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1294 posts categorized "MUSIC"

May 29 2016
Madonna's Invasion Of THE FASCIST STATE OF TORONTO, 26 Years Later Comments (0)

Twenty-six years ago today, Madonna performed her racy “Like a Virgin” number during her Blond Ambition World Tour stop in Toronto, a performance for which she'd been threatened with jail time.

Canada.com chatted with one of the officers involved in the moment when cops and Madonna faced off over her show's alleged obscenity, captured in Truth or Dare:

Bergen, a 29-year-old Toronto constable at the time, was grappling with his own perspective on the situation.

He says the obscenity kerfuffle was led by a police detective and Crown attorney who took a strong position that Madonna's show shouldn't go on.

“What I was struggling with was how do you go to the microphone and tell everyone the show is cancelled,” Bergen says.

“My role and my position was we were not going to shut the show down.”

The confrontation was immortalized in Madonna: Truth or Dare, the singer's 1991 documentary. Looking back, he says the film didn't exactly capture the full story.

“We were portrayed as being real knobs, if you will,” he says.

“I don't think we were.”

They were just doing their job, but the guy who decided to make it an issue certainly was a knob.

Back to the future: Speaking of knobs, Madonna has issued yet another rebuke to the knobs at moribund BET who fueled contempt for her Prince tribute:

13325593_10154390950807122_3124262200369498945_n(Image via Instagram)

 
Embedded In RuPAUL'S DRAG RACE: BATTLE OF THE SEASONS! Comments (0)
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(All images in this post by Matthew Rettenmund, unless otherwise noted) 

I've watched every season of RuPaul's Drag Race, I've done drag as Samantha Fox and I just co-wrote a book with none other than Alaska, so count me in when another RuPaul's Drag Race: Battle of the Seasons event hits NYC.

Alaska60(Image via Producer Entertainment Group)

This past week's extravaganza was a blast! I was able to do the VIP meet-and-greet hour, where I shot all the girls—Manila Luzon, Miss Fame, Sharon Needles, Katya, Jinkx Monsoon, Violet Chachki, Adore Delano, Ginger Minj and Alaska herself—and then even managed to work my way backstage for some quality time with the low-lifes in high heels.

IMG_6278The merch available was incredible.

Screen Shot 2016-05-29 at 12.28.20 AMThe Ru queens attract more female than male fans. Discuss.

IMG_6348Alaska's necklace really got into the groove.

IMG_6346Purr-fect Adore Delano

IMG_6300Bettie Page-ing Violet Chachki! Bettie Page-ing Violet Chachki!

IMG_6373A fan, in the pink

IMG_6311She skipped her hometown (Atlanta) show because Katya wasn't in it, instead hopping on a plane to NYC!

IMG_6287BeatenFaceTime with Courtney Act

IMG_6291America knows good drag queens when they see them. Here, actual girls give drag a woman's touch.

IMG_6321The Miss Fame game

IMG_6352Who killed Marilyn Monroe? Ask her! Sharon Needles serves old-time glamour.

IMG_6310Ginger Minj goes blonde. Does the carpet match the drapes? Honey, what about that curtain rod?

IMG_6377Katya, in the act

IMG_6390Jinkx Monsoon season

IMG_6331It takes two, it takes two ... Michelle Visage and friends

IMG_6362With so much feminine beauty around, I still couldn't help noticing the boy of anyone's dreams.

IMG_6423This one also would not have to sashay away.

Screen Shot 2016-05-29 at 12.58.50 AMEven Bianca was “there.” I could only think of this book cover. (Book cover via Simon & Schuster)

Backstage was a hoot. Or a hooter.

Sharon was friendly as could be, and embracing a far less Goth look, one of which Eve Arden would approve.

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May 28 2016
Quite Like A Virgin Comments (0)

Screen Shot 2016-05-28 at 2.12.24 PM(Video still via St. Barthe)

Artist St. Barthe (FKA Stacy Barthe) turns in a dramatic use of Madonna's “Like a Virgin” in her new “Virgin.” Betcha Madonna loves it ...

