Archive for June, 2011

Kicking off Each Film at Frameline is an Art Form, Check This Year’s Opener By Homochic

As a writer finding the words is sometimes hard. With  film this process is even more daunting. It’s words, images, and musical scores.

In it’s 35th year Frameline celebrates the complexity  of film. The reward for audiences and filmmakers is  a plethora of emotions.

To queue up these emotional experiences takes true genius. That is why Frameline chose Homochic this year to create the festival trailer.

Founded in 1977, the San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival is the longest-running, largest and most widely recognized LGBT film exhibition event in the world. As a community event with an annual attendance of 60,000, the Festival is the most prominent and well-attended LGBT arts program in the Bay Area. Frameline also presents year-round exhibitions, including Frameline at The Center, a free film series highlighting diverse, socially relevant works. Year-round programs also include members-only sneak previews and special events, as well as special screenings and events featuring directors, actors and other queer media icons.

Starting today, every film shown at Frameline, will start with the Homochic festival trailer.

Clip from the Festival Trailer

Homochic is a production house & artist collective based in SF and New York. Their focus is gay anthropology and their goal is to make gay history and art accessible to a global population. Homochic provides artistic and commercial services including filmmaking, music video production, costume and fashion, as well as music and graphic design.

Homochic was founded by Leo Herrera, Jacob Sperber and Allan Herrera.  Leo has created videos for legends like Amanda LePore, Allan is an amazing fashion designer whose fashion was  recently featured on stage by Ana Matronic of the Scissor Sisters, and Jacob is the founding partner of Honey Soundsytem. Each is a gem in their own right.

Congratulations to the boys on this amazing accomplishment.

Homochic Manifesto:

To burn down the closet & bury a plague.

The disease and the consumer excess that defined and defied three decades of gay culture finally comes to a close. We’ve watched the hands of our biological clocks stop at puberty, prom kings in college, looking back to golden ages to dictate the course of our movements as gay men. The opportunity of experiencing a gay life devoid of fear has arrived with unprecedented influence and opportunities. As a wave of visibility engulf us, we can hold on to the relics and martyrs of our past, sinking deeper into the rich shadows of the gay experience, steering the Movement away from the misconceptions of the American sitcom.

We are a generation of men who learned to harness technology at crucial stages of our sexual and emotional development to counteract the limitations of discretion & the homophobia of our environments. We experienced romance through bad coming-of-age films on VHS, we discovered sex as it loaded in the flickering glow of a computer screen, we found one another in the blocky letters of an internet chat room. We  learned to use these technologies to sharpen our sense of awareness into the most elegant of  survival instincts, to disarm with wit and annihilate by observation. This is a showcase  this weapon’s responsibilities. We are the new breed of homosexual man and these are the fruits of our labor.

Welcome to HomoChic.

-Leo Herrera, 2009


Just the Tip, for tonight – dancing in SF ::Dial-Up Pre-Pride Kick-off, GO BANG!::

Last month marked an amazing chapter in the world of Bearron party promotions with my second co-hosted event at Dial-UP, held at Public Works. The party never stopped dancing. It was the hottest sweaty mess I’ve seen in a while. Thanks to Dial-UP, Thursday is the new Friday at least once a month.

Tonight they are coming back with a bang. The Go BANG!crew will be on the decks alongside the regular Dial-Up DJ Crew — Doc Sleep and RJ.

For details on tonight’s party visit the Dial-Up Facebook Page.

Stills from teh Woof Edition of Dial-Up - Shampoo and Condition

Resident RJ on the Decks

Ready for showertime, soaked from dancing

About the Go Bang! Crew, from their bios page:

Steve Fabus, one of the first nationally recognized US DJs from the West Coast, began his career playing loft parties and the baths of late ’70s San Francisco. Already the Counter Cultural Capital of America, home of the North Beach Beats and Haight-Ashbury hippie movement, it had recently become the epicenter of sexual liberation. Under the fireworks of social and political change, Steve played parties whose guest list included pre-disco Sylvester, then a member of the radical drag troupe “The Cockettes”, and Harvey Milk, who would become America’s first openly gay politician. San Francisco was one big, energized party then, hosted by a growing gay subculture that was throwing one gigantic, energized party for the world.

