Wednesday, October 30, 2002

A frosty Wednesday in Calgary...I think it went down to -15^C or something stupid like that last night. Fuck!

Joe and I went to see the Michael Moore documentary "Bowling for Columbine" last night. Very interesting. It's bizarre how much irony there is in the movie. The cause of the problem of out-of-control gun laws in the USA seems so obvious even though it isn't overtly stated. It's amazing they haven't figured out why so many people are dying yet.....I can only hope that the movie gets more people talking about the issues. Very sad parts about the boys from Columbine going to KMart headquarters to petition for the removal of bullets for sale in the stores. I was amazed about their success!

What the hell about Charlton Heston? Typical gun maniac. Always "it's enshrined in the Constitution", but never with any reasonable substance as to why it's necessary to keep a LOADED gun in your house. Sleeping with a gun under your pillow? WHA? Americans are so afraid of everyone and everything, there biggest problem is that they'll shoot first and ask questions later. Weird.....

Anyways, I bought several things last week. "The Simpsons Episodes, Season Two" and the special release of "E.T." on DVD. Realized after I opened it that A&B Sound charged me $10 more for the Simpsons than I would've paid at I'm quickly losing faith in A&B. They've been terribly disappointing in the last year. Who the hell orders their inventory anyways?

I also received my shipment from Grishko on Monday. I'd waited over a month for the stuff to come from Moscow. I was getting a little worried, but everything worked out. I ordered a footed turtleneck unitard, one black and one flesh colored. They fit very well, and I'm overall quite happy. The only disappointment was that they advertised the material to be polyamide, which would indicate a polyester/lycra mix, but these pieces are definitely nylon/lycra. I can't tell from the material tags because they are in Russian! I also bought another pair of black ballet slippers. Trust the Russians on how to make high-quality ballet clothing!

The move to the new apartment went rather smoothly. We've had people in fixing linoleum and carpet over the past few days. I think Joe is getting a little stressed out since he's had the last few days off and had to endure everything, but they should be done today.

Went to the Alberta Ballet performance on Saturday night and then to Greg and Marion Tompkins for their bi-annual house party. Ran in the morning and ended up at Lynn Gaudet's 50th birthday party in the morning.

The Ballet performance was very good. We particularly liked "sans detour" ( a woman's descent into madness) and " The Winter Room". "Rodeo" was a lot of fun, not very traditional though. "Celestial Themes" was good too, but not near as energetic as the other pieces. It always seems like the first performance has to set the standard and is always the easiest to dismiss. This one had eight dancers on stage, all tightly choreographed. The other three pieces were a lot more freeform.

Sunday I went to the football game with Kevin Bumphrey, his friend Ian, and Tony. We had a fun day, and Calgary actually won!

Thursday, October 17, 2002

"Invitation to the Dance" TSO Concert Programme - Pops Series

Jack Everly - conductor
Alexsander Antonijevic and Sonia Rodriguez, National Ballet of Canada dancers performing Scene IV from "Swan Lake" (White Swan pas de deux)
Rafael Holody and Agatha Hansen, ballroom dancers performing "Begin the Beguine" from Jubilee
Gregory Mitchell and Marianne Hettinger, tango and tap dancers performing "Put On A Happy Face" from Bye Bye Birdie, and "Libertango"
Karen Callaway Williams, tap dancer performing "Parade of the Wooden Soldiers"
Clare Casey, Anton Cronin, Shaun Langely, and Alanna McCrudden, Irish dancers performing music from "The Lord of the Dance"

What a fantastic (albeit too short - 1.75 hours) show!
From: "Mark & Robert"
Date: Wed Oct 16, 2002 2:25 pm
Subject: Black and Blue and those Canadiens

Whoa, what a week. First of all, contrary to rumors, the Gestapo never showed. Or maybe it just seemed that way, relative to our experiences here in Gotham.

We got into Montreal on Thursday evening and checked into our swell hotel, Hotel St. Paul, on 355 McGill, which we would heartily recommend to anyone interested in a beautiful Beaux-Arts building redone in a style to suit the modern world's way of life. Check out the website ( Our room was spacious and
streamlined and the bed was exemplary, which proved to be key for a week like this. There's a lovely restaurant on the ground floor called Cube, and a bar-lounge called BarCru, and the atmosphere in all the public areas was very Ian Schrager/Royalton/Delano/YouKnow. It worked for us, the entire five nights.

