GAYLETTERGAYLETTER

Wednesday 03.27.19

Marina – LOVE + FEAR

With the release of “Orange Trees” and its accompanying video, Marina (née “and the Diamonds”) has completed the three-song annunciation of her upcoming album, LOVE + FEAR. The LP will be split into two eight-track halves — “LOVE” and “FEAR” — but unlike Marina’s ultra-iconic Electra Heart, these songs are not delivered by crafted personae. They’re Marina herself, unshielded, offering hard-won visions of calm. The long-term stan will immediately pick up on the lack of sharp tension in Marina’s voice, which defined earlier songs like “Oh No!” from The Family Jewels, “Homewrecker” from Electra Heart, and “I’m a Ruin” from Froot. Although she sounds at peace, these songs are not boring. She’s left the sparser production of Froot to return to a banging electro-pop backing, but with none of the friction of her first forays into the genre. She’s come full-circle, unblonded, at ease with her own electricity.

 
“Orange Trees” braids her voice with a mellow acoustic guitar, rippling synths and a syncopated breezy beat, like a way chiller version of her collaboration with Clean Bandit, “Baby.” It’s summery as all get-out. “Handmade Heaven” starts in alienation — “I carry along a feel of unease / I want to belong like the birds in the trees” — which changes to relation, with the repetition of “birds of a feather fly together.” The singer reconnects with nature in the handmade paradise of the song, which offers the rest of us a glint of the same feeling. Finally, “Superstar” is an ode to a love that transcends the dark, empty matter of distance: “All of the days that we spend apart / My love is a planet revolving your heart.” The bright vocals are offset by a roiling trap-pop beat that drives the song into its explosive post-chorus. …

Tuesday 03.26.19

A Chocolate dick

I opened the press email about this item fairly quickly after reading the subject “…Dick at Your Door!” I opened my eyes wide and read the details. For those of you that get easily excited the chocolate dick appears bigger in this photograph than what it is in real life, although it’s still an exciting size — something like a good 6-inch rocket. This gives you an idea of how deceiving dick pics can be, photography can do wonders for the appearance of your penis.

 

The chocolate dick was an item originally developed as a prank, “a way for people to anonymously tell their friends, office colleagues, frenemies… to “eat a dick” without the repercussions” the inventors tell us. I mean sure, but receiving a dick at the door for me sounds funny and perhaps it’s more suitable to cause a few giggles, than freak anyone out. The company is pitching this item as a “perfect April Fools and Easter gag gift.” I can certainly see it for Easter, if they have chocolate bunnies and eggs, why not a dick? “One dollar from every order is donated to the American Cancer Society to help fund Prostate Cancer Research.”

 

It’s a nice gesture to send a chocolate dick to anyone who loves a light joke or maybe someone who’s super conservative? The dicks come in different types of chocolate, just in case you are picky about your flavors. Send a friend, a family member or anyone who could appreciate the joke. …

Saturday 03.16.19

Slava Mogutin x Helmut Lang: Helmut Go-Go

Call 1-833-HELL-YES, it’s not phone sex it’s Helmut Lang.

Here’s the freshly released Slava Mogutin x Helmut Lang collection — Slava, our friend and collaborator (remember the Katya Zamolodchikova feature from Issue 6?), paired up with artist and South African creative director Jan Wandrag to create a new edition in the Helmut Lang ‘Logo Hack’ collaboration. The series features a variety of artists that bring their own taste to the classic Helmut Lang staples. Known for their reimagined uniform and workwear, Helmut Lang keeps it’s classical construction with tinges of new embellishments brought to you by Mogutin and Wandrag themselves.

 

This wouldn’t be Slava’s first time working with Helmut Lang, the collaboration is derived from a decade old project under the same title, “Helmut Go-Go” where then studio manager of Helmut Lang, Joakim Andreasson, gave Slava the opportunity to photograph his personal archive. Slava’s known for his hypersexual photography so you should already know he fashioned cheeky go-go boys and rough trade in the rich archive that ended up being too raunchy for the fashion industry. The original Helmut Go-Go images can almost exclusively be found in his most recent book from 2017 entitled ‘Bros and Brosephines,’ which you should definitely add to your collection.

