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Desert island DISCS.

Six lesbian and gay talents you should know--and their picks for that one CD that would make being marooned more like a party

True, things don't look good. You're stranded on a desert island. That dot in the distance is your ship disappearing. That PowerBar in your pocket is your food supply for--well, forever. Still, the situation could be worse. Just as you fell overboard, you grabbed your favorite CD. But what CD was it? The Advocate asked these gay and lesbian musicians and composers to name the one--and only--album they'd pick as their personal desert island disc.

1 Sharon Isbin, classical guitarist Isbin would take along her own 1999 CD Dreams of a World: Folk-Inspired Music for Guitar because, "If I were stranded without a guitar, it's the only way I'd be able to hear some of the music that I love. The album is an instrumentalist's fantasy of what it would be like to play the style of music of Joan Baez, who has always been my great heroine," A compilation of music from Appalachia, Ireland, Greece, Israel, Spain, Cuba, Venezuela, and Brazil, the disc boasts eight world premieres, many of which were written especially for Isbin.

2 Marc Shaiman. film composer "It's only supposed to be one? How is that possible?" asks Shaiman before supplying what he terms the most stereotypical of gay responses: "Every Barbra Streisand album up until she went rock and roll. All the early Bette Midler records. Judy Garland's greatest hits. Every '50s Frank Sinatra record, I guess, At least that expands my horizons a little bit." Reminded that he really gets just one disc, Shaiman retorts, "In this day and age, when you can burn your own CDs, perhaps I'd be allowed to make a compilation,"

3 Lowell Liebermann, composer-in-residence, Dallas Symphony Orchestra The virtuoso, not yet 40, began studying piano at 8 and wrote his Piano Sonata, Op. 1, at 15. His work has been performed all over the world ever since. Liebermann's desert island disc is Benjamin Britten's opera Death in Venice, which the composer calls "the perfect thing to listen to when you're sitting alone on a beach, feeling sorry for yourself, It's also one of my favorite operas, and this recording, featuring Britten's longtime lover Peter Pears and conducted by the wonderful Steuart Bedford, could not be bettered for poignancy or authenticity."

4 Brian Grillo. once and future Extra Fancy frontman Grillo has gone solo, but a summer live reunion for the band is likely, Watch for the boys to tour the gay pride parade circuit and to perform concert dates, including Los Angeles and San Francisco, sometime soon. In the meantime, Grillo's desert island disc pick would be Stevie Wonder's Songs in the Key of Life. "This one covers so many emotions," he says, "and was a huge inspiration to me and so many artists."

5 Barnes. techno rocker For those of us who may be unfamiliar with the Los Angeles--based Barnes, he's the Toronto-born former lead singer of the Nylons whose 1999 debut disc is the Gay/Lesbian American Music Award--winning Loud Boy Radio. For those of us who are familiar with the very out performer, it may come as a surprise that his desert island CD is Billie Holiday's Greatest Hits. Says Barnes: "She is the one who whispered in my ear when I was a queer teenager and said, 'It's OK, you can make this work.'"

6 Leisha Hailey of the Murmurs Four albums after they first teamed up in 1992, punk rocker Leisha Hailey and band mate Heather Grody regularly rock the house at Los Angeles's superhip Viper Room. But on her desert island, Hailey wants to hear only the voice of true love k.d. lang. "I'd like to just take her with me to the island and have her sing her new record in my ear the whole time," says Hailey, "I'm sure you can understand." We certainly can. But since this is a solitary desert island, Hailey's willing to compromise, "I'II take Invincible Summer, k.d.'s new record [due out in June]," she says, "It's amazing, and the beach is the perfect location to listen to it."
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Article Details
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Author:Vaillancourt, Daniel
Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 9, 2000
Words:698
Previous Article:RIPE for success.
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