Monday, April 30, 2007

Kids Are People Too vs Patti Smith

You have to be "of a certain age" to remember the kid's television show "Kids Are People Too." It ran from 1978 until sometime in the early mid-80's and was essentialy a talk-show format with a live studio audience. They had regular features like the kid's advice segment "Dear Alex and Annie" (they looked like a talking Sheilds & Yarnell), and guests were people like people giving kids advice on shopping, random b-list celebrities, and musicians. Sometimes there were some really cool guests though. I recently came across this clip of Patti Smith singing "You Light Up My Life" on the show! Talk about random! But man, I do love a cover song.

I suppose on some levels this might not seem like a particularly gay thing to post on this blog, but we do get the Detroit connection when Patti answers a question about where she lives. Plus it's a cover of a Debby Boone song accompanied by composer Joe Brooks. And show host Michael Young's package in those tight jeans ...

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Guerrilla Queer Bar, this Friday

The Detroit Guerrilla Queer Bar has announced the takeover location for their next event! This Friday, starting at 9:30, everyone needs to meet up at The Whitney on the third floor bar for the usual guerrilla gay old time. Go to their website for full info.

If you haven't been to a Guerrilla event, I'm here to tell you they are a great time. They get a really great mix of city and suburb, a diverse mix of ages and types. Plus it's nice to be in a new location with a gay vibe, if only for a night. Keeps things mixed up!

Oh, the Guerrilla stories I could tell ...

OK, back to the fluff

This is a brilliant video from 1978. It's a great pop song, Armi & Danny, "I Wanna Love You Tender." You will like it, those Scandinavian types were really good with a pop song back then.

The choreographer for this video was allegedly Slobodon Milosovic, who shockingly abandoned this career for one as a genocidal maniac. The woman singer, former Miss Finland Armi Aavikko, apparently died an alcoholic in 2002. Danny is still performing - he's like the Tom Jones of Finland - and still has those bangs. It's funny where life takes you. Enjoy the good times.

It's good to have a little pathos with your pop music.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Hey ppl, my little article, "Where the Gays Are," (they picked the name but I approve) appeared in Model D today.

You should read it.

If you are visiting after being referred from the article, Wilkommen, bienvenue, welcome!

The Gay Bar Blight Tour I mentioned in the article can be accessed through the links section at the bottom left.

Heh heh, I said "bottom."

Monday, April 23, 2007

Reunion Ghettoway Weekend!

OK! Now that I got all that bitter judginess of my chest, I feel a lot better!

As I said, this weekend involved a brilliant group of people who someday are going to be so rich and famous that I will be able to be their estate caretaker and live comfortably. You know, if you're gay you don't automatically get kids to care for you in your dotage, so latch onto those rising stars!

Anyway, we don't need a full play-by-play, but there are a few highlights to share.

  • It looks like someone may have actually broken the /aut/ bar monopoly on gay bars in Ann Arbor. The Metro Cafe is just across the street, in the old Sweet Lorraine's space in Kerrytown, and it is gay-owned and ready and willing to serve you an adult beverage. We don't want to hate the /aut/ bar, but if you are going to open a bar and then (a) never change the decor over 12 years, (b) create the smokiest atmosphere in all of Ann Arbor, and (c) never respond to customer requests or complaints, then you deserve to have the rug pulled out from under you.

  • You have not been to a gay barbeque until someone colors the neighbor's hair right in the back yard.

  • Costco is now bottling a premium vodka under their Kirkland label. It's made in France and the debate is whether or not it is secretly Grey Goose. The internet reveals mixed info. It will get you drunk and leave you hangover-free (probably).

  • The Ritz-Carlton in Dearborn is actually nice. I have always pretty much hated it, because my sense is that a Ritz-Carlton should be in the middle of somewhere. Despite the fact that it is architecturally insignificant and located next to a mall, the service is great, the beds are soooo comfortable and the food is outstanding. And the decor? Well, not my bag, but clearly attention has been paid to detail. It's like staying with your really really rich grandma. And that's a good thing.

My Personal Gay Brain Drain

There is nothing to set you right like a weekend with your best girlfriends. Of course if you live in Michigan this typically means they need to come back to visit, because we cannot hang onto a homo here.

