Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Here's some god damn music for you to rock out to. All mixed up, in one m4a file...

Talk soon, Johnny


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Kylie in Chicago

Making my way to the UIC pavilion at 10am, I am eager to get my Kylie on. A true-blue fan since I stumbled onto "The Loco-Motion" in second grade, Kylie and I go way back.

Since my initial exposure to Kylie Fever in 1988, I have acquired quite the little collection: literally hundreds of cds from around the world, dozens upon dozens of magazines, vinyl, shirts, books, programs, posters, dvds, even a few slap bracelets. It's kinda a mess...

The friendly boys in line, which I will later name TeamKylie, were an amiable group of fellas: holding spots for one another for bathroom and food breaks. With 9 hours out on the streets before doors were to open, I was relieved that our crappy fall weather let up, and we had a bit of sunshine.

When Kylie's people arrived for sound check, her cousin Lauren, who runs the tour blog, shows up and interviews us all... the subsequent result of which is a goofy Johnny boy on Kylie's official YouTube.

I met a lot of very interesting people: a woman from France who follows Kylie about the globe. Another woman, I believe from Holland, was covered in Kylie tats, and announced that this was her 110th time seeing the Min on stage. She has been traveling around the states with this tour, and from the sounds of it, didn't miss much, if any of, the Kylie X 2008 tour dates.

Most impressive was Ruby: she stood no more that 5 feet, and was dressed as superwoman: her bright red hair swooped up inside a weathered scarf. When I first encountered Ruby, I assumed she was homeless, and happened onto the queue of Kyliejunkies by accident, but the hours that passes proved her die-hard spirit.

A few games of Gin, and a nibble of Thai food later, we are counting the moments until the doors are unlocked, and the tsunami of gays will rush into the theatee to take their places as close to the stage as humanly possible. We are warned not to have cameras, as they will be taken away, but a lovely man from Mexico assures me that if I tie the strap around my belt, the camera will safely tuck amongst my unmentionables. He was absolutely correct, and the result is a series of portraits from the show that I am quite proud of.

The doors open, and suddenly the bonds and friendships we had spent the day creating were all broken. Each man for himself as the sea of people run through the arena. Perhaps this is a slightly more masculine version of The Rushing Bride's Basement's gown sale... no, I instantly take that back. Nothing about this affair is masculine.

I manage a space in the front row, and although a drink sounds delightful at this point, decide to refrain from any activity that will cause me to jeopardize my spot. A DJ spins a few little hits as the pavilion fills us, and the lights dim. It's showtime!

Curtains drop, and from the roof lowers the large Crystal Disco Skull. Riding atop this magnificent beast is our Queen of Pop, singing "Light Years." She is slowly joined on stage by her dancers: all dressed up as robots. I love this. Next up on the hit parade is "Speakerphone" which is seemingly more glorious than it's previous incarnation on the X Tour... "Come Into My World" and "In Your Eyes" follow suit, and then it's costume break.

Out comes "Smiley Kylie" for her vintage Medley, dominated primarily by "Shocked" and "Spinning Around" but to my delight, she re-sampled her sample of "Double Dutch/The Real Slim Shady" by dropping in her "I'm Slim Lady," which remains one of my favorite Kylie bits to date. She follows this up with a new song "Better Than Today" which sounds suspiciously Scissor Sisters-esque. I anxious await a studio version of this one! Note: at this point, Kylie's lady-dancers have pink wigs as shoulder pads. Amazing.

The next costume is the Militant business used in the marketing campaign for this tour, in a white. Smoke fills the stage and we get "Like A Drug," "Boombox," "CGYOOMY" and "Slow." This section may be my favorite bit of the show. I am not entirely sure yet... but it was un-fucking-real.

Bring on the gay: out come Kylie's boys in their undies for "Red Blooded Woman" and "Wow." Maybe "Slow" was part of this. I can't seem to remember... but it was cool. Very raunchy.

Kylie gets classy for "White Diamond," "Confide In Me," and "I Believe in You," with custom-Chicago projections and rose petals dropping from the roof, but before you know it, it's nasty again with "Burning Up/Vogue" with Kylie's dancers in strange corsets and wire masks. Very nice. Kylie treats us to her blues version of "Locomotion" and demands the audience carry the Robbie Williams portion of "Kids."

A technical glitch leaves Kylie to chat with the audience, to which a group of us suggest an acoustic rendition of "Your Disco Needs You" via chant. She accepts our offer, and the result is a moving sing-a-long between Kylie and her mid-west army. She completes the ENTIRE song (yes, even the French bit) and advances to a show-stopping rendition of "In My Arms."

She pretends that the show is over, but we all know better, and it's not long before she re-emerges to sing "Better The Devil You Know" and "The One," which are both amazing. The show sees it's real finale with an extended version of "Love At First Sight." Kylie thanks us all, and confetti drops from the roof. My night of dancing like a demon has come to a grandiose ending.

It sounds silly. I look stupid. I don't care. I have looked forward to this night for 20 years. It was amazing. It was the best show I have ever been to. I woke up and cried this morning. Am I ashamed? Yeah... maybe. Whatever. Everyone has their thing, right? It was mind-blowing. Best concert ever. Hands down.

Check Out My Pix!!!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Johnny Loves Kylie

With just days before Kylie's first-ever American tour kicks off, I am getting a little anxious. To help pass the time, I though I would assemble a collection of tracks for my fellow Kyliejunkies: made from my favorite mixes and unreleased tracks.

I spent a tremendous amount of time assembling what I feel to be the best of the best: many of which have yet to ever [officially] see the light of day. I tried to take a road less traveled: skipping over obvious selections like Can't Get You Out Of My Head and Better The Devil You Know. Here's a run down:

[01] Intro
Taken from Towa Tei's Japanese CD Single for "German Bold Italic" this brief acapella something is the perfect intro for my compilation.

[02] Come Into My World (Ashtrax Mix)
Released commercially alongside the Fischerspooner Remix, on the American Vinyl, a lot of folks overlooked this gem back in 2002. Though I am a HUGE fan of the Fischerspooner Version, this Mix is also splendid, and deserves a bit of attention.

[03] Ruffle My Feathers
Recorded during the sessions for X, a studio recording of this track has yet to surface... until now perhaps. This track was featured live, on her 2008 X Tour.

[04] Getting Closer (UK Mix)
Stepping WAY back in time, the original version of this track appeared exclusively as the B-side on the Swedish 7" to "Locomotion." After leaving PWL, it showed up on The Greatest Remix Hits collection, but it's the previously unreleased UK Mix of this track that I really prefer.

[05] Hand On Your Heart (Heartache Mix)
Vintage Kylie at it's best. "Woah-oh-oh-oh."

[06] Love At First Sight (Ruff & Jam Lounge Mix)
Choosing the best mix of Love At First Sight is no easy task, but this stripped down version is slightly less common, and definitely a favorite of mine.

[07] Confide In Me (The Truth Mix)
Second only to Can't Get You Out Of My Head, Confide In Me has to be one of Kylie's most frequently remixed tracks. Choosing a remix was, again, not so easy: I debated including an officially commissioned remix that was not released (a small flex of Kylie-Obscura Muscle) but ultimately, I though that the Truth Mix would be a great follow up to the "chill" version of LAFS.

[08] Step Back In Time (Harding/Curnow Remix)
Not a huge hit, but always a favorite to me, Step Back In Time embodies early Kylie work: cheesy lyrics and a great beat.

[09] Boombox (JBAG Remix)
Another unused demo from the X sessions, Boombox has proven to be a fan-favorite. Personally, I prefer this JBAG Remix to the LA Riots Mix included on the Boombox Remix Compilation.

[10] GBI (Radio Edit)
An obvious fan of Kylie, and a fan of typography, this track is WAY up there for me. I specifically like this version of the song, as it samples the break from Groove Is In The Heart towards the end.

[11] Sexual Gold (The Slips RMX)
Again, a scrap from X, the Slips remixed this track, and it is making the rounds.

[12] Butterfly (E-Smoove Mix)
Recorded for Light Years, this track got all kind of attention from Chicago DJ (woot woot) Mark Pichotti, who eventually released a single on his Blue Plate label. The track peaked at #5 on America's U.S. Hot Dance Music/Club Play Chart.

[13] What Do I Have to Do? (Movers & Shakers 7" Mix)
Another great Vintage Kylie track: love the video, great song... probably one of my favorite single sleeves as well.

[14] Your Disco Needs You (Almighty Mix)
What really needs to be said about this one? It's Kylie's most epic track ever, and despite the video, is probably my favorite Kylie track ever recorded.


Monday, September 21, 2009

The Show Must Go On

He anxiously paces the room, taking deep breaths from his cigarette before hastily releasing a cloud of smoke. "Are you sure? It's not too soon? You need more rest..."

"Bullshit" I interrupt, "It's time."

The John-Ryan Mediocrity Tour Extravaganza will make it's return, and ain't nothing gonna stop it this time. There have been a few bumps in the road that caused an unexpected hiatus, but the last leg of my Extravaganza is right around the corner, and I'm excited as FUCK.

I suppose we'll have to change some of the costumes as it's been so long, and I also suppose some of the choreography will get reworked, what with the changes they made to the dance troop, but regardless: it's showtime.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Kylie Goes Bollywood

Kylie has shot two dance sequences for the expensive Bollywood action movie Blue, an underwater thriller. She is acting along with action star of Bollywood Akshay Kumar in the movie, and though her role is small, she recorded some goodness for the soundtrack.

Check it out here!


I don't get it: I am no stranger to admiring unusual things, but this mystery I can simply not solve. I just don't GET Lady Gaga. I have built all my tastes around a palette not intended for consumption: my plastic fruit last forever, and I'm convinced it has more flavor... but I think Gaga is ape shit crazy. More baffling, is why I can't seem to find a drop of affection for this train-wreck. Okay... maybe just a drop. Half a drop.

For the first time in a long time, seems like the VMAs were worth watching this year... Janet does Michael... Madonna does (whatever that was)... Kayne acts the damn fool (again) and Gaga bleeds and dies on stage. Weird. Kids these days... fuck.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

All this scratching is making me itch...

A new hair cut for my date on October 7th? I think it is a definite possibility!