May 2008September 2008 

 

5 posts from June 2008

Jun 30 2008
Pride/A Deeper Love Comments (9)

IMG_2983Mama and Mama's boy. IMG_3051

On Thursday, I flew to Chicago to meet up with my mom, sister and brother-in-law in order to then drive Friday morning to my hometown of Flushing, Michigan. (I did the flight in order to have the extra five hours with my family in the car. We met up with Dad in Flint.) The mission was to pick up my grandmother and head out to Frankenmuth—a town noted for its German decor and old-school restaurants—where we would celebrate her 90th birthday at Zehnder's.

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Jun 25 2008
Bare Essentials: A Review Of Broadway Bares Comments (2)

DickAnd oh, what heights we'll hit!

10843Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS has no greater ally than Jerry Mitchell, the acclaimed choreographer who dreamed up its annual fleshfest, Broadway Bares.

I’d never attended the show, but finally caved in this year under pressure from my friend Jason, who assured me I’d have fun and could stick money into the pants of guys who would be as hot as go-go boys but who could actually dance.

Keep in mind I had never in my life stuffed money into anyone’s g-string. Ever! Would I chicken out?   

VIDEO: Hot dancers, Nick Adams & Christopher Sieber!

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Jun 24 2008
Do What You Used To Do Comments (6)

IMG_2894 Wrapped like candy in a blue, blue neon glow.

"Blondie Is A Group!" the band sought to remind fans 30 years or so ago, but by the time I fell in love with them they weren't anymore

The seeds had been planted by overhearing my cooler older cousin’s records and listening to Debbie’s KooKoo over and over thanks to an adventurous Columbia House pick by my mother, but it wasn’t until Debbie Harry was attempting to reinvigorate her career via Rockbird and her first live performances in years that I become hooked. I spent a lot of money buying up all their vinyl albums at a trashy used-records store in Flint called Jellybean's that also sold used magazines, like one called Big Mamma Jamma, featuring an obese, nude black woman on the cover. I memorized all of Blondie’s songs, and I pined for concerts I had missed by having the misfortune of being born too late.

De 
My favorite album of theirs was always Autoamerican—its arty refusal to fit into any particular category made me feel superior any time I listened to it years after its release. This was not Stacey Q! But a close second would have to be Parallel Lines, the 1978 retro-cool fist-pounder that ushered in their ironic disco #1 “Heart Of Glass” as well as career-defining tunes like “One Way Or Another.” It’s a great record, start to finish, and remains a must for any rock fan’s collection.

*photo Now, 30 years later, Blondie is again a group, and they’re in the midst of a surprisingly successful tour on which they play every song on Parallel Lines as well as a few encore bonuses. I caught Blondie for the umpteenth time at the Nokia in Times Square, which was pleasantly packed (until the drunk straight girls arrived—they always fuck things up).


The opening act, Miss Derringer, is a group that owes a lot to Blondie; their lead singer posed nonchalantly as a drum majorette and announced each song’s title deadpan. Her most prominent co-conspirator looked like the ghost of a Civil War soldier (credit to Jason for the visual). Toward the end of their painful set, she asked the crowd, “Has anyone ever committed suicide here?” It was a joke, but some were thinking, “Not yet.” IMG_2892Today can last another million years.

Then it was time for the main course, which wound up being a feast for the senses. 

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Jun 11 2008
...For Now Comments (5)

Ciao_movie1 The other New Fest film I caught this time around was Ciao by Yen Tan, a Malaysian-born filmmaker who calls Dallas home. This meditative film, informed (as Tan acknowledged at his lively post-screening Q&A Sunday evening) by Asian cinema’s muted colors and static wide shots, captures the aftermath of a young man’s death and the deep bond that forms between his longtime best friend and a love-seeker from Italy whom the dead man had planned to meet in person after a year-long Internet courtship. 0722 Rare and unforgettable male intimacy on the big screen.

The Internet aspect seeps from every bit of this project—the filmmakers met when star and co-screenwriter Alessandro Calza wrote Tan a fan e-mail following his film Happy Birthday (2002) and they collaborated on the writing of this film without ever meeting. Also, Calza arrived at the screening with a handsome friend he’d met online. It all fits, because Ciao—both hello and good-bye in Italian—is ultimately about change of the hi-speed and dial-up variety, and about what remains unmoved in its wake.

Keep reading after the jump, and you'll also find an incongruously lugubrious collection of scantily-clad Calza images...

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Jun 10 2008
There's A Line Between Love And Fascination... Comments (0)

Jack-WranglerWrangler had one helluva dangler

I went to see Wrangler: Anatomy Of An Icon (the most literal subtitle ever) by Jeffrey Schwarz at New Fest the other night, and while I was disappointed that Jack himself couldn’t attend due to a respiratory illness, I had a lot of fun. We got there early enough to stake out a good spot in the non-members line, only to watch helplessly as the member line swelled to Jack Wrangler proportions. Luckily, we went with Kenneth of KennethInThe212 and his partner Michael (of MichaelAlsoInThe212,Bitch), and Michael simply entered via the member line to save us three seats...the ‘Fest could use more volunteers, by the way!

The movie is a very straightforward bio of the very gayforward Jack Stillman, a self-conscious towhead from Cali who grew up to be a legendary gay and straight pornstar, not to mention hardcore’s first bona fide brand (who doesn’t remember those Jac Pack ads?).

The film is largely narrated by Jack himself, who at 62 is still handsome if markedly less rugged than his on-screen, Marlboro Man-light image. If anything bothered me about the film, it was just how much of it came out of Jack’s mouth and the linear order in which it came out—it is the kind of film that starts with “I was born...” and ends with “I am now...” But this is a minor quibble.

Jack-Wrangler-and-Margaret- Despite a flurry of full-nude still photos and some quick seXXX-rated clips, the story of Jack Wrangler is most interesting in that he met and fell in love with my fellow Michigoose Margaret Whiting, a celebrated songbird (and one of the Four Girls Four) old enough to be his mother. The pair have been together for 30+ years despite the fact that Wrangler explicitly admits he is a gay man in the film, detailing their at first “uncomfortable” (but important for her) and later non-existent lovemaking. That’s right, he’s gay—not ex-gay, not bi, but a gay man who has chosen to abstain out of respect for the woman he loves.

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