Thursday, October 29, 2015

Sorry I Missed It: Cherri Bomb Is Now Hey Violet

Remember how much I loved the all girl punk group Cherri Bomb? They were amazing, and their debut album was one of the best first attempts from a new group I had ever heard. Well they kind of disappeared. Well, I thought they did. Turns out they've been around all along, but with a new name. It's about time I caught up with the new incarnation of Cherri Bomb called Hey Violet.

I know, I know. It's a bit of a change from what you heard on their debut album as Cherri Bomb, but the name seems to be symbolic of the change. A few years back, one of the founding members, Julia, made a departure from the band. She was replaced with a guy named Casey who had been good friends with most of the band since they were kids, making him a perfect fit. While I am a huge fan of all girl rock groups (see my obsession with The Runaways), Casey seems to be meshing great with the band, so I don't have too many complaints.

As for the sound change, I'm not as excited. They've gone from pure punk to a fusion of punk and pop. It works, but it's not what I'm used to hearing from them. I guess if I had heard this incarnation first, I would be completely in love. There is nothing wrong with it, but since I heard "Cherri Bomb" first, it kind of put me off a little. Objectively, they are still very talented young adults who know how to rock it out, and the (albeit slight) genre change won't deter me from enjoying them.

As of right now they have one EP out, and a full album on the way. They also have an array of fun videos on Youtube allowing their fans to get to know them either all over again or for the first time. It looks like these guys are destined to be stars, and even with the reset of a name change, they aren't backing down. Just check out their awesome cover of Taylor Swift's "Blank Space" and tell me that they aren't the raddest group you've listened to.

You can pick up their debut EP on iTunes now!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Below Deck Season 3 Episode 10 [Review]

If there is one thing I like about Below Deck it's that you never know what is going to happen. People snap mentally, others get fired, and they can go from lovers to enemies in no time flat. I guess that's just how it is living on a small boat for months at a time. But the season is coming to a close very quickly, and it's unclear who will make it all the way to the end.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Even More RuPaul Themed X-Mas On The Way With Drag Race Album

Yas, hunties! It has been confirmed that we are getting even more holiday cheer in the form of men dressed up as woman. Who care about tradition? These ladybois are ready to rock you, and they don't give a damn about morals. Well maybe Ginger does, but the rest don't! So let's check out this sexy and sleek new RuPaul's Drag Race alumni Christmas album!

That's right! All of your faves are back! As long as your faves are Alaska, Ginger Minj, Miss Fame, Sharon Needles, Courtney Act, Katya, Jiggly Caliente, Detox, Darienne Lake, Ivy Winters, Pandora Boxx, Violet Chachki, Phi Phi O'Hara, Jinkx Monsoon, and Manila Luzon, because that's who alls on it. I see a lot of names that I have come to know and love, so I for one am excited about it. People Magazine online broke the story earlier this week, and people have been going crazy! Check out the track list!

1. “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” Christmas Queens
2. “Everyday Is Christmas,” Alaska
3. “Christma-Hannu-Kwanzaa-Ka,” Ginger Minj
4. “Toyland,” Miss Fame
5. “Jingle Bells,” Sharon Needles
6. “12 Days of Christmas,” Katya
7. “From Head to Mistletoe,” Courtney Act
8. “Ratchet Christmas,” Jiggly Caliente
9. “This Is How We Jew It,” Detox
10. “Christmas Sweater,” Alaska, Courtney Act, and Willam
11. “A Very Cozby Christmas,” Willam
12. “Christmas Is Coming,” Darienne Lake, Ivy Winters, and Pandora Boxx
13. “The Night Before Christmas,” Violet Chachki
14. “Naughty or Nice,” Phi Phi O’Hara
15. “Red & Green,” Jinkx Monsoon
16. “Slay Bells,” Manila Luzon

I'm very glad to see Manila back, yet again. She, along with Pandora Boxx (who also is a delight to see) are the only ones that aren't on the more recent seasons, being from the third and second seasons respectively. Nobody from the first season made the cut despite Ru's obsession to this day with Bebe. Weird, right? Willam, Alaska, and Courtney (the AAA Girls) really dominate the album, so it would seem they are the masterminds behind this.

