Monday, May 20, 2024

Music Monday: Sarah McLachlan

Throwing it back, way back, to 1993 this fine Monday. Remember when Sarah McLachlan had a stranglehold on all your little emotions? To this day I feel tinges of PTSD whenever “Angel” comes on, coupled with the sudden urge to adopt every single shelter dog. Anyway, Sarah remains one of the most beautiful voices in rock. Her appearance on Kimmel earlier this month is proof that she hasn’t lost a single note over the years. This weekend she embarks on her 30th anniversary tour (gulp, swallow, oh my knees) for “Fumbling Towards Ecstacy.”Alas I won’t be able to see her when she swing through my coast (nose bleed tickets are still like $350!) But I will reminisce heartily. I’ve seen her multiple times (twice at Lilith Fairs, and solo). So I guess it’s time to dust off the old CDs? Now, I just have to find a CD player. Happy Monday, kittens.

Friday, May 17, 2024

My Weekend (Redux) Crush

You know a few weeks ago when I said how I couldn’t wait to see the new Indigo Girls documentary? Well, this past weekend I saw “It’s Only Life After All” in theaters and you should absolutely go see the Indigo Girls documentary in the theater if only to remember how great it feels to watch something everyone there loves in a dark room together. Like, if you can’t get to a concert or haven’t been to one of their shows in a while this will be a balm on your tired soul.

Not only does the film explore the community The Girls have built over the last nearly 37 years, but it also gives us more of a glimpse into their private lives and personal passions – not to mention their insecurities and evolution. We see (briefly, so briefly) their partners and kids. We see rare footage from their early days. For a longtime fan like myself, it’s a voyeuristic peek at what we never see once the curtain goes down. But you feel okay about the snooping because The Girls themselves have given the documentarian Alexandria Bombach full reign over the project and their video archives. Can you imagine watching nearly 40 years of Indigo Girls tour footage? If there’s a lesbian heaven, yeah, that’s at least once of the activity rooms.

In the end, the film is a reminder that the artists we idolize are, always, just people. And those people, like most people, have rich internal lives that the world almost never sees. So I sincerely thank Amy and Emily for allowing us a look at the women behind The Girls. We all know the magic that happens when they music together. But the alchemy of their lives together is something even more rare to behold. Happy weekend, all.

p.s. In case you missed them, they were on Late Night with Seth Meyers recently which is also worth a watch. Just like everything involving Indigo Girls is worth a watch. Period. p.p.s. Which song is did Emily changed the cringey lyrics? I don’t think I heard her give her little disclaimer at any of the shows I’ve seen recently. Seth, you need to ask these critical follow-up questions!

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Prom Date film

So we’re getting close to the weekend again and you’re probably thinking, “Gosh, I’d like a new fun gay movie to watch. Are there any?” Well, might I suggest the mostly ridiculous, but also generally enjoyable “Prom Dates” on Hulu. Yes, it’s another high school comedy. Yes, it’s kind of like “Superbad” but for teen girls. Yes, there are two best friends – one straight and one lesbian. Yes, there is some uneven writing and plotlines but, again, no worse than a lot of the entirely straight programming I’ve sat through. The plot, such that there is one, involves both teens finding themselves dateless right before prom and their subsequent quest to find dates for prom. Look, it can’t all be Shakespeare. The two leads, Julia Lester and Antonia Gentry, are pretty likable. The story moves at a pleasant clip (and at an hour and 25 minutes is The perfect length). The coming out storyline isn’t the queer teen’s only personality trait. And they even work to humanize said queer teen’s recently dumped boyfriend (he was just the dorky Asian guy punchline for a while, but they managed to mostly save it).

