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michael furry musto creek

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V-rag turns 4

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Keeping the Get to know the gossip going since cast of characters 1984. Wow! on OutTV's latest!

Don't get lost on Mmmhmmm that's A celebratory cele- the streets of bration to celebrate Vancouver, find right, let's get everything here! our circulation. freaky with Ho!

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health + film/ wellness music

joan-e's rag

Our favourite Fruit Or Meow Meow as Velvet Steele is Blue Is The Warmest Joan's punching Fly is buzzing into their fans come to talking about dirty Colour, and Vampire mad about gay on Vancouver this July. know them. sexy things again. Weekend reviewed. gay violence. Editor & Art Director Cole Johnston • cole@v-rag.com

Editorial staff

Art & Photography

John Britton Lana Chunn Joan-E Cole Johnston Mumbles Matt Roy Velvet Steele Michael Venus

Frankie C Jonathan Downey Cole Johnston Shervin Lainez Kate McLaren MKW Productions OutTV Network Tim Perez SixthSpence Photography Vixen Pin Up Photography

Printed by East Van Graphics

It's June, and that means V-Rag is 4 Years old this month! I personally want to thank all of our readers for the last 47 issues for helping us get to this ripe old age (and it is old for print media)! To celebrate, we've got a ton of contests all month long on our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/vragmagazine) including free books, iTunes gift cards, albums, digital downloads, DVDs and concert tickets. And we're giving them all away this month! Also in June, we've added Toronto to our print distribution list, meaning you can now pick up V-Rag in more than 10 different cities across Canada and the USA. Thanks everyone! V

Publisher

Cover Photo by

Cole Johnston Design

Jonathan Downey

Copy deadline for the July Pride issue is June 28. Ad space is available until June 30 and can be booked by calling 604831-8179 or emailing cole@v-rag.com. Our rates are available upon request. V-Rag welcomes submissions but accepts no responsibility for the return of unsolicited materials.

V-Rag Magazine 1535 West Broadway, PO Box 29141 Vancouver B.C. V6J 1W6 V-Rag is printed monthly by Cole Johnston Design. No part of this may be reproduced in any form by any means without prior written consent from the publisher. All content Š 2013 Cole Johnston Design.

www.v-rag.com


6 photo by frankie c

by michael venus


O

n May 17th, in a controversial and much-criticized move, The Village Voice laid off Michael Musto after nearly 30 years writing for the infamous NYC paper. The legendary gossip columnist and writer of La Dolce Musto was suddenly part of the gossip himself. A major personality in the Global Village, he has seen it all, from the Warhol days, to the Club Kid era, to the reality television craze of today. We got a chance to catch up with our favourite chatter box about what's going on in his world... And, well, what the hell happened at The Village Voice. So... What happened?! After 28-plus years of service there, I was laid off, along with a couple of other long-running staffers. Things seem rather desperate there, but I wish them well as I move on to greener (or maybe more lavender) pastures. How and when did you get started at The Village Voice? How I started… I had done some freelance pieces for them and when there was an opening for a gossip column in 1984, they had me submit a sample column by way of audition. I supplied a swirl of nightlife, movie premieres, fashion shows, and after parties, served up with my bon  mots, selfdeprecation, and gay rage, and they loved it. The column grew from a sliver of a thing in the middle of the paper to a big old thing right up front—plus I blogged nonstop for the last five-plus years. I poured my heart and soul into every marvy moment. What's the hot gossip in NYC these days? Everyone’s in an uproar over the bikes that are being put everywhere for people to rent. I’m peeved that my own bike riding talent will now seem less special since everyone’s doing it, but change is good, and all the riders will help clear the air in this town (literally). In nightlife, party empress Susanne Bartsch has no fewer than four

