Saturday, April 29, 2006

April Tracks - Part 1

April has been a pretty good month for new music, we are finally creeping out of the winter lull with some genuinely exciting new tracks. The majority of the tracks this month are a mix of House and R&B. The top two are massive R&B tracks that also happen to have some great house remixes (by Jason Nevins in both cases).

Here comes #6 to 10:




10. Denis the Menace & Jerry Ropero- I Get What I Want

Not much to say about this, its just funky, funky funky. Listen to the sample.



9. Christina Milian - Say I

Christina was in my top 3 of 2004 with the song 'Dip It Low', the case back then (as it is now) was that a fairly good song became a great one due to the remix by Full Intention. Here, the Hani and Maurice mixes serve a similar purpose, elevating a decent R&B track to a stomping dancefloor hit. A great comeback single for Milian.


8. Noir - My MTV

Samples the Dire Straits 80s hit 'Money For Nothing' by turning it on its head. The talky vocal about how evil MTV is very well obesrved, with mixes from Ian Carey and D. Ramirez giving it the chunky house sound it deserves.









7. Shakira Feat. Wyclef - Hips Don't Lie

Ok, I have to admit I have a weird fascination with Shakira. On one level I think her lyrics are just plain bizarre and she shouldn't get away with them (let's face it, she's not Bjork). On a more basic level though I always find her music very poppy and enjoyable, and I catch myself singing one of her songs in the shower, not something I should readily admit to but there you go. She teams up Wyclef Jean for a danceable catchy latin hip shaking number. Good junk food music.



6. Keyshia Cole - LOVE

Standard MOR/ R&B ballad stuff, but Cole has such a gorgeous souful voice and she sings to her lover with such urgency that you can't help but let the song take you over.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Tales of London

I started on my evening course last night, entitled Tales of London, which looks at the city of London as it is used in fictional narrative. The course seems to be very interesting, and from the intros done last night it seems that everyone there has this real enthusiasim for this city which is great. We have to read one of three novels, Brick Lane by Monica Ali, Affinity by Sarah Waters or Little Dorritt by Charles Dickens. I read Brick Lane last year and thoroughly enjoyed it as the narrative is told from the perspective of a migrant to London. I think I will tackle Affinity as I am not sure I can handle a huge Dickens novel at the moment.














Last night we looked at the River Thames and the various ways it is used in film narrative, some of the examples looked at included The Filth and The Fury; Hitchcock's Frenzy and the David Lean version of Great Expectations. The river is used as part of the narrative in all of the films: in Frenzy the opening sequence is a speech about the cleaning up of the river just a dead body is found floating in or in Great Expectations as a means of escape for Pip and Abel. The shot of Tower Bridge was present in many of the clips and it is an iconic image that firmly places you in the city of London. Next week we look at public and private spaces in the city.

Thursday On A Friday (AGAIN) Totti : Michelle Pfeiffer




















No one said that this segment will always be a male, and in honour of The Film Experience's Pfeiffer Blog-A-Thon I thought I'd put in the ultimate Catwoman as my hottie of the week. Enjoy.


Previous Totti: Chris Meloni; Gael Garcia Bernal

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Kick Pickler (or the I Am Not Ashamed To Be Obsessed With American Idol Post)











If you are as annoyed as I am by Kellie Pickler and her very fake 'I'm only a dumb blonde hick' act on Ameircan Idol then you should check out the KickPickler site. From the looks of it, Kellie is a much more seasoned performer (and beauty paegent contestant if you can believe it) than she has led on. I am truly annoyed by her and the fact that she escapes being voted out mainly because of her 'entertainment' value is quiet shocking. Could we be looking at the Jasmine Trias of this year, a relatively less talented singer who will keep pushing through to the later stages of the contest based on personality alone ? For what its worth, I am fast becoming a Paris Bennett fan after her amazing performance on last week's show and I think she may pull a Diana Degarmo and surprise everyone by sticking around to the finals.











