothing for them at all. I was becoming a bit desensitized to sex. It was starting to feel like another physical activity."
Okereke referred to himself "gay" but identifies as" queer" and adds that he wants "to remain open to experiences."
The singer adds the BUTT interview is an important step in his personal coming out process. "I’m always stopped by young, gay kids who say it’s really refreshing and encouraging to see someone like me being out in a relatively mainstream band.If I’d have had someone saying it’s okay to be you when I was a teenager, I’d probably be a very different person. That is why I’m doing this now, after years of not doing it. It’s good to show that gays come in all shapes and sizes."
Speaking of showing and size ... Okereke flashes his butt for BUTT. That photo AFTER THE JUMP ...
During last night's opening ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, you may have noticed a sprinkling of color among the winter athletes. One of the most prominent: Timothy Beck, the champion Dutch sprinter, who carried the flag for the Netherlands. Beck is competing in the bobsled.
A few photos from the Rotterdam performance of Fol Chen, the Los Angeles-based art rock slash electro-pop band fronted by Noah's Arc director Patrik Ian Polk. The band's European tour ends tomorrow in Rennes, France and included Dijon, Paris, Amsterdam, and Antwerp.
Patrik has been Tweeting from the road such as this update earlier today: "In Nantes, France...performing at the University here tonite. Should be a fun show. 3 other bands opening 4 us #FolChenEuroTour09."
Sacha Baron Cohen continues the antics as "Brüno," the flamboyant fashion reporter. The comedian and fauxmosexual jetskied through a canal in Amsterdam's Red Light District to announce the grand opening of the "Pink Light" brothel.
" 'For too long, guys coming here from around the world have been forced to have sex with women,' Cohen said, standing in front of a pink-lit brothel building in the Dutch capital as surprised tourists and stag party goers looked on. 'It gives me great pleasure to declare Amsterdam's pink light district officially open for business,' he said, as about a dozen men emerged from behind curtains at the windows of a three-story brothel."
Brüno's fashion sense may be extreme, but his taste in beefcake is impeccable. Oh and the "fashion reporter" slash madam says the young man on the right "has been booked for the entire week."
Showbizspy reports, "The In Da Club hitmaker—real name Curtis Jackson—is so popular with female fans, he often finds them hiding out in his hotel room without any clothes on. But Jackson claims he has never been tempted, comparing their behavior to that of the prostitutes selling sex in the Netherlands.
"He tells America's Vibe magazine, "I've been in hotel rooms, and girls were already there in the closet - naked. Hell, no! Are you kidding me? That's like Amsterdam."
Not really sure why "Amsterdam" immediately came to Fiddy's mind, maybe Lloyd Banks could answer that one, but, umm, aren't most naked groupies offering sex to rappers for, umm, free? Oh, and Fiddy has already said several times that he just waiting for the right "girl."
As world attention is focused on the historic Democratic presidential primary in the United States, some surprising survey results from the Netherlands demonstrate the legendary Dutch tolerance toward minorities and women.
A survey of 21,000 members of the television program "EenVandaag" reports "nearly all participants (93 percent) found it acceptable to be governed by a woman" prime minister and 78 percent would accept a gay premier. "Three-quarters find a premier with a black skin acceptable" but support dwindled for specific ethnicities, with only 31 and 33 percent, respectively, willing to support a Moroccans or Turkish premier.
The lowest numbers were among those who would support a Muslim premier, barely more than a quarter at 27 percent. Holland is known for opening its borders to refugees and immigrants, but, there has been a
significant recent public backlash against Muslims for their intolerant views on
women, especially on the issue of headscarves, and, there have been numerous gay-bashings disproportionately committed by Muslim Moroccan youth. One such case that received substantial coverage were the beatings received by former Washington Blade editor Chris Crain and his boyfriend in Amsterdam in May 2005 by a gang of Moroccan youth.
· The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) announces a new public service campaign to "bring heightened visibility" to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons in black communities. Starting over Mother's Day weekend, the print adverts will run for one week in leading black community-based newspapers such as The Chicago Defender and Amsterdam News. This follows last week's announcement that actor Isaiah Washington will appear in television PSAs for the anti-defamation group.
· Alaska: A proposed constitutional
amendment to prevent the same-sex domestic partners of state employees from receiving health benefits failed in the House. Meanwhile, in New York state, the state health plan is now open to some partners of gay and lesbian employees.
· One week after a group of prominent anti-gay black pastors lobbied Congress against the proposed hate crimes bill, a new multi-city campaign is launched against religious-based bigotry. Faith in America is running print ads across the country to publicly expose church-based bigotry against LGBT persons—especially ministries that target gays and lesbians of color.
· Bilerico publishes a guest post by Rep. Joe Donnelly, the conservative Indiana Democrat who voted against the hate crimes bill. Bottom line: "I am not convinced that a federal hate crimes law would reduce the incidence of crime in our communities."