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Pride anthems for a new century: update your gay pride soundtrack with these postmillenial queer anthems.

Pride season hits. You're planning a fabulous pre-parade brunch and organizing your checklist when your best friend steps in: "Honey, please, not again. Give that Priscilla soundtrack/Holly Near album a rest." Your friend is right. But don't take offense--take action. Fire up your iTunes, freshen up your party, and program some new pride music.

AS HEARD ON TV

Sometimes liberation means crossing over. We are a media-savvy people, and we are shopping, shopping for our lives. And we're even on TV.

* All Things (Just Keep Getting Bettor) by Widelife, from What's That Sound? (2004). Better known as the theme from Queer Eye far the Straight Guy.

* I Got My Pride by Barry Harris, featuring Pepper MaShay, CD single (2001). You heard it on Sex and the City.

* Proud by Heather Small, from the first Queer as Folk soundtrack (2001). The M People diva flies solo.

* Breathe by Melissa Etheridge, from Lucky (2004). You heard it on The L Word.

DIVAS WITH A MESSAGE

Dance divas have been sending secret empowerment messages out to dance floors for decades, and the '00s are no exception.

* Beautiful by Christina Aguilera, from Stripped (2002). Penned by out musician Linda Perry, this song led to the video that featured that hot gay kiss and picked up a GLAAD Award.

* I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For by Jeff Krassner, from Maybe (2000). Like the Pet Shop Boys' version of "Where the Streets Have No Name"? Here's another U2 tune turned into a brilliant queer cover song. So what if he's a skinny white guy--he's got the voice of a diva

* No More Drama by Mary J. Blige, from No More Drama (2001) and Dance for Me (2002). Mary sings that she's "tired of this drama." Amen, sistah.

* Believe and Strong Enough by Cher, from Believe (1998). We know, we know, but some forces you just can't fight.

WE SHALL OVERCOME, GIRL

Pride also has its serious side, whether it is responding to the world's evils or just making space for the entire queer community.

* What Matters by Randi Driscoll, from The Play (2002), and Driscoll with the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles, from Red, White & Blues (2003). A tender and plaintive memory song, benefiting the Matthew Shepard Foundation.

* Everything Taboo, Freak, and II Adore, from the original London cast recording of Taboo (2002). The show may have been flawed, but Boy George's original score is flawless.

* Something Inside So Strong by Labi Siffre, from So Strong (1999). It first garnered attention in a car commercial; it has since become a queer chorus favorite.

* Philosophy of LOSS by the Indigo Girls, a hidden track from Come On Now Social (1999). Chock-full of queer political content, this one's an all-time Indigo fan favorite.

ALTERNATIVE ANTHEMS

Finally, for those unimpressed by the mainstreaming of queer culture, check out these edgier offerings.

* It's Only Time by the Magnetic Fields, from I (2004). A warts-and-all examination ends with this sincere proposal, offering depth Britney will never understand.

* Take Your Mama Out by Scissor Sisters, from Scissor Sisters (2004). A glamrock coming-out song for a new generation.

* Chicks & Dicks by Junior Senior, from D-D-Don't don't stop the beat (2003). A perfect ending to the festivities as queers and straights prove they can share a song and a dance floor.

Davis is the editor of UCLAlumni magazine.
COPYRIGHT 2004 Liberation Publications, Inc.
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Copyright 2004, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:music
Author:Davis, Mark
Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 22, 2004
Words:558
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