That should be Pick Paris then.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Attack of the Killer Brows










George Michael was being interviewed on Parkinson last night, I wasn't able to pay any real attention to the interview (which was basically a big PR job to justify his driving habits lately) because I kept getting worried that his eyebrows will jump off the screen and attack me. What happened George, you used to look so hot during those Father Figure days.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

The Joy of Cooking


I have been living off ready-meals for far too long now. Not to mention fast food junk and Tesco-sandwiches, and so I've made a conscious decision to actually start cooking things from scratch. I haven;t done too badly, on Thursday night I baked some trout with olive oil, lemon, dill and garlic with some fried okra on the side. Today I made a nice pasta bolegnese with mince beef that I bought from (wait for it) the butchers, and the bolognese sauce made from scratch (it could have used a few more tomatoes or tomato sauce but it tasted nice). This may sound like run of the mill stuff for some people reading this, but believe it or not today was the first time I bought meat from a butcher, and I bought the vegetables from a market stall and not from Tescos (again another first). I also went to the pound store and bought some new pots and pans (but they didn't cost a pound!). If anyone has a good recipe they want to share or if you know of any good websites for food please leave me a comment.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Thursday On A Friday Totti : Gael Garcia Bernal















I saw Bad Education last night, and not only is he absolutely gorgeos, but Gael Garcia Bernal is a fantastic actor. Enjoy.

Previous Totty: Chris Meloni

Exciting Geek News

Some really interesting news that JJ Abrams is going to direct a new STAR TREK film that will revolve around Kirk and Spock when they met at Starfleet Academy. Also looks like the same team that wrote the upcoming Mission Impossible film with Abrams are also on board.

This is perhaps the most awesome Star Trek news I've heard since they decided to cancel Enterprise (and put me out of my misery). There is only two people I can think of who are such amazing writer / directors to trust with reseructing this franchise, Abrams is one, Joss Whedon is the other.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

#1 - Brokeback Mountain

















No prizes for guessing this to be the film to top the list, there has been so much written about this film that I don't think I can do it any justice by reviewing it. I love the way Ang Lee gives the story room to breath and lets it play out. I love the sense of specific time and place that this film invokes and yet themes and conflicts addressed are universal. I love the great acting in this film from everyone involved, especially Heath Ledger. I love that it became a pop culture moment. I think we will look back on it in 30-40 years time as a true landmark film.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Smaller


I went to see Smaller last night at the Lyric Theatre, starring Dawn French, Alison Moyet and June Watson. This was an excellent play, even if it was a bit uneven at times. French and Moyet play two sisters with an infirm mother, French's character has looked after her for over 25 years while Moyet is a singer who is hardly home and has decided to live her life away from home. The three actresses are all great in their roles, especially French who is able to inject her great comedic timing to give relief from the difficult subject matter at hand. Moyet has a more difficult task of gaining the audience sympathy, but she manages to be redemptive in the final scenes of the play, and its a real treat to hear Moyet singing a few songs on stage with her wonderful bluesy voice.

I went to the play with Ben and James, it was James' last night in London and he is flying back to Toronto today. The poor boy had to cough his way through the entire show as his partying over the past week has finally caught up with him. I will miss having him around, but will look forward to having nights in and vegging out in front of the tv once again.

Monday, April 17, 2006

A Big Weekend

I will get back to my top 5 film listing soon and reveal the #1. It has been a very hectic week over here, my friend James has been visiting from Canada and I've been busy taking him out and trying to show him a good time in London. The boy likes to party, and who am I to get in the way of that. Its been really nice having another Canadian around, and we have gotten along really well, I think he was a bit overwhelmed by how many people I know on the scene. On the cab back home last night he said 'everyone knows who you are, not one person I spoke to didn't know who I was talking about when I said I was staying with you.' I guess that's nice, although there is something to be said about being a bit more fresh-faced and anonymous, like James was this week.

Anyway, I think I have done enough partying to last me a solid month, just waiting for the inevitable comedown to kick in this week, that is not going to be fun.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

#2: My Beautiful Laundrette (1985)














Perhaps the most overtly political film in my top 5, Stephen Frears directs a social commentary on the immigrant experience during the height of Thatcher's England in the 1980s. It is very much a film of its time but somehow it does not seem very dated. Daniel Day Lewis is perhaps the greatest actor of his generation and he demonstrates here a gentle warmth as the outsider English teenager who helps out his asian friend Omar in renovating his uncle's Laundrette and turning it into a profitable business, and in the process they fall in love. A warmly told story populated with some great performances this still remains as one of my favorite films of all time.

