Sunday, February 28

Strong Black Lesbian Women.

As a lesbian and a student of writing (mutually inclusive), I process and metaphorically unpack beyond the healthy amount, which requires a lot of time. And a lot of wine. So, sorry for this week’s Feminine Friday delay.

After seeing Salt Lines, I needed a lot of “me” time. Katie Dee, J Bear, our other friend Radio Guy, along with most of the gay community of Iowa City and the greater surrounding area, had our worlds rocked by Denise Jolly, Sonya Renee, and Andrea Gibson. Salt Lines is a traveling troupe of female spoken word poets, all of whom have appeared on final stage or won International Slam Poetry competitions. There is also a fourth member that, for some reason, was not in Iowa. Tara Hardy. You can check them out on facebook individually or as a group, and they have a myspace. I’m so dedicated to making sure they know we’ve blogged about our experience, I’ve had to dig up my old myspace account password and username, and after locking myself out of my own account twice, I got my shit together enough to post a comment on their page. LOOK AT IT HERE. IT TOOK A LOT OF WORK.

Ok so now for my attempt at translating my experience into words. I do not want to reduce these women to just Strong, Black and Lesbian, but for the sake of preserving the novelty of inside jokes, I'll use the phrase as a spring board to take you through the show.

First, STRONG. Denise Jolly was the least in-your-face of the three women. But my goodness was she poignant, intent, determined, honest. "Small never was my size." Sing it sister. There is a delicate quality about this woman that is intimidating.

Second, BLACK. Sonye Renee's opening remark "you need to be as loud as my boobs are big" immediately stole my heart. Then she performed poems about fathers and abortion (two seperate poems, that might be a little too intense if both were mentioned in the same piece in connection with the other... wow now my mind is just racing.) which put Katie Dee and J Bear over the edge.

Apparently, they were crying for the majority of the performance. I didn't even notice. But then again, they didn't even notice me reciting verses along with Andrea Gibson. The old fashioned English Major in me still values the ability to spew verses of poetry. If you ever want the prologue to Romeo and Juliet, I, along with Ronfire99, have got you covered. If you want it in a Christopher Walken voice, just call Ronfire. I was so plugged in, I was so engaged, I was so with it, feeling it, all about it, that the last thing on my brain was crying. I didn't even think that that's what I could have done in this situation. I was so all about every woman on that stage that all I could do was watch and be present. I brought my camera and again, didn't use it. I stick to my principle that it only detaches the viewer from their experience and I'd rather have memories in my heart and in my brain than on an SD card. But again, that's a different blog post.

Third, LESBIAN. I can't begin to tell you how great it was to see Andrea Gibson perform live. And how lame of a way to say that? "How great." I met her and was the most awkward a person can be. I'll just keep telling myself it's part of my charm... She performed "I Do" and the fact that she was in Iowa, where she can, was really quite special. I do love Iowa as a state. They really have their shit together and believe in what America stands for and what it can be. At least, the Iowans I know do. Maybe I just have good taste. Also, her girlfriend is an Iowan and her mother was in the audience so it was twice as precious.

The show was such a rollercoast of emotions. I was laughing then crying then laughing AND crying, then I was pissed, then I was ashamed, then I was determined, then it was over. TOO SOON, TOO SOON.

Sonya and Andrea also did a period poem by a guy named Christian Drake. They introduced it by telling a story about picking a poem that would be inappropriate to do in front of Andrea's GF's momma, and this was the worst they could come up with, so they obviously did it. LOVE THAT. I couldn't find a youtube clip of him doing the poem or Sonya and Andrea, but I found one of Andrea and Katie Wirsing performing "Bloodbath." It's very "Blood in the Board Room." And AWESOME. It's even better that this was originally written by a man. All of us left thinking "I want someone to love me so much they'd have period sex with me."

The video is cut off a bit at the beginning, but I'm over it.

I now want to TiVo Def Jam poetry.

Update 3/23/10: Here is the video of Sonya Renee and Andrea Gibson performing "Bloodbath" at the University of Iowa. You cna probably hear me clapping.

Side Note by Katie Dee: So in preparation for writing this Side Note I went back through and watched all these videos again, to remind myself of the live experience. And damned if I didn't start fucking crying - in the library. CK talked about how she was so focused on the performance that the last thing on her mind was crying but I see it differently - I couldn't help it. From Andrea Gibson's first poem (which was like the 2nd poem they did. I literally cried for the whole damn thing), I was just so entirely filled with their passion and their words that I couldn't help my tears. It was involuntary and automatic to cry, as much as it was to laugh at "Bloodbath." These women - especially live - were so extraordinary. They were all such different kinds of strong, different kinds of poetic - Denise had delicate language, Andrea was the most playful with her words, and Sonya was just strength personified. So yeah, the summary of my experience was that I was so blown away by them that I couldn't contain my emotion. If you have the chance to see them, please do so. You will absolutely not regret it.

