What do girls -- and guys -- do if they just want to have fun? Cyndi Lauper has two suggestions: Attend her True Colors Tour and buy her new dance-obsessed album, "Bring Ya to the Brink."
The second annual True Colors -- a gay-friendly, pro human-rights tour -- is making its first visit to the Twin Cities on Monday, featuring well-known and should-be-known newer rock acts (plus Rosie O'Donnell).
"You can laugh and dance and sing, and you can have information and feel empowered because really this tour was meant to empower people," said Lauper, who has long been active in gay issues (her sister is a lesbian).
"I am excited about the show. Did you hear the Tegan & Sara stuff? Have you heard the Cliks' album? It's fantas-tic!" she continued in that unmistakable Queens accent. "The B-52s' new CD 'Funplex' is rockin'. And Rosie is hilarious and so is Carson [Kressley]. So for me, I'm going to have a great night."
As for her own headlining set, Lauper will alternate new songs and old hits. The new numbers are mostly club-oriented because she thought her last two albums had been "all that soft stuff" -- a collection of standards and acoustic renditions of her hits -- "and I needed to get back to making modern music again."
Lauper, 54, wanted to venture from her "little haven" and "rediscover my voice as a poet." Her concept was that beat poetry could go hand in hand with dance music. She also traveled to England to work with Basement Jaxx, the U.K. house-music hitmakers.
"We started from scratch, and I wasn't sure how it was going to go and they weren't either," she said. "But we had a lot of fun and I laughed a lot."
The New Yorker's inspirations come from many places. For example, Prince's rain-pelted performance at the 2007 Super Bowl sparked the first verse of her new song "Same Old Story."
"I saw him slipping in the rain, and I saw him give it up to nature and then work with it," she said. "It was like nature's light show. It became otherworldly and extraordinary."