Monday, October 31, 2005

Halloween Treats 2005

Here's another photo of me taken at the Stuyvesant Church in St. Mark's of the Bowery in New York City back on September 30, 2001.

Speaking of photos, the Philadelphians MC has posted some photos of their OktoberFIST social earlier this month on their website. My fellow pledge Marc took them.

As for musical treats, Amber has been doing some remixes for her upcoming single "Just Like That" (which BTW is my favorite track from her My Kind Of World album), including one by Jason Nevins which has been starting to hit various dance outlets. You can hear the radio edit of that great mix here at her MySpace page.

I also recently set up a page at as well. It's up but I'm still working on it.

Anyhow, Happy Halloween, and don't stay up too late waiting for the Great Pumpkin!

Sunday, October 30, 2005

My Halloween Mix

A tip of the hat to Jimmi for inspiring this list:

Die Another Day (Thee RetroLectro Mix) - Madonna
The Time Wrap - Rocky Horror Picture Show
Everyday Is Halloween - Ministry
Devil In My Car - B-52's
Monster - Fred Schneider
Tubular Bells - Book Of Love
No Tears - Tuxedomoon or Pretty Poison
Don't Go -Yaz(oo)
The Missionary Man - Eurythmics
Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) - David Bowie
Meet Ze Monsta - PJ Harvey
Creature With the Atom Brain - Roky Erickson & the Aliens
Haunted House Blues - Bessie Smith
Hell - Squirrel Nut Zippers

And it is safe to say that a good deal of the Siouxsie and the Banshees' back catalog would appropriate for this time of year. Here's some songs from the top of my head:

Fear (Of The Unknown)
The Killing Jar
The Staircase (Mystery)
Happy House
The Catwalk (non-LP B-side of "Peek-A-Boo" single)

Millennium Coffee closes!

Last night I went into Philly to take part of the festivities happening at the Bike Stop that evening. When I got in and parked, I went to Millennium Coffee first. When I got there I noticed some signs saying that it was going to close its doors the next day. My heart dropped into my boots as I walked in. I asked the guy behind the counter what happened. He got my medium cup of regular coffee saying that the lease had expired and the building's owners wanted more money or something like that.

It's a shame that Millennium is closing. One of its prime assets was its location on the heart of 12th Street. Right by the infamous 12th Street Gym, watching people parade by right outside the giant windows was a sport there. It was usually the first place I'd go to when I spend an evening in Philadelphia. I'd kill half an hour or so sipping my coffee or chai latte, reading the PGN and watching people walk by and taking in the scenery.

2005 has not been a good year for gay coffeehouses. Two months ago the famed Big Cup in New York City closed its doors, a victim of ever-rising rents there.

Fortunately there are other nearby coffeehouses in the gayborhood, such as Village Coffee House on Locust Street (which was the Mean Bean until a few months ago). They'll likely be taking Millennium's business now. Still Millennium Coffee was an institutuion here in gay Philly, so if you're in the city today, stop by and pay your last respects because after today it will be no more.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Leather happenings & rock of the 80s

Some great things at the Bike Stop this Saturday October 29. In the main bar the Defenders MC Philadelphia are holding their 7th Annual Holiday Jollies Toy Drive from 8pm to midnight. They are accepting unwrapped children's toys, which benefits St. Mary's Family Respite Center. You can come in your Halloween costume too!

Also at the Top of the Stop of the Bike Stop that same night, there's the Kinky Karnival, where you can ride the "rides" of the various booths such as flogging, bondage, spanking, bootblack and more. A $7.00 donation gets tickets to use at different display stations. It's hosted by Mr. Philadelphia Leather 2005 Bill Hawk and Ms. Philadelphia Leather 2005 dawn marie. Proceeds go to American Diabetes Association. This will be happening from 9pm to 1am.

Here's a leatherman's review of the book The Leatherman’s Handbook as well as some musings on S&M as well.

