Slagging Off Cheryl Cole, Idyllic Devon and Backless Pants...



Dylan is back in the smoke after his hiatus in Devon and so we've managed to record the 7th episode of Dylan and Jack! Having been apart for three months there was a lot to catch up on...


I'm off on a gay road trip this afternoon, heading to Sitges via bits of France and Italy. So see you in a few weeks! J xx

@jackcullenuk

Ladies With Latitude

(A rushed July update)


Woo. Just got back from Latitude festival in Suffolk where I was working on Jonny Woo's new show (TRANS)former, a high voltage spectacle born out of the Lou Reed songbook. Jonny and his crew absolutely smashed it, the Little House venue (which is actually a large barn) was packed out and the crowd went wild.

I went to the festival with GT's music editor Bob Chicalors, and we decided to make a little holiday of it, camping all four nights. We dragged up of course each night, because why not, and because nothing beats storming around Suffolk in the dark snogging out-of-it public school boys, right?

On the Friday night I channeled a drunk jogging mum, with no-sense-of-direction as a conceptual accessory:


I thought that was a pretty hot look, and on a Primark / Sports Direct budget too. Except for the jock strap which was off Amazon.

On Sunday night I went for a lazy dress-down day as you can see below, a waterproof Courtney Love exterior with a soft porn rugby interior:


What can I say. We were camping next to the spoken word superstar Zia Ahmed, which was kinda cool. We bought him a £5 dress off a festival stall and he wore it out with us one night!

My festival highlights were Lily Allen, Robyn and of course CHRISTEENE, the Texan "terrorist drag" queen that everyone is talking about and who is gracing the homepage of VICE right now. Here we are together:


If you don't know her yet then give her a YouTube whirl. "Tears From My Pussy" is a personal fave, as is "African Mayonnaise" -


We're all sad to say goodbye for now to Aaron Manhattan too. He was part of Jonny Woo's (TRANS)former show and he's an absolute delight. Hailing from Australia, he tore up the London gay scene in his few weeks here - appearing alongside Jonny at Glastonbury in Block 9, at Jonny's night KAFTAN, and also on his own at Sink The Pink and East Bloc. As a leaving present I gave Aaron my copy of Ultra Violet's book from my gay library as he's totally into that scene and period and he hadn't come across it before. Here's Aaron:


Can't wait to see him again when he's back. His routine to Grace Jones's Joy Division cover "I've Lost Control" is just fantastic, and comes with its own bubble-wrap gown. Aaron Manhattan is very garbage couture, as he will happily tell you over the course of an hour packed with endless arthouse references, all in his Australian voice too.

What else.

Next week is SUMMER RITES presents "Out On The Dock". Basically a big gay knees up, almost the entire London gay scene is being employed to spin, dance or perform at it. I interviewed 80s celesbian pop star Hazell Dean ahead of it, for Gay Times. It's quite an amusing little interview -

INTERVIEW WITH HAZELL DEAN


Oh Hazell.

I've also been busy working for Paul Foot as always. His new show 'Hovercraft Symphony in Gammon Sharp Major' is currently in its London previews stage and will launch at the Fringe in about ten days.

Paul himself is renting a cottage in Kent where he has been perfecting and learning the show, as well as making some fun little video logs on YouTube using his FootPad. You can watch those on his YouTubular Chandelier.

I'm too hot and sleepy to think of anything else to add to this bizarre little update from me so let's leave it there. Summer road trip in less than two weeks - can't wait!

JC xx @jackcullenuk

P.s. OH YEAH - The podcast is now on Episode 7, due to record at the start of August. You can catch up with episodes 5 and 6 on our SoundCloud page, or find 'Dylan and Jack' on iTunes. A gay underwear label has been in touch to ask about sponsoring the next episode so I'm looking forward to talking about that!

P.p.s. WHO THE FUCK IS SMILEY VYRUS - read that piece!


P.p.s. I saw this cartoon below on the net somewhere and downloaded it but I can't remember where I found it. Any ideas? Tweet me, would love to find out what it was from. Thanks.


xxx

Dylan and Jack Episode 4: Sex, Drugs and Rivendell !




That's right, the fourth episode of my podcast is fresh out! We kick off with an exclusive on a new Lord of the Rings TV series, and then go on to talk about shit jobs in Soho, what it's like working at Dazed & Confused magazine, getting trashed at the gay film festival, and we meet gay electro pop star Christianoshi.

Have a listen here: https://soundcloud.com/dylanandjack/dylan-and-jack-episode-4-sex


We've had some really good feedback on the show so far, and although it could be a coincidence,both Matt Lucas and David Walliams have started following us on Twitter!


