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Jason Bellini Offers Up a Brief History of the NRA: VIDEO


Wall Street Journal reporter Jason Bellini presents a thorough look at the National Rifle Association and its history in this new web video.

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

Posted Dec. 21,2012 at 2:10 PM EST by in Guns, Jason Bellini, News | Permalink | Comments (10)

L.A. Gay Men's Chorus and Students Sing David Bowie's 'Peace on Earth' for Newtown Shooting Victims: VIDEO


Gorgeous and moving.

On the day following the tragedies in Newtown, CT, 46 students from the Creative Planet School of the Arts harmonized onstage with the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles. Together, they performed “Peace on Earth” and “Little Drummer Boy,” dedicating their performance to the families in Newtown and to everyone whose lives have forever been changed by violence.

“Music has a way of speaking to people that spoken words do not,” said Christopher Verdugo, Executive Director of GMCLA, “and we felt that dedicating this video to the victims of Newtown was the only way to express our sorrow, grief and thoughts of hope.”


Posted Dec. 21,2012 at 1:45 PM EST by in Music, News | Permalink | Comments (5)

Chuck Hagel Apologizes for 'Insensitive' Anti-Gay Remarks , Says He is Committed to Open Service, LGBT Military Families

In an effort to remain a viable candidate for Secretary of Defense, former Senator Chuck Hagel apologized on Friday for remarks he made in 1998, criticizing the appointment of James Hormel as ambassador to Luxembourg because of Hormel's "aggressively gay" values:

Hagel"They are representing America," Hagel said of ambassadors...They are representing our lifestyle, our values, our standards. And I think it is an inhibiting factor to be gay - openly aggressively gay like Mr. Hormel - to do an effective job."

Said Hagel today to Politico, via an aide:

“My comments 14 years ago in 1998 were insensitive. They do not reflect my views or the totality of my public record, and I apologize to Ambassador Hormel and any LGBT Americans who may question my commitment to their civil rights. I am fully supportive of ‘open service’ and committed to LGBT military families.”

Army veteran and OutServe-SLDN Executive Director Allyson Robinson released a statement in reaction to Hagel's apology:

"We are pleased that Senator Hagel recognized the importance of retracting his previous statement about Ambassador Hormel and affirming his commitment to Don't Ask, Don't Tell repeal and LGBT military families. We look forward to learning more about his commitment to full LGBT military equality as this nomination and confirmation process unfolds."

Posted Dec. 21,2012 at 1:13 PM EST by in Chuck Hagel, Military, News | Permalink | Comments (27)

The OXD Mirror: Ru's Top 10 Songs of 2012



The OXD Mirror is a weekly music column brought to you by the boys of OCCUPY THE DISCO (OXD), a New York City based collective created by three music lovers, Ru Bhatt, Josh Appelbaum, and Tadeu Magalhães, who want to share their love for disco, house and dance music with the world. 

As this is my last post of 2012, I want to showcase my top 10 favorite songs, including both remixes and original tracks.  In addition to providing streaming links you can also download them as part of my Ru-Mix 2012 podcast, available here.


10. Disclosure - Latch (feat Sam Smith)

While Disclosure's remix of Jessie Ware's 'Running' initially caught my ear, this band of brothers truly impressed me with their original song, 'Latch.' The UK-based duo latches on to you using newcomer Sam Smith's full-bodied R&B vocals and skipping electronic beats to tell the tale of deliriously falling in love.


9. Van She - Jamaica (Plastic Plates Remix)

The steel drums and enchanting falsettos of Van She's 'Jamaica' are supplemented by Plastic Plates' signature squeaky beat, bringing the loungey original song straight to the dancefloor and making it my personal 'song of the summer.'


8. Jessica 6 - 'Prisoner of Love (EL!OT's 1987 Mix)

With this remix, EL!0T has crafted an effusive "totally 80's" production that perfectly complements the rich vocals provided by former Hercules & Love Affair collaborators Nomi Ruiz & Antony Hegarty. It's no surprise that Nomi prefers this remix to the original and actually performs this version when on tour. 










7. Duke Dumont - 'The Giver' 

Duke Dumont combines a haunting, unforgettable hook and a classic Chicago House sound to create this absolutely colossal track that has made its way into the sets of many DJs we follow. As new remixes by the likes of Tiga were recently released, I guarantee this isn't the last you've heard of this massive tune.


