Short documentary portrait of teenage rugby player and model from the Bronx – Jordan Torres by Justin Violini.
Jordan discusses how he first came to play rugby (his high-school didn’t have a basketball team), traveling to New Zealand for an exclusive camp, the loss of his brothers and being raised by a single mother, his goal to play in the 2016 Olympics and more.
Shot in New York (Fort Tilden, Pier 40 & East River Park) by Justin Violini in the summer of 2012.
Special thanks to Jason Kanner & Soul Artist Management, The New York Rugby Club and Joseph Bleu.
Former Everything But the Girl singer Tracey Thorn is following up 2010′s Love and Its Opposite with her very own Christmas album. Tinsel and Lights is out October 30 via Merge in the U.S. and Strange Feeling in the UK. In addition to two original songs, it features covers of songs by the White Stripes, Sufjan Stevens, Randy Newman, Stephin Merritt, Dolly Parton, Joni Mitchell, Low, and others. (Not every song is a “Christmas” song in the strictest sense of the term.)
The album features contributions from Thorn’s Everything But the Girl bandmate Ben Watt and Green Gartside of Scritti Politti. Here’s Thorn’s statement about the record:
“I’ve always wanted to make a Christmas record. Every year, when the Christmas albums start appearing in November, I get jealous and wish I had one coming out. Last year, I made a resolution to get recording in January to be ready for the following Christmas. And so that’s just what I did. They’re not all strictly Christmas songs, but if they mentioned winter or snow or even just being cold, that was good enough for me.”
Tinsel and Lights:
01 Joy [written by Tracey Thorn]
02 Hard Candy Christmas [Dolly Parton cover]
03 Like a Snowman [written by Stephin Merritt]
04 Maybe This Christmas [Ron Sexsmith cover]
05 In the Cold, Cold Night [White Stipes cover]
06 Snow [written by Randy Newman]
07 Snow in Sun [written by Green Gartside of Scritti Politti]
08 Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
09 Tinsel and Lights [written by Tracey Thorn]
10 River [Joni Mitchell cover]
11 Taking Down the Tree [ft. Green Gartside] [Low cover]
12 Sister Winter [Sufjan Stevens cover]
13 25th December [Everything But the Girl] (U.S. LP bonus track)
WIKI: Jobriath (Bruce Wayne Campbell December 14, 1946, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – August 3, 1983), was an American country rock and glam rock musician and actor. He was the first openly gay rock musician to be signed to a major record label, and one of the first internationally famous musicians to die of AIDS.
In mid-December 1972, Jerry Brandt, Carly Simon’s former manager, overheard a demo tape being played by Clive Davis at Columbia Records. Davis rejected the tape as “mad, unstructured and destructive to melody”, but Brandt was quick to step in. Jobriath later remarked “that coming from a man who discovered both Patti Smith and Barry Manilow…so much for sanity and structure!”. Brandt located Jobriath in California, where he was living in an unfurnished apartment and working as a prostitute. Brandt: “In walked this beautiful creature dressed in white. I said, Why don’t you come out to Malibu and hang out?” This became a feature of the mythology used to promote Jobriath, and helps to explain the acrimony that followed the dissolution of their professional and personal relationship.
Newly named Jobriath Boone, Brandt signed him to Elektra Records for a reported $500,000; allegedly the most lucrative recording contract of its time. The label’s president David Geffen signed Jobriath for a 2 album deal. A huge marketing campaign and media blitz ensued, including full-page advertisements in Vogue, Penthouse and Rolling Stone magazines, full-length posters on over 250 New York City buses and a huge, 41’ by 43’ billboard in Times Square. All featured the forthcoming debut album sleeve design by noted photographer Shig Ikeda, which featured a nude Jobriath, made to resemble an ancient Roman statue.
Plans were announced for a lavish three night live debut at the Paris Opera that December, at a cost of $200,000 and a subsequent tour of European opera houses. Jobriath informed the press that the show would feature him dressed as “King Kong being projected upwards on a mini Empire State Building. This will turn into a giant spurting penis and I will have transformed into Marlene Dietrich.” Elektra, concerned about spiraling production costs, postponed the Paris Opera shows until February, later canceling them due to expense.
Amidst this barrage of promotion, the debut album Jobriath was released, garnering mostly positive reviews. Rolling Stone stated that Jobriath had “talent to burn”, Cashbox called it “truly one of the most interesting albums of the year” and Record World hailed it as “brilliantly incisive”, referring to Jobriath as “a true Renaissance man who will gain a tremendous following”. Esquire disagreed, calling it “the hype of the year”. The album was co-produced by Eddie Kramer and Jobriath, featuring string arrangements by Jobriath, recorded at Olympic Studios with the London Symphony Orchestra. Kramer described Jobriath in Mojo as “a romantic soul, really. He wanted orchestrations like old film music, though he knew nothing about scoring. So he bought a book on orchestration and within a week he’d come up with scores of a haunting quality”. Peter Frampton is also credited on the album, though his contribution is unclear.
During this period, Brandt continued making extravagant statements such as “Elvis, the Beatles, and Jobriath” and declaring that both he and Jobriath had booked flights on Pan American’s first passenger flight to the moon. Meanwhile, Jobriath declared himself “rock’s truest fairy”, a comment that did little to increase his popularity at the time but has since confirmed his status as the first openly gay rock singer to be signed to a major record label.
