Soundwaves

Janet Jackson, Britney Spears, Pepper Mashay, and the Winter Music Conference

by Doug Rule
Published on March 4, 2004, 12:00am | Comments


AFTERSHOCKS OF JANET'S JIGGLE… Where's Mary? As in Mary Cheney, the lesbian Second Daughter. That's the question all good gay citizens should be asking, of course. But those of us also in the pop-music-junkie community can't help but beckon for a different lady. Where's Janet? Have you seen her? Too much of her, of course, and more than you ever wanted to. But that was a month ago. Thankfully, Janet Jackson's unplanned vacation should be over soon, as she reemerges to support her coming album, Damita Jo (Virgin), still scheduled for release March 30. Is her first single, the characteristically upbeat "Just A Little While," stalled at No. 45 on the Billboard chart in reaction to her past overexposure, or to her current under-exposure? Well, exposing her right breast has had other repercussions. According to Billboard, Lena Horne objected to the Super Bowl Half-Time show-and-tell so strongly she effectively forced Jackson out of playing Horne in a long-planned ABC television biopic. Horne, 86, helped break Hollywood's racial barriers in the 1940s and is best known for her hit "Stormy Weather." She clouded the prospect for the film by refusing to cooperate as long as Jackson remained in the cast.

Also as a result of Jackson's jiggle, MTV -- one network implicated in l'affair de boob -- pulled Britney Spears' "Toxic" video and six others from its extremely short primetime video lineup, according to Rolling Stone. The stated reason? Spears' sheer bodysuit. The real reason? "It's an election year, and no one wants to be made an example," one industry insider told the magazine. Though Spears should be held up as election exhibit A. "Do you realize we landed on Mars that same day? Why isn't the world talking about that?" Spears said in response to lingering questions about her 48-hour Vegas marriage. Oh Britney dear. At least you could have made a point in our favor instead of rubbing our "civil union" noses in your "marriage." But that's too far beyond your belly button to see, ain't it?…

LOVE'S POLITICAL REVOLUTION… "Whether you are for or against gay marriage is not the issue, it's just a right. It is my right to choose on whether I want to get married or not," says singer Pepper MaShay, she of the over-the-top vocals on Barry Harris' "Dive in the Pool" hit of a few years ago. Last month MaShay's publicist Jean McClain distributed an e-mail with the subject "Why Pepper MaShay wants Bush OUT!!!!" In the e-mail, issued before President Bush called for a Congressional amendment banning gay marriage, MaShay explains why she's fighting for the Democrats to defeat President Bush: "There are people's rights that are being trampled on. How dare a government look for ways to keep people out," she says. MaShay's "I Got My Pride" notwithstanding, the dance song of the moment just has to be "Love Revolution," which still has dance-floor traction a year after its release, and rightly so. Similarly larger-than-life vocalist Pat Hodge sings on the soul-shaking track, remixed by the gay DJ team Rosabel, "I'm here today to declare a war against hate/I'm asking each and every one of you to come on board before it's too late." Request it of the DJ next time you're out…

BEACH BLANKET BEATS… A week before the best beachy circuit party in gaydom (a.k.a. the Winter Party) hits the Art Deco island paradise, Miami's South Beach will play host to the biggest gathering in dance music. It's Winter Music time, when no less than three major dance events happen simultaneously. As it's name would suggest, the Winter Music Conference is the original event. And its International Dance Music Awards remain the most revered, despite the increasing Hollywood-sized popularity of DanceStar's American Dance Music Awards. The IDMA largely avoids DanceStar's glamour and glitz to focus on the craft of creating quality dance music. We're happiest to see nominations for: The Scumfrog (as Best Remixer and Best Producer); Tiesto (Best Global DJ and Best European DJ); Underworld (Best Dance Artist (Group)); Kristine W. (Best Dance Artist (Solo)); Celia Cruz's "Rie y Llora" (Best Latin Dance); Coldplay's "Clocks" (Best Alternative Rock Dance); and several nods to Outkast and Murk. But there's stiff competition in almost all categories. See for yourself at www.wintermusicconference.com/nominees2003.htm…

ME, MYSELF AND I… Every week Apple's iTunes Music Store features a "Celebrity Playlist," where a selected pop music artist compiles a CD or two's worth of songs that mean something to him. Last week, it was Beyonce's turn. Among her 14 tracks were classics from Aretha Franklin, Prince and Donny Hathaway, as well as Mary Mary's gospel-funked "Shackles (Praise You)," a popular club tune a couple years ago. John Mayer's "Your Body Is a Wonderland" was a bit of a surprise to find on her list, but the biggest surprise was her putting truth to the title of her latest single. "These are some of my favorite songs and they come from very diverse artists," she writes. Yep, yep, here's to diversity: Beyonce herself is associated with more than half the tracks assembled. One track comes from her sister Solange; three come from her partners in Destiny's Child, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams; another two come from Destiny's Child itself. And the kicker: she's got two of her very own tracks listed her, among her favorites. "There are hundreds more songs that I love, but these favorites will stay with me always," she says. There you have it, an independent woman dangerously in love with me, myself and I…


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