I've been back in town for less than 24 hours. My vacation continues, but reality is slowly setting in. I have a couple loads of laundry to do. I have to start napping during the day to get back into nightwalker (or is that streetwalker?) mode.
I just saw Junior Boys with Janice at KEXP. They played a 3-song set. You can listen to it here. You'll have to select today's date (the 29th) and enter the time as 11:15AM. If they had mic'ed the booth, you could hear me giggling like a little girl.
I got to briefly talk to Jeremy (the one in the middle). I told him how much I liked the Morgan Geist track that was released earlier this summer. I'm a total fanboy. There were three adorable girls standing around talking to them, and I was the one who had my picture taken with them. I'm pretty sure they were like, "Dude, who's this homo who wants his picture taken with us?"
Anyway, Jeremy told me that he recorded four tracks with Geist and the others will be released at a later date. He also said that he liked the other tracks more than he liked the first release. So that's pretty rad. They gave us T-shirts and put us on the guestlist. So. Damn. Nice.
So I get to take Matt.
How rad can you get?
Thanks so much for taking me to the studio, Ms. Janice. The only thing cooler than Junior Boys is you!
So tonight my vacation will end with me seeing the Junior Boys.
But, really, you didn't come all the way down to this vault to read about music. You want the dish. How many times did I get laid? (Once, a bulldog in Brooklyn.) How intoxicated was I? (I was so intoxicated . . . ) How many bloggers did you meet? (Five.) Are GayProf and Adam as rockingly cool as they seem? (Obviously.) Where did you hide the bodies? (The Children's Museum, the Hudson, the very first Black Eyed Pea.)
I start with the Junior Boys because, besides the condoms, lube, and chapstick, I also brought the new Junior Boys and Arling & Cameron. Both discs got a lot of play and were the perfect counterpoints to a vacation's tendency to bring contradictory feelings like isolation and excitement, anonymity and hope. Or some other such bullshit.
Sometimes, vacations need soundtracks.
My flight left at 10:30 PST and arrived around 7:00 EST. Check-in at the hotel was 3:00. Still, I wanted to drop my bags off, so I took the blue line from Logan International, got off at the Bowdoin stop. I noticed a lot of people got off at State and deduced that that was a transfer point.
So I dropped my bags off, and the lovely, pert young lady told me that the hotel wasn't at capacity so I could come back in a couple hours to check-in. Excellent.
I walked to Boston Common and the Public Garden. The sketchy people in the Common seemed pretty tame. Their crack deals had a sense of innocence--not that I bought any crack. From them.
Tourists like me stood out. Dressed too casually--even by casual Friday standards. I walked through the theater district. Through Chinatown. Got on the Orange Line. Got off at State switched to the Blue. Learned later that I could have just stayed on the Orange.
I don't use maps. I am also used to cities like New York and Seattle which have the simplistic grid system--even if they don't use numbers, streets generally run perpendicular to one another. Apparently, Boston has too much history to not have been planned well. The streets were fun, though. They were a lot broader than I expected, which made tall buildings less oppressive. People were congenial yet staid (oh, and the accent is kinda sweet).
I found my way back to the hotel and napped.
The free wine was scheduled from 5-6 and meeting GayProf was scheduled for 7. Both appointments were met in a timely fashion. The first yielded 3 glasses of syrah. The second, well, the second . . .
If you're going to Boston, make it a point to meet GayProf. He not only took time out of his busy social schedule on Friday, but also on Saturday. And, really, if you're in a city for the first time, there is no one better than a queer historian to walk around and chat with. Be warned, though, he can turn that gravitas on at a moment's notice.
I got the lowdown on his liar ex (who told many lies). I told him about my trials and tribulations in love (and my ability to convert straight guys even if only for a night). We had a lovely dinner at a Thai place the first evening and went to Fritz after. Sure, we made a wrong turn or two on the way there, but Boston is pretty compact and the weather was nice, so it was no big whoop.
The following day was rainy, and I had planned on walking the Freedom Trail. I got to the trailhead (which is really just a tourist information center in the Common), but opted out because I didn't want to get waterlogged. Instead, I found a cafe on the edge of Chinatown. I grabbed a seat, a sandwich and a latte and finished off one of the books I brought. Then it was back to the hotel for an afternoon nap (Lay off! I was on vacation!) and met GayProf for wine hour at the hotel.
He took me out to Somerville for amazing Indian food. I love samosas. I love vindaloo. Both at this place were stellar! The vindaloo made me break a sweat. That's always a good sign. Then it was onto the Ramrod which was totally dead. Sure, it was early, but it was still pretty dead. No hot sex in the back room. Boo!