While playing the city’s infamous all-night loft party, Boiler Room in 1977, Steve was recruited to spin San Francisco’s first large venue disco, The I-Beam. Trocadero Transfer opened shortly thereafter where Steve shared the booth with Bobby Viteritti. In 1980, Steve became a resident of San Francisco’s legendary EndUp. His shift was the 6 am to 2 am slot on Sunday mornings and many people credit him for starting what is still known to this day as “Church”. It was here that Steve put the edge on his early morning sound with tracks like D-Train’s 1982 release, “You’re The One For Me”. Offered residencies at both River Club and Tracks, Steve moved to New York City in 1983. There, he also played at the wild, after-hours club, Anvil and (Studio 54 Owner) Steve Rubell’s 80′s mega-club, Palladium. Steve was inspired by many of the great DJs of this pinnacle period of Dance Music, from Larry Levan and David DePino at the Paradise Garage and Tracks, to Robbie Leslie at The Saint. Disco morphed into Garage and House on Steve’s Sundays at Tracks, where the night would not end until Monday morning. In 1988 Steve moved back to San Francisco to reopen Dreamland, and not long after, joined forces with promoter Gus Bean at new House club, Crew at the the former Trocadero space. Steve then moved to Los Angeles in 1990 and quickly became a resident at Axis, Factory, Asylum and Pulse, and often played at Probe and the legendary afterhours club, Does Your Mama Know? Steve moved back to his beloved San Francisco in the late nineties where he is now a resident & guiding force of GO BANG!, and guests at Honey Soundsystem, Tubesteak Connection, Casablanca/Underground SF, and other clubs and events

Sergio began his DJing ca reer on KALX 90.7 FM in Berkeley since 1997, and began to flex his musical chops at live club gigs a couple of years after. As he continued to DJ, and especially after reading “Last Night A DJ Saved My Life”in 2000, his ‘musical vision’ has crystallized into wanting to present the spectrum of dance music – disco, house, funk, jazz, boogie and more – while preserving & paying respect to the vibe of the legendary clubs of Disco’s Golden Age.Born & raised in the East Bay, and having moved to San Francisco 10 years ago, Sergio is proud of the San Francisco Bay Area’s rich dance music past and especially focuses on keeping our City’s traditions & history alive. His DJing style draws inspiration from legendary Chicago DJ & producer Derrick Carter in addition to the one & only Larry Levan. He strives to keep the proud tradition of the DJ “speaking to the dancer” alive – through the music, lights, and other atmospheric elements of the dancefloor & club. In 2005, he was chosen as the New Times (SF Weekly/East Bay Express) “DJ Breakthrough” and was invited to play at the Ultra Music Festival in Miami during the Winter Music Conference. In 2006, he was awarded the title of the SF Weekly’s 2006 Music Awards “Best DJ.” Most recently, he was voted BEST DJ in SF Weekly’s 2010 Reader’s Poll! He continues to pursue his passion of DJing and has been blessed to connect with others who share his love for the music and the proud tradition of San Francisco’s dance music history.
Stanley Frankwas born in San Diego, California and raised on a diet of seemingly endless summer days, sunglasses, palm trees and rollerskates. The soundtrack coming from the radios at the parks was electric: freestyle jams, synth-driven pop ditties and alternative rock classics on every Sunday. It all stuck to him.He began collecting records at the age of 13. He moved to San Francisco in ’98. He started DJing in 2003. He began the renowned and ridiculous party Chilidog! at the now-defunct Transfer Bar in ’06 and continued for 3 whiskey-soaked years. Stanley joined the Go BANG!ers in 2009, with the party from the very first night! He now throws his weekly Monday party – Viennetta Discotheque – at the UndergroundSF. His distinct flavor of rare electro-funk, italo disco, house and boogie has garnished such soups as the Stompy/Sunset, Love Parade/LoveEvolution, HONEYSOUNDSYSTEM and Gemini Disco parties. Good Times, indeed!
Tres Lingerie with a friendship that budded over modular synthesizers, Jordan Presnick & Johan Churchillnestled into Tres Lingerie in the summer of 2009 as a Berkeley-based electro-dance funk duo.Aside from their original productions, they have been making a name in the Disco Preservation scene with AMAZING re-edits of obscure disco tracks, which are now in many a DJ’s bags. They have begun performing live with vocalist & dancer James Anthony, with their first ever live performance at Go BANG! May 2010 still being the talk of the San Francisco scene. Shared inspiration comes from all styles of dance music but specifically from early electronic Garage, the twilight of disco, the early days of MIDI, and dancefloor-oriented soul from the 1970′s through the 1980′s during the rise of house music.

