Thursday, August 27, 2015

Queerlicue #4

Queerlicue* noun, kwir~li~kyoo

1. like a curlicue, but with a queer flourish
2. something amusingly odd, strikingly unconventional or accidentally fabulous

* Yeah, I made up that word.

Examples for this special beards and barbers edition...

Stubble & 'Stache. I have a beard. Lots of men have beards these days -- it's a facial hair renaissance out there! Beard grooming is big business and there are hundreds of small companies devoted to helping us keep our beards looking and feeling good. I've tried a bunch of  beard oils, balms and conditioners over the past few years and I'm particularly fond of products from Stubble & 'Stache. The founder is veteran special operations Marine Nicholas Karnaze.

Stubble & 'Stache founder Nicholas Karnaze, what some might call a lumbersexual
Karnaze wanted an offbeat pitch video to introduce his original product. When I saw this, I laughed -- and it motivated me to give his face moisturizer and beard conditioner a try.

Stubble & 'Stache donates a portion of profits to charities supporting wounded veterans and their families, with particular interest in organizations combating post-traumatic stress and depression. For an interview and some backstory about Karnaze, go here.

The Gay Beards. Here's the description from their YouTube channel: Two best friends from this cozy nest called Portland, Oregon. We tend to think the world needs more love & laughter. Okay. And my description: Two startlingly handsome hairballs who like to decorate their beards.

Like this, for example:

The Gay Beards , Jonathan (right) & Brian

So, if you've ever thought, "I wish there was some kind of tutorial video that would show me how to give myself a flower beard," here you go...  

Wanna see lots more beard bedazzling? Head on over to their Instagram page here.

The Naked Barber. "Add some kink to your cut." That's the maxim of Richard Savvy, AKA The Naked Barber.

Richard Savvy, The Naked Barber (photo via his tumblr blog)
Savvy kicked his men's grooming and barbering career up a notch by stripping naked for haircuts, head shaving, body clipping and waxing -- and his clients can get naked, too. His website promises that "Richard can satisfy all your fetish grooming needs in his fully-equipped private studio located in Surrey Hills, Sydney." That's Australia, in case you're making notes for a bucket list. Straight, gay, bisexual and couples are all welcome. In the video below, Mr. Savvy spells out his philosophy and provides one of his special services, the sling shave, More specifically, a scrotum shave in a sling. It's arousing, not pornographic, but so not safe for work.

Want more? You can follow The Naked Barber's exploits on tumblr. Heads up: lots of explicit stuff.

Want more Queerlicue? Follow the links... #3, #2 and #1

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Queerlicue #3

Queerlicue* noun, kwir~li~kyoo

1. like a curlicue, but with a queer flourish
2. something amusingly odd, strikingly unconventional or accidentally fabulous

* Yeah, I made up that word.


Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox. 

Scott Bradlee (Photo: Braverijah Gregg)
He's a pianist/composer/arranger who came up with an idea to give contemporary pop tunes a vintage treatment. He collaborates with different musicians, records the results and uploads regularly to his popular YouTube channel. The Postmodern Jukebox Facebook page declares: "We take pop music back in time." And Bradlee has a knack for selecting unexpected songs. For instance, Celine Dion's Titanic movie theme "My Heart Will Go On." You've heard it a million times, but not the way Bradlee arranges it and Broadway's fabulous Mykal Kilgore sings it.

All Postmodern Jukebox's music -- including their latest release Swipe Right for Vintage -- is available at Amazon and on iTunes. For more info and tour dates, you can visit their website here.

Shut Up and Dance. One of 2015's biggest hits is Walk the Moon's "Shut Up and Dance."

Walk the Moon
Left to right: Eli Maiman, Kevin Ray, Nicholas Petricca & Sean Waugaman
The band's video is retro-cute and lively, but it's been officially upstaged by a fan from the Netherlands who put together a stunning compilation video for the song. The results are a marriage of irresistible power pop and memorable movie dance moments. It's joyful stuff. Curmudgeons beware.

Everyone's Upstairs Neighbor. Have you ever lived in an apartment with a noisy upstairs neighbor that made you ask: "What the exact living fuck are they doing up there?" The folks at Above Average -- an Internet-based comedy network -- have come up with one possible explanation. Meet Julia and David, whose philosophy is: "Their ceiling is our stage."

David (the awfully woofy Dan Chamberlain), Julia (Molly Lloyd)
and their hapless neighbor (Laura Wilcox).

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The Sound of Queer Music, Vol. 8

Celebrating artists and bands that fuck with the heteronormative cultural bias...

Big Dipper. This Chicago-born, Brooklyn-transplant has become America's preeminent queer bear rapper. Since his first release in late 2011 -- "Drip Drop (April Showers)" -- Big Dipper has consistently released outrageous, cheerfully vulgar songs with killer hooks. Whenever he pulls together enough money for a video, the result is sexy, funny and demented. And for those of us into plus-size guys, the man gives good body. His YouTube channel is here. His latest EP release, Extra Good, is available on iTunes. You can listen to all his music on SoundCloud.

Big Dipper (via his Facebook page)
Song & Video: "Vibin'." It's a funky pop summer anthem with an almost-impossible-to-hate hook (and featuring fine vocal support from Patrick Andrews of Baathhaus). The video is a campy beach adventure featuring dancing sailors and Big Dipper as some kind of a bear-mermaid hybrid.

The Bobbleheads. Founded in 2002, they're a self-described "sunshine pop" trio based in San Francisco. The music, according to their Facebook page: "... innocently optimistic guitar-infused rock with melodies and choruses that will stay with you for days." It's a tight, bright sound -- jangly guitar, spirited drumming and ultra-satisfying lead vocals by primary songwriter John Ashfield. Their music, including the current album, Make Yourself Happy, is available on iTunes and CD Baby. Guaranteed to shift your mood from bad to good.

The Bobbleheads, left to right: Patrick Ennis, John Ashfield & Phil Bulan
Song & Video: "Prove Yourself." Three minutes of perfect power pop without a cynical stroke or lyric. Simple and sweet, the video features the band mingling with citizens on a San Francisco street.

Bruiser Queen. Hailing from St. Louis, Missouri, this garage pop-punk duo consists of singer/guitarist Morgan Nusbaum and drummer Jason Potter. Nusbaum's wild, robust and dexterous voice is big -- but emotive in just the right measure. Potter's drumming is spot on. (I frankly wish these two would release an album of '60s girl group covers; I think it would be awesome.) Their website is here. Bruiser Queen's music, including the latest album Sweet Static, is available on iTunes and CD Baby.

Bruiser Queen: Jason Potter & Morgan Nusbaum
Song & Video: "On the Radio." It's a kick-ass paean to the (throwback?) joy of discovering your favorite new song on the radio. Nusbaum and Potter are front and center here, singing and playing with only a minimum of effects -- it's a feisty, no-frills clip that just lets you appreciate these artists and their fervent sound.