San Francisco’s Now & Zen Fest.

September 28, 2010

October is almost here, and yet San Francisco bloomed with activity on the last weekend of the month. What events were happening? San Franciscans were spotted cheering for the Giants and the 49ers, enjoying the kinks at the Folsom Street Fair, buying books and such for a dollar at Fort Mason, supporting the March for Equality near the Golden Gate, listening at the Jazz Festival at the Embarcadero, merrily drinking at Octoberfest in Fort Mason, or enjoying the Fogfest in Pacifica. While I wish I were everywhere, I was not. I enjoyed the free concert at Alice’s 97.7’s Now and Zen Concert at the Children’s Playground near the Haight Ashbury District. A lot of awesome performances ranging from Ryan Star, Plain White Tees, Five For Fighting, Natasha Bedingfield, and Sara Bareilles were on the list. The best part was the free massage! Anyway, enjoy the quick video and the quick snapshots of the event.


Top 5 Glee Showstoppers

August 2, 2010

This week, Glee starts filming its second season. I’m super-stoked as the show is a ratings smash and hit all the right notes (pun intended). I posted my favorite songs from the first half of season one just a few months ago. Now, it is befitting that I post the remaining five from the second half of season two. There were a lot of goodies such as Artie’s “Dream a Little Dream,” Rachel’s duet with her mother in “I Dreamed A Dream,” Will and Ryan’s short “Piano Man” snip, and the entirety of the Madonna-themed episode. But again, I must the stress the limitations of choosing only 5 because it was a excruciatingly long list. So enjoy until the season two starts this Fall.

1. Can’t Touch This

It’s unfathomable that the show used Vanilla Ice and MC Hammer in one episode with the appropriate title of Bad Reputation. Not only did they make it work, but also the cast performed the song with hilarious results. The dregs of high school (Brittany, Tina, Artie, Kurt, Mercedes) perform MC Hammer’s song in a library complete with the balloon pants. Surely, it was a pure “Laughing Out Loud” moment with an unexpected “epic fail” ending.

2. Rose’s Turn

Seeing Kurt perform John Mellencamp was horrendous and an uncomfortable sight to see. But listening to Kurt bring out his true inner diva on stage solo with “Rose’s Turn” was spectacular. Actor Chris Colfer has an amazing voice range and definitely belts it out with this performance as trying to be the exact opposite can leave him miserable. It’s definitely a good character moment and brings Glee back to the stage theatrics.

3. Safety Dance

Like Kurt’s “Rose’s Turn,” Artie has a chance to shine in the spotlight through song in “A Safety Dance.” With a documentary style filming taking place in a suburban mall, Artie bounces off his wheelchair and dances for the first time with a rousing crowd of teenagers. It’s a sight to see with an unusual (yet appropriate) song for his story arc. But just like Glee would, they give us a happy wish fulfillment moment and snaps it away from us. It’s a great performance with a heart-wrenching ending.

4. One Less Bell to Answer/A House Is Not A Home

I like Kristen Chenoweth. But whenever she guest stars on Glee, it feels like a filler episode. That’s not to say I don’t relish her vocals as she does an amazing duet with Matthew Morrison in “One Less Bell to Answer/A House is not a Home” within the confines of his own bedroom. The song is very soothing and portrays their sad journeys of solidarity through song.  I play this song constantly on my iPod, so it is with good reason that this duet fulfills the somber tone of Glee.

5. Bohemian Rhapsody

For Glee’s finales, they have to be fantastic, legendary, and over-the-top. Rachel, in the first half of season one, sang her heart out with Barbra Streisand’s “Don’t Rain On My Parade.” So Jonathan Groff definitely took the prize away from the New Directions out in Regionals with the big guns of music: Queen. Bohemian Rhapsody hit all the right notes when paired with the long awaited birth of Quinn’s child. Within the span of five minutes, Quinn’s pregnancy was synced well with Queen’s showstopper. It was an awesome spectacle proving that Glee does it big with its finales by hitting the emotional high notes.

Ricky Martin Finally Came Out.

