Wednesday, April 27, 2005

I'm So Glad We Had This Time Together ...

I'm so glad we had this time together,
Just to have a laugh, or sing a song.
Seems we just get started and before you know it
Comes the time we have to say, “So long".

So long brotha2Brotha.
Hello rod2.0:beta!

Everyone's in BETA now. Gmail, Gmaps, Yahoo 360, NTSF.4—okay, that was made up—but you know what it usually means. Something that is so fresh ... you owe it to yourself to try it now before anyone else. Here's your invite to test drive my new webzine, rod2.0:beta.

*Smoother Interface
*Cleaner, Linear Presentation
*Multimedia Capacity
*High-Resolution Thumbnails
*Expanded Content
*That's Tech-Speak for ... Offdahook!

Thanks for your support over the past 5 months. A special thanks to each of the 80, 000 visitors we've had since stats were collected in late January ... and every go-go boy who took time out of their busy schedule for "interviews"!

It's been big fun. Let's continue the party across the street ...

Now: Please change your browsers, favorites and links to Http://


Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Happy Anniversary

Why is Laura smiling like that?

Maybe she knows that Dick Cheney gets kick out of being Overeducated and Underemployed. So do we. Thanks Megan, for one year of some of the funniest pictures on the 'web!

We Interrupt This Broadcast

Major changes will happen this week. Expect a memo tomorrow.
We now resume our normal programming ...

Marky Mark Wahlberg Comes Clean

WEHT Marky Mark? Not Mark Wahlberg, but the thugged out-wannabe-rapper-Calvin Klein-posterboy?

He was hot. Now, the former Boston bad boy has morphed into a Lee Strasberg-Stella Adler disciple. Definitely he has more skills on the sound stage than on the mike—which doesn't say too much—but don't you miss that persona? And the abs?

Mark covers the new Details, and the accompanying verbal j/o interview by Aaron Gell sheds some light on his catapult into fame and revisionist history. This interview goes more into depth about Mark's homoerotic appeal, and his early sponsorship by Messrs Klein and Geffen of the Velvet Mafia.

The first part of the article sheds no new ground, and revisits the standard party line: "stealing cars, robbing people, slinging drugs, menacing whatever unlucky soul strayed to close to him." The editors gloss over Wahlberg's 1988 assault conviction for beating two Vietnamese immigrants, chalking it up to "a very bad night."

Don't worry. Stronger, more evocative material is forthcoming: "He's always played the rough trade pickup to Hollwwood's panting sugar daddy, " Gell writes. "Taking up residence in the pool house and letting us ogle him as long as we didn't try to get too friendly."

Apparently that was Wahlberg's MO to secure lucartive work from Geffen, Klein and photographer Herb Ritts. "An easy paycheck, a free lunch," it's described. Mark sez it was looky-but-no-touchy. How did he feel about the "panting sugar ddadies"? "I think it was always clear what I like, my sexual preference. So I wasn't threatened by it."

Once again photog Tom Munro lenses the pictorial. It's been noted before that Munro's B&W imagery is sharp, sensous and lush, but not here. The lighting is harsh and severe, very film noir. The stylists undertake some effort to integrate a 50s bad-boy Jimmy Dean look. It's certainly appropriate for the rebellious tone introduced in the copy. The presentation appears contrived, even more so than the Herb Ritts/CK Marky Mark circa 1992. At least he was interesting.

Mark Wahlberg Won't Take a Swing at You: Details
Mark's Calvin Klein Gallery

Monday, April 25, 2005

Let Amnesia Erase Your Worries

"But wait: There's more!" Remember those words from the late-night "As Seen on TV" commercials, hawking everything from Ginsu knives to Flobee hair cutting systems? There was always another knife set, salad spinner, 8-track—oh grow up!—or whatever that was included for the super low price of "$19.99 ... as seen on TV!"

That's the mantra of Miss Amnesia Sparkles: there's always more hip-trendy-trashtastic fun around the corner. Today's question: What happens when you put two blondes, a dog, and a handfull of pills in one room? Answer: An audio-blog with that train-wreck-waiting-to-happen Miss Anna Nicole Smith.

Amnesia is the alter ego of Adrian L. Acosta, also seen on TV and well known for her first season appearance on Fox's juggernaut American Idol ... "an ordeal that haunts her to this very day." She's a triple threat, a performer-gender illusionist-comedienne cut from the same cloth—silk, of course—as other faboo downtown types like Cashetta, Hedda Lettuce or Shequida.

New Yawkers also know Amnesia as NEXT Magazine's roving reporter. This week, check out her interview with Jim Verraros, AI's first—and only—openly gay finalist.

I said openly.

Amnesia Sparkles-Blog
NEXT Interview

A Word From Our Sponsors

Major changes will happen this week. Stay tuned for details.
We now resume our normal programming ...

Let's Rolle

Not sure what you were doing Saturday afternoon, but the editors here at brotha2Brotha—yes, there is a newsroom, staff, copy desk and company car—were busy watching all the draft picks down at the Javits Center. Well, we weren't there but it was on TV. You get the idea.

