Friday, October 31, 2008

'Band' Fags

I must admit, I've never seen "The Boys in the Band." Even though I've been out for more than half of my life, part of me remains almost afraid to, worried about what my parents and people of that generation were (possibly) exposed to as a representation of "gay life" nearly 40 years ago. (Observing my stepfather watch that horrendous show "Brothers" on Showtime back in the '80s was trying enough -- and Jodie Dallas before that.) If the film's original trailer is any indication -- "I'll be your topless cocktail waitress!" -- it seems like I had ample reason to worry, although you gotta love HER and HER. But with word of an upcoming restored DVD release, it's probably time I face my fears. I must say the plot does sound rather fun -- and the fact that the producers had the guy who did the voiceover on the original trailer go out of his way to announce that IT'S NOT A MUSICAL is almost reason enough to cough up $19.99!

Based on his own landmark play, Mart Crowley’s humorous and heartbreaking 1970 cult-classic "THE BOYS IN THE BAND" follows a group of gay male friends as they come together in a New York City apartment for a birthday party. When an unexpected guest arrives and the truth begins to flow as freely as the cocktails, it leads to a sometimes vulgar but ultimately open and honest dissection of their lives and relationships. " THE BOYS IN THE BAND," directed by Academy Award winner William Friedkin ("The French Connection," "The Exorcist"), stars Kenneth Nelson, Peter White, Laurence Luckinbill, Leonard Frey and Cliff Gorman, all of whom originated their roles in the 1968 off-Broadway stage production 40 years ago. The movie was painstakingly restored for DVD under Friedkin’s direction, using a unique color correction process that he created, and was remixed in Stereo sound.

All-new bonus features include documentaries about the creation of the groundbreaking play, the making and release of the controversial film and the enduring power of both the stage and screen versions, as well as interviews with director Friedkin, playwright/screenwriter Crowley, Executive Producer Dominick Dunne (best-selling author and contributor to “Vanity Fair”), Pulitzer Prize winning writer Tony Kushner (Angels in America, Munich) and cast members Peter White and Laurence Luckinbill.

Men at Work

OK, boys. Consider your Christmas shopping done: "Barely Working," photographer Adam Raphael's new book, is 112 pages of the sexiest young men around "working" in various occupations ranging from auto repair and car washing to landscaping and construction, and is sure to please even the fussiest queen on your list. Complete details HERE.

Sticky Rice

I'm not really sure what to make of this delightfully disturbing new film, "Courting Condi," the first-ever "musical docu-tragi-comedy" about one man's attempts to win the heart of the gap-tooth secretary of state. Watch the trailer and see if you feel as uncomfortable as I did.


Auf Wiedersehen

Berliners turned out on Thursday to say their goodbyes to historic Tempelhof Airport, the famed site of the Berlin airlift of 1948 and 1949, after the Soviets blocked land access to the city. The United States and Britain brought in supplies by air, over 2 million tons of food, fuel and even machinery. It became a symbol of the Allies’ commitment to protecting the city and indeed Western Europe. (Full story HERE.)

Keanu Reeves Does Details

Keanu Reeves may be the most famous really bad actor in the world, but he sure is nice to look at. (Via Details)

Happy Halloween

"Trick or treat?"

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Is It Tuesday Yet?

Another 'Comeback'?

Woody Allen + Wendy Liebman = Fiona Wallice

Has anyone seen Lisa Kudrow's new online series, "Web Therapy"? While I'm still deeply bitter over the cancellation of "The Comeback," this new character she's created -- Fiona Wallice, "an obtuse, incompetent and confrontational therapist" -- does sound promising. Each episode takes place in a "three-minute therapy"session (Fiona's preferred technique -- the 50-minute style brings up "too many feelings") with a client. The first three are with Richard (Tim Bagley, who played Larry on "Will & Grace") with whom we quickly learn our married shrink has some type of inappropriate past. (Later episodes are with other clients.) Don Roos (who guided Kudrow brilliantly in "The Opposite of Sex" and "Happy Endings") directs and is the co-created and co-writer of the series. Fifteen episodes have been completed and a bunch of them are online already. I will tell you, the first two episodes didn't do much for me. But as was the case with "The Comeback," once you get to know the characters a little the show takes on a new dimension, and by Episode 3 I was kinda dying. You can check 'em out HERE.