#3 - Trick (1999)














In Trick, Christian Campbell (Neve's brother) stars as Gabriel, a young likeable songwriter who cruises and picks up a dancer called Mark (John Paul Pitoc) and the both of them spend the night trying to find a place to be alone so that they can have their one-night stand with obstacles always getting in their way. I really loved this film when it came out, not least of which because I've always been a closet Donna Martin, errr I mean Tori Spelling fan and she gives a really funny manic performance as Gabriel's very annoying best friend. The real reason I loved the film is because of the love story that develops as these two young guys wander around New York City in the middle of the night until the dawn break as they are forced to get to know each other because of circumstances out of their control. Jim Falls shoots the scenes on the streets and in the clubs with a degree of familiarity and captures perfectly what it is like in those late hours in the big city for young gay men, its a real treat.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

#4 - Hedwig and The Angry Inch (2001)














I don't know how to begin describing Hedwig and The Angry Inch, its one of a slew of films released in 2000/2001 that I really connected to. The music in the film is very memorable, the performace from writer/director John Cameron Mitchell is exceptional, he owns the screen, grabs a hold of your attention and never lets it go.'The Origin of Love' and 'Wig In A Box' are two of my favorite songs ever, from any film, from anywhere. Its one of those rare films that is extremely sad and funny at the same time. Originally a Broadway; the theatricity of the whole thing works extremely well on film. Just go out and rent it.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Favorite Gay Films - #5 Drôle de Félix (2000)

Brokeback Mountain is coming out on DVD in 2 weeks time, so I figured I would look back on some of my favorite gay-themed films . I remember a time when watching a gay movie was a very liberating thing to do; here I was watching characters that were going through experiences I was going through or wanted to go through, it was and still is a huge influence on my ongoing coming out process.














This French film follows young care-free Felix, who discovers letters from his long-lost father after the death of his mother. Felix sets out to find his father and travels from the north to the south of France, and what follows is a distinctly warm beautifully shot road-trip film. The story is divided into various segments, each one starts with a title such as 'My cousin' or 'My sister' and in each one we meet the person being referred to (clearly these are metaphorical relationships). What I really enjoyed about this movie is that it speaks directly about the nature of family and how strangers can be put into situations where they act and respond to each other in a familial way. I also really enjoyed the fact that although the main character is gay and in a loving relationship (we see his partner at the beginning of the film), his sexuality is almost incidental to the plot but is never hidden. This is not a perfect movie, and there is one segment (My Sister) that brings the film's gentle pace to a grounding halt, but the overall impact of the story and the warmth of Felix (played beautifully by Sami Bouajila) carry it through to the end.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

The 'Oh' Factor


With Grey's Anatomy finally making it onto terrestrial screens here in the UK tonight, a quick nod must go to one of my favorite Canadian actresses: Sandra Oh. Sandra rose to fame in Canada in her Genie-award performance in Double Happiness in 1994 and again won the award in the apocalyptic Last Night in 1998. She has a natural talent and charisma that has helped her elevate thankless characters into very watchable ones (see Arli$$; Under The Tuscan Sun ) and holding her own in prestige films (Sideways). I cannot wait to see what she does on Grey's Anatomy in a role that has already won her a Golden Globe and a SAG as well as an Emmy nomination.

Thursday Totti - Chris Meloni

Inspired by the Film Experience Blog's 'Hump Day Hottie' series, I present my first annual Thursday Totti , this week in the shape of Oz and Law & Order:SVU actor Chris Meloni. I thought of Chris after noticing he was fugged this week (and it is a hideous hoodie photo he's got going on). He was so nasty and creepy on Oz that I felt a teeny bit guilty for my ever-growing attraction to him, and now that he plays a 'good guy' cop on SVU I feel safe in my attraction toward him.


Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Laundry List

I get the feeling I won't get around to doing all these tasks this weekend :

1. Buy new toilet seat
2. Buy new curtain
3. Remember to buy floss
4. Buy playing cards
5. Install curtain / toilet seat
6. Eat something non-fried for dinner
7. Call parents!
8. Get passport photo taken
9. Fill out passport renewal form
10. Finish reading Memoirs Of A Geisha which you started about 3 months ago and now its getting embarassing!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

The Unlucky Parade

Ok, I haven't really complained about my crappy love life or being single in about 3 months so I think I am due a good old fashioned winging session. This is the deal people, I'll complain about it 4 times a year, get it out of my system and we will resume our regulary scheduled programming. My confidence has reached a new low when trying to meet guys, and I think this is because of a chain of events that have made me question my approach. Please don't tell me to get over it, I need to write this in order for me to get over it (see how that works!).