The preorder is TBA, but the release is coming November 13, just in time to annoy the hell out of everyone for playing Xmas music before Thanksgiving!

Friday, October 23, 2015

RuPaul Busts Out Brand New Christmas Album "Slay Belles"

Oh, RuPaul. How you never cease to amaze me. It's like every time we think that he can't do something fresh and new, he proves us wrong -- usually in the funnest way possible. In the down time from the upcoming season of RuPaul's Drag Race it looks like he's put together a new album. This time, he's wanting you all to get in the Christmas spirit. Who cares if it's not even Halloween yet? Since when has Ru followed anybody's rules?

Now before you go jumping to any conclusions, Slay Belles is a fully fleshed out album. It isn't just some work slapped together with hot glue and duct tape. Listening through this piece, it's obvious that Ru took his time in crafting this work. Producer Lucian Piane is back, and notably so, as the music is very throwback to the first two albums that came out of Ru's revived RPDR career. It makes for a very fun romp through the holiday season.

What I love the most about the album is that it doesn't really feel like a Christmas album. Sure the lyrics are all about Xmas, bells, and snow, but it doesn't have that traditional holiday cheer backing to it, making it more of a pop album inspired by the holidays than anything else. I really feel like when pop singers do a holiday album, too often do they just make the same song over, but much like Aqua with their non-traiditon "Spin Me A Christmas", Slay Belles really separates itself from the norm. With tracks like "Jingle Dem Bells", it's obvious that it's not meant to be taken seriously as a lover of Christmas, but instead just enjoyed for what it is.

Slay Belles also comes packed with an impressive list of guest appearances. Ru invited previous besties Michelle Visage and Big Freedia, as well as other fun guests such as Markaholic, Ellis Miah, Siedah Garrett, and even Todrick Hall himself. Now if an album doesn't skyrocket in notoriety from having the king of Youtube music on it, I don't know what will. Also, let's not forget that Ru himself is a vocal powerhouse, too. I guess what I'm trying to say is, this may be the best Xmas album of all time.

No, really.

Then again I'm not much of a Christmas person.

You can get the album on iTunes now! Do it!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Below Deck Season 3 Episode 9 [Review]

When will the insanity end? Ok, so it's not that bad, but still, things are starting to get a little out of control. You'll see what I mean. It looks like this charter season is about to reach a breaking point, and I really doubt that we've seen the end of the firings for the year. Without any further distractions, let's find out exactly what happened this week.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Check It Out - I Have A New Side Project

In case you have been wondering what the decrease in posts around here is all about, I thought I'd let you know that I have been working on a couple of side projects. Yes, Famous By Proxy is still in the works (and much further along than I might have let on), but this one is a bit different. It's aimed at a bit of a different audience than usual. This time around, I'm getting into some anime and manga discussion. Welcome, lovers of Japan!

I know, I know. Anime isn't what this site is all about, but it is something I am doing, and it is worth noting why I've been a bit MIA lately. I will still keep up with the weekly episode reviews, and next month I am picking up a new show (No, not RHOA). I hope you can all stick with me through this, and even support the new YouTube channel by liking and subscribing if that's your thing.

If not, it's all cool. I wanted to showcase two different facets of myself in two different ways. I have been interested in anime and manga for far longer than I have in pop music and drag queens, so to be fair this is something I've been putting off. I hope that those of you who like both, much like me, will take the time to look into what I have to say. I have more reviews coming soon, so don't worry. The channel is barely a week old. There is plenty more to come in the upcoming weeks.

Again, thank all of you for your continued support. There will be more info on the Famous By Proxy podcast closer to the new year.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Robert Bartko Releases Fun And Funky New Single "The Breakdown"

If you're an avid reader of my blog, the name Bartko is probably familiar. That's because Sammie Bartko, who I covered both on the reality competition show Skin Wars and in her own music career, is married to Robert Bartko. Go figure. But Sammie isn't the only vocalist in that family, as Robert has had a long career in both writing and performing music, and "The Breakdown" is only a taste of what he has to offer.

