Saturday, April 30, 2016

SO LONG AND FAREWELL TO THE RANCH

The long-running Altland’s Ranch in York County, PA, suddenly closed its doors. A representative for the owner saying the bar and restaurant’s demise was due to a downturn in customer numbers. Running since 1967, and commonly known in the area as simply as The Ranch, the venue was run from the late 1960s onwards by co-owners Rodney Nagle and his partner, Bernie, during which time it thrived. However, Bernie died in 2004, and since that time Nagle, who is now 77 and residing in a nursing home, had employed others to run the venue for him. Many LGBTQ venues in the past decade have faced difficulties as technology has provided an increasing number of ways in which gay people can meet one another.
 
At the time, being from the Harrisburg area, it was a bar just a 40 minute jaunt for the Mistress and clan. But this wasn't one of the big city, swanky venues your Mistress would usually attend. No, this place was way out, and when I say way out, I'm talking desolate. And it literally looked like a Ranch. The inside looked more like a large country bingo hall, with banquet tables set up, a sitting area, and two bars. At the front was a simple stage for shows I suppose, although I never saw one of those, and from time to time they had sent in a mechanical bull, Anne Marie or Cali Boi would have loved to rode!!!! But I must admit it was an experience to have. The owners and staff were all friendly, and their were most famous drink was not beer, but their infamous, mind altering Long Island Iced Teas. Never did I have two drinks for a night and would be completely wasted, and have my unborn children grow gills. My good friend Wayne , or Winfred as I call him, could put away countless numbers of these things. One night I decided to bring out my alter ego The Mistress Borghese. Well. at first, I think the patrons were very shocked to have this decadent but campy, high haired queen in their midst, with a Pucci-stque long backless gown on. Lesbians kept asking if I was a fabled lipstick lesbians! Well, after some time the crowd loosened up. And after my first 32oz long island, the Mistress started her shtick on the dance floor. Wouldn't you know it was a Deee-Lite number. Well to my surprise, two muscle bears came up to me, picked my up by the arms, and carried me off the floor to a plaid sofa, where I sat upon the back of it. They then proceeded to slide the sofa all over the floor while a was voging on the back of it!!!! Turned out to be a crowd pleaser. And also one of the Mistress's numerous visits. I can also remember being there one year when I huge blizzard hit. not a fun ride home. We stopped at a diner in York County mind you. I was in full drag!!!! I was never more nervous or scarred in my life. But I didn't care, we went in. It was homophobe central for sure. I got some looks, but thankfully nothing came of any alterations.
the famous sofa I took my ride on.
 
What it lacked in cosmetics it made up for in heart!  Many could never tell you any bar owners names at any of the gay bars they've been to over the years … but they sure could tell you Bernie and Rodney’s names. Since I moved to the Philadelphia area, it has been years since I was there, but the owners apparently were still  greeting and hugging their customers.  And I can also remember the music. It would be mostly top 40 and old disco classics, but with a pause in between each song, not mixed like in most clubs. They didn't have the djing technology I'm sure. but it all added to the ambiance. And if I'm not correct, they would end the evening with TLC'S Red Light Special. It was one of the few and only places I knew of where they played slow dance songs for a  slow dance. What a great ice breaker if you wanted to meet someone. Like this bartender chap....
one of their promo flyer with featured bartend model.

That little place in the country affected a lot of lives and will live in memories for ever. Altland’s Ranch was the last remaining local LGBTQ venue In York County, following the closure of Velvet Rope, Club XS and LUX. So how appropriate to end an era but with Red Light Special.....

Friday, April 29, 2016

GOOD BEAT


See, I told you dear ones...Deeelite had more songs then one thought!!!! Continuing this National Deeelite Week...is another swell ditty from their, World Clique album.  How perfect for a Friday night... i jus wanna i jus wanna, but i just wanna hear a good beat... I'd kill for that flip.
 

IT FRIDAY Y'ALL!!!!


Thursday, April 28, 2016

MUSIC SELECTOR Is THE SOUL REFLECTOR

 
"SPIRIT OF LOVE COME TO US!!!!!" -  It would  be  almost criminal and sacrilegious if one didn't get to dance to this...one of my holy grail of Deee-lite songs, and house music in general. My girl Kailyn and I are in deep religious mode when this ditty comes on....go and dance, you know you want too.......
 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

POWER OF LOVE

 
Can I tell ya, I'm getting a real charge out of this National Dee-lite Week? Well I am! Power of Love is a 1992 single written and performed by Deee-Lite. The single was the second release from the group's World Clique album, and second released song after Groove is in the Heart. This song too brings back fond memories from nights at Shampoo in Philly. Where else could you have a cocktail and get a soap suds boofont a foot off your head as a wig. Then, that was followed up with a half night of dancing in a huge foam pit, for one of their infamous Foam Parties, followed by a quickie in the bathroom. Lurving the style of this video....... 
 

