New & Noteworthy: Villa Beats of Love
Now that radio has embraced pop/dance, it's just a matter of time before electro pop takes center stage (possibly a very long time but one can only hope). Beth Ditto could break through in 2010 with her solo release, and so could the likes of bands like Villa featuring The New Sins with their song Beats of Love. Check it out below.
And if you're in the mood for some updated soft sounds of the 70s (reminiscent of Barry White's Love's Theme, take a listen to Villa's re-edit of Agnetha Faltskog's Wrap Your Arms Around Me.
Bonjour A & F
A & F is about to invade Paris. The first billboard popped up this week in the City of Lights. It's probably a good thing too considering sales are have slowed (and continue slowing) in 2010.
Europeans still consider it a brand to wear (as witnessed in in April at the mall in Orlando for McDonald's Worldwide Convention). Americans, on the other hand, have realized the brand is a bit dated - especially for gay men. The smart ones know they need to stay away from anything sporting "A & F."
Her song was THE song of last summer. Now she's back with a big one for winter. Talk about a follow-up. I can hear it now on the beaches at Winter Party. Speaking of, anybody want to go? Check out the radio edit HERE.
Uh Oh, Spaghettios
The critics are starting to creep into Spider-Man on Broadway. And from the sounds of it, they agree with my assessment from our visit earlier in December.
Jeremy Gerard, a seasoned critic and theater writer for New York Newsday and The New York Times among other places, expresses sentiments that don't flatter the show. While beginning his critical assessment by revealing that Broadway's most expensive show was "hardly the worst show of all time," Gerard declared that "It is, however, an unfocused hodge-podge of story-telling, myth making and spectacle that comes up short in every department." As for the hope that songs by U2's Bono and The Edge will save the day, Gerard wrote, "Bono and The Edge haven't a clue about writing for the theater."
Presenting "Men of Grindr"
Chris and I wanted to know what all the hoopla was about regarding Grindr so I signed up for the "geosocial networking application" for the iPhone. For those of you not in the know, Grindr allows users to access other gay men within close proximity - mostly for hook-ups. It makes having hook-ups quite easy I suppose. But for Chris and I, it gives us minutes of entertainment chuckling over photos men post to lure other men into their playground.
So tonight I told Chris, "I think we need to share these funny photos with the world." Of course, I'll do my best to hide their identity. After all, I'm not here to make anybody's life miserable. Quite the contrary.
Let's take a look at our first featured member. He obviously thinks this Yoga pose will gain him attention. I have a bigger question. Why are his feet so white? Maybe he should sit and rest to let the blood flow once again.
Beats 4 Mexico
With friends heading to Mexico this week, they asked for some tunes. So I sent them in the direction of the latest Monkey Beats as well as a new light and fluffy (for the pool) mix I just threw together - literally. I could spend hours tweaking it, but I'll just let it go - without the official Monkey Beats stamp of approval. It's so much easier adjusting volumes, etc. when mixing live vs. trying to correct originals for a recording. ENJOY!
Don't people know if they shower at the gym with the door open they're immediately tagged as creepy? It's one thing to sneak into the steam room to perhaps cop a feel - for some reason because it's behind closed doors it seems less gross (that and most ARE trying to be discreet when doing so). It's another to completely ignore manners and flaunt yourself without shame (especially when most shouldn't).
Some are calling Llia Darlin Europe's answer to Lady Gaga. Um no. Not even close. Terrible song. Dead facial expressions. Try again Europe.
PTT Advent Calendar Dec. 25
So we are here - the 25th day of Pink Trash Travel's 2010 Advent Calendar. And on this day, I unveil to you my ultimate playmate, Jessie Pavelka in all his shirtless glory. Unfortunately, he wasn't delivered to me this morning. Chris said he tried. I did however receive Pictionary Man, my Bose headphones, my Black Label jacket, Scribblish, Cut the Rope, and a watch ALMOST as good as the Dior Homme time piece listed this season. All and all, a very successful Advent calendar. But as we know, it's not about the gifts. Isn't it better to give than receive? Heck no! :)
And with noted, I wish each and every one of you a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Season's Greetings, Peace on Earth and all that jazz.
Oh Ricky, UR So Fine
Check out Ricky's upcoming single, Shine (not only the music but the way the hot man moves). It's still not the best we've heard from him, but getting better. Maybe by the fifth or sixth release the music will be AMAZING.
