Friday, December 23, 2016

Steve Grand's Priority MALE Express

Singer/songwriter/hot dork Steve Grand is making shipping and handling a family affair. You know the rules, after the video will be some observations





OBSERVATIONS: So, about the calendar; it sold out in less than 24 hours and that means one thing: the fanbase is shallow as fuck. The minute a calendar comes out, it's swooped up almost instantaneously but his DAVE AUDE REMIX OF "We Are the Night" GETS PAID DUST. πŸ˜’





Still available on Spotify, iTunes, etc.
*Remix not available on any physical release of All-American Boy


- Histrionics aside, it technically means that the calendar sales thus far are helping him setup funds to record potential new songs, covers and upgrade equipment in the near future. That and for the perpetual thirst-buckets, there is another calendar in the works.

- To get or remind yourself how orders are usually shipped out [shipped by or before Christmas? Gurl...good luck. #PriorityMailExpress] here's him fulfilling non-perverted orders:



If you have $ and want to help him out with sales, it's shop.stevegrand.com

Saturday, December 10, 2016

TIERS Fall Down My Eyes: The Black Eyed Peas' Albums/Discography

Having taken part in now 5 album rates for the pop music subreddit, /r/popheads, I thought it would be interesting to rate and judge the discography of everyones' favorite band to rag on; The Black Eyed Peas.

THE ALBUMS: No, Behind the Front and Bridging the Gap don't count. No real single success nor relevance was gained. All four albums below are as they appear on Spotify. 60 songs enter and only one shall reign supreme above all else.

There will be three tiers; BAD for the lower 20, EH for the mediocre 20 and GOOD for the 20 best. "B", "E" and "G" will appear next to each song on the list so you can know which tier they'll end up in.

- Elephunk
1. "Hands Up" E
2. "Labor Day (It's a Holiday)" E
3. "Let's Get Retarded" G
4. "Hey Mama" G
5. "Shut Up" G
6. "Smells Like Funk" B
7. "Latin Girls" E
8. "Sexy" B
9. "Fly Away" G
10. "The Boogie That Be" G
11. "The Apl Song" E
12. "Anxiety" (with Papa Roach) B
13. "Where Is the Love?" E
14. "Let's Get it Started" [Spike Mix] B
15. "Third Eye" B

- Monkey Business
1. "Pump It" G
2. "Don't Phunk with My Heart" G
3. "My Style" (featuring Justin Timberlake and Timbaland) E
4. "Don't Lie" G
5. "My Humps" B
6. "Like That" (featuring Q-Tip, Talib Kweli, CeeLo Green and John Legend) G
7. "Dum Diddly" (featuring Dante Santiago) E
8. "Feel It" G
9. "Gone Going" (featuring Jack Johnson) B
10. "They Don't Want Music" (featuring James Brown) B
11. "Disco Club" B
12. "Bebot" E
13. "Ba Bump" E
14. "Audio Delite at Low Fidelity" E
15. "Union" (featuring Sting) B

- The E.N.D.
1. "Boom Boom Pow" G
2. "Rock That Body" G
3. "Meet Me Halfway" G
4. "Imma Be" G
5. "I Gotta Feeling" G
6. "Alive" E
7. "Missing You" B
8. "Ring-a-Ling" B
9. "Party All the Time" B
10. "Out of My Head" B
11. "Electric City" B
12. "Showdown" E
13. "Now Generation" E
14. "One Tribe" E
15. "Rockin to the Beat" E

- The Beginning ["Deluxe" version πŸ˜’]
1. "The Time (Dirty Bit)" B
2. "Light Up the Night" G
3. "Love You Long Time" B
4. "XOXOXO" B
5. "Someday" E
6. "Whenever" B
7. "Fashion Beats" G
8. "Don't Stop the Party" B
9. "Do It Like This" E
10. "The Situation" E
11. "The Coming" E
12. "Own It" G
13. "The Best One Yet (The Boy)" G
14. "Just Can't Get Enough" G
15. "Play It Loud" E

Now that each song has been tiered, time to fuck up the fun and rank each tier properly. Comments will appear at several points, so get comfortable.

BAD
60. "The Time (Dirty Bit)" - Creative pathways is the nicest way to describe what the song actually is; a hellhole of half-baked ideas and beat schemata that will.i.am had schlocked together because he didn't know what the hell to do with this song.
Taboo's omission from the song alongside Fergie's off key singing on the NON Auto-Tune parts of the song and just everything about this makes this The Black Eyed Peas' worst song in their discography.

59. "My Humps" - The lyrics are just names of jeans and Fergie having to play a gold-digging hoochie. Add in the clunky beat, the fact "My Humps" is said 9 times before the utterance of "my lovely lady lumps", it only took botching a sample of an 80s song to have this not be the worst song in their discography.

58. "Don't Stop the Party" - Please make it stop.
57. "Whenever" - Whatever, this song sucks too.
56. "XOXOXO" - NONONO is more like it.

55. "Love You Long Time" - If you're going to reference Full Metal Jacket, do it better than this song. The bar is as high as a mormon so you should succeed where the Peas have failed.

54. "Electric City" - At one point Fergie "sings" something to the effect of, "They ridin' on my dick/Think I'm a dildo" πŸ˜’πŸ† Before any line from "M.I.L.F. $", this could've easily clenched the top spot of worse Fergie lines ever sung.

53. "Ring-a-Ling" - that one "My ding-a-ling" joke from The Simpsons but in song form.
52. "Missing You" - Not even on a milk carton.
51. "Party All the Time" - Eddie Murphy taught you nothing.
50. "Out of My Head" - Sadly, this song cannot escape my head.
49. "Third Eye" - I'd rather gouge my two own then give this pretentious crap another listen.

48. "Anxiety" (with Papa Roach) - One of two songs that suffer from soundclash. In this case, the Hip-Hop/Pop group against a hard rock act that in theory...seems weird already. I get stretching musical boundaries is needed for the appearance of versatility but this simply does not work on any level. Yes, there are songs worse than this, but make no mistake; this song sucks too.

47. "Smells Like Funk" - Presented without further comment.

46. "Gone Going" (featuring Jack Johnson) - The second of two songs with soundclash. This time, less talented Jason Mraz AKA Jack Johnson is brought along to play the same, rudimentary chords on his acoustic guitar for the Peas. What will.i.am and co. didn't realize was the fact they were calling out a fictional character for living shallow and not relating to people.
Music critics must have had aneurysms over the irony. Aside from that, this song while not as sonically atrocious as the others mentioned still sucks because of sub par content.

45. "They Don't Want Music" (featuring James Brown) - Presented without further comment.
44. "Union" (featuring Sting) - Too boring to point out the soundclash here as well.
43. "Disco Club" - Clunky, redundant but better than a lot of songs here.
42. "Sexy" - Anything but sexy is way more accurate.

41. "Let's Get it Started" [Spike Mix] - Censorship is wrong. The song is called "Let's Get Retarded" and it's in reference to dated slang in reference to having a damn good time. Still the same song that made the good tier, but the title alone earns a place in the bad tier.


EH
40. "Someday" - Not
39. "Do It Like This" - Worth
38. "The Situation" - Full
37. "The Coming" - Commenting
36. "Play It Loud" - Effort

35. "Ba Bump" - It barely makes a "ta thud".

34. "Audio Delite at Low Fidelity" - Boring but at least shows off one of the few times a Peas production can be decent on a strictly album cut.

33. "Latin Girls" - The poor man's "Senorita" by Justin Timberlake. It's one thing to sing about the type of person you're attracted to, but good GOD is will.i.am not smooth enough or lyrically deep enough to convey the message. Above average beat saves it from further evisceration.

32. "Hands Up" - Too boring to rip.
31. "Labor Day (It's a Holiday)" - Second verse, same as the first.

30. "Now Generation" - A song that attempts to reflect short-term satisfaction based society but ends up being a horribly dated technology/digital age inspited piece of dreck with barely above average beat work. The surprising amount of ambition behind it is the reason it ranks high. Also, "We are the now generation/We are the generation now" is a dumb lyric.

29. "One Tribe" - A humanist song that can be misconstrued as "colorblind" or "rose colored glasses" thinking when really it's just a diluted empowerment anthem. If I want to hear airy optimism, I'd look up Talim from Soul Calibur II's audio "I am one with the wind!" Concept alone is the reason it ranks this damn high.

28. "My Style" (featuring Justin Timberlake and Timbaland) - Boring pop/R&B on a Black Eyed Peas album...called "My Style".

27. "Dum Diddly" (featuring Dante Santiago) - Boneheaded but catchy enough to be in the EH tier while not awful enough for the BAD tier.

26. "Rockin to the Beat" - Inoffensive in theory as Taboo pretty much gets a song to himself...but GOOD GOD is it near mind numbing at times. Remember; there are such things as worse songs on this list.

25. "Showdown" - Good beat, a bit on the repetitive even by Peas standards, this could rank higher if not for the most eyebrow raising lyrics in their discography...


