I can sum up my twenty-five years with the Wicked crew with the old adage that, “time flies when you’re having fun.” As a founding member of the Wicked Sound System, I feel really blessed. I’ve been to the vast majority of events produced by the crew. I’m really proud of what we have accomplished over the years. Many of our all-nighters are legendary. They’re the kind of events that people still talk about decades later. Our monthly “Full Moon Massive” events have become an iconic part of San Francisco’s cultural history. Continue Reading
I love running into Boy George in random spots. Despite his reputation as an acerbic wit, I’ve always found him to be quite lovely, personable and genuinely friendly.
I caught some of his acoustic set on the main stage at last October’s Halloween Carnival in West Hollywood and even with just a guitar and stripped down accompaniment, he sounded amazing.
Best known for his soulful voice and androgynous appearance, the thing I’ve always admired most about him is the way he’s remained true to himself and his personal journey through life.
These days he is releasing fewer musical recordings instead splitting his time between songwriting, DJing, writing books, designing clothes, and photography. It’s been great to see him on tellie again recently as one of the celebrity judges on the UK version of the Voice. Look out for him on American TV as well as he has some new projects in development that I’m really excited to see.
Happy Birthday Boy George!
Previous birthday post for George.
Florence Nightingale, born on May 12, 1820. She became a nurse at a time when the profession was considered a degrading occupation. Hospitals back then were cesspools of disease. Basic operations, though common could be a death sentence. Nightingale changed all of that. In addition to her nursing duties, she was also a talented author. Her writing changed hearts and minds to solidify her lasting legacy on the healing industry. Continue Reading
Even if you only know her as a songwriter for Kylie Minogue, Britney Spears, Katy Perry or one of the Pop Idols, Cathy Dennis is pretty amazing.
She was a moderately successful pop act in her own right with an international solo career that featured a number of US Dance Club chart-toppers. Eventually she veered away from dance music to Britpop and then Adult Contemporary but overall, she’s had 8 singles on the Hot 100 Chart.
Of course, she’s really made her mark as a songwriter though. She’s scored 8 UK number ones and five Ivor Novello Awards in that country. She won a grammy for her work on Kylie’s “Come into my world.”
Happy Birthday Cathy!
The birthday post from five years ago.
The BBC calls New Order’s Blue Monday, “a crucial link between Seventies disco and the dance/house boom that took off at the end of the Eighties.” If you frequented a dance club during the 1980s, you almost certainly know this song.
It seems the Orkestra Obsolete, a group of musicians specializing in antiquated and obsolete instrumentation, wondered what Blue Monday would have sounded like if it had been made decades earlier.
They gathered together instruments available in the 1930s – from the theremin and musical saw to the harmonium and prepared piano – to present their re-interpretation of this dance classic. Continue Reading
It’s hard to believe that the Honey Soundsystem is turning ten this month. For many of us, this is definitely a case of “time flies when you’re having fun.”
Honey Soundsystem is a collective of disc jockeys, musicians, performers and designers. Co-founders Ken Woodard and Jacob Sperber formed the group in January 2006. Pivotal gay underground parties, who offered a unique take on dance music, provided inspiration. The collective coalesced around a shared love of timeless sounds and iconic imagery. Their bonds solidified with the complete look, indulgent behavior, and most of all, attractive men. Continue Reading
I appreciate the new style of Vogueing and I love to see how each House interprets the genre in their own style. I applaud today’s Children & Future Legends for living their dreams – it warms my heart to see them respecting the history of House Balls and the culture they have inherited. Continue Reading
Professor : You are a Christian, aren’t you, son ?
Student : Yes, sir.
Professor: So, you believe in GOD ?
Sylvester James known as a one-name artist, Sylvester, was an American disco and soul singer, and a gay drag performer. He was sometimes known as the “Queen of Disco,” although that moniker has also been bestowed on some of the best known women of the disco era (i.e. Gloria Gaynor, Donna Summer).
He’s probably best known for his exploits in the milieu at the I-Beam Disco and his many collaborations with Patrick Cowley. His most significant works are the songs “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)”, “Dance (Disco Heat)” (both 1978) and “Do You Wanna Funk” (1982).
