Archive for April, 2008


Jon: Word of the week: Apparently “Louise” really hasn’t got her shit together…


…and I guess Jesus is pissed off about it. I think? Maybe?

Geez Louise!So, on the plane ride home from Las Vegas yesterday, Paul and I were talking about an article that appeared in the Inflight Magazine about something stupid (I don’t even remember what) and I declared “Jeez Louise, this is retarded!”.

I know, I know…. I am such a midwestern lady….

Anyway, it got me wondering. Why do people say this?

Why did I say it?

On the plane, I speculated to Paul that at some point there must have been a lady somewhere named “Louise” who was constantly doing stupid things that pissed people off around her.

Maybe she was a klutz and was breaking things. Or perhaps she lacked social skills and was constantly making offensive statements.  I imagined that this “Louise” must have had some sort of superficial or monetary power over people. Her family and friends  would always wish they could just slap her or simply stop spending time with her, but they had no choice. If they wanted that inheritance (or something), they would just have to stick it out…. So, in order to deal with their frustation over the situation, they would simply mutter “Jeez Louise…” under their breath everytime she annoyed them…

“How exciting!” I thought. “I can’t wait to get home and do some research. This ‘Louise’ person must be absolutely fascinating!”

And then…… I was totally bummed.

I found out that the root of the saying dates back to the early 20’s. The word “Jeez” is just a slang form of “Jesus” that people used in order to not get in trouble for using the lord’s name in vain. And the name Louise was just picked because it rhymed… BORING!


Paul & Jon: We’re Back!

Regular posts will begin tomorrow. In other exciting news, you can now read our blog by typing:



KEEP IT ON THE BROWNLOWE: Purple Rhinestone Eagle…Tragically UnHeard Of

Em Brownlowe




(Portland, OR)

The first time I saw Purple Rhinestone Eagle they were signaling the cold spirits of Halloween in a very crowded humid basement…each member dressed as characters from Lord of the Rings. I went as a “gay-fetish” which of course meant handle bar mustache and extremely short shorts. Lucky for my bare legs, Purple Rhinestone Eagle filled the basement with their hot riffs and percussive thunderstorms. The trio moved from Philadelphia to Portland and have been heating up cold basements and venues ever since. PRE stir a black cauldron, mixing obscure psych bands from the 60’s with sexed up punk rock call and response vocals similar to The Third Sex or “The Woods” era of Sleater Kiney. Summer 2008 looks hot n heavy for the gals as they will embark on a bi-coastal tour and will release an album of hard hitting music.

How long have each of you been playing music? What inspired you to play music in the first place? How did the band form? When?

Andrea: I have been playing guitar for about 11 years. Before that it was a little piano and some woodwind. Mainly the music that was coming out of the Northwest (Bikini Kill, Heavens to Betsy, Sleater-Kinney, etc.) in the early to mid 90s is what inspired me the most to play guitar, those bands and Jimi Hendrix. The band formed in West Philly summer 2005. We were a lot different then. It’s taken us a couple of years to cultivate our sound and we’re pretty darn proud of it.

Morgan: Purple Rhinestone Eagle is my first band. I really only started playing bass when Andrea and Ashley and I started playing together. I started getting into punk when I was about 12, and it was the first thing I ever felt passionate about. I guess I wanted to be a part of whatever it was that inspired me so much as a kid, and continues to be one of the most important things in my life.

Ashley: I also started on piano, but I got sad and quit when my instructor gave me a hard time for not being able to read music. I started playing the drums when I was 18. I did not take it seriously for another few years when i got my first drum kit for my 20th birthday. Even then, I was moving around the county and didn’t really have a steady band until Purple Rhinestone Eagle started. I met Morgan at a potluck. She was wearing an All Girl Summer Fun Band Shirt. We decided it would probably make sense if we started a band together.