fabulous events a week, so if you get on her list, you’re all set! Lots of bike riding to do. A quick fan question... What was it like meeting Andy Warhol? Did he give you any advice? It was an honour to know one of the great minds of the century. He was generally quietly beaming, not exactly unleashing a torrent of words, but just his presence validated your event, and a mere “Wow” from him could change your life. His advice was always positive and his influence was always creative and inspirational. Andy would have gagged over the current proliferation of 15-minute stars. It’s exactly what he predicted! Who or what is inspiring you right now? My last column was a tribute to some of the downtown performers who stand this city on its ear with their bracing performances, and who deserve bigger breaks. They are singers Bridget Everett, Lady Rizo, and Molly Pope. And there are so many other creative artists that make NYC tick: Rob Roth, Amber Martin, Cole Escola, Murray Hill… I could go on and on. And I will! What other adventure are you planning? Any moment now, I will announce some new columns and blogs and other features up my sleeve. I’ll be writing more than ever, and will be more visible than ever. Also, I was on the season finale of Smash and that was so much fun it got me to think about how I’d love to do more series TV. Deep down, I want to perform as much as cover performers. Shine that spotlight! I’m ready, Hollywood. Are you? V Michael Musto will be announcing which sites and blogs he'll be writing for later this month. Come to V-Rag we say! www.villagevoice.com/musto www.twitter.com/mikeymusto


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photos courtesy of mkw & out tv

T

he House of Venus and MKW Productions are at it again! After a couple of years on hiatus from the infamous House of Venus Show, writer/creator Mark

Kenneth Woods brings back the characters we grew to love in the hit sketch comedy show. That's right, Deb, Sisi, Liz, and all your favourites (plus a host of new "faces") are invading OutTV starting June 3rd at 9pm. Furry Creek is on the verge of bankruptcy so they decide to hold a tourism campaign to find the Face of Furry Creek. Let's get to know the 6 desperate contestants and their even stranger supporters. V


Q: Why Should You Be The Face of Furry Creek?

Chad Chad This ex-pro snowboarder was born somewhere in Furry Creek. His mother Charmaine can’t remember where exactly, as the trailer he was born in was moving at the time. In his spare time, Chad likes to smoke cookies and eat weeds. Cause I’m hot brah. The chicks love me so I know I’m gonna get a lot of votes. Plus I haven’t been laid in a while since I broke my wang in that snowboarding accident. But now it’s fine so come and get it! Well not you man, I meant the ladies. I’m not into dudes, that would be gay. I’m into muscular, dominant ladies man. A:

Deborah Dyer This homely virgin was born right here in Furry Creek when her “before mom” gave birth to her in a high school bathroom stall and tried to flush her down the toilet. Unfortunately, she survived. In her spare time Deb enjoys collecting scrunchies, reading junk mail coupons and drinking lukewarm 2% milk. Well to be honestly realistically realness, I’m not sure I wanted to enter you. You’re contest I mean. But since I am, I guess I could use the money since Sisi spent all my trust of fun. But also I’m good at helping people. Ya, I have a knack for healing umbilical cords that need unbrokening so… A:

Greg Gresmire-Lipisnki The articulate 14 year old is the recent recipient of the prestigious Nishi Award in Math, Science and Technology and will be graduating from Furry Creek High 3 years early. But his mother Liz would rather he enter more beauty pageants. For female toddlers. What an expected and horribly redundant question. Isn’t it obvious? I’m the only person in this town with the mental capacity to deliver a functional advertising campaign promoting Furry Creek. Plus I need the monetary prize to get out of this miserable town. A:


Q: Why Should You Be The Face of Furry Creek?

Guy Gagnier This Frenchie moved to Furry Creek to train in snowboard cross in the region’s mountainous splendour. But his quest for a gold mental ended when he slid pelvis-first into his fellow competitor Chad. Since then, Guy has transitioned into working as a dirty squeegee kid. A: I think I should be da face of Furry Creek parce-

que I the best athlete that Furry Creek ever had but I’m not so lucky eh. An accident mean that I had to wear a diaper for 4 months when I break my junk. Now I’m running a sexy squeegee business and the squeegee pole keeps getting stuck in my butt. Maybe I get the sympathy vote.