I've decided to make a list of all the guys I've involved myself with since the new year, brace yourselves this isn't going to be pretty.

- New Years' Day Guy: Nice, funny, smart, good job, we had that one great weekend on New Years' Day and then, boom, nothing. No calls, no texts, just stopped communicating. Oh well, it was a nice weekend.

- The Mistake : Ok, so I've posted about this as well, basically this is the one person that I've met recently that really made me feel wanted, but of course he was starting to date a friend of mine and I almost got in the way of that. I am truly glad that I didn't ruin the relationship for my friend who is still seeing this guy despite what happened and so I am not feeling as guilty as I could have felt. Still, I think this was the point where I started losing my mojo, because I felt like whats the point, even the ones I really like who like me back are never available, and I've been at this for years now and its always been the same. There comes a point where you just have to resign yourself to that.


- thief guy: ok, I've done a couple of posts on this, so no need to recap. Check the link and the link. Thanks. Needless to say this was the final nail in the coffin in terms of destroying my confidence.

- Mr. Nice Guy: Its really pathetic, I moan all the time about nice guys finishing last, but at the end of the day I am just as guilty of doing it to other people. Mr Nice Guy is an acquaintance I've known for about a year, he's made it very clear that he has a crush on me for some time. There is nothing wrong with him, he is smart and attractive, but I just can't bring myself to be with him. We ended up going home one drunken evening and it just felt like, I don't know, it just wasn't working, I think he likes me too much and I can't handle it. Of course, he did say he will call me after that and never did and then accused me of not calling him the next time I saw him out. So passive aggressive isn't really my cup of tea, and that's that.

- Endless Marvellous Guys: This has been a pattern lately so I might as well just lump all these guys into one composite person. Ok, ready ? MG's are guys that I meet at (you guessed it) Marvellous on Sunday nights, and they all have the same criteria: they are fairly cute, they are very pissed, they come on to me (sometimes for genuine reasons, other times just because they think they can score drugs off me which I don't have!) and they always chose to go home with someone else. The MGs really bug me, maybe because its the end of the weekend and I reek more of desperation with each passing week but its getting ridiculous. I don't expect to meet someone every weekend but when someone I fancy starts flirting with me I return it. When they do it but then they go and flirt with someone else and go home with that person on a consistent basis (this has happened to me at least 5 times in the past 2 months), well I can't help but feel a little rejected.

Ok, that's the end of my rant, I do feel a lot better. Phew.

Not on the list!

My first night working the guest list at Megawoof went really well, I was really anxious about it the whole of saturday. The entire day consisted of me checking my email and texts for more people to add on, instructions from the promoters on what to do and what not to do. Since it was the clubs 3rd birthday party (I remember the first one and it feels like it was ages ago) the qeues got really big really quickly. I had to manage both sides, making sure the right people lined up on the right side, making sure people couldn't blag their way in (although 3 different guys claimed to be the same person through the course of the night) and making sure I was friendly and corteous to everyone walking through the door. Of course there was the odd snooty person or two who gave me a lot of attitude which I didn't appreciate, one person stormed off because he wanted to let in 4 people for free and one girl tried to blag her way in even though it was a men-only night. All in all, I was pleased with how it went, I was tired and exhausted by the end but I am already looking forward to the May edition.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Arch nemesis Pt II

So, of all the posts that I have made on this blog, the one that always comes up in conversation is the post about my Arch nemesis. Everyone who knows me and reads this blog is always curious about him, have we seen each other lately? What's the latest bitchy thing we've done to each other, etc etc. Who is he is a question I have been asked on several occasions. To many people's disappointment, I haven't really seen much of him and the few times we've run into each other we exchanged quick hellos and moved on. Thankfully, we have gone past the point where we feel the need to make polite conversation where a quick nod will do fine, thank you very much. That said, I have a new developing rivalry brewing, so stay tuned.