WATCH: Brandi Carlile’s “A Promise to Keep”

It’s a Brandi Carlile type of week for us here at the Voice. We posted this interview with her on Wednesday, my review of Bear Creek hit newsstands (and our website) today and now we have a video to add to the mix.

The Americana Music Association posted this video of Brandi Carlile performing one of my favorite songs from the album, “A Promise to Keep.” She intros it a bit with some words on the meaning behind the song and I love how she’s giving sexy eyes at the very end.

The AMA also posted that Carlile will be part of their festival and conference this September in Nashville. And although she was here back in February, she hasn’t announced any dates back in Dallas on her current tour for Bear Creek. At least not yet.

Watch “A Promise to Keep” after the jump.

—  Rich Lopez

The gay interview: Brandi Carlile

Here’s what we know about Brandi Carlile: Her lung power is a bigger threat to humanity than any nuclear war; she’s cool enough to sing with Elton John (who recorded a track with the singer for her last studio album, 2009’s (Give Up the Ghost); and she’s a totally girl-crazy out singer-songwriter. Carlile’s fourth LP, Bear Creek — named after the secluded studio outside of Seattle she and her twin collaborators recorded in — takes her further into the Americana genre she’s gradually pursued since dropping her debut seven years ago.

We have a review of Carlile’s new CD coming up in this week’s print edition, but before you read the review, check out this interview with Chris Azzopardi about why she only writes about ex-girlfriends, who (or what) “Josephine” is and the twins she’s seen naked. A lot.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Queer Music News: Jay Brannan, Brandi Carlile, Adam Lambert and more announce releases

This has already been a strong year for queer music releases and it’s only March. But we have a few more to look forward to starting as soon as next week.

Jay Brannan will release his second album of original material after 2009’s In Living Cover album stocked with a fascinating selection of remakes. Rob Me Blind is set to drop March 27, but you can get a major preview of it now. Idolator posted the entire album on its page, sorta like we just did here.

—  Rich Lopez

Brandi Carlile at House of Blues

Lady unplugged

Brandi Carlile must really love this town and rightfully so. She’s been here consistently the last two years and sold out the Granada Theater in 2011. She scales back a bit this time performing with an acoustic trio and likely her signature acapella tune. She’s one of the few who can pull that gimmick off with so much magic.

DEETS: With Lucy Wainwright Roche. House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St. 8 p.m. $27.50–$39.50.

—  Rich Lopez

Best Bets • 02.03.12

AmmunitionFriday 02.03

Fill up on eye candy
Viva Dallas Burlesque delves into the absurd with Gadgets and Gobstoppers: The Twisted World of Wonka. Burlesque beauties go from steamy to steampunk teaming up with local band Marquis of Vaudeville. Expect a cavity as they transform the theater into a candy confection of dance and music and a whole lotta sexy.

Lakewood Theater
1825 Abrams Road.
8 p.m. $20.


Tuesday 02.07

Lady unplugged
Brandi Carlile must really love this town and rightfully so. She’s been here consistently the last two years and sold out the Granada Theater in 2011. She scales back a bit this time performing with an acoustic trio and likely her signature acapella tune. She’s one of the few who can pull that gimmick off with so much magic.

With Lucy Wainwright Roche
House of Blues
2200 N. Lamar St.
8 p.m. $27.50–$39.50.


Tuesday 02.07

Sounds like couture
Fashioned Forward is a musical exploration into the designs behind legend Jean Paul Gaultier. Spanning from classical to pop, performers turn fashion into song with works by Gershwin to Madonna using Gaultier as inspiration.

Horchow Auditorium
1717 N. Harwood Road (in the DMA).
7:30 p.m. $37.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 3, 2012.

—  Kevin Thomas

Chatting up the Secret Sisters before tonight’s benefit for The Women’s Chorus of Dallas

Tonight, the Secret Sisters headline The Southern Harmony Party at the Lakewood Theater, which also features local band The King Bucks and Audrey Dean Kelley. The night benefits The Women’s Chorus of Dallas, a very gay-friendly organization. In a recent interview with Dallas Voice, real-life sisters Lydia and Laura of the Secret Sisters talked up their connection with the gay community and how growing up Church of Christ never stopped them from accepting people as they are:

So first, how did you get hooked up with The Women’s Chorus of Dallas? We were playing a show in Birmingham, AL several months ago, and met a really nice promoter named De Foster, who loved our sound and was determined to have us play a show in Dallas.  We agreed that we would love to come there and play, and so not long afterwards, he contacted us about playing a show that would benefit the Women’s Chorus.  We love playing shows that are in conjunction with positive organizations, and especially those that are connected to our favorite hobby:  music.  So when we got the invitation to play, we were thrilled!  We are so excited to meet everyone involved with the chorus, and very excited that the focus of the evening will be on women and music.  We both feel that there just aren’t enough strong women in the music industry, and we know that the evening will be positive one, that’s also a lot of fun.

What do such groups mean to you? Any time that we can use our music to highlight organizations that do good things, we are eager to do so. Both of us were in our high school choruses when we were younger, and we know just how much fun it is to be surrounded by your friends, enjoying music that you are making together.  Music means so much to us, and to be able to spend the evening with others who are passionate about it as well is going to be an honor.  We’ve been looking forward to this show for a while now.

More after the jump.

—  Rich Lopez

REVIEW: Brandi Carlile at the Granada

Brandi Carlile

I had yet to see Brandi Carlile live. I always heard she was great, but then I would hear that from die-hard fans, so I wasn’t sure how fair of an assessment it was. On Monday night, I saw two things for sure — she was, at the very least, solid; and, the enthusiasm of her Dallas fans is equivalent to that of Adam Lambert’s. Do they have their own name like the Glamberts?

What’s interesting about Carlile is her quiet rise to stardom. She’s not a household name, but she can sell out the Granada. When the lights went out, the venue throbbed with yells and screams as the show began with her drummer, Allison Miller, killing everyone with a heavy drum solo. She should be worshiped as a drumming goddess. Carlile hadn’t even come out and the crowd was frenzied. Usually I take earplugs for the band. I should have taken them for the crowds’ roaring.

Carlile and the band rolled out, began playing and at that point, the largely female audience was putty in her hands. Carlile is more petite than she appears in pictures and she came out in a vest which seems to be her signature piece. Oh, that vest. But her voice is large and one of the best out there. Like the love child of Melissa Etheridge and Sarah MacLachlan, Carlile had both grit and grace in her range. Her high notes are magic and everything under is finely textured — as was her performance.

While there wasn’t a lot of showmanship behind her, there was a whole lotta heart. “The Story” and “Again Today” were not only highlights of the show, but she poured into them nicely as she did with her other standards and TV drama staples. Although her completely unplugged version of “Dying Day” was rather a show-offy moment that wasn’t overly necessary, her intentions were good and her singing projected to the back reaches of the venue. She busted out a few new songs which hint at Carlile heading into a harder-rocking direction. I don’t know if she’s going away from her torch singing, emotive usual stuff, but this was a Carlile I liked. Some of the audience did not and took it as an opp to get a bathroom or bar break.

—  Rich Lopez

GIVEAWAY: Win a pair of tickets to Brandi Carlile’s sold out show tonight at the Granada Theater

Thanks to the peeps at KXT 91.7, one Dallas Voice reader can win a pair of tickets to tonight’s Brandi Carlile show at the Granada Theater. The show is sold out, so you probably don’t have much other way of trying to get in. This is clearly the best advice for you to get up in there.

The winner will be selected and notified by email later this afternoon. Just click here to register to win.

Good luck! Maybe I’ll see you there.


