Mr. Dallas Eagle competition begins tonight

Leather for your life

Cows beware as leather needs go up for Mr. Dallas Eagle. Dallas has made big strides in state and national competitions, so the new titile holder will have some big shoes — er — boots to fill. The meet and greet starts Friday with the contest running through Saturday. In the end, 2010 winner Scott Moore, pictured, will pass on the title.

DEETS: Dallas Eagle, 5740 Maple Ave. 8 p.m. Through Saturday. DallasEagle.com.

—  Rich Lopez

Best Bets • 12.02.11

Theatre-Britain---Dick-Whittington---Publicity-Photo-1Friday 12.02

Leather for your life
Cows beware as leather needs go up for Mr. Dallas Eagle. Dallas has made big strides in state and national competitions, so the new titile holder will have some big shoes — er — boots to fill. The meet and greet starts Friday with the contest running through Saturday. In the end, 2010 winner Scott Moore, pictured, will pass on the title.

DEETS:
Dallas Eagle,
5740 Maple Ave. 8 p.m. Through Saturday.
DallasEagle.com.

………………………

Saturday 12.03

Olde English style
In Theatre Britain’s panto play Dick Whittington, Dick goes to find his fortune in London. Of course, love gets in the way by the name of Alice and poor Dick is accused of a crime, gets fired and plans to leave, but something tells him not to. The panto play is a British tradition with outlandish characters, audience participation and the grand dame of the show played by a man.

DEETS:
Cox Building Playhouse,
1517 H Ave., Plano.

Through Dec. 28. $15–$18.
Theatre-Britain.com

………………………

Sunday 12.04

Chorale Christmas tradition
The holiday season isn’t complete without the annual Christmas concert by the Turtle Creek Chorale. In My Favorite Things, they pay tribute to The Carpenters Christmas Collection and of course, they add their own special touch.

DEETS:
Meyerson Symphony Center,
2301 Flora St. 8 p.m. $16–$65.

TurtleCreek.org.

—  Kevin Thomas

Get ready to Frolick!

Members of North Texas Council of Club's Fall Frolick Committee are: from left, Gaylon Maddox, Larry Harrell, Dan Nagel, Pancho Loza, Adam Lynn, Mike Hensley, Dan Perry, Marshal Styers and Wayne Davis.

The North Texas Council of Clubs is trying out something new this weekend with their “Fall Frolick” weekend, beginning tonight.

The event, which event chairman Dan Perry said will hopefully become an annual gathering, is three days of cocktail parties, meals and fellowship. “No contests, no classes. Just people getting together for a weekend to have a lot of fun,” Perry said.

Everything begins tonight, with registration opening at 6 p.m., at Club Reflections in Fort Worth (with free shuttle bus service from The Hidden Door for all you Dallasites who want to visit Cowtown without the hassle of driving.)

Then on Saturday morning, the party moves to Woody’s in Dallas from 9 to noon, then to the Round-Up Saloon at 1 p.m. The party winds up for the night at Dallas Eagle. Sunday begins with lunch at noon and the Fall Frolick Follies at 1 at Station 4. The party moves to The Hidden Door at 3 and winds up back at Dallas Eagle with the Sinners Sunday Social and barbecue at 6 p.m. and TGRA’s “Thanks for the Giving” show at 7 p.m.

And the perhaps the best thing about the weekend is that you get all this for just $10 for those from Dallas, Tarrant, Collin, Rockwall, Kaufman, Ellis, Denton, Johnson, Parker and Wise Counties. Anyone coming in from outside those counties gets in for free!

Go to the Fall Frolick website to get a complete schedule, and you can also read up on the North Texas Council of Clubs while you’re there. Now in its fourth year, the council comprises a variety of  leather, bear, cowboy and drag groups from around DFW primarily to “foster brotherhood, sisterhood and camaraderie among member organizations and other organizations, associations, courts, local bars and businesses in the Dallas/Fort Worth community.” The council’s second main effort is its Community Calendar, created to help council members keep track of what’s happening around the Metroplex and avoid conflict schedules so that each members of each organization are more easily able to attend and participate in events planned by other organizations.

NTCC currently has 22 member organizations, and you can see who they are — and link to their individual websites — here.

—  admin

Troy Sands Remembrance Party at Dallas Eagle with Tony Moran

And the beat goes on

Earlier this year, DJ Troy Sands passed away due to cancer. Through the years, he made both an impact and an impression with his music and DJ skills at The Brick in its former location on Maple. He grew his name by being one of the first DJs to headline parties and events outside of Dallas. DJs such as Blaine Soileau and Chris Cox have seen him as their inspiration for their musical perspectives. Before passing on, Sands deejay-ed at the Dallas Eagle. In honor of his life and his musical gifts to the club scene, the Eagle  hosts the DJ Troy Sands Remembrance Party which also benefits some of his favorite organizations. DJ Tony Moran steps in to headline the night, but this is truly Sands’ night.

DEETS: Dallas Eagle, 5740 Maple Ave. 10 p.m. $10. DallasEagle.com.

—  Rich Lopez

Dallas Eagle DJ Troy Sands passes away

DJ Troy Sands

We were sad to learn that Troy Sands passed away Sunday morning. He was a resident DJ at the Dallas Eagle. Sands built his reputation playing the old Brick on Maple Avenue and made a name for himself as a headlining DJ not only in Dallas, but throughout the country. I had the pleasure of writing this story on him as he made his return to the scene after a tough struggle with cancer.

This was posted by two of the Dallas Eagle’s managers on Facebook on Sunday:

It’s with a heavy heart that we announce that a very beloved member of our family has left us today. DJ Troy Sands passed away this morning. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Troy’s family and loved ones. The DJ booth at the Dallas Eagle will never be the same without his smile and laugh. You will be missed greatly Troy. We will post additional information concerning any service or memorial as we receive it.

Mark [Frazier] and Cully [Johnson]

Upon the news, people began posting their condolences on Sands’ Facebook page.

—  Rich Lopez

Double-elimination tournament play begins today at gay softball World Series

Dallas Voice Drillers

As we mentioned last week, seven teams from Dallas are in Chicago competing this week in the 35th annual Gay Softball World Series. This is the largest annual gay sports event in the world with more than 3,000 people participating this year.

Rugby star Ben Cohen was on hand for the opening ceremonies. Cohen will be at Dallas Pride on Sept. 18. The opening ceremony took place at the Navy Pier on Monday night.

More than 150 teams from 41 North American cities are participating. In addition to the competition, there will be a street fair in Boystown over the weekend. Tournament winners will be recognized on Sunday on the field during Pride Day at Wrigley Field for the Cubs game.

The first two days of play are called pool play. Keith Dossiere of the Dallas Voice Drillers said pool play is a warm up and determines rankings for the double-elimination tournaments that begin today. In each division, the team with the best record in pool play plays the lowest-ranked team, the second-place team plays the team ranked next to last, and so on.

Results can be found on the World Series website. You can also follow the World Series on Facebook and Twitter. And stay tuned to Instant Tea for updates on the Dallas teams.

—  David Taffet

Mix Master

Blaine Soileau brings old-school philosophy to modern DJ techniques

IMG_0406
HE GOT THE BEAT | Dallas’ Blaine Soileau has perfected his DJ style after years of practice, but spinning still challenges and interests him. (Arnold Wayne Jones/Dallas Voice)

RICH LOPEZ  | Staff Writer
lopez@dallasvoice.com

Blaine Soileau wouldn’t say that his DJing is about his image. The beefy arms, scruffy good looks and shirtless spinning, however, don’t hurt one bit when he’s at the turntable. If being a muscle daddy gets him a few fans… well, there are worse fates.

Soileau has been a staple in the Dallas DJ scene for years, but don’t mistake his image for his talent. He’s been mixing music since well before he had hair on his pecs.

“I started [DJing] in high school, which was 1979,” he says. “I feel like I’ve gotten where I’m at not because of any image. I just knew how to market myself.”

Soileau (pronounced “swallow”) knows the P.R. game well, owing to a stint in Los Angeles when he pursued an acting career. Having to get his name out as much as possible was the game then and it continues to be now. It’s just a different arena.

He’s fared much better on the DJ path than acting. Soileau has built himself into a marquee name even outside Texas. With bookings in D.C., L.A, Phoenix, Fire Island and more, he’s not only put his name into a national spotlight, he’s also bringing something back to Dallas each time with some specific hope and with his regular gig at the Dallas Eagle.

“The gay scene here is finally graduating to what’s going on now,” he says. “I never really had good things to say about Dallas’ music scene because of my travels. The music I would experience in other cities was always livelier and happening.”

