I must say, 4/20 did a number on me in the best possible way, I lost count of how many “cookies” I had after about 5 or 6. Needless to say, in a veil of mental haze today, I almost forgot to tell you about this stellar/must see double feature happening at the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s ‘Art of the Real Documentary Redefined’ series this Saturday night — thank god Abi jarred my memory. First up is Derek Jarman’s riveting film, Will You Dance With Me?, depicting one night in 1984 at a gay bar in East London’s Mile End District. Remarkably the film went unseen until 2014 and is making its North American premiere this night. If that doesn’t satisfy your cruisy, uncut, tight pants, throwback British fantasy, Ron Peck’s “queer cinema landmark” Nighthawks screens next, you don’t even have to leave your seat. This seminal treat reveals what it was like to be openly gay in 1970’s London, “…a priceless artifact from a period when love, for many, could only be found furtively and in the dark.” I had a sneak peak at this feature and decided to wait to see the rest on the big screen, it was absolutely fascinating. Be sure to dress cute, husband shopping at the theatre is going to be optimal #uptown #cerebral #queer #LincolnCenter #dark theatre #crotchwatching
A new exhibition featuring the work of young artists and academics of color from across the globe
Photographer Elliott Jerome Brown likes sex and public spaces. This fascination is on display in his editorial, “Meet Me At The Toilets,” inside Issue II of GAYLETTER, and it’s also how Elliot first collaborated with Iranian-American artist Ashleigh Rahini Syed: as freshman at NYU Tisch, Syed made a video based on Elliott’s project exploring “The Ramble,” Central Park‘s once-legendary gay hookup spot (from a time when anonymous sex took place in the woods, without phones. Grindr meets Shakespearean pastoral comedy).
Elliot and Ashleigh are now the Editors-in-Chief of a new online magazine, “Young Colored & Angry,” which “exclusively features the work of young artists and academics of color from across the globe.” The provocatively named magazine goes live April 25th, and the gallery show Elliott and Ashleigh have co-curated to launch it looks as powerful as the title.
From 4:00PM to 6:00PM, Palestinian artist Anas Hamra will Skype in from Gaza to discuss his video installation. Towards the end of the night, Sound artist Dyani Douze and rapper The Quazzy Faffle Show will perform their commissioned piece, “an experimental Lullaby for the mind affected by racial inequality in America.” Throughout the evening the work of Victoria Elle, Rindon Johnson, Daryl Oh and many notable others will be shared in honor of the new magazine.
Young Colored & Angry aims to help create “more spaces where people of color are the dominant voices and the executives of their own work,” Elliott says. In imagining the magazine, “We knew what we wanted based on what we weren’t seeing.” One of the creators’ prime goals for their charged content is “making the discussion aesthetic and manageable — not dumbed down, but creating points of entry…like fashion magazines, which people are drawn to and want to pick up.” “Even though the project deals with obstructions to our livelihoods,” Elliott says, Young Colored & Angry is “a celebration of what we can do. We want people to leave feeling inspired.” Check out this celebration, it looks as vital as its title promises.
“Young Colored & Angry,” is happening on Saturday, April 25th, from 12:00PM-10:00PM, 35 Meadow St. Brooklyn, NY.
Vertigo is one of Hitchcock’s best, yet most underrated films. Based on the 1954 novel D’entre les morts by Boileau-Narcejac this psychological thriller received mixed reviews when it was first released, but like many classic movies it has gotten better with age and is now considered one of Hitchcock’s most defining films. C. Mason Wells, the man behind IFC Center’s 35mm-exclusive “Celluloid Dreams” series, is a super fan of the film. So much so that he’s created (in collaboration with BAMcinématek) ‘The Vertigo Effect,’ a two-week program of films infused with the DNA of Alfred Hitchcock’s seminal 1958 work. This Friday you can see The Joy Of Life: “San Francisco, sexuality, and suicide come together in Jenni Olson’s entrancingly minimalist essay film.” Afterwards join the director for a Q&A about the film. For lovers of San Fran, and obviously Hitchcock, this series is not to be missed. Go alone, or go on Grindr and find a date. Either way you’re going to have a thrilling time (pun intended girl!)
Scenes from the celebration at the Ides Rooftop at The Wythe Hotel
When I heard this exhibition was happening at MoMA I almost peed my pants with excitement. Those of you that are not familiar with the Canadian filmmaker Bruce LaBruce I recommend you to start your research tonight after you finish reading this. As nicely stated in the press release: “LaBruce is a provocative Arthouse auteur who subverts the genre with an exploration into sexual taboos and has had a revolutionary impact on queer cinema.” There’s lots of screenings for you to go to but, two of my favorites are ‘Raspberry Reich,’ which goes like this “a group of leftist German radicals plot to kidnap the son of a wealthy banker, just as the Red Army Faction captured industrialist Hanns-Martin Schleyer and held him for ransom in 1977.” Also, You must watch one of his most recent films, which we consider to be ground-breaking, ‘Gerontophilia,’ set to release nationally later this year. The film “concerns a saintly young man working at an assisted living facility in Montreal who discovers that he is attracted to the extremely advanced in age...” You can read all about it on our site, it’s a great film. This is the filmmaker’s first complete retrospective featuring all of his work to date. I’m excited to explore what I’ve not seen. Who wants to come with me?
A performance written and directed by Dane Terry
There’s that saying, “You can take the Queen out of Appalachia but you can’t take Appalachia out of the Queen.” Ok it’s not really a saying, but the experience of running as far away as possible from our village/suburb/coal-mining-holler is common to many of us who end up here, and thus it’s intriguing when a queer New York artist creates work by returning to the milieu they left behind. Dane Terry‘s show “Bird In The House” at La Mama attempts this, and the results are dazzling.
“Bird” is a musical-narrative performance featuring the songs of Terry’s new album “Color Movies.” It’s a childhood epic told in shades of Southern magic-realism, with and the white working-poor experience, complete with homo awakenings at the pool and mystical encounters in the midnight woods. Yet any description of this coming-of-age tale belies what’s most wondrous about it: “Bird In The House” is an evening spent under the spell of a natural-born storyteller, a wizard whose power to delight, crack up, and terrify an audience comes from the traditions of the uniquely American world he brings so vividly to life.
The story unfolds in the land of Bluegrass and Folk, but Terry’s music is dynamically genre-bending. Elton John is in the room — so are Andrew Bird and David Bowie and Sufjan Stevens and Tammy Wynette. Still, the songs are each stamped with Terry’s compositional personality, full rich imagery and haunting dissonance. Dane plays beautifully, and the songs are theatrical, calling down a spiritual experience: queer church offering queer healing. Terry’s voice is like how your favorite ex used to fuck you: effortlessly controlled, teasing you with sudden depth and masterful technique. It’s jarring at first, this tattooed, hipster-looking twig who sings like a HillBilly Holiday, but you get over it because oh my god that VOICE. Much of the music is sung not by Terry, but by the female duo of Tova Shoshana and Rose Emily Quinn, who seem at first to be a two-woman Greek chorus, but quickly reveal themselves to be as much the high priests of this service as Dane is.
At the center of “Bird” is Terry’s power of narration. He creates our immersive, cinematic experience with the frame-by-frame confidence of an auteur, guiding us through a moment of crisis in his small-town childhood with terror and humor. The weirdness of being tossed between the frightening and the funny recalls the best campfire storytelling, and Terry’s brilliant descriptions (“her smiling face unfurled beneath wave after wave of blonde, and she placed on my head a hand with more knuckles than normal“) and gift for the aphoristic turn of phrase (“everybody’s just about as special as death on a farm”) are part of his inheritance as a true-blue Southern American orator. Terry satirizes his working class evangelical microcosm like Garrison Keillor does the Lutheran Midwest — with a warmth and compassion that’s as sincere as his wit is sharp.
“Bird”‘s music and narrative unfold against a pared-down Southern Gothic set (a rabbit ears TV actually sits atop the grand piano Terry plays), under a flamboyant lighting design full of pulsing rhythms and take-your-breath-away moments ripped from eighties rock concerts and the best televangelist shows, completing the sensual and chilling tour-de-force. With its haunting music and masterful storytelling, “Bird In The House” will take you home in the best sense, no matter where you ran away from to get here.
“Bird In The House” playing at The Club at La Mama, 74a E 4th St. April 24th, 25th at 10:00PM, April 26th at 6:00PM. Get Tickets here.
In celebration of Earth Day, join one of our favorites, the uber cunt and always amazing performer Mx Justin Vivian Bond and some more of her musician friends at Rockwood Stage 2. Justin will be performing ‘My Natural Rhythms’ with some special guests including Jake Shears, Dane Terry and Thomas Bartlett. Also, unrelated, I saw on Instagram that Justin got a new haircut so I will guarantee you V’s performance is gonna be extra juicy, those things are related, you know like when you get a new look and are feeling yourself a bit more than usual, everything just...flows. Here’s what JVB has to say about the event “Get down with brown, polish you nuts and berries, put on your earth shoes, hemp clothes and recycled underwear and head over to Allen St. for a cornucopia of rare earthly delights!” Praise mother earth, praise mother JVB!
A 420 field test
As the newly minted GAYLETTER greens correspondent, I was asked to review a vaporizer sent to us by Vape World. Luckily I had the perfect field test already confirmed for the weekend: Fantasia Barrino Live at the newly opened (and gorgeous by the way) Kings Theater in Flatbush.
Let me start with first impressions of the QuickDraw 300 Triple Action Vaporizer. It’s like opening a toy chest. We have vape pen, three cartridges, a complete charger and some custom tools. The pieces add up to a Smart-Cartridge System that allows seamless switching between ground material, fluid, and concentrates. Its look says sci-fi and 2015 with a sleek masc overtone.
With a vaporizer, I have a few basic expectations. Discretion, cleanliness, easy loading and a smooth, soft draw. It’s similar to bottoming. The first act of the Fantasia show was a metal detector and pat-down, and the QuickDraw performed flawlessly. Its slender profile can be comfortably nestled into a number of hiding places. A couple of hours later, it’s show time and I’m ready for a top-off. I memorized the somewhat complicated button sequence for powering on and firing up the ground material container. It took a little fumbling to get going in my pocket, but once it activated, it heated quickly without burning my soft skin. The inhale was long and smooth, skipping the the harsh and so-much-vapor-you-gag-on-it draws from other devices. I was soon feeling great and singing to I’m Doin’ Me with a down grandma in the next seat.
The night continued as QuickDraw and I enjoyed an Uber back to Manhattan, driving over the bridge and not bothering the driver once. It was time for a refill at my next destination, but the repacking process left something to be desired. It’s not easy to empty and refill the cartridge on-the-go without the provided tools or a makeshift alternative. However, after an overall successful evening, we went on a group date the next night. With a bit more repack planning, everyone was able to enjoy the company of my new found friend. I recommend you be introduced.
In case you didn’t know we have an intimate 420 party every year, the last one we even had a photographer from the magazine Put A Egg On It! came to take photos of our lovely home made dessert treats. This year is super annoying cause 420 is on a Monday, you know lots of us can’t chill that day because we have to get things done. This Sunday get together with some love ones and hit the THC. I don’t care what your preference in strain is just stick to the best quality possible. I recommend you to not make any emotional calls or get involved in any drama, it will just ruin your 420 celebration, keep it light and present. Turn on YouTube and sing some random songs, it’s so much fun to sing when you are high. Make sure you make your entire day blurry, go outside and take long walks, if you can go to a park and chill do that. I am so excited to bake some threats, who’s in? AND Why isn’t this legal in New York City yet?
Spring is in the air and Spank is back with another party. It’s at the Bell House in Brooklyn, a venue they’ve thrown parties at before and one that seems to work well with the vibe of their events. I’ve written about Spank a few hundred times so I’m having trouble thinking of any new ways to describe what they do. Let me just assume you’re new to our newsletter and have no fucking clue what these homos are about. So, first of all, expect to dance. The music they play is very beat heavy and designed to make you move your feet at a rapid pace. Besides some disco tunes you might be familiar with, it’s pretty much a lyrics free zone — the songs often blend into one and another. Not that I’m criticizing, when you’re wasted, and in a crowd of sweaty, hot mens the music should become a background to the experience in front of you. And it’s always a good experience — people are friendly, and cute and well dressed. It’s not a dark crowd, people are happy, and willing to chat. The bottom line is you’ll have a good time. We wouldn’t write it up if we weren’t sure of that!
Limited Ticktes $7/$10/15 Advanced Tickets, 10:00PM, The Bell House, 149 7th St. Brooklyn, NY.