Monday, January 31, 2005

B12 Shot: Swingin' Sixties

From KB’s Baker’s Dozen.

The Rules: Create twelve thoughts and one picture—for a total of thirteen—to describe your weekend. Try using quotes, events, links to blog entries and websites, etc.

“Mrs. Peel—We’re Needed!”
The calendar says it’s 2005, but this was another weekend love affair with the swingin’ sixties. Let’s start with that slinky sixties sophisticate Diana Rigg, the judo-choppin and sports-car-drivin’ Mrs. Emma Peel from The Avengers. Friday night I watched two episodes on the BBC

ii. The next morning, went to the gym and then purchased the Avengers ’67 boxed set from Best Buy. Someone gave me a gift card for Christmas, so it came in very handy.

iii. Over a gourmet lunch of Church’s fried chicken—10 pieces dark meat for ten bucks, mmm!—watched two episodes. But my carb-loading was rudely interrupted by a James Bond marathon on Encore. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service was one of the best Bond films, and the only one that starred George Lazenby. His Bond girl? Diana. Rigg.

iv. Next: watching 007’s jet-pack flight in Thunderball. Where do they sell those? I want one. Honestly.

v. OHMSS repeated on another Encore channel. BTW, yours truly is compelled to watch movies when they are repeated.

vi. Seguing to the 70s, did you see Saturday’s I ♥ Cuda post? A brotha loves vintage Detroit steel, so you’ll see these types of posts again.

vii. Muscle cars…now muscle boyz. Saturday also featured the new Go-Go Alert.
Going forward, the weekly go-go boy alert moves to Fridays after 5pm.

viii. Had great extended IM-convo’s with two new blogging buddies. Rosalind Gash gave me some tips on hosting and WordPress

ix. While Charles F Stephens and I discussed/debated literature, politics and pop culture.

x. Saturday night—for the first time ever—had some delicious lobster bisque! Remember that classic Seinfeld ‘Yada, Yada’ episode?

Elaine recounts her date for Jerry: “We went to dinner, I had the lobster bisque, we went back to his place…yada yada yada.”
Jerry: “But you yada yada yada’d over the best part?”
Elaine: “No. I mentioned the bisque.”
xi. So…Saturday night I had a date, he came to my place, yada yada yada. (BTW, I did yada yada yada over the best part.)

xii. Yes, February Sweeps is upon us! That means yours truly will be working more and posting here less. Expect shorter dispatches. Hopefully you'll find the same quality in the content—be it politics or pop culture.

@ the Watercooler

DaDLCrib gave us a shout-out. It’s total entertainment for the fellaz. Lotsa eye candy—hot ta def pics of all my faves, especially 50 Cent—music and party news, television listings…er’thang that’s crunk.

EJ’s weekly vibe will have you dancing in your seat. This week it’s hip-hop CDs that you may have missed.

Karsh finds that blogging may be hazardous to your job.

LeatherEgg in Boston is sore from chippin’ away at the huge ice build-up…and happy from another workout.

Pamalicious at On the Hush wrote up this site. On the Hush is a great message board, with brothas and sistaz networking, dropping wisdom and cutting up.

Just lay me on this bed, and gimme sum head.” Lil’ Kim sang about it, Philly Bred writes about it.

SecretBoogie in NC has his own “Planet of the Fakes” story…but with a happy ending.

And two shout-outs to our neighbors to the north. No, not the Upper West Side. The Upper, Upper, Upper West Side—Canada!

jadedbitch has written those scathing reality show critiques on industry weblog TVGasm

And our Gay Canadian X Party Boy has a heart for Valentine’s…donating time to raise youth awareness for HIV.

If you mention or link this site, please email nycdieselbrotha at yahoo dot com.

And the Hits Just Keep Coming …

brotha2Brotha debuted less than three months ago. But apparently, many people are pointing and clicking their way to this part of the cyberverse—up to 900 a day. Check the counter here, or my Site Traffic icon below right.

The counter was installed only 10 days ago. Why so late? It never occurred that more than a handful were reading. In ten days, 4150+ visits were logged. Friday we peaked at 900 visits, and the trend would have us at 10k in little more than two weeks.

Thanks y’all.

PS: Who is reading down under in the Cocos (Keeling) Islands? Please send some beach pics!

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Talking Heads: Meet the Press

Courtesy: NBC News Meet the Press

This morning, NBC’s Meet the Press scooped the competition with Sen. John Kerry’s (D-MA) first televised interview since the November election. [Transcript.] But first, moderator Tim Russert debriefed Nightly News anchor Brian Williams, live in Baghdad. The peacock’s new boy wonder did his stand-up from the heavily fortified ‘Green Zone, against the backdrop of sandbags, concrete bunkers and machine-gunned turrets.

Russert quizzed the anchor about the lengthy certification process expected from today's Iraqi elections. This much we know: in any election, the returns are very fluid—results from individual precincts may trickle in, or they may flood. Given Iraq’s situation, expect the former. So in his usual hyper-vague anchor-speak, Williams told us:
This is probably, it's safe to say at this hour, a fairly unquantifiable election so far.”
FYI, fairly unquantifiable is anchor-speak for “it’s too soon to know”—which in situations like this, we already know.

Russert is a master at getting people back on track. He knows how to handle these sticky situations—anchors reporting live from exotic locations, with too much satellite time and too few facts.
MR. RUSSERT: Brian, when will we have some hard results? Prior to the election, it was thought it may take as long as two weeks.
MR. WILLIAMS: It appears that at eight to 10 days is our first best shot at some actual hard numbers. As you know, you've seen the ballot. It's a complex affair. [Transcript: "NBC NEWS' MEET THE PRESS."]
The Iraqi ballot may be complex and difficult to navigate, but it’s mere child’s play compared to the next segment, the Kerry interview. The senator continued to waffle, backtrack and even parse semantics (see transcript for comments on his war record).

Sen. Kerry began the program strong. Russert asked him to comment on Secretary Rice’s assertion that the election has gone “better than expected.” Kerry’s response was direct: “I think it's gone as expected.” Then, he expressed ambivalence about the election’s legitimacy: “It's hard to say that something is legitimate when a whole portion of the country can't vote and doesn't vote. I think this election was important.”

The low-turnout was expected in many Sunni areas. Officials estimate up to 8-million Iraqis vote—about 60 percent of the eligible electorate. That’s higher than our last election. Not to say the election will hardly legitimize our occupation, but low turnout doesn’t necessarily mean failure.