In this case, six friends who moved away from SE Michigan in the last three or four years all came back for a Reunion Ghettoway Weekend. Naturally they all moved to fabulous locales: Chicago, San Francisco, Miami, Palm Springs. That's just the way it is. But miracle of miracles, the, um, two? of that core group left here in SEM managed to lure them back.

Now don't get me wrong. I am on the record declaring gay life here lacking, but there was no hesitation on everyone's part to come back. If there is one thing that we have going for us here is that you can meet some brilliant people who have no real agenda other than looking for other cool friends. It's a nice contrast to the "who do you know how do you know them" that you can get to varying degrees elsewhere (well, here too a little bit - I'm talking to you, Pronto).

But looking at my friends - a group of winsome, intelligent, funny and fun gay professionals / functional alcoholics in their 30's and early 40's - and thinking about how they all felt the need to move on out of here for self-actualization, made me a tiny bit sad. "Brain drain" is a well-documented phenomenon in SE Michigan, but I think no community is affected by that more acutely than the gay community. It's pretty much a fact of life that when you are done with professional school or have reached a certain point in your career, you head on out of Michigan for the greener gay pastures of cities such as SF, NYC, Chicago. Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Atlanta, LA, DC, Boston, Pittsburgh, Minneapolis, Palm Springs, Portland, San Diego, Austin or even Columbus (yes, shockingly, even Columbus has their gay act together).

Last January Between the Lines published an article about "Gay Brain Drain" that was laughable in its scope. Sure, interesting topic, right? Well apparently the fact that gays in professional fields would leave is so taken for granted that the "brain drain" they discussed involved "waiters, designers and people who work in retail." The gay working class.

Man, when they are leaving your town, you know you've got problems. The big reason cited in the article for not moving? "Money. Honey, if I hit the lottery ... "


The one thing that article did get right was the universal sense that Ferndale does not qualify as a gay neighborhood; it's just a city with a lot of gay residents. "A district needs more of a draw than two gay bars, a bookstore, a community center and a half-gay restaurant." Thank you.

So what does this have to do with anything? I don't know, I forgot where I was going with this about ten minutes ago. But the fact of the matter is that I had a blast with my gay friends this weekend, and I wish there were enough cool, funny, culturally literate, non-self-loathing, well-dressed, professional, cosmopolitan gays with high expectations in this area that I didn't have to travel or wait for a visit to get a little fabulous in my life.

Oh, and believe it or not, this is me in my post-weekend LESS bitter mode!

My friend with the Vagina Power

Alexyss Tyler is my friend on MySpace now. Why aren't you?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Penis Power

I think I figured out my problem - I am hooked on the penis power. I had no idea until I was enlightened by this absolutely hilarious clip from Atlanta Public Access tv.

I know you are not going to want to watch the whole thing but it is SO worth it. If the promise of hearing this woman talk about men who "spank you and talk to you all kind of ways" when they hit the bottom of your vagina isn't enough to get you to go, maybe the following dialogue is:

"(The rabbit vibrator) the design of it, it jump up all on the clitoris, just jump out of control and make the woman have a incredible orgasm. That's the mechanical jackrabbit for the clit."

"Some men have so much heat and intensity in they penis, that you can feel it radiatin' through they clothes, just to touch the penis, it's on fire, feel like it's fire underneath the skin."

And it only gets better. At about 3:30 there is an unbelievable line about a shrimp platter at Long John Silver.

Public access in Atlanta is SO much better than here.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Ugly Betty White

OK, I am totally ripping this from OMGblog, but what a brilliant idea!

"I can hardly believe the fabulousness of this idea, but The TV Land Awards, which air on April 22, will feature a parody skit called Ugly Betty White, starring Eric Estrada as Ignacio Suarez, Charo as Hilda, and Betty White (of course) as Ugly Betty herself. If the above photo doesn't make you want to watch this, you are crazy."


Population of Metro Detroit = 4,500,000

Percentage of general population assumed to be gay = 10%

Percentage of population that is male = 49%

Shave off a fraction for the underage set = 25%

Total guess on percentage of males in metro area with professional careers = 35%

Simple math and some broad assumptions leave me with the following conclusion: there are 57,881 professional gay men over 21 in Metro Detroit.

Does it seem like that many to you? Where the hell are they all?

Tonight I am dreaming of Miss Coco Peru

Everybody loves this scene from the movie Trick!


Enjoy it now, it'll probably get yanked from YouTube any time. Remember the good old days when you could see EVERYTHING on YouTube? Good times ...

Monday, April 16, 2007


OK, I know that posting YouTube videos does not count as blogging, but I'm a little swamped.

I was gonna save this video for a more appropriate time of year, but after watching it a bunch of times lately I have to post it.

Sunday, April 15, 2007


I am not sure what to say about this. It's like every disco cliche in one home-made music video.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Here is some snide condescension toward suburbanites

So I am sitting at the bar drinking at Atlas Global Bistro yesterday morning, um, afternoon, er EVENING and I heard the most annoying thing ever. This week.

The Atlas kitchen was asked to cater a "move in" party for a suburbanite moving into a new loft development downtown which will remain nameless. Smart move - Atlas has amazing food. Everyone will be impressed. Unless ...

You contact Atlas to cater your party and you want a "Detroit" themed menu. Coney dogs. Better Made potato chips. Faygo pop. Stroh's beer. Sure.

If you are moving into a hot new loft with "55" in the address. If you are moving downtown because it is a cool place to live. If you are using Atlas to do your catering. If you are having a party to show this all off. If, if, if ...

Why you gotta be so typical? Where is the sophistication, the imagination, the creativity of this so-called "creative class" that is moving downtown? Please, keep that played out lowbrow shit in the 'burbs.

"Check it out! We're in Detroit! And we've got all these made-in-Detroit foods, isn't that AWESOME!!! High-five!"

It made me irrationally angry. Obviously.

I bet they played Motown music too.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Detroit Fringe Festival

If you're like me, you saw those three words and a nightmare convergence of suburban Design on a Dime devotees came immediately to mind ... possibly one of the only things that could be more annoying than the crowds from Wrestlemania or the Farah Khan concert.

Fortunately, instead of glue-gun-totin', tassle-wranglin', MDF-furniture-makin' DIY hausfraus on the prowl, we are getting our very own
Fringe Festival (you know, like, edgy) at the Music Hall. Presumably based on NYC's two-week Fringe Festival, it is a 30-hour arts extravaganza put together by a number of arts-related people and groups, and if you want any more info on the who and what then click on the link.

On what planet is this supposed to appeal to gay people? Nice job.

I bring it up here because the Music Hall has a very good recent history of bringing on the gay-relevant entertainment, most notably the Liza concert last year (and the even gayer but moderately-attended Liza look-alike contest/Cabaret screening that preceded it), and my araƱa sense is tingling about this event. So if you are looking for an event where you should expect a larger-than-average gay turnout downtown (ie: more than 5), I think you should check this out.

First of all, it's an arts thing, and while the gays in Detroit are a much much much much much much much smaller part of the arts world than you would expect, they do still tend to venture out to those sorts of things.

Causing A Scene Productions is performing throughout the event, and they will bring on the full gender confusion and androgyny in their very cool performances. Like a man ballerina en pointe. Hot.

Thirdly, there are a couple of performances that look to be pretty cool, some C-Pop art shows, DJ's for like 30 hours straight, Jazzercise, and you can come and go as you please, all for $32 (plus, presumably, the cost of booze).

If you've been paying attention then you know that the new director of the Music Hall is doing a pretty great job of hipping up that venue. So arty and hipster gays, don't be a follower, be a leader, and take advantage of something cool and different in Detroit. So we can have more.

Do it.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Classic Buddy

Kids in the Hall always kind of gave me a rash, but the Buddy skits did make me laugh. Sometimes a lot. Here's a classic, classic Buddy clip. A couple lines from this have made it into the lexicon. "You're not really singing, who cares?"

Foreign Correspondence: Follow Up

Our foreign correspondent reports back with a few videos of the Easter celebrations in San Fran.

A slideshow of the Easter Bonnet competition.
"In your Easter bonnet, with all the frills upon it ..."

A few short clips from the Hunky Jesus contest.
Look at the size of this crowd, that's more gay people than exist in Detroit!

Breck Girl Jesus!