Ok, and to make myself less weepy before my next class, I'm sharing with you a new Denise Jolly poem that shows a different side of her - a side I like. Also, HOW GREAT is that bloodbath video? Seriously, I would LOVE to have someone who loved me that much. "This blood on my skin is the photograph I take when I visit your heart." HOLY SHIT. Ok here's the Denise Jolly poem.

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Saturday, February 27

Salt Lines

So Chatty Kathy and I are both dealing with our feelings about the upcoming FF topic. Which we realized should've been posted yesterday. But seriously, we have a lot of emotions about this topic. So look forward to an intense, if belated, Feminine Friday about the lovely women of Salt Lines: Sonya Renee, Andrea Gibson, and Denise Jolly.

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Wednesday, February 24

WILD KINGDOM Wideo Wednesday!

So at my job our supervisors have to give motivational pep talks to keep us working hard. These talks are sometimes extremely related to our task at hand, and sometimes extremely not. This is the video they showed us last Saturday, the message being that we should be "sneaky" in our jobs to succeed. The message I wish to convey to you is, "Hey, at least our alcoholism is something we came by honestly." Brought to you by the folks at the Big British Channel.

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Monday, February 22

MASCULINE MONDAY: Mike from the Real World

So I don't usually watch the Real World but for some reason this season I'm hooked. I think I can place some blame on CK for this one, because she enables me by watching it with me and then talking about it like it's the most fascinating thing that was ever created (let's face it, we enable each other). Anyway most of the people on it are forgettable (there's the musician chick who I hate the more she speaks, the one brunette who's kind of stupid and the one brunette who's super abrasive, the blonde one, the douchebag dude, the douchebag black dude, and Panda) but my favorite by far and the focus of today's Msquared is Mike, the bi/possibly gay guy from Colorado. He is super cute in an Abercrombie sort of way (I think he looks like Matt Damon) and he works with HRC (Human Rights Campaign for the non-gay) and he LOVES his boyfriend Connor (I believe this is his name. I don't pay enough attention. It's not like it's Jersey Shore. AKA something REALLY IMPORTANT). Anyway Mike's been grappling with his sexuality for a few years now and, in my opinion, seems to be pretty together on the show, though his roommates are constantly bugging him about how he's GAY and not BI and they can't deal with him being bi - but he sticks up for himself, and I think is fairly confident in his sexuality. Personally, I don't give a fuck if he's gay or bi, and I don't see why they're pushing it so hard. Just let him be. If he likes boys, cool. If he likes girls, cool. If he wants to make out with me, so be it.

Anyway, the reason I love him particularly today is because CK and I just watched the new episode, in which his family comes to visit and he really comes out to them in a new way - particularly his mom. Apparently his parents had been kind of encouraging Mike to keep quiet about his sexuality, which obviously made him feel like they didn't approve of/understand/accept it. So he brings his mom to meet his boss at HRC and they have lunch and talk about all the issues in the LGBT community (she didn't even know what this meant, which to me was just amusing and shocking because I can't even conceive of not knowing what LGBT means. Again for the non-gay: LGBT = Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender) including marriage and adoption, among other things. It was so sweet how hard she was trying to understand him and his new world-view, especially when they were talking about adoption. He said something about how it was illegal in many states for gay people to adopt, and her response was, "Well I still want grandchildren, so we'd better change some laws." CK and I exploded.

Mike just seems grounded, sure of himself, sweet, thoughtful, and not a character-type like many of his RW peers. PLUS he still is religious, which is not exactly my thing, but you know, he's standing up for what he believes in and isn't sacrificing his sexuality or religion one for the other. Good on you, Mike. I encourage you to make out with as many dudes as will make you (and Jesus) happy. I will watch.

Sidenote: CK- Mike's BF's name is Tanner. I know this because unlike Jersey Shore, this is important.

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Thursday, February 18

Who has a Marauder's Map to My Soul?

This week's Feminine Friday is Andrea Gibson. She is a spoken word poet based out of Denver, Colorado. I heard about her through a friend when we had an EPIC phone conversation that lasted about 10 hours. Not kidding. Gay ladies can talk.

