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Friday 04.04.14

New Drag Doco Features Everyone We Love

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Sisters of the Wicked Wig is a new documentary that explores the current “drag renaissance happening in Brooklyn, New York.” The doco features Horrorchata, Merrie Cherry, Elle Emenopé and their sisters of the House of Bushwig as they explore the meaning of life, love, family, art and what it means to be a drag queen in today’s world.”

 

With TV shows like Rupaul’s Drag Race and…well, really just Drag Race, (on TV at least) it does feel like Drag is having a moment. From our perspective that moment appears to playing out in Brooklyn. We’re glad filmmakers Adam Golub and Gayatri Kaul have taken the time to document all that’s going on in the wonderful world of drag.

 

I’ve always thought that drag queens (and of course trans people, but that’s a whole other story) are the bravest of the LGBTQI community. Putting on a dress as a man and walking out of the house is a defiant, big-balled move that deserves all our respect. It looks like The Sisters of the Wicked Wig is attempting to do just that.

 

Check out the trailer below

Thursday 04.03.14

Gadgets We Love: Ultimate Ears Boom

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Sometimes it’s not about having the just-released-flavor-of-the-moment-OMG-did-you-hear-what-The-Verge-had-to-say-about-it gadget. Sometimes it’s better to spend your money on a device that’s been well-and-truly road tested, that has over 400 5-star ratings on Amazon, that GAYLETTER has spent plenty of time falling in love with.

 

Which brings us to the Ultimate Ears Boom (I know, stupid name) Bluetooth speaker from Logitech. It is, in my humble opinion, (and the opinion of all those Amazon reviewers) by far the best wireless speaker on the market. Yet you’ve probably never heard of it.

 

The Boom doesn’t have the media presence (or a terrible Juergen Teller ad campaign) to support it, but it does has everything else that really matters going for it.

 

Let me tell you why I have such a boner for this device.

 

 

I’ve been using my Boom, pretty much daily, for the last year. The secret to this device is its cylindrical design that allows sound to project out from all sides. It’s not called the “Boom” for nothing, it’s incredibly loud considering it’s size, and crystal clear — the bass is deep and satisfying.

 

It runs on a rechargeable battery that gives you around 10 hours of listening time — more than enough for a long weekend away. Which is where this device really shines. It’s the ultimate speaker to travel with, I’ve taken it all over the world, it’s solid and easy to throw in suitcase without worrying about it being knocked about. It’s splash proof and shock proof — it can go anywhere.

 

The other cool thing about the Boom is that it’s able to connect with another Boom and double the sound, but honestly, unless you’re throwing a massive, loud-ass party you’ll never need that much volume.

 

I love the simplicity of this device, it looks great and there’s nothing to fiddle with, just turn it on and it automatically connects with the last device you paired it with.

 

The Boom is a must have device, putting the Beats by Dr. Dre ‘Pill’ and all versions of the Jambox to shame. Plus it gets the GAYLETTER stamp of approval, which is honestly, kind of a big deal.

 

 

 

 

The Ultimate Ears ‘Boom’ comes in 5 colors and is available for $175.65 from Amazon, with free shipping. 

 

Thursday 03.20.14

‘Sexercise’ By VFILES

x Cody Critcheloe x Kylie

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As an Australian gay man I am wired to automatically love Kylie Minogue and her musical output. Her 12th album ‘Kiss Me Once’ is her first since she moved to Jay Z’s Roc Nation label — yet another of her continual attempts to crack the American mainstream. Because everyone knows until you make it here you’re not really famous – you’re basically just Sylvia Night mid-breakdown.

 

I’m not sure this is going to be her Billboard #1, but it’s certainly getting gay men gagging and giving straight men boners. The new video for ‘Sexercise’, which is apparently an actual thing (that we obvs do plenty of), features Kylie looking AMAZING in a leotard; bouncing, gyrating and getting sweaty wedgies inside what looks like a school gym.

 

The song was written by Sia, a hugely talented solo artist in her own right who pays the bills/buys small countries by writing pop’s biggest hits for other singers. There’s also a lyric video by Roman Coppola (wtf) and a collaboration with VFILES featuring stunning male models and surely directed at her gay fanbase. Not that we’re complaining.

 

 

 

Watch the video below:

 

Tuesday 03.18.14

Gadgets We Love: Wello Health Tracker

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Honestly, it feels like everyday there’s another personal tracking device appearing on the market. Here’s one we’re really excited about. The Wello Health Tracker is a phone case  that very easily measures, and tracks, your overall health. This device is not messing about. Just hold it with two hands for a few seconds and it will measure your heart rate, pulse, blood pressure, temperature, blood oxygen level, and when you attach the provide breathalyzer it will also track your lung function. It’s like a 5 second trip to the doctor.