Sanjaya Jesus!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Foreign Correspondence: San Francisco

Just a little fun for Easter in San Fran. It was a lovely day, and the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence had their annual festivities: Children's Easter Party, Bonnet Contest, and Hunky Jesus Contest.

Our San Francisco correspondent reports.

We headed down to Dolores Park this morning since it was a beautiful sunny day here in SF. The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence were out in full force with the nice weather and crowd. Great outfits, hats and freaks a-plenty.

The Hunky Jesus Contest saw a few really good ones; Jesus Christ Superstar, or as they were introduced "Jesus and his bitches."

There was Old School Jesus carrying a huge wooden cross, Pogo-stick Jesus whose hair flowed as he bounced up and down on his pogo stick, Easy Rider Jesus who wore a vintage yellow motorcycle helmet and yellow pants and proceeded to strip down to nothing, and Peeps Jubilee Jesus who had a hat made entirely of Peeps, which he then lit in on fire - on his head - to a blazing bush of Peeps. It was hot!

San Francisco is fucking awesome. When Detroit chews me up and spits me out, that's where you'll find me.

"Uncle" Max indeed

I finally solved an ancient mystery. Have you ever watched The Sound of Music and wondered what the hell was the deal with Max Detweiler, musical impresario, confidant to The Baroness, bon vivant? Like, why was he there, other than to move the plot along, provide a little comic relief and buy those kids a marionette show? In the context of the movie, who exactly was he?

WELL, I was watching the show with my parents on Easter Sunday (apparently it was on heavy rotation this weekend) and upon hearing the following dialogue between Max and The Baroness, it all became clear. Max is the The Baroness' gay friend!

Max: Well?
The Baroness: Well what?
Max: Have you made up his mind? Do I hear wedding bells?
The Baroness: Pealing madly.
Max: Marvelous.
The Baroness: Not necessarily for me.
Max: What kind of talk's that?
The Baroness: None-of-your-business talk. I'm terribly fond of him, so don't toy with us.
Max: But I'm a child. I like toys. So tell me everything. Come on. Tell me every teensy-weensy, intimate, disgusting detail.
The Baroness: Well, let's just say I have a feeling I may be here on approval.
Max: I approve of that. How can you miss?
The Baroness: Far too easily.
Max: If I know you, darling, and I do, you will find a way.
The Baroness: He's no ordinary man.
Max: No, he's rich.
The Baroness: His wife's death gave him a great heartache.
Max: And your husband's death gave you a great fortune.
The Baroness: Oh, Max, you really are a beast.
Max: You and Georg are like family. That's why I want to see you married. We must keep all that lovely money in the family.

What straight man has a conversation like that with a Baroness??

After this exchange I made my observation to my parents, and my dad was basically like "Duh."

"I like rich people, the way they live and how I live when I'm with them."

Field Report: Detroit Beer Company

Not gay at all. No gay people, sports only.

Cutest hipster I ever saw at the bar next to me though.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Everybody is a star in Hollywood!

Here's a great video full of great 70's gay things ... the Village People, porn, disco, campy movie scenes ...

Nothing explicit, but probably NSF most W. Ostensibly about the early days of modern porn, but it's just fun and sexy and hot and nostalgic and wow!

You dirty bitch! Look what you've done to my peonies!

Friday, April 6, 2007

Gay Boyfriend

Feeling a little blah, looking at the weather outside, I decided I needed a cute infusion this morning. So it's time for a revival of The Hazzards "Gay Boyfriend" video. Cute cute cute cute cute!

Gay boyfriend!

Click the image to watch the video!
(ctrl-click to open in a new tab/window)

You can also listen to the UK remix (an ultra-produced fun version of the song) on their MySpace page. (well, if you can get it to load. Listen to the other songs too!)

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Field Report: Atlas Global Bistro

With Oslo closed (way to blow it, guys), Atlas Global Bistro remains one of the few beacons of hope for civilized socializing on the Woodward stretch of downtown Detroit.

Back when I started my search for intelligent gay life downtown, I discovered Sunday brunch at Atlas and it quickly became a favorite spot. It's upscale, reasonably pulled-together decor-wise (that teal ceiling is an issue, but you know you can't tell a business owner anything), and has a bar big enough for an evening of hanging out drinking martinis (or alternately, a Sunday afternoon of bottomless mimosas). The crowd is very diverse in all the best ways, and everyone is really quick to mingle. A lot of residents of the Addison apartments (upstairs in the same building) are regulars, and that building is no stranger to a homosexual tenant.