Watch PRE live:

Purple Rhinestone Eagle moved to Portland not so long ago yet seem to have dived right into a nicely knit scene. That is awesome you moved here together. Why did you all decide to move to Portland? What was your first impressions of Portland? How does the Northwest compare to the Northeast?. How does Purple Rhinestone Eagle experience the house show mecca of Portland and the queer scene?

Andrea: We went on an east coast tour with New Bloods. Adee was a friend of mine from before that tour. Ashely, Morgan and I were all suffering from varying degrees of stress and anxiety living in Philadelphia (for a multitude of reasons). New Bloods came down from above like angels, stroked our heads and beckoned us to the land of chill out. I personally like Portland a lot. It’s not as ethnically diverse as I would like it to be but outside my band I have really strong friendships with other people of color here, a lot of whom are in bands as well (which rules). The Northwest is a completely different culture than back east. As far as the show scene, it’s really friendly here and people are willing to help you out more. As far as queer issues go, I’m the only gay person in the band. We try to make our music accessible to people of all identities. We all come from very different backgrounds (race, class, sexuality, geographical locations, etc.) and we want to be as inclusive as possible to honor all of those varying identities. We don’t want to portray ourselves as anything but.

Has being a woman affected your music experience? Why or why not? Who are some of your lady heroes?

Andrea: Most definitely it has affected my music experience. When I was younger I was denied being able to play guitar in this one band I was in. It was a band of all dudes besides me. They were just intimidated that I was a better musician than them. Then I quit that crappy band and made a conscious decision that if I was going to be in any more serious music projects, it was only going to be with other ladies. My lady music heroes include: Carrie Brownstein, Etta James, Nina Simone, Odetta, Alice Coltrane, Grace Slick, Yoko Ono, and Kate Bush among many others.

Morgan: It’s strange to me that so many people still see it as a novelty of some kind for women to play music. I like playing in Portland because it’s less of an issue here than it was in Philly. Personally, I love Kim Shattuck, she is definitely one of my musical lady heroes. She has a great, not at all pretty voice and completely holds her own in a male dominated genre. And Joan Jett. She’s pretty great.

Ashley: Being a woman has had an affect on my musical experience for sure. People have some dumb, macho things to say sometimes when they see an all female band, but for the most part people are pumped to see our band because they are into the music. Right now, living in Portland and being able to play shows with so many great female (as well as male) musicians is wonderful. Some of my personal favorite female musicians include: Moe Tucker, Janet Wiess, Palmolive, Yoko, Slant 6, Kim Gordon, Amy Farina, Satomi Matsuzaki, Mary Timony, Tina Turner.

While your music is very heavy, I can’t help thinking you have a bit of a sense of humor! What is the story behind the name Purple Rhinestone Eagle?

Andrea: I’ll let someone else answer our name question.

Morgan: I think it’s important to maintain a sense of humor, about yourself and the world, but at the same time we are generally pretty sincere. Everyone always asks about the band name… sometimes certain images or phrases need to be recaptured and owned anew, casting aside preconceptions and arbitrary values… why should the eagle be resigned to a cartoonish emblem for capitalism, or rhinestones seen as worthless? The eagle is majestic and fierce, and I’ll take a rhinestone over a diamond any day.

What inspires your music and lyrics?

Andrea: As the main lyric writer, a lot of things inspire my writing. Lately my lyrics have been getting more witchy (e.g. casting circles, calling upon natural forces, prophetic dreaming). I like writing/singing about mental health as it’s related to the health of the planet, friendships, fun times, shitty times, political/social struggle, and of course sex. Musically we are inspired a lot by the music that came out of the 60s and 70s, especially music that came out of what can be labeled the more “obscure” scenes and bands.

How would you describe your own music?

Andrea: Our music is rock-n-roll-pyschedelic-garage-stoner fury.

What else is coming up for Purple Rhinestone Eagle?. What do you hope to be your legacy?

