Thursday, July 31, 2008

In Case You Missed It ...


Here is John McCain's audition reel.

I Wanna Be a 'Chelsea' Boy

As regular readers know, I'm a huge fan of author/comedian/talk show host Chelsea Handler, whose late-night talk show on E!, "Chelsea Lately," is a simultaneous breath of fresh air and a much-needed assault on the celebrity-obsessed society we live in (if you're not watching, you really should).

In addition to interviews and location shots, each night she features three "round table" guests (usually comedians and celebrity-magazine editors) with whom she discusses what's in the news -- pop culture style. This month she's holding an open casting call for a guest panelist, and naturally it was an opportunity I couldn't pass up. Check out my "audition" video I shot with the help of my pal Frank yesterday. With merely a digital camera and no video editing skills to speak of, trust me when I say it was no easy task. And while I'm not sure what King Arthur would have to say about my shot at the round table, I'm hoping it's enough to get me noticed over at TV's funniest show.

WARNING: Gratuitous self-promotion ahead!

A Fine Bromance?

I think Brody Jenner should just call off his new "looking for a new bff" reality show and just start dating sexy Doug Reinhart, who may or may not have dated Lauren Conrad, who may or may not have dated Brody. (Straight people are sluts.)

Is It a Feelin' in the Heart, or Is It Somethin' You Can Name?

The haircut became better known as the Nicholas Bradford, but to me it was always all James

OK, 20th Century Fox: Now that every crappy episode of "Too Close for Comfort"(!) and "Mama's Family"(!!) have been released, I'm ready for the DVD of "James at 15" (and 16!), the greatest coming-of-age series of all time. Truth is, I can only read the novel based on the 1977-78 classic about a cute, young aspiring photographer/swim team member's journey into manhood after his family relocates from Oregon to Boston so many times. (That dreamy Lance Kerwin was my first crush -- or was it Kristy McNichol? Oh, well. What's the difference?) Won't you please help me, Mr. Murdoch?


It Takes All Kinds

Michael and I saw the lovably misanthropic Aimee Mann in concert last night at Highline Ballroom (a great venue I'd never been to before, btw). I always get a kick out of it when people you admire behave exactly as you would expect (dare I say caricaturesque?), and from the moment she set foot on stage and opened with the audience-unfriendly "Stranger Into Starman" (from her new album, "Fucking Smilers"), you knew what you were going to get: 90 minutes of unadulterated cynical Aimee Mann, and all the glory that goes along with it (they'd been on "The View" earlier in the morning and Aimee had a lot to say about those people!). She and her entire band -- which had more keyboards than a Kraftwerk reunion -- were right on target, and while she focused heavily on the new release ("Looking for Nothing," "Freeway," "Phoenix," "31 Today" "Little Tornado" "Borrowing Time" and "The Great Beyond" just off the top of my head, the last song about which she quickly noted that people on her Web site's message board had declared the weakest track on the new disc, yet proceeded to perform it!), there was a nice assortment of older material too -- which, naturally, did not include a single 'Til Tuesday song. The crowd was heavily prone to screaming out requests (her fan base is of the stalker-cult variety, so no surprise there) and while no one dared scream out "Voices Carry' -- you know, the ONE SONG that put her on the map and is arguably the reason most people were aware of her in the first place -- when someone requested the more introspective "Coming Up Close," a personal fave of mine from her old band's nearly flawless sophomore effort, "Welcome Home," you would have thought they'd asked Aimee to do their laundry: "We may do 'Red Vines' and 'I've Had It' later, but we definitely will not be doing "Coming Up Close," she replied, in a tone dripping with indignation (see what I mean, exactly what you would expect!). She didn't acknowledge my b-side request of "Jimmy Hoffa Jokes," but I'm going to assume she appreciated it for its offbeat quality.

She seems to consider her "Magnolia"/"Bachelor No. 2" period her "heyday" (she's still bitter at Phil Collins for "stealing her Oscar") and songs from those two were considered her "old hits" in place of her two actual Top 40 songs, "Voices Carry" and "What About Love?"