If you want to hear some classic New Wave tunes, tonight on 88.5 WXPN in Philly from 7pm to 11pm Robert Drake will be hosting "Land of the Lost," a four hour block of "Rock of the 80s." It'll be on every last Friday of the month at that same time slot.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

High school reunions & Top 100 songs of 1985

Over the weekend I received a letter saying that there was going to be 20th year high school class reunion and I have ambivalent feelings about attending it. I don't have a lot of good feelings about my high school years. My grades were okay, nothing spectacular. I had a few friends but a lot of kids at my school thought I was weird. (I was starting to be a "new waver" kid then. And I had the reputation of being a "brain" in spite of my mediorce grades.) I remember I was just biding my time there, thinking that there was a world outside the school walls. I couldn't wait to graduate so I could go to college and live out some new experiences.

Anyhow I did toy with the idea of going to the reunion party but I decided against it. My three reasons for my decisions were: 1. I went to the 5 year reunion and it felt pretty awkward. 2. Tickets to the party were $50 dollars each, a bit too much for me with Christmas coming up, and 3. It's on same the day/evening as Santa Saturday in New Hope and I'd much rather be at the latter; I'd feel far more comfortable with a whole bunch of men in leather rather than my old high school classmates.

According to that letter that reunion party is going to have a "DJ with all the hits from the 80s!", which made me think about what were the big hits the year I graduated, which was in 1985. Thanks to Lady Strathconn and Fat Lady Walking, I was able to find them through the website:

(Note that you can find out what was big the year you graduated high school. Just follow Lady Strathconn's instructions and "Go to and look around a bit [in the Music Resources section]. Okay, now go to their Top 100 Songs/Top 100 Hits and choose the year you graduated from high school. Bold the songs you like, strike through the ones you hate and underline your favorite(s). Do nothing to the ones you don't remember (or don't care about)."

Anyhow, here's the Top 100 songs of 1985:

1. Careless Whisper, Wham!
2. Like A Virgin, Madonna
3. Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go, Wham!
4. I Want To Know What Love Is, Foreigner
5. I Feel For You, Chaka Khan
6. Out Of Touch, Daryl Hall and John Oates
7. Everybody Wants To Rule The World, Tears For Fears
8. Money For Nothing, Dire Straits
9. Crazy For You, Madonna
10. Take On Me, A-Ha
11. Everytime You Go Away, Paul Young
12. Easy Lover, Phil Collins and Philip Bailey
13. Can't Fight This Feeling, REO Speedwagon
14. We Built This City, Starship
15. The Power Of Love, Huey Lewis and The News
16. Don't You (Forget About Me), Simple Minds
17. Cherish, Kool and The Gang
18. St. Elmo's Fire (Man In Motion), John Parr
19. The Heat Is On, Glenn Frey
20. We Are The World, U.S.A. For Africa
21. Shout, Tears For Fears
22. Part-Time Lover, Stevie Wonder
23. Saving All My Love For You, Whitney Houston
24. Heaven, Bryan Adams
25. Everything She Wants, Wham!
26. Cool It Now, New Edition
27. Miami Vice Theme, Jan Hammer
28. Lover Boy, Billy Ocean
29. Lover Girl, Teena Marie
30. You Belong To The City, Glenn Frey
31. Oh Sheila, Ready For The World
32. Rhythm Of The Night, Debarge
33. One More Night, Phil Collins
34. Sea Of Love, Honeydrippers
35. A View To A Kill, Duran Duran
36. The Wild Boys, Duran Duran
37. You're The Inspiration, Chicago
38. Neutron Dance, Pointer Sisters
39. We Belong, Pat Benatar
40. Nightshift, Commodores
41. Things Can Only Get Better, Howard Jones
42. All I Need, Jack Wagner
43. Freeway Of Love, Aretha Franklin
44. Never Surrender, Corey Hart
45. Sussudio, Phil Collins
46. Strut, Sheena Easton,
47. You Give Good Love, Whitney Houston
48. The Search Is Over, Survivor
49. Missing You, Diana Ross
50. Separate Lives, Phil Collins and Marilyn Martin
51. Raspberry Beret, Prince and The Revolution
52. Suddenly, Billy Ocean
53. The Boys Of Summer, Don Henley
54. One Night In Bangkok, Murray Head
55. If You Love Somebody Set Them Free, Sting
56. Obsession, Animotion
57. We Don't Need Another Hero, Tina Turner
58. Material Girl, Madonna
59. Better Be Good To Me, Tina Turner
60. Head Over Heels, Tears For Fears
61. Axel F, Harold Faltermeyer
62. Smooth Operator, Sade
63. In My House, Mary Jane Girls
64. Don't Lose My Number, Phil Collins
65. All Through The Night, Cyndi Lauper
66. Run To You, Bryan Adams
67. Glory Days, Bruce Springsteen
68. Voices Carry, 'Til Tuesday
69. Misled, Kool and The Gang
70. Would I Lie To You?, Eurythmics
71. Be Near Me, ABC
72. No More Lonely Nights, Paul McCartney
73. I Can't Hold Back, Survivor
74. Summer Of '69, Bryan Adams
75. Walking On Sunshine, Katrina and The Waves
76. Freedom, Wham!
77. Too Late For Goodbyes, Julian Lennon
78. Valotte, Julian Lennon
79. Some Like It Hot, Power Station
80. Solid, Ashford and Simpson
81. Angel, Madonna
82. I'm On Fire, Bruce Springsteen
83. Method Of Modern Love, Daryl Hall and John Oates
84. Lay Your Hands On Me, Thompson Twins
85. Who's Holding Donna Now, Debarge
86. Lonely Ol' Night, John Cougar Mellencamp
87. What About Love, Heart
88. California Girls, David Lee Roth
89. Fresh, Kool and The Gang
90. Do What You Do, Jermaine Jackson
91. Jungle Love, The Time
92. Born In The USA, Bruce Springsteen
93. Private Dancer, Tina Turner
94. Who's Zoomin' Who, Aretha Franklin

