With the end of 2004 nearing, I found it appropriate to put to together an iTunes 2004 Mixtape with some of the most memorable tracks and musicians of the year.
The list does not necessarily reflect my own personal taste. My
objective was to create a mixtape with tunes as diverse as the readers
of this blog. I also wanted the list to include artists that made a difference this year with their lyrics and public opinions.
George Michael, k.d. lang and Rufus Wainwright are no-brainer picks for this 2004 iTunes Mixtape. These artists continue to push the envelop as openly gay musicians with music that is both genuine and bold.
Scissor Sisters are hands-down the breakout act of 2004. Jake Shears, Babydaddy, Ana Matronic, Del Marquis and Derek present a sassy blend of '70s glam rock and drag-inspired disco. As a lyricist, Shears is not afraid to tackle real issues that affect the gay community. Good example is the grim "Return To Oz" on which he sings about the destructive effect of crystal meth. I added two songs from the group's debut album to the mixtape that I feel represent the Scissors' cutting musical range.
Also included are some more obscure (read: overlooked) artists like R&B singer Ari Gold and piano crooner Casey Stratton that you might like to try and enjoy.
Of course, no mixtape is complete without some worthy party beats. RuPaul, Kevin Aviance and a 2004 mix of Deborah Cox' "I Never Knew" represent a small portion of the house music that was put out in 2004. Dutch singer and circuit favorite Amber made an impressive comeback this year with her indie record "My Kind Of World."
Yoko Ono's protest song "Everyman/Everywoman" was an encouraging message in this year's continuing struggle for equal civil rights for gays.
International picks are Robbie Williams (gay or not gay, you gotta love him anyway), Duran Duran (the original fab five) and Junior Jack (with that delicious "Da Hype").
Then there are of course The Killers and Franz Ferdinand, the underground rock darlings with their ambitious gay-tinted lyrics that has left many of us wondering
Newly crowned gay diva Gwen Stefani recently embraced the gay community in an interview with HX. Also, Kylie Minogue's "Slow"
has kept us lusting after those hunky Spanish amigos in her
video for thr song. Both are included on the mixtape with recent hits.
Lastly, there are a bunch of straight musicians that I met this year that were very open in their support of gays. Sarah Hudson, Butch Walker, Jem and others have told me how supportive they are of gay marriage, which puts their music in an entirely new perspective.