A perfect fit, for a girl in need of a tourniquet

No doubt "Deathly," "Wise Up" and "Save Me" (clip above) have taken on a nostalgic quality to them, so no one was really complaining. Truly old songs like "4th of July" and "You're With Stupid Now" were crowd pleasers too. (I would have loved to have heard "Going Through the Motions" from her previous album, but you can't have everything.) All in all a great show from a one-of-a-kind artist who clearly plays by he own set of rules.

I also would like to mention that The Submarines opened the show and while I went into it having never heard of them, I now consider myself a HUGE fan. So often headliners pick inappropriate bands to open for them (why, I don't know, it's the perfect opportunity to introduce a new band), but Aimee was dead-on in thinking The Submarines would appeal to her fan base -- and boy did they ever. (The crowd was begging for more by the time they wrapped up their half-hour set.) It seems they're a husband-and-wife team (John Dragonetti and Blake Hazard) from Los Angeles by way of Boston (like Aimee, minus the Virginia part?). who both play guitars and sing. (There's also a fun drummer on board and a lot of pre-recorded music.) Between her little girl vocals (think Tanya Donelly with a hint of what I think Feist sounds like based on her Apple commercial) and his quasi Bernard Sumner harmonies (even though he's American and looks like a younger Brian Wilson), they're about the cutest, freshest new band I've heard since Ivy. Interestingly, the Feist comparison turned out to be more prophetic than I realized when I came home and found out that their unbelievably delightful song "You, Me and the Bourgeoisie" is currently featured in the new Apple iPhone 3G commercial! (Does Steve Jobs love fun girl singers the way I do or what?) It looks like their music has also been used on shows like "Weeds," "One Tree Hill" and "Nip/Tuck," so perhaps the Ivy comparison is apropos too given Ivy's former status as Hollywood soundtrack darlings of the 1990s. (And they're also a husband-and-wife with a third!) If it's true that bands must tour in order to make money these days, then The Submarines can consider last night a huge success. I'll definitely go see them if they come back to town, and I'm racing out to buy both of their CDs tomorrow. (Their opener, "Swimming Pool," is my absolute FAVE!)

Yes, she really is this kooky!

Page 1 Consider (07/31)

  • Mistaken Identity: On Tuesday I posted a nekkid photo of actor Matthew Wolfenden ("Emmerdale") that was misidentified by Cosmo U.K. as Rugby Union fullback Nick Abendanon. This is the real Nick above -- both handsome, but quite similar looking, indeed. (KIT212)

  • Fat Cat: Did you see the 44-pound homeless cat found in New Jersey? (NYP)

  • Coming Soon: I want to send out a huge congratulations to my pal Yen Tan, whose film "Ciao" has been picked up for distribution this fall by Here! Films/Regent Releasing. You may recall that I have blogged about this movie extensively, most recently when it was shown at Newfest earlier this summer here in New York. (Here/Regent Releasing)

  • One Step Forward, Two Steps Back? President Bush signed a sweeping measure Wednesday that provides $48 billion to combat AIDS and other diseases globally and that also ends a long-standing U.S. ban on foreign visitors and immigrants who are HIV-positive. Its repeal, however, does not remove all U.S. travel impediments. Meantime, a new proposal by Bush seems to threaten access to birth control pills. (LAT)

  • Still Wild About Harry: Because the world (and by the world I mean me) can never see enough of model Scott Andreasen. (DudeFlesh) (Link OK; Site not as much.)

  • Giant Shoes to Fill: Paris Hilton isn't someone I normally blog about. But I thought her charity efforts in launching a new footwear line for women with ridiculously large feet was worth mentioning. (Are you reading this, Carly?) You go, Paris! (GossipGirls)

  • Making a Good Thing Better: Olivia Newton-John will host a special edition of Logo's weekly music show The Click List on Friday, Aug. 1 at midnight. (LOGO)

  • Sears Portrait Studio: Who knew "Gossip Girl" star Chace Crawford's dad was weatherman Sam Champion? (PerezHilton)

  • EuroTrash: Homophobic attacks in Stockholm that left two gay men fighting for their lives, two others seriously beaten, and three churches vandalized have shocked this city known for its liberal attitude toward homosexuality. (365Gay)