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The Empower Station: Cyndi Lauper & Boy George's Bangin' Bang A Gong Show Comments (0)
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(10 images in above gallery by Matthew Rettenmund)

I've seen Cyndi Lauper perform live probably a dozen (?) times, going back to her True Colors World Tour in (December 14, 1986) and including the Twelve Deadly Cyns World Tour (in NYC sometime in 1994-1995), She's So Unusual: 30th Anniversary Tour (October 20, 2013), her opening slot for Cher (May 9, 2014) and quite a few of her holiday and fundraising gigs (like this one). She's great, but I wondered if I really needed to see her yet again, as I did at the Beacon Theatre here in NYC on Thursday night.

Img151My room, 1987. (L) Full Madonna-cover mags in bags on the wall, plus Eurythmics, Marilyn Monroe, Alfred Hitchcock, Elizabeth Taylor, Cyndi Lauper. (R) View of my ceiling, with Madonna, Molly Ringwald, Marilyn, Cyndi, Ally Sheedy, Debbie Harry, Sade and ... Boy George! (Images by Matthew Rettenmund)

The real draw for me was Boy George. I absolutely loved Culture Club as a teen; I vividly recall the day I bought Colour by Numbers at a record store in Flint in the '80s. I even had a promo poster for one of the group's video collections on my ceiling, with a huge image of George in full makeup. I also remember the very first time my pals Mike Ashton (at his house) and Eric Olson watched the video for “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?” (1982) on MTV and openly discussed the novelty of the dude who totally looked like a girl. Liking George was somewhat of a political statement in a small town—in any town, really.

But even without the tantalizing gayness, I thought Culture Club created two amazing albums (and the other not-half-bad ones), records I listened to and memorized. I was a pretty fair voice mimic for George, too.

Back in the day, Culture Club had a bad reputation as a live act, and I didn't summon the guts to attend any pop tour until Eurythmics' Revenge Tour on August 21, 1986, by which time Culture Club was kaput. Also, I'd heard more recently that George didn't sound so hot on a reunion jaunt, but I believe that was due to vocal issues.

So when I failed to get tickets and the joint gig between Cyndi and George (with Rosie O'Donnell as a special guest) neared, I reached out to a friend with a connection and, after his previous invitees fell through, I found myself seated in the fourth row for what turned out to be a thoroughly satisfying show.

DSC08639You better pink! (Image by Matthew Rettenmund)

Cyndi came out first, weirdly; I'd expected George would open for her, considering her relative success and being 3/4 of the way to being an EGOT. She looked great in her pink hair and punky leather get-up, and thanked us all for being there while also ensuring she educated the young'uns about the days when R&B and country were quite close in form. This was relevant because she's recently released a C&W album, Detour. Her roots with Blue Angel make this a good idea:

As reluctant as I was to see her again (at some point, seeing an artist over and over can almost dull my enthusiasm), and as little interest as I had in hearing her do country stuff, her set wound up being phenomenal. She had us on our feet the whole time and was in superb voice.

DSC08610

DSC08598Cyndi is an instrumental part of my musical taste (Images by Matthew Rettenmund)

Cyndi gave us four hits and four C&W covers from her new record:

(1) “Funnel of Love” (originally by Wanda Jackson)

(2) “She Bop”

(3) “I Want to Be a Cowboy's Sweetheart” (originally by Patsy Montana)

(4) “Walking After Midnight” (originally by Patsy Cline)

(5) “The End of the World” (originally by Skeeter Davis)

(6) “I Drove All Night”

(7) “When You Were Mine” (originally by Prince, covered by Cyndi on her first album)

(8) “Money Changes Everything” (originally by the Brains, covered by Cyndi on her first album)

For her encore, she treated us to one more cover and two of her biggest hits:

(9) “Misty Blue” (originally by Eddy Arnold)

(10) “Time After Time”

(11) “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” (with Rosie O'Donnell on the drums)

DSC08644A moment when she was mine (Image by Matthew Rettenmund)

Just a fantastic performance from her, and I couldn't believe I'd been unenthused going in. She also said something that relates to my false fatigue while she was honoring Prince. She said: 

I hope you appreciate all the artists while you have 'em.

Noted!

DSC08737Wanna be a cowboy 'n' you can be my cowgirl... (Image by Matthew Rettenmund)

Her other remarks about Prince were respectful without attempting to make it seem she was a major part of his story (she sang his “When You Were Mine” on She's So Unusual, an excellent cover that she performed live at the show perfectly):

I did one of his songs on my first record, and when he passed I couldn't believe it and it broke my heart—a bright light went out ... Life is short. But he was funny, and he was smart as a whip ... he was quirky—but I loved him.