Sadly Sylvester made his transition in December of 1988 and I never got to meet him but I have met many of his friends and I-Beam family and I’ve always loved hearing stories about his fabulous life and amazing music.
On August 1, 1981, at 12:01 a.m., MTV launched with the words “Ladies and gentlemen, rock and roll,” spoken by John Lack. They were so obviously committed to the rock format that they leaned heavily on Hard Rock, Classic Rock and Heavy Metal. The channel only begrudgingly featured the New Wave of rock and Synth Pop and virtually ignored all music made by black people beyond tokenism until Michael Jackson’s label threatened to yank all their content and MTV was forced to feature the video for Jackson’s song, “Billie Jean” in heavy rotation.
Hard to believe our little baby is four. Honey came together through a shared love for similar sounds and influences. We met through the gay club scene here in San Francisco and the hive now includes a collective of disc jockeys, musicians, performers and designers creating a vibe not scene in SF for years.
The thing I love most about HNY is its mix of alterna-queers, burners, gypsies, faeries, underground celebrities, future legends, and full frontal faggotry with a few gipsters (Gay Hipsters) and a range of bearish types thrown in with an ever growing straight crowd hungry for cutting edge dance music.
True Blue is the third studio album by pop diva Madonna. It was released on June 30, 1986 so today is the album’s birthday.
I haven’t been to the Stud Bar’s anniversary party for at least 18 years. It used to be the hottest ticket in town and even though there are other priorities for the denizens of SF’s nightlife these days – it was a super fun party.
The guy who made the badges is dead.
Back in the 80’s my friends and I used to wear the commemorative badges from the Stud’s birthday party on our jackets so I asked the bartender if they still made them or the gift bags and he directed me to the guys at the front door. While I was a bit sad to hear there were no gift bags, it’s understandable in this economy. How utterly heart breaking to hear that the guy who made the badges moved on to the other side of life and took the tradition with him.
The food and free booze was nice and the show was just as good as it’s always been so it was nice to see that the more things change, the more they stay the same.
As an underground hero Virginia Ramos, a.k.a. the Tamale Lady roams the working-class environs of the Mission and the shirtless gay bars South of Market — an itinerant chef who peddles her homemade feasts out of plastic coolers.
She always seems to turn up at just the right time with super tasty treats.
Finding The Tamale Lady at a bar is one of those “Only In San Francisco” moments that makes living here so special.
On 27 January 2011 Boy George announced to the BBC that there will be a 30th anniversary Culture Club reunion tour sometime later in the year and that they would be releasing a new album in 2012.
I’ve loved Boy George since his days as a poser on the New Romantic scene in London. Our paths have crossed more than a few times over the last couple of decades and he’s always been super sweet to me even though his reputation has often led people to believe he’s anything but nice or sweet.
Mark Kendall Bingham was an American public relations executive who founded his own company, the Bingham Group. More importantly, he was my friend.
I knew Mark for a number of years before he was murdered. He was 6-foot5 and always easy for me to spot in a crowd. He was outgoing and naturally gregarious and so much fun to be around.
The week before he died we were in New Orleans together and he would call random people over and encourage them to join our conversation. We met some sorority girls from Ohio that way. We had so much fun with those gals carrying on in the streets of the French Quarter.
It was such a blessing to have that time with him and to get to know his boyfriend Matt. It was a really great week away.
I’ve been lucky enough to see Lady Gaga everytime she’s been to the San Francisco Bay Area. I first saw her in a small club in New York – it was disjointed, jerky and frenzied but entirely earnest and barely unrehearsed in the way that art students throw a performance together.
Her SF debut at 330 Ritch was a little better, though not much – she was still a solidly underground art-fag type of act.
I’ve been lucky to have met all the famous people I’ve ever want to, except for Cathy Dennis. Of course it helps that I was never fascinated with film stars and never cared to meet Hollywood A-Listers or people like that.
I’ve loved Cathy’s music since she first burst on to the nascent British House Music scene with D-Mob back in the 80’s. Since then I’ve become enthralled with her song writing ability – she’s had her finger on the pulse of dance pop for decades.