Scissor Sisters frontman out with catchy new solo record

By : Thom Murphy OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Like the emcee in “Cabaret,” Jake Shears invites us into his new eponymous solo debut album, a smart, eccentric and at times outlandish record that feel like its own self-contained cabaret performance.

Shears is best known as a founding member of the pop group Scissor Sisters. The group went on hiatus in 2012 following the album “Magic Hour,” a Billboard No. 1 album on the Top Dance/Electronic chart which featured the single “Let’s Have A Kiki.” Shears has since appeared alongside Kylie Minogue in the 2015 single “The Other Boys,” published a memoirand made his Broadway debut in “Kinky Boots” — coincidentally in the same role played by Panic! At the Disco’s Brendon Urie last summer. But in his first solo album (out last week), the 39-year-old singer seems interested in branching out from his previous work, experimenting with country and blues.

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Gay-affirming Panic! back with tight new pop-leaning record

By : Thom Murphy of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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For those of us who were teenagers in the late 2000s, pop punk music was defined not only by its sound, but also its look — skinny jeans, band T-shirts and Vans shoes. Skater-inspired teenagers adamantly defended their favorite bands and devoutly followed major acts such as My Chemical Romance and Fall Out Boy. Lesser-known bands performed in small venues where fans would push against each other (light “mosh”-ing) while the bands played overloud guitars, singing snappy choruses in a nasal tenor. Frontmen and band members alike attracted devoted followings, drawing attention to their sometimes ambiguous sexuality in performative ways.

After signing to Fall Out Boy bassist Pete Wentz’ label Decaydance Records (later renamed DCD2), Panic! At The Disco became a major force in the scene with albums “A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out” (2005) and “Pretty. Odd.” (2008). Frontman Brendon Urie, the only original member who still remains in the group, has continued to release hugely successful music under the original band name. He recently made his Broadway debut in “Kinky Boots.”

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