The Perfect Game – William Dear

William Dear - The Perfect Game  artwork

The Perfect Game

William Dear

Genre: Kids & Family

Price: $ 4.99

Rental Price: $ 0.99

Release Date: April 16, 2010

From the director of Angels in the Outfield comes the incredible true story of the underdog foreign Little League team who inspired two nations. Clifton Collins Jr. (Star Trek) heads an all-star line-up of some of Hollywood’s brightest young stars as Cesar, who returns to his native Monterey, Mexico after his major league career is cut short. Moises Arias (Hannah Montana), Jake T. Austin (Wizards of Waverly Place) and Ryan Ochoa (iCarly) costar as impoverished baseball-loving kids who recruit him to coach their rag-tag team. Together, they beat the odds and overcome hardships and bigotry to compete in the 1957 Little League World Series. Screen favorites Cheech Marin (Spy Kids), Lou Gossett Jr. (Iron Eagle), Bruce McGill (Animal House), Emilie de Ravin (Lost) and David Koechner (Anchorman) are featured in this uplifting story in the winning tradition of Hoosiers that Boxoffice magazine cheered as "inspiring, richly entertaining, heartfelt…a perfect family movie."

iTunes Store: Top Movies in Drama

Dear Dr. Romance: I Want The Playgirl, But They Like The “Bad Boy” Type

Dear Dr. Romance: This is something that’s puzzling me for along time. I often do want the “playgirl”, but they like the more of the “bad boy” type.
Relationships:Dating Articles from

Dear BlackSheepe – EP – Josh Dean

Josh Dean - Dear BlackSheepe - EP  artwork

Dear BlackSheepe – EP

Josh Dean

Genre: R&B/Soul

Price: $ 4.99

Release Date: March 1, 2019

© ℗ 2019 HITCO

iTunes Store: Top Albums in R&B/Soul

Dear Growing Pain – EP – Romen

Romen - Dear Growing Pain - EP  artwork

Dear Growing Pain – EP


Genre: R&B/Soul

Price: $ 5.94

Release Date: January 18, 2019

© ℗ 2018 Meet Romen

iTunes Store: Top Albums in R&B/Soul

Episode 370 Scott Adams: Dear Diary, RPOS, Climate Change Persuasion


  • Jim Acosta became America’s piñata yesterday
    • He stood in front of the wall and said no problems here!
    • President tweets reply to Acosta, “Dear Diary”
  • CNN contacted San Diego station KUSI for anti-wall content
    • KUSI is pro-wall, CNN decided not to use their content?
  • Fentanyl deaths are being compared to Viet Nam war deaths
  • The border debate is bringing the country together
    • Average person knowledge of the issue increasing
  • Border arguments from both sides…without the politics
    • Drugs, crime, numbers of crimes versus rate percentage
    • VISA overstays
  • Why are there gaps in parts of the scientists climate change stance?
    •   The historical data used in the hockey stick graph
    • It shows an earlier point, before CO2, same hockey stick
  • ClimateGate emails are a conspiracy theory, completely debunked
  • Data discrepancies from the past, tree ring experts and proxies
    • From 1960 to present, tree rings don’t track temperatures
    • Tree ring data was good in the past…but not now?
  • Challenge responses about William Happer’s claims and validity
  • Scientists say you can’t look at just some regions, need whole world
    • NASA site “proof” of warming is the Arctic…one area?
    • Some places are warming…but not all? Some are cooling?
  • Can we accurately measure ocean temperatures, today and historically?
    • How much of the ocean are we measuring, maybe 1%?
  • Direct causes of heat, like my car, my fireplace, my heated home
    • Is direct heat causing or responsible for any global warming?
  • RPOS, the person formerly known as AOC…
    • …beginning to get pushback from fellow Democrats
    • A festering wound for hopes of a Democrat Presidency?

I fund my Periscopes and podcasts via audience micro-donations on Patreon. I prefer this method over accepting advertisements or working for a “boss” somewhere because it keeps my voice independent. No one owns me, and that is rare. I’m trying in my own way to make the world a better place, and your contributions help me stay inspired to do that.

See all of my Periscope videos here.

Find my WhenHub Interface app here.

The post Episode 370 Scott Adams: Dear Diary, RPOS, Climate Change Persuasion appeared first on Dilbert Blog.

Dilbert Blog

Dear Maude – Denise Liebig

Denise Liebig - Dear Maude  artwork

Dear Maude

The Dear Maude Trilogy, no. 1

Denise Liebig

Genre: Historical

Publish Date: October 7, 2014

Publisher: Denise Liebig

Seller: Smashwords, Inc.

2017 Readers' Favorite Awards Bronze Medal Winner, Fiction-Tall Tale Category "Beautifully written, this story brings time travel to life!" Upstate New York, 2012. Emily Stanton, a sociology major, graduates from college and is obligated to work for the mysterious company that funded her education. But a job with Evergreen Research Corporation is not what she expected. From fancy balls and operas to corsets and kid gloves, Emily learns to be a specialist in 1910 society. In the process, she finds herself fully immersed in the lives of wealthy aristocrats and industry leaders, whose thirst for power leads them to manipulate everything, including time. Thrust into this strange and dangerous world, Emily becomes their most important asset. Unable to trust her coworkers or her surroundings, Emily finds herself alone—with her very survival in the hands of a handsome stranger, Wendell Beringer. Unfortunately, Emily soon discovers that he has a few secrets of his own. Can she trust this man or the feelings she develops for him? Only time will tell. Follow Emily’s unexpected journey, where journal entries to her deceased aunt and the powerful secrets they contain, become her only link to the life she once knew and the future she must choose to follow.

iTunes Store: Top Free Books in Sci-Fi & Fantasy

Dear Jerry: Celebrating the Music of Jerry Garcia – Various Artists & Conor McAnally

Various Artists & Conor McAnally - Dear Jerry: Celebrating the Music of Jerry Garcia  artwork

Dear Jerry: Celebrating the Music of Jerry Garcia

Various Artists & Conor McAnally

Genre: Concert Films

Price: $ 15.99

Rental Price: $ 2.99

Release Date: January 1, 2016

The two and half hour concert film audio recordings feature over 20 once-in-a-lifetime performances honoring Jerry Garcia. Performers include Phil Lesh & Communion, Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzmann's Billy & the Kids, Mickey Hart, Eric Church, Jimmy Cliff, The Disco Biscuits, Peter Frampton, David Grisman, Jorma Kaukonen, Los Lobos, Buddy Miller, Moe., O.A.R., Grace Potter, Allen Toussaint, Trampled By Turtles, Widespread Panic, and Yonder Mountain String Band.

© © 2016 Blackbird Production Partners LLC. Under exclusive license to Rounder Records, a division of Concord Music Group, Inc.

iTunes Store: Top Movies in Concert Films

Dear Oscars: Stop trying to push the envelope

Kevin Hart’s Oscars departure has been a how-not-to course in public relations, but the interlude offers a reminder to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences: Don’t try to be what you’re not, writes CNN’s Brian Lowry in an analysis. – RSS Channel – Entertainment

GamersGate: The World's Largest Online Game Store

Dear Jane (Unabridged) – Kendall Ryan

Kendall Ryan - Dear Jane (Unabridged)  artwork

Dear Jane (Unabridged)

Kendall Ryan

Genre: Romance

Price: $ 17.95

Publish Date: October 23, 2018

© ℗ © 2018 Kendall Ryan

iTunes Store: Top Audiobooks in Romance

Dear Men, It’s Totally OK To Wear Makeup

Style and Beauty – Fashion News, Celebrity Style and Fashion Trends
FASHION NEWS UPDATE-Visit Shoe Deals Online today for the hottest deals online for shoes!