Then it was back to the hotel for my final night's stay. The next day I took the Chinatown bus that everyone had warned me about. It was totally fine. Air conditioned, half empty, and relatively fast.
Tennille met me in New York's Chinatown around 4PM on Sunday. We cabbed back to Brooklyn and went to a bodega to buy some stuff to grill. The Moonshine in Brooklyn allows its patrons to bring their own food to grill. Its a great idea for a bar--two large gas grills out back, but little did we know that every third Sunday is bulldog Sunday. I used to think of bulldogs as sweet and funny looking--that was until I saw them en masse. Slobber everywhere and a youngster that humped anything even remotely humpable. Oh, and did I mention the poop? Tennille's friends Neil and Keith met us there and I believe they were equally as perturbed by the bulldogs.
Neil and Keith are also musicians. I forget what their band name is together, but Keith by himself is Wolfgang. You should buy his CD single Not In Love (Not True). It is great vocoder pop with nice bass. In other words, its music I like.
Holy crap. This post is getting hella long. I'm going to stop here. More soon, I promise--
Like other bloggers who were met during the trip and the lovely state of Texas . . .
Oh and Prof, is this color font better?
This is lifted from Janice -
Basically, you use iTunes on shuffle to answer the following questions:
1. How are you feeling today?
Back in My Arms Again - The Supremes
2. Will you get far in life?
Days Like This - from Falsettoland (Original Off-Broadway Cast)
3. What do your friends see you as?
What Else is There? (Jacques Lu Cont Radio Mix) - Royksopp
4. What is your best friend's theme song?
My Friend Dario - Vitalic
5. What is the story of your life?
I am You - Nightmares on Wax
6. What was high school like?
Cardiology (Isolee mix) - Recloose
7. How can you get ahead in life?
Something Bad is Happening (Reprise) - Falsettoland (Original Off-Broadway Cast)
8. What is the best thing about your friends?
Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man after Midnight) - ABBA
9. What is in store for this weekend?
Monday Paracetamol - Ulrich Schnauss
10. What song describes you?
Carnage, Ok! - Sergej Auto
11. To describe your grandparents?
New Friend - The Concretes
12. How is your life going?
Morning Disaster - L'Altra
13. What song will they play at your funeral?
What else is there? (Trentemoller Remix) - Royksopp
14. How does the world see you?
It Ain't Easy - Jazmina
15. Will you have a happy life?
Get Me Away from here I'm Dyin' - Belle & Sebastian
16. What do your friends really think about you?
Nobody Knows - Zoot Woman
17. Do people secretly lust after you?
My Son Mystic - Gay Dad
18. How can I make myself happy?
As Four - The Concretes
19. What should you do with your life?
Midnight Sun - Ivy
Um. I can't make sense of most of them, but the answers to 10, 12, 13 and 15 made me chuckle.
This weekend pretty much ruled.
First, on Friday, I met up with fellow blogger Earl and his beau Bucko for margaritas and nachos. Earl is the first blogger--outside of the Seattlest crew and personal friends--whom I have met in real life. What a complete joy! They're both laid back and funny and they live a mere stone's throw from my pad so hopefully we'll get a chance for future drunken escapades. As it stands now, I'll be joining them for a hike on Oct. 8th. And I promise pictures from the excusion.
Friday night brought the first round of Decibel Festival goodness. Matt and I camped at Neumo's forgoing hometown heroes Jacob London for the killer line-up of Telefon Tel Aviv, Apparat, and Alex Smoke. Telefon Tel Aviv played a solid set to an enthusiastic crowd. Their music is song-oriented so it really played to the Seattle crowd's general aversion to dancing. Maybe I misjudged, though. Maybe its not an aversion to dancing, rather a predilection for clapping.
So they exited the stage (and then began clearing empty bottles and cups!!), and Apparat came on. He pretty much shredded. The bass was thick--sometimes you could feel it before you heard it. He had the room rockin' and we all had a lovely time.
Next up was Alex Smoke. He brought a bit more of the funk in with him, but still rode the tech-tip. Matt and I danced and danced, and then decided we should go. (There was still a whole 'nother night of dancing ahead.)
So, we left Neumo's and hailed a cab. In the passenger seat sat a dreadlocked black man who spoke a bit like Daffy Duck. He and the cabbie were friends, apparently, and he just rides around with him. They questioned Matt and me about where we had been. We told them and the passenger seemed to know more about the festival than your average joe. That's when it hit me.
"You sound like Riz," I said.
"That's because I am Riz," said the passenger.
He had just finished his usual Friday gig at the Re-Bar and now he was just tooling around in the cab. Strange--but a nice ending to the evening.
