Culture

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Gaga’s ‘Born This Way’: Impress or ‘Express’?

Cover of Lady Gaga's upcoming singleWell, today was the day. Lady Gaga released the title track from her forthcoming album “Born This Way,” but sorry y'all, it's a snooze.

I've been joking with my friends since the singer's “Paparazzi” was released to radio. We wondered how she could possibly top the song's irresistible melody and wacky-but-artful video. Then she gave us “Bad Romance,” and every time the first “oohs” hit the speaker, we fell out waiting for our favorite part. And then that video.

Unfortunately, “Born This Way” is a step back.

Lady Gaga has trademarked post-Madonna originality. Britney Spears (whose “Don't Hold it Against Me” video is due for release next week) was a pleasant filler, but Gaga is the only artist who's gotten the world talking about music, sex and fashion the way Madonna did.

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Lady Gaga’s ‘Born This Way’ considered our next gay anthem?

Cover of Lady Gaga's upcoming singleIt seems like for almost every gay in the universe, Friday, Feb. 11 is supposed to be a Dorothy-in-Oz kind of day. You know, when you wake up everything is in black and white, then a tornado picks up your house and drops you off in a technicolor k-hole?

Except this time, the tornado is Lady Gaga's single “Born This Way.” Here are the lyrics.

The gay-affirming singer-songwriter hasn't been shy to hype the title track of her next release, due out this May. Here are some of the things she and those who've heard the track have said about the track and album to follow:

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Free porn legal, California court rules

Speaking of our Sex and Dating issue...

Popular porn website RedTube.com (NSFW) will be allowed to continue distributing adult content for free over the internet, a California appeals court ruled yesterday. The website was being sued by Kevin Cammarata, an adult entertainment entrepreneur, who claimed the free video service violated anti-trust laws and lured paying customers away from his adult websites.

Cammarata was seeking to have RedTube.com completely pulled from the internet.

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Sex & Dating: Date night dinners

One Midtown Kitchen

The restaurant can make or break the mood for a perfect memorable encounter. We’re lucky in Atlanta to have thousands of choices for date-night dining. Here are some of my favorites.

A noteworthy first date, second date or anniversary restaurant is One Midtown Kitchen. It’s more gay during the week and very busy with straight suburbanites on weekends. The décor is stunning with lots of ambient cylinder lights and a big-budget corporate architectural scheme. I’ll admit like most gays, I’m a sucker glamorous décor. It’s a good conversation piece on dates.

One Midtown Kitchen isn’t cheap so it’s a perfect special occasion place. The handsome chef Drew VanLeuvan’s open stainless steel kitchen turns out artisanal American comforts like crispy braised pork shoulder with collards, as well as elegant dishes like curried pan-seared Nantucket sea scallops. I love sword fish and had it grilled with foraged mushrooms and root vegetable confit. It was succulent, white and meaty and, no, I won’t make the gratuitous gay joke.

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Jewish Film Festival offers plenty for gay audiences

2011 Atlanta Jewish Film Festival offers plenty of LGBT attractions

Despite the name, the 11th annual Atlanta Jewish Film Festival is no more restricted to Jews than it is to Atlantans. The diverse programming offers something for everyone, including LGBT viewers.

There are many fine films among the 57 features and nine shorts in this year’s festival, unspooling Feb. 8-27 at six venues, primarily the Regal Atlantic Station and Lefont Sandy Springs.

Documentaries in the festival reveal that famous children’s story writer Maurice Sendak (“Tell Them Anything You Want”) is gay but the world’s most famous hairdresser (“Vidal Sassoon: The Movie”) isn’t.

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Clay Aiken remains ‘Tried and True’

American Idol finalist Clay Aiken returns to Atlanta Feb. 16

Performing in Atlanta has been special for singer Clay Aiken. It’s not his birthplace — that would be Raleigh, N.C. — but he feels partial to the city.

“I auditioned for ‘American Idol’ in Atlanta so it’s full circle when I return,” says Aiken, who brings his “Tried and True” tour to the Cobb Energy Centre on Feb. 16.

Aiken was featured on the second season of “American Idol,” where he eventually was runner-up to Ruben Studdard. On the show, he was an audience favorite, never once appearing in the bottom three for viewer votes. It helped him, he feels, that he was able to sing songs he was familiar with.

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Visually stunning take on ‘Peter Pan’ not just for kids

'Peter Pan' promises to wow audiences

In an era where Cirque du Soleil productions wow audiences around the globe, it takes more than ever to impress theater-goers. The producers of the new touring version of “Peter Pan” have a catch – the world’s first 360-degree CGI theater. The production, now in Atlanta, features at least two gay performers in its large cast.

Atlanta is one of only three cities scheduled for the U.S. tour and the first outside of California. This production follows the traditional J.M. Barrie plot with characters such as Wendy, Tinkerbell, Captain Hook and of course Peter Pan, the boy who doesn’t want to grow up. Ian Street plays Curly, one of the Lost Boys, while Josh Swales is Starkey, one of the pirates.

The big difference here is that instead of a traditional stage, “Peter Pan” takes place in a tent, in an “in the round” setting. The interior of the tent is lit up with more than 15,000 square feet of hi-resolution video. That is three times the size of IMAX screens. It’s a terrific show visually, making audience members feel as if they are flying with the characters to Neverland.