PTT Advent Calendar Dec. 24
The 24th day of Advent is a difficult one (even for Santa). But in 2011, I'm hoping my hair stays in place - and long and luxurious like Gabriel Aubrey. Because Dave Lutman, without hair, isn't pretty (or should I say handsome). All of which means if it goes away, so do my admirers from afar (or even better, up close). All in the name of vanity.
Now That's a Wrap!
My Day with the King
Today, at the last minute, I decided to see The King's Speech. I'm not a fan of "artsy" films, but when they have a historical perspective, based on true story, I find them a bit more intriguing.
I arrived at the cineplex in Evanston around 2:00 for a 2:15 showing. I bought my ticket, made a quick stop at the restroom, and headed into the theatre. As I turned the corner to sit myself down, I was shocked to find the room almost full. So I worked my way to the back of the theatre and sat down. A few minutes later, I was flanked by older women who obviously took advantage of the $6.75 ticket price.
Within a few minutes, the elderly lady to my right started chatting me up. "Boy, trying to take off all these layers...and I'm from Florida." she said. Of course, I thought, "Oh dear." I smiled and turned my focus to my iPhone. Inside I began thinking, "Please don't be a talker or one of those old ladies who smack their dentures." In addition, I wondered, "How am I going to eat my kettle corn popcorn I brought from home or drink my mini Pepsi Max with these ladies so close by." There was barely enough room for me to breath let alone reach into a giant ziplock bag filled with treats.
In the end, I found time to munch through an exceptional movie. Colin Firth most likely will win a Golden Globe followed by an Oscar. And Geoffrey Rush was stupendous as well in a film that was both educational and moving. But the most poetic moment of the day happened in the men's restroom on my way out around 4:30.
An older man turned to me after going #1 and said, "I enjoyed that movie - especially because I lived in Germany during the war." "I just moved back from Germany - Munich," I replied. I smiled, washed my hands and walked out the door. I wanted to say more, such as "Thank you for your service," but I didn't want to have an extensive conversation in the men's room. His comment, and smiling face, was a wonderful end to my afternoon with King George VI, the elderly patrons and a snuck-in bag of Orville Redenbacher popcorn.
PTT Advent Calendar Dec. 23
We finally bought outdoor furniture for the sun deck adjacent to our master bedroom. But because it didn't arrive until September, we were forced to postpone the purchase of the planters that will anchor each side of the "L" pit group. We had been eying Restoration Hardware's Leo Salvaged Wood and Metal Planters for the space, but with them almost $500 a piece, I suppose it was a good thing we had to wait. Maybe by the time Spring rolls around they'll be on clearance. That is unless Santa drops them at our front door in just two days.
McDonald's Does Good
McDonald's just made an unemployed man $1MM richer. Just look at how much good McDonald's can do for someone. Not only does the restaurant provide an inexpensive place to eat during the recession, but it also makes millionaires. Check out the story HERE.
New & Noteworthy: Duran Duran All You Need Is Now
PTT Advent Calendar Dec. 22
I'm on the hunt for a cashmere brown scarf. Forget the wool. I've realized something soft around my neck is essential - not scratchy. So I found one at Barney's for just $195! I'm hoping it goes on sale soon, very soon.
Our Kitchen Will B a Cover Model
The Editor of Old-House Interiors informed us today that our kitchen not only will be featured in the April issue of the magazine, but we also nabbed the cover! So I took to Facebook as well to share the news. I'm against self promotion, but in the words of Miley Cyrus, we thought, "That's pretty cool."
Today is the first day of Winter? Really? Seems to me Winter kicked in December 1st when temperatures dropped into the 20s and haven't crawled out since. Combine that with snow on the ground for days and you can only imagine how many people in the Windy City are already going stir crazy - me included.
Ricky Martin's Music+Soul+Sex Gets a Face
PTT Advent Calendar Dec. 21
I'm not sure where I'd put the Brookstone CandyMan Motion-Activated Candy Dispenser, but I want one. You just place your hand under the motion sensor and CandyMan gives you the perfect-size treat! Ooh, it could be just the gadget for the nook by the front door. "Welcome! And have some candy!"
PTT Advent Calendar Dec. 21
My Holiday Card
Spidey Goes Boom!
And so the trials and tribulations of the new Spider-Man show on Broadway continue. Last night, while our friend Todd was in the audience watching the show, a stunt double's wire snapped. He then plunged over 10 feet into the stage pit with a few pieces of equipment following. It must have been horrible to watch - especially for the little kids in the audience who now will forever be traumatized by the event. At some point, I'm sure the producers will realize that the show needs to shut down, and revamp itself, to make the $65MM production safe for everyone involved.
