Gary Floyd lands 3 OutMusic Award nominations

For 20 years, the OutMusic Awards have recognized openly gay musicians who not only make great music, but music that speaks to the gay community. And one of the frontrunners this year is Dallas’ Gary Floyd.

Floyd has been a staple in the Metroplex for more years than he’d like to admit, performing cabaret, musical theater and a host of other styles. But it’s for his languid, inspirational songs, represented on his 2010 album The Gospel of Zen, that he’s most recognized — locally, of course, and now nationally.

“Behold” is in contention for best contemporary spiritual song. (Last year’s winner in this category was Tony Award winner Levi Kreis.) Better still, the CD itself is nominated for best album — and we mean best overall, against such heavy-hitters as Hunter Valentine, Ray Boltz, Rachael Sage and the Heartland Men’s Chorus. Not bad for a six-song, independently-released disc.

In addition, Floyd’s composition “Love of My Life” is up for the prestigious Martin Bello Love Song Award, which comes with a cash prize. (“It’s not on the album, nor even recorded commercially [by me], though Marvin Matthews did a cover,” Floyd says.)

The nominations came out of the blue. Floyd was counseled to submit the album for consideration by his booking agent, but didn’t expect it would actually nab two major noms.

The awards, voted on by the LGBT Recording Academy, mean a lot to Floyd, as does the chance to attend the gala ceremony in New York on Dec. 1 — it will be hosted by Carol Channing, with Cyndi Lauper, Melissa Etheridge and Chely Wright set to attend.

— Arnold Wayne Jones

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition November 12, 2010.

—  Michael Stephens

Music Bytes: Erasure re-records ‘Respect’ for charity; Ricky Martin talks to Larry King

Ricky Martin appeared on Larry King Live on Tuesday and knocked it out of the park with his eloquent responses to King’s questions about coming out and what’s to follow. In this clip, he discusses his desire to get married in his country along with raising his two sons with his partner. Longer clips can also be found on YouTube.

He’s also the cover story for the December/January issue of People en Espanol. The story pretty much covers the same territory Larry King did, but fairly well done. Of course, you have to be able to read in Spanish. For more, check that out here.

On Erasure’s website, the band posted the news they will re-record “A Little Respect” with the youth chorus from the Hetrick-Martin Institute which houses the Harvey Milk High School. Proceeds from the download will go toward the institute and the True Colors Fund founded by Cyndi Lauper. Erasure performed on the True Colors tour back in 2007.

According to the site, “in the wake of the tragic gay bullying incidents and related suicides across the country, Andy Bell was motivated to take action. As one of popular music’s first openly-gay celebrities Bell felt compelled to get involved. ‘I am honored and moved beyond words to serve as an Ambassador to the The Hetrick-Martin Institute. Every opportunity we have to spread tolerance and compassion must be seized and I will take special pride in doing so on HMI’s behalf.'”

The single is slated for a mid-December release. In the meantime, here’s the original which we all probably know so well.

—  Rich Lopez

New Give a DAMN campaign targets gay youth suicide

Editor’s Note: Considering the awful news out of Indiana this morning, the following post seems particularly relevant.

Although the music and comedy tour has all but disappeared, Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors Fund has been especially active lately, with the Give a DAMN campaign — which got off to a prominent start when True Blood actress Anna Paquin came out as bisexual in one of its videos — spreading the word about gay rights. And this week, the campaign turns its attention to teen suicide.

It’s a topic with a strong Dallas connection, as Danielle Girdano, the Dallas woman cycling into town as part of her Ride the Arc project, chose teen suicide as her cause. Girdano will be riding into town Saturday at 5 p.m., ending her great bicycling trek along Cedar Springs Road.