My Dear Melancholy, – The Weeknd

The Weeknd - My Dear Melancholy,  artwork

My Dear Melancholy,

The Weeknd

Genre: R&B/Soul

Price: $ 5.99

Release Date: March 30, 2018

© ℗ 2018 The Weeknd XO, Inc., manufactured and marketed by Republic Records, a division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

iTunes Store: Top Albums in R&B/Soul

All Is As All Should Be – EP – The Dear Hunter

The Dear Hunter - All Is As All Should Be - EP  artwork

All Is As All Should Be – EP

The Dear Hunter

Genre: Alternative

Price: $ 4.99

Release Date: December 1, 2017

© ℗ 2017 Cave and Canary Goods

iTunes Store: Top Albums in Alternative

Mistah F.A.B “Dear Mr. President,” Young Dro “Hell Is You Doing” & More | Daily Visuals 10.16.17

If Donald Trump has done any good with his chaotic presidency it’s that he’s unwittingly united people from all walks of life to counter his assault on freedom.

Oakland’s Mistah F.A.B is peeping game and in his visuals to “Dear Mr. President” the Bay Area representative and his constituents all rock the butters “Everybody Vs. Donald Trump” shirt while Fab speaks up for the community.

Keeping with the well earned Trump slander, Young Dro pictures what the downfall of Donald Trump would look like after impeachment in his clip to “Hell Is You Doing.” Needless to say hilarity ensues.

Check out the rest of today’s drops and some joints you might’ve missed over the weekend including work from Andra Day featuring Common, Kris Wu featuring Travis Scott, and more.







The post Mistah F.A.B “Dear Mr. President,” Young Dro “Hell Is You Doing” & More | Daily Visuals 10.16.17 appeared first on Hip-Hop Wired.

Hip-Hop Wired

Dear Bridget, I Want You (Unabridged) – Penelope Ward & Vi Keeland

Penelope Ward & Vi Keeland - Dear Bridget, I Want You (Unabridged)  artwork

Dear Bridget, I Want You (Unabridged)

Penelope Ward & Vi Keeland

Genre: Romance

Price: $ 17.95

Publish Date: October 2, 2017

© ℗ © 2017 C. Scott Publishing Corp.

iTunes Store: Top Audiobooks in Romance

Dear Desolation – Thy Art Is Murder

Thy Art Is Murder - Dear Desolation  artwork

Dear Desolation

Thy Art Is Murder

Genre: Metal

Price: $ 9.99

Release Date: August 18, 2017

© ℗ 2017 Nuclear Blast Entertainment

iTunes Store: Top Albums in Rock

Dear Single Lady, Make Yourself Irresistible With These Few Tips

Are you single and waiting to be found? Then this is for you. Stop wishing it could be you boogeying with your prince charming next Saturday or envying your friends when they tell you their wedding has been fixed and start doing something about getting yourself hooked too. Here’s how to make yourself irresistible for the right man to come calling!
Relationships:Dating Articles from

Dear Diz (Every Day I Think of You) – Arturo Sandoval

Arturo Sandoval - Dear Diz (Every Day I Think of You)  artwork

Dear Diz (Every Day I Think of You)

Arturo Sandoval

Genre: Jazz

Price: $ 9.99

Release Date: May 8, 2012

© ℗ 2011 Concord Music Group, Inc.

iTunes Store: Top Albums in Jazz

‘Dear Elizabeth’: Theater Review

A rotating cast of stars appears in Sarah Ruhl’s theatrical adaptation of the correspondence between famed poets Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell.

read more

Hollywood Reporter – Theater Reviews Feed

Dear LinkedIn – Awkward Spaceship

Dear LinkedIn - Awkward Spaceship

Dear LinkedIn – Awkward Spaceship 1:26
Dear LinkedIn, please stop doing the following annoying things.
Submitted by: Awkward Spaceship
Keywords: Dear LinkedIn LinkedIn annoying things comedy sketch Awkward Spaceship Dave Urlakis Erica Elam Wendy Mateo Zack Whittington Mike Benson business humor work jokes corporate buzzwords Awkward Spaceship productions
Views: 280

Funny or Die | Funny Videos, Funny Video Clips, Funny Pictures

Act IV: Rebirth in Reprise – The Dear Hunter

Act IV: Rebirth in Reprise
The Dear Hunter

Release Date:
September 4, 2015
Total Songs:


$ 9.99

℗ 2015 Equal Vision Records, Inc.

iTunes 100 New Releases

Dear Oprah and J.K. Rowling

An Open Letter To Oprah and J.K. Rowling
cc: Gayle King

My Dear Ladies,

You have a problem, and I can solve it for you. You must constantly get cornered at cocktail parties, by people wanting a leg-up in show business. Because you are both successful, they imagine you can give them (or a loved one) an entire career in show business. They think you could supply that one break their son or niece needs, which will lead to instant fame, and eventually have a perfume or sandwich named for them.

They feel (as do lots of people) that a person can bypass the usual artistic process of hard work-experiment-fail-regroup-retry, the whole paying your dues thing, if they can just get the attention of someone already famous, who will magically wave a wand and make them famous too. We know that this is not the way it works. The life of an artist is full of sacrifice and hard work, you miss important family events, you fail to live up to the expectations of others, who might define themselves by what they’re wearing, as opposed to what they’re thinking. You struggle, you sometimes succeed, and each failure informs your work. That’s the reality.

You both have this problem (people wanting a fame hand out) and you both need a way to deflect well-meaning but misguided people (and possibly relatives of yours?), looking for a quick route to fame and fortune. You’d like some way to help them, but only if they were prepared to work hard too. My solution?

Take a tiny fraction of your wealth and buy a building in Edinburgh (site of the largest arts festival in the world in August). I will help you manage that venue (we’ll negotiate the details once we establish that this would be a good fit for us all). This will enable you to hand these people my business card (which I will supply) letting them know that with a little hard work, they could produce their own show at the Edinburgh Fringe.

They will still have to create something, and work hard to market that something here at the Fringe, but it would be a brilliant way to separate the artists from the dilettante’s.
People that want you to do all the work for them and they’ll just show up to reap the rewards, will soon drop out. It would kind of be like a scholarship, but a conditional one.

We could design the coolest of online courses, taking them through the process of creating something new. It would be so much fun to work with you both on curriculum. Once these people have completed their course work, they would have an artistic license to produce a show at your venue. . . gratis.

They would get the venue without charge, (for a set amount of time) but they would still need to supply their own lodgings and food. So it wouldn’t be a hand out at all, but a step up on their ladder of success.

Here’s my plan. Come to my show, Macaroni on a Hotdog, next week, I’m at Venue 53 theSpace at Surgeon’s Hall, at 11:35 A.M. See my show, so you can see where my artistic sensibilities lie, and we’ll have lunch afterwards, (my treat). We’ll have the curry from across the street, and to avoid stares we’ll eat in the limo. You guys can decide who wants to drive. Does your limousine have little TV trays so we can eat comfortably? Tell you what. . . I can also supply the TV trays. I’ll google where to get them, and at the very least, whoever drives gets some free limo TV trays. So this is a win-win-win situation.

I have several buildings in mind that would be perfect, but am certainly open to your suggestions, and I love real estate shopping. Once we find a place, let’s talk to Nate Berkus about decorating, he seems like a fun guy to work with.

I’ll cc Gayle King in on this because she’s fun too.