One of my faves: First rounder at number 8, supa-phine Antrel Rolle. The Hurricane CB had hoped to stay in his native Miami but instead heads west to seek fame and fortune with Arizona. Six foot, 201lbs (dayumn) many consider Antrel college football's premier cornerback. He's an excellent cover corner who has exceptional closing ability and is one of the team's fastest players.

Most teams don't throw his way—would you?—so Rolle often has to blitz from the CB position. Antrel will be a formidable opponent on the field; he's got the size and speed to confront bigger, faster receivers in the NFL. Check out the pre-draft diary he kept on Fox Sports.

Oh yea: and he's phine.

iCandy: Basic Instinct

Definitely check out the latest issue of Instinct. Spanish actor Aitor Mateo is the cover model, beautifully lensed by photographer Hudson Wright. Just recently Oh la la Paris gave us a sneak preview of the issue.

Open it up for another treat: A new campaign featuring former cover model Andre Henderson.

Andre is the gorgeous new face on the back issues page, various promotions and subscription cards. Did you catch his cover?

San Diego-based Dre graced Instinct's cover in February '04. (Yes, yours truly keeps all the back issues for the glossies ...) The lush pictorial was lensed at O Bar in West Hollywood by photographer Andrew Matusik. The model says he was approached by the magazine at San Diego Pride. Voila! a cover model is born.

The 26 year old grew up in rural Arkansas, and migrated west to Colorado, later Cali. Andre says that he is still a kuntry boy at heart, and still talks like one. "People think my accent is hot," he admitted in the interview. Yeah, that's not all that is hot.

Andrew Matusik
Hudson Wright

Saturday, April 23, 2005


The driver's license may say New York State, but yours truly is a kuntry boy at heart. That means holding open doors for women, giving up subway seats for others, mountain biking around Chicago or NYC, regularly attending Sunday services and an appreciation of soul-stirrin', ole time gospel music.

PrayzeHymn is a solid, slick e-zine that covers the gospel music industry from A to Z. Anyone who follows this weblog will appreciate the content; it's chock-full of interviews and reports on everything from American Idol's gospel connections to industry trends.

Gospel is a huge industry, raking in some $800 million in sales or more. The recent explosion in Tyler Pery's popularity, along with acts such as Fantasia Barrino, Donnie McClurkin, Vanessa Bell Calloway and Yolanda Adams have demonstrated gospel's universal appeal.

"Our focus has changed, but not our mission," says J. Matthew Cobb, the editor of PrayzeHymn. The Birmingham, AL-based entrepreneur, industry insider and music-writer has done a fabulous job in creating a new resource. It's great to see young people making moves and creating change. Plus he's a PhotoShop wiz, so the site just looks fierce! So this weekend's assignment: visit the site and his companion weblog the Prayze Report.

the Prayze Report

Friday, April 22, 2005

Nike Just Says No to Racism

Boogie mentioned this to me last week. Nike is running a series of European PSAs that plead for tolerance and just say no to racism. But does that mean yes to more profits? Manchester United defender Gary Neville and others accuse the sportswear giant of cashing in and gaining some cheap publicity with it's Stand UpSpeakUp campaign. The gospel according to Neville: "We don't have a big problem with racism in this country."

Huh? Apparently Neville's experience is far different than that of teammate Rio Ferdinand. Uber-gorgeous Rio and France Arsenal's Thierry Henry star in Nike's commercial and print campaign that preaches tolerance in sport. Their campaign also promotes inter-locking black and white wristbands to show solidarity. Nike is also a sponsor of the famed Manchester team.

Instead of standing up and speaking up, Gary Neville may want to sit down and be quiet. Nike is underwriting the campiagn as a public service awareness, so it's a donation. Sure, they'll probably get some mileage out of this, but the company makes much money money from being associated with the Manchester team. The wristbands are free, suggested donations are 2Euros, approx. USD$2.61. Those profits go to an anti-racism foundation in the UK.

Memo to Gary Neville: What community work have you done lately, mate?

Stand UpSpeakUp: Nike
Rio's Hot Ad for Ben Sherman

Ms. Wrong Never Looked So Right

The most dangerous place in the world is between Ann Coulter and a camera, because she will do or say almost anything for a soundbite. Among my favorites from the mistress of the microphone: "Congress should pass a law tomorrow requiring that all aliens from Arabic countries leave." "A cruise missile is more important than Head Start." "My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times Building."

Given her history of histrionics, it's laughable that she is outraged by the current cover of Time. Coulter says the editors distorted her appearance, making her feet appear large and head too big.

Let's set the record straight: Her head is too big.

Aside from the small matter of her large feet, Ann Coulter is a reactionary demagogue that delights in throwing verbal Molotov cocktails. Whether she honestly believes these outlandish statements is immaterial; Coulter says them with uncompromising conviction. So it's sheer irony that Time's editors chose a dramatic treatment for her cover, and as usual, she went ballistic. The uncomprising, alleged Ivy League convictions dissolve into superficial concerns of hair, make-up and tacky boat-sized shoes.