At some point in my life I've questioned the validity of my creative endeavors, if being a writer is really what I want and if I'm talented enough. Whenever I feel like that I listen to Andrea Gibson's "Yellowbird." At some point in my life, I've struggled with parental acceptance. Whenever I feel like that I listen to Andrea Gibson's "Marble." At some point in my life, I've struggled with unrequited love. Whenever I feel like that I listen to Andrea Gibson's "Photograph" and "Anything."

This is an uncharacteristically un-funny post for Dyxieland (Sorry Dorothy Anne). But this woman is amazing. I'm going to let her spoken word speak for itself. Please watch the videos and leave your comments, becuase I'm fascinated to see what ya'll think. Unfortunately, "Marble" doesn't have a video nor is it posted on her website, so you'll just have to go buy her albums on iTunes: Bullets and Windchimes, Swarm, WHEN the BOUGH BREAKS, Yellowbird. Do I own them all? Yes. Should you? Yes.

And just a little bonus video:

Also, I just found out that next week, February 25th and 26th Andrea Gibson is going to be performing in Iowa City at the University of Iowa and holding a q&a workshop the next day at the Public Library. I could not BE more excited for this!

Side Note from Katie D.: Before seeing the videos CK posted (having only listened to her on Kathy's iPod) I definitely thought this was like a bohemian black woman with long black braids. False.

From CK- I believe a direct quote is "butch as fuck." Oh Katie Dee, so loving.

Update 2/23/10: I realized I forgot to post "Yellowbird!" Oopsies.

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Wizard Wednesday

I apologize in advance for not having actual videos on the site; you'll have to toddle over to YouTube to really see what I'm talking about. But I do have links!

So it's not really a secret that I enjoy things of a, shall we say, "Harry Potter" nature. This includes but is not limited to Harry Potter books, Harry Potter movies (some of them), Harry Potter jokes, Harry Potter adventures, Harry Potter discussions, Harry Potter trivia, and Harry Potter spin-offs. The videos I am about to share with you take two of my passions - Harry Potter and weird shit - and combine them. So Brad Neely decided to take the ENTIRE first HP movie and narrate it, as a "book on tape," which he called "Wizard People, Dear Reader." The idea is to watch the movie on mute and play Neely's narration over it, for a new take on the story (FUCKIN META). The result is hilarity. Obviously, some people put it up on YouTube, and thank God for them. It takes a little bit to get into it, but once I got to Chapter Three I was hooked and had to watch the whole thing. The nicknames are one of my favorite aspects of the videos - "Ronnie the Bear" - "Catface Meowmers" - "Snake" (who is a woman) - "Hardcastle McCormick" - but what really makes it funny is this guy's voice. He must be insane. But in the BEST way. I can't get the video to work (embedding has been disabled and my computer knowledge is less than extensive) so PLEASE use the links below to travel to your friendly neighborhood YouTube and watch Wizard People, Dear Reader!

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3

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Tuesday, February 16

Masculine Monday BONUS MATERIAL!!!!

Place: The Huffington Post.

Hilarity Level: Out of Control.

Pertinence to Males: Of Course.

The article says it all:

"The joke's been done to death, but when it comes out of the mouth of a middle schooler and he gets detention for it, we can't help but applaud. Sure detention sucks, but it was totally worth it. Well done, Dalton, well done."

I am so bad at making this joke (because I don't understand heterosexuality, it's the Jack McFarland syndrome) but this kid nailed it. That's what she said.

You're Welcome. Amen.

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Monday, February 15

For Nora: A Boy AND a Video! Alternate Post Title: Masculine Monday - Sorry J Bear

So I told Joogly Bear that I wouldn't make John Mayer my Masculine Monday for at least a little while, but I couldn’t help myself. I've been listening to "Battle Studies," his new album and the subject of much debate at my house, over and over again recently, trying to develop a real opinion on it; plus he was recently on Storytellers on Vh1 and I really enjoyed that. Oh AND you may or may not have heard about this on every media outlet for the past few days (or, for the people who still read magazines and in particular those who read Playboy, though why you would be on our blog if you read Playboy is beyond me) but he also recently did this REALLY REALLY EPICLY STUPID interview with Playboy in which he said, just, SHOCKINGLY dumb shit. Here are some highlights (which have been highlighted all over the place but here you go again)!

On how he hasn't dated lots of black girls: My dick is sort of like a white supremacist. I've got a Benetton heart and a fuckin' David Duke cock.

On the fact that black people like him (apparently): Someone asked me the other day, 'What does it feel like now to have a hood pass?' And by the way, it’s sort of a contradiction in terms, because if you really had a hood pass, you could call it a nigger pass. Why are you pulling a punch and calling it a hood pass if you really have a hood pass?

