Friday, May 30, 2014

Watch: Straight Guys Documentary Trailer - Film Debuts at Toronto's DOC NOW Festival on June 4th!

“Straight-Guy Porn” is a wildly popular subgenre of online amateur pornography that features supposedly heterosexual men having sex with other men for a gay male audience. Why do some gay men prefer to watch sex between two heterosexual men? Where does this desire come from? Is it innate or is it learned? And why would men who identify as straight choose to perform in gay porn? Straight Guys follows filmmaker Daniel Laurin on his journey to answer these questions and reconcile his own relationship to this type of pornography. Daniel speaks to porn historians, porn theorists, porn producers and the performers themselves.

Straight Guys is a lighthearted look at a very real and pressing set of questions. As children and teenagers get
more and more of their information from the Internet, pornography has become an increasingly prevalent source of sexual education. It is an even more influential resource for gay/bisexual/questioning teens, who have very few examples of gay sexuality in mainstream media. This film uses Straight-Guy Porn as an entry point into deeper questions about gay desire in a very straight world.

Director Daniel Laurin further explains his drive to make the doc:
For some reason, the content I gravitated to was Straight-Guy Porn. Was simply because it was popular at the time? Did it speak to a desire that was already present in me or did it create it? What effects, if any, did viewing this very specific subgenre of pornography in my formative years have on my sexual and social development? 
These are the questions I hope to answer, and are my motivation behind undertaking this project. Though it isn’t talked about openly, it is a genre most gay men around my age are aware of, and it’s either a turn-on for them or it’s not. I’d like to know why that is.
Straight Guys is playing on June 4 as a part of the DOC NOW Festival in Toronto. Full details about the festival and screening times can be found at If you live anywhere near there, you should probably go.

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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Watch: Caught Inside - The Taboo of Being a Gay Surfer

The Australian Special Broadcasting Service/The Feed shared their terrific gay surfer mini-documentary on Vimeo and YouTube yesterday! Filmmakers Gabriel Virata and Miles Bence sat down with three gay surfers who have all recently come out and all worry that homosexuality in surfing is still a taboo. Among them, former professional competitive surfer Dave Wakefield. Watch it. It's seven minutes well spent.

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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Digital Dementia: The Incredible Art of Steven Lefcourt

Very little is known about artist/illustrator/graphic designer Steven Lefcourt. I kinda think he likes it that way. Despite his art being sold on dozens of websites, there is literally no legit info on him. It's hilarious and infuriating at the same time. When you look for bio info online, this is what you get:
Steven Lefcourt was born with bright green skin because of a strange infection. He might tell you today that the color was permanently combined with his DNA, and from the time he was old enough to explore the world on his own, he truly believed it. He realized early on he had two career choices that he could utilize to satiate his passion for green. Science or Art. If you asked, he might tell you he would rather paint frogs than disect them, but the truth is far more simple. He is really bad at math.
Here's what we do know. Steven Lefcourt is from Vermont originally, but currently resides in California. When designing apparel, he sometimes uses the pseudonym ste7en. His work is routinely featured on sites such as Threadless, Shirt.Woot, RiptApparel, DesignByHumans, and more!

In 2009, Steven gained recognition for his 8-Bit Fatalities collection, an art series depicting beloved video game characters violently dispatching their pixelated antagonists. He explains:
Before Mortal Kombat, violence in video games was largely unheard of or ignored because of its extreme pixelized simplicity. But when Liu Kang and Sub Zero came along to finish off arcade goers the world changed and parents were in an uproar (not mine though). 
I couldn't understand what the big deal was though, because as a videogame player all my life I had already considered my actions life and death. Just because you didn't see pac-man violently tearing into the ghosts with his jaws, or mario smashing in the brains of a goomba, thats what I knew was happening. I knew my goal was to kill these enemies, so Mortal Kombat wasn't a big change for me. To me, it was still just a game, where fake deaths happened as part of game progression. To uninformed adults, however, Mortal Kombat was a photo realistic depiction of kids becoming complicit in virtual murders. And so, I decided to show everyone just what I imagined was happening when these little blocky, pixelized abstractions did when they came into contact with eachother, but in a much more visceral, and gory way than could ever be shown with limited graphical systems.

In 2011, Lefcourt made another big splash when Uproxx's Gamma Squad featured his highly entertaining photo-manipulation project of Real Life Pokemon! Steven's vision was "to create a hybrid accurate-realistic approach, somewhere between the actual game/anime characters and realistic animals."

