Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Oh, Snap!

Hiring a graphics designer is expensive... So when 80s dance floor act Snap! needed a cover for their single "I've Got The Power" they did what many do and just stole the artwork, in this case from a page from a comic book by legendary and eccentric comic book artist, John Byrne.

When the song hit number one around the world, they quickly replaced the cover with one that was less obviously stolen.A page from Alpha Flight (volume 1) #11, art by John Byrne.

The cover of Snap's first hit single.

Snap sure liked ripping off people with the initials J.B.: The title line in the lyrics was stolen from a song by Jocelyn Brown, who got her due not much later when Incognito featured her on their first big hit, Always There:

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Quote of the Day

From a fab new interview with Miss Patti Labelle:

Usually, the hard women are after me! When I got my divorce, the women jumped on me like white on rice! I said, "Look, I ain't ever did fish, I don't intend to do fish so leave me alone."

And I know just how she feels! Maybe the ladies were hoping Patti had changed her attitude a little more than she did.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Aretha Franklin's Onion

When my brother and I were kids, my mother sometimes read us a fairy tale called "The Onion."

It was the story of an evil, selfish old lady who had done only one good deed in her life: She had given a single onion to a starving homeless beggar. After her death, she finds herself in hell - but she is told that her one good deed might be her salvation: An onion is lowered from the heavens that just might be strong enough to lift her up to the pearly gates and beyond if only she can hold on to it.

So grab the onion she did, and as she got lifted up, some other lost souls saw their chance to spend eternity in cooler climates and held on to her legs. "No!" she screamed. "It will never carry all of us. Get your own damn onion!" as she kicks them off. Of course, at that very moment, the onion falls apart and she becomes Satan's bitch for evah and evah.

Ah, I love a story where the guy gets the girl in the end. Sniff.

But anyway. I'm sure all of us know evil people who have that one redeeming moment, some may even have a few. For example, did you know that Diana Ross helped pay Mary Wells's medical bills when the latter was dying of throat cancer?

For me, Aretha Franklin's onion moment was when she handed over the Grammy she had just won for her "Young, Gifted and Black" album to fellow nominee Esther Phillips. I had always assumed that Aretha realized what I feel about the two albums in question: While "Young, Gifted and Black" is one of several phenomenal Aretha recordings, Esther's "From a Whisper to a Scream" was a musical milestone, an emotional tour de force that would stand the test of time as one of the greatest albums ever recorded.

And then I read Aretha's explanation in her autobiography, "From These Roots." Here it is, straight from the horse's ass. I mean mouth. Maybe.

Perhaps my most memorable Grammy moment, though, was when I appreciated another artist. It happened at the 1972 Grammy ceremonies.
I won for Young, Gifted and Black but gave the Grammy to Esther Phillips, who had been nominated for From a Whisper to a Scream. I liked Esther's record, although I didn't consider it better than mine. I gave her my Grammy because Esther was battling personal demons, and I felt she could use encouragement.

It was a pity Grammy!!

Go kick at Esther's soul, Aretha. See what it will get you.

I am not even gonna dedicate an Aretha clip to this entry. Here are Marvin and Tammy Terrell, with the Onion Song.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Rep. Bob Allen Found Guilty

John McCain's Florida campaign honcho and state Representative Bob Allen is not having a good week.

Seconds after he was convicted Friday of soliciting a sex act in a park bathroom, legislative leaders were discussing how to remove him from office.

"This conviction makes it impossible for Rep. Allen to represent responsibly the citizens of his district," Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio said in a statement. "Furthermore, it is my personal belief that it harms the reputation of the Florida House of Representatives. We will now take the appropriate steps."

Allen, R-Merritt Island, who did not testify in his own defense, insisted he is innocent.

"I have done nothing wrong, and my family, my God and my good constituents know that," Allen said as he left the courtroom flanked by his three attorneys. "We're going to continue to seek justice."

Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, to clear his name, Bob Allen will devote his time to finding the real fellationists!
I think he might have gotten off if his lawyer had considered asking the arresting officer to drop his pants in court and going for a "if the cock don't fit, you must acquit" defense.


Anyway, here is Gladys Knight with "Guilty."

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Featuring Creatures

A quick plug for a friend: My old message board buddy Ty, aka Spongeboy, aka General Admission, has a cool new feature on his blog about mythological creatures featuring his own artwork. His first two installments are:

The Barbegazi
The Amphisbaena

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Giuliani is trying hard to convince America that he is from the Republican wing of the Republican party

Say what you will about Rudy, he has a good compass for what Republicans really stand for, and lately that seems to be child molestation.

As ABC reports:

Giuliani Defends, Employs Priest Accused of Molesting Teens

Presidential candidate Rudolph Giuliani hired a Catholic priest to work in his consulting firm months after the priest was accused of sexually molesting two former students and an altar boy and told by the church to stop performing his priestly duties.

The priest, Monsignor Alan Placa, a longtime friend of Giuliani and the priest who officiated at his second wedding to Donna Hanover, continues to work at Giuliani Partners in New York, to the outrage of some of his accusers and victims' groups, which have begun to protest at Giuliani campaign events.

"This man did unjust things, and he's being protected and employed and taken care of. It's not a good thing," said one of the accusers, Richard Tollner, who says Placa molested him repeatedly when he was a student at a Long Island, N.Y. Catholic boys high school in 1975.

At a campaign appearance in Milwaukee last week, Giuliani continued to defend Placa, who he described to reporters as a close friend for 39 years.

The report concluded that Priest F, and several other priests under investigation from the same Long Island, N.Y. diocese, could not be prosecuted because the statute of limitations had expired.

Several former students from the same high school say they were asked by the "Giuliani organization" to contact ABC News and vouch for Placa.


The Republican party: Would you let those guys babysit your children?