Cyndi joked about Madonna's English accent but quickly said she loved her, and also gushed about being on Sire Records now, a label she had always considered to be so creative, the home of so many punk acts and also Madonna.

DSC08885Cyndi Lauper is 62 years old, y'all! (Image by Matthew Rettenmund)

Cyndi loves Madonna and Sire, but there was no love lost on Donald Trump when Rosie O'Donnell took the stage for what amounted to a quickie cover while Boy George and his band prepped behind the curtain. Awkwardly, George's voice and other distracting noises were coming through on the monitors, so Rosie kept getting interrupted and eventually just had to shout over it all—glad it was her and not, say, Mindy Kaling.

DSC09117Rosie's set trumped anything The Donald could ever say. (Image by Matthew Rettenmund)

Rosie used her brief time onstage to lambaste Donald Trump. Though she declared the Beacon a Trump-free zone, that wasn't quite true—it was more like an anti-Trump zone, and rightfully so:

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Madonna Claims ALL Of Prince's Band Members Were Invited To Join Her At BILLBOARDS Comments (0)

13241276_947266232048658_3969586758730307518_n(Image via Instagram)

Not sure why entertainment sites haven't picked up on this more—maybe the holiday week, maybe the effort it takes to dig through Madonna's many Instagram comments—but Madonna has made the assertion that she asked all of Prince's band members recent and previous to participate in her tribute to the late Purple One. She also says the declined due to being in a state of mourning. (More likely, many felt she wasn't the right centerpiece.)

If true, she seems to have done her best to be inclusive.

 
May 27 2016
6-PACK — Randy Cohen GIFs + Jimmy Kimmel Guest No-Shows Over Trump + FOX News Hits New Low In Propaganda + AIDS Activist Feels Burned, Not The Bern + Yuge Sponge + How Many Gays In The U.S.A.? Comments (0)

Ben cohen2Ben thinkin' about you... [GIF via Kenneth in the (212)]

*widget boy cultureGIFs of Ben Cohen in his underwear in the locker room are always a good way to kick off a holiday weekend.

*widget boy cultureA big music star bailed on Jimmy Kimmel once he found out the dastardly Donald Trump (who can't feel his hair) would also be appearing. Vile Shkreli endorses Trump.

*widget boy cultureEven some top conservatives found FOX News airing Meet the Trumps reminiscent of state-run TV propaganda. Will it next do Meet the Clintons?

*widget boy cultureAIDS activist Peter Staley feels “used and abused” by the Bernie Sanders campaign over hijacked messaging from meeting.

*widget boy cultureLargest sponge ever discovered may also be one of the Earth's oldest animals.

*widget boy cultureShould the next U.S. Census ask if you're gay? Would you answer it honestly? 

 
May 26 2016
Madonna Would Probably Be Okay If You Voted With Your Vagina Comments (0)

13268606_10153641130728443_2732331631259213956_o(Image by Aaldert van Sleen)

She would definitely give Belinda Carlisle a run for her money.

 
May 25 2016
6-PACK —Oscar Isaac Urged To Show Leg + The Abbey Is Aging Out Of Twinkdom + Long Actor Strips In Short + Padres DJ Wasn't Anti-Gay + P-Town Attractions + Rita Moreno Raps! Comments (0)

*widget boy cultureShould the next Star Wars poster make use of Oscar Isaac's scrumptiousness?

*widget boy cultureLegendary WeHo gay bar The Abbey is 25, the perfect age to be preyed upon by the likes of me. Owner David Cooley thanks supporters.

*widget boy cultureActor Benoît Michel gets very, very nude in a short film. (Work Unfriendly)

223104944_1280x960M. Michel (Video still via Simon Eléphant)

*widget boy cultureFired Padres DJ apparently meant no anti-gay harm toward San Diego Gay Men's Chorus, who want him re-hired. UPDATE: Re-hired.

*widget boy cultureSteve Grand, Bianca Del Rio, Kristin Chenoweth, Rita Moreno (!) and more are invading P-Town this summer.

*widget boy cultureSpeaking of Rita, I missed her highly entertaining Berklee School of Music commencement speech and rap earlier this month:

 


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