I would say “Prom Dates” fits comfortably into the “Booksmart” (an admittedly better movie about one gay and one straight high school besties), “Crush” (criminally underrated) and “Blockers” (also pretty underrated) genre of smarter than they seem teen comedies with prominent lesbian leads. Also, three out of those four are all on Hulu (“Booksmart sadly doesn’t appear to be streaming for free anywhere which RUDE). So, if you want to have a crazy queer lady weekend I suggest binging all those teen films and then ending your night with the adults and “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” (also available on Hulu). You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll feel super gay. And that’s a good thing.

p.s. [MILD SPOILER] My one quibble is what’s with lesbian teen comedies where the lesbian teen vomits on someone’s chest and/or has her chest vomited on? Like this has never once been a problem I have encountered in my several decades as a gay woman. Not. Once. But it happens in “Booksmart” and “Prom Dates.” Who can we talk about this unwanted queer stomach content representation?

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

She’s So Unusual(ly Awesome)

My sentimental love for Cyndi Lauper goes back, way back. She was one of my late father’s favorite pop musicians, and we bonded over our love for “Time After Time” and more. Like my dad, she was born in Brooklyn and grew up in New York (not that you could tell from their accents…kidding!) And, like my dad was, she is – what New Yorkers would call – a real character. Not to mention, she’s a well recorded Friend of the Blog (to call her a Friend of Dorothy almost seems redundant, but of course also works).

So, obviously, I couldn’t be more thrilled that she is getting the documentary treatment. I’ve watched a number of documentaries in the past year about great women from “All the Beauty and the Bloodshed” about artist Nan Goldin’s Sackler family crusade to recent docs on legends like Frida Kahlo, Julia Child and Sinead O’Connor. I can’t wait for Cyndi to take her place in the pantheon of greatness and get her flowers for being a trailblazer, rule breaker and fighter of the good fight for more than 40 years. She’s so unusually awesome.

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Fancy Meeting You Here

Remember when I said I was excited to see Lily Gladstone as a “queer 30-ish scammer” in the new AppleTV+ film “Fancy Dance?” Yeah, I’m really excited now. After earning raves at Sundance and SXSW, the film debuts in late June on the streamer. Sure, we don’t get to see any of her queer scamming in the trailer. But if a trailer can make me tear up, I trust the whole movie will do so much more (“little mother,” sob – yes, I might have some feelings about this as a gay auntie). Plus this story of familial and cultural love seems to have found a seamless way to address the epidemic of missing and murdered indigenous women. You love to see it.

I would also like to say how incredibly impressed I am with Lily’s post Oscar choices. Every single project she has signed on since is directed/created by a woman or a person of color (Quinn Shephard with “Under the Bridge,” Erica Tremblay with “Fancy Dance,” Morrisa Maltz with “Jazzy,” Andrew Ahn with “The Wedding Banquet” and Reed Morano with “The Memory Police”). Meanwhile Natalie Portman has worked with two female directors on full-length features in the last 20 years (the most recent was eight years ago on the 2015 film I’ve never heard of “Planetarium” and the other was the year before that in a movie she directed herself). Not to be outdone, Emma Stone has NEVER worked on a feature film with a solo female director. So, anyway, what I’m saying is way to go, Lily. Again, you love to see it.

Monday, May 13, 2024

Music Monday: Lunch Date

Truly, I am so impatient for this song to drop. Like, come on Billie, stop teasing. Give us our LUNCH! It’s been more than four weeks since Billie Eilish gave us a tiny taste of her latest and definitely gayest work yet while at Coachella Gaychella. Anyway, Billie seems to be fully thriving since coming out. And I will impatiently continue to wait for it while we also wait for her new album “Hit Me Hard & Soft” to come out May 17. Lunch date? Let’s hope. Happy Monday, kittens.

p.s. Look, she is even officially teasing us. Drop. Your. Lunch. Girl.

Friday, May 10, 2024

My Weekend Crush(es)

Generally I’m not really a huge fan of the Met Gala unless Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Sarah Paulson, Rihanna, Helena Bonham Carter, Awkwafina, Mindy Kaling and Anne freaking Hathaway are conspiring to pull off a jewel heist there. But I will say amid all the Let Them Eat Cake decadence of this yearly fashion bacchanalia was one couple who at least made me happy to see them together, no matter the occasion. It’s been a long, likely difficult road to get there. But it sure was nice to see Queen Latifah and her longtime, uh, person Eboni Nichols there with her. Together. As a couple. And didn’t they look regal? And they even held hands. At the Met Gala! Go queens. Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, May 09, 2024

