By Jeff Walsh
For more than 40 years, Kiki and Herb have been consummate entertainers. But you may want to check them out soon, judging from their recent "Alive From Broadway" show at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco (playing through July 29), a testament that not everything improves with age.
Their set-list shows that if you polish something, it can become beautiful and sparkling; but if you polish it too much over 40 years, it can become dull and the seams begin to show.
"Make Yourself Comfortable" is a song my grandmother probably sang along to in the late 1950s, the original recording still young and alive. In concert, though, the magic is all but gone; Kiki preferring to drink her way through one more gig, while Herb lets his seeming contempt for her frustrate him to the point where all the lessons he learned in anger management class drain out of him, his back-up vocals more invective than harmony.
I am a firm believer in albums -- I believe that they have their own sound that comes from all the songs they have on them put together. Revolutions is all 90's. It is absolutely a throwback to my youth. We all know what 90's music sounds likes, even if we can't describe it- an awkward mix between hair bands of the eighties and the later evolution of boy bands in the new millennium.
In the interest of holding someone's attention, I'll only review the tracks that particularly stood out to me. The first track, Standing in the Way of Control by The Gossip, made me jump when I first heard it. I was completely blown away. It makes you want to dance, and the lyrics are a powerful imperative to stand up and have a revolution. According to Wikipedia, it was written by the lead singer as a response to the United States government's decision to deny gay people the right to marriage.
The second song, Come Over Here, is a slow, moody song that, I believe, is asking all GLBT folk to come out, once and for all.
Hey there, wanted to let everyone know that Brent Hartinger and his partner Michael, the editor of afterelton.com, are doing video blogs on afterelton.com called "Two Gay Guys," where they review current TV, Broadway, movies, and books.
Fun stuff... and, in case you aren't aware, afterelton targets men, so the stuff all has a male slant. (I didn't see a similar video blog on sister site afterellen.com)
Anyway, check them out here.
Hmm, we never really did much of anything with the Oasis group on MySpace, but who knows... I just created one on Facebook, in case anyone wants to join on there.
Click here to join (I think).
Also, something to pay attention to on here. I just had FaceBook invite people from my AIM account, and a handful of Oasis people showed up. Many I only knew by their Oasis IDs, some a first name... but on FaceBook, it was like full name, what school they go to, where they live (city, state), etc. So, be careful out there...
By Jeff Walsh
I go to a lot of concerts. It isn't a rare experience for me. I see the big bands in the huge arenas and the up-and-comers in the clubs. But I have to say, the True Colors Tour was an incredibly rare event.
For those of you who don't know, True Colors was put together by Cyndi Lauper, and at the tour stop I caught in Berkeley, featured The Dresden Dolls, Debbie Harry, Erasure, and Cyndi. (It also featured openers The Cliks and The Misshapes, but to be honest, I was having dinner when they played.) The entire show was about gay and gay-friendly acts getting together to raise awareness. From the moment you entered the venue, when you were given a purple "Erase Hate" rubber bracelet from the Matthew Shepard Foundation, to the big HRC logo above the stage, it was clear that this event was going to be different.
And, throughout the show, the crowd was just delightful. I'd never seen so many people smile at strangers, be generous, loving, and I think all of that amazing positive energy is what transformed the crowd into such a communal dancing party by the time Erasure came onstage. It was a crowd without ego, pretense, or drama (oh, and there were a lot of hot guys, too).
By Jeff Walsh
"The Curiosity of Chance" is a gay movie that plays with all the conventions of the teen movies of the 1980s. If Duckie were gay and had his own movie, this would be it (and if that sentence made no sense to you, you really need to catch up on your John Hughes flicks).
From the outcast friends, the bullying jock, the jock that Chance has a crush on, and the caricature of a principal, all of the familiar elements are here. But, for some reason, it never seemed to take those building blocks and go in a different direction. I'm not complaining, but it just seemed the movie was so close to being really unique and amazing, something was missing that prevented it from happening.
I think it might be that according to 80s teen movie archetypes, Chance would have been in the sidekick role. Here, he is the main character, and his story doesn't really have the gravitas around which to spin the whole movie. I mean, can you really "out" someone who already wears top hats, eye patches and such to school? Even in the 80s, I would have to say no, even if you did have a photo of them in drag.
Gay and Single...Forever?: 10 Things Every Gay Guy Looking for Love (and Not Finding It) Needs to Know
What exactly is this book? Well, it's a book with a rather lengthy title. Other than that, it's exactly what you think it is; advice on dating... and coincidently, not dating if you don't want to. In a world where single gay men are the new "pariahs," gay men tend to feel guilty when they are alone.
"Being gay and single is the new smoking," playwright Paul Rudnick has said. "It won't be socially acceptable anymore, and you will have to go outside."
Though I cannot say that I enjoyed reading this book as much as I would have if I were reading, say... Star Wars, or something more suitable for an eighteen year old, I must say that it was incredibly methodical and detailed. Steven Bereznai mixes a gripping social commentary brilliantly with a guide to a gay man's love life... or lack thereof.
