Friday, March 7, 2014


My five fave finds & re-discoveries of the week. 
(In no particular order)

1) RuPaul - Born Naked (Bootleg)

When RuPaul released his seventh album, Born Naked, he was ready for the illegal downloaders. He created--and uploaded to all of the major torrent sites--a bootleg version, where the songs start playing normally but then quickly fade to RuPaul chiding people for stealing and then educating them on the importance of supporting artists. The effort could've come off as self righteous, but instead it feels like Ru's take on a '70s party record by LaWanda Page or Rudy Ray Moore. My favorite of the bootleg tracks is "Modern Love," which is part hilariously profane rant, part social commentary, all Ru.

(The funny begins at 1:09)

2) This Wrigley's Spearmint Gum Boat from 1972

When I strike it rich, I'm totally building this and cruising around South Beach. 

3) Kelis - "Jerk Ribs (Mount Kimbie Remix)"

This mix has haunted me all week. I can't stop playing it, and I can't figure out exactly why I love it so much. There's something about the combo of Kelis' raspy voice, the sci-fi synths, and the '80s R&B drum programming that is weirdly seductive. It's like Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing" being sung by an alien queen in the nightclub of a starship. I can totally see Captain Kirk scoring some space-strange to this joint.

2) Darlene Love & Merry Clayton on "Tavis Smiley"

Darlene Love took 40-some-million folks to church during Sunday's Oscar telecast. It was a total "If you don't know, now you know" moment. 20 Feet From Stardom is a must-see and see again. But you should also check out Tavis Smiley's 2-part interview with Love and and her sister background legend Merry Clayton. They get loose, tell new stories, and cut-up even more than in the documentary. A thoroughly entertaining lesson in history and survival. 

Gaskin, who's been called a "Trinidadian Andy Warhol," is a straight man who has been photographing the gay ball scene for more than 20 years. The results are intimate, action-packed and always stunning. I'm particulary drawn to the b&w images.They're like Paris Is Dodging and Burning or banjee Brodovitch

The brilliant Deborah Willis sums up the appeal of the images in the book's intro: "Regardless of our walks in life, we are all looking for safe spaces to express ourselves. Legendary allows us to bear witness to a group of people who are courageous enough to create their safe space. They inherently know that life is a dance and that they are all dancers."

See ya next week!


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