Just the tip, A 24/7 Alternative to SF Taxis ::HOMOBILE Car Service::

If you’ve ever been to San Francisco you know our taxi service sucks. The only thing worse is MUNI. So what to do if you need a ride? Easy, call Homobile.

As the name would imply Homo(mobile) is a GLBTQ run collective that takes a suggested donation of $1 minute for rides. Typically a homo in a hybrid can be there to pick you up in 15 minutes, or less.

And unlike typical taxi services they expect you to be dressed in your Sunday tranny best, or less.

Best of all if you have a flight you can reserve them in advance. Trips to the airport are a flat rate of $30.

It runs 24/7 and all you need to do is call or text: 415-574-5023

Homobile has a perfect rating on Yelp.

A city where cabs work: New York


Just the Tip, for Alexander McQueen – Skip The Hour Long Line

I have just the tip for the Alexander McQueen exhibit at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Anyone who becomes a member of the museum circumvents the entire line to see the exhibit. Typically the line is running between 45 minutes and an hour.

For locals the basic membership starts $70, this is the Met Net. One person gets unlimted access to the museum for a year. You can easily make your money back on this one with a few visits.

For people living 200 miles outside of NYC, you can get an Associate Membership for only $60.

Even if you get to NYC a few times a year, you can make good use of this.  Not to mention, no waiting in the hour long line and you support a really good cause.

You also get discounts on purchases and audio tours.

About the exhibition, from the Met’s Website:

The exhibition, organized by The Costume Institute, celebrates the late Alexander McQueen’s extraordinary contributions to fashion. From his Central Saint Martins postgraduate collection of 1992 to his final runway presentation, which took place after his death in February 2010, Mr. McQueen challenged and expanded the understanding of fashion beyond utility to a conceptual expression of culture, politics, and identity. His iconic designs constitute the work of an artist whose medium of expression was fashion. The exhibition will feature approximately one hundred ensembles and seventy accessories from Mr. McQueen’s prolific nineteen-year career. Drawn primarily from the Alexander McQueen Archive in London, with some pieces from the Givenchy Archive in Paris as well as private collections, signature designs including the “bumster” trouser, the kimono jacket, and the three-point “origami” frock coat will be on view. McQueen’s fashions often referenced the exaggerated silhouettes of the 1860s, 1880s, 1890s, and 1950s, but his technical ingenuity always imbued his designs with an innovative sensibility that kept him at the vanguard.

The exhibition is organized by Andrew Bolton, curator, with the support of Harold Koda, curator in charge, both of The Costume Institute. Sam Gainsbury and Joseph Bennett, the production designers for Alexander McQueen’s fashion shows, served as the exhibition’s creative director and production designer, respectively. All head treatments and masks are designed by Guido.

About membership rule for the exhibition, from the Met’s Website:

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, located in the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Exhibition Hall, second floor, is free with Museum admission.

There may be a wait to enter the exhibition. To minimize your chances of waiting in line, please consider visiting in the morning or on a weekday. The entrance line closes at 4:30 p.m. on weekdays and 8:00 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Visitors can now purchase timed tickets to view the exhibition on Mondays, when the Museum is closed to the public. Purchase tickets to Met Mondays with McQueen.

Museum Members receive priority access to the exhibition Tuesdays through Sundays. To bypass the entrance line, purchase a Membership online or at the Membership Desks in the Great Hall or Uris Center for Education (accessible through the 81st Street entrance).

This exhibition may not be suitable for children under five years of age. Strollers are not permitted inside the exhibition.


Amsterdam Not So Dope Anymore, Plans in Motion to Ban Cannabis Smoking for Tourists By End of Year

Amsterdam is extinguishing their famed tolerance for marijuana smoking. While they aren’t banning pot smoking entirely, the Dutch Cabinet will be limiting coffee shops to 1,500 memberships. The idea is the coffee shops will have to choose their regular customers over tourists for membership slots.

The best memories I never had were in Amsterdam. If you haven’t been I suggest you put your bong down, wipe the neon orange from your fingertips, get off the couch slowly so you don’t spill bong water all over your floor,  and book yourself a ticket ASAP.

Once you book your ticket write it on a post-it, and stick it to your bong–immediately–so you don’t forget.

