Archive for ‘music’

March 30, 2011

Don’t Hate Me Cause I’m Beautiful

Ever wonder what sound was being played in the hippest gay dance clubs 10 years ago?

Listen to Chris Brown‘s newest single “Beautiful People.” Yes, it does take that long to work its way to the mainstream.

And just as a bonus, I’m throwing in Keri Hilson‘s new single. Love the video!

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March 29, 2011

Femme Fatale: Britney Spears “live” on Good Morning America

To promote the release of her new CD Femme Fatale today, earlier in the week Britney Spears  performed 3 songs in front of a live audience in San Francisco. “Good Morning America” devoted its entire second hour this morning to the pre-taped  live concert event.

“Pre-taped live concert event” pretty much describes all of Britney’s work, so it wasn’t particularly odd to see on live morning television.

No, the oddity here was Ms Spears’ lethargic attitude, which regrettably brought to mind the fried chicken/Dunkin Donuts/rehab addicted Britney at the MTV Awards a few years back.

The choreography generally had the energy and complexity of a chair aerobics class at a senior center though at it’s peak it did mimic the artistry one sees at the finale of a 70’s themed performance at a respite center for the developmentally disabled.

As for her “solos,” Ms Spears stood almost in a haze, bending over or rocking back and forth from side to side, often gyrating her neck in order to whip her hair into motion, thus appropriating the entire  repetoire of a dancer with a C section at a Gentlemen’s Club around 2pm on any given weekday.

Despite all of this, there was some good news to report. If one thinks about it, counter-intuitive as it may be, it is quite heartening to hear her declare on her new single that she plans to keep on dancing “Till the World Ends.

She could use the practice.


March 22, 2011

There’s an App for That, Jolene?

Apple has again come under fire for approving an iPhone app that promises to cure homosexuality.

Yes, you read that correctly.

By the time you read this, Apple will have probably come to its senses and removed the idiotic app from the iTunes store.

If there really is a  market for apps on human sexuality, and there is, I would suggest that this would be a great time for The Kinsey Institute to issue an app of the Kinsey Scale.

The research has been around since 1948, for God’s sake. I think it’s about time it moves into the 21st century with its own app.

Until that happens, perhaps everyone should take a listen to The White Stripes essential cover of the Dolly Parton classic “Jolene.”

Why? Because  hearing Jack White beseech in his trademark wail “Jolene, Jolene I’m begging of you please don’t take my man” will give you the essence of Kinsey’s work: how complicated and multidimensional human sexuality really is.

And there ain’t no cure for that.

Related post: There’s an App for That, Maggie!

March 10, 2011

Leonard Cohen: “A Thousand Kisses Deep”

The Haider Ackermann Fall 2011  collection was the talk of Paris as much for the clothes  (“A bravura performance from a singular designer.” “A moment of fashion grace.“) as for the choice of Leonard Cohen on the soundtrack.

March 3, 2011

Rick Genest, Male Supermodel



From New York magazine:

Paris time, noon NYC time, stylist Nicola Formichetti’s first runway show for Thierry Mugler walks at Paris Men’s Fashion Week. Formichetti has released four stills from a Mariano Vivanco–directed film of his new muse, Rick Genest, who goes by Rico, wearing the collection in what may be fashion’s Social Network. The stylist discovered Rico on Facebook and knew instantly that he had to make him a part of his men’s debut. “After friending Rico via Facebook and learning that he couldn’t get a passport soon enough Nicola flew to Montreal, where Rico lives, and shot the film,” a press release explains.

View his video work with Lady Gaga and Mugler creative director Nicola Formichetti here.

March 3, 2011

The Born Identity: Lady Gaga releases “Born this Way” video

“Sexuality is unmistakably present and potent in her work but it is also fraught with danger, usually mixed up in some trajectory of birth and death.”                    

Tom Kolovos, The Sociology of Fame

February 22, 2011

Congressman:Turn Off The Dark (or What a Wicked Web We Weave)


Note to the producers of Spider-man: Turn Off The Dark

How disheartening it must be for you to have put on a $65 million dollar musical and have the critics universally trash it. “As directed by Julie Taymor, who wrote the show’s book with Glen Berger, and featuring songs by U2’s Bono and the Edge, “Spider-Man” is not only the most expensive musical ever to hit Broadway; it may also rank among the worst,” wrote Ben Brantley.

I mean, the people responsible for the film versions managed to turn them into one of the most lucrative movie franchises of all time, but you came up with something which Peter Marks of  The Washington Post noted:

“The 8-year-old boys in the audience might be able to key on the Cirque du Soleil-style stunts on wires and video-game graphic elements, and probably not worry too much that Spider-Man is a tangle of disjointed concepts, scenes and musical sequences that suggests its more appropriate home would be off a highway in Orlando. Come to think of it, the optimal audience might be non-English-speaking.” 

It must also be disheartening to learn that for all the similar pre-production skepticism that accompanied  the premiere of “Anna Nicole”–yes, as in tabloid trainwreck Smith–  in London, “it proved a weirdly inspired work, an engrossing, outrageous, entertaining and, ultimately, deeply moving new opera,”  according to Anthony Tommasini in The New York Times. “This was an improbable triumph for Covent Garden.”

Clearly you need some help and I’m here to help. Scrap the incoherent everything and start from scratch. I propose to you:

CONGRESSMAN

Turn Off The Dark

It’s the story of New York congressman Chris Lee, a 46 year old married father( pictured, left)  and his  web alter ego lobbyist Chris Lee, a divorced  and buff 39 year old (pictured, right).

Lobbyist Chris fights his arch nemesis unprepossesing, mendacity prone CL Man by sending shirtless photos of himself to a woman  on Craigslist who implores in song: “Will someone prove to me not all CL men look like toads?”

By day congressman Chris is a family man and one of the 50 richest members of Congress. The lobbyist Chris fancies himself a “fit, fun and classy guy” who promises “not to disappoint.”  By night lobbyist Chris battles CL Man who frustrates his mission to meet only  the hot gullible women without access to Google  and who populate the  “women seeking men” ads on the web.  Cue the production number  “She was not as advertised,”  a lament in which lobbyist Chris details the pain caused him by dishonest damsels who got caught in his web.

Meanwhile, in a flashback sequence, congressman Chris, on the campaign trail, lectures teenagers against the dangers of using the web and social media inappropriately: “responding to what may seem like a friendly e-mail or an appealing marketing offer can have serious consequences. Private information and images can so easily be transmitted to friends and strangers alike.”

It turns out to be prescient advice. Cue the dancing algorithms which fly atop the audience in high tech harnesses.

Clearly, at the heart of the story is the  how  this man–and by implication all of us– can use social media to create  any number of new realities, the search for the meaning of it all– or just a cheap thrill–  just an engine search away. What is identity, authenticity and privacy in the vast darkness of the new frontier of the web?

The production will also feature the Queen of reality television Kim Kardashian, about whom Lynn Hirschberg has written “can’t sing, act, or dance but she’s found the role of a lifetime playing herself.” (Tony nomination anyone?)

Ms. Kardashian will appear in a parallel storyline in which she plays a vixen who  continuously complains that she doesn’t want to be famous for taking off her clothes but just can’t stop herself from doing exactly that at every opportunity. Her character will be known as “The Lying Queen.”

And since you still don’t have a showstopping number to end the show, no need to further humiliate Bono and The Edge to come up with yet another listless one. They’ve already written the perfect song long ago. It begins:

I have climbed highest mountains
I have run through the fields
Only to be with you
Only to be with you
I have run
I have crawled
I have scaled these city walls
These city walls
Only to be with you

But I still haven’t found what I’m looking for
But I still haven’t found what I’m looking for

February 18, 2011

A Heart Like Mine

I think this song makes a nice companion piece to Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way.” This video is from a live acoustic performance. The single appears on Ms. Lambert’s excellent CD “Revolution”.

February 12, 2011

Born This Way!

February 8, 2011

My Funny Valentine

Rodgers and Hart wrote “My Funny Valentine”  in 1937 for the musical “Babes in Arms.” The song’s essential message can be described as: your  flaws are endearing, so please don’t change.
To see how sentiments and expression of love and attraction have changed ( or not)  in the last 75 years, I thought I’d mash up some of 2011’s top pop singles and some current research with the classic lyrics and see what emerges.

