Thursday, November 30, 2017

LOVELIST | November...

Despite his family's baffling generations-old ban on music, Miguel dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz. Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead where he sets off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind his family history.  Coco is rich and visually stunning; and like most Pixar flicks, in my book-- Perfection.  I'm not saying you'll cry or anything- but you will.
Your reigning Season 9 drag super-star winner made her second, this time headlining, pit-stop in Salt Lake City a few weeks ago.  Literally giving me life and leaving me dead at the same time.  I've seen many a queen from Drag Race perform here, but dare I say, Ms. Velour might just have put on my favorite show yet.  She commanded that stage, and the audience ate it up. You can easily see why she snatched that crown.  Bow down to your queen betches.
Touko Laaksonen returns home after a harrowing and heroic experience serving his country in World War II, but life in Finland proves equally distressing. He finds Helsinki rampant with persecution of the homosexual and men around him even being pressured to marry women and have children. He finds refuge in his liberating art- free of inhibitions. His work became the emblem of a generation of men and fanned the flames of a gay revolution.  Tom of Finland has always been an iconic inspiration of mine and I was beyond thrilled that this small important independent foreign film made it's way to Salt Lake City.   
When we learned a couple months ago that Sia would be gifting a new holiday album for Crimmus, I knew it would find it's way on this list.  And I was right.  Every day is Christmas has pretty much playing every day since release.  Thank you for the perfect present Sia.  Some Favorite Tracks Include: Ho Ho Ho, Puppies are Forever, Every Day is Christmas and Santa's Coming For Us.    
It's UNHhhh-mazing that these two funny Season 7 Ru Girls took their popular web series all the way to cable with their new hilarious TV show on Viceland: The Trixie and Katya Show Honnnney!  YAS!
Sia wasn't the only pop star jingling my playlist this season.  Every one's top Hollaback Girl dropped a new festive holiday album this month and it too was also getting plenty of love.  Favorite Tracks Include:  Christmas Eve, Under the Christmas LightsJingle Bells, and You Make It Feel Like Christmas.

What? Yet another holly jolly-holiday musical offering?!  You betta believe it.  DJ Kaskade gave us his remix twist while you deck those halls and trim that tree.  Favorite Tracks Include: Christmas Is Here, Deck The Halls, Winter Wonderland and This Christmas Night.
The search is on of our next drag super monster!  Drag!  Filth!  Horror!  Glamour!  The Boulet Brothers are back for a creepy kooky gag-worthy fabulous sophomore season of their hit web-series competition Dragula.  
Netflix recommended this travel series for me, and boy does Netflix know me well.  Come for the host. Stay for the host.  And as added bonus, enjoy discovering South Africa's Food, Booze and Tattoos But that host... Thanks again Netflix!
So I learned of Derrick Barry's Salt Lake visit the night-before-her-gig(!)  She was performing at the Moose Lounge, which I quickly realized will never earn a spot on this List.  From the annoying DJ (AIR-HORN!!!) to the small stage and the crowd, I literally hated everything about it.  But being the trooper, Britney's drag doppelganger put on a entertaining Ms. Spears greatest hits performance. And I wasn't mad at that. Next time just go to Metro though, K?  
After waiting an entire year for Stranger Things 2, it's time to head back to 1984 as we dig deeper into the mysterious goings on underneath the surface in Hawkins, Indiana. 
 TLC's heart-tugger of a series Long Lost Family is back for another season of moving reunions.  Reunited and it feels so good.  Just have your Kleenex ready. 
I guess I have to officially have to come out as a Taylor Swift fan now, don't I?  Does that ruin my reputation?  Who would have ever thought...   Favorite Tracks Include:  Look What You Made Me Do, Gorgeous, ...Ready For It and Don't Blame Me.
In yet another sign that Salt Lake is growin' up fast to a fancy real big city, we now have a swanky groovy smooth jazz club in the heart of downtown.  Be sure to check out Avant Groove if you're in the area.  
Mothers Behaving Badly Part 2: Holiday Edition 

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

LOVELIST | October...

