Between hosting and DJing at an ever-changing handful of nightlife events at gay bars throughout the city and coming up with fresh performance numbers, local drag mainstay Juanita More! keeps a watchful eye and an open ear for new music.
She currently hosts Booty Call at the Bar on Castro every other Wednesday. A scouring of her MySpace page lists the inner workings of her iPod, which reveals a taste for soulful legends from Etta James to Esther Phillips, Duke Ellington to Marvin Gaye. And if you caught her dazzling dance number to "Respect" at the Miss Trannyshack Pageant this year, it's no surprise that the girl has an ear for divas and larger-than-life musical powerhouses. The gorgeous and talented Juanita jumped at the chance to share her opinions on this year's best music for lip synchs, finding love, and some new soul gems.
Here are her picks:
Jill Scott, The Real Thing
At first listen, "Hate on Me" grabbed me right from the gut. There are hordes of motherless drag children running around our city, desperate for popularity in an unforgiving community of faggotry. And they do hate on each other. Miss Jill Scott speaks from her heart on the teachings of love, from the opening song straight through to the end — with not a damn thing to hide.
The in-your-face power and energy that M.I.A. continues to pump out is astonishing. Kala is no exception. The video for "Boyz" is enough to make white kids bust out notepads, scratch their heads, and rehearse. M.I.A. continues to provide style and inspiration.
Amy Winehouse, Back to Black
This has to be one of the most overrated releases of the year. Her last name should be spelled Whine, 'cause that's about all she did on this release. The only blessing on the entire piece is the band that plays behind her, the Dap-Kings. To get a real feel of what the sound of new soul is, take a listen to Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings. It's everything Amy could ever wish for.
Rihanna, Good Girl Gone Bad
Now this girl has it together. There isn't a girl out there working a look like Rihanna. Even Oprah was hot for this girl's short and sassy black weave. GORGEOUS! The gibberish of "Umbrella" earlier this year nearly broke my eardrums, though. Even still, I'd like a personally autographed "Umbrella" lyric sheet to lip-synch to, please.
Robin Thicke, The Evolution of Robin Thicke
Robin Thicke is super-easy on the eyes. The son of Alan Thicke [star of the TV show Growing Pains] really turned out to be a cutie. Robin's release earlier this year with a song about cocaine, a bad girl, and a sample nod to the diva Yma Sumac won me over. His face on my pillow crooning anyone of those ballads — or even the cocaine song, for that matter — would make me wet my big-girl panties.
For more top tens from Margaret Cho, Vanilla Ice, Scarface, and some other random B-listers go to All Shook Down