We Will Lady Rock You

You know when you love a new show but it’s got an unfortunately small audience on one of the lesser (sorry, Peacock, it’s true) streamers and then you never hear about it again but occasionally think back whistfully and think, gosh, I wish that show would come back? But, it almost never comes back. Well, welcome to a little television miracle (which we richly deserve after all the Cancel Your Gays nonsense) because three years after it first premiered, “We Are Lady Parts” is back, baby! The UK series about a group of women who start an all-female Muslim punk band debuted in 2021 (though, honestly, it feels longer ago than that). The series was funny and feminist and smart and even a little gay, plus the songs were good. Everything about it was good. And then it disappeared. But every once in a while the universe decides we can have more nice things after all. So I cannot wait to watch this second season and, universe willing, maybe even another one. I mean, I don’t want to get greedy. But, “Two and a Half Men” aired for 12 seasons so maybe we can be a little greedy when it comes to actually good shows after all. Anyway, in three weeks, bring on the Villain Era!

Wednesday, May 08, 2024

Just Like Rosie

Well, isn’t this Rosie – as in Rosie O’Donnell is joining the cast of “And Just Like That” for the reboot’s third season. It’s interesting to watch who Hollywood turns to as the Go To Lesbian. Rosie seems to be leading the pack, with roles on “The L Word: Generation Q” and “A League of Their Own” and, for those with slightly longer memories, “The Fosters.” I’ve noticed whenever a queer/queer-friendly show wants to bolster its bona fides they’ve brought in an out, established, visibly lesbian star. Rosie also gives shows just enough of a butch edge to not be too scary for the straight folks (though, if her hair in her AJLT set selfie is any indication, not terribly butch at all – though I think it’s maybe a wig ). Right now, really the only other actress competing for Go To Lesbian status is Lea DeLaria, who recently popped up in my beloved “Girls5Eva.” Rosie’s casting is also an obvious replacement for Sara Ramirez who left the show after two seasons. While I enjoy Sara’s work, I can’t say I’ll miss their character of Che too much on the show. Though I feel that’s more to do with how Che was written, and their awkwards dynamic with Miranda and the group. So, thoughts on Rosie joining Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and the rest? Honestly, it’s not a great show but I continue to watch out of displaced loyalty to all those hours spent watching SATC in my 20s – and none of them were even gay then!

Tuesday, May 07, 2024

Aloha Your Gays

Look, I know “NCIS: Hawaii” wasn’t really a great show. But it was a perfectly serviceable crime procedural with a likable cast with good chemistry and beautiful Hawaiian landscapes and GAYS. So, obviously I’m bummed that last night’s season finale is its series finale after three seasons. Now it joins the heap of cancelled shows with queer characters. Lucy and Whistler deserve better! We all deserve better! They are among a staggering 36% of LGBTQ+ characters not returning to our televisions next season. So, in case you were wondering, Cancel Your Gays continues unabated. So instead of seeing increasing numbers of inclusive LGBTQ+ characters on our screens, we’re seeing diminishing returns. One step forward, how many steps back now? While the third season hasn’t had nearly enough Lucy and Whistler action (and threw in some gay-ish female killers), the one episode where they played newlyweds is a reminder of what we’re losing. Sigh. Where else will I scratch my crime procedural AND my cute crime-solving TV lesbians who work together itch now? Someone please make really gay Rizzoli & Isles, I’m literally begging.

Monday, May 06, 2024

Music Monday: Girl on Fallon

Oh, girl in red. Please continue showing up at national televised performances in your extremely lesbian suits and singing about extremely bad exes. Happy Monday, kittens.

Friday, May 03, 2024

My Weekend Crush

To be the first anything is both a gift and a burden. And, all too often, it’s also long overdue. All through award season we watched Lily Gladstone so gracefully carry the gift/burden of being the first-ever actor from an Indigenous American tribe to be nominated for an Oscar. To be asked the exact same questions over and over. To be asked to represent an entire people, over and over. Yet Lily never blinked, never cracked. And now she is forging ahead with not one, not two, but THREE queer roles as her follow up to the Oscars. Like, if you can’t like that then why are you reading this blog? Lily – who identifies as LGBTQ+ and uses she/they pronouns – can be seen currently in the Hulu true-crime adaptation series “Under the Bridge,” where she plays a cop who gets involved with a reporter played by Riley Keough (a.ka. Elvis Presely’s grandaughter). And, uh, they’re really and truly gay together.

