Music

An Interview with Danny Malone

 

Danny Malone is a singer-songwriter from Austin, Texas whose newest release, SpeedDreamer, is available today. With three albums and over 700k combined YouTube views on his various music videos, we’ve come to expect a lot from Danny. And yet, a lot of people haven’t heard of him.

I recently was offered the opportunity to discuss his new album, troubled past and his thoughts on the music industry.

You’ve previously stated that you tried living in New York but it wasn’t for you. And you were quoted in a 2010 interview in Austin Sound as saying, “Southern is in my bones.” Is that still true – does your heart really reside in Texas?

No. I don’t know why I said that.   My mind is so strange.  Maybe I felt that then.  And maybe I thought I couldn’t handle NYC.  But today, answering this question, I think I could live in NYC, and I really don’t feel any connection to being “southern”.  I think I could live anywhere really.  No matter where I am, I’m somewhere deep in my brain, halfway in another dimension, talking to ghosts, or remembering the future.  I think what you’re asking is if I feel like any certain place is my “home”.  I have a response to this:

Wherever she is, that is where I want to be.  Probably where I NEED to be.  She is home.  And home is where my heart resides.

There’s a lot of chatter currently about the art that musicians create and the value that it holds. Taylor Swift has seemingly waged a war on Spotify about just that. What are your thoughts?

I honestly just don’t really think about this kind of stuff.  What does my opinion really matter?   This machine quite incredibly far removed from me and my ability to change anything.  Instead, I just think about what is directly tangible, or related to my little quiet life.  Doesn’t it seem like everything is just kinda fucked?   I just make art to affect myself and the people in my life who I love.  I think I make art for a maximum of 7 people.  If it reaches more, that’s great, but it’s not my intention by any means.  I’d rather leave those money-grubbing battles to the pop-star fakes and Bono.

I’ve been a fan since I saw the music video for “Baby Bleu” on YouTube back in 2008. You’ve got to tell me: I’ve heard everything from Baby Bleu was your brother’s dog to a beloved car of yours. Who – or what – is Baby Bleu?

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Music

S Club 7 Have Reunited & Everything is Perfect

You may not know this about me, but I am a hardcore addict fan of S Club 7. So much so that my best friend and I used to run fan sites for the group when we were younger. If you’ve ever heard of S Club Castle or S Club 7 NY, that was us.

Yes, I’m being that guy. Everyone should be that guy. Because S Club 7 have just reunited for BBC’s Children in Need. This day is historical.

And “rumor has it there’s a big S Club 7 press conference on Monday” (according to my best friend and fellow S Club 7 fanatic, Kim). Bow down. When will your faves? Who run the world? S Club.

Personal

The Villains of All Hallow’s Eve

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that my favorite movie is Disney’s The Little Mermaid. For one, because it’s the best movie ever created. So for this year’s Halloween festivities, like Taylor, I brought it back to 1989 and went as a gender-swapped Ursula the Sea Witch.

And not only did I go as Ursula, but I smoked all the other Ursula costumes you could even think of (had this been a Best Ursula Costume Party. It wasn’t), because Andy designed my vest. A vest with tentacles. GENIUS.

Luckily, one of our best friends was able to teach us (me) a lot about design, fabric, sewing, and the fashion world as a whole – all while doing the majority of the work. And while most of my design has always been through a computer, it was refreshing to see how these two men bring their talents to fruition out in the real world. Andy and I also painstakingly constructed Ursula’s (stolen) crown and found the perfect necklace from Liebchen Jewelry’s Etsy store. Those really helped pull the outfit together. That, and the body language. Don’t underestimate the importance of body language …ha!

But I have to admit… the gender-swapped Disney Villains idea wasn’t mine – Andy came up with that on his own. And he pulled off a truly amazing Maleficent, if i must say so myself. We really outdid our costumes from last year, didn’t we?

We also tried out a recipe for Caramel Apple Sangria (a Pinterest find!) that was everything you could hope for – and more. There was a lot more attendees this year (thanks to a much larger apartment) so naturally we had more food. Candy, snacks, specialty dishes friends made – and everything had it’s own place card (housed in little vampire teeth) with spooky names.

Plus, this year I got to help with the jack-o-lanterns. Andy showed off his (probably magical?) carving skills with his Void Stiles (Teen Wolf fans, rejoice) while I attempted David Tennant as the Tenth (best) Doctor from Doctor Who. Our massive (and truly heavy) pumpkins were from when we went to Stony Hill Farms for pumpkin picking and their corn maze. They held up great on the drives from New Jersey to Staten Island to Brooklyn (minus a horrific stem-decapitation we won’t be talking about that occurred between me leaving home and going to work that Friday).

There’s nothing better than spending a night (in) with great friends. What were you dressed up as this year?

Personal

Corn Mazes and Pumpkin Picking

I am bad at directions. It is statistically proven that if you add another person to help me find my way around – with a map or without – I will increase our odds of getting lost. A quick trip to a store that’s about 10 minutes away could take close to four hours – with a GPS. That’s a true story. Actually happened. My college friends were brave people, getting in a car with a navigation system with me at the helm.

So naturally, when Andy told me we would be going to a corn maze in New Jersey a whole bunch of red flags went up. A few thoughts popped into my head: ‘He knows this is a bad idea, right?’ ‘Maybe we won’t even find the maze’ and ‘Is this a test?’ to name a few.

He begged. He pleaded.

I caved. How could I resist that face?

And so we found ourselves on the road, enroute to Stony Hill Farms in Chester, NJ. Luckily, a wrong turn created a detour from the terrifying New Jersey roads to a quiet little road that we hoped would lead to our destination. And then we saw something in the middle of the road. An owl, I was convinced. We came closer and closer, and it became clear that this massive bird in the middle of the road was a hawk. I decide against creeping up upon it as it stares us down, and stop the car. Andy frantically grabs for the camera as I admire this beautiful sight of one of my favorite animals. And then it flies away clutching a slipping intestine in its talons. It was an incredibly thing to witness.

But then Andy snapped me back to reality and reminded me of his plan for us to die, lost, in a maze. And so we moved on.

Soon, we reached Stony Hill Farms. We picked out our humongous pumpkins with these marvelous stems that would make perfect jack-o-lanterns for our Halloween party. We ate some apple cider donuts. We agreed that we had under-dressed and would probably be freezing for the rest of the day. And then he bought the tickets to the corn maze. I was distracted. I hadn’t known what hit me. All of a sudden, we were watching a short video about what not to do (panic, use foul language, run… All things I do when lost). This would be difficult.

A man, about to enter the maze, explained to his friends that he studied last year’s maze for 20 minutes before entering. That maze still took him 2 hours. I turned and asked Andy, “Did you study this maze?” “Not really,” he responded.

It took us 46 minutes. We survived. And then we did a mini-maze and a rope maze. We were drunk on power. And hungry. So we got back into the car and headed towards a nearby restaurant. And promptly got lost.

Edit: Here are our finished jack-o-lanterns! This was my first time carving, so hopefully I didn’t butcher David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor. And Andy’s Void Stiles from Teen Wolf is… seriously amazing.

Short Film

All I Ever Wanted

Finally, the moment has arrived. The web premiere of All I Ever Wanted!

ABOUT THE FILM

California’s ultimate party boy Carter (Jonathon Grant) typically spends each day going to the clubs having a good time followed by returning to the apartment he shares with his older sister Rochelle (Angela Zivica), where he continues the party. Rochelle, having had enough of his endless drunken nights and “sleepovers” with every guy in the city, takes matters into her own hands.

Sent to New York to finish college, he finds himself faced with the same temptations he is trying to leave behind. Will Carter fall back into his old tricks or find something more?

Personal

Adventures in Subway Artwork

I have never been a fan of public transportation. One time as I was making my way home from a particularly grueling day at high school, I was on the train leaning against the wall and the train doors hit me as they were closing.

“Stand clear of the closing doors, please.”

Trains are my least favorite because, and this should come as no surprise, they have subway performers and artists and I am always suspicious of those.

Cue the above drawing, by Tolan Van Harris, my subway artist of the day. Andy, our friend Chris, and I were making our way around the city during NYC Pride and upon entering the Times Square bound S train, we were asked if we minded getting drawn. My coworkers told me that I look a little angry in this drawing, so I guess my feelings on subway artists came across. However, I LOVE this. How cool is it to have a complete stranger make art specifically of you, just because something left an impression on them enough to want to put that out into the world? And then for them to share it with you?

