Tag Archives: UK Girl Groups

Our Current State of Gay Pop Culture

When it comes to hottest happenings in gay pop culture, fierce gay fashion trends and the sickest beats of gay club music being poured through speakers, I am a 100% admitted know-it-all. Surely you’ve known this before now or you wouldn’t be reading these words… and don’t call me Shirley.

lady-gaga-artpop

Our Mother Monster has her new ARTPOP coming out very soon and early release Applause has came barreling out of the gate with major airplay. And this comes from someone who doesn’t listen to the radio much. Luckily I keep ahead of the pack with comrades on the inside of the business. Early leaks of the Cher infused Gaga track “The Greatest Thing” promises hot remixes to follow. I thought that was never going to be released. Oh, the ways of promotion.

The Sats - Disco Love

Two of my favorite UK girl-group darlings are having little pop stars very soon. The Saturdays’ Frankie Stanford has handled pregnancy with some trial because of stupid paparazzi and media comments of her weight gain. Hello! The girl is growing another human inside her. Give us a break. Good to see The Sats have new single “Disco Love” coming out soon. I’ve have it and it’s fun, fun. Girls Aloud’s goddess and vocal powerhouse Nadine Coyle recently announced that she too is having a wee one. Pop stars pursing motherhood. The inevitable, I assume. Congrats to them both! And good luck with that post-baby bikini body. Can’t wait to see the outcomes, Hot Mammas.

To know me is to know I rarely go out to clubs. Been there, walked those paths for years and have the souvenir mug, t-shirt and pictures to prove it. So glad I lived those moments when I did because unfortunately if you speak with anyone in the bar industry they would be quick to tell you that the days of the big nightclub are over. Hell, even Manhattan staple Splash has closed. That kills me. Every trip to NYC we would stop in and gawk at the gorgeousness employed as mixologists behind the bar, showing off in the showers above the dancing crowds or the general admission of gays and gay lovers cruising the streets of the Concrete Jungle. Splash was a mainstay in New York City and its memory stands with The Gaiety, Arena and a carefree time of life that I often miss greatly.

guy in flip-flops

However, when I was out in Louisville at Connection competing for E.O.Y., I noticed more and more people in clubs are wearing flip-flops for shoes. In my day, wearing tennis shoes was almost a no-no much less exposed feet. Boots were preferable even though there was a definite time I truly got into suede oxfords and black penny loafers without socks. During these days mid-’90s, flip-flops weren’t by any means as popular as they are today. I love wearing them but not in a club. I did wear them around Connection since I was competing for the pageant and it was easier for changing. I did slay one idiot who was drunk spilling his damn drink on my foot. I grabbed his arm and said, “Calm down, lady. You’re spilling your drink. Tune in, girl.” He looked over his friend’s should at me as I went to the bar to grab a towel. Drunk-ass punk.

When it comes to wearing flip-flops, pedicures are a must. If you can’t find yourself a quaint salon then do it yourself. I do mine. The only thing I don’t worry about is the polish and of course the massage with that smelly pink lotion which always seems to be more enjoyable for the cute Asian boys below me. Here’s a fierce manicure/pedicure set that will look great when you travel with your entourage and share space.

Steven Michael

The annual Miss and Mr. Continental pageants are happening Labor Day Weekend in Chicago. Current title holders Sasha Colby and Angel Saez Amador will be crowning two new recipients of the prestigious crown to become part of the legacy that is Continental. Angel contacted me after I was in E.O.Y. to see if I was still interested in competing in Mr. Continental. I was honored but declined since I had just unpacked and was sitting out for a hot minute before I decided what I was doing next. I would love to be there in support and maybe that stage will be in my future but wishing all the contestants good luck is what I offer now.

To be continued…

Girls Aloud Start Off Saturday Playlist

Girls Aloud

I’m so obsessed with Girls Aloud right now it’s actually a bit much for many of the voices in my head to even deal with. It takes me a hot minute to figure out where my true attention needs to really go sometimes. Even though these hot ladies have been around for many a year terrorizing the gay dance music charts, I’m just now finding my worship for them strong and undeniable. Thanks to DJ Bifford Michael for the DVD collections of video hits and documentaries to catch me up. The girls recently got back together for a reunion after quite a break for solo projects and Cheryl Cole’s climb to superstardom. The optimistic gathering was unfortunately short-lived. Even though the girls aren’t currently together, it’s amazing what a bunch of hairspray will do to a groups’ moral, I still live. Check out Nadine, Cheryl, Kimberly, Sarah and Nicola here in the epic runway stomper Something New. You should expect more fierce story from me about these beautiful  powerhouses. May I present Girls Aloud. I DIE.

The Saturdays Release Single “Gentleman”

The Saturdays Gentleman Single Cover Art

Everyone knows I’m just a 13-year-old British tween sporting my kicky Frankie Sandford haircut deep inside my inked amour of manliness realness, beard and shaved skull. I’m just saying… To know me is to love me. I’m excited to announce that The Saturdays have released new single “Gentleman.” This is the third single from their upcoming fourth studio album dropping soon. IT’S FUN! Really fun.

I heard part of the track during an episode of Chasing The Saturdays on E! and knew I was going to love it once I heard the whole thing. And remixes hare already arrived to my inbox. I had found myself diving head first into a Girls Aloud video-watching-song-listening frenzy. But when “Gentleman” arrived during my recent trip home to Nashville I was strutting my shizzle down the DFW airport terminals with earbuds in place learning my words and lip-sync.

The girls have denied rumors that their reality show has been canceled as representatives for the group say it was only commissioned for one season of 10 episodes with a possible Christmas episode in the works. Nonetheless, I’m thrilled with their success. It’s been said that ratings were low because America likes drama and didn’t have that since the girls actually like each other. I can see that. We enjoyed the show. Even my husband got into it. We love the no drama.

Here’s the single audio for “Gentleman” – a new track telling of how hard it is to find a gentleman in these days and times by UK darlings and super hit-makers The Saturdays. Reports tell of body doubles being used for the girls during the video shoot which sounds very interesting. It will definitely find its place on the best gay dance tracks of 2013. And congratulations to Frankie for her engagement and pregnancy!

THE SATURDAYS INVADE AMERICA – WORSHIP!

chasing the saturdays

I just watched Chelsea Lately with great anticipation as The Saturdays had their first US television appearance before the premiere of their new reality show Chasing The Saturdays landing on E! January 20. Chelsea gave them the business and even commented on wanting to sit on one of their faces with their purple lipstick as well as digging Mollie most since she’s the only single Sats onboard. They have quite the set up of appearances from Today to Tonight Show with Jay Leno. I’m dying inside but trying to remain cool on the outside. Please! I’m as giddy as a British tween with a short kicky cut like my favorite brunette diva Frankie Sandford! I’m actually feeling quite protective of them like they are this precious gem that only a very few lucky ones know about.

The-Saturdays-What-About-Us-thatgrapejuice

I’m so excited for them, in reality. I’ve loved them and their music for a good few years now and worship everything they have done. I could probably name their entire catalogue if you needed me to. Needless to say I’m looking forward to their reality show even though I have a copy of their UK docu-reality show What Happens On Tour. I have everything they’ve done, musically and video wise. They have rocked gay dance club music for a while now. Thankfully I have friends in high places that have always looked after my ears and eyes. It’s quite surreal to this all unfold on American soil. Living for the remixes to their first US release What About Us. Video, faster…

Long live The Saturdays! I WORSHIP. ♥

The Saturdays

WHAT DAY IS IT? IT’S THE SATURDAYS!

Let my lovely ladies of the UK pop music scene share each wonderful moment of 2012 in this fabulous and fierce calendar of photos and imagery of The Saturdays! Amazon has it and you should order it before it’s too late! Let Rochelle, Una, Frankie, Mollie and Vanessa bring light into each and every day of the new year. And pick up their newest album On Your Radar. It’s Available Now!