Currently, on top of being insanely busy creating art for numerous apparel companies, Steven is also working on an 8-bit video game of his own - Dash Atom! Not surprisingly, Lefcourt previews a ton of the game's art work, but the only description of the game he gives states "The super hero video game where you jump, dash or crash." There doesn't seem to be an official release date, yet! But, I can tell you this...the insanely charming Kraken figure from the header image comes directly from the game! Looks like a winner. We can't wait to play.

Click on any pic to enlarge!

Be sure to visit Steven Lefcourt's NeatoShopWebsite, Flickr, Tumblr, and follow him on Twitter!

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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Limp Wrist And A Steady Hand: An Interview w/ My Gay Banjo

My Gay Banjo is the exceptionally charming duo of Owen Taylor and Julia Steele Allen. MGB sing homespun gay-themed duets using mainly guitar, banjo, ukulele and, of course, sweet, sweet vocals. Kinda folksy, kinda country, their songs eloquently express everything that is wonderful and horrifying about love, life, and the pursuit of relationships in a world that is more and more accepting of gay culture.

My Gay Banjo just released their third album Country Boys in the City to much acclaim, even garnering a write up in The Huffington Post! This album features a much broader instrumentation than their earlier recordings. Thanks to a highly successful Kickstarter campaign, they were able to include drums, cello, fiddle, pedal steel, and more! The result is a wonderful, lush album that highlights their true songwriting talent. Be sure to check out the track "Like Magic."

Perhaps their most thoughtful and perceptive praise comes from the Country Queers website:
For any country queers out there who find yourselves stuck in a city and aching for the quiet star-filled nights back home, My Gay Banjo's new album, “Country Boys In the City,” is the soundtrack you’ve been waiting for. And for those lucky country queers who have escaped the city and run back home, this upbeat album will remind you of your younger years spent gallivanting around on bikes and looking up past the city skyline at the moon. But this isn’t just an album for queer listeners or even for country folk; there are universal truths in these songs. There are soft love songs, and tales of heartbreak, songs of struggle and queer courage in the face of all that’s against us.
My Gay Banjo has also been doing a bit of touring this Spring. If you live in North Carolina or Tennessee, look for them playing near you at the end of May and early June! Despite all the craziness surrounding promoting a new record and touring, Owen and Julia were kind enough to spend a little time with us!

Q: You guys did a Kickstarter for the new album and got more than double the pledges you asked for. How overwhelming was that experience?
MGB: It was perfect! We set too low an amount for what we needed to complete the album so when we reached our goal so quickly we decided to try and shoot for double and we did! Which meant we could pay for musicians travel, cover mastering fees and duplication and still set off on tour with some money in our pocket.

Q: What is the most embarrassing band you loved as a kid?
Julia: Well my first concert was Crash Test Dummies so that’s pretty embarrassing but my very first record was a 45rpm "Karma Chameleon" single by Culture Club which is not embarrassing at all. I used to just hold the cover and look at his picture. I wish I still had it!
Owen: I just rediscovered my mix tapes from middle school and high school and the only band I was embarrassed by was Phish! There were some real gems by the Violent Femmes, The Breeders, Hole and The Pixies. Love them still!

Q: What is the funniest thing that has happened to you on tour?
MGB: Well…this past Valentine’s Day we were kicking off our tour in Philly. We were playing at a yoga
studio (!) and the yoga class that was getting out decided to stick around for the show. Picture this: the space is like a big main room where the stage and audience are and then this like adjoining room off to the side were some of the overflow people could sit or stand. Back behind them: the yoga class. When we started playing, the yoga people (like 20 of them at least) began doing interpretive dance to our songs. This meant a lot of arm swaying, pretending to be the ocean, pretending to be dancing horses, etc. It was amazing! And only the two of us could see them cause the rest of the audience was faced the other way! So we would get distracted watching interpretive dance but the audience had no idea. Pretty funny.

Q: Who has the worst van etiquette?
MGB: Well since there’s just two of us, we roll in a Toyota Camry. We get along pretty good in the car. Owen is an excellent navigator, he has like a photo memory of place. Anywhere we’ve been he can get us back there just by memory! Which is helpful since neither of us have smart phones, no GPS, just some old school maps. Julia’s ukulele is small enough that we can write songs together as we drive which, on our last tour, yielded such gems as “There’s a Whole Wide World of Butch.”