"Terrorize the funk call me Bootsy Al'Qaeda
I'll verify that I got lots of hoochies on data"

In case that was lost on you, will.i.am forced a bad pun with Bootsy Collins [funk musician/Christ figure in music] and terrorism. πŸ˜’πŸ˜’πŸ˜’πŸ˜’πŸ˜’πŸ˜’πŸ˜’πŸ˜’

24. "Where Is the Love?" - Hate me all you want, but there is no conceivable way this has aged well even by Peas standards. Yes, it's the type of "conscious" rapping critics and even long time fans of the group loved but oh good GOD is the hype not worth it in the end.
Fergie's vocals are subtle, will.i.am's rhymes are the least truncated and forced and Taboo and Apl got some attention. However, there is still better material from the Peas in the GOOD tier to come.

23. "Bebot" - Slight downgrade from "The Apl Song". Filipino pride is fantastic to show off, but this is not better than its predecessor. Not by a mile.

22. "Alive" - Surprisingly underappreciated gem from a critically mixed album.

21. "The Apl Song" - Still no OTSO OTSO, but this song earns highest of the EH tier simply because it gives Apl some spotlight and shows off some cultural pride.


GOOD

20. "The Best One Yet (The Boy)" - See
19. "Own It" - #17
18. "Light Up the Night" - For comments about The Beginning in general

17. "Fashion Beats" - Make no mistake, that despite 5 good songs coming from The Beginning, it is still the Peas' worst album by a mile and a half. At least with this accidental ripoff of "Fashion" [Confessions of a Shopaholic "Fashion" mind you] by Lady Gaga, the Peas actually made something interesting on their worst album.

16. "Fly Away" - Good
15. "The Boogie That Be" - But not great from Elephunk

14. "Like That" (featuring Q-Tip, Talib Kweli, CeeLo Green and John Legend) - Second verse
13. "Feel It" - Change Elephunk to Monkey Business

12. "Let's Get Retarded" - No, it didn't miss the Top 10 because of an "offensive" title. There's just 11 songs better than it because of the entire discography being judged. Still, the beat carries a lot of the weight and Fergie's singing is at some of her best.

11. "Shut Up" - Never fully released as a single in the U.S., it's still a catchy song that sadly lives on as a memory of Whitney Houston lipsyncing along to it on Being Bobby Brown. Still, Elephunk at large was will.i.am proving that Fergie would make the group breakthrough and for better and The Beginning, he was right.

10. "Just Can't Get Enough" - Yes, this is ahead of other Peas songs in the GOOD tier. At least the first 2:40 of it. The track change is a sin and a half that the Peas get deserved criticism for in this case. However, for those first 2:40 seconds, will.i.am, Fergie and the normally neglected Taboo actually get a chance to showcase what they suck the least at with music.

9. "Hey Mama" - The best of Elephunk can't crack the Top 5. Sorry, but I can at least get credit for not pandering to people by putting "Where Is the Love" here. "Hey Mama" is groovy, has the least awkward truncating of a rhyme from will.i.am on the album and has the most natural feel from Elephunk.

8. "Boom Boom Pow" - Kill me later, I know anything but bottom 5 has me being questioned by a lot of people. Here me out; while this song has some abysmal Fergie vocals and will.i.am trying to sound intimidating with "Here we go here we go/SATELITE RADIO/Y'ALL GET HIT WITH THE Boom Boom", "Boom Boom Pow" survived to the Top 10 because of the production...'s timing.
2009 would end up being the year that EDM/electronic/labeled "club" music would end up becoming the thing people would milk the living hell out of in years to come. The production fit right in with the David Guetta tracks that would surge on the radio. Timing is everything, otherwise, "Boom Boom Pow" would deserve its derision.

7. "I Gotta Feeling" - Yes, this song was on the radio for too many weeks. No, that doesn't make this a bad song. As with "Boom Boom Pow", this song got lucky due to timing. It's upbeat fun that you have to be in a good mood [read as "less pissed off at the world than normal"] to enjoy.

6. "Pump It" - High energy fun that has Apl sound like he is going the fuck in on a Peas song and in retrospect, might be him at his best. Also, Fergie's vocal runs are superb.

5. "Imma Be" - The beat change after the 2nd verse is what has this only at #5. Everything else about it; even the line "I'mma be a brother, but my name ain't Lehman/I'mma be ya banker loading out semen" doesn't detract from the overall appeal of the song. Fergie accidentally invented Meghan Trainor, but still; the beat work is just that damn addicting...even if it switches for no damn reason.

4. "Rock That Body" - It's like "Imma Be" but without the beat change and another instance of accidentally inventing Meghan Trainor; "Yeah, you could big boned, long as you feel like you on/You could be the model type, skinny with no appetite". Apl and Taboo actually get their...well least awkward is an honest way of giving them acclaim while not pretending like they were that essential, right? Anyway, of the intentionally upbeat songs from The E.N.D., this track rules over the rest.

3. "Meet Me Halfway" - If there's something that can overshadow upbeat fun, it's a song that can start with Apl after Fergie; also, this is some of Fergie's best singing across the Peas' albums and even her solo material. Modern BEP material peaked with The E.N.D. but with the Top 2 songs, creatively speaking? They kind of peaked on Monkey Business. Make no mistake, The E.N.D. still has their most viability and 5 songs in this Top 10.

2. "Don't Phunk with My Heart" - This came so close to winning. What cost it the victory? "If you smoke, I smoke too/That's how much I'm in love with you" 😩😩😩😩😩😩😩😩😩😩 Bad lyrics can really cost you when they need too. Still, there's a lot in this song's favor. will.i.am sounding like he still has enthusiasm in his music [that died in 2011 for what it's worth], Fergie using her coquettish vocals in the best way, Taboo getting some shine and even the tacky music video letting Apl be a ham.

WINNER - "Don't Lie" - Simply put, this is their best song ever. Even its lyrical duds are more boring and vague than bad and considering it's a Black Eyed Peas song, that is astounding. Still all four members get a chance to shine with Fergie's best singing, Apl and Taboo's most meaningful [if not boring and vague] lines and will.i.am winning most improved, read as "rhymes not as truncated on Elephunk".

Thursday, December 8, 2016

A "Million Reasons" Steve Grand Should NOT Do The Voice

I mentioned it before in my end of the year post that I could make an entire blog post as to why singer/songwriter Steve Grand doing The Voice would be a bad idea. Well, here it is; I'm givin' you a Million Reasons...givin' a Million Reasons, givin' a Million Reasons...OK as much as I can list as to why Steve doing The Voice would be a bad idea.

Worst comes to worst, he might end up having to resort to being on the show. In past interviews, he's said he wouldn't do shows like The Voice due to not having a personality he thinks they want for TV (I'd link them, but you lazy SOBs should research your damn selves for once.) No T, No Shade I love him but if he thinks he's too sheepish, he actually fits in with most of the contestants seasons ALL to SERIOUSLY ALL THE DAMN SEASONS.

In my 9 consecutive seasons of watching, skipping season 10 and sporadically seeing if one Billy Gilman is worth the hype [SPOILER: he isn't] I've seen enough of the show to formulate what would happen and none of it is pretty.

1. He'd be labeled "The YouTube Country Star Trying to Go Pop" - The Voice is notorious for labeling certain contestants near cringe inducing things [think to the effect of "Window Washer R&B singer", "Insurance Salesperson folk singer", etc.] Add in the fact, Grand was first brought to attention by now former BuzzFeed writer Matt Bellassai and was a "viral country star", the show will beat this label into the fucking ground.

This label might haunt him whether or not any phase of his time on the show will make it to air. REMEMBER: the show has montaged/not shown two of its contestants [Rebekah Samarin from S7 and Katherine Ho from S10] in the Blind Auditions, Battle Rounds and Knockout Rounds.
He's most likely not going to be montaged especially in the Triple Crown format, however...

2. He'd be used for "Shevine" fodder in the Blind Auditions - For the record, this is going to be about the coaches in general but "Shevine" is most definitely going to be a factor in this. Let's just get the worst to best coach order out of the way right now [Cee-Lo, Shakira and Usher don't count for the ranking since neither are coming back for their own reasons]:

- Blake: DO NOT PASS GO, DO NOT COLLECT $200. Avoid country at all costs.

- Miley: No one should have to take vocal lessons from a braying, twerking goat.

- Gwen: Look at some of the songs Gwen has forced on her contestants and then tell me she'd be a good coach for Steve.

- Christina: Definitely a risk-taker but Xtina might not give a fuck about him enough and might do him wrong repeatedly.

- Alicia: Songwriter to songwriter plus, but Alicia might not care/might not turn/might only barely steal him in a Battle round worst comes to worst.

- Pharrell: Takes chances, might actually be invested in him but if original songs come up in the finals and Steve gets a song written by him? Uh-oh...

- Adam: Both love Sir Elton John AND Adam might have enough attention span for Steve. However, dud song choices might fuck with Steve one week and cost him the competition.

Even worse, I can tell you now, Steve will definitely be "Shevine" fodder in the auditions. For the uninitiated, "Shevine" refers to Adam and Blake's relationship on the show. In this context, Steve might end up being a 2 chair turn with Adam and Blake turning around.
The plot will revolve around Blake trying to bait Steve to embrace a country identity and Adam probably being stupid enough to try and bait Steve under the "I like country too and I think I can win the show with a country artist like you!" If asked who his influences are, Steve would bring up Elton and Adam would eat him up.

BEST CASE SCENARIO: Steve being on Team Adam
WORST CASE SCENARIO: Steve being a 1 chair turn...for Blake

3. He'd be screwed with the prize contract of a deal with Republic Records - Let's just imagine the best case scenario if GOD FORBID, Steve ends up on The Voice [and also pigs flying and hell freezing over]; he wins for Team Adam after not singing bad songs for the entire phase of the competition. Republic Records hates who wins.

For what it's worth, Universal is to blame at large for the fact that a singing competition they're involved with has a mainly SONY based judging [Shakira, Xtina, Alicia, Pharrell, Usher and Miley] and WARNER based judging [Blake and Cee-Lo] and has had only TWO of its own damn artists as coaches [Adam and Gwen.]
Oversight aside, the label that's supposed to be behind the artist that wins? Well that shit goes haywire real quick and here's proof of such instances [Cassadee and Danielle not withstanding because who cares, it's country. Jordan Smith not withstanding because, ew CCM/Gospel; Alisan Porter yet to be withstanding because pending flop alert]:

- Javier Colon, S1: album tanks at #134 on the Billboard 200, label drops him.

- Jermaine Paul, S2: single, not album, "Believe" was used once in a Samsung commercial and then the label canned him.

- Tessanne Chin, S5: album flops at #41 on the Billboard 200 and sold 7,000 copies the FIRST WEEK. O_O Dropped.

- Josh Kaufman, S6: according to a Yahoo interview with Luke Wade from S7, Republic "immediately dropped" Kaufman the week of his victory.

- Craig Wayne Boyd, S7: single, "My Baby's Got a Smile On Her Face" becomes only the 2nd song to debut #1 on the Hot Country Songs chart and Dot Records [division of Big Machine/Universal] STILL dropped him with no album release.

- Sawyer Fredericks, S8: album flops at #48. Could be dropped at some point.

The point is, Steve Grand would be setting himself up for utter disaster if he were to ever consider The Voice. I've given this thought and need help but whatever.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

It's The End of the Year (And We Know It)

I should've been above a dated reference to an allegedly good music act called R.E.M. but alas, here we are. As to why this blog hasn't really put out anything besides responses/promotion for singer/songwriter/LGBTQ activist/hot dork/the man of my dreams Steve Grand & the other minimal content at best...I'll be honest. Shit just went left for a mix of personal reasons and the fact that this year was kind of the worst outside Twitter*.

*Yes, things felt bad outside of the place on the internet which is pretty much best described as "Facebook with the option to block.

Blog-wise, lack of motivation and feeling drained with not much to say really did get to me.

[NOTE: if you must absolutely have some type of idea as to what caused this early in the year imagine expecting to graduate from college but hearing the family talk ad nauseam about an expected first grandchild that was two months or so from birth. Almost selfish as fuck to admit I felt upstaged by a baby's birth when I was about to graduate with a Bachelor's in Communication, but I was swept aside like that and up until Thanksgiving I loathed family connection.]

[NOTE 2: OK, also I did try to get Steve Grand to play something in San Antonio working with his booking agent and while cooperative at first, I never heard back from said agent after giving 4 locations knowing one of them would probably be a miss by the time I had found some information. Any feelings related to resentment, jealousy and bitterness (What the children might call "salty"/"saltiness") are things I should work on but I'm a case where holding in these feelings is bad.]

Near morbid notes aside, I honestly didn't conceptualize more than what's been on the blog thus far. I've been out of it and have had no outlet other participating in album rates for a pop music subreddit called /r/popheads. It's this constant feeling of being swept aside so much...ew, this is turning into a manifesto.

Positive notes as of late is getting into Todd In the Shadows and The Cinema Snob videos (Rage against bad music and movies respectively, makes my soul smile.) So, I am thinking of doing my version of a year end list of bad music where in list form, my rage against bad music can be...a sign that I'm not holding in bad feelings anymore. That aside, I'll do a set of HOPES 'N DREAMS regarding as to what I hope happens in 2017. It won't be pretty, but if overrated sex symbols have taught me anything, you don't have to be pretty to be well received.

HOPES 'N DREAMS: Music can actually be criticized even if names like BeyoncΓ© are being brought up. Poptimism must die in 2017 because it's sadly not dying in 2016 like anything or anyone else [The GRAMMYs In Memoriam section is going to be a bitch for all involved.]

- Speaking of BeyoncΓ©, I hope her marketing team for radio singles actually do their fucking job for the next album. If 12 singles chart on the Billboard Hot 100 and none of them crack higher than #10 and the only song to maintain momentum peaked at #11, you can kiss my ass claiming this was an achievement worth bragging about.

Also, I dream of the day the Beyhive can shut the hell up about that Glorified HBO Special acting like it deserved an Emmy. It was an incomplete "visual album" as "Formation" was omitted visually and vocally as only a poorly looped instrumental was played over the credits. Side note: shut up about "Daddy Lessons", "Love Drought" or really any song from that Glorified HBO Special not named "Hold Up" and "Formation". Talk about the good songs

- I hope and dream that Frank Ocean apologizes for that unorganized, chaotic mess known as Blonde/Blond/should've stayed Boys, Don't Cry because Blonde/Blond is a stupid album name.

His marketing sucks too [and he no longer has an idle Def Jam label to blame] as a magazine called "Blonde"/"Blond" would've at least had people try to make better sense out of the magazine. See, "Blonde" would've at least conjured up someone challenging Western societal standards of beauty, race relations and masculinity from Ocean's POV as a black bisexual man. Seriously, the fact there's a fucking magazine only edition of the album is already aggravating but at least calling the magazine "Blonde" would have made way better sense.

As for the music? "Pink + White" is the only song I can honestly say is anything worth a remote damn about. Everything else is an uneven blob of textured beats with half assed vocal delivery and falsettos so bum, I heard them ask for spare change.

- I hope "bad" means the worst and not just "pointless" with critics. Todd In the Shadows, The Cinema Snob and pretty much every other critic is guilty of this mentality of "bad" no longer meaning the worst thing that pissed them off the most or making them unhappiest. No instead, there's this weird and disgustingly wrong definition that "bad" is the "absence of good" [think like "dark" is "the absence of light" πŸ˜’]

From now on, if music or movies have to be subject to Worst Of lists, stick to the correct guidelines. Songs/albums that are horribly constructed, poorly sung or simply piss you off, put them on your list in order of bad to worst as #1. Same principle for movies; the movie that's THE WORST; acting/editing/anything that makes a movie suck is to top the list of the worst.

You are not predictable/blase, if you put something that is absolute trash at the top of a Worst of list. That's how it's supposed to work.

- I hope that Steve Grand covers good songs in the near future. I've bitched about this before and this time it's inspired from an appearance as the guest of the Halloweenie creators on a UBN Radio show [Which by the way, is hosted by a Ross Matthews wannabe who called Steve a model and earned my ire for not bothering to research into the fact that because Steve was never signed to a modelling agency and made pennies on the quarters for the work he did, he was never really a model.]

"Million Reasons" can be the 4th Gaga song I dream of him covering along with the 50+ other suggestions I've blogged about. Once he gave an idea that he intends on a cover album before the sophomore album [#PrayForSG2] I was intrigued...before being slightly defeated at this utterance; "Some of my favorite covers over the last five decades..."

OH MY GAGA, if I want to hear covers of either songs I don't know or care about with songs from today I can't stomach at large, I'd watch The Voice again. In fact, I could make a separate blog post as to why Steve being on The Voice would be a bad idea. That aside, he deserves this much; coverage from outlets and not just me and coverage from outlets smart enough to realize he isn't country.


Apart from everything else, I hope and dream of happiness, sex and/or love alongside success in 2017. See you on the other side.πŸ’–

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Steve Grand & His Friend's "Cross-Eyed Bear"

In getting his content hustle up to sporadic, singer/songwriter Steve Grand has released another promo video (At Facebook length, mind you) for an upcoming gig. You know what that means...OBSERVATIONS after the video...






OBSERVATIONS:

- The main point of this gig is that singer/songwriter, Tom Goss is opening for him. No T, No Shade but I remember him mainly for WoW Presents' YouTube channel featuring him in a short lived segment. Something about singing tweets.

