Cocktail Friday: Mrs. Carter’s One-Two Punch

Mrs Carter PunchBy now, we’ve all seen/heard/reacted to Lemonade, Beyonce’s “visual album” that basically stands as a big “you cheatin’ bastard!” anthem about a woman (who, I wonder?) calling out her husband (are you listening, Jay-Z?) for an hour of moody, thoughtful, maybe even ground-breaking music. So, we thought it would be appropriate to show our solidarity with a lemonade cocktail this week which we are calling, natch, Mrs. Carter’s One-Two Punch. And we made enough so you can share it with friends in solidarity.

4 cups apple cider

1.25 cups lemonade (1 cup lemon juice and 1/4 cup honey syrup)

1 bottle white Puerto Rican rum

1 cup fresh berries

Lemon wheels

Making it: Combine cider, lemonade and rum in a punch bowl and stir. When ready to serve, add in ice and fruit and chill for at least 15 minutes. Garnish individual punch glasses with lemon wheels, berries and mint. Put on Beyonce and chill.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Queen Bey coming to North Texas May 9

BeyIf you were watching the Super Bowl last night — or at least its halftime show — you saw Beyonce overpower Chris Martin during her “special guest appearance” walk-on, singing a brand-new single. And the second the segment ended, the commercial we were treated to? A teaser for Bey’s new Formation Tour.

Well, it was in the works for a while, because it already has a North Texas date. Beyonce will perform it at AT&T Stadium in Arlington on May 9. Tickets go on sale Feb. 16 at 10 a.m. at LiveNation.com. Be there!

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

LISTEN: The first cut from Madonna’s new album, ‘Living for Love’

Madonna Rebel Heart

Madonna Rebel Heart

Madonna’s newest studio album, Rebel Heart, won’t be out until the spring, but you don’t have to wait that long to sample some of the songs. Taking a cue from Beyonce, Madge offered her fans an early, unannounced Christmas present over the weekend, releasing six tracks off the album for early download, including a free video (well, there’s no video, just audio) of her single “Living for Love,” which was supposed to officially launch on Valentine’s Day. But you can listen to it now! Right here! Why? Because last week, someone began leaking versions of the songs, spoiling the surprise. Rather than fight it, the Material Girl jumped onboard to get ahead of the cheats. (Maybe Sony could learn something…?) RCA’s loss is our gain! Enjoy!

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

WATCH: Beyonce … meet Boyonce

Got the 7/11 for yaLast Christmas, Queen Bey surprised all her fans with the release of a surprise album, which contained the hit “7/11.” Well, just in time for the holidays this year, some enterprising gay folks (I mean, they gotta be gay, right?) put together this video set to the song. It’s hilarious, fun and sexy — and a perfect distraction on Cyber Monday while waiting for your online shopping cart to load. Enjoy!

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Disclosure: The gay interview

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Guy and Howard Lawrence, the brothers who make up the duo Disclosure.

English dance prodigy duo Disclosure isn’t simply aware that club music is steeped in queer culture; they’re inspired by it. The Grammy-nominated duo, brothers Howard and Guy Lawrence, is still lighting up the charts with songs off their debut, Settle (recently released as a deluxe edition), which, according to its creators, leans heavily on the unique gay roots found in house music.

Makes sense, then, that they’re getting their groove on with Madonna. If chummy Instagram photos with the legend are any indication, presumably they’ll be working with the icon on her next album. Word broke after our Chris Azzopardi spoke with Guy for this gay press exclusive (Howard couldn’t be reached for our scheduled interview, so like a good brother, Guy stepped in for him last-minute). Though he didn’t acknowledge Madonna at the time, the 23-year-old did reveal what other pop icon he’s drunk in love with: Beyoncé. And more news since the interview? Disclosure will bring a DJ set to Dallas this December as headliners of the EDM festival Lights All Night.

Dallas Voice: How much has the gay community influenced your sound?  Guy Lawrence: Honestly, the history of the music that we take influence from, like house and garage, obviously originated in gay clubs like The Warehouse in Chicago and Paradise Garage [in New York City]. I don’t go to gay clubs now, but I feel like gay clubs just seem to be very forward-thinking, in terms of music anyway, and they’re always pushing boundaries. If you look back at the last 25 years or so, they’re playing the most original, creative stuff.

The gay community is often recognized as having its finger on the pulse. You hear people say we know when something is gonna be big before it actually is. From what I’ve seen, I would agree. I don’t only look to the gay community for where I’m gonna go next, but generally, London is such a step ahead of most places in the world musically, especially with dance music. Wherever we travel, producers and DJs are always looking at London and the UK to see what’s coming up next. That’s really why I love living here. We just have such a great buzzing young producer community going on over here — it’s such a good vibe.

You say you don’t go to gay clubs much now, but it sounds like you have. Was that for research purposes?  I used to go to Brighton a lot. It’s on the south coast of England, a five-minute drive from where I used to live. It was cool — there’s a big gay community in Brighton. I can’t really remember which were gay clubs or not, but it didn’t really matter — there was always great DJs playing at them. I used to drive down there and there was definitely some research involved. When I was really into dubstep and grime and that kind of thing, I’d go down and slowly but surely everyone started playing house music and garage music. It was just a really good place to go out, especially when I was just turning 18 and wanting to learn about dance music, where it came from and the history. It was the perfect place for that.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

WATCH: The latest Beyoncé video

SingleladiesIt’s disturbing how well this synchs up (even though, as well all know, Lovey is definitely not a single lady).

One question: Since there are only seven castaways, and three are onstage and three are in the audience and one is introducing the act …. who pulled the curtain open?

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Super Bowl, meet gay bar

SashaFierceLast night I went to the Dallas Eagle to watch the Super Bowl.

Or so I thought. I figured, hey: Leathermen … Levi’s … there was even a chili cook-off and rugby players there that night. Should be a good place to see the game.

Well, it was also Trash Disco Night. And guess what won out?

During the final minutes of the first half — when Ravens QB Joe Flacco threw to Jacoby Jones for a 56-yard touchdown on 3rd-and-10 (Jones beat Chris Culliver of the 49ers — the asshat who insulted gays in sports last week) — I cheered … and was the only one.

It was OK, I predicted — when halftime starts, the gays will pay attention. And they did. Sort of.

The space in front of the TVs was never more crowded with watchers than during Beyonce’s appearance, and when the rest of Destiny’s Child showed up, there were squeals, even though management kept the sound turned down while “Brick House” played on the dance floor. (At least we had closed captions.) One of the funniest things? The gay guys who sat aghast at Beyonce’s gyrating in a revealing costume. “Don’t kids watch this?” one said to me. “This seems a little risque for them.” “It’s a little risque for me,” I said.

I went home around the time of the blackout and actually flipped between the Super Bowl and Downton Abbey for a while … mostly staying on Downton Abbey. Hey, I love me men in tight pants, but the Dowager Countess calls …

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Does Frank Ocean’s coming out mean more for hip-hop or for the LGBT community?

July has already been a momentous month for the LGBT community. Anderson Cooper didn’t so much come out as officially confirm that he identified as gay early in the week. Then, for some July 4 fireworks, Odd Future member Frank Ocean candidly talked about his past relationship with a man in a telling Tumblr post. A lengthy letter that was heartfelt and poetic (while never using the “g” or the “b” words) left no doubt that Ocean has come out of the closet as a member of the community — and as a bona fide hip-hop star.

There has been speculation on Ocean’s sexuality recently on blog buzz reviews about his upcoming album Channel Orange. MTV reported that he had openly used “him” in many of his songs which had been picked up on by those reviews. Ocean’s clearly in a more comfortable space, but could it be lost on the LGBT community?

—  Rich Lopez

If you like it build a museum to it, Houston may get Beyoncé monument

I'm sure the plans for the failed 555 ft "Spirit of Houston" statue are still in a drawer somewhere. Just make it more bootylicious and put a ring on it.