Hotel St.Paul was a refuge from some of the seedier aspects of Montreal. As Ed Childs said, the town is a bit run-down, and in constant disarray due to construction/renovation, and St. Catherine Est is particularly iffy in places, though not threatening if you happen to be an inhabitant of New York. We headed to the Gouverneur and picked up our passes. The Welcome Center was not nearly as social as the welcome centers in South Beach where you can count on cocktails and music and boys scouting, but it was well-run and our passes were handed over with smiles.

Smiles. That's what this town has in spades. In all our years of traveling, I don't think we have ever encountered such a plethora of friendly people. Not once in our five days there did we experience any of the nastiness which can punctuate the checkout lines here in Manhattan. Not once. Nothing but smiles. These people are happy, even if the weather is cold. Maybe it's because they have to sleep with another person so often, body to body, to keep warm, and maybe that makes them warmer overall. Whatever, it works for us.

So we headed over to Stereo for the Jock Ball. Hmmm. Talk about need of renovation. The club was closer to a YMCA, or maybe a high school gymnasium. Well, whatever. We fixated on the smiles. But here's an odd thing. We get through security, and then, not ten feet away, on the stairs leading to the floor, are three boys selling
whatever we needed/wanted. And later, we see the very security people who patted us down chatting up the dealers. Well, how cooperative it all seemed.

Anyway, we dance for a while and it's a kind of low-energy evening, in some ways, but there is this one BBCM dancer who totally gets the groove and he's on a box and he works for us and he gets us in shape. It's good to have a leader.

We leave around 4 a.m. and try to find papers on the way home, amidst all the detritus which litters the streets the further west we walk on St. Catherine. Yes, very much like the old Times Square around here... Phone call to Disney?

We walk the river, our one venture away from GayVille. We walk Sherbrooke Street, which Ed Childs might have liked because it was a plus more upscale. Holt Renfrew the department store which is kind of like Louis in Boston or Wilkes in SF. The Ritz-Carlton and McGill University. Very British, in a way. Lovely to see. We stopped and
sent flowers to our hotel room so the concierge we adored would be impressed and think we were really rock stars.

We're not exactly leather boys, but just the same, we wanted to hear Escape. He's such a sweetheart. His joy so infectious. His smile so contagious. Who could resist? And yes, he did play Dark Beats about six times or maybe a hundred, but it reminded me of the way Larry Levan used to play things over and over at the Garage (not that
I ever heard him live, just hearsay, you know.......)

We got there just in time for the show which was done to Bohemian Rhapsody and it was kind of intense weird and perfect for this strangely wonderful club called Medley. Think of a fur trappers' lodge crossed with an Elks Club with maybe an Oddfellow thrown in. Lots of wood and a balcony which circled the floor and a dark wood
painted ceiling and creaky staircases and the usual body painters and boot lackeys and spit polishing and such. And all of it done with good humor and lightness. It wasn't a dark party. These people were all dressed in leather, but I wouldn't have been surprised to hear them trading recipes.

At one point, there was this huge Alien-like creature wheeled into the center of the floor and it was on this kind of hydraulic pump which kept this apparition undulating up and down and back and forth and all in this black cloud of materials and horns and pipes and strangeness which was finally stripped off to reveal a sort of acrobat who swung around. It got me. I couldn't keep my eyes off whatever it was.

And Escape worked for us. He was fun to watch, and he made the night fun, and we didn't leave the place until after five a.m.


We wandered Gay Ville like good gays. We patronized the clothes stores and the restaurants. This section of St. Catherine Est is nicer, natch, than the section directly to the west. All the boys were out, everyone shopping and jabbering. The energy was nice, a sense of anticipation in the air.

As Ed Childs said, it's a big club, and also in need of a bit of freshening up. Think of Level in South Beach. A big theatre, stripped of its balcony seats. It also reminded us of the Roman Senate. We overheard a boy on his cell on the way upstairs, screaming into the phone, probably to his sleeping boyfriend, "It's only the biggest party of the year."

And it was. It was THE PARTY of the week. The next night was THE EVENT, but this was THE PARTY. It reminded us of Manny playing at Level two years ago for Winter Party. The boys were there for him, but we loved Gilles as much. The floor was packed, everyone shirtless, and sweating. So sweaty. The floor was slippery with
sweat. You could slide on the sweat. It was deliriously wet. It was futile to resist. There was so much going on. Upstairs, the balconies were packed, ring after ring of boys. Downstairs, hardly an inch to move, least of all on the floor. Manny played to them all, and they loved every bit of it.

Narcotic Thrust, or maybe just the lead singer, came on and sang Safe From Harm and, predictably, everyone sang along. Well, why not? It was the song of the week, you could tell already, and the subtext is all about being there for each other, blah blah, so it fit with the Humanity theme, and it worked. So why not sing along?

We loved this party, mostly because of its intensity. The energy was overwhelming, no holding back EXCEPT from overdosing. It was a wild crowd, but one without fall-outs/overdoses. Everyone was happy. Those smiles. And though the floor was packed, shoulders and elbows weren't jammed into your back.


Okay, so we've never really liked stadium events. So we had minimal expectations, thinking that maybe the dance floor would be concrete or else too vast or the sound dreadful or no sense of community fostered.

Wrong. We were so wrong. We took the Metro around 12:15 a.m., because our adorable concierge said it was the best thing to do, and good thing. The metro takes you right into the stadium, and there were droves of people there. But the VIP line moved quickly, and the coat check was relatively easy, and then security, which was much
less invasive than at Exit, and then, a long dimly lit blue hall and then down a staircase and there, across the stadium, like a carnival rolled into town for the night, there it was: Black and Blue.

Like a midway, with massage parlors and concession stands and souvenir stands and energy drinks and bars and bleachers all around, in a six-sided ring, and a stage in the center, and a track overhead, the likes of which looked as it if would support a subway, and a stage at the front, and the VIP area right behind the deejay, and it
was Tracy still playing, and we sat in the bleachers, at the top, and just tried to soak it all in.

The dance floor was packed, glow sticks bobbing and God, there was so much going on. Where to look, what to do, what to see?

And then, right at 1:30, this big platform starts moving through the crowd and there are these war-torn dancers on platforms and high above the floor, and there's the Red Queen on the platform moving slowly toward the center, singing, "I Want You to Get It Together" and all the screens around the floor are showing the world's peoples,
all kinds of people, and then the Buddha comes across the ceiling, on the subway track, in a huge cage, and he's just sitting there, and the Red Queen is waiting for him and the war-torn dancers are writhing and the place, the whole place, is going fucking crazy. I mean, crazy. It was so intense, so wild, and maybe I was just peaking, but I don't think so.

It went on for twenty minutes. This one production number, it was like a twenty-minute orgasm, and when it was finally finished, the two of us looked at each other like, What the fuck. My God. So now we knew. So now we knew what the night was going to be like.

And it was. We were there until ten a.m. This is unheard of for us. We never stay more than four or maybe five hours. Eight hours? Nine hours? No way. But we couldn't tear ourselves away from the music. And it was just as Josh had said: so much new music and just what we wanted/needed because, for me, I don't want to dance to what
I've danced to before. I want to feel something new within me, and let that newness take me away.

Those production numbers, they just kept coming. Angels in white, angels above the floor, one, then two, then another two, all of them about eighty feet high and then the sun rising from the floor. And then realizing that the angels were moons.

And then we were in the VIP area and Escape was there and so of course, chat chat chat. Love you, love you, blah blah. And there was so much food, if you wanted. And Paulette was sexy dominatrix in black leather and her beat worked me over. And also Superchumbo, and Irresistible was definitely the song. And then Mark Anthony and he
was ear to the boards and mix mix mix.

And the whole time, the floor stayed packed. We danced atop the bleachers, fixated on the pulsing organism which was the crowd. God, what incredible energy.

And again, we saw no people in distress. And all the people we talked to were so friendly, so happy. So many straight people, just happy to be there, dancing. And it wasn't about being gay, or straight, it was just about being together for the night, and celebrating our commonalities, and not freaking about our differences.

