Friday, September 30, 2011

On the Rag, Vol. 156

A weekly look at what's making news in the free gay mags:

Next features Paul Marra in a "gorgeous goth" layout HERE. More photos of the aspiring model/actor HERE.

Odyssey New York has Lady Bunny in a familiar position with the boys of Escuelita. Read all about the shoot HERE.

RIP, Sylvia Robinson

Just read that Sylvia Robinson, who helped take rap music from a street phenomenon to a mainstream sensation with her Sugar Hill Records, died Thursday at 75. While her contributions to hip-hop altered the musical landscape forever -- she was the mastermind behind the Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight,” the first mainstream rap song, making the pop Top 40 and selling over 8 million copies -- I'll always remember her foremost for her classic song with Mickey Baker, "Love Is Strange," in which she famous responds to his "How you all your lover boy?" -- "C'mere, lover boy" -- one of music's sexiest lines of all time. Thanks for the music, Sylvia. You will be missed, but never forgotten.

And for a decidedly less sexy, but awfully sweet version, may I recommend Everything but the Girl's 1992 cover?

Caption Me

The Perfect Score

Have you been following this big SAT scandal, where a bunch of kids were arrested for letting brainy dreamboat Sam Eshaghoff take the college-entrance exam for them? Eshaghoff, 19, a football star and honors student from Great Neck, N.Y., who is now a sophomore at Emory University, was also arrested, after scoring (out of a possible top score of 2400, for you ACT kids) eye-popping numbers of 2220, 2210, 2140, 2180, 2180 and 2170 for his clients. While I understand why the education system is up in arms, I personally think the whole thing is being blown out of proportion. What we should be talking about is who will play the bruting brainiac in the big-screen version. Jesse Eisenberg's a little long in the tooth -- and not quite hot enough -- but this is a star-making role if I ever saw one! More HERE.

Let's Have a Tea Party!

Crime and Punishment

I'm not saying it was cool of Andrew Hansen to steal books from the public library and then sell them to East Village bookstores. But the way things are going now, it may be the only action either place sees. Read HERE.

Straight Talk

Being a fan of Louis C.K. isn't always easy -- it's dark and uncomfortable and requires you to think. But believe me, it's so worth it. (Via Slog)

Joe Manganiello Needs a Ride

And I'm more than willing to help him out. (Via World of Wonder)

Return to the Valley of the Bangles

Go ahead, point and laugh at my latest purchase, "Sweetheart of the Sun" by the Bangles. Listen, if you're (still) gonna carry an eternal flame, of course you're gonna buy the compact disc -- and the special edition at that. (Two bonus tracks -- and "eternal" means "eternal"!) Sadly, the gals weren't at a Barnes & Noble in New York for the big release on Tuesday. But from the looks of these wire photos from L.A. (below), it was a fun event with an acoustic set to boot. (Anyone go?)

My guiltless pleasure

The band's support tour starts tomorrow night in Philly. We've got tickets to the show Monday at the Highline Ballroom -- my first time seeing them live since the House of Blues in West Hollywood a decade ago. (Ironically, it's the same night the Psychedelic Furs are playing here in the city, who I saw the Bangles open for in 1984 at the Mesa Amphitheater when they were touring for their classic debut, "All Over the Place.")


I'm loving the (almost) title track, "Anna Lee (Sweetheart of the Sun)," a lot, which proves they can still write a catchy single, as well as "I'll Never Be Through With You" (a song Susanna Hoffs had recorded for a solo album that was shelved when the Bangles reunited in the late '90s), the "Everything"-ish "What a Life" and the cover of Nazz's "Open Your Eyes." Still warming up to a few of the other songs, but the album definitely has a rawer sound than their glossy '80s heyday, so I'm noticing it gets better with repeated spins. I can say Michael Steele's absence is felt. Got me nostalgic for "Nickel Romeo" from the band's good-but-too-long first comeback LP, "Doll Revolution." Still. it's nice to see the Bangles still being creative after all these years and -- if my memory serves me correctly -- performing live is where they excel most!

For more information, including tour dates, click HERE.
You can follow Vicki and the band on Twitter HERE.

Faked, You Out!

Real Kenneth meets Fake Jan

Just noticed that Geri Reischl (aka Fake Jan) posted this photo her friend took of us at Michael Musto's book party the other night. As I've mentioned, Geri and I have a connection because of a post I wrote about her taking over Eve Plumb's role as Jan Brady in 1976 that was included in a book about the the ill-fated "Brady Bunch Variety Hour." Reischl has certainly gotten a lot of mileage out of her Brady turn -- and who can blame her? -- but I think it's interesting to note that no one ever talks about the fact that both Cindy Olsen and Maureen McCormick were also missing in action in other Brady reunions, "A Very Brady Christmas" TV movie (1988) and "The Bradys" series (1990), respectively. In fact, the only reunion to feature all of the original family members was "The Brady Brides" (1981), a short-lived series that ran when I was in 9th grade and was undoubtedly the most anticipated television event of my life. (The Bradys -- finally together again!!!)

Geri Reischl had the look, but no one could replace Eve Plumb, whose recalcitrant ways have been mimicked for the last 40 years. ("Dawn: Portrait of a Teenage Runaway" -- best. movie. ever!)

Jennifer Runyon was way prettier than Susan Olsen, and didn't even have a lisp. Easy to see why Charles was in Charge of her Gwendolyn character a few years before her Brady experien(th)ce.

Leah Ayres filled in (rather poorly) for Maureen McCormick on the downbeat series "The Bradys" (1990). Bobby was a paraplegic (married to Martha Quinn!), Peter's engagement fell apart, Jan and Phillip couldn't have a child (big shock, Jan's frigid!) and Cindy was fucking her boss at the radio station, a widower with two kids. But it was Fake Marcia who stole the show as a messy alcoholic! Eternally nontraditional hubby Wally couldn't hold down a job either, so they were forced to move in with Mike and Carol. Given what we know about the real Marcia now, it seems the role was a bit of typecasting. Might that have been why she sat this one out?

No doubt Dick Sargeant replacing Dick York and Sarah Chalke taking over for Lecy Goranson were the highest-profile television replacements of all time, filling two high-profile roles on highly rated shows.

Sarah Chalke lacked Lecy Goranson's blue-collar Midwest charm, and you could totally believe was Dan and Roseanne's daughter. It got particularly wacky toward the end of the show when Goranson came back (Roseanne said at the time that she hated firing Chalke but that she "wasn't Becky"), only to go AWOL again periodically, with Chalke filling in again. It's pretty crazy when you think of all the shows that pulled this replacement routine, though.

Mary Frann had just the right look and temperament to play Abby in the "Eight Is Enough: A Family Reunion" TV movie (1987), yet I remember being quite sad when I saw a reference to this -- plus her more famous role as Bob Newhart's wife, Joanna Loudon, on "Newhart" -- in her obituary. Not only did she die prematurely (of an undiagnosed heart condition at age 55), the poor woman was always playing second fiddle to some other wife. (Let's face it, there's no substitute for Suzanne Pleshette.) Adding insult to injury, Frann was replaced as Fake Abby in "An Eight Is Enough Wedding" two years later by Sandy Faison!

Judith Baldwin spared Tina Louise a trip to the plastic surgeon, but she got around to it later, anyway

Tina Louise was reportedly eager to distance herself from the role that made her famous on "Gilligan's Island" when producers began talking about a reunion movie. But don't think for a second she didn't love it when Judith Baldwin stepped into Ginger Grant's stilettos for "Rescue From Gilligan's Island" (1978) and "The Castaways of Gilligan's Island" (1979).

The ever-vain Louise was a dozen years older than Baldwin, so I doubt she minded that most Americans thought she still looked like this, especially with that bitch Dawn Wells showing up looking like a million bucks.

To Julie Newmar: Thanks for everything, Kenneth in the (212)

The various actresses playing Catwoman weren't really the same type of recasting as some of these other roles, but I always did prefer Julie Newmar to Lee Meriwether and Eartha Kitt. She and Adam West had some serious chemistry, which is what the role was what the feline seductress role was all about. She also seemed to get Robin a little revved up for good measure.

Lastly, along with "Bewitched," the whole Marilyn Munster shakeup was my first experience with recasting. Every so often one of the 13 episodes with Beverley Owen would come on and rock my little world. She may have been first, but Pat Priest will always be Marilyn in my eyes. The Daily News says Owen was unhappy with her life in Hollywood so quit the business. Priest then took on the role for the remainder of the series' two seasons, yet neither returned for the numerous "Munsters" movies and remakes since, including "Munsters' Revenge" (1981), which featured Jo McDonnell as everyone's favorite homely blonde.

I never watched "Dynasty," but I know there were two Steven Carringtons and two Fallons (Emma Samms was Holly on "General Hospital" when I watched). Would love to hear about your recasting memories in the comments section.

And apparently Gordon Thomson was none too pleased when they got Robin Sachs to play Adam Carrington in "Dynasty: The Reunion" in 1991.

Panda Express

I've always had a thing for pandas ever since going to the National Zoo in Washington as a child to see Ling-Ling and Hsing-Hsing, the two giant pandas given to the United States as gifts by China after President Nixon visited in 1972. My parents even decorated my newborn sister's bedroom in pandas when she came along in 1974. So multiple my delight by 12 -- when a dozen giant pandas were born this week in Chengdu, China, at a center that started with just six in 1987 and now has more than 100. There's a video HERE -- they almost don't look real, like Peeps or something. So cute!

Morning Wood

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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Are You There, Chaz? It's Me, Renee

Just wanted to let everyone know that ESPN's sensational documentary about trans tennis legend Dr. Renee Richards, the aptly titled "Renee," is set to air Tuesday, Oct. 4, at 8 p.m. ET. (Check local listings.) It's a must-see for not only for tennis fans, but for anyone interested in the history LGBT rights. I had a chance to see it during NewFest and was completely mesmerized, even though I "lived" through it all at the time. As much fake controversy as there's been about Chaz Bono's appearance on "Dancing With the Stars," you will be surprised (and I dare say humbled) by the amazingly calm and thoughtful reaction from many in the late 1970s to Richards -- I remember getting her autograph at the Avon Championships of Detroit and how most people were just insanely curious, but not mocking her -- as she fought for the right to play on the women's professional tennis circuit, a right she now feels she did not have. You can read my review HERE. Tune in and let me know what you thought.

Fucked Canucks

Well, I see Keith Ablow has some relatives living north of the border: The National Post, a newspaper in Canada founded by convicted felon and current jail bird Conrad Black, actually allowed this vile ad from the Institute for Canadian Values to run today -- like people are "taught" to be transgender, let alone intersex. Just disgusting. Could someone please explain to me how you TEACH someone to have ambiguous genitalia? (Via Gawker)

UPDATE: Thanks to the commenter who pointed me to this brilliant response:

Sign Language

(Thanks, Gaston!)

Is Today the Day the English Language Officially Went to Hell? :-(

A smiley-face emoticon was used on the "front" page of the New York Times today (in a story about when "tweets" tend to be happiest). My mom has been complaining about the dumbing down of the U.S. language for years, but today may just be the official beginning of the end.

Packaged Goods

In case you missed it the first time around.

Janko Tipsarevic: Killer Second Serb

Nole who? Serbia's second-best tennis player, Janko Tipsarevic, puts Novak Djokovic to shame in the bod department in this new ad campaign for Extreme Intimo. More pics and a not-shy behind-the-scenes video after the jump HERE.

Have a Ball

American Girls

This pic of the Williams sisters is awfully cute. Wonder what the circumstances were behind the meeting with the Old Gipper.

Caption Me

Morning Wood

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Novak Djokovic Kicks It Old School

Just because Nole can't play tennis doesn't mean he can't still be a sport -- especially for a good cause.