Supporting the efforts of The Human Rights Campaign, PFLAG and The Matthew Shepard Foundation, The True Colors Tour paints a positive message using music and humor. A broad assortment of talents unites for the cause, spanning generations and styles.
The concept comes from headliner Cyndi Lauper. Also sharing the bill are Erasure, Debbie Harry, The Gossip, The Cliks, The Dresden Dolls and The MisShapes. With Rosie O'Donnell as a special guest and Margaret Cho as the emcee, The True Colors Tour Presented by Logo offers five hours of entertainment during its groundbreaking first run.
As Lauper sings on her number-one hit True Colors, 'if this world makes you crazy, and you've taken all you can bear, you call me up, because you know I'll be there,' she really means it, especially for the LGBT community. Lauper has been a constant champion, standing up for equality. Whether it is seen through her work with PFLAG or being an honorary board member of the Matthew Shepard Foundation, we know she'll be there. The New York City-based singer-songwriter has been honored recently by West End Intergenerational for her work with women and children in need in The Big Apple. The Grammy Award winner's Savior Faire is a set of new pop material, and it's due out later this summer. Yet another import retrospective, The Very Best Of, came out earlier this spring.
Electronic pioneers Erasure will be performing material from the new album Light At The End Of The World during The True Colors Tour. Last year's Union Street was a complete departure for the pair, favoring an acoustic and western sound. The latest has danceable songs, reminiscent of Run To The Sun.
After an overdue induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, do not expect Blondie's singer to simply 'fade away and radiate.' Harry has since teamed with Moby on New York, New York and sung alongside British hipster Lily Allen on The Today Show. Whether you prefer her Blondie days or her solo works, Harry is going to get you 'one way or another' this summer. A remastered video album of Blondie's classic Eat to the Beat is being reissued. Also, the singer-turned-actress is returning with another solo project, Necessary Evil, due Aug. 7. Necessary Evil is produced mainly by Super Buddha, with two songs produced by Blondie's Chris Stein and one by Bill Ware.
The Gossip's Standing In The Way Of Control hit the Top 10 abroad courtesy of its use in a commercial for the British television show Skins. Lead singer Beth Ditto, who is vocal about gay rights and celebrating all body types, revealed that this anthem is a response song, since same-sex couples are unable to get married in The United States. In the aftermath of the jam's success, Listen Up! has been remixed with a more electro-vibe, like its predecessor. Also from the same album, Dark Lines is a dramatically stripped soulful number, one of the best of 2006. Portland, Ore.'s favorite queer punk-soul trio has opened for The Scissor Sisters, Sleater-Kinney and Le Tigre, and is now on Music With a Twist, Sony's LGBT imprint.
After repeated views on Logo, I am addicted to the video Oh Yeah, by The Cliks. This clip has the Toronto rock band sporting neckties, challenging each other to an arm-wrestling match and a push-up contest, while lead singer Lucas Silveira does his best Say Anything homage to win love's latest battle. Blurring labels with a line-up consisting of a transgendered frontman and a queer female band, The Cliks blurs its sound with influences from The Pretenders, PJ Harvey and even a rock-steady No Doubt. Be sure to check out The Cliks taking to the stage on June 25 at Martyr's in between True Colors' commitments.
Boston's Dresden Dolls dance around being labeled. Bandmates Amanda Palmer and Brian Viglione describe their sound as cabaret punk, because they fear how they might be pegged otherwise. While the group identifies as a queer band, do not expect to ever get a straight answer from them. When asked if the duo is a couple, they reply that they are 'a couple of freaks.' The eponymous album and its follow-up, Yes, Virginia… contain challenging topics as heard on Sex Changes, Mrs. O and Coin-Operated Boy.
Also along for the ride is New York's buzz-worthy downtown trio The MisShapes. These scenesters host weekly events featuring dance-rock music and have appeared in the One ad campaign.
Now that she is free of obligations with The View, comedian and talk-show host extraordinaire Rosie O'Donnell has been added to appear at the Chicago date. Initially, she was only slated to make cameos in limited cities, as is the case with The Indigo Girls and Rufus Wainwright.
The Pet Shop Boys attempted a similar musical festival in 2001 with the Wotapalava Tour. Unfortunately, the shows—featuring a dream line-up of Grace Jones, Wainwright and Soft Cell—never took off.
Proceeds of The True Color Tour's ticket sales will benefit The Human Rights Campaign. The tour will also bring awareness to the audience about PFLAG and The Matthew Shepard Foundation. Tickets are still available through Ticketmaster and www.HRC.org . For more information, please visit www.truecolorstour.com .