of the gaycentric perspective.



simply gorgeous

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I meant to blog about this performance from last weeks' So You Think Can Dance. I'll be the first to admit that I am a bit put off by many a modern dance sequence, but this was simply gorgeous. The simple use of a prop, the lines of choreographer Mia Michaels. I loved every moment. And even though it doesn't feature my favorite poppin' dancer Ivan, it definitely got the best of me. See what you think. [Thanks to Rickey for the GoFish link.]




So You Think You Can Dance-related:
Dance, Blake, Dance!
Taking the Long Way
Over-Processed
I guess the show is about dancing


starf*cker?

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...something tells me Reichen Lehmkuhl is getting *just* what he bargained for as he attaches himself to Lance Bass' recent coming out story.

The image to the left is a snapshot of my keyword report for the blog over the past hour. Google is gettin' a Reichen workout!

Now I'm not sayin' Reichen is a publicity whore (
others have already said it for me) but the former Amazing Racer, Clay dater, E! reality tv star and boyband boyfriend, seems to keep poppin' up wherever you look. How can we forget his love for Louis Coraggio, showing off commitment rings back in September? Maybe he just falls in love fast. Or maybe he's a lesbian.

Either way, we'll always have his
Undergear underwear poses.


yeah, like you're surprised

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Somewhere, someone is surprised.

Lance Bass, formerly of NSYNC, finally comes out of the closet in the latest issue of People.

"I don't think it's wrong, I'm not devastated going through this. I'm more liberated and happy than I've been my whole life. I'm just happy."

Read the article here.

In the article, Lance touches on being forced out of the closet by the media. Surely blogs such as this only perpetuate it and I do feel a bit of guilt about it. But hey, it gets him back in the spotlight, right?

Thanks to Michael K over at Dlisted for the scoop.


too hot for the CW?

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As programming portfolios merged months ago on account of the WB and UPN joining forces, many shows got lost in the shuffle.

One of the more notable serials that lost a time slot was the Smallville spin-off Aquaman.

Now you can catch the pilot on iTunes. I can't help but think the folks at the newly-formed CW network are keeping tabs on the download stats of this program, with the intention of bringing it to the fans with a web-base medium in mind.

Buy the Aquaman Pilot o'er at iTunes



Jody Watley was in her hometown of Chicago over the weekend as part of her promo tour for the upcoming release The Makeover (heard of it?)

But things turned a bit sour after a visit to R&B station V103. The Clear Channel-owned FM gave the greenlight for Jody’s CD plug, but not to her scheduled Gay Games 7 performance at Soldier Stadium that very weekend. Jody writes about the experience on her MySpace blog "...though the entire city was plastered with Gay Games posters...it was on EVERY MAJOR newspaper. The evening news! So yes, I was still caught off guard when I was asked not to mention the event.”

Jody, long familiar with walking the fine line between genre-specific radio promotion, took the gag order in stride. She recalls the 1996 track she wrote titled “Affection” and the backlash that occurred with her message of love regardless of boundaries: “I encountered complaints because of the word 'gay' -- I didn't write it as a marketing tool - I meant it. A black artist unafraid to promote tolerance. What a concept.”

Need I express more why we love Jody so? [Photo courtesy ChateauHo]

Jody Watley-related at the lounge:
Make me Over

Borderline - The video
Borderline - The Mp3
I Love to Love - Midnight Lounge meets Jody
Keep pushing my love
Summer's off to a great start
Midnight Lounge interviews Jody Watley
Midnight Lounge reviews Midnight Lounge


rusted art rochester showing | THIS FRIDAY

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Not only is he a great blogger, but he's also a talented and well-received artist. Friend of Midnight Lounge Shawn O'Hara, o'er at Rusted Art, is having an art showing this Friday in Rochester, New York.

If you're in town, be sure to make your way over to the Daniel Ward Salon & Spa July 28th between 6:00pm and 9:00pm and introduce yourself to Shawn and his works.

Shawn specializes in reclaimed objects. Many of his pieces are an amalgamation of materials, forced together to tell a new story. He just may be the cutest artist / blogger / master coffee barista we've encountered!

See you Friday!

