The Daily Agenda for Sunday, October 28

Jim Burroway

October 28th, 2012

TODAY’S AGENDA:
Other Events This Weekend: MIX Copenhagen Film Festival, Copenhagen, Denmark; Florence Queer Film Festival, Florence, Italy; Halloween in New Orleans, New Orleans, LA; Side By Side LGBT International Film Festival, St. Petersburg, Russia.

TODAY’S BIRTHDAY:
Frank Ocean: 1987. Christopher “Lonny” Breaux was born in Long Beach but grew up in New Orleans, where he listened to local jazz music and his mom’s Celine Dion and Phantom of the Opera Soundtrack CDs. After Hurricane Katrina hit, Lonny moved to L.A., and became a songwriter for Justin Bieber, Brandy and others while working on his debut solo album for Def Jam records. But when his album remained unreleased, Lonny changed his name to Frank Ocean, joined alt-hip hop collective Odd Future, and rediscivered his DIY drive. He released his debut mixtape, Nostalgia, Ultra as a free download — unknown to Def Jam — on his Tumblr, and the buzz quickly began to spread throughout the music industry with Diddy, Jay-Z, Kanye West and Beyonce singing his praises. Critics compared Nostalgia, Ultra with Marvin Gaye’s Here, My Dear and Prince’s ballads. Rolling Stone’s Jonah Weiner called him a “gifted avant-R&B smoothie.”

On July 4, 2012, Ocean issued his declaration of independence when he posted on his Tumblr that his first love, at the age of nineteen, was with another young man of the same age. As Ocean explained to The Guardian: “I was thinking of how I wished at 13 or 14 there was somebody I looked up to who would have said something like that, who would have been transparent in that way. But there’s another side of it that’s just about my own sanity and my ability to feel like I’m living a life where I’m not just successful on paper, but sure that I’m happy when I wake up in the morning, and not with this freakin’ boulder on my chest.”

Tyler the Creator, another member of Odd Future, took to Twitter to congratulate his fellow artist, which was significant because Tyler had’s debut album had him repeating the word “faggot” and other anti-gay epithets 213 times. Hip hop impressario Russell Simmons’s support for Ocean was effusive: ” “Today is a big day for hip-hop. It is a day that will define who we really are. How compassionate will we be? How loving can we be? How inclusive are we? … Your decision to go public about your sexual orientation gives hope and light to so many young people still living in fear.”

On July 10, 2012, Ocean’s studio-released album Channel Orange debuted on iTunes for download and was streamed for free from his blog before becoming available as a CD a week later.

If you know of something that belongs on the agenda, please send it here. Don’t forget to include the basics: who, what, when, where, and URL (if available).

And feel free to consider this your open thread for the day. What’s happening in your world?

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