It was a joy.


Yeah, it took a while to determine whether or not we needed/wanted to go to this party. Again, at Metropolis, did we really need to do it? After the highs of the night/day before?

But, of course, we went. Dutiful circuit queens. Yet again. Back on the street, into the club. Yeah, we're here again. And it was fine. Maybe even good. It was good to see how the energy had changed from two nights before. How the crowd had come down a bit. How we were all in the same boat. How much fun the week had been, and how it was now about learning to let it go.

So we danced to James Anderson, and he got a groove working, and Suzanne did the Show Me thing, which kept that song in our minds, all the way home yesterday.


Montreal has wonderful energy. It's a town without hustle, which, as New Yorkers, we could appreciate. How pleasant to be in a place where everyone wasn't working you over. How nice to see so many farm-fresh boys, smiling and happy.

I can't say we ate the best food, but sometimes it was enough just to be surrounded by such pleasant people. And whenever we said we were from New York, there was such empathy for what had happened here last year, and their compassion was so genuine that it was almost painful. "Oh, New York," one cabbie said. "A terrible thing
happened there last year."

Yes, we know. But this week was about celebrating our humanity and all the things that bond us to other human beings.

BBCM did an exemplary job at making us aware of all the good that exists in the world -- and how you can still find reasons to dance.

Loved it. Anyone who goes again will too.

Mark and Robert


From: "Timothy B"
Date: Wed Oct 16, 2002 8:13 pm
Subject: Black & Blew all over ;)

I made the trip to Montreal because I have heard so many great things about the BBCM production style and the lineup of dj's appealed to me.. I was really looking forward to seeing Tom Stephan play. Not only is he a major babe, more importantly he plays the tribal music that I like. He did not disapoint. The high point of the Main Event was when I looked up to see five angelic creatures floating above the crowd on that huge crane structure that moved across the throngs of people. People reaching towards the angels and the roof as the light got brighter and the word's "You bring light in, to a dark place..." were coming out of the sound system from Tom playing King Unique's remix of Underworld's single 'Two Months's Off'. Brilliant!! With all the fear and violence and darkness the world has experienced over the past few years, that moment just rang
really true for me.. Also appreciated whomever it was that was drumming along to the music. Hmm maybe next year I will bring my drums and drag a bunch of my Radical Faerie freinds along to see what they have been missing.. Looked for the chillout area which supposedly had a separate dj Charles Poulin, but all they had set up was a section of bleachers in the main stadium.. =( Also, next year, I recommend a bigger dance floor, as they only used about one third of the entire main floor. While I don't mind being molested on the dance floor :P at times there was not enough room to dance.. All in all though, I had a blast and look forward to next year..!

From: "Paul Latiff"
Date: Wed Oct 16, 2002 10:39 pm
Subject: RE: That Bitch Who Ruined Black & Blue...Drew & Ed

I would have to agree with you, Drew, James Anderson is very hit or miss...but this past weekend was definitely "HIT".

Ed, I agree with you too.... many reviews can be very general and not offer very much in the way of specifics. I did not find your review negative...just VERY detailed. :-) (and saw you a few times as well, but by the time the signal made it from the brain to the feet to move toward you, the crowd had again swallowed you up) The crowd was definitely VERY diverse. Gay, straight, bi, confused, rave, circuit, etc... and I found this to be a nice departure from what I've become accustomed to.

Montréal IS a bit run down, and St. Catherine can be a bit scary, but for the most part I would guess that it's relatively harmless.

Musical preferences aside, from a planning aspect this party was goddamn near flawless. Never had to wait for a bathroom, security was present but never intrusive, (no one gave them any reason to be) there was ample food and water available AND they actually brought sinks in and set them up off to the side of the dancefloor. (GREAT idea)
And what in God's name was in those Red-Bull-like drinks? "BASE" I think it was called.....the shit was like carbonated sugar.. WOW.

As B&B is probably one of the most well known, largest, and most highly respected parties in the world, my feeling is that ALL of the DJ's and entertainers go out of their way to put their best foot forward for this event.

