rage recommends

by bill biss

HOTSPOTPet Shop Boys

Like a truly expensive bottle of champagne,Hotspot pops and bubbles with the effervescence of intoxicating dance beats and intellectually stimulating lyrics. Neil Tennant adds the chill in his vocals and after 40 years of making music with Chris Lowe, they both haven’t lost an iota of their inimitable skills. Tennant goes all disco-Mick Jagger on “Monkey Business” while on “You Are the One” and “Only the Dark” unveils his softer and romantic side, which is always welcome. Pet Shop Boys are still a musical treasure. Available Now


A renewed vitality of rambunctious rebellion and softness collide on Kesha’s take on herHigh Road. With a vigorous beat of horns and a speeded-up rap of reggae tempo featuring Big Freedia, she goes to town on “Raising Hell.” Kesha also slows down on the road with a beautiful rendition of the song “Resentment” showcasing her voice in a remorseful tempo. A personal favorite that marches in with a radical beat and style a la Gwen Stefani in a manner is “My Own Dance.”Available Now

CHICKA BOOM!Tami Neilson

It’s a wild and wondrous musical ride as Tami Neilson has the vo- cals to create thoughts of Wanda Jackson of rockabilly fame, The Righteous Brothers on “Any Fool with a Heart” and pure soul on the track “You Were Mine.” She belts this one out like Tina Turner. Neilson makes it all new in her own way. Her voice is powerful and crosses so many musical lines. Sock it to me! Tami Neilson has surely created a “chicka, chicka boom chick” of an album. Available February 14


Lyrically provocative before Prince and mischievously sexual before Madonna is Betty Davis. In the 1970s, Davis came on the scene as a songwriter and singer. She pushed the boundaries of sexuality and funk music to a high degree. Her life and musical talent are revealed by director Phil Cox. It’s a true expose that she was quite ahead of her time culturally and a trailblazer for the times ahead. It’s a powerful look at an independent woman and her career and the ultimate decision to disappear until now. Available Now

AN ALMOST ORDINARY SUMMER What would happen upon discovering that your divorced father was in love with another man and planning marriage? Two older men and their families embark on a surprising trip to the stun- ning villa on the coast of Gaeta. It’s not just the waves crashing but the clash of discovery in finding out about the impending marriage. An Italian film with English subtitles, An Almost Ordi- nary Summer offers up a romantic comedy when family comes into the mix of two men’s love for each other. Available Now

YOU’LL NEVER BE ALONE A somber and emotional film, You’ll Never Be Alone tells the story of Pablo, a Chilean gay teenager and his single father’s relationship. First-time director who also wrote the screenplay, Alex Anwandter based the movie on a true story. It’s a story of homophobia, bitter machismo and how a hate crime can shatter lives and create new unfound truths. Most importantly, it bridges a gap in understanding that unfortunately tragedy can lead to a stronger realization of love between a father and his son. Available February 11



LIFE’S OTHER SIDE Scott B. Bomar and Colin Escott

“The silence of a falling star lights up a purple sky and as I wonder where you are, I’m so lonesome I could cry.” “I’m So Lone- some I Could Cry” was just one of the hits that the legendary country singer recorded in his brief life. This book presents a rare look at photos taken of him and his band mates, along with the people who loved him. Add in six CDs of his recordings on the radio inside and it’s a touching tribute to Hank. Available Now

ME & MR. CIGAR Gibby Haynes

A fantastical fiction novel that miraculously reads like truth is Me & Mr. Cigar. Mr. Cigar being a dog. Gibby Haynes (the founding member of But- thole Surfers) in his very first novel has created a “Ripley’s Believe It or Not” book that creates a mix- ture of magic, immortal- ity, humor and suspense. Haynes’s writing style is well worth enjoying and it’s a trip of a journey between a boy/teenager and his supernatural dog. No Lassie or Old Yeller here but you might find tears at the end. Available Now


“Peek-A-Boo” as in the new re-release of Lake’s autobiography published initially in 1969. She was a major Paramount movie star and was in the 1940s “the peek-a-boo look” girl because of her hair hanging sultrily over one eye. Her autobiog- raphy is candid, truthful and bittersweet to those who still admire her clas- sic film roles. Alcoholism took her too soon at the age of 50 in 1973 but in her own voice, she is honest in the telling of her life and admirable in doing so. Available February 4


RAGE monthly | February 2020



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