This idea has been percolating for quite some time, and you have no idea how fun it could be. If you’re not interested please put me in the path of your other billionaire friends who like the arts. Yours Truly, Sandy Thomas

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Comedy – The Huffington Post
ENTERTAINMENT NEWS-Visit Mobile Playboy today for the hottest adult entertainment online!

Dear Wormwood – The Oh Hellos

The Oh Hellos - Dear Wormwood  artwork

Dear Wormwood

The Oh Hellos

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Price: $ 9.99

Expected Release Date: October 16, 2015

© ℗ 2015 The Oh Hellos. Manufactured and distributed by Elektra Records for the United States and Alternative Distribution Alliance for the world outside of the United States

iTunes Store: Top Albums in Rock

Dear Mrs. Fitzsimmons (The Audiobook) (Unabridged) – Greg Fitzsimmons

Greg Fitzsimmons - Dear Mrs. Fitzsimmons (The Audiobook) (Unabridged)  artwork

Dear Mrs. Fitzsimmons (The Audiobook) (Unabridged)

Greg Fitzsimmons

Genre: Comedy

Price: $ 17.95

Publish Date: December 7, 2011

© ℗ © 2011 Donut Boy Productions

iTunes Store: Top Audiobooks in Comedy

‘Django Unchained’ Actress — Dear Officers, Sorry NOT Sorry for Racism Blowup

“Django Unchained” actress Daniele Watts and her boyfriend Brian Lucas wrote the all-time worst apology letter for their lewd conduct arrest … barely saying sorry, and instead blaming the incident on OTHER racist cops. As part of the deal they…


TMZ Celebrity News for Celebrity Justice

Dear Zachary: A Letter To a Son About His Father – Kurt Kuenne

Kurt Kuenne - Dear Zachary: A Letter To a Son About His Father  artwork

Dear Zachary: A Letter To a Son About His Father

Kurt Kuenne

Genre: Documentary

Price: $ 9.99

Rental Price: $ 0.99

Release Date: October 31, 2008

On November 5, 2001, Dr. Andrew Bagby was murdered in a parking lot in western Pennsylvania; the prime suspect, his ex-girlfriend Dr. Shirley Turner, promptly fled the United States for St. John's, Canada, where she announced that she was pregnant with Andrew's child. She named the little boy Zachary. Filmmaker Kurt Kuenne, Andrew's oldest friend, began making a film for little Zachary as a way for him to get to know the father he'd never meet. But when Shirley Turner was released on bail in Canada and was given custody of Zachary while awaiting extradition to the U.S., the film's focus shifted to Zachary's grandparents, David & Kathleen Bagby, and their desperate efforts to win custody of the boy from the woman they knew had murdered their son. What happened next, no one ever could have foreseen…

© © 2008 Kurt Robert Kuenne

iTunes Store: Top Movies in Independent

Dear Agony – Breaking Benjamin

Breaking Benjamin - Dear Agony  artwork

Dear Agony

Breaking Benjamin

Genre: Rock

Price: $ 7.99

Release Date: September 29, 2009

© ℗ 2009 Hollywood Records, Inc.

iTunes Store: Top Albums in Rock

Her Dear and Loving Husband – Meredith Allard

Meredith Allard - Her Dear and Loving Husband  artwork

Her Dear and Loving Husband

The Loving Husband Trilogy, no. 1

Meredith Allard

Genre: Paranormal

Publish Date: March 25, 2011

Publisher: Meredith Allard

Seller: Smashwords

Book One of the bestselling Loving Husband Trilogy – "Her Dear and Loving Husband is a riveting thriller, highly recommended." (Midwest Book Review) Meredith Allard's internationally beloved Loving Husband Trilogy begins here with Her Dear and Loving Husband. One night Professor James Wentworth's quiet life in Salem, Massachusetts is turned upside down when he meets librarian Sarah Alexander. Sarah is haunted by nightmares about the Salem Witch Trials, and she is awakened by visions of hangings and dying in jail. As James comes to terms with his feelings for Sarah, he must dodge accusations from a reporter desperate to prove that James is not who, or what, he seems to be. Do vampires, witches, and werewolves lurk in Salem? And will James make the ultimate sacrifice to protect Sarah and prevent a new hunt from bringing hysteria to Salem once again? Evoking comparisons to Deborah Harkness' All Souls Trilogy, Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles, and HBO's True Blood, Her Dear and Loving Husband is a story for anyone who believes that true love never dies.

iTunes Store: Top Free Books in Sci-Fi & Fantasy

Dear America – EP – P. Reign

P. Reign - Dear America - EP  artwork

Dear America – EP

P. Reign

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Price: $ 3.99

Release Date: August 25, 2014

© ℗ 2014 RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

iTunes Store: Top Albums in Hip Hop/Rap

Dear America – EP – P. Reign

P. Reign - Dear America - EP  artwork

Dear America – EP

P. Reign

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Price: $ 3.99

Release Date: August 25, 2014

© ℗ 2014 RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

iTunes Store: Top Albums in Hip Hop/Rap

Act IV: Rebirth in Reprise – The Dear Hunter

The Dear Hunter - Act IV: Rebirth in Reprise  artwork

Act IV: Rebirth in Reprise

The Dear Hunter

Genre: Alternative

Price: $ 9.99

Expected Release Date: September 4, 2015

© ℗ 2015 Equal Vision Records, Inc.

iTunes Store: Top Albums in Alternative

Dear Diary (Digital Playground) / Dear Diary (Digital Playground) – Video 1

Dear Diary (Digital Playground) – Video 1

All your secrets exposed on tape! Search

Young Money Yawn Takes On Jay Z’s “Dear Summer” (VIDEO)

For his latest small screen contribution Young Money Yawn takes on Jay Z‘s Just Blaze produced single “Dear Summer”. Watch the D3 Film directed video below and be sure to download Street Gospel II hosted by DJ Drama via Datpiff today!

Filed under: Videos Tagged: Dr. Luke, Jay-Z, Just Blaze, Kemosabe Records, RCA Records, Young Money Yawn

Dear Single Mama

Dear Single Mama,

I have something to tell you. As you try so hard to hold it in, pull it together and keep it from falling apart; as you get off work, pick up the kids, check their homework, cook and clean dishes… please take a moment to hear me.

After bath time and bedtime, when the quiet of your house is suffocating, as you melt into your chair with a broken heart and dark thoughts, there is something you really need to know.

Those kids, sleeping in their beds, that you worry yourself sick over? They are going to be OK.

Regardless of your broken home, despite the gaping hole in your family, those babies will grow into adults that love, learn and grow. Just like you hope. Just like you pray.

No, things haven’t gone as planned. Your fairy tale fractured, but that doesn’t mean that you have failed. Because, sweet mama, your love is going to save your family.

Motherhood placed a child at the center of your broken heart, and it is with that overwhelming love for your child that you will find the strength to conquer these dark times.

Your sleepless nights will eventually feel restful. Your worries will settle into peace. Because your babies will be OK. They really will.

How can I be sure?

Because I am the product of a broken home. I am the daughter of a tired, single mom. And though as a child, my little emotions swirled within me like a hurricane, I can tell you one thing for certain: It was the love of my mother that pulled me through.

She is my best friend. My hero. My role model. She is my closest confidant, the standard bearer, my late-night phone call who always answers.

Of course I missed my daddy. I cried and begged for things to go back to the way they were. But where divorce opened up a hole in our family, the love of my mother rushed to fill it.

And I am OK. More than OK. I am happy.

Soon, you will discover that you are capable and strong. That you aren’t just sufficient — you are more than enough.

