Tag Archives: Music

What’s next for Occupy? Try Mediagenic Activism. Makana Occupies APEC Dinner!

Makana. Photo via The Yes Lab.

When Hawaiian guitarist and singer Makana took the stage at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation gala dinner in Honolulu on November 12th, the audience expected instrumental background music. They got more than they expected.

Attendees at the hyper-secure dinner, which capped a summit of world leaders “included Presidents Barack Obama of the United States of America, Hu Jintao of China, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia, Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada, and over a dozen other heads of state.”

Makana proceeded to unbutton his suit jacket to reveal a home-made “Occupy With Aloha” t-shirt, pick up his guitar, and spend the next 45 minutes singing a very extended version of his freshly-pressed protest song “We are the Many.” According to The Yes Lab, who together with Occupy the Board Room, provided strategic assistance to the performer: “In recent weeks, Occupy protesters have been showing up at corporate events, headquarters and even on the doorsteps of those in power. Makana really raised the bar by delivering the Occupy message inside what is probably the most secure place on the planet right now.”

Makana never expected to be allowed to continue, but the objections he anticipated never came. He recounts his trepidation: “I found it odd that I was afraid to sing a song I’d written, especially since I’d written it with these people in mind. I just kept doing different versions. I must’ve repeated ‘the bidding of the many, not the few’ at least 50 times, like a mantra. It was surreal and sobering.” The ballad includes the refrain: “We’ll occupy the streets. We’ll occupy the courts. We’ll occupy the offices of you. Till you do. The bidding of the many, not the few” For complete lyrics, plus video and more, click here.

Going Gaga for Jo Calderone

When an androgynous male model named Jo Calderone appeared in Vogue Homme Japan last year, celeb watchers noted that he looked a lot like Lady Gaga might in male drag. Turns out, that is exactly who “he” was. The young diva, who dodges regular rumors that she is intersex, shows off Jo on the cover art of her next single, “You and I.” You Go, Guy Gaga!

Enrique Iglesias’ strange on-stage boast: “I have the smallest penis in the world!”

Ouch! Today in public self-humiliation: Spanish singer Enrique Iglesias took a twenty-minute break from a set in Melbourne, Australia during which time he invited four men on stage to compare bare chests and quiz them about their sexual experiences. His declaration that “I have the smallest penis in the world. I’m serious” was the crowning degradation of the weird interlude. The singer later attributed his odd behavior to mixing alcohol and antibiotics. Maybe not such a good idea… Carl Stroud, of the Sun UK, reports on the bizarre incident here.

Who you jivin’ with that Cosmik Debris?

A Pox on All Gurus! This video of a live Frank Zappa show from Sweden in 1973 is not particularly gay, but resonant in a lot of different ways. This Mother (of Invention) stares down The Mystery Man and tells it like it is. Whether it is snake-oil or salvation, spiritual hucksters are as American as…well, nevermind! “Who you jivin’ with that Cosmik Debris? Look here brother, don’t you waste your time on me!” Take home message: think for your blinking self.


John, They’re only Dancing – Marines Shake It! (Hot & Silly Video)

These two are just too cute. Barely more than kids, as soldiers usually are, they are caught in a complicated history, their own personal stories intertwined with that of their country at war. Vets, and children of vets, understand how one can despise war and still honor warriors. Many of us still carry the physical and emotional effects of conflicts long past. “It’s complicated” – as they say on Facebook. War is hell, but it is also boredom. In these media days, that’s easily taken care of with a camera and a YouTube account. The Internet is awash with interesting videos made by soldiers with time on their hands. These two mess around to Soulja Boy’s Donk. For a great Lady Gaga Telephone re-do, click here. For an interesting musical political commentary, based on a lyrical re-working of the Beach Boys’ classic Kokomo, click here.