Separated at Birth?

Oh, Madonna. First you rip off Valerie Cherish, and now Roller Girl? Is nothing sacred?

'Milk' & Honeys

Gus Van Sant’s "Milk" had its world premiere last night at San Francisco’s historic Castro Theatre. The evening, which included post-film dinner and dancing at City Hall, benefited multiple charities supporting LGBT youth. I'd have killed (Dan White) to have been there, but these great photos are the next best thing. ("Milk" is in theaters on Nov. 26.)

429 Castro St.

The adorable James Franco with No on 8 Button, sans 'stache

Gorgeous Diane Lane and the ridiculously handsome Josh Brolin, who has now played two of the most disgraceful American politicians of all time (and in one year!)

The stunning Robin Wright and Sean Penn

Emile Hirsch, Alison Pill, Gus Van Sant, Sean Penn and Diego Luna

Sexy San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and his wife, Jennifer, flanked by Andrew Karpen and James Schamus of Focus Features

Page 1 Consider (10/30)

  • Foreign Hers: Has the Kathleen Turner/Madonna mystery finally been solved?

  • Can't Blame a Girl Trying: Speaking of me lady, photog and "America's Next Top Model" judge Nigel Barker claims that Madonna once knocked on his door looking to borrow a cup of milk. "She was my neighbor in London. She actually came around asking for milk one time and I gave it to her." Really? Adding a completely unnecessary: "I kid you not! It was all very bizarre."

  • Woman's Body Found: Who could have guessed this? And the husband's last name wasn't even Peterson.

  • Playground 101: Now now. We wouldn't want elementary school children to NOT call each other faggot, now would we?

  • Non-Fuzzy Math: Counting calories maybe be "so 1980s," but with many New York restaurants now displaying their products' calorie counts, there's no denying that it's the best way to eat smart.

  • Dateline: WEST HOLLYWOOD: Noosed Palin mannequin removed from front yard.

  • Happily Ever After: Checking in with wedding planner David Tutera, star of WE TV’s new series "My Fair Wedding." Tutera is the out wedding planner behind star-studded soirees for stars including J. Lo, Al Gore, and Matthew McConaughey.

  • Felon Gets Hero's Welcome: As if Sarah Palin's approval rating back home didn't tell you all you need to know about the good people of Alaska, this will.

  • RIP: The delightful Estelle Reiner, wife of Carl and mother of Rob, who brought of one of film history's most memorable lines of all time.

  • Morning Wood

    Your breakfast is served ...

    Be Logical, Captain!

    It's funny, but looking at this drawing I'm realizing that McCain's crooked smile kind of reminds me of my brother Terence, and Obama's ears are eerily similar to my 6-year-old nephew's. And the age difference is probably about right, too ... (Via The New York Observer)

    Angel in the Outfield

    Missing: Pat's chest hair

    The Phillies won the World Series last night (yawn), but traffic on my blog has been going through the roof with people trying to get a look at sexy left fielder Pat Burrell's hairy chest and hot ass.

    Wednesday, October 29, 2008

    Trick or Treat

    This is great (I'm so glad I have to work on Halloween this year!).

    (Via Some Guy With a Website)

    Golden Moments

    With the Oscar race already heating up, it got me thinking of some of my all-time favorite Oscar-winning roles. Diane Keaton and her beautifully underconfident rendition of "Seems Like Old Times," from my all-time favorite film, "Annie Hall," is certainly high on the list. Was a woman ever more lovably neurotic?


    Banks a Lot!

    Even if it does read like the magazine equivalent of being on "The Tyra Banks Show" -- you know, she has you on as a guest but then talks about herself the whole time -- I was still tickled to be named HX magazine's site of the week. One might even say it was kinda, uh, fierce ...