Dante's Cove Season 2: DVD Review
Dante's Cove Season 2 can be described as a campy soap opera with interesting characters. If you imagine Charmed meets Queer as Folk, The L Word and Buffy the Vampire Slayer you begin to get a picture of what Dante's Cove is. It's a supernatural, dramatic, mystery, thriller, horror show with countless hot, graphic sex scenes and lots of male full-frontal nudity.
I had never viewed a single episode of the first season so the summary at the beginning of the first episode was a thorough yet fast and clear which I found very helpful as well as Jeff's review of Season 1.
Kevin is the "hot young guy" of the show. Everyone wants him but very few can have him. Kevin is living and dating Toby. Toby is Kevin's "Sugar Daddy" buying and paying for everything and never asking for anything in return except love and sex.
By Jeff Walsh
Rock Haven is a simple story of a young boy having to rectify his religious beliefs with his sexuality. There isn't much of a subplot, plot twist, or surprise in the entire movie, just a simple story well told.
Brady recently moved to the California coast, where he reflects on his spirituality along the picturesque coastline. He plans to go a religious college in the fall; his Bible is always close at hand. His mother plans to start a religious school.
One day, while walking along the beach, he sees his hot, sculpted neighbor Clifford (Owen Alabado) shirtless, standing on the rocks near the beach. Brady immediately retreats home, obviously discomforted by the sight.
By Jeff Walsh
"Rick & Steve the Happiest Gay Couple in All the World" is the latest from Q. Allan Brocka, who seems to have his hand in nearly everything good that's gay these days. The show, which will air on LOGO beginning July 10 and comes out on DVD in late August, is pretty much an animated version of Lego, if your Legos went really gay, campy, and had a lot of bitchy things to get off their chests.
The show takes place in West Lahunga Beach where Rick and Steve are DINKing it while trying to sort out their long term relationship issues. They have regular dinners with a lesbian couple, Kirsten and Dana, who are on a quest for Rick's sperm. A third couple in the mix is Chuck and Evan. Chuck is an old HIV+ queen in a wheelchair, whose partner of four years is Evan, a 19-year-old club kid.
Noah's Arc in a nutshell is an African-American, male version of The L-Word with less drama. Having only watched a couple episodes of the first season and not really knowing what had previously happened I found it very easy to jump right into the second season. There were a few things here and there that I didn't understand right away but understood.
Noah is a screenwriter who is finally becoming successful. Many bumps and turns make an already hard process of turning a screenplay into a movie becomes even harder when Noah's lead for the movie wants Noah to change the movie from gay to straight. Things only get worse when Noah's ex, Wade, shows up with a new boyfriend. Wade and Noah have never gotten over each other but is there too much between them to get back together?
Back in town after a week in Texas, and jumped right into the swing of Pride here by seeing Alan Cumming's new movie "Suffering Man's Charity" (review below), which played as part of Frameline 31: The San Francisco LGBT International Film Festival. I'm seeing a handful of other films between now and Sunday, and will post reviews of them here.
Also doing a bunch of interviews this week, which will appear in Oasis in the coming weeks.
If anyone is coming to SF for Pride, let me know, so we can sync up and say hi.
By Jeff Walsh
In "Suffering Man's Charity," Alan Cumming delivers a tour-de-force as both actor and director in this dark comic romp.
Cumming plays John Vandermark, a music teacher who dreams of writing an opera, although his greatest talent seems to be in supporting artistic younger men. His latest conquest/charity case is Sebastian St. Germain (played by David Boreanaz), whose novel seems as non-existent as his celibacy, although the latter is only reserved for his host.
When Vandermark discovers that Germain is sleeping around with women around town, they have a very spirited knock-down-drag-out bitchfest about it, to put it lightly.
Winners for the 19th annual Lambda Literary Awards were announced May 31 by the Lambda Literary Foundation at a gala celebration attended by 300 people.
Awards were presented in 25 categories. Winners were chosen by a jury of judges who come from all walks of literary life: journalists, authors, booksellers, librarians, playwrights, illustrators. In all, 85 judges participated in the selection of winners from the pool of 381 books that were nominated by 147 publishers.
When I first picked up Orphan's Quest, it was out of sheer interest to find out whether a novel deemed a "gay fantasy" could possibly be a good read. Most novels I've come by that specify the main characters as gay often times end up being preachy and tedious to get through without snoring or yelling at the pages, though I figured I'd give Orphan's Quest a chance.
The story starts off with a young man, Rokey, going through his studies at a sort of boarding school called the Noble Contemplative. The hierarchy of faculty at the school is vaguely reminiscent of a Catholic institution, minus the religious rule. From the start, we see that Rokey is attracted to other young men.
We also come to find that the world in which Rokey lives is incredibly tolerant of gays (or Samers, as they're called in the story). Through an accident that Rokey is ultimately blamed for, he is sent away from the confines of the school and is told never to return. The night following, Rokey is attacked and is saved by a young elf named Flaskamper (or Flash). From there, Rokey is introduced to Flash's fellow misfits who make their way from town to town to get by.