Saturday afternoon was spent in rest mode. I was in and out of sleep the entire day. Saturday evening I met up with Bill to see Little Miss Sunshine which I enjoyed, but not as much as I'd hoped I would. Matt met up with us after the movie and the three of us went back to Neumo's for Jerry Abstract, [A]pendics Shuffle, and Green Velvet. [A]pendics Shuffel was great, but Velvet rocked the party. He played a good 8 minutes of Plastikman's Spastik with a great vocal laid on top. There was a slew of other hits, and like my friend Erik said, "If you're going to hear someone play the hits, I can't think of anyone better than Curtis." Hear, hear!
I didn't take any pictures because the event was being well-chronicled. I think everyone was snapping pictures with their phones or cameras, or recording video. (It was actually a little ridiculous.) Here's a link to a photoset. Oh, and here's a link to the festival's blog.
So, that was my weekend.
What did you do?
Passing Stranger - W. Whitman
Passing stranger! you do not know how longingly I look upon you,
You must be he I was seeking, or she I was seeking, (it comes to me as of a dream,)
I have somewhere surely lived a life of joy with you,
All is recall'd as we flit by each other, fluid, affectionate, chaste, matured,
You grew up with me, were a boy with me or a girl with me,
I ate with you and slept with you, your body has become not yours only nor left my body mine only,
You give me the pleasure of your eyes, face, flesh, as we pass, you take of my beard, breast, hands, in return,
I am not to speak to you, I am to think of you when I sit alone or wake at night alone,
I am to wait, I do not doubt I am to meet you again,
I am to see to it that I do not lose you.
One of the brides requested that I have "Happy Together" by the Turtles. Check. As well as three covers of that same song. I was also requested to have something by Diana Ross and the Supremes. Check. Besides that, the list was up to me.
My selection ran the gamut--from Billie Holliday and Louis Armstrong singing Berlin's classic, "Cheek to Cheek" to Grandmaster Flash and Melle Mel's "White Lines." I had just over four hours of music--but for some reason, only a fraction was played. Ah well. I tried my (almost) best.
So, onto the wedding.
Lynnie has been like a surrogate mother to me since moving to Seattle. [Hi Lynnie!!] Her daughter, Risa, and I were roommates in college. Since those days of traversing mountain passes to spend Thanksgiving in Seattle, Lynnie has always made sure I'm included in family functions--from Easters to birthdays, she has always made me feel welcome and a part of the family.
Lynnie herself was in a period of transition during much of the time I've known her. She was in the process of getting a divorce, and she was beginning to come to terms with her sexuality. Her first gay relationship, from my point of view, was unstable and demanded concessions that would strain any relationship. Still, I admired her chutzpah for living her life the way she saw fit.
I don't know how Lynnie met Joyce, but, as anyone who was at the wedding can attest, Joyce is the yin to Lynnie's yang. They complement each other well, and they are a testament to the fullness and scope of love.
I arrived to their house surprisingly on-time. The backyard was awash with lesbians. One of them was my landlady to whom I (re)introduced myself. She then told me that I could disregard the late-fee she had just mailed to our place (damn holiday!) which made me very happy. Both brides were convivial and well-dressed. I don't think I've ever seen Lynnie dressed in anything quite so feminine.
I tried to make small talk with some of the womenfolk and then distracted myself with setting up the music.
Shortly thereafter, Risa, her fiance Keith (who is a frequent commenter on this here blog), and her younger sister Nikki arrived--there were finally people with whom I felt comfortable conversing. We got a briefing about our champagne pouring responsibilities and the ceremony was soon underway.
Officiated by Rachel, Lynnie's eldest daughter, and Joyce's business partner, the ceremony was simple and sweet. They included the Jewish tradition of a ketubah. Joyce and Lynnie exchanged vows which sent Nikki into the first of many sobbing fits.
I couldn't help but chuckle occasionally during the ceremony--Lynnie and Joyce live frightfully close to a shooting range and the sounds of people shooting their rifles and handguns often overpowered the voices of the celebrants. At the end, after the smashing of the symbolic wine glass, it was toast time.
I sure am glad that the Jews were well-represented. Two rabbis--count 'em, two--were present. Lynnie's brother, one of the two, arose and gave the first toast. He talked about the symbolism of the shattered wine glass--that even in times of joy, there is still pain and suffering and nothing can be truly perfect. Jesus bless the Jews. Its that sort of thinking that makes me think I might have some Heb flowing through my veins. Lechaim! All those Jews made me feel like I was hanging out with a bunch of rich Greeks.
Other's toasted but it was more based in the gentile tradition of, "Ohh, you two. Ohhh, love. Awww, so sweet."