    Wednesday Photologue

    "They're all out of bacon cookies, let's find another restaurant"
    Downtown Train, 1 a.m.
    Cat. It's what's for dinner.
    You-know-who tried to roll over last night on the mouse pad and when he realized he was going to fall off the table, he used his claws to "hold on" -- to my laptop. I'm now missing a few keys, none too horrib y im ortant I m ho ing.
    My lucky rabbit's foot

    Seventh Avenue

    Although she lives around the corner from me, and Michael sees her regularly, I FINALLY ran into my hero Rosanne Cash, after brunch on Sunday. She was sweet if not a bit skeptical when I gushed and told her that her 1996 album, "10 Song Demo," is my favorite album EVER. "Ever?" she said, sounding like she'd almost lost respect for me for saying it. (I probably meant my favorite album of HERS ever, but I got a little too excited for my own good. Can you imagine what I'd say to Debbie Harry if I ever spoke?) Nonetheless she graciously agreed to pose for a photo -- only to have Technologically Challenged Twins once again not be able to figure out my f**king new cell-phone camera. She posed, we fumbled around a little, Michael said he "took two." We said thanks and away she went. By the I got home I'd decided there ere no photos at all but now a few days later I finally realized there's actually a one-second VIDEO. All I can say is thank god it was Abraham Zapruder that day in Dallas and not Michael or me.

  • Rosanne Cash's Ring of Fire
  • The Brooklyn Dodgers
  • Morning Wood: Mario Lopez

    My boyfriend might not "get it," but I sure do ...

    See all Mario-related posts HERE.

    Music Box: Liza Minnelli

    I've always loved "Results," Liza Minnelli's 1989 album she made with the Pet Shop Boys. But deep down inside I've always thought somehow it wasn't quite as good as it should have been. (There. I said it. Don't hate me. I feel better already finally getting this off my conscience.) Not since Debbie Harry teamed up with Chic in 1981 for her solo debut, "Koo Koo," have I felt such ambivalence about a favorite record (and sure-fire collaboration). But unlike "Koo Koo," which looking back I can see lacked strong material, there's not a dud to be had on "Results," which makes it all the more perplexing.

    While I can see Christopher Isherwood's point when he said Liza was "too good" to really be the unpolished Sally Bowles of "Goodbye to Berlin" -- it's hard to say Liza was all that miscast here. Who better to deliver Neil Tennant's cynical, monotone musings than the heiress to the throne of the Queen of Tragedy? And Tennant and Chris Lowe brought magic out of the equally tragic Dusty Springfield on "What Have I Done to Deserve This?," yet strangely I find it's on the three songs they didn't write -- Sondheim's "Losing My Mind," Tanita Tikaram's "Twist in My Sobriety" and the old Yvonne Elliman classic "Love Pains." -- do they even come close with Liza. (Of their seven contributions "Don't Drop Bombs" is probably the closest.)

    Then last week I gleaned some new insight into the whole "Results" affair when I stumbled upon "Visible Results," the video companion to the album. While I normally think videos tend to ruin songs (don't get me started about the Pretenders' "Show Me"!), seeing these they almost serve as the missing link for why "Results" wasn't the greatest album ever: It should have been a full-length video-album! (A la Blondie "Eat to the Beat.") Watching a flawless-looking (she's svelte!) early 40s Liza chasing her ex-lover half-naked in the rain, hanging his shirts on a clothesline and in a tub of man-Polaroids with those CRAZY EYES of hers in "Losing My Mind," or seeing her looking fabulous doing an homage to Fred Astaire's "Holiday Inn" in "Don't Drop Bombs" (or did she crash the set of Bananarama's "Venus"? ) or glammed up in a theater singing to an audience of no one in "So Sorry, I Said," brings these songs to a whole other level, and you start to remember that Liza was never JUST a recording artist; she's a PERFORMER. (I only WISH there'd been a clip for "Rent"!) And while I'll admit she needs direction -- I heard she kept trying to SMILE while taping these videos for codependent anthems! -- when you give Liza Minnelli the right song and the right setting, you'll never disappointed in the Results ...

    Tuesday, October 28, 2008


    Fit and ready to serve ...

    I Cal It Fun

    White Letters (Photograph by Mark Allen)

    Playlist/212: Jesse Fox Mayshark

    OK, guys. Since I know so many people with far more eclectic music taste than yours truly (which, admittedly, is not that difficult so long as your library goes beyond Bananarama and Blondie ...), I thought it would be fun to start a regular PLAYLIST feature, highlighting what my friends and loved ones are listening to. I hope you enjoy ...

