Located in Chicago but Serving the Earth’s Gravitational Pull

This month’s Facets of Leather was mostly comprised of interviews with leatherpeople of cultural import, including Sir John (President of NLA-International and Living In Leather LLC), Tim “ASH!” Hotchkin (International Leather Boy 2015), and Gary Wasdin (Executive Director of the Leather Archives & Museum). And hey, we’ve gotten so much better at staying on topic, that our Superfan‘s latest meme only cites two tangents, which is definitely a new record.

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The Zoom frame is a very nice touch.

Out of all the guests we’ve had on the show, Gary is my new favorite, because before we started recording, he was like, “Is there anything I’m not allowed to say? Because I have a potty mouth.” In response, Robert and I went over the seven words you can’t say on TV, along with FCC guidelines as they apply to late-night radio, and everything went swimmingly — Gary was knowledgable and professional and said insightful, educational things. So at the end of the interview, I was like, “You did a really good job of not cursing! Would you like to let fly with some expletives?”

I expected everyone to laugh and move on, but instead, Gary took a deep breath and bellowed a veritable Pandora’s box of obscenities: Like, I’m pretty sure there are now at least 32 words you can’t say on TV. Since we pre-recorded the segment, our producers were able to excise all the invective, but as far as I’m concerned, anyone who can scorch ears that intensely on cue is an icon in his own right.

This month’s musical selections were all over the place, but we played a song awhile back that continues to reverberate with me, that being Australia’s entry to Eurovision 2019. The note she hits at 2:02 is a mood unto itself. Plus, y’know, who doesn’t want to ride a giant wedding cake topper while an evil shadow witch flails about in the background?

Nobody. That’s who. The defense rests.

A Bingo Ate My Baby

The first thing we learned during February’s Facets of Leather was this: Quail and partridge are not the same birds.

Our Superfan explains.

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And why were we discussing game fowl on a show about leather that never, ever tangents, you might ask? Well, that was because our special guest was my Misfits brother Scott, who a) raises quail commercially, b) is married to an Australian, and c) JUST WON MR. TEXAS LEATHER!!!

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Scott’s the one on the left.

On the Friday afternoon before the official meet and greet, Scott stopped by Leather Masters to have a patch sewn on his vest, and while he was waiting, he espied a twenty-something young man looking at harnesses. They struck up a conversation, and the kid mentioned that he’d never worn a harness before, so Scott went through the different designs with him, helped him pick out a flattering one, and showed him how to put it on. The kid was thrilled and thanked Scott profusely for his assistance (and bought the harness), and after he left, this other customer came over to Scott and shook his hand and was like, “Hello! I’m one of your judges.”

Scott won the contest for a number of reasons, but having a judge witness him accepting and proactively educating a newcomer to the leather community — and doing this without knowing he was being watched — most assuredly did not work against him. We (the royal we, that is, along with the rest of the Misfits) are beyond proud of him.

So, regarding our musical selections, anyone tuning in Saturday night/Sunday morning may have noticed a slight glitch, in which one song with… lets call them questionable lyrics… started playing, quickly faded out, and was then replaced with a trance hit from the early 90s. Please find below a behind-the-scenes look at what happened.

Earlier in the day, I’d sent Robert some suggestions, including “Oasis” by Amanda Palmer, and when he handed me the playlist that night, I noticed he’d included it. So I was like, “Um, did you listen to this one?” And he was like, “No. Why?” So I told him about the song, and he was like, “Alrighty, then. Let’s scratch that one right off.” Problem was, we didn’t really make this clear to our producer, who didn’t find out the song had a controversial history until after she hit “play,” and I bolted into the production booth yelling “NOT THAT ONE NOT THAT ONE NOT THAT ONE.”

I normally welcome all things polemic, but we’re right in the middle of KPFT‘s annual pledge drive, and I’d much rather take calls that are all, “Hello! I’d like to donate a million dollars!” versus “What the indubitable fuck is wrong with you people?”

You can click here to donate, by the bye, and don’t forget to select Facets as the program you’d like to support. (And, if you’re feeling at all punchy today, maybe don’t listen to the following until after you do so.)

Catch Us on the Rebound (or the Rebroadcast. Whichever.)

Noah and Scrappy joined us on this month’s Facets of Leather, and while topics ran the gamut (fetish vs. kink; safe calls and safe words; the time I thought the wax statue of Betty White at Madame Tussauds really was Betty White), we did hit upon two important theses that must be shared with the world:

From now until the end of eternity, the act of fisting should only be referred to as the Queen’s Wave.

Laura Branigan’s 1982 hit single “Gloria” is the shadiest song in the history of popular music. (Lyric video provided by our trusty Superfan).

We also talked about the upcoming Spirit of Leather Awards, because holy snackpacks, Marjorettes! Facets of Leather got nominated for Entertainer of the Year! Voting will be held at Tony’s Corner Pocket on January 18 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., so if you’re in the Houston area and want to support our show but don’t have the funds to make a donation to KPFT, checking our box on the ballot is a great way to do it.

Oh, and while you’re there, maybe vote for me for the Individual Award as well? If I win, I’ll thank every one of you by name in my acceptance speech.

I, Too, Forgot Cranberries. Because Leather.

Topics discussed in depth on this month’s Facets of Leather that have everything in the world to do with leather:

… and topics discussed in depth that have not a damn thing to do with leather:

It was an even split. I’m calling it apropos.

Most of this episode’s music came from the Go-Go Boys’ Gay Apparel Xmas Songs, but personally, it’s not the Yuletide until I hear “Christmas Wrapping” by the Waitresses. Not only is it the greatest holiday song to be birthed in the 80s, but it’s also a consolation for those of us who got sent to Whamhalla, because our boss lives around the corner from our place of employment and can control the Ripcord jukebox from the safety and comfort of his living room.

May the buoyant saxophone be a balm to your soul, my fallen warriors.

Abba-dabba-did

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:

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Music-wise, we decided to play nothing but ABBA covers this month, because we could, and because nobody tried to stop us.

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Finally facing my Waterloo (my Waterloo being a photobomb).

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.

I’m running late to this semi-formal event, but you know what? Fuck it. I’m going to control the earth with my yodels.

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.

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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.

May there always be room in yours as well.

Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now, Except the FCC and a Microphone Malfunction

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:

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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.

I want you like horse loves hay. We all do.

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.

Boom boom!

Let’s Go to Whamhalla with the Sun on Our Faces

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:

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Frosty the Misfit was a jolly, happy soul.
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Frosty flags fuchsia and is not fucking around. Assume the position, pig.

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.

And “foyer” rhymes with “Baphomet.” Language is weird.

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:

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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.