Tuesday, August 29, 2006

WA Supreme Court asked to reconsider marriage ruling

The Washington State Supreme Court has been asked to reconsider its narrow 5-4 decision to uphold the state's ban on marriage for same-sex couples. The attorneys for the 19 plaintiffs who sued for the right to marry made the announcement in a written statement on Tuesday afternoon.

The state's highest court had given the attorney's until today to decide if they would file a motion for reconsideration. If the motion is granted, the justices could call for further oral arguments or simply issue a ruling on the matter.

The Northwest Women's Law Center attorney, Nancy Sapiro, said the "stakes in this case are so high" that the attorneys had to explore "every option available..."

Monday, August 21, 2006

Alternative Tuesdays at ManRay

Seattle Gay News has a sweet tooth for alternative pop and rock music, and each week we share our favorites with the fun folks at ManRay Video Bar (514 E. Pine) Tuesdays starting at 9pm.

We invite you to join us tomorrow to see and hear the newest, coolest music videos from artists like Beck, The Raconteurs, Wolfmother, Muse, Goldfrapp, Angels & Airwaves, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Guster, She Wants Revenge, Snow Patrol, Keane, and many more. In weeks to come we'll have brand new videos from Scissor Sisters and The Killers.

Requests are taken, either send them an e-mail via their myspace page (http://www.myspace.com/manrayvideo) or bring in a request list of alternative videos.

No cover ever. Drink specials all night. The crowd is hip, fun and mostly gay, yet it's a comfortable atmosphere for your straight friends to join you for cocktails and great music. If you dig alternative sounds, this is where to be.

Photo courtesy of the ManRay's official website.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Au revoir, Out On Screen!

I can't believe I'm leaving Vancouver, and Out On Screen is barely getting started! So many films, such puny willpower. I swear, my seat-sitting stamina just isn't what it used to be.

I took a little flak from other festival-goers for my take on the Opening Night Film, Yaji and Kita: The Midnight Pilgrims. I didn't mean to suggest that it was a major success. In fact, I know I said it wasn't going to be everybody's cuppa green tea. But my particular, some would say peculiar, fondness for samurai films and anime series made me predisposed to enjoy the Monty Python-esque antics of Yaji, Kita, et al. Had the movie been about 1/2 an hour shorter I might have avoided the hisses and groans when I expressed my delight with the film. So I can't recommend it to you (when it comes out on DVD) until I've met and/or psychoanalyzed your personal preferences. That'll be 5 cents, please.

I can recommend Summer Storm, which I reviewed in the March 31st edition of the SGN. It played at Out On Screen Saturday night and repeats Wednesday at the Tinseltown at 9:30 pm. One film I'm especially sorry to miss is the festival's "centrepiece," Gypo. I also missed it at this year's SIFF. If you're familiar with other Dogme films (Italian For Beginners, Open Hearts) then you know all the cinematography will be done using hand-held cameras and natural lighting, there won't be a scored soundtrack, and the acting will be heavily improvised. Like Kurosawa's Rashomon, Gypo tells three sides to a single story, bringing up questions of immigration and race in Great Britain. Gypo will be at the Tinseltown, 7:00 pm on Tuesday. It's followed by a showcase of local shorts, The Coast is Queer (9:30 pm).

I'm also sad to be missing out on Thursday's Cinecity Script Reading, Saturday's screening of My Brother Nikhil, and, of course, Sunday's Closing Gala and screening of 20 Centimetres. Check out the entire Out On Screen schedule at www.outonscreen.com. And even if the movie you want to see is sold out, don't lose hope -- get in the HOPE line! A lot of seats go unused by the pass holders, and those tickets are released for sale 15 minutes before the screening. Bring cash.

A little more about Bard On the Beach. If you go: All performances are general admission. When you come through the main entry, head for the tall tables with colorful notepads and crayons. No, this is not some art project... write your name on a piece of the paper, then head for the tent where your production will be showing. (Oh, did I forget to mention that BOtB is held in tents?) One of the nice ushers will help you find a spot; tape your nametag to your seat. Yes, the usher will give you tape. Then head back out for beverage service, or check out the souvenir tent for all chatchkas Shakespeare.

Did you know that the Sandman Suites (on Davie) has a spa? It's called phresh, and they have everything from massages and facials to teeth whitening and couples pedicures. I'll have to try some treatments -- on my next visit, no time today! That's the great thing about a town you like: leave a few things "undone" so you have an excuse to come back. If you're looking for even more things to do, including detailed info on Vancouver's club scene, the guys at www.gayvan.com can set you "straight." They publish the Gay Friendly Vancouver In Town Guide, and they have loads and loads of advice about the West End and hot spots all around the city.

