CD REVIEW: Cher, ‘Closer to the Truth’

CHERTo find the truth on Cher’s first album of new material in 12 years, look beyond that over-polished, Britney-circa-Femme Fatale-era cover art on Closer to the Truth, wherein our leading diva confuses an album shoot for a JCPenney underwear catalog. The truth, it turns out, isn’t immediately apparent; it exists not in a 67-year-old woman trying to be a pinup girl, but in the frankness of Cher’s always-authentic self, when she preaches feminism (“Woman’s World”), tells a prospective lover to “Take It Like a Man” and, at her most honest, warns of her lethal wig-wearing, sequin-shimmering style (“Dressed to Kill”).

Picking up where 2001’s Living Proof left off — when Cher, impossible as it sounds, got even gayer — Closer to the Truth (her 26th LP) keeps the queers at her feet and on their knees; all three of the aforementioned songs pulse and bounce and bang like the icon never left the dance floor. And that’s only somewhat problematic, since some of these aren’t quite as ageless as the diva herself. “Woman’s World,” the first single, sounds very turn-of-the-millennium. One of two Pink-scribed contributions, “I Walk Alone,” exercises a country march that both befits early-era Cher and shakes up the sameness of the more vanilla-produced dance jams. Then she gets back to ballads, making magic out of “Sirens,” a glorious slow tempo that proves the timelessness of her voice, and breaking your heart just a little on her cover of Miley Cyrus’ “I Hope You Find It.” The truth is, Cher doesn’t need to turn back time. She’s fine right where she is.

— Chris Azzopardi

 Three-and-a-half stars.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Dallas Gay Basketball Association revs up with two events this week

With all the sports leagues in the LGBT community here, we’ve long been without a basketball one — until now. As one of the organizers of the new Dallas Gay Basketball Association, Steven Coleman has been helping to get the word out on the new league. The interest is there. Coleman guesstimated about 40 people showed up to DGBA’s open gym session last week at Reverchon Rec Center.

“This is something we need here,” he said.

DBGA’s mission as posted on their Facebook page reads:

The Dallas Gay Basketball Association was founded in 2012. This league was created for LGBTAQ men and women to create an atmosphere for athletes. In hopes of strengthening a community and providing alternative option for socializing within the gay community. The league invites all skill levels, and encourages new members.

According to Coleman, they’ve been in talks with DIVA citing their structure as a direction DGBA may borrow from. That makes total sense seeing how successful the volleyball association is in expanding its membership practically each new season. DGBA will serve as a co-ed league for teams. Whether Reverchon will be the only location for play was not mentioned.

DGBA gets social tonight (Wednesday) by hosting a meet and greet at Woody’s at 6 p.m. Organizers will be there to answer questions and encourage enrollment. They follow up with another open gym session on Thursday at Reverchon where interested persons can sign up with the league. The only requirement at this point is to have a card issued by the rec center (city of Dallas) to play.

Coleman provided pics from last week’s open gym. See those after the jump.

—  Rich Lopez

Mi Diva Loca tonight at Sue Ellen’s

Livin’ la Diva Loca

Get your New Year on with Mel Arizpe and Laura Carrizales as Mi Diva Loca tonight. The partners in life and song turn top hits into their own with subtle rearrangements and way fab voices. Besides, live music should be your resolution for 2012.

DEETS: Sue Ellen’s, 3014 Throckmorton St. 7 p.m. SueEllensDallas.com.

—  Rich Lopez

DIVA invites players to its New Member Clinic tonight

Make your play

Everything you ever wanted to know about volleyball can be learned tonight at DIVA’s (Dallas Independent Volleyball Association) new member clinics. New members of all skill levels are invited to come out and check what the next season has in store. All members are rated for team division as well as basics of the game are covered. Never played? No worries. That’s what these clinics help with. DIVA is all about sportsmanship and nobody gets left behind.

DEETS: K.B. Polk Recreation Center, 6801 Roper St. 7 p.m. DivaDallas.org.