My funny Valentine
Sweet comic Valentine
You make me smile with my heart

The back story is upfront on Ricky Martin’s “Música + Alma + Sexo” (“Music + Soul + Sex”), his first studio album since 2005 and his first since he announced last year on his Web site that he is “proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man.” On this album his usual exhortations to seize life’s pleasures mingle with coming-out manifestos, and he smiles through them all. (New York Times)

Your looks are laughable, unphotographable
Yet you’re my favorite work of art

Pretty pretty please, don’t you ever ever feel
Like you’re less than f*ckin’ perfect
Pretty pretty please, if you ever ever feel like you’re nothing
You’re f*ckin’ perfect to me! (Pink)

Is your figure less than Greek?
Here’s the situation
Been to every nation
Nobody’s ever made me feel the way that you do
You know my motivation
Given my reputation
Please excuse me I don’t mean to be rude

But tonight I’m f*cking you
Oh you know
That tonight I’m f*cking you
Oh you know
That tonight I’m f*cking you (Enrique Iglesias)

Is your mouth a little weak?

Cause I may be bad, but I’m perfectly good at it
Sex in the air, I don’t care, I love the smell of it
Sticks and stones may break my bones
But chains and whips excite me (Rihanna)

When you open it to speak, are you smart?
The video clip for the album’s first single in English, a lilting duet with Joss Stone called “The Best Thing About Me Is You,” shows Mr. Martin pulling a gag off his mouth, then juxtaposes him with gay and straight couples with equal signs painted on their chests. (New York Times)

But don’t change a hair for me
A long-term study of 3,500 people between the ages of 30 and 101 found that regular sex may shave between four and seven years off your physical appearance. Researchers at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital in Scotland presented photos of the subjects to an impartial panel of judges, who were asked to guess their ages. The people who were judged to be the youngest were also those who had the most sex. What’s the connection between youthfulness and getting it on? In addition to boosting self-esteem and confidence, sex increases the production of human growth hormone, which is known to improve muscle tone.

Not if you care for me
A recent study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that erectile dysfunction (ED) is often an early indicator of poor cardiovascular health. Researchers followed more than 2,300 men for an average of four years and found that men with ED had a 58 percent greater risk of coronary heart disease. Another study showed that men who reported having three or more orgasms per week experienced 50 percent fewer heart attacks and strokes as compared with those who had less frequent orgasms. Sex may help the heart because orgasm triggers the release of the hormone DHEA, which helps with circulation and arterial dilation.
Stay little Valentine, stay
Each day is Valentine’s Day
For reasons that are still unclear, regular sex may even add years to your life. A study published in the British Medical Journal found that men who had sex less than once per month were twice as likely to die in the next 10 years than those who had sex once per week. And guys aren’t the only ones to benefit: Researchers at Duke University found that women who claimed to enjoy their sex lives lived seven to eight years longer than women who were indifferent to sex.
Is your mouth a little weak.
The secret to good sex after marriage: low costs, high transparency. Who said economics was dismal?
When you open it to speak, are you smart?
When sex is dirt cheap, we’re much more likely to go at it like rabbits. Couple O has been together for 15 years and has a great sex life. They keep it affordable. If they’re tired, they make it quick. Maybe they don’t even bother to take their shirts off. When one of them is in the mood, they say so.

But don’t change a hair for me

Which brings us to a second principle of economics that applies to the bedroom: transparency. Transparency is what keeps the wheels of the free market—and, coincidentally, your sex life—greased. Couple O doesn’t make each other guess, because guessing takes time, and is often stressful (“Should I or shouldn’t I? If she’s not up for it, I’m going to be bummed and wonder if it’s because she’s not attracted to me. What if she’s not attracted to me? Oh Jesus. Forget it”). Bottom line: Guessing is costly.

Not if you care for me
Stay little Valentine, stay

Now for your third and final economics lesson: the theory of rational addiction.

The gist of rational addiction is that we get addicted to things—alcohol, gambling, porn, crystal meth, cigarettes, loser boyfriends—by doing them over and over again, and we stay addicted to them because we feel the benefits outweigh the costs. So a heroin addict knows heroin is habit-forming and deadly, but has decided he’d still rather be high and addicted than not high and not addicted. For him, being an addict is a “rational” decision in the sense that he has considered the long- and short-term costs and benefits. According to the theory, the same applies to what might be considered “good” addictions, like working hard, or listening to music, or eating healthy food, or loving one person every day, for the rest of your life. Or having sex.

Each day is Valentine’s Day

Lady Gaga announces that her first fragrance will smell “of blood and semen.”