WATCH: Sam Smith parody ‘Please Go Home’

Please Go HomeSam Smith, the amazingly talented gay British pop star, will be performing tonight in Dallas, the final leg of his limited North American tour. To help get you ready for the concert, we share this video … not of an actual Sam Smith song, but of its parody, “Please Go Home,” which turns the needy-trick meme on its head from the perspective of the guy who made the mistake of hooking up with him. And it comes courtesy of the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, led by our own Tim Seelig! It’s especially good for bear lovers! Enjoy!

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

RECAP: ‘American Horror Story: Freak Show’

AHSFS_Jessica_color_f_hires1If you’re as addicted to American Horror Story as most people I know, last night’s fourth season opener — which, like previous incarnations, follows its own new arc as a limited-run series — probably didn’t disappoint.

This cycle, called Freak Show, owes a lot to Tod Browning’s classic 1932 film Freaks which shows the grotesque and the tender side-by-side, down to the bearded lady (Kathy Bates, affecting a deliciously uncategorizable accent), the Siamese twins (two-headed Sarah Paulson, who may be eligible in both the leading and supporting actress Emmy categories), the tiny person and, natch, the clown … who, in this instance, makes Pennywise seem as harmless as Ronald McDonald. (If the image of that grinning skull-headed killer clown doesn’t freak you out more than Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight, you’ve a stronger constitution that I have. I even waited until this morning to watch the damn thing, as I get easily frightened by toothy murderers in blood-stained yarn-ball tops.)

This is all par for the course with Ryan Murphy, who revels in the unsustainably exaggerated imagery of horror and musical-comedy, which can often be the same thing. While less sexy than Coven (the third cycle), Freak Show‘s lack of subtlety is one of its appeals. Who would ever attend a circus whose entrance was a fanged, grinning face designed more to terrify than to entice? When brutal murders start occurring in the 1952 backwater of Jupiter, Fla., who else would be the chief suspects other than an itinerant band of carnies (something the local police force seems slow to pick up on)? What pair of lovers would have a scary clown walk toward they and say “Hello” rather than run screaming in the opposite direction?

But there’s heart here, as well as gruesomeness. Jessica Lange plays Elsa, the German emigree ringleader of this pathetic traveling circus who is obsessed by stardom and glamour and imagines herself to be P.T. Barnum mixed with Marlene Dietrich. When she sings her number to welcome the milquetoast young man and his domineering mom (Frances Conroy) to the opening night of the show, it’s both wonderful and sad. That’s how most editions of American Horror Story play out: Only bad can come with good.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Two x Two for AIDS and Art books, surprisingly, CeeLo Green

CeeLo Green__Photography by Meeno

Here’s a bit of news you haven’t heard in recent months: An organization booking — rather than canceling — an appearance by CeeLo Green.

The recording artist (“Crazy,” “Fuck You”) and TV host (The Voice) had most of his concerts canceled and his TBS reality series dropped within the last month or so following an allegation of sexual assault (no charges were filed) and his own self-serving Tweet, which he later deleted, and which showed insensitivity to rape.

But Two x Two for AIDS and Art, a high-end fundraiser, has announced that Green will be the featured entertainment at the Oct. 25 event. “Green is a longtime supporter of organizations focused on AIDS research and awareness. We are thrilled to have him,” said Cindy Rachofsky, host of the event, in a press release.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

PHOTOS: Parigi at 30 years

Provost, left, and Falls, right.

It’s been an Oak Lawn institution almost as long as Dallas Voice: Parigi, the French-themed, Italian-influenced bistro. There have been only three owners throughout its three decades, and two — founder Andree Falls and current chef-owner Janice Provost, who’s helmed it for 13 years —were present at the event, which was packed with long-time patrons and well-wishers enjoying Provost’s mini grilled-cheese-and-tomato-basil-soup, lobster sandwiches and deviled eggs. Congrats, Parigi!

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

PHOTOS: Burgers & Burgundy fundraiser for DIFFA

The annual Burgers & Burgundy fundraiser came back to North Dallas, and honestly, every burgers and wine pairing was stellar. Here are some of the creations, their creators and guests.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Cocktail Friday: Asian Pear Martini

Roys-PearEver since my trip last winter to Maui, I’ve been craving a return to the islands, and the closest I can get in North Texas is Roy’s, the Hawaiian-fusion restaurant in Plano. The restaurant offers some wonderful food, and some wonderful cocktails as well — among them a cool deal: Martini Mondays, where the specialty cocktail of the night is just $6 (as are the appetizers to accompany them). If you’re in North Dallas after work this Monday Oct. 6, you can buy the new Asian Pear Martini there; if you’re not, you can make one at home. Here’s how.

2 parts Reyka vodka

2 parts Grey Goose LePoire (pear-flavored) vodka

1 part Monin pure cane syrup

1 part fresh lemon juice

Tuaca

Asian pear slices

Making it: Muddle a pear slice in a shaker and add ice. Pour in the vodkas, juice, syrup and a 1/4 oz. of Tuaca; shake vigorously. Finely strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a slice of Asian pear.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

W Hotel launches gay happy hour in support of HRC

Living Room BarThe W Hotel at Victory Park is weighing in on marriage equality, and — no surprise — is coming out in support. That’s worth raising a toast … which is exactly the plan.

Turn It Up for Change is a monthly happy hour on the first Sunday of each month for the next year, starting Oct. 5. Guests can enjoy craft cocktails and music from a rotating slate of DJs from 4–7 p.m. in the Living Room Bar, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Human Rights Campaign. Valet is even complimentary for the mixer. You can RSVP here.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Congrats to newlyweds Steve Noviello and Doug Bedner!

Wed Dan Steve

If you didn’t see our friend, Fox4News’ Steve Noviello, tracking down stories late last week, there’s a reason for his absence from the air. The broadcaster was busy in NYC … getting married! Celeb party planner Steve Kemble arranged the Central Park wedding, that joined Noviello and his now-husband Doug Bedner in wedded bliss. Cheers for the happy couple!

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

A foodie weekend (with pictures!)

Dallas’ social season really gets rolling in the fall, with tons on foodie events especially ramping up already. Burgers & Burgundy is this Friday, followed soon by Chefs for Farmers, the Caesar Salad Competition, the Beaujolais Festival and more. Heck, if you add in all the fried foods at the State Fair, it’s virtually nonstop.

But it all got moving this weekend especially, starting with the James Beard Taste America Dinner at the Hilton Anatole’s Wedgwood Room on Friday; Abacus, the Uptown eatery, celebrating its 15th anniversary on Saturday; and Les Dames d’Escoffier Dallas hosting its Raiser Grazer on Sunday. (I wasn’t able to make it out to the latter, but Les Dames always do it up right.)

lobster Gnocchi

Gnocchi lobster

The James Beard event, a first of its kind in Dallas, featured five local chefs designing signature apps served during a reception, followed by superchefs Patrick O’Connell of The Inn at Little Washington and Dallas’ own Stephan Pyles taking on two courses apiece at the sit-down dinner. O’Connell’s lobster-gnocchi and Pyles antelope entree were heaven, and Janice Provost’s (Parigi) crab cake with lemony aioli the most heavenly single bite.

Abacus chefs

Abacus chefs

The fun at Abacus the next night was the uniqueness of the menu: The four-course dinner offered your choice of one of three items per course — one from Abacus executive sous chef Chris Patrick, one from former exec Omar Flores and another from Tre Wilcox, also a former exec. The winning chef on my menu? Flores, who delivered two of the four, with Patrick and Wilcox one each. But it’s quite possible the best single item was Wilcox’s duck three ways, especially the lobe of foie gras which started out the evening right. Congratulations to Kent Rathbun for a decade-and-a-half of setting the bar high.

See a slideshow of photos from the two events below.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Chefs for Farmers’ Big Oyster Bash tickets on sale

oysterThe charitable group Chefs for Farmers — just three years old, but already one of the best-attended and most acclaimed foodie events in Dallas, attracting some of the top culinary talent in town — will hold its inaugural Big Oyster Bash at the Dallas Farmers Market on Oct. 26. And what do I mean by top talent? Matt McCallister (FT33), Jack Perkins (The Slow Bone), Kyle McClelland (Proof and Pantry), John Tesar (Spoon and Knife), Jon Alexis (TJ’s Seafood Market), Jon Stevens (Stock & Barrel) and Stephen Rogers (Gemma). Tickets went on sale this morning, and you can get them here. And I hope you will. CFF, which recognizes those working to better Dallas’ culinary scene, has invited me to serve as one of the hosts of the event, which I gladly accepted. So come, eat good food, have a good time and say hello!

—  Arnold Wayne Jones