LONDON GAY FILM FESTIVAL 2014 



Or "BFI Flare" as its now called! I thought you might like to read this piece I wrote for Gay Times on the 1987 film 'The Lost Boys'. I caught it on the big screen at BFI Flare and learnt some dark secrets behind the film and its cast when doing my research later on that night -

http://www.gaytimes.co.uk/Interact/Blogs-articleid-10171-sectionid-761.html

The other stand out film for me this year was The Last Match, or "La Partida". A gripping tale of two Peruvian lovers whose secret gay life is challenged and torn apart by the increasing pressures of arranged marriage, football trials, gay prostitution and tourism -


Well worth giving it a Google and learning more.

Any other news from me? I can't think right now, it's too sunny. I'm in the process of reading all of Patrick Gale's novels too, ahead of an interview in September which is when the uncorrected proofs of his new novel will be sent out.

Later on this month I'm going on a road trip around Eastern Germany and Poland too, so more about that soon.

Jack -x-


Dylan & Jack: Episode 2 !




https://soundcloud.com/dylanandjack/dylan-jack-episode-2-bad-dates

Episode 2 of our gay London podcast 'Dylan and Jack' went live today. In this episode we discuss scene haunts G-A-Y Late and Escape Bar, we answer a listener's question "What's the best way to end a bad date?", we discuss the business acumen of both Beyonce and Lady Gaga, and then leading on from a dinner party hosted by the author David Plante we talk about bareback sex - and its seemingly increasing popularity within the young gay community.

Also featured are Paris Lees, the drag queen Baga Chipz and part-time pop singer Alexandra Burke. Enjoy!


Guardian Top Comment !




I was chufffed today to receive the Guardian's "Pick" badge on my comment in response to Rebecca Nicholson's article today - "Could all the Russia is gay jokes do more harm than good?"

And 114 thumbs up so far.

I enjoy Rebecca's work at the Guardian. Our paths collided around about this time last year when I wrote my "Top 10 Cliches of Gay Short Films" feature for the Guardian, and it inspired Rebecca to write a lesbian spin-off piece.

Last month for Gay Times I wrote about the homophobic crisis in Russia, by reviewing the documentary "Young & Gay in Putin's Russia" and adding some of my own thoughts. You can read that piece here:

http://www.gaytimes.co.uk/Interact/Blogs-articleid-10004-sectionid-760.html

I've no idea why the article is categorised online under 'GT Music', but I don't suppose it matters too much.



Dylan & Jack : London's brand new LGBT podcast



Here it is! The pilot episode of "Dylan and Jack", a new London-based podcast all about the gay scene and our lives on, in and under the spell of it! This first episode pays homage to a host of familiar London personalities including Kate Moss, Sophie Ellis-Bextor and everyone's favourite toilet attendant Mary from cheap and chic week night haunt G-A-Y Late. Take a listen and enter one of our inane competitions:

https://soundcloud.com/dylanandjack/

Discussing our lives here in London as young journalists, our podcast sets out to expose some of the myths of this glorious city, while also offering heartfelt advice to anyone looking to move here as we ourselves did from the provincial sticks of Devon and Melton Mowbray respectively a few years ago.

For a while now Dylan and I have been talking about doing a podcast together. We both met as writers employed by Gay Times magazine, Britain's original gay magazine. After a bit of a teething period, which is quite normal apparently when two writers with similarities cross paths, we went on to form a strong friendship and sail the London scene together. I tend to write mostly about the internet, sex, art and gay literature. Dylan's writing currently resides more within the realms of gay youth culture, pop music and TV.

After Santa Claus bought me a microphone for Christmas, I decided to take it back to the shop and swap it for a different one that would enable Dylan and I to record a podcast together in a relaxed environment and talk to each other in exactly the same conditions in which we talk to each other most evenings. We decided that 2014 would be the year that we finally, definitely, make the podcast idea happen, recording from the centre of my avant garde gin-infused kitchen. This kitchen has seen several momentous events including Bob Henderson's notorious Ke$ha themed party, trans activist Paris Lees's "Most Influential LGBT Person on Earth" party, and comedian Paul Foot's "Night of Madness".

We'd quite like to host our podcast with a magazine, website or publication that fits our interests and our demographic. So if you're a prospective host or sponsor please do get in touch, either by messaging us on SoundCloud or by tweeting us: on @JackCullenUK or @DylanBJones. Enjoy!


Even though it is our personal belief that gay adolescents should be free to learn about the world at large at a pace that suits them in accordance with their own personal development, "Dylan and Jack" is an Over 18s podcast that should only be listened to by adults.