To anyone who will fight to keep those people from power, here is Marvin Gaye with "For God's sake, won't somebody please think about the children??"

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Now all we need is Jeff Gannon to be involved

The male prostitute who provided penis and crystal meth to Pastor Meth Ted Haggard claims that Larry Craig was his client, too.

I'd say that's too good to be true, but when has Mike Jones ever lied to us?

I'm kind of wondering... who's making love to Larry Craig's and Ted Haggard's old ladies, while they're out kneeling in front of Mike Jones?

Friday, October 05, 2007

Hell No, Larry Craig Won't Go

Idaho Senator Larry Craig wasn't allowed to withdraw his guilty plea, but he had his mind set on withdrawing something, so he's not resigning from the Senate as he had promised/announced/broadly hinted at previously.

One reason he gave was that he can do much more good for Idaho than a rookie senator because after many years in Congress, he sits on all of them important committees. I guess it slipped his mind that his Republican brethren already made him step down from all those committees. And they will no doubt continue to put pressure on him to step down, as he has put himself under the public's magnifying glass. When he shamefully continued his pattern of homophobic votes
recently by voting against extending hate-crimes legislation to gay, lesbian and transgendered victims, the media took notice. And they will continue to do so - Craig will be a damned homo if he does, a damned homo if he doesn't. And they will dig up every trick he ever turned.

I am sure his fellow Republican Senators would prefer he followed Mark Foley's example, so let's dedicate Amy Winhouse's "Rehab" to Larry Craig, shall we?

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Chaka's Amnesia

While I am happy to report that the rest of Chaka Khan's new album Funk This is much better than that messy duet with Mary J Blige I blogged about a few weeks ago.

But I am a bit confused why both she and her record company claim that it's her first album in a decade:

Chaka Khan releases first album in decade

Khan also duets with Mary J. Blige on the track "Disrespectful," and she hopes "Funk This" fills what she feels has been a void since her last album, the 1998 Reprise release "Come 2 My House."

"I went to about three companies (after Reprise)," she said. "We almost got to the point where we were gonna record and things got funky so I left. I just figured when it happens it'll happen, y'know?"

Khan kept busy in that time, though, touring constantly and snagging a Grammy in 2003 for her cover of "What's Going On" with the Funk Brothers.

First off, it's not been a full decade since 1998, but let's not nit-pick. But it's barely been 3 years since Chaka's wonderful album ClassicKhan with the London Symphonic orchestra. Sanctuary may not be a big label, but it should have been a big album. Chaka's singing was impeccable, and her renditions of songs like "To Sir With Love" and "Diamonds are Forever" were stunning.

Here is some different Classic Khan:

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

For Laura Dern, the Masquerade Ain't Over

Back in 1995, actress Laura Dern played opposite Eric Stoltz in "Mask," the latter being covered by thick layers of latex and makeup as his character suffered from a skull deformity.

For her next project, Ms Dern will suffer a similar fate: On HBO's upcoming TV movie Recount, she will play your favorite crazy Republican and mine, Katherine Harris! While this will no doubt mean hours upon hours spent with makeup artists, at least the movie takes place before Kitty got her mammary enhancements, so we won't have to worry about her developing a bad back from carrying around falsies on stage all day.

I just hope Laura's hottie rock star husband, Ben Harper, won't be too badly traumatized.

To the very courageous Laura Dern, here is George Benson with "This Masquerade."

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Fun with Katherine Harris and selective quoting

From tbo.com:

Religious Right Leaders Congregate

BRANDON - Some of the best-known national leaders in the religious right movement have converged on a Brandon church this weekend for a conference to discuss gay rights issues (...).

It also included one of the first public appearances by Katherine Harris, former Florida secretary of state and U.S. House member (...).

Harris suggested she's happy to be out.


Dedicated to out and proud Katherine Harris, here is Jill Sobule with Fabio. Wait a minute, Fabio is in this??

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Everybody Wants Angela Merkel's Sweet, Sweet Lovin'

Poor Angela Merkel. It can't be easy being a pretty girl the only female at all those international summits mostly attended by men of low morals.

First she had to use a Klingon Karate move to fight off George W. Bush's advances:

And now word reaches us that she is sick and tired of French president's Nicolas Sarkozy's wandering hands:

Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel has made it clear that she does not relish being kissed and pawed every time she meets France's Nicolas Sarkozy.

The French President has cultivated a touchy-feeling relationship with his German counterpart, tutoyer-ing and embracing her like a long-lost friend since even before he became President. Frau Merkel - a studious East German minister's daughter - appears to have put up with the Latin Sarkozy's affections at the outset, but has become increasingly weary of his affections.

According to the daily Le Parisien, Merkel's circle is putting word about that Sarkozy should back off with the bises and back-slapping. The previous President, Jacques Chirac, played the Gallic gentlemen with Frau Merkel, giving her a delicate kiss on the hand when they met. Sarkozy has stopped short of bear hugs and ruffling her hair, but not far short.

To poor Angela, I dedicate the great Shirley Bassey with "Can I Touch You... There?"

To Bush and Sarkozy, I dedicate the Tubes with "Don't Touch Me There!"
No means no, guys.

Friday, September 14, 2007

This is Awesomesauce!

I'm sure most of you were unlucky enough to have caught that very scary person on the youtubez of the Internets asking us all to LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE!

As painful as I found that to watch, this is pure genius:
Leave General Petraeus Alone

Monday, September 10, 2007

Britney's VMA Comeback Britneypalooza

Because the good people employees of Viacom always make sure nobody can watch clips their train wrecks of shows on youtube, this may be one of the few places where you can watch Britney's big Video Music Performance in its entirety.
Enjoy. Watch.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


Comparing Sen. Larry Craig's arrest in a public restroom sex sting to a "traffic offense," the Idaho Republican's lawyer says his client should stay in the Senate and fight ethics charges against him.
Via Rawstory.