Q: You two seem to have nothing but fun together. Have you ever had a disagreement?
MGB: Um sure. We’re kind of like siblings. We were housemates for five years and being in the band means we go on epic road trips together and sometimes deal with a lot of stress, so we get into spats and get annoyed with each other regularly. But! We’re actually pretty good at getting through it and are just really good friends so we work it out fast. Plus, singing and playing music together is such a mood changer that even if we’re mad or tired, once we start playing our songs its 100% pure friend love.

Q: What’s the worst fight over nothing that you got into with each other after being road weary and exhausted?
MGB: Our most recent fight (and worst yet) was in liberal Vermont when we were in a thrift store and some guys were saying all this homophobic shit about Owen. He was further away in the store and couldn’t hear them, but Julia was standing right next to them, getting angry and trying to figure out what to do. We left the store and got into a huge fight on the street about how we each deal with situations like that. It was the first real experience with homophobia we had on the road, which is pretty amazing since we are an out gay band with “gay” in the title and we play in all sort of environments and towns. We were “road weary and exhausted” for sure, but it was a fight that mattered to us both and we actually grew from working it out together.

Q: Based on your touring and live show experience, how strong is the independent LGBT music scene?
MGB: It is alive and well! We’ve gotten tons of support and love from the independent LGBT/ Queer music scene. In almost every city we’ve played with local queer bands and a bunch of queer folks come out to hear us. Within LGBT music there is so much happening that there’s all these different genres and the Queer Country scene (that we are a part of) is really growing and gaining momentum. In general, queers all over the country are creating amazing, relevant and exciting art and music that embodies our values and aesthetics more than trying to conform to mainstream standards of success.

Q: Who is in heavy rotation on your iPod?
MGB: Many bands that we’ve played with on past tours or hope to! Bell’s Roar, Peghouse, Hurray for the Riff Raff, Valerie June, Mirah, Marques Toliver, Hot Tears, Lovers…but also we are big Stevie Nicks fans and love some Dolly Parton.

Q: Dolly...vs, Reba? Who would win in a fight?
MGB: Dolly. In a fight over good attitude, musicianship and great songwriting, it’s Dolly. Dolly for days.

Be sure to visit My Gay Banjo's Website, Facebook, and Bandcamp!

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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Monica Byrne's "Tarantino's Yellow Speedo" LGBT Play Debuts in Durham, NC

Writer/Playwright Monica Byrne's latest creation Tarantino's Yellow Speedo gets it's world debut May 22nd at the Manbites Dog Theatre in Durham, NC! Byrne is well known for her play What Every Girl Should Know featuring the music of Amanda Palmer. Also, her debut novel The Girl in the Road just came out this week, too!

Here's the plot in a nutshell:
A hyper-sensually deep comedy about borders between bodies and nations. Set in the Olympic Village, a cell of international athletes train to become an elite task force of sexual operatives determined to bring down the divisions between countries. Young and just married, American trap shooters Mia and Khala must negotiate a new world order that threatens to devour everything they ever learned about love and commitment.
But to truly understand the inspiration and deeper meaning behind Taratino's Yellow Speedo, you absolutely have to read this article Byrne wrote  in 2012, It explains the back story and the significance of Arturo Tarantino and his famed yellow speedo.

Taratnino's Yellow Speedo is being performed by Little Green Pig Theatre Concern under the direction of Jay O’Berski. The run is from May 22nd - June 7th. The play features nudity and strong adult themes!
Just watch the NSFW poly-sexual trailer below!

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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Watch: Life Itself Trailer - Acclaimed Documentary About The Life of Roger Ebert Due Out July 4th!

Today Magnolia Pictures & Magnet Releasing finally released the official trailer for the Roger Ebert documentary that was the toast of Sundance Film Festival, Life Itself!

LIFE ITSELF, the wonderful, first ever feature-length documentary on the life of Roger Ebert, covers the prolific critic’s life journey from his days at the University of Illinois, to his move to Chicago where he became the first film critic ever to win the Pulitzer Prize, then to television where he and Gene Siskel became iconic stars, and finally to what Roger referred to as “his third act”; how he overcame disabilities wrought by cancer to became a major voice on the internet and through social media.

Director Steve James (HOOP DREAMS) has conducted interviews with over two dozen people, including lifelong friends, professional colleagues, the first ever interview with Gene Siskel’s wife, and filmmakers Errol Morris, Werner Herzog, Ramin Bahrani, Gregory Nava, Ava DuVernay, and Martin Scorsese, who is one of the executive producers along with Steven Zaillian.

“This movie is a love story really –– Roger’s love for movies, for Chaz, and even in his own way, his love for Gene. Ultimately, though, it’s a film about Roger’s love for life itself.”
- Steve James
LIFE ITSELF, the acclaimed documentary about Roger Ebert. In Theatres, on Demand, and on iTunes July 4.