—  Rich Lopez

Brandi Carlile tonight at the Granada Theater

That woman’s work

It wasn’t that long ago that lesbian singer Brandi Carlile was in Dallas. She took the House of Blues stage and pretty much owned the venue and the audience. Expect no less at her sold out show tonight at the Granada. Let’s just hope you can get in.

DEETS: With Ivan and Alyosha. Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave. May 16 at 8 p.m. $29.

—  Rich Lopez

Galaxy quest

GalaxyWith musical superstars heading this way, we look to the skies for answers

RICH LOPEZ  | Staff Writer

The gays are not without major music options as five big acts all head to town. From the mainstream pop of Kylie to the lesbi-rock of Brandi Carlile, and lots in between, it might be tough to navigate through the slew of music stars retrograding Dallas. Thus we searched for celestial advice on how to find our way through the asteroids and harmonies on which shows to consider.

The moon: Brandi Carlile

Although 2004 was the year Carlile broke into the music industry, it was her sophomore album that proved she’s no slump. For a newer artist, 2007’s The Story was like her Born to Run, featuring some big names behind it with T-Bone Burnett producing and a collab with the Indigo Girls. Carlile remained just as hot and 2009’s Give Up the Ghost did not disappoint. She worked with star producer Rick Rubin and offered another gay pairing with Elton John on “Caroline.”

With her show at the Granada, she’ll appear just as close as a full moon and likely shining as bright. Carlile has not made a career misstep so far and people are recognizing now how huge she could easily become. But the show is sold out so if you don’t have tickets already, make other plans. Your house is clearly not in her plane.

Appearing with Ivan an Alyosha.

Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave. May 16 at 8 p.m. $29.

Mars alignment :
Bruno Mars and Janelle Monae

Despite the obvious, the celestial advisors have told us that Mars is the perfect place for these two. With eccentricity oozing out of their pores, they also have the talent to back it up, proving that on their Hooligans in Wondaland Tour.

Monae is probably the smaller of the two stars, but her Archandroid album was a brilliant musical high point and her energetic live performance is a spectacle beautiful to behold. Did you see her at the Granada with Of Montreal last November? Killer.

Bruno Mars is more of an anomaly. Although he’s doing the hipster throwback version of old soul acts, his songs from his debut Doo-Wops & Hooligans have minimal impact. The kid is talented and his multi-instrumentalism should be respected, but where Monae will likely leave you wanting more, Mars may too — more Monae.

Appearing with Patrick Stump.

Verizon Theatre, 1001 Performance Place, Grand Prairie. May 17 at 7 p.m. $35.

The sun:
Kylie Minogue with DJ Erik Thoresen

When this show was announced, there was a collective squeal from the gays. Minogue has never been Madonna or Britney, but she’s built a following that rivals both. Last year’s Aphrodite also took her to new heights musically. A solid package of pop and dance confections, Minogue reminds us that she is a star.

Her concerts have a reputation of being visual spectacles as well that apparently rival the likes of some Cirque du Soleil shows. That alone is worth the ticket.

Station 4 DJ Erik Thoresen was tapped to be the opening entertainment so this big pop-stravaganza also has big time local ties.  Without a doubt, this is the party of the week, if not the concert.

Verizon Theatre, 1001 Performance Place, Grand Prairie. May 18 at 8 p.m. $50–$125.

House of Uranus: Of Montreal

While Of Montreal is too smart to be considered a party band, their brand of indie dance music is something more than infectious. The high energy and trippy lyrics get into your soul and skin and turn you into a dancing monster.

Maybe Monae has moved on, but OM is perfect for the mid-sized venue. Imagine a packed house and sweaty dancing bodies. Singer Kevin Barnes should put on quite a physical show.  We love when he gets all sexy and dirty, but we’re just sorry he has to compete with Kylie for attention. That’s like Sophie’s choice. No fair.

Appearing with Painted Palms.

South Side Music Hall, 1135 S. Lamar St. May 18. Doors at 7:30 p.m. $20.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 13, 2011.


—  Kevin Thomas