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A do-good beat.

Bronski Beat's Jimmy Somerville heads a host of artists who groove for gay and lesbian causes

If one of your new millennium's resolutions is to give more as well as groove more, consider these three new CDs that aim to raise money or awareness for good causes.

Sisters are doin' it for themselves on High Risk, an eclectic compilation of rock, folk, punk, jazz, blues, and dance music by lesbian singers and bands aiming to earn funds for Chicago's Lesbian Community Cancer Project. The most high-profile entries here include indie rockers Mocket, jazz vocalist Patricia Barber, and one of the Windy City's first out lesbian bands, Surrender Dorothy. Assembled by local gay newspaper Outlines, most of the fare is on the light and acoustic side with soft guitar strains, airy vocals, and sensitive lyrics. If you like Carole King, this is for you.

Feel like something rougher? Invaders From a Forbidden Planet, fronted by drag dabbler the Amazing Lee, are afraid the kids aren't all right, and the band wanted to use its indie rock anthems on Queen City to make some its concern. In between its power-pop tales and ballads about growing up homosexual in America, such as "It Hurts (When Your Mother Don't Love You)" and "The Man in Me," the band presents recorded voices of gay youths sharing intimate snippets of their life. The heart-tugging interviews were elicited from kids who belong to Time Out Youth, a Charlotte, N.C., nonprofit support and advocacy group for gay and lesbian young people. Lee, who volunteers with Time Out Youth, is also donating a portion of the record's proceeds to the group. It might expect a windfall: This sophomore effort is solid and fun, especially the campy cover of "Come a Little Bit Closer."

And always attention-getting is the piercing falsetto of Jimmy Somerville, the now-37-year-old Glaswegian who broke ground with the openly gay techno bands Bronski Beat and the Communards. On his latest solo effort, Manage the Damage, he is up to his old tricks--infectious grooves, expert production values, and touching lyrics--but has added the wisdom and empathy age. Case in point: In his liner notes Somerville dedicates the CD to Matthew Shepard and includes details on how to reach the foundation set up in his memory.

High Risk

* Various artists

* Outlines newspaper

Queen City

* Invaders From a Forbidden Planet * AM Records

Manage the Damage

* Jimmy Somerville

* Instinct Records

Bell also writes for Entertainment Weekly, Billboard, and Pulse.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Review
Author:Bell, Carrie
Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Article Type:Sound Recording Review
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 1, 2000
Previous Article:Sour notes.
Next Article:Tara's good muse.

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