Give yourself a chance to breathe, single mama. Those babies, sleeping in their beds, that you worry over? They are loved. So much. And they know that.

And in the end, love is always big enough.

A version of this story was published on Mom Babble.
Divorce – The Huffington Post

Need to File for a Divorce!

Dear Madonna: Gays and African Americans Are Women, Too

There’s a seat reserved for Madonna next to Patricia Arquette.

Madge may be the high priestess of pop and an arbiter of pop culture, but the songstress proved no expert in intersectional feminism in an interview with Out Magazine about her new album, Rebel Heart.

In the story published on Tuesday, Madge opined on the state of women’s rights and other social movements. “Gay rights are way more advanced than women’s rights. People are a lot more open-minded to the gay community than they are to women, period,” she told Christopher Glazek. “It’s moved along for the gay community, for the African-American community, but women are still just trading on their ass. To me, the last great frontier is women,” she added.

The last great frontier could be women — our rights over our bodies, safety and income are under assault around the world and across the United States. Except that LGBTQ people, people of color and women aren’t three disparate groups.

Madonna’s comments are practically lock-step with Arquette’s backstage Oscars call-to-action, where she asked “gay people, and all the people of color that we’ve all fought for to fight for us now.” Arquette’s speech was a paradigm of the failings of mainstream feminism boiled down into a single sentence: White woman feminist takes credit for entire movement, erases other identities and entitles herself to the support of the LGBTQ community and people of color.

So, here’s a quick lesson for Madonna, Patricia and others struggling to understand how these identities interact with each other:

1. Gay people are women, too. We often call ourselves “lesbians” or “bisexuals” or just “LGBTQ.”
2. Women are also people of color. Sometimes referred to as WOC for short.
3. Now, let me really blow your mind: There are LGBTQ WOC.

Madonna has long been an ardent supporter of the queer community, at times, a cultural appropriator. Her work has made sex-positivity and feminism accessible to a mainstream audience. She is a trailblazer. But, in the wake of events in Ferguson and Staten Island that have brought national attention to the systematic policing and government sanctioned violence against people of color, bills in state legislatures that are seeking to legalize LGBTQ discrimination on the basis of religious beliefs and the climbing number of murdered transgender women in 2015, comparing how things have “moved along” for one identity over another is willfully ignorant. For those of us who count membership to multiple groups, these challenges to our freedom and equality are amplified and complicated by our intersectional identities.
Gay Voices – The Huffington Post gay - First Date 300x250

Kesha — Dear, Dr. Luke … You’re the ‘Foxxy-est’ Producer Ever

Kesha gave her producer, Dr. Luke an over-the-top lovey dovey birthday card that makes it seem like their relationship is anything but abusive … according to new docs filed by Luke.The card reads, “You just keep getting hotter every year” — and…


TMZ Celebrity News for Celebrity Justice

Dear Governor Cuomo: A Conversation with Natalie Merchant, Plus Catching Up with Freda Payne


A Conversation with Natalie Merchant

Mike Ragogna: Natalie, what have you been up to lately beyond the new album?

Natalie Merchant: I’ve become extremely active in the fight against hydraulic fracking in New York. Where are you based?

MR: Iowa, though I grew up in New York, so this concerns me as well.

NM: Well, New York is sitting on the Marcellus Shale, which has huge reserves of natural gas, but the only way to extract them is by exploding the bedrock a mile or two under the surface and pulling the gas up using hundreds of millions of gallons of freshwater which will then be contaminated. It’s also extremely radioactive down there. We’re watching what’s happened in other states with the contamination of aquifers and the devastation of previously rural areas that are now highly industrialized. There’s also quite a bit of contamination of the air that occurs with hydraulic fracturing. Anyway, I’ve been involved in that, and I made a film called Dear Governor Cuomo, because of the moratorium that was put in place by Governor Patterson before Governor Cuomo–which he has upheld.

MR: Natalie, do you think he’s weighing the economics heavily and that’s what’s affecting things?

NM: If he’s doing it for short-term gain, he would have opened the flood gates long ago. I think it’s politically very contentious because there’s a massive grassroots movement against this. Actually, we had a big victory last week, the court of appeals in New York ruled that all of the village, town, and city bans that citizen groups have put in place will be upheld. It’s a huge blow to the gas industry. Anyway, we’re just saying that it’s an extreme form of extraction that’s extremely dangerous, and we want an independent health study that tests what the impacts on the environment and health of not just humans but wildlife would be and what sort of impact it would have on our natural resources. Then we can weigh out whether it’s worth that risk. That’s happening in Colorado and North Dakota and Texas and Ohio and Pennsylvania and West Virginia, there are these thirty-six other states where they’re fracking and there’s massive devastation of prairie. We’re also questioning whether it’s wise to make that a major export. We’re talking about energy independence. We can supply for our own needs, but if we’re talking about selling that gas to other countries we’ll need to get three to five times the amount. Anyway, that’s one thing I’ve been doing. I’ve also been involved in local activism in the domestic violence advocacy groups, and made another film called SHELTER. I’ve gotten into this new form of protest that is multimedia. We gather together the community activists, and in the case of Dear Governor Cuomo, we have scientists and victims from other states who have had their water contaminated, and then we put together a program with music that is relevant to the subject we’re trying to educate people about and put together an evening where we alternate between appealing to the heart and appealing to the mind, left brain, right brain. People take in the information in a completely different way than if it was given by a speaker. We also have visuals, photographs, film, and we film the whole event so that it can be a tool for activists between the organizing.

That’s what we did with the domestic violence issues, too. I got to go to some district attorneys’ offices in the two neighboring counties where I live in the Hudson Valley and we asked the prosecutors for statistics. We wanted to quantify the problem of domestic violence in our area because we felt it was a crisis but we couldn’t really sound the alarm without telling people how large the crisis was. The statistics had never been gathered in one place before, so we actually did a service to the domestic violence community by gathering the statistics and publicizing them. We found out there have been thirty-seven homicides over the past fifteen years related to domestic violence. They involved a child of three months all the way to a woman who was seventy-eight years old. People brutally murdered. And this was in this rural, bucolic environment. Then we started to look at how many domestic incident reports had been filed that year and the year before. There were tens of thousands. Then we checked how many arrests, how many convictions. When we actually did the event I decided that we as a community hadn’t acknowledged properly the deaths of these people, so I took all the names of the victims and I went back into the newspaper and I looked at the way their deaths had been reported. There was more written about a local football match than the brutal murder of two women. I decided that we have to memorialize these women.

MR: What was the commonality? When you looked at all the information, were there any conclusions that you came to?

NM: The conclusion I came to is that we need to have a community response. What was interesting was that I had this bias of, “I live in the country, this happens in the city.” It was not evenly distributed, but it was actually weighted a bit heavier in the countryside. There’s more domestic violence in the countryside, but the homicides are evenly distributed in both the urban and rural communities. That was jarring to me. But we took the thirty-seven names and we had a string quartet play a requiem, a piece that I had written, and we projected their names. It was an incredibly powerful moment for our community, to acknowledge that this was happening and to mourn these people. Anyway, I did that, and then I also did the Leave Your Sleep project which was a massive five-year project with a hundred and thirty musicians. I wrote a short book about the poets and spent a whole year talking to defendants of the poets and their estates and their executors, going to different institutions, finding photographs. A lot of those poets are so obscure there are no biographies–probably four of them had biographies. That was a really fun, engaging project that I could work on while having a small child.

MR: That approach was very original.