6. St. Lucia - September

'September' is the first single off of St.Lucia's yet-to-be-titled, James Iha-produced 2013 album. The song slowly builds with deep synths creating an epic, atmospheric feel that crescendos until lead singer Jean-Philip Grobler's beautiful vocals finally kick in at the two-and-a-half minute mark, resulting in an epic song that signals a new turn in direction for this traditionally rock oriented band.


5. The Rapture - How Deep Is Your Love (Dimitri from Paris Erodisco Mix)

Although this track was technically released in 2011, it has been a staple on playlists and sets of mine throughout the year. Dimitri From Paris is my favorite DJ and producer, hands down, due to the sheer amount of fun he injects into his remixes. With this remix, his liberal saxaphone usage and churning disco beat make dancing to it absolutely irresistible. 


4. Anna Lunoe & Touch Sensitive - 'Real Talk'

Anna Lunoe & Touch Sensitive blew me away with 'Real Talk,' the perfect summer house anthem of this year. The steady four-four beat and cascading house pianos are supplemented by a simple nonsensical lyric that one can't help but sing along with. 


3. Chris Malinchak - So Good To Me

The Perseus-founded label French Express has become quite the cabal of exciting artists with the likes of Moon Boots and Jonas Rathsman joining the ranks. However it's NJ-based Chris Malinchak that continues to impress me with every release. 'So Good To Me' is downright euphoria inducing, with its soothing vocals and dreamy production.


2. Solange - Losing You

A beautiful, lush production by Devonte Hynes, and catchy soulful vocals by Solange Knowles have made the music industry step up and notice Beyoncé's little sister once again, although this time completely on her own merits. 


1. Sam Sparro - Happiness (Magician Remix)

With this remix The Magician has proven that he truly does work magic. While the original Sam Sparro song is enjoyable, The Magician adds a dark, brooding production and removes some of the original's more pedestrian lyrics creating a haunting, poignant track that brilliantly showcases the art of remixing.


OCCUPY THE DISCO (OXD) curates and recommends music events to the gay community in NYC—in an effort to move the focus of the nightlife scene beyond the promoter and venue and to the music itself. OXD's goal is to educate, entertain, engage and empower the gay audience to reclaim their ability to question and experience the unknown. The OXD Mirror will serve to showcase tunes that are definitely off-the-beaten-path but rightfully deserve the attention of the gay ear. It's music that will make you dance, dream, and most importantly, love.

This week's post was written and curated by Ru Bhatt. Check out more of his music picks on his podcast, The Ru-Mix.

For more information on OXD, check out our website and accompanying blog at, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter: @OccupyTheDisco.

Posted Dec. 21,2012 at 1:01 PM EST by in Music, Music Recommendations, Occupy the Disco, Ru Bhatt, Sam Sparro | Permalink | Comments (2)

Anderson Cooper Just Got Tickled by Paul Rudd's Pickle: VIDEO


It's always fun when Anderson gets into a bit of innuendo.


Posted Dec. 21,2012 at 12:14 PM EST by in Anderson Cooper, News, Paul Rudd | Permalink | Comments (18)

Protester Interrupts NRA Press Conference: 'NRA Killing Our Kids' - VIDEO


Having said it planned to offer "meaningful contributions" to end gun violence in schools, Executive Director Wayne LaPierre spoke at a press conference on Friday morning and called for Congress to immediately appropriate money to put armed officers in every school in America. LaPierre said the NRA has 11,000 police training instructors willing to help.

LaPierre was interrupted by a protester from the activist group Code Pink, who unfurled a banner that read "NRA Killing Our Kids"and was carried out yelling the phrase.

The National School Shield program will be led by former Congressman Asa Hutchinson.

Watch the protester's moment and the full press conference, AFTER THE JUMP...

More from USA Today's live blog:

11:17 a.m. LaPierre asks: "Why is the use of a gun when it's asked to be used to protect the president or used by the police, but bad when it's used to protect children." He calls on the media to "at least admit that it's possible" that armed guards could have stopped the Newtown massacre.

11:13 a.m. LaPierre criticizes the media for getting basic facts about guns wrong. "They don't know what they are talking about. He makes the point that increased regulation of guns amounts to "dishonest thinking." He adds, "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."

11:09 a.m. Federal gun prosecutions have decreased by 40% to lowest levels in a decade, LaPierre notes. He criticizes media for placing the blame on gun rights advocates and failing to talk about the "callous, corrupt shadow industry" pushed by Hollywood and video game makers.


And here's the presser:

Posted Dec. 21,2012 at 11:44 AM EST by in Code Pink, Guns, News, NRA | Permalink | Comments (42)


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