Oscar watching parties

And the Oscar goes to…

From area venues:

*Barbara’s is having an Oscar party!! Watch the Academy Awards on the big screen. Fill out a nominee list with the ones that you think are going to win. The person with the most correct winners wins a great prize. We have the list for you to fill out, and all entries must be in before start time. And of course, you can wear your evening dress or tux if you would like to.

DEETS: Barbara’s Pavilion, 325 Centre St. 7:30 p.m.

*Movie Awards Viewing Party brought to you by the 5013c Oak Cliff Foundation and the  Oak Cliff Film Festival! Come watch the spectacle unfold before your eyes on the big screen. Of course this is a fine opportunity to dress to the nines and party like a star! Enter the Pick the Winners poll for $3. Winner will be announced at the end of the night and will get 2 free badges to the 2012 Oak Cliff Film Festival.

DEETS: The Texas Theatre, 231 W. Jefferson Blvd. 6 p.m. TheTexasTheatre.com.


—  Rich Lopez

HRC’s Disco Fruit Bowl at 300 in Addison

Strike it up

Bring out your bell bottoms and flared collars for this year’s Fruit Bowl as the Human Righs Campaign goes disco. The annual event raises funds for the HRC, but really, it puts our Wii talents to the test. But if you’re gonna dress up disco, reconsider those platforms for the slick lanes.

DEETS: 300 Dallas, 3805 Beltline Road, Addison. Noon and 3 p.m. Individuals $25–$30, teams $100–$160. HRC.org/FruitBowl.

—  Rich Lopez

Snap shots: ‘Bill Cunningham New York’ turns the camera on fashion’s most influential paparazzo

LENS ME A SHOE | The Times photographer documents foot fashion in ‘Bill Cunningham New York.’

ARNOLD WAYNE JONES  | Life+Style Editor

Maybe Project Runway’s to blame, maybe The Devil Wears Prada, but for the past few years there has been a surplus of documentaries about the fashion industry, with profiles of designers like Valentino (Valentino: The Last Emperor), Yves Saint-Laurent (several in fact), even young designers (Seamless) and Vogue magazine’s editor (The September Issue). (By contrast, I can only recall one fashion doc from the 1990s: Unzipped, about a young designer named Isaac Mizrahi.) Is there really that much to say about dressmaking?

Maybe not, but while Bill Cunningham New York fits broadly within the category of fashion documentaries, its subject is unusual because he eschews the trappings of haute couture even as he’s inextricably a part of it — a huge part, really.

If you don’t read the New York Times, you might not recognize Cunningham’s name, and even if you do read it, it may not have registered with you. For about, well, maybe 1,000 years, Cunningham has chronicled New York society with his candid photos of the glitterati on the Evening Hours page. At the same time, however, he has documented real fashion — how New Yorkers dress in their daily lives — with his page On the Street, where he teases out trends (from hats to men in skirts to hip-hoppers allowing their jeans to dangle around their knees). Anna Wintour may tell us what we should wear; Cunningham shows us what we do.

“We all get dressed for Bill,” Wintour observes.

What makes Cunningham such an interesting character is how impervious he seems to the responsibility he effortlessly wields. He loves fashion, yes, but he’s not a slave to it himself. He scurries around Manhattan (even in his 80s) on his bicycle (he’s had dozens; they are frequently stolen), sometimes in a nondescript tux but mostly in jeans, a ratty blue smock and duck shoes, looking more like a homeless shoeshiner than the arbiter of great fashion. He flits through the city like a pixie with his 35mm camera (film-loaded, not digital), a vacant, toothy smile peaking out behind the lens, snapping the denizens of Babylon whether they want it or not.

One of the funniest moments is when strangers shoo him away as some lunatic paparazzo, unaware how all the well-heeled doyens on the Upper East would trade a nut to have Cunningham photograph them for inclusion in the Times. Patrick McDonald, the weirdly superficial modern dandy (he competed as a wannabe designer on the flop reality series Launch My Line a few seasons back), seems to exist with the hope that Cunningham will shoot him. And shoot him he does.

Many artists are idiosyncratic, even eccentric, but Cunningham is supremely odd by any standards. He lives in a tiny studio near Carnegie Hall filled with filing cabinets cluttered with decades of film negatives on the same floor as a crazy old woman, a kind of urban variation on Grey Gardens. He knows tons of people but most of them seem to know very little about him. By the time near the end when the filmmaker, director Richard Press, finally comes out and ask him outright whether he’s gay, Cunningham arches in that prickly New England way, never really answering outright, though he says he’s never — never — had a romantic relationship. Things like that were simply not discussed by men of his generation.

