Music Monday: Fred Schneider’s side project releases ‘Batbaby’ mini-movie video

Last year, The Superions released perhaps one of my least favorite albums of 2010. With Destination…Christmas, the Fred Schneider-led band turned Christmas songs inside out into a hot mess. The out B-52s singer definitely lets his comic freak flag fly higher with this band and they are back at it for Halloween.

They just released the EP Batbaby along with a new video. The 10-minute video is sort of a homage to the beatnik/horror mashup genre of the ’60s. You know, like A Bucket of Blood. It’s over-the-top ridiculous, but the hunky volleyball guys add some nice eye candy.

If you don’t have 10 minutes to spare, check the trailer out here which touts the mini-movie as more frightening than Mary Poppins.

The video is below.

—  Rich Lopez

As a birthday nears, everything old is new again

Looking back on the battles we’ve fought, and forward to the battles yet to come, as another year is marked off the calendar

HARDY HABERMAN  |  Flagging Left

Last week I stumbled across a picture of myself from the 1980s. Now that doesn’t seem so long ago to me — until I talk to friends who were born during that decade! And then I start to feel really old.

The photos pretty much sealed the deal. Who was that slender — or at least average-sized — guy with dark brown hair who looked like such a child? What’s worse, I was already in my 30s back then, already no spring chicken.

Age has its advantages. There is the whole “older and wiser” thing, and being older does give you a sense of perspective on minor problems that used to seem like life-altering crises when I was younger.

Today, I really don’t worry about missing a night out at the bar or making sure I am not wearing last season’s fashion. That just isn’t all that important in the grand scheme of things.

What is important is something I paid little attention to as a young man: Quality of life.

That doesn’t mean much to someone in their 30s, since most have few problems aside from sports injuries or the occasional hangover. But to a gay man creeping into his 60s “quality of life” is very much “top of mind.”

First of all, I never expected to live this long. After all, many of my gay friends from the 1980s died during the first wave of AIDS. Watching all those men prematurely age and pass away really can put a damper on your expectations for the future.

Amazingly, I have survived and remain HIV-negative. Now what do I do?

If you are younger than me, here’s what you may have to look forward to: Aches. Muscles, bones and especially joints just don’t feel the same as they did. I don’t bound up stairs anymore, and the idea of dancing the night away seems almost ludicrous to me now.

First of all, my legs just don’t have the pep they used to have. Secondly, 61-year-old guys dancing to Lady Gaga just look like a cry for help.

Aside from dancing, I don’t have the desire to do as much as I used to. Part of that comes from being settled down with a loving partner for more than 16 years, and part is just from the whole age thing. The idea of a nice dinner at home and an evening of TV and conversation with my guy is much more appealing than hanging out in a bar or an evening of retail therapy.

Yet, the more things change, the more they remain the same.

Though we’ve had 30 years of education and research into AIDS/HIV, it is still with us and once again a growing problem for gay men. You’d think we would have gotten the message, but the younger generation has recklessly embraced barebacking and the older generation has forgotten that AIDS does not discriminate because of age.

It’s time to haul out the safer sex information that was squelched in the name of “abstinence only” and start educating again.

As the election cycle approaches, the same-sex marriage issue will continue to be on the forefront, while the real issue of full civil rights for LGBT citizens is pushed aside. I guess it’s not sexy enough to get media attention.

So I guess I will have to keep pounding away at the real equality issue until our politicians can get some kind of focus on the big picture.

And the whole idea of an aging generation of LGBT seniors has yet to hit the activists’ radar. Oh, there is a lot of talk about it, but who is going to assure that when I get old enough to need assisted care, my sexuality and my partner will not be ignored?

Guess there is still a lot to do. Time to get up off the couch and start getting busy.

Perhaps that will keep me from just being an old curmudgeon — like a kinky, gay Andy Rooney.

So time to get busy. If 60 is the new 40, then I fully intend to have an action-packed middle age.

Hardy Haberman, who will celebrate his 61st birthday on July 27, is a longtime local LGBT activist and a board member of the Woodhull Freedom Alliance. His blog is at DungeonDiary.blogspot.com.

—  John Wright

Snowpocalypse Part III arrives, but we’ll have sunny skies and highs near 70 this weekend

Schools will be closed today (Wednesday) in Dallas, Fort Worth and Arlington, as well as a number of other districts throughout North Texas (full list here). Freezing rain began to fall in Dallas at about 5:45 a.m., and forecasters expected it to change over to snow later this morning. Snow accumulations may be lower than expected at 1-2 inches, but ice will pose the biggest threat on roadways. TxDOT is running low on granular ice melt after last week’s storms, and loaner plows have mostly been returned. DART is already reporting delays, and ERCOT has issued a power watch — with the greatest likelihood of rolling blackouts coming Thursday morning, when we’ll see a low of 11 degrees. Trash is piling up, and pipes are again at risk. But now for the good news: The forecast calls for sunny skies and highs in the 60s Saturday through Tuesday. Welcome to Texas.

—  John Wright

Marking 50 years since JFK’s inauguration

President John F. Kennedy

I’m probably the only one in the Dallas Voice office who remembers the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy, which happened 50 years ago today. I remember being inspired then and was moved watching it again.

Several weeks before the election, my father came home from work one day and told how he had met Kennedy. He was stuck in traffic on the East Side Highway in Manhattan. A limousine pulled up next to him just as they came to a complete standstill.

Kennedy was sitting in the back seat with his window open. My father unrolled his window, leaned out of the car and shook the future president’s hand, wishing him good luck.

Traffic began to move and the limo moved ahead.

Kennedy, he said, was gracious and charming. And something like that couldn’t possibly happen today.

—  David Taffet

Screw world peace. Miss New York is for the gays

Miss New York Claire Buffie

Claire Buffie was crowned Miss New York and will compete in the Miss America pageant. Her platform, “Straight for Equality: Let’s Talk,” makes her the first contestant to compete using an LGBT rights statement.

She won’t win. Miss New York never does. Not anymore.

The Miss America competition began in 1933. The first Miss New York to be crowned Miss America was Bess Myerson in 1945. She refused to change her name and sponsors pulled out because Myerson is Jewish. Miss America didn’t make that mistake again.

Thirty years later, Miss New York Tawny Godin became Miss America in 1975. During her reign, she admitted she smoked pot. The pageant couldn’t wait till that year was over. Honesty is definitely not a Miss America virtue and they didn’t make that mistake again.

Then in 1983, Vanessa Williams became the third and final Miss New York to become Miss America. Toward the end of her reign, nude pics emerged and the most talented winner in the pageant’s history also became its only titleholder to be forced out. Swimsuit competition aside, we know Miss America is definitely not about sex.

A year or two later, Miss New York was a student from my college. She said that the judges asked everyone else an insipid question whose answer could have been the well-rehearsed, “World peace.” Then they asked her, “What is your position on abortion?” Her answer might as well have been, “What the fuck?” She said she knew she was out of the competition before a word came out of her mouth.

And Miss New York will not win again. Ever.

Rarely, to make the competition not look rigged, a Miss New York makes it into the top 10. Once, a few years ago, even the top three. But really, isn’t Miss Mississippi so much safer?

So Buffie is really taking no chances when she makes LGBT rights her platform. In fact, she’s smart to set herself apart and use those New York-o-phobes at the pageant to her own advantage.

Myerson went on to a career as a game show panelist in the ’50s and ’60s and became New York’s Commissioner of Consumer Affairs. Godin married Dukes of Hazzard star John Schneider and had something of a TV and film career herself. And Williams is most recently a Desperate Housewife. The three are among the most successful winners in the pageant’s history.

We love our bold allies and Buffie is the first contestant to ever take a stand for gay equality. We wish her luck.

—  David Taffet

Will the real Lady Gaga please stand up?

A woman who identified herself as “Lady Starlight” snaps a photo with her cell phone aboard a flight from Edmonton to Minneapolis on Saturday. Was “Lady Starlight” really Lady Gaga?

Resource Center Dallas’ Rafael McDonnell, who describes himself as a “casual Lady Gaga fan,” reports that he was vacationing in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, last week when — by sheer accident — he ended up in the same city as her Monster Ball tour. McDonnell took advantage by catching one of her two shows in Edmonton and then apparently ended up on the same flight as her to Minneapolis on Saturday. Or did he? McDonnell said he wanted to invite her to stop by the Resource Center when she visits Dallas again in March, but first he had to figure out which one she was, and that wasn’t going to be easy. Turns out Gaga likes to outsmart the paparazzi by donning a poker face while traveling. Here’s McDonnell’s report:

Saturday afternoon, I was wrapping up my Canadian vacation, preparing to head home from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, to Minneapolis and then DFW. The plane back to Minnesota was a fairly small, 90 or so seat regional jet, and for a Saturday afternoon wasn’t expected to be a crowded flight.

As I was going through the metal detector and bag check, the Canadian security official told me that they were expecting a celebrity to come through. I asked who, and she answered, “Lady Gaga.” Her concert tour had stopped in Edmonton on Thursday and Friday, and would pick up in St. Paul on Monday night.

I don’t think most of the passengers on the flight probably wouldn’t  have known who Lady Gaga is; there were a fair number of couples in their 50′s and 60s in the departure lounge. Still, the flight crew and gate personnel were excitedly talking about her being on the flight. In fact, either the pilot or copilot called somebody before takeoff to share the news. I heard a member of the cabin crew saying she was seated in row 2 (first class on the regional jet only had three rows). They also said she was already on the plane when the rest of the passengers boarded.

When I boarded the plane, I approached row 2 and there was a woman seated there wearing a red leather jacket, a multi-color blouse and dark jeans. I introduced myself, said where I worked, and thanked her for supporting the community. She smiled, and said thanks. Then, she said, “But, I’m Lady Starlight.” I responded, “Well, if you see Lady Gaga, tell her hello for me.” With that, I headed for my seat. There was a second woman sitting next to her wearing a hoodie. On the same row across from them was a beefy tall man in a blue shirt. Several people who looked to be backup dancers also sat in first class and the first couple of rows of coach.

There was also a woman who sat in the same area at the front of coach, wearing an obviously dark wig, large Jackie Onassis-style sunglasses, dressed in all black. She was of average height and of a thin build. During the flight, she thumbed through a Star magazine. She passed by me as she went to the restroom in the back of the plane, but didn’t say anything.

Since I was towards the back of the plane, I didn’t see the first class passengers leave, or even the woman in black. But the flight attendant did confirm that Lady Gaga was on the flight. When I got back to Texas, I searched the Web and found that “Lady Starlight” is the name of a DJ who worked with Lady Gaga early in her career. So, was “Lady Starlight” really Lady Gaga? Was she the woman in the hoodie? Or, was she the woman in black who sat in coach? I don’t doubt the airline and security personnel, so she “had” to be on the plane. But, who was she?

—  John Wright

‘Vintage’ art show at the Rising Gallery

David Parise

Such a different kind of toy story

In Vintage, photographer David Parise works with Ken and Barbie dolls but reimagines them in innocent recreational scenes reminiscent of the ’60s. That’s what he says. To us, it looks like Ken has finally come to terms with a few things. The show also features work by Debbie Curtis.

DEETS: Rising Gallery, 4631 Insurance Lane. Through July 31. RisingGallery.com.

—  Dallasvoice