Friday, July 31, 2015
Thursday, July 30, 2015
Re-watched Todd Stephens' "Edge of Seventeen" the other night and was doubly impressed at how true-to-life it was. At times it felt like I was watching a documentary about my adolescence -- with Ohio and Annie standing in for Michigan and Debbie -- the acting was so natural. The relationship between Eric and Maggie was particularly hard to relive -- anyone else have borderline girlfriends in high school? -- although it is supported by this recent study from the O.C.
Sheri Ledbetter reports:
In one of the most inclusive studies on friendship ever, Chapman University researchers interviewed over 25,000 people on friendship patterns. One of the central foci of the study was the prevalence of "gender homophily" or individual’s tendency to gravitate towards individuals who are of the same gender. Researchers found this to be more true of heterosexual individuals, with many homosexual men having several female friends. Additionally, researchers found more friendship satisfaction between lesbian women, bisexual women, and bisexual men. Psychologists believes this a symptom of coping with adversity, and thus many gay, lesbian, or bisexual individuals will form close bonds of friendship.Keep reading HERE.
Apparently I love A MAN IN and out of uniform!
Via Medical News Today:
In a recent study authored by Dr. Johanna Olson of the Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles, researchers have put to rest the notion that transgender experience is a result of hormone imbalance. Currently transgender children are often treated with a mix of synthetic hormones, which can suppress unwanted body features. However in their study, researchers have enrolled 101 transgender participants between the ages of 12-24. They found that the transgender participants had the same hormone levels as the general population, thus determining different baseline characteristics for transgender children and in turn different therapies.
On average, the participants identified a discrepancy with their assigned gender at the age of 8. They did not tell their families until reaching, on average, the age of 17 years. Alongside this, the researchers found that 35% of the participants reported symptoms of depression and that more than half had thoughts about suicide - significantly higher than the prevalence among general youth.More HERE.
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Watched and loved Tig Notaro's Netflix documentary, "Tig," last week -- get out your crying towel, people -- and couldn't be more excited to hear she's teaming up with Louis C.K. and Diablo Cody for a semiautobiographical sitcom on Amazon Prime. Here's hoping the pilot gets picked up. Read HERE.
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
I've never seen John Herbert's notorious jailhouse play -- or the 1971 film adaptation -- but these photos tell me Sal Mineo's staging with Don Johnson circa 1969 is definitely the version I'd like to have experienced.
"Fortune and Men's Eyes" is a 1967 play and 1971 film written by John Herbert about a young man's experience in prison, exploring themes of homosexuality and sexual slavery. The play was inspired in part by Herbert's own experience; he spent four months imprisoned in a youth reformatory after having been convicted of wearing drag in 1947. The character of Queenie in the play is an authorial self-insertion. In 1967 the play, produced by Rothenberg, premiered off-Broadway at the Actors Playhouse from 23 February 1967 to January 1968. Reviews were initially mixed, and many reviewers were shocked by the subject matter. The play toured to Chicago, San Francisco and Montreal and ran for fifteen weeks at the Central Library Theatre in Toronto.
In 1969 the play was produced and directed by Sal Mineo at the Coronet Theatre in Los Angeles. Don Johnson played the lead role of Smitty, a young man sentenced to six months in prison for marijuana possession, who eventually becomes the sexual subordinate of another inmate, Rocky. Michael Greer played the role of Queenie, Smitty's cellmate. This production garnered more critical approval.
The young, naive Smitty is sent to prison for six months; Cathy, his girlfriend, watches as he disappears behind the bars and barbed wire. He's assigned a cell with Queenie, a balls-out drag queen, Then there's Rocky, a quiet but cocky con, and Mona, a young gay man who ministers to Rocky. Smitty watches in horror as gangs of inmates brutalize prisoners who lack protection. Those who complain risk beatings or murder at the hands of unsympathetic guards: all cries are bootless. Mona offers poetry -- Shakespeare's sonnet 29; Queenie and Rocky offer Smitty advice; and Rocky offers protection -- for a price. Smitty's choices and their consequences are the film's main subjects.
I'm not a musician, but even I have a few songs that I wish I'd written, so I thought this New Musical Express article was going to be fascinating. It wasn't quite as good as I was hoping, but a few caught my attention.
Ian McCulloch, Echo and the Bunnymen
Abba, ‘The Winner Takes It All’: “It’s incredible that Bjorn Ulvaeus wrote it, knowing what his missus [Agneta Faltskog] was going through because of him, especially when he was the ugliest cunt in the world. He sees it from the woman’s point of view so well.”
Lou Reed, 'Perfect Day': “Every time I hear it just kills me a little bit. I got into Loud Reed fairly recently, just from meeting other musicians and them introducing me to stuff.”
Brett Anderson, Suede
Don McLean, ‘Vincent’: “The melody is beautiful and the lyrics are just so perfect: 'The silver thorn of bloody rose/Lie crushed and broken on the virgin snow'. It gives me a shiver just thinking about it. It’s so sad and beautiful and manages to find that bittersweet holy grail the songwriter is always looking for.”
Posted by Kenneth M. Walsh at 2:06 PM
Not what I thought we were getting here. Mike Signorile explains why this is (obviously) NOT a good solution HERE.
I'm always fascinated to learn popular songs by bands were actually reworked numbers from members' previous outfits -- "Somebody to Love" and "White Rabbit" were from Grace Slick's previous group, the Great Society -- and especially when they are markedly different. Case in point, "Vacation," which would go on to be the second biggest single for the Go-Go's.
In an interview Jane Wiedlin gave to Songfacts, where the journalist keeps (accidentally?) asking her about songs she didn't write(!), she had this to say about it:
"Vacation" was Kathy's song, and Kathy was the last Go-Go to join. She joined at the beginning of '81 and she brought that song with her from her band, The Textones. We really loved the song, but it didn't really have a chorus. So Charlotte and I ended up working with Kathy a little bit more on the song, and sort of Go-Go-fying it, basically adding the chorus. But that storyline was one about having a summer romance, thinking that it was all just for fun and games, and then later realizing that you actually love. So that's what that one's about.Although she's right that they fleshed it out a bit, the more stripped down sound of the original almost reminds me of "Goodbye to You" by Scandal. From what I remember on Kathy's priceless Twitter memoir, the line Jane added that significantly moved the rewrite along was changing "A week without you / I should forget / Two weeks without you / And I'm still thinking about the things that you said" into "And I still haven't gotten over you yet," a great line, indeed.
Looking at the lyrics today, however, they're even more substantially different than I initially recall from first hearing the Textones version years ago. Jane's right that they gave the song a more traditional chorus, although the verses -- early version and later -- definitely remain its best part.
Written by Kathy Valentine
I thought a lot of things about you
I stayed awake just thinking 'bout you
But now I'm away
You had to stay
Tomorrow's a day of mine that you won't be in
I tried to say I was just having fun
But I really knew that you were the one
And now that I'm gone
I see I was wrong
I should have known all along that time would tell
A week without you
I should forget
Two weeks without you
And I'm still thinking about the things that you said.
Just another holiday
I hope you love me
Would you think of me?
I think I'll leave without saying goodbye
I think that you know the reason why
What if I was to stay?
Would things turn out some other way?
I'll never know anyway
Riding high on the success of "Beauty and the Beat," the Go-Go's released a concert video called "Totally Go-Go's," which was recorded Dec. 4, 1981, at Palos Verdes High School near Los Angeles. Because they only had one album out, the gals were already performing other material at their live shows, and Kathy's "Vacation" was clearly already in the band's repertoire. What I find interesting looking back is that the song isn't quite the Textones version, nor is it the finished product that would be the title track from their sophomore album, but sort of a hybrid of the two. Have a listen:
In the end, though, the finished product was probably the best, even if I questioned whether or not the heroine was missing someone she'd met on a vacation or if she went on vacation to forget someone at home. (Kathy straightened me out -- it's the former!). And I'm not the only one who has been tripped up by this song, remember?
And it goes something like this: