Wednesday, June 27, 2007

New Loves (Part 4): Ryohei Yamamoto (With M-Flo + Beyond)

I first caught sight of the beautiful Ryohei Yamamoto in M-Flo's "Summer Time Love" clip (also further sonic proof that DJ Taku is a brilliant producer), then found the blisteringly brilliant combination of shimmering D+B loveliness and j-pop fluff that is "Miss You" (the spot is loveliness, but the live performance is SUBLIME (and further proof once again that I need to move to Japan). Last on the roster is a static frame with preview tracks from part 1 of his lovely new house covers project (Cavaca) – one track of which is produced by none other than my sonic god of the world Jazztronik. Of course whether or not we'll be able to find it on these sad-ass shores is another matter, but we shall see. Dig.

1. You Gotta Be (Track: Kentaro Takizawa / Original: Des'ree)
2. Sweet Soul Revue -ENGLISH Version- (Track: MAKAI / Original: PIZZICATO FIVE)
3. Calling You (Track: CLAZZIQUAI PROJECT / Original: Holly Cole)
4. Lately (Track: Jazztronik / Original: Stevie Wonder)
5. Human Nature (Track: LAVA / Original: Michael Jackson)
6. Georgy Porgy (Track: eighteen degrees. / Original: TOTO)
7. She Will Be Loved (Track: cargo / Original: Maroon 5)
8. I Like It (Track: AKAKAGE / Original: DeBarge)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Sex God of the World Fernando Montana Sighting – On Top Chef!!!@!!!

There's no denying that this season's roster on Top Chef are incredibly dull and there's no aesthetic loveliness to be found among any of them. There's no godly Sam T., or even a Harold. The only possibility was the slightly cute in a white trash way (yes, there can be such a thing as hot white trash but it's a rarity you won't find 99.9% of the time) Clay, who was the first to go. (This season of the Next Food Network Star has the same problem, but it's still more watchable – and I'll never get over my love for last season's magnificent Andrew Schumacher.)

But tonight I got an ineffably lovely respite for a brief second when, as the chefs were catering a gourmet BBQ, I caught sight of one of the most exquisitely beautiful Latin porn boys ever – the epically sublime Fernando Montana. (My reaction obviously was to scream "Holy f*ck" at the top of my lungs.) Fernando only did a few rare films for Falcon and one for Hothouse over the span of a few years, but the second I first caught sight of him I fell in mad love (yes, again). And there are only three other men in the history of porn that I've wanted to see get f*cked as much on film (and whom never have) – Manuel Torres, Vin Nolan (who did get gangf*cked in a scene in the documentary Sex/Life in L.A., but as it's not a real porn film you don't get to see anything good), and Aiden Shaw. Evidently Fernando must live in Miami, along with fellow Latin porn god Alec Martinez, who thankfully has gotten f*cked (and even nightsticked once) in many films.

To see him on Top Chef is something lovely and brilliant (though clearly the producers can't get any credit for it) that I never ever ever would've expected. And it's a beautiful thing.

And I have to add that these photos don't begin to articulate how lovely he really is, but they're the best I could find. Seek him out on film to see him in all his real sublimity.

Redeeming My Sonic Credibility: Nortec y Banda Agua Caliente Live + In Rehearsal

New Loves (Part 3): Brandon Buddy + Jason Tam

I was feeling only slightly pervy for falling in mad love with Brandon Buddy and Jason Tom, two godly beautiful boys who play teenagers Cole and Markko (respectively) on my favorite not the least bit f*cking guilty pleasure One Life to Live, a show that I first started watching many years ago for the also perennially exquisite Kamar de Los Reyes (who I'd loved previously on the short-lived but brilliant CBS series Four Corners – with the also godly sublime Justin Chambers, who I had the pleasure of spotting at Sunset + Sanborn recently, but I digress...), and later also for Kamar's onscreen brother David Fumero.

The only redeeming thing about OLTL's ill-conceived musical endeavor of this week was the adorable and mad f*cking lovely spectacle of Brandon and Jason trying to sing. I do love Jason as well (and am saddened by the fact that we didn't get to see him run naked through the halls of his high school, as Markko threatened to do on a dare), but it's Brandon who I'm most in love with. I have no problem perving on teenage boys (usually Latin boys, one reason I loved Wassup Rockers (though I'd previously hated all of Larry Clark's other films)), but as it happens Brandon is actually 23 and Jason graduated from high school in 2001, in his native Hawaii (also explaining his loveliness). Now the only reason for feeling like a card-carrying perv (which I am and mad proud of it, incidentally, a fact of which all who know me are fully aware) is all the things I'm imagining Brandon and Jason doing together, but I'll leave that to your imagination.

As one who's been chased by disgusting old men all my life, I would feel guilty for that reason alone, but I decided long ago that as long as I still look 20 I don't give a f*ck.