 

The other imagery accompanying the Helmut Lang archive in ‘Bros and Brosephines’ caught the eye of current creative director Thomas Cawson who enacted the ‘Logo Hack’ collaboration. The designs also made direct reference to Mogutin’s 2008 book titles ‘Stock Boyz’ which balanced the line between the hypermasculine financial sphere and the feminine trials of sexuality. …

Tuesday 03.12.19

Fire: A Little Piece of Fire Island

I’ve never been to Fire Island, but I’ve heard about it. Stories about a gay paradise: parties, sex, drugs, the Meatrack… A place for fun and friends where you can be yourself and not worry about what anyone else has to say about it. Ryan McNamara has curated the work of 17 queer artists into an exhibition simply entitled Fire. It captures the experience of Fire Island. Littered on the floor are fliers for DWORLD Underwear Parties that read “The pool is open at 2:00AM for a skinny dip!” and “NYC’s hottest Go-Go.” In the center of the space is a sculpture of a squatting boy called “Boy’s Tears” by Cajsa von Zeipel. It’s surrounded by sand, towels, flip-flops, and deflated beach balls. An empty bag hangs on the wall. Scribbled on the front of it in marker is the description, “K8’s Jockstrap Collection Bag. Do it for fashion!” Next to the bag, K8 Hardy fitted several jockstraps onto a fiberglass mannequin. A wood and plaster creation (“Chemical Compound”) by Ryan McNamara depicts countless faceless figures kissing, sucking, and fucking in the biggest orgy I’ve ever seen.

 

 

Walking through the exhibition is exciting, it’s like walking through the remnants of a wild beach party that just ended an hour ago. I felt like dropping everything and going to Fire Island to experience the inside-jokes, and the community that seemed to be all about acceptance and having a good time. In organizing Fire, Ryan McNamara makes a statement about the importance of queer spaces. …

Monday 03.11.19

A celebration of the life of Grandfather Hector Xtravaganza at El Museo del Barrio

Love was the message.

Thursday 03.07.19

Film: Babylon

The Us Premiere at BAM

Imagine: the young Jamaican community in England circa 1980, making music, smoking weed, and coming to terms with being black, in a white-dominated country. Babylon, originally released in the UK in 1980, follows the story of performer, Ital Lion, as he competes in a local singing competition. The film is being released in the United States for the first time this Friday, March 8th at BAM Rose Cinemas.

 

There are suave outfits: black overcoats, afros, turtlenecks, there are laughs, like when Ital tries to buy beats from a producer with a pound of weed. The film lured me in with reggae club scenes and jokes that made me wish I was part of the community, only to gradually turn towards scenes of intense racism and violence. Ital is profiled and beat up by police and his studio is trashed by racist neighbors. Despite having a successful debut at the 1980 Cannes Film Festival, Babylon was considered “too controversial, and likely to incite racial tension” by the New York Film Festival. Bullsh*t, obviously.

 

I didn’t walk away from the film filled with a desire to cause racial tension or division, but with an understanding of how racism breeds frustration and violence in its victims. Babylon is a must-see, if not for its badass music, then for its honest portrayal of race.

 

 

 

Babylon is playing at BAM Rose Cinemas until March 14, 2019. Click here for tickets and showtimes.

 

  …

Monday 02.25.19

NIGHT SHEEN AT INDOCHINE NYC

Thursday 02.21.19

VAQUERA Fall/Winter 2019

Wednesday 02.20.19

WIGWOOD AT SEA – DAY 3

Still gagging!

WIGWOOD AT SEA – DAY 2

Gag, gag, gag...

Wigwood at Sea – Day 1

The Miami queer annual festival that celebrates LGBTQ+ artists returns with a “Deep Sea Creatures” theme

Susanne Bartsch presents: BOOM! Valentines Day

Kabaret Boom at The Top of the Standard, NYC.