The new video features Modern Family‘s Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Lily Tomlin and Judith Light among those point out the higher risk of suicide among LGBT youth.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Cyndi Lauper with David Rhodes at HOB Aug. 11

Cyndi Lauper, House of Blues, Dallas, Memphis Blues

Cyndi Lauper, House of Blues, Dallas, Memphis Blues

Cyndi Lauper, House of Blues, Dallas, Memphis Blues
Cyndi Lauper, House of Blues, Dallas, Memphis Blues

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Cyndi Lauper, House of Blues, Dallas, Memphis Blues

Cyndi Lauper, House of Blues, Dallas, Memphis Blues

Signing a fan's 45 record.

Cyndi Lauper, House of Blues, Dallas, Memphis Blues
Cyndi Lauper, House of Blues, Dallas, Memphis Blues
Cyndi Lauper, House of Blues, Dallas, Memphis Blues
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Nonstop balcony action.

Cyndi Lauper, House of Blues, Dallas, Memphis Blues
Cyndi Lauper, House of Blues, Dallas, Memphis Blues
Cyndi Lauper, House of Blues, Dallas, Memphis Blues
Cyndi Lauper, House of Blues, Dallas, Memphis Blues
Cyndi Lauper, House of Blues, Dallas, Memphis Blues

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Encore performing ‘True Colors.’

Cyndi Lauper, House of Blues, Dallas, Memphis Blues
Cyndi Lauper, House of Blues, Dallas, Memphis Blues

Cyndi Lauper, House of Blues, Dallas, Memphis Blues
Exiting the show.
Cyndi Lauper, House of Blues, Dallas, Memphis Blues
Opener David Rhodes.
Cyndi Lauper, House of Blues, Dallas, Memphis Blues
Teresa and Lori met Lauper backstage during the sound check.

—  Rich Lopez

Cyndi Lauper at House of Blues last night

Cyndi Lauper, House of Blues, Dallas

Cyndi Lauper proved last night with her healthy two-hour set that she is willing to work hard for the money. Giving the audience both her blues side and her hits, Lauper satisfied a nicely filled room at the House of Blues. At times, she was wooden and disconnected, but mostly she gave an energetic performance, trotting across the stage and dancing erratically as we’re so used to seeing her do and reminding us that she has some pretty killer chops.

Lauper mentioned that this tour was “all about the blues,” and practically played her entire new album Memphis Blues. Her devoted fans were into her latest foray into this genre and others patiently waited it out. But she delivered the blues with nice abandon. Her voice on the album sometimes mismatched the song, but live, she does recall smoky juke joints in the backwoods South. Minus the cheering of course. With a competent band behind her, her voice traveled all over the spectrum, from beautifully stretched vocal runs to some attempted scatting. Her bluesy highlight would have to have been the ballad “Down So Low.” A slow drawl of a song with, this was her shining moment of the evening.

—  Rich Lopez

Lauper she-bops at House of Blues tonight

Cyndi Lauper still gives a damn about gays and the tint of her newest music venture

Cyndi Lauper Memphis Blues tourDallas’ summer music calendar has been hopping for LGBT audiences, from Lady Gaga and Melissa Etheridge to Adam Lambert on the horizon. Cyndi Lauper brings her tour here Wednesday. But while the others stick close to their musical genres, Lauper changes her game as often as her hair color. And this year, she’s got the blues.

Genre leaping can sometimes be the biggest misstep of a musician’s career (Garth was never the same after the Chris Gaines debacle), but Lauper has been doing it for years: Pop to dance to acoustic to standards, all without missing a beat. So she never considered her move into blues was a risk.

“I wanted to do Memphis Blues when I was still at Sony back in 2004,” she says. “As Muddy Waters quoted, ‘If blues gave birth to a child, that child would be rock and roll.’ The blues is the basis for all genres of popular music.”

DEETS: With David Rhodes. House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St. Aug. 11 at 8 p.m.  $30–$55. HouseOfBlues.com.

—  Rich Lopez

True blues

Cyndi Lauper still gives a damn about gays and the tint of her newest music venture

RICH LOPEZ  | Staff Writer  lopez@dallasvoice.com

Cyndi Lauper
GOT RHYTHM | Lauper’s tour focuses on her new sound, yet she’ll still deliver her pop classics backed up by her blues band.