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Greetings From Kyle's Bed and Breakfast: An Interview w/ Creator Greg Fox!

Greg Fox's terrific syndicated LBGT comic Kyle's Bed & Breakfast made its debut all the way back in 1998! For those unfamiliar, Kyle's B&B follows the lives of five central gay characters as they make their way through this world interacting with friends, lovers, bigots, and recently, even the Russian government. There's tons of romantic drama, emotional upheaval, and lots and lots of laughter. It's like the gay prime time drama you always wish existed, but you know the networks would never have the nerve to make.

Greg Fox began making comics at 12 years old, publishing his first strip at age 14 and continuing to illustrate and write comic strips through high school and college. He received a B.A. from Geneseo College in upstate New York. Immediately following college, he played guitar in several New York-based rock bands, but then jumped into doing comics full-force. His illustration work has appeared in comic books for such companies as Revolutionary Comics, Triumphant Comics, and Marvel Comics.

Although there are three incredible compilations of Kyle's Bed and Breakfast available, Fox hasn't stopped there. On May 16, 2014, Drawings of Drew was released, a new book based entirely on the Kyle's B&B character Drew Danvers! Here's the description:
Drew Danvers, a popular character in the comic strip, is the male figure depicted in these drawings, although he's never before been seen in such detail and full-frontal state of undress as he is throughout this book. The pencil drawings are impressively reproduced, (many look as if they are the actual original penciled artwork), and are quite worthy of framing. In fact, included in the book is a helpful guide for page removal along with framing instructions. Also included is a background story of the Drew Danvers character, charting his humble beginnings growing up on a peach orchard in Alabama through his arrival and dramatic storyline at Kyle's B&B, (with a number of panels from the comic strip). And there's even a 3-page "message" from Drew Danvers himself, along with his Mama's Alabama peach pie recipe! You certainly don't need to know a thing about "Kyle's B&B" to enjoy this book... it's for anyone who has a fondness for quality, classical style figure drawings of the male nude.
Despite all the hoopla and insanity involved in releasing a new book,  Greg Fox was kind enough to sit down and answer some of our burning questions about his wonderful work.

Q: First things first, why in the world does anyone put up with Lance’s blowhard attitude? Drew is just too good for him. 
Greg: Haha.... I think Lance is just one of those incredibly magnetic guys. He's confident and powerful and razor sharp with his comments. And gorgeous, on top of that! Besides which, Lance has had some of the funniest lines in the comic strip.... these sort of deadpan comebacks whenever someone tries to give him flack. Drew seems to have been captivated by him from the moment they met! Lance, on the other hand, took a while to warm up to Drew.

Q: Speaking of Drew, you have a new book coming out very soon called “Drawings of Drew.” Just how much of Drew can we expect to see? 
Greg: Oh, gosh,,, being that this is a book of figure drawings of Drew, and not an actual collection of Kyle's B&B episodes, I'll say you can expect to see VERY much of Drew. In all seriousness, I've spent the last 6 months or so working on these figure drawings, and I don't think there's a single square inch of Drew's body that wasn't drawn.... multiple times! Yeah, it's full-frontal, full....back-al, (is that a word?). Full rear-al? Full anal? All of that! LOL.

Q: Were you secretly hoping someone would pull a Michael Arakawa at the Olympics this year? 
Greg: You know, when I decided to incorporate that Olympic storyline into Kyle's B&B, it was kind of a gamble. Because I do everything weeks, sometimes months in advance, there was a real possibility the USA may have withdrawn from the Olympics, or something else might've happened that would've completely invalidated the story in the comic strip. So, yeah, I would've been glad if an actual Olympic athlete had stood up for LGBT rights in a dramatic fashion like Michael did in the comic strip.... but I think I was just relieved it all worked out OK. And to get more serious for a moment, I hated that I had to do that storyline in the first place, that the LGBT community in Russia is being oppressed and tortured. In that respect, it would've been nice if there was a real Michael Arakawa at the Olympics, although I'm not sure how much good it would've done.

Q: Ok, I am just gonna flat out ask. Is Steve Brewer an angel? 
Greg: Haha, well if he's not, he sure does a good impression of one! I'm putting together a book of Steve's adventures, hopefully to be published before the next volume of Kyle's B&B, (book 4), is published. And that should reveal quite a bit more about the mysterious Steve Brewer!

