I’ll be the next installment… ;)

26 01 2017

She’s still got it…

15 01 2017


The glorious return of a fashion icon, as Faye Wong serves some classic Faye looks at her 2016 Shanghai concert (which was also filmed for VR release).

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Kylie’s disco Christmas

28 11 2016


A bonus track from the French and Italian versions of Kylie’s re-issued Christmas album of last year (dubbed the Snow Queen edition.) This continuation of her Christmas project consists of an oddly winning formula of high-calibre Minogue pop, quirky renditions of Christmas standards and knowingly camp Baz Luhrman-esque renditions of nineties club hits – plus this. Somehow, it all works.

New Solange

2 10 2016


Coming on the heels of Franks Ocean’s universe of a record “Blond,” the Blood Orange album “Freetown Sound” and her own sister’s “Lemonade” comes Solange’s own statement piece the state of black America: “A Seat at the Table.” On first listen the album grooves prettily through its lush tracks, but lacks the punch of some of her other work. But perhaps it is aiming at something different this time, as it is already worming in under my skin after one or two listens…


Two Japanese comebacks

25 09 2016

J-Pop megastar Utada Hikaru is back with a new album, seemingly with a slight gay bent. This track is a rather lovely lesbian-themed duet with fellow “Heisei diva” Shiina Ringo.

Even more exciting from my point of view is the surprise re-appearance of “Relax” magazine, which I was shocked and thrilled to spot in an Eslite bookstore in Taichung.


“Relax” was the Bible of early 2000s Tokyo cool, a magazine I “read” (well looked at) religiously and in one of the most glorious moments of my existence, once appeared in. The magazine shut up shop in 2006, but is apparently back, with exactly the same layout as before and in its first issue, an extended interview with Mike Mills (a name I haven’t head in a while) as though the last decade never happened…

懐かしい !!!

Elke Maravilha: a marvellous life

25 08 2016


Halfway through the Olympics came the news that a Rio icon had passed away. Elke Maravilha was a model and actress, famous for her flamboyance. Blonde and beautiful, she had a huge appetite for life, a magnetic smile and a mile-wide wild streak that had endeared her to generations of Brazilians.

Born Elke Giorgierena Grunnupp Evremides, (you can see why she used a stage name) she had emigrated to Brazil as a child from Leningrad. She came from an academic mixed Russian and German family, and grew up speaking nine European languages before breaking into showbiz as a ditzy blonde appearing on TV talent shows and the catwalk.


It was her work as a fashion model that led her to form a friendship with Zuzu Angel, the pre-eminent Brazilian fashion designer of the 70s and an unlikely rebel, who used her high profile as a constant thorn in the side of the military dictatorship after her activist son had been kidnapped, tortured and murdered by the regime. Elke was also arrested, after tearing down “wanted” posters offering a reward for his capture. She was held in an infamous prison and torture centre for five days and eventually stripped of her Brazilian citizenship, forcing her to fall back on her German passport.

Still, her show business career went on, often appearing on the television show of the hugely popular surrealist TV comic Chacrinha. She also landed a part as a brothel madam in a TV series that became her signature role. In addition to her huge gay following she was now crowned the godmother of Rio’s sex workers.


Elke married eight times, most recently to a man thirty years younger, and lived in a pink mansion in Copacabana near the beach, continuing her wild ways until she passed away aged 71, a shock-blonde rebel to the very end.

Kylie’s Glacier of love

19 06 2016

Kylie Minogue took the stage this week as a surprise guest of singer John Grant, to perform a verse of his song “Glacier” in response to the Orlando massacre.

It was, to my mind, the perfect gesture – poised, eloquent and angrily heartbroken.

Listen to the lyrics carefully.