Gay Agenda is a weekly column for Billboard Pride where we run down a few fab things before the weekend. Between new tracks, music videos and pop culture moments, we want our readers to be prepared for boozy brunch conversation.
1. Billboard Pride is excited to announce that we will be the exclusive live streaming partner for Queens United/ Reinas Unidas, a benefit drag show for Puerto Rico featuring nearly 30 Drag Race alumni, including Katya, Bob the Drag Queen, Milk and Ginger Minj. Organized by Phi Phi O’Hara, the show with happen Monday, Oct. 6 at 9 pm CST. All proceeds will be donated to Somos Una Voz, a charity founded by Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony. You can donate to the fund here. Follow Billboard Pride on Facebook to be notified of the live stream.
2. Scissor Sisters’ leading lady Ana Matronic has released her first solo track since the band’s hiatus, “Afterlife of the Party.” And while we’re used to flamboyant fun from the group, this somber track serves as a tribute to friends who have passed, several to complications with AIDS.
She tells Billboard: “This song is about some of the greatest love and loss I’ve ever experienced. It’s about my friends that made an indelible mark on me and who left this world too soon. It’s about memories of those quiet moments at the end of the night, when the sun is coming up and bed is calling, but you’re not quite ready to leave the great company and moment you’re in. It’s about looking at somebody in the strobe light, dancing with a smile on their face, and thinking, “I’m so lucky to have found you.”
3. Miss Matronic wasn’t the only Scissor Sister to release solo music this week: partner in crime Jake Shears released his swampy debut “Creep City.” He also teased a solo album and another cryptic project in a letter to fans.
4. We’re excited to premiere the lyric video from Brooklyn-based artist Russell Elliot. The tribal track is dedicated to “DC fuckbois.” Elliot tells Billboard, “I certainly borrowed from my own history with betrayal and retribution to write “Savage”, but it’s not really about me. I kept seeing news stories about hypocritical male politicians who were loudly anti-gay but using their power to take advantage of young men (sexually) in dark motels or mall bathrooms. I wanted a story where that young man who was forced into silence plotted and executed an exquisitely loud revenge, so I wrote one.”
5. Are you following our monthly Spotify playlist yet? Dubbed Queer Necessities, the tracks are curated by NYC DJ Jon ALi. This month’s serving includes bops by Hayley Kiyoko, Clean Bandit, Fischerspooner and more.
6. Glam-rocker Ricky Rebel released a new album, The New Alpha, earlier this week. “I am proud to be a man who happens to love makeup and women’s clothing. What is women’s clothing anyway? What is gender? I am both masculine and feminine,” says Rebel. Check out the album’s lead single, “Time,” below.
7. NYC nightlife staple Marti Gould Cummings has released his first record, A Very Marti Holiday. The record has features from several Broadway stars, including Tony award-winner Cady Huffman, Tony nominee Daphne Rubin Vega and Dear Evan Hanson‘s Tim Young. The holiday album is available on iTunes and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to The Ali Forney Center, the largest agency dedicated to LGBTQ homeless youths in the country.
8. Singer/songwriter MILCK saw viral fame earlier this year when her rally cry “Quiet” gained attention after an acapella performance at the Women’s March in Washington, DC. As a survivor of sexual assault, MILCK recorded a new version of her song with other survivors — her own #MeToo.
9. Pop newcomer Kim Petras released the video for her impossibly catchy “I Don’t Want It At All.” Petras has the distinction of being the world’s youngest recorded person to receive gender affirmation surgery at age 16. With shades of Lady Gaga’s The Fame era, the track is a pure sugar rush — and the video’s Paris Hilton cameo is the cherry on top.
10. Just in time for the colder months, superstar crooner Sam Smith has dropped The Thrill Of It All. The balladeer plays to his strengths, with “No Peace,” a track featuring soulful newcomer YEBBA, being an early standout.
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