On Jessica Simpson: Yeah, that girl is like crack cocaine to me. Sexually it was crazy. That's all I'll say. It was like napalm, sexual napalm. Did you ever say, 'I want to quit my life and just fucking snort you? If you charged me $10,000 to fuck you, I would start selling all my shit just to keep fucking you.'

On the media and his relationship with Jennifer Aniston: There was a rumor that I'd been dumped because I was tweeting too much. That wasn't it, but that was a big difference. The brunt of her success came before TMZ and Twitter. I think she's still hoping it goes back to 1998. She saw my involvement in technology as courting distraction. And I always said, 'These are the new rules.'

Ok. So. Yes, there was more to the interview. And personally, I think the stuff that's been over-quoted has also, in some cases, been taken out of context. For instance, I don't think he means anything against Jennifer Aniston with the 1998 comment; he was talking about celebrities' relationship with the media, and how she wished it were simpler (read: no Twitter) like in 1998, and he's just accepting that it is what it is. I think he genuinely has a lot of love for her. For instance, after he started talking about how great Jessica Simpson was in bed, he interrupted his interviewer to say:

Pardon me for interrupting. I love Jen so much that I’m now thinking about how bad I would feel if she read this and was like, “Why are you putting me in an article where you’re talking about someone else? I don’t want to be in your lineage of kiss-and-tells.”

So I mean, obviously the guy lets his mouth run away with him, but he did try to reign it back in for the sake of her feelings. Which of course nobody notices, because nobody bothers to read the whole article (it's very long - here's the link if you want to read it yourself). Other than the stuff that is so obviously and blatantly inappropriate or over-the-top, basically what I get from the interview - and all I've ever gotten from any John Mayer interview I've ever read or seen - is that this guy knows he's talented, and he really just wants to be liked, but he's trying too fucking hard to be liked/appreciated/accepted. And what I honestly believe is his earnest determination to be liked and to be funny ("My Stupid Mouth" anyone? Third song on his first studio album and he's already saying, "Just wanna be liked, just wanna be funny/looks like the joke's on me) comes across, to many people, as being a huuuuuuuge douchebag. Which is understandable.

But I have to confess something to you. I still love him, and I feel like I always will. I care too much about his music to give up on him.

My affection for John Mayer started, as so many things did, back in 7th grade. "Room For Squares" was his only studio album at the time, and I wore that CD out TWICE. I loved his voice, I loved the way he wrote, I loved that he wrote about stuff that wasn't just love songs - though his love songs were really excellent, too. At this point, I've seen him in concert three times (he gets better every time and he was really good to begin with) and I own all his CD's, including the pre-Room for Squares "Inside Wants Out." Even though "Room For Squares" and "Continuum" are my faves, I still have songs I love from both "Heavier Things" and "Battle Studies," and I will continue to listen to his music as long as he writes it. And his personal life… I mean, it makes for good music. But here's my point: he is crazy talented. He knows he's crazy talented. But his songs - "Slow Dancing in a Burning Room," "No Such Thing," "Split-Screen Sadness" - they speak more than some douchey interviews - or a thousand douchey Tweets - ever could.

The fact is, he's apologized profusely for the interview, both through his Twitter:

"Re: using the 'N word' in an interview: I am sorry that I used the word. And it's such a shame that I did because the point I was trying to make was in the exact opposite spirit of the word itself. It was arrogant of me to think I could intellectualize using it, because I realize that there's no intellectualizing a word that is so emotionally charged.
And while I'm using today for looking at myself under harsh light, I think it's time to stop trying to be so raw in interviews. It started as an attempt to not let the waves of criticism get to me, but it's gotten out of hand and I've created somewhat of a monster. I wanted to be a blues guitar player. And a singer. And a songwriter. Not a shock jock. I don't have the stomach for it. Again, because I don't want anyone to think I'm equivocating: I should have never said the word and I will never say it again.I just wanted to play the guitar for people. Everything else just sort of popped up and I improvised, and kept doubling down on it..."

and at a concert in Nashville, where he was basically in tears and said "I just want to play my guitar."

Personally, I take his apologies at face value and I think, in context, a lot of the things he said make more sense and are slightly less inflammatory. I'm not supporting any sort of racism, I don't believe he meant the racial remarks he made (and I agree, he shouldn't have used that word) and I also think it's less-than-classy that he went on about his and Jessica's sex life, but in the context of the entire interview those two things were not the point. And yeah, he's a bit of a douchebag. Well, I'm sort of obnoxious. Chatty Kathy can sometimes be abrasive. People are allowed to have flaws.

But for the love of God, John. Take your own advice, pick up your guitar, and stop fucking talking.

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Friday, February 12

Feminine Friday: Dyke Comics.

My friend Ronfire99, over at Entertainment, Etc. lent me his copy of Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel and I lent him my copy of the redesigned Wizard of Oz comic. Yep, you heard right, we traded comics. EPIC NERD FTW. And to continue this trend, it's about to get real English Major-y up in here.

This graphic novel was one of the best things I've read in a while. It tells the story of Bechdel's growing up, coming out, and her father's death in the context of Camus metaphors and Ulysses parallels and The Importance of Being Earnest references. Her father was gay and it's a story of both their self-discvoeries: one embraces who they are, the other denies it.

I really related to Bechdel's personal journey. The panels when she's at college are my favorite. They are explicit and real. She discovered herself and her identity through reading, which is something I've slowly started to do.

I also re-discovered her strip "Dykes to Watch Out For." I mean, I'd heard about it and recognized the name when Ronfire99 gave me the book, but I'd never really read the strip. Well, I've been going through the archives and holy balls it is HILARIOUS. I've been trying to explain this to my straight roommates, since I know about 2 actual lesbians in Iowa City, and I just can't get the humor right. My favorite panel is the main group of friends over dinner and as Mo takes her leave, she turns back and says "Thanks for the lentils." I JUST THINK THAT'S SO FUNNY. I mean LENTILS. The gayest grain on the face of the planet. I think it might have been funny because I read it when I was making lentil soup from a can and I looked at my self and in my head I said "awwwww shit." If you want to send me something special, buy me The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For Collection before I do it myself. I now hate myself for not reading this since its inception in 1987. I could totally read from the moment of conception. Screw my birthdate in 1988. Wow. I just dated myself.

What's so great about this comic is that it shows a range of gay culture. There are so many different genres of gays that you can't count out or discredit anyone. Who knew cowboys from Iowa marched on Washington? Not these liberal, idealistic lesbians. It has subtlety. It isn't in your face gay, it's real gay. And tempering the need to tell everyone and declare your self to everyone is really freaking hard. It's hard to not want to just let everyone know in hopes that the one other gay in the room will see you and hear you and hit on you or at least just show you some attention I mean geeze, you're cool and funny and smart why do women not want to talk to you...and.... SCENE.

Check out the website here!

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Saturday, February 6

Guido, Guidette, Guid!

So typically I'm not particularly into reality television on MTV - the dating shows (Date My Mom or whatever?) and the Real World/Road Rules phenom - I've watched them occasionally but it's not like it's something I'd hunt down. Jersey Shore, though, is a beacon of light in a dreary world of the same character types that are always placed onto these shows. There's always the weird guy, the outspoken girl, the slutty girl, the loud, obnoxious guy, the beef head, the gay one, or some variation of the above mix - then they're put together to see how sparks fly when you have a group of strangers who are sooooo different living under one roof. It's crazy and unpredictable! But it's crazy and unpredictable in the same way every season. People fight, they have sex, they cry, they fight more, blah blah blah. It's all very one-note, and that note is drama for the sake of television. On Jersey Shore, though, they took a cast of the exact same type of people (the casting call was for "loud, proud Italian-Americans"), not wanting them to fight each other because of their differences, but wanting them to find reasons to fight because of their similarities. "This is what happens when you take 8 people who fit the same stereotype and put them under one roof; they never were particularly real in the first place but now they're living together!"

Everyone on the planet may disagree with me, but I see Jersey Shore as something that takes a step away from other MTV reality tv for one reason: they really embrace one stereotype. They're really clear about why they're on the show: they are Guidos who love being Guidos (THEIR WORD) and they're at the Shore to party. Roll film.

This Sunday (during which I believe some sort of sporting event is taking place. I know it's the Puppy Bowl but I think there's something else, too) MTV is running the entire season of Jersey Shore, all day long. Fist pumping; GTLing (Gym, Tan, Laundry - so you can look your burliest, brownest, bright-whitingest best at the bars!); drinking; fighting, all in one day - basically the livers of college students all over America will be fighting for their lives by like 3 pm. (See: the Jersey Shore Drinking game).

Let's break it down by character, shall we?
Angelina - the one I'm glad is gone.

Ronnie - the one who looks most like a bear.

Sammi ("Sweetheart") - the one I'd most like to slap.