GRANDE DAME

 
Rhea Litre: Either you love Rhea or you hate her and in my case I can't get enough of her.Everywhere I turn on social media, Rhea is there...on almost everyone's pages in selfies and whatnot and she has a huge following already.  Rhea is an American singer and drag queen, and is a fixture in West Hollywood nightlife. After graduating from high school, Rhea moved to Los Angeles to audition for the second season of American Idol. He first performed in drag at Oasis Nightclub's Drag Idol in 2004 and Rhea came to us from her drag mothers,  Raja and Mayhem Miller. Litré was a member of the band Tranzkuntinental, which made its debut at The Roxy in 2009. The band was started by Charlie Paulson and Xander Smith and featured drag queens Willam Belli, Detox Icunt, Kelly Mantle, and Vicky Vox. In 2012, Willam Belli and Rhea Litré released "Let's Have a Kai Kai." The song parodied "Let's Have a Kiki" by the Scissor Sisters. In 2013, Litré walked the Marco Marco runway for Los Angeles Fashion Week. If your in West Hollywood check out drag baddest bitch!
 
Did I forget to mention how smoldering hot he is as a guy?

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

WHY DON'T WE RUNAWAY

If you were to talk to my close friends, and you wondered what it's like inside my head, they would tell you that a typical Deee-lite video would be what it's like to be in the head of your dear Mistress.  They're probably right. I  have fond memories of this song from the Palladium in New York. One gay pride weekend my good friend and sister Mame headed there to find the line out the door and around the block. They even had those huge round spot lights that shine way up, flashing everywhere. Luckily he knew the door person and voilà, we were in! Mind you, we entered at around 10pm on a Sunday evening and came out the next morning during the rush hour. Yours truly had just a few minuscule cocktails that night. And we must have danced like 8 hours at least. Upon coming out of the club I said to Mame " Jesus Chrrrrrrrist, get that spotlight out of my eyes." To which Mame replied "Maddie, that's the sun." Ahhhhh good times. But Runaway played that night which is a song recorded and produced by Deee-Lite. The song was released as the lead single of their second studio album, Infinity Within. The song is Deee-Lite's fourth single to top the Billboard dance chart..........
 

 
This also happen to be the first time to meet the fabulous Lady Bunny.

OUR NEWEST PATRON SAINT

 
1990 was a really important year for me musically. In 94 I came out, as in to gay clubs, (hell, I came out of the womb wanting a man), started my love affair with gin and rum and anything else wet , and fell instantly in love with club and house music, in addition to my love for the lonnnnng nights clubbing. For the first time ever, I started to empty out my piggy bank which paid for nights out and for two cassette tapes: Clivilles and Cole, and Deee-lite's World Cliché, and Madonna’s “Vogue” which to me all of these were the pinnacle of human musical achievement. But an amazing song was released, with a video that would provide me with enough giddy ’60s fashion inspiration and fly dance-move fabulousness to last a lifetime. That song was “Groove Is in the Heart” by Deee-Lite, and its lead singer, Lady Miss Kier, quickly became my own personal proto-Spice Girl, not to mention my major source of drag style.... the pop idol against which all other pop idols would forever be judged. Deee-lite and Lady Miss Kier would be my introduction to New York City night life, another idol, Lady Bunny and all the nights of labor with my good friend and sister Mame, on the club scene. Just thinking back gives me chills, seems like yesterday, I can still hear the thumpa thumpa of the music. My first musical love will always be house music.

Like most of us, Lady Miss Kier was from a small town.... in Youngstown, Ohio. She moved to New York to study fashion design at FIT and began selling her crazy, disco-inspired clothes to friends she met on the club scene., silver platform boots and blue glitter suits—and that was just for the dudes. One of her clients, the Russian DJ Dmitry Brill, convinced her to record a demo with himself and the Japanese DJ Towa Tei, and thus the three-headed hydra of disco-house-funk amazingness known as Deee-Lite was born, which gave us endless night of worshipping to the cool vibe house sound to this way cool group.
 
Adopting the name Lady Miss Kier and styling her band in addition to co-writing their songs, Kirby transformed herself into the ultimate club diva. A lot of people were working the colorful retro-’60s thing at the time, but she was the most fabulous of them all. With her penchant for skintight Pucci catsuits, oversize chunky cocktail rings, sculptural John Fluevog heels, and a teased-and-flipped hairdo, Miss Kier was largest-than-life in a scene where EVERYBODY was competing to look the craziest.
 
Can we also talk about her makeup at the time? With her white-powdered face, razor-sharp drawn-on brows, and three-inch fake eyelashes, Miss Kier was like a female drag queen. I could say a whole lot of Feminist Theory 101 stuff about how her over-the-top makeup was like an ironic commentary on the construction of femininity in our culture, but I’ll spare you my second-rate Judith Butler spiel and just say that she looked really freaking fabulous
 
I can also remember talking to her on two occasions, one as high as a kite and the other probably drunk and high. Once in Philly, and another time in Baltimere....yes, yours truly went all over the place to club. She was the most cool vibed person I ever talked too, laid back, extremely nice and kind hearted. I think I even adopted her dance after the second night. Even though it was before my time she was like a modern day Emma Peal. And gurrrrls could she ever spin for a club........... while I still enjoy going out, club music WILL NEVER be like this again.

 
A 3 Hour set by Lady Miss Kier kept the dance floor packed at this venue for a LGBT event a couple years ago. Excuse me now while I tear up the living room floor. This is my music!!!!!
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