In some ways, we never really know any more about Cunningham at the end than any of his friends do, and perhaps even him. Cunningham comes across as defiantly non-self-reflective. He lets his work do all the talking for him. And that work has a lot to say on its own.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition April 8, 2011.

—  John Wright

Flipping Out’s Trace Did Not Dress Up As Jeff Lewis’ Lips


OH SNAP — Trace Lehnhoff, the quiet office cutie on Bravo's Flipping Out, dressed up on Halloween as GuysWithiPhones.com.


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—  admin

Lady Gaga’s Meat Dress Being Turned into Jerky


Not the eatin' kind, apparently:

"You might assume that the dress, made from a cut of meat known as 'matambre' in the designer's home country of Argentina, would be headed for some sort of deep freeze. Otherwise, it would become a hostel for maggots. But you'd be wrong. The designer, Franc Fernandez, tells me the beef's true fate: 'The dress will go through a process where it becomes a sort of 'jerky' and will be archived. Thank you.'"

But what about the prime rib of America? That, apparently, has become the hostel for maggots.

Towleroad News #gay

—  John Wright

Lady Gaga’s Meat Dress Being Turned into Jerky


Not the eatin' kind, apparently:

"You might assume that the dress, made from a cut of meat known as 'matambre' in the designer's home country of Argentina, would be headed for some sort of deep freeze. Otherwise, it would become a hostel for maggots. But you'd be wrong. The designer, Franc Fernandez, tells me the beef's true fate: 'The dress will go through a process where it becomes a sort of 'jerky' and will be archived. Thank you.'"

But what about the prime rib of America? That, apparently, has become the hostel for maggots.

Towleroad News #gay

—  John Wright

MUSIC NEWS: Vincent Minor, Maximum Balloon, Shit Robot, How To Dress Well, Tegan & Sara, Mark Ronson with Boy George


GuestbloggerMODERN TONIC

Modern Tonic — a daily email that delivers gay-approved pop culture gems (before they've been co-opted by everyone else) — presents a weekly music update here on Towleroad.


Vincentminoralbum Knitting together a tapestry of post-modern indie-pop with echoes of Tin Pan Alley, openly-gay Vincent Minor is nothing less than major on his eponymous debut. Known for the better part of the last decade in the Los Angeles music scene by his birth name Michael Mangia, the artist’s alter ego affords him a tenacious vehicle to announce his cheeky songwriting style to the world. Tracks like "Late Night Show," "Jack and the Waltz" and "Friday the Thirteenth" swell with Minor’s knack for harmonious orchestral arrangements (and a little help from Fiona Apple’s keyboardist and the brass from the Magnetic Zeroes), but the subtle baritone’s wordsmith gifts are most apparent in the no-frills "Dead Air" and "So F**ked Up." Those unsatisfied with the overproduced and 808-saturated offerings from gay and gay-adjacent artists will find refuge in Minor’s Broadway-ready arms.

Maximumballoon The brains behind much of Brooklyn’s music boom, former TV on the Radio member David Sitek, makes his return to the other side of the microphone with Maximum Balloon. With a list of guest stars who have benefited from Sitek’s new-millennium producing career (minus the disappointingly absent Scarlett Johansson), Maximum Balloon’s self-titled release is a lush cornucopia of grooves cool enough for Williamsburg loft parties but sonically satisfying for Sitek’s diehard fans. The shoegazer electronica of "Absence of Light" (featuring Tunde Adebimpe) reeks of Röyksopp filtered down Flatbush Avenue, while the sedate, haunting "Communion" (with Yeah Yeah Yeahs singer Karen O) lifts up and out of this world. If you’ve ever wondered what Groove Armada might sound like in the chill tent at Coachella, wrap a warm set of headphones around your ears cradled by Maximum Balloon for the answer. 

Shitrobot In the post-rave music world, band/seminal-hipster-label DFA has satisfied whatever percentage of hearing remains in those who regularly hugged bass woofers until dawn in the ‘90s. The latest effort from the NYC-based label is Shit Robot, whose album From The Cradle to the Rave might be the most appropriate entry in the dictionary when looking up DFA’s trademark disco punk sound. Sure, there are more cowbells on the disc than can be heard in an Oklahoma pasture, but the minimal beats paired with genre-necessary ADD guitar riffs make for more than a one-note album. "Take 'Em Up" and "Tuff Enuff?" manage to walk the line between dance-floor crescendos and engaging musical compositions, while "I Found Love" is the rarest of drum machine finds: a sentimental love song set to rumbling retro basslines. Who said drum machines have no soul?