That's it from Out On Screen and Vancouver! I'm off for some authentic dim sum, then I'll hit the road home. I can't believe I'm going to work tomorrow! Talk to you later.

Updated to add photos: Yaji & Kita and Gypo photos courtesy Out On Screen

Out On Screen: Hie thee to Vancouver!

It's already Sunday morning, and I'm really sorry if you missed any Out On Screen films because you were waiting for me. I know, I'm a late-night blogger, but boy, do I have a lot to fill you in on! Last night's films at the Cinemark Tinseltown were a mixed bag: the shorts were a little uneven (that sounded vaguely sexul, didn't it?), and the New Zealand film, 50 Ways of Saying Fabulous had a charming naivete. The winner was Queens (Reinas), a comedy/melodrama about the first gay weddings in Spain. It stars Carmen Maura, Veronica Forque and Marisa Paredes as mothers of three of the grooms. It replays Monday, same time (9:30 pm), same station (Tinseltown). But I'll have a chance to tell you more later -- check out the SGN in a few weeks, as Reinas comes to the Harvard Exit on September 29th.

And if you were hanging around, waiting for me to show up at the Festival gSpot (that's "g" for "gathering," silly) then I'm doubly sorry you were disappointed. As happens with festivals, the movies started behind schedule and stayed there, and while the Honey Lounge is just across the street from the Tinseltown theatres, as a solo lady I was loathe to make my way home via public transportation so late at night. I'm sure you drank enough for the both of us.

So why haven't I written earlier? Doll-face, there is so much happening in Vancouver, I hardly know what to do with myself when I roll out of bed! After a peek at my breathtaking view from the Sandman Suites on Davie, and a yummy breakfast (I recommend you check out the hotel's restaurant, Moxie's Classic Grill), I had to get in a little sightseeing. Did you know that there's a city bus that will take you all the way to Grouse Mountain? It's mostly heaven to get around Vancouver via bus, other than late night trips through questionable neighborhoods... but I'll tell you more about solo travel when I get back to Seattle.

Grizzly Bear at Grouse Mountain ...
behind an electrified fence. I promise.

Meanwhile, even I can't see movies all day, every day, so tonight I took myself hence... to Vanier Park and and Bard on the Beach! I loves me some Shakespeare, and I think you'll enjoy this re-telling of the Iliad - er, I mean Troilus and Cressida, from the point of view of the American Civil War. The staging is simple and effective. And Achilles and Patroclus are h-o-t. Othe plays performed this season are A Midsummer Night's Dream, Measure for Measure, and the rarely seen The Winter's Tale. I'm sure they're all good, but grab a ticket for MSND quick, since it's almost sold out.

Even though I'll be missing tonight's... I mean, tomorrow's Out On Screen films -- hey, I have to get back to work on Monday, remember? -- here are some recommendations: The director of Women In Love (5:00 pm, Tinseltown) will be in attendance for a Q&A. Karen Everett uses a compilation of video diaries, home video and interviews to explore the world of Lesbian love. My pick for the evening follows at 7:00 pm. I Know That I Am was literally smuggled out of Iran thanks to the tenacity of director Peyman Khosravi. It tells the story of Transgendered in a country where sexual "deviancy" is punishable by hanging. A post-film party takes place across the street at the gSpot at 9:30. Or you can check out the films at the Pacific Cinematheque (1131 Howe Street at Helmcken). Fabulous! The Story of Queer Cinema takes a look at Gay representation in film that promises to pick up where Vito Russo's The Celluloid Closet left off. That starts at 7:00 pm, and is followed at 9:30 by Pow! Wow!, a program of shorts showcasing aboriginal -- First Nations or Native American -- shorts.

I'll blog one more time from Vancouver with suggestions for what to see during the rest of the festival, as well as some other events and resources for your Vancouver travel. Sweet dreams!
Updated to add photos: Top - photo of Queens courtesy Out On Screen; photo of Grouse Mountain Grizzly by Lorelei; photo of I Know That I Am director Peyman Khosravi courtesy Out On Screen.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Out On Screen starts with an outrageous romp

The opening night Gala is over, sigh, but that just means there are ten more nights of movies left to enjoy! Well, not for me, since I leave on Sunday, but if you book your tickets today you'll get to see a bunch of great movies. In its 18th year, Vancouver's Out On Screen presents a blend of international, art and documentary films, and the resulting concoction is just right: a little froth, a little seriousness, and a lot of great movies you'd never get to see otherwise.

