Eye candy of the day: Ben Cohen

Just in time for our summer sports edition, a little treat for fans of gay-friendly rugby star Ben Cohen, from the photoshoot for his new calendar. I’ve met Cohen; he really is as dreamy as he appears. Sigh. And check out our stories about a local gay Olympic torchbearer, a new gay basketball league & more.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Best Bets • 02.03.12

AmmunitionFriday 02.03

Fill up on eye candy
Viva Dallas Burlesque delves into the absurd with Gadgets and Gobstoppers: The Twisted World of Wonka. Burlesque beauties go from steamy to steampunk teaming up with local band Marquis of Vaudeville. Expect a cavity as they transform the theater into a candy confection of dance and music and a whole lotta sexy.

DEETS:
Lakewood Theater
1825 Abrams Road.
8 p.m. $20.
VivaDallasBurlesque.com.

……………………

Tuesday 02.07

Lady unplugged
Brandi Carlile must really love this town and rightfully so. She’s been here consistently the last two years and sold out the Granada Theater in 2011. She scales back a bit this time performing with an acoustic trio and likely her signature acapella tune. She’s one of the few who can pull that gimmick off with so much magic.

DEETS:
With Lucy Wainwright Roche
House of Blues
2200 N. Lamar St.
8 p.m. $27.50–$39.50.
HouseOfBlues.com.

……………………

Tuesday 02.07

Sounds like couture
Fashioned Forward is a musical exploration into the designs behind legend Jean Paul Gaultier. Spanning from classical to pop, performers turn fashion into song with works by Gershwin to Madonna using Gaultier as inspiration.

DEETS:
Horchow Auditorium
1717 N. Harwood Road (in the DMA).
7:30 p.m. $37.
DallasMuseumOfArt.org.

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

—  Kevin Thomas

Music Monday: Fred Schneider’s side project releases ‘Batbaby’ mini-movie video

Last year, The Superions released perhaps one of my least favorite albums of 2010. With Destination…Christmas, the Fred Schneider-led band turned Christmas songs inside out into a hot mess. The out B-52s singer definitely lets his comic freak flag fly higher with this band and they are back at it for Halloween.

They just released the EP Batbaby along with a new video. The 10-minute video is sort of a homage to the beatnik/horror mashup genre of the ’60s. You know, like A Bucket of Blood. It’s over-the-top ridiculous, but the hunky volleyball guys add some nice eye candy.

If you don’t have 10 minutes to spare, check the trailer out here which touts the mini-movie as more frightening than Mary Poppins.

The video is below.

—  Rich Lopez

WATCH: A little eye-candy for a drab Friday

I know that Abercrombie & Fitch clothes are designed, ideally, for younger men than myself (next week I turn 39 — again! A new record!), but I find myself pawing through their racks nonetheless, grabbing the occasional muscle shirt. And here’s why: With ads like these, you can only imagine your own body looks as good this way. I know it does not. But that’s how advertising works.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Back to the Drawing Board

 

NOT IN THE EYE! | The Dallas Collection will include some denim jackets and hot models, below, but co-creative director Jan Strimple and event director Steve Kemble, above, promise even more eye candy from a variety of disciplines.

DIFFA Dallas starts over with a new attitude and a new concept — but some experienced talent behind the scenes

ARNOLD WAYNE JONES  | Life+Style Editor | jones@dallasvoice.com
MARK STOKES  | Illustrator | mark@markdrawsfunny.com

2010 was a strange year for the Dallas chapter of DIFFA, the Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS.

On the heels of its 25 anniversary blowout, the group decided to bifurcate the main event last year: A collection of soft goods and accessories (pillows, hats, even doghouses) at a bash at Union Station, followed about a month later by the famed Collection, a runway show of denim jackets at a pricey gala to take place at the new Winspear Opera House, hosted by Queen Latifah.

Only Queen Latifah canceled. “We’ll reschedule,” DIFFA said.

Nothing.

No collection event took place that year, which may have been a good thing. With 2011 here, DIFFA is regrouping.

This is a rebuilding year, for sure, but also one with lots of promise. With co-creative director Jan Strimple back in charge, and Dallas doyen of style Steve Kemble serving as event director of DIFFA 2011 — branded Dramatically Different — there’s some starpower behind the scenes. And that promises to make for a spectacular, if unusual, show.

For one thing, the I in DIFFA represents a plural word: Industries. It’s not just about clothes. Yes, the event will take place at the Anatole; yes, there will be a cocktail reception where attendees can inspect the collection. But there will not be a runway show; instead, a sit-down dinner with live auction. The event used to end there; now it will transition into a lounge where people can enjoy one another and the various other fashion specialties making a contribution, from art to architecture to music.

It’s a great challenge for Strimple, one of the founders of DIFFA who returns to a management role.

“While [the] Dallas Collection is an astounding amount of work and takes a massive coordinated team effort, it’s also creