Archive for July, 2012

Playlist: iPod shuffle, 7/31/12

July 31, 2012

“Etched Headplate,” Burial
“The Lord’s Graffiti,” Actress
“Hickory,” Iron & Wine
“Don’t You Want My Bad Romance (Lady GaGa vs. Human League),” A plus D
“Hundred Dollars,” Punch Brothers
“Shuffle a Dream,” Little Dragon
“The Two Cowboy Waltz,” Mark Weigle
“Horse Power,” Chemical Brothers
“Medicine,” Tindersticks
“Through the Storm,” Aretha Franklin & Elton John
“Somewhere,” Dionne Warwick
“The Moon is Made of Gold,” Rickie Lee Jones
“The Sire of Sorrow (Job’s Sad Song),” Joni Mitchell
“Date Line,” Loudon Wainwright III
“Lie Alone,” Adam Cohen
“Codex,” Radiohead
“Wolly Wolly Gong,” Tune-Yards
“Pieces of Dreams,” Barbra Streisand
“Another Day in America,” Laurie Anderson
“Aha!” Imogen Heap
“Falling,” Laurie Anderson
“Only God Can Save us Now,” Over the Rhine
“Looking for an Angel,” Kylie Minogue

“Gentleman,” Me’Shell NdegeOcello & Yerba Buena featuring Ron Blake (Red Hot + Riot)
“While You Wait for the Others,” Grizzly Bear
“Dreaming Wide Awake,” Lizz Wright
“Flower of the Mountain,” Kate Bush
“Army,” Ben Folds Presents the University of Rochester Midnight Ramblers
“The Luckiest,” Ben Folds Presents: The Washington University in St. Louis Amateurs
“Under My Thumb,” Rolling Stones
“Oh, the Divorces!” Tracey Thorn
“Belles,” Andrew Bird
“Every Single Night,” Fiona Apple
“Kingfisher,” Joanna Newsom

Quote of the day: ROCK MUSIC

July 25, 2012


For an adult, the world is constantly trying to clamp down on itself. Routine, responsibility, decay of institutions, corruption: this is all the world closing in. Music, when it’s really great, pries that shit back open and lets people back in, it lets light in, and air in, and energy in, and sends people home with that and sends me back to the hotel with it. People carry that with them sometimes for a very long period of time….

T-Bone Burnett said that rock and roll is all about “Daaaaddy!” It’s one embarrassing scream of “Daaaaddy!” It’s just fathers and sons, and you’re out there proving something to somebody in the most intense way possible. It’s, like, “Hey, I was worth a little more attention than I got! You blew that one, big guy!”

— Bruce Springsteen, interviewed by David Remnick in the New Yorker

Photo diary: Gay Men’s Health Summit 2012

July 25, 2012

The first three Gay Men’s Health Summits, convened by visionary writer and educator Eric Rofes in 1999, 2000, and 2002 in Boulder, Colorado, were hugely inspiring events that launched a grass-roots, community-based movement devoted to gay men’s health issues including but not limited to HIV/AIDS. There have been a few other summits since then, but after Eric’s unexpected death from a heart attack in 2006, I didn’t go. This year I heard at a very late date that there was another summit at George Washington University in Washington, DC, scheduled to coincide with the International AIDS Conference, so I thought I’d check in. This conference was thinly attended, haphazardly organized with mediocre (at best) programming — a mere shadow of former summits. Nevertheless, I tuned in to some of the conversations going on about PREP (the pre-exposure prophylaxis for HIV treatment just approved by the FDA) and met some nice folks from around the country.

Dave works in intelligence at the Pentagon and Brian is a grad student in psychology

David runs the Montana Gay Men’s Task Force and Hawk is an activist primarily with sex workers in North Carolina and NYC

The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence were a presence in DC, here represented by Sister Eden Ass (aka Brad Vanderbilt), moderating a session on peer-based community health promotion

as usual, Seattle was a strong presence at the summit — Todd Hull attended with a posse from Lifelong AIDS Alliance, including Jennifer Hatlo

I met trans activist Jeffrey Johnston, who works for the federal government as a public health analyst

Sister Glo applied elaborate makeup to lead a session on healing shame and unveiling joy

after the conference, I had dinner at Indique with my dear old friend Joe Martin, who had just attended the wedding of his former boss, Barney Frank

then I went back to spend the night in my dorm room at Thurston Hall








Performance diary: Jenifer Lewis at 54 Below

July 25, 2012

“Only in New York”: that’s the kind of vibe that 54 Below, the recently opened cabaret in the basement of Studio 54 that calls itself “Broadway’s Nightclub,” strives to create. And my first time there tonight, it worked. The headliner was Jenifer Lewis, a mouthy comic singer and performer who’s toiled in New York theater, spent five years on a TV show called Strong Medicine, and once toured as backup singer for Bette Midler. Along the way, she acquired an adopted daughter and became a poster girl for bipolar disorder. All of that figures in her act, much of it special material created for her by her musical director, Marc Shaiman, who’s a gifted composer and arranger but more than anything else is kind of a great diva wrangler (Bette being his first and foremost diva). He’s a superb accompanist, in that he’s a nimble piano player but also strikes the perfect balance on stage between invisible partner and sweet all-purpose straight man. Well, straight man who’s as gay as they come. The original material will not be covered by other singers any time soon — “Black Don’t Crack,” about how female celebrities of a certain age don’t have to submit to Botox-face the way their white counterparts do, and “Sang Bitch,” a tribute to other beloved performers. The cover songs are surprising and, I have to say, very well-sung. Imagine Kiki and Herb with less onstage drinking and better pitch. The show, directed by Scott Wittman (Shaiman’s partner in crime and life), runs through Saturday July 28.


Photo diary: mid-week recap

July 18, 2012

Saturday — after all day at a therapy conference, Ben Seaman and I had a drink at Mad46, the rooftop lounge at the Roosevelt Hotel, which has a great vista but an atmosphere of tension and drink-hustling

Andy and I had a yummy dinner at Terrazza Toscana, where this tribute to Bacchus graces the men’s lounge

Sunday afternoon — I spied this T-shirt in front of Fairway

Its owner was way proud to be photographed and eager to tell me where I could order it online at some website catering to rednecks

Sunday night — after seeing Beasts of the Southern Wild and enjoying drinks at Red58 served by the ever-friendly and handsome Milan, Andy and I and Mr. David Zinn strolled over to Fifth Avenue to check out the life-sized wax replica of Yayoi Kusama in the windows at Louis Vuitton

Kusama has a retrospective at the Whitney, and her polka dots have exploded all over Vuitton’s exterior

Monday night — Andy and I found ourselves in Soho, where the streets were spookily deserted

Our destination: Seize sur Vingt, clothing store hosting a party to celebrate the re-opening on Broadway of Fela!

It was never clear what these shirts had to do with this theatrical tribute to the Afro-beat legend — random cast members nibbled pizza in the lounge at the back while civilians drank cocktails featuring Bushmill whiskey, who apparently sponsored the event — but the DJ’s spun some hot vintage Fela vinyl, and Andy’s takeaway was a fixation with tracking down a digital copy of “Roforofo Fight”

On the N train home, these sweet boys sharing tunes

Wednesday — farmer’s market yield — no corn yet, but I’ll take a juicy nectarine and a tasty local tomato any day











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