Robert, in case you are still skeptical, has been writing and producing music for a long time. Most famously he has produced for the rock band Korn ("All In The Family", "A.D.I.D.A.S.", "Wicked"), but he has also put in a lot of writing work with other groups over the years. He occasionally and sporadically releases new music on his own, and quite frankly I cannot believe I am just now picking up on his positive vibes.

Positivity isn't the only vibes that are coming out from "The Breakdown", and by that I mean it's totally funky. Robert has a really smooth voice, and the bass-slapping beat that is accompanying him only make the song all that much more awesome. He has a very strong control over his falsetto, creating some memorable hooks. It really sounds like a classic 70s funk track, but with a fresh update to it. It's basically like a time warp for music.

Over the years he has released a lot of music, from pop to religious, and he really has shown us that he is multifaceted. I really wish I had picked this up earlier (again to repeat what I've already said), as he would have made an amazing addition to the site in it's formative years. Now that I've see what he can do, I will be on the lookout for more Bartko music (from either source, to be honest), and I doubt I'll be disappointed.

For now, grab the track on iTunes and spread the love!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Steampunk'd Season 1 Episode 8 FINALE [Review]

Well guys, it's been a fun ride, but it's almost over. We have been following these ten talented makers from day one, and now we get to find out who is going to win the 100,000 dollar prize. I have my favorites, and I have my not-so-favorites, but no matter who wins, let's all hope this show gets another season. It was a fun ride, and I want to do it all over again next year. Now without further ado, my finale review.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Below Deck Season 3 Episode 8 [Review]

It's week eight and I still can't decide if I absolutely love this show or if I can't stand it one bit. I mean I guess I could say time will tell, but eight weeks? Two months? Damn my attention span lasts much longer than it used to. Well I'm here for the long run, now. It looks like this season still has a bit to go (we haven't even seen our Real Housewives of Atlanta crossover yet), so I'll stick it out for the rest of the season. For now, just try and enjoy the beauty that is another annoying crew member getting fired.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Sharlie's Angels Web Series Parodies Charlie's Angles And Of Course It's Hilarious

I don't know if there's a single person out there on the net that hasn't heard of Charlie's Angles. It was a huge hit back the 70s, it was an even bigger hit with the movie franchise in the 2000s, and now the fun is returning with a web series. It may be a parody, but it perfectly captures the camp and fun of the original series, while having the sexiness of the reboots. Also did I mention you can watch it for free online. Oh yeah, there's that, too. Check out the next generation of Charlie's Angles with the new parody Sharlie's Angels.

So right now all we have is the promo, but they are hoping that with a bit of a popularity spike, they can bring you a full online series via YouTube. The teaser stars Kendra Reynolds as Mary, Chance Cessna as Serona, and Katie Page as Jayne. These are our new trio of Angels ready to dominate your computer screens. This time around, Bosley is still around helping the Angles in whatever way he can (portrayed by Steven Bell), but Charlie is no more. In his place is the mysterious disembodied voice of his daughter, Sharlie (voiced by Cathy Lewis).

The promo, although not clear if just an introduction or part of the debut episode, follows the girls as they investigate a rash of burglaries of women's shoes. The ladies look stunning in their SWAT outfits, with Serona (Cessna) being my new lady crush of the moment. There's lots of comedy ranging from Batman style "Pows" popping up when people get hit to the robbers sniffing women's shoes. Nothing is off limits. The biggest laugh of the whole work goes to Bosley (Bell) for very sassily refusing to follow the Angels up a narrow ladder six stories above Hollywood to chase after the final baddie -- which is a stunt these talented ladies did themselves during filming.

If I had to complain about anything it would be that they tacked on Magique (portrayed by Bella Leah) to the end. She had the most personality of them all and looked pretty amazing. Her story is that she's the Angel they cast out for being "too hood", which is beyond hilarious. I would have liked her to have her own scene instead of an introductory clip at the end, but seeing as it's only a promo, I can let things slide.