One last thing about Brandon, he's now officially on my roster of the four most beautiful white boys on television, second only to Dave Annable, and alongside CSI: Miami's Jonathan Togo, and my other perennial love Milo Ventimiglia.

And, yes, I do know that this post makes me sound like the biggest faggot in history, but, once again, I don't give a f*ck...

One last disclaimer, obviously I know full well that the clip below is the most horrendously misguided spot I'll ever include on this blog and I KNOW how awful it is but if you don't think these two boys are beautiful there's something wrong with you. Enjoy. xo, B.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Reason I Became a Graphic Designer: Design God Swifty's London Exhibition

For anyone who doesn't know me, the sole reason I sought to become a graphic designer is because of Ian "Swifty" Swift. From the seminal early Talkin' Loud covers through what continues to be my bible – the mighty Straight No Chaser – Swifty has been my god for all things aesthetic design-wise. True, before I discovered Swifty I worshipped Reid Miles, Neville Brody, 23 Envelope, Chris Biggs' Sweatbox covers, Jon Wozencroft's work for the Touch label and so on, but it was Ian's ineffable visual articulation of all things jazz and the Gilles P. aesthetic that sealed my fate.

So it was with much much sadness that I had to miss the London Illustration Gallery's recent Art of Straight No Chaser exhibition, and the previous show strictly devoted to Swfity and his boy Mitchy. Most definitely a F*CK I WISH I WERE RICH ENOUGH TO JUMP ON A F*CKING PLANE TO LONDON moment (the last one being the last Jazztronik Jazz Café gig)...

All that said, I have years to go before I can even begin to aspire to reaching Swifty's aesthetic benchmark, and at some point I'll have to get more real training, but it's his inspiration and his continued work for SNC, Especial, Far Out, and so on that keeps me going. xo, B.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Hamachi Negro

Hello all,

Just a quick note to announce that the new CD by Baltin is available at long last, and yes it is Volume 30 (for anyone who wonders why the disc numbers might be out of sequence the Volume list includes three mixtapes that are no longer in print and one that is temporarily unavailable).

Here's the track roster:

Disc 1:
Alice Coltrane, Blue Nile
Janita, Let Me Love You (Tamita Mix)
Bird, Game (Jazztronik Triple Headz Mix)
Tre/Molo, Nylon
Democustico, Vaga-Lume
RSL, Inside Looking Out
Reel People + Dyanna Fearon, Washing Away
Kinky, Sol (Batucada) (live)
Monday Michiru, Yellow Light
The Matthew Herbert Big Band, The Audience
Re:Jazz + Ultra Naté, Twisted
Jazztronik, Listen to Your Love (DJ Mitsu the Beats Mix)
Mariah Carey, Stay the Night
Vicki Anderson, What the World Needs Now

Disc 2:
Mavis Rivers + Shorty Rogers, I'm Gonna Live Till I Die
Troubleman, Have a Good Time
Jazztronik + Monday Michiru, Tiger Eyes (English Version)
Everything But the Girl, Corcovado (DJ Marky + XRS Mix)
Patife + Cleveland Watkiss, Overjoyed
Amy Winehouse, Tears Dry on Their Own
Anjali, Asian Provocateur
Reel People + Dyanna Fearon, Butterflies
Mondo Grosso + BoA, Everything Needs Love
Restless Soul + Rasiyah, Time to Fly
Alice Russell, Mirror Mirror on the Wolf (Bonobo Mix)
Skye, What's Wrong with Me? (Nouvelle Vague Mix)
Gustavo Cerati, Beautiful
Swing Out Sister, Will We Find Love?
Peggy Lee, A Taste of Honey

For the full rundown, visit the Hamachi page on the official Liq site, and for anyone who feels inclined to give me any guff about including a Mariah song on a Baltin CD, I say what I've been saying: if Gilles can do it, so f*cking can I, and that track is MAGNIFICENT.

And, yes, that epically sublime boy on the insert is my dream husband P-Rod (Paul Rodriguez Jr.) on the inside cover. For more of his crushingly devastating loveliness, visit his Plan B page, his Nike page (search riders), and the bio on xo, B.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Still More New (Sonic + Filmic) Loveliness: Brand New Alice R. + Brilliant Monday M. News

I just stumbled on this new bit of jewel-like opulence (I know, I'm feeling back-in-the-day verbose this evening) from the goddess Alice Russell, and while I don't yet know where it's from, I have no problem saying that it's the most radiant dancefloor killer track from her in a long long while.