    Our debut list comes from my pal Jesse Fox Mayshark, who -- among many other things -- writes for No Depression and Metro Pulse. Jesse writes:

    No particular pattern or theme here, it's just stuff I like & have been listening to lately. You can listen to the whole mix above or in a new window HERE.

    1. “The Recession (Intro)” Young Jeezy
    Title track from the new Jeezy. “It's a RECESSION/Everybody broke” -- he won't even make it rain (“Bitch, is you insane?”). When the gangsters are cutting back, you know it's bad. (The real news on the album comes at the end, with the much anticipated Young Jeezy presidential endorsement. Who needs Colin Powell?)

    2. “Metrosexual” Amandititita
    My favorite music-video channel these days is mun2, which is a lot of Mexican and Spanish-language pop, rap and rock mixed in with an oddball assortment of English-language stuff. There's plenty of crap, but there's also things like this. Amandititita, whose name I cannot spell, is a chunky-sassy nu-New Wave chica who mixes Mexican folk music (dig the accordion) in with her pop-rock. I'm not sure what this song's about. Metrosexuals, I guess. Video: HERE.

    3. “I Wanna Be Your Gun” The Mayflies USA
    Underappreciated '90s power-poppers, the Mayflies were (are? not sure if they're still around) a North Carolina quartet with a Big Star/Teenage Fanclub-type vibe. Nice melodies, sweet harmonies, lots of chiming guitars. “I don't want a shot/I just wanna be your gun”.

    4. “Steely” Marnie Stern
    Marnie Stern is one of my favorite things of the last few years: noisy naive/visionary indie guitar heroine. Like if the Breeders were actually Rush or something. All the guitars and voices are by her; drumming is by Zach Hill. “I'm like a raging animation...” This is from her new album, which is called (take a breath) “This Is It and I Am It and You Are It and So Is That and He Is It and She Is It and It Is It and That Is That.” Play it loud.

    5. “Keyrum Yfir Island” Sprengjuhollin
    There's supposed to be an umlaut over the o there, because they're from Iceland. Which I hear was a nice place until they crashed their banking system. Oh well. They've got their health – all those fish must help -– and they've got stuff like this: catchy Nordic mod-rock, like a track from Wes Anderson's lost Viking epic. I'm sure the lyrics are about girls, scarves, herring or credit default swaps.

    6. “You Got to Feel It” Lonnie & Floyd
    I'm not sure who Lonnie & Floyd are or exactly how this ended up on my hard drive (honest, officer), but it's a nice piece of '60s Southern soul.

    7. “Is'alni Ana” Sofia Marikh
    Sofia Marikh is from Casablanca, but she got to be a star via some Lebanese TV show that sounds like a combination of “American Idol” and “Making the Band.” Like a lot of Arab pop, it's more pop than Arab – lots of club beats and synthesizers -- but the melodies and vocal inflections all scan as Middle Eastern. Video HERE.

    8. “Break the Token” Mellow Candle
    Stumbled on these guys a little while ago while looking for something else. Irish prog-folk-rock. They only released this one album, in 1972. The female hippie harmonies are sort of Mamas-and-Papas-ish, the music is in the ballpark of Fairport Convention/Pentangle/etc. I like.

    9. “Would You Lay With Me (in a Field of Stone)” Tanya Tucker
    Love this song. Sort of goth-country - “field of stone” sounds very sepulchral. And, uh, “wipe the blood away from my dying hand”? Written by outlaw crazy-man David Allan Coe, sung by a 16-year-old Tanya Tucker. It's pretty foreboding for a romantic ballad, but that's Tanya. Other songs of hers I considered putting on here were the one where a drunk dies in the street trying to find his daughter (“What's Your Mama's Name?”); the one where a 10-year-old watches her father kill her mother and the man she's cheatin' with (“Blood Red and Going Down”); and the one where a sweet young thing grows up to be a prison nurse so she can murder the inmate who raped her (“No Man's Land”). Welcome to the Real America.

    10. “Hey Jude” Assagai
    And to end on a gladder note, from 1971, a ridiculously cheerful South African transposition of the Beatles tune. Assagai were one of several offshoots of the fantastic '60s Cape Town jazz band the Blue Notes, who fled apartheid for exile in Europe. Take a sad song and make it better.