A Style all his Own: A Rusted Art, Art Opening


inner geek

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Those with an inner geek, unite.
The Transformers: the Movie website has been updated with a teaser trailer. Yippee.


heatwave

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My work excursion to NYC is going well. The record temps are a bitch, but I'm able to avoid any swelter by stayin' in the office durin' the daytime haze and run from bar to bar at night. The pic to the left is from my office on the 27th floor in Times Square. I'm not suffering as much as Eric. He came into town yesterday, exploring a few of the city staples he's missed in the past as I'm workin' the days. Last night we met up with his niece in the village, gnoshing at the Spotted Pig. Simply delish. The Bono-owned pub was low key and intimate; we dined upstairs in the wedge-shaped booth overlooking an apartment courtyard. It was the perfect retreat from the blistering air. On our way to the village last night, I spotted Xerox salesman and former Apprentice star Nick Warnock at Penn Station. I'm such a TV nerd. Tonight we're meeting up with our dear friends Robert and Stephen, who are hosting a dinner party of four. Can't wait to catch up!

Damn, I miss all the good stuff when I'm away from the computer! Darren Hayes, formerly of Aussie pop group Savage Garden, comes out of the closet by marrying his man of two years in the United Kingdom. Just a few months earlier, ArjanWrites posted an in-depth interview with the ever-elusive singer. He played coy when asked about gay artists having a responsibility to come out.

"I think it is important for gay artists
not to lie about it. I think that is insulting. I think we should give people
their space. Jodie Foster is a perfect example. Is she gay? I don't know.
Probably. But it is a very personal thing for her."

Perhaps another coy (former) pop star will follow suit. Tongues were wagging for weeks after Lance Bass and serial dater Reichen Lehmkuhl were spotted all over Provincetown together.

Speaking of gay drama, be sure to catch Bravo's latest reality show Work Out, getting a soft premiere tonight at 11:00pm. The LA-based show follows a group of fitness trainers working out each others' nerves. Oh yeah, and my girl Jody Watley has a few appearances in the show!

Love him or hate him, Perez Hilton just had quite the milestone. He broke (his own) blogging record by receiving over a million hits in one day. Pretty insane. It's about time he caught up to the numbers midnight lounge sees. [smirk.]

Oh yeah, and the fine folks o'er at Best Gay Blogs were nice enough to nominate lil ol' me as hot blogger of the week. Y'all are so sweet for leaving such nice comments!


dog days of summer

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...here's one way to avoid Rochester's record-breaking heatwave. Eric snapped this picture of our little girl, Gracie, as she cools off today.



travelin' through

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It's going to be a light week here at the lounge.
I'm traveling to NYC this week, but I hope to post satellite as time allows.

In the meantime, get to know my handy-dandy addition, the Google SEARCH!


Five minutes with Ross the Intern

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Midnight Lounge recently had a chance to spend a few minutes with Ross Mathews. Late-night TV viewers surely know Ross from his correspondent pieces on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Better known as Ross the Intern, he constantly tickles me pink each time I catch him. Be sure to bookmark Ross' blog!

I hear Star Jones is actively looking for a job these days; any chance you'd bring her on as a boom operator on Tonight show correspondent pieces?

Star Jones is probably way too busy annoying the American public and demanding things. I'm sure shes a wonderful person.


Has word come through that you're up for a guest hosting gig on the View?


Word has not come through. Barbara Walters email about it must have gone to my junk folder. I'd do it in a heart beat, though.


You're a pro on the red carpet, but who is better suited to be your sidekick; Star or Kathy Griffin?

I have no idea to date, Ive only worked alone. But I'd take Kathy Griffin because she's funnier than me.

Some argue that Phyllis Diller is more of a gay icon than Cher and Liza; discuss.

The more the merrier.


You've got two tickets to paradise; who gets to go with you?


My dog and me. Or do I even need a ticket? I mean, is one of the two tickets for me, or can I give them both away?


You're a superstar blogger; what other blogs do you frequent?

Rosie [O'Donnell's] blog and Pink is the New Blog.

So your mom recently came to town; did she have a wishlist of celebrities she hoped to run into?

If my mom has a wish list of celebs she wants to meet, she's never told me. Its sweet when Jay sees her and remembers her, though. She always gets a kick out of that.

If you're on my top ten list of LA celebs to run into, who's on yours?


First of all, you need a new list. The main peeps on my list who I've already checked off were Gwyneth Paltrow, Anderson Cooper, Oprah and Meryl Streep. Whos left? Madonna. Liza. Bea Arthur. Regis.








stripping contradiction?