- Also, a song of Tom's called "Bears" is a personal anthem for Steve. He happens to love bears...probably muscled out gym rats with "body hair" πŸ˜’...but maybe cubs like me can hold out hope. 🐻

- "I know I come visit a lot, but I don't often perform for you guys"; as his fans on Twitter and the other ones have seen, we can confirm this. Los Angeles is a second home for Steve as he's recorded there, visited Halloweenie repeatedly [think of Halloweenie as where slutty Halloween costumes go to be charitable πŸ’–], spends time at the Halloweenie creator's house a lot πŸ€” where the Speedo-meme was born...

...and also where he filmed his YouTube Music Foundry/"THNX for the Facebook likes" video for "We are the Night"...






Oh look, the video is featured. I told you I'm not like the outlets.

Again, if YOU'RE lucky enough to see him, validate my favorite MUSIC WISE BEFORE ANYTHING ELSE. Also, brag about it and be grateful.

Steve Grand's Upcoming Auld Lauderdale Syne

Content is at a stretch and considering a lot, something uplifting needs to happen. I know! I'll make "observations" about singer/songwriter Steve Grand's latest promo video about an upcoming gig!

This time, the singer/songwriter announces that Ft. Lauderdale, Florida is about to luck out big time for the holiday season.






NOW comes my favorite part...the OBSERVATIONS...

- Oh look; another church gig. Any lessor commentator would make the "Take Me to Church"/Hozier comparison but I am not one to insult Steve. At least not for where a gig takes place.

- "Holiday favorites" probably means "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" by Brenda Lee or more than likely his rendition of "All I Want For Christmas Is You" [still available on YouTube, Spotify and Bandcamp πŸ˜‰]






Oh what a surprise...that's the video link...πŸ˜‰πŸ™‚πŸ˜ƒ

- "Some of my favorite covers over the last five decades"; OH BROTHER does this scream a season of The Voice. Well, something I can guarantee might be performed is "After the Gold Rush" by Neil Young.

See, about that "Gold Rush" on the paper plate in earlier vlogs? That apparently was shorthand for this Neil Young song. Not like he hasn't seen my blog post as to what songs could service him well http://mrswearword21.blogspot.com/2016/09/covering-ground-what-i-think-steve.html oh that's a link.

*cough* TAKE A HINT *cough cough* wouldn't hurt anyone doing covers to take a risk and...sorry. His shows, his covers...πŸ˜’πŸ˜œ

Also, there's "PillowTalk" which he made not suck...oh look, another link πŸ˜ƒ [still available on YouTube & Bandcamp]






He also might bring out Justin Bieber's "Sorry" πŸ˜’ or songs that work for him. He's wanted to perform "Style" by Taylor Swift and I don't know if anybody's caught even a millisecond of it for fear of being pulled off the internet by Tyrant Swift.

- Side note: those fakakta suspenders. Cute at first but now they just clash. I mean, serve some Newsies realness with the hat or just save the suspenders for sex or a photoshoot. I mean damn.

Also, I'd like to point out, if YOU are lucky enough to see him, go see him and stan in my honor. Apparently, San Antonio isn't exactly on the radar to his booking agent. That aside, if you get to see him live, you get to brag about seeing a talented person with a soul who happens to be really hot. Once you do see him and you get autographs or pictures or Twitter length video, etc., compose yourself and be grateful.

As for what's next? Well, it's tentative to say the least but if you're one of the few that caught his guest of a guest UBN interview, he very clearly said he's THINKING of doing a covers album NEXT YEAR. Whatever comes, it better be good so I can justify my constant fawning [what stanning was called before.]

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Steve Grand in New Orleans & The High Seas

[This might be a stretch for content again, but it's not like NewNowNext, Queerty, Towleroad, Instinct, BuzzFeed or the others care about his music. So, you're stuck with me until they get it together.]

Plotting pop dominance [in the independent world] is no easy task, but singer/songwriter/sex symbol/Starbucks obsessed dork Steve Grand has at least 2 gigs he's advertising through his YouTube channel and other social media [though lately, Twitter's been getting the shaft. Why? Who knows.]

An upcoming gig set for October 21st & 22nd has the singer/songwriter announce his debut in New Orleans.





The other huge thing to keep an eye on is a 2018 planned fan cruise. He's already promoting a gig in 2018...how much does he really have up his sleeve? (Any lessor bitch would have already made the seamen joke.)







As to what else he's been doing musically, that's still tentative though a confirmed title of a potential lead single, "Don't Let the Light In", was made months ago and that could still be tentative. The good news about his latest videos, the built in branding which in print screen form looks like this... 



Validate him on the sites he might or might not be using and check Bandsintown [or the tour section of his website, stevegrand.com/tour-dates/], for information and tickets if unlike me, you have $ and such to see him live. Brag about it online; it's worth it from the repeated good things I hear from other Grand Fam.

Friday, October 7, 2016

ALL MALE (Music) REVIEW: Love Drunk Crazy by Cody Belew

Since last reviewing both Paradise and What You're Looking For [apart from launching an Etsy store, Ruby June,] singer/songwriter Cody Belew has a new EP, Love Drunk Crazy, now released. However, there is one notable direction change that admittedly shouldn't but still surprises me.

Certain posts to social media hinted at a possible switchup into country music as opposed to the [relative] pop direction he had been encouraged/pushed into from his time on S3 of The Voice (Once you brag about songwriting in the studio where Reba McEntire does her thing, it's kind of writing on the wall that country is where you're headed.)

Here's how my review will work. All of the tracks will be judged individually; cohesion will determine the grade of the EP later. Obvious factors like singing ability and the instrumental of the song will be included as well.

# of songs: 5

Total run time: roughly 15 minutes

1. "Love Drunk Crazy"- So far, this is actually a step in the right direction. It isn't "obvious" country which is working in its favor. Singing wise, consistency is a virtue and his singing still sounds like it has passion behind it.
As far as the vibe, this could pass as Kacey Musgraves B-side [I promise that's a compliment due to this song's catchy nature.] Although, at a run time of 3:00, a Meghan Trainor comparison is in order.

2. "Hanging"- Vibe wise, this isn't offering anything terribly new; drinking away blues in some vein of love. At least the production sounds great and his singing is serviced properly. Even with minor gripes, there are more good factors than bad to take notice of this track.

3. "You Got that Something"- I swear this could have been a song that narrowly missed the tracklist for What You're Looking For. For something roughly country, this is pop/country due to how I perceive the tempo to be [maybe this is a dance-worthy track in country maybe pop/country world.]
The point is, the singing is there and I'm not mad at this. What I am mad at is the short run time. [3:15 minimum please]

4. "Live Like Yesterday"- Unexpected delight alert: hearing Belew sing the words "skinny dipping". Apart from that, the song is pretty decent; earnest lyrics wishing he and the presumed love interest were more reckless/youthful. It's cute even if it's nothing new.
Still, his vocals are sweeter than they have been on both previous releases and that's nothing to sneer at.

5. "Even the Losers"- A run time of 2:58? Gurl no. That aside, by now the EP established and offered a concrete universe of "simple pleasures" set to a country...well maybe pop/country sounds [Think in terms of Taylor Swift's early career before 1989 or country music that's "crossover" like Shania Twain on Come on Over.]


FINAL GRADE: B-
Don't get me wrong, the singing on this EP is a step in the right direction. A new sweetened vocal styling emerged and it is very pleasant. However, some of the instrumentals did blend in together bordering on monotony/sameness ("Isn't that usually country music in its most concentrated form?" No, judgmental me; let me explain why.)
It's not that the exact same instrumental was stretched out for 5 songs. My only gripe is that there wasn't anything to differentiate the songs apart from their titles being sung by Belew. Still, there is something to take away, other than the fact that new music by him has been released. It's that for all of the pop [singer/songwriter type mind you] direction of the last two releases to his name, Love Drunk Crazy was clearly planned as a country...ish release from the jump. Do I miss the "pop" Belew? Yes but I'm not unhappy with Love Drunk Crazy and in fact; if it is country, it's country that doesn't suck and that's an achievement and a half.

BEST TRACK: the title track, "Love Drunk Crazy". I'll gladly take a Kacey Musgraves style catchy track any day of the week, especially if it's done right.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

SOUNDCHECK: "The Cost of Living" Soundtrack

Here's the track listing/"soundtrack" to my three act story, The Cost of Living. All songs will be specified as to how they intertwine with the story.

