A Unique Perspective On Concert Photography From A Blind Music Fan, Ahmad Zaghal

The response has been almost unanimously positive. An artist friend of Zaghals is even plotting a series of paintings based on his photos. Some of the pictures hes coming up with are as good as or better than iPhone photos taken by people who can see what theyre doing, Paschall says. An interesting commentary, I think! One venue to another Some nights, Zaghal will drop in on more than one gig, hailing cabs from one venue to another. But once the music stops, he uses MetroAccess Metros door-to-door paratransit service for people with disabilities to get back to Germantown, where hes living with his parents. He says his folks have been nudging him away from the nightlife, toward a career and a family. They think I overdo it, he says. He has a B.A. in criminology from the University of Maryland but has spent the past few years moving from job to job. Hes trained federal employees in the use of screen-reading software, done research at a nonprofit and now works at an office in Damascus, booking training sessions for child-care professionals. Its the kind of job that allows him to wear band T-shirts to work and listen to music on his computer. But not on Pandora. With these streaming services, I think its another way for these labels to maintain a stranglehold on the market, Zaghal says.

Desperately Seeking Music Equality: Looking Beyond Macklemore’s ‘Same Love’ Success

By Associated Press, Kenny Rogers, You Cant Make Old Friends (Warner Bros.) Kenny Rogers enters his 75th year with an album that blends the familiar with the challenging, seeking new hits and pursuing new ideas even as he enters the Country Music Hall of Fame this fall. Looking for things to do? Select one or more criteria to search Kid-friendly Get ideas His age occasionally shows in the raggedness at the edges of his vocal tone. But Rogers always made the huskiness of his voice work for him, and that holds true through most of these 11 new songs. Impressively, he hits high, forceful notes when required, matching longtime duet partner Dolly Parton on the soaring passages of the wistfully sentimental title tune, which would have fit on any of his solo albums from decades past. On the progressive side, Rogers tackles the struggles of a Mexican immigrant on the Spanish-tinged ballad Dreams Of The San Joaquin; a jaunty Gulf Coast dance tune on Dont Leave Me in the Night Time, featuring accordionist Buckwheat Zydeco; and a complex narrative about fighting darkness in the modern world on Turn This World Around, a duet with young singer-songwriter Eric Paslay. He occasionally reaches too far, as in Merica, certainly the first patriotic tune to reference a spanked child and a drunken uncle. For the most part, though, Rogers proves he can still deliver the romantic ballads and dramatic narratives on which his reputation rests. Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Music Review: Kenny Rogers offers something a little different on ‘You Can’t Make Old Friends’

Sure, Macklemore and his producer Ryan Lewis made a pretty penny from the song’s success, but I’m willing to take the popularity as an indication of America’s shifting viewpoint on sexuality and not as a slimy moneymaking move on the part of the artist. Plus, Mary Lambert, who is featured on the track, is an out lesbian who writes about the social issues that affect her as a queer woman all the time. She’s not the one getting the credit, though, which brings me to my next point. Here’s the deal. Macklemore is not the first person to write a great song that could be celebrated as the gay marriage anthem. There are documented recordings by queer artists singing about queer issues (read: their lives) that date back as far as the 1920s, and there is an alliance of out queer artists who continue to sing out loud. They have read the YouTube comments lately, and they do have plenty of reasons to think that hip-hop hates them. We’re used to seeing images of attractive white people as the faces of the movement for LGBTQ equality. We’re used to getting excited when another straight, white person says they support our equality movement, because it’s certainly better than the alternative. But forgive me if I’m tired of doling out cookies to everyone who isn’t a bigot. Most of these celebrities charge events a “nominal fee” to the tune of $10,000 or more as compensation for standing for equality, and much of their support goes to causes like marriage equality, which benefit well-off, white gay people most significantly. Queer recording artists who have been singing out loud before any major media outlet would have celebrated it, and who write about the wide range of issues that plague the LGBTQ community, truly represent the rawness of our diverse community. It would be nice if Macklemore and his crew could give them a shout-out and acknowledge that Macklemore’s ability to get his message out so beautifully had something to do with him being a white, straight, cisgender man. If you really want to do something about the equality movement in music beyond just watching the VMAs offer up a token moment of social awareness, you can start off by supporting out and proud LGBTQ recording artists whose songs and lyrics are the soundtrack to the equality movement. I just learned about OUTMUSIC – The LGBT Academy of Recording Arts (LARA).