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I'm all sorts of confused. Would a born-again Christian become pregnant on account of practicing for the husband on a stripper pole?

Watch Sherri on the Ellen DeGeneres Show:





...And the stripper pole episode (where she ironically bounces along to The Pussycat Dolls "Don't Cha"):




Truthfully, I still find Sherri Shepherd absolutely hysterical, regardless of how she's turned her back on her core (gay) audience that gave her a comedic chance back in the '90s...


namechange

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A transgendered Rochester man must show medical evidence to judge to justify a name change.

The ruling, "fraught with danger of deception and confusion" denies Sarah Rockefeller the opportunity to "reflect his male gender identity."

The ACLU has stepped in, arguing that [the ruling] places an unnecessary burden of proof on transgender individuals that isn't required of others.

Rockefeller declines to discuss whether he has had sexual reassignment surgery.

Transgender man's name change denied [Rochester Democrat & Chronicle]


make me over

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Damn, it's like music week here at the lounge!

I've been meaning to blog a bit more on Jody Watley's upcoming release The Makeover, scheduled for release August 8th. You can now pre-order the disc over at Amazon. Surely by now y'all realize my love for Miss Watley. Often dismissed on account of her work in the '80s, this enduring icon has and continues to turn out strong and relevant material.

A few months ago, "Borderline" made its way to fans, creating a frenzy all over the place. For all the love the fans had to give, there were vocal haters that couldn't see past the remaking of a Madge song. Perhaps they ought to be hitting the Jessica Simpson boards and raise hellion over Simpsons' blatant rip-off of "Holiday" on "Public Affair." C'mon now!

Regardless, The Makeover is primed to position Watley precisely where listeners will understand her most: revisiting the back catalog of personal favorites long enough to give a refresher, but then moving effortlessly into new and exciting material. The DJ-inspired set finds Watley pairing with 4Hero, King Britt and Ron Trent, among others.

Are you up for the journey?

If you're on MySpace, be sure to make Jody your friend.

Jody is scheduled to open up the Gay Games in Chicago this weekend!


Pre-order Jody Watley - The Makeover



Jody Watley-related at the lounge:
Borderline - The video
Borderline - The Mp3
I Love to Love - Midnight Lounge meets Jody
Keep pushing my love
Summer's off to a great start
Midnight Lounge interviews Jody Watley
Midnight Lounge reviews Midnight Lounge


over-processed

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The summer music scene is crowded with female vocalists. With releases by Christina and Beyonce, Nelly and Jessica, we've certainly got a few choice cuts, each glossy and mass-produced for our obligatory summer outtings.

But no artists smells of over-processed fluff more than Rihanna. Her club thumper "S.O.S." got us through many a night, dancing tabletop and beating our butts against the wall with that Soft Cell sample. Hell I even offered up a club mix to blog readers.

She launched onto the scene with "Pon De Replay", an infectious summer jam for 2005. It got the party started, no doubt. It was the formulaic, paint-by-numbers beat that was undeniable. No one denied it, not even me. But as I became familiar with Rihanna, I began to see beyond the veneer and glossy image. There wasn’t much to discover, unfortunately.

I became even more disillusioned when Rihanna, along with Amerie and Teairra Mari, took to the stage of the 2005 World Music Awards as part of a tribute to Destiny’s Child. The girls of DC3 were receiving some lifetime (??) award or something and bare witness to said tribute. Anyway, the “tribute band” gave their best rendition of “Lose My Breath.” Perhaps the girls were taking the lyrics to heart as all but Amerie seemed to literally lose breath (or interest) during the performance. If I had watched the performance in hi-def television, I’d be able to see the “boom / kat / pow” choreographic routine on Rihanna's forehead. Her performance was pitiful. As the lens panned across the original gals in the audience, I became more interested in watching them view the trainwreck first hand then seeing it for myself.

Wanna witness the stagecrash for yourself? Check it out:




So this performance came and went and I didn’t give Rihanna a thought soon after. That is until I caught *another* Rihanna performance, this time on the FOX show So You Think You Can Dance. I tuned in, well because as I stated above, I’m sorta crazy about the "S.O.S." Moments into the performance I’m thrown back to that Destiny’s Child routine, except this time it’s blatantly obvious she’s lipping the words to her hit song! Now I completely understand that high-energy songs are extremely difficult to perform live, but I feel that, if an artist is choosing (or being made to) lip sync during a performance, that they gotta give their all and make it seem as live as possible. Well Rihanna was not up for the challenge. She was weak, boring and predictable.

