Food sounds

Knock out two birds with one stone at these places that offer bites with a side of music

“If music be the food of love, play on,” Shakespeare wrote, but why choose? You can enjoy some great grub — from Cajun to home cookin’ to desserts — at any of these gay-friendly venues that also feature live music. All are open daily with food and performances going late.

All Good Café. This Deep Ellum eatery gets it all right, from home cooking to a hip atmosphere to a strong lineup of national acts. Owner Mike Snyder has bred his place as a music destination with tasty food. Braised short ribs or the well-seasoned rock ‘n’ roll pork chop are hard to pass up, but are better when paired with the café’s usual slate of folk, country or rockabilly acts (queer trio Girlyman has performed here). 2934 Main St. Kitchen open til 9 p.m. weekends. AllGoodCafe.com.

The Free Man Cajun Café and Lounge. Soak in the flavors of Louisiana at another Deep Ellum spot. The menu runs from apps to entrees but Cajun spices seep all the way through. Nosh on Boudin balls or have a proper dinner with the Cajun crawfish pasta. Do not pass over the cranberry wheat bread pudding, pictured below, while catching local artists like out singer SuZanne Kimbrell. 2626 Commerce St. Open til 1 a.m., 3 a.m. Fridays. FreeManDallas.com.

House of Blues. The papa of all food-and-music venues, HOB’s rich menu includes burgers, salads and their signature ribs. Don’t let the large, heavy menu deter you from enjoying a show from the local house band in the restaurant, or walk across the building to see smaller bands like Uh Huh Her in the Cambridge Room, pictured above, or headliners like Erasure in the big room. Tip: Get your drinks from the restaurant bar. 2200 N. Lamar St. Open til 10 p.m., 1 a.m. weekends. HouseOfBlues.com.

Opening Bell Coffee. Don’t let the “coffee” part fool you — this ain’t Starbucks. Drinks range from the obvious (latte!) to alcoholic, with food sticking to the sandwich-and-soup variety, though the sweet bites are awesome. The coffeehouse is a cozy, comfortable spot to lounge on a sofa or take up a tiny table for a romantic night out to see acoustic LGBT acts such as Tom Goss and Steff Mahan. 1409 S. Lamar St., Ste. 12 (at South Side on Lamar). Open til midnight weekends. OpeningBell.com.

Sundown at Granada. Although you can grab a slice and a brew inside the Granada Theater, hit up Sundown next door first. Granada owner Mike Schoder took ownership of the old M Street Bar and turned it into a complementary biergarten and resto. With more than 60 beers available and a chef driven menu focusing on local foods, Sundown rocks it for pre-show drinks and casual dining before queer acts like Brandi Carlile and CSS perform at the Granada. 3520 Greenville Ave.  4 p.m.–2 a.m. SundownDFW.com.

— Rich Lopez

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

—  Kevin Thomas

REVIEW: Uh Huh Her Wednesday at House of Blues’ Cambridge Room

Wednesday night, Uh Huh Her rolled back into town as part of the Keep A Breast tour. They are back on the road through October as part of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Now if only they had been aware of their sound a little more.

First, let me confess that I did not stay for the entire show. That  was due in part to Uh Huh Her’s underwhelming stage presence and sound. The band attracted a healthy crowd of young ladies screaming “I Love You” to the band. But otherwise, even the audience felt a bit tepid. A long, droning intro  that felt rather indulgent played before they took the stage. When they entered from the side of the stage, they appropriately rocked out with heavy guitar play, but it wasn’t close to the synth-pop sounds of their albums. The band was strong in musicianship, but it wasn’t the sound I expected and wasn’t sure what they were going for. Are they hard rockers now?

Even as such, Leisha Hailey and Camila Grey didn’t offer a charismatic presence. Hailey looked tired and Grey never seemed into the seven songs I stayed for. Other than their first hit, “Not a Love Song” (which I caught a snippet of on the video after the jump), all other  songs just played out. There was simply no emotional punch from the band in the first part of their show.

Since I only saw the first chunk of the show,  maybe the ladies were having an off night. I mean, they have been through a lot lately. But the show was more Nuh Huh Her, if anything.

For a slideshow of the concert, click here.

—  Rich Lopez

Uh Huh Her tonight at Cambridge Room

L Word 2.0.

Who couldn’t love Leisha Hailey as Alice on The L Word? Adorable, smart, tenacious. Don’t expect any of that tonight as she and Camila Grey hit the stage as Uh Huh Her. The House of Blues and Keep A Breast Foundation have teamed up for this breast cancer awareness tour with UHH as the headliners. The band also tours in support of its just-released second album Nocturnes. So this isn’t just a concert, it’s a win-win for everyone with new music and raising awareness for National Breast Cancer Prevention Month.

DEETS: With Jarrod Gorbel. Cambridge Room (at House of Blues), 2200 N. Lamar St. Oct. 28 at 8 p.m. $20. HouseOfBlues.com.

—  Rich Lopez

Singer Wynter Gordon to appear at Union Jack

Up and coming dance diva Wynter Gordon announced an appearance this Saturday at Union Jack for a couple of reasons. This is the final weekend of the store’s 40th Anniversary month, and she’ll be appearing later that night at the House of Blues’ Cambridge Room with Patrick Stump and John West. Clearly a win-win sitch.

The singer, who currently has the single “‘Til Death,” will be signing autographs and CDs of her newest release With the Music I Die. She has a thing for death apparently. You could also win tickets to the show!

She’ll appear at Union Jack, 3920 Cedar Springs Road, from 2–4 p.m.

 

 

—  Rich Lopez

WATCH: Uh Huh Her at House of Blues

I was sad to not have made it out to the Uh Huh Her show this past Monday at the House of Blues — especially after talking to Camila Grey, half of the duo for last week’s ish. She and Leisha Hailey (from The L Word) came to town after a four-day stint in Austin at SXSW, but looks like they drew a decent crowd at Cambridge Room inside HOB. Just watch out for the vertigo-inducing sideways turn the video takes.

The band also debuted their new video today for their newest single “Black and Blue” on RollingStone.com, which also the title track to their current EP. Minimalistic video, but I’ve been digging the song. And who know Leisha could rock out? Watch it after the jump.

—  Rich Lopez

Concert Notice: Missed Lady Gaga? Check out tribute band Rad Bromance at House of Blues

Normally, we might see tribute bands for artists in heavy rotation on classic rock or oldies stations, not pop stars only into their second album. The guys of Rad Bromance took it upon themselves to turn Lady Gaga into a rock ‘n’ roll experience. And they come to town in December.

Billed as the No. 1 all-male Gaga tribute band, I kinda figure they are the only all-male Gaga tribute band. Unless you count these guys.

They play at the House of Blues’ Cambridge Room Dec. 27 at 9 p.m. Tickets “are $15,” but according to the LiveNation site, there is a $7.80 tax and fee add-on.

Check out their “Poker Face” below with its pretty brilliant opener. The rest — I’m still deciding on.

—  Rich Lopez

Amy Hanaialii Gilliom and Deborah Vial at HOB tonight

Vial brings a taste of Hawaii to town

Former Dallasite Deborah Vial is going to do her best to introduce local peeps to her discovery of Hawaiian music — especially that of vocalist Amy Hanaialii Gilliom. She plans to add it to the quirky Texas/Hawaii connection she’s found ever since she moving to the Aloha state.

“I can’t go to a dinner party without running into former Dallas peeps,” she says. “It’s a weird connection — particularly gay men. And all of us gay folks over here love Amy.”

After Aug. 20, maybe a few here will too.


DEETS: House of Blues Cambridge Room, 2200 N. Lamar St. Aug. 20 at 8 p.m. $25. HouseOfBlues.com.

—  Rich Lopez

Vial brings a taste of Hawaii to town

Vial brings a taste of Hawaii to town

Deborah Vial
Deborah Vial

Former Dallasite Deborah Vial is going to do her best to introduce local peeps to her discovery of Hawaiian music — especially that of vocalist Amy Hanaialii Gilliom. She plans to add it to the quirky Texas/Hawaii connection she’s found ever since she moving to the Aloha state.

“I can’t go to a dinner party without running into former Dallas peeps,” she says. “It’s a weird connection — particularly gay men. And all of us gay folks over here love Amy.”

After Aug. 20, maybe a few here will too.

— Rich Lopez

House of Blues Cambridge Room, 2200 N. Lamar St. Aug. 20 at 8 p.m. $25. HouseOfBlues.com.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 13, 2010.

—  Kevin Thomas

Concert notice: Deborah Vial returns to Dallas with Amy Hanaialii Gilliom at HOB Aug. 20

Even though singer Deborah Vial traded in Dallas for Hawaii, she’s still a favorite in the local scene. But when she comes back to town, it’s always a homecoming kind of a big deal. Usually she can be found performing at Sue Ellen’s, but later this month, she steps on over to the House of Blues’ Cambridge Room.

Vial performs at House of Blues Aug. 20 with Hawaiian vocalist Amy Hanaialii Gilliom, who Vial assures us is a must-see. Here is Vial’s message about the upcoming show.

This is Deborah Vial and we are coming back to Dallas to play the House of Blues with Amy Hanaialii Gilliom on August 20th. Here is how it happened.

We have been watching Amy sing in the islands for years, she is truly regarded as the voice of Hawaii. She has been nominated four times for a Grammy (never won which makes her almost Susan Lucci-ish). Very gay friendly and has a large gay following. UNBELIEVABLE voice. She speaks fluent Hawaiian. Totally hot.

There is this bizarre Texas-Hawaii connection — wherever we go in Hawaii, we meet people from Texas. One night, over dinner, we suggested she come to Dallas to spread her talent around. She agreed and now we are opening for her at the Dallas House of Blues to try and introduce her to Texans. She will singing some Hawaiian, some jazz and some pop.

Gilliom and Vial play House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St. at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased here.

—  Rich Lopez