Spend Every Day with The Saturdays
Available Now on Amazon!

THE SATURDAYS AT WEMBLEY ARENA

Oh. My. God. I HEART THESE GIRLS! Here they are at Wembley Arena with some backstage footage and performance clips. COME 2 AMERICA! Faster! It’s hard for me to breathe. OMG! ((Trying to settle down the excitable British tween inside my head!)) Happy New Years to my divas Mollie, Frankie, Una, Rochelle and Vanessa! Now, seriously… COME TO THE U.S.!

DEDICATED TO MY DEAR JAMES

It’s Saturday morning. I’m on my MacBook listening to a N’Sync song from a few years ago called “Space Cowboy” with the guys really feeling a naught-ass beat and Lisa “Left-Eye” Lopez from 90s hip-hop trio TLC giving the rap of fierce doom towards the end. As many of us reading this know, Lisa was taken away from her precious life way too soon. Fate has a place in everything and those who ignore that it’s present aren’t really facing the music.

I quite recently lost a good friend of mine James Bartlette and even though I wan’t with him before his final breaths, he will always be part of me and the friendship we had precious. He was kind, genuine and caring. He gave of his heart and soul always meaning well. I unfortunately gather that James had demons he dealt with like many do, although, he never shared that side of him. When I would see him he often had his head up, a smile on his face and an obvious spirituality in his heart while he practiced his meditation and exercise regime at the gym. He was quite liked by many both for his kindness as well as his attractiveness. I don’t believe he ever really felt that.

James was unique, special and a big fan of my columns “Steven Spills.” He would often say out to me “Hello! Mr. Spills,” as he came in daily to World Gym past me singing back to him some catchy chorus of The Saturdays, one of the many music in-commons we had. James was a great DJ and his mixes popular to his circle of fortunates. The last time I saw James we were so busy at the gym I only got a quick glance of him coming in as I looked up. He was heading into Ted’s G-Force Workout class and that’s the last time I saw him. He passed away later that evening or next morning, I believe. And like I mentioned I wasn’t with him in his final moments so let’s leave it at that. I want to remember him as the strong James I loved and knew.

People often provide only what they wish for other’s to perceive about them. Some are able to read in deeper and learn more about others but in a fast-paced world of social climbing up media circles and the ever-changing status updating of time wasting bullshit sharing, we often loose touch with human connection. It happens. We admit it. It’s true. I’m honest. Take a minute and reach out to someone today and give them a minute of you. It may help in more ways than’s known right now.

I miss you, James. I would love to have seen your face in person when you saw these words and photos. I can see the smile it would have placed on your cute face! I mean them, my man. We are sad you’re gone from the grasp of our hugging and loving arms. Please know you were loved because you definitely were.

“This is where My Heart Takes Over.”

Rest Peacefully my Dear Sweet Man, xoMr. Spills

THE SATURDAYS RELEASE “ON YOUR RADAR”

The Saturdays have finally released their new album On Your Radar and I’m in an honest moral dilemma. It’s so damn hard to pick my favorite tracks without loving each one. Yes, I’m very serious. The album is so good and is in fact third studio album from the UK girl-group of Vanessa, Rochelle, Frankie, Una and Mollie! And I’m not just saying that because I worship these girls. The music is fierce and showcases the girls with fresh sounds and killer beats plus their always delicious power ballads. Let’s break it down…

First of all the cover art is fierce and gives you the mug of each diva with bare shoulders together as a group or there was the offer to get Collector’s Edition solo covers of each girl autographed via HMV or one of those online music websites, I believe. Of course that involves one to order it from over seas, paying extra which is fine. Hopefully when the girls break into America all of their catalogue will be available. Luckily I’ve got friends in precious places to provide what this media mogul should need to promote the best in entertainment. And into the review of On Your Radar.

