Gay Country music, Gloria Estefan's new album, and more

by Doug Rule
Published on July 24, 2003, 12:00am | Comments

ISO GAY COWBOY… We reported last month about gay porn star Jeff Stryker's coming full-frontal invasion of country music. He will release, with his band, the Soggy-Bottom Boys, a porn-inspired country comedy album in the fall (“Pop You in the Pooper” is the first single). Well, hold on to your trousers cowboys, cause he's not the only one working to make country music a little bit gayer. Unlike Stryker, though, music songwriter/producer Larry Dvoskin is completely serious: He's holding open auditions around the country next month in search of “America's first openly gay country music star,” Rolling Stone reports. Why of course it's all to be eventual fodder for yet another reality TV series. An early ad in a Nashville newspaper said Dvoskin was looking for an “18-23-ish, exceptionally good-looking, extraordinary singer who plays guitar.” That criteria may have changed some, but the magazine reports that gay Dvoskin is still looking for “somebody who will be a role model and spokesperson” who can handle homophobic hostility. The search all started as a result of a debate Dvoskin had with a friend about whether country music would accept an openly gay country singer. The experiment begins with an audition in New York August 7…

CUBAN-AMERICAN MATRIARCHS… Gloria Estefan hasn't been heard from, in English, since 1998's underrated album of dance gems Gloria! (Epic). So it's with great delight to report that she's wrapping up a new English-language album to be released at the end of September, and will tour with the new material next year. Billboard magazine reports that Unwrapped (Epic) won't sound much like any other album from the Latin-pop progenitor. Which on face value is too bad, considering that her last album, 2000's Alma Caribena, was her best ever. Even if all she did was translate each song into English, keeping the potent Caribbean rhythms intact, it could still compete as the best album of 2003. But that's not the way of Latin poppers recording in English. One of her mignons at Estefan Enterprises told Billboard that the music on Unwrapped is her most intimate and personal yet. Gloria has “tapped into a place she's never gone before,” he said. Written almost entirely by Estefan herself, the album will be co-produced by her husband Emilio and Colombian star Carlos Vives' obviously gifted producer Sebastian Krys. It will include four Spanish-language tracks, one remix, and duets in English with the Pretenders' Chrissie Hynde and Stevie Wonder

Gloria's Alma Caribena featured a winningly playful duet, “Tres Gotas de Agua Bendita,” with Celia Cruz, the Latin music matriarch who died last week. No current music star, performing live, had more energy or a bigger, more infectious smile than the Cuban exile. Cruz's final album, Regalo de Alma (Sony Discos), has already wrapped and will be released August 5. Based solely on her last several albums, it'll be more than worth any expense it takes to get hold of a copy…


HOLLYWOOD INTUITION… On “Intuition,” folksy dance-popper Jewel sings at one point, “You got something that you want me to sell/Sell your sin, Just cash in.” It seemed to be a cunning eye roll at the over-saturated state of American commercialism in the style of Madonna, who sings on “American Life” “This type of modern life, is it for free?” In fact, both of the singers can be bought. Jewel has cashed in, licensing her hit song for a new Schick woman's razor, appropriately called the Intuition. Slate online magazine tsk-tsk'ed the development, calling it “blatantly contradictory” of Jewel. Her brilliant video for the song sends up our crass consumer culture -- but all with a wink and a sexy shimmy, shimmy. So what's more surprising to hear is that this type of modern life is for Madonna, after all. Beginning next week, she can be seen alongside Missy Elliott in an unprecedented TV ad campaign for The Gap. And why not? Her publicist did say Madonna wears Gap clothes. And the Associated Press notes the retailer could use some buzz. So could Madonna, of course; this time it's got to be good…

PHILLY IS FUNKYTOWN… Okay, so if you really want to shake-shake-shake your booty with all the faded stars of disco's glory days, prepare for a day trip. Last week, we reported that Pepper MaShay and Thelma Houston would return to the area next month along with the Village People, the Pointer Sisters, Martha Wash and more. That's still true, if you're talking of the Mid-Atlantic area. Right after we announced their plans last week, organizers of the “Get Up N Dance: The Summer's Biggest Party” shot us in the foot with their inability to secure a venue in Baltimore (not to mention Washington). So now the closest the divas will get is Philadelphia, where they'll perform Saturday, August 16, at the First Union Center. Tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster…


Gloria Estefan


Missy Elliot

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