Sometimes you just really need to get away, and when my friend Andy proposed a weekend getaway to Los Angeles, I took him up on the offer.  Between the fierce Hamburger Mary's Drag Brunch in WeHo, to 'Pawnee' City Hall visit, and of course the top pre-Halloween gear party of the year; I really had the best time in sizzling hot SoCal. So much so, thanks to a broke down shuttle bus and LA's nightmare rush-hour traffic, I got to stay another night(!)  Still California dreamin'.
The week I got back from California, I figured one October getaway just wasn't enough for me- and a road trip to Idaho was in the cards.  With friends Greg, Jeff and Adam, we headed to Lava Hot Springs; location of most of my childhood family vacations.  We had a great time at our adorable cabin, taking a dip in the toasty pools and soaking up the crazy rural nightlife.  
Black Mirror is kind of a dark modern Twilight Zone series, and most episodes paint a bleak picture of the not to distant future. However, the Emmy award winning episode from their third season titled San Junipero is one of the very best things I've watched (and re-watched) this entire year.  And yes, based on my experience, have some Kleenex handy!  (Bonus: The amazing 80's inspired soundtrack!)
Why ya'll acting brand new!? She didn't come to Salt Lake to play.. she came to slay.  And that's just what she did when the season 9 finalist took the stage at the Metro Music Hall a few weeks ago.  Yas Queen!
If you love Amy Sedaris like I love Amy Sedaris, well then you will LOVE her new wacky and wonderful TruTV series At Home with Amy SedarisShe cordially invites you into her home for all the crafting, cooking and hospitality tips you could ever want, need and never dream of.    
Contender for my favorite New Album of the Year, St. Vincent dropped her fifth album Masseduction.  There was a lot of new music to enjoy this month (as you'll see below) but I think St. Vincent got the most love (and plays.)  Favorite Tracks IncludeSugar Boy, Pills, Los Ageless, Young Lover and New York.
Blade Runner 2049 takes place thirty years after the events of the first film, where a new blade runner, LAPD Officer K, unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what's left of society into chaos. K's discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard, a former LAPD blade runner who has been missing for three decades.
My girl Pink (Can we just officially drop the ! now?) gave us the gift of new music this month.  Her seventh album Beautiful Trauma dropped a few weeks ago.  I just love her so much. #GirlCrush for sure!  Favorite Tracks IncludeSecrets, Beautiful Trauma, What About Us and Better Life
In the hilarious dirty animated Netflix original series Big Mouth, teenage friends find their lives upended by the wonders and horrors of puberty.  Bubbble baah-ths loving Mya Rudolph as the Hormone Monstress is my absolute favorite!  Laugh, blush and learn something at the same time. 
While in Los Angeles my friend Andy introduced me to electronic music duo ODESZA.  It kind of provided the soundtrack for my California getaway.  Favorite Tracks Include:  A Moment Apart, Higher Ground, Late Night and Line of Sight.
Beck also dropped a new album this month!  In fact, his thirteenth studio album(!)   After listening to the first song, I was sold.  Favorite Tracks Include:  Colors, I'm So Free, Dear Life and Seventh Heaven
In the stylish and thrilling Baby Driver, a talented, young getaway driver relies on the beat of his personal soundtrack to be the best in the game. But after being coerced into working for a crime boss (Kevin Spacey), he must face the music when a doomed heist threatens his life, love and freedom.
Some of my favorite sitcoms were back with new seasons this month.  Last Man On Earth, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Black-ish and Schitts Creek all brought the laughs for my Must See Fall TV!
My friend Josh introduced me to electronic band Night Club while on our way to go see Shea. (Shout out to #4!) From the first sampling, I knew I was a fan.  Favorite Tracks Include:  Freak Like Me, Psychosuperlover, Dangerous Heart and Pray.
It's October, and on Food Network that can only mean one thing. Teams of talented decorators, pumpkin carvers, and candy makers go to war in the original trick-or-treat yearly series Halloween Wars!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

LOVELIST | September...

Season Four, and three and two and one...  After waiting far too long, my beloved Broads Abbi and Ilana are finally back and I could not be more excited! 
Dolly, Annie, Hedwig, Hello! Dolly, Jason Cosmo and more! Damn this city is alive and well with performance art that will leave you highly entertained with a huge grin on your face. Great job Jeremiah on your DIVAS debut performance.  I'll be back more. Have the mimosas on the ready! 
Second time camping this year... with these awesome fellas? Sign me up!  Great time with great friends out in the middle of nowhere.  
So Forkin' Happy to head back to The Good Place, er The Bad Place for Season 2.  
'In the Netflix original Gaga: Five Foot Two, Mother Monster offers a vulnerable look of her life during one of the most pivotal periods in her career yet. The documentary gives viewers unfiltered, behind-the-scenes access as she spends time with close friends and family members, records and releases her 2016 album Joanne and deals with personal struggles, including coping with intense emotional and physical pain. It's a compelling portrait captures Lady Gaga's triumphs- and how, in just a few years, the 5-foot-2 performer has become such a relatable and beloved figure worldwide.' -RT
Who would have ever thought that Will, Grace, Karen and Just Jack would be back with new original content some 11 years later.  And I could not be more excited.  Plus feeling old-school retro nostalgic?  Hulu has all of the OG episode available for streaming too, which I have been enjoying as well!  
I've lived a few blocks from this restaurant for years and finally got an opportunity to check it out, and I was not disappointed.  If you're in SLC be sure to check Sapa out!  
Based on the real-life courtship, the funny, heart-felt and intelligent The Big Sick tells the story of Pakistan-born aspiring comedian Kumail, who connects with grad student Emily after one of his standup sets. What they thought would be just a one-night stand blossoms into the real thing; complicated by his traditional Muslim parents. When she is beset with a mystery illness, it forces Kumail to navigate the medical crisis with her parents. -RT  One of my favorite movies of the year.
Hot topics. Hotter wings. Whoever turned me on to this spicy entertaining web series, Thank You!  Now pass the glass of cool refreshing milk!  Watch them HERE.
Weird holes... Meh.  Bees... Next.  Creepy Clowns...  Sigh.  Trump..... This might be the scariest season of American Horror Story yet!  
It's official. I'm a fan of the artist formerly known as Hannah Montana and daughter of Billy Ray.  Favorite Tracks Include:  Love Someone, Malibu, Rainbowland and Younger Now.
Damn you Hulu. Whether the International, Renovation or Original House Hunters, this new batch of binge worthy HGTV episodes made for the perfect batch of background time filler this month. 
It was Alex's third annual Autumn visit to Sal Tlay Ka Siti and it couldn't have been more fun exploring old and new places, hot tubbin' and good friend'n.  Can't wait for next year's Utah pilgrimage! 
 Hey, hey, hey you wanna meet the triple A's What does triple A stand for anyway? A is for Alaska Can't you talk any faster? The next A is for Act Representing Aussie and that's a fact Willam is an A with no extra i Wanna see what's going on between these thighs?  Three of Ru's biggest stars were heavy in rotation this month with their recent album The AAA Girls.  Werq!  Favorite Tracks Include:  Meet & Greet, AAA, Pride or Die, and Tuck Tape. 
It's probably the most controversial movie in ages... with the general public giving it an F.  The movie, I will say, stays with you. And I couldn't stop thinking about it. mother! is all about symbolism and metaphors, and the more I racked my brain the more I enjoyed it.  There are no ifs ands or buts you either loathe or love this Jennifer Lawrence art piece, and at the end of the day I think I land on the later. 

Thursday, August 31, 2017

LOVELIST | August...

After years of patiently waiting, I finally got to say Heeelllllllllooooo to the touring The Book of Mormon musical when it came home to this perfect, happy place-- Sal Tlay Ka Siti.  We left Eccles Theater with tears in our eyes and our sides hurting from uncontrollable laughter (I'm sure there was probably a little tinkle as well). Even better, it was extra special seeing it amongst the hometown crowd who was in on all the jokes.  Best Broadway show I've ever seen. I Believe!         
Calling to the runway, run-way, ruh-ruh-run-runway: Alexis Michelle, Farrah Moan, Trinity The Tuck Taylor, Kimora Blac, Shea CouleĆ©, Nina Bonina Brown and season 9 winnah Sasha Velour.  It's a War on the Catwalk and my #dragbro Josh and I could not have been left more gagged.  Yaaaas Queens!
In the stylistic beautifully shot action-thriller Atomic Blonde, a sexy bad-ass undercover MI6 agent is sent to Berlin during the Cold War to investigate the murder of a fellow agent and recover a missing list of double agents.  So, Charlize Theron has always been my favorite, but this flick cements my girl-crush on her now more than ever.  And the perfect 80's throwback soundtrack only adds to my love of this movie. Easily one of my favorite of the year.
Destination: Hades Campground in the beautiful Ashley National Forest.  It was so nice getting back out to nature for the first time this year with some of my favorite people.  It's amazing all this exists in my all around me. Next Summer I'll take better advantage of that perk.    
'Set to the all-new sonic backdrop of Awesome Mixtape #2, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues the team's adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mystery of Peter Quill's true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes' aid as the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to expand.' -RT
I pretty much cried through every episode of my Long Lost Family binge, where people search for long lost relatives.  Being adopted it really hit close to home. It's a beautiful moving series, just have plenty of Kleenex handy!
Skateboarder Rick McCrank explores Abandoned places with the people who love them long after the lights have gone out in this fascinating Viceland series.  
Last month I was Love Listing the new singles that Kesha was dropping in preparation of her new album Rainbow's release.  Once it finally came out this month, it only confirmed why I'm Team Kesha. You go Girl. Rock on!  Additional Favorite Tracks Include:  Rainbow, Hunt You Down, Boots and Let 'Em Talk.
 Hey Billy and Julie, why ya gotta be so Difficult?!   
Bring on Season 3! 
Tina Fey, how I love you girl and everything you ever do. So it should come to no surprise that your recent Weekend Update pop-in left me cheering; A blistering take down of the recent terrorist attack in Charlottesville, with a mouth full of dessert.  I raise my fork and say Amen- now pass that sheet cake!  
If you would have told me years ago that I would include Taylor Swift anywhere near my Love List, I would have called you crazy and probably slapped you across the face (for dramatic effect.)  But Taylor, look what you made me do!  Sorry, that was the old Anti-T. Swift Casey, he can't come to the phone right now, why, because he's dead.  There's just something I just love about this catchy song and companion music video. I'm looking forward to what else her upcoming Reputation has to offer.  
Watch it HERE.   
I love it when friends come to/through and visit Sal Tlay Ka Siti.  My buddy Kenji was in town for a wedding this month, and I got a couple days to play host and hang. It was fun showing off where I call home and spending quality time with an awesome guy.  So who do I get to lay out the welcome mat for next? 
Project Runway just started off it's 16th Season and MTV's The Challenge kicked off it's Dirty 30th, and I've been tuning in since the beginning for each go-'round.  I wonder if will ever quit these guilty reality pleasures, so far the outlook doesn't look very likely.