Janis Ian was only 15 when her first hit thrust her not only into fame, but controversy.
“Society’s Child” tackled interracial romance, coming out right in the middle of the turbulent 1960s.
“People got crazy. A radio station in Atlanta dared to put ‘Society’s Child’ in rotation, and someone burned the station down,” Ian recalls in her 2008 autobiography, also titled “Society’s Child.”
“Strangers walked up to me in restaurants and spit in my food. … The mail I got spanned the gap between heaven and hell; one letter would thank me for bravely speaking out, the next would have razor blades taped to the envelope so I’d shred my fingers opening it,” Ian writes.
The B-52s never put out a holiday record and that’s a shame. But fear not, out B-52s front man Fred Schneider has teamed up with Noah Brodie and Dan Marshall to form The Superions and release “Destination... Christmas!” (Fanatic). Even without Kate Pierson or Cindy Wilson, “Destination…Christmas!” sounds like it could be a lost B-52s record, in (Christmas) spirit, at least.
The 11 new songs, with titles such as “Christmas Conga (Jungle Bells),” “Crummy Christmas Tree,” “Jingle Those Bells,” “Laughter At Christmas” and “Christmas Tears,” have the kind of kooky lyrics we’ve come to expect from Schneider. There are also plenty of opportunities for dancing on “Santa’s Disco” (as you might have guessed), “Fruitcake,” “Santa Je T’aime” and the Cerrone-like “Teddy and Betty Yeti.”
Schneider isn’t the only out Georgia musician making the most of the holiday season. Amy Ray and Emily Sailers of Indigo Girls wrap up a dozen songs on their first holiday disc “Holly Happy Days” (IG Recordings/ Vanguard). Originals such as the bouncy banjo number “The Wonder Song,” the yearning “Mistletoe,” and the inclusive “Your Holiday Song” are welcome additions to the Christmas music songbook.
NPR published its “50 Favorite Albums of 2010” list and our readers might recognize a couple of openly gay artists who made the cut.
Sigur Rós frontman Jonsi and his first solo album 'Go' made the list. Here's what NPR had to say:
Music has rescued Dave Koz’s spirit during some of the most difficult times in his life, and the acclaimed saxophonist hopes his latest album, “Hello Tomorrow,” can be an uplifting “survival guide” during these somewhat bleak times.
“Everybody seems to be going through these massive changes, and these are very unfamiliar times, where life looks very different than you thought it was going to be looking,” Koz tells the GA Voice. “How do you get through it? How do you come out on the other side and embrace all these challenges? Music has an ability to touch people on a level that can help at times like this.”
Koz will also stimulate holiday cheer when he kicks-off his “Dave Koz & Friends: A Smooth Jazz Christmas” tour with a Nov. 27 show at the Cobb Energy Centre. Now in its thirteenth year, the Christmas tour started as a lifesaver for Koz, “a nice Jewish boy.”
A case of head lice doesn’t slow Margaret Cho down. Like most everything else in her life, she found a way to incorporate the experience into her new comedy/music tour, “Cho Dependent,” coming to Atlanta on Dec. 12.
“It’s one of my favorite songs. I love it,” she says in a phone interview from her home in Los Angeles of the song she co-wrote entitled “Lice.”
“You went on vacation / to an impoverished nation / you laid to your head to rest and it became some kind of conquest … think you have a case of head lice,” the song goes, “…Just think of them as friends eating your split ends...”