Thursday, September 25, 2008

Finger Food

So the PA State Lottery has unveiled their new mascots for their new Quinto: Fifty Grand In Your Hand game... - not sure if you've seen the TV spots yet ... bunch of fingers with painted faces etc talking about the new game...

... at least they are SUPPOSED to be fingers - me thinks whoever approved this idea is packing their desk up as I type...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Wow. Simply Wow.

Last night John and I joined friends in NYC to see My Bloody Valentine live in concert at Roseland Ballroom.

I'm sure many of you are familiar with them - but for the few who might not be, My Bloody Valentine are an alternative rock band formed in Dublin, Ireland in 1984 and predominantly based in London. The founding members were guitarist/singer Kevin Shields and drummer Colm Ó Cíosóig. The band's lineup during their heyday also included singer-guitarist Bilinda Butcher and bassist Debbie Googe.

My Bloody Valentine's use of distortion, pitch bending, and digital reverb placed them as part of the shoegazing genre among other bands like Ride and Lush. Their 1991 album Loveless took two years to make due to funding problems, but once released it was critically acclaimed. Following Loveless, MBV became inactive, with Shields discarding several albums' worth of follow-up material. In 2007, Shields announced that the band had reunited and was recording new material.

Anyway - the reunion show was ... truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Upon entering Roseland Ballroom in Midtown Manhattan, you are given complementary earplugs and encouraged to use them. Only the foolish refuse to shove them into their canals - you can spot those folks as they will be walking around completely deaf with nothing but ringing in their ears!

MBV are known for pushing the boundaries of volume - supposedly they blew the PA system on Monday night as they wailed out their final song - but last night was stellar! Although I've no video from the night personally - this was shot from Monday's show - but the camera is pretty much in the same spot we were last night - just to give you a taste of the show itself:

What has made MBV an incredible band is their use of sound and (more importantly) volume when creating music... from layer upon layer of guitars and drums and such - MBV creates a wall of sound that continues to grow during their performance ... it's like a musical typhoon and as they get to their final number (the only warning is a quick "thanks for coming" before it starts) the wall of sound towers over you and envelops your senses; from a literally ground-shaking bass line to a crashing wave of guitars and noise, MBV takes you to the edge of an aural wormhole, then kicks you over and down you go!

The final onslaught of sound lasted about 15 minutes - nonstop. Like a car wreck, you cannot move - you cannot turn away - you cannot escape this musical madness that is My Bloody Valentine.

Cracking well over 100 decibels, this band live is not for the fainthearted - I cannot imagine NOT having earplugs while watching this band - and naturally this amateur video's sound does NOT do the experience justice ... but man, having seen hundreds upon hundreds of live concert over the past 30 years, last night was easily one of my favorite concert experiences so far!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Wonder Woman Speaks Out

Linda Carter, the real Wonder Woman had this to say on the wild-n-wacky Sarah Palin:

Okay, last question. I'm sure you've seen all the comparisons in the media and among Republicans of Sarah Palin to Wonder Woman. How do you feel about that?

"Don’t get me started. She’s the anti-Wonder Woman. She’s judgmental and dictatorial, telling people how they’ve got to live their lives. And a superior religious self - righteousness ... that’s just not what Wonder Woman is about. Hillary Clinton is a lot more like Wonder Woman than Mrs. Palin. She did it all, didn’t she?

No one has the right to dictate, particularly in this country, to force your own personal views upon the populace — religious views. I think that is suppressive, oppressive, and anti-American. We are the loyal opposition. That’s the whole point of this country: freedom of speech, personal rights, personal freedom. Nor would Wonder Woman be the person to tell people how to live their lives. Worry about your own life! Worry about your own family! Don't be telling me what I want to do with mine.

I like John McCain. But this woman — it's anathema to me what she stands for. I think America should be very afraid. Very afraid. Separation of church and state is the one thing the creators of the Constitution did agree on — that it wasn’t to be a religious government. People should feel free to speak their minds about religion but not dictate it or put it into law.

What I don’t understand, honestly, is how anyone can even begin to say they know the mind of God. Who do they think they are? I think that’s ridiculous. I know what God is in my life. Now I am sure that she’s not all just that. But it’s enough to me. It’s enough for me to have a visceral reaction. And it makes me mad.

People need to speak up. Doesn’t mean that I’m godless. Doesn’t mean that I am a murderer. What I hate is this demonization of everybody but one position. You’re un-American because you’re against the war. It’s such bullshit. Fear. It’s really such a finite way of thinking about God to think that your measley little mind can know the mind of God. It’s a very little God that way. I think that God’s bigger. I don’t presume to know his mind. Or her mind."


I couldn't have said it better... Rock On, Linda!

A Chicken In Every Pot

Breaking News....

Monday, September 08, 2008

All The Way Live

So - one of the benefits (curses?) of being involved with someone whose passion for music is even stronger than mine, is that we are squeezing every opportunity to catch some live concerts this fall ... Lord help me in my quest for beauty rest!

I thought I'd share the upcoming list for those interested and to organize my brain!

Tomorrow we hope to check out our friend Shari of Void Vision at the M Room; next Tuesday we head to the Troc to see James (followed by a 4am wake-up to fill in for the Morning News shift!); Saturday the 20 we're at the TLA to catch The Dandy Warhols; the following night it's back to the Troc to check out Built To Spill with the Meat Puppets (weee!); on Tuesday the 23 we head up to NYC for a rare chance to see My Bloody Valentine live on stage; Saturday the 27 I host the return of Puppet Karaoke in Chinatown (actual puppets singing rock songs!); Sunday the 28 is the 2nd annual Philly Zombie Prom at the Troc - which I co-produce each fall.

After a short pause - on October 1 it's back to the Troc to catch Stereolab and then Sex Dwarf at Fluid on on October 3 - October 5 we head over to the Electric Factory to see Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds!

October 8 we travel back to the Troc (I really should just get my mail forwarded there!) for a great live show from The Residents; October 10 we're up in Fishtown to catch WIRE at Johnny Brenda's - and then Sunday, October 12 we head to Glenside PA to the Keswick Theatre for a rare concert with the incredible Alison Moyet - we saw her in her YAZ concert in NYC back in July - wonderful! On Wednesday, October 15 I will be doing sound/lights at a special performance by The Dumpsta Players at Fluid Nightclub - a fun night indeed.

On Saturday, October 25 we head over to the Merriam Theater to see The Magnetic Fields - then there's a breather - but Halloween does offer the just-booked Sisters of Mercy show at the Troc as well as Of Montreal at the Electric Factory - and November 8 we're seeing David Byrne at the Tower Theatre; November 15 it's Kings Of Leon at the Electric Factory and to start off Thanksgiving week on Sunday, November 23 is Ingrid Michaelson, Newton Falkner and David Ford at the TLA ... we love those three!

Wish me luck!!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

flip 52.7

My home, 25 years ago ...

Friday, September 05, 2008

flip 52.6

I shot a series of off-the-cuff video clips over my 'staycation', to use as part of my Flip 52 series and the premise is explained here...

Thursday, September 04, 2008

You're The Gayest Of Them All

As you know I work at WXPN-FM, home of creating musical lists. Each fall we ask our listeners to assist us in creating some mega-list; Top Songs of All Time, Top LPs, even most memorable musical moments! But I must admit, this list is one I only WISH we had thought of doing!

Out Magazine asked the questions "What makes an album great? And perhaps even more critical for this list, what makes a great album gay?" and then got some help in creating Out's 100 Greatest, Gayest Albums Of All Time.

As they note:
To create our list of the 100 Greatest, Gayest Albums of All Time, we polled more than 100 actors, comedians, musicians, writers, critics, performance artists, label reps, and DJs, asking each to list the 10 albums that left the most indelible impressions on their lives. After receiving responses from Boy George, Rufus Wainwright, Cyndi Lauper, the Indigo Girls' Amy Ray, Candis Cayne, Perez Hilton, Nate Berkus, Jake Shears, John Cameron Mitchell, Wilson Cruz, Justin Bond, Darren Hayes, Junior Vasquez, Bruce Vilanch, Janis Ian, the Cliks, Ari Gold, Holly Johnson, and a slew of others, we tallied the results to determine our top-100 list. You'll notice we expanded the catalog to include not only records by queer musicians but also any records that have had relevance to those voting...

Unfortunately, you don't get to see the individual lists, though there are comments from the voters interspersed throughout the list. Also, what's not explained is how you decide which George Michael album's the queerest, but that's a whole 'nother story!

Here's the list - although I do recommend visiting the magazine's site, to read the comments - interesting feedback indeed.

