Monday, August 29, 2005

Junction Confunktion

Well, folks, I made it through yet another Sunset Junction Street Festival here in good ol' L.A. For those of you who don't know what Sunset Junction is, it's the annual street fair organized by Michael McKinley (one of the original organizers of the first March on Washington in 1979 for gay and lesbian rights). McKinley's grand plan when creating the Junction was to bridge the gap between gay and straight, black and white, Latino and Asian, cat and dog--and bring them all together for one great weekend of fun, funk, and frolic. I've attended the Junction for the past several years, and I always have a great time, and this year was certainly no exception. (You can read my overview of the Junction by clicking here if you'd like.)

From the drag queens sashaying down the street in their sequins and high heels and punk rock studs with their multiple tattoos and piercings to the chaps-wearing leather daddies walking alongside stroller-pushing mommies, the Sunset Junction Street Fest is one of the few places where you can see diversity really at work. Gay couples can kiss in the street and no one bats an eye. Goth-looking teens with safety pins through their nosese can sulk all they want and people let them be. It's like a haven for "freakish" behavior, except that the cool thing is that mostly everyone realizes that no one who attends the event is really a freak. We're all just a bunch of people who really want to get along.

I actually didn't attend the festival on Saturday, when cool bands like Rilo Kiley, The Walkmen and John Cale played (I was frankly too tired from running a bunch of errands all day long Saturday), but I did make it over to the Gauntlet II later that night, where the bar was hosting a Sunset Junctin after-party featuring The Gay Gays, the world's only all-male, all-gay Go Gos cover band featuring Pansy Division's Chris Freeman and former Best Revenge drummer (and stud of my wet dreams) Belito Peligro. But wait--get this--there was a very special suprise guest in the audience that night. Jane Wiedlin, one of the original Go Gos herself, had heard that the boys were going to be playing at the GII, so she showed up to show her support!

But that's not even the coolest part. Jane totally threw the guys for a loop when she jumped up onstage with them and accompanied them on several tracks, including "Vacation" and "Head Over Heels." The whole bar erupted into squeals of delight as Jane jammed away alongside Chris (and I drooled as Belito sweat through his boxer shorts while banging away on those drums). It was a pretty awesome night, and I have to say, it was really cool to see these guys who I admire so happy.

Now on Sunday, my friend Mike and I eventually did end up heading over to the Junction, which was in full swing by the time we got there. Mike soon ditched me so that he could head over to the Latino bar (he sure does love his "dark meat," as he likes to say), and I met up with an old friend Al, who I hung out with while we both ate some delicious Hawaiian barbeque with pineapple over rice. Yum. (There's nothing like street festival food, I have to say.)

Of course, one of the greatest things about a street fair in the summertime is the array of hot men just out and about on the streets being their hot selves for the likes of me to drool over. I mean, there are hot men EVERYWHERE. It's like a plague of Studlyism or something, and sometimes, I must admit, it can get a little out of hand. They stand in pockets of hotness, soaking up the sun while they compliment each other on their bodies and secretly plan their little orgies for later that night, and sometimes, just sometimes, I wish I could be part of that world, but I guess I'm happier in mine, where such things aren't so important to me. I guess that us average-looking dudes have it somewhat harder in some ways, but hey, at least I know that when someone takes an interest in me, it's usually because they like me for who I am on the inside, not what I look like on the outside.

Anyway, I eventually made my way up to the South Stage to check out Jody Watley, who I'd interviewed for IN Los Angeles magazine as part of my coverage of the event. (You can check out that interview, by the way, by clicking here.) As we waited, I met this pretty hot couple of guys who were standing next to me, and I got to talking to them. I couldn't tell if they were interested in anything more than just chat, but I did get a certain vibe from them that wasn't altogether unpleasant. Still, they eventually went off to get some more beer, and I stuck around to see Jody perform.

And perform she did. Ms. Watley is definitely "still a thrill," and she performed a very smooth, very entertaining set of songs that included her hits "Still a Thrill," "Some Kind of Lover," "Real Love," a funkified version of "Don't You Want Me" and, of course, "Lookin' for a New Love." As I watched her from the side of the stage (they wouldn't let me back so I could get my picture taken with her, the bastards!), I couldn't help but think that--if she could only find the right material and get the right handlers--Ms. Watley could become a fierce pop diva again, one to rival that of Ms. Diana Ross, 'cuz Jody was sure workin' the Diana vibe up there on stage, what with the sexy Afro and her sexy grooves and assured vocal delivery.

Anyway, after Jody was done, it took over an hour for Chaka Kahn to get her big butt out on stage, and she wouldn't even let photographers use long-lensed cameras to take pictures of her. Kahn still sounded good (she opened her set with a disappointingly abridged version of "I Feel for You"), but there was something missing from her performance, and I only stuck around for a couple of songs before I met back up with Mike and we headed on over to MJ's, where there was another after-party with--ta da!--The Gay Gays on the roster.

This time, though, the Gay Gays had an opening act, the rock metal band Speed Queen, which consists of my pals Clint Yeager (who is profiled in the Homocore book), Marcus Cain (formerly of IamLoved, also profiled in the book) and Saul Acuna (also of IamLoved). Clint was one of the first guys I was attracted to when I moved to L.A. four years ago, and he remains one of Silver Lake's sexiest dudes--especially when he's onstage tearing into one of his band's songs. Speed Queen's set last night was fantastic, and I can't wait to hear their full-length album when it finally comes out!

After that, it was on home to get into bed and prepare for another work week. I can't say that my Sunset Junction weekend was quite as festive as I had hoped it would be (I really did want to meet Chaka Kahn and Jody Watley and get my picture taken with them to share here on the blog), but I did get to enjoy a lot of great food, music and men, so hey, I guess it wasn't all bad, was it?

Anyway, hope you're enjoying the blog, and keep checkin' back. More to come soon!

Hollywood Ken


At 12:14 PM, Blogger Yogchick said...

You are so cute and sweet! Especially when you talk about wondering what it would be like to be part of all that studlyness and then deciding that you like yourself just the way you are and all that. You have a refreshing vulnerable honesty that most people lost before the age of 26 and I like that. Keep up the good work.


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