Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Drag U Tue - Suddenly Single

This week, Drag U brings us three ladies, who, for one reason or another, have found themselves single and without a clue in the world, but before I get into all the juicy details, I think it would be best to start the day off with a picture of one of my favorite professors -- The fabulous Manila Luzon.

Ahem. Moving on. We are presented with three single ladies. First up is Kris, left in Manila's hands. This construction worker is afraid of being viewed as weak, and says since she's attracted to masculine women (!) she should be what she is attracted to. Second, we have Annie. This girl has a tragic story to tell, and when Ongina found out her boyfriend died just a few months prior, she knew that she had to revive that diva inside of her for her own sake, as well as her lost love. Lastly, we have mother of three Marcia. She gave up everything to go to California and start anew. Shannel (uhg, I know) was set up to be her drag professor.

Before I move on, let me address my beef with Shannel. On the first season of Drag Race, she was really self absorbed and quite annoying; this trend carried over into Drag U season one. Perhaps she learned her lesson, or maybe it was the editing of the previous seasons, but this season of Drag U portrays her in a very different light. As I said in the last Drag U Tue, she is starting to change my opinion on her, and the way she helped and comforted Annie -- who wasn't even her drag student -- made me really think that I may have misjudged Shannel. Ok, miss thang, you are starting to win my heart.

The Dragulator assigned names for the girls. Annie as Gogo West, Kris as Caprice Classic, and Marcia as Loni Fellini. The Dragulator looks were pretty good this time around, but not all of the girls agreed. Most notably was Kris, who thought the Twiggy look she was given just didn't work, and when they tried out wigs, Manila agreed. The others seemed quite content with their given looks.

This week's lesson with Lady Bunny was how to take a good profile picture. Lighting and angles were the key, of course, and the girls took decent pictures. Honestly, they would have been better if they had been dolled up or in their drag looks, but they had to deal with what they had. Also, I just can't get over how big Lady Bunny's hair is. I mean last season she had some redic looks, but this one takes the cake. Her hair makes her at least a foot and a half taller. Some serious hair, hurr.
The dance lesson didn't go as well as the drag lesson. After blindfolding the girls to get their true dance styles when they feel nobody watching, they were taught a routine to a favorite song of mine, Call Me by Blondie. As usual, the girls just didn't seem to catch on very quickly, but all of that was in the background when I cam to the conclusion that Andre, the Dean of Dance, is undeniably cute. I can't believe it's taken me this long to realize it. 

After their one on one talks with President Ru Paul (and a few dramatic moments, including Manila claiming she is being set up with the worst contestant), the girls debut their looks on the stage. I had a hard time picking my favorite. Kris looked like a fabulous sixties gogo dancer -- and Manila even convinced her to wear pink when she refused to for the whole episode. Annie had sequins in every spot you could imagine (ok, so maybe not there) and had a wrist muff that was to die for... but Marcia failed to impress. Her dress was abysmal and made it look like she was wearing a comically huge tie. In the end, Kris won this week, and I have to say I'm satisfied. I feel like she had the biggest transformation and greatest attitude adjustment. 

The trend of the "Drag Tips" and "A Word With Ru" continue in this episode. This weeks word with our Drag U President was "Escandalo" another Ru Classic. I was a bit more confused with the Drag Tips segment, as it was less comical than last week, but at least Carmen was totally hot -- oh and she Nailed It!

'Til next week!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Song of the Week - TalkTalkTalk

It's been a slow week in the music scene, and last Tuesday was a bit of a disappointment all together. I was beginning to think I was going to have to dig way back for a song. Luckily, a new song came out by an artist I'd almost forgot existed. Here you have it: Savage Garden front man Darren Hayes.

This song isn't what I'm used to in the pop world. His voice is much more strained sounding (which works for him, actually) and the song incorporates instruments almost banished from the pop industry, such as violins. The composition is very bubbly without sounding immature, which is a great thing for jamming in the car.

What really gets me about this song is the lyrics. The song talks about all those things that should have been said can clutter up your head. All he wants in life is to just talk(talktalk) to you. I've been in a very similar situation, being ignored when the relationship was falling apart. I thought one discussion could fix it all. I can relate to the song extremely well, which is why I took to it so quickly. Maybe its that I relate to gay artists more easily? Who knows?

You can preview and buy the song here. Shout out to Deany for showing me this song!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Video of the Week - Not My Daddy

I have no excuse and I'm not going to explain myself or defend myself. I like hot messes, I guess. Ke$ha wrote it. Don't judge me.

The things I do for Ke$ha. This girl definitely has a foot fetish. It... scares me. I want to hate this song but its so catchy and dancey! Uhg. I'm not sure where this girl came from, but she definitely knows how to get attention.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Original V.S. Cover - Running Up That Hill

So a few friends of mine lately have been complaining about my impressive collection of cover songs. I don't really see the bad thing about cover songs; they bring music and emotions to people who may not have heard of the singer/band or may not listen to the style of music it was originally created in. So I decided to do a side by side comparison of my covers with their original versions. For the first go around, I chose a song that, up until a few weeks ago, I didn't know was even a cover.

First up we have the original. Kate Bush released this song waaaay back in 1985. I wasn't even alive then, so I hope it's forgivable that I've never given this song a chance until now. The song was the lead single for her album "Hounds of Love". When I first listened to the song, I hated it. I really wondered how this song peaked at number 3. Was 1985 a bad year for the UK pop scene? Then I listened to it again. And again. And again. The song really grew on me. The song is a song about a girl who desperately wants to switch places with someone so she can live through their hardships for them and spare them the pain.

The song sounds a bit empty. The back track just didn't have that 'umph' that other 80s pop songs had. It feels quite mellow and low maintenance, but in the end it works for the song. I really don't think this is a song I would buy, but I wouldn't change the radio station.

Moving on --

This version is what I feel the song could and should have been. Bentley Jones has a very beautiful voice, and the back track feels fuller with more instruments and a picked up tempo later on in the song. The lyrics remain the same, with a few vocal effects and repeating thrown in every now and then. Bentley released the song on his "Trans//lation 2" album. I feel like he does Kate Bush justice, while still updating the song and making more likeable for the new electronic-music age.

My verdict may disappoint you all. My favorite is actually Bentley Jones's version. I just feel like its more my style of music. 80's experimental stuff bothers me when I listen to it for too long. Well, unless its Dead Or Alive.

What do you guys think?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Drag U Tue - Bringing Sexy Back

Hello and welcome to the first installment of my weekly review on my second favorite television show -- only second to the wonderful Drag Race we've all come to love. Drag U is an uplifting show where previous Drag Race contestants come back to mentor biological women and give them the fierceness of drag queens, boosting their self esteem as well as their sex lives. Without further ado, I present to you, Drag U Tue: Episode One.

In this installment of Drag U, we are shown three women who view themselves as ugly. To correct this injustice, three certified drag professors are sent in. Lisa, an excessively negative housewife, is given to the care of Shannel. Rhonda, a diva turned housewife and mother, was given Manila to guide her. Denise, a woman afraid to look at herself in the mirror, was granted the stunning vixen Raven. Let's just say the three of them had their work cut out for them.

Returning from season one is the "new and improved" Dragulator, giving the girls their own drag names and looks. Lisa was named Rai'zon Darasi; Rhonda as Summer Night; Denise as Cha Cha Mizrahi. The looks weren't as impressive as those seen on season one, but then again I am told I'm too cynical when it comes to fashion. Who knew? I have to say, though, I was delighted to see that the "commence dragulation" bit was left in. RuPaul's fro is FIERCE! I can't help but love it.

The challenge for the episode seemed pretty simple. As the theme of the episode was to bring the sexiness back to their marriages, they were to create sexy voicemails for their husbands. Lisa was up first, sounding like some kind of robot. It was a little freaky. Denise bribed her husband for sex by saying he could play video games later (to which Raven suggested she simply play with his joystick). And then there was Rhonda... Poor, poor Rhonda. She said she wanted to play with her husbands "diesel mangina".

Yeah. Diesel. Mangina. I have no idea what happened there, or what that lady thinks a mangina is, but I'm quite certain she is confusing that with a penis. Anywho, despite her mixup in diction (hah!), she did do the best, keeping her sexy voice up and sharing her, however bizarre, fantasies like Dean of Drag Lady Bunny suggested to them.