CYNDI LAUPER with David Rhodes.
House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St. Aug. 11 at 8 p.m.  $30–$55.
HouseOfBlues.com.

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Dallas’ summer music calendar has been hopping for LGBT audiences, from Lady Gaga and Melissa Etheridge to Adam Lambert on the horizon. Cyndi Lauper brings her tour here Wednesday. But while the others stick close to their musical genres, Lauper changes her game as often as her hair color. And this year, she’s got the blues.

Genre leaping can sometimes be the biggest misstep of a musician’s career (Garth was never the same after the Chris Gaines debacle), but Lauper has been doing it for years: Pop to dance to acoustic to standards, all without missing a beat. So she never considered her move into blues was a risk.

“I wanted to do Memphis Blues when I was still at Sony back in 2004,” she says. “As Muddy Waters quoted, ‘If blues gave birth to a child, that child would be rock and roll.’ The blues is the basis for all genres of popular music.”

Which is what Lauper’s back catalog consists of. This move shouldn’t be much of a surprise. Before her landmark debut album, she was working the scene with cover bands, doing a lot of Janis Joplin, Rolling Stones and Faces — bands heavily influenced by blues. With a little extracurricular research, Lauper discovered legends like Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson, Big Maybelle and Ma Rainey.

“I was hooked,” she says.

Now she’s come full circle working with noted musicians on Blues such as veteran giants B.B. King, Allen Toussaint and legend-in-the-making Jonny Lang. For Lauper, this is the album she’s always wanted to do. She’s even confident that her gay fans will follow along even though blues may not be the most popular for LGBT listeners.

“It was a dream to work with each of them; like my own blues museum in one studio,” she says. “My fans seem to love all kinds of music and at different times in my career I have wanted to record certain genres of music that have been meaningful to me, or helped shape me as an artist and they have always come along for the ride. For that, I am grateful.”

That isn’t hard to see. Lauper has been a staunch advocate for LGBT equality and visibility. Her True Colors Tour celebrated queer and queer-friendly music and her recently launched Give a Damn has rallied celebrity support by the likes of Wanda Sykes and Oscar-winner Anna Paquin, who used the campaign to come out as bisexual. She also teamed up with Gaga for a MAC Viva Glam campaign that takes on HIV/AIDS prevention awareness for women.

“I want to continue the work of the True Colors Fund and our Give A Damn campaign to get straight people to stand up for the gay community so that all of us have civil rights and America can be the country it’s supposed to be where we are all treated the same,” she says.

She even expects to bring back the True Colors Tour despite big-ticket festivals and tours not doing so well this summer. But first, she’s giving her own music career some attention.

“It’s about the blues baby! This year I wanted to focus on Memphis Blues and bring it on the road,” she says. “To me, it’s uplifting and music is supposed to heal. The BP oil disaster in the Gulf, wars in the Middle East, the rise of HIV infections in women, global warming — the list is endless, so yeah I’m blue. The great thing is that it still uplifts and no matter how blue you get, there is always hope around the corner.”

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 6, 2010.

—  Michael Stephens

The Cliks are finally on the road and come to Dallas tonight

Trans man Lucas Silveira hits the road with The Cliks — a year late

Last summer, Toronto rock trio The Cliks released Dirty King. Coming off strong buzz from their 2007 album Snakehouse and the public approval of high profile bands like The Cult and Cyndi Lauper, the band was on the rise. With King, their sound matured yet still offered the grit of garage rock.

But the band imploded soon after, leaving trans frontman Lucas Silveira with a new album on his hands and a major setback.

“The band on King left and that put a halt in touring and getting the album out there,” Silveira says. “That wasn’t great for the album taking off after its release.”

But The Cliks was always Silveira’s project. He was disappointed that bandmates Morgan Doctor and Jen Benton departed before touring, but he rallied and is on the road with a new incarnation, hoping fans haven’t forgotten the album he’s now supporting. He’ll find out Thursday when their tour brings them to Dallas.

DEETS: With Hunter Valentine and Killola. The Cavern, 1914 Greenville Ave. 9 p.m. $8. TheCliks.com.

To read the rest of Rich Lopez’s article on the band, click here.

—  Rich Lopez

Time delay

Trans man Lucas Silveira hits the road with The Cliks — a year late

RICH LOPEZ  | Staff Writer lopez@dallasvoice.com

TRANS AMERICA | Lucas Silveira and The Cliks make up for lost time with their nationwide tour.

Last summer, Toronto rock trio The Cliks released Dirty King. Coming off strong buzz from their 2007 album Snakehouse and the public approval of high profile bands like The Cult and Cyndi Lauper, the band was on the rise. With King, their sound matured yet still offered the grit of garage rock.

But the band imploded soon after, leaving trans frontman Lucas Silveira with a new album on his hands and a major setback.

“The band on King left and that put a halt in touring and getting the album out there,” Silveira says. “That wasn’t great for the album taking off after its release.”

But The Cliks was always Silveira’s project. He was disappointed that bandmates Morgan Doctor and Jen Benton departed before touring, but he rallied and is on the road with a new incarnation, hoping fans haven’t forgotten the album he’s now supporting. He’ll find out Thursday when their tour brings them to Dallas.

“This is the tour I wanted to do when the album came out,” he says. “It would have gone a lot better then. But now, I have to rekindle the need and reconnect with fans.”

So far Silveira has found his audience has stuck around, especially his most loyal of all: the queer fans. Gaining notoriety as perhaps the first FTM trans rocker, Silveira garnered attention from big gay media like The Advocate and Out, and his band was tapped by Lauper to play on the True Colors Tour. But with a reputation for a killer live show and an evolving sound, The Cliks are transcending the trans curiosity and finding a real place in rock music.

“We still have a lot of queer fans and from that root, it’s really grown into a very diverse audience,” he says. “It’s something I’m very proud of. We have 60 year-old straight fans amid 30-something queer women. It’s so interesting.”

Silveira knows he won’t escape the trans label as, at least, a first impression, but he embraces the responsibility of artistic evolution, proving that he and The Cliks are here for the music. He’s seen the novelty wear off enough to attract and keep a non-gay audience, but he’s willing to meet them halfway.

“Queer artists have to work that much harder to prove their music can be accessible outside of queer audiences,” he says. “For the rest of my career, I’ll always be seen as the first trans mainstream music guy. If I allow that to predict my career, I won’t be successful. I’ll just continue to do what I do and be honest and open. People can take it or leave it.”

Silveira admits that when he’s at his unhappiest, his music flows out.  But he was thrilled at being named Sexiest Man in Canada by music magazine Chart Attack — or at least, had a good laugh.

“When I found out, I giggled. But I was happy to be nominated because it legitimized me as a rock male musician. And then I won! I thought this is hilarious if nothing for the fact that a trans man won.”

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New Voices returns to COH

New voicesRarely do you expect a church concert with the following disclaimer: “Some language not suitable for all audiences.” I mean, as a gay-welcoming congregation, the Cathedral of Hope realizes its parishioners can’t always be pristine angels — a curse word might leak out here and there.

COH and Club 119 Productions brings back New Voices, a songwriter showcase benefiting the COH AIDS Crisis Fund featuring a cast of fresh-faced singers. Pastor Rusty Baldridge assures this isn’t going to be a service — hence the disclaimer. “Just think of it as a cabaret, but without the tables and chairs — and liquor.”

— R.L.

Cathedral of Hope, 5910 Cedar Springs Road. Aug. 1 at 7 p.m. $10. CathedralOfHope.com.

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This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition July 30, 2010.

—  Kevin Thomas

Changed women


Cyndi and Anne take different directions on latest releases


Cyndi Lauper and Anne McCue
WHO’S THAT GIRL? | Venturing into different genres, Lauper, above, and McCue change their music game by trying on new sounds.