NM: It was interesting, I finished the project and I took it Nonesuch and Robert Hurwitz who’s been running Nonesuch for thirty years said it was the most original project he’d ever seen. I took that as a huge compliment coming from him. He’s worked with Steve Reich and Philip Glass for years.


MR: Let’s get to your latest album. It’s simply titled Natalie Merchant. You could have taken that approach before, why now?

NM: I wanted to make a distinction, I wanted to set this album apart from previously, and the album that preceded it, The House Carpenter’s Daughter, which was vocal music. I wanted to say, “This is my work.” That’s what I was trying to achieve through the self-title. It’s a piece of work that’s been in progress for probably fifteen years. I was focusing on having a family and my community activism and interpreting folk music and adapting other people’s words to music. I was also in a kind of journal-keeping fashion writing my own songs because it’s a compulsion. I have to do it. It is a kind of catharsis that comes from journal writing. So much happened in fifteen years, it’s a pretty sizeable piece of time. So much happened, not just in my private life but in the world. Wars began and ended. We as a global community recognized that we are seeing the impacts of our wanton ways on the climate, Hurricanes Katrina and Irene and Sandy. We’ve seen typhoons. This ongoing crisis of people being displaced by war and natural disaster, which I ended up writing about in the end. The UN figures–I’ve read 27.5 million people displaced by conflict. I’ve also read figures up to 40 million. It depends on what state those people are living in. Some people are living under tarps, some people have had to move to other countries to build their lives, but they still count as refugees and displaced people.

MR: Do you think there’s any solution?

NM: It would take a spiritual revolution. That’s what I’ve been praying for my whole life, that spiritual revolution. And it’s not recognition of one got or one creed. The spiritual revolution that I’m waiting for and I’m praying for is when we realize what a miracle it is that we even exist on this planet.

MR: My son and I have been watching the updated Cosmos series. In relation to the time and space of the universe, what a speck of a speck of a speck times a trillion and more each human being actually is.

NM: How very minute we are. We’re just misguided. Our brains are just large enough to completely undermine our whole existence. It’s tragedy on a scale that cannot be imagined. it just devastates me every day. We have scraped away topsoil that people in the arid regions of the world would lay down their lives for and covered it with tar. Just start with that. We don’t value what sustains us. We poison the water, we poison the air, we destroy the soil. It’s maddening. You know what’s even more maddening? To explain this to a child. I didn’t really consider that when I got pregnant that someday I would have to try to interpret the madness of my species.

MR: The hardest thing is when you try to raise them to be decent people and the world throws at them messages that are contradictory to that.

NM: And you hope that you’ve given them a strong enough foundation that they can be critical enough to say, “That’s wrong.”

MR: Yeah.

NM: That’s the goal of good parenting; to raise critical children who can look at the world with a strong base and a critical eye. And then you hope and pray. The other thing that I’ve really wanted to do is provide a protective environment for her long enough to have an authentic childhood. I think every child deserves that. It’s just heartbreaking that so few children get the opportunity. That protective coating that you put on your child, it seems like the whole world is conspiring to bust it open, with the types of film that are created and the books and the video games and the violence and wanton destruction that exists in the world. I’m just constantly shielding my child. I’m really thankful that I live in the country. When I take her to the city, we’re just assaulted by the imagery. I have no control.

MR: Do you see a spiritual renaissance happening to the planet?

NM: I think it’s happening on a tiny scale. When people say, “Are you optimistic or pessimistic?” I say, “I’m optimistic about individual transformation, but it’s the massive institutions that take so long to change.” They’re so inflexible. I’m pessimistic about that. What can we do about the stockpile of nuclear weapons in the world? What can we do about it? Nothing. What can we do about the carbon in the atmosphere at this point? There’s nothing we can do. What can we do about the great lakes? What can we do about the icebergs? This is going to a dark place, but that’s why I made a dark album. I just feel that people need consolation. If Billie Holiday had never recorded “Strange Fruit” 1939 would have been remembered as just the year that The Wizard Of Oz and Gone With The Wind were released and the Andrews Sisters had a number one hit about whatever, and we wouldn’t know that there were artists who saw the world for what it was, saw the dark of the world and were disturbed by it. Billie Holiday had the courage to make art about it.

MR: What advice do you have for new artists?

NM: I would just encourage them to dig deep into themselves, find their authentic heart and be vulnerable. Allow people to see that part of themselves, because that’s what people are going to respond to. I think that’s what’s going to be your lasting legacy. Think about that. What would you like to bring into the world. I think the most powerful thing you can put into the world is that part of yourself that’s felt so deeply.

MR: And that would probably not only be good for the art, but for the human as well.

NM: Mm-hmm. There are so many other aspects to a musician’s world these days, it started with the MTV business. Younger people are just more conscious of trends and branding. That kind of thing didn’t occur to us years ago. There weren’t that many platforms for it. You had a record cover and you had a poster, and that was it. Then came MTV and then came the internet. It’s fascinating and it’s fun to play with and there’s so much you can do with it if you have that capacity. But a lot of artists are just songwriters or singers or guitar players and that whole visual component and having to constantly promote yourself, that can be daunting.

MR: It sure can.

NM: I remember what it felt like, and it still feels like that. When you connect with another person over a piece of music that you both love… We were doing that on the tour bus the other night. My guitar player pulled out his guitar and we were singing songs for hours after we’d already played music for five hours between sound check and the show. We just love it, that feeling of connection and camaraderie, it’s so powerful. Everybody wants to feel like they’re included. That’s what music is about, to me. It’s inclusion. “I feel that. You feel that? We feel the same thing,” whether it’s feeling it with the artist or later on with someone else as you share that same piece of music.

MR: An anthem is a powerful uniter.

NM: Think of how powerful Nirvana was. Think of how powerful Bob Dylan was. Some people are like lightning rods.

MR: That’s a good way to put it. Natalie, we really haven’t talked much about the album yet, can you walk me through it just a little?

NM: This is a survey of fifteen years of work. It wasn’t that I just wrote ten songs in the last fifteen years, I probably wrote thirty or more. But this collection began to coalesce, these songs seemed to belong together more than any of the others. The thing that they all seemed to have in common was they seemed to be about transformation on some level. They also seemed to be about intensely personal subjects, or the world at large. Somehow I wanted to make that connected. I wanted intersections between public and private like we all have. I’ve always used this technique of creating characters and then either inhabiting those characters or having a dialog with them, which happened a lot on this record. “Ladybird” is a woman who has reached that point in her life where she feels extremely dissatisfied but knows that she has created a life that she can’t abandon. So it’s about self-sacrifice, it’s about yearning, it’s about limbo and assessing your life from wanting to change but not being able to because there’s so much at stake.

MR: How does it feel to have created one of the most memorable singer-songwriter albums, Tigerlily?

NM: It was as much a surprise to me as anybody. After 10,000 Maniacs, we had toured for years, we’d done that large MTV Unplugged album, it was kind of the pinnacle for us, with “These Are Days” on that last album. Then I kind of got to the edge of the precipice and I jumped off and I said, “I just want to start again and I want to make a little, quiet record with a little band.” I paid for the record myself, I produced the record myself, I did all the preproduction in my garage and I recorded it pretty quickly at Bearsville Studios. I was so close to the ground with that record, and then it exploded and sold five million copies. Still to this day, when I play those songs, there’s such a huge response. I’m actually re-recording the record next year with all these beautiful string arrangements that I’ve written for all these orchestral shows. I decided, it’s the twentieth anniversary of the release of this record and I’d like to revisit these songs. The truth is I don’t have to revisit them because they’ve stayed a part of my repertoire throughout my life.