[digress]BTW, I’m hardly a Bush supporter; I voted for Kerry, albeit reluctantly. Truth be told, Ray Charles could have seen that Kerry would never win. A liberal Massachusetts Democrat will never win the White House, as we’ve seen with Tsongas, Dukakis, et al. The road to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue always runs through the south—Bush knows this, Gore had a fighting chance, and that’s why Clinton and Carter were elected. My politics are more of a centrist-Clinton Democrat.[/digress]

Kerry continues to have difficulty stating his positions. Later in the MTP interview, Russert asked Kerry for his take on the latest proposal from Sen. Ted Kennedy. Massachusetts senior senator has suggested the administration negotiate an immediate troop withdrawal with the new Iraqi government, and timetable a pull-out. Kerry’s “No” was emphatic to both questions. But then, he rambled about troop safety and dropped a shocker: “I wouldn't be surprised if the administration privately, behind closed doors, asked them to ask us to leave.”

MR. RUSSERT: Do you have any information that the Bush administration is
privately requesting the new Iraqi government to ask us to leave?
MR. RUSSERT: You just suppose that may be happening?
You’re not the only one feeling confused.

MSNBC will rebroadcast this week's show:
•Sunday night at 10 p.m. ET and 1 a.m. ET

Saturday, January 29, 2005

I ♥ Cuda

1970 Plymouth 'Cuda

Near the corner of Little West 12th and the West Side Highway—just blocks from my apartment—there is a large cold storage warehouse. It’s a nondescript location, with the exception of the trannie prostitutes who congregate after-hours in the adjacent parking lot. There’s no attempt to hide the hooking and petty drug sales. But there is an even more shocking blasphemy hiding behind an old green and red semi-trailer:

A faded and rusted 1973 Plymouth Cuda.

Confession: I’m a muscle car fanatic. (Ha! You thought I was going to say something else!) Like all fans, I have my druthers. Some guys like old Chevy Impalas, others swear by Pontiac GTOs. Not me: it’s all about MOPAR—Dodge, Plymouth and Chrysler. And my wet dream is the Cuda, one of the sexiest muscle cars ever built.

The Plymouth Barracuda was the first pony car, and debuted in ’64. It premiered two weeks before the Ford Mustang, which quickly left the Barracuda in the dust and became a pop icon. But the tables were turned in 1970 when the Barracuda was re-designed. Now called the ‘Cuda (yellow, above), it was available with an engine its competition could only dream of—the legendary Hemi.

1971 Plymouth 'Cuda

The Hemi sound is unmistakable. Many engines purr, or hum. Not the Hemi; it growls, like Vin Diesel in Pitch Black, or Bokeem Woodbine’s supa-sexy Brooklyn accent. In the early 70s, the oil crisis forced Chrysler to drop production of the Hemi . The muscle car era vanished. But a generation later, in 2003, Dodge re-introduced the Hemi with tremendous success. The new 2006 Charger can be ordered with an optional 340 HP Hemi. It's a solid car, but I prefer vintage Detroit steel.

Of all the 'Cudas, the standout is the ’71 (green, above). It’s larger than the previous year’s model—the front grill and headlights were restyled. Do you remember Phantasm? As a child, that’s how I stumbled across the car. The horror movie cult classic is less than memorable for cheesy acting, a flying killer orb, and a stunning black 1971 ‘Cuda. That car has sex appeal to burn. The chassis is long, sleek and muscular. The rear-end is taut and high. The car rides low, so at slow speeds it seems cocky. The styling is aggressive, yet seductive. Over-the-top, just how I like it.

I ♥ Cuda

Go Go Alert!


Home: Brooklyn
Age: “27ish”
Where: SBNY, Roxy, Urge, Hangar, OW, Stonewall

“Some guy just told me that I looked Justin Timberlake. Is that supposed to be a compliment?”

Sigh. I ♥ NYC.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Casual Fridays

Don't you love Casual Fridays at the office? Instead of wearing a shirt, jacket and tie to the cube can leave the jacket at home. Or the tie.

They're much more relaxing around here. That's usually an off day for me, so casual Fridays are downright decadent. They usually include gym, lunch, a second lunch, several lattes and ... well, who knows. (I'm off Thursdays too, so maybe I have a Casual Thursday thru Sunday.)

Expect the same on this blog. Less about me, more about er'body else.

RosalindGash and Life with Buccho is political, yet spirited. There's lots of day-to-day fun—like power outages on campus—mixed with her take on the news. Ros often calls the media to task for reporter- and and cultural-bias. We're also blogging buddies, emailing and IMing each other with questions, support and comments.

Life with Buccho introduced the popular Baker's Dozen that many of us post on Mondays. KB's site is cleverly designed with retro-avatars, and a denim skin. (Sigh. One day I'll be like that.) The posts are short and sweet—many old school memories are on radio blogs; other days, KB is quite the techie. How can someone do all of this with three kids?

Overeducated and Underemployed

You wouldn't describe Bush, Cheney & Co. as "overeducated and underemployed." They are just the opposite. Walking—and kicking—examples that you can never be too rich or too dumb. That's why the clever folks over at ....

Overeducated and Underemployed bring us pictures like these. Every. Day. It's a clever webzine that satirizes everyone from George W. to Wesley Snipes. Reminds me of the old Spy magazine, which I loved. And you can expect a Cheney Photo-a-Day, like the one above.
[Overeducated and Underemployed]

Real World Disasters

No one likes to walk with a pebble in their shoe.

It begins as only slightly noticeable. But it starts to move around. Eventually, the weight shifts, the pebble becomes lodged in the most uncomfortable position, and your foot is raw from the friction.

That's my take on the two black characters on MTV’s Real World. Karamo and Shavonda were small, unobtrusive blips on the pop culture radar. But their constant pettiness, self-hatred and immaturity has continued to rub me the wrong way. My patience has became raw from the friction.

Following a tried-and-true formula, the Bunim-Murray producers have selected two black cast members who will hate each other—an oreo, and a pretend hood rat. But this season has an unexpected twist: Karamo, the pretend regular brotha, is an oreo wanna-be. He’s acting out because the real oreo—Shavonda, the tired sistah from Cali with the weave—is flirting with the gay friendly white boy that Karamo likes.

First Stunt
Who to start with? How about, biological ladies first? TVGasm has a great play-by-play of The Shavonda Show on the beaches of Fiji.

No one overshadows homegirl, as evidenced by this week's mountain-of-a-molehill episode. Shavonda was back and so were all her petty issues: would she take her top off? Would she jump in the ocean? Would she jump in the river? Would she douche in the morning? Would she have a side salad or fries? Such are the weighty decisions in her life, and dammit if you try to ignore them.
Shavonda’s first weighty decision: should she jump in the water hole? After all, everyone else does. Only a petty trifling girl she would hold make this an important plot point. But reality show contestants are inherently drama queens—or else, they wouldn’t be on TV.

[Shavonda] notes how petrified she is of the water. Everyone must stop what they're doing and watch as Landon jumps with Shavonda into the river below. All eyes on Shavonda. Success.
Second Stunt
On the beach, Shavonda can’t decide should she go topless. After all, Sarah will. (When won’t Sarah show her ta-tas?) Landon uses this as another excuse to show his ass, which he thinks needs to be oiled up. (Memo to Landon: Come to the Roxy tomorrow night. The boys will take care of you!) Karamo becomes bitter, and starts drinking double shots of Hatorade. Shavonda decides no, she’ll keep her shirt on, thank you very much.

Third Stunt
Back at the hotel, the kids decide to do what all young people who drink in movies do: play truth or dare. MTV’s episode recap sez:

Shavonda and Landon make out for 30 seconds and Landon drops
trow. Karamo does not approve of the lust that seems to be boiling over between Shavonda and Landon. Eh, Karamo's probably just bitter that he isn't getting any. The next morning he insists that Shavonda should pay attention to her culture.
Let’s keep score; Shavonda and Landon, 3; Landon shows his butt twice; Karamo, no attention. By now K has super-sized up to cockblocking and a Venti Hatorade.

Final Countdown
The next evening Karamo finally shows his azz. Not like in Philly when kept parading before the camera with a towel wrapped his waist, showing his lil butt. That was cute. But now, he literally acted an azz. First, he tells MJ that he’s upset with Shavonda. Why confide in a Red State frat boy? In true snow queen fashion, he feels comfortable dishing his own peeps to a white boy. He says Landon’s race isn’t that material; but, he’s “disgusted” because Shavonda has an alleged boyfriend back home. All these contestants always say they have BFs and GFs back home, silly.

The coup de grace—that's French for “fuckin’ some ish up”—happens during dinner at their last night in Fiji. Karamo becomes enraged after looking at Landon’s ass so many times. He morphs into the angry black man that reality show producers often request from central casting. Karamo says aloud that if he were a hunter, he’d take "a knife and slit Landon’s throat."

I guess not getting any dick having sex for months has finally done a job on poor Karamo. Last month, we talked about how he burst on the scene with so much potential, only to crash and burn. No: she’s worst than Willie. At least Willie had the sense to be quiet.

Maybe next week, K will be in better spirits. He brings home a little Latin cha-cha queen boy. Karamo wasn’t lying. Dorian wasn’t his type. He was too manly.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Rock Solid

It's been two long, agonizing days without any new Rock photos. But no worries. Here is more eye candy via, who blurbed my Tuesday post about the new Details cover.

DanteWoo is a "best of" site, along the lines of some of my other daily reads like Defamer, Gawker or Overeducated and Unemployed. And like those, he also mentioned yours truly and linked. DanteWoo is another New Yorker, but he's East Vill and I'm West Vill, so we've probably never seen each other. DW: did you ever go to the old WonderBar? On Friday or Sunday nights when Shari used to spin? Loved. It.



"I don't have an entourage. I just play like I have one on TV!"

Adrian Grenier, star of HBO's Entourage, was seen walking around the Sundance Film Festival sans entourage ... with only one other person.

You'd think an HBO marketing exec would slap some parkas on a gang of out-of-work actors and have Grenier trailed at all times. Just to keep up appearances. [Defamer]

The poorly acted show would be much funnier if the characters were rappers. Can you imagine if Snoop starred, and the entourage were 20 or 30 brothaz and groupies? Drop it like it's H-O-T-T.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Planet of the Fakes

Breaking news: Shady Queens across the internet have accomplished what leading scientists cannot. They have successfully cloned human beings—especially the phiner ones.

Yesterday, "_______" from Birmingham sent me this pic. Stunning, isn't he? The only problem: I know this guy, and he’s neither gay nor from ‘Bama. He’s a professional model, and queens brothaz have hijacked the same picture for years.

[Just to set the record straight, T commutes between Miami, NYC and Chicago. He was a former NCAA hoops phenom, and is signed to a top modeling agency. T can be seen in a current print ad for Nissan. Below is a pic from his portfolio. He is very straight.]

During 2001 and 2002, at least four screen names on Black Planet used this same picture. Apparently, “he” lived in Philly, DC, Atlanta and Texas; described himself as 5’9 to 6’3, sometimes straight, sometimes single, other times lookin’. The next year, in 2003, several Migente accounts featured the same pic. Gradually, the pic migrated across the cybersphere, where it is currently hosted on at least two ebonymale accounts, and on men4now.

To call pic-stealing ‘common’ would be an understatement. It’s pervasive. Phony pics and identities are par for the course with gay men over the ‘net. It’s so widespread across Black Planet that many of my friends have called BP “planet of the fakes”, and have stayed away. AOL and Migente are much the same.

It's e-z to spot the fakes. First, the perpetrators usually have only one picture. Second, they always steal over-the-top pictures . You’ll never see a regular looking brotha, or the boy next door. That would be too sensible.

Instead, the men are always supa-phine, shirtless, and look like actors, models, strippers or porn stars. In fact, they usually are actors, models, strippers or porn stars. Their admirers are so dense naïve, they incorrectly assume no one IRL (in real life) knows these men. (Let’s not even discuss headless or torso shots. They’re as phony as a three-dollar bill.) And the fine sistahz…forgetaboutit. They’re ready to file class-action lawsuits.

My favorite story: Last year, one brotha in Akron downloaded pictures of his favorite papi from Latino Fan Club. One morning, he shot them over to me. “I’m black and Puerto Rican,” he IM’d me. "Here are my pics." The boy in the pictures was blatino, but he wasn’t in Ohio. He had just spent the night at my apartment. At that moment, he was probably on the E train headed home to Jamaica, Queens.

[Memo to _____ and _____ in Akron, Bama and other flyovers. NEVER send pictures like these to any gym boy in ATL, DC, LA, Miami or NYC. When men look like this, we make it our business to know them—or find someone who does. And please don't send porn star pics. We see those guys on the street, at the grocery store, the clubs or the gym. Or know them/been with them. Please.]

Models—regardless if their clothes are on or off—are accustomed to fans and stalkers. Most laugh off the ‘net fakes. After all, it’s just a by-product of their work. But what if you’re not a pro and had your pictures hijacked? It’s much harder to set the record straight.

Case in point: My best friend lives in Atlanta, and just experienced a messy identity theft. Some trifling queen brotha hijacked his old pictures from BP, and posted them on several hook-up sites. The accompanying personal ad was—to say the least—graphic. Unfortunately, my buddy was involved at the time. His boyfriend’s messy friends saw the ads, one thing lead to another, yada yada yada. You know the rest of the story.

Brothaz, please. If you don’t have pics, just say it. But this is getting out of hand. Silly queens rabbits: tricks are for kids.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Queer Guy for the Straight Girl

There's a new prime time reality show where a gay man helps a pretty blonde find a boyfriend. But you won't find it on Bravo. The prime time fag hag and her sidekick can be seen on ABC, the new gay-must-see-TV. First came Desperate Housewives, now The Bachelorette.

That's not right, you say. "Isn't the Bachelorette that series no one is watching where a reality show veteran gets a second chance at love?" Yes, it is. Except Jen has found some unlikely help in her search. She is now asking Fabrice, her gay would-be "suitor" for styling advice and his opinions on the other men.

Last week, I reported that industry website TVGasm--hey Jaded!--broke the story on "straight" Fabrice. Apparently shirtless circuitboy pics and Big Muscle profiles mean will not deter the execs in Century City from providing us with quality, gay-friendly programming. Initially, I wondered how the network would spin this angle. But after last night's episode, it became obvious the producers are doing exactly what I would: Ignore the critics and let Fabrice queen out.

And boy, did she ever. Here are show highlights with some help from TVgasm:

The bachelors were split into two teams and played basketball. Fabrice (?) was chosen as one of the captains. One team was shirtless--like a bachelorette party, right?--and the other kept their shirts on. We've seen shirtless pics of Fabrice dancing with other shirtless boys; unfortunately, last night he played with the boys who kept their clothes on. But they won, even though Fabrice made the least baskets and scored the fewest points. Fabrice (?) and a teammate won private dates with Jen. Who said gay white men can't jump?

The Frenchie and Jen ventured uptown to Harlem for an evening at the famous Cotton Club. They enjopyed an impromptu "surprise" performance from VANESSA WILLIAMS! Yes, THAT Vanessa Williams! Fabrice loved the performance. I'm sure Vanessa is one of his favorite singers, along with Cher, Madonna and Liza.

Jen asked Fabrice about his past. He mentioned a previous love and made a point to say her name and "she." (Can you call yourself bi after one exeprience? Let's ask Anne Heche.) Then he began to cry, which creeped out Jen.

Then, the conversation became fag-haggish. Jen asked for Fabrice's opinion on the other bachelors. WTF? Let's go to Jen's Diary on The Bachelorette's website for that story:

The only reason I asked Fabrice about a few different guys was because I didn't want him to know I really only wanted his opinion on Jerry. Fabrice told me he thinks Jerry really likes to win and might not necessarily be here for me. I valued that comment because I wonder the same thing. I'm very attracted to Jerry, but I'm still cautious of him. I don't know what to think.
I know what to think. When a straight woman asks a man for relationship advice...she looks at him like a sister.

But I could be wrong. If there was any doubt that Fabrice liked D&G and Saturday nights at the Roxy, it vanished after the Rose Ceremony. Fabrice was one of the lucky four to get a rose, but he was chosen last. That made the 28 year queen old “real estate investor" throw a hissy fit.

BTW, if it isn't obvious, I don't like Fabrice or this alleged competition. So, one more item:

We know that Jen appeared on last season's Bachelor. But do we care that Fabrice is obviously gay ... and also has been another reality show? Even Ray Charles could see this is a set-up.

Take a look at Fabrice's pics from the French series named Operation Seduction 2: In the Caribbeans. Insert laughter ________ here.

Rock It

Photos by Tom Munro
Details January/February 2005

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Should we consider this a two thousand word essay?

The flix are from the current Details. Two days ago, I wrote up the piece, and the Rock's upcoming movie. Just thought you wouldn't mind seeing more ...

Which Tired Old Queen Are You?

Take the test. It's fast, it's fun, it's easy!
Here are my results:

you are paul lynde!
Congratulations, beeyotch! You are Paul Lynde.
If you were a brand of underwear, you'd be the
kind that keeps getting jammed up everyone's
crack. People spend too much of their day
trying to pull you out while no one is looking.
What I'm trying to say is... you are Cuntzilla
Incarnate. You are a bitch-tastic slag that
people love to despise... Luckily, if you have
money, you can buy people's affections

Which Tired Old Queen Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Monday, January 24, 2005

B12 Shot: Snow Day and Boogie Night

From KB’s Baker’s Dozen.

The Rules: Create twelve thoughts and one picture—for a total of thirteen—to describe your weekend. Try using quotes, events, links to blog entries and websites, etc.

Let it snow…let it snow…let it snow, snowmobile and snow blow.
i. The weekend was a winter wonderland. (Don’t you love alliteration?) I got more than 12 inches…of snow, that is. We were blanketed with close to two feet.

ii. For the first time, used the snow blower. So much fun, I cleared both of the neighbor’s walks.

iii. More fun outside: On Sunday, some friends and I went snowmobiling. It’s been a few years since I’ve done this. Sno’ing is big fun,my cuz'n reminded me, "but it’s important to be safe." It’s easy to be thrown, slam into a tree or hit a fence wire. For around three hours, I went uphill, downhill and across several corn fields. And good news: your boy was not thrown! Saw deer and rabbits. I brought a pair of binoculars, but no camera. Next time I promise some photos.

iv. The storm did not ground UPS. On Friday I received two deliveries. The first was a replacement AC adaptor to power my laptop—gotta love those Best Buy extended warranties—and the second …

Boogie (2 Tracks) v. From Amazon, Boogie, a collection of remixes by the Brand New Heavies featuring new singer Nicole Russo. I already have most of the Heavies other albums, but am behind on several remix collections and singles. I'm also awaiting another Heavies order from Amazon.

BTW, “My name is Rod and I am powerless over all things by the Brand New Heavies.”

"Hi Rod!"

vi. Thankfully, I was not home to watch the Patriots pound Pittsburgh (Hey, I used to write headlines, LOL.) ...

vii. Or the Eagles soar across the Falcons into the Super Bowl. Warrick Dunn was ATL’s top performer: 15 rushes, 59yds, and a 10-yard touchdown with 2:02 left in the first half.

viii. But a brother will lead his team at the big game. I’m not an Eagles fan, but wish Donovan McNabb the best of luck.

ix. I’m kinda-sorta seeing one of the supa-models (lol) on this page. Kinda sorta. I’ll keep you posted.

x. Through extended IMs, learned much of the backstory on Karsh down in Hotlanta …

xi. And Bernard in my hometown of Chicago. I miss home, and can’t wait to have some Harold’s.

xii. Speaking of home, had a great conversation with my mom over the weekend. "You're exactly where you're supposed to be right now," she told me. I love moms, she always knows what to say to make things right.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Dwayne's World

The gayest thing about me?" Dwayne 'the Rock' Johnson ponders. "Probably all the gay porn I did. Everyone was nicknamed Stretch after me. Oh, that's terrible."

The Rock is known for his over-the-top height, body and looks. But another eye-raising quality—his trademark gay innuendos. Grab a copy of the newest Details—you can’t miss it, he’s the cover—and there are many gay-friendly jokes. Rightly so: Johnson is promoting his role as a gay bodyguard/actor in the upcoming Be Cool.

F. Gary Gray’s film is a sequel to Get Shorty, the 1995 adaptation of the Elmore Leonard novel. John Travolta repeats his role as wiseguy-turned-movie producer Chili Palmer. It's a caper about the Russian mob, the music business and Hollywood. Johnson’s character is a gay bodyguard/actor who wants to break into the music business. How does associate editor Laura Brown (get that cover story, girl!) describe it?

[He] recites monologues from the modern pom-pom classic Bring It On and spanks himself in front of a full-length mirror while wearing a satin bodysuit and hitting a high note Mariah Carey would envy.
That sounds about right, for a guy who appeared on Saturday Night Live twice—both times, wearing a dress. In the interview, Johnson pokes more fun at his homoerotic appeal. Once again, he professes a love for gay porn. And after having “spritzed on a little Jil Sander,” he says:

"People ask me what I'm wearing and I say, 'It's called Come to Me.' And they say, 'Come to Me? That's a weird name. Can I smell it?' " Beat. "'Sure—smell like come to you?' "

Sigh. An over-the-top muscle boy who says he smells like ... ahem. Aiight, back on track.

Tom Munro’s sensual photos accompany the article. The flix are in color and black and white, and all—especially the B&W—capture the conflict within the pop phenom. He is hyper-masculine, yet lonely and vulnerable. They are adoringly erotic, but not overtly sexual.

Elmore Leonard’s novels are engrossing. They involve double-crosses, shady women, mobsters and low-lifes...all trying to get a piece of the good life. The characters are unique, quirky and multi-dimensional. Most of the film adaptations have followed suit. Barry Sonnenfeld’s Shorty was magnificent. Tarantino’s Jackie Brown—the film version of Rum Punch—was a love letter to screen goddess Pam Grier.

I’m scared of how cool Be Cool may try to be. Apparently, MGM’s concept is to deliver a blockbuster “urban” comedy. The trailers feature more of Cedric the Entertainer and Andre 3000 than Travolta, Uma Thurman or even the Rock. Don’t get me wrong; I love me some Cedric and Andre. I just don't see them in an Elmore Leonard movie. Hopefully the production will not morph into Hollywood’s standard recipe for an urban comedy: Ruin a good script. Add assorted rappers, hip hop stars and comedians. Just add water. Voila!

F. Gary Gray shot to fame with the brilliant Friday, and followed with the gritty character-driven Set it Off. Since then, he has crossed the color line and failed to impress me. More tired recent films like A Man Apart and the Italian Job were boring tedious. The latter film featured exotic Venetian exteriors, and even those scenes were fast-forwardable.

Be Cool opens in March, and I’ll attend the mid-February screening. Hopefully, it will be cool. If not, at least I’ll have some eye-candy.

Friday, January 21, 2005


SONY has good news for fans of Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte. No, there will not be a Sex and the City movie--Kim Cattrall has already killed that. But close. SATC creator Darren Star is negotiating a three-year production deal with Sony Pictures Television. Now, he's EPing a half-hour Fox project about "posh New York eateries." (Memo: it's all about pan. asian. fusion.) Star produced Melrose Place with gazillionaire producer ...

AARON SPELLING, now reuniting with Fox to produce a one hour drama set in a Las Vegas wedding chapel. The 'net has greenlighted a pilot for the untitled project, about a "brother/sister team who manage a one-stop-shopping Vegas wedding emporium, their complicated romantic relationships and the outrageous entanglements of their employees and clients." Sounds like my job, minus the whimsy. [Hollywood Reporter]

Pomp and Circumstance

"What's good for General Motors is good for the rest of America." Who said this--a former GM chairman, or NBC anchor Brian Williams?

Yesterday, NBC's new boy wonder anchored his first inauguration. The good news was that he left much of the analysis to Tim Russert. The bad news: Williams had no choice but to wax poetically on pomp and circumstance. American citizens will be happy to know that the motorcade is comprised of brand new Cadillac DTS limousines in the motorcade certainly a "marketing coup" for General Motors.

Meanwhile, alleged White House correspondent Campbell Brown chatted up Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). She asked him to guesstimate American troop levels in Iraq in "2009 at the next inagaural." McCain said that troop levels were not important--"but casualties and resistance. We've had troops in Korea, Germany and Bosnia for many years with little or no casualties." Campbell thanked him, and tossed to Brian at the anchor desk.

Memo to Campbell's producers: Yes, we do have thousands of troops in Korea, Germany and Bosnia. But we didn't invade those countries.

Sigh. This is what happens when I drop out of news to work on Brad and Jen stories.

The Bachelorette Plays it Straight

Next, a very special Bachelorette: Jen is not the only one looking for a man!

Would-be “suitor” Fabrice describes himself as “sweet, good looking and modest.” But “modest” is an understatement. He neglected to mention that he likes the boyz.

A viewer knew otherwise. Among the ten or twenty people who actually watched the season premiere was a former boyfriend, who sent this email to industry website Tvgasm.

“i went on a few dates with him a while ago. plus now he has a boyfriend. so is that supposed to be the twist this season or something? or are these just standard reality-show lies? because he's certifiably light in the loafers, this guy. we went on several dates and he was great but we just didn't have chemistry. silly reality shows."
Normally, we producers laugh at these anonymous emails, especially when they are written in cutesy lower-case. But then, the evidence trail began.

People’s Exhibit A, found at (Folo the link, it’s picture #20.) Fabrice in flagrante. That would be him below, the pic taken at a Chicago gay club.

So far, no comment from the 28 year old circuit boy “real estate investor.” But former friends from Chelsea to WeHo are talking. We’ve found People’s Exhibit B, the link to his Friendster profile. The pictures are down, but you can see them here.

And People’s Exhibit C, your honor. The link to his Big Muscle profile.

Okay, a disclaimer: Just because Fabrice enjoys frolicking with hundreds of other shirtless circuit boys “real estate investors” does not make him gay. Honestly.

