Philadelphia singer-songwriter Joshua Thomas's latest EP, The Harboring, dropped Tuesday afternoon. The work, which was funded via a PledgeMusic campaign, is a solid collection of wistful tunes that makes for an ideal soundtrack as we segue into fall.
The six tracks find the crooner in tip-top voice. He slides in and out of falsetto seamlessly—and quite beautifully—on gorgeous lead track "Thread.” The fact that he was heavily influenced by the music of Joni Mitchell is unmistakable on the playful, acoustic "Paper Heart," which he told us in May, is "the most direct and honest song on the record." My favorite track,"Beast," is 4-plus minutes of Thomas flexing all kinds of musical chops. It seemingly reveals a time in his life when he went through a breakup and emerged stronger at the other end. It starts sweet and mellow—almost sad—before journeying to an almost anthemic ending where he prolaims, “Cut me out, cut me out / Cause I need to be lonely / I need to be lonely." It's heart-wrenching and inspirational at the same time.
I highly recommend the entire album. You can download it here, or if you prefer the idea of holding an actual album in your hands, Thomas will sell them at a special album release concert this Saturday night, October 4th, at the First Unitarian Church. More details on that here.
Party producer Josh Schonewolf teams with his boyfriend Daniel Palmieri (did you see what he said about him in yesterday's MCM?!) to present his latest recurring event, and this one's for the lovers—well, at least the soon to be. Icebreaker is a gay-speed-dating soiree that seeks to pair single men with other single men "they never met before." Here's the drill. Show up and register (and grab a drink) from 6:15pm to 6:45pm. Dating begins at 7pm sharp, when fellows move about the room to have a timed chat with other participants. Schonewolf says he will blow a whistle when it's time to move to the next man, and in the end—if there are matches—couples will be given vouchers for free drinks and a discounted dinner at Tavern on Camac. Awwww. Tuesday, September 30th, 6 p.m., $10-$12, L'Etage, 624 South 6th Street.
October is LGBT History Month, and all month long Equality Forum will roll out a different LGBT icon that will be featured on its website. This year the role call includes everyone from hip-hop star Frank Ocean and Broadway legend Tallulah Bankhead to "iconoclastic comedian" Margaret Cho. Keep track of who's being featured here.
The City of Philadelphia gets in on the festivities on Thursday, October 2nd, when Mayor Nutter, the City of Philadelphia Office of LGBT Affairs, and the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations will gather at City Hall to raise a rainbow flag alongside the American one. The event will also serve as an opportunity to spotlight some of the year's biggest movers and shakers in the local LGBT community, including GALAEI, the Mazzoni Center, and Philadelphia Black Gay Pride, which, in particular, has seen quite a resurgence this year under the leadership of Vice President D'Ontace Keyes. Happy history month, y'all!
In response to violence on the streets of Philly—and especially the Gayborhood—instructors from street defense team Israeli Krav Maga will host a self-defense class at Icandy. Bring a few extra coins: Donations will be collected for the family of Robert Wilson III, the officer killed in a North Philly shooting in March. Tuesday, April 28th, 5:30 pm, free, Icandy, 254 South 12th Street.