“All Fired Up” … WOW. This jam is one hot ticket charting at 3 in the UK (just like epic ballad “Missing You” did in 2010.) The song gives an anthem club feel as the big echoing sound becomes more wicked as it progresses and is a common thread throughout this new album. This was their second single released (first track on the album) and the video (of course) was smoking hot with Molly King looking electric and platinum, wet ponytails flying out of water in latex and the girls posing the house down and we see Frankie’s newer pixie cut hairdo that became the rage. This song is where the girls found the name of their album from and Rochelle happily sings “We’re dancing on the bar” and Mollie purrs “We’re all animal, so get your claws out. Get your, get your claws out.” FUN! By the way, I sing the hell out of this song in my Jeep. Just saying.

“Notorious” … The first single from The Saturdays new album and it did very well on the charts in the UK peaking at 8. Once the beginning beats start pulsing you know you’re in for quite a mover and shaker. The video helped with their serious secretary work ethic of lip-gloss applications and party scene on the top floor with Frankie Sandford in a tiny mini carrying the girls into the banging chorus. Again, I love these “Outlaws, Big Bosses and Gangsters on the dance floor.” I really do.

“My Heart Takes Over” … The Saturdays doing what they know so well. Vanessa White brings home the passion she has for singing in this epic and familiar feeling ballad as she belts out “Cause if there’s a chance we might have missed. And if there’s a ray of light in this. You should know that this is where my heart takes over.” The video is dramatic, slow-motion and the girls are giving fashion mugging for your nerves with fan machines and walks in heels through grassy meadows.

“Faster” … Another dancer’s dream. Has the peaks and valleys of The Saturdays former hits but reminds me of Alexis Jordan’s “Hush, Hush.” Possibly it’s the chorus but it’s a dance floor filler and you can’t hate it. The lyrics are a bit storybook but the harmonies are LUV.

“Get Ready, Get Set” … Now these lyrics are a bit more racy, if that’s possible. Love this one! When Una sings “I can do it with my hands tied behind my back,” there’s no denying her fierce and unique voice. This song could be called “The More I Want,” but it’s not. However, it can get you tapping your foot to the beat if you can’t make it to nightclub. There’s nothing on this album I don’t really like a lot.

“The Way You Watch Me” … The Saturdays bring a kicky beat with this one that reminds me personally of “Why Me, Why Now?!” It makes me want to pony and toss my hair like a go-go dancer. Travie McCoy is featured here for support on the track though the girls didn’t record with him at the same time. Ah, the modern marvels of producing. This one is really fun!

“For Myself” … We get a rocking electric guitar coming in on this one. LOVE IT. “But I want you for myself!” This song rocks me and again, it’s a keeper. It gives the girls an edgy sound which is welcoming coming in at this point on the album. The most rocking track on their new endeavor.

“Do What You Want With Me” … If I were to make a very bold statement at this time, I’d say this. This track is (at this point) my favorite on the album. There I said it and made the decision. It’s a different sound and even the girls said they first weren’t feeling it but find it to be the coolest track on the new production. After the beginning piano leads into the a Mike and the Mechanics “The Living Years” sounding climb the girls sing their eyes out all the way up into the climatic backbeats that finish out the song which is completely unheard in former music by these girls. This is what I call an epic ballad. It’s grand and bigger than the speakers can contain. Hope it’s released as a single and I DIE for a video!

“Promise Me” … Commercially it will be a hit. It can easily fall among the other great tracks The Saturdays have had in the past and at 2:36 the beats get really, really ugly. I live for that damn part. Then it throws all hands up and carries you out.

“Wish I Didn’t Know” … Ballad lovers rejoice! This is what these girls do so well. Lyrically it makes one remember, think of the past or of current times. The song talks about all the wonderful things you can know about someone else and you’re wishing you didn’t know because it hurts you don’t have them anymore. Emotion, raw and pure.

“White Lies” … This is another commercial TKO from our UK darlings. It’s uptempo, catchy and will bring the crowds towards dance floors in months to come. Can’t stop singing it!