I guess being rear-ended IS a traffic thing.

Pull up to the bumper, Wide Stance!

He Sucks me, he Sucks me not...

First he's pleads guilty, then he doesn't.
First he's doing the gay sex, then he's never been gay.
First he resigns from the Senate, now he... might not?

Delusional gay dad and sex starved senator Larry "Wide Stance" Craig is "reconsidering" his resignation according to the AP.

He even might run for re-election. I hope he does, and that the Democrats will have an openly gay or lesbian candidate opposing him, so the voters have a choice between hypocrisy and honesty.

To Larry "Toe Tapper" Craig, I dedicate Tyrone Davis's toe-tapping song about having no spine, "Can I Change my Mind?"

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Father Knows Best

George W. Bush, visiting what is left of New Orleans today, made the following statement:

"My attitude is this: New Orleans, better days are ahead. It's sometimes hard for people to see progress when you live in a community all the time."

Yeah. What do people who actually live in New Orleans know about what it's like to live there.

For everybody who lost someone or something to Katrina (and those who've visited New Orleans know that's all of us), I have Randy Newman's Louisiana 1927.

For all the patronizing people in power who think they know better than the people who have to live the life, I have nothing but contempt.

Come out, come out!

I said I wasn't gonna blog about him, but it's killing me if I don't.

I saw Larry Craig on TV this morning. He looked just like on his booking photos after his arrest for teh gey mens room sex.

I don't have a verbatim transcript of his statement handy, but this is how I remember it:

I am not gay! I've never been gay, even when I was fooling around with guys in college, I was completely straight! I am not gay!! I will never be gay, even if that lovely Rupert Everett ever starts returning my calls. I mean, I am not gay! I don't even like show tunes! I am pure country & western. It doesn't get more butch than cowboys, right? Not gay! No gayness! Not g-a-y. You got that, you media hacks? With a "y." Youuuuu guys made me confess to a crime I did not commit, the crime of hot, hard bodies rubbing against each other in an excitingly public place. I did not do that. He didn't even go for it! That proves that I AM NOT GAY!

Because it's so damn obvious, here's the video dedicated to Men's Room Larry - George Michael's Outside.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Mark Foley Gettin' Away with it?

There is so much of this stuff, I won't even bother to blog about the Republican senator from Idaho who was arrested for doing a George Michael in an airport men's room (his handler's call it a “he said/he said misunderstanding” which unfairly makes it sound like he had some kind of relationship with the arresting cop other than wanting to nibble on his privates.) I mean, the "Idaho? He da ho!" jokes are just too obvious.

Because conservative perverts are in season, there's an update on sexually perverted sex pervert and disgraced former Congresspervert Mark Foley in the news. And it's a bit of a downer:

WASHINGTON — Former Congressman Mark Foley is unlikely to face criminal charges for sending sexually explicit e-mails to teenage boys, sources close to the yearlong investigation have told Scripps Howard News Service.

Sources close to the investigation told Scripps that to date, there has been no criminal finding against Foley. Once the investigation is completed, it will be turned over to prosecutors in Pensacola. Pensacola has jurisdiction in the case because that is where Foley was when one of the explicit messages was sent.

Joe diGenova, the former U.S. Attorney for Washington, DC, said investigators likely could not prove the case had merit.

"My guess is they probably have been unable to find evidence of an actual relationship," diGenova said. "Although the e-mails were suggestive, they didn't violate a statute."

To Mark "everybody knows the thing with the ladies man was a cruel joke" Foley, pictured here in his high school yearbook, I dedicate this clip of Patti Austin singing "Gettin' Away With Murder." Watch Patti wear a pink flamingo on her head early on in the clip, an outfit Mr Foley is sure to have worn on many occasions in the past.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Pentagon Priorities

Q: What is still more important to the US military than the war in Iraq and the War on Terror™?

A: The war on gays.

To all the corroded military brass who decided to fire brave men and women, even Arabic translators because they were gay or lesbian, I dedicate Otis Redding with You Don't Miss Your Water Till Your Well Runs Dry.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Here! Kitty! Kitty!!

Sometimes you just have to whine about something for miracles to happen.
Katherine Harris is back!

She is a featured speaker at the Family Impact Summit. If said impact is too hard, her fabulously inflated breasts serve as life-saving air bags, I bet!

I hope we get some good pictures of her and Ann Heche's crazy mother.

To Kitty, I dedicate this version of Elton John's "The Bitch is Back" as performed by the Gay Man's Chorus of LA.

Sorry, kids, no embedding of that clip.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Pastor Meth Wants your Money!

There are so many great causes you can support if you have a little extra cash. You could feed the hungry. You could help keep Wuppertal's AIDS charity afloat in difficult times. You could help two really talented artists with disabilities publish their comic book. You could finance research into dozens of diseases or save the rain forest.

Or you could throw some money at Ted "Pastor Meth" Haggard, so he can continue to feed his cravings for rent-boy schlong and crystal meth. He says he needs your money to feed his family, of course, but why can't he do that when he:

received a salary of $115,000 for the 10 months he worked in 2006 and an $85,000 anniversary bonus before the scandal broke, according to church officials. The church’s board of trustees gave him a severance package that included a year’s salary ($138,000). He also collects royalties on his many book titles.

Haggard owns a home in Colorado Springs that has been for sale. It has a market value of $715,051, according to records from the El Paso County assessor.

How about it? Brothers, can you spend a dime?

I dedicate this clip by my hero, Curtis Mayfield, to all those who don't wanna be junkies.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Now a warning

NOW a warning??

Sorry, Meryl Streep moment.

We all thought he was gone for good, sent to the slammer, sharing a cell with somebody who actually knows the meaning of the expression "reacharound." But it looks like Rick Olney is back.