How will this play out? The glaring omission gives cred to many who claim these shows are rigged, like last season’s Apprentice 2. Or maybe the producers are keeping Fabrice and Ryan—the token brotha—for ratings. FYI, we are going into the February book.

Tune in Monday 9/8c to see who gets the rose. This is Jen's second time looking for love on the prime time airwaves. Maybe she's feeling lucky and will date a circuit boy, or a brotha.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Take That Shirley Bassey! You Madonna Wannabe!

Not everyone agrees that Goldfinger is the definitive Bond song. After my review of the Goldfinger soundtrack, I received this curious email. I'm not sure is this a joke, but you can decide.

WHat do you mean Goldfinger is the best James Bond song of all time? I've nver even heard of Shirley Bassey? I can barely remember the film or song. Perhaps you never heard or saw Die Another Day? That was sung by Madonna, and the movie starred Halle Berry! So it's already a classic! I can't wait until Janet does a Bond. She will sing the hit song and star in the film!

Anna Get Yo' Ganja

So Vogue uber-editrix Anna Wintour isn't the frosty, callous beoytch that everyone believes her to be?

It seems that Anna was gettin' some Jamaican funk long before the song was made. New reports say she had 'one love' with Jamaica's favorite son, late reggae legend Bob Marley.

A clearly unauthorized new bio, Front Row: The Cool Life and Hot Times of Vogue's Editor in Chief, sheds new light behind the dark sunglasses of Conde Nasties Naste's top fashionista. Allegedly in the late 70s, Wintour had the weeklong affair with Marley during one of his New York trips. Witnesses say the uber-fashionista was an uber-groupie, spending nearly all of her time either backstage or in his hotel room. Was it hard to get the ganja smell from that Halston A-line dress? [Page Six via Gawker]

Marley was a notorious womanizer, and this is the wrong time to remind his widow. Next month are celebrations marking the 60th anniversary of his birth. Rita Marley plans to exhume his remains in Jamaica and rebury them in his "spiritual resting place," Ethiopia. [CNN]

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Reality Bites

Fox Entertainment prez Gail Berman has finally received the memo that me and many others in the industry read last year. She now believes that reality television has reached the point of "oversaturation." Those are strong words from the programmer who grenlit Who’s Your Daddy, where an adopted daughter was awarded $100,000 if she could pick out her birth father out of a group of eight strangers. Thankfully, that show has been cancelled.

More than half of Fox's fall schedule was reality-based. Many viewers TiVo’d away from The Next Great Champ and Richard Branson's Quest for the Best. Other exciting new programming such as The Littlest Groom were pronounced DOA even before the November book.

“Oversaturation in the marketplace of any form is going to have audience rejection," Berman told the Daily News. "It happened in drama. It happened in comedy. And it happened in unscripted. The best generally survive and others get just swept away."

Hopefully, the nets and cable providers will navigate to more scripted fare. One reason is purely selfish: I’m WGA, so I want to make sure that there’s enough work for me and other producers and writers. Second, scripted drama and comedy is a stronger revenue stream for the ‘nets, ie. Syndication, re-run potential, cross-promotion, etc. Third, it’s just more exciting. I’m over watching normal people behave badly.

Million Dollar Baby

Pop Quiz: Let's say you decide to compete on an internationally broadcast reality show that has become a cultural phenomenon.

A network--say, CBS--sends a dozen people to 'survive' on a remote tropical island. The proceedings are broadcast over 13 weeks. You become the winner, and pocket a cool million bucks. In the process, your name and flabby body face are recognized around the world.

Wouldn't you declare that million dollars to the IRS?

Not if you are Survivor winner Richard Hatch . He's been indicted by federal prosecutors on multiple tax evasion charges. Allegedly, Hatch did not disclose his $1m winnings in 2000. Investigators say the next year, in 2001, he didn't declare a $321k fee from a radio station.

What was Hatch thinking? That Les Moonves forgot to report his million-dollar winnings? Or that he could lay low by being gay, obnoxious and naked on national television? Please, put us out of our misery. Someone stick a fork in this queen. [Smoking Gun]

Monday, January 17, 2005

Heavy Rotation: Goldfinger

(Original Soundtrack Remastered)

"My name is Bond.James Bond."

At least in my dreams. Several times a week, I awaken after amazing, vivid dreams of secret agents in exotic locales. They include blockbuster special effects, incredible chases, fast cars, and breath-taking excitement. The plots are muddled and confusing, but that's to be expected with 007. And there's more than enough hot sex, but with one important script revision. Instead of Bond girls, there are plenty of Bond boys--I've actually cast one or two of them.

But the dreams are never complete. The unconscious mind can only operate on several levels, so my fantastic (but well-acted) James Bond dreams never feature a soundtrack, or even a blockbuster title song. But if they did, there's only one score that I would use: John Barry's Goldfinger.

The soundtrack to the 1964 film--third in the franchise--set the standard for every Bond soundtrack to follow. The formula has become immensely successful: a huge self-titled pop hit, and a clever original score. And of course, the brilliant James Bond Theme. It had been used in the first two movies--Dr. No and From Russia With Love--but never this extensively.

The title song also intrduced the extraordinary Shirley Bassey to American audiences. In '64, Ms. Bassey was well-known in England and on the continent. But across the pond, she had yet to become a household name. Shirley's soaring soprano would become the benchmark for Bond films--she would later sing the title tracks to Diamonds Are Forever and Moonraker. Shirley Bassey was a diva in its truest form. She has style, grace, class and a stunning set of pipes. True, singers like Madonna, Tina Turner and Sheryl Crow have sung more recent title tracks. But their Bond work will always be footnotes to their career. Bassey is Bond; and everyone who has followed has been a runner-up. The only other title track that even comes close is Paul McCartney's Live and Let Die.

John Barry's loud, brassy instrumentals are jazzy and uptempo. From the first bar, it's obvious this song will OD on self-confidence. The trademark trumpets are vivid and vibrant. The horns are lush, and evocative. Several types of drums are used in this arrangement--snare, kettle and bass. And the chorus is anchored with some sassy cymbals.

Bassey's delivery is over-the-top, perfect for a movie about a man obsessed with gold. Even the lyrics are haunting, just the movie's most memorable image: Bond girl Shirley Eaton, killed after Goldfinger paints her from head to toe.
Golden words he will pour in your ear
But his lies can’t disguise
what you feel
But a golden girl
Knows when he kisses her
It was the kiss of death
From Mister ... Goldfinger
Bassey's title track is the best known of the score, but it's just the tip of the iceberg. The soundtrack includes several other notable pieces. Into Miami is a brilliant big-band instrumental. This was used after the title credits, to accompany the beautiful aerial push-in to the Fountainebleau Hotel. The signature James Bond theme appears in the pre-credits Bond Back in Action. This version is slower, sexier and much jazzier than what you may be used to hearing. The third track, Alpine Drive/Auric's Factory, is mellow and laid-back. The instrumental version of the theme song--not included in the film--is guitar-driven and almost rock. You almost expect Nancy Sinatra to start singing.