“Last Call” … The most honest track on the new endeavor. Almost acoustic and all piano. These are our voices and we can sing! The girls harmonize well and the song is prime and classic. I love it and find it refreshing to hear their voices unhidden from booming bass and overlaying textures of sounds. I’m sure remixes will ensue and soon.

“I Say OK” (UK Bonus Track) … This one climbs as it goes along picking up other rhythms and notes. Love it when Rochelle says, “Girl, that ain’t pretty.” This is about having fun which seems to be the overall theme of The Saturdays image and sound. Another kicker for all us sassy strutters!

“Move On U” (UK Bonus Track) … Along these same lines, another we-are-having-fun-so-join-us kicker. There’s near impossibility for someone to NOT love this new music from The Saturdays. Download the album, place it on shuffle and get ready to move your ass, or your emotions.

THE BEST MUSIC OF 2011

With the Holidays upon us (can’t believe it’s time to start saying those words!) I thought it would be smart to help ALL of you Christmas shoppers who are looking for the soundtrack of the year 2011 for your ears. Some songs may have been released in 2010 but these chart toppers hit hard in ’11 and will keep going! This is my favorite music to get you through holiday parties, long drives through snow to grandmother’s house you go, and to knock you into visions of sugarplums that dance in you head by presenting this list of the BEST MUSIC of 2011.

Starting this list of MUST HAVE MUSIC from 2011 is the Lady herself, Lady Gaga bringing us You And I. This song is one of those that makes you feel emotions all over the chart. I simply LOVE this music from Lady Gaga and will not listen otherwise. Actually, her entire album Born This Way – The Collection [2 CD / DVD Combo] is a fierce stocking stuffers for your little monsters!

To follow my blog here at iamstevenmichael.com is to also know that I am actually a much younger British tween that screams inside her head every time she hears The Saturdays. Dropping this next week my girls of Vanessa, Rochelle, Mollie, Una and Frankie have a NEW ALBUM titled On Your Radar and the tracks coming off of it already are pure ear candy from Notorious, “My Heart Takes Over” and “All Fired Up.” LUV THESE GIRLS!

Finally, Britney Spears is back and on top of the game she once ruled! This year her new album Femme Fatale spawned many a hit single including Till The World Ends, “Hold It Against Me” and my favorite I Wanna Go that is FUN PHUN! Everyone loves Britney! It’s her world and we simply live to listen and watch what’s next from her!

Recently named Esquire magazine’s “Sexiest Woman Alive” Rihanna has killed it from radio to dance floors to iPod playlists all year long and beyond with We Found Love and such mega-hits as S&M and California King Bed. From her past music catalogue to even newer tunes that are hitting radio today, Rihanna is here to stay! “Feels so good, being bad. There’s no way I’m turning back.”

My rock goddess Stevie Nicks has turned another stunner with her newest album In Your Dreams with my favorites: the Fleetwood Mac feeling Wide Sargasso Sea and delicious first single Secret Love. We saw her at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino over the summer and she entertains every time leaving a part of her on the stage even if it’s just a lost bead of piece of lace.

The current Mrs. Justin Beiber, Selena Gomez, gave me a video of fiercely windblown hair walking through the desert for her dance hit A Year Without Rain (Dave Audé Club Remix) remixed from her single of the same name. A slow motion diva feeling her moment and you have me staring at the television monitors at the gym daily. She looks amaze and love this song, both versions!

U.K. Boy-Band The Wanted nailed me hard with Glad You Came and if you like them cute and young then YouTube their videos. Delicious, and their music is good, too. They’re about to break into the U.S. so watch out for them. Both The Wanted and The Saturdays are making their ways onto our soil so fall in love now and be ahead of the curve!

Beyoncé came through with her album 4 (Deluxe Edition) that gave drag queens and wanna-bees the buzz to turn out Run The World (Girls) with the sassy strut that the Lady B delivers in her video. BAM! SHAZAM! My neck hurts after watching it because she throws it down. Her ballad which I coined as “Irreplaceable 2″ Best Thing I Never Had is also fabulous.

