Blog: 2013’s Best Music in Haiku

As the year comes to a close, countless words will be written about the year’s best records. In an effort not to add to the glut of words, I offer one haiku to each of my ten favorite albums of 2013. If you think I've missed one, please let me know, preferably with a haiku about what makes it special.

 neko-case-the-worse-things-get

NEKO CASE

The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You

It can’t be easy

To improve on perfection

But she has done it

Push_the_Sky_Away

NICK CAVE & THE BAD SEEDS

Push the Sky Away

Thirty-five years in

Instead of disappointing

Still bringing the dread

a3637670072_10
Tagged Read More

Blog: Oh Lorde: Bring back alternative female musicians

Recently, Lorde became the first woman since 1996 to top Billboard’s Alternative Songs Chart. That’s right, the chart went an astonishing 17 years without a female atop it. Something is very, very wrong here. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the top of the Alternative Songs Chart was home to a brilliant array of female musicians: Tori Amos, Suzanne Vega, Kate Bush, Sinead O’Connor, and Alanis Morissette among them. These women existed alongside pop stars like Madonna and Janet Jackson, carving out successful careers that had little to do with glitz and glamour. 24433910 We are a long way from 1994, when Tori Amos, Bjork, and PJ Harvey appeared on the cover of Q Magazine together, each of them a unique force in the music industry. These days, there seems to be little mainstream interest in the kind of confessional, experimental songwriting that the Toris,

Tagged Read More

Blog: Seriously, Madonna?

madonna-releases-third-secret-projectMadonna wants to be taken seriously, people. Like really, really, really seriously. In her new film, which I watched projected onto the wall of the Santa Monica Civic Center, she proclaims her desire to start “a revolution of love.” Over visually stunning imagery of Madonna being imprisoned, we hear her inimitable voice: “I keep telling everyone that I want to start a revolution, but no one is taking me seriously,” she says. “If I had black skin and an Afro, would you take me seriously? If I was an Arab waving a hand grenade, would you take me seriously? If I was wearing combat gear and I had an AK-47 strapped to my back, would you take me seriously?” she asks. And then she adds the film’s best and most self-aware line: “Instead, I’m a woman. I’m blonde. I have tits and ass,

Tagged , , Read More
Dancer From the Dance

Revisiting “Dancer From the Dance”

EW12I first read Andrew Holleran’s mesmerizing novel Dancer From The Dance over a decade ago ago, long before I was completely comfortable with my sexuality, long before I realized I could be a gay dad and a sexual being. I tore through the story of men running wild in late 1970s New York with a deep sense of nostalgia for a time I never even knew. When I was in high school, a teacher showed us the documentary The Life and Times of Harvey Milk, which told the inspiring and ultimately tragic story of Harvey Milk’s life and death. The movie began my love affair with gay life in the 1970s; that small pocket of time when the gay community was sexually liberated and AIDS didn’t exist. I used to wish I could have been a gay man in the 1970s. I

Read More
Faye Dunaway

Blog: My Faye Story

MademoiselleB_Blonde_FayeDunaway_2It seems as if everyone who lives in West Hollywood has a Faye Dunaway story. I have heard of sightings at the cheese counter of Whole Foods, Faye berating some poor soul because they don’t have the manchego she likes. I have heard of sightings at the Virgin Megastore (remember CD stores?), Faye accosting a manager because she was displeased with their classical selection. I have heard of sightings at local coffee shops, Faye mistaken for one of West Hollywood’s Russian babooshkas. But despite living in West Hollywood for fifteen years, my Faye Dunaway story happened long ago and faraway from the city of Angels. Wallingford, CT. 1994. After two years at the tony New England prep school Choate Rosemary Hall, I had finally come out of my shell and started to express myself.  And a big part of that self-expression came through

Tagged , , , Read More
Ava Gardner

Blog: Will The Real Ava Gardner Please Stand Up?

Ava GardnerDespite all the salacious stories included in Ava Gardner: The Secret Confessions, my favorite story from the book is fairly chaste, revealing nothing about Mickey Rooney’s libido or Frank Sinatra’s penis. The story involves an aged Gardner meeting Dick Snyder, the CEO of Simon & Schuster, the publishing company planning on publishing her memoirs. “Didn’t anyone tell you?” she objects. “I stopped auditioning a long time ago, honey.” Desperate to live up to her image as “the world’s most beautiful animal,” Gardner called in her favorite cinematographer Jack Cardiff, who rearranged the lamps in her living room, placed a key light above her chair, and placed a shadow over the half of her face that had been frozen by a recent stroke. The story reveals the crafty ambition and aching vulnerability behind Gardner’s tell-it-like-it-is persona. Perhaps the reason the story resonated

Tagged , , Read More