The other highlight of the score is track nine, Dawn Raid on Fort Knox. It perfectly captures the essence of the album, and movie. Loud, banging snare drums. Xylophones. Crashing cymbals, trumpets and that fabulous french horn. I'm dancing in my seat each time I hear it.

It's a low-down dirty shame that they don't make music like this anymore. It's lounge, it's jazz, it's swing. The lyrics soar to almost un-natural heights, and so does the film. Goldfinger is your own personal time machine back to the swingin' sixties, when Frank, Dino, Lincoln Continentals, martinis, and loud sexy trumpets ruled.

Miracle on 34th Street

Does this sound familiar? You walk into a store and are prepared to shop, and security immediately begins tailing you. Guards routinely tell you to leave your packages or bags at the door--but ignore white people others with bags. Upon leaving the store, your bags are inspected, you are detained and/or falsely accused of shoplifting.

It's happened to me many times, and is a fact of life that many blacks and Latins must endure. But hopefully, this will happen less frequently at Macy's. This weekend, the giant retailer settled a massive racial profiling case with the New York state attorney general.

Eliot Spitzer, the AG, announced the $600,000 settlement. The money will cover the cost of the investigation and lawyers' fees. But luckily, it does not preclude lawsuits against Macy's by individual complainants. Now, it's likely that many cases may be filed.

The resolution followed an 18-month inquiry of five of the chain's 29 stores. Investigators found that 75 percent of shoppers detained on suspicion of shoplifting were black or Latino.

Officially, Macy's forbids racial and ethnic profiling. Per the settlement, the retailer must undertake numerous internal reforms. These include hiring outside auditors to test anonymously whether security employees' treat shoppers differently based on race and ethnicity.

Retailers say they have no choice but to aggressively curb loss prevention. Macy's East, which operates 95 Macy's stores, loses some $40 million to theft every year. However, retailers might do well to start with their own workers. According to the National Retail Federation, $26.6 billion in merchandise was lost to theft in 2002. But at least $15.8 billion was stolen by employees.

Friday, January 14, 2005

It's Easy as Cake--But Tastes like Plastic, Silicon and Circuitboards

"Do not eat iPod shuffle." That's Apple's newest warning to consumers. Apparently, the new iPod shuffle is as easy as cake, but doesn't taste anything apple strudel.

Read the second warning below, or click on the iPod product description page.

Plugged into iBook


iPod shuffle makes syncing a piece of cake. Cupcake, even. Use the optional Dock to connect to your computer or just plug iPod shuffle directly into a USB port on any computer(4). Then drag and drop individual songs, Autofill your favorite playlists or Autofill your iPod shuffle with a random sampling from your music library. Since iPod shuffle automatically charges while syncing, it stays ready for your next adventure.

  1. Music capacity is based on 4 minutes per song and 128Kbps AAC encoding.

  2. Do not eat iPod shuffle.

  3. Rechargeable batteries have a limited number of charge cycles and may eventually need to be replaced. Battery life and number of charge cycles vary by use and settings. See for more information.

  4. Some computers require either the optional iPod shuffle Dock or a USB cable extender (sold separately).

Republic of T

Imagine thousands of men in uniform. They have abandoned their high-security jobs and families for pleasure and debauchery. I'm not referring to the Black and Blue Ball, or another circuit party. But this may have been the scenario envisioned by a purpoted chemical weapons plan rejected by the Pentagon.

Most bizarre among the plans was one for the development of
an"aphrodisiac" chemical weapon that would make enemy soldiers sexually
irresistible to each other. Provoking widespread homosexual behaviour among
troops would cause a "distasteful but completely non-lethal" blow to morale, the proposal says.

The alleged aerial Ecstasy was reported by the New Scientist, via the Republic of T. It's an activist blog, chock-full of tidbits, thoughts and chatter that would have been perfectly at home in the old Progresive or Tikkun. He describes himself as "Black. Gay. Father. Vegetarian. Buddhist. Liberal." I check in four or five times a week, mostly to get a different spin on the news--which of course, I'm guilty of spinning every day at work. [Republic of T]

Casual Fridays

Mom discovers your blog--and she's pissed that you never mention her! [Thought Not via Gawker]

The last frontier in the Brad/Jen disaster. How did Jen's hairstylist--the man behind "the Rachel"--handle the breakup? [Overeducated and Underemployed]

"You're hired! We'll pay you $16,000 a minute!" The Donald will be paid a record-breaking $1 million an hour for Learning Annex. [Page Six via Gawker]

A Romanian couple named their son Yahoo in recognition for meeting over the 'net. [IOL via Fool's Blog]

Don't cry for me Argentina. Welcome to fabulous (and gay) Buenos Aires. [BBC News]

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

The Homo Handshake

Accept Jesus Christ as your Personal Savior behavior January 1, 2005 and Receive a Free Digital Phone! That's the topline of an advertisement for the True Christian Advantage Plan, featuring a sleek new AT&T Wireless Nokia. The LCD reads "Jesus is Calling.'

Landover Baptist is a clever website that parodies fundamentalist Christians. It reads like The Onion, with irreverent (or blasphemous, depending upon you viewpoint) articles and silly advertisements.

What Would Jesus Do Thongs
Effeminate Man Asked to Leave 11 A.M. Service
Exposing the Homosexual Handshake

That last one is one of my favorites. The 1950-ish drawings illustrate the four steps of "recruiting" boys with suggestive handshakes.

1. The prospective recruit is approached by a homosexual using the “three fingered lure.”
2. The homosexual extends his middle finger toward the tender area of the prospect’s palm.
3. If there is no resistance, the homosexual begins to tickle the soft skin at the center of the palm.
4. During the final downward motion of the shake, it is seen who will insert or receive the index finger. Thus, establishing who will play the “girl” when they later meet in a public restroom for sex.
So that's what you're supposed to do...

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Seven Foot Baller

I'm 6'4, and my new love is taller than me. He's seven foot, so I have to look up to him. And at 42 inches across the front panel, he's somewhat wider than my usual "type". But he'll keep hot things hot, and cold things...Sub-Zero.