So here is a warning by Tony Isabella, also known as
"America's Most Beloved ComicBook Writer and Columnist"

For a while there, it looked as if the vile Rick Olney had somehow
acquired at least enough sense to stay offline. That was clearly
foolish optimism on my part as he has once again surfaced to mock
those to whom he owes money; to insult and threaten those victims
and the good people who have championed the cause of his victims;
and to proclaim conventions and publications that have no basis in
reality. So, again, here is my...


A message to all my friends and readers...

If you are approached by an individual named Rick Olney or any
representative of the man, if you are approached by Olney or anyone
else representing entities known as The Mighty Mini-Con, TightLip
Entertainment, ORCA, Mohawk Valley Newsletter, or any commercial
entity or enterprise associated with any of the above, including
online vendors, I strongly urge you to run in the other direction.
You can find some details here:


You can find many more horrifying details on Olney and his business
practices by doing a search on his name and the other names listed
above. Really. Go look. It will amaze you.

If you trust me, do not attempt to do business with Olney. In fact,
feel free to pass along this warning to any comics professionals,
aspiring comics professionals, retailers, exhibitors, media guests,
and fans you know.

Olney is not someone you want to do business with.

It has been estimated he owes freelancers anywhere between $40,000
and $100,000. The courts have already ruled against him in several
cases where freelancers sued him for non-payment. Though Olney has
yet to make good on these court-mandated judgments, auctions run by
Unscrewed have raised several thousand dollars to help freelancers
who were put into dire straits by Olney’s refusal to pay them for
work they had completed.

He is being investigated for charity fraud. Other investigations
of a different nature are ongoing at this time.

The list goes on and on.

Although I had hoped not to involve myself in this further, recent
Olney actions, such as advertising a convention that seems to have
happened only in his own mind, claiming that he is still planning
to publish comic books, targeting foreign artists he hopes have not
heard of him, and attempting to recruit naive American artists, the
greater good demands I and my fellows continue to speak out in this

Check out the UNSCREWED website for the impressive list of creators
who have signed a version of this warning. Feel free to re-post
this warning, which has been translated into several languages, to
any forum you like.

Anything Olney is involved with should always be consider suspect.

Olney continues to troll - trolling as in a pimp hanging out at the
old bus station - MySpace and message boards and Yahoo groups
looking for fresh meat to exploit, for naive young artists foolish
enough to believe that he's going to give them their big break.
Before they work for him, they should really talk to the many
writers and artists who he hasn't paid for past work. They can find
many of "Olney's Orphans" at the Unscrewed website.

This last bit isn't an update, but bears repeating.

Despite threatening to sue me and many others, Olney has yet to
institute any legal action against anybody. Indeed, as mentioned
above he has been on the receiving end of several lawsuits and has
already had several judgments against him...with more certain to

You've been warned.

To repeat, feel free to pass this warning around or post it
wherever you like. Oh, sure, I'm setting myself up for another
impotent threat from Olney, but that's a chance I'm more than
willing to take if I can prevent even one fan or pro from getting
involved with this blight on comicdom.

Tony Isabella

Go get 'em, Tiger!

For more info, go to http://www.unscrewedcomic.com/

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Performances that suck, and a small emergency

Captain Dan the Demon Dwarf is not a Southern Baptist priest, surprisingly, but a performer with a so called Circus of Horrors.
Little Dan had to be hospitalized when he accidentally glued even littler Dan to a vacuum cleaner. Pulling said household appliance across the stage with said private part is Dan's act.

“I just wished the ground could swallow me up. Luckily, they saw me quickly so the embarrassment was short lived.”

He said short lived. OK, it's funnier when I'm the one with the puns.

The Scotsman reports that it took nurses hours to remove the hoover from little Dan's little Dan. They sure had a tall tale to tell when they got home.

I dedicate this song to Dan the Demon Dwarf. Get well soon!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Cut from a Different Cloth

Those kuh-razy, wacky Southern Baptist priests are at it again.

The Reverend Wiley S. Drake (yes, baptist priests have the greatest names) of the First Southern Baptist Church of Buena Park, California, forgot that endorsing political candidate can cost a church its tax-exempt status when he endorsed Mike "I lost weight, vote for me" Huckabee.

When members of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State pointed out his transgressions, what did the Reverend do? Did he confess his sins? Did he turn the other cheek?


He prayed for them to be punished with death. For starters. (insert Darth Vader breathing)

Drake said the Bible calls for "imprecatory prayer" when someone "attacks the church." He gave as examples of such prayer:

"Persecute them. ... Let them be put to shame and perish."

"Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow."

"Let his children be continually vagabonds, and beg."

If this were one of my beloved comic books, "Wiley Drake" would probably turn out to be a demon posing as a priest, but in the real world, he's just another man of the cloth who completely misunderstood the assignment.

I mean, wouldn't it be easier to just pray for Huckabee to win?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

My Judgment of Paris

Some American friends are traveling to Paris and asked me what else there is to do than the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and spotting President Sarkozy's mistresses.

I started writing down things off the top of my head, and since that stopped me from writing a blog entry, I'm just copying and pasting it here for your informative information informating.

High things to get on other than the Eiffel Tower

Ferris wheel in the jardin des tuileries

Tour Montparnasse (a very tall very ugly building - nice thing about this view is that you cannot see the Tour Montparnasse when you're on it)

Slightly creepy but still marvelous things
Père Lachaise cemetery - some of these tombs are hundreds of years old in this veritable necropolis. Plus, you can visit the graves of Oscar Wilde, Edith Piaf, Jim Morrison and French kings and poets and philosophers. Look for the fabulous black and white marble tomb of a 1920s flapper girl socialite with a hand-written note on a framed autographed picture on the marble coffin reading "Death does not become me, does it?"

The Catacombs
In the late 1700s, these old Roman tunnels were turned into a mass burial sites to clean up unsanitary churchyard cemeteries. The result is spooky and filled with more history than you can shake a thigh bone at. Decorative arrangements of skulls and bones on the walls, an underground chapel and tales of the French resistance using the tunnels during WW II.

The old "Muséum national d'histoire naturelle"
(natural history museum) is situated in the gorgeous botanical garden (Jardins des Plantes) and is a breath-taking old building filled with dinosaur bones and two-headed mutant lizards in pickle jars. It's like a journey through time to when museums were still cool.

La Rue Mouffetard
Very lively, long and winding street with an open market, traditional Parisian bistros and cafés and small shops. Buy some jujubes from the open market to nibble on. Try on some shoes. Have a chocolat chaud.

The Bouquinistes on the banks of the Seine
At several stretches along the river Seine, you find these little used book stalls that have been around forever. Some of them sell ancient books, some sell used comic books from last year, some sell 60s magazines. How about getting a 1960s issue of Elle with Twiggy on the cover as a unique souvenir?

Flee market at Saint Ouen
Only on weekends, and not for you if you hate crowds! Everything from cheap knock-off clothes to antiques and arts and crafts. And thousands of people.

At the other end of the spectrum: Avenue Montaigne
Christian Dior, Chanel, Pierre Cardin, Christian Lacroix... For the material girls in you.

You should also check out the Galeries Lafayette on the Boulevard Lafayette, one of the fanciest department stores in the world.

Gayish things
Le Marais
Several gay stores and gay owned restaurants on and around the street Rue Ste. Croix de la Bretonnerie. You'll also find the Picasso museum and the beautiful Place des Vosges here, so bring some time and comfortable shoes.

Et bon voyage!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Random disturbing political photo combined with an Irving Berlin song

If you're blue and you don't know

where to go to why don't you go

where fashion sits...

Putin on the 'roids!

Reasons Rove Really Resigned

Lots of people still trying to figure it out. Why now? Why him?

Maybe as the ultimate insider, he knew things that we don't that would make him leave, like:

Bush is dying of colon cancer, and Rove didn't wanna work for president Cheney.

Cheney is dying of heart failure, and Rove didn't wanna work for president Bush.

Laura switched from Xanax to meth and is making everybody's life in the White House a living hell.

Jeff Guckert is writing a book on how his affair with Rove got him in and out the White House without Secret Service logs showing it.

Barney the dog is writing a book on his affair with Rove.

...or maybe he just wants to spend more time with his family. His new family at DefJam Records?

Monday, August 13, 2007

Thought of the day

Wouldn't it be funny if Karl Rove had left his job at the White House to work for John McCain's campaign?

Saturday, August 11, 2007

What, you were expecting compassion?

Cecil Howard Sinclair spent many years in the service of his country, but there will be no service in his memory at the "High Point" mega church in Arlington, Texas because the Navy Veteran who served in Desert Storm was also gay. As MSNBC and the Houston Chronicle report, "High Point" reached a moral low point when they first agreed to do the service, then embarrassed and spat in the face of Sinclair's grieving family, all the while claiming "It's not that we didn't love the family." They just can't be seen to show compassion to a man who had a loving relationship to another man, nor to his family. The shameful pastor in question is Gary Simons, brother in law of Joel Osteen, of the enormous Lakewood Church in Houston, America's largest church.

I am no Christian, but it seems to be quite clear that you can't be much further removed from the teachings of Jesus Christ than some of those mega churches. Somebody call Prince, there're Thieves in the Temple tonight.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Patti Austin Is Still All There

Even though she literally lost half her weight after gastric bypass surgery, Patti Austin proves that she is still all there, both on her puntastically titled latest CD, Avant Gershwin, and in a truly fabulous interview she granted the Bay Area Reporter. Please go and read the whole thing, it'll do more for your brains than checking up on what Britney's been doing wrong again.

Patti discusses the lack of great song writers that I blogged about a few days ago.

Every generation gets the music it deserves. This generation is getting the music it deserves, unfortunately, because our generation did not fight for this generation to be educated musically. As a result, the music is exactly what you get when you don't know anything about music!

That's an interesting point I didn't consider - music education was already considered quite unimportant when I was in highschool in the 80s, and programs have been cut a lot more since then. And while not every songwriter had a great theoretical knowledge of music, I agree that it can't hurt.

Patti has never shied away from the odd jocular comment about other singers and their vocal abilities and affectations, and this interview is no exception:

Quite a few years later, [Rosemary Clooney] backed me into a corner and said, "I don't want you to ever stop singing the Great American Songbook. You must continue to sing it, because you are the heir apparent." I said, "Well, I'll take that. Can I get it in writing maybe?" She said, "You don't need it in writing, you are it." I said, "What about Natalie Cole?" And she used a very bad word with Natalie's name in reference to it. I said, "You're talking about genetic perfection here, Nat King Cole's daughter! She's no fricking slouch." She said, "Well, you'll be Ella and Sarah. The bottom line is, I'm calling you the heir apparent. Go get it, and don't stop singing this music."

Now go read the damn thing. Or if you need to be convinced that laying off the pork chops did not make Patti lose her vocal chops, compare these two clips from before and after the weight loss:



Oh, and it's Patti's 59th birthday tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Nevada's Governor: Strong on Security. Not.

The good people of Nevada must have been fully aware they elected a moron to office when they picked Jim Gibbons. After all, he thought it was a good idea to get drunk with a cocktail waitress in public while his campaign was in full swing. And then to accompany her to her car and let her drive home drunk.

And now this boy genius proved that he is a security mastermind, posting his own Outlook password on the Internets.

Good to see that politics can still be entertaining even in the absence of Kitty Harris.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


I miss Kitty.

So I checked her Wikipedia entry, but all I found was this:

Post-legislative career

Harris was photographed passing out business cards prior to the 2007 State of the Union Address.

And that's it! A woman who once worked so hard none of her staffers could put up, I mean, keep up with her, reduced to sitting at home torturing large rodents?

Will somebody get that woman a reality TV show already? Bravo? Spike? Anyone? It could be called "Hello Kitty!"

Monday, August 06, 2007

Lee Hazlewood passes away

The man who helped Nancy Sinatra be more than just "Frank's daughter" is gone.

Here is a wonderful ditty he and Nancy recorded together.

Is Tommy "Testes" Tester Out on Bail Already?

"Not fully clothed" man jumps White House fence

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A 22-year-old man who was "not fully clothed" jumped the north fence into the White House grounds on Sunday and was immediately apprehended, the U.S. Secret Service said.
Hmm... No wait, that guy was only 22. I guess Tommy is still safely in his cell, sharing quality time with his cell mate Bruno, the hermaphrodite hooker with a heart of gold.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Battling Fear with Tommy Tester

Turns out there was a perfectly good explanation for why Southern Baptist pastor Tommy "Testes" Tester offered sexual favors to the cop who came to arrest him for exposing his little savior to some children - he was afraid of him:

"He said they (Johnson City police) scared him--he was scared to death and didn't know what he'd said or what he'd admitted or anything else," Morris said.

According to the Johnson City Press article, Tester allegedly pulled up in a blue 2007 Toyota Camry and offered to give Johnson City police officers oral sex when they arrived at 308 S. Belmont Street to investigate a report of indecent exposure.

Now, I heard about imagining the other person naked when you're nervous in a job interview or a similar situation, but this seem to go a little far, doesn't it? I mean, I'm afraid of the dentist, but I've never offered him oral sex. Maybe it's all part of Southern hospitality?

Thursday, August 02, 2007

An Update on Tommy "Testes" Tester

According to bgay.com, divine drag queen drunk driver Tommy "Testes" Tester worked for the Christian Radio station WZAP-AM. The station is obviously named after gay director John Water's trademark "Zap!" sound effect in the legendary "Homer's Phobia" episode of The Simpsons.

Who knew Christian radio in the South was this fabulous?

Their e-mail address is
RAMorris@wzapradio.com .
Let's flood them with requests for a fitting soundtrack to this deliciously sordid affair, like the Weather Girls' It's Raining Men, Gloria Gaynor's I Will Survive and Carl Bean's I Was Born this Way. Any song from the Priscilla, Queen of the Desert movie will do, too.

Rumors that said movie will be remade once again for American audiences, this time as Tommy Tester, Trollop of Tennessee, have not been substantiated at this time.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

He Can Seek Group Therapy with Pastor Meth

Tommy Tester (does that sound like a porn name to anyone else?), a baptist minister, was arrested in Tennessee. Evidently, he drove under the influence of vodka and something called oxycodone (I am guessing that's not acne medication?), was wearing a skirt, took a leak in front of some kids at a car wash (won't somebody please think about the children?) and offered oral sex to a police officer.

This guy would be perfect for John McCain's campaign. I hear John is always hiring.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Talk about buyer's remorse!

A guy called
Jose Trujillo is suing Apple because he can't replace the battery in his iPhone himself and it dies a little faster than one should expect in these modern times.

And he's not just trying to get his 533 Dollars and change back. He's asking for 75,000.- because, you know, Apple was mean to him.

I think this case is totally pants.

The Old Songs

Back in 1975, when the Grammys still meant something, Gladys Knight and the Pips presented the nominees for "Song of the Year" as only they could.

And what songs they were! Like them or not, Feel Like Makin' Love, The Way We Were, You and Me Against the World and Midnight at the Oasis are songs that people still remember, that still play on the radio and that have been covered or sampled by artists from D'Angelo to the Brand New Heavies or the Wu-Tang Clan.

Now name 5 songs that have been nominated for best song over the past 5 years.

That's ok, I'll wait.

Not that those are bad songs (well, some are. James Blunt, anyone?). But I don't even remember the songs by U2 and John Mayer who won in 2005 and 2004. And I like both those acts quite a bit.

Maybe it did make a difference when not everybody considered him or herself a singer/songwriter, when the Brill Building and Motorcity, USA where packed with song writers who did nothing but write songs all day.

One thing's for sure: Today's artists are getting a lot of mileage out of the songs of yesteryear. Michael McDonald recorded two CDs with material pulled from the Motown catalog, Rod Stewart turned crooner for a mind boggling four albums full of compositions that are over half a century old and the above mentioned Gladys Knight released her first Jazz album of standards after about as many years in the business, covering the songs of Ella, Billie and Dinah.

And now the young generation of singers seems to jump on the big bandwagon: The criminally underrated Amel Larrieux (formerly of Groove Theory) released Lovely Standards which does indeed live up to its title, thankfully choosing somewhat more obscure songs from the great jazz era like Wild Is the Wind and If I Were a Bell. And now Canadian R&B and Club diva Deborah Cox delivers a tribute to the incomparable Dinah Washington with Destination Moon, a truly luscious set that the gifted singer recorded live in the studio with a 40 piece orchestra - the way this kind of music is supposed to be made, dag nabbit!

Let's hope that exposure to those great songs will inspire a new generation of song writers to dig a little deeper, try a little harder and find that spark that made those old songs shine so bright. I know there are some talented kids out there (I'm looking at you, Ne-Yo!), but we need a real competition going again so that maybe in a couple of years, Deborah, or Amel or maybe even Gladys will sing, not read, the nominees for Song of the Year and the crowd will go crazy again.

Hey, I can dream, can't I?