Petunia Proudfoot This 10th generation Furry Creekian’s pedigree founded the town on Christian values and she strives to uphold those values today. She feels her hometown is on a slippery slope toward diversity and it’s time to nip that kind of acceptance in the bud before homosexuals are running around in the streets stealing everyone’s babies. My husband and I believe this town will experience the same fate as Sodom and Gomorrah if we don’t change our ways. Did you know that there are already two non-white people living here? Two. I am the only one in this heathen community who can turn this town around with our Lord’s vengeful guidance. A:

Sisi Sickles This 46-year-old mother of none was innocently hit by fat Deb’s car 2 years ago. Sisi rightfully demanded compensation in the form of room and board forever. Sisi likes to drink vodfees (vodka coffees, duh), call her roommate Deb fat and loiter in various bushes for some reason. Sweetie? Do you always ask such idioticy questions? I mean c’mon here. Just look at me? My cooch is tighter than the Grand Canyon. Wait, I don’t think I talked that right. Whatever. The point is I need that cash money for my lithium since that bitch Deb spent all her trust fun. She’s also fat. A:

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Q: What Characteristics Should The Face of Furry Creek Possess?

Brenda Bergman This Channel 12 news anchor is one of the hosts of The Face of Furry Creek and is a hit with our male viewers. Not on TV mind you. We meant in person. Seriously, the ditzy harlot has probably slept with every guy in this town. Oh my, that’s a question isn’t it? I’m not really good at those. I’m pretty. But I think the winner of our contest is going to have to be a winner if they want to win. For Channel 12 in Furry Creek, I’m Brenda Bergman. Good night. A:

Charmaine Chad “The Wild One” as she likes to call herself, is Chad Chad’s mother. She got pregnant when she was just a tween and quit school in 4th grade to take care of her baby full-time. Now she spends most of her time collecting Furbies and obsessing over Nic Cage. A: This is bullsh*t! I sent one of them there video

phonecalls messages but how’s come they didn’t freaking pick me? And man, what I could do with those winnings. I mean $25 man! My baby boy better win though. I need that money to buy a VHS of National Treasure 2. Wait, what was the question? You lying to me?

Freddy Freeland Yes, he is that Freddy Freeland. The actor from he 2003 Raven-Symoné sitcom Daddy You Be Trippin’ If You Think You Be Living At My House. He made it in Hollywood 10 years ago but now he’s back in Furry Creek to “Tebow” about town help out his darling wife Petunia. The winner needs to be a god-fearing, wholesome person to represent our town with righteous dignity. I would know dignity, I’m an actor. I would 103% pick Petunia Proudfoot. And not just because she’s my wife and she threatened me with Remington 1100 12 gauge shotgun. Which she didn’t. And if she did, you wouldn’t know because I’m an actor. A:


Q: What Characteristics Should The Face of Furry Creek Possess?

Liz Lipinski To put it politely, Liz is bat shit crazy. It might be because she always wanted a daughter and got an annoyingly articulate son named Greg instead. Or maybe she is over-medicated or hangs out with the mayor of Toronto. Who knows? But this addict loves pageants and saying her son’s name over and over and over and over and over; Greg. A: Greg! Ya, my baby Greg. The face of Furry Creek should be Greg. The winner should be named Greg and be called Greg and be a good girl Greg. Oh Greeeeeeeeg! Where is he? Did you see Greg? Are you Greg?

Mario Mancini This award-winning worthy news anchor for Channel 12 is easily the town’s most curly-haired citizen. As host of The Face of Furry Creek, the goodlooking broadcaster is not eligible to enter the contest and instead runs his Mario’s Musings blog for mean opinions you won’t see on TV. First and foremost they should be good-looking. Nobody wants a fugly freak as the spokesperson for our town. Having said that, they can’t be as painstakingly inept as Brenda either. So I’d be the perfect candidate actually. But I can’t enter, so failing that, I’d still pick me. A:

Yoshi Yonescu This foreign exchange student is new to Furry Creek. All the way from Japan (we think), Yoshi is visiting Furry Creek to better her English skills. When she’s not hating her host family Liz and Greg, Yoshi can be found singing about how cute she is and prancing through the streets in awe of herself. A: Oh. Maybe they need to be super fun kawaii!

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Also, maybe have many friends on facelike and good happy style too. But, I think that also, maybe the winner cannot be ugly like Gregu and, how do you say hentai? Pervert. Also, maybe I really really really hate Gregu. V


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photo by vixen pin up photography

by cole johnston


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his! This is our Ho. Born Wendy Jo Smith, Wendy Ho is one part skilled singer, one part comedienne, one part white rapper, and 100% entertainer. Stealing ladies’ handbags from coat rooms at parties inspired her track “Bitch, I Stole Yo Purse!”, which became the #1 Funniest Video of 2008 on the MTV/LOGO Network, and was spoofed on FX’s Nip/Tuck with Jennifer Coolidge playing their version of Wendy Ho. We got to chat with the Ho'ster about rap, drag queens and why Ryan Murphy sucks. How's the tour going so far? It's going well, I'm at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame right now. I'm being inducted [laughs]. Juuuuust kidding... Damn! If only. So I've gotta ask, how did Wendy Jo Smith become Wendy Ho? Welllll, she went to da ghetto chiiiild... And she fucked a lotta black men... OK no, seriously, in college for musical theatre I started rapping and my raps were kinda nasty. So being Wendy Jo, everyone started calling me Wendy Ho, and it just kinda stuck. People started requesting that I rap at parties and stuff and the word kinda got out. So yeah, then I left school and I went into the recording studio and I put out these albums, one of me singing R&B covers, one of me singing musical theatre, and one that was a joke, which was Wendy Ho's Bitch Off a Leash. And that's the one that everyone wanted! I was like really? I sing goooood and the one you wanna hear is me singing about nasty shit? They were like yeah, that's original, that's your shit. So... this is the thing that people wanted, and I'm more than happy to give it to them! So the character of Wendy Ho comes fairly naturally to you then? Yeah but she's not really a character though. I mean, I do characters but Wendy Ho is an extension of who I am. And I love being Wendy Ho, I can do anything that I want. I don't have to stick to a certain shtick or act like someone else. So... whateva.

On those lines of acting like someone else, Jennifer Coolidge did a parody of your act on an episode of Nip/Tuck. Were you happy about that or...? Well... Everybody wants to have their work acknowledged in a way, but the thing is I'm not famous enough for people to recognize that that's a spoof of me. So I guess it's like being raped and at some point enjoying some of it... I did wonder why they didn't just get you to do the role instead of Jennifer Coolidge... Cuz Ryan Murphy is a star fucker! He's done it on Glee too, he's stolen from artists. I – I hate him, I don't like what he stands for, you know what I mean? I was talking about Glee with [lowers her tone] some of my gay friends... and I was like that was some gay, glittery, watered down mainstream shit. This is what mainstream gay is. Bitch, you're not the voice of any people! Speaking of which, you seem to have a huge gay following. Why do you think that is? Oh, because I'm totally a black gay man on the insiiide... No, I dunno, I've always been around gays, they love a strong woman with her femininity in check, you know? I think that's why we get down. Plus, and I don't wanna make a sweeping generalization, but all of my gay friends are fucking hilar-i-ous. You've done a lot of performances with drag queens as well. Do you see a connection between drag and what you're doing? Sure, I mean basically I'm an artist, and it was a way for me to get into the gay clubs! They were all doing my songs anyway, so I was like if those bitches are gonna make coin offa my shit, then I'm gonna come to the club and sing the damn song. You can expect me to sing my goddamn face off this month. V Wendy Ho will be singing her goddamn face off at The Cobalt on June 22nd. www.wendyho.net www.facebook.com/wendyhoshow