The women had heart to heart talks with their professors. Most of it was your general "you know you are hot in there grrl" talk. A big surprise did come when I heard Shannel complimenting someone other than herself. Yeah. I know. Let me give you a second to take that all in. Ms. All About Me Shannel actually showed her kinder side by letting Lisa know she was a really beautiful woman and that her ex husband was wrong for treating her the way she did. It seems my rather negative views on Shannel may change in the future -- that is if this is a more than once in a lifetime thing. Manila's pep talk involved her favorite sex positions ("The Social Network" and "Never Ending Pasta Dinner"), and Raven went all "Mommy Dearest" on Denise. Lets just say these gals are a strange bunch.

My biggest "oh no" moment had little to do with manginas. It was more focused on my lovely Manila. During the dance lesson for the girls, the drag professors decided to take over and show them how it is done, and tragically, Manila fell hard on her butt. I was pretty shocked. From what I've seen, Ms. Luzon knows how to get down. I guess everyone messes up sometimes. I just hope she is OK.

Finally, the down in the dumps housewives get all dolled up and go stroll out for everyone to gawk at them. Their looks really didn't impress me too much. I figured with this being the premier episode they would go full out and make everything a spectacle but I was mistaken. Lisa turned out to look like a Shannel clone, again, no shock there. Rhonda looked like a RuPaul impersonator and Denise looked, well, quite good. She had the whole cha cha diva tutu going on and her ponytail was totally fab. I was thrown back a bit to learn that the grading system had been dropped. Season one was big at giving the girls their Drag Point Average and that was how the winner was chosen. Now, the judges just pick their favorite in a collaboration. Lisa ended up winning, much to my dismay. I wanted Denise to win. I felt like she had the best transformation and the best attitude adjustment. Oh well, I guess.

A new, and rather odd, feature of Drag U are pre-commercial segments. The first one was a segment featuring Jujubee from season one giving you things you can do with old panty hos. Yeah. It was even in the really awkward infomercial style. The second was "A Word With RuPaul" wherein he said a rather strange word that I really couldn't understand well enough to type -- Hah! So all in all this was a really good way to start the Drag U season. And with that I bid farewell. Until next time, my friends. I leave you with this: Jujubee attempting to rob a bank with panty hos.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Song of the Week - Just Can't Let You Go

Even I am not able to escape that feeling of summer. Every now and then a song that spews out pure summer vibes comes out and nobody can deny it. Manika has combined forces with Lil Twist to have that perfect summer tune this time.

The song exudes that feeling of 90's summer, watching MTV exclusively and running around the neighborhood with my friends because there was nothing better to do. The song just makes you want to get up and dance. Her singing may not be perfect, but it's all part of the experience.

I was actually talking to a friend yesterday about when it is appropriate and when it is not appropriate to have a rap tossed into the song. Some songs (and again, I bring up E.T.) were perfect on their own, but some just need that extra boost. This song is actually a lot more full sounding with Lil Twist's verses placed in it, and he gives the second half of the story missing from the version with just Manika. You can get both versions of the song, as well as the music video, here.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Video of the Week - House

I really can't stand it when someone makes a great song and then has a crap video to go along with it. I mean why would you spend so much time on making a song and then go and have a ten dollar budget for your video? Then there are times when there is a song that I wasn't impressed with all that much until I saw the video. Once you get the feel of the video in your head, the song takes form and becomes a lot better. This video is a case of the latter.

It's not that I hated Patrick Wolf or anything, I just wasn't really sure on the song at first. I am more of a get up and dance kind of song-lover. This is more refined and not exactly my taste... but the video. Oh man it is spectacular. The imagery of the woodlands taking over makes the song make much more sense, and we all like it when the odd metaphors in songs are explained to us, right?

Also, I want to take the time to give a shoutout to the person who brought this to my attention: @LadyFagHag. Awesome follower. Dedicated supporter. Thanks a million!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Album Review - Let It Out

Sometimes you can't seem to find anything worthwhile in the music scene. I can go weeks without finding anything that catches my attention. It seems like when I search out a good album, I never find one, but when Im just snooping aimlessly around on iTunes, I find a gem. Thank god I had some extra cash this time. Check it.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Album Review - Bandoozle

This review has been a long time coming. A few weeks back I promised Jipsta I'd give his album a review here, and being the massive procrastinator that I am, I kept finding other things to do... like shop... and watch Bones -- Anyway, this review is a bit different from my others. The majority of the time I do my review on my first or second listening of the album, but here, I've been jamming to this gem for weeks. Also, a fair warning: I think Jipsta is pretty friggen' awesome, so don't expect this to be 100% unbiased.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Video of the Week - Super Bass (Plus Bonus)

Sorry it took so long to post this, and due to my awkward blog posting mechanics it will probably say this was posted on Wednesday, but LET IT BE KNOWN that it is indeed Tuesday which still makes it video day... which will be moved to Sunday next week due to the newest installment: Drag U Tuesdays. Anyway, on to the video!

Yeah. I know. It's my guilty pleasure. This song is one of those earworm songs that just won't die. It was a strong candidate for song of the week, but when I saw the video I knew it belonged here. I can't help but think of her as Neapolitan Icecream in this video. I mean she's got vanilla and strawberry hair and she's the chocolate, right? Is that racist? Nah. Towards the end it starts to get a distinct Colette Carr vibe to it with the black light lipstick and whatnot. I kinda wanna make my own video with Nicki grinding to "Back It Up"?

Just to make sure you guys know Im suuuper super sorry for almost forgetting the Video of the Week, I leave you with this gem that I discovered via Pandora Boxx's twitter:

Edit: Blog totally says it was posted Tuesday. I'm awesome.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Song of the Week - Bang Bang Bang

This week's selection may come as a bit of a shock. It would seem I have an affinity for the more unknown artists trying to make it big, and that I usually stray from people who are actually big -- that is until they actually do something worthwhile. This Disney Channel Princess may already have a loyal fan following, but she finally has won me over.

"Bang Bang Bang" may not be a radio single, but it is an iTunes single, which qualifies it here. It's part of the "Countdown to When The Sun Goes Down".  I was quite skeptical of the single, seeing as her previous releases were too middle of the road for me. This single, however, shows a distinct change to me. She now seems to be separating herself, musically at least, from her Disney roots and starting to make more mature and true pop sound. I can't stand the generic pop music that television companies have been pumping out as of late -- few artists from TV shows ever impress me.

The single seems to be about her new boyfriend, a fellow teen icon, but judging by the time it takes to write, produce, and record a song I'd have to say that it is more coincidental that her relationship lines up here. However, I can really relate to this song. Sometimes your lover takes you for granted... and sometimes another man comes by and sweeps you away. Preview and buy the single here.

Friday, June 10, 2011

New Mason Black + An Overdue Thank You

Back when I interviewed my now friend Mason Black, he informed me that he was working on a new song that he thought I would like. The verdict? Let's just say I am very glad that we kept in touch.

As you may or may not know, Mason Black is an up and coming artist trying to make a name for himself. With the limited resources of an unsigned act he does astonishingly well. He has put out two songs on iTunes and a third exclusively on SoundCloud. Needless to say I have full faith in him.

Anyway, Mr. Black has been keeping me in the loop on his new work. As soon as he was allowed to, he sent me the new track, making me one of the first non-production wise to hear it and I was floored. The song is much darker than his previous tracks while still keeping the strong dance vibe felt in both "Cruel Embrace" and "Showdown". The song leaves one wondering who the real killer is. Is it Mason's lover, or is it really him? He says it is up to the listener to decide. I still believe I'll get it out of him one day! Go ahead and give it a listen, folks -- "Jack The Ripper".

Jack The Ripper by MasonBlack

The new single is set for a tentative July release date. I'll be sure to keep you updated so you can buy it and support this amazing new artist!

I would also like to take a moment to thank a special someone for their help. My blog recently exploded due to the fabulous Pandora Boxx posting my article on her Facebook. I can't express how honored I am that she even read it, let alone felt the need to share it with her fans. I am a very devoted Fandora, and I will always remain one. To Pandora, if you ever read this: Thank you very much. You are fabulous and hilarious all rolled into one. I can't wait to hear your song and I hope to one day get the opportunity to meet you and maybe even interview you! Bring on Drag U season two!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Album Review - RA

So a guy releases two pretty sick'ning singles. So what? It's not like his entire album could be totally amazing, right? RIGHT? Wrong.

So you see, the name is  S-I-M-O-N and the game is P-O-P. Make's sense right? Let me introduce you (or re-introduce or not since you're probably a member of the Robot Army).  He is a rising star, to say the least. I'd say that getting into the top 20 pop charts on iTunes within a day on an independent label is pretty impressive. The album exudes dark pop and could revitalize the sex drive in your grandmother. Did I mention it is pure sex?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Video of the Week - Wonderland (Director's Cut)

Being a rather diehard Kills fan, I saw this video the day it released. The only problem was it was heavily censored. People kept trying to tell me that it was the art style and that is just how it would be, but Natalia confirmed on her website that there is an uncensored version that just might never see the light of day. Fortunately, despite all the pessimism, it did get released.

The video is very dark. It all takes place inside of a mansion where a dinner party is taking place. The only problem is the food is all laced with pills -- an important fact you would miss in the edited version. The entire video has a grindhouse feel to it as if she made a B Budget movie. The video is all a buildup to the breakdown where the girls are all beaten down by their suppressors in a very quiet and tense moment. In the end, Natalia pays for her crimes.

This is one of my favorite music videos. I find it to be quite genius and beautiful. Check it out and see what you think.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Song of the Week - Brand New Bitch

Updated it a little early today, but when you can't sleep, I guess there's no other option. Today we have another up-and-coming artist who is making a jab at the pop world. I discovered this diva while poking my nose around iTunes and I had to buy it.

All I can really tell you about her is what I learned looking at Wiki so check that out if you are curious. The song is a nice twist to the break up song. Instead of her talking about how terrible her man was, she's just going on to saying that she is totally awesome now and a completely new person. It is a very Ke$ha approach to love, and as my good friends all know, I'm a Ke$ha whore.

The song as a whole is very catchy and addicting. I have no idea why this isn't blowing up the radio right now... Then again I can't even remember the last time I've listened to the radio. With a sick and solid dance beat, I've fallen in love with this one. It couldn't have come at a better time, either, as I myself am a Brand New Bitch myself. Check out the song and get it here. For 99cents it can't be beat!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Ustream With Pollo Del Mar

I've got to be honest with you all -- Up until a week or so ago I had no clue who Pollo Del Mar was. You can go ahead and tell me I live under a rock, but in reality I live in the Midwest. To make it worse, I also live in the Bible Belt. Let me just say that Drag Queens aren't popular around here. I did, however, take a look at some of the queens advertising themselves as auditioning for Drag Race season four, and I have to say, Ms. Del Mar is pretty impressive. I've been wanting to get to know her better, and what better way to get right to the point with someone than Ustream?

First of all let me say she looked FIERCE tonight. That lady has some LIPS. Anyway, moving on and keeping in lower case letters, she went on to dish about all kinds of thing.  At first she was talking about bumping into 80's pop celebs and such (I wasn't able to catch the full spill as I was dealing with some drama), but then a single phrase caught my ear: "You have been asking about drag race". Yes, I know. I'm a Drag Race fanatic. 

While she hasn't heard anything from the show, she did mention that she has been in touch with a few past racers. First off, we have Ongina, who had a sleep over with Pollo. She didn't reveal a lot about it but it seemed like tons of fun. After that, she talked about an interview with Nicole Paige Brooks. She confirmed what I had hoped all along about her all along. When I watched season two I wanted her to truly be a nice person. Ms. Del Mar reassures us that she is, indeed, a very nice lady. Life can be sweet sometimes, right?

Moving on, Del Mar also discussed her interview with Michelle Visage, who as it turns out is quite nice as well, even though she was quite harsh towards a few of the contestants this past season. As it turns out a lot of what she said on the show, to Alexis in particular, was heightened and craftily edited to make it a bigger point that it actually was. Guess that's television for ya. 

In the complete opposite direction, she also talked about working with Robyn at a Pride event in San Fran. I was quite saddened to find out that Robyn is a bit of a diva, storming off stage not once, but twice. I mean really? Twice? Uhg. I love her music, but I guess they can't all be amazing people. She did eventually finish the show, but still, a tantrum like that can really damage someone's rep. That combined with the apparently large sum of money she was payed to perform just doesn't bode well for me. 

Ms. Del Mar shared a lot of other news, such as her opinions on "Back Door To Chyna" and her interview with Stevie Nixx, but those aren't really my specialty, so I'll let you watch the recap of the stream here if you are curious enough.