Sunday, July 29, 2007

No Disrespect Intended

No disrespect intended, but Chaka Khan's new duet with Mary J. Blige, Disrespectful (hear it for free here) is a bit of a mess.
After 2004's stylish effort Classikhan, which chaka-fied legendary songs like To Sir With Love, Gold Finger or Crazy with the able help of the London Symphony Orchestra, this is going in the opposite direction. Maybe they want to appeal to young crunk fans, but I am not feeling for this.

It's a hard, funky tune, but it's also messy and neither here nor there. Chaka, who just a few months ago proved on the tribute CD "We All Love Ella" that she is indeed capable of singing better than ever, is firmly in screaming mode, as is Mary. Speaking of Screams, if this is indeed the handiwork of überproducers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, why did they have to channel one of their worst efforts, the similarly disjointed and all-over-the-place Scream by Janet and Michael Jackson?

I am still optimistic that I will find things I like on the upcoming album, but I definitely won't purchase it without giving it a good listen first.

I hear that Chaka, one of the very few great soul divas who did not have a strong gospel background, recently found Jesus. Thankfully, that did not stop her from giving the new album the potty-mouth-pun title Funk This. Let's just hope the reviews will deserve to be better than something that almost rhymes with that tilte.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Sobbing of Doris Troy

While browsing IMDB, I stumbled across an upcoming movie version of the musical Mama, I Want to Sing!
This, for those who don't know, is the autobiographical musical of the late, great soul singer Doris Troy, who played her own mother in the original stage version of the musical. In London, that part was played by both Chaka Khan and Micah Paris.

The movie has an interesting cast, including musicians Ciara, Ne-Yo, Bobby Valentino, Ralph Tresvant and the one and only Patti Labelle! Also starring is CSI: NY hottie, Hill Harper.

Doris Troy grew up in the Bronx as the daughter of a pentecostal preacher from Barbados. She may not have been the best versed singer technically, but few reached the sheer amount of emotions she could pack into a song. Just listen to her desperate sobbing on "How my Heart Breaks" - a record that, rumor has it, may have featured a young Dwight Reginald a.k.a. Elton John on Piano!

Doris was a talented song writer, and her big hit "Just One Look" was used in so many movies and commercials, as well as getting covered by acts like the Hollies, that it allowed her not to have to starve like so many of her peers.

Doris Troy died of emphysema on February 16, 2004. I hope this movie will be a worthy monument to her and her achievements.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The Secret

If somebody could write down the main differences between the new self-improvement fad "The Secret" and Scientology down on a postcard - no wait, still wouldn't be interested.

Go peddle dumb, greedy and crazy somewhere else, Oprah. I'm not buying.

A good salon.com article on the subject can be found here.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Dale Eaglesham

Dale Eaglesham is a heck of a nice guy, an incredible artist and a dyed-in-the-wool professional. After being a well-kept secret in the industry for almost 20 years (his first Marvel work on Conan was in 1986), people finally took notice in a big way with Green Lantern a few years ago, then Sigil (which was cut short due to CrossGen painful implosion), H-E-R-O, the mega-hit Villains United and now one of my favorite super hero franchises, Justice Society of America.

And Dale's art has rarely looked better than in Issue 4. While Art Thibert was the bigger name as far as inkers go, Ruy Jose's style just meshes much better with Dale's. So if you think you know Dale's art from his Green Lantern days, have another look.

Monday, March 05, 2007

New Music: Adriana Evans - El Camino

I had a chance to hear a track from Adriana's upcoming album "El Camino" today and it's amazing.
The song "Hey Now" goes for a 1970s Marvin Gaye feeling and reminded me most of the song "Come Live With Me Angel" from his "I Want you" album.

Adriana's vocals are joyful and clear as ever, the production is flawless and organic. Can't wait to get my hands on this album, which will be released this month on Expansion records in the US and will only be available as an overpriced import in the US for the time being.

Pastor Meth Proclaims Himself Cured!

Reverend Ted Haggard, the pride of Coloarado closets, says he is now "completely heterosexual." I'm sure the members of his church will now pray for him to also stop being a meth-smoker and a grade-A creep.
Chances are, they'll come up 0 for 3.

Rev. Ted Haggard "cured."

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Hypocrite Homophobe Priest Fired

The Rev. Samuel C. Pascoe proved a lot more tolerant of adultery than of homosexuals.

If this was a made-for-HBO movie, all of his three sons would come out as gay now.

Anglicans fire conservative Clay priest

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Disney Trying to Subvert "Gay Day"?

My friend MikeLand made an interesting observation here.

I received an email from WDW yesterday announcing their "Disney Night of a Lifetime Giveaway" exclusively for travel agents. Basically, for every booking a travel agent makes in the month of March, they can enter into a sweepstakes for a WDW vacation, including a night at the castle. Another prize is also a night at the Mickey Mouse suite at the Disneyland Hotel on June 23rd.

What I found interesting when reading the rules was that the night at the castle MUST be take on June 2, 2007. It so happens that June 2nd is Gay Day at the Magic Kingdom!

Coincidence? I don't think so. Are they trying to shield a "regular" family from having to be at the park on Gay Day? Or worse, are they trying to keep a Gay family from staying at the Castle Suite that night in case one of us happens to be a winner that night?
Somembody nearly got sued!

In related news: Motown got the studio to issue a disclaimer, saying that Dreamgirls is a work of fiction (snicker). See, I still can't do it.

Motown obtains Dreamgirls disclaimer (Reuters via Yahoo)

Dreaming in the Shadows of Motown

I finally got to see “Dreamgirls” last night. And seeing how a review of that movie sort of sparked Brian’s blog, I figure I’d put down my own thoughts on the film in this comatose place.