It was just announced she’ll start filming on the new, even gayer remake of 1993’s “The Wedding Banquet.” I saw that movie back in the day, and it was an early queer classic from the great Ang Lee. The remake will have the same basic premise – a gay male couple pretends one of them is marrying a woman to appease his strict Asian family – but add a lesbian couple played by Lily and Kelly Marie Tran (from the last “Star Wars” trilogy). Bowen Yang will also star as one half of the gay male couple at the film’s center. So, you know, exciting and very gay.

And finally, Lily will also appear in the critically acclaimed “Fancy Dance,” which will premiere on Apple+ June 28. The film from newcomer Erica Tremblay follows an aunt (played by Gladstone) who looks over her niece after her sister’s disappearance. Her character is described as a “queer 30-ish scammer,” which hello. The film got raves at Sundance and SXSW last year, so I am seated to say the least. But, truly, I couldn’t be more impressed with the very queer career trajectory that Lily has carved out for herself post Oscars. The gift and burden of being first never truly goes away, but the best you can be is yourself. And Lily has shown through her work and her advocacy exactly who she is. And that, well, that’s the gift to all of us. Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, May 02, 2024

The Dolls Deliver

Hey, speaking of horny things, I watched “Drive Away Dolls” over the weekend and lemme tell ya the Be Gay, Do Crimes genre is doing great these days. Ostensibly a road trip comedy melding with a crime caper, the film written by Ethan Coen and his queer wife Tricia Cooke is a fun, breezy affair with tons of famous guest stars and cameos (Pedro Pascal! Matt Damon! Colman Domingo! Miley Cyrus!). It stars Margaret Qualley (of “Maid” and Andie MacDowell's gene pool) and Geraldine Viswanathan (of “Blockers”) as friends who unwittingly drive a car to Tallahassee with some unfortunate (or fortunate, depending on your perspective) cargo. Oh and Beanie Feldstein plays Margaret’s character’s cop ex-girlfriend. The road trip turns into a road trip to hit lesbian bars along the way and get laid which is, well, relatable. So, clearly, how can you not like this movie? Truly, back in the days where I’d watch any lesbian movie that came out, I would have killed for this kind of production values and star power. Maybe that’s why it took 17 years to get made. My only true quibble is that Margaret and Geraldine don’t really read all that gay. And they definitely lack chemistry. But, if you can get past that it’s a fun little romp and so proudly gay you just have to applaud. Also, always check the trunk first before driving away.

Wednesday, May 01, 2024

You Ain't Nothing But a (Lesbian) Horndog

Since we’re talking about queer music this week already, can we talk for a moment about how horny gay pop has become? Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Quite the contrary. But between Chappell Roan, Renee Rapp and now Billie Eilish things have gotten truly explicit. Again, not that there’s anything wrong with that. We become accustomed to plenty of songs about love and longing and even lust over the years. But the horniness now? Well, it’s on another level. And good for them. Really, and truly, being Horny on Main has been the domain of straight stars for too long. So whether it’s Chappell saying she wants to “get freaky, get kinky…make this bed get squeaky” or Renee with all the pretty girls with their “hand between my thighs” or Billie saying “I could eat that girl for lunch” we’re living through unprecedentedly horny times for us gay gals. But, lest we forget, we’ve always been horny. We’ve just never had the starpower we’re experiencing now. So, on this Hump Day, please appreciate the foremother of horny lesbian pop stars, Melissa Ferrick. Like, I love Chappell and Renee and Billie et al. But you gotta tip your cap to the power “Drive” still has 24 damn years later. All night, baby.

p.s. Melissa is hilarious when performing this live, FYI. And, well, humor is hot. So, uh. Look, we’re all a little horny here today. So own it.