Q: Where can I get a sexy Krampus outfit? 
Greg: Well, I think you might need to get creative on that one..... in the comic strip, the character Richard created that costume himself for Price, (interestingly, all of the skimpy, "barely-there" Christmas outfits that Richard created seemed to go to the hairy-chested guys. Hmmm.... I wonder what HE likes!). Anyway.... I'll see if he's available for commissioned work!

Q:  Do you envision that Billy’s time with Eduardo is going to lead to actual change? Or, will he just go back to his old ways given time and distance? 
Greg: Ah, Billy.... the homophobic stand-up comedian who came to Kyle's B&B for "sensitivity training". I think the point with him was, he was so focused on rehabilitating his damaged public persona, (because he's caused an uproar with his homophobic stand-up act), that he wasn't really open to learning WHY his outlook was so offensive. But that changed. I do think he learned something at the B&B.... getting to know Eduardo, hearing his story about him being tossed out by his parents for being gay while still in high school.... it had an impact. He seemed genuinely humbled by the time he left. Perhaps we'll see him again sometime!

Q:  Is there any subject matter that is just plain off the table or too taboo for Kyle’s B&B? 
Greg:  I like tackling "tough" topics, but.... I think what's "off the table" by the fact that the strip is published in a number of different LGBT publications across the country is being able to show hardcore sex scenes. I have to keep it sort of "PG-13", simply because most of the publications that run the strip have restrictions. But then, I still get complaints occasionally that something or other was a little TOO risqué, or whatever. Interestingly, it's not a restriction I feel weighed down by; I didn't conceive the strip as a hardcore sex strip, (not that I'm saying there's anything wrong with erotic comics, it's just never been my specialty). I tend to write stories in the genre of the types of TV shows that I really love. Certainly full of romance, excitement, intimacy.... and probably more underwear, jockstrap, and bare butt scenes than you could ask for... but I don't take that dive into full-on hardcore sex.

Q: When you first premiered Kyle’s Bed and Breakfast in 1998, did any of your dream scenarios for the cartoon include still publishing it in 2014? 
Greg: Oh, I wanted to be doing it for a very, very long time. I felt realty strong about these characters and wanted to tell their stories for many years to come. What's great is that I still have a ton of storylines written, waiting to be drawn.... it almost feels like I'm still in the early stages of these character's stories, there's A LOT left to tell!

Q: Any good off panel gossip you care to share about Brad Steele? 
Greg:  Hmmm... there's been some talk in the strip about the fact that Brad has a "lucky jockstrap" that he wears for important occasions. Generally for most baseball games, but also when he has to go to important events, like the baseball awards dinner he went to, or pretty much any event he has to wear a suit to. So, if you ever see Brad in a suit & tie, rest assured... he's wearing that by-now ratty jockstrap underneath it!

Q: What graphic novels or cartoons are you currently following? 
Greg: Actually, my most recent read was something retro.... a collection of Daredevil from the 80s that was freaking amazing.

Q:  Based on the info in your bio, you are a fan of early 80s music. Better song…INXS “Don’t Change” or Depeche Mode “People Are People?” 
Greg:  Oh, those are 2 great songs, by 2 great bands.... (both of whom I've seen in concert, multiple times!). I think I would have to give the edge to Depeche Mode there, though.... "People Are People" is like, an iconic song, (at least, in my mind!).

Click any pic to enlarge!

Be sure to visit Greg Fox's website to keep up on all the latest Kyle's B&B comics and view the incredible swag! Also, visit the Kyle's B&B Fan Facebook page!

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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Exclusive Podcast: Treklenburg Episode #20

Hosts Michael Earle and Molly Jay hilariously talk all things Star Trek.
This week, it's Star Trek Generations Watch Along Part 2! When Michael says resume play now from Part 1, hit play on your Generations DVD or Netflix stream and watch along with the crew as they make their hilarious, yet insightful, commentary on the movie, behind the scenes tidbits, and anything else that comes to mind.

Original broadcasts of Treklenburg are Monday nights at 8pm EST on

How to Subscribe!
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Monday, May 19, 2014

Monday Morning Dance Party: Bleachers "Shadow"

Bleachers will release debut album Strange Desire on July 15th, 2014 on RCA Records. The highly anticipated album was written and produced by Grammy Award winning musician Jack Antonoff  (of Fun) with co-producer John Hill (MIA, Jay Z, Empire of the Sun) as well as Vince Clarke (Depeche Mode, Yaz, Erasure) and others.  Jack Antonoff is also an outspoken gay rights supporter! Read his interview with Pride Source!

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