Jobriath’s debut public performance was made on television, when Brandt secured him an appearance on the popular show The Midnight Special. The costumes were designed by Jobriath and the choreography was by Joyce Trisler, of the Joffrey Ballet. Two songs were performed, “I’maman” and “Rock of Ages”, the latter substituting for “Take Me I’m Yours” which was pulled after the producer objected to its overtly sado-masochistic theme. The long awaited live performance finally came in the summer of 1974 with two sold-out shows at New York’s Bottom Line club. Sales for the album however, were poor and it failed to secure a chart placing.
Six months after the release of the debut album, Creatures of the Street was released, again featuring Peter Frampton, as well as John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin. The costumes were by Stephen Sprouse. The photography was by Gereg Mankowitz. Compiled from the extensive sessions for its predecessor, it was launched without any fanfare or media promotion and failed commercially. A US tour followed, during which recordings took place at local studios for a projected third album. Both Brandt and Elektra abandoned Jobriath midway, but despite this the band completed the tour, continuing to bill Elektra for expenses. A final show, at the University of Alabama, ended in five encores and the fire brigade being summoned, due to the excited audience setting off the alarm.
In January 1975 Jobriath announced his retirement from the music industry and moved into a pyramid topped rooftop apartment at the Chelsea Hotel in New York City. He attempted to resume his acting career and auditioned for the role of Al Pacino’s lover in the film Dog Day Afternoon without success. Calling himself “Cole Berlin” (a play on both Cole Porter and Irving Berlin), he worked as a cabaret singer at a restaurant called The Covent Gardens, as well as clubs and cabarets, augmenting his income with occasional prostitution.
By the time his 10 year contract with Brandt was finally up, Jobriath was sick with AIDS. He began to feel ill in late 1981 but still managed to contribute to the Chelsea Hotel’s 100th birthday celebrations in November 1982. On August 3, 1983, one week after the end of his original 10 year contract with Jerry Brandt expired, Jobriath died, becoming one of the first famous musicians to die of the disease.
New York City-based writer-director Adam Goldman has produced an intriguing new 6 part web series about gay life in the big city. Titled “The Outs,” Goldman describes his new series as “a story about big relationships, the ones that really define people, and what happens when they fall apart, and how that can change someone.”
As Goldman tells HuffPost Gay Voices:
When was the last time a show about gay people made you feel something?
Here’s the thing: sometimes if you want something and you can’t find it then you have to make it. Right? I wanted a character-driven comedy with heart about gay men — I love Mitch and Cam on “Modern Family,” but those aren’t my people. I don’t live in California and I don’t have a baby. And I never went to clown school. (Not that I wouldn’t. I would!) Mitch and Cam brighten that show immeasurably, but it’s not about them.
As it turns out, “The Outs” is quite the community project. Noting that he “wants to give [viewers] an idea of what it’s like to live here without alienating you if you don’t,” Goldman continues:
We shoot in Brooklyn. Our locations are local businesses (Pete Zaaz, Glass Shop and Wino(t) in Crown Heights, for example). Our music is by local bands — Beauty Feast, Akudama, Strange Shapes and Delicate Steve, just to name a few.
There’s more information at our website, and the best way to keep up with the show is on Facebook.
Two rare classics from the vault of New York’s premiere ’80s nightlife videographer, Nelson Sullivan. Writer Michael Musto and artist Albert Crudo, accompanied by a tiny posse of photographer Liz Lizard and her two kids (and Sullivan, of course), take the long subway journey from Manhattan to Coney Island so Musto can take a spin on his favorite ride. Today, in case you didn’t know, this old Coney Island is virtually nonexistent except in memories. – stephen saban @ WOW
Cruising is a 1980 psychological thriller film directed by William Friedkin and starring Al Pacino. The film is loosely based on the novel of the same name, by New York Times reporter Gerald Walker, about a serial killer targeting gay men, in particular those associated with the S&M scene.
Poorly reviewed by critics, Cruising was a modest financial success, though the filming and promotion were dogged by gay rights protesters. The title is a play on words with a dual meaning, as “cruising” can describe police officers on patrol and also cruising for sex.
“The interesting thing about that movie is it gets short-circuited a bit too quickly in people’s eyes. If you forget about the whole murder mystery backstory and you just look at the bar scenes, I think it’s quite an insightful, important document of an important subculture, right before AIDS hits, in 1979 New York.” – Travis Mathews (director of “I Want Your Love”)
“I loved Cruising — while everyone else was furiously condemning it. It had an underground decadence that wasn’t that different from The Story of O or other European high porn of the 1960s.” She also praised the soundtrack, and added, “The gay opposition to Cruising prefigured the dismayingly Stalinist gay and feminist picketing of Basic Instinct.” -Camille Paglia
“john i am dressed in hermes from tip to toe……”
James [St James] at 17. Early, early looks. I’d just moved to New York, found that old circus cape at a thrift store on Ave B, and wore it EVERYWHERE. I might still have it somewhere in storage, but it was molting and moth-eaten and just plain filthy in 1984, I’d be terrified to see it now.
Awww. My first (and favorite) boyfriend, Colin. It’s a shame I was such a spoiled brat and ruined everything. We were actually pretty happy for a while. I should call him, see how he is. This was taken on 42nd Street BACK IN THE DAY when it was still pretty rough, boy. I remember it caused quite an uproar when we asked to have the picture in the heart “frame” lol.
My favorite dress ever. Usually worn with a studded jockstrap so I could flash taxi drivers. This picture was taken at Rudolf’s club Quick, which had formerly been Area and NASA.
With Garth in Danceteria basement, 1985
My 19th birthday party at the Palladium, 1985