  • Home Run: Photog Karen Thompson caught James Blake -- in Cincinnati for this week's ATP event -- having some fun with Ken Griffey Jr. over the weekend. It seems to have helped his game, he advanced to the third round yesterday with a straight-sets victory over red-hot Gilles Simon, who just beat Roger Federer last week in Toronto. (CNN)

  • Stored Hate: Californians Against Hate officially kicked off its next awareness campaign in its endeavor to let America know where the money is coming from to take away the recently attained freedom to marry in California: Terry Caster owns A-1 Self Storage Co. of San Diego, which has 40 locations throughout California. Caster and his family have contributed nearly $300,000 to the Protect Marriage campaign, making them the biggest contributors from San Diego County where 35 percent of the money came from to qualify Proposition 8 for the Nov. 4 ballot. So effective today, we are asking our millions of friends and supporters all over the United States to help us by calling Terry Caster and asking him why he and his family are so strongly against marriage equality. Corporate Office Number: 800-219-4854, ext. 106 / Customer Service Number: 800-210-8979. (CallTerryCaster)
  • The Graduate

    Here's (212) fave James Franco looking good yesterday outside the Ed Sullivan Theater in Midtown, where he paid David Letterman a visit to promote his new film, "Pineapple Express."

    Exhibit A

    Torn on the Fourth of July

    Remember when I blogged about my mom getting knocked down by a golf cart earlier this month -- at the hand foot of my 19-month-old niece, Ally? Well, as it happens it was in the midst of a photo op (can you tell that I'm related to these people -- it's always picture time!). And if you look very closely you'll see behind my nephew, AJ, his tiny little sister is the one pushing on the pedal, which in turn sent my mom -- clearly surprised by the cart's sudden movement -- to the pavement and later to the operating room for extensive surgery on her right wrist. As bad as I feel for my mom, I have to say this is going to make a great story one day for little Ally: "Remember the time you broke Grandma?" ...

    Wednesday, July 30, 2008

    My New Favre Fave

    Green Bay's new starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers already has me saying, "Brett who?"

    That's right, Brett: the beard has you beaten by this much.

    Music Box: Marilyn

    It was the first week of 1984 and Newsweek had a Technicolor Boy George and Annie Lennox splashed across the cover proclaiming the second coming of the British Invasion, yet all my sexually confused 16-year-old eyes could see was endless possibilities. He looked like a chick. She looked like a dude, sort of. I specifically remembering staring at the cover while listening to the Eurythmics' haunting song "Jennifer" and feeling completely sick to my stomach thinking, maybe I wasn't the only one who felt this way.

    This was the year before I went all Trapper Keepers

    Like many gay people growing up during the '80s, the new wave explosion was a welcome escape from the boy-girl society around us, a convenient way to hide our sexuality behind the fashions and styles of the time. (I'm not sure what I'd have done, say, in the '70s or '90s.) And with each passing year someone new came along to push the boundaries. From Visage, Culture Club and Eurythmics to Haysi Fantayzee and Dead or Alive. But of all the artists of that gender-bender era, none garnered my affections the way Marilyn did.

    I'll never forget seeing the 12" single of his debut song, "Calling Your Name," in the bin at Zia Records on Mill Avenue in Tempe, Ariz., with his glamorous blond dreadlocks tossed to the side, perfect makeup and his exposed chest. After tearing up the U.K. charts with that one he never had another real hit even in his homeland, so the singles and subsequent album, "Despite Straight Lines," were never even released here in the states. But that didn't stop me from snatching up every new thing he released (my friend Laura Thomas even had the picture disc of "Cry and Be Free" with the rare b-side "Running" on it, which I promptly taped!) and every No. 1 magazine and Smash Hits that he appeared in. (That's him in the bottom lefthand corner of my English folder from Dobson High. Can you name the others?) Was I sexually attracted to Marilyn? No. But I was definitely drawn to him in some strong way. Looking back I think it was his ability to have enough self-confidence to be who he was with no apologies that made me admire him, despite his increasingly obvious lack of musical abilities. (His outsider within the group of outsiders status was certainly something I related to, too.) When Boy George brought the era to life in the show "Taboo"a few years ago it was Marilyn's biting oneliners that stole the show, of course. And every so often I'll dust off my homemade Marilyn CD of everything he ever released (none of which ever made the leap to the digital age officially) and play it with fond memories of the pretty boy who wasn't afraid to be himself.