 

It uses low energy Bluetooth 4.0 to connect with your phone, and the Wello app, and has a battery that will power it for up to 2 months on a single charge. It’s perfect for those moments when you’re coming down after a big night and you’ve seriously convinced yourself that you may be about to die. Nope, it’s just a regular old panic attack.

 

 

Friday 03.14.14

Claire Milbrath is a Groin Grazer

A photographic exploration of men's crotches.

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We were fascinated by Claire Milbrath‘s Groin Grazing photo series when we first saw it a few weeks ago. Claire lives in Montreal and has been photographing groins for the last 5 months. She started the series in response to the constant objectification of female bodies in mainstream media. We wanted to learn more about the series and her very understandable fascination with men’s bulges so decided to send her a few questions.  

 

How old are you? Where are you from? How long have you been photographing for? I’m 24 yrs old, I live in Montreal, and I’m from Victoria, British Columbia. I started taking pictures when I was 13, but not seriously until I was about 17.

 

How long have you been photographing men’s groins for? Only in the last 5 months.

 

 

 

 

 

How did you come up with the idea? I’m tired of the excess of female body imagery in fashion and media. I started doing a lot of work for Vice recently, and during that time their fashion issue came out featuring 2 spreads that blatantly objectified women and didn’t do much else artistically. So I pitched a shoot that objectified male bodies; I wanted it to mimic the cK body ads from the 90s, rippling muscles, bulges in underwear, etc, etc. It was Vice’s idea to focus solely on the crotch area.

 

Have you shown the series in any galleries? No. One gallery in Paris is looking to purchase a couple prints but it hasn’t been confirmed. I would love to show them in that setting though.

 

 

 

 

 

Who is most interested in this work? Who have you gotten the biggest response from? Women. Mostly feminist blogs and news sources. I’ve gotten a lot of women contacting me just saying things like “THANK YOU, MADE MY DAY” which gives me a nice feeling.

 

Are all the men you photograph your strangers/friends/lovers/family members? Where did you find them? I was in British Columbia for xmas holidays at the time of the shoot so luckily the stylist there, Mila Franovic, recruited all the models. They were all her friends and her boyfriend’s friends. They were very nice. I have been accumulating a small privatecollection of my own male friends and lovers as well.

 

Are the bulges all real? Everyone asks this question. I would say 75% of the bulges are real. We had to use a zuchini for a couple looks, you can probably tell which ones. All of the images that feature more ‘raging’ style bulges are real however. A few of the models were very equipped.

 

 

 

All the men seem to be really “packing” was that important for the photos? And if so how did you ensure they would have big fat dicks that looked good in a pair of tight Acne Jeans? Lol, big fat dicks. I think going big was necessary. I wanted to mirror the same ridiculous beauty standard I see constantly in mainstream representations of the female body. Mila sent me a list of names with corresponding dick sizes, like “John – medium size, Paul – huge” Hah I almost started listing The Beatles right there. It’s cool that they were all so open about what they were working with.

 

 

 

The men in the photos are all hard, how did ensure that was the case before you took the photos? Did you help any of them? It was a stressful process for the models. We’d set up the shot and the model would go into a bedroom, look at porn and get it going, using a condom as a cock-ring. Then he’d call out asking if we were ready and I’d take the photo as fast as I could. It was high pressure. One model was a stripper and he brought a pump. He did three outfits all on the same boner. We were very impressed. His penis turned blue. The whole thing made erections seem very functionary or animalistic.

 

There’s a retro look to the photos, can you tell me about that? I think my photography has a retro look as I shoot on expired slide film. But also that retro-porn vibe, maybe makes it more humorous.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some of your other work is also quite sexual, has sex always been an interest to you artistically? No, actually. I started doing sex-related art just so I could get my work published. But producing that kind of art got me thinking a lot about gender and sex representations in the media. I think it’s important to continue to challenge gender roles and body image; it’s so boring to keep producing the same kinds of imagery. Also it’s fun.


The series also has a fashion element to it. Is that something your also interested in? In some ways putting the bulge behind a designer pair of jeans legitimizes the viewer, makes them less pervy for staring at a man’s crotch. Too much of a stretch? Well the shoot was for Vice‘s Fashion issue, but I don’t think the designer brands are supposed to take away from the eroticism.

 

Any plans to do more in the series? Yes, I’m definitely not done exploring this theme!