Towleroad September 21, 2010 by moderntonic.com


 RoadThe release of the lavish re-issues of George Michael's Faith have been pushed to early 2011, presumably in light of the singer's prison stint.

RoadKaty Perry duets with Elmo.

RoadAmy Winehouse took to Twitter to apologize for verbally bitch-slapping Back To Black producer Mark Ronson. After first tweeting that he was "dead to her" over the weekend (for taking what she deemed too much credit for his work on her seminal album), she attemtped to (virtually) kiss and make up by tweeting today "Ronson I love you; that make it better? You know I love you." She then further clarifed everything by adding "It's a jew thingz" regarding the public spat with her fellow tribe member. Oy vey iz mir, Amy.

RoadSpeaking of celeb Twit-astrophes, here's a Twitter Meltdown Hall of Fame.

RoadStream Mark Ronson & The Business INTL's new album Record Collection (out next week) in full.

Belle RoadHear the new single from Belle & Sebastian's forthcoming album, Write About Love, out October 12.
RoadR.E.M. have completed recording their as-yet-untitled 15th studio album, due for a Spring 2011 release.

RoadScissor Sisters will open for Lady Gaga on twelve U.S. dates starting February 19 in Atlantic City.

RoadIs Billboard headed for a mainstream makeover like sister publication The Hollywood Reporter?
MariahRoadMerry Christmas II You (out November 2), Mariah Carey's follow-up to her massively successful 1994 album Merry Christmas, will include a brand new recording of "All I Want For Christmas Is You," four original songs composed by Mariah, including the new single, "Oh Santa," plus some traditional holiday classics.


Singer-songwriter Paula Cole comes full lasso from her "Where Have All The Cowboys Gone?" start for Ithaca, her fifth studio album, featuring songs written entirely on her own. 

Grammy-nominated Jane Monheit returns to her jazz-standards origins with Home, featuring renditions of Rodgers and Hart, Schwartz and Dietz and other jazzy re-imaginings.

Tegan Tegan & Sarah release The Complete Recollection (1999-2010), a comprehensive digital bundle with all six studio albums, a never-before-released live album, Live at the Phoenix 2005, and all thirteen of their music videos (seven of which are commercially available for the first time).

Though it’s easy to become anxious when Barbadian beauties switch up the R&B formula for something more experimental (looking your way, Rihanna), Shontelle might actually pull it off with her edgier second release, No Gravity. Its lead single, "Impossible," hit the Billboard 100 in May, quickly becoming the singer’s most successful and hinting that the words sophomore slump might not apply here.

The word ethereal is employed too often in music reviews, but here, for How To Dress Well’s Love Remains, it fits. Atmospheric slow-cooked beats accompany sleepy synths in standout tracks like "Ready For The World" and "My Body," making for a cinematic offering that could just put Ambien out of business.
Maroon5Maroon 5 abandons the synthpop accents it flirted with on It Won’t Be Soon Before Long to return to its funkier roots for Hands All Over. With "Misery" already getting plenty of airplay, expect the infinitely catchier "Stutter" to take over its lead, culminating in what will surely be an autumn dominated by the So-Cal quintet.

Also released: Glee: Season Two — "What I Did For Love" (tracks from tonight's episode); Liza Minnelli — Confessions; Ellie Goulding — An Introduction to Ellie Goulding; Zac Brown Band — You Get What You Give; Selena Gomez and The Scene — A Year Without Rain; John Legend and The Roots — Wake Up!


Starsmith — "Give Me a Break"
U.K. producer-of-the-moment Starsmith arrives with the video for his own track, "Give Me A Break," as much an homage to New York City as it is to stop-motion technology.

Mark Ronson & The Business INTL (ftrg Boy George) — "Somebody To Love Me" (live)
Mark Ronson seems to gravitate to singers with larger-than-life personalities (see Winehouse item above) so no surprise, perhaps, he did this collaboration with Boy George. The performance is from Later…with Jools Holland.

Shit Robot — "Tuff Enuff?"
Shit Robot crowns stop-motion as the official music video medium for electronic music with its offering for "Tuff Enuff?," starring a painfully adorable, never-satisfied yellow-box.

Shakespears Sister — "It's a Trip"
For "It’s a Trip," Shakespears Sister (going strong after a 13-year hiatus) interprets the song title literally, with a futuristic Cleopatra and gender-bending Zoot Suits.

Towleroad News #gay

—  John Wright