On top of that, I had a really nice Pride. After the parade we went to Logo TV’s Drag Race Pride Party hosted by Michelle Visage. I’ve seen BenDeLaCreme perform and I was at a party that Bianca Del Rio made an appearance at, so it was nice to see them as well as the other season six finalists of RuPaul’s Drag Race and previous Miss Congenialities perform. Ivy Winter’s routine was out of this world. I’ve never seen anything else quite like this event.

Last weekend, Andy and I went to Staten Island PrideFest where we saw some familiar faces. An old friend of mine had a hand in the event, so it was nice that it was such a huge success. I also had a wonderful conversation with a fellow Whovian (if you see this, mystery woman, hit me up) thanks to my tardis shirt from Threadless! Our favorite part? The Doggy Drag Show!

Personal

Hedwig and the Angry Inch

At Open House New York last year, Andy and I learned of “Nothing to Hide,” the magic show directed by Neil Patrick Harris. We had planned to go, but we weren’t entirely sure if he would be performing himself or just directing. Instead, luckily enough, another opportunity arose to see NPH live: “Hedwig and the Angry Inch.”

We bought tickets as a sort of one-year anniversary present to one another, and on the final day of May we headed into the city. First we had a romantic dinner at 44 SW Ristorante & Bar, despite the attempts of a herd of rude tourists to ruin the moment. In order to actually have something to toast with we each ordered expensive specialty drinks that we didn’t like enough to finish.

And then I did a terrible thing. The waitress left her pen. And because I had some severe delusions about meeting NPH after the show, I “borrowed” it for the night. And karma, in all of her glory, came to me in the form of exploded ink all over my favorite jeans.

The show itself was fantastic. We didn’t know what to expect (there was an unwritten rule between us that we wouldn’t research what the show was about) but as soon as the cast came on stage, neither of us could take our eyes off of the stage. I think my high school self would have been jealous, because it was pretty much everything that I would have wanted to see back then in my imagined future life.

The set design was beautiful – they did so much with lighting alone – that even though there wasn’t much to work with, everything was taken advantage of. I wasn’t a big fan of some of the music, but we ordered the Original Cast Recording beforehand, and those songs have grown on me a lot now that I’ve listened to the album on repeat.

Watching the Tony Awards was really exciting because we saw them win “all the awards” including NPH’s win as Best Lead Actor in a Musical. So that should be enough to sell you on grabbing tickets. NPH is slated to perform until mid-August, when Andrew Rannells is set to replace him.

Personal

Moose Sighting

I’m currently on vacation in New Hampshire with my boyfriend and his family, and last night we went on a Moose Tour by Pemi Valley Tours. Here’s what we saw minus a few deer. Such an exciting night!

Web Series

The Outs at PaleyFest: Made In NY

Back in October my boyfriend dragged a very sick Brandon to The Paley Center for an event we were both very excited for: An interview of the cast and crew of The Outs. Above is a clip from the event where you can catch a glimpse (twice!) of me and my boyfriend’s arm (we’re way too excited about this).

Since we are such huge fans of the web series (we did create a tour of the shooting locations used), sitting so close to the people responsible for our new favorite show was an amazing experience. Having a background in film, I was very pleased to learn more about the co-writers Adam Goldman and Sasha Winters and just how their Kickstarter project turned into a household name (at least in the GLBT community).

What really resonated with me that night was Tommy Heleringer’s comments on his journey as an actor. Apparently he had decided to quit acting before getting a role on The Outs, and having seemingly failed at his dream he was in a bad place. I know how it feels to feel lost on your career path, but also how things can change quickly and unexpectedly. Since Tommy’s character, Paul “Scruffy,” is one of my favorite characters from the series, my heart went out to him and was glad for his success from the show.

While the spotlight was obviously on the cast and crew, it was really interesting to hear from John Cameron Mitchell, who moderated the evening. He is the director of Shortbus and the writer of Hedwig and the Angry Inch (which my boyfriend and I are planning to see later this year).

After the interview the third episode of the team’s new series, Whatever This Is, was screened. The event was very enjoyable, and I look forward to attending future NYC events by The Paley Center.

And while my boyfriend and I stayed afterwards for a good 15 minutes to try and work up the courage to talk to any of the members of the cast and crew, we decided we would be cowardly lions instead. Oh well, there’s always next time!