I said it before, and I'll say it again: The professionalism, organization, dedication, and friendliness of the BBCM staff is heart warming and refreshing and should be an example that promoters and party organizers in the US strive to follow.

Date: Thu Oct 17, 2002 6:13 am
Subject: BBCM: Don't forget...

As the reviews pour in from Black & Blue this past weekend, which for the most part seem overwhelmingly positive. Let's not forget that the BBCM is not only
renowned for organizing and presenting an excellent weekend of events....but also are EXCEPTIONAL at really giving back to the community that it truly
seeks to "keep safe from harm"...always great to know that not only do we get a great "bang for the buck" party wise, but also know that our money actually
goes back to a good cause...

Kudos to the BBCM!


From: "Dean Miner"
Date: Thu Oct 17, 2002 7:27 am
Subject: Thank you to the BBCM - Black and Blue 2002 Cultural festival.

yes, i agree wholeheartedly!

major thanks to robert vezina, katia koric, david, all the bbcm staff and volunteers, artistic developers, performers and dancers, production designers, security, and yes the medical staffing for an incredible year and cultural festival benefit week in montreal !

special thanks to all the djs for their work, dj jerry, sylvie g, norm robert, mccoy, zilon, stephan grondin, gilles jr, escape, serge dechesne, alex lauterstien, john le page, gilles massicotte, manny lehman, mat ste-marie, victor calderone, demarko, richie ladue, tracy young, paulette, tom stephan, mark anthony, stephane lippe, james
anderson, alain vinet, hex hector and jester.

hope i did not forget anyone there !

all done for charity and a great cause, "giving back to the community."

thank you guys, my deepest appreciation to you all.

dean miner
www,circuitpartyinsanity Online Magazine

Wednesday, October 16, 2002

The "Invitation to the Dance" last night was fantastic! The Roy Thomson Theater is quite impressive too. I will write a review on the evening once I get my performance guide out again....Great variety of dance styles - from ballet to Irish stepping, great variety of music styles from Tchaikovsky to Giorgio Moroder. The conductor was very funny and it was a well organized and choreographed evening.
Here are some Black & Blue reviews from postings in Circuit Party Insanity message board:

From: "rshdolphin"
Date: Mon Oct 14, 2002 3:03 pm
Subject: Year of the "T" - Tracy Young is DJ of the Year !!!!

I was catching up on my CPI emails and ran across the one about Tracy Young. I totally agree with you that Tracy Young should be the DJ of the Year. Last year was Manny's year ...this year is Tracy's...I have started calling it "The Year of the T!"

Tracy has blossomed, come into her own sound, and become one of the hottest and amazing DJ's the circuit has seen. What a cycle to watch and experience.

Take it from someone who has come full circle in her music. Up until a few months ago, she wasn't one of my favorites. But a few months before the stars party, she TOTALLY got me with her music on a regular Sunday at Crobar Miami. Something had changed in her music.....She had a new sound ...she was on fire and she hasn't let up yet.

Tracy has a unique sound that has a power of its own. You cant compare it to Manny or to Victor. It is simply Tracy's sound. It can be hard and pounding, soft and teasing, and very sexual sound. Her music sneaks up on you ....your dancing ...feeling good....then she blows you thru the roof. Before you know it she's picked you up, tossed you around the dancefloor, and then punches you to the wall and the entire time you have a BIG GRIN ON YOUR FACE - BEGGING HER FOR MORE!

I am proud to say that she transformed my opinion and now I am one of her biggest fans. At the Stars party at Disney, for the first time in three years of circuit parties, I danced for FOUR HOURS without leaving my spot .....not ONE THING in my body, completely sober,......after being up since Saturday......I danced like a fool until the party was over and didn't even know it. I was stunned that music could actually consume you completely sober and lift your energy to an entire new level. Needless to say, I was exhausted at the end and my girlfriend said I cant believe you never left this spot, not once!! WOW!! I still cant believe it ...that was all Tracy and the music!!!

Everyone always bashes her for the foghorn thing, the Madonna thing, and not paying her dues. Well, after all the grief we here at CPI have given her and being one of the first woman to break out in this male dominated DJ world.....TRACY HAS EARNED OUR RESPECT!!!!!!

It's time we realize and recognize that Tracy is truly talented and gifted as a DJ and as a remix artist. She is her own sound and person. The woman really has talent..we should encourage it, embrace it, and cherish denying that!!!!!!!

She rose above the foghorn crap and she kicked all of our asses at the Stars Party. She continues to work us hard at Crobar once a month too.


This past weekend, Tracy is the FIRST WOMAN to EVER play Black & Blue. CONGRATULATIONS TRACY YOUNG!!!! She didn't get that gig for being pretty or because of Madonna....Tracy deserved that honor and she has earned it. I heard she was outstanding and that she turned it out!!!

From a non-fan transformed by your music to a DIE-HARD FAN FOREVER...... Speakerlvr sends Tracy Young MUCH LOVE and RESPECT!! Congratulations on B&B and Keep Working Us OUT!!

P.S. DEAN, I hear Tracy is not single. However, The line starts here.....I'M first in line can be second......HEHEHE... I added my favorite pic of Tracy for you!

From: "Paul Latiff"
Date: Tue Oct 15, 2002 5:58 pm

Hats off to BBCM and the City of Montréal.....

EVERY DJ this weekend was just ON. (Paulette at the Main Event, and whoever did Recovery.....WOW...and Mark Anthony...was he pulling those remixes he played towards the end out of his ASS? Absolutely wonderful)

I was TOO THRU when they brought the Buddha out OVER the dance floor and he just spun around.

The fact that BBCM can throw such a large, multi-faceted event, and treat all the party-goers with such dignity and respect, while not letting them lose sight of the REAL reason for the event speaks to their professionalism and dedication.

When I was searched as I was going in to the main event, and they found my HIV meds, I was quietly taken behind a curtain, asked by a volunteer if I needed to have them stored in a fridge, told where I could find food if I needed it to take my meds, and given a "The Party Needs You" pamphlet detailing possible interactions with party drugs and meds, and then sent on my way. I was speechless.

THAT is how you throw a party.
From: Ed Childs
Date: Tue Oct 15, 2002 10:39 pm
Subject: .:HUMANITE:. Black and Blue 2002

My first Black & Blue, and my second trip to Montreal, the first was way back in 1991. Unlike many cities that have had a resurgence in recent years, Montreal seems about as seedy and rundown as it was 11 years ago, perhaps even more so, lots of handicapped and homeless begging for change along Rue Ste Catherine. Montreal is a unique
combination of French party atmosphere like New Orleans, European culural influences, the regional pride of Quebec, and a bit of a New York edge as well. All in all this was very different than any other party I've ever been to. I was in Montreal Saturday afternoon until Tuesday afternoon.

SATURDAY TEA, DJ JOHN LEPAGE, CABARET MADO. Good music, small crowd, and cheap drink prices! Only stayed an hour or so before getting a bite to eat at La Pizzetta, then a disco nap.

BAL MILITAIRE, DJS GILLES MASSICOTTE & MANNY LEHMAN, METROPOLIS. The venue reminded me a lot of the Mayan Theater in Los Angeles in terms of size and the DJ booth on the stage and a large wrap around balcony. This place is huge! And it was filled! Much larger than I expected from the entrance on the outside. Great masculine energy of the Black Party type, everyone mostly in camouflage pants and barechested, a great equalizer of us as men. Although it really would be nice for a change not to find myself with GBA -- that's Glitter By Association -- the next morning after a military party no less. DJ Gilles Massicotte was awesome, I could have listened to him all night. Manny started with "Got The Groove" which he plays at exactly the right tempo at exactly the right volume with exactly the right lighting each time. Everyone went nuts, hands in the air and wild cheers. I think anyone else playing the same song would not get the same reaction, it's Manny's signature and works really well. From the opening things started downhill and he shifted into Top 40 Circuit diva stuff, unoriginal and nothing we haven't heard a hundred times before. But in all fairness the packed crowd seemed very into it even if I personally was not. Loved the stage shows but they didn't flow, the music always stopped, spoken announcements, show, applause, then the music resumes. Mark Baker's events with Gay Disney as the best example, that is how I personally like to see things flow. I left around 4:00am, thought I would take a two-hour catnap and head over for Victor Calderone at Stereo but the warm bed was too difficult to get out of. Heard great things about that the next day.