Understanding a Go Go
My friend Patrick pointed something out the other night - a tidbit I found very interesting. We were at a gay bar where Go Go boys were performing. As the men in underwear strutted around trying to collect tips after their show, my friend Patrick said, "Watch. They'll avoid us." I asked, "Why?" He replied with, "They don't approach good looking people."
He wasn't trying to toot his (or our) horn, but rather he was just making a smart observation. And sure enough, he was right. The go go boys approached almost everyone in the bar except for us. "Who knew!" I said. I suppose it's because they believe the less attractive patrons are more willing to shell out cash for a little fun. After all, why should the pretty ones pay for it when they should be able to get it for free?
PTT Advent Calendar Dec. 20
PTT Advent Calendar Dec. 19
It's About Time
December Monkey Beats Has Arrived
The new Monkey Beats has arrived - and just in time for the weekend! As I've always said, sets should take you on a musical journey and this month's edition is no different. But rather than starting on the lighter side, I take it more dark and sexy through the first half with the flip side seeing the light of day with happy vocals and uplifting beats. Download the MP4 file HERE. If you'd like a set list, just shoot me an email. Otherwise, happy holidays!
New & Noteworthy: Elena Disco Romancing
Following in the footsteps of fellow Romanian artists Inna and Edward Maya (whose Stereo Love went big all around the world), Elena gets bouncy with her new single Disco Romancing. Those Romanians sure know how to dance! Check out the video below.
Beth Ditto's Debut
PTT Calls It
It was announced today that the Spider-Man show on Broadway is getting its opening day pushed back a few months. They'll still continue with rehearsals, but critics won't be welcomed until Spring. I'm not surprised. If you read my review after seeing the show a few weeks ago, you'd know I thought the script was confusing, the ending flat and music a bit boring - apparently elements the producers will be addressing this winter. Smart. If they want the show to have legs, they need to do something.
PTT Advent Calendar Dec. 17
I bought my first pair of Ray-Ban silver/mirror lens in Paris around 2006. I loved them as they were new at the time. Unfortunately, just last year, I lost them. I'm sure they needed to be replaced, but I've gone without them now for too long. So, the Ray-Ban 2025 Aviator 55MM makes the advent calendar on day 17!
Favorite Facebook Friend Quote from Today
"So let me get this straight... Larry King is on his 8th divorce, Elizabeth Taylor is possibly getting married for a 9th time, Britney Spears had a 55 hour marriage, Jesse James and Tiger Woods, while married, were having sex with everyone; and yet the idea of same-sex marriage is still going to destroy the institution ...of marriage? Really?"
Glad I Stayed Home - Burrrrr!
I was planning on going to Munich this week to join Chris for the Christmas markets. But when I found out how cold it was, I said forget it. Walking around the markets when it's freezing isn't any fun. And from the looks of it in this picture taken by a friend who works just above one of the popular squares, everybody agrees with me. It's too cold to enjoy!
Oh This is Good!
I'm a huge fan of X Factor. So of course I'm thrilled for the show to make its debut stateside next fall. And now that George Michael has apparently signed on to be a judge alongside my favorite Girls Aloud member Cheryl Cole, I'm even more excited! He'll be a great addition - talented and charismatic. Let's just hope he can pull it together! Then again, another "straight up" 80s catastrophe could be fun.
PTT Advent Calendar Dec. 16
You can never have enough vacuums I say. And oddly enough, I don't have a handheld! The commercials make me want one, "...real bad." I'm not sure where I'd put it because our cleaning closets are full of Hoover Cordless Sweepers, Swiffers, Scotchbrite Microfiber mops and more. But I'm sure I could find room somewhere.
PTT Advent Calendar: Dec. 15
With Chicago's winter starting as the 8th coldest in 127 years, I'm already wishing for a bright, sunny, and pleasantly warm day. With temperatures settling down around 22 degrees, I'll take any day in the 40s, 50s would be nice, and 60s would be amazing. Santa, please talk to Mother Nature (or the Heat Miser).
I had an interesting conversation with a friend last night who used to live in Romania. He was comparing our government's role in our daily lives as a bit reminiscent of his experience living abroad. For example, he said that the government used to dictate how many calories someone would consume - limiting bread and other foods. Sound familiar? Seems to be the way our government is going with their elimination of personal choices such as salt in food, soda consumption, etc. I'm just sayin'.
