Connect with us

Arts & Entertainment

Sam Smith shares new video as release date announced for album

Published

on

Sam Smith (Image courtesy of the artist)

It’s been three years since Sam Smith’s last album, but they are back – with a Valentine’s Day surprise for their fans.

On Thursday, it was announced that Capitol Records will release Smith’s third album, “To Die For,” on May 1. To mark the occasion, the non-binary singer shared the title track, along with its accompanying video.

The new track opens with a sample from the 2001 cult film “Donnie Darko,” before enveloping listeners with the sounds of soaring strings and evocative piano, as Smith lends his distinctive vocals to the plaintive confession, “I just want somebody to die for.”Smithrecorded the song with Jimmy Napes and Stargate, also their collaborators on 2017’s 4x certified Platinum single, “Too Good At Goodbyes.”

For the official video, Smith recruited behind-the-camera help from Grant Singer (The Weeknd, Lorde), who also directed the video for 2019’s “How Do You Sleep?” The clip is set outside a Los Angeles wig shop, where amongst the many mannequin heads with perfectly coifed hair is a wigless one with Smith’s face. As the likeness sings “To Die For,” happy couples and families pass the shop over the course of several seasons, with most never even noticing the bald singing mannequin – until at last, left all alone, a twist of fate comes to break him free.

Smith explains the melancholy tune, “I wrote the song with Jimmy Napes and Stargate in L.A. during a time of self-discovery and heartbreak. This is for all the lonely hearts out there on another Valentine’s Day xx”

The album is now available for preorder at Smith’s website. Fans who pre-order it there in digital format will instantly receive the new single, as well as “How Do You Sleep?”, which has amassed over 600 million streams worldwide, “I Feel Love,” Smith’s celebratory cover of Donna Summer’s disco classic, “Fire on Fire” (from the “Watership Down” soundtrack) and Smith’scollaboration with Normani, “Dancing with a Stranger,” a number one UK and US hit which has achieved Platinum status in 19 countries, and been streamed over 2 billion times worldwide.

You can watch the video for “To Die For” below.

Advertisement
FUND LGBTQ JOURNALISM
SIGN UP FOR E-BLAST

Theater

‘Rose: You Are Who You Eat’ an irreverent romp at Woolly Mammoth

Solo performance by John Jarboe offers much to consume

Published

on

John Jarboe in ‘Rose: You Are Who You Eat’ at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company. (Photo by Teresa Castracane)

‘Rose: You Are Who You Eat’
Though June 23
Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
641 D St., N.W.
$60-$82
Woollymammoth.net

With “Rose: You Are Who You Eat,” a solo performance by John Jarboe (she/her), now at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, there’s a lot to uncover and consume.  

For much of the show, the appealing Jarboe comes across as a cute cis gay guy playing dress up in a pair of tighty-whities and sparkly go-go boots, but it’s something else and she’s ready to go there. 

Jarboe is a cannibal. Not in the usual sense. She learned from a well-meaning aunt that while still in the womb, she ate her twin, and that’s what made Jarboe the way she is (a reference to gender queerness).

Despite the aunt’s awkward delivery of family dish, the prenatal news struck a chord with Jarboe: the vanishing twin who would have been named Rose, became increasingly connected to her own identity. Along with the inevitable jokes about eating her sister’s spaghetti thin hair and tasty eyeballs, there’s meaty matter unfolding onstage. 

Not entirely unexpected, Jarboe also harbors mommy issues. Mom, here referred to as “Mother” for the sake of anonymity, is a buttoned-down tax accountant who the more perturbed she becomes the wider her forced smile grows. And while Jarboe needs to have that long overdue talk with Mother, something always seems to get in the way; invariably it’s tax season.

Assisted by some primary source props (a baby book, notes, a string of pearls filched from Mother’s jewelry box), Jarboe further digs into gender expression and identity. Her performance career began in her child bedroom closet with a flashlight and makeshift costume, an obsession to which her parents initially subscribed, later not as much. 

Among the 75-minute-long show’s highlights are five or so songs, rock numbers and redolent ballads composed by Jarboe, Emily Bate, Daniel de Jesús, Pax Ressler and Be Steadwell. 

It’s definitely a solo show conceived and delightfully performed by Jarboe; however, she’s supported by a terrific four-person band (costumed in what appeared from Row D to be rosebush inspired jumpsuits) including Mel Regn, Yifan Huang, Daniel de Jesús, and music director Emily Bate. Bate is a singer, composer and performer who runs a queer and trans community chorus in Philadelphia called Trust Your Moves, an experiment in collective singing designed around liberation and co-creation.

As Jarboe moves into her 30s, she celebrates and incorporates her lost twin as part of herself with a new intensity. She writes letters, yearning for even the most tepid reply. Her obsession with Mother remains a thing too.

Dressed in a sylphlike rosy red gown (by costume designer Rebecca Kanach) Jarboe uses call-and-response (with the audience standing in for Mother) in search of some resolution. It’s beautifully done. 

With various kinds of backing coming from CulturalDC, the Washington Blade, Capital Pride, the Bearded Ladies Cabaret and other New York-based groups, there’s nothing itinerant cabaret looking about “Rose.” Directed by MK Tuomanen, it’s an elevated, visually engaging production. 

For instance, set and video designer Christopher Ash’s projections shown on both a serviceable scrim and later a wondrously huge toile curtain, beautifully feature photos from an ostensibly idyllic Midwestern childhood. We see a young Jarboe not only enjoying hockey, fishing, and hunting, but also pulling off a strikingly girly, cheesecake pose.  

At the top of the show, there’s live video of Jarboe’s outsized mouth devouring wings fished from a bucket of fried chicken. Hints of cannibalism? 

“Rose: You Are Who You Eat” is an irreverent romp, deeply personal yet relatable. It’s an evening of poignantly performed moments, off the cuff laughs, and some awkward/sexy audience interaction. 

As a performer, Jarboe lays herself bare, exposing strengths (rich melodious voice, presence, ingenuity) and weaknesses (garrulity and more than a few un-landed jokes) in equal turns. 

Hers is a world that invites audiences to just let go and go with it. Jarboe’s intrepid journey melds the familiar and the startling. In short, it’s a trip worth taking. 

Continue Reading

Photos

PHOTOS: Capital Pride Festival and Concert

Keke Palmer, Billy Porter among entertainers

Published

on

Billy Porter performs at the 2024 Capital Pride Festival on Sunday. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The 2024 Capital Pride Festival and Concert was held along Pennsylvania Avenue in Northwest D.C. on Sunday, June 9. Performers included Sapphira Cristál, Keke Palmer, Ava Max, Billy Porter and Exposé.

(Washington Blade photos by Michael Key)

Continue Reading

Out & About

Get ready for Baltimore Pride

Events scheduled throughout weekend

Published

on

Baltimore Pride Parade (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Baltimore Pride begins this weekend on Friday, June 14 in the heart of the city.

There will be a variety of events, the main ones being Mt. Vernon Pride on June 14 at 2 p.m. on the 200 Block of W. Read St., the Parade and Block Party on Saturday, June 15 at 3 p.m. on N. Charles St., and Pride in the Park on Sunday, June 15 at 3 p.m. at Druid Hill Park.

For more event details, visit Baltimore Pride’s website

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Sign Up for Weekly E-Blast

Follow Us @washblade

Advertisement

Popular