 

Monday 03.10.14

Larry Kramer’s The Normal heart

Here's the trailer for HBO's rendition of the famous play about the AIDS crisis.

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It’s directed by Ryan Murphy and features Julia Roberts (in a wheelchair)…but don’t hold that against it.

 

It also stars the talented Mark Ruffalo and is on HBO. So that’s something.

 

The film “will highlight gay activists and their allies in the medical community that fought to expose the truth about the burgeoning epidemic to a city in denial.”

 

Glad they finally got around to making this, it’s about time Larry Kramer and his allies were recognized for all the great work he did during the peak of the AIDS crisis. Can’t wait to see the finished film.

 

 

 

 

Friday 03.07.14

Gadgets we love: Cone

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Don’t even bother putting out a device in 2014 unless it’s ‘connected.’ Your gadget ain’t worth shit if it can’t connect to the Internet, and talk to your iPhone, iPad, laptop and Mp3 rollerskates. You might have been able to get away with a non-connected device in 2013, but not anymore, the rules have changed (might be time to throw out those old Logitech laptop speakers I’m afraid).

 

Cone is a new entry in the wireless speaker category. It’s inventors refer to it as a “thinking music player” because it does more than just connect wirelessly to your iPhone —  it also has wifi and is capable of playing audio directly from streaming music services, internet radio stations, and podcasts “all with a simple turn of a dial.” Besides its gorgeous copper base, the dial on the front of it is it’s major selling point. You turn the dial to make it play, if you like what you hear you’ll get more of the same, if you don’t, turn it again and it’ll play something else. You can also hold the button in the middle and tell the cone what you’d like to listen to. It’s a pretty nifty party trick, one of many making the Cone such a desirable device. Another cool thing about the cone is that over time, using machine learning, it’s able to better predict what you like to hear.

 

The inventors behind the Cone are a new startup called Aether — comprised of former Nokia, Apple, and Google employees. At $399 it’s a little pricier than your average wireless speaker, but then your average wireless speaker doesn’t look as good as the Cone, nor is it as smart. The cone will be available early summer.

 

If you like what you see you can reserve one today.

 

 

 

Tuesday 03.04.14

War Drags you out

Obama, Shante you stay. Putin, Sashay away.

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War Drags You Out  is an awesome new art project created by an artist known only as Saint Hoax, that challenges notions of leadership, performance and gender. The artist came up with the idea after “watching a drag show for the first time last May, I was fascinated by drag art. I then linked the concept of faux queens to political and religious leaders. I always perceived leaders as performers, as if they are in their own continuous drag show.” 

 

The portraits of world leaders in drag have caused quite a stir online, especially the ones of Osama Bin Laden and Egypt’s King Abdullah“I just wanted to extract the idea of getting dressed and becoming someone else for the show and linking it to leaders,” Saint Hoax said. “I pick men that work so hard on creating some sort of ‘public image’ and end up neglecting the people they’re assigned to lead.”

 

After watching last night’s episode of Drag Race, I can’t help but wonder if perhaps the world would be a better off if it was run by real drag queens, instead of clowns we currently have in place.

Tuesday 02.18.14

Watch Now: Drag Race Season 6 Episode 1

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This is going to be short and sweet, go to the itunes app store and immediately download the Logo TV App. Open it and watch the first episode of season 6 of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Logo are being very entrepreneurial to get people to download the app, so are offering the 1st episode exclusively on the app before it airs on TV. They don’t give everything away (you’ll have to wait till it airs to see which queen gets sent home) but it’s more than enough to placate your Drag Race cravings.

 

After being introduced to the first 7 queens (the other 7 we’ll meet soon) I can’t wait for the rest of the season to play out. There’s a whole bunch of young fishy queens (Adore Delano, Gia Gunn, Laganja Estranja) and a couple of older more established ones (Vivacious, Kelly Mantle). It’s gonna be a wild season, I can feel it. —TOM

Saturday 02.15.14

Brandon and Itamar go to ikea

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This is a short film that anyone who’s moved in with a significant other (many of us) and anyone who’s every gone to Ikea (all of us) can relate to.

 

Ikea shines like a giant blue and yellow beacon promising both improvement to the home and to the self. Going there on your own can be tiring, but easy enough. Going with a partner and being forced to agree on seemingly important decisions about how you want to live, can be almost impossible. All couples start their journey to Ikea filled with hope, only to end it on the bedroom floor at 3am, drunk, with pieces of plywood strewn about you, an allen wrench in one hand and an instruction booklet in the other, cursing Ingvar Feodor Kamprad for creating Ikea and the HOPEN, 8-drawer dresser in the first place.

 

Yet we always return.