The Time article is actually quite balanced in its presentation of such an unbalanced subject. "She is the bogeyman of politics, the figure that liberals use when reaching for the ultimate insult, the way conservatives use Michael Moore," the editors said, taking pains to treat her with kid gloves. At times they poke gentle fun at her neo-fascism, other times jokes with her and sometimes ... fawn with compliments.

Here is one of many references that liken the 44 year old pundit to a sex symbol on college campuses. "Wearing an ankle-length fur and a wide-eyed expression, Coulter had to be pushed through the crowd by a team of handlers. When she swept past the spot I was wedged into, the young men near me went aflutter."

Something tells me these boys don't get out very often.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

An Evening With ...

Who: Novelist Rashid Darden, Lazarus
What: Reception, Book Signing, Autographs, Witty Conversation
When: Tonight, 7:30pm
Where: Georgetown University (White-Gravenor Hall), Washington
How: Tonight is Rashid's first event. If you can't jump on the Metroliner or Delta Shuttle, go to his site and drop a note. Or place an order. Or both!

Read Trent Jackson's interview with Rashid. Look for my review on Monday.

Beats: Eddie Boom

Where to begin? Let's see ... I fell in love with Eddie Boom late one night when we met on 66th Street. Okay, here's the backstory: Eddie is a fabulous DJ whose music helped me whiz through those long overnights at ABC News at 66th and Columbus. Sorry, just couldn't help but use that tease.

His music is a delight. A mixture of garage and deep house, with enough serious vocals to make me yearn for the old parties of my Chicago youth. The sound is much like NYC's legendary Body & Soul, where we'd go Sunday afternoons and lose our minds. Everyone was there from old-skool house heads to circuit boys ... and Yoko Ono. (Yes, we danced together. And yes, she wore those shades.) The memories are bittersweet; Eddie's music so takes me there.

Boom is Trenton-based, active on the East Coast and Candian circuit, but admittedly ... I've never heard him play live. The first mixes heard were at Spirit of House, that brilliant Swiss-based dance music site. Years later he was re-discovered on BtownSound, which books, manages and promotes DJ talent from Brazil to Baltimore. That's hot.

Choose from Eddie's mix collection in Windows Media here ....
Or take my advice and listen to his best mix, Phase 1. Dial Up Broadband

Eddie Boom
Spirit of House
Honey Deaux: brotha2Brotha

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Mehcad Moves to Wisteria Lane

Last month you read THIS
Last week you read

Today =
I ♥ Mehcad on Wisteria Lane

Mama Said Knock You Out.
Again, Again ... and Again.

TKO ... then death
MSG March 1962

Many gay men grew up with taunts and bullies. Mine: Danny Cole in the eighth grade. His mission: to make my life a living hell. It worked for a minute, until yours truly—then nicknamed "stringbean"—began doing push-ups, fighting back and playing sports. Later we attended rival high schools, and Danny's anti-Rod aggression was channeled onto the gridiron and the hoops court. Our fights earned us technicals, fouls, penalties ... and warm seats on the bench. Some years later we bumped into each other over Memorial Day weekend at the old Traxx in DC. Surprise, surprise. But that's a different story ...

Tonight, USA will broadcast the extraordinary story of a gay man who was taunted and fought back ... with tragic consequences. Ring of Fire documents the story of Emile Griffith and his ferocious fight-to-death with Cuban fighter Benny Paret in March 1962. Griffith literally beat Paret into a pulp, and he died 10 days later. Why? "I got tired of people calling me faggot."

Last week in the Times', Bob Herbert interviewed the former champ who is still conflicted over his sexuality. Andy pointed out yesterday, that it was common knowledge that Griffith frequented Midtown gay clubs. Then, Griffith denied his sexuality and filmmakers Dan Klores and Ron Berger do not confront the issue that forced Griffith into becoming a modern-day gladiator.

In a BBC interview, the filmmakers defend their work, saying their goal was to document the fight, not make editorial judgments. "People want us to say what we think about boxing, which isn’t for us to make a judgment about, or for anybody. Is Emile Griffith gay? They want specific things."

[See the BBC report. Windows Media Player Low Medium High]

True, viewers often do want specific things ... like context, which is lacking. Boxing is a ferocious and violent sport and people sometimes die. On the other hand, gay men are often pushed into retaliation. Is/was Griffith gay? What have we learned since 1962? What does Griffith say?

Today the former champ has no apologies about the fight. In the Times interview, Griffith continues to say that he was sorry Paret died. But he adds, "He called me a name. So I did what I had to do." Griffith says Paret's death was tragic, but the names "touched something inside." It's a tragic story, and 43 years later the champ is still haunted by that night.

Attitudes in professional sports have not changed very much—especially in hard core games like boxing and football. Herbert sets the record straight and the boxer admits to a life on the deep DL. He says he is not gay, but admits to having relations with men and women. Today, the champ says he is tired of running, and hopes to ride in this year's Gay Pride Parade.

Thanks to Bernie for the heads up.

Ring of Fire: USA 9/8c
Boxer on the DL: Towleroad
The Haunting of Emie Griffith: New York Times
Film Focus: Ring Of Fire - The Emile Griffith Story: BBC

[See the BBC report. Windows Media Player
Low Medium High]