There is something I should explain before I discuss “Dreamgirls”: If my Internet nickname hasn’t tipped you off, I am a bit of a Motown and soul music fanatic. I own countless vinyl albums and CDs of the Motown stars you’ve all heard of (the Stevies and Marvins and Gladyseses) as well as those only few people remember (The Sisters Love, Bohannon, the Dynamic Superiors etc.). I have read Nelson George’s “Where Did our Love Go – The Rise and Fall of Motown Records,” Gerri Hirshey’s “Nowhere to Run: The Story of Soul Music,” David Nathan’s “Soulful Divas” and the biographies of Marvin Gaye, Otis Williams and Gladys Knight, among others.

So there is very little exaggeration when I say that watching “Dreamgirls” for me was a bit like the Pope watching “The Ten Commandments” with Charlton Heston. It looks and sounds real pretty, and the story I know and love is hiding somewhere in there, but lawd did they sugar-coat it and dumb it down for the masses.

OK, so Dreamgirls is an imaginary story (snicker). See, I could not type that with a straight face. At every turn, the movie tries to remind us that it’s really the story of Motown and Diana Ross and the Supremes. Motown’s motto “The Sound of Young America” becomes “The Sound of the Future” with Rainbow Records. Both the real and the imaginary™ label publish Dr. Martin Luther King’s speeches on record. The Dreams’ album covers are direct copies of Supremes records (even one from after Diana’s departure!). And of course, plot points big and small were lifted directly from Motown history.

All of that made it very difficult for me to just sit back and enjoy the movie without occasionally cringing when they took what felt too many liberties with said history. I’ve already seen one movie critic claim that the Supremes sang behind Marvin Gaye early on when it was really Martha Reeves and the Vandellas who did that. It was also Martha who (though a trained singer) got into Motown as a secretary just to get her foot in the door, something that “Michelle Morris” – think ersatz-Supreme Cindy Birdsong - does in “Dreamgirls.” I guess the press kit didn’t go into too much detail as to what’s fact and what’s fiction.

I understand the concept of composite characters, but did it really help tell the movie’s story to make Eddie Murphy’s character a mix of Little Richard, James Brown, Marvin Gaye and David Ruffin? While it gave the actor a chance to show that his singing has improved quite a bit since “Party All the Time,” for me it downplayed the enormity and breadth of the history of rhythm & blues by cramping too much into one person and too few years.

Not that the soundtrack showed a lot of understanding of that subject anyway: While the songs sounded great (I was pleased at how much less they sounded like show tunes than on my old Dreamgirls Broadway album) they did a poor job of echoing the various eras they supposedly represented. Murphy’s Jimmy Early is a 50s-character doing 70s music in the early 60s that sounds like a James Brown record produced by Isaac Hayes and recorded with Chicago musicians. It made my head spin! None of the Dreams’ songs capture the Motown magic. The only song in the movie that comes close to being a good fit is the one performed by the “Campbell Connection” kids – and that’s mostly because it’s the most blatantly plagiarized tune that sounds almost exactly like the Jackson 5’s “ABC.” It’s a shame they didn’t even go all the way 70s with the supposed disco version of “One Night Only.” Would it have killed them to throw in a few of those “p’tooo! p’tooo!” sounds we all love from the polyester years? The art directors do a much better job of capturing the look of the era.

I have to say the news songs written for the movie are all very nice. “Listen” is great, but my favourite is probable “Love you I do” co-written by Sieda Garret, who I’m sure knows more than a little bit about Motown musicians as well, having duetted with former Temptation Dennis Edwards on his one solo hit, “Don’t Look Any Further.”

People who read my posts on message boards around the time Jennifer Hudson was on American Idol may remember me as one of her biggest fans from her very early auditions. She really shines in “Dreamgirls” and if this is the vehicle that was needed to finally make her a star, then the movie was worth every penny it cost to be made. Looking forward to her first album.

I guess everything has been said about how great the cast is in this movie, so I’ll keep this short. Hudson and Murphy were the stand-outs, but it was also nice to see Danny Glover (as usual) and to have Dawnn Lewis in a major motion picture, even if it was as Murphy’s rarely seen wife and not a singing role. “A Different World” was one of the few things making the 1980s bearable for me.

I just wish they’d made Deena Jones more like Ms Ross. You know: evil. Deena still comes off as a basically good girl who is misled. They make Jamie Foxx’ character the only real bad guy by blaming everything on him and his manipulations. I mean, what a missed chance to bring a character as fascinatingly villainous as Diana Ross to the big screen! In “Soulful Divas” Dionne Warwick remembers waking up in a hospital room after surgery once and inexplicably finding Ms Ross next to her bed. Dionne’s first thought: “She’s come to kill me!” How great is that? And could we see people reacting like that to Beyoncé’s Deena, who ends up kissing and making up with Effie?

In the end, it felt to me like Dreamgirls was written by a fan about the Supremes he wanted, not the ones we really had. As a result, we get a happy end for Florence Ballard and Diana Ross isn’t even evil. (ALLEGEDLY! Don’t wanna get sued here.) In real life, Flo died in obscurity and Ms Ross couldn’t even have her let the spotlight at her own funeral, causing a major scene with a most likely faked fainting spell. Sure, the truth isn’t very glamorous. But one of my favourite Maya Angelou sayings is “Life is larger than life!” and I feel that a little more real life still would have sold movie tickets.

In Essence, “Dreamgirls” is a great Hollywood movie with a nice soundtrack and a stellar cast. But it has as much to do with Motown as Diana Ross’ “Ladys Sings the Blues” had to do with Billie Holliday. If you want good movies about the Motown experience, get the documentary “Standing in the Shadows of Motown” or even the made-for-tv Temptations movie on DVD. Watching “The Five Heartbeats” again won’t hurt either, though it shares many of the flaws I listed above. If you want a GREAT movie about the music scene in the 60s from a New York, Brill Building perspective, get Allison Anders’ "Grace of my Heart".