Pauly D. ("DJ Pauly D. tearin it up on the ones and twos!") - the one with his penis pierced, who uses more hair gel in a day than I have in my entire life, even when I did dance recitals when I was little and tried to get rid of the little frizzies at the front of my head.

Jwoww - the one with the classiest-ass outfits.

Vinnie - the one I actually probably wouldn't mind dating because he seems like a normal person and at one point he said "Cheer up, Charlie" to a house-mate, which is a quote from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, which is a great movie.

Mike ("The Situation") - the one I find unattractive in pretty much every way, but who I think might actually be semi-intelligent -or at least self-aware - in real life (see the clip below for proof).

Snooki - the angel of my world.

Are they really all that different from each other? No. Are WE really all that different from all of them? Don't answer that. Do they make for great TV? Every minute. Every minute. Enjoy the clip.

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She Ate My Heart

So here's the thing about the Lady Gaga concert. It was immaculate. It was well-thought-out from the opener (Semi-Precious Weapons) to the Michael Jackson that she played while the stage was set up (people - read: me and Lil Sof Sof - were singing and dancing to "The Way You Make Me Feel" and "Thriller" in a lit auditorium with a whole bunch of other singing strangers) to the dancers - who were characters more than anything - to the finale. The woman IS musical theater. This is what people don't understand. Any time I hear someone say "I don't get Lady Gaga," I think two things: 1. "I hate you," and 2. "That's because you aren't gay enough." I, however, am a gay man, so I get her just fine.

So CK covered basically the first half of the concert, and I'll do my bit mostly on the last half. My thing about the concert is that it was all so ENJOYABLE - even songs that I didn't like when listening to them on the CD (See: Alejandro or Dance in the Dark) were so well done and so entertaining that I sang along and cheered, and left the stadium liking them. Basically the whole concert was me and my friends singing along, cheering, and dancing. I don't know how she did it, but the whole time, even though I was in an auditorium full of people (Side note: kids at Purdue would not last two hours in the bars in Iowa City. Their "going all out" for the concert is like wearing stuff that I would seriously consider wearing to the bars. Neither LSS or Jbear were wearing pants, and my skirt was so short I basically wasn't either. It's ok though, we all had tights on, so it doesn't count.) I felt like it was a very personal experience. She talked to us as if we were a group of people who had come together not for a concert, but for some sort of social movement. This was particularly true when she shouted "ARE YOU LISTENING?" to the audience, echoing her moving speech that she gave at the Gay Pride rally in D.C. Like I said, if you don't get gay culture, you won't get Gaga - the experience was just her embracing who she is and who her fans are and giving them a show made especially for them.

Ok, to be less vague, I'll break it down by songs. "Monster" was one of my favorites and is a new obsession of mine, but CK's spoken about it already so I'll just agree that it's wonderful. "Just Dance" (aka The Ballad of the IC Bars at 1:00 am) was so much fun, and was well-placed at the beginning of the show;"Teeth" was fucking sexy and I'm thrilled she included it because that song is raw and animalistic (like the screens she was dancing in front of); "Boys Boys Boys" allowed her male dancers to dance shirtless in pants and suspenders, and that was just, you know, awesome. In between all these songs were her speeches and calls for cheers - "I'm a little like Tinkerbelle - if people don't clap for me, I die" - and, my favorite part, the story about seeing fans hail each other in Boston. Apparently she was riding in a car, and next to her was a car full of fans, singing Gaga music at the top of their lungs. She rolled down her window and looked out at them, waiting for them to see her, but they didn't. Then, from another car going by, as they heard the Gaga music pouring out of the first car, more fans acknowledged mutual Gaga love by sticking hands, curled into claws, out of their window as they passed; and thus, the claw, and the "Little Monster" greeting was born. We cheered and showed her our claws, in appreciation of the story. The moral of which, by the way, is ALWAYS BE ALERT, BECAUSE YOU NEVER KNOW WHEN LADY GAGA IS JUST GOING TO SHOW UP IN THE CAR NEXT TO YOU.

Just Dance

"Speechless" was probably my favorite song of the evening. She came out with a huge, busted-ass looking piano, and the performance was just emotional and gorgeous. I think the most amazing part of being a performer would be to have your audience sing parts of a song back to you, and she had us do that with this song. I mean, the song is already about her dad, and convincing him to get life-saving surgery, so hearing thousands of people sing back your words about such a heartbreaking/heartwarming subject - it must've been ridiculous and moving. She did "Paparazzi" and we decided that there must've been some sort of technical difficulty, because we assumed that she was supposed to end up hanging from the top of the stage (she was in the process of being lifted up there and then they kind of chickened out) but she didn't; so she just went offstage and we stood there for a few minutes, cheering, ready for the encore. I mean, she hadn't sung "Bad Romance" yet, so the show couldn't be over. So then finally the woman comes out IN A GLOWING ORB (like Glenda the Good Witch in Wicked - like I said, she IS musical theater) and says, "You didn't think I'd leave you like that, did you?" No Gaga, we didn't.