If you are 16-18 and want to listen to our podcast then seek permission first from a parent or adult guardian who has listened to the podcast first and approved it. The podcast is certainly not suitable for anybody under 16 as it casually covers material of an adult nature.

Albert Wainwright: Discovering the lost sketchbooks of one of Britain's most talented and controversial water-colourists



Today I mentioned my first New Statesman article "Discovering the lost sketchbooks of Albert Wainwright" in a conversation and I realised that I've never actually shared the piece here on my personal blog.

What's more, following on from the piece I am delighted to hear that the Hepworth Gallery in Wakefield have now decided to extend the exhibition due to a little re-surge in attention, and so I am going to write a second piece, a review of the show and some of the new insights it throws on Wainwright.

This short video released by the gallery is brilliant and really demonstrates Wainwright's talent and strength in his chosen field of water colours. The narration by exhibition assistant Holly Grange is splendid too:



You can follow the Hepworth Gallery on Twitter: @HepworthGallery



On the American national anthem... and its queer history.




Today is the anniversary of "The Star-Spangled Banner", the American national anthem (as of 1931) which Francis Scott Key wrote in 1814.

I decided to do a little bit of research into whether the lyricist was gay, not because "star spangled banner" sounds beyond camp and he may as well have called the anthem Vogue, but because, you know, a lot of successful early 19th century lyricists were at least bi.

I found this fascinating little piece written by the American writer Martin Greif (who died in 1996) that links the American national anthem to the pederastic Greek poet Anacreon.


Anacreon and the American National Anthem

By the late Martin Greif

"What does the Greek poet Anacreon have to do with Francis Scott Key? Well, Anacreon's poems (which were largely about boys he diddled, such youths as Smerdus, Leukaspis, Simalus, Euryalus and Bathyllus, to name but a few) had a distinct structure. This poetic structure became known therefore as 'Anacreontics'. 

"Several poets imitated the Anacreontic style when Anacreon's poems were rediscovered by English poets. The popularity of Anacreontics culminated in the popular song "Anacreon in Heaven", and, as every schoolboy should know, the music to the song eventually became the tune for the American national anthem.

"Francis Scott Key's words may have been inspiring in the past, but they're impossible to memorize because archaic. If you doubt this, listen to the mumbles that pass for words whenever the song is sung at a high school graduation. And watch people shifting uneasily from one foot to the other while staring at their shoes.

"The tune itself to 'The Star-Spangled Banner' is positively unsingable. There have been several attempts to convince Congress to seek a new national anthem, but no luck thus far. If you want to accelerate this movement, just let the Moral Majority  know that the anthem has everything to do with some foreign fag who used to dip his dork in little Greek boys just like theirs. That oughta do the job!"

- Martin Greif wrote this little piece in the 1980s. Thirty years later America is still stuck with the same terrible national anthem. Still, at least it's interesting to know that the song has its roots in pederastic ancient Greece.







Ma-vellous



Hungover blog post.

Had a little chat with pig-faced drag sensation Ma Butcher for my Gay Times blog. The 10th anniversary show of Gay Bingo is at Hackney Empire on the 25th of October.

Here's the interview:

Get tickets for Gay Bingo 10th Anniversary here:


FY Magazine: Issue 2 Launch!



The second issue of top-end boy-mad fash mag Fucking Young is out on the shelves!

The theme for this issue is the year 1997. I was ten then, a really absorbent age, and so I was thrilled when the editor Adriano asked me to write an in-depth feature assessing the pop music of that year.

Of course, it was Spice Mania and everyone had their favourite Spice, but it was also Aqua, All Saints, Steps and Hanson. 1997 saw a major image shift for Mariah Carey. There was the death of Notorious B.I.G. It was the first explosion of Daft Punk. And Elton John ruled the charts supreme with his re-dedication of Candle In The Wind to Princess Diana.

My four page feature 'Life In Plastic' analyses these moments while spanning the more obscure chart hits from that year too. Then I look at which block rockin' beats have stood the test of time since 1997, and who's been confined to the back of second-hand Now CDs, all but completely forgotten.

I also reveal who in my opinion the biggest stand out pop star of 1997 is. And it's nobody mentioned in this blog post! Pick up a copy here.


The rest of the magazine is a high quality celebration of the male aesthetic, with a focus on younger male models, and shows off a striking and expansive set of fashion shoots, sexy photos and editorial creativity. Fucking Young is one for the shelf not the coffee table.

My copy arrived today so I've only had time for a quick flick through as yet, but it looks superb!

Thanks again to Adriano for asking me to contribute such a fun feature.


@jackcullenuk