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photo courtesy of tim perez

by john britton


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e may have found crossover fame as Karen Walker’s diminutive and acid-tongued nemesis Beverley Leslie on Will & Grace, but actor-comedian Leslie Jordan has had a long and varied career before and since in a variety of guises. From stage to small screen, he most recently appeared on the big screen as Mr. Blackly in the mega-hit The Help. But perhaps his most interesting – and flat-out hysterical – works are his one-man, selfpenned stage shows, which draw on the often jaw-dropping events of his real-life experiences to paint vivid and side-splitting pictures of a life spent (and misspent) everywhere, from his native deep-south to the Hollywood casting-couch to the inside of a jail cell. This man has stories, and he’s gonna tell them. Thanks to the Fillmore Family Foundation, Vancouverites are soon to be treated to the Canadian premiere of his new show, Fruit Fly. V-Rag spent a camp half hour on the phone with him recently and we have to tell you, the guy is a southern-drawled gem. This is your first ever show in Canada? Yeah, it’s strange because I have done so much TV and film shooting in Vancouver but never performed there. Well, I’ve done some speaking engagements; I’m in recovery and I’ve given talks but never actually performed. I’ve always loved Canadians and Vancouverites in particular because there’s a lot of old hippies, it’s live and let live. I just love that city, I can’t wait to get back. Tell us about Fruit Fly... Well, I was asked to write something original. I said “honey, I’ve been regurgitating my life for cheap laughs for years, there is nothin’ left to say”, but I happened to be home and Mama had found all these old photographs of me and her. I looked at all those slides, and I saw a journey of a gay man and his mother and it just popped. Usually when I write my shows, I come up with a collection of funny stories and

my director will spot the themes, like “OK so all these stories are about fame and Hollywood, so let’s call this ‘My Trip down the Pink Carpet’. But with this one, it’s the first time in my career that I sat down and wrote something where I already knew the beginning, the middle, and the end. I am so proud of this work. It answers the age old question ‘Do gay men become their mothers’? It’s fabulous. There’s a lot going on, there’s music and slides and stories and tears, and I do everything but shimmy up a stripper pole. So how is your relationship with your mother? Oh, we fought for years. But I look at my mother now, and she’s 78 and I’m 58, and I can’t even imagine what we ever fought over. We are so much alike. I have identical twin sisters, they are only 22 months younger than me, and my mother pretty much left them alone, but she rode me constantly about my manners. We’re takin’ supper and a lady walks by, she’ll kick me right there under the table if I don’t stand up! I’m 58 years old and I still ask to be excused from the dinner table. Right up into my forties, she’d look me up and down as I’d walk out the door and say “You gonna wear that?” Suddenly I’m 14 years old with my thumb up my butt! I’d say “Mama, I am in my forties, you’re job is done, why can’t we just be friends?” Well, I don’t know when the change happened, but today we adore one another. I took her on a cruise about ten years ago and didn’t tell her it was a gay cruise! To Alaska! She may have her beliefs and she may be reserved in many ways but let me tell you honey, two thousand gay men and women on that cruise, and by the end of it she was the undisputed Queen of that boat! She is very devout in her beliefs, and I have a spiritual advisor who always tells me “you know what honey, she does the best she can with the light that she has to see with”. And that’s all I can ask.


mansion and invite people to come over for supper and a chat. All my friends and people I’ve worked with, like Lily Tomlin and Octavia Spencer. You need to pitch that immediately! I tried! I just had the idea yesterday, and I got all excited and called my agent and everyone else and no-one was gettin’ back to me because it was Memorial Day and I was gettin’ all these ‘out of the office for the holidays’ messages and I was gettin’ all mad thinkin’ ‘I need attention right now!’ You’ve had a pretty extensive career what’s the highlight so far?

Lord no, she doesn’t come to any of my shows, she says I wasn’t raised to get up there and talk like that! She said to me “So what’s this new one about?” and I said “You!” and she laughed and said “Me? Oh please. What on earth would you say?”

I think I’d have to say my role as Brother Boy, the Tammy Wynette-fixated drag queen in the movie Sordid Lives. I love that people know that! Remember that scene where I’m escapin’ from the mental hospital and I have that line “Can you see my pussy now?!” Well I can’t even tell you how often that gets shouted to me in public! I was in London and this cab driver winds down his window and hollers (affects mock-British accent) ‘Can you see my pussy now?’ I’m of Piccadilly Circus with all these people starin’ at me and thought “My God I’m an international star!” I’m gonna write my autobiography and that’s what it’s gonna be called. The cover will be me on a chaise-lounge with a big furry cat.

You grew up in the Deep South, how did that shape who you are today?

OK, leave us with this: what’s your favourite dirty joke?