March 30, 2010

This piece of news shouldn’t be shocking, but Latin pop singer Ricky Martin finally came out of the closet. Reaction has been more like “duh” and “it’s about time,” but I find his coming out rewarding. It’s a testimony that he could finally live his life with happiness and honesty. He has two children born from Invitro fertilization (which was a given that he was gay), but at least he could be the fully-developed person he was meant to be. That’s what coming out of the closet and the concept of gay really means. Thank you, Ricky. Now you can finally make a deeper influence. I posted the story down below. Here’s the link.

Ricky Martin: ‘I Am a Fortunate Homosexual Man’

NEW YORK, N.Y. — After years of keeping quiet about his personal life, pop star Ricky Martin has announced that he is gay.

“I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man,” Ricky said in a message posted on his offical Web site. “I am very blessed to be who I am.”

Ricky said writing his memoir and thinking about his two twin sons led him to go public.

“To keep living as I did up until today would be to indirectly diminish the glow that my kids where [sic] born with. Enough is enough. This has to change. This was not supposed to happen 5 or 10 years ago, it is supposed to happen now. Today is my day, this is my time, and this is my moment,” he wrote.

Though the 38-year-old kept his sexuality private throughout most of his career, Ricky said he drew strength from that time.

“These years in silence and reflection made me stronger and reminded me that acceptance has to come from within and that this kind of truth gives me the power to conquer emotions I didn’t even know existed,” he continued. “What will happen from now on? It doesn’t matter. I can only focus on what’s happening to me in this moment. The word “happiness” takes on a new meaning for me as of today. It has been a very intense process. Every word that I write in this letter is born out of love, acceptance, detachment and real contentment. Writing this is a solid step towards my inner peace and vital part of my evolution.”

Earlier this month, Barbara Walters told The Toronto Star that her 2000 interview with the “Livin’ La Vida Loca” singer, where she grilled him about coming out, was a misstep on her part.

“In 2000, I pushed Ricky Martin very hard to admit if he was gay or not, and the way he refused to do it made everyone decide that he was,” she told The Toronto Star. “A lot of people say that destroyed his career, and when I think back on it now, I feel it was an inappropriate question.”

Ricky also Tweeted a link to his coming out announcement on his Web site, simply writing, “my life.”

In an earlier Tweet on Monday, the singer posted a quote attributed to the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. M.L.K.Jr.,” he wrote.

My Top Five Glee Songs.

March 5, 2010

On an earlier post, I raved about how much I love Glee from the sole basis of its pilot episode. Well, after the show came out on DVD, I watched the entire show in just 2 days! I can’t wait for the second half of the first season in April sweep with a whole Madonna episode and appearances by Olivia Newton-John and Molly Shannon. So in good retrospection of the first 13 episodes, I’m posting my 5 absolute favorite songs. I had to slim it down to only 5 because every song is addictively good. These chosen 5 “gleefully” got me off my seat and immediately hooked on the show as each shows eccentricity, passion, heart, and a completely new spin on the classics. Also here are the other songs that I couldn’t post in the countdown: “Somebody To Love,” “Say A Little Prayer,” “Hate On Me,” “Proud Mary,” “Don’t Stop Believin’” “Crush,” “Maybe This Time,” and “Bust Your Windows.”

5. “Push It” (from Showmance)

How do you beat the 1970s disco hit “Le Freak?” By singing Salt n’ Pepa’s “Push It” in a school auditorium announcing that high school kids are just as horny as adults, of course. It’s the best way to get everybody’s attention, recruit new singers, and make a grand scene that Glee has the natural pizzazz. All six members were fierce, sexual creatures. Thank you for the shock value.

4. “Dancing With Myself” (from Wheels)

A solo hit that made a big impression as it highlighted the club’s disabled singer (Kevin Mchale) in all his gleeful glory. He glides by himself all over the stage singing Billy Idol’s “Dancing with Myself” in a more relaxed and mellow tone. It is an achievement considering the original message was about masturbation. Hush, Hush.

3. “Don’t Rain On My Parade” (from Sectionals)

Showtunes! Aw, I love it. Lea Michele belts her singing chops in the competition using Barbara Streisand’s golden Funny Girl hit. With as much heart and bravado like Babs, I rooted for the New Directions to take first place. Her performance makes me wish life was a musical. It would be grander.

2. “Imagine “(from Hairography)

You wouldn’t think a group of deaf singers could beat a bunch of crazy-haired showstoppers. Oh, but they did by bringing so much heart and added layers of meaning to John Lennon’s harmonious song. Sometimes you don’t need all the dancesteps. All you need is a vision and the god-given talents you were blessed with.

1. “Single Ladies” (from Preggers)

For a football team that never has won a game, it took flashy Beyonce steps to shape the manly football team to finally win. Glee’s gay baritone singer (Chris Colfer) needs to impress his dad so he recruits himself to join the sportsteam with unexpected results. It’s probably THE highlight of season one. How can you beat a team of football players dancing to Beyonce? Answer: You simply can’t.

Go Gleeks! Please Don’t Be Offended If I Omitted one of your favorites. And for the record, I love Jane Lynch. She needs to sing.

Lady Gaga’s Monstrous Hit Album.

November 25, 2009

Lady Gaga is living in the stratosphere right now. Not only is her first album a bona fide hit, her performances are the most creative and wackiest performances at such venues like the American Music Awards and MTV’s Video Music Awards. And with her second album, released November 18, The Fame Monster is proving to be another creative smash with her lead single, “Bad Romance.” The album is more melodramatic with such hits like “Monster” and  “Speechless” speaking much of the dark side with fame and a gothic theme. What’s most pleasing is that many of her songs evoke great works like “Dance in the Dark” with Madonna’s “Vogue,” “Alejandro” with Abba and Ace of Base, and “Speechless” with Queen. Her songs are deeply emotional, and add a unique layer different from her previous “dance-esque” album. Her next single is “Telephone,” a duet with Beyonce, proving to be another hit. I’ve played that song over 50 times on my iPod. And, that’s saying a lot.

My Rating: A


September 6, 2009

Glee premiered last Spring with its first episode after American Idol. I’ve heard a lot of good reviews about this show, but never had the time to watch it. Its premise always appealed to me as it focuses on a typical mid-West high school’s glee club/singing choir. Again, it’s high school so you’re dealing with stereotypes mixed with awesome singing of old show tunes and current chart toppers. Ryan Murphy created this series, and I feel indebted to his creativity as he helped create Popular and Nip/Tuck.

I watched the first episode before the season premieres and I was laughing hysterically. The characters are so deranged as they interact with each other in far-out situations. Pure gold. The glee club is led by teacher Will Schuster (Matthew Morrison) to bring the glee to it’s former glory. The club comprises a bunch of misfits including the jock that just wants to sing (Cory Monteith). Their enemies? The football team and the cheerleaders (or cheerios), of course. The cheerleader coach is played by Jane Lynch (best remember from 40-Year-Old Virgin) and she‘s one of the main reasons to watch, if you will. And after watching the first episode, you’ll be belting out to Journey and Amy Winehouse again. Only this time to Glee-style. I won’t be able to watch it every Wednesday night, but I’ll be sure to search for it every Thursday morning.

92.7 Energy Mixers.

August 1, 2009

Besides my Las Vegas playlist and other Indie Rock songs, I listen to a lot of Pop/Dance/House songs from San Francisco 92.7 Energy radio station. They’re usually for my workouts, which really help. Here’s a list of some my 25 favorites:

Horny- Mousse T
I Remember- DeadMau5 and Kaskade
Put Your Hands Up For Detroit- Fedde Le Grand
You Don’t Even Know Me- Armand Van Helden
When You Touch Me- Freemasons
I Watch You- Lee Cabrera
Can’t Get Enough- Soulsearcher
Another Love- Sophia May
Destination Calabria- Alex Gaudino
Speed Up- Funkerman
Stuck On You- L2
Perfect- Mason vs. Princess Superstar
Sensual- Phonejaxx and Cosi Costi
Weekend Love- Electric Allstars
I Want Your Soul- Armand Van Helden
World Hold On- Bob Sinclair
The World Is Mine- David Guetta
Sun is Shining Remix- Bob Marley
Move for Me- DeadMau5 and Kaskade
Ring My Bell- Anita Ward
Womanizer (Kaskade remix)- Britney Spears
I Hate This Part (remix)- Pussycat Dolls
Dancin’- Aaron Smith
Dance Like There’s No Tomorrow (remix)- Paula Abdul
The Longest Road (DeadMau5 remix)- Morgan Page and Lissie