BLACK & BLUE, DJS TRACY YOUNG, PAULETTE/MINISTRY OF SOUND, TOM STEPHAN/SUPERCHUMBO, MARK ANTHONY. Apparently I arrived at exactly the wrong time for VIP ticket holders, took me about 45 minutes to get through coatcheck and security, which was basically a metal swipe and a respectful patdown with a slight shaking. Saw a few bullets on the floor which fell down from folks being shaken. Rude straight people cutting in line, or non-VIPs trying to get in through the VIP line, security were good at sending these people back to the end of the line. Folks with VIP tickets who arrived 30 minutes later than I did at 10:45pm breezed right in. Security was heavy-handed and all too present on the dance floor. Witnessed one case of uniformed security dragging someone off the dance floor, really killed my mood and lots
of others who saw this. Uniformed security patrolling the dance floor with flashlights really killed the party mood. Seemed like 75% straight ravers and 25% circuit boys to me, but more ravers at the beginning and mostly circuit boys at the end. Shows were kind of trippy and fun, some just kind of disturbing like the dancers in straight jackets getting zapped with electroshocks, well that's what it looked like to me, very Cirque du Soleil all in all: pouty acrobats and that gold painted buddha guy traversing the dance floor in a cage. The Human League show was basically the three of them singing on the front stage, two songs, not very long considering how much billing they got on the program. Tracy Young's set was pretty good, not as driving and intense as I've heard her at circuit parties, much more of the usual standard anthems and less of the intense trippy rhythms I've heard from her before. DJ Paulette was awful and put me right to sleep. Slow beats with a dropout about every 90 seconds. It almost became a joke with us, "I really like this, better enjoy it now, it will stop in about 45 more seconds!" But the ravers seemed very into her. The energy went way back up when Tom Stephan "Superchumbo" took over the turntables, had a great time with his set. Mark Anthony also did a good job, though not amazing like other folks have described his
Black & Blue sets before. All things considered it was a unique experience and I'm glad I went, but the circuit party vibe wasn't there for me, with the candy ravers and their pacifiers and the heavy-handed security presence and the straight women with their hair, ugh, just didn't feel like a circuit party to me for 75 percent of the time.

RECOVERY PARTY, DJS STÉFANE LIPPÉ, JAMES ANDERSEN, METROPOLIS. Not quite as crowded as Bal Militaire, but the same venue which I loved. Stéfane Lippé opened and I liked his style. Another Cirque du Soleil style show with acrobats twisting about elastic fabric hung on the stage, an audience member was tied to a chair while pouty go-go boys danced around him with unsmiling faces. Then James Andersen. Energy level was all over the map from really good, hard driving sounds to the occasional diva song, quite a number of complete fadeouts in the music, they seemed to be on purpose and had us all stopped on the dance floor wondering what just happened. This is the fourth time I've heard James Andersen so I can say he's one of the DJs whose music I generally do not like. The venue was great, the crowd was great and fun and frisky, Suzanne Palmer's show was great, her songs flowed well one into the next, she didn't stop to talk like so many divas do. For me, a recovery party in which the energy level grows over several hours, but keeps its focus on happy uplifting music, is the best way to close out a weekend and James Andersen did not deliver that.

MEMORABLE SONG OF THE WEEKEND: "Come Together" by That Kid Chris, I think I heard it at every party except the recovery party. It's on the Masterbeat Black & Blue 2002 CD, and I can't stop listening to it over and over again. It's not terribly new, but I really really like it.

OVERALL: I've checked Black & Blue off my list of big parties that need to be done at least once, not sure about going back, but I might. Expectations were set extremely high due to the longevity of this event and the life-changing religious experiences that others have written about. It would be hard for any weekend to live up to such lofty standards year after year. I didn't care for the straight raver focus of the main event, I could never escape the cigarette smoke anywhere in Montreal and the security presence was a huge buzzkill. However I will say that I only saw one guy on the verge of a swirl out, no messiness requiring medical attention, so security probably accomplished its goal. Favorite DJ of the weekend had to be Gilles Massicotte. Suzanne Palmer at the recovery party was the best show. I might come back next year, Bal Militaire and the Recovery Party had a good crowd even if the music was uneven, and circuit boys should definitely wait until the second half of the main event for the
kind of vibe we're used to experience.

