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Hell Yes! He's Beck

UPDATE 1/25: Beck's publicist just wrote me, "The video for 'Hell Yes' is directed by Mumbleboy and is online only. It's from a 4 song remix EP that will be available on digital outlets 2/1. It's not the first single, but a special online only video."

Beck comes back strong with the single "Hell Yes" from his forthcoming album "Guero" (in stores on March 29). (Thanks Josh and Calvin!)

Arjanwrites_video Watch an exclusive clip of "Hell Yes" by Beck [Windows] [Real]

January 24, 2005 in Video Premieres | Permalink | Comments (8)

Hot New Talent Alert: Sasha Sacket

Sasha Sacket

Check out emerging gay singer/songwriter Sasha Sacket who recently released his second album "Shadowed." He is currently touring around the country to promote the record.

The Los Angeles native was introduced to the entertainment industry at a young age. First hitting the stage at age six as a spunky Mickey Mouse, his career as a performer took shape through years of coffeehouse piano performances and local theatrical productions. He further tuned his musical skills as a film and theater major at the University of Southern California.

In 2001, he released his debut album "Alabaster Flesh" that was nominated for best album in the Out Music Awards and charted at #1 on the Out Voice Top 40 charts. Now, he is preparing a Spring tour schedule that includes performances at colleges, GLBT Groups and festivals across the nation. He will also appear at various Pride celebrations in the U.S. this summer.

"Shadowed" solidifies Sacket's reputation as a gifted singer/songwriter. His songs deliver a story, an observation or simply an emotion that the emphatic Sacket puts into music. The basis for most of the tracks is a simple piano-driven tune, but the album includes several pop-savvy production tricks that give this album a very contemporary feel. Add to the mix Sacket's pitch-perfect vocals and what you have is bona fide hit record. You can stream the entire album on Sacha's web site.

Arjanwrites_audio  Listen to "Kite High!" by Sasha Sacket [Windows] [Real]
Arjanwrites_audio  Listen to "Desire" by Sasha Sacket [Windows] [Real]

January 24, 2005 in New Music | Permalink | Comments (1)

"Bad Education" Soundtrack

Dressed for Success: Gael Garcia Bernal
in "Bad Education"

"La Mala Educacion" ("Bad Education") is director Pedro Almodóvar's latest cinematic masterpiece that features a breathtaking performance by Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal. This film noir tells the story about two kids who discover sex, cinema and fear at a Catholic high school at the start of the ‘60s. Father Manolo, the school principal and their literature teacher, is witness to and part of these discoveries. The three characters meet twice again, at the end of the ‘70s and in the ‘80s. The re–encounter will mark the life and death of some of them.

Almodóvar once again explores taboo topics in this gay-themed movie including sexual abuse, gender confusion, pedophile priests and homosexuality in the Catholic Church. "Bad Education" establishes Gael Garcia Bernal as a bona fide sex symbol. The director has an eye for capturing his raw beauty. He films Bernal swimming in his white jockey briefs (and zooming in on his crotch) and showing him excercising shirtless in skimpy gym shorts.

The movie is also an ode to the legendary Spanish singer and gay icon Sara Montiel who makes a cameo in the movie. The diva has been called Spain's answer to Judy Garland via Mae West. Montiel is the main inspiration for the movie's main drag character Zahara who is played by Bernal. The sultry Zahara performs Montiel's "Quizás, Quizás, Quizás" dressed in a glamorous Jean Paul Gautier dress.

The song is featured on the "Bad Education" soundtrack that was put together by Alberto Iglesias. In addition to his original score, the evocative soundtrack recording also includes vintage European pop songs from the 1960s such as "Maniquí Parisien," also sung by Sara Montiel, and "Cuore Matto," sung by Little Tony – as well as performances of "Moon River " and the Italian song  "Torna a Surriento," and an excerpt from Rossini ’s Petite Messe Solonelle.

Arjanwrites_audio  Sample "Quizás, Quizás, Quizás" by Sara Montiel [MP3]
Arjanwrites_video  Watch the movie trailer

January 21, 2005 in Soundtracks | Permalink | Comments (5)

Circuit Asia Debuts in April


The gay circuit scene extends beyond America and Europe as The Philippines prepares the debut of Circuit Asia. The dance extravaganza will run from April 28 to May 1, 2005 in Manila. Special travel packages (including air, hotel and party tickets) start at $998 for travelers from the United States.

Ding Pastrana, the founding President of the event promises a "groundbreaking experience." "We are bringing a different caliber of partying to the Far East with a state of the art sound and light system and most importantly, the world's most beautiful and exotic men," Pastrana says in a press release. "Over the long term, we intend Circuit Asia to be among the must-go gay destination events in Asia alongside Montreal Black and Blue and Palm Spring's White Party, our foremothers in the circuit scene."

Manila will be hosting DJs Kimberly S, Brett Henrichsen and Gomi. No details were provided about possible Tsunami benefit activities during the event. Circuit Asia is a major supporter of the Gift Foundation and supports the foundation's program on AIDS.

Get in the mood for the circuit:

Arjanwrites_audio  Sample "The Wonder Of It All" by Kristine W (Escape 2 Gomi remix) [MP3]

January 21, 2005 in Dance | Permalink | Comments (1)

Spinning the Gospel

Armin van Buuren

Trance music has become a global phenomenon with followers all around the world. If you look at the dazzling tour schedule of trance DJs, you'll find that many of them often hit three different continents in one week to spin their tunes in front of cheering crowds. Trance has indeed become a universal religion and DJs are spinning its gospel.

The Netherlands is the breeding ground for the current generation of popular trance DJs including Tiesto, Ferry Corsten, Sander Kleinenberg and Armin van Buuren. DJ Magazine recently ranked Armin #3 in their annual chart of best DJs. Tiesto was voted number one.

Fans of atmospheric trance should check out Armin van Buuren's latest CD "Universal Religion 2004." The CD is a live recording of Van Buuren's performance at Club Armada in Ibiza this summer. He has put together an excellent collection of recent trance hits that he played during his gig at the party island.  With its climactic beats and mind-altering strings, the CD successfully conveys the sunny and breezy Balearic feel of this island. Amen, Armin.

Sample some tracks from "Universal Religion" by Armin van Buuren

Arjanwrites_audio   Tranquility Bass "Surrender" [MP3]
Arjanwrites_audio   EnMass  "CQ" [MP3]
Arjanwrites_audio   Probspot  "Foreplay" [MP3]

January 20, 2005 in Dance | Permalink | Comments (1)