    "Calling Your Name"


    "Baby U Left Me (in the Cold)"


    Awesome Songs
    Empty Walls Lyrics
    Serj Tankian
    I Miss You Lyrics
    Hannah Montana
    Stop Sign Lyrics
    Beyonce Knowles
    Misery Business Lyrics
    Paramore
    Corona And Lime Lyrics
    Shwayze
    No One Lyrics
    Alicia Keys
    Thinking of You Lyrics
    Katy Perry
    Miss Independent Lyrics
    Ne-Yo
    A Very Special Love Lyrics
    Sarah Geronimo
    Beat It Lyrics
    Michael Jackson
    Get your free list here.

    Morning Wood: Nic Haas

    Talk about your renaissance man: sexy Nic Haas is former college wrestler, Air Force man, writer, actor and adult entertainment entrepreneur. Learn more about this Jack of all trades over at Connex24.7.

    Page 1 Consider (07/30)

  • Shanghai Surprise: By the time they arrive in Beijing, most athletes have resigned themselves to the possibility of undergoing a battery of tests for banned substances, like anabolic steroids and certain cough medicines. But some female athletes may find they are asked to submit to an entirely different examination -- one that will test whether they are, in fact, women. (This is one of the rudest things I've read in ages. Are they going to subject men to this too?) (NYT)

  • Doubles Match: Roger Federer and Bjorn Borg will team up for a special doubles event in November, possibly against the men who ended their famous Wimbledon streaks. Federer and Borg will face John McEnroe and either Rafael Nadal or James Blake at The Venetian Macau Tennis Showdown on Nov. 20 in a Tour of Champions event. This all sounds like a lot of fun, but seeing as Roger can barely beat Robby Ginepri these days, if I were him I think I'd be focusing my eye on another ball. (ESPN)

  • Golden Hangers: Commercial Closet Association, the nonprofit that educates the advertising industry on including responsible images of gays and lesbians in national ads, announced winners for their 4th Annual Images in Advertising Awards last night. A full list of winners and winning ads can be viewed here.

  • Friend of Linda R.: Supporters of a California ballot measure that would amend the state constitution to ban gay marriage filed a lawsuit against California attorney general Jerry Brown on Monday. According to the Associated Press, Brown's office changed Proposition 8's ballot title and summary to say the measure seeks to "eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry." The original wording had simply defined marriage in California as a union between a man and a woman. (Advocate)

  • The Boy From Ipanema: Beach-stalking Duda Nagle. (Made in Brazil)

  • Alarming News: If black America were a country, it would rank 16th in the world in the number of people living with the AIDS virus, the Black AIDS Institute, an advocacy group, reported Tuesday. (NYT)

  • Goodbye 1913, Hello 200: Massachusetts moved closer to erasing a hurdle that blocked most out-of-state gay men and lesbians from marrying in that state. (Boston)

  • RIP: Dr. Julius B. Richmond, a former surgeon general and pediatrician whose work on cognitive development in poor children led to his being the first national director of Project Head Start, widely regarded as one of the most successful social programs of the last half-century, died on Sunday at his home in Chestnut Hill, Mass. He was 91. Richmond was a longtime friend of the gays, most notably in 1979 when he took a stand against the Immigration and Naturalization Service, which was preventing gay people from entering the country on the basis of a 1952 law that barred entry to those "afflicted with psychopathic personality or sexual deviation or a mental defect." The law called for examinations by the Public Health Service. Richmond ordered the health service not to perform the examinations, noting that in his organization "homosexuality will no longer be considered a `mental disease or defect’" and pointing out that homosexuality was not determined through medical testing. Thanks, Doc, for standing up for what was right when it wasn't in fashion. May you rest in peace. (NYT)

  • Tuesday, July 29, 2008

    Afternoon Delight: Lee Kholafai

    Because last week's helping of Lee Kholafai just wasn't enough. (Photos by Aron Norman)


    Visit Lee's blog here.

