The cast and crew of Facets of Leather learned an important lesson this month: Always take a nap before late-night radio broadcasts. Because none of us did, we were unreasonably giggly by 1:30 a.m., and dangerously close to incoherent by 2. But we did manage to mainly stay on topic, covering the highs and lows of this year’s Cleveland Leather Awareness Weekend, along with a preface to IML 2019 (including my new role as the face of unsafe leathersex).
And then we veered off into an animated (no pun indended) discussion on surviving the Zombie Apocalypse. Which somehow ties into leather. I forget why.
On the local front, we had really good talk about the “Stonewall 50” exhibit currently on display at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, which features salvaged and refurbished bar tops provided by the Gulf Coast Museum and Archives. And, because he doesn’t listen to the show, we deconstructed the important issues surrounding my Misfits brother Tony‘s inability to keep a shirt on for more than a few minutes at a time, which our superfan Orin thoughtfully incorporated into his monthly meme:
Music-wise, we decided to play nothing but ABBA covers this month, because we could, and because nobody tried to stop us.
Robert approved of most of the tributes I came up with, but he drew the line at a particular track from the original Hamburg production of Mamma Mia!, using the fairly acceptable logic that people might get a little unsettled listening to Germans singing “The Winner Takes It All.” It was probably the right call. However, I will share with my loyal Marjorettes my peronal, all-time favorite ABBA cover, which was released right before my senior year in high school and served as my introduction to both ABBA and drag. It’s as if the Powers That Be knew The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert was going to come out a few years later and wanted to make sure I was properly prepared to appreciate it. I’d like to take a moment now to thank those Powers for Their foresight.
Our regularly-scheduled Facets of Leather broadcast was preempted by LUEY Weekend, so Robert and I took to the airwaves this past weekend instead. We didn’t have much in the way of relevant topics, so we brought in Melinda D., founder of Houston Sober Leather, and goaded her into telling us stories about the shit she got up to before she quit drinking.
The lady puts me to shame, you guys. I mean, before I got sober, I occasionally woke up in a cheap motel room with not a lot of clues as to how I got there, but mainly I just stayed home and passed out on the sofa.
Anywho, somewhere around two in the morning, Melinda got on Facebook and found pictures of our superfan Orin, declared herself bi-curious, and demanded his undying affection. Unfortunately for her designs, Robert had totally already called dibs, and what followed was something between a bidding war and a far-left episode of The Bachelor. I’m not sure who actually came out on top (so to speak), but Orin memed the whole thing, which is as good of a participation award as any.
We also drifted into conversations about lesbian pirates and the ghosts in New Orleans who stiff taxi drivers on cab fares, and at one point we had an animated discussion about Eurovision, which included me waxing emotional on who I thought should’ve won back in 2017. I’ve included their official video below, because no matter what, there will always be room in my heart for stompy boots, daytime ball gowns, and Transylvanian street yodeling.
This month’s Facets of Leather featured Ms. Texas Leather 2019 Elizabeth Lawrence as our first ever call-in guest, and she was gracious and lovely, and she totally didn’t curse at all, provided our censors understand that “asshole” and “a-hole” are two completely separate words with wildly different meanings. She also didn’t say “tits,” and for that we are very grateful (although we did give her the option of talking about bosoms instead).
After her interview, Elizabeth got off the phone and joined some of our listeners in helping Robert and I remember the dates of various upcoming events that were accidentally left off of our calendar. At one point I was like, “Hey, Jessie? I need you to send a Facebook friend request to Misfit Scott, and once he accepts, send him a private message and get the dates for the Mr. Houston Leather contest. But ask him how he’s feeling first, because he’s stuck in Mexico with food poisoning.” And then it turned out we didn’t need the dates after all, so I started yelling, “ABORT MISSION! ABORT MISSION!” Mainly because I’ve just always wanted to say that.
It was fun. I regret nothing.
After taking last month off, the succulent Orin Slade returned with another meme triumph, this one assembled in realtime while we were broadcasting:
I am not sure how he found a picture of an appropriate, old-timey mannequin so quickly, but that just goes to show how talented he is at digital art. In related news, it is also not creepy to collect old-timey mannequins, nor is it unusual to collect old-timey mannequins while raising pot-bellied pigs.