He’s changed his mind now that he senses Dallas audiences aren’t “stuck in the ’80s and ’90s” anymore. It’s taking a while, but the sounds of Los Angeles, New York and even Eastern Europe are making way here. And Soileau sees audiences responding.

“For a while, all of us [DJs] here had to spoon-feed the crowd, but I think it’s moving into a good direction,” he says. “The stuff I’m playing at the Eagle, and the other DJs, we have a much more progressive sound.”

He brings that sound to Release, the club night he hosts at the Eagle twice a month. As Soileau infuses a cosmopolitan, modern sound to his party, he’s still a purist about technique.  He’s embraced digital music over vinyl, but in a time when people can call themselves a DJ and program their mixes to autopilot, Soileau still brings some of his old skills to the proverbial turntable.

“There is definitely so much more you can do with digital music, but I don’t agree with the programs some are using,” he says. “I’m so thankful I learned how to beat-mix. I can manipulate a song just as I would a piece of vinyl and line up the beats old school. Programs that sync songs for you, that’s not DJing.”

Sometimes Soileau sounds like he misses the club environs of years before. He enjoyed playing the anthems of disco divas like Kristine W and Deborah Cox, but he finds that sound isn’t happening right now. His focus was on house music with vocals, but trends now lead to more instrumental tracks. But an unlikely tool now works in his favor.

“The good thing is that radio has become more dance oriented,” he says. “There are no remixes needed so when people go out to clubs, they wanna hear stuff on the radio. That gets them on the floor dancing. When it gets packed, then I can give them what I want but maintain the energy of it.”

Soileau doesn’t worry about setting himself apart from other DJs; he just wants a flawless night. So if that means playing music from the radio in order to have a happy dance floor, he’s on board with that.

“If I have to bite the bullet and play Britney, am I selling out? No,” he says. “My goal is to make people have a good time. I’ve never thought about being different from other DJs.”

Which perhaps makes him different after all.

But we still like it when he takes his shirt off.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 19, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

Masquerade ball at Dallas Eagle tonight

Who are those masked men?

The Dallas Eagle knows how to throw a bash. As part of Leather Pride Week (who knew?), the club hosts Masquerade: A Night of Men, Leather, Fantasy and Intrigue. OK, you got us — we’re intrigued. The leather and fetish ball assures no Cinderellas on hand. Gear and masks are encouraged. Just don’t be that guy without one.

DEETS: Dallas Eagle, 5740 Maple Ave. 10 p.m. DallasEagle.com

—  Rich Lopez

Weekly Best Bets • 07.22.11

Friday 07.22

Green thumbs beware
When a good idea turns into a blood-craving monster plant — well, lives get turned around. WaterTower Theatre premieres the fun and frantic Little Shop of Horrors, where Seymour, a lowly florist, tries to turn his fortune around and ends up with a big mess. Alan Menken and Howard Ashman’s songs only add to the wacky flair of it all.

DEETS: WTT, 15650 Addison Road, Addison. Through July 31.
$30. WaterTowerTheatre.org.

…………………

Saturday 07.23

Who are those masked men?
The Dallas Eagle knows how to throw a bash. As part of Leather Pride Week (who knew?), the club hosts Masquerade: A Night of Men, Leather, Fantasy and Intrigue. OK, you got us — we’re intrigued. The leather and fetish ball assures no Cinderellas on hand. Gear and masks are encouraged. Just don’t be that guy without one.

DEETS: Dallas Eagle, 5740 Maple Ave.
10 p.m. DallasEagle.com

…………………

Thursday 07.28

Is she your teenage dream?
Katy Perry is either brilliant or ballsy. Her radio hits will carry her show into party mode, but having the dynamic Robyn as an opener could put Perry into a corner. She’ll likely come out swinging. The audience definitely wins this night.

DEETS: Verizon Theatre, 1001 Performance Place, Grand Prairie. 7:30 p.m.
$45. Ticketmaster.com

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition July 22, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

TGRA Underwear Auction tonight at the Eagle

Getcher undies here

TGRA’s  annual Underwear Auction returns with the easiest of draws. Cowboys and cowgirls in undies? Along with hunky bears and bartenders, leather dudes also modeling. Oh, yeah. Count us in. The event, hosted by Christopher Wilson and Heather Thomas, is also a fundraiser for the rodeo association and its charities.

DEETS: Dallas Eagle, 5740 Maple Ave. 8 p.m. DallasEagle.com

—  Rich Lopez