It really looks like the cast had a lot of fun working on this project, and it really deserves more views online. I think this may not be too much of an issue with the rumors of a new movie coming. Oh and did I mention the pilot episode is said to feature not three but six Angels? How will that work? Well honestly I don't know yet, but I do know that this is certainly something you'll wanna keep an eye out for.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Steampunk'd Season 1 Episode 7 [Review]

Oh, GSN. My love-hate relationship with you continues on and on. Due to technical difficulties on my part, I didn't have my copy of the episode to review earlier this week. That didn't matter, though, because the second the episode finished airing, GSN's official Facebook posted a photo of the final three. Thanks, I guess, for ruining who went home for me. I'll try not to be a Bitter Betty the whole review, though.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Kim Smith Wows With Video For "Shooting Star"

It feels good having Kim Smith back at music. Don't get me wrong, he's been doing a ton of stuff locally in NYC, but for those of us who live in the middle of the country, that might as well mean he hasn't done anything in a while. Then, like a gift from the homo-gods, he dropped this gem of a music video out of nowhere, and I'm in love all over again. Check out the very sexual yet endearing video for "Shooting Star".

The video over all is pretty simplistic. It mainly features two different parts, one of Kim singing into the camera close up, and another of him and a mystery man getting physical. In both takes he is shirtless (praise be yet again to the homo-gods), and looking stunning as usual. I love how bold the video is, showing two men embracing each other not as a gimmick or in a cliche way, but in a scene that feels very real. Of course the choreography can shatter that perfect image a bit, but for the most part of the video, it feels like two real men really feeling up on one another and exploring the other's body.

"Shooting Star" as a song is one of my all time favorites from Kim Smith. He his album Nova back in 2013, so seeing this in it's original form (as opposed to the remixed version on June 2015's Supernova) was a bit of a surprise. I had given up hope on this track seeing a video treatment, but luckily for me, he wasn't done with the album quite yet. Due to production costs, it's not unusual for an indie artist to draw an album out over several years, but I have to say this is the most pleasant surprise I've gotten from the LGBT music scene in a long while.

If you dig the track, you can get the original album Nova on iTunes here, or if remixes are more you're thing, you can check out his fully remixed followup Supernova here.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Below Deck Season 3 Episode 7 [Review]

It's official. I have developed the weirdest Love-Hate relationship with this show. I really love it because of all the insanity that happens and all he great reality tv personalities it has spawned, but I also really hate it because they focus the most on the more boring of the drama. I wanna see more of certain things, but instead what I get is a whole episode of Kate and Leon hating each other. I'll try to make it more interesting than that, but that's pretty much the whole episode. 

Please keep reading anyway.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

La Toya Jackson Returns With Previously Unreleased Single

Watch out world. Janet isn't the only Jackson making a comeback in 2015. Much like her sister, La Toya is bringing back the Jackson name into present day, but she's going about it in a totally different way. Instead of releasing a brand new track, she's digging into her recording library and bringing forth a track that may be old, but is still something you've yet to hear. Check out "Trouble".

It can definitely be said that this track sounds like it is from the 80s. This song is a track that didn't quite make it onto La Toya's '88 smash hit La Toya (or You're Gonna Get Rocked! depending on which version or when you picked it up). It's not unusual for artists to record tons of songs for an album and narrow it down, but what is unusual is to release a track more than twenty years later. But it's not an ordinary release. This is a remix package -- an awesome one.

This release features a lot of talented artist, brought together by JRED Music. The remix masters include Jared Jones, Matt Pop, Ranny, Sweet Team, Dr. Brooks, and Argonaut. Each artist brings their own unique sounds to the project, turning this one single into ten distinctly separate works. Some even manage to make the song hardly recognizable (in a good way), making the entire album worth your money.

I know I'm a little bit late on this one, but given that the original version of the track was released back in 2013, I'd say that I'm a bit closer to the single's release than the album's. And hey, La Toya is from an incredibly talented family and one of the least talked about Jacksons, so why not give her a quick shoutout.

