Sunday, December 27, 2015

Lazarus

I just got back from seeing David Bowie's Lazarus!


He always wanted to do a musical and he totally did it with this project! It's everything that you'd expect from a Bowie musical: it's unique, cool, creative, and special. Everyone from the cast (the stars being Michael C. Hall, Cristin Millioti, and Sophia Anne Caruso), to the band (guitar 2/aux keyboard, JJ Appleton, drums, Brian Delaney, tenor/bariton sax, Lucas Dodd, bass, Fima Ephron, trombone, Karl Lyden, guitar 1, Chris McQueen, and synth/orchestration/arrangements, Henry Hey) were incredible. The plot was as trippy, random, and crazy as you'd also expect from Bowie and from the book and movie, The Man Who Fell to Earth, that this musical is based off of. Brilliant use of technology that immersed the audience and actors alike into the story. I was smiling the whole time to every Bowie song that was sung, many from his back catalog (like Life on Mars?, The Man Who Sold the World, Changes, Heroes, Absolute Beginners, and many others), some more recent ones (like Valentine's Day from his last album, The Next Day), one from his soon-to-be-released album ★ (Lazarus), and two more new songs (both absolutely gorgeous). I feel very lucky to be the one of not that many to been able to see the wonderful Lazarus, a one-of-a-kind show from a man who's a one-of-a-kind himself.


(The gorgeous poster in front of the New York Theatre Workshop)


(My ticket. I was front row - up close and personal!)

(The cast)


(Mini info about the book/movie, production hours (2 hours, no intermission) and a mention of the video performance by Alan Cumming). 

After the show on my way back to the F train, I went into this vintage clothing and record store (and when we're talking about vintage, they had rare Beatles records, fancy guitars, art books, etc. that cost in the $1000-$2000 range!), and there I found this super rare and super vintage Elton John Pinball Wizard machine!

Oh if only I were rich.

Friday, December 25, 2015

LGBT Film Review: The Danish Girl

Synopsis:

The remarkable love story inspired by the lives of artists Lili Elbe and Gerda Wegener. Lili and Gerda's marriage and work evolve as they navigate Lili's groundbreaking journey as a transgender pioneer.

My Review:

As someone that's intersex and trans like the real-life Lili Elbe was, and also as someone who has read the fictionalized re-telling/book of Lili's life that this film is based off of, I had to go into this knowing that it will NOT be perfect, that it will take a few liberties since in some ways, Lili's life is a mystery. Of what we have of her story and of what we know of her, I'd say The Danish Girl did an excellent job at fleshing out her body dysphoria, her longing to not only dress as a woman but BE the woman that she is, and her sexual desires, balancing that out with her marriage to Gerda Wegener. The approach to this film was tasteful and inviting: it's lush, it's moody, and it's soft in its lighting and general mood and tone. For the art history buff, this was also a treat. All the paintings and sketches were a throwback to the 1920s era, very gorgeous. It's almost needless to say, but Eddie Redmayne shines as Einar as equally as to when he's Lili. It was a spectacular performance that not surprisingly, he's going to get many accolades for on top of some he has earned already. And rising star Alicia Vikander is a fine Gerda, so opposite from Einar/Lili, so spunky and fierce as she is also demure and composed. The two together are so convincing as husband and wife and as two equally successful painters. Despite their differences (Einar/Lili is shy and submissive but more successful, focused on landscapes from their childhood past whereas Gerda is dominant and independent, but struggling to be taken more seriously, focused on "contemporary" work, mostly "racy" self-portraits of attractive women), they work so well as a couple that on appearance it seems like they're bound to last forever. Until the plot thickens, and that's when the movie and Lili's story takes off into the unknown, "experimental" territory. From doing what was thought to be just a role-playing game, Lili and Gerda both realize who Lili really is, what her sexuality is, and ultimately what she desires: sex reassignment surgery. The real-life Lili is personally my hero. The film very carefully made sure that she was brought justice on screen. Did they do it well? Yes. But honestly, it was too simplified. A complex life, story, and person was condensed for a "mainstream" audience which didn't surprise me, but disappointed me just the same. Lili's intersexuality was erased entirely, somewhat implied, but still erasure nonetheless. Like the novel, the movie, too, felt more like a gender-studies course. There wasn't as much heart, soul, and emotion as there should have been, not enough character development to really make Lili's story a HUMAN story. The Danish Girl was a valiant effort with a very Oscar-bait bent to it, and that's okay. But this film (and Lili) deserved more and even better.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

LGBT Film Review: GIRLTRASH: All Night Long

Synopsis:

In this musical comedy, Daisy tries to get over her ex-girlfriend, while Colby falls in love with Misty - only problem - Misty's got a mad crush on the wild and seductive Tyler. In one epic night, the girls find sex, drugs and rock'n'roll.

My Review:

This is one of the most hyper and truly LMAO musical comedies that I've seen in a LONG time. This easily falls into the "it's so bad that it's good" category because it seriously is. GIRLTRASH knows that it's bad. It plays into its own silliness so much from the very beginning, from barely five-minutes in. When Daisy randomly bursts out into song ("Why is she singing?"), you're hard pressed not to laugh. From Colby trying to hit on Misty and epically failing, to Daisy not being able to handle that her sister is "a good gay egg," and Tyler just being "wild and seductive," and so many more moments, this is so fun. GIRLTRASH also tickles in showcasing in an over the top way how shallow the LA scene is, the awkwardness of having that first-time crush, getting over breakups, and living it up like the day is the last. All the characters are so loveable and relatable. As comical as this is, there's a heart and a message behind the madness. To top it off, the music ain't too bad either! Everything's cheesy, and I LOVE it.

** You can find this on Netflix **

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Rest In Power, Holly Woodlawn

The world tonight lost a legend.


Holly Woodlawn brought trans visibility at the forefront before it was comfortable, freeing, and embraced to do so. She's not only a trans heroine and icon, but she'll forever be a superstar.

"Holly came from Miami F.L.A.
Hitch-hiked her way across the U.S.A.
Plucked her eyebrows on the way
Shaved her legs and then he was a she
She said, hey babe, take a walk on the wild side,
Said, hey honey, take a walk on the wild side."



Rest in Power, Holly.


It is the end of an era. Holly, Candy, and Jackie. Rest in Power to you all.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Mouth Mantra

Somebody (and something) is trending today, and it's....

Björk and her brand new music video!

And it takes place entirely inside her mouth. Pretty fitting for "Mouth Mantra."


She hasn't been this intimate with us since Pagan Poetry! This is astonishing.

I love how near the end, in bearing her soul (or, her mouth, rather) like that, there's a smile and a glowing sense that she's now free from all that pain.

What do you think of it? 

Thursday, December 3, 2015

The Triumph of a Broken Heart


This is a pretty hard album to review because others have expressed better what I don't think I can express as well about the experience that Vulnicura Strings is. I'll sum it up in short: Björk has made the already heart-wrenching Vulnicura even more chilling, haunting, desolate, and lonely. Without the electronics, with strings only, this is Björk's first-ever "acoustic" album/companion piece, as "stripped" as an album this raw in emotion can be.

This is, simply, haunting as hell, "one. feeling. at a. time."

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Tie Me Up Has Been Golden Flogged!



Tie Me Up! is home to my BDSM F/F short story, "Femme Soumise."

I've NEVER been nominated for anything before. Like all first times, I won't forget this one. ;)