MR: Has the material evolved as Natalie Merchant has? Have the lyrics or the arrangements changed significantly over the years?

NM: I think I was pretty precocious, because they’re still extremely relevant, songs like “Carnival” and “Wonder.” The thing that I find really wonderful is how it was embraced by people. One of the things that we’re actually doing is interviewing people at these concerts I’m doing right now about Tigerlily and hearing their stories. The song “Wonder,” in particular, because it’s become an anthem for sick children. It’s become an anthem for children with physical and mental challenges, and it’s so much about the love and support of the parents in helping those children overcome any obstacle. I’ve talked to doctors who said, “We don’t really know how to understand that impact that something like your song has on children, but it has an impact. It has healing properties.” I’ve actually had doctors tell me that.

MR: I’ve heard quite a few artists say they modeled their albums after Tigerlily.

NM: I don’t think of myself as extremely influential or important. I sort of think of myself as a fringe artist. An out there, cult artist on the fringe.

MR: Would you say that you’re still developing as a human?

NM: I hope so! I think having a child really changed me in a really profound way. I have been living on the edge of society, just passing through towns for years. If I put all the years I toured together, end to end, it would be twelve solid years of sleeping in a different bed every night. All the while I was yearning for a home and a place to belong. I think that when I settled in one place and I had a family and watched my child grow up and became somebody who people depend upon on my community in a real way, not just, “Oh while I’m in town maybe I’ll do a benefit for you,” but in an, “Oh, you need someone there at ten o’clock to set up chairs? I’ll be there. You need someone to make all these cupcakes? I’ll be there. You want me to teach the kids civil rights? I’ll be there,” way. Becoming a part of a stable community was very transformative for me. When you embrace a place as home you want to protect it. I remember when I met Pete Seeger. I’ve been in the Hudson Valley for twenty-seven years now, and Pete much, much longer. I remember we took the train together down to the city and by chance we bumped into each other at the railway station upstate. We had this lovely talk all the way down to the city and I remember him telling me, “Natalie, you just have to find a place, make it your home, and stay there.” He said, “Musicians get lost.” It was a wonderful source for that advice. So I took that to heart.

MR: What a beautiful moment. I would add–my perspective coming from being a new parent–that your child also is your home. That could be as big a part of it as one’s geography.

NM: But I think if everybody embraced and protected their home, we’d be golden. The familiarity is important. Once you know a place and love it you want to protect it. When we were organizing both the anti-fracking event and when they tried to start a logging campaign in the state parks of New York we toured all around New York state having petition drives and playing concerts and we publicized that there was this plan to allow logging in the state parks and a cement factory in the Hudson. We ended up presenting a petition to the governor with signatures from a hundred and twenty artists from New York who didn’t want that to happen. Even things like noticing that the Headstart playground was falling apart in my local town, just being more proactive. It just goes on and on. I decided I would not do shows in my community for anything but the benefit of my community. You know who I learned that from? Fugazi. When they played in Washington, if they charged money, it was to benefit their home.

Transcribed by Galen Hawthorne


A Conversation with Freda Payne

Mike Ragogna: We have quite a few things to talk about here, especially your new album, Come Back To Me Love. So who is this love you want to come back to you?

Freda Payne: [laughs] That’s an interesting one, no one’s ever asked me that one before… “Who is this love you want to come back?” I guess all the loves I’ve ever had. The ones who are still living, anyway. [laughs] The song “Come Back To Me Love” is about a person who separated or split up for a little while but they still love that person and want them to come back into their life. I’m just saying that you can read that any way you wish.

MR: You recorded one of my favorite jazz songs, Kenny Rankin’s “Haven’t We Met?” It’s become a real standard over the years, huh?

FP: Oh yeah! I had become friendly with Kenny Rankin, I got to meet him doing a special annual benefit at the home of director Oz Scott here in Sherman Oaks. It was for The Jackie Robinson Foundation, he had it at his home, he has this huge backyard. It’s an event where he invites close to about four hundred people and it’s called Jazz On The Grass. He had artists like the late George Duke, Marcus Miller, everybody. It’s just one of those kinds of events where you could go and see Sheila E., or Lalah Hathaway or anybody like that. I’ve done it several times where I was also one of the guest artists as was Kenny Rankin. We met and got to be friends. Of course he passed away two years ago, but the thing is that I always liked that song. When I was in the process along with my fellow producer and orchestrator Bill Cunliffe I said, Bill, I’ve always liked that song “Haven’t We Met?” and he said, “Yeah, I like it, too!” and that’s how that came about.

MR: Kenny Rankin’s death was a surprise. I know that he reached a certain level of fame and appreciation, but it almost seems like especially after albums like Silver Morning, he should’ve been a household name.

FP: He was special. He was really a special musician and singer. You’re right, he should’ve gone to even greater heights of fame.

MR: Yeah, it’s unfortunate. Let’s look at some of the other material. Do you have any stories of how you related to this material when you were younger?

FP: Every single one. “You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To,” I always thought of that as a cool standard, a swinging upbeat song to do, and of course everyone knows Cole Porter.

MR: What about the songs by Tom Robinson?

FP: Tom Robinson wrote six of the songs on the album and I like all six. “Lately” is something I think a lot of people can relate to in terms of another personal relationship that’s not quite in balance.

MR: There are two more by Gretchen, “Come Back To Me Love” and “Whatever Happened To Me.”

FP: “Whatever Happened To Me,” you know when you’re kind of perplexed and not sure of yourself, it’s almost like a psychological kind of thing where you go, “Hey, wait a minute, what’s going on here, what am I doing? Is you is or is you ain’t my baby?” [laughs]

MR: [laughs] Nice.

FP: Then there’s “You Don’t Know,” that’s like you’re on the prowl. You know that feeling when you’re out there at a singles bar, or you’re at a club or a supermarket or ayour gym and there’s somebody that comes in who’s at your spin class or your yoga class and you start noticing them–“You don’t know what I’m feeling, you don’t understand. I love you with a passion, baby, my heart’s in your hand. You’ve got to know that I just want to be with you.” You’re out there trying to hook up.

MR: It’s funny, you swing the words when you talk about it as much as you swing them when you sing them.

FP: Yeah, when you get into it–I don’t know if I told you, but I have more of myself and what I like and my choice of songs on this CD than I’ve ever had ever in my entire recording career. Usually when you work with a big company and they give you a producer or, in this case I chose my producer. I’d already worked with him and he’d been currently working with me as an accompanist as well and he has his own name, Grammy Award Winner Bill Cunliffe–as well as a Thelonius Monk Award winner. We both chose these songs and these things I wanted to do. We basically chose from about twenty two of Gretchen and Tom’s songs the six we liked the best.

MR: How about “Save Your Love For Me”?

FP: Oh! “Save Your Love For Me,” that goes back to the sixties. Cannonball Adderley and Nancy Wilson. I always loved that song. I never sang it before I did it on the album. I never performed it ever. Now I’m doing it. I always liked that song. There are always songs you’ve always liked but you never did. “Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most” is the only one of them on the whole album that I had been accustomed to performing prior to this.

MR: Did you discover more layers of the material as you delved into them this time?

FP: Yes I did, and guess what? As I go and start performing them in front of people in clubs and theaters and areans or wherever I’m going to perform them it’s going to get better, because I like it better as I go.

MR: And it seems like you had a blast with these songs.

FP: I’m having a blast, and I have a blast when I perform them. When you’re doing material that you love, it’s so much better. There are songs that I’ve recorded in the past, songs from the seventies where I wasn’t that into the song but I did it because the producer said, “We need to do this, this is the best song for you,” but I wasn’t that crazy about it. As a result I wound up not really performing those songs that much.