    New Balls, Please

    As I mentioned last month, Spanish tennis hunk Fernando Verdasco is one of Cosmo UK's latest charity centerfolds, part of an ongoing campaign to raise awareness of prostate and testicular cancer for Everyman, the UK’s leading male cancer campaign. Last year you may recall it was Tommy Robredo who did "the honors." There are 27 centerfolds featured online (the best of which are below), many of whom are European personalities I've never heard of -- and many of whom have decidedly, um, British bodies. See 'em all here!

    Actor and TV presenter Jeremy Edwards
    Actor Matthew Wolfenden ("Emmerdale"); actor Marcus Patrick ("Echo Beach")
    Briitsh motorcycle racer James Ellison
    Lookalikes (Sam Brown as Brad Pitt, Andy Harner as David Beckham and Shad Ellis as Will Smith); Mark Lewis Francis, Sprint athlete and Olympic gold medalist
    Actor Ashley Taylor Dawson ("Hollyoaks")

    Retail Stalking

    My friend Shannon saw Mary Louise Parker while waiting in line at the Shake Shack over the weekend ("She didn't even try to cut the line."). And a trusty reader spotted (212) fave Chad White shopping at the Container Store in Chelsea yesterday and sent this stealth shot for everyone to enjoy. Gawker has its Gawker Stalker -- if you guys keep up the good reporting I may need to come up with my own celeb-sightings feature! (Keep 'em coming ...)

    Page 1 Consider (07/29)

  • Extra! Extra! I see that the celebrity TV show "Extra" has finally dumped Mark McGrath for their favorite "guest" host Mario Lopez). It looks like co-host Dayna Devon (whose spelling of her name is grounds for dismissal) is being demoted to a correspondent too. I always had a crush on the Sugar Ray frontman, but the second he got on "Extra" he started to look like some freakish corpse, so I'm not really that surprised by this outcome. (LARagMag)

  • Putt-head: Why does Rudy Giuliani's litigious, over-entitled 22-year-old son, Andrew, look like he's 55? (For those keeping score at home, the Duke golf coach, O.D. Vincent, who fired Mini Combover is hot, hot, hot!) (NYDN)

  • Three G's of the GOP: (This is not a joke.) A new report says Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales’s aides broke civil service laws by using politics to guide their hiring decisions. A longtime prosecutor was passed over for a counterterrorism slot because his wife was active in Democratic politics, and a much less-experienced lawyer with Republican leanings got the job, the report said. Another prosecutor was rejected for a job in part because she was thought to be a lesbian. And a Republican lawyer got high marks because he was found to be sufficiently conservative on the core issues of "god, guns + gays." (NYT)

  • Designer Duds: My friend Scooter the artist is at it again! (Live Fast)

  • The Hurler: A "very large lady" at the New York Sports Club was "sling-shot" off equipment known as the "abductor" -- and had to be hauled from the gym in a rescue basket by firefighters, authorities said. (Come on, YouTube -- don't let me down now!) (NYP)

  • Score! Italian soccer stud Luca Toni heats up the current issue of Vanity Fair Italy. (OhLaLaMag)

  • Mucho Gusto: A new poll released last week shows overwhelming support from Latinos for Sen. Barack Obama over Sen. John McCain. (CNN)

  • The Half-Trillion Dollar Man: The Bush legacy will be a record $482 billion budget deficit. (AP)

  • Jackie? No: How do you say "Don't flatter yourself, Carla" in French? (Reuters)

  • Settlement: Blue Cross agrees to cover gay couples. (365Gay)

  • Hat Trick: Estelle Parsons may be an Academy Award-winning actress on her way to taking over the physically demanding role of Violet Weston, the drug-ravaged matriarch in the Tony-winning play "August: Osage County." But to me she'll always be Bev, Roseanne and Jackie's wonderfully annoying mother on "Roseanne." (Can you believe she looks this damn good at 80?!!) (NYT)

  • Diagnosis: Well, I already knew Robert Novak was a brain tumor. (AP)

  • VW Cabriolet Alert: A gay car blog? Leave it to Vanity Fair. (GayWheels)
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