Listen, I spent the first 25 years of my life trying desperately to get out of there, and the last 25 years trying to find any excuse to get back home. Yes it’s the Bible Belt, and no they’re not going to be passing any gay marriage laws but it is what it is and it’s a part of my heritage and I do remember it with such fondness. I can’t rose-tint it and I never try to, but it’s home and it’s me. I just had this idea for a talk show called Company’s Comin’ ‘cos that’s what Mama always used to say, “You kids behave, company’s comin’!” I want to build a l’il ol’ set like a southern

Well now, there’s a woman and a man in a bar and he decides he just wants to go for it so he leans over and says “I sure would like a little pussy” and she looks at him and says “me too honey, mine’s as big as a horse collar!” V

Has she seen the show? Does she know it’s about her?

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The Fillmore Family Foundation proudly presents two "straight" nights of Leslie Jordan's one man show Fruit Fly July 6th and 7th at the Orpheum Annex. www.fillmorefamily.ca www.thelesliejordan.com www.facebook.com/thelesliejordan


photo by shervin lainez

by lana chunn

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eow, Meow a joke turned nickname for Minneapolis based adorable indie-pop band Now, Now is a perfect fit. Something about the nickname just screams "we are funny and cute", and they totally are. The trio includes Cacie Dalager on vocals, guitar and keyboard; Bradley Hale on drums and backing vocals; and Jess Abbott on guitar and vocals. I recently had a chance to catch up with Now, Now backstage before their show at the Electric Owl last month, where we chatted about their music, Vancouver, and what talk shows they're dying to be on. How would you describe your music? Cacie: Mellow pop rock sad. Jess: I wouldn’t say it’s mellow... Bradley: It’s pretty guitar-driven right now and the lyrical content is very sad. C: Sad Pop. What is your process for writing? B: We all have very different tastes in terms of how we like to write music. We’ll all sort of come up with ideas and then come together and battle it out and then it’ll turn into something that we all like. Eventually. It takes a lot of energy and compromising but I think that’s what makes it ours. You recorded your last album, Threads, in Vancouver. Aside from recording the album what did you guys do while you were here?

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What did you like about living in Vancouver? B: Eat really good food. The vibe of the town is really cool because to me it doesn’t feel super huge but there's still so many fun things to do. The people are really nice and it’s beautiful. C: It didn’t feel like a major change from Minneapolis, but it still felt like a new environment. But it was comfortable. B: That’s the thing about Canada, it’s similar but it still feels kind of foreign in a way. You were on Jimmy Fallon last year, what other talk shows would you want to do? C: I would want to do Jimmy Fallon again and make up for the last time. I want to talk to Jimmy so bad and I would be less shy about it. I would like to do Conan. There’s no reason for us to ever do this but I just really want to hang out with Ellen. J: I want to do Jimmy Kimmel. B: I want do SNL. C: Don’t even. That’s like the top of the top. That would be my ultimate goal. Where did the cat idea come from? J: People just started calling us Meow, Meow a while ago. C: When we had our full old band it was Meow, Meow Every Kitten instead of Now, Now Every Children. V Now Now's Threads is available now. www.nownowband.com www.facebook.com/NowNowMusic


photo by kate mclaren

by velvet steele

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orking as a sexual health awareness advocate has presented me with some interesting situations. Take for example the shyness exhibited by so many when it comes to sex. Hell, even in my younger years I was no stranger to it. Remember buying your first “dirty” magazine? The questions about sex you want or wanted to ask? Who do you ask and are you comfortable asking that person, let alone even asking? What about your first venture into an adult store? Or making sure all the curtains are closed and the sound turned down while you trip on over to your favourite porn site for a little self pleasuring? Take my first magazine purchase, done after I coyly and cautiously made my way to the back of the store, neatly tucked my editions of XXX-rated Couples and Inches between People and Sports Illustrated, and headed to the cash. People rang through fine, but Inches? Noooo! Suddenly a price check was needed and a loud bellowing voice required to ask the second sales associate from across the store what the “big dick magazine for men” actually cost. Really, you had to do that? The price was right there. Let me make this clear I’ve never read Sports Illustrated a day in my life! Simple, humorous examples, yet very traumatic to those who come from strict religious, and cultural upbringings. It doesn’t seem to matter whether I’m lecturing, advocating or slinging dildos, I'm still introduced to individuals with a certain degree of shyness when it comes to the topic of sex. Sometimes they wait until no one is around and sheepishly come up to me