Yaji and Kita: The Midnight Pilgrims, the opening night selection, was ca-RAY-zee! An anachronism-filled, self-aware, genre-bending samurai flick, Yaji and Kita is like a live-action version of my favorite anime series, "Samurai Champloo." If Jin and Mugen were Gay, that is. This has "cult movie" written all over it, and I'm going to have to add it to my library for my samurai Saturdays.

The pre-movie cocktail reception featured sushi -- naturally -- and a chance to rub elbows with the creme of Vancouver's Gay scene. The after party at Celebrities Nightclub was pulsating long past my bedtime (my movie ticket got me in without a cover, as well as a free drink! Yum!) and while the rush at the bar was a little like trying to buy a drink at Babylon -- be pushy, ladies, like Debbie Novotny -- I was still able to get enough in me to pour myself into bed.

Yesterday was so busy I've hardly had a chance to check out my digs. I'm staying at the Sandman Suites on Davie, literally a block from the after-party so I didn't have too far to pour. It's fab staying in Vancouver's West End, the heart of the Gay district. Every "Suite" is like a mini-apartment, with a full kitchen and even a washer/dryer! After a night at the club, I think I might take advantage of that perk.

Tonight there are Out On Screen movies at the Emily Carr Institute on Granville Island: Loving Annabelle (7:00 pm) and That Tender Touch (9:30 pm). I'm off to explore the city some more -- no, I'm not allowed to spend any more time or money at Lush -- then I'll be at the Cinemark Tinseltown (88 Pender Street) for a full night of film: a collection of shorts called Groupe Intervention Video (5:00 pm), 50 Ways of Saying Fabulous (7:00 pm) and the Spanish Queens (9:30 pm). You'll see my review for Queens in a few weeks, since it's coming to town in September. Then I might hit the after-party at the "Festival g-Spot," The Honey Lounge at the Lotus Hotel (455 Abbott).

I can barely restrain myself, there's so much to tell you about Vancouver! But I think that first I'll go back to my patio, finish my cup of coffee, and enjoy my impressive view of English Bay. See you tomorrow! (Updated to add: photo from balcony at Sandman Suites - above. Stunning, nu?)

Vancouver photo by Lorelei; Queens photo courtesy Out On Screen.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Out On Screen Vancouver

Are you ready for Out On Screen Vancouver? I hope so. Tomorrow's opening night Gala film should be a blast: Yaji and Kita: The Midnight Pilgrims (Mayonaka no Yaji-san Kita-san) is an update of a 1958 film about two samurai who go on a pilgrimage to Ise Temple to get away from their wives. Only in the 2005 version, Yaji and Kita are Gay and they're going to Ise to help rehabilitate drug addicted Kita. Expect Monty Python-esque non sequiturs, colorful fantasies and a musical number involving motorcycles and mayhem. The afterparty at Celebrities Nightclub is a must! Remember to save your ticket stub for admission to the launch party.

Check out my Out On Screen preview in the SGN for ideas on where to stay and what else to do while you're in town. Meanwhile, I'll be blogging while I'm in Vancouver, so check back for the latest scoop.

Yaji & Kita photo courtesy of Out On Screen

Monday, August 14, 2006

Lifelong blogs from the AIDS conference in Toronto

Four staff members of Lifelong AIDS Alliance are attending the XVI International AIDS Conference in Toronto, Canada. Over 20,000 scientists, health care providers, government officials, and others from around the world meet every two years for the largest forum related to HIV/AIDS in the world.

The staff -- Executive Director Tina Podlodowski, Director of Programs David Richart, Director of Marketing and Development Cory Curtis, and Education and Prevention Manager Erick Seelbach -- will be writng daily updates from the conference, which can be viewed on their website www.LifelongAIDSAlliance.org.

Curtis wrote the first post on Sunday, in which he describes a keynote from local philanthropist and Microsoft founder Bill Gates.

In tonight’s opening session, Bill Gates, who keynoted after a long list of politicians, said that throughout the world, for every new person treated for HIV/AIDS, ten more are infected. It’s clear that we’re simply not keeping pace.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Joshua Radin steps into SGN's "The Music Lounge" this week

Joshua Radin is a new singer-songwriter whose star is rising quickly. His stunning debut We Were Here earned a four-star review in Rolling Stone magazine and he's just been booked on the Jimmy Kimmel show for an appearance next month.