Classic Amsterdam, Trip in 2003

According to the Associated Press:

The Dutch Cabinet says it will push ahead with plans to force anyone wishing to purchase marijuana at the country’s weed cafes to first obtain an official pass — a move designed to curtail tourists from buying the drug.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte says he plans to begin rolling out the system in the country’s south later this year, an area popular with French and German buyers, before moving on to Amsterdam’s famed tourist cafes later in his term.

Justice Ministry spokesman Wim van der Weegen said Friday the supreme court must still rule on whether foreigners can be blocked entirely.

Regardless, he said the plan will prevent cafes from issuing more than 1,500 permits in all, forcing shop owners to choose between tourists and their regular customers.

Reading material left in our hotel room, Amsterdam 2003

Ban, or no ban,  the rest of the world could definitely take a queue from the Netherlands on their harm reduction drug policy. Wikipedia sums the Netherlands drug policy, ever so nicely:

The drug policy of the Netherlands officially has five major objectives:

  1. To prevent recreational drug use and to treat and rehabilitate recreational drug users.
  2. To reduce harm to users.
  3. To diminish public nuisance by drug users (the disturbance of public order and safety in the neighbourhood).
  4. To combat the production and trafficking of recreational drugs.[1]

Most policymakers in the Netherlands believe that if a problem has proved to be unsolvable, it is better to try controlling it and reducing harm instead of continuing to enforce laws with mixed results. By contrast, most other countries take the point of view that recreational drug use is detrimental to society and must therefore be outlawed. This has caused friction between the Netherlands and other countries about the policy for cannabis, most notably with France and Germany. As of 2004, Belgium seems to be moving toward the Dutch model and a few local German legislators are calling for experiments based on the Dutch model. Switzerland has had long and heated parliamentary debates about whether to follow the Dutch model on cannabis, most recently deciding against it in 2004; currently a ballot initiative is in the works on the question. In the last few years certain strains of cannabis with higher concentrations of THC and drug tourism have challenged the current policy and led to a re-examination of the current approach; for eg. ban of all sales of cannabis to tourist in coffee shops from end of 2011[2][3]

While the legalization of cannabis remains controversial, the introduction of heroin-assisted treatment in 1998 has been lauded for considerably improving the health and social situation of opiate-dependent patients in the Netherlands.[4] In 2010 research shows that the “heroin-junkies” have disappeared from the streets of the Netherlands and the treatment is upgraded from a test-trial to standard treatment for otherwise untreatable addicts. Also, the number of heroin addicts has dropped by more than 30% since 1983.[citation needed]

Pass the Dutchie…Wait Dutchies, don’t pass this ban!!!


Sasha Grey Retires from Porn, It’s Official

Well the great part out of any retirement, if Cher has taught us anything, is the comeback tour. While I can’t say this will be the case for my porno favorite, Sasha Grey, one can hope.

Who knows, maybe it’s like deadening one of the senses, with clothes on Sasha Grey will develop super powers and become bigger than Madonna.

With the release of her book, NEU Sex, and a budding DJ career, Sasha Grey is hanging up her porno pumps. I’m a little late to this party as this was apparently announced via her Facebook page in April.

“It’s become quite evident that my time as an adult film performer has expired. Don’t worry, I haven’t found Jesus,” the 23-year-old wrote on her Facebook fan page. “One thing is for certain, I’m proud to say I have no regrets, I genuinely feel I accomplished everything I could as a performer. I was able to work with the industry’s most professional performers and companies, and I’ll always cherish the friends and relationships I was able to build. It was simply the perfect time for me to move on … while I was on top (pun indeed, intended). Life sometimes takes us in a direction we never could have imagined.”

You can read more on the Smoking Section blog.

Also, for pure entrainment watch Sasha Grey’s interview on The Tyra Banks Show and then watch her version of the shoot. Both videos below.

The TYRA show posted by anti-porn zealots

Sasha’s Version of the Tyra Show

Hottie DJ, Sasha Grey


Nostalgic Moment With Sylvester, Writing the Future While Listening to the Past

A few weeks back I did post on the Castro failing as a community/neighborhood.  Since then I’ve been developing an idea that will merge capitalism with activism. The details will be coming soon.

As I’ve begun walking down this path Sylvester has been providing the the spring in my step. For me his music represents a time when SF was influencing the rest of the world.

Distinct, influential, and timeless…a true legacy to be proud of.

“My life began when I moved to San Francisco,” Sylvester.