RICH LOPEZ | Staff Writer lopez@dallasvoice.com

3 out of 5 stars
Broken Promise Land
Anne McCue
Flying Machine Records
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With four albums under her belt, Anne McCue takes a musical turn on her fifth, Broken Promise Land. She veers from her usual acoustic fare and plugs her guitar in to satisfying effect. With some high pedigreed musicians backing her up, Promise Land works — except that she drowns out her vocals so much.

McCue’s step is a valiant effort, but the album plays as if it’s wearing a veil. A muddled production takes away the drive and her vocals are reduced to unintentional mumbling. Either that or I got a bad copy. Much is lost in the album’s final production value that she, um, also produced.

Beyond that, it isn’t half bad. Promise Land opens with the strong “Don’t Go To Texas (Without Me),” a vibrant ode to an almost lost lover. This is also the album’s first single and its most commercial. Had she put the closing song, “Rock ‘n’ Roll Outlaw.” next to “Texas,” the album would make more a declarative impression of her rocker chick ways. Instead, we downshift into the slower “Ol’ Black Sky.”

McCue has a nice grip on the dreamy rocker song ala The Doors’ “Riders on the Storm.” She’s never as epic but McCue maintains a magical latch to keep an audience alongside her. Her voice, which is notoriously thin on this album, is suitable for this and similar songs “Motorcycle Dream,” and “The Old Man’s Talkin’.” The trio of songs is seductive and lulls the listener into fascinating depths of aural journeys.

Her guitar growls on “Lonesome Child” and follows a similar galloping gait in “Cruisin’ Paradise (Tenerife)” and the title track. However, she almost falls victim to it. McCue almost wants too much to break away from her usual sound, that her guitar playing takes center stage and begs the question: Who is the star of this album, Anne McCue or her guitar playing?

McCue never lashes out vocally until “Outlaw” when she had plenty of opportunity in the nine songs prior. She felt restrained and almost afraid to have at it vocally. Perhaps a part of her thinks she’s not ready to be the next Joan Osborne or Sheryl Crow.

But if Broken Promise Land is any sign, then she’s at least not far off.


3.5 out of 5 stars

Memphis Blues
Cyndi Lauper
Mercer Street Records
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Two things are absolutely true when you put Memphis Blues on. First, if you don’t like blues music, you won’t like this one. Second, if you’re a Cyndi Lauper devotee, you may wonder what she’s up to.

Calling this the album she’s always wanted to record, Lauper heads to the south for some blues on her 11th CD. Boiled down, this is a cover album, but consider it a celebration of the genre. Lauper may not be vocally adept for this style, but her appreciation shows in both her conviction of delivery and some star-studded help from the likes of Allen Toussaint, Jonny Lang and B.B. King.

Lauper’s signature voice is a little too quirky for these blues bits as in the bawdy “Just Your Fool”or “Rollin’ and Tumblin’.” She doesn’t have that soulful quality or throaty longing in most blues, but her efforts are respectable. Lauper is giving herself all to this style and the good intentions don’t go unnoticed.

In fact, the album plays more like Lauper the actress singing rather than the pop star. Her performance is just that instead of an emotional delivery. The artist isn’t saying much here that would further her credibility, but she has fun here like she’s introducing listeners to some old friends of hers.

Her raspiness though is ideal for the slower tracks. “Down So Low” reflects that bluesy downtrodden tone while “Romance in the Dark” makes the most of her nasally vibrato which can be an acquired taste. But here, she’s less gymnastic with her vocals. She gives in to the song and almost lets it take her where she needs to go.

The music itself is lush. Blues may play better with some grit, but Lauper and Scott Bomar have produced some intricate layers of horns, drums and guitars that are as comfortable as any Serta mattress. Lang’s and Toussaint’s appearances are most prominent but when Lang chimes in on “How Blue Can You Get?,” all is just right with the world.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition June 25, 2010.

—  Dallasvoice