My point being is this: Pop music listeners are constantly being fed music that is over-processed and devoid of organic soul. There’s little argument that, on a recording, Rihanna has the pipes to bolt her songs. I’ve even fallen victim to the club mixes of “Unfaithful” but then again, I’ve also taken a liking to Taco Bell Chalupas; they are just as processed and bad for me as this Jay Z protégé!

It’s quite obvious I can’t do a thing to change the playing field of pop music, but seeing that I’m fortunate enough to have a portal with a voice loud enough for others to hear, I see it my duty to share good music (IMHO) when I find it. So for every Rihanna, there’s a Dangerous Muse and Feist, a Robyn and even an obscure Jody Watley track. One thing I’ve learned is that we shouldn’t be discouraged as much by what’s out there, just find the encouragement to crave better music through discovery.


networked

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Surpassing Yahoo! and Google, MySpace becomes the most visited internet portal last week, according to an internet tracking firm.

The Rupert Murdoch-owned networking site accounts for over 80% saturation when gauged against other online social visits.

While we're on the topic, have you added midnight lounge as your friend? [Washington Post]


Midnight Lounge recommends...

1 comments

The heat of the summer brings out the flies at night, and while we spend most of our time swatting those gnats away, this fly's buzz is more than welcome to stick around.

Ben Watt, the musical genius who's one-half of Everything but the Girl with Tracey Thorn, releases his third Buzzin' Fly DJ set today. Buzzin' Fly, Vol 3 takes Watt's DJ'ing into a more contemplative and soulful direction, as spoken word excerpts and chilled house mixes find their way to his crate. And although many of the artists in the mix may not be immediately identified, I have no doubt that Watt's audiophilic tendencies assist in uncovering some of the more interesting cuts of the summer.

Given his previous outtings, I've no doubt this will be a stellar collection. I still find myself pulling out the first two volumes of Lazy Dog when I'm in need of a strong deep house jam.

Buy Buzzin' Fly, Vol 3 at AMAZON

Check out the Special Remixes EP o'er at iTunes

EBTG & Ben Watt related at the lounge:

Flipside
That Voice
Commercial License
She's Back


Sherri Shepherd's Christian Q&A

3 comments

Actress and frequent Ellen Degeneres Show commentator Sherri Shepherd gives an in-depth interview with the Christian website Beliefnet. She discusses finding christ and the conflict of working in Hollywood and being a christian.

Shepherd, who once cultivated quite a gay following in LA doing gay-friendly stand up, has backed away from her roots and adopted a more conservative view based on her strong christian beliefs.

...On letting go of her gaycentric comic roots:

"I would get on stage and do an hour. Oh man, I was so blue. But I got a big following. It was very hard to let all that material go because I lost a lot of my following."

I'd be lying if I said I'm not saddened to learn about Shepherd and her beliefs, frankly. I've been quite an admirer of her humor and wit for some time now and would have thought she'd respond differently to her gay fans. This may also be the reason her peeps haven't returned any of my calls for an interview with this decidedly gay blog!


Read the Q&A with Sherri here.


Incidentally, Andy Dick also conducted an interview with the website back in 2003.

Related:
The Girl I love *this* week...


Griffin on CNN tonight. Again.

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Kathy Griffin has been given another go, tonight on CNN.

Her pre-empted appearance on Larry King is scheduled to air 9:00pm, July 10th. The funny lady opens up to Larry about her divorce and allegedly goes into detail about her (former?) husband stealing $72k from her bank accounts.

It's too bad this episode is already in the can. It would have been interesting to get her take on her recent EMMY nomination and her gay tour on the R-Family cruise out of Seattle.

CNN: Kathy Griffin's ex-husband took $72k

Related:

Life on the EMMY List
Taking the Long Way
Griffin Sleeping Party
Look for Andy Dick, passed out in the closet

You've been served. Papers
Kathy Griffin in LA
Kathy Griffin. One Night Only. Syracuse
They Did. Now they don't anymore
Griffin in Dirty Love
My New Best Girlfriend
"I was raised right. I talk about people behind their backs."


life on the EMMY list

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not so shabby, eh!