95. Fortress Around Your Heart, Sting
96. Penny Lover, Lionel Richie
97. All She Wants To Do Is Dance, Don Henley
98. Dress You Up, Madonna
99. Sentimental Street, Night Ranger
100. Sugar Walls, Sheena Easton

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Long drives in my car

When I go into Philadelphia it usually takes about 45 minutes to an hour drive between there and where I currently live (West Chester) each way. Playing some mix-tapes or CDs usually helps pass the time driving. I have more friends that live in Philly than where I live, so I find myself driving to the city and back quite a bit. I guess it would make more sense to move into Philly, but right now my finances are tight so I have to stay where I am at. I wouldn't have to spend so much on gas driving when I move to Philly, but then that extra money would be going towards rent. So it's always something.

Anyhow I was in Philly (third time this week) Saturday night. It was raining when I drove in and I noticed that I might have to replace my windshield wipers. Got into Center City at 8pm and saw my fellow pledges and friends Marc and Ron. We've been getting to know each other better; going through the same pledge experience with the Philadelphians has helped us bond. Went out to Bike Stop around 11pm and stayed there for two hours. There was a pretty good crowd tonight, not really too big. Then I drove home; it had stopped raining by then. Overall I'd say that I had a great time.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Which horror movie are you?

Since Halloween is around the corner, take this quiz and find out.

This is what I got:


You feel like a total outcast. Your whole life, you have been walked on and pushed around, and you're tired of it. Your life is spent indoors, by yourself, reading or just sitting, doing nothing. You feel like you've been rejected by the world, and that there is no point in trying anymore. You're a loner, and in desperate need of acceptance.

Dumpsta Players night

Had a good time in Philly Wednesday night. Went to group therapy and it was busy. It's good to go there once in a while and vent.