From Wikipedia: In San Francisco, Sylvester performed in a musical production called Women of the Blues, with his repertoire of Bessie Smith and Billie Holiday songs in tow. In the early 1970s Sylvester joined a short-lived group of performance artists called The Cockettes, a psychedelic drag queen troupe founded by Hibiscus, aka George Harris. After leaving The Cockettes, Sylvester performed in San Francisco a number of different times as a solo act. One of his most famed shows, entitled “Jungle Sin,” which reprised Sylvester’s greatest Cockette solo songs, took place at the San Francisco supper club Bimbo’s, and was produced by the rock impresario David Ferguson in 1972. That same year, Sylvester performed at The Temple in San Francisco with the then-unknown Pointer Sisters, which was also produced by Ferguson. Sylvester can be seen in the Cockettes’ outrageous short film Tricia’s Wedding, lampooning the wedding of President Nixon’s daughter Tricia, and in an eponymous 2002 documentary about the group (which at one time included Divine).

In 1972, Sylvester supplied two cuts to Lights Out San Francisco, an album compiled by the KSAN radio station and released on the Blue Thumb label.

In 1973, Sylvester & The Hot Band, featuring Bobby Blood on trumpet, Chris Mostert on sax, James Q. Smith on guitar, Travis Fullerton on drums, and Kerry Hatch on bass, released two rock-oriented albums on Blue Thumb (their self-titled debut was also known as “Scratch My Flower,” due to a gardenia-shaped scratch-and-sniff sticker adhered to the cover).

In 1974, Sylvester met Horus Jack Tolsen (Keyboards), and together with Sylvester’s drummer Amadeo Barrios (drums) and his brother Adrian Barrios (Bass), formed a trio which backed up Sylvester at a nightclub in San Francisco called Cabaret – After Dark. Shortly thereafter Horus was fired, and Amadeo brought in new players — Archie White (Keyboards), Angel Reyes (Guitar), background vocalist Bianca Thorton, Gerry Kirby and another vocalist named Debbie. This took Sylvester into a new musical direction. The band unofficially called themselves The Four A’s and had finally thrown in the towel after several attempts to get signed by a major label. In 1975 The Brothers Barrios gave it one last shot before joining The Lenny Williams Band , and Sly Stone.

Sylvester signed a solo deal with Fantasy Records in 1977, working with the production talents of legendary Motown producer Harvey Fuqua, who produced his album Stars in 1979. Sylvester later alleged that Fuqua cheated him out of millions of dollars. Sylvester soon met his frequent collaborator Patrick Cowley. Cowley’s synthesizer and Sylvester’s voice proved to be a magical combination, and pushed Sylvester’s sound in an increasingly dance-oriented direction; his second solo album, Step II (1978), unleashed two disco classics: “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real),” and “Dance (Disco Heat)“. These two songs charted together on the American dance chart, and spent six weeks at #1 on this chart in August and September 1978. By this time both his live shows and recordings also recognizably featured the back-up vocals of Two Tons O’ Fun: future Weather Girls Martha Wash and Izora Rhodes. 1979 brought three Billboard awards and an appearance in the movie, The Rose, starring Bette Midler. He sang “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)” live for The Castro Street Fair, thanks to future first openly gay supervisor Harvey Milk.

Moving to Megatone Records in 1982, Sylvester quickly landed a Hi-NRG classic with “Do You Wanna Funk”, which was featured in the 1983 film Trading Places. He was close friends with other Megatone artists Linda Imperial and Jeanie Tracy

Sylvester was also very close to Patti LaBelle and Sarah Dash for whom he recorded background vocals for her dance hit “Lucky Tonight”.

Later pressure from the label to “butch up” his image would result in him attending meetings in full-on drag. A drag photo shoot, which he staged and presented to label heads as a gag (calling it his “new album cover”) would later grace the cover of Immortal after Sylvester died; it was the label’s way of paying tribute to his spirit. In 1985, one of his dreams came true as he was summoned to sing back-up for Aretha Franklin on her Who’s Zoomin’ Who? comeback album. His sole Warner Bros. Records album was Mutual Attraction in 1986; a single from the album Someone Like You became Sylvester’s second #1 hit on the U.S. dance chart, and featured original cover art by Keith Haring.

One of Sylvester's Suits, On Display in the GLBT Historical Society when it was on the corner of 18th and Castro


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