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and ask what they need to know. Usually though, I’m the one breaking the ice and asking them the questions since I know just how difficult it is to ask the first one. And truly what was it like when you first entered a sex shop? I’ll bet you scoped out the street to see who was on it, and when the coast was clear made a dash for the door. I still have people come into the shop I work at with sunglasses on and head scarves fully covering their faces. They unwrap while in the store, shop, and cover up again when it comes time to leave. I often wonder what it is that is going on in those heads of theirs making them think and act they way do. For me it is about empowering folks to feel good about sex and sexuality and laugh a little while doing so. I’d rather see it brought to the front pages of the newspaper and  put death and destruction towards the back!  That in itself is saying something about how we treat sex and sexuality in our media. Think about it, we all need it, and we all want it, so let’s own it and don’t be shy! For now I’m off to do a price check in Aisle 4 on our Hot Lil' Bitch with the warm and tight grip. V Velvet Steele is a local sex educator and advocate in Vancouver. www.velvetsteele.com


blue is the warmest colour

v/h/s 2

Getting its English title, Blue is the Warmest Colour, from the source graphic novel Le Bleu est une couleur chaude by Julie Maroh, La Vie D’Adèle Chapitres 1 et 2 (its French title) is the fifth film from director Abdellatif Kechiche. Chronicling the newfound relationship that the lead character Adèle (Adèle Exarchopoulos) has with blue-haired Emma (Lea Seydoux), Blue is the Warmest Colour is an intimate and intense emotional epic that recently won the coveted Palme D'or at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. The two leads are completely convincing in their respective roles, and have no trouble taking on what many older, more seasoned actors might consider challenging or risky on scenes. Already there is Oscar talk about these two French teens, and it's easy to understand why with their committed performances of the love-struck lesbian couple. The beautiful and natural direction of the film will also capture your heart, as Kechiche flawlessly makes the audience fall in love as Adèle does. Chapitres 3 et 4 are to be expected next, true to the continuity of the graphic novel. Though the ending as it is now works very well and does not bear upon us a continuation, it does leave the door open a little. Fans of this first installment will no doubt eagerly await its sequel; I certainly will.

The original V/H/S horror franchise is built on the idea that there are an endless number of strange and bizarre VHS tapes being traded amongst people for reasons that the audience have yet to fully understand. This lays the groundwork for a collection of horror shorts strung together by a larger arc. Just like the original, V/H/S 2 opens with a couple searching a home and finding their stash of unmarked videos. Curious about the presence of so many ominous tapes, the couple digs into the collection, and viewers are given a POV ride through a terrifying world. Each "video" feels like it could stand alone as a short film if the filmmakers so desired, and in many cases could probably have been fleshed out into full features. The directors in this second outing up the ante from the hot-and-cold original V/H/S and include the minds behind Hobo With A Shotgun, You're Next, Macabre, A Horrible Way To Die, and most notably, The Blair Witch Project. The latter is an amazing zombie short that flies by and would work great on its own. The best, however, is Safe Haven, one of the best horror shorts of the decade, a piece of "investigative journalism" gone horribly wrong. Speaking as a horror fan who knows it’s not a genre for everyone, I highly encourage anyone reading this to cancel their evening plans and watch V/H/S/2. It’s that good.

D: Abdellatif Kechiche by Jason Goodwin

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D: Jason Eisener, Eduardo Sánchez, Gregg Hale, Adam Wingard, Timo Tjahjanto


marsheaux

sombear

vampire weekend

Greek girly synth duo Marsheaux finally release their follow-up album to 2009's Lumineux Noir. Staying true to form, the girls don't just flirt with '80s style synthpop, they fully embrace and wonderfully recreate the sounds and moods of their obvious inspirations. Acts like Yaz, Eurythmics, Erasure, Human League, OMD and early Depeche Mode are echoed throughout all of Marsheaux's material, with the added bonus of having a fatter and more dancefloorready sound thanks to today's production. The girls' ethereal vocal harmonies gently slicing through pulsating drum beats and richly layered analogue synthesizers is a simple but effective technique that the duo has clearly mastered. This album, like their previous ones, offers a fun, nostalgic romp through the evolution of electro pop. Still not convinced? Check out my personal fave tracks "Alone" and "End Is A New Start".

