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>not for madonna

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>although her crushed velvet pants and bra are hot. but for tony ward in that vest and those necklaces!

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September 19, 2009 at 11:59 pm

Posted in madonna, tony ward

>joey stefano

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>”when you get into one of these trips, there’s only a couple ways you can get out. one is death, the other is mental institutions”

Written by alexgfrank

May 29, 2009 at 2:29 pm

Posted in gay, joey stefano, madonna

>Like a Sturgeon

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>Madonna in a 1985 interview with Time Magazine:

“VIRGINITY. I remember when I was growing up I remember liking my body and not being ashamed of it. I remember liking boys and not feeling inhibited. I never played little games; if I liked a boy, I’d confront him. I’ve always been that way. Maybe it comes from having older brothers and sharing the bathroom with them or whatever. But when you’re that aggressive in junior high, the boys get the wrong impression of you. They mistake your forwardness for sexual promiscuity. Then when they don’t get what they think they’re going to get, they turn on you. I went through this whole period of time when the girls thought I was really loose and all the guys called me nympho. I was necking with boys like everybody else was. The first boy I ever slept with had been my boyfriend for a long time, and I was in love with him. So I didn’t understand where it all came from. I would hear words like slut that I hear now. It’s sort of repeating itself. I was called those names when I was still a virgin. I didn’t fit in and that’s when I got into dancing. I shut off from all of that and I escaped.”

Written by alexgfrank

May 18, 2009 at 4:01 pm


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>The buzzword in fashion for the past decade has been “high/low”, which implies a girl or boy who mixes Chanel with H&M. This has been Vogue’s supposed sensibility. Well, it’s been the trend in cultural criticism too, probably for longer. I like writers who can discuss George Michael and economist Emanuel Sanz only one blog post apart, like Joshua Clover. But of course, because I’m no elitist, I spend most of my time reading his stuff on the former, as opposed to the latter. This excerpt about George Michael from his new book has some funny things to say:

“George Michael’s “Freedom ‘90” does not of course concern world events; its providential name was required to distinguish itself from the earlier Wham! song “Freedom.” It nonetheless manages to crystallize the feeling of the post-Wall moment without taking a stance regarding it, through its sense of unbounded duration as liberation, its formal evocation of the sudden absence of barriers — and its sense of this as something potentially intrinsic to the music, to the truth of pop.”

“…the song’s unabashed pleasure in the very pop it claims to have exposed and outgrown… “Heaven knows we sure had some fun boy, what a kick just a buddy and me,” he sings, referring to his supposedly abject days in the germ-free duo Wham! “We had every big shot good-time band on the run boy, we were living in a fantasy.” That this delight is casually tied to a male-male bond — that is, to the confessional’s half-hidden truth — is one of the secrets the song yields;”

…Against the masculine-coded renunciation of pleasure which historically defines the “mature” rejection of pop (which is for women and children), the song poses the truth of pleasure as the excess within pop…

I like the politics of the essay a lot because I think its important to acknowledge musical figures who do play around with pop instead of forgoing it for seriousness. And I think that deep understandings of pop are always heavily gendered, or sexualized. And even though he only does it briefly, I like that he ties it to 90’s liberation, which would bring on a new phase in both feminism and queer rights. Both of those movements would embrace a sort of politics of celebration after the dismal 1980’s. Remember when you saw Gay Pride parades on the news and nothing looked like more fun? The liberatory politics was celebration; that doesn’t mean there weren’t serious things going on. They aren’t so joyous anymore, it was a cultural moment that’s probably mostly gone.

Kathleen Hanna picked up on this whole thing in a conceptual way when she stopped making punk, a music taken seriously by the grand guards of musical credibility, and started making dance songs with Julie Ruin and Le Tigre. I notice that people react differently if I tell them how much I love Le Tigre’s first album compared to if I want to discuss Bikini Kill. Most gay friends of mine haven’t even heard of Bikini Kill, and most straight male friends of mine don’t give a damn for Le Tigre. But Kathleen has talked about, in words more eloquent and nuanced than mine, how basically sick of punk she was and how she thought she could convey her politics to the “right people” better through danceable music

Why is the understanding, love, and attention to pop music done mostly by gays and women? What does indie credibility have to do with masculinity? Is it just a phase? I don’t think Phil Spector worried too much about seeming fey. Then again, his pop elegance was tied to an abusive relationship with the woman who sang his songs. And why am I comfortable with my gender in so many ways, yet still feel sporadic pangs of discomfort when I’m in conversation with “music dudes” and don’t know enough about Mike Watt, a person that Kathleen directed her anger at famously, or whomever?

>Cat (last) breath

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>Some choice quotes from The New York Times’ obituary on Eartha Kitt, who died today:

” Though her record sales fell after the rise of rhythm and blues and rock ’n’ roll in the mid- and late ’50s, her singing style would later be the template for other singers with small-but-sensual voices like Diana Ross (who has said she patterned her Supremes sound and look largely after Ms. Kitt), Janet Jackson and Madonna, who recorded a cover version of “Santa Baby” in 1987.”

From practically the beginning of her career, as critics gushed over Ms. Kitt, they also began to describe her in every feline term imaginable: her voice “purred” or “was like catnip”; she was a “sex kitten” who “slinked” or was “on the prowl” across the stage, sometimes “flashing her claws.” Her career has often been said to have had “nine lives.” Appropriately enough, she was tapped to play Catwoman in the 1960s TV series “Batman,” taking over the role from the leggier, lynxlike Julie Newmar and bringing to it a more feral, compact energy.

In 1968 she was invited to a White House luncheon and was asked by Lady Bird Johnson about the Vietnam War. She replied: “You send the best of this country off to be shot and maimed. No wonder the kids rebel and take pot.” The remark reportedly caused Mrs. Johnson to burst into tears and led to the only derailment in Ms. Kitt’s career.

“I’m a dirt person,” she told Ebony magazine in 1993. “I trust the dirt. I don’t trust diamonds and gold.”

Written by alexgfrank

December 26, 2008 at 1:34 am

>Hot (pants) topic

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You’d have a hard time convincing me that the 1960’s/1970’s female performance art and the pop performance of the Supremes are all that different in artistic value. I’m not arguing that they are all feminist in the same way, I’m not even arguing that any of them are feminist necessarily at all (though I do think they all are), but rather I think that the ways in which women stood on a stage and used their body, clothing, and hair to reshape understandings about femininity was so powerful in the 1960’s and 1970’s, and whether one person did it on a TV set to sell albums or one did it in a gallery, the point is that the 1960’s and 1970’s were reshaped by female public performance. Oprah and Madonna could not exist today as they are without the groundwork of Diana Ross and her constant media reinvention and careful attention to self-presentation, but I think those media powerhouses are equally indebted to Eleanor Antin, Yoko Ono, and Carolee Schneeman, who used body to communicate politics, as both Oprah and Madonna have done. So more traditional forms of capitalist, pop presentation meshs well with the more “radical”. This implicates the non-artist as well – girls who threw on mini-skirts, cut their hair were engaging in a sort of performance art, in my estimation. Certainly cutting your hair into a pixie or hiking up your skirt would ellicit an audience reaction, of sorts, in the mid-60’s, whether from a husband or a school or a parent.

Written by alexgfrank

December 8, 2008 at 7:41 pm

>really into this

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November 20, 2008 at 7:39 pm