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Margaret Cho Talks About New Album, Gay Rights & Head Lice

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Here's the difference between you and Margaret Cho...

Let's say that you'd been staying in a seedy motel in Casablanca and had become infested with head lice. Okay, we can techincally stop right there because the chances are that you have never stayed in a seedy motel in Casablanca and Margaret Cho has so that's one huge difference already. But for the purposes of comparison, let's keep going. Now picture yourself standing at the front desk at checkout time with a head full of Moroccan lice and then ask yourself, "Is this a situation that would make me want to sit down and write a Dylan-esque song about it?"

If the answer is yes, then you aren't you -- you're Margaret Cho.

No one can accuse the increasingly hyphenated comedienne-actress-musician of slacking off. Her new musical album called Cho Dependent hits the streets on August 24th. It includes collaborations with musical artist like Ben Lee, Fiona Apple, Ani Difranco and Patty Griffin. Then on August 26th, Cho starts a North American tour that will run through December, complete with a rockstar style tour bus. (Groupies, take note.)

The tour will mostly feature Cho's brash and bold standup comedy but will also include some of the songs from Cho Dependent, a unique mix of Cho's lyrics and singing with music written and performed by her talented collaborators, who also include Andrew Bird, Tegan & Sara, and Grant Lee Phillips. But don't expect "Weird" Al Yankovic style song parodies; Cho and her guests have created original music that just happens to have funny lyrics.

Like Cho's standup material, the "funny" is sometimes based in a darker reality like the aforementioned song Lice. Another song on Cho Dependent is based on her unrequited love for a TV writer that she worked with. After years of thinking about him, Cho decided to look them up on the Internet and discovered that he killed his wife and hidden her body in the attic long enough for it to mummify. For Cho, the artistic response to this horrifying revelation was obvious - a country-western song.

And while we're on the subject of horrifying, I also asked Cho what she thought of the Democratic Congress and President's accomplishments on the issue of gay rights. She's never been shy about talking about her politics, has a strong following in the GL BT community and is openly bisexual. To be more accurate, she's something even rarer; she's openly and unapologetically sex positive. Despite being non-monogamous, Cho is married and believes in the importance of family.

On same-sex marriage, Cho said ""I think there's an alarming amount of undue respect that is given to people's religious beliefs when it comes to gay marriage. Why is the secular state so concerned with these religious beliefs that stand in the way of justice or equality? I'm very upset about the way our country hasn't moved beyond homophobia and hatred. This idea that gay people can't have families is bizarre."

Cho also reacted to the discharge of openly gay Daniel Choi, saying that "it shows the incredible disregard that the military has for (gay men and women) who are in the military, in some cases, for their entire lives. Don't Ask Don't Tell is insulting to that gift of a life. Daniel Choi is so outspoken and I'm really disgusted with the way our country has treated him."

To listen to my entire interview with Margaret Cho, visit my website at LeeStranahan.com

For complete ticketing info on the Cho Dependent tour and access to fanclub pre-sales and the album pre-order, visit www.MargaretCho.com