Drag Race Winner Bianca Del Rio: "Maybe I Shouldn't Have Said It, but I'm Not Going to Apologize"

Categories: A Gay Ol' Time

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Since winning the sixth season of RuPaul's Drag Race, Bianca Del Rio has emerged as America's last great insult comedian. No one is spared her acid tongue: friends, enemies, fans, even herself.

For four shows this weekend, the reigning drag royalty will bring her "Rolodex of Hate" to South Florida for four shows across two cities. We got a chance to catch up with Bianca yesterday while she was preparing for a show in Vermont.


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Mai-Kai Dance Party Was More Fun Than Your Saturday Night

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Ian Witlen
The birthday boy was hungry.

For the past few years, off and on, a group of DJs has taken over the Mai-Kai bar to spin the most danceable songs off their favorite records. The last one in August was a real doozy that packed the house. This past Saturday night, they delivered again with a "rum-soaked" bash.

This January's party was a celebration of life, specifically the life of Nick Dewey, AKA James Brown's Sweat. His friends and fellow wax hoarders, DJ Sensitive Side, Mikey "Killer" Ramirez, and Action Pat, joined him at the turntables for this very special birthday event, goading a roomful of folks in flower prints and pompadours to boogie like it was 1965.

See also: Full Slideshow from James Brown's Sweat Birthday Bash at Mai Kai in Fort Lauderdale

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James Brown's Sweat DJ's Own Rum Soaked Birthday Bash at Mai-Kai

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Ian Witlen

When you go to a museum, nobody really talks about who the curator is. When you pick up a book to read, it's not because you're thinking about who edited it. But when you go out dancing, the first question anyone asks is: Who's the DJ?

The disc jockey selects the music and can single-handedly make the difference between a forgettable night and one in which you dance the soles of your shoes away. While DJs in electronic music culture have become megasuperstars netting hundreds of thousands of dollars for a single performance, the majority of people running the ones and twos are just like you and me, music aficionados and record collectors. They get this title almost simply out of a yearning to share their collection with others.

James Brown's Sweat is just such a specimen. Born Nicholas Dewey, the vinyl junkie was raised in Hialeah and now resides in West Palm Beach. His passion for record-collecting began at a young age. "As a teenager, records were cheaper than CDs. Now it's flipped," he told New Times. "I'd shop at Uncle Sam's and Larry's. A lot of stores have closed down and then reopened, like Radio-Active, which started out as nothing and now has become the main hub for records here."

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Swing Out South Florida Will Get You Dancing in No Time

Categories: A Gay Ol' Time

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Julian Ehrlich

It's Monday night, and people from all over South Florida are trickling into the Harold Solomon Tennis Institute for the weekly swing dance in Fort Lauderdale. Some are dressed in jeans and Converse sneakers, while others are in their Sunday best. It doesn't really matter, as long as they are prepared to dance -- a lot.

Swing Out South Florida has been putting on Monday Night Swing for about four years, but swing dancing in South Florida has been going on much longer. According to dancer Izzy Shniadoski, the swing craze began in Miami and Fort Lauderdale in the '90s during a swing revival that swept the nation.

Movies like Swing Kids and bands such as Big Bad Voodoo Daddy fueled the scene. Swing dancing was already big in places like California and New York, but in '97 and '98 it gained national media attention and spread like wildfire. Shniadoski avidly joined the craze in '99 after seeing the Cherry Poppin' Daddies at the Broward Fair.

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Ten Bars and Clubs Open on Thanksgiving in Broward and Palm Beach Counties

Categories: A Gay Ol' Time

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By Jean Leon Gerome Ferris

The best Thanksgiving memories are the ones in which you're surrounded by family. But what's glittering for your memory bank can be hell on your IRL stress levels.

Way down the line, you can accentuate the positive, but at 6:52 p.m. Thursday, you'll have to use all your will power not to scream at Aunt Sylvia when she asks you for the seventeen thousandth time when you're going to settle down.

To assist with your mental health and desire to booze, we here at New Times decided to locate ten bars and clubs whose doors will be open for you to kick back and cut loose this Thursday.

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Eight Reasons Why Swing Dancing Is for Everybody

Categories: A Gay Ol' Time

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Julian Ehrlich

By Michelle de Carion

Five years ago, a friend invited me out to swing-dance in downtown Chicago. Though I'd dreamed of learning to dance as a kid, watching Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers twirl about, I was honestly terrified and had never taken a lesson. She assured me, "Come anyway. You'll learn."

My first night out, I took a beginner class and danced with a bunch of different people. They were all kind, understanding, and also willing to show me new things. At the time, I didn't have money for professional lessons, but I went to the weekly dances anyway, met some amazing people, and in no time I was becoming a pro. I threw myself into the swing scene and learned as I went.

Five years later, I'm now helping run a swing dance in Fort Lauderdale, and I hear people tell me the same thing I told my friend when I started, "I'm a terrible dancer." "I've never taken lessons." "I have two left feet!" But the truth is, if you really want to swing-dance, you can. With time and patience and a lot of passion, you'll be doing swingouts and Susie Q's in no time.

Cutting the rug can enrich your life in so many ways. So here are eight good reasons why swing dancing is for everybody.


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Wicked Manors Halloween Bash Brought Out the Freak Show

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Michele Eve Sandberg

We had pretty high expectations walking into the annual Wicked Manors block party this past weekend. Let's face it, gay Halloween parties are far superior to traditional, nonqueer ones. It's just a fact. It's like science.

The costumes are more ornate, the parties are over-the-top, and the vibe is just completely different. Everyone walks around Wilton Manors admiring other costumes, chatting with people they might normally not even approach. While there's still your typical drunken holiday debauchery, it's not as "in your face" as in downtown Fort Lauderdale. It's relaxed yet fabulous.

This year's "Freak Show" theme was taken very seriously by attendees, with nightmare-inducing clowns aplenty. When we first arrived, we spotted two men in drag dressed as conjoined twin sisters. They were terrifying, and we loved them.

We saw roughly ten Twisty the Clown costumes, a nod to the new season of American Horror Story. Sadly, there were no Jessica Langes in sight.


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Lord of the Riffs Trilogy: A Weirdo Attempts to Leave or Explain the "Cult" of the Melvins

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Part 1: Fellowship of the Melvins

In 2010, ABC News correctly identified legendary rock group, the Melvins as a "cult band." Meanwhile, the growing "Melvins Army" presently consists of close to a million devotees worldwide. The fact is, the Melvins are not a "rock and roll band" at all. They deliberately defy any genre or scene that may claim them as their own, for reasons which we will now expose.

After more than 20 years of investigation, we have discovered that beneath their "rock star" exterior, the Melvins are, without a doubt, a dangerous cult. An ancient fraternity, if you will, dating back to the dark and medieval days of 1983. Their live show is a Druid-like séance, with band members wearing phantom-like priestly garments. Midway through their "performance," an ethereal communion and baptism takes place. Their musical shows are ritualistic initiation ceremonies, coercing the unsuspecting concert-goer into an unearthly secret society. The band's members are like undercover agents, sent by a trust of giant insects from another galaxy.

See also: The Melvins' King Buzzo: "They All Think I'm Insane"

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Lil' Kim Versus the Manor: Twitter, Facebook, and Legal Drama Follow Saturday Night Show

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Ian Witlen

In November 1996, Lil' Kim released her first full album, Hard Core. It was a huge commercial and critical success: an overtly racy album with raunchy lyrics that featured the biggest name (yes, the biggest) in hip-hop at the time, her Junior M.A.F.I.A. cohort, the Nortorious B.I.G., on "Crush on You." In the music video for that song, she debuted her iconic color-coordinated wig-outfit combo, solidifying herself as a serious rapper and camp legend.

Kim's success continued until she ran into some problems with the law. But that didn't stop her from releasing another album... from prison.

This year, she put out a mixtape, which, ironically, is called Hard Core 2K14. It was meant to give fans a taste of Kim circa 1996, which she described in an interview with Stacks Magazine as "cocaine rap." The article emphasizes it's what "the fans" wanted; she appears very invested in them.

Unfortunately, most of those who worship at the altar of Kim and came out to see the femcee at the Manor on Saturday night felt cheated. With a 9 p.m. door time, it was safe to assume she would go on by midnight, right? Maybe just a little bit later? Nope. In fact, she came out much, much later and, according to the venue, didn't fulfill contractual obligations.

See also: Lil' Kim at The Manor in Wilton Manors (Photos)

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Stitches Offers Coke to Audience, Abruptly Ends Show in Lake Worth

Categories: A Gay Ol' Time

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Via YouTube
Last Friday, September 5th, the rapper known as Stitches -- internet-famous for intimidating face tattoos and rapping "I love selling blow!" -- abruptly ended his performance and abandoned a meet-and-greet at a Lake Worth nightclub. Witnesses say, and video shows, that the 19-year-old, whose real name is Phillip Katsabanis, stormed off stage after offering cocaine to female audience members, which triggered a confrontation with his wife, Erica Duarte.

Stitches performed alongside Old Habits, a hardcore band, and Web Three, a rock-rap mashup, at Lake Worth's Propaganda.

Filmmakers Christian Duke and Kyle "Kyote" Oloughlin were at the show to capture footage for a "Gangstas & Thugs" documentary about violence in both hardcore and hip-hop. They captured some of the incident on video.

See also: Viral Rapper Stitches: Some Truth, Many Questions

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