100 The Beatles - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
99 Joni Mitchell - For The Roses
98 Ferron - Testimony
97 Janis Ian - Between The Lines
96 Nick Drake - Bryter Layter
95 Culture Club - Kissing To Be Clever
94 Hair Original Broadway Cast - Hair
93 Sade - Lovers Rock
92 Morrissey - Viva Hate
91 Grace Jones - Nightclubbing
90 Kate Bush - The Kick Inside
89 Fifth Column - To Sir With Hate
88 Hüsker Dü - Zen Arcade
87 Madonna - Confessions On A Dance Floor
86 Madonna - Madonna
85 Nina Simone - Anthology
84 Cyndi Lauper - True Colors
83 Bette Midler - The Divine Miss M
82 Cher - Believe
81 Scissor Sisters - Ta-Dah
80 Rufus Wainwright - Want One
79 T. Rex - Electric Warrior
78 Various - The Rocky Horror Picture Show Soundtrack
77 New Order - Substance
76 Ani DiFranco - Imperfectly
75 Carole King - Tapestry
74 Michael Jackson - Off the Wall
73 Various - Fame Soundtrack
72 Donna Summer - Once Upon a Time
71 Elton John - Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy
70 Rent Original Broadway Cast - Rent
69 Frances Faye - Caught In The Act
68 Nirvana - Nevermind
67 Hüsker Dü - Candy Apple Grey
66 Soft Cell - Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret
65 Le Tigre - Le Tigre
64 Patti Smith - Easter
63 Björk - Debut
62 Jeff Buckley - Grace
61 Sleater-Kinney - Dig Me Out
60 R.E.M. - Automatic For The People
59 Bronski Beat - The Age of Consent
58 Liz Phair - Exile in Guyville
57 Prince - Dirty Mind
56 Team Dresch - Personal Best
55 David Bowie - Diamond Dogs
54 Tori Amos - Little Earthquakes
53 Culture Club - Colour By Numbers
52 Kate Bush - Hounds of Love
51 Frankie Goes To Hollywood - Welcome to the Pleasuredome
50 Rufus Wainwright - Poses
49 Patti Smith - Horses
48 Cris Williamson - The Changer and the Changed
47 The Magnetic Fields - 69 Love Songs
46 Madonna - Ray of Light
45 Bikini Kill - Pussy Whipped
44 Pet Shop Boys - Very
43 Prince - Purple Rain
42 ABBA - Gold
41 Melissa Etheridge - Yes I Am
40 Pet Shop Boys - Behavior
39 Laura Nyro And Labelle - Gonna Take A Miracle
38 Dusty Springfield - Dusty In Memphis
37 Blondie - Parallel Lines
36 Madonna - Erotica
35 Yaz - Upstairs At Eric's
34 Donna Summer - Bad Girls
33 The Smiths - Hatful Of Hollow
32 The Smiths - Meat Is Murder
31 Sarah McLachlan - Fumbling Towards Ecstacy
30 Diana Ross - Diana
29 Pet Shop Boys - Actually
28 Queen - The Game
27 Eurythmics - Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)
26 Scissor Sisters - Scissor Sisters
25 k.d. lang - Ingénue
24 Sylvester - Living Proof
23 Deee-Lite - World Clique
22 The Gossip - Standing In The Way Of Control
21 David Bowie - Hunky Dory
20 Queen - A Day at the Races
19 The B-52s - The B-52's
18 George Michael - Listen Without Prejudice, Vol. I
17 Lou Reed - Transformer
16 Queen - A Night at the Opera
15 George Michael - Faith
14 Erasure - The Innocents
13 Ani DiFranco - Dilate
12 The Velvet Underground & Nico - The Velvet Underground & Nico
11 Various - Hedwig And The Angry Inch Soundtrack
10 Antony And The Johnsons - I Am A Bird Now
09 Cyndi Lauper - She's So Unusual
08 Madonna - The Immaculate Collection
07 Elton John - Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
06 The Smiths - The Queen is Dead
05 Judy Garland - Judy at Carnegie Hall
04 Indigo Girls - Indigo Girls
03 Tracy Chapman - Tracy Chapman
02 The Smiths - The Smiths

#01 David Bowie - The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars

As we've learned, lists don't ever make 100% sense.

Seems they forgot some obvious ones like Depeche Mode - especially Master & Servant, perhaps some Hole and maybe even Sylvester's Step II ... a much better choice to represent him and gaydom!

Also - I'd say I have owned (at one time or another) about 75% of the above list - how 'bout you? What do you think they forgot? What percentage of the list do you own?

Enquirin' Minds Wanna Know!

Got Milk?


For those unaware, Harvey Milk was the first openly gay politician - elected city supervisor of San Francisco back in the late 1970s. He was, according to Time magazine, "the first openly gay man elected to any substantial political office in the history of the planet."

As the self-proclaimed 'Mayor of Castro Street', he was active during a time of substantial change in San Francisco politics and increasing visibility of gay and lesbian people in American society. Sadly, he was assassinated in 1978, along with then-Mayor George Moscone, by recently resigned city supervisor Dan White, making him a martyr within the gay community.

White's relatively mild sentence for the murders led to the White Night Riots, and eventually the abolition of diminished capacity defense in California.

Milk has been the subject of numerous books and movies -- including the INCREDIBLE 1984 documentary The Times of Harvey Milk -- which received an Academy Award and was later produced as an opera. (I recommend this film HIGHLY!) Also, this past May, to coincide with his birth anniversary, a bust of Milk was placed in San Francisco City Hall's ceremonial rotunda. This is the first memorial to an openly gay person to be featured so prominently in a public building.

So - that brings us to today; if you haven't heard already - MILK is coming to the big screen! And here is the first video look at Gus Van Sant's "Milk." The film tells the story of Harvey Milk (played by Sean Penn), and will be out this November. Milk costars James Franco, Josh Brolin, Emile Hirsh and Diego Luna.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

John & Robert TV

So, about two weeks ago, Philadelphia Weekly cornered John and I, as we were sitting in Washington Square - soaking up the noonday sun. John was on a lunch break from work and I was in the midst of my 'staycation' ... so what better plan that to have lunch outdoors!

They came up with camera in tow and asked us what we were planning to do this coming weekend - since we had no plans, we instead shifted into improv mode and talked about what we DID the weekend prior ... figured, if it was good enough for that weekend, it was good enough for any.

Click to be taken to the Weekly site to watch the video!