 

—  Rich Lopez

Whistlin’ Dixie

RESEAL THE DEAL | Drag Tupperware guru Dixie Longate keeps Fort Worth fresh with her show … which also functions as a real Tupperware party.

Dixie Longate peddles plastic as America’s funniest Tupperware Lady

STEVEN LINDSEY | Contributing Writer
stevencraiglindsey@me.com

Someone at Amway is very jealous, because fast-talkin’, Southern drawlin’ Dixie Longate (né Kris Andersson) has turned catalog sales into a small empire. It’s mostly thanks to some hilarious shtick, the mouth of a sailor and a surprisingly thorough product knowledge in her plastic extravaganza, Dixie’s Tupperware Party.

In her one-woman interactive comedy show, starting Wednesday in Fort Worth’s McDavid Studio, Dixie reveals her sordid past, what with three dead ex-husbands and three children home alone in a trailer in Mobile, Ala. Stints in and out of prison keep her grounded and streetwise. But it’s her genuine passion for those burpable bowls that has made the Tupperware HQ take notice since she began selling nearly a decade ago. After her first year, she landed in the top 20 of national sales and hasn’t ever dropped out of it. Twice, she was the No. 1 Tupppersalesperson in the nation.

“I work real hard,” she says. “When I was No. 1, I was doing buttloads of home parties. I don’t sell as much at my shows because people are coming to be entertained — buyin’ Tupperware is not always on their minds. But I’m not going to take that away. What sort of lady would I be if I showed all this fine-quality plastic crap and then forbid you the opportunity to purchase it? That would just make me sad.”

Even though her show is wildly entertaining, it is an elaborate sales pitch. Tupperware is indeed available for purchase and what she started in small home shows translates just fine to bigger venues because she’s confident in what she does. Becoming Tupperware’s top sales diva has been motivating, but Longate acknowledges that there are other things in life.

“I have tasted sweet victory; now I want to taste other kinds of things,” she laughs. “You have to keep puttin’ stuff in your mouth to keep tastin’ ’em. Victory tastes good. But you know what? So does a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader!”

Longate is stoked to be returning to Texas, if only to experience our hospitality: “Everybody’s so neighborly. People want to have sex with me and I have to say, ‘Not everybody!’ Because I’m busy,” she says. “I didn’t get my chance to ride a mechanical bull, and that makes me happy, so I need to find one when I’m in Fort Worth. There’s nothin’ more fun than gettin’ on mechanical bull and ridin’ more than eight seconds, diggin’ your heels in and just havin’ a cocktail in a Tupperware tumbler in one hand and ridin’ it like a Christian.”

Longate is serious about her Tupperware sippy cup, always in-hand during her parties.

“Oh hell yes, I don’t want to spill my drink. Riding is so much exercise, you need to make sure you’re hydrated.”

Longate takes a dragtastic approach to sales that shocks suburbia. “There are a couple fun gals that are now selling Tupperware, making sure your food storage needs are being met. But you know how some Tupperware ladies just suck ass?” she asks. “They just sit there and they’re boring as hell. You don’t want someone sittin’ there talkin’ to your face about some bowl. You want to get up and have fun and do something crazy. That’s why it’s called a party, after all.”

And it’s one hell of a party. She’s taken it on the road all over the U.S., and even out to sea on several Atlantis gay cruises. It’s there she first came to love and accept the homosexuals — even if she can’t say the word.

“Oh you know what? At first I was a little scurred of the homosectionals because in the Bible they say things like don’t touch tongues with another man because that’s filthy and all that. But I was like, well wait, I touch tongues with other men and they’re so nice,” Longate says. “And then I met some of them homosectionals, and at first I clutched my Bible and said, you’re not supposed to be like that. But let me tell you somethin’. Homoesectionals always smell good and they travel in packs so you don’t want to mess with one because another one’s gonna come up and throw glitter at your head and that’s gonna get in your eye and sting.”

There are also other benefits to hanging out with the homosexual set.

“They are just such nice people, please and thank you and oh-ma’am-you-look-so-pretty-today. They’re never trying to rub up on your leg when they buy you a drink. They just buy you a drink and that’s that. And for that the Bible says I’m supposed to burn them? I don’t believe in that part of the Bible.”

As for her three dead ex-husbands, Longate swears there won’t be a fourth.

“It’s like they say: You can take the milk out of the cow, but you can’t have sex twice in the same room without losing the camcorder. Or something like that,” she says. “I’m gonna have some fun and meet some people behind the dumpster and lift my leg up just enough to put a smile on my face, but I’m not gonna get in a serious relationship again.”

After all, she’s got her job. Tupperware has been very good to her. Her bestsellers continue to be her Jell-O Shot Caddy (for takin’ to church, of course), her safe-edge can opener and a new product that she swears the gays are going to love.

“I know you all go to the gym all the time and work out. We have this little shaker that you put all your protein shakes and stuff in and you shake it up real quick and it blends it without all those big lumps,” she explains. “You don’t want a big lump in your mouth when you’re at the gym. Maybe afterward in the locker room, but that’s different.”

Look for that and plenty of other products to be demonstrated like never before at her party. And because she says the “homosectionals” like beautiful things, she promises you’ll be happy just to sit and stare at her on stage.

“I’m just lucky Jesus made me pretty. I have nice legs and can have sex like a trucker for a month. I might not be able to cook real well and I might not be able to add stuff together without a really big calculator, but that’s what Asian people are for,” she says. “Everybody has their niche.”

And Dixie’s niche is one that can’t be filled by just anyone.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition March 4, 2011.

—  John Wright

Jerett on the BLOCK: Being single doesn’t calm DIVA member about his first bachelor auction

DATE A DIVA | Walters started playing volleyball two years ago. (Arnold Wayne Jones/Dallas Voice)

Jerett Walters is about to go on the auction block, and one thing is racing through his mind: “What did I get myself into?”

This is only his second season with DIVA, the Dallas Independent Volleyball Association, and they already have him selling himself.

Walters, 25, will join about 10 of his teammates for the annual DIVA Bachelor Auction Sunday. The event is a fundraiser for the team — a good cause. That’s why Walters agreed to do it. But he has his misgivings.

First off, Walters, a graduate student in journalism at UTD, has never even attended a bachelor auction, let alone been the subject of one. In addition, though he’s single and dating (no one in particular at the moment), he’s not sure what being “won” will mean.

“Standing on that block, waiting for people to judge me, taking my control away … I’m not a fan,” he says. “I have friends positioned in the audience to bid on me,” guaranteeing a certain minimum bid to soothe his ego. But they are under strict instructions: “If [I’m being bid on] by a cute boy, let him bid — I don’t care if I go for a dollar.”

Walters isn’t exactly sure what the full package he’s being bid on will entail, but he specified that he wanted a group date, and knows it’ll take place this Wednesday, March 2 — just a few days after the auction.

So what is he looking for on a fun date?

“Something random,” he says. “Be yourself and be fun without the pressure of a first date. And not a classic-dinner-and-a-movie date. Let’s go bowling or talk about golf.”

Or, maybe, volleyball.

— Arnold Wayne Jones

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition Feb. 25, 2011.

—  John Wright

Volleyball-et: From en pointe to point scorer, dancer Jonah Villegas enjoys being a DIVA diva

ARNOLD WAYNE JONES  |  Life+Style Editor
jones@dallasvoice.com

For Jonah Villegas, the most frustrating thing about being a dancer is convincing people that his talent has nothing to do with a pole.

“When I tell people I’m a dancer they always say, ‘Where? BJ’s? The Tin Room?’” says the classically trained terpsichorean, who has worked with the Texas Ballet Theater. Last year, when he put his dancing career on hold, he decided to look for something else athletic he could do to stay limber and active.

“That’s why I joined DIVA,” says Villegas, 22.

Other than summers spent hitting a ball over a net in the sand, Villegas has no experience at volleyball. But when he complained to the man he was dating that life in suburban McKinney, was stifling for a young gay man, his boyfriend recommended he join the Dallas Independent Volleyball Association.

“I’ve been out since my senior year in high school, but it’s hard to be proud and loud when you’re surrounded by nothing but restaurants and straight people,” Villegas jokes. “I think that DIVA and the gay sports of Dallas are overlooked — I have made some really great friends and feel more part of the gay community. After I heard about DIVA, I still didn’t join for more than a year — I regret that I didn’t join sooner. It’s a good way to meet quality gay people.”

Villegas’ first season with DIVA started last summer; right now, he’s gearing up for the spring season, which kicks off with new member orientation and clinics this week.

“There is a wide range of skill levels. When you do to the new member clinic, they figure what division you’re in: recreational, intermediate, competitive, advanced, power or open,” he says; intermediate is the largest, and the division he’s in. From then, captains conduct a draft to put you on teams.

So does his ballet training transfer to the volleyball court? Yes and no.

“They are very similar in the fact you need to be focused and there’s a specific way to do things. Your body tells you what come natural to you and you have to train yourself how to do it the right way. But there are differences in the way you move.”

There’s another way they’re alike, too.

“The dance world is very cutthroat — if you’re not practicing you’re already behind. I joined for friends but these people are competitive! There’s lots of slapping butts and laughing, but they don’t like to lose. Well, neither do I.”

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition Jan. 11, 2001.

—  John Wright

Voice of Pride winners Mi Diva Loca team with local band helloeARTh for YouTube covers

Mel Arizpe, right, of Mi Diva Loca just posted a video on her Facebook where she and her partner Laura Carrizales (and other half of Loca) teamed up with local band helloeARTh for a cover of Rihanna’s “Only Girl.” The band’s M.O. is to team up with local singers and rappers and perform a cover on video to post to YouTube. That’s the nutshell.

In this video, the sound’s a little rough, but MDL’s voices are a good match with the funksters playing. Initially, I thought it was a one-time thing, but then Arizpe told me they also recorded a video for a cover of Cee Lo Green’s “Fuck You.” I thought ‘Oh, shiz,’ and was quick to search for it. It’s not too bad either, although the recording pulls in more of the music than the ladies’ voices. But when they start belting it out, it’s outta control. And by that I mean pretty priceless.

Both videos are below.

—  Rich Lopez

Ken “I’d Rip Off His Arm” Hutcherson plays the victim diva

Really now.  Can anyone take this guy seriously?  Ken Hutcherson sent out this prayer request email today.  He’s on his way to Chicago to “not be gay” together with Peter LaBarbara, the not-gay man who likes to do “field work” at gay BDSM conferences and post pictures on the internet of men having sex with men.  

(emphasis added)


ANTIOCH BIBLE CHURCH

PRAYER WARRIOR

12 November 2010

On my way to Chicago to speak tomorrow night at the annual banquet for Americans for Truth About Homosexuality.  Please pray for safe travel and especially for protection there as the homosexual activists have planned to greet us with a protest.

Thank you so much for your prayers.

Pastor Hutch

This is from Ken Hutcherson the “Prayer Warrior“; Ken Hutcherson who constantly mentions his brief NFL career (that ended in 1977); Ken Hutcherson who promised to single-handedly bring down Microsoft because they supported LGBT-equality legislation; Ken Hutcherson who said this about what he calls “soft” and “effeminate” men:

If I was in a drugstore and some guy opened the door for me, I’d rip his arm off and beat him with the wet end.

Hutch is always so butch.  Why is he all of a sudden such the nellie drama queen?  Maybe the anticipation of seeing Peter again brings that out in him.  Comin’ home to papa.  A special video for Peter and Hutch is below the fold.

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  admin

Diva Fever On UK’s The X Factor

Almost as gay as Prince Poppycock! Almost!

(Tipped by JMG reader Vivian)

Joe. My. God.

—  John Wright