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Artist to Watch: VV Brown

In: Alex, Music

One of the perks of living in LA (aside form the ability to constantly work on my tan) is the exposure to up and coming artists.  Last week I was fortunate enough to catch a show by one such artist.  Her name, VV Brown – write it down because I bet you’ll start hearing/seeing it a lot more.

I was first introduced to VV last month by a friend and I fell in love with her song “Shark in the Water” instantly.  It’s catchy, upbeat and energetic.  Totally a song to put on in any mood and it’ll have you singing along and tapping your feet, possibly clapping (I’ve perfected this in my car in between shifting and holding the steering wheel).  Anyway, Donovan was able to score a couple tickets to her show at the Troubadour in West Hollywood so I grabbed my new neighbor Seth, (I have neighbor-friends for the first time ever, love this) and we hit up the concert.  It. Was. Ah-maz-ing.

One of the biggest things I loved about her show was that she actually started on time, which is rare, but much appreciated.  Right from the get-go VV brought the energy and maintained it the whole show.  She was dressed in this weird cream/linen dress thing that had a huge gold belted midsection, I dunno what to call it, but it was very indie/simple, but cute.  She had me a little worried with her orange eye mask that was painted on her face.  A little reminiscent of Ke$ha’s glow in the dark eye band, but VV wasn’t a bumbling fool so I didn’t mind much.  Oh, and she had her signature rolled bangs.  I want them.

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During my recent trip to Los Angeles, Alex and I had the privilege to attend the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center’s annual fundraiser “An Evening With Women“. Known for years as the premiere event for lesbians, bisexual women and their supporters in Los Angeles. The event keeps getting bigger and bigger as each year passes. Songwriter/producer Linda Perry, one of the event chairs, commented to us, that there was four times more press this year than last.

Like last year, we scored a spot on the red carpet and had an amazing opportunity to a few of the celebrities on hand to support this cause. The 2010 “An Evening with Women” gala was hosted by the stunning Gina Gershon (Sharon Stone did the honors last year) and featured Academy Award winning actress Renee Zellweger and comedian Sarah Silverman.

In addition to those aforementioned, Pink, Carey Hart, AnnaLynne McCord (90210), Devon Aoki (2 Fast 2 Furious), Clementine Ford (The L Word), Brent Bolthouse (The Hills and event co-chair), Kat Von D (LA Ink), music legends Heart and a multitude of other celebrities attended the event.

watch our red carpet footage from this years An Evening with Women after the jump

Exactly two months ago I made the leap and moved to SoCal to start a new life.  It’s been a journey for sure, with unexpected expenses, missing friends/family, work woes and (mostly) highs and a little bit of a challenge meeting new people.  But for the most part, I love it here.  A couple weekends ago I went “home” (to Seattle) for my birthday and while I was ecstatic to see friends and family, I left feeling a little underwhelmed by the city.  I was expecting to show up and feel a huge rush of emotions ranging from “why did I leave my life?!” to “I miss the green landscape and the blue water and rain and clouds, I wanna come back!”  While I do miss my friends and family immensely and have always loved the NW weather, when I returned to LA I realized that this is now home.  I was comfortable here and the hustle and bustle of West Hollywood was familiar and strangely calming.  Definitely a  bit of a shock that I had mentally made the transition already.

Maybe this feels like home quicker than I thought because I didn’t really have a ‘normal’ place to stay in Sea (like my mom’s house or my own bedroom) and maybe when summer arrives I’ll really start feeling the homesick bug, but for the time being, I am completely happy with my new surroundings.  It’s sunny, the men are mostly beautiful (just need to meet a few… more…), there is no shortage of activities and the potential for career growth here is great.  I’m not sure how quickly I’ll want to move away from here, so now the challenge is to convince all my friend to move down :).  I’ve already got a couple in the works.

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iPad: Love It or Leave It?

In: Alex, Gadgets & Tech

LOVE IT!  Did you think I’d say otherwise?  I mean, besides the fact that it’s a fancy piece of glass, it’s also AMAZING.  I was fortunate enough to get an iPad through work a couple weeks ago and have had a hard time putting it down ever since.  I even tried touching the screen on my notebook to access a web page and then I remembered there was  keyboard right in front of me and that the notebook didn’t have a touch screen.  between my iPhone and iPad, I’m going to start thinking life is operated by touch.  Oh, wait…

I currently have the 32G wi-fi only iPad and before everyone throws their hands up and says it’s not worth it to have an iPad without 3G, consider that most of our time is spent indoors near a wi-fi signal.  That said, for those times where 3G would be nice, (at the beach, park, where wi-fi is spotty) I could justify the $600+ price tag.  But, I digress.  So far my iPad has been awesome.  I took it on a Virgin flight to Seattle a couple weekends ago and while the internet there was spotty, i was able to download an app and check email in the air – which was awesome.  I also read the GQ magazine I had downloaded earlier in the day, caught up on Facebook updates via Safari and even flipped through some old pictures in my photo gallery (the animation in there is so so cool).

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Music Video: Why Don’t You Love Me?

In: Alex, Videos

I’m fighting the urge to just type “OMGEEE” a million times over after having just watched Beyonce’s video for “Why Don’t You Love Me.” Actually, the vid is on repeat as I type this. Homegirl has gone and dropped this hot, hot video and I will be attempting to recreate it, even if it’s just in my living room. I’ve been a Beyonce fan since the Destiny’s Child days (first song I remember hearing was “No, No, No” in PE class in 6th grade) and she has yet to fail in my eyes. Since breaking out on her own she has continued to impress, bring her all to the table (and then some) and oozes a sultry sex appeal, while keeping it classy. My love (and sometimes desire to be her) grows with each new music vid.

This video is seriously amazing, from the 40’s/50’s housewife/pinup look to the actual camera used, she can and did no wrong. Favorite parts:

  • Everything
  • Bedroom scene with the tears/smudged eyeliner (reminds me of Julianne Moore in “A Single Man”)
  • All the different hair styles
  • 1:58 mark when she’s twisting back and forth
  • Dancing in the ‘stars’
  • Did I mention Everything?

Y’all look for yourselves below. I’m kind of bummed that she’s taking a break from music for a bit, but she has been workin’ her tail off for a while now, so she definitely deserves some time with her HOVA.  But for this latest video; kudos B, kudos.

Watch the video after the jump…

This… Is Uh-merican Idol: A Live Account

In: Alex, TV Shows

That’s exactly how Ryan Seacrest says it.  And how would I know?  Because I got to go to the live tapping this evening!

Quick backstory:  my friend Stephen is in town from Alabama and had planned on visiting me, but because of my stupendous work schedule (I haven’t had a day off in 11 days and I’ve been getting off work no earlier than 11pm) I haven’t been able to hang out with him save for a few night’s when I’ve met up with him at the bars.  Luckily he’s resourceful and was still able to have a good time sans me.  So today, I end up getting off work fairly early and we have a chance to hang out, and this is where our story begins…

Since we both are kind of tourists in LA (I’ve only been here a month and he’s only been here a few times before) we decide to go to The Grove – outdoor shopping mall – to kill some time and walk around in the sun.  Stephen asks me what makes The Grove so special and I tell him that it’s just a different take on a mall and that if anything there’s a good chance we’ll run into a celeb.  Not 10 minutes later we’re in front of the Avatar Maker (a camera/computer set up that takes your pic and turns you into an Avatar – it was awesome) and Tyce Diorio from SYTYCD walks up and takes interest in the Avatar maker.  Since Stephen has no shame, he asks Tyce if a quick pic is cool and Tyce obliges, same for me.  After we get our Avatar pics taken and are all giddy with excitement a lady comes up to us and says “do you like American Idol?”  Stephen and I both tell her yes and she says “cool, well we have extra VIP tickets to tonight’s tapping, want to go?”  We almost sucked the air out of LA with the gay gasp we both did.  Once we regained composure and finished gushing, we got the directions and headed over to CBS studios to watch the live tapping of American Idol: Idol Gives Back.  It was AH-MAZ-ING.

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Behind The Cast: Gender Identity

In: Alex, Behind The Cast, Totally GAY!

This will be  quick post because I haven’t done much research on this topic, but I find it really interesting. Watching Oprah right now and she is revisiting past guests and one of her guests is a transgender man (F to M).  Background: girl felt that she was meant to be a boy her whole life and told her mom this when she was 7.  A few years later she began the transition and Julia turned into Jake. Jake now has a boyfriend – although in the beginning he wasn’t necessarily attracted to men, he said that he wanted to be a husband and a father – and is happy with how his life is.  At age 15 Jake had a mastectomy, however now at age 19 he still hasn’t had a gender reassignment surgery and as female genitalia.  Jake’s and his boyfriend have intercourse and his boyfriend, who is gay, is completely fine with Jake and everything that he has, or doesn’t have.  Say what?!

You may be asking yourself, “OK Alex, where is the Behind the Cast in all of this?”  Well, I’m not going to be transitioning into a woman anytime soon if that’s what you’re thinking, but I will say how interesting I find gender identity, so this BTC is just to express my interest in this topic. While I am gay and have known this my whole life, (but didn’t truly realize/admit it until I was 18) I never once wanted to be a girl or thought that I was meant to be something other than what my physical body was. I think sometimes people assume that because one is gay or lesbian they automatically understand everything “queer,” but this isn’t the case. I still find some things hard to grasp in the GLBT community and often find myself staring at people or situations out of pure curiosity, not because I think someone is a ‘freak show’, but because I’m just trying to understand why.

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This is the first time in three weeks that I’ve been able to sit down and not feel like the world was spinning four times faster than normal while I sat in the corner stuffing Oreo’s into my mouth and watched.  One of my five “Best Life” challenges this year was to work on my career.  After standing in the unemployment line for a little over 8 months, I promised myself that I would get back on a career track so that I could be the successful person that I want to be.  Well, I approached the tracks and hopped on that train and woke up in LA.  OK, it was a little more labored than that…

In November, my recruiter approached me with an opportunity to work for an advertising agency in Los Angeles.  I was hesitant at first, but after thinking about it, decided it wouldn’t hurt to take a stab at a position out of state since nothing was coming to fruition in The Pacific Northwest.  I’ve always wanted to live in LA, but never wanted to move on a whim, so when this opportunity presented itself and I found out who the client was (hint: it’s a very famous fruit) I jumped.  Three months later and two “I’m sorry, but the position has been filled’s” I got call to come down for an interview.  I met with seven people at the agency including the president and left feeling really good about things.  Then I found out (for the third time) that the position wasn’t going to work out – this time because of budgetary issues.

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