Glowing ORB

So then we're expecting "Bad Romance," and she jumps into "Eh Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say)," probably the poppiest song she's done and one of my favorites. I definitely wasn't expecting it, because it's not like it was a single or anything, but it was great to hear it - at the end of the night, we said that she had sung every song we'd wanted to hear. After that, of course, was the money. She sang "Caught in a bad romance," and as if we weren't nuts enough already, we froke the fuck out. She said something to the effect of, "I'm going to give you what you deserve, Purdue" and the "Ra Ra Ah Ah Ah's" started, dancers cavorting around her, sky-high heels on, orb gone, just fucking performing. Disregarding the incredibly annoying tall guy who was standing in front of me taking pictures of him and his pocket-sized girlfriend in front of the stage, the performance was, as always, flawless. I may be able to put up video clips later, if I can get them from J Bear when I get back in town (I'm currently in CA.)

Bad Romance

At the end, like the theater kid she is, she came out with the entire "cast" of dancers and took a stage bow. You know, people think she's ridiculous, but really, I think she just really understands what she's doing. Her whole persona is about fame and spectacle, and it's like her life is a fucking piece of literature because of the ties she makes from performance to performance to CD to music video to speech to her fucking outfits- her life, her performances, have themes, which she cultivates and encourages. How many times has she used a burned piano? Masks? That monster claw (models of which, by the way, were covering her burned piano when she sang at the Grammy's with Elton John)? The lines about needing applause, about how she wants to be a star? She knows what she's fucking doing. She doesn't just want attention; she's building her outrageous persona for a purpose. I can't wait to see what she does next; the music industry had better catch up.

Final bow

Side note: Like Chatty Kathy, I too have a new boy roommate. This is because we live in the same house. And I'd like to state officially that I think having a boy roommate is SO FUN. I don't have a whole lot of experience living with boys - my mom didn't remarry til I was 17 and I don't have brothers - but (and of course this is in no way meant to insult the lovely women I've lived with before, including L Dubs who Boy Roommate has replaced while she studies in Australia) I am truly truly enjoying the experience. Boy Roommate and I do all sorts of fun things together - he makes me watch basketball and I cheer when they score touchdowns, I make him watch Real World: D.C. and he cheers when it is over. And we watch Jersey Shore together and shush anyone who dares speak while it is on. We are both looking forward to the Puppy Bowl, and he encourages me to drink copiously on Fridays even though he knows I work on Saturday mornings. Plus he knows I am up for cuddles and/or hugs whenever, though oddly he almost never takes advantage of these offers. It's a lovely relationship. Of course, I don't share a bathroom with him, and CK does, so that's a whole nother story. I bet it smells like boy products. Nice!

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Thursday, February 4

Arrived in Indiana a girl, left a Woman.

You GAYS! We saw Lady GaGa. We did it. Mission accomplished. Now, to tell you all about it. I don't even know where to begin. We saw her a while ago at the Purdue show she rescheduled. You can read about that disaster here. It's taken me this long to get my shit together because my mind was basically BLOWN. My brain once weighed 3 pounds and was the consistency of tofu, now, my friends, it's mashed potatoes and has lost some weight since I can't find the bits splattered on the floor of Elliot Hall of Music. Lady GaGa is the most dedicated, sincere, weird, creative, ballsy, sexual performer I have ever seen. And little do you know, Cher's first farewell tour (Living Proof.) was my very first concert. (I'm gay.)

Let's start at the very beginning, a very good place to start, when you read you begin with A-B-C, when you sing you being with Do-Re-Mi, when you talk about Lady GaGa you begin with Ro-Ma-Ma. Her opening act was a band called Semi Precious Weapons. Their job was to basically get us "wet with excitement" for Lady GaGa. Yes, that is a direct quote from the lead singer who asked to see tits, then when that didn't work some cunt, then got naked on stage for a costume change. We were berated with demeaning names ("whores," "motherfuckers") we were constantly told to shut up. I LOVED EVERY SECOND OF IT. And the best part is Jason Derulo was in Canada. One more reason Canada is under rated. Here's a picture of the Fairy Queen lead singer who is more of a man than you and more of a man than Katie Dee will ever get and one of the few men I'd probably sleep with.

