Drag

Kinsey Sicks - "Each Hit and I": CD Review

By Jeff Walsh

I'm an unabashed Kinsey Sicks fan, and love seeing them live as well as listening to their recordings. Their latest CD, "Each Hit and I," (say it out loud), is a great addition to your Kinseys collection.

At 20 tracks, this CD covers a lot of ground. There are parody covers, original songs, and a live track with the Silicon Valley Gay Men's Chorus. But when I think about the CD, my mind keeps drifting to Ani Difranco.

I used to love seeing Ani DiFranco live, but there was a bit of a dilemma for me. She would always be touring when a new album came out, but if you liked the new album, she was already sort of on to the next thing. So, you had to catch the previous tour to hear her really play the songs that would be on the album you eventually liked. Once the CD was out, you already sort of missed it.

This came up to me when I saw the Kinseys multiple times during a two week run in San Francisco. In concert, they were singing "BP is Creepy," an original song about the oil spill (see the video below), and "Bedroom Ants," a Gaga parody about ants largely to "Bad Romance." The new CD came out the day the run began, and these two crowd pleasers weren't on it. But tracks about Michael Jackson ("Dead," to the tune of "Bad") and Britney Spears ("Fertilizer," to the tune of "Womanizer") seemed to be getting a tad dated. So, I figure these were previous live gems that finally found their way onto my iPod, and that lag was unavoidable.

Now, I realize I'm reviewing a funny a capella drag queen album the way other publications are scrutinizing the new output from Arcade Fire, but it's just an observation I had.

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Identity

I identify as queer or Androgyne. There was a time I identified as trans. Adrogyne is a name my fiancé gave me to accommodate my female body and masculine mindset and outward expression. (In other words I'm a total "dyke") I prefer the term Androgyne or boi. I'd like to know what everyone else out there identifies as. Are you Queer, gay, ally (friend of gays that is straight), fag hag, fag stag, lesbian, les lover (the male equivalent to lezzies as a femaleis to gay people, aka fag hag), boi, queen, FTM, MTF?
And, why do you identify that way?

Almost Infamous: Kinsey Sicks Movie Review

By Jeff Walsh

"Almost Infamous" is the new documentary about The Kinsey Sicks from the same people that brought us the amazingly well-shot and entertaining "I Wanna Be A Republican" live concert. The movie recently had its world premiere at the 32nd annual San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival.

It's really two movies in one. The first half sets up the history and back stories of the group and its current and former members, whereas the second half is where it becomes the drag queen equivalent of Metallica's "Some Kind of Monster," where we see the group dealing with the strain of being a touring group about to have their own show in Las Vegas.

I've been a fan of the group for years, so seeing their history was more of a flashback for me than an educational experience. The only San Francisco show I didn't see was their first time singing publicly at Harvey Milk Plaza in the Castro (and, stupidly, the shows they shot for the first movie). But the documentary team got to dig in deep and really introduce us to the boys behind the Kinseys. We get to meet their families, and see how Irwin Keller's mother is the inspiration for Winnie, learn that Ben Schatz (as the lawyer who drafted Clinton's AIDS policies) gave Bill a copy of their first Dragapella CD the night before he was impeached giving him a good laugh during a serious time, and how Chris Dilley and Jeff Manabat had to fill the heels of the members who came before them.

The Kinsey Sicks - I Wanna Be A Republican: DVD Review

by Jeff Walsh

I'd already reviewed this movie when it was playing festivals, but now you can enjoy the amazing spectacle at home on DVD. For all of the discussions on here about LGBT movie nights and movies appropriate for GSAs, this is certainly one that might not be obvious, but brings up a lot of other topics along the way, which would make for a good discussion.

So, for this DVD review, I'm mainly going to talk about everything else they put together and not the feature itself, as I already enthusiastically praised the movie enough. Be sure to go there to read the review of the feature.

The DVD does have a lot of bonus features that will reward your time. There are two separate commentary tracks, one with the Kinseys themselves and one with the crew. It is interesting to see how the show had to be morphed from its looser theatrical origins to be filmed. That is one thing I still can't get over, which is how damned good this thing looks. It is definitely a film and not some videoed performance that they just released after quickly snipping it together.

The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert: DVD Review

by Jeff Walsh

"The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert" is a film I'd always enjoyed. For the uninitiated, it is a drag queen road trip movie set in Australia starring Terence Stamp, Hugo Weaving, and Guy Pearce. Watching the new "Extra Frills" edition on DVD, you really get an appreciation for what an amazing movie it is. It's a wonder it ever got made.

The costumes won an Academy Award that year, but were largely bought with someone's employee discount at K-Mart, and rarely held together longer than it took to shoot the scene, on the rare occasion they lasted that long. The shoot seemed to hit the breaking point for the leads on several occasions, and they took so long actually climbing in drag to the top of the mountain for one of the final shots in the movie that they had to be airlifted, one at a time, off the mountain by helicopter as the sun went down.

I'm big into deleted scenes, and audio commentaries, and this DVD doesn't disappoint in that regard. While I do wish there were more deleted scenes and such available, the director says pretty plainly that there wasn't much shot that isn't in the final film.

Kinsey Sicks "Oy Vey In a Manger" review

By Jeff Walsh

In the grand tradition of Christmas music being sung by Jewish people (See: Barbra Streisand, Neil Diamond, and almost every CD in the holiday section of your store), The Kinsey Sicks deliver their entry with "Oy Vey In A Manger: Christmas Carols and Other Jewish Music."

Jeff Manabat of the Kinsey Sicks Interview

By Jeff Walsh

The Kinsey Sicks have been part of my life in San Francisco for as long as I can remember. But, these days, this dragapella beauty shop quartet is spreading its music and message (and STDs, in the case of Rachel) throughout North America as a constantly touring group. The group was first profiled in Oasis back in November of 1999, and have never stopped coming up with hilarious shows, outlandish improv, and "Oh no, they didn't!" moments.

2007 will see the DVD release of their first-ever concert film "I Wanna Be A Republican" (currently playing festivals and seeking a distributor) as well as an episodic reality show, "Almost Infamous," documenting their journey to debuting a show in Las Vegas. The group consists of four members: Ben Schatz as the slutty Rachel, Irwin Keller as the lesbolicious neatfreak Winnie, Chris Dilley as the vapid vampy Trampolina, and Jeff Manabat as the glamorous (and easy) Trixie.

Amazing Drag Musical Movie, 'Hedwig,' Inching Toward A Wicked Little Town Near You

By Jeff Walsh

When I first came out, at the late age of 23, I made up for lost time by going from closeted to activist. I became obsessed with people pushing the boundaries, challenging the norm, advancing the cause. My two immediate role models became Larry Kramer and Michelangelo Signorile. As it turned out, Larry was just about to release his new play in New York City shortly after I came out called “The Destiny of Me,” which advanced the characters and story of his earlier play, “The Normal Heart,” about the AIDS Epidemic as how it divided and rallied the gay community in New York City. So, I told my straight friend we were going to New York City, and I bought us tickets to see “The Destiny of Me.”

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