Queer

Gay-la time: LGBT Center's annual 'Soiree' gets Frenched

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Photos by Bowerbird Photography.
 
There couldn't have been a better way to escape the dramatic, wet downpour the night of Sat/24 than to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the SF LGBT Community Center at the SF Design Center under the twinkling lights of a "gay Pah-ree" inspired party. (Never was "Paris" pronounced the clunky Anglo way, of course.)

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Where Jean Paul Gaultier should go out this week

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Revered French bad-boy designer Jean Paul Gaultier is in town for the unveiling of a neat-looking "enfant terrible" retrospective of his work at the de Young. (Will there be anything in it as scandalous as the tribute to Naomi Campbell's famous wipeout in the Vivienne Westwood show five years ago?). He also has a busy schedule: a red-carpet appearance at the new Al Pacino movie launch tonight, a private-ish A-gayish loft party on Thursday whose redeeming feature = drag goddess DJ Juanita More, and of course a lavish opening celebration at the de Young itself on Friday. ($300 per person -- I'll be blogging all the opulence and potential fashion faux paaaaaases.) 

But us lowly club kids love you too, JPG.

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Mr. Black in SF: The Reckoning

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Or, Rebel without a Cause

Groucho Marx once said, “I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member.” For you contemporary types, a similar sentiment was expressed by Blair Waldorf in the first season of Gossip Girl. “Watch and learn, ladies. The most important parties to attend are the ones you’re not invited to.”

I was originally invited to venue Rebel for the launch of much-hyped "branded" monthly NYC-LA-SF gay party Mr. Black on March 1. After interviewing promoters Joshua J and Luke Nero for this SFBG story, I got placed on the guest list. Without resorting to being totally tacky and asking, of course. 

So imagine my utter horror and humiliation after glancing over said list last Thursday night and not seeing my name.

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Deep aroma

Perfume Genius whips struggle into piano pop

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arts@sfbg.com

MUSIC At some point in our lives, we all feel lost or confused, like we're picking up the pieces of our broken selves and trying glue them back together. Rather than surrender, Seattle's Perfume Genius, aka Mike Hadreas, takes these experiences and turns them into art.

Recorded at his mother's house after a battle with addiction, Hadreas' 2010 debut Learning (Matador) was an understated, deeply personal collection of lo-fi piano pop songs that earned him critical recognition and a circle of devoted fans.Read more »

Mourning the death of an underground gay party: Mr. Black in SF

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Once upon a time in New York City, on the intersection of Broadway and Bleecker, there used to be a club where the lights never shone. In the cavernous dark, Marc Jacobs’ Black Book of desperate, disposable, beautiful boys could blindly bump into one of club goddess Amanda Lepore’s naked body parts. But when you’re in one of the steamiest, most-crowded gay hotspots in the world with candlelit backrooms, a scandalous vibe, and servers in top hats and backless aprons, such concepts as personal space become fantasy.

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Justin Vivian Bond talks Occupy Wall Street, the power of language, and the politics behind the music

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When Justin Vivian Bond was a little kid, v (more about that unique pronoun below) confidently wore Iced Watermelon lipstick to school and, inspired by feminist movements of the time, brandished a sign reading “Kids Lib!” Adults told the young Mx. Bond that these things were wrong, but v knew how right they felt, and represents for queer pride and radical poltics to this day. The writer, singer and activist is best known for v’s role as Kiki DuRane in Kiki and Herb, a drag cabaret show with partner Kenny Mellman. The show started in San Francisco and made it to Broadway, and was nominated for a 2007 Tony award. V's memoir Tango: My Childhood, Backwards and in High Heels was released this year (wherein Bond tells the lipstick story and a lot more about growing up gender-free). Bond is still touring and will be back in San Francisco Feb. 23, performing from v’s new album, Dendrophile. I talked with v about the upcoming concert, v’s recent performance at Occupy Wall Street, and how music can bring people together. Read more »

What to Read: ‘SoMa’ by Kemble Scott

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“Everyone you meet here in San Francisco has some anecdote about 'the wild night I ended up in SoMa,’” author Kemble Scott said back in 2007. Sure, the neighborhood has experienced a gentrified taming since then. The outdoor orgies of yesteryear have been replaced by outdoor patio furniture stores, but luckily the gritty South of Market spirit – a cornucopia of illicit drugs and sexcapades – has been cleverly captured by Scott, pen name of journalist provocateur Scott James, who now writes a local column for The New York Times.

SoMa follows the intertwined path of three young people struggling in San Francisco immediately after the first dot com bust. Unemployed and desensitized, they push their limits and their luck to try to regain a sense of fulfillment. SoMa is now an artifact of the oftentimes-surreal turn-of-the-century subcultures that were embedded in the neighborhood.

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The Performant: Strangelove

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“City of Lost Souls” at ATA, and “Awkward Dinner Party” at the EXIT Theatre, subverted the Valentine spirit.

Talk about a hot mess. The florid, fluid, City of Lost Souls (1983), Rosa von Praunheim’s seldom-screened, "transgendered ex-pat food-fight sex-circus musical extravaganza" begins with a motley cast of unapologetic misfits sweeping up a trashed-out Berlin burger joint, the “Hamburger Königin” (Burger Queen). Shimmying on the counter, falling out of her lingerie, punk rock’s first transwoman cult darling, Jayne County, belts out “The Burger Queen Blues” while her fellow wage slaves, Loretta (Lorraine Muthke), Gary (Gary Miller), and Joaquin (Joaquin La Habana) gyrate suggestively across the linoleum until the boss-lady, Angie Stardust (as herself), a regal, “old school” transsexual wrapped in an enormous fur coat, curtails their goofy antics with a whistle and megaphone.

In stern German she orders them back to work—preparing for the next round of abusive food fights, which characterize the “service” at her uniquely unappetizing restaurant. A Theatre of the Ridiculous-style foray into the secret lives of gender outlaw ex-pats in flirty, dirty Berlin, “Lost Souls” isn’t your typical romance—but it’s a love story all the same.

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How much hot gay tail are the rabid conservative gentlemen of America getting at CPAC?

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Hooray, it's time for our favorite blog post of the year. Every year Wonkette goes to the huge Conservative Political Action Convention in DC, and trolls Craigslist for attendees looking for gay sex. Then Wonkette posts the ads. This installment features Dan Savage scanning the CPAC crowd with Grindr! Check it out here.

Upset pornographers and the definition of scissoring: "Queer and Boning" controversy

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Brouhaha! That would be the word I'd use to describe the reaction to today's cover story, "Queer and Boning in Las Vegas," about Courtney Trouble and her posse's adventures at the AVN Awards in Vegas. The crux of the matter revolves around my interview with lesbian pornographer Jincey Lumpkin, whose oeuvre falls into a more conventional mode of pornmaking than Trouble and the other queer pornsters profiled. Read more »