With time between judging “X Factor” Nicole Scherzinger turned me out with Don’t Hold Your Breath (Kaskade Remix) and “Club Banger Nation.” Seems like this Pussycat Doll has finally found her footing as a solo phenomenon and I give it to her. She is sickening and have loved her since Eden’s Crush.

The Grand Dame herself Cher hit the big screens this year with Burlesque and her power anthem You Haven’t Seen The Last Of Me with the remixes a’plenty! We love her and anything she does is the Tea with me. Always Cher. Forever. You will never see the last of her!

I hope this fun collection of the best and hottest music of 2011 helps you make some decisions to satisfy your need for ear candy. Once you’re in, look around and see what you’re missing! I bet you find something you simply can’t live without! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

SHADES OF GAY PRIDE PALM SPRINGS

I’m sitting by the pool and it’s Gay Pride Weekend 2011 in Palm Springs. Now don’t get the impression that it’s warm sunny PS with pink clouds of queer above. There are clouds of various kinds across the Valley (read into that as you may) and the weather is chilly. In fact I need some socks on my bare tootsies until Miss Sunshine pokes her head out and says “Heigh.” Oh there she is. Oh there she went. Oh well. Dress accordingly I think.

Luckily my iPhone 4 allows me to blog and listen to new music I’m living for from Will Young, The Saturdays and The Wanted while I OCD all over the place in the process with updates, email checks and phone chatting. Wake up America! I have. The time change getcha in check, huh?! Oh, the joy of that extra hour of partying. I used to live for that. Nowadays not so much.

Last night we got all gussied up and pressed over to our friends place who had a small gathering of maybe 3 to 4 hundred plus people. Yes, 400 people. The party is called “Booze and Nuts” (I believe) and the Skyy Voddy is lined up with cranberry juice, tonic, et al. and bowls of nuts positioned all over this house that has been opened up to show its grandeur. It’s phenomenal. From their white Bentley to the vaulted ceilings of white gleam holding numerous plasmas playing music videos and porn clips with the most beautiful men Palm Springs offers its the place to be when Mike and Kenny have a party. Love those guys!

Afterwards we pressed to Arenas Road for the new Block Party and that was a nice effort from the Pride committee. There’s a video of it on my Facebook Wall. We walked around for a bit and headed back up to Zin to have dinner with Grand Marshall of the parade Mindy and the rest of gay Palm Springs. Everyone was there enjoying their meals and scenes. We got a good giggle over Kaiser Grill having the rainbow flag upside down. Note: Red is on top, Purple on the bottom. New restaurant Lulu had a private event going on or they would have gotten our money for food. Hope that was a $mart deal on their part for being closed to the public on Saturday of Gay Pride, or Pride as its called in these here parts to “unite and be inclusive to all.” Bullshit. Gay pride is Gay Pride. It’s a day for LGBT (and now Q I’m seeing.) End of discussion. Or is it…

Not sure what to wear at the parade but guaranteed it will be warm and fierce. And speaking of warm there’s the sun, again. Yes, Miss Sun. Hit me with your best shot. That’s the stuff. Am I typing outside my head? I believe the point of this blog post entry was Gay Pride and how it brings up past fond memories of Pride’s past. Being blown to bits on, hmmm, how do you say… a good time, tears of sadness over ridiculous actions of others, the excitement of the very first parades I walked in, riding on floats with roommate transsexual Shawnna Brooks to Muscle Marys from World Gym with our shirts off, arriving in Amsterdam at noon during Gay Pride and the hoards of people lining the canals (not to mention the show I put on for the parade goers from our window fresh out of the shower.)

I’ve celebrated Gay Pride in New York City, Atlanta, Amsterdam, San Francisco, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, Long Beach and today I’m living in sunny Palm Springs about to go and find this fabulous scarf my mom made for Jacques and I knitted out of rainbow yarn. Perfect! Celebrate life and Pride. I am.