Andrea: We want to put out our recording on vinyl so we’re doing a little record label shopping right now. After our two summer tours we want to follow it up with one in the fall. Other than that we’re trying to do a lot of song writing. Legacy? Hmm. One day when I’m old and gray, I’d love to pass the torch on to some young girls who want to make rock n roll (or whatever kind of music) too. I want to be as inspiring to young kids as my music heroes have been to me.


*Rerun* “Paul: France Gall and Serge Gainsbourg” (original airdate: 2/10/08)

Me and Jon are gaying it up in Vegas, so enjoy this post from a while back!

…French Pop is way more interesting than american


Back in the mid-sixties she was an up and coming 18 year old pop star, and he was a recording artist/songwriter pushing forty. They were never officially an item or anything, but he was a notorious player with a taste for the young girls and pictures like this one of them doing Bonnie and Clyde make you wonder. During her heydey he wrote almost all of her music and lyrics. One of her biggest hits was the song “Les Sucettes”, a song about a girl who likes lollipops which is actually a not-so-subtle metaphor for giving head…

Believe it or not, France Gall didn’t get the double meaning, and just look at this translation of the song’s lyrics:
Annie likes lollipops,
Anise lollipops.
Annie’s anise lollipops
Give her kisses an anise flavour.
When the anise flavoured barley sugar
Sinks in Annie’s throat,
She’s in heaven.

For a few pennies,
Annie gets her anise lollipops.
They have the color of her big eyes,
The color of happy days.
Annie likes lollipops,
Anise lollipops.
Annie’s anise lollipops
Give her kisses an anise flavour.
When on her tongue lies only the short stick,
She takes her legs to her body (To run off)
And goes back to the drugstore.

For a few pennies,
Annie gets her anise lollipops.
They have the color of her big eyes,
The color of happy days.

Apparently when someone clued her in she was very upset. Seriously though, how naive can you be?

The lyrics to this one include:
I’m a wax doll.
His (or sound) doll.
My heart is full of my songs
Wax doll, sound doll
I’m the best and the worst
As a mannequin
I see my life as a piece of pink candy
A wax doll, sound doll

This seems to suggest that she’s basically his puppet, and that on her own she has no real substance. I wonder if she ever critically analyzed the words to this one the way she failed to with the other one. It’s a really good song, but I like it a little less now that I know what the lyrics mean. I could do without the misogyny.


*Rerun* “Jon: Ann Druyan and Carl Sagan’s ‘Golden Record’….”(Original Airdate 01/26/08)

Guess what?? Paul and I are on vacation for the next week, so I thought I would treat you to some of my favorite early Gaycondo moments rerun style! Most of you haven’t seen these, so it’s new to you anyway. Enjoy!

…is making it so that we can all “travel through time (sort of).

In the year 1977, the two voyager space crafts were launched on a mission to study and send back information on Jupiter and Saturn. A countless amount of priceless knowledge was gained in this study of the outer planets of our solar system. However, Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 were concieved as martyrs. No return route was possible, so eventually, the two crafts would reach a point where they escaped our solar system, and then eventually passed the point where communication was possible. In fact, this occured in the last decade.

Knowing that this would eventually occur, a team headed by Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan was formed to create a sort of time capsule of life on earth to include on both space crafts. The form for the time capsule was a golden record:

Golden Record

This analog format was chosen because it was important to insure that any intelligent life that discovers it will be able to figure out how to use it as easily as possible. Images carved on one side of the disc explain mathimatically (and quite eliquently) how to play the record.

The opening letter of the “program” begins with this message

This is a present from a small, distant world, a token of our sounds, our science, our images, our music, our thoughts and our feelings. We are attempting to survive our time so we may live into yours” -Jimmy Carter

A small sampling of the contents of this record include:

  • Salutations in 55 languages
  • 115 images documenting human life
  • the sounds of birds, whales, thunder, and the ocean
  • Navajo Indian chants
  • “Johnny be Good” by Chuck Berry
  • Several pieces by Bach

In addition to these, another very touching audio recording was included: The sound of a beating heart belonging to a woman who has just fallen in love. The heart in question belonged to Ann Druyan herself.