Sombear is the beautifully crafted solo project of indie band Now, Now’s drummer Bradley Hale. The recently dropped "Love You in the Dark" is the title track off Hale’s upcoming debut on Death Cab for Cutie’s label Trans Records. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first heard the song but within a couple minutes I knew I was addicted. The song's abundance of cool effects, sultry beats and vocodered vocals team up to make a unique and fresh sound. The best part? The song is currently streaming and available for free download via the blog Consequence of Sound or Soundcloud. Although I’ve only heard two songs from Sombear so far, (he put out another epic song called "Incredibly Still" on Record Store Day) I can’t wait to hear the full album, which will be out on July 23rd. I feel a summer soundtrack coming on.

I’ve followed Vampire Weekend since their first album in 2008. Something about them whispered “pay attention”. Four college guys intelligently mixing elements of punk, pop, and tribal sounds was a refreshing thing to hear in a sea of tired, poorly orchestrated American Idolatry. Vampire Weekend is a true “band of a generation”. Their third album release is a mature and fascinating mix of the first two albums; still fastpaced and fun, but a little more reflective, a little deeper. Alternating between musically challenging tunes (to illustrate the band’s growing talents) and soulful ballads of failed relationships (“Hannah Hunt”) and failing nations (“Hudson”), Modern Vampires of the City demonstrates that the boys of Vampire Weekend take their music seriously. Can’t wait for album four, but in the meantime I’ll consume this one voraciously.

Inhale by Mumbles

Love You in the Dark by Lana Chunn

Modern Vampires of the City by Matt Roy


photo by sixth spence photography

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ne of the many reasons I have generally limited myself to gay nightclubs is that I have always felt safe in them. In the past, fights or violence of any sort in our bars was rare and often came as a result of outsiders who were not regulars or members of the community. Lately I have noticed a disturbing  trend of gay men becoming aggressive, picking fights and even attacking each other or those around them. I don't like it. Not one bit.  I like that we have traditionally been a passive and peaceful people. I like that reason, forgiveness and "talking things out" have always won the day over fists, blood and broken bones. I love that we gay boys have been generally immune to the pathetic machismo that always seems to rule over some of our straight counterpart's bad decisions.  I recently witnessed a young gay man hurl a beer into the face of someone who had dared to accidentally bump into them on a dance floor. This resulted in a brawl that ended when both parties were thrown to the street bruised and bloody. A young gay man was recently sucker punched coming out of the bathroom at a gay bar. My friend was slapped the other

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day when a drunk gay man thought he had called him a "loser" when in fact my friend was ordering a drink. I myself was threatened that I better "stay out of it Joan-E or I'll kick the shit out of you" when I intervened as two gay guys began a fight on Davie. The guys (who had never met) felt it warranted beating each other because, heaven forbid, one of them barged in front of them in the club and the other didn't like it. For those wondering, when presented with this threat to my person I calmly informed the gentlemen (he of the kicked shit) that were he to attempt to harm me in any way, an army of Vancouver's finest lawyer friends of mine would consider it sport to litigiously grind his balls against a cheese grater for the next several years) In all cases, by the way, the staff and management at the bars involved behaved impeccably.  I have never understood risking harm to ones body by fighting someone who's name you don't even know. I will never understand what fight is possibly worth being arrested, charged, sued, having a criminal record, or even serving time for (last time I looked assault is a criminal offense). And, I will never understand how violence can somehow resolve conflict. Let's be better and let's be cooler! If drinking or doing drugs makes you violent, don't do it. If the pills or shots you take to look more attractive make you unable to control yourself, don't take them. If you can't behave like gentlemen, stay home. V Read more of Joan-E's Rag online at www.v-rag.com



V-Rag Magazine #47 - June 2013