Hometown heroes have always been honored with monuments; from Hannibal, Missouri’s Mark Twain Museum to Cleveland’s memorial to President Garfield, from Atchison, Kansas’ Amelia Earhart museum, to Concord, Ohio’s John Glenn historic site. Pity Houston! Which scion of our fair burg will rise up from the shackles of obscurity to clasp the liberty of immortality that only a dedicated monument can bring?

Beyoncé Knowles, that’s who, at least according to two men who skyped with Fox 26 and are expecting the Mayor to endorse their plans any day now. Steve White and Marcus Mitchell of Armdeonce Ventures say they want to honor the newly minted musical mother with a “statue or museum.” According to Mitchell,

““Our biggest thing is a lot of people get honored when they die, so our goal is to why not honor people why they’re still here? We felt as though it’s her time to be honored. We wanted to construct, like, a massive hall so as the doors open, if you donated to the monument, you’ll have a separate nameplate.”

Armdeonce Ventures has offices in Baltimore, Washington D.C. and Houston according to it’s website. The Beyoncé Monument is the only project currently listed on the site.

Watch the Fox 26 interview with the visionary twosome after the break.

—  admin

2011 Year in Review: Music

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THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING ERNEST | Chillwave specialist Ernest Greene of Washed Out turned ‘Within and Without’ into 2011’s best album — no matter what Adele thinks.

RICH LOPEZ  | Staff Writer
lopez@dallasvoice.com

You could say 2011 was the year of the superstar. Already-superstars Gaga, Beyonce and Britney dropped new albums confirming their status, while Nicki Minaj and Katy Perry became ones following the continued successes of 2010 discs. Kanye and Jay-Z teamed up to watch the throne and beardos Fleet Foxes and Bon Iver followed up their debuts with dreamy, though sometimes confusing releases.

Ultimately, it was Adele who ruled, leaving all others in the dust with an exercise in modern torch songs and declarative hits — so much so, she and 2011 are now practically synonymous.

But not exclusively. A few others made an impression on smaller fronts — and big ones, too. Each of the following resonated either through a chill groove or a strong beat, and ultimately made 2011 easy on the ears.

1. Washed Out, Within and Without What Ernest Greene does with this chillwave release is somewhere between a dream and astral projection. Each track floats in your ears as wonderful bubbles of music that are airy and delicate, but their impression is far more lasting. This isn’t just an album, but a luxury bath for the ears and soul, which made for practically infinite repeat plays. Key tracks: “Amor Fati,” “Eyes Be Closed.”

2. Caveman, CoCo Beware — In just two years, these Brooklyn indie rockers debuted their album with confidence to spare. Giving alt-rock sensibilities to Simon and Garfunkel folkisms, Caveman fits in the Grizzly Bear–Band of Horses vein and yet they still create a sound that will grow into their own. Those drums are to die for as is singer Matthew Iwanusa smooth tenor. Caveman’s release is more like a gift. Key tracks: “Decide,” “December 28th.”

3. Death Cab for Cutie, Keys and Codes Remix EP — By nature, most remixes are agony resulting in a soulless version of the original. That didn’t happen here in DCFC’s redux on their already- impressive Codes and Keys from earlier in the year. At times, the EP is even better than the original, with charged up versions of seven songs. Yeasayer, The 2 Bears and Cut Copy are among the remixers who don’t take away from DCFC’s spirit, but spike it huge with major beats. Key tracks: “Underneath the Sycamore,” “Some Boys.”

4. Adele, 21 This is very likely the album of the year for the entire world — and deservedly so. Adele channeled all the emotion of being done wrong by her man into a solid display of music. At times, she gets a little too sappy, but the strength of 21 isn’t just in Adele’s soulful voice, it’s also in her heart that is both pained and strengthened here. Plus, 21 pretty much just says “fuck you” to the ex the way we all wish we could. Key tracks: “Rolling in the Deep,” “Don’t You Remember.”

