Saturday, August 31, 2013

Song of the Day - Ricky Ricardo - Kaptn

Here's a fun tune I just discovered about a month ago.  Not since Weird Al's Ricky parody of Toni Basil's Mickey have I heard another song about old time TV's favorite couple.  This one's assuredly more funky and contemporary than Yankovic's, with an irresistible dance groove, but it's no less fun as some of those famous Ricky one-liners from the show, complete with silly accent, are thrown into the mix of a silly song.  Fun tune!  Click play and give it a try.


Friday, August 30, 2013

Cher Not Aging Gracefully on New Album Artwork

Have you seen Cher's artwork for her new album yet?  Now I do love Cher, but I've spoken before about dressing your age (Keys to Life - Age Gracefully), and Miss Thing's photo shoot is the antithesis of everything I spoke about in that article.  The photos that were released this week show the diva as a blond sex kitten and come off a tad on the ridiculous side.  I mean, c'mon Cher, you are beautiful and talented and all that, but why????  Not sexy!


Flashback Friday Song of the Day - Bulletproof - La Roux

Here's a flashback that's not too far in the distant past.  I just came back from a two-day trip to Atlantic City and during the drive I listened to a lot of music I haven't listened to in awhile, including this one.  La Roux's Bulletproof is 100% 80's and I am sure that it would have done well enough on the charts back then as it did when it was released in 2009, too!  Great song!

La Roux 'Bulletproof' from MATHEMATIC SAS on Vimeo.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Song of the Day - Applause - Lady Gaga

Give me that thing that I love (I'll turn the lights on)
Put your hands up, make 'em touch, touch (make it real loud)
Give me that thing that I love (I'll turn the lights on)
Put your hands up, make 'em touch, touch (make it real loud)

Gaga's newest is really starting to grow on me fast.  It's got great rhythm and is oh so danceable!

Applause Official Video - LADY GAGA from Oguzhan Can on Vimeo.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Song of the Day - You're Makin' Me High - Toni Braxton

After last night's unbelieveable experience at the Toni Braxton show, how could I not post one of her tunes today?  This is one of my favorites of hers, a sexy, sultry tune that went all the way to #1 in 1996.  Hot!  C'mon, sing:

Ooh I get so high
When I'm around you baby
I can touch the sky
You make my temperature rise
You're makin' me high


An Unforgettable Night at a Toni Braxton Show

It was quite awhile ago that my pal Sean asked me if I wanted to accompany him to see Toni Braxton in concert at the old Westbury Music Fair, currently known as the NYCB Theater.  I know Toni Braxton, but not really that well, I love going to concerts, and I do love my buddy, so I agreed to go.  The concert was tonight and although I wasn't looking forward as much to this as I would have a P!nk or a Madonna concert, I got a hell of a lot more than I bargained for.

Sean's pal Julie came along with us and until tonight I had forgotten we had front row seats.  The venue is in the round and kind of small, so really there aren't any bad seats, but front row!?!?!!! Hella cool for practically any concert!

As I said, I'm nowhere near a huge fan of Toni Braxton, but I do have some of her stuff and I've jammed to her music in the past.  The house was almost full, and pretty enthusiastic.  Within moments of the 8 p.m. start time, Braxton took to the stage in front of the adoring crowd.  

Braxton, who looked absolutely gorgeous, was accompanied by two of her sisters, both of whom many in the audience knew from their reality show Braxton Family Values.  Almost immediately she delved into her signature R&B-style ballads and her voice was silky smooth.  Many of the songs I didn't know, but the audience was eating it up and I do love R&B music anyway. As the show wore on, you could tell that Toni was feeding off the energy of the crowd.  She interacted with individuals and even gave us a glance and a smile once or twice.  It was cool!

Within the first few tunes, she was calling people up to the stage out of the audience.  This one dude and chick really hammed it up for the crowd, joining in to sing with Braxton on You Mean the World to Me. It was an early highlight to the show, but also a warning of what was to come. 

Not long after that song, she asked who in the audience was celebrating an anniversary.  There were actually a few couples, each of whom she chatted with.  Once she was done, she broke into Happy Anniversary to You, and it was cutesy, but what happened next was a mix of horror and exhilaration all at the same time!

As the next song, her 1993 #3 hit, Breathe Again, started to play, Braxton walked over to beckon all of the happy couples to join her on the stage. As they all gathered to dance with Toni, she looked like she wanted more.  She walked around the perimeter of the stage until she came right in front of me and Sean and with her forefinger she beckoned us to join the happy couples in a slow dance.

In a mix of shock and horror, both he and I were vigorously shaking our heads, begging her with our eyes not to do this, but how could we refuse?  Sean turned to me as we got up from our seats and said, "okay, let's play pretend," and we hit the stage.  As we reached Toni's outstretched arms, a huge roar came from the crowd at seeing two guys up there to slow dance.  I was mortified (and shaking).

For the next five minutes, or what seemed like an eternity, Sean and I danced, arm in arm, still shaking, as Toni and her sisters gave us big smiles serenading the happy couples.   As the song went on, I couldn't wait for it to finish.  Sean had handed Julie his phone to take pictures and I kept trying to remember to face her, but I forgot that the stage is like a turntable, moving around very slowly.  At one point I looked to where I thought Julie was and she wasn't in her seat.  That was when Sean reminded me about the stage.  Oops!

As we returned to our seats, two women who were sitting behind us excitedly gave us pats on the shoulder.  I guess we were mini-celebrities of the evening.  

Julie did end up videotaping the entire thing, which was too big to send to us (stay tuned for that). We did manage to take one still from the experience, and of course, my good ole pal Dita had to notice that my tongue was sticking out in the frame (thanks bud!).  Here's the pic:


Finally the song ended and still about twenty minutes later I was shaking and my legs were like jello.  The rest of the show was great, featuring some more audience participation and all of her biggest hits, which included He Wasn't Man Enough, You're Makin' Me High, and the smash encore, Unbreak My Heart.  In the end, it was a pretty entertaining show, but it was also a night neither Sean or I will never forget!

**In a funny side-note, Sean and I were recognized by quite a few people on our way out of the theater.  

Ooh, you were the guys on stage with Toni!

Oh my God, you guys were so cute!

Is it really your anniversary?

Hehe!  Now that part was fun!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Song of the Day - Dynamite - Taio Cruz

I throw my hands up in the air sometime 
Sayin' a-yo, gotta let go
I want to celebrate and live my life
Sayin' a-yo, baby let's go

We welcome a beautiful Sunday here with an ultimate, feel good song.  Enjoy!

Taio Cruz - Dynamite by Dzanar

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Song of the Day - 212 - Azalea Banks

Happy Saturday everyone!  Here's a little firecracker of a song to get your day going (if ya like this kind of stuff!).  This one gets me going every time!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Music News Bytes: NSYNC Reunion?; New J.T., Gaga and Katy; Cher's Woman's World Vid

Music News Bytes is a collection of short news items that I follow on the Web. If you're into the same type of music I am, that is pop, dance, R&B, and such, check it out...

Ooh, I've been away from music news for too long!  A lot has been happening since my last Music News Bytes and I'm going to try and play catch up...

Nsync Reunion

NSYNC Reunion?

There have been hot rumors flying around all week that 90's boy band NSYNC will be reuniting for a performance at the VMA's this Sunday night on MTV.  Justin Timberlake, who got his start with the boys, will be receiving the show's Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award and so wouldn't this be a perfect time for an appearance together?  

Maybe not, as Mr. J.T. is doing very well all by himself these days, but for fans of the band, who competed hit for hit with the Backstreet Boys during the decade, this would be a treat.  The rumors are just that, rumors, and no one knows for sure if the reunion of the boys will take place.  I guess we'll just have to watch the VMA's to see if it really happens.

New music to get excited about...finally!

There are three new music releases of note in my world.  The first is from Justin Timberlake, whose lead single to his forthcoming The 20/20 Experience Part II, was released just about a month ago and it's more of the same type of music that appears on the former album.  The tune is called Take Back the Night and it is very good R&B, which I've always said if that's what ya like. I still miss the old Justin!  Take a listen for yourself right here.

There were two other new noteworthy music releases that happened in the past couple of weeks, and if you haven't heard either of them I'd like to know what rock you're living under.  Both Lady Gaga and Katy Perry released long-awaited new material last week and judging from the response to both, it looks like we'll be hearing a lot from the two in the coming months.

It's hard to believe, but it's been almost three years since Lady Gaga released Born This Way. With an endless, almost two-year tour that was abruptly halted due to injury right towards the end (and right before her stops here in NY), it looked like Gaga had quickly faded from memory.  All along it had been written that she'd been working on new material for her upcoming ARTPOP album while on the road, but no one really knew just when she'd be releasing any new songs.  And then came Applause.

Applause is a hard-driving, electro-ridden and high energy tune that's already been given great accolades from Gaga fans especially.  Like with any other song, it's going to take me time to really grasp its popularity like other fans have thus far.  To me it's good, but certainly not as catchy or uplifting as Born This Way.  Check out the recently released video for Applause and let me know what you think.