CHARACTER/LOCALE THEME SONGS
1. "Same Ol' Mistakes" - Rihanna [the theme of Core Nightclub]
2. "Not Above That" - DAWN [Muscleman's theme]
3. "Soap" - Melanie Martinez [Scorpio's theme]
4. "Lil' Star" - Kelis ft. Cee-Lo [Catherine's theme]
5. "We Found Love" - Calvin Harris X Rihanna [Hi-NRG's theme]
6. "Kids" - Kelis {scrapped track from her album Flesh Tone} [Dave's theme]
7. "Come Into My World" - Kylie Minogue [Blondie's theme]
8. "All In a Day's Work" - Danity Kane [Ranger's theme]
9. "American Life (American Dream remix ft. Missy Elliott)" - Madonna [Jamie's theme]
10. "Run to the Sun" - N*E*R*D {the 2001 version} [Alejandro's theme]
11. "S&M" - Rihanna ["Pop Goes the Playlist"]
12. "You're Not the One" - Sky Ferreira ["Rock Hard...Drinks Night"]
13. "Boom Boom" - Rye Rye ["Joystick Night"]
14. "Do It 4 U" - Machinedrum ft. DAWN [the theme of Sky Nightclub]
15. "Red Lips" - Sky Ferreira [Travis' theme]
16. "We Are the Night" {Dave Aude remix} - Steve Grand [ending theme/credits]

GENERAL SOUNDTRACK [Can be played when applicable]
1. "How Many Times, How Many Lies" - Pussycat Dolls
2. "Cali Sun" - DAWN
3. "So Complicated" - Noisettes
4. "Fool For You" - Zayn
5. "Everything is Embarrassing" - Sky Ferreira
6. "The Bird" - Anderson .Paak
7. "Lapdance" - N*E*R*D ft. Vita and Lee Harvey [2001 version]
8. "6 Inch" - Beyonce ft. The Weeknd
9. "Sexodus" - M.I.A.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

"The Cost of Living" - Act III Part II

The bus pulled up to the park and ride and the convoy were the first to step off the bus. Once grouped together and having said their goodbyes to the other dancers, they talked about what the next course of action would be for Muscleman, Scorpio, Hi-NRG, Jamie and Alejandro. Muscleman had Ranger to check up on the statuses of the clubs in San Antonio. “See how Fuego, Uppercut, Charlie’s Horse and the rest are doing.” Checking his phone for news about the San Antonio nightlife, Ranger relayed to him, “Word around the town is Fuego and Uppercut are doing fine again and are back in business tomorrow. Charlie’s Horse needs another day but should be good to go shortly thereafter. Other clubs that weren’t affected stayed that way, mostly.” Scorpio had Ranger check on the status of Core. “Any updates about our home club?” Searching for updates resulted in more bad news. “Well, Core’s now facing being shut down for good.” “Fuck, really?” Hi-NRG queried. “How fucking shady was Type A, anyway?”

Ranger pulled up a clip from the same news station that reported on Core being raided. The newscaster began, “Our top story tonight is an update to the raid of popular gay hotspot Core. Authorities confirmed that former owner Rigoberto Menendez was involved in a large money laundering syndicate that is reported to have swindled some close to $69,000 a week for the past five and a half years. As for Core itself, authorities have determined that the club will be shut down but have assured that gay patrons of San Antonio will have a new option once better investors in the gay nightlife industry come along and repurpose the club.” After the clip, no one was able to react to the fact that Core was essentially shut down for good. Ranger ended up breaking the silence by offering them a chance to work at Uppercut. “I have the information that Sky ended up getting and I can give the guy who runs Uppercut your name the minute you want to apply there.” Seeing no choice but to accept his offer, Muscleman spoke for the convoy by thanking Ranger for his kindness and outreach. “We’ll text you sooner than you think. Thanks.”

As for the rest of the night, all but Blondie and Ranger had to arrange how they would return to San Antonio. Ranger left the group first and reminded them, “I got you for Uppercut jobs. Text me again, whenever.” Waving goodbye to Ranger, the convoy was thankful and relieved that something better came their way. Scorpio turned the conversation back to how they would get home. “It’s a bitch to get back but we can do it if we leave now.” Muscleman offered to lead the pack back into town. “I’ll lead everyone back home if that’s cool.” They agreed and decided that Jamie and Alejandro would ride with Scorpio again. Hi-NRG meanwhile had a different M.O. than the group. “I’ll be back tomorrow.” He began as he eyed Blondie up and down. “There’s some business I want to take care of.” Blondie playfully added, “I’ll make sure he gets home safely.” Blondie and Hi-NRG then got into their cars and drove out of the parking lot, tailing each other before they would turn that into a sexual connotation.

The others split up into their groups and began the drive home. Along the way, Muscleman had only just processed what had happened tonight. “Nothing to remind you what a difference a day makes like being behind a curtain letting guys get loose on you, to working a different club in another city letting a first…boyfriend…fall asleep in your arms, to watching some smug fuck get punched out by someone you didn’t think had upper body strength.” Meanwhile, Jamie and Alejandro were cuddling in the back seat of Scorpio’s car as Scorpio was realizing what had happened with him tonight. “I go from damn near having an emotional affair to making it physical to being the jilted lover to being cradled by some of the warmest biceps I’ve ever had wrapped around me.”

All the while, Hi-NRG charged at Blondie with sexual fervor. Once inside Blondie’s house, he carried him to the bed. Blondie advised his electric lover, “Slow your roll, baby. I’m not kicking you out of here yet.” That fell on deaf ears as he raced to the bed with Blondie in his arms. Once in the bedroom, their tongues and lips met and savored each bit of the saliva exchanged. The mood had nowhere to go but up with Hi-NRG tearing all of Blondie’s clothes save his shoes and jockstrap. Blondie was enamored with the speed and voracity in which this was happening. “This son of a bitch doesn’t waste time in letting me know I’m his tonight.” He was lovingly pushed onto the bed by his energetic lover who stripped naked and hopped on him in utter sexual frenzy. Grabbing onto his hair and then his ass, Hi-NRG satiated his craving for tanned, sandy blonde men with every kiss, suck and spank he gave to Blondie. He pretended to question his attraction to him based on decking Travis in the face. “Seeing him punch someone shouldn’t have me on his fine ass like this. I like it, so why should I give a figurative fuck?” Blondie eventually became vocal to his carnally frenetic partner that night and calmly purred, “Let me have my kicks too, babe. It’ll be worth it.”

Hi-NRG obliged and was rewarded with Blondie’s oral skills. “Oh my God you’re really good at that!” he exclaimed. Blondie more curtly told him, “Shut up. Moans from you will do just fine.” He would later contemplate regret prompting him to be non-verbal as he then introduced Hi-NRG to the foot trick he had performed on Muscleman. Hi-NRG rightfully broke his silence out of pleasure. “You are one freaky fuck! Anything else you can do?” The response was Hi-NRG’s legs being flung in the air and Blondie proceeding to place his tongue in between Hi-NRG’s glutes. “Yeah!” the receiver exclaimed. “Eat my ass like you’re getting executed!” That was enough to usher Blondie’s reward for his efforts, as Hi-NRG grabbed the nearby lubricant and condom, apply both and used his speeding thrusts on an ever gracious Blondie. Exaltations of the other’s part in their sexual tryst resulted in euphoric orgasms for them both.
“I’m about to cum! Uh oh my God!” grunted Hi-NRG.
“I’m about to…unh-hhh!” Blondie shouted.
“That was awesome…”
“…for you too?”
The two of them ended up showering, drying each other off before Hi-NRG wrapped his arms around Blondie. The little spoon asked his Latino big spoon, “You’re secretly thinking of moving to Austin aren’t you?” He didn’t know how to reply but sensed a much needed change was coming.
“I could if I had two reasons.” He started.
“What are they?” Blondie slyly pressed.
“One, if I manage to get a job here with some graphic design firm.”
“You could also try to start one for yourself. Investors don’t sneer at graphic design.”
“Two, I’d want to move here if I…”
“Found love?”
“If I ended up in bed with a sandy blonde guy who knows the art of ‘purring’.”
They smiled at each other confirming that impulse had worked in their favor.

All the while, Muscleman had long since led the convoy back to San Antonio in one piece. He got out of his car, opened the door, immediately went to his bedroom, stripped naked and went to sleep with his covers providing much relief for his nearly overdramatic night. He was half expecting Scorpio to maintain enough energy to make up leaving him alone with morning sex as a reward. Scorpio meanwhile, dropped Jamie and Alejandro off at Jamie’s house. “You two be safe.” He teased. The two of them playfully sneered at Scorpio with Alejandro prodding, “Go be his little spoon, bitch.” The two of them ended up kissing in the early hours of that half night, half day wondering where the other had been all this time. “Let’s take this slow.” Jamie said. “Of course.” Alejandro obliged. “We’ll always fuck another day or something.” Scorpio drove off with Muscleman in his sights. “I might not be up for sex, but goddamnit if I’m not after his musk all over me.” Pulling up to his mailbox, he called Muscleman in the hopes of getting at least a groggy sweet nothing. On the first ring, Muscleman answered, “I’ll be at the door.” A touched Scorpio replied, “I didn’t think you’d pick up.” Hanging up the phone, he left his car and raced to the front door. Right when he got to the door, Muscleman opened it and ushered in his love and told him, “We cuddle naked, no fucking. I’m beat.” “Sure thing.” Scorpio obliged. He stripped his clothes off and walked with Muscleman back to bed.

They let the covers drape them and even managed a conversation out of their near lagging selves. “I owe you a talk about what we are now.” Muscleman started. “Let’s talk.” Scorpio replied.
“After all we’ve been through, especially tonight…”
“…reading that punk bitch his verbal Miranda Rights.”
“I want to ask you first…are we a couple?”
“Yes. We’re boyfriends, a couple, an item…all of that.”
“Now ask me the same question.”
“Are we a couple?”
“No shit, Sherlock. Get some rest. I love you.”
“Jackass. I love you too.”
The two of them slept the rest of the night away, knowing sleep was secondary to the fact that they confirmed their status as a couple. Neither of them expected anything to top that moment for the both of them. Not even the musk Muscleman emitted being the perfect mix of body chemistry and hygiene hitting Scorpio’s nostrils topped his saying yes to couple status to him. In turn, Scorpio’s lithe body providing warmth didn’t top the fact Muscleman found love.


"The Cost of Living" - Act III Part I

Minimal experience from Dave was having Muscleman close to feeling guilty for having him in his bed. “I can’t believe I actually have him doing this. He’s good, but goddamn…” he thought. Once satisfied with Dave’s tongue in his ass, Muscleman let him apply the condom and lubricant. After lubing up, Dave whispered to him, “No mercy. I don’t have experience but that means you can do whatever you want to me.” Assuming the position, Muscleman slowly began inserting himself in Dave. Tightness all around explained the euphoria was indeed from a virgin. “Holy shit, you’re so tight.” He said aloud. “I’ll take it slow with you.”

Even at his most restrained level, the tightness of Dave was bringing electrifying pleasure to Muscleman that he couldn’t handle. “Goddamn you’re really tight!” he exclaimed. Dave thought to assume another position while sneaking kisses from Muscleman. “It should ease the nerves.” He pointed out. “Nibble on my ear…kiss my neck…anything else you can think of because I do want you.” Lubing him up again, Muscleman followed Dave’s recommendation and it worked to their benefits. Once kissing him and grabbing onto his short, jet black hair, entry was found much easier for Muscleman. Dave’s moans were ear candy to him as his thrusting and groove were to his normal pacing. Yet again, he faced the dilemma of climaxing inside his lover.
“Oh fuck…I’m about to cum!”
“Yeah…cum in me!”
“Unh-hhh…fuck!”
“Ohhhh yes!”
Muscleman then fell on top of Dave’s back and the two of them snuck kisses to cement their elevated status as fuckbuddies. Panting heavily, he slapped Dave’s ass and led him to the shower.

Once in the shower, Muscleman and Dave kissed each other again right before they washed the remnants of their encounter off each other. After a thorough shower and toweling off, Dave was in his clothes thanking Muscleman for what happened. Before leaving he advised him, “He doesn’t have to know but if he asks, tell the truth. Keeping anything from him spells disaster.” Muscleman replied, “Thanks for the reminder. You sure you don’t want to spend the night?” Dave politely rejected the offer by pointing out, “I’m already catching a mental shit-storm from my Dad for not being home already. Thanks, though. You mean something now and I like that.” He kissed Muscleman while realizing he would momentarily suffer without someone to spoon after sex. With the champagne Lexus leaving the driveway, Muscleman was left alone to process all his thoughts in his sleep.

A deep sleep and a 9:00 AM alarm woke him to find that apart from Pop Goes the Playlist and an impending financial drought, he was unprepared for what was to come. His phone rang and when he answered it, his supervisor Miguel told him, “Sorry this is last minute. You have today off from work.” “Thanks for the heads up.” He replied. After ending that call, he received a text from Hi-NRG to call him as soon as he woke up. Two rings later, Muscleman had Hi-NRG on the other line. “Hey, just got your text. What’s up?” Hi-NRG replied by inviting him to breakfast with Jamie and Alejandro. “The three of us are heading to that restaurant right by you. Want to join us?” Muscleman accepted the invitation but wondered where Scorpio or Blondie was in the equation. “What about the other two?” he asked. “I haven’t texted ‘red hot’ yet, but blonde bombshell wasn’t interested. He thanked me for inviting him anyway.” Hi-NRG replied. “I’ll be there in about 10 minutes.” Muscleman assured.

Once in a tank-top, track pants and sneakers, Muscleman got in his car and met up with the others at the restaurant. Spotting Jamie and Alejandro, he seated himself and wanted to know if on the off chance, anything close to an exit strategy was even planned. “Tonight is the last theme night before the drought. Anybody think through a plan?” he posed. “If not a safe haven with Fuego or Uppercut, anybody thought through how we survive the drought?” Alejandro cautiously replied, “You and the other dancers might have a chance with Fuego or Uppercut, but as for me and Jamie? We’d be lucky if we get jobs at Charlie’s Horse that doesn’t deal with their fucking smoking section.” Jamie replied less pessimistically, but just as seriously when he used real names in conversation. “Truth is, you, Vicente, Dylan, Sean and Shane will be fine. Worst case scenario, Core closes in the midst of the drought. You’re not as expendable because guys come in clubs to see you. Besides, you and Vicente have lives outside of this. We have to take things slow because shit’s going left.” Hi-NRG showed up at the table after his brief absence to use the bathroom and wondered why his real name was used. “So yeah, this using our names type of shit. What’s up with that?”

Jamie replied, “I know that caught you off guard, but Derrick wanted to know if any of us thought of at least a way to survive the financial drought we face. Alejandro and I were telling him you guys that dance can bounce back easier than us.” Hi-NRG countered, “You can bounce back to jobs that are less shat upon than any of us who dance. Don’t act like we have any chance of rebounding that easy.” Muscleman tried to diffuse any tension by pointing out, “Look, all I was getting at was that something needs to happen to make sure that we don’t totally go into tonight blindly.” Suddenly, Scorpio walked through the restaurant with Blondie and Ranger behind him. “Looks like a full house with this impending financial death sentence.” Alejandro said. Blondie and Ranger seated themselves at a larger table and had everyone else settle where they were. Scorpio on the other hand, asked Muscleman about last night.

“Not to start today off in a worse place than what we’re facing, but did anything happen between you and Dave last night?” he asked him. Remembering that Dave had advised him to tell the truth if anything related to them was brought up, he told him then and there, “Yeah, he and had sex.” Scorpio responded, “I didn’t think you’d tell me the truth this quick. I could see hints of afterglow but in weirdly subtle shades.” Muscleman pointed out, “I didn’t feel adrenaline with him. That probably makes afterglow stronger. I just felt intense, weirdly like electricity vibes throughout. Tight ass too.” Scorpio interjected, “Didn’t actually need to know that much, but wait…did you pop someone’s fairy cherry?” A nod of affirmation was all Scorpio needed to see from Muscleman to be left damn near speechless. “I’ll get on you about that later, we need to know the score about tonight.” They then joined the others at the larger table to discuss how to gauge how to repeat success on Pop Goes the Playlist night and then deal with the impending drought they face in the coming days turning weeks turning months.

Prior to Pop Goes the Playlist, no theme night had ever received this much monetary and public acclaim to where a second night of it was planned so quickly. Now with the third theme night in a row looming, Jamie explained which obstacles weren’t in the picture for tonight. “So, word is, Ima ClichΓ© and Bae-sil Leaf are working other clubs and won’t even be near us the entire night. So, we’re avoiding tries at comedy that make us a little on the angry side.” Knowing that little dig was aimed at him, Scorpio playfully countered, “Well, when an unfunny drag queen like the fitting Ima ClichΓ© keeps prodding someone who felt jilted, knocking the wig back to hell where it came from felt right.” Muscleman lightly chuckled while the others weren’t as quick to chortle along. Blondie asked Jamie, “Anything else we’re avoiding in terms of pitfalls?” He replied, “Apart from the mood being less forced, Alejandro did manage to sneak a peek at the expected crowd turnout and if it’s anything like last time, no having to hustle in the Inner Core for the dancers.”

“How high is the expected turnout?” Muscleman wondered. Alejandro whispered, “About double from the last Pop Goes the Playlist night minimum.” Muscleman thought, “Something about this seems short term. I have to hustle anyway; don’t I?” Scorpio then braced himself before prompting Jamie, “Alright, lay it on us in full; what obstacles do we have to face tonight?” Jamie replied, “Part of the reason demand for Pop Goes the Playlist were the low drink prices…so guess what happens from 10:00 to 11:00. $1 prices on beer, $2 on liquor and $5 mixed drinks for that entire hour.” “Oh for fuck’s sake.” Scorpio muttered. Muscleman added, “So for an hour, we’re delayed from dancing on the fucking bar top while we have to pump money from already cheap bastards there for drinks…I can’t deal with this fuckery right now.” Ranger and Blondie each didn’t want to sound unsympathetic when pitching potential exit strategies for after Pop Goes the Playlist.

Blondie carefully propositioned Muscleman, Scorpio and Hi-NRG to dance in Austin clubs he works at. “I could get you in and out of the city, plus I know where the legit but easy money is all around the clubs I work at. I can put in a good word for you if any of you consider it.” Ranger though not against Blondie’s commute-based offer, wanted to make his pitch appeal locally. “Uppercut can’t bring hustle driven nights, but you dance in a less sleazy environment than Core. The blue-ish lights are a bit weird at first, but the place has its niche, dedicated audience. I can put a good word with them if any of you consider this offer.” The three of them were on the verge of considering their offers. Muscleman asked Blondie and Ranger, “We can have this as a last resort or consider this a lot if we don’t have an immediate answer, right?” Ranger assured him, “Of course. Each of us just want to do our best to help out.” Blondie added, “We have to stick together somehow. We’re not deep friends or shit like that, but at the very least, this is like networking.”

"The Cost of Living" - Act II Part II

As they each got into their cars, Muscleman was really contemplating if what he had with Scorpio was really more than fuckbuddy status. Every speed limit sign passed by then couldn’t have done anything from his adrenaline coursing through his veins like the very night Scorpio made him his latest conquest. “I don’t know why I like it with him, but I do.” He thought. “It’s like he can scratch every itch I didn’t know I liked being scratched.” He pulled into his driveway and saw Scorpio park by his mailbox again. Bringing the lubricant and condoms with him as to avoid a delay, Scorpio met Muscleman at the door and the two of them raced to the bedroom once inside and the door was locked.

In the bedroom, having stripped each other of their clothing, Muscleman wrapped his arms around his lithe, deliciously evil looking lover. Their mouths passionately intertwined, Scorpio grabbing Muscleman’s glutes and smacking each cheek with his seal of approval. “Goddamn, I feel like a top.” As Scorpio pushed Muscleman to his back, he whispered into his ear, “Ravage me…right before we start sucking…fucking…and anything else you want.” Letting everything be thrown to the wind, he obliged Scorpio by nibbling his ear while inserting his right ring finger into Scorpio, hoping to drive him insane. “Oh yeah, right there…” he began. “…uhhh that feels so good.” As feelings intensified, their acts did so as well. Muscleman grabbed Scorpio by the head and told him, “Suck me good.” Later, he was told to return the favor when Scorpio grabbed Muscleman’s head and was prompted, “Suck me good, too.”
Then Muscleman said to him, “Eat my ass.”
Scorpio obliged and then told him, “Now it’s my turn.”
Manic tongues were nothing compared to Muscleman flipping Scorpio over and asking him, “You ready for my dick?” “I thought you’d never ask.” His lithe fuckbuddy replied. He applied the condom and lube and had Muscleman apply lube onto his hole. “Right there…” The two of them picked up where they left off as speedy but powerful thrusts were made that had Scorpio moan immensely. “Ohh, that’s right daddy…right there…oh fuck yes!” Thrusting continued for minutes that no matter how many had elapsed, weren’t enough for either of them. The pulsating sensations were strong enough that Muscleman lifted Scorpio while the former was still inside the latter and maneuvered their way into the shower. “Oh you maniac!” Scorpio exclaimed. “Don’t stop now!” Once the shower was running with almost unthinkably warm water on the first try, the two of them continued their romp, now soaking wet in each other’s embrace. Later, aquatic tinged moans led to explosive ejaculations neither of them experienced until that moment. “Ohh, I’m about to cum!” exclaimed Muscleman. Scorpio responded, “I’m about to cum too…fuck!” They collapsed on each other with the shower still running, kissing each other to make sure they were alright.
“Better than last time…I’ll say that.” Muscleman told his love.
“Shower off and then say that.” Scorpio playfully remarked.
“I thought you liked being wet.”
“Jackass. Your water bill is going to hate you.”
“Way to be a wet blanket.”
“Jackass.”
They showered the remnants of their latest entry into their sex life, toweled off and then headed to bed. Not as intoxicated by the impulse of it all, they took the moment to establish what they were once and for all.

Muscleman let Scorpio take the reins explaining, “You started this, so it’s only fair that you let me know what I am to you.” The latter replied, “What do you mean? I thought this was your thing.” He decided to entertain Scorpio’s thought process. “We’ll do this the hard way.” He first asked him, “Are we boyfriends or something?” “Boyfriends or ‘something’?” Scorpio understandably replied with a fixation on the qualifying part of that question. “We’re more than fuckbuddies because we look each other in the eyes and kiss.” Muscleman elaborated. “Now I’m thinking, because I’m open about being with a guy for the first time, what the fuck are we?” Scorpio was perplexed by Muscleman’s admission of having been so enticed by his form, he now considered himself open. At the same time, Scorpio wondered just how long Muscleman had repressed these feelings for men. One wrong move now and he feared he would lose everything with him. However, he had no choice but to ask him, “How long has being with a guy…like this…been in the back of your mind?” He feared instant castigation for his inquiry, but Muscleman answered him with, “I thought a lot about what you said during our fight the other day. I was in tears once you left before you and I made up over the phone. Then I realized why I forgave you and why I was in shambles. It was because I was feeling appreciated for everything I had done by this point in my life. You had me realize what love was like. I’m not getting rid of that.” Scorpio was nearly speechless at the profession of love.

“I…didn’t think I had that much of an impact on you.” He said. Muscleman reassured him, “If you didn’t say it like you did, I’m not sure we’d be here. I’d probably be drinking the pain of losing my daughters and then adding the pain of losing you away until I was found dead in here.” Scorpio did wonder about Muscleman’s daughters, remembering that until Catherine’s mother left with all four of them, they were the reasons he hustled the way he did. “Not that it’s totally my place to ask, but…have you been able to reach out to any of your daughters since they were taken by your…wait. I don’t know the full story of them yet.” Cradling his lover, Muscleman explained how he had ended up hustling for Jillian, Emma, Sarah and Catherine even though none of them were his despite the hustle. “I was a stupid blowhard in my early 20s.” he
began. “I met the woman who would eventually have me damn near whore myself for years on end because she had four children when she was too young and was desperate for somebody to raise them as their own.” Scorpio queried, “Wait a minute, I thought the life or death tattoo came from you two expecting Catherine.” Muscleman continued, “It did, but what I never told anybody, not even Catherine, is that I found out a few weeks after she was born that she wasn’t mine.” “What the fuck?” Scorpio posed rhetorically. “So you caring for all four of her daughters was like…survivor’s guilt but in child rearing style?” “Exactly.” Muscleman affirmed.

He later reminisced before Catherine came along about the struggles of getting to know three little girls that weren’t his to begin with but took on due to being in a bad place. “Jillian is the oldest of all four. Mostly a decent kid in school, makes friends easy. Almost like her mother in that she’s confident, but runs the risk of turning into a raging bitch if she’s not careful.” “Raging brat.” Scorpio chided. “She’s your daughter, not your…wait…you and the mother…not even married?” “Exactly, and you’re right. All Jillian is, is a little brat when she’s not being paid attention to.” Muscleman replied. He then remembered how Emma was easy to adapt to of the three that came with Catherine’s mother. “Emma didn’t mind me being with her Mom. All I was to her was ‘Cool Daddy’ because I taught her tricks to avoid her Mom’s terrible cooking.” “Tricks you into raising her kids and she can’t cook either?” Scorpio remarked. “You’re a saint, or perhaps the dumbest motherfucker alive.” “Column A, Column B. I’m not perfect.” Muscleman replied.

Sarah as he recalled was the toughest cookie crack for the first two years he was in the girls’ lives. “Sarah was the one who could see that Emma was naturally kind to a lot of people and Jillian was kind to whoever let her have more allowance money. In her case, I had to play tea party the right way, twice a day. Eventually, I got a hug from her that meant ‘Don’t screw up now. I barely like you at all.’ By the time Catherine came into the picture, she had actually sweetened up to me and showed me some macaroni pictures from when she was smaller.” Scorpio was speechless as to how much pain and misery he put himself through. “Tea party had to be a certain way…twice a day?” “I know. It didn’t make sense either, but for as long as their mother was doing her best to hold a job despite a shitty attitude, I had to do what I had to do.” Muscleman replied. “Then, about seven years ago, in the midst of me being a trainer, a dancer and on the side, a man-whore…I find out she’s expecting. We have a huge fight about what I’m doing with my life, I get a tattoo that we promise Catherine she’d never see; a tattoo that seven years later, the shyest but smartest of the four girls saw when I got sloppy.” Wanting a conclusion despite old wounds having been reopened, Scorpio asked, “How long did you wait until the paternity test subject came up?” “We waited until Catherine was a year old exactly, but my name isn’t on any of the girls’ birth certificates.” Muscleman replied. “Yes I know, it’s stupid to support children that aren’t yours if you’re not even responsible for making them. Especially when I’m not on the birth certificate as their father by default.”

Scorpio replied, “It’s not stupid to have to step in for someone fucking up their end of the deal. It’s inconvenient considering those were four mouths you had to feed, clothe and take to school…” he paused right before he remembered the most damning detail being looked over. “Oh shit. She’s the one you wrote the poem for isn’t she?” Muscleman looked at Scorpio and said, “That’s right. I had gotten attached enough to write a poem about the daughter I secretly wished was mine.” Scorpio had had enough of tarnishing the mood with reminiscing about what Muscleman lost. “All of this is nice to know, but I’m sorry for having you bring it up. Talking about it sort of put a damper on everything.” “You asked a fair question, and sooner rather than later I’m most likely going to encounter one of them again.” Muscleman assured him.


"The Cost of Living" - Act II Part I

Muscleman could have resisted Scorpio’s conquest of him, but with so much pleasure coursing through his veins he would have regretted not trying out the other side of the fence without money being the only reason. He was tossed onto the bed as Scorpio unleashed every trick he learned in the multitude of people he considered fortunate to have experienced him. He began with levels of foreplay Muscleman had never received. Attention to his feet that turned into Scorpio worshipping Muscleman’s legs. “Oh yeah, bet you never had attention on your feet before, huh you skirt chasing piece of shit?” he barked carnally. “No, but I like it.” His conquest replied. “Keep to what you want and suck me off.” Only being miffed at having to take an order, Scorpio wrapped his arms around his conquests’ thighs and gave no warning over the oral warmth and impending pleasure waves he was emitting.

“Oh my God, you’re really good at that!” and several moans later, Muscleman knew he could feel Scorpio’s throat every time his head bobbed up and down. “Yeah, just like that…oh yeah…oh God yes, keep going.” That was all it took before Scorpio did the opposite and had his conquest lay on his stomach and told him, “Spread ‘em.” Muscleman obliged his power hungry lover and was quick to voice his pleasures once Scorpio was motioning the alphabet with his tongue. “Holy shit that feels so fucking good!” 5 letters into this previously unexplored side of pleasure, Muscleman began to well up in the eyes; a sign of a successful conquest Scorpio had noticed as well. “Your eyes watering up, bitch?” he rhetorically posed. “Get back in there!” his conquest barked. Getting through the alphabet to “N”, Scorpio used Muscleman’s loudest moan yet as a sign that the favor should be returned.

“I heard you.” He began. “You do me. All the same shit I just did to you.” His conquest nervously obliged, expecting some level of clemency from Scorpio. It would be the last mistake he made that night. Tepid oral had Muscleman’s head being grabbed and before long, Scorpio was thrusting himself in his conquest’s mouth. “You do this shit for money too, you little slut.” He barked to him. “Pretend you’re getting $1,000,000 and don’t be such a quitter already.” Every thrust had Muscleman adapt to the speed and suction desired by his commanding but sensual lover. Getting the picture, he eventually decided to flip the script on Scorpio by then treating him like he had, every mark and every lover to his name. Having Scorpio turn around and spread his glutes had the former amazed at his tongue and its capabilities. “You know the alphabet too, huh you son of a bitch?” he asked in a deliciously evil tone. “Shut up bitch!” he barked back. “I haven’t even got to ‘D’ and you’re acting like you’re about to cum.”

Once Muscleman got to “K”, he heard the magic words from the now second-in-command; “I want you to fuck me like life has fucked you recently.” Then, they both remembered that there weren’t any condoms or lubricant in sight. “Shit.” Muscleman began. “You bring rubbers and lube or something?” Scorpio sprang up from the bed, ran to his clothes to find his wallet with a condom he knew would barely fit Muscleman. “Got the rubber.” He said. “Let me slip my pants back on, rush to my car and see if there’s lube.” “That’s cool. We can fuck on the couch or anywhere this takes us.” Muscleman replied. Rushing out with keys like a madman, Scorpio opened his car and began foraging through it before finding a bottle of unopened silicone based lube in the center console. “Jackpot.” He thought. After locking the door, luckily with keys and lube in hand, he rushed back inside and locked the door. “Back to it.” He began. “Remember; we fuck like rabid animals.”

Having to arouse each other again after a minor delay, the two eventually made it back to the bedroom. Oral skills from both of them were put on display that made the other moan with
delight that they hadn’t experienced in a while. Scorpio knew Muscleman was ready to give it to him, so he applied the condom onto his engorged lover and tossed the now opened lube bottle. “Put it on your dick first and then lube me up with your fingers.” He instructed. Obliging in the two step process, Muscleman let the silicone lube coat his prophylactic encased dick before applying the lube to Scorpio’s readied anus. “You ready, big man?” Scorpio teased. “You aren’t the first to call me big man, and you won’t be the last either.” Muscleman assured. Slowly at first, his insertion created an electric feeling for the both of them. Synchronized moans and exaltations were reverberating in the bedroom, creating the best noise Muscleman had heard in the house in years. He had Scorpio lay on his back, so he could get his kicks in with a different position. “Put those legs by my ears.” He ordered.

Obliging at the speed of light, Scorpio let his conquest take the reins further. Insertion led to more euphoria on both ends. Muscleman’s euphoria led to him increasing his ravaging speed which only resulted in some of the loudest moaning he had ever heard. “Ohhhhh my Gooooddddddddd you fucking maniac!” Scorpio exalted. “Don’t stop now you son of a bitch!” As a groove was found with tempo, the sex turned twice as climactic when Muscleman kept going harder and giving long, deliberate strokes which only drove Scorpio to orgasmic induced madness. Every “Unh-hhh”, “Don’t stop” and “Oh God, yes”, had Muscleman drip sweat onto Scorpio who found the subsequent pheromones emitted more arousing than Muscleman’s tongue. “Sweat all over me you rat bastard!” he yelled. Eventually, something had to give and it had been long enough of resisting dousing each other in their thickened, rope-like ejaculate.

Muscleman turned Scorpio over, looked into his reefer green eyes and rewarded his impulse as so; “Ohhh I’m gonna cum! I’m gonna cum!” were the last words before thick strands of pearl white tinted ejaculate coated Scorpio’s lithe but sturdy frame. Only half a strand landed on Scorpio’s mouth before he was surprised to see him indulge in its flavor. “Now it’s my turn.” He said menacingly. He then had Muscleman lay next to him as he stroked himself to orgasm. “I’m gonna cum!” and a series of moans and toe curls only heightened the feeling internally, while he coated himself and Muscleman by proxy in his own pearly strands of ejaculate. Despite their coated states of being, the two of them ended this encounter with a passionate tongue swirling turned electric, passionate kiss. “You…sneaky motherfucker.” Muscleman goaded. “You closet case son of a bitch.” Scorpio retorted.

The two of them mustered up enough strength to head to the shower together. Washing and rinsing each other off took a little bit given their post coital exchanges were just happening. Mentally, their heads were still trying to process what happened. Muscleman was fixated on the fact this had happened by impulse and not monetary needs as he thought, “I just fucked a guy outside of hustling him and I liked it a lot.” Scorpio on the other hand began to contemplate, “I just made a move on and successfully got sex out of someone who had previously been a shotgun short of being hitched.” All they could see physically, was each other in the shower washing away every bit of their impulse driven romp. Once they left the shower and toweled off, the two of them reached the conclusion that Scorpio spend the night. “Stay tonight.” Muscleman began. “We need to try and talk about what the fuck just happened.” Scorpio concurred his sentiments by saying, “As long as you’re the big spoon, I’m fine with that.”

The two of them were losing each other in their eyes before Muscleman had to confront his newly broken-in sex partner. Bluntly, he asked him, “So what made you do this? Come onto me acting like something bigger was happening?” Scorpio was contemplating on how to phrase this as he knew this was a rare moment Muscleman had leverage in their exchanges. “It’s not that I wanted to merely use you for release, but having sex with you was in the back of my mind.”
He had waited for a negative reaction, but nothing of the sort came from that. “Go on.” Muscleman said. “I’m not having you leave.” Scorpio tentatively but truthfully explained, “I didn’t want to act on this right when…your…well…when the mother took your children and left…I was tempted to have you to give you relief but I chose not to pursue it. If I wanted you, I had to let you have space and heal and…be open.” Muscleman chose not to press him as to why he used Hi-NRG as a front as he understood it, for now Scorpio had regained the leverage in this interaction. “Fair enough and I respect that.” He said. Although he knew he had regained leverage and power in this moment, Scorpio so desperately didn’t want to ask why he wasn’t kicked out once Muscleman realized what was going on. Just like before, he couldn’t help it and went for it anyway. “When you realized it was happening, you had a chance to end this and you didn’t…oh God…what made you fuck me?”

Muscleman could sense that he was asked the question almost like he was supposed to sabotage the intercourse to prove a point. His answer had Scorpio in near shock. “Why did I fuck you? Once you were on me, I couldn’t resist you. You think it wouldn’t have happened based on what I had as a front at the time and thinking they were the only reasons I do what I do. I fucked you because I wanted to and goddamnit if you didn’t feel so fucking good.” Leverage was the last thing on their minds and Scorpio displayed the same eyebrow-raising vulnerability when he asked Muscleman, “Can you be the big spoon now?”
“On one condition.” Muscleman answered.
“What’s that?” Scorpio asked.
“Promise me that despite you being one bony motherfucker, you’re actually warm too.”
“Jackass. Sleep tight.”
“I love you too. Good night.”