Glitter Emergency and More at Frameline’s 35th SF LGBT Film Fest

It is the middle of the SF LGBT Film Festival, high holy days are underway in the City by the Bay, Pride is coming,  and outside the festival’s host venues, gay film buffs are rubbing their bleary eyes after marathon sessions in the dark. The cinematic apparatus, not that other dark! There is something for everyone at this annual festival, now in its 35th year. The shorts programs are some of the best, and for those with short attention spans, are just the ticket. One film is not doing it for you? Wait 5 minutes. The next one could be all that.

“All that glitters is indeed gold in this wonderful collection of shorts featuring several gems from our very own Bay Area filmmakers… Take a look at disgusting alien bodies and eavesdrop on the deaf relay system. Follow a camera off a bridge in a memorial for lives lost. A dispute on the high seas can only be settled by a dance off (of course), and we’ll see just how campy an AIDS camp can be. Rounding out the program is a silent comedy set to Tchaikovsky and starring Peggy the Peg-leg Ballerina.” via festival director Jennifer Morris

“Glitter Emergency” shows at the Victoria Theatre, 9:30 pm on Tuesday, June 21st, 2011. The Victoria is located at 2961 16th Street in the  Mission district. Built in 1908 as a Vaudeville House, it is the oldest operating theatre in San Francisco.

A Sustainable Queer Planet? 14th Annual National Queer Arts Fest opens in SF

Philip Huang performs June 9 & 10 at Eros

We have made it this far. What next? How can we keep what we have created and protect it for the generations coming up? The theme of this year’s National Queer Arts Festival is A Sustainable Queer Planet. Presented by The Queer Cultural Center, the festival includes 22 venues and runs for a month. An array of performers, poets, writers, visual artists, musicians, comedians and dancers work through diverse notions of sustainability. Organizations, collaborations, friendships, political movements, publications, networks, connectivity, intentional communities, Queer families, and various ecological and economic interventions are all well represented in this month-long festival. High Holy Homo Days are upon us!

Watch this space for notices and commentaries on select individual programs. Philip Huang, pictured above, performs in Formerly Known As: Performances by Male and Trans Sex Workers. This two-day program, hosted by Kirk Read, takes place at The Center for Sex and Culture, and features a different line-up each night. It includes writers, performance artists, comedians and a slideshow of visual work. For a complete listing of festival offerings, visit The Queer Cultural Center’s site here.

The Revolution will not be Televised: RIP Gil Scott-Heron

Influential musician and poet Gil Scott-Heron died today at the age of 62. Widely regarded as a forerunner of rap, hip-hop and related genres, he was perhaps best known for his 1971 spoken word piece The Revolution will not be Televised: “The revolution will not go better with Coke. The revolution will not fight the germs that may cause bad breath. The revolution will put you in the driver’s seat. The revolution will not be televised…the Revolution will be Live.” It has been covered and sampled by KRS-One, Elvis Costello and Justin Bond, among others.

Get my Money Back! New from Cazwell.

Lots of cute half-naked boys dancing in cages, eating bananas and wearing fuzzy monkey hipster hats. Is that fetish wear? Hard to tell. Watch out for the rapidly expanding pocket monkeys. Ouch! The latest by gay dance phenom Cazwell and his dancers. More of his tasty flesh and flash here.

New Orleans sound: Neville Bros play “Iko Iko” live medley at Jazzfest

This kind of second line rhythm comes out of the New Orleans tradition of the jazz funeral. On the way to the cemetery, the bands play dirges, slow and solemn. But after the internment, on the way out, after they have “cut the body loose” the music abruptly changes as does the mood of the mourners. It becomes raucous and festive, with a second line of dancers following the band as the crowd shifts into a full-on celebration of the life of the departed.

Iko Iko (Jockamo) was written in 1953 by James “Sugar Boy” Crawford. It describes a confrontation between two groups of Mardi Gras Indians. It has been performed, covered and recorded by dozens of artists and has become a NOLA standard. Here the Neville Bros. perform a live medley at the New Orleans Jazzfest 2010. Oh…Cyril is the super-hot one.