Another much-anticipated new release is Katy Perry's Roar.  After reaching the stratosphere with her last album, Teenage Dream, fans have been patiently salivating at the mouth waiting for something new from Miss Katy and from the look and sound of things, she's got another winner with this song.  Roar is vintage Perry, mid-tempo, with a soothing music track and pleasingly singalong lyrics.  The song is from her upcoming Prism album, which you can read all about at Fuse.   


Cher's New Video

In anticipation of her soon to be released new album and in support of her newest single, Cher has released a new video for the dance floor anthem, Woman's World.  As one might expect from the diva (and the song), this one's full of the singer in a variety of flashy wigs, wigging it out with, you guessed it, women.  Check it out on eonline.

Flashback Friday Song of the Day - It's Gonna Be Me - NSYNC

In anticipation of the rumored reunion of NSYNC at this Sunday's VMA's, here's a little tease from 2000...


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Song of the Day - Wake Me Up - Avicii

Feeling my way through the darkness
Guided by a beating heart
I can't tell where the journey will end
But I know where to start

Welcome to my latest, favorite song.  I first posted this one about a month ago when I first started to love it and in the time since, I've grown to love it even more.  

They tell me I'm too young to understand
They say I'm caught up in a dream
Well life will pass me by if I don't open up my eyes
Well that's fine by me

There's so much about this song that I love, from the lyrics to the vocals to that awesome morph of square dance and club.  I could see this one as one of those stadium songs that works everyone into a frenzy at a game.  

So wake me up when it's all over
When I'm wiser and I'm older
All this time I was finding myself
And I didn't know I was lost

They played this one a lot in the clubs at P-town, and I never missed a chance to dance to it.  So if you haven't heard it yet, you need to click play...

Avicii - Wake Me Up (Lyric Video) from wowbeibi on Vimeo.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Song of the Day - True Love - P!nk

What foresight, huh?  When I first bought P!nk's The Truth About Love, this song immediately called to me, and now here it is her latest single from the album.  It hasn't fared as well as the other singles, peaking so far at #69, but I still think it's one of the sweetest, happiest, sunshiney songs on the album!


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Song of the Day - Love's Unkind - Donna Summer

Most gay men have their diva, that one female singer that they adore.  Virtually any major female singer out there has their own legion of devoted gay fans following them and they're all so iconic that they're often recognized by just one name: Cher, Britney, Christina, Janet, Diana, Madonna, Mariah, Kelly, Liza, Kylie...the list goes on and on.

Now I've written before about my own divas.  In the span of my life, I've devotedly followed two of them: Diana Ross and Madonna, but that doesn't mean they're my only two divas. In recent months, I've met two people, the first two in my life, who were devotees of the late Donna Summer, who also holds a special place in my heart.

Donna Summer has been an iconic figure in her own right, but until recently I've never come across anyone for whom she was their number one diva, and she's a singer who deserves to have her own legion of devotees.  Donna has had a storied career, not only as a disco queen in the 70's, but a pop star in each decade that followed.

Though Diana and Madge were always my number one thing, Donna was always present in my music listening habits.  From the classic disco of I Remember Yesterday, Bad Girls and Once Upon a Time to the great pop sounds of The Wanderer, Another Place in Time and even her last album, Crayons, Donna's heavenly voice and keen sense for great music has made her a constant presence in my life.

When she suddenly passed away a little over a year ago, the world certainly lost a great talent, and I never thought she got the accolades or the coverage that she deserved. Anyway, yesterday was one of those days where I delved into Donna headfirst, listening to almost her entire catalog (the stuff I've got anyway), spurred on by a conversation with a recent acquaintance of mine, Evan. Between him and another pal, Milton, Donna's certainly covered.

So here's one of my favorites from Donna's 70's catalog.  It's a cutesy, retro tune about a crush she has on someone who doesn't even notice her.  The video is of poor quality, but the performance is amazing.  Check out Love's Unkind:

Before you check out the lyrics below, here are three stories I've penned on Donna at Yahoo:

Love's Unkind

Well I seem him every morning in the schoolyard
When the schoolbell rings
And when he passes in the hallway
Well he doesn't seem to notice me
He's got a crush on my best friend
But she don't care, 'cause she loves someone else
I'm standing on the outside, not the inside where I wanna be

Love's unkind, love's unkind
Love's unkind, love's unkind
'cause he's not mine

Just the other day I was praying that he would give me a chance
Hoping he would choose me for his partner
For the high school dance
I was standing outside the class
But it wasn't me, but my best friend, he asked
I went running back inside teary-eyed
And left the two of them behind

Love's unkind, love's unkind
Love's unkind, love's unkind
'cause he's not mine

Oh, how I love him, but I can't even let him know
'cause he loves my best friend
But she don't care, she loves someone else
And I asked my mama, and she said: love's unkind
Love's so unkind
She said: just keep it alive
'cause you may find love's unkind

Love's unkind, love's unkind
Love's unkind, love's unkind

Oh, Why did I have to love him so
Why did I have to love him so

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Gay Real World, P-town - Wrapping It All Up

Now that I've finished chronicling our vacation in P-town, I'd like to wrap up the whole thing in a nice, neat package.  A year ago today, I would never have imagined this trip.  Last year at this time I didn't know any of these guys, and who'd have figured that joining a lousy little bowling league would change my social life so much?  I am lucky!

I remember when I was first asked to go on the trip in the fall of 2012.  My pal Tim asked me.  I met he and his teammate Sean (who was definitely missed by all this week!) my first night bowling and the two of them became fast friends, followed by so many others.  Anyway, I accepted the invite, and there ya go.

I was apprehensive about the trip beforehand, but almost immediately I was at ease and going with a wonderful flow.  Provincetown is magical, really.  It's beautiful and charming, historic and wonderful, and like I said before, it is gay Disney!  But it wouldn't have been nearly as good as it was if not for the people I was with.

P-town 2013

This was the true story
(true story)
of seven strangers 
picked together to live in a house

They brought along bowling buddies and lovers and friends
and they each added their own special flavor to the group.

First there were the elders, 
who'd been there before.
Eric and Rick, Jim and Steve, and J.C.,
each with P-town experience
and each the sage of our daily, or nightly, activities. 

Of the elders, Mr. Eric was the kindredest of spirits,
making friends, making fun, and singing his heart out at Show Tunes night.
Sometimes the Punter's Planch eased his friendly ways,
always with a smile, always with a laugh, and always with the venerable Rick by his side.

Then there were the housemates,
Tim, Steve, Gary, Sal, Al, Kyle and I.
All easy-going, and all as sweet as sugar.

Tim and Steve were my bunk-mates,
P-town funnin' and summer luvin.'
Gary, easy-breezy, go with the flow
and colorful, matchy Sal, taking it all in.
Al, provider of food and laughter
and Kyle, the closest thing to a frat in the frat house

Then there were others,
on my fringe, but friendly and fun.
Sean and Leo, Mike n Mike, Nick and Chris...
One big happy family reveling in the moment.

There were tea dances and whale watching,
Miss Ritchfield and show tunes,
trips to the beach, shopping and bike rides through trails and crowded streets.
Camaraderie was building
everywhere you turned, at luaus and a frat party,
conversations on the patio,
all happening beneath that iconic tower.

Yes, it was a trip like no other,
memories made to be cherished
for a long time to come.
So thanks P-town, and thanks to my new, special friends.
Here's to P-town 2014!


The Gay Real World, P-town - The Sun and Now a Moon; Final Tea and Goodbye

Like with any other vacation, it got sad once the week started coming to a close.  From that first tea dance last Saturday to the whale watching and the shopping and the bike riding and the dancing and the food and the drinking and the great company and everything else, I think we were all blissfully pooped by the time Friday rolled around.

For me, it was to be a low-key day, for the most part.  I started off with a last bike ride along Commercial St. down towards the East End and back.  Then I was planning on shopping a little before afternoon tea and one last night out dancing, but something else was on my mind.

The Sun and Now a Moon

Even before this trip, I had heard Gary say that he was thinking about getting a tattoo while he was in Provincetown.  It put a bug in my ear!  I have a tattoo, a sun, on my upper right arm, and I've always wanted another one of a moon in the same spot on the left arm.  So after returning my bike, I sauntered over to the tattoo parlor around the corner from the house to see what I could see.

I started perusing the tats, but didn't really see anything I liked.  Then the hostess of the place came over and before you knew it, I'd made an appointment to come back in a half-hour for my new tattoo.  I have to say, this time was much easier than last (I got sick!).  Maybe it was because my tattoo artist, Austin, was a very cool guy.

He'd only gotten to P-town a couple of days earlier to help out with the summer crowds (apparently lots of people get tatted on their vacation.).  Originally from San Francisco, Austin is a well-traveled man, going global to practice his trade.  He recently went to Iceland, which is a destination I've been hearing a lot about lately.  He went for some tattoo convention and ate whale and puffin (I know, ewww!) and hung out in this cool-sounding natural spring.  Fascinating!

