My Facebook alert was going off like the Bat Phone after a Gotham City prison break earlier this month letting me know that I had a message…and another…and another…and another…and — well, you get the idea. Hmmm, had the Prince Harry sextape I’ve been praying for finally come to light? Hey, hope springs eternal. No, it turns out that my gay male Fb friends were blowing up the internet over news that Britney Spears is bringing her Femme Fatale Tour to the Carolinas for two dates.

According to the breathless posts (and later confirmed on Brit-Brit’s Facebook page), she’s going to be in Charlotte at Time Warner Cable Arena on Wednesday, Aug. 24 and in Raleigh at the RBC Center the following night. Nicki Minaj is the support act for both stops, which start at 7pm. If the crowds at these performances are anything like the one that came out for Lady Gaga’s Monster Ball show in Charlotte last fall, they’ll be early Pride events as much as they are music spectacles. This is particularly true for Pride Charlotte which will be held only a few days later, on Saturday the 27th. NC Pride follows the concert by a month, taking place on Saturday, Sept. 24.

I know that more than a few of my dear readers are going to be in an increasingly manic state as the concerts approach but, please, don’t flip out and shave your heads. Not everyone can rock that look like Britney did.

Steamrolling to the top

British singer-songwriter Adele is the musical story of the year so far. While Lady Gaga’s new album has met with the gargantuan sales everyone expected and Katy Perry and Rihanna are still spinning off hits from their super successful 2010 sets, nobody predicted Adele would soar into the star ranks in America with the release of her chart-topping sophomore album “21” and its (at this writing still reigning) #1 smash single, “Rolling In The Deep.”

The fact that the artist of the moment in pop is a woman who writes her own material, sings like a dream and doesn’t have the figure of a Victoria’s Secret model gives me hope that maybe a corner has been turned and a new era of artist authenticity is dawning. Or, maybe I should just accept that Adele is an anomaly in the pre-fab music industry and be happy that she exists at all and celebrate the fact that “today i-is Friday, Friday (Partyin’) / We-we-we so excited / We so excited / We gonna have a ball today.” Sigh.

Slave to the rhythm

I’m no preacher but I will prosylitize for artists and albums I love. Lately, I’ve been spreading the good news about singer Amalia and her killer CD “Art Slave.” This little-known gem from Stockholm, Sweden, is an on-the-money throwback to the mid-80s soul style known as Boogie (think Midnight Star, Shalamar, Evelyn “Champagne” King, Kashif or The System).

With the exception of one track — that flirts a little too much with hip hop to be authentic — the album is an uncanny recreation of the era that inspired it. Given my near obsession with soul/R&B music of the ‘80s, it’s no stretch to say that I’m a slave to Amalia’s art. If you give this fantastic album a listen, you’ll feel the same way. : :


David Stout

David Stout is the associate editor of QNotes. He can be reached at