Seattle Gay News is pleased to feature Joshua Radin in an interview this week in "The Music Lounge" column. In the interview, Radin shows his serious and not so serious side.

What would a summer barbecue be like at Joshua Radin's house? What music essentials does he recommmend to include in your CD collection? And, what item of clothing is he running low on these days? Find out in the August 11 issue of the Seattle Gay News .

Ear-sample Joshua Radin's music on MySpace or visit his official website, http://www.joshuaradin.com. He performs live in Seattle on Sunday, August 13, at Neumo's (925 East Pike) opening for Anna "Breathe (2am) Nalick". Tickets, priced at $15, are available now at www.ticketswest.com.

Photo of Joshua Radin, courtesy of Sony-BMG Records.

Wednesday, August 9, 2006

"Scissor Sisters Central": buy tickets through special pre-sale today!!!

"Scissor Sisters Central", an one-stop information source for all things Scissor Sisters brought to you by Seattle Gay News, is pleased to announce a special pre-sale for tickets to the band's Seattle concerts on October 2 and 3.

Log onto: http://www.scissorsisters.tickets.musictoday.com

Register yourself as a Scissor Sisters fan and buy your tickets TODAY.

Also, make sure to enter a very cool contest that could send you and a guest to see Scissor Sisters on Halloween at an undisclosed location. To enter, log onto: http://www.scissorsistersusa.com/contest/

Photo of Scissor Sisters, courtesy of Universal Music Group.

Tuesday, August 8, 2006

"Alternative Tuesdays" at Manray Video Bar for alt music gay fans

Seattle Gay News has a sweet tooth for alternative pop and rock music, and each week we share our favorites with the fun folks at Manray Video Bar (514 E. Pine) starting at 9pm.

We invite you to join us tonight to see and hear the newest, coolest music videos from artists like Beck, We Are Scientists, Wolfmother, Franz Ferdinand, Goldfrapp, Head Automatica, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Guster, She Wants Revenge, Snow Patrol, Keane, and many more. Tonight we're premiering videos by Mellowdrone, Aqualung, and Primal Scream.

No cover ever. Drink specials all night. The crowd is hip, fun and mostly gay, yet it's a comfortable atmosphere for your straight friends to join you for cocktails and great music. If you dig alternative sounds, this is where to be.

Photo of Head Automatica, taken by Janette Beckman and courtesy of Warner Bros. Records.

Saturday, August 5, 2006

White River Amphitheatre directions for Kelly Clarkson concert

As mentioned in this week's issue of the Seattle Gay News, we're posting directions to White River Amphitheatre for everyone joining us tomorrow to see and hear two-time Grammy winnner Kelly Clarkson, who performs with opening act Rooney at the outdoor venue. The directions below don't mention SR 169, which I highly recommend because of less congestion and hassle. Tickets are still available for Kelly Clarkson at any Ticketmaster location or at the gate. It's a 45-minute drive from downtown Seattle.


From Seattle area:

I-5 to Highway 18 (exit 142A)
Hwy 18 East to the Auburn Way/Enumclaw exit
At end of off-ramp, turn left onto Auburn Way S/ SR 164
You will pass the Muckleshoot Casino on your left. The venue is 5 miles past the casino on your right.

Paid and free shuttles:

* Free Red Robin shuttle service available for most events from the Auburn SuperMall.

* Paid shuttle from Tacoma, Bellevue, Southcenter and Lynnwood Azteca Restaurant locations.

We will re-post these directions on this site next weekend, in preparation for 107.7's "Endfest" with Red Hot Chili Peppers, Snow Patrol, Wolfmother, Mars Volta, and several other acts. Seattle Gay News is proud to be part of the press-media for "Endfest 15".

Friday, August 4, 2006

SGN is "Scissor Sisters Central"

Seattle Gay News is your one-stop information source for all things Scissor Sisters.

From early buzz on the glam-pop band's new album to group member interviews, and from CD-release parties to complete concert coverage, you can count on us to keep you updated on anything related to Scissor Sisters.

Grab a copy of this week's Seattle Gay News, hitting the streets today, and be one of the first to find out when Scissor Sisters are coming to Seattle!

Photo of Scissor Sisters, courtesy of Universal Records.