Tuesday, October 15, 2002

Oh yeah, forgot to mention seeing the Queen and Prince Philip last Thursday. While in Toronto on the Jubilee tour, they are staying at the Royal York. I got back from running with the Frontrunners around 8pm. I saw a throng of police and crowds around the front (south) side of the hotel, and knew that they must be either coming or going. As I needed to stretch, I hung around the back of the crowd and did a cool down. Then they came out of the hotel ten minutes later, heading to Roy Thomson Hall for a performance in honor of the Queen. I saw her tiara and mint green evening dress for about .25 seconds. I'm sure it was well worth the wait for those who had waited for hours - how dumb. She's actually shorter than I thought. Oh well, that's my brush with fame for this week in Toronto, the center of the universe.
It's Tuesday morning after the Thanksgiving long weekend, and I'm trying everything to avoid a cold. Talk about partying yourself sick! The Black and Blue weekend in Montreal was AWESOME! Natasha and I had so much fun - unfortunately, time was the constraining factor to getting out and enjoying more of what Montreal has to offer.

The weekend went as follows:

We left Toronto around 5pm and got into Montreal around 11:30. We headed straight over to Wendy's birthday party. Jerome was there, as was Bob. We had fun meeting new people and dancing to Chemical Brothers. Natasha and I headed back to Jerome's around 3am after the party ended.

On Saturday, Jerome, Natasha and I strolled down St-Laurent for some shopping. I ended up buying a new pair of Diesel shoes at a discount outlet, but they still cost a few bucks. We ended up in the Village, had a quick beer at Le Drugstore and then headed back to Jerome's to prepare for the evening. A friend of Jerome and Wendy's, Ann-Marie was having a photography vernissage at Magnolia, a new lesbian bar on Ste-Catherine. We got down there around 7pm. Afterwards, we headed to Tom's place for some nasty drinks and a load of laughs before heading back down to the Village for a night on the town. Jerome's allergies got the best of him and he had to head home early. Natasha and I spent the rest of the evening hopping between Sky and Magnolia. We went for food afterwards, and got back to Jer's around 5am.

We didn't get out of bed until late Sunday afternoon. We got ready and headed down to the Village for dinner. We were too early to get into Estasie, so we went to Le Drugstore for natchos and beer to tie us over. We got into Estasie around 6pm. Tom was too hung over to come out for dinner, and Bob showed up later on after already having checked out the B&B preparty at the Sky Lounge. We headed over there after way too much sushi, miso soup and Sapporo, and hung out there until 9:30. We headed back to Jer's to get ready for the party and got down to Olympic Stadium around midnight. The party was in full swing, but apparently Tracy Young was just finishing up her spins in the DJ booth, and Human League had already performed. Tom Stephan wasn't on until 5am or so, and I have to find out who was playing between 1am and 5am. There were so many beautiful people at the party. We spent most of the evening dancing and sitting in the standings smoking joints and people watching. There were several shows during the early hours, but the swarming mass of people is what made the evening - oh yeah, and the beautiful boys.

We got back to Jer's around 9am in pretty rough shape. I was concerned about getting the car back to Toronto before 4:30, but sleep was what was on the agenda at that time. We slept for a few hours, and headed out of Montreal around 2pm. The traffic on the 401 was mind-blowing. It took us 7 hours of starting and stopping before we got back to Toronto. All said and done, it was an awesome weekend.

I ended up buying three of Jerome's paintings - "MartiniBoy" and two of the insect series, "Gabbigiana" and "O.H.R. Giger Zee". They will be very nice additions to the new apartment.

Tonight I'm heading to Roy Thomson Hall for a performance of the TSO and several dance companies called "Invitation to the Dance". Figured I had to do something cultural while in TO.

No other plans for the week. I head back to Calgary on Friday, and then it's moving all weekend (after Ekiden on Sat. morning, of course).. I hope this sore throat and congestion goes away before the weekend.....

More on everything later...