Watch the interview below to hear about it in her own words:

Love breaking the barriers of both time and space? Literally moving forward for all time? Now if that is not a heavy real life metaphor, I don’t know what is.

Currently, the voyager space crafts are still 40,000 years from reaching the nearest solar system (and that is at an impressive 35,000 mph), which will be the first feasable time that intelligent life may be able to find them. By that time, human kind will either be extinct, or drastically changed. The existance of these records will most likely eventually be the oinly documentation of our having ever existed at this time.

Though the odds of it ever being discovered are slim to none, as Carl Sagan said, the launching of this ‘bottle’ into the cosmic ‘ocean’ says something very hopeful about life on this planet“, and I believe that hope is a kind of transcendence through time. That maybe we can all exist forever.


*Rerun* “Jon: The Lou Ruvo Brain Institute…” (Original Airdate: 02/19/08)

Guess what?? Paul and I are on vacation for the next week, so I thought I would treat you to some of my favorite early Gaycondo moments rerun style! Most of you haven’t seen these, so it’s new to you anyway. Enjoy!

….how noble of them (unless you count the snarky architecture).

The Lou Ruvo Brain Institute side view



“The Lou Ruvo Brain Institute is a planned research center which is being built in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Institute will become a national resource for the most current research and scientific information for the treatment of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington ‘s diseases, as well as focusing on prevention, early detection and education.”

WOW! How important. That is just fantastic!

Philanthropist Larry Ruvo founded the Keep Memory Alive Foundation as a heartfelt reaction to his father’s (Lou Ruvo) detrerioration at the hands of Alzheimer’s. This truly astounding foundation has raised over 20 million dollars by throwing some of the most popularly attended celebrity-irific galas Las Vegas has ever seen. This is all great.

But then things take a wierd turn.

In February of 2007, ground was broken on the Lou Ruvo Brain Instute, which was designed by architect Frank Gehry. Let’s take a Gaycondo sponsored “walking” tour of the planned design….

The Lou Ruvo Brain Institute Front view


Hey, that’s pretty modern and minimalist. Maybe it reminds me of a pleasant stack of (Lanvin) shoe boxes. That’s nice. I like that. It’s calming. I wonder what the rest of this serene structure must be like?


OH MY GOD! The back of this building is like some sort of fucked up, very literal interpretation of a drawing by M.C. Escher. Somehow, I feel like if I was having mental collapse, I wouldn’t want the building I was recieving treatment in the be a ridiculously “in the now” postmodern representation of my ailment.

Do all high profile publicly funded (the state of Nevada kicked in a cool $12 million ) buildings built in the last couple of decades have to be so insanly (no pun intended) over designed? Wouldn’t a tasteful concrete box have sufficed???

Am I out of my miond for thinking this? (still no pun intended)









PS: This building is TOTALLY AWESOME!!!! It’s like when I see it, every other cool building I’ve ever seen just gets absolutely erased from my mind!! Like, maybe after seeing the outrageous super fantastic-ness of this design I might even forget where my house is. What does Gaycondo look like again????

(that last one was in fact actually a fucked up joke about Alzheimer’s by the way….)


*Rerun* “Paul: Elijah Wood on Yo Gabba Gabba” (original airdate: 1/26/08)

Me and Jon are gaying it up in Vegas, so enjoy this post from a while back!


…this is what happens when you let a bunch of gay burnouts make a kids show.

Now Let’s Go CRAZY!!!

In case you don’t have cable or know any small children, Yo Gabba Gabba is the gayest kids show around. It might have scared me a bit as a child but as an adult I think it’s pretty great. I’ve never really had a thing for Elijah Wood, but I think he looks smokin’ hot here. Oh, and Jon says he has nice eyeballs.

Got any good leads?

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