5. Adam Tyler, Shattered Ice — In his debut, Tyler broke through pop/dance music apathy to create a refreshing album of solid tunes. He recalls glorious pop of two and three decades ago but updates it with sexy lyrics and dynamic hooks. Tyler wrote all 11 songs and more than half of those are ready for the radio. Hopefully, someone will take notice, because Ice is too spectacular to be overlooked. Key tracks: “Pull the Trigger,” “I Won’t Let You Go.”

6. Real Estate, Days — Less is more with this complete package by the indie folk rockers from New Jersey. They smoothed out from their 2009 debut and bring a minimalist, but hardly simple approach to Days that shows off the band’s talents modestly, but considerably effectively with lush cascades of music. Days is a facile listen that may sound like background music, but you won’t forget it. Key tracks: “It’s Real,” “Younger than Yesterday.”

7. Beyonce, 4 — The diva missed out on big radio hits with this album, but she channeled her inner ‘80s-and-‘90s adult contemporaries and created a helluva fascinating album. Sidestepping the obvious, B dabbled in sophistication over aggression and came up with retro vibes without losing her style. She totally didn’t give up her skills trying for a big hit with “Rule the World (Girls)” but missed. That’s forgivable considering the brilliance of the rest. Key tracks: “Rather Die Young,” “I Care.”

8. CSS, La Liberacion — These Brazilian party rockers matured beautifully in their third album. For having a reputation of delivering queer-centric dance rock, earlier releases were a tad unfocused. CSS kept the same amped-up energy, but their songwriting and musicianship has grown into smart and sublime. From irreverence to slightly political, CSS looks like they have finally found their place. Key tracks: “City Grrrl,” “I Love You.”

9. Me’Shell Ndegéocello, Weather — Ndegéocello continues to bring the cool, and does so with the ultra-slick Weather. Her neo-soul chops have not been lost over the course of her almost two-decade career. Instead, she adds a layer of maturity with each new album and this year practically cultivated it into hip, soulful perfection. And that bass playing is so sexy, it’s borderline (but gloriously) obscene. Key tracks: “Chance,” “Dirty World.”

10. Emmeline, Someone to Be Coming in under the wire, Dallas singer Emmeline recently dropped off her disc personally to the Dallas Voice asking for a listen. Good thing she did, as she lies somewhere between Sarah MacLachlan and Regina Spektor. With earnest keyboards and charming vocals, she churned out one of the more delightful packages of tunes with a sugary edge that sticks just right and is wonderfully addictive. Key tracks: “Someone to Be,” “Dallas.”

…………………………

2011’s top LGBT releases

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Queer music was in full bloom over the last 12 months, with a wide range of LGBT artists — from veterans to newbies — strongly delivering great music. Here are some of the highlights that stuck out for us.
R.E.M, Collapse Into Now. Soon after this March release, the band announced they were breaking up after 30 years — with the appropriate greatest hits release in November.
Deborah Vial, Stages and Stones. The former Dallas gal showed off her chops from Hawaii in her soulful new album.

K.D. Lang and the Siss Boom Bang, Sing it Loud. Lang crooned, but also rocked gently with her new band.
Ariel Aparicio, Aerials. OutMusic Award winner Aparicio hit a strong note with his alt-rock album from August, fusing it with Latin flair.

Garrin Benfield, The Wave Organ Song. This scruffy folk-country artist relaxed into his fifth disc with a languid and poetic song cycle.

Girl in a Coma, Exits and All the Rest (pictured). The San Antonio rock trio made waves in 2011, landing on several year-end lists.

Brandon Hilton, Nocturnal. Hilton worked the web to his advantage to get his album on people’s radar and it worked both ways.

The Sounds, Something to Die For. The relentless alt-pop from these Swedes was one of the best music addictions of the year. And bi singer Maja Ivarsson sold it perfectly.

— R.L.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 30, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas