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Randy Jones of the Village People

In Being Gay, Celebrity Interviews, Clubs, Dating, Gay Celebrity, Gay NYC, Gay Weddings, Hollywood, Literature, Music, Night Out, NYC, Relationships, sex, television on June 29, 2010 at 5:43 am

Because let’s be honest, disco music was where it was at!

-Joseph Federico

When you hear the name “Randy Jones,” a sexy disco-encrusted cowboy should come to mind. Best known for his role as the cowboy from the group the Village People, Randy Jones also has had many pokers in the fire of life since the 1970s; he’s still singing but he’s also an actor and writer. Randy was gracious enough to stop by and discuss what Pride means to him as well as what he’ll be up to within the next few years.

Equal4all: How do you feel that the Village People changed the path of music back in the 1970s?

Randy Jones: I’m not so sure that we changed the path of music in the 1970s. However, I do think that from the beginning, I realized that we were embarking on something rather unique in showbusiness. It was perhaps an early version of a “boyband,” although I’m not sure I would accept the responsibility of being a fairy godfather to “The Backstreet Boys,” “Nsync,” etc. When we/VP were in the early stages, in my thoughts, we took inspiration from the Marx Bros, the Three Stooges, The Ritz Bros – combining it with the moves from some of the cool soul groups of the 60s and 70s like the Coasters, the Temptaions, The Four Tops – tossing in the knowing wink and a wiggle from some County Fair Strippers and topping it off with a heavy dollop of Chippendale’s … which we as a group truthfully inspired!

Click here for Randy Jones’ website!

From the beginning, I viewed what we were attempting as essentially a comedy act with some very well crafted and deceptively simple Pop Songs, like “Macho Man,” “In the Navy,” and “Y.M.C.A.”! How could we go wrong? Nobody else gave us an ounce of credit … nor did any of the critics ever think we’d succeed. But we did. We did … far beyond anyone’s expectations.

Currently, my solo sales combined with Village People sales have surpassed more than 100 million units world-wide to date. I’m in the Guiness Book of Records. I’ve performed for the Queen of England, as well as at a U.S. Presidential Innaugural. I’ve appeared on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand, the Merv Griffin Show, the Tonight Show, Midnight Special, among hundreds of other television programs worldwide. I even appeared on The Love Boat a couple of times with Betty White and Andy Warhol!

Follow Randy Jones on Myspace!

And I’ve got a star on Hollywood Blvd … one of 2,500 in its 50 year history. Ours is located at 6529 Hollywood Blvd, right between movie star Betty Grable and music personality Liberace. Now, ain’t that the coziest spot one could imagine?! On one side Betty has legs insured for a million dollars and on the other side Liberace with a million dollars worth of sequins and crystal chandeliers!

E4A: Do you feel that the music you record today appeals to a wide mainstream audience and not only to members of the GLBT community?

RJ: I certainly believe the music I record and have recorded over the past four decades has been music recorded for the enjoyment of ALL people who give it a listen. I’ve never felt that I was recording music for any particular group of people or segment of the population. I really like POP music; that’s the music to which I like to listen, to perform and to record. I look for songs that have a story which resonates with me, that I feel I can tell and to which I can relate. Just give a listen to my most recent CD, “Ticket to the World.” Among the selections on it you will find “Your Disco Needs You,” “If I Can’t Have You,” “Sleeping,” and “Rhinestone Cowboy,” just to name a few!

E4A: Pride … what does it mean to you?


RJ: Pride … to me, means living an honest and open life in the light.

E4A: Tell us about your new show “When Joey Married Bobby.”

RJ: “When Joey Married Bobby” has gone on hiatus for the summer, but the producers are planning to take it to Atlanta, Orlando, and Dallas later this year. I let ’em know that I’m on board if all the t’s are crossed and the i’s are dotted. So be out there lookin’ for me!

E4A: Please give advice to those who may be struggling with who they truly are:

RJ: Make the honest choices that resonate with truth in your soul and be comfortable in your own skin. And remember that everyone is engaged in the same struggle … to exist, and that it is not always easy.

E4A: What is the famous Randy Jones up to within the next few years or so?

RJ: My career is and has been extremely satisfying. Fortunately, the VP time has provided and will forever provide me with financial security and freedom to pursue whatever project in showbusiness that interests me. I’m truly a very lucky dawg in that aspect. As you mentioned, I’ve just finished starring in an Off-B’way play, “When Joey Married Bobby” in the heart of Times Square. I’ve got a film that was just at Cannes, “My Guaranteed Student Loan” with Richard Pryor, Jr., Oscar winner Celeste Holm, and Kate Luckinbill (Lucille Ball’s grand-daughter). June 4th, a film in which I play an attorney, An Affirmative Act premiered at The Hoboken Film Festival, and two others, Violet Tendencies and Bear City premiered at NewFestNYC Festival this month.

Why don’t you IMDB Randy Jones!

I have a new book, “MACHO MAN: The Disco Era,” which is in its second printing and is in nearly 20,000 libraries around the world. It has been chosen to be included in University pop culture and LGBT courses and I am booked  frequently to appear to speak with college students who use the book in their courses. Later this year I have two film projects booked. One to be shot in Arizona is Cafe A Go Go in which I co-star with David Bowie’s ex-wife, Angie Bowie. Another is a contemporary telling of the Edgar Allan Poe tale “The Cask of Amontillado”… I play ‘Fortunato.’ Early in 2011, I’m booked to play the warden in a prison thriller, untitled as of now, and and then Spring 2011, I’m booked to play a deputy sheriff in another thriller, House of Whispers. I also have two reality/documentary projects in development with A&E/The History Channel.

Purchase some Randy Jones music!

Of course in my moments that I get to breathe, I love to do dates out performing my music – like the Classic Disco Nightclub Reunion Concert on July 2nd out in Melville Long Island. It’s a great roster of classic 70s acts like The Trammps, Harold Melvin’s Bluenotes, France Joli, Carol Williams, Musique, First Choice, and of course me doing “San Francisco/Hollywood,” “Macho Man,” “In the Navy,” “Go West,” “Can’t Stop the Music” and “Y.M.C.A,” along with several other selections from my current CD. I get to do about 30 music dates a year. And of course, I’ll be appearing at ROCK CON, the National Rock & Roll Fan Fest , July 30, 31, and Aug. 1. My new CD is also being readied for release in Spring of 2011!

As you may have been able to discern by now, I have never been bored a day in my life!

If you got the chance to meet Randy Jones of the Village People, how would you react?

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Ryan Colford has a Glimpse of Man

In Art, Being Gay, Clothing, Dating, Gay Business, Gay NYC, Night Out, NYC, Relationships, sex on May 25, 2010 at 5:32 am

Ryan Colford is a New York City-based fashion and art photographer. He has been published in fashion and lifestyle magazines in America, England and Australia with a variety of features on international and local websites.

Currently, he is simultaneously working on two separate coffee table books. One collection is tentatively titled “The Candy Shoppe,” and blends vibrant colors, sexuality, texture and irreverence. The second is the “Glimpse of Man” collection and is a classic styling of fine art imagery of modern day man exposed.

His artwork has been exhibited in New York galleries and businesses. It has been used for everything from the promotion of art fairs to being auctioned off for charity events. Ryan Colford has also done advertising campaigns for women’s clothing, actors, musicians, key art for movies, corporate and small businesses as well as personalized individual shoots from weddings to specialty concepts.

To me, Colford undoubtedly portrays not only “man” through his eyes, but makes a bold statement about the evolutionary process and how far we have come have as a society.

Let’s get to the Q & A, shall we?

What does Pride mean to you?

It’s funny but Pride means so many things and really it changes depending on where you are at in life. Over the years, it’s changed for me and yet in other ways it’s remained ever the same. 

For me Pride is all about living honestly and openly and loving yourself. I can’t stress the importance of that one sentence! I can’t imagine not being honest about who I am. When I came out at 18, I had to reinforce being proud of myself and to break down doors and stereotypes. I was the ice breaker for my family and quite a few friends!

Now a thousand years later, I have a different perspective. I’m not proud of being gay anymore than I’m proud of having legs or that the sky is blue – for me, it just is. I’m proud of the man that I’ve become and still yet to be.

As a photographer, how have you implemented the idea of being proud into your work?

As an artist, I’m proud of the work that I do that speaks to people on that deep profound deep level. As a gay man, I’m proud of the work that I do that makes people think, that questions their beliefs, that exposes them to imagery they are not familiar with (and maybe uncomfortable with too!)

I think there’s a certain rawness to some of my images that are gay themed. I feel like I pull the shadows away for people and make them realize that at heart we are all the same.

As a gay man, do you feel that your work can be more easily scrutinized than that of a straight man?

I don’t know if it’s more easily scrutinized, but it’s definitely more likely to be classified as gay. I mean a picture of a man (naked or otherwise) isn’t really homoerotic unless he’s maybe sucking dick; it’s up to the interpretation of the viewer. So yeah, I get that reaction from a lot of straight people but I don’t really care. Art is all subjective and I create it because I can’t imagine not doing it.

What has been your favorite photo-shoot to date and why?

Shh, that wouldn’t be nice! It’s funny though, because every artist gets that question in one form or another; seriously though, I don’t have just one (besides you’re only as good as your last photograph).

I have moments though. There are times when I can connect with a model and draw out that creative spark and capture it for the world to see; to show them that beauty, that one amazing image that will always stay with them!

Who would you love to get your claws into and do a photo-shoot with? Why?

The list could be endless from musicians and superstars to men I’ve seen at the gym. I want to shoot so many people … really. I know it’s kind of a pat answer, but I love shooting so much, I can’t imagine just picking one person.

Let me give you a better answer I suppose. It’s more the energy of the model, their look, that certain “it.” Some models just have that light about them that I want to capture that moment in time forever.

Please tell us about your upcoming Pride exhibition:

Gladly! The name of the collection that will be up all month is “Glimpse of Man.” The “Glimpse of Man” series is an intimate and sensual look at the male form. There is an element of barriers removed and inhibitions cast aside. My focus on the male form is to expose the beauty of man without shame. Society and culture has de-sexualized the male form – from the clothing choices to interactions with other men.

One of my main goals is to present a positive and acceptable image of male sexuality. The “Glimpse of Man” is an exploration both for the model and the viewer. Each image has its own context and story that can be felt and interpreted on various levels. I invite the viewer to truly appreciate the life, sexuality, and energy of man.

Of course at midnight one night only, there’s going to be an adult show called “Raw Sugar.” These are selections of shots from “Candy Shoppe” that includes images that have been censored (and some that have not) for one reason or another. So it’s honest and open and blatant! LOL! “The Candy Shoppe” is all about color, texture, vibrancy, sex and fun. Come check it out!

Follow Ryan online:

RyanColford.com

Ryan Colford Photography

A note from the Photographer: “All photography simply involves evoking an emotional response. Whether that response is desire for a product or appreciation of beauty comes from the ability to tell a story with one simple image.” Ryan Colford

The “Glimpse of Man” Gallery Exhibition will be held at 25 Victory Blvd., Staten Island, NY 10301 at 9PM Friday June 4th, 2010.

-Joseph Federico

Photographs courtesy of Ryan Colford Photography, Other information provided by the Downtown Staten Island Council

New York City Boy: Gully is Twinkilicious!

In Art, Being Gay, Clothing, Clubs, Dating, Gay Business, Gay Celebrity, Gay NYC, Hollywood, Literature, Music, Night Out, NYC, Relationships, sex on May 13, 2010 at 5:13 pm

Some of you may have already been invited to join the Facebook group entitled “Gulliver’s Travelog.” This is not your ordinary group, nor is Gulliver your ordinary gay boy. The Facebook group is meant to gather fans and future friends of a young man that took life by the balls and decided to document his adventures every step of the way.

Equal4all: As a gay individual, do you feel that New York City has better opportunities than California?

Gully: There certainly are MORE opportunities. California right now is being ravaged by a piss-poor economy. Also, California is perfect if you’re looking for a job in television or film (or assisting in television or film); try looking for anything else and you’re shit out of luck.

In NYC, I received a job offer (and a job!) just by luck while walking my roomie (and fraternity brother’s) dog. That rarely if ever happens on the streets of LA and thereabouts. Meanwhile, you never know WHO you’ll crash into while you’re going about your day.

E4A: What made you decide to blog about your moving experiences?

G: Well, despite landing a job somewhat quickly, I’ve been having a tough time here in NYC. I figured it would be an excellent way to deal with my trials and tribulations – by documenting them online. It’s also led to a lot of friendships and relationships already. You’d be surprised by the sheer amount of people that have found me through the blog and extended a hand in friendship (you and your blog included!). I’m also a big fan of storytelling, and nothing makes for a better story than actual life.

E4A: What were you doing in California before deciding to make the big move to the Big Apple?

G: To be honest, I was doing nothing …that’s sort of why I moved. Like in the Savannah when a water source dries up, the herds move elsewhere. A potent combination of drama and joblessness, as well as a generous donation from my loving parents enabled me to pick-up and move … something no one thought I’d ever do, and something that everyone said I would quickly regret.

E4A: Tell our readers what the perfect date means to you:

G: A perfect date has a backbone of excellent conversation. I LOVE human interactions. I want my date to be up on pop culture and news. They’d be funny and our jokes would build off of one-another. Maybe we’d see a movie, play, or a musical; we could even go to a museum and have lots to talk about afterwards. I also love walking, so there should be some of that – in a preferably scenic locale such as Central Park or along the Hudson or East Rivers. Good sex is always an added bonus, too…

E4A: Please give advice to someone who may be struggling with who they truly are:

G: I think “who we truly are” is a problematic concept. Our cells live and die every day; after a number of days we are physically and technically a different person. Likewise, I believe who we are is just as fluid and changing.

I say focus on what you’re doing – who you’re with – and spend time creating such things as a statue, a painting, and a poem. We get closest to who we are at that exact moment while we are creating something … it’s not a “window” to the soul, but rather it allows you to chase your creation down to the roots within you that gave rise to what you made. If you spend a lot of time being emo and wondering “who you truly are,” you run the risk of answering the question with “nothing and no one” and that’s scary.

E4A:  Let’s be honest … top or bottom?

G: I’d define myself as a bottom with versatile tendencies … maybe a 75-25 split.

E4A: What can we expect from Gully within the year?

G: That’s a good question! Probably a lot of adventures … I have a habit of getting myself into intriguing situations. It took me a number of years to wear myself ragged in LA, but NYC moves at a far quicker pace. Hopefully I don’t wear out my welcome here too quickly.

People can keep track of me through my blog, my Facebook, and my Twitter. They can also ask me questions like you just did on my Formspring.

Joseph Federico

Summer Shades

In Art, Being Gay, Clothing, Clubs, decor, Gay Celebrity, Night Out, NYC, reviews on April 8, 2010 at 8:58 pm

Sunglasses are meant to protect the eyes, plain and simple. But have you ever wondered when they became so popular and an emblem of one’s status symbol? After some digging around the internet, I found out that it wasn’t until the 1920’s, when movie stars and starlets sported specs on red carpets and to movie premiers that the sunglass movement really took off.

The above mentioned makes 100% sense … even in today’s celebrity-obsessed society, we turn to Hollywood for the latest trends in fashion, music, and the like. With that being said, I always look forward to the changing of one season to another to see what styles are going to be most popular in the upcoming months.

After making contact with international headquarters of major fashion labels, calling the UK, and doing some other personal research of my own, I can now present to you a list of men’s sunglasses that are bound to fly off the shelves this summer. I hope your credit card is paid off and you have some checks coming in because you won’t want to miss out on these select styles.

Ed Hardy- The Director of Key Accounts has promised that the following models this year are customer favorites: EHS040, EHS041, EHS043, and EHS044. These sunglasses range anywhere from $190.00 – $260.00; that may sound a little steep in this economy, but a good, sturdy pair of sunglasses can last a lifetime. The Director personally stated, “We are also launching Affliction Sunwear next month, which will really bring men’s sunglasses to a new level.”

Ray-Ban- According to several internet sources, the Ray-Ban RB 3194 62 is the company’s next most prized possession. These have G15 XLT lenses for ultimate ultra violet protection, which is very important now that we’re smack dab in the midst of global warming and all. The frames seem quite light weight which is good for travel purposes. The new Ray-Bans start off at about $125.00.

Sports Sunglasses- For the sport-loving, rugged type, the X Loop X63 Sunglasses Wrap Style UV400 is going to be the summer’s hot ticket item. With a shatterproof polycarbonate frame, shatterproof polycarbonate lenses, and a 30 day money-back guarantee, I’m sure you can afford the $13.00-$14.00. This specific style can also be purchased over the internet.

Top Man- Any of the current sunglasses on the Top Man website are in style and will be throughout the summer months. May I suggest such names as Black Wrap, Navy Plastic Wrap, and Black Clubman Sunglasses? These styles range from around $24.00-$60.00. Also, if you find yourself in SOHO, New York City, stop in and try some shades on at that location (478 Broadway (between Grand St & Broome St)); it’ll be an adventure, I promise that much.

Personally, I like to stay within budget while shopping around for the perfect seasonal sunglasses but sometimes it’s hard not to splurge. You just might see me picking-up a pair of Ed Hardy’s or even the Sports Sunglasses for my surfing adventures. Either way, I better be the talk of the town … no questions asked.

Edited and written by J. Federico

Project Runway Showcases Mr. Jesse LeNoir

In Art, Being Gay, Clothing, Gay Business, Gay Celebrity, Gay NYC, Hollywood, NYC, television on February 27, 2010 at 8:09 pm

Jesse LeNoir, fashion designer and reality show star. Jesse is an Ohio native who has made it from the Midwest to season seven of Project Runway. As fashion week in New York comes to a close, he gives us an inside look at Project Runway and what it’s like being a fashion designer.

Equal4all: Why did you decide to audition for Project Runway?

Jesse LeNoir: I knew as a designer who hasn’t attended design school, it is really tough to have any credibility or ability to show people what you do; so, I figured that the platform that Project Runway provides was perfect for getting into the industry.

E4A: What do you think Project Runway will do for your career as a fashion designer? 

JL: It is something that I’m hoping will open doors for me to work in the industry under someone I admire, like Tom Ford, or Thom Browne.  And also give me some recognition when I start my own fashion line.

E4A: What is your favorite article of clothing to design and why? 

JL: I love jackets and coats.  I think there’s just so much to them and they really can be the statement piece for an entire look.  I love doing cute dresses, but I think it’s something that I’m good at but so are many other designers.

E4A: If there was something you could change about your performance on the show, what would it be and why? 

JL: My confidence – I think I didn’t sell my work to the judges the way I should have.  I’m finding more and more that I need to just be unapologetic about my work and stand by it and defend it wholeheartedly because I love it completely so nobody can take that away from me.

E4A: What was competing on the show like in comparison to what you thought it was going to be? 

JL: Pretty close to what I expected, except for the talent level I was competing against.  I think the talent in the room was something that was so much stronger than I expected … it was terrifying sometimes.

E4A: What fashion designers do you admire most? Why? 

JL: I love Tom Ford’s work from what he’s done with Gucci, his own line, and now even directing for film – I think he’s truly a visionary and I would love the opportunity to work alongside him and learn from him.

E4A: How do you describe your design style? 

JL: Clean, tailored, and sophisticated.

E4A: Besides you, who do you think was most deserving to win? 

JL: It’s so very hard to pick one person.  I think we all really won being there because we were mostly small designers needing the exposure … so winning the show overall is just icing on the cake.

E4A: Any gossip about the other contestants or the show that you can spill? 

JL: I can’t gossip about other people, that’s just rude … ha ha.  I think the most salacious material will appear on the show so don’t worry.

E4A: Detail what goes through your mind when you are about to be critiqued. 

JL: There’s a certain amount of terror and also just that sort of feeling of having too much to say and not enough time to say it.  I found that I wanted to explain every detail about the design process that I went through and couldn’t so I had to fight to arrange my thoughts to be the most clear and concise.   The adrenaline doesn’t help that thought process either!

E4A: Do you ever feel at a disadvantage because you’re a man and are less familiar with a woman’s shape? 

JL: I think that being a man doesn’t hinder me really.  I think that because when I design, there isn’t any self body image that I’m evaluating the clothes by, so I can really stay focused on the shape of who I’m dressing.  Also, being a straight man I think helps me because I know what I find appealing on a woman and I try to create that.

E4A: How do you feel about the stereotype that all male fashion designers are gay? 

JL: I think there’s definitely a lot of truth to it, but like every rule or stereotype, it’s never 100% accurate.  I think I’m surely a novelty in this industry but there are others and really it doesn’t matter either way.  It’s about the work; an engineer isn’t any better or worse because of his/her sexual orientation so why should this be any different?

E4A: How do you compare yourself to the past Project Runway winners? 

JL: Eh?  I’m doing my own thing for sure.  I think Jeffrey is someone that people would compare me to, but my style is totally different.

E4A: When it came time for you to choose a model, what were you looking for? 

JL: Something interesting in their face that inspired ideas in me.

E4A: What was the best compliment a judge gave you? 

JL:  “I love this look!”

E4A: Who was your favorite celebrity judge? Why? 

JL: Past seasons?  Natalie Portman.  She is someone I would love to dress.  My season?  Probably Georgina Chapman – she was stunning and I like her work.

E4A: Given what you know now, would you compete on Project Runway again? Why? 

JL: Probably; I would definitely be more efficient at it too!  There’s a learning curve for sure.  It’s been a surreal experience overall and something that is an amazing story and novelty in life.

For more information, please go to http://houseofkilroy.com/ or http://jesselenoir.com/

Lindsay Dahlstrom

*Project Runway images provided by of lifetimepress.com*

Photo Sources 1, 2, 3, 4

Glam Rock: A Chat with Robin Fucking Black!

In Art, Being Gay, Clothing, Clubs, concerts, Dating, decor, Gay Business, Gay Celebrity, Gay NYC, Hollywood, Literature, Lounges, Music, Night Out, NYC, Relationships, television on January 20, 2010 at 1:52 am

Glammer Robin Black gushes about his new band, his inspirations, and how he wouldn’t mind makin’ out with a dude … that’s why we love him!

Equal4all: How, when, where and why did Robin Black and the Intergalactic Rock Stars form?

Robin Black: I moved to Toronto in 1998, and found four like-minded glam rockers … we started playing in late ’98. We just wanted to be the kind of flashy, good time, exciting band that you just never saw any more.

E4A: Do you still perform with the boys? Why/Why not?

RB: I still play with “Starboy” Chris Cunnane, the last original member. I have a great new band coming together to tour Canada this spring and the UK this summer. Over time, being in a band is like being married to 5 men of questionable hygiene; you develop different goals in your life. I really appreciate everyone I’ve played with before.

E4A: In the song “More Effeminate Than You,” do you feel that the message is misrepresented in the heterosexual sense or do you not mind how your fans interpret it? To be honest, as a gay man, I thought you were singing about being more of a queen than your supposed boyfriend and absolutely loved the message of “take me as I am!”

RB: I think it’s cool that you see it that way. It was used in the first episode of the North American version of Queer as Folk at the moment when the kid (Justin) was outed at school, with “faggot” spray painted on his (Brian’s) Jeep. It was very powerful, and I was very moved how they used it. The way you viewed it, as a gay man, is exactly how most straights view it … that you are more “femmy” than your partner … for straight guys, it’s about being femmier than their girlfriend. Actually, Starboy wrote most of the lyrics and I usually want to write my own lyrics for his songs, but those were so powerful, and I loved the sentiment, so I just added some of my own…

E4A: Do you get labeled as “gay” or “bi” at all because of the way you dress and act?

RB: I’ve been called “gay” thousands of times. I happen to be a (mostly) straight guy who wears make-up and nail polish and dresses flashy. Rednecks and idiots use the term “gay” as an insult, but I sure as fuck don’t take it as an insult.

E4A: Have you ever had a hot experience with a member of the same sex? Who was it with? Do you regret it? Would you do it again?

RB: There have, in the past, been alchohol-fueled evenings where many people were naked in the same room/bed. You often wondered whose hand was where, etc. I remember, in flashes, a guy watching me roger his wife once. Man, crazy times. But, I haven’t had the man on man experience. I’m pretty into girls. I can’t help it. I was born that way. But I wouldn’t rule it out.

E4A: Please give an average Joe some fashion tips as to how to achieve your look on a regular basis:

RB: Glam rock is about cool clothes and hair, eye make-up, etc., but it is, most importantly, about expressing yourself freely. DO YOUR THING! That’s my tip.

E4A: How’s the marriage going? How’d you meet your blushing rocker-bride? Any kiddies in the future?

RB: Marriage is tough. I’ve been married before. Didn’t work out. We are actually going through a turbulent time. I am a very driven guy who always puts my career (the entertainment business) and my dreams first. It’s not super conducive to great relationships. I am also a hopeless romantic.

E4A: Please give advice to anyone in the GLBT community who is struggling with who they truly are:

RB: It’s tough to be different, but living your life the way you want, instead of by others rules, is worth it no matter how hard it is. Fuck, think of the alternative. DECIDE that you will not spend your years here living for other people’s expectations. Wake up every day and celebrate who you are.

E4A: Who’s your biggest inspiration in the wonderful world of music and glam rock? Is David Bowie aka Ziggy Stardust one of them?

RB: I love Bowie and I love T. Rex. As a kid, I wanted to be just like Billy Idol.

E4A: Comment on how you thought Velvet Goldmine represented the glam rock era. If you didn’t see it, what movie correctly portrays the genre that you perform in?

RB: I loved the look, I loved the music. I thought it really, really felt like the gendre-fucked drug-fueled glam rock days that I imagine in the 70’s. I fucking LOVE Hedwig and Phantom of the Paradise.

E4A: What does Robin Fucking Black have planned for the future?

RB: I am developing a TV series right now. Writing a new record. Touring Canada this year. Touring the UK and Germany in August. I am also fighting my first professional Cage Fight in Ottawa, Ontario on July 26th. Don’t ask. Just hoping to keep life an adventure!

Interview conducted and edited by J. Federico

Photo Sources 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Christmas Dinner Ideas with a Healthy Twist

In Art, Being Gay, Gay Business, holidays, NYC, recipes, religions on December 25, 2009 at 8:21 pm

 

Christmas is a time when you really appreciate what you value most in life, time spent surrounded by your closest friends and family reminiscing about the great times passed over a grand feast. Since the late 1600’s and earlier, there has been a Christmas celebration, and along with it a great feast. In the early 1700’s, the Christmas feast was of a grand scale and held by the aristocracy. This grandeur continued on into the 30s and 40s where The Great Depression and World War II made celebrating much harder and made the great feast of yesterday into a meal consisting of canned vegetables and jellies. The pheasants, oysters, consumé, and crown roasts were lost with the greatly depreciated economy. As time continued on, the 50s, 60s, and 70s brought back roast duckling, oysters Rockefeller, and standing rib roasts. Understanding tradition and why it is so important to keep the essence of the feast alive, will help you truly make an amazing meal this Christmas.

This year, mix tradition with a new approach to a healthy lifestyle. Create dishes inspired by classics but with a much lighter load on our bodies and our wallets.

Every Christmas feast was centered around a roast of an animal; pheasant, pork, beef, and duck are a few examples of traditional roasts served for dinner.

Because pork is so lean and high in protein, I chose a pork-based dish for this Christmas centerpiece.

Apple Cider Brined Pork Loin with Cider Mustard Sauce

Brine:

1-Gallon Apple Cider
10 Cloves Garlic
10 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
5 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary
2 Cloves
1 Cinnamon Stick
2 T Mustard Seeds
1 T Fennel Seeds
1 Orange Peel
1-Cup Sugar
1-Cup Kosher Salt
2 T Whole Pepper Corns
1 Bay Leaf

Bring all ingredients to a boil in a large pot. Turn the heat down and simmer for 2 minutes to dissolve sugar and salt and coax flavor out of ingredients. Cool down completely and then add your pork loin.

(It’s important to use kosher salt because kosher salt weighs about 5 ounces per cup and iodized salt weighs 10 ounces per cup. If you use iodized salt, only use a ½ cup.)

Acquiring your roast:

In the supermarket, you can usually find boneless pork loins ranging from 1-4 pounds. It takes about 30 minutes of cooking time per pound of pork loin, so you can gauge your cooking time based on the size of pork loin you can find and the size you need.

For this recipe, I use a 4 pound boneless pork loin roast, but again you can use any size. Place your pork loin in your cooled brine and make sure it’s completely submerged. If it’s sticking out you can place a plate on top to keep it down. Cover completely in plastic wrap and let it sit for 12 to 24 hours.

Preparing your roast:

2 T Olive Oil
1 T Salt
1 T Cracked black pepper
1 T Thyme, chopped finely
1 T Rosemary, chopped finely
1 T Orange Zest 

Remove your pork loin from its brine and place it on a wire rack on top of a sheet pan. Take paper towels and dry the pork loin completely. Drizzle olive oil on your roast and coat with all other ingredients.  Place your roast into a 425° oven for 20 minutes, or until nicely browned. Then turn the oven down to 400° and cook until roast has an internal temperate of 140°. You want your roast to be at an internal temperature of 145°, but the roast will still cook when you take it out of the oven. This is called carryover cooking. Carryover cooking will finish cooking the roast gently and redistribute the juices within the meat, keeping it nice and juicy when you cut into it. It should take about 1 hour and 45 minutes to 2 hours of cooking and resting time. Take all your dripping from the pan and set aside for the sauce! Be sure to check the roast throughout its cooking time. There is nothing worse than a dry roast!

Apple Cider Mustard Sauce:

2 cups apple cider
2 cups chicken stock
1 shallot
4 cloves garlic
1 bay leaf
1 thyme sprig
3 T whole grain mustard
Pan drippings

To start, slice your shallot thinly and mince your garlic finely. Sauté them in your pan drippings for a few minutes and then add all of the ingredients besides the mustard. Bring to a boil and then reduce down to a simmer and let it cook until it has reduced three-fourths and is a sauce consistency. When the sauce is finished, add the mustard.

To go along with your roast, you need a few delicious sides to compliment and complete your meal. Roasting vegetables really brings out a depth of flavor and naturally occurring sweetness.

Roasted Butternut Squash

2 large Butternut Squash
1 sprig Thyme
2 T Olive Oil
Drizzle of Honey
2 T Salt
1 T Pepper

Peel and seed your squash. Dice it into 1” cubes. Remove the tiny green leaves from the stem of the thyme sprig and chop it finely. Toss the squash with the olive oil, thyme, honey, salt, and pepper and place on a sheet pan. Roast at 400° for 15-20 minutes. Turn the squash every 5 minutes to avoid blackening. Check the squash with a knife to ensure doneness.

Roasted Fennel

4 large bulbs – Fennel
1 sprig -Thyme
1 whole – Lemon
4 cloves – Garlic
2 T – Salt
1 t – Pepper
2 T – Olive Oil

Wash, halve, and core your fennel. Cut each half into fourths. Remove the leaves from the thyme and chop finely. Zest the lemon and smash the garlic cloves. Toss all ingredients together and roast in a 375° oven for 20 minutes.

Haricot Verts with Shallot and Almond

2 T Olive Oil
2 T Salt
1 T Pepper
1 Pound Haricot Vert
1 Large Shallot
2 Cloves Garlic
½ cup Sliced Almonds

Bring a pot of water to a boil, add salt and drop your haricot vert in. Boil until just tender and then drain and set aside to cool. Slice shallot paper thin, and mince the garlic finely. Toast the almonds and set them aside. When ready to eat, sauté the cooked beans in a tablespoon of olive oil with the shallot and garlic. Add salt and pepper and cook through. Top with toasted almonds.

Parsnip Puree

5 large parsnips
6 cloves Garlic
1 liter Chicken Stock
1 sprigs Thyme
1 Shallot

Peel parsnips and cut into large chunks of equal size. Smash garlic cloves and roughly cut the shallot. Remove the leaves from the thyme and put all ingredients into a pot. Bring the pot to a boil and then turn down to a simmer. Cook until fork tender, or about 15-20 minutes depending on the size. Once cooked, strain the parsnips but keep the liquid. Blend the parsnips and add the liquid slowly until you have a nice smooth mass, with a texture similar to mashed potatoes. Although it’s more work to blend them this way, you want to do this to make sure that that texture is correct and not too watery.

Naval Orange Marmalade

2 oranges
3 cups water
2 cups sugar

Cut the ends off of you oranges and then halve them. Slice the oranges as thin as you can. Put your oranges, sugar, and water in a pot and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and cook for 40 minutes, stirring frequently so that it doesn’t scorch.  Once it has thickened and the fruit is completely softened, pull it off of the heat and cool.

Wine Pairing:

For this meal I would serve a light red wine that would compliment the pork and not compete with it. A pairing that would be great would be a Beaujolais Noveau!

This wine is made from the Gamay varietal of grapes and is very light and easy drinking. It is also special to have it with this meal because it is only released the third Thursday of November every year and needs to be consumed soon after because it doesn’t have the ability to age. On another note, it should be served slightly chilled to enhance its fruity flavors.

Now it’s time for the finale to this fantastic meal! Traditionally the dessert course is full of heavy puddings, tarts, and pies. This year, try something different and end the meal with a light and seasonal dessert. A Pavlova is a pastry that is made from a meringue base and is baked until it’s light and crispy. The inside stays chewy like marshmallow, and then there is a cream filling and it is topped with fruit. The dessert was named after the famous ballerina Anna Pavlova and is a holiday tradition that started in the 20s.

Pavlova with dried fruit compote

Filling:

1 cup Ricotta
1/4  Chevre
¼ Greek yogurt
2 T Honey
½ t Vanilla

For the filling, blend all ingredients until smooth. This filling is delicious and much healthier than the regular filling, which is made of cream and sugar!

Fruit Compote:

2 oz Dried Apricots
2 oz Dried Cherries
2 oz Golden Raisins
2 oz Dried Cranberries
2 oz Dried Figs
1 T Orange Zest
1 T Lemon Zest
1 cup Brandy
1 cup Orange Juice
1 Cinnamon stick

Cut your apricots and figs into smaller pieces, and zest your orange and lemon. Put all ingredients into a saucepot and cook until the fruit is soft and the juices thicken, about 20 minutes.

Pavlova:

4 Egg whites
¼ t cream of tartar
1-cup brown sugar
4 t cornstarch
2 t white vinegar
1 t Vanilla

Put your egg whites and cream of tartar in a bowl and beat it until small peaks form. Add the sugar slowly with the mixer on low until it is thick and glossy. Add the cornstarch, vinegar, and vanilla. Mix for 30 seconds just to blend all ingredients.

Bake on a parchment-lined sheet pan and form it into a disc in the middle of the pan. Smooth the top of mass so that it cooks evenly.

Bake at 250° for an hour and a half.  After the total baking time, turn the oven off and let it cool completely in the oven. This will form the crisp texture and prevent it from becoming sticky.

Only assemble this dessert right before you are about to eat it! The Pavlova should be room temperature, the cream should be cold, and the compote should be just warmed through.

Top the Pavlova with the goat cheese mixture and compote and serve!

This dessert is so impressive and so easy! It is an indulgence and a lot healthier than most desserts. Although there are eggs and sugar in this recipe, you are using the white of the egg, which has no fat, and a small amount of sugar. There are lots of textures and flavors going on, which will be a great end to a fantastic meal. Try something new this year, and start a new tradition with your friends and family!

Merry Christmas!

Sean Gallagher

Photo Sources 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

New Relationship Tips and How to Act

In Art, Being Gay, Clothing, Clubs, Dating, Gay Business, Gay Celebrity, Gay Weddings, holidays, Hollywood, Night Out, NYC, Relationships, sex on December 21, 2009 at 11:23 pm

I haven’t had the greatest run with relationships. My love life has been sucky for a while, but if there’s anything I’ve learned from it, it’s how to act while your relationship is still young, tender, and fresh. Here are some DOs and DON’Ts:

DON’T be annoying! A stage 5 clinger is the last thing your partner needs. Try to space out text messages and phone calls. Don’t check on them every 5 minutes. This will lead to serious attachment issues, believe me.

DO play hard to get! Everyone likes a challenge, so why not? DON’T, however, be too defensive. Try to find a happy medium that suits you and your other half.

DON’T make the relationship all about gifts. Sure, flashy things and nice clothes are great, but not at the beginning of a relationship. Save those for when things get serious. Remember, love cannot be bought.

DO make compromises! Don’t make it all about you, and don’t let your partner take all the spotlight. If you find that the other person tends to be an attention whore, stay away! This will only make you feel you belittled, and that should never happen. An occasional expensive dinner or splurge is appropriate, but don’t make your partner go bankrupt!

DON’T break-up because of a few fights. Conflict is natural and in some cases, necessary. Occasional verbal arguments and disagreements will always occur. If you are looking for the perfect relationship, get ready for disappointment. Not everyone can agree on the same things, so don’t expect it to happen with your partner.

DON’T expect your partner to pay for every date! If he insists, convince him to switch things up a little bit and treat him to dinner and a movie once a month. You must give him a break once in a while!

Now, I’m not guaranteeing that these tips will apply to all relationships. These tips were formulated from my own experiences in the dating jungle. Winter is the best time to spread love, so go out there and find your perfect match!

Matt Scotto

Photo Sources 1, 2, 3, 4

Zombies: Crawl Baby, Crawl

In Art, Clothing, Clubs, decor, holidays, Hollywood, Literature, Night Out, NYC, reviews, television on October 22, 2009 at 4:27 am

criss_mckenzie

On September 30th, 2009, I died … and then walked the streets of Manhattan. So did approximately six hundred other people. It was my very first “zombie crawl,” but certainly not my last. What is a zombie crawl? The term hasn’t quite reached Webster’s yet, so I will do my best to define it for you here. ZOMBIE CRAWL: (n or v) a gathering of civilians who are at the very least just a tiny bit insane, who dress up like the undead in varying degrees of intensity, and who walk like a zombie through the streets of unsuspecting cities to celebrate their love of horror, corn syrup, and creatures who eat human flesh.

This particular zombie crawl was a promotion for the new horror comedy Zombieland that came out in theaters October 2nd. Although the event wasn’t rigidly coordinated, there was a  general plan to meet at The Mean Fiddler bar on 47th street, then “crawl” (or plod, drag, and/or cavort in true zombie style) through Times Square to the AMC theater. The costumes were amazing. Some were relatively low key (fake blood and old band tee shirts) while others were off the charts fantastic (bridal gowns and pretend festering ‘sore’ wounds). Everyone was having a great time and people were very friendly! Some really got into their roles: growling, leaping at bystanders with cameras, screaming, spitting fake blood out onto the sidewalk, etc. The lot of us shuffled through the streets with no cares for details of the living; citizens and cars meant nothing to us! We were dead! The angry honking of cab drivers was drowned out by hundreds of horror-movie nerds grunting like the undead and laughing our asses off. By 10:00pm the AMC Theater in Times Square was filled to the brim with costumed zombie fans waiting for their sneak preview tickets to Zombieland.

zombies in new york

Fans of the television cartoon series Family Guy and any old school 1980’s John Cusack teen movie will love Zombieland. Aside from an exorbitant amount of fake blood, latex flesh, and awkward-boy-meets-smokin’-hot-but-laid-back-chick sexual tension, there are hilarious cut away scenes and a charming voice over by the lead character. It is not to be taken seriously for a second. Zombie fanatics who enjoyed Peter Jackson’s movie Braindead! (also known as Dead Alive!, 1992) should enjoy Zombieland for its absurdity and unassuming vibe. While it doesn’t have the indie flick feel of a low budget horror, it carries the same gory ridiculousness that only the slightly twisted can appreciate.

zombieland scene

Zombie crawls and films like Zombieland present an obvious question: why zombies? It’s hard to say. Their popularity could be attributed to a few factors, really: For one, they’re still human, and therefore the closest thing to a “realistic” monster we’ve got. Government testing and strange diseases in questionable water supplies could actually be just a few unruly laboratory experiments away from creating the insane, flesh-eating societies.

They are controlled by their id, which makes them more animal than human, but more human than monster. We as a society are taught that living solely by the id is wrong. Zombies don’t have that restraint; they don’t need it. All they need is a juicy brain to snack on. They travel in packs and look for food – you can’t get more “id” than that. The mob mentality of zombies isn’t so different from the mob mentality of humans. In fact, the minor differences between mobs of either party is just how much firepower you need to stop them.

creepy zombies

Zombies represent a side of humanity we don’t want to think about, but are morbidly fascinated by. Zombies want one thing, and they want it bad. They need to sustain themselves on others (oh wait, we do that) and they’ll do anything they want to do so (oh wait, we do that, too). They’ll punch, tear, and bite their way to the top. Oh, wait … in a way, everyone is a zombie. No wonder we like them so much.

Taking part in the NYC zombie crawl was one of the most interesting experiences I’ve had thus far. I met a lot of great people, got to scare a number of innocent bystanders, and, my favorite part: got to get into costume. There was something exhilarating about walking through the streets of NYC on a Wednesday night with a fake bullet hole in my temple, a ripped undershirt, and tattered jeans. The stares from “the living” made my undead heart skip a beat. Complete strangers complimented me, but were also deeply disturbed by the throng of us. It was a beautiful thing. It was a new world, a bold maneuver, and just plain fun.

zombie attack

There are a number of other zombie crawls happening in the month of October. For those interested, check out Doug Sakmann’s site here. Doug is the ring leader of a number of zombie shenanigans in the NY/NJ/PA area. I’m already planning my next outing. Zombie fans, get moving … grab some cheap fake blood, smear some black eye shadow under your eyes, and tear a hole in your pants. Life is short, so go sink your teeth into somebody.

-Criss McKenzie, member of the undead society

Photo Source 1, 2, 3, 4

Erectile Reptile and then some…

In Art, Being Gay, Dating, Gay Celebrity, Gay NYC, Hollywood, Literature, Music, Night Out, NYC, Relationships, sex on October 19, 2009 at 10:57 pm

gay-couple

After writing the last blog I wrote about 3 or 4 follow-ups. But they were all safe … talking about how music and other artistic mediums inspire me (Go to my website for that!).

I felt I hadn’t finished speaking about gender identity and the psyche of the gay man; I need to talk more in depth about this topic as it directly informs my art and continues to intrigue/inspire me.

What is the big deal with size queens … that’s what I’m wondering! Why do MANY of my gay friends and older gay men that I know and respect, always claim to need “9-12inches or a soda bottle size dick?!?” Where does this fascination with size come from? Is this stat REALLY what we should be basing our sex lives on? Does having an average size penis mean YOU ARE only “average” or less masculine?! Ha-ha! This is RIDICULOUS and yet another stereotype that’s being shoved down our throats (pun intended) to make gay men feel insecure and inferior; AS IF they aren’t enough out there!

Look, I have an average size dick; it’s not too big and not too small. I’m a grower not a shower, and I’ve never had a complaint. I believe it’s not the size of the boat, but rather the motion of the ocean!! I personally would never expect a partner to have a huge donkey dick, and if I loved and cared for my partner, I’d be happy no matter what. This SHOULD NOT be a prerequisite NOR should it be a standard; it shouldn’t even be an issue! Just because a guy has a huge tool doesn’t mean he knows how to use it! Still so many gay men out there harp on this topic and I find it really shallow.

It doesn’t take a psychologist to see that this topic is an issue of masculine inadequacy. This size obsession also goes hand-in-hand with the gay community’s “norm” and pressure to WORKOUT 24/7. Big muscles = big STRONG masculine men … give me a break!! This type of behavior and social conditioning leads to extreme body image issues. What about the inside? What about your capacity to love another person and be available to build something substantial and real with a partner?! How about focus on being an intellectual and spiritual person AS WELL AS your SEXUALrelationship?! They are all parts of a whole (whether it is you and your boyfriend or just YOU as a multi-dimensional human being).

erectile_dysfunction_heart_disease

But along with modern technology comes going to extreme LENGTHS (hehe) to alter one self, thinking this will bring value to their person and bring more persons to their bed. Can we say SIDE EFFECTS?! Some include penile numbness, loss of erectile capability, soreness and so on! WHO WANTS that?!! NOT ME!! I love my penis and want to keep it in GOOD WORKING ORDER; sensation loss is NOT an option.  We should find NATURAL ways to enhance sensation and draw out the pleasure and orgasm … for example, using Tantra and certain Yogic practices. I’m a huge fan of Tantra; Yoga is a huge part of my life. And Yes, I take  it into the bedroom. It may not be instant gratification, but these techniques are to be LEARNED and experimented with.  However, there are books out there! Just try Googleing Mantak Chia, Penile implants, pumps, and chemical and herbal supplements; there’s a lot out there claiming to “HELP” make you bigger. And MANY of these “revolutionary” tools are targeted towards a much younger crowd!!? WTF? There is a whole under culture who takes Viagra to enhance their sexual adventures for an extended period of time. Again … never been an issue! IF you are attracted to your partner, and have a connection, you SHOULD be able to give it all you got and KEEP IT GOING!!  If you can’t sustain an erection you should go see your doctor. If it’s not erectile dysfunction, EXPLORE your sexual tastes! Maybe you have an undiscovered fetish or situation that makes you SUPER HOT … or hey, maybe you’re BI! What’s the harm in exploration?!  It will only make you happy and more knowledgeable in the end!

-Charlie Demos

charlies

Photo Source 1, 2