For a while, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays were pulling a pretty decent gay professional crowd in their mid-20's and up. By "decent" I mean anywhere from a smattering to a gangle. I suspect having a hot, charismatic gay bartender might have had something to do with this. There was also a swell
Guerrilla Queer Bar event there last fall that had a really nice turnout (pic swiped from the Detroit Guerrillas site).

That popular bartender left Atlas a month or two ago, and the word was that there's been some downturn in the overall bar scene there. Since I am a busy professional I haven't been keeping tabs on this, so I sent the Supergay Investigative Team "4 on the Floor" in to find out the truth.

Caveat: I gauge the bar scene completely separately from restaurant activity, so in no way whatsoever should any comments be construed to mean business is slow at Atlas, because it is not. But I know how you bitches are.

Visits on three separate weeknights over the past seven days revealed that yes, in fact, the bar scene seems to have mellowed out a bit. That is not to say the bar was completely empty, but a Thursday night that might once have been labeled "casually bustling" would now be downgraded to "vibrantly subdued." The bar scene has always been a little hit-or-miss, and I don't know if it's the frenzy of another sports season starting or this crappy weather, but things do seem slower.

Now there was some talk last year, since Wednesdays were turning out to be so very lavender, of making an official gay night. The management team could not quite pull it together to officially declare this so it just stayed this little scene until late last fall. In recent weeks we'd had conversations about it and I told them that Jesus still wants them to have a gay night, and they seemed receptive to it. So it looks like Wednesdays might be the night, if it can gain momentum.

The first official "gay night" (man, that is a tacky expression) was last night, and was like any other Wednesday, really. There is a new sweetheart of a gay bartender, and a handful of people at the bar, most of them gay. Everyone ended up chatting with each other, it was actually a really good time!

I met an interesting fellow who moved to downtown Detroit from gay heaven San Francisco who obviously has been reading this blog because he complained about (a) where the fuck are all the gay people in Detroit, (b) how come every gay person you actually do meet in Detroit is coupled, and (c) why the fuck to the gay bars suck so hard here? Hello, my thoughts exactly!

He also said he and his friends used to come to Atlas a lot in part to see the previous bartender, so I guess his departure does have something to do with the current state of events. But that ain't gonna change so I guess it's just our gay civic duty to show up and drink anyway.

So the prognosis for Atlas is still great, and despite this little slump it is still the best option for gay professional-types to hang out someplace nice, get a great drink (or an awesome meal, by the way) and meet interesting folks like me. If you are gay or have gay friends you can drag along, stop on by. And don't limit yourself to Wednesdays, because every night can be a gay old time at Atlas!

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Renew, Reuse, Recycle

Not since Tori Amos covered "Smells Like Teen Spirit" has a song been so brilliantly reconceived.

Alanis Morissette, "My Humps."

Fall into the Gap

Remember those great Gap ads from the late '90's? Do you even remember the '90's at all?

Here's my fave,
Khaki a-go-go, featuring that cute dancer from Madonna's "Truth or Dare."

Here's the rest:

Khakis Swing
Khakis Rock
Khaki Soul
Khakis Groove
Khaki Country

Monday, April 2, 2007

Gay Hell

This was an avoid-at-all-costs weekend in downtown Detroit.

Wrestlemania 23 brought down (or up?) the trashiest of the white trash to Ford Field all weekend long and assaulted everyone with pure, undiluted ugly. Like, skinny pale bird-chested guys walking around with their shirt off in 50 degree weather. And idiots wrestling with each other on the street, drawing blood, before heading into whatever wrestling festivities were going on.

Proving that no one ever went broke underestimating the public, Wrestlemania was the highest-grossing event ever held at Ford Field.

It's actually an extended gay hell weekend, because today is Opening Day for the Tigers. While somewhat less offensive than the heapin' helpin' of heinous served up downtown over the weekend, it's still Detroit in full sporto mode, which isn't really that much better. Last time I braved the Tiger pre-game crowds I got "Nice man-bag. Faggot."

Detroit had better serve up some pretty reaaaal soon. I'm getting a little irritated.
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