Kathy Griffin's "My Life on the D-List" has been nominated for an Outstanding Reality Program emmy!

This comes just as news breaks that she and husband Matt have officially separated, with reports that he pilfered money from his actress wife.

...And it looks like she won't be going on The Ellen Show to talk about it.


denied

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NEWS: New York courts deny gay marriage recognition.

Rochester's Gay Alliance to organize downtown rally, scheduled for tonight at Washington Square Park.

**Update**

Hey New Yorkers, get involved. Protests across the state are scheduled.
The Pride Agenda is organizing statewide rallies to call for swift legislative action in granting equal access to marriage. Here are some:

Rochester: A 6 p.m. rally will be held tonight at Washington Square Park at Clinton and Court streets (in front of Geva Theater) in downtown Rochester. The alternative location, if there is rain, is at the First Unitarian Church of Rochester, 222 S. Winton Road (just south of the Winton Road exit from Interstate 490).

Hudson Valley
Start time: 7:00 PM
Location: Memorial United Methodist Church, 250 Bryant Avenue, White Plains
Rain location: Same

New York City
Start Time: 6:00 PM
Location: Sheridan Square (West 4th Street and 7th Avenue, Manhattan)
Rain location: LGBT Community Center, 208 West 13th Street

Long Island
Start time: 7:30 PM
Location: Bay Shore Bandshell (Main Street at Park Avenue)
Rain location: 34 Park Avenue, Bay Shore

Buffalo
Start time: 6:00 PM
Location: Bidwell Park (@ Elmwood Avenue)
Rain location: Unitarian Universalist Church, 695 Elmwood Avenue (corner of West Ferry & Elmwood)

Albany/Capital District
Start time: 6:00 PM
Location: Capitol Park (Washington Avenue & Swan Street, adjacent to the State Capitol Building)
Rain location: Emmanuel Baptist Church, 275 State Street

Syracuse/Central NY
Start time: 7:00 PM
Location: Hanover Square (Downtown Syracuse)
Rain location: Hendrick’s Chapel, Syracuse University


hits

2 comments

Congratulations to the bitchiest of bloggers, Michael K o'er at Dlisted. Based on hits (and content), Dlisted is the new Pink is the New Blog! Nice job my friend!


machinehead

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morning thoughts over coffee:

Nick Lachey and Vanessa Millino: I could be more of a cynic than needed, but aren't they both on MTV's bankroll? It just doesn't seem all that organic to me. Surely conference room doors were closed the moment the "Newlyweds" split, deciding the next step in each persons' career. I'll bet one item at the top of the agenda was Nick's new music and the "muse" to be featured in his video. And imagine if said muse was to begin a romantic fling with the singer...I'm just sayin'!

Regarding all the hoopla over Star Jones and the View, it's definitely delicious and we're all eatin' it up, but perhaps we're just eating what the machine is feeding us. Let's face it; audiences tuned in 4% more last year than now. A shakeup at the table to get everyone talking was definitely in order. It worked. And now there's buzz of countless women taking the seat: Brandy, Katherine McPhee, Shannen Doherty, Isaac Mizrahi (?!?!) Producers of the View couldn't be more thrilled with all the new-found chatter about the show! And let's not even get into Rosie's upcoming assignment; once she bellies up to the Babs, all of American will be tuned in! This is good stuff my friend, good stuff.


ain't gonna rain on our parade

0 comments

A slew of recent anti-gay crimes can't dampen Rochester's upcoming gay pride week.

Hitting all too close to home for many gays in the area: two gay women were thrown to the ground, kicked in the head and bitten after leaving a Park Avenue bar on June 17th. That neighorhood is perhaps, the most gay friendly in the upstate New York city. Police have charged 36 year old Yalida Ortiz with third-degree assault. A second arrest is forthcoming, according to the Rochester police. The victims were treated and released.

Just a few blocks from Park Avenue, the Rochester's First Unitarian Church hung a banner from its rooftop supporting marriage equality coincidentally on June 17th; the very same day as the beating. And up barely a month, the banner has been vandalized, cut in half. The July 2nd vandalization is being handled as a hate crime.

This spat of hate comes just as downtown Rochester prepares for its busiest weekends of the summer.

And for the gay community in Rochester: show your pride now more than ever. Be sure to attend the Pride Parade and Cultural Festival on Saturday, July 8th and the annual Pride Picnic on Sunday, July 9th.


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