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Over here in North America, we’re still fighting for equal rights. Marriage, partner benefits, etc., but over on the other side of the world, our queer brothers and sisters are fighting for their lives. Every two years the UN revisits a resolution condemning executions based on a list of criteria. In 2008 that resolution included sexual preference. You can thank the Moroccan and Malian governments for getting it removed from the 2010 version.

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Meet Bearforce 1

In: Topher, Totally GAY!

I was at a house party the other night chatting away with some local Dutchies, when one of them commented on my recently furry face. My beard is getting pretty big, and I’m always being asked if I’ve turned into a bear (short answer ‘no’, long answer ‘grrrrrrr’). One of guys I was chatting with asked me if I have heard of Bearforce 1; An all bear boy band from, guess where? The Netherlands bitches!

I guess this is sort of complimentary to Patrick’s “Twink” inspired song article. Meet Bearforce 1. Four grizzly capital-M, Men. Although no longer together, their YouTube channel has many videos to entertain you. My favorite is their most famous self-titled song “Bear Force 1“.

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Girl Talk, 29 year old DJ Gregg Gillis has just released his latest ADD sample mosaic record. Titled “All Day”, GT’s 5th full length album is available for free download from his label’s website: Click here. You can get it in two different flavors: separated into 6 minute bite sized chucks, or collected in one long MP3.

I’ve given the whole thing a listen and I have mixed feelings. Gillis is giving his fans more of what they want, Hip-Hop vocals over 90s alt-rock rifs, 80s ballads mixed with top 40 hits. All your favorite radio friendly celebrities are there, Rihanna, Beyonce, Missy, Miley, L’il Wayne, Drake, and if you listen carefully you may even hear some Willow Smith. Yeah, these tracks are recent.

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Jimmy Eat World / Minus The Bear Show Review

In: Music, Topher

The things I put up with to see good music. Wednesday night, one of my favorite bands of all time, who I consider to be severely underrated, came to Melkweg in Amsterdam: Minus the Bear. Unfortunately, they were the opening band for Jimmy Eat World. As this isn’t 2001 that didn’t really boost my interest in the night.

Some back story. Minus the Bear has been playing out of Seattle since the early 00s, evolving out of groundbreaking hardcore bands Botch, and Kill Sadie. Their earlier albums had more of an element of humor in the song and album titles including “Bands like when you yell ‘Yarr!’ at them”, “Hey, Wanna Throw Up? Get Me Naked” and “Thanks For The Killer Game Of Crisco® Twister”. These titles are sort of ironic, as they don’t prepare you for the intricate guitar work, and meaningful lyrics. Later albums are less juvenile in title.

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Orbitz sucks, Edreams sucks, Expedia sucks, Kayak sucks. Introducing the future of internet flight search:!

Besides being cuter than a bag of puppies, Hipmunk is incredibly functional for the average user. (Here’s where I brag again about living in Europe, being able to travel all the time): I’m fed up with the other options for online flight booking. They either leave out the taxes, or present the data in an unreadable manner, or bombard you with ads for crap you’re not looking for. Sometimes I don’t need a hotel, AND a car AND restaurant suggestions, or whatever revenue stream the site has signed up with. Sometimes I know where I’m going, when I want to get there, and I just want to see my best options. That’s why I’m thankful I found Hipmunk.

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Robyn Covers Bjork’s Hyperballad

In: Music, Topher

I came across a video of current successful Swedish pop princess Robyn doing a version of Bjork‘s Hyperballad today. She performed the song with a full orchestra at the Polar Music Prize ceremony. Bjork was one of the recipients of the award, and was sitting right in front of Robyn as she sang.

It’s awful. I hate to say that since I love Bjork and Robyn, but Robyn does not have the chops to belt out such a vocal heavy song such as Hyperballad. I felt a little uncomfortable watching the blonde pixie dressed up as the “president of the Philipines”, struggle with the loud high notes. Bjork didn’t seem to happy either. Look at her expression at 1:42, eeps. I’d be a little peeved if I were her too if someone covered a 15 year old song of mine, considering all the great music I’ve been putting out since then.

I had high hopes for this before I heard it. Robyn has some great emotional songs, and it would seem like she could really give a powerful performance of the song, but she doesn’t put any life into it. When I saw Bjork perform this at Sasquatch back in 2007 it was one of the most thrilling live performances I’ve ever seen.

Listen to the song after the jump…

Gay Games 2010 Cologne: Overview

In: Sports & Health, Topher, Totally GAY!

I’m back from a two week vacation that started off at the Gay Games in Cologne and ended up in Spain. I’ll save the Spain adventures for another post, and give you some info on how the Gay Games went.

I went to attend as a soccer player for one of the teams that Seattle sent. Seattle sent two teams, both placed in the second division. There were two divisions, with the first division being the more competitive.

The soccer events were some of the most attended. There were 28 teams in Div 2, and I think something like 20 in Div 1. That’s a lot of people. I wouldn’t want to be the one in charge of organizing something like that (and thank god that I’m living in Amsterdam for the 2011 Continental Out Games that will be held in Vancouver, or else I might have had a hand in the planning for that). Recognizing that soccer was a huge event, I do have some complaints. For one, we played way too many games in too short a time. 7 games, in 6 days. And we were supposed to play 8. We didn’t have much of a break, and my knees definitely felt it after.

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Gay Games 2010: Cologne Opening Ceremonies

In: Sports & Health, Topher

Let the summer begin. I am fortunately able to take the entire month of August off, and I plan to fit as much fun into it as possible. First stop, the Cologne 2010 Gay Games.

The Gay Games is an event held every four years, gathering together gay, straight, trans, lesbian, and bi athletes from all over the globe. I went to the 2006 Out Games in Montreal, and it was one of the best times of my life. I feel so lucky to be able to attend another one of these.

I got into Cologne (or Koln, to the locals) early this afternoon. Luckily it’s just a three hour train ride from my home in Amsterdam. I’m down here playing soccer with a team from Seattle, and will be staying for a week.

I just got back from the Opening Ceremonies, and I have a few thoughts, that I will separate in to two different sections.

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