PTT Advent Calendar Dec. 14
Few people are completely satisfied with their body - and I'm no different. If you've been reading PTT over the years, you know I'm usually on the quest to gain a few solid pounds (muscle not fat). So for the 14th day of the Advent calendar, I'm hoping for broader shoulders - a bit more beefy all around. But if history is any lesson, that won't happen unless Santa makes a special delivery. It would be a Christmas miracle!
All Hail Queen Oprah (She Says)
This is why Oprah chaps my hide. For all her good, she pats herself on the back - constantly. And her latest self praise about her trip to Australia just confirms my opinion.
About her trip down under she states, "I have named myself an unofficial ambassador for Australia and I have the biggest mouth on earth. I know that there's a lot of talk and concern in this country as to what this will mean for Tourism Australia. Let me just tell you -- this is the truth: It is immeasurable what four hours of a love festival about your country, broadcast in 145 countries around the world, can do."
Oh jeez Oprah, get off your high horse. Ride it off into the sunset to the Oprah network.
PTT Advent Calendar Dec. 13
I spotted the Gucci lace-up bootie at Barney's in NY last weekend. I tried on a brown suede pair, vs. the grey wool, but sadly they didn't have my size. So I've been on the hunt for the shoe but nobody can find it. I even have a Gucci style number for the grey but it's not connected to the brown. All of which means I'm out of luck I'm afraid. That's not to say I wouldn't be happy to receive the grey pair on Christmas day, however.
And So It Is...
Why I LUV Alexandra Burke
She won X Factor in 2007 and I've loved her ever since. To celebrate the re-release her debut album, Overcome, she appeared on the semi-final of the UK talent show. Watch the clip below to not only see why she won, but to better understand why this year's contestants pale in comparison.
Remembering My Childhood
Christmas brings back so many memories. My mom baking peanut brittle. Hearing the jingle bells outside of my grandparent's front door. Lighting the artificial tree with stands of blinking lights - making sure they blink in harmony and without a dark spot on the tree. Opening our advent calendars we received from around the world as part of our World Book encyclopedia collection. And watching Santa's Workshop with KAKEman every day after school.
So when my cousin sent me a note telling me that Santa and KAKEman are returning to TV after a 30 year absence, I had to YouTube the classic series. Watching the clip made me smile and think happy thoughts - especially when KAKEman goes "zooming around the big wide world, zooming and zooming..."
Floating My Boat
PTT Advent Calendar Dec. 12
For the 12th day of the PTT Advent calendar, I return to my love of games - family night games. Hasbro's Scrabble Flash updates the board game with electronic cubes you arrange to spell words - with the blocks knowing when you've done it! Now, if I could only find friends who want to play rather then spending hundreds of dollars on drinks while staring at 22-year olds at gay bars in boystown.
The Pop Year in Music
A few years back, after the Britney/N'SYNC/BSB bubble burst, I hated radio. Fast forward nine years, and I'm loving the dance/pop tunes that have overtaken the American consciousness. Lady Gaga and RedOne ushered in the era with their hit, Just Dance. Max Martin and Dr. Luke quickly followed suit with tracks for every artist on the planet including Pink, Katy Perry and Ke$ha.
For more on pop's comeback, check out THIS Billboard magazine article on the year in music. Interesting read. Perfect for parties.
PTT Advent Calendar Dec. 11
It's been a while since Club One made an appearance on the blog. I suppose other posts have taken priority. But when I found this remix of the Glee cast singing that Katy Perry song that made all the gays go crazy, I couldn't resist. Lenny does a great job with the track. So ENJOY!
PTT Advent Calendar Dec. 10
Ever since seeing a Mr. Bungle film in Pee Wee's Broadway show, I'm mesmerized by the post World War II Social Guidance films of the late 40s and 50s. Check out the one below on popularity. It has a lesson we all can learn - even in our 40s. "Girls who park in cars are not really popular."
Check back for more Coronet Films!
PTT Advent Calendar Dec. 9
Thank U Walmart
PTT Advent Calendar Dec. 8
My last pair of Bose headphones fell apart from all the traveling back and forth from Europe to America. So I need a new pair of the QuietComfot 15 Acoustic Noise Cancelling headphones- especially for my trip next week to Munich. Though, because of the weather, it looks like we might be canceling our Christmas market adventure. We refuse to walk around in 25 degree weather. We've done it before and we won't do it again.