My current obsessions are Sub-Zero refrigerators. Specifically, the side-by-side, 650 or 680 series. (I could do the 611, but if I'm going to get an SZ, no need to try to be cheap.) Before, I liked the glass doors. But now it's all about the side-by-side stainless steel.

I certainly don't need a new refrigerator. But I want one, a big one. The 680 model has almost 25 cubic feet of storage, and an electronic touchpad. And this is important:

"Automatic ice maker provides an ample supply of crescent-shaped ice. Also has a bulk ice dispenser."

Dinner parties will never be the same! I'll have an endless supply of "crescent-shaped ice" for entertaining. (If that isn't gay, I don't know what is.) But owning a Sub-Zero means I'll need a professional range, like the Viking or Jenn-Air. So, I have to get on point and get some money rolling. I'm hoping to move in the summer or fall. So maybe I'll get the Sub-Zero next Christmas.

Why obsess over rerigerators, storage space, and cubic footage? I cook infrequently and live in a small apartment. It's goes without saying that I have folders of take-out menus, and often dine out. So why begin subscribing to Met Home and Elle Decor?

I'm falling victim to the age pinch, and consumerism. Much of my life, I've prided myself on being "above" advertising and trends. The main reason: I work in media, and am part of the "evil empire" of trend-makers and -setters. But now, I often find myself gazing woefully at Banana Republic and Range Rover ads. Several times, I've bought entire outfits from BR, and then had to find places to go. This new restaurant, that gallery opening, the screening of Mala doesn't matter. After working, or on days off, I want to work out, get dressed up, and go somewhere to stand around and look, well, successfull. I've found that wearing pin-striped BR slacks, a powder blue shirt, leather pea coat and standing in an Asian fusion restaurant usually does the trick. But standing at the bar and looking at Sub-Zero brochures, Behr paint samples or Elle Decor seals the deal.

Please pray for me.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Yin Yang

I learned that my Chi was bad, after a neighbor offered an impromptu Feng Shui consultation.

He was borrowing some magazines, and stood in the doorway of my bedroom. His attention seemed riveted on the new LCD television screen. "I bought it for Christmas," I told him.

"It's Shar Chi," he told me. "It's absorbing energy. it is slowing your life, and will make you bad in bed." That caught my attention.

The essence of Feng Shui is to use the natural positive energy, or Chi, present in any environment to enhance the surroundings. Serenity, prosperity, and wealth are among the claims of those who've incorporated it into their lives. Bad Chi, called Shar Chi, can drain your luck, limit prosperity, wealth, or happiness. It can also damage relationships.

"You should not have a televsion in the bedroom," he warned me. Televisions and mirrors relect images. But this was easily rectified. He told me to cover it with a cloth when not in use. Or, btter yet, to use the screensaver. "An aquarium or fire would be perfect."

Nothing Going on But tha Rent Pt3

I have a callback from one of the networks. I think I mentioned this a few weeks ago. This would be a second interview.

The position is a full-time specials producer. It's tomorrow morning, wish me the best!

Friday, January 07, 2005

Nothing Going on But tha Rent Pt2

I have been blogging less, which is not necessarily a good thing. I've been fulfilling some family obligations, working on my book, and looking another job, which is almost almost a F/T task.

Regarding work, two offers were emailed this week. Both were to pose nude, one for a website, the other for a website. The note from one site began "We saw your pictures online at ________." I pointed and clicked my way to the website. Not bad. Even more interesting, I've been with two of the models before. Maybe three.

Don't need work that bad.

Monday, January 03, 2005

"ID, Please."

Me and almost every brotha I know complain about being carded. It seems like almost every time we pay by credit card or want to buy something, a sales clerk wants ID from us, but no one else. Just two weeks ago I was at an IHOP, two white couples ahead of me pay with plastic, no problem. But the cashier demands identification from me.

But Gawker reports that sometimes famous people get carded, like uber-media personality Barbara Walters. Apparently she was purchasing dozens of DVDs at Best Buy on 86th and Lex. Baba Wawa paid with a credit card and the cashier asked her for ID. Okay, I feel better.[Gawker]

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Heavy Rotation on the iTunes

When you hear certain songs, do you get cold chills? Maybe it’s just me. Too many lazy Sunday afternoons at Body and Soul, too many nights at Traxx, and stumbling too many times into Twilo or Sound Factory at seven in the morning.

I am sitting on the crosstown bus, pecking away on the laptop, pushing a script deadline at work, listening to my new toy, and thanking an older sistah across from me. She just gave me several pieces of Kleenex, so I can dab my eye. I was tearing.

It happens when I hear certain songs. The music creates a biochemical reaction in my brain. The memories surface, neurons and synapses fire, and I feel wonderful. A tingling sensation on the spine, sweaty palms, even an occasional tear or two. Aural ecstasy.

This is exactly what happens upon hearing First Choice’s The Player. Even more so now, because I am listening to a bootleg remix.

Hopefully you know the song;; it’s required listening for any serious Philly enthusiast, disco fan, or R&B lover. The song debuted in 1973 on an album by the same title. The next year, the producers at Goldmind remixed it, and re-released on First Choice’s next album, Armed and Extremely Dangerous.

The Player was rewritten and produced by Norman Harris and Allan Felder, who went on to create such other Salsoul classics as Dr. Love and Ooh I Love It. The song features some of the most lush instrumentation from that period: a riveting bassline, accompanied by a full brass and woodwind arrangement. You can hear the sax and French horn, tweaked with a clarinet and flute. And stunning vocal arrangement is boosted by a lovely trick each chord has a sharp, organ sting. And a xylophone! It’s quite lovely.

Rochelle Fleming's vocals, as always, are outstanding. FC was an incredible ensemble, but her soprano is to die for. Unlike other FC traxx, like Dr. Love or Let No Man Put Asunder, she doesn’t overpower the other singers. She's actually quite restrained, compared to some other songs. But the break is remixed with her soaring soprano in the background, and there is a powerful reverb. It’s heavenly.

Girls I’m telling you
He’ll be knocing at your door
If you let him in on etime
He’s gotta come back for more

He’s a player, player
He’ll get next to you
He’s a player, player
This is what he’ll do
He’ll shoot you down, down
Right down to the ground

I discovered the bootleg two summers ago on Spiritofhouse. The site is run by Michael Fosati, a very talented Swiss DJ, . Besides showcasing much of his work—he’s influenced by the Body and Soul boys, Francois K, Danny Krivit, Joe Clausell—he highlights a rotating roster of other DJs.

This is what he does with his bootleg: he samples the original bassline, brings in the break sooner, and only uses some of the vocals. It’s more like an instrumental dub, but that’s okay. I love it.