Anyway, Austin drew up a moon design that would match my sun in size and style, and at first I wasn't sure, but with the colors he used I love it.  What do you think?

Final Tea and Goodbye P-town

After getting my tattoo I did some shopping and had lunch with some of the boys down by the water.  I went into a photography studio that was hella cool.  There, I discovered a photographer named Thomas Barbey who superimposes images over one another to make some very fascinating creations.  I didn't buy any of his stuff, but I sure wanted to.  Click on his name to check out some of his work.

After shopping it was time to get ready for the last tea dance of the week and the final night of this wonderful place.  Tea was crowded with the leftovers from the week and the new arrivals for this week, which has a carnival theme.  A last few dances, a Planter's punch or two, and a couple more laughs and before you knew it, the trip to Gay Disney was over...

Song of the Day - End of Time - Beyonce

Today's Song of the Day is dedicated to my friend and P-town housemate Kyle, who discovered this one in a big way during our trip.  I don't usually like to post live videos, but once again YouTube will not allow me to post either of the videos I wanted to share.  If you love this song like me, then check out a Target flash mob doing it here or a professionally done vid of the song created by TheShayWest right here.  They're both worth watching!

Kyle n me

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Gay Real World, P-town - Climbing the Tower; Frat Party

The last two days in Provincetown were as good as the rest, only as the week wore on so did our bodies.  After suffering the after-effects of the Planter's punch the night before, I was ready to do something tame on Thursday.  Al, Kyle and I were the only three who hadn't ventured up the Pilgrim Tower, which is an iconic feature of the P-town landscape, and so that was the plan for us that afternoon.

We can see the tower!  The traffic is worth it.  
Shangrala straight ahead

The Tower

That was Eric, in a mass text to all of us who were traveling towards gay Disney.  Before we even went on the trip, I'd heard all about the famous "tower" from a couple of the elders.  They said that it can be seen from far away and that there was a spot on the road where it suddenly appears, telling you that bliss is just around the corner.

Prior to this trip, all I knew about Provincetown was that is was a gay mecca and little else.  I hadn't really thought about it much, but it's pretty damned historic, too.  The tower, or Pilgrim Monument, stands 252 feet tall, and can be seen from all over P-town proper.  It was erected in the early part of the 20th Century to commemorate the first landing of the Pilgrims here in 1620.  The tower was very close to our house, and it provided a nice backdrop in the sky from our deck.  By Thursday, all of the housemates had taken the journey up and now it was our turn.

One of the best parts of this trip has been getting to know the people I was traveling with and one guy I'm happy to know is Al.  Not only is he the food provider of the group, but he's also a heck of a funny guy.  Al's a teacher like me, but he was once a Ringling Brothers' clown and is also a veteran of The Amazing Race, so you can imagine what kind of sense of humor he has.  

He was at his silliest during our little jaunt up the monument, cracking jokes and playing around with people.  You can see from the pictures what kind of mood we were all in.  The walk up was long, but it wasn't as bad as we thought it was going to be.  We stopped for silly photos on the way up and on the way down Al was teasing those on their way up.

Ooh, I left my camera all the way up there.  Would you mind getting it for me and I'll wait downstairs for it?

Boy those were good drinks they were giving out up there, weren't they?

We laughed almost all the way down.  Then he went after Kyle and I by making noises with his water bottle along the wall.  It took us about three or four flights to realize what he was doing, and it was his chuckles that finally let out what he'd been doing.  

The view from atop the tower was spectacular, and we could see all the way to Boston from up there, it was so clear.

Frat Party

After climbing the tower, the three of us went back to the house, where Al started to prepare for our party that evening.  As it turned out, we weren't going to be having any toga party.  J.C., Sean and Leo hosted all of us at their place on Monday for a luau, but that whole theme thing was just an elder joke and so ours was just going to be a partay!

After Solid Gold Tea (which was way too crowded), all of the housemates ran back to the house to help get ready for our get together.  Al was preparing food, Steve and I put up balloons, and everybody else just kind of cleaned up.  I also took care of the music (oh, I miss deejaying!).  By 8:30 our guests had arrived and it was on.

Everyone was there and the evening was full of good friends, great laughs and great times! Of course the party ended a little early for another trip to Wave bar (there'd be only one day left...), but I think it was a nice time for all.

Sal and Tim

Kyle and Steve



Al and Eric

Leo and Sean

Rick and Jim

Mike and Mike

Jim and Steve

J.C. and Gary

Al, me and Eric fooling around

Me, Eric and Kyle

Tim and me

Bottoms Up

...and Back to the Wave

Stay tuned for more...