"Trouble" is available from JRED Music now on iTunes. Grab it now!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Dragonette Returns With Brand New Single + Video

Dragonette, in case you didn't know, is one of the best things that has come out of Canada since pretty much ever. They had been steadily pumping out music until early 2013 when things went a big quiet -- but no more! Dragonette is back, and you can have even more synth-rock in your life, because in the end, isn't that what we could all use more of?

As per usual, this song is super catchy. Much to my relief, "Let The Night Fall" goes back to the sound the band's sophomore album Fixin' To Thrill, which was my favorite. The song's heavy synths fuzed with traditional guitars makes it something you don't hear very often and solidifies them as one of the defining New Wave bands of this generation. The chorus has that ear worm quality to it, staying stuck in your head long after you're done listening to it.

The video is also a bit of a throwback for me. While it does have some Marina And The Diamonds qualities to it by being a bit quirky (see the top photo for evidence there), it really stands well on it's own. The plot has some very distinct lesbian overtones from what I gathered, which should remind many long-time fans of the video for "Pick Up The Phone" (also from the Fixin' To Thrill era). The video follows a fun day out with two close girlfriends, as they go about the randomness of daily life.

I am so excited to see this come out. The band has already confirmed this is the first single off of a new album, which will hopefully be a marriage of the two amazing sounds they've developed over the course of their last two albums. While we don't have a name or even an estimated date, given the band's history, I'm sure we won't have to wait too long to find out. These guys love their fans, and they won't keep us in the dark for long.

For now, support them by grabbing "Let The Night Fall" on iTunes.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Honey Boo Boo's Debut Single Is Fun Whether You Like It Or Not

Hold on one second before you all come up in arms about this. I know that there is a large section of the population that detests Honey Boo Boo, but think about it for a minute. It does feature Adam Barta so it can't be that bad right? I mean Adam has had some strange collaborations in the past but they are always the best kind of tacky, and "Movin' Up" is no exception!

Photo Via GR Media Official YouTube Channel.

Ok. Watch that and tell me that it's not already stuck in your head. I don't mean the verses, which are kind of a mess of mumbled words (she's a kid, so she gets a free pass at not enunciating), but I mean the chorus. "Do the Honey Boo Boo Bop" will be stuck in your head for days, and judging by the fact it already has over a million views on YouTube, it's safe to say that you are not alone there. Adam Barta, who is famous teaming up with other reality TV stars like Angelina from Jersey Shore and Tan Mom, really took the back seat with this track, allowing Alana to shine.

The video seems to be more of at treat for those who were fans of the show. I honestly never watched a single episode of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo (mainly because I didn't have cable for years), so I didn't recognize a lot of the people. Apparently co-starring in the video is Mamma June with one line of the song, her sister "Pumpkin", and Mike Thompson known as "Sugar Bear". Yeah. No clue there. But you could tell that she was having a good time, and at the end of the day, she's still a kid and deserves to have fun with her life. Thankfully the cancelation of her TV show recently has not got her down, and she's managed to find a new career path.

It's unclear if this will be a career for the young starlet, but one thing's for sure -- she knows how to work the camera. This girl is dancing and having a great time, not giving one care as to what the haters have to say. If that's not inspiration, I don't know what is. And also it's nice to see one of Adam's videos blow up again. Some of his recent collaborations, while just as fun as everything else he's released over the past three years, didn't get much media attention. Thankfully he recruited the Boo Boo Clan to help him out. I'm not sure how much collaborating went on, but I know already that the track is only going to get more popular from here.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Steampunk'd Season 1 Episode 6 [Review]

Before we get started I have to say something. I have been getting a lot of flack (and I mean a lot) due to my reviews having spoilers in them, but not having a spoiler warning. Well, I don't really know how to do a review without spoilers. Even if I only focused on the art of the show, it would still be a "spoiler" because it revealed something you wouldn't know without watching first. News flash, my friends. All reviews have spoilers. Some just more than others. Like this one. So if you don't want to know that -CENSORED- went home, then maybe this isn't the review for you.

Wait. My spoiler was censored? Well just check it out under the cut. And under the rest of the episode's review.