I promise this all makes sense in context. Just listen to the show, guys. And enjoy the following song, which Robert and I have decided is our new anthem. May it inspire your relationship goals as well.
This month’s Facets of Leather included a lively visit from the Houston girls of Leather, along with in-depth discussions of bootblacking etiquette, boundaries during kink scenes, and the now infamous Phantom Penis incident. It also featured me repeatedly leaning into my microphone and murmuring, “You’re listening… to Facets,” in my best Delilah voice, because somewhere around 1:30 a.m. this struck me as the funniest thing ever, and I couldn’t stop saying it.
Robert has often expressed unease about how much coffee I ingest before we go on the air. It might be time to start taking his concerns seriously.
We didn’t play a whole lot of music this time around, although we did toss one track into the mix that probably requires some explanation. A few weeks ago, Carlisle came into the shop and made me watch the video of a song called “Skibidi,” by Russian electro-quartet Little Big. At first I was like, “This is unsettling and makes me fear for the future of the entertainment industry,” but by the end of my shift, I had the lyrics memorized and the dance moves down. Carlisle knows me a little better than I’d care to admit at times.
Most of this month’s Facets of Leather was dedicated to seasonal music, including a festive array of inappropriate holiday songs and a guerrilla transmission of Wham’s Last Christmas. Our sincerest apologies to any listeners who assumed we would take the high road and not use our radio show to mow down everyone playing Whamaggedon, but in our defense, we honestly thought you knew us a little better than that.
In related news, we also had a spirited discussion on the controversy surrounding “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” (Me: “While the lyrics are tongue-in-cheek when placed in historical context, from a greater perspective they highlight serious issues within a culture that prohibits women from sexual expression but encourages men to disregard boundaries.” Robert: “It’s just kind of a sucky song.”) Robert sent me the following parody early this morning, and while I have learned not to regret the past, I wish on all that is holy that he’d found it before we went on the air, because it is sheer freaking genius.
Our long-distance groupie Orin Slade was indisposed this weekend, and he unfortunately did not have a chance to create a summary meme. However, I received a package from him a few days ago, and the handmade ornament inside kicks the ass of any Internet imagery out there:
I do believe lil’ Frosty’s going to fit right in with my collection of Krampus memorabilia. It’s legit like two Christmases this year.
Robert and I knew we weren’t properly equipped to deconstruct all the details of the Noodles & Beef horror show, which is why, on last night’s Facets of Leather, we brought in professional smart person Ty Lerman to help us get our brains around the situation. Oh, and speaking of horror, we debuted an exciting new segment — tentatively titled “This Week in Impotent Rage” — which was basically just ten minutes of me ranting about the Satanic Temple suing Netflix. Probably not my finest moment, but at least I processed my feelings honestly. I’m sure Ty approved.
The unsinkable Orin Slade also graced us with another amazing photo collage, this one serving as an effective reminder that I really need to pay more attention to what I say on the radio:
Robert handled the music selections this month, and he thoughtfully included the following homage, which is currently enjoying an unexpected renaissance in the Houston Leather Community. I hope it gives you as much pause as it did a bunch of drunk gay men when Carlisle snuck it onto the Ripcord jukebox.
So this past Saturday, Robert texted me all, “I’m activating the Facetsphone tree!” Apparently, the show’s regular 4th-Saturday crew had cancelled unexpectedly, and our producer was hoping we could come fill in for them. I didn’t have anything on my agenda (other than sleep), so I threw a Halloween-themed playlist together and headed down to the station for some laid-back, gay talk radio. And then suddenly there were all these Australians, and everyone was yelling about pink camouflage onesies, and I don’t remember the rest.
I normally vet song lyrics pretty meticulously, but the following track somehow slipped past my radar. Fortunately, I was listening to it in the car on the way into town and caught the uncensored ‘fuckboy’ that would’ve brought the FCC raging down upon us. You’re very welcome, people who put me in charge of things.