MR: Yeah, and who can blame you? It gets a little painful to sing songs you’re not into.

FP: Yeah, it is. Now, I’ve got to say, my hit “Band Of Gold” that I had back in the early seventies, I do that because people love it so much and I get requests for it no matter what I’m doing. Let’s say I do a whole jazz show and I come back with “Band Of Gold” for the last encore, people love it! They want to hear “Band Of Gold” because that’s how they know me.

MR: And also “Bring The Boys Home” during a time in history when yet again we had a war and people were raising their voices to bring the troops home.

FP: Right.

MR: “Band Of Gold” and “Bring The Boys Home” were both about that same topic, was that a concept that was close to you?

FP: I’ll put it this way: I’m far from being a Jane Fonda. I am not on that cutting edge at all. I did the song because bascially number one I believed in it and number two I felt the deep, heartfelt sentiment and the emotional tag of it–that you could feel the pain of people who had relatives or loved ones or husbands or daughters over there. And to be honest with you, the company was trying to get a hit record.

MR: So was it really Holland-Dozier-Holland and Invictus Records directing that?

FP: They called me into the office to play the demo of the song and upon my first listen it brought tears to my eyes. I said, “This is right on time. This is what the public would probably want to hear,” and they said, “Yeah, we feel the same way, too. You need another hit record to follow up ‘Band Of Gold.'” So that’s how it all happened.

MR: Wow. Interesting. You weren’t exactly Crosby, Stills & Nash, but you really put a voice and a face, an identity, to the concept of, “I’m a real person, let’s bring the troops home.”

FP: Right. I mean, I wasn’t walking down Pennsylvania Avenue protesting and getting arrested, but just like Crosby, Stills and Nash and all these other singers, I was in the pop vein who did cutting edge material delivering messages through their lyrics and their artistry. A lot of poets do that, too.

MR: Exactly. You’re one of the centerpieces of the Holland-Dozier-Holland Invictus story.

FP: I am. There was a documentary done a few years ago and they entitled the documentary “Band Of Gold,” because that was the biggest seller during the time they had the label.

MR: It was a huge record. But you also brought “Joy” and “Deeper & Deeper” and other non-topical songs.

FP: And when I did “Band Of Gold” I got nominated for a Grammy for “Best R&B/Soul Singer (Female)” and then I got nominated, twice actually, for the album Contact.

MR: That’s right! That’s right! To me this is a jazz album, what you’ve just put out.

FP: It’s definitely a jazz album, on a jazz label.

MR: But jazz these days also hints towards R&B, funk, all these other areas that it has embraced over the years.

FP: Because jazz came from all of that. Jazz came from funk which came from the gospel church which came from the pentecostal church and the baptist church. Jazz has also infiltrated the hip hop world, you hear a lot of jazz infused into certain mixes.

MR: And there’s the connection to the blues.

FP: Oh yeah, the blues is jazz, too, as far as I’m concerned. You go to a jazz club and you can hear–as artistic as some jazz artists might be–when they start playing some blues that’s a whole other thing. There’s raw blues, the pure blues, and then there’s blues intermixed with jazz. It’s more of a jazz inflection on blues chords. For instance, in my show, I do a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald. When I do the “St. Louis Blues,” there’s a version that Ella did that I kind of emulate. She starts it off rubato but slow, the piano is playing very slow, bluesy chords, it’s funky. It might have been Tommy Flanagan or someone like that as her pianist at the time and they’re playing real funky blues for let’s say twenty four bars of the song and then they’ll jump start it and go back to the top with an uptempo version of it and do it like that. That’s a very clever way of doing the blues.

MR: Lots of people know you as a pop R&B singer, but you actually started out as a jazz singer with Quincy Jones, and now you’ve sort of come full circle. What is it about jazz that got you into this and keeps you fulfilled now?

FP: I think it speaks more to my intellect musically, based on how I’ve been trained and how I was brought up. It speaks to my inner soul, I’ll put it that way. I didn’t really get into R&B until I was in my early twenties, and that’s because of Motown becoming more sophisticated and using better arrangers.

MR: That’s a good point, they sort of took a few steps forward from what was R&B to establish “The Motown Sound.”

FP: Now we call them The Funk Brothers, but the musicians who were employed by Motown and did a lot of the Motown sessions, whom I wound up working with back then–Earl Van Dyke became my musical director for twelve years, he was one of the key Funk Brothers.

MR: But Holland-Dozier-Holland had those original Motown roots anyway–is that how the crossover happened?

FP: Yeah, absolutely. I went to high school with Brian Holland. I had met Eddie Holland when I was fourteen years old. Berry Gordy, Jr. brought him to my house. That was when Berry was trying to get me to become one of his artists. This was pre-Motown years. Berry Gordy wrote three songs for me and took me into a studio in Detroit called United Sound, recorded them, and he wanted them to sign me as an artist. My mother wouldn’t follow through with it because she wouldn’t agree to his terms.
MR: [laughs] That seems to be the cutoff with some artists, why they were or weren’t on Motown.
FP: Same thing with Aretha Franklin, don’t you think he tried to get Aretha Franklin? She had her dad, the Reverend Franklin and he sat down with Berry and said, “No go. No go.” She went to Columbia and then Atlantic and the rest is history.

MR: But it’s interesting how you’re Detroit, it’s a natural fit, you went to school with Brian.

FP: Oh, and I forgot, I’m leaving out Lamon Dozier. He’s an integral part of HDH. I went to school with Lamont all through middle school. I went to school with Lamont from the sixth grade to the eighth grade. I had more of a history with Lamont. It’s almost like we’re all from the same pot.

MR: Have you had reunions, especially with Lamont, over the years?
FP: Oh yeah, I just did a think in honor of Lamont here in Beverly Hills on June seventh. The brand new Wallis Annenberg Center For The Performing Arts in Beverly Hills which opened just last year, a man by the name of Charlie Fox–have you ever heard of him?

MR: Of course, Gimbel & Fox.

FP: He asked me to participate in honoring Lamont Dozier as well as David Crosby of Crosby, Stills & Nash at the Annenberg. I participated in that with my sister, who was one of the Supremes. So I just saw Lamont recently. As a matter of fact I just bumped into him at the supermarket the other day!

MR: [laughs] Nice!

FP: And also in 2011 I did a tour with Lamont over in Europe with Sir Cliff Richard. We did a nine city tour of all arenas called the Soulicious Tour. Lamont was one of the acts along with Billy Davis and Marilyn McCoo, James Ingram, Percy Sledge and myself.

MR: Where is the album with all of you performing together? With all of these friendships over the years, it seems like you’d have a lot of fun doing more tours and collaboration albums.

FP: You’re absolutely correct. That’s what happened with the Soulicious Tour in the UK, but something like that would go over well here in the States, I think.

MR: I think so, too. What is your advice for new artists?

FP: It depends on what stage. If you’re trying to be discovered I’d say try to get on these talent contests that are flooding the market now, like American Idol, The Voice, X-Factor, Rising Star, because that seems to be one of the quickest, easiest avenues to get exposure. The other way I see it with this world of technology that we’re being sucked into more and more, get on YouTube or Facebook or whatever. Try to perform as much as you can for local things in your city, maybe clubs or little music festivals, just get exposure. That’s the only thing I can say. Don’t be quick to turn any opportunity down. I remember once a wise person said to me, “Sometimes something good comes in a small package.” It’s not always, “Oh, this is a big opportunity, you’re going to really excel with this.” I’ve done shows where the money was just enough to pay for my weekly grocery bill, or a play where you’re doing regional theater and the money really couldn’t support me, but you do it because it could lead to something bigger and better and it comes back to you four- or five-fold. And it also enriches you as an artist!

