Queer Music of the 2010s

Wrapping up Pride Month with the sixth and final installment of my Queer Music playlist series. Compare this playlist to the first one in the series and look at how far we’ve come in terms of representation and living openly. Coming up with 30 songs was challenging for the fifties/sixties program; limiting the tens program to 30 songs is tough. Much respect to all of the artists under the LGBTQ+ umbrella who didn’t make the cut. Keep on doing what you’re doing, and thank you.

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My Top Songs Of 2020

I’m not going to write an essay about 2020. That’s been done elsewhere and I have nothing to add to the conversation. Though the three words that best describe you are as follows, and I quote, “stink, stank, stunk,” there were some bright spots. Here are 85 things that brought me joy. Happy New Year, everyone!

  1. everything i wanted – Billie Eilish
  2. WAP – Cardi B feat. Megan Thee Stallion
  3. deathbed (coffee for your head) – Powfu feat. Beabadoobee
  4. Savage – Megan Thee Stallion feat. Beyoncé 
  5. Stay High – Brittany Howard
  6. Dynamite – BTS 
  7. Shameika – Fiona Apple 
  8. Tap In – Saweetie feat. Post Malone, DaBaby & Jack Harlow   
  9. Delete Forever – Grimes
  10. Mariners Apartment Complex – Lana Del Rey   
  11. Polyaneurism – of Montreal  
  12. Didn’t Want To Be This Lonely – Pretenders  
  13. Stupid Love – Lady Gaga
  14. Call My Phone Thinking I’m Doing Nothing Better – the Streets feat. Tame Impala 
  15. Surrender – Will Butler  
  16. JU$T – Run the Jewels feat. Pharrell Williams & Zack De La Rocha 
  17. BLACK PARADE – Beyoncé 
  18. Lifetime – Romy 
  19. Fool’s Gold – Lucy Dacus 
  20. Identical – Phoenix  
  21. ilomilo – Billie Eilish  
  22. Hallelujah – HAIM    
  23. Quarantine Boogie (Loco) – Walter Martin    
  24. Jesus Christ 2005 God Bless America – the 1975   
  25. Texas Sun – Khruangbin and Leon Bridges 
  26. Ghosts – Bruce Springsteen 
  27. Settling Down – Miranda Lambert  
  28. He Loves Me – Brittany Howard  
  29. Pictures of Flowers – Jess Williamson feat. Hand Habits 
  30. The Valley of the Pagans – Gorillaz featuring Beck   
  31. my future – Billie Eilish    
  32. hot girl bummer – Blackbear  
  33. Drinks – Cyn   
  34. I disappear in your arms – Christine & the Queens  
  35. Say So – Doja Cat 
  36. Sea Salt & Caramel – Dent May  
  37. Gaslighter – The Chicks  
  38. 4 American Dollars – U.S. Girls 
  39. No Time to Die – Billie Eilish  
  40. Murder Most Foul – Bob Dylan 
  41. Lockdown – Anderson .Paak     
  42. When the Way Gets Dark – Lucinda Williams  
  43. Straight to the Morning – Hot Chip feat. Jarvis Cocker   
  44. Sleep at Night – The Chicks    
  45. Jason – Perfume Genius    
  46. Black Qualls – Thundercat feat. Steve Lacy & Steve Arrington   
  47. Smiley Face – Duck Sauce  
  48. Blinding Lights – the Weeknd   
  49. Country Radio – Indigo Girls      
  50. One and Done – Bright Eyes    
  51. Hole in the Bottle – Kelsea Ballerini with Shania Twain     
  52. Bluebird – Miranda Lambert   
  53. FTP – YG      
  54. You Can’t Rule Me – Lucinda Williams      
  55. Don’t Wanna – HAIM     
  56. Rager teenager! – Troye Sivan    
  57. SUGAR – BROCKHAMPTON    
  58. Bad Decisions – the Strokes    
  59. Miracle of Life – Bright Eyes feat. Phoebe Bridgers 
  60. Dora – Thierra Whack   
  61. On the Floor – Perfume Genius     
  62. Don’t Stop – Megan Thee Stallion feat. Young Thug         
  63. Front Lines – Conway the Machine  
  64. xanny – Billie Eilish      
  65. On My Own – Shamir       
  66. Without You – Perfume Genius       
  67. Why I Still Love You – Missy Elliott     
  68. The Streets Where I Belong – Annie        
  69. Leader of the Delinquents – Kid Cudi     
  70. Song 33 – Noname     
  71. Anthem – Father John Misty  
  72. Lilacs – Waxahatchee  
  73. Body Memory – Jess Cornelius  
  74. Come Thru – Summer Walker with Usher    
  75. Aries – Gorillaz feat. Peter Hook & Georgia  
  76. Riding Solo – Hinds      
  77. Cool Off – Missy Elliott       
  78. Sweeter – Leon Bridges feat. Terrace Martin 
  79. Video Game – Sufjan Stevens     
  80. Love Is a Drug – Empress Of          
  81. Kyoto – Phoebe Bridgers   
  82. ATM – Too Free  
  83. Momentary Bliss – Gorillaz feat. Slowthai and Slaves     
  84. Harlem River Blues – Steve Earle         
  85. In My Bones – Jacob Collier feat. Kimbra & Tank and the Bangas

Your (Almost) Daily Playlist (6-20-20)

Inspired by Black Music Month, LGBTQ Pride Month, and the June 20 birthdays of The Beach Boys‘ Brian Wilson, The Coasters’ Billy Guy, Lionel Richie, The Miracles’ Claudette Rogers, Chairlift’s Caroline Polacheck, Jerry Keller, The Rivingtons’ Carl White, The Deftones’ Chino Moreno, and Chris Gibson.

Pride 50

On June 28, 1969, what was supposed to be a routine raid on a gay bar by the New York City police turned violent when patrons at the Stonewall Inn fought back, thus setting off the gay liberation movement. That pivotal moment was recognized one year later with a gathering in New York’s Greenwich Village, where the Stonewall Inn is located, and Gay Pride marches in Los Angeles and Chicago. The following year, Gay Pride marches sprang up in Boston, Dallas, Milwaukee, London, Paris, West Berlin and Stockholm. The Pride movement grew with each passing year, and it continues to expand to this day.

Tunes du Jour celebrates 50 years of Pride with today’s playlist. Be seen. Be heard. Be proud. Celebrate. Love.

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My Top 99 Songs Of 2018

I listened to a lot of music. I crunched the numbers. The result? My top 99 songs of 2018. Here they be, followed by a Spotify playlist:

1. Make Me Feel – Janelle Monae
2. Ric Flair Drip – Offset & Metro Boomin
3. Nice for What – Drake
4. Alone – Halsey featuring Big Sean & Stefflon Don
5. Where Angels Fear to Tread – Disclosure
6. Mr. Tillman – Father John Misty
7. Thunderclouds – LSD (Labrinth, Sia, Diplo)
8. IDGAF – Dua Lipa
9. This Is America – Childish Gambino
10. Finesse – Bruno Mars featuring Cardi B
11. Stir Fry – Migos
12. LOVE. – Kendrick Lamar featuring Zacari
13. Missing U – Robyn
14. Bodak Yellow – Cardi B
15. The Weekend – SZA vs Calvin Harris
16. Mona Lisa – Lil Wayne featuring Kendrick Lamar
17. Boys – Lizzo
18. Lemon – NERD featuring Rihanna
19. Honey – Robyn
20. Boo’d Up – Ella Mai
21. Now – Miguel
22. High Horse – Kacey Musgraves
23. Apeshit – The Carters
24. Tints – Anderson .Paak feat. Kendrick Lamar
25. 5 Dollars – Christine and the Queens
26. Nameless, Faceless – Courtney Barnett
27. When I’m with Him – Empress Of
28. Two Slow Dancers – Mitski
29. Nobody – Mitski
30. Got My Name Changed Back – Pistol Annies
31. 1999 WILDFIRE – BROCKHAMPTON
32. I Like It – Cardi B featuring Bad Bunny and J Balvin
33. I Might Need Security – Chance the Rapper
34. Microfiche – Open Mike Eagle
35. If You Know You Know – Pusha T
36. All the Stars – Kendrick Lamar with SZA
37. Mr. Jukebox – Joshua Hedley
38. Crayons – CupcakKe
39. Washing Machine Heart – Mitski
40. Pynk – Janelle Monae featuring Grimes
41. Duck Duck Goose – CupcakKe
42. Bloom – Troye Sivan
43. He’s Got His Mother’s Hips – John Grant
44. HEAVEN – The Blaze
45. Day I Die – The National
46. Fast Slow Disco – St. Vincent
47. Kong – Neneh Cherry
48. Sangria Wine – Pharrell Williams and Camila Cabello
49. Look Alive – BlocBoy JB featuring Drake
50. Yes Indeed – Lil Baby featuring Drake
51. BOOGIE – BROCKHAMPTON
52. Need a Little Time – Courtney Barnett
53. You Should See Me in a Crown – Billie Eilish
54. Bardier Cardi – Cardi B featuring 21 Savage
55. SAN MARCOS – BROCKHAMPTON
56. Bad Bad News – Leon Bridges
57. Fireworks – First Aid Kit
58. Party for One – Carly Rae Jepsen
59. New Rules – Dua Lipa
60. I’ll Never Love Again – Lady Gaga
61. La Di Da – The Internet
62. Doesn’t Matter – Christine and the Queens
63. Moon River – Frank Ocean
64. No Tears Left to Cry – Ariana Grande
65. 1999 – Charli XCX and Troye Sivan
66. Only Love – Mary J. Blige
67. Pissed – Saweetie
68. Chun Li – Nicki Minaj
69. Powerglide – Rae Sremmurd featuring Juicy J
70. Call out My Name – The Weeknd
71. A$AP Forever – A$AP Rocky featuring Moby
72. Sword of Damocles – Rufus Wainwright
73. Back 2 You – Selena Gomez
74. Christmas Song – Phoebe Bridgers
75. The Gypsy Faerie Queen – Marianne Faithfull
76. Doves in the Wind – SZA featuring Kendrick Lamar
77. Suspirium – Thom Yorke
78. Charity – Courtney Barnett
79. If You’re Over Me – Years & Years
80. My My My! – Troye Sivan
81. Time Today – Kero Kero Bonito
82. Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino – Arctic Monkeys
83. A Little Pain – Margo Price
84. Alfie’s Song (Not So Typical Love Song) – Bleachers
85. In My Feelings – Drake
86. Django Jane – Janelle Monae
87. Meteorological – Guerilla Toss
88. Psycho – Post Malone featuring Ty Dolla $ign
89. Entitlement Crew – The Hold Steady
90. oh baby – lcd soundsystem
91. God’s Plan – Drake
92. Electricity – Silk City with Dua Lipa
93. Trouble on Central – Buddy
94. BBO (Bad Bitches Only) – Migos featuring 21 Savage
95. MJ – Now, Now
96. Walk It Talk It – Migos featuring Drake
97. The Ways – Khalid featuring Swae Lee
98. Girlfriend – Christine and the Queens
99. Geyser – Mitski


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Meet Oscar Nominee Anohni

In a moment I’ll introduce you to Anohni, who was nominated for an Oscar this year in the category of Best Original Song, but first I want to talk a little about Kesha, Grimes and Sam Smith.

You may have heard about Kesha’s much-publicized battle to get out of her recording agreement. She claims that Dr. Luke, the producer to whose company, Kemosabe Records, she is signed, drugged and sexually assaulted her on several occasions. As a courtroom proceeding about those allegations had not yet been tried, a New York Supreme Court justice denied Kesha’s motion for a preliminary inunction extraditing her from recording for Kemosabe.

This led to the proliferation of the hashtag #FreeKesha. A group of fans protested outside Sony Music’s headquarters, demanding that the music corporation free Kesha. Kesha isn’t signed to Sony Music, but no matter. Sony should cease distribution of Kemosabe Records, which would leave Kesha still signed to Kemosabe, but hey – it was a nice day for a good protest, and what else is there in the world to complain about? Ongoing wars? Poisoned public water supplies? Human rights violations? More important to get a pop star out of her recording agreement. #Priorities

Many public figures offered support to Kesha, among them Lady Gaga, Lily Allen, Adele, Janelle Monáe, Fiona Apple, Kelly Clarkson, Demi Lovato, Tegan and Sara, HAIM, Alessia Cara, Lorde, Wale, Best Coast, George Takei, Anne Hathaway, Reese Witherspoon, Lena Dunham, Mariska Hargitay, Troye Sivan, Halsey, Iggy Azalea, Sara Bareilles, JoJo, Adam Lambert, Ariana Grande, Miley Cyrus, Margaret Cho, Zedd, and Jack Antonoff. Taylor Swift donated $250,000 to Kesha to help with her financial needs.

Also supporting Kesha is Claire Elise Boucher, the Canadian singer-songwriter who records under the name Grimes. In response to a question from a Time Out reporter about Kesha’s legal situation, Grimes, whose “Kill v. Maim” is #3 this week in Glenn’s Ten, said the following about recording agreements: “You shouldn’t be allowed to sign a human being, regardless of what the allegations are or what anyone said or did. It’s basically like slavery.” Yes, making millions of dollars doing your dream job is basically the same as being forcibly taken from your home and forced to do a job you don’t want to do for no pay, much like Spaghetti Carbonara is basically the same thing as a nuclear missile, which is to say, both exist. (Grimes’ two most recent albums were released by the 4AD label, with whom, I assume, she is signed to a recording agreement.)

If Kesha’s allegations against Dr. Luke are true, then I hope at the very least she is let out of her agreement with Kemosabe, as being forced to aid your rapist make money is unconscionable, and that is where the slavery comparison applies.

British singer-songwriter Sam Smith may or may not know what slavery is, but he exhibited a lack of grasp on history last weekend at the Academy Awards. As he couldn’t pronounce Anohni or The Weeknd, Common announced as the winner of the Best Original Song award the easiest name to remember and pronounce, Sam Smith.

In his acceptance speech, Smith claimed to be the first openly gay person to win an Oscar, which is true, if you don’t count Dustin Lance Black, Elton John, Melissa Etheridge, John Schlesinger, Stephen Sondheim, Bill Condon, Alan Ball, Scott Rudin, Pedro Almodovar and the other openly gay people who have won. Maybe Smith meant to say he’s the first openly gay person to win an Oscar for Best Original Song in 2016. He says he got his information from actor Sir Ian McKellen via an interview Smith read, which is true, if you leave out the part where McKellen refers to no openly gay winners in the Acting categories.

It was pointed out to Smith that he is not the first openly gay person to win an Oscar, to which he responded “I think I’m the second openly gay person to win it,” which is true, if you don’t count Dustin Lance Black, Elton John, Melissa Etheridge, John Schlesinger, Stephen Sondheim, Bill Condon, Alan Ball, Scott Rudin and the other openly gay people who have won less one. In the real world, Smith is not even the first openly gay person in the category of Best Original Song. When told that openly gay Howard Ashman won that category twice, Smith replied “I should know him. We should date.” Ashman died of AIDS-related complications in 1991, the year for which his title song from Beauty and the Beast won, but sure, Sam, date him. You’ll be the first openly necrophiliac to win an Oscar. #Trailblazer. I do agree with one thing Smith said. He should know of Ashman.

Which brings us to Anohni. Along with her collaborator, J. Ralph, Anohni was nominated for Best Original Song for “Manta Ray” from the film Racing Extinction. Unlike Sam Smith, The Weeknd and Lady Gaga, Anohni, a transsexual woman, was not invited to perform her nominated song at the Oscar ceremony. In a year in which The Academy was taken to task for a lack of diversity among the nominees, the producers felt it was more important for the president of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences to give a speech on the show about the importance of diversity in Hollywood than it was to allow only the second transgender person to be nominated for an Oscar to perform (not a Sam Smith second person, but truly the second). Besides, The Danish Girl received nominations, including one for Best Actor for Eddie Redmayne as the titular character Lili Elbe, one of the first known recipients of gender correction surgery, and who better to represent trans women at the Oscars than a heterosexual cisgender man? Also, the award show needed time for clueless Clueless actress Stacey Dash insult the .04% of viewers who know who she is. #Priorities

Here’s your chance to get to know Anohni, who previously recorded under the name Antony. Her distinctive voice will grab you and her songs will move you. Check out twenty of her best, including guest appearances on other artists’ tracks:


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