Monthly Archives: November 2015

A Hint Of Mint – Volume 30: Christmas

Don you now your gay apparel, for this week’s installment if A Hint of Mint consists solely of Christmas songs performed by artists from the LGBTQ populations, including Pet Shop Boys, Goldfrapp, and Boy George and Antony.


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Travel Deals With Randy Newman And A Czech Hooker

Have I ever told you about the time I accidentally hired a prostitute? If I know you in real life, the answer is probably yes. It’s a good story, one to share each Thanksgiving with the whole family, even Little Timmy. For those with whom I haven’t eaten stuffing, I’ll briefly summarize what happened.

I was looking to book a trip to the Czech Republic. I found an amazing package deal on-line. For $999, I would get a seven night hotel stay, a few meals, plus my own personal tour guide to show me the sights. The site didn’t use the term “tour guide,” though. They said “escort.” My escort would pick me up from the airport, take me to my hotel, and then show me everything. I booked the trip, and after paying found out that the word escort means the same thing there that it does here. So I get a hotel room, some meals, and a hooker for the week, all for $999? What a deal!

I won’t get into all the details now, but suffice to say that after the Czech police shut down the “travel agency,” I had to find other accommodations, my promise of a Czech romance (I use the word romance very loosely) dashed.

In his song “Sail Away,” Randy Newman’s ship captain makes promises to those about to board his ship about what they will find when they arrive at their destination. He tells them of days spent singing, of being fed without having to hunt for the food or worry about dangerous animals. He leaves out the part that the Africans he is addressing will be slaves when they arrive in America.

Today Randy Newman turns 72 years old. Here are twenty of his best.


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It’s Black Friday And I Need To Dance!

What do people want more than anything else? Love, perhaps. When songwriter/Motown founder Berry Gordy, Jr. asked “What do people want most?,” his writing partner Janie Bradford answered “Money. That’s what I want.”

A song was born, a classic that became the first hit for Gordy’s Motown Records, with singer Barrett Strong taking “Money (That’s What I Want)” to #23 in 1960.

Ringo + Lizards
Twenty years after Strong hit with it, UK band The Flying Lizards took a cover of “Money” to #50 on the US pop chart. Their version also made the dance chart. It kicks off Tunes du Jour’s weekly dance party.


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A Hint Of Mint – Volume 29: AIDS

Some of these songs are celebratory. Some are somber. All are moving.


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Smoke A Cigar – Today Is Björk’s Birthday

“It’s a story about a love affair between a five year old girl, a secret and a man who lives next door. The song’s called ‘Birthday’ because it’s his fiftieth birthday, but not many people can figure that out of the lyrics ‘cos it’s more about the atmosphere around it and how they touch. It’s a tasteless pop song—not even that. A pop song—very unusual. I was always changing my mind about what the lyrics should be about. I had the atmosphere right from the start but not the facts. It finally ended up concentrating on this experience I remembered having as a little girl, among many other little girls’ experiences. It’s like huge men, about fifty or so, affect little girls very erotically but nothing happens . . . nothing is done, just this very strong feeling. I picked on this subject to show that anything can affect you erotically; material, a tree, anything.”
– Björk

When asked by a reader of The Guardian “what’s [sic] does the line ‘sows a bird in her knickers’ mean?”, Björk replied “Obviously it is about haberdashery … and embroidery of course ….”

Today is Björk’s 49th birthday. Here are twenty career highlights.


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It’s Q-Tip’s Birthday And I Need To Dance!

Here’s the thing…I started writing today’s blog entry about mishaps I’ve recently encountered in on-line dating, specifically with an app I downloaded last week that despite my creating a profile that says I’m a man looking for a man, keeps trying to set me up with straight guys. I tied that into today’s birthday, Q-Tip from A Tribe Called Quest, by saying he’s one straight guy who wouldn’t date me. I quoted lyrics from Tribe’s song “Georgy Porgy.” While I was typing those lyrics, my stomach turned. I had trouble finding the humor in a song that refers to a gay guy as gross, ill, a fag, wounded, weak, a fucking faggot, and then some. The post started out funny but when I got to Q-Tip’s lyric “You can call me homophobic but I know it and you know it/ you’re filthy and funny to the utmost,” I decided I may be funny, but he isn’t, nor is he worth celebrating.

Odd that such a hateful bigot should appear on a record by Deee-Lite, a trio of gay and gay-friendly performers. Q-Tip appears on a lot of good records.

Friday is dance day at Tunes du Jour. Today’s playlist doesn’t celebrate the loathsome Q-Tip, but rather twenty great club tracks, a few of which feature Q-Tip. I’ll fill you in on my dating app experiences later.


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Throwback Thursday – The Hits of 1984

Madonna debuted “Like a Virgin” with a performance on the MTV Video Music Awards in September 1984, weeks before the record was released. Watching her on television rolling around the floor in a wedding dress with a Boy Toy belt buckle, the song’s writers, Tom Kelly and Billy Steinberg, thought “We’re doomed now. This is an embarrassment. This is never going to succeed.”

“Like a Virgin” spent six weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, her first single to top that chart.

Kelly and Steinberg didn’t meet Madonna until around five years later. At a party they saw her, and asked Steve Bray, who wrote Madonna’s hit “Into the Groove,” to introduce them.

Bray did so. “Madonna, I want you to meet Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly. They wrote ‘Like a Virgin.’”

Steinberg said “Oh Madonna, I’ve wanted to meet you for so long.”

Madonna replied “Well, now you did,” and walked away.

“Like a Virgin” kicks off this week’s Throwback Thursday playlist, spotlighting the hits of 1984.


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A Hint Of Mint – Volume 28: Guys Names

A fun playlist based on a silly premise – every song’s title is merely a guy’s first name. Artists include Goldfrapp, Christine and the Queens and Franz Ferdinand.


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Throwback Thursday – The Hits of 1995

This week’s Throwback Thursday playlist spotlights the hits of 1995, starting with TLC’s “Waterfalls,” a song that features backing vocals by Cee Lo Green.


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A Hint Of Mint – Volume 28: Alcohol

Songs about drinking.


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