So then it took her forever to get on stage. I was personally terrified it'd get cancelled again. The first time, it wasn't real until we were in the doors and our tickets weren't fakes we bought off eBay, but the real thing (that we bought off eBay). But this time, I wasn't going to believe it until she was on that stage. The stage is really basic and really industrial. It was so basic and there was so little going on that I didn't know what to expect. There was a scrim hanging in the front of stage area and that was really essential to the show because it all depended on lights and video/art installations. The stage was basically this:
Then, this video turned into this:Yep, that's the pure Lady GaGa with what I interpret as a dark, troubled version of herself straddling that then sticks its fingers down its throat and vomits blue puke on the pure angelic version of Lady GaGa. Thus, the introduction of the theme of inner-torment. I have never been to a show that was so cerebral yet so entertaining at the same time.

Minimal right? Well, the bitch had about 7 costume changes and in between these really intense video installations would play. The show never let up. It never stopped. It was relentless. Even when she wasn't on stage, these video portrait art things were so engaging. You were constantly bombarded with stimulation. Oh, backtrack, the show opened with this trippy projection of this tweaky grid on the scrim and a countdown. It was more exciting than New Year's Eve! There's smoke, there's flashing lights, then there she is. In a light up, skin tight body suit. She's all glowy and outlined in lights. It was fabulous. Oh, and P.S. I have not squeezed my butt cheeks harder or screamed louder at any show in my entire life. I think my flat ass gained a little donk, if you know what I mean. So these video installations were part photography, part video, part fashion show, part story telling, part stop-motion animation. She was real jerky and real weird.

Also, this show is not for children. I mean, yeah Britney and Christina and Justin and N*SYNC and Whitney (BOBBAY) all have shows with sexual themes. But I mean, it's one thing to take your tween to one of those shows and have the sex either go over their head or talk with them about vanilla hetero-sex. But it's a completely different car ride home when you've taken your tween to a Lady GaGa show and you have to explain gender fluidity, queerness, sexual freedom, and the utter loneliness of fame. That's some heavy shit. Most. Awkward. Car ride. Home. Ever.
Pictured above is one of my favorite parts of the show. You can't really see it here, but it was basically a big dagger-like silhouette that engulfed the stage's screens. It was just so cool.

My other favorite was the Monster set:

For such a minimalistic, industrial set, there was quite an intense nature theme throughout the whole thing. Here, her dancers are dressed like crows and you can see the band and she has this great feather thing on. When she sings "he ate my heart, he a-a-ate my heart" the dancers gather around her and her she screams and flips a shit (any excuse for a costume change Lady GaGa) and then emerges in a completely different outfit with a big blood spot on her chest. They literally ate her fucking heart.

Some of my other favorite things about the show were what GaGa was saying. We now quote her in my house all the damn time. You can occasionally hear us yelling from down the street: "Take my picture Purdue, I want to be a star!" or "Do you think I'm sexy? I don't believe you..." or "Sing that Dirty Word Purdue!" or "People say that I have a huge dick. Get your cocks out. I hear there's some huge cock at Purdue." She opened with that line and my immediate reaction was YES! YES I WILL GET MY HUGE COCK OUT. DON'T YOU FUCKING WORRY. I'm sure our boy roommate really appreciates us not letting him watch sports downstairs and constantly yelling dirty things. He's slowly learning what the GaGa is all about. (P.s. it is so weird living with a boy. I'm sure I'll post about that later.)

Anyway. I'm going to pass on the GaGa reviewing to Katie Dee. Get it grrrrl.

I'm still processing the show and will probably build off of Katie Dee's post. What I've mentioned above are the highlights of the show for me. I danced the whole time. I yelled "Oh My GAWD" several times. And my favorite outfit was her red latex bikini with a police hat.

Sidenote: Thanks J BEAR for taking pictures!!!!!!

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Tuesday, February 2

Celebrity Doppelgänger

What's the deal with Celebrity Doppleganger (I'm pissed I can't get the umlaut to work on this computer) week on Facebook? I don't really get it. I think it's a sign that people are just getting bored with everything that facebook is. People are finding who they look like via websites and friends' opinions through status comments. It's like the institution that is facebook is stimulating discussion becuase we can't do that for ourselves anymore. How sad is that? People take facebook incredibly way too seriously. Plus, I already know who I look like, so I changed my profile picture, obviously, to my Doppleganger: Bald John Travolta.

Sidenote: Chatty Kathy and Katie Dee are now on Facebook! Friend us! And become a fan of the blog!

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