MR: Can you remember anything in particular like that? You’ve have both overtly big breaks and nice subtle relationship with people that led to something nice.

FP: Yeah, sure, I did a musical called Blues In The Night back in 1990. The salary was like, “Are you kidding me?” but I did it for the love of the music and the art and fact that it was muscial theater and I am an Equity member from having done a string of Broadway musicals on the road. It always led to something else. I did Blues In The Night and that led to me doing Jelly’s Last Jam here in L.A. before it went to Brodway, and then that led to me doing the first and only national company after it left Broadway and making much better money for a whole year. That’s what I’m talking about.

MR: When does Come Back To Me Love, Part 2 come out?

FP: [laughs] Well that’s up to the company! That’s up to Mack Avenue if they want me to do another one. I’m certainly hopeful that it might result in that. What do you think?

MR: If there isn’t another one by this time next year I’m going to write a protest letter.

FP: [laughs] Maybe you should let them know that, too.

MR: Well, I did mention that I liked the album

FP: You know what’s so funny, Mike? I’m getting this kind of response from people who know me from “Band Of Gold” and “Bring The Boys Home.” I was thinking, “All these people who like those songs so much are probably into the R&B and pop stuff and they probably won’t really like this that much,” but I’m getting very positive responses from people. And although it’s a jazz album, I call some of these songs urban pop. The one I think could be a good crossover tune is “I Just Have To Know.” Another one I like is “Lately.” It moves nicely.

MR: There must’ve been other songs you considered that didn’t fit on the album. I bet when you’re performing this album there are a few others you sneak in there.

FP: Yeah, I do some more stuff. Actually, when I perform live I still do “Band Of Gold” and I may throw in some other standard tunes.

MR: This album is like, “Hello again, Freda Payne.”

FP: All right!

MR: Is there anything left to cover? I know we only touched on Broadway a little bit.

FP: When you think of Broadway shows I’ve done, I’ve done Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies, I’ve done eight companies of Blues In The Night, I’ve done some plays by a playwright named Donald Welch, I did A Change Is Gonna Come. Most recently I did a film version of play called Divorce, strictly as an actress, there’s no singing involved. You can get that on DVD.

MR: I was going to ask you about that. Do you have an acting bug? Do you want to fulfill a little more of that, too?

FP: Yeah, sure, that goes along with the territory. Look at all the singers who are doing a lot of acting, now. Especially rap artists.

MR: It’s a natural fit.

FP: There’s a lot of them out there.

Transcribed by Galen Hawthorne
Entertainment – The Huffington Post
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Dear Market Researcher, I’m Gay — Stop Sending Playboy Subscription Offers!

This offer arrived in the mail the other day from Playboy‘s Market Research Department:


Dear Domenick Scudera,

To attract readers with preferred demographics, you have been selected to receive this courtesy. As a special incentive, the price is reduced down as low as we are allowed, giving you a full year of Playboy for a token $ 12.

A sampling of my friends’ responses:

  • “I hear the articles are good.”
  • “Wasn’t this on your wedding registry?”
  • “I think the label has a misprint — it should read ‘…to a token,12.'”
  • “Oh, c’mon. Everyone knows gay men love women.”
  • “Did u forget to tell us something?”

Gay acceptance has reached new heights if 49-year-old, recently married gay men are one of Playboy‘s “preferred demographics.” I feel blessed that Playboy has extended me this courtesy, one that I never would have received back in the days when gays were being denied equality.

The offer says that I will get the “beyond-beautiful women, obviously.” In addition, they believe that I will “appreciate the award-winning journalism and no-holds-barred interviews” in every “smoking hot issue.” The fine print includes this guarantee: “Playboy always guarantees that if you are ever dissatisfied for any reason whatsoever you get a full refund on all unmailed issues.”

Dear Playboy,

I am somewhat dissatisfied with my subscription. Don’t get me wrong. There is a lot to admire in your magazine: The articles and interviews are terrific, and the women are, obviously, beyond beautiful. However, I would enjoy more male nudity in my magazines. Please refund me the amount of my unmailed issues, until you are prepared to give me some smoking-hot maleness.


This is not the first time I have received an offer for heterosexual porn. When I was 7 years old, I innocently opened up a plain, white envelope addressed to me. There was a series of pictures of naked women with their legs spread wide, and before I knew what was happening, my mother leaped across the room, wrestled the envelope out of my hands and appeared to have some trouble breathing. The next thing I knew, she was on the phone, complaining to someone, trying to make sure I never received offers like this again. Who did she call? The Post Office? The Better Business Bureau? President Nixon? I have no idea, but whoever it was, she was ineffective. I received more offers for years. She carefully monitored my mail until I was well into my college years.

Were 7-year-old gay boys one of the “preferred demographics” for Screw?

Most likely, these marketing departments have misidentified me. This is a problem I encounter often. For instance, when I watch television, the advertisers assume that I am a heavyset, single female on her period. I gather this from the fact that most of the commercials are for weight-loss supplements, dating sites and tampons.

About an hour after I received the Playboy offer, a pleasant young woman knocked on our front door with an offer for educational books for our children. When I explained that we have dogs, not kids, she showed me the books anyway. Did I know that flamingos are pink because they eat shrimp, and that they would be white if they did not? No, I did not. This is educational, but my nonexistent children will not learn this, because I did not order any of the books.

Am I missing out? There might be other interesting factoids in those books, and Playboy‘s “no-holds-barred interviews” might offer some insights. But for now, I think I will hold on to my gay dollars for another day.
Comedy – The Huffington Post
ENTERTAINMENT NEWS-Visit Mobile Playboy today for the hottest adult entertainment online!

Dear Mom: My Son’s Hilarious Summer Camp Letter


Last year my 8-year-old son went to summer camp. It was the first time he had been away from home for more than a night. An hour after he left, I missed him. By the time I went to bed, I found myself wandering into his bedroom, just to feel close to him. As the days passed, I wrote to him daily. Each hour dragged as I’d wait for the mailman, hoping and praying for just one letter from him. By that point I missed him so much, I began to imagine what he might write to me. I fantasized I’d receive a letter something like this:

Dear Mom,

Thank you so much for letting me go to camp. I have learned so many cool things, like how to take a fish off the hook, tie sailing knots, and even how to groom a horse. Thanks for packing the sunscreen. I’ve been out on the lake a lot, so it has really come in handy. You sure think of everything! Since it’s been so hot, I’ve been drinking tons of water! See? I really listen to all your good advice.

The other boys here are really smart and nice. I’m making some lifelong friends I will cherish forever. We’ve had fun learning camp songs, playing cards, and catching frogs in our free time. During quiet time, I read the book you sent along. What a great selection! And just because you’re my mom, I made a special gift for you in arts and crafts!

I’m trying a lot of new foods, just like you suggested. You were right, the oatmeal at breakfast really isn’t bad when I add raisins. And don’t worry, Mom, I’ve been using all the manners you’ve taught me over the years.

We are camping under the stars tonight. I hope to see fireflies.

I love you,



P.S. Tell my brothers I miss them!

Yesterday I received a letter. It’s just slightly different from what I imagined:




This year I’m sending a whole book of stamps. I can’t wait for more letters!
Comedy – The Huffington Post
ENTERTAINMENT NEWS-Visit Mobile Playboy today for the hottest adult entertainment online!