Also on the goddess front, for anyone who doesn't yet know, the new Monday Michiru cover album – with the title cut being "My Ever Changing Moods" (!!!???!!!) – is set for Japan-only release on Geneon on July 4th. Consult the official Monday site for the occasionally perverse but for the most part characteristically brilliant tracklist. And drench in this other bit of magnificent news culled from the girl's email newsletter:

"NEW JAZZTRONIK COLLABORATION!: You know I'm a fan of Jazztronik; I think Ryota is really talented as both a beat & track maker as well as a musician and composer. So when he asked me if I could sing and write lyrics for a new track, I leaped at the chance – HELL YEAH! We just finished last weekend and it's a fun Latin Jazz House number entitled "Mista Swing." To be released June 27th from Pony Canyon in the album entitled 'Grand Blue.'"

And the gods collide to provide more prescient Technicolor and vivacity once again... (xxooxx)

An Old Sonic Love Who's Turned Out to Be EPICALLY F*CKING EXQUISITE: Mark Ronson (Love + a Litany of Eye-Candy from the Beautiful One)

We all knew well before either Amy album that Mark Ronson was a production genius (as is Salaam Remi), but how I never caught sight of his RIBCAGE-SMASHING EXQUISITE beauty is a true f*cking mystery. Yet the flurry of buzz/hype/what have you surrounding the release of Version has brought tear-inducingly magnificent photo material on him out in tsunami force. And it's a lustrous/effulgent/shimmeringly f*cking beautiful beautiful beautiful thing. Enjoy the above eye-candy–with wistful flashbacks of young Mark Brydon....

In Constant Rotation + Respect to Another Soul-Jazz Empress: London Elektricity + the Mighty Liane Carroll

I've always loved London Elektricity and been despondent that I never got to see the live show while it was still extant, but I did not know about the Live at the Scalia disc/DVD set until I stumbled on it while doing research before Tony Colman's LE US DJ tour in March of '07. Ever since its purchase I cannot seem to stop its constant 24/7 rotation, and have been playing NOTHING else (except for occasional "Love Bug" breaks (see the M-Flo post below)), with this masterwork of live D+B infiltrating my speakers for days on end.

With that in mind, I have also always loved the flawless vocal phrasing of Liane Carroll, and while I have to continue to stew in my jealousy that my girl – and the other true soul-jazz goddess – Tessa Souter got to see Liane at Ronnie Scott's while she herself was in London to kill it at Pizza on the Park, I now at least have the LE live set and this sonically miraculous take on "Dublin Morning" to content myself with. Though it should go without saying, the bit of loveliness that is "Dublin..." has that radiant, sun-kissed Style Council-via-Terry Callier lustre that nothing else can rival, or tarnish. And yes, the other reason for my loving her is clearly her penchant for maintaining a vocal elegance to rival Nancy W. and Cleo L.... even while belting coral-reef-collapsing dancefloor killers with Tony Colman and co., as on this gorgeous take on "My Dreams," with Liane aptly covering for (the great) Robert Owens to say the f*cking LEAST. And as for any other thoughts on Liane you might have while watching these clips, she clearly has a beautiful spirit and my directive is to just close your eyes and soak in that mighty voice.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Much–Needed Color + Light Pt. 2 (The Godly Beautiful Nickodemus + Quantic for Apple)

More on the effulgent color + beautiful boy tip, it's lovely to see the most beautiful DJ in America – Nickodemus (see above) – + the also brilliant + lovely Quantic getting love via the new iTunes clip. I haven't always loved Apple's ad campaigns (including every other iPod commercial to this point), despite my swearing by Mac as a religion, but between their employing "Mi Swing es Tropical" for this commercial and their continual employment of the perenially magnificent and utterly sublime Justin Long – I miss Ed – as the proverbial face of Apple, they're sure as f*ck doing something right. See bonus Justin below... and for blurry but still lovely shirtless Justin visit here.

Much–Needed Color + Light Pt. 1 (The Inevitable Swing Out Redux)

After a sad-ass 35th birthday and a weekend of carnage in San Francisco that was meant to help me find an apartment – a futile plan without a triple-digit income or a recently deceased relative it would seem – I'm pressing on to where to move in Texas, the logical choice being Austin. The chief appeal of Texas is of course that it's closer to Mexico, which I hope means the promise of many beautiful Mex boys. Don't start forwarding my mail yet, we'll see.

In the meantime, I need some radiantly unnatural Technicolor and vivacity to keep me up, as it where, and for that I turn back to my loves Corinne and Andy and my favorite Swing Out Sister clip: the ambigulously tropical spot for "Somewhere in the World." This is, once again, before Corinne got her hand gestures in check even to a point, but she looks lovely and Andy of course looks lovelier.

Also on the tip of lustrous color and flawless art direction, I occupied my birthday week with Bachelor in Paradise, a miraculous feat of Eames/Koenig/Neutra-derived aesthetic sublimity – even with the grotesque handicap of starring Bob Hope as a lethally dangerous lothario let loose in a suburban tract development!?! If ANYONE ON EARTH can overlook the presence of Bob Hope and still call it aesthetically immaculate ANYBODY can. That said, art direction aside, Lana Turner's 90mph Afro-Cuban fire dance in a polynesian nightclub, the presence of the oddly compelling Janis Paige (see also the equally essential 1959 Please Don't Eat the Daisies), the ever-miraculous Reta Shaw in her usual busybody bulldagger role (only diverted from in her staggeringly brilliant nightclub singer turn in 1962's Made in Paris)) – and a script that only the goddess Vera Caspary could pen. Dig these jewels:

"It would be pink."
"That's not pink – it's California coral."
"Who thinks up the names for colors in this country – Tennessee Williams?"

"Isn't it a little early?"
"Early? It's April!"

"A shrimp cocktail and 5 gibsons – not the most balanced diet."
"I shouldn't have had the shrimp cocktail."

"Hey, if your mascara runs you're gonna discolor your vodka!"


Tuesday, May 08, 2007

M-Flo Loves Boa + I Think They're Both F*cking Adorable (In a Completely Non-sexual Way Of Course)

I love that there's such a disconnect in J-pop that disposable (but adorable and engagingly infectious) pop artists like M-Flo and Boa can keep on with their pop grind and still work with the gods Jazztronik and Shinichi Osawa (respectively). That said, I cannot for the life of me get the "Love Bug" out of my head, and don't really have a desire too. For much much much more sublime Boa, click here.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Perennial Loves/Happy Birthday to a Beautiful Man: Andy Caldwell

I've been meaning to post these exquisite photos of Andy Caldwell for some time – and to say that both the title track of Universal Truth and the shimmering bossa of "I Can't Wait" were among the loveliest of '06 by far – and an email invite to his birthday gig next Thursday at the newly renovated Boardners, with a live PA by the newly reunited Soulstice that should likewise be gorgeous, seemed the ideal time. Enjoy these sublime pics, and let me send best birthday wishes to this fine as hell/epically beautiful man.

Shinichi O. in NYC Tonight!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I just got word via a MySpace bulletin from the brilliant and beautiful Jeff—a.k.a. ex-porn boy Damon DeMarco, writer of the legendarily gorgeous Naked City Boys blog, and now manager of NYC superclub Mr. Black—that the almighty sonic deity that is Shinichi Osawa is spinning at Mr. B. tonight. I'm having a bit of a catalespy in response as I listen to "Everything Needs Love" at deafening volume and trying to salve myself with the above aesthetically superb photo from an article on the Japanese online mag site Air. Needless to say, if you're in NYC and have any prayer in hell of making it, GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If not take solace in one of the Mondo Grosso clips elsewhere on this blog.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Lovely Return: 4Hero

I always miss the gods Marc and Dego when they take years between proper 4Hero discs, but it is ALWAYS worth the wait, and the gorgeous Play with the Changes proves that indefatigably once again. Of course I miss the d+b a bit, but this one is nowhere near as excessively broken as fools had made out. Not remotely as sublime as Two Pages but most definitely lovelier than Creating Patterns, the most shimmeringly beautiful here are the blissfully careening "Look Inside" (+ Face) and "Something in the Way" (+ the goddess Bembe Segue), along with the first single, "Morning Child," with Carina Andersson once again doing her best Minnie Riperton over Charles Stepney strings, in a mode that improves on the boys' exquisite but far too literal take on "Les Fleur." Gorgeous, essential, and much much much needed at the moment.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Even More Sonically Sublime: The True Reigning Mightiest Soul Queen, Alice Russell

The utterly exquisite live clip of "Hurry On Now" that I had here previously has been deleted, but this clip of "Seven Nation Army" (shot in Paris) is, if less miraculous, still the bearer of lovely things to come – via a new Alice R. live DVD due for release in June '07.

More Miss Winehouse: Loveliness with Paul Weller, Tears Dry..., and Drunken Hilarity with Loathsome Charlotte Church

While I wait anxiously to finally see the brilliant Miss Amy (and if all is right with the world, the Dap-Kings backing her up, as they did at the sold out Joe's Pub shows in NYC) on March 19 at the Roxy and again on March 20 at Spaceland, I stumbled upon the above-cited absolutely fucking hilarious video of the girl drunk on the (hideous) Charlotte Church show as the two mangle a song that was dismal to begin with. No fault of Amy on the mangling—if I had to be onstage with Charlotte Church I'd need to get lit first in kind. And to balance the scales, I had intended to include this lovely version of the shimmering Motown magnificence that is "Tears Dry on Their Own," but then I made the even more gorgeous discovery of the girl with Paul Weller on a slightly lopsided take on "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" and a breath-defying take on "Don't Go to Strangers." Dig...