When the ceremony was over, I started through the playlist. Unfortunately, I culled too broad a spectrum. Billie Holliday, The Supremes, The Ronettes, The Crystals, Laura Nyro, Labelle, Gladys Knight, Anne Murray, Barbra Streisand, Air Supply, Chicago, Atlantic Starr, Melissa Manchester, Debby Boone, and Leslie Gore were all summarily dismissed.
Instead, we ended up listening to the same 10 or so songs over and over. Mainly, "Celebration" by Kool and the Gang, "Sir Duke" by Stevie Wonder, "September" by Earth, Wind, and Fire, "Hey Ya!" by Outkast, and once the lesbos wrested me away from the decks, it was non-stop "Hung Up" by Madonna, "Gloria" and "Self Control" by Laura Branigan, "Invincible" by Pat Benatar, and "The Warrior" by Scandal. Yeah.
So one of the more, um, shall we say, rural of the lesbians, asked me if I had "Hotel California" by the Eagles. Nope. Sorry. Then her friend approached me and asked if I had any techno. God, you don't know how much I would have loved to rock the party with something like this, but something tells me that's not what she envisioned when she said techno. I, also, didn't have anything too dance-y on the hard drive. Ah well.
So I think the whole thing went really well. The best part of the night probably came when Risa and I began talking about her wedding in February. She and Keith want me to officiate--so I get ultilize my ordination. I am unbelievably honored and humbled that they want me to be in charge of such a large portion of their day. February is only five months away and something tells me that there will have to be quite a few planning days.
I'll let you in on more as the day approaches--at this point, I know that I'll be singing at least one song, and performing the actual marriage.
So all this marriage stuff got me to thinking--I haven't been in any sort of relationship for nearly three years (and that last one I only count so I don't have to say that I've been single for over six years). Being single, suits me, though. While I do feel the pressure from the heteronormative world to be in a relationship, I think I like myself better as a single person. Of course, I have no real basis for comparison. I do like the idea of two people with similar values and goals who have analagous sexual desire for one another joining forces like a superhero team and trying their best to live in a world that reflects their values and in which they can achieve their goals. All that sounds cool, or whatever.
I think a lot of my aversion to more actively seeking dates has to do with the fact that I view myself as a work in progress. Certainly, we all have aspects of our lives that need work, but I generally careen a bit more than your average joe. The highs and lows from a reckless youth (and slightly beyond the "youth" category) are still in the process of finding a median, and, until I find that balance in myself, I certainly wouldn't want to subject a perspective beau to those wild fluctuations--its bad enough that my friends have to deal with them.
Speaking of my misspent youth, Friday marked the end of a five year probation.
Driving under the influence cost me around $17,000 and five years of my life. The upside is that it is not on my record. Better news, I can apply for a passport again.
So, yeah, I guess that's all I have to say. Don't drink and drive.
Oh, and Sean should have the latest Listening Party up sometime today.
My boy recieved the Golden Lion award for Lifetime achievement yesterday at the Venice Film Festival. He is the award's youngest recipient ever. Tonight
INLAND EMPIRE also got its world premiere. US release date is still up in the air, but it will definitely be in the New York Film Festival on Sept. 29th. I'm hoping that after all this festival biz, it gets an end of the year release, but most likely you can expect it in February.
Here's some of the early word on Lynch's newest:
Also, Yahoo! has a bit about the press conference, but if you're a total freak like me, then you've already listened to the press conference found on this page.
Tommie didn't let that prevent him from throwing the smack-down, though. There were a series of tracks with 16th note bass-lines which gave an appregiated feel, and simultaneously made me feel like I was running a marathon. I love when old sounds begin to sound new again and to say that Tommie is on the cutting edge, would be a bit of an understatement. Needless to say, the few souls who did show seemed to have a good time, right Bill?
Onto Sunday. I was determined to go out to Flammable mainly because I knew it would be a long time before shaking it again. I am glad I went because it was a holiday weekend and some people I hadn't seen in a long time were there (hi Gigi, Erik, Matt, Dominique, Paul, David, and Jared!), but most of the crowd were just dumb ol' homos. They made both myself and Dom stabby--I think Paul, David and Jared bailed early. And the music pretty much sucked, and there was so much sketch there. I mean, a dude was passed out in front of the place at 10pm--that should have been an indicator. Flammable did live up to its name and everyone there was a hot, sweaty, sloppy mess. I got a few good shakes in, then called it a night.
And now, something completely different . . .
Why my tuna fish sandwich is better than yours:
(other than that, its just like yours--unless you use tuna in oil or something other than albacore)