After that I went to see the Dumpsta Players. Funny that I said in my last post that I was going to cut back on the pop culture stuff on this blog and then I go see a troupe that skewers that very same thing. Anyhow the night's theme was Octoberfist IV, which took aim at European pop music. It was enjoyable, like seeing the Eurovision Song Contest on acid. Talked with Jimmi for a while; he came in dressed as a Valkyrie goddess with the horn hat, which was done for the show. Heard that this was going to be Freddy's last performance with the DP's. Sorry to hear about that; I wish that I had a word or two with him.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Too much pop, not enough personal?

I've been looking at my entries of the past week or two and I'm wondering: is it getting too heavy with pop culture? With all the Boy George and Madonna stuff for example. I think that I ought to tone down on that stuff for a while and try to write more personal stuff. I do enjoy pop culture but there's already a lot of blogs and sites on that stuff, so maybe I want to try going on a less-traveled road. If anyone has any comments I'd like to know.

Philadelphians MC meeting at the Bike Stop went well last night. Lots of events coming up in the next few months. Will be in Philly again tomorrow (Wednesday) for a couple of different things, and I might check out the new Dumpsta Players show at Bob and Barbara's as well.

Can you be "too butch" for the International Mr. Leather competition? Check out this intersting article by one of this year's contestants here.

One more Madonna caveat and I'll chill out on writing about her for a while--pre-ordered her new album on iTunes (which you can get either continously mixed or all seperate tracks). Being the Madonna fan I am, I'll also be getting a store-bought copy or two as well when it's released next month.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Time goes by so slowly...

Laid low this weekend nursing a little cold I had gotten due to several days of cloudy and rainy weather. (At least yesterday and today were sunny for a change.) Watched some DVDs I had gotten from the library. Movies I've been meaning to see for a while like Swing Time and The Aviator, as well as the second season of Sex and the City. Goofed off and surfed the net today. I will be going into Philly tomorrow for the next Philadelphians MC general meeting.

Came across an interesting piece in the City Paper about why a repertory movie theater is needed in Philadelphia and what needs to be done to achieve that. I hope that the local filmmakers will get what they want; it's hard to get Philadelphians motivatied for anything at all (with the possible exception for sports), mass apathy is one of Philly's negative traits.

Heard that black gay activist and writer Keith Boykin was not allowed to speak at the Millions More Movement March in DC at the last moment yesterday. Which reinforced my beliefs that black religious figures such as Minister Louis Farrakhan and Reverend Willie Wilson are just Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell in blackface; just pushing the same old homo-hatred and misogyny in the name of G*d.

Madonna's "Hung Up" has been on a loop for the past two days and I haven't tired of it as of yet. Finally getting to hear the whole song (I've only heard little snippets of it before) would be my highlight of the weekend.

Are runts the new bears?

I've been finding via the blogs (thanks Joe and Bob) that in New York City there are now weekly bar nights that are dedicated to short men. The Nowhere Bar are having Runt nights on Wednesdays, hosted by Stephin Merritt of the Magnetic Fields. I wonder how long will it be before those types of parties start popping up in Philly?

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Delta 5 retrospective!

"Can I have a taste of your ice cream?
Can I lick the crumbs from your table?
Can I interfere with your crisis?
No! Mind your own business!"

That is the first verse from one of my favorite new wave/post-punk songs, "Mind Your Own Business" by the Delta 5. Delta 5 were a postpunk band from Leeds, England, the same place as Gang Of Four and the Mekons. Consisting of three women and two men, they had a distinctive two-bassist attack that added to their abrasive funk sound. They put out three singles on the Rough Trade label, including "Mind Your Own Business" and "You," which had some biting and sarcastic lyrical content. They broke up shortly after releasing their only album, See The Whirl (on the Pre label) in 1981.

Delta 5's body of work mostly went out of print outside of "Mind Your Own Business" or "You" popping up on the occasional New Wave compilation. ("Mind" would also be expertly covered by Chicks On Speed in 2000.) That is about to change with the US label Kill Rock Stars, which plans to release a compilation of their work titled Singles and Sessions 1979-81. It will consist of their three Rough Trade singles, as well as some John Peel and Richard Skinner BBC Radio sessions and some additional live tracks. Singles and Sessions 1979-81 will be released on Janurary 25, 2006; IMHO that's something to look forward to in the new year! on Delta 5

Trouser Press on Delta 5

An interview with bassist Ros Allen in 1996.

I Heart Hung Up!

I am so LOVING "Hung Up" by Madonna. I think this'll be my favorite single of 2005. I hope that Philly radio will play this song; some dance music is badly needed on the airwaves IMHO. Can't wait for the album to come out on November 15! (Same day as my birthday...what an excellent birthday gift!)

Thanks for hot lunch for passing this along.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Boy George - Cheapness And Beauty CD

The recent news of Boy George's drug troubles in New York made me dig this CD out, which was released ten years ago. Cheapness And Beauty was meant to be a companion piece to his autobiography Take It Like a Man. Both came out in 1995. Here he broke from his dance-oriented past and made a largely glam-rock sounding album. Mostly written by him and guitarist John Themis, it kicks off with an cool ELO-sounding cover of Iggy Pop's "Funtime." Once the shock of his working in a different genre wore off, one is surprised how well he handles his new musical style, such as on "Genocide Peroxide," which is about his old-club (and drug) buddy and rival pop-wannabe Marilyn. (That song is my favorite track from that album.) He does slow it down for two mid-tempo folkie-sounding numbers ("Same Thing In Reverse" and the title track) and three ballads, which included "Il Adore," a tribute to makeup-artist friend Stevie Hughes.

When the album was released on August 29, 1995, it was not a commercial success. Some of the fans of his past dance work were confused by the new rock direction. (Though both "Funtime" and "Same Thing In Reverse" were remixed for the dancefloors.) His rock songs wouldn't have been out of place on the American modern rock/"alternative" radio stations (which was starting to suffer with the increase of sound-alike bands) if Boy's record company Virgin would have bothered to go that route, but they saw him too much as a 80s pop artist to make a credible move. Having a record that fell in between genres, Virgin lost interest in Cheapness And Beauty. And while Boy George was in the middle of his US tour during the fall of 1995, he spilt from the label.

I think that it was a shame that this record wasn't more popular, since Boy was going a different change of pace. I'm not saying that this is a perfect album--a couple of the numbers do fall flat--but I do think that overall he was credible at it. It's currently not in print, but you can get used copies of this from sites like and

A couple of side notes...Boy George and John Themis would record some more material from Janurary to March 1996 but it wouldn't be released until 1999 with the Unrecoupable One Man Bandit, Vol. 1 CD compilation on the Finetune label. And a few years later both "Genocide Peroxide" and "Il Adore" would be revived and put into Boy's West End and Broadway productions of his musical play Taboo.

Madonna-Kabbalah controversy

Appearently some rabbis are upset over "Issac," a song from Madonna's upcoming album Confessions on a Dance Floor. But then it's not like they're the first religious leaders she's pissed off during her career.

Meanwhile Madge will be performing her new single "Hung Up" at the MTV Europe Music Awards on November 3. Europe might embrace the new song, but will a hip-hop obsessed Top 40 radio in the US do the same thing?

Monday, October 10, 2005

Smurf village bombed

A public service commercial in Belguim has gotten people talking. UNICEF has created an anti-war TV commercial featuring the Smurfs' village being bombed by airplanes. It's to be aired in that country next week as part of its fundraising drive. It was approved by the family of the Smurfs' late creator "Peyo."

Another article on the story.

OutFest weekend

Watched the season premiere of In Bed With Butch on WYBE Saturday night. It turned out that they didn't air the Randy Jones episode (they'll air that one next week) but a recap of the Philadelphia Gay and Lesbian film festival. There were some technical difficulties with that airing; the video would freeze for a few seconds but the audio would continue--it was like watching something over the net with a slow connection, only the screen was bigger. But it was a good episode. BTW Butch mentioned that there's now a website called but it doesn't seem to be running for now.

Drove in Philly Sunday and spent half an hour looking for an open parking space on the street but ended up parking in a gearage several blocks away from the Gayborhood. Arrived at Outfest around three. My timing must have been good when I headed towards the main stage areaon 13th and Locust when the Dumpsta Players came out on stage then and I could hear Jimmi (Life Of Pinky Bear) miming to Divine's "Born To Be Cheap." Cathy and Sara from the DPs did a hilarious take on the fake-lesbian Russian schoolgirl anthem TATU's "All The Things She Said." I had a few words with Jimmi after the performance and gave him a copy of my Madame Rock's Home For Wayward Grrls CD compilation, and he was very nice. Hope to have a longer chat next time.

Went to the Bike Stop at five to help set up for the Philadelphians Social, which was called "OctoberFist." It turned out to be a big sucess. It was packed. Me and the other pledges Marc and Ron had to help keep an eye out on making sure the food tables (which were catered with some Itialian dishes) were well-stocked and to help out with the 50-50 rafffles. We also cleaned up at ten pm. Overall we were commended on doing a great job. Other than a headache that was nagging me all day (it must have been either my allegeries acting up or the effects of the two prior rainy days; at least it didn't rain Sunday!) I had a good time today.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Oh Boy part 2

From the BBC:

Boy George 'denies drugs charge'

A lawyer for Boy George has denied that drugs found in his New York apartment belonged to the star, say reports.

The singer has been charged with possession of drugs and faces up to 15 years in jail, if found guilty.

"It was a small amount of drugs," Lou Freeman told the New York Post. "He doesn't know where it came from. He's had a lot of people in his house."

George called police on Friday to report a burglary. Officers found drugs next to a computer in the apartment.

"A man who has something to hide does not call police," said Mr Freeman.

A spokeswoman for the Manhattan District Attorney's office said he was released after being charged with possession of a controlled substance.

It is alleged he had more than an eighth of an ounce (3.5g) of cocaine.

The charge carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison. He is scheduled to return to court on 19 December.

He has also been charged with falsely reporting an incident.

Also an article on how the drug charges could affect Boy's career in the US.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Oh Boy, another coke bust

A lesson...when you call the cops to say your place has been burglarized, remember to get rid of your drugs before they arrive.

From Eonline:

Boy George Tumbles for Drug Charge

by Sarah Hall Oct 7, 2005, 3:10 PM PT

Boy George's not-so-boyish antics have landed him in trouble with the law.

The gender-bending singer was arrested early Friday on suspicion of possessing drugs and filing a bogus police report after summoning police to his New York apartment and falsely claiming that it had been burglarized.

Though the details leading up to the arrest remain somewhat sketchy, police said the singer, whose real name is George O'Dowd, called 911 from his Little Italy residence at around 3:14 a.m. and reported a burglary.

When the boys in blue arrived on the scene, they discovered a small amount of cocaine next to a computer, police said. A woman in the apartment said there were more drugs around and officers were continuing to investigate.

You can read more about this here. I hope that he gets through this okay.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Philly TV alert - In Bed With Butch

In Bed With Butch will kick off its new TV season with Randy Jones, the original Cowboy from the Village People, as his first guest. The show will first air on DUTV Channel 54 in Philadelphia tonight (October 6) at 10:30pm. Then the show will be on WYBE Channel 35 at late Saturday night/early Sunday October 8 at 12:30am (a nice alternative to Ashlee on Saturday Night Live).

Ashlee on SNL...again...WTF?

Why is NBC's Saturday Night Live letting that no-talent Ashlee Simpson sing again on the show this coming Saturday? It's a slap in the face to all the real musicians and singers out there. I mean, both Fiona Apple and Franz Fredinand have new albums out this week, why not let perfom on the show instead?

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Philadelphians MC

Last night the Philadelphians general meeting went well. I got my pledge book and I'm going to do my best for the next six months. I'm one of three guys who are pledges for the group.

BTW I added links to both the Philadelphians MC and the Bike Stop in the link section of this blog.

Also the Philadelphians will be holding an OutFest Social in the pit of the Bike Stop on Sunday October 9 from 6pm to 10pm. It'll be a great way to cap off the OutFest block party (which will run from noon to 7pm in Philly's Gayborhood). I'll be there helping out, so say "hi" if you see me.

George Bush (and Congress) doesn't care about AIDS victims either

Appearently the Ryan White Act, the federal fund that helps provide treatment to thousands of Americans with HIV and AIDS, expired over the weekend. And Congress isn't expected to review this again for several months. That means that many HIV/AIDS care facilities across the country could be in danger of closing or cutting back on their services, and more people will be denied the services they need and risk dying. And appearently the mainstream media doesn't care to report on this.

If we're going bring on an 80s revival, don't you think that we ought to revive ACT-UP as well? Wouldn't that be a totally 80s thing to do?

Thanks to Mental Hopskotch for providing this.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Courtney 1994 vs. Courtney 2005

Courtney Love from Spin magazine, October 2005:

When was the last time you listened to Live Through This?

I haven't. It was so easy to make that I get surprised by the effect it had on people. But, you know, all good rock is easy. The riffs just came, and they were fresh from chords that I'd learned from [Billy] Corgan and Kurt. I wrote "Doll Parts" in five minutes.

Do you think that it still resonates with people?

I can't even go to a club without running into a 19-year-old who's really, really affected by it. It pisses me off - it would piss off anyone to have their one record [that affects people] be ten years old. What about America's Sweetheart? It's not exactly [Liz Phair's] whitechocolatespaceegg, fuckers.

I remember getting into Hole around May 1994 after hearing "Miss World" on the radio (boy do I miss WDRE, Philly's alternative station at that time) and I bought the Live Throught This CD and fell in love with the album. I was drawn into the themes that Courtney was singing about, that many women (and quite a few gay men like myself) identify with--the strong undertow that urges one to debase her/himself with drugs, destructive relationships, or unsafe sex, the struggle between self-loathing and narcissism, and the desire to be driven by one's sexuality and the horror that this desire might ultimately end up being that person's degradgation and downfall. The fact that she would be going through all that mess and survive really impressed me. And this was written before Kurt's suicide, which would only add new layers of interpretation.

If Courtney is wondering why people are not drawn to her most recent album America's Sweetheart like they were with Live Through This, I might offer an explaination. As much as I think there are some great songs on AS, it just doesn't have to the same universal appeal that LTT had. In LTT Courtney discusses a lot of issues and emotions that strike a cord with people. AS doesn't have that; here she comes across as self-absorbed, wondering about her fame and her place in rock music and her drugs. Not as many people can identify with that. Plus when Courtney made Live Through This she had more focus and self-control during the making of that album. She didn't have that when she was recording America's Sweetheart, thus it wasn't consisent as LTT.

BTW you can read bonus material from Courtney's Spin interview here.

Chester County Pride

The Chester County Pride Outdoor Festival went very well today. It was located at the Foundry Lot in Phoenixville, PA. The crowd turnout was good; I saw quite a few people I knew there. And the weather today turned out to be an Indian Summer, very sunny with highs in the 80's. The entertainment included some drag queens and a drag king, plus the DC Cowboys Dance Company, which got a great crowd response.

Also just outside that festival were the usual fundie Christians carrying signs of damnation. But there were a bunch of pro-gay counter-protesters, many of them were from a religous action group called Soulforce. Many of them wore red T-shirts that had the Soulforce logo. At first I mistook them for anti-gay fundies but I quickly relalized that they were on our side.

I was there for about three hours, walking around checking out the various booths, talking to friends and drinking lots of water. Every now and them I'd go by the Foundry building and stand in the shade to occasionally dodge the sun. I even cruised some guys, lots of bear types there. Needless to say I had fun. Now bring on Outfest in Philly next Sunday!