Days of Summer


By Bill Chenevert

Monday, July 7: Hopefully you're doing something productive while you fry yourself in the sun this summer -- you know, like catching up on music, cruising hot boys, or reading tawdry gay romances. Mahu Fire by Neil S. Plakcy isn't necessarily tawdry, but the follow-up to Mahu and Mahu Surfer does tell the tale of a hunky gay detective in Hawaii trying to solve a mystery with the help of perhaps an even hunkier mustachioed fireman. You'll read it in three sittings, maybe four, so get it here. Not a reader? Try some controversial art as HBO debuts the documentary The Art of Failure: Chuck Connelly Not For Sale, the story of an incredibly talented artist who chose the difficult road to success. Watch this clip and keep your eyes peeled for the Santa Claus painting, where "Ho-Mo" is written over Jolly St. Nick's face.

Tuesday, July 8: Two musical icons give us new gifts this week: Patti Smith collaborates with Kevin Shields to deliver The Coral Sea, a poetic tribute to her good friend, the late Robert Mapplethorpe, and Yaz legend Alison Moyet releases The Turn, her seventh solo studio album. With The Coral Sea, Shields and Smith perform a long and dramatic spoken word requiem for the iconoclastic gay photographer, and the result is mystifying. Get it here. Meanwhile, Moyet's Turn displays her signature deep, bluesy vocals and penchant for histrionics. Moyet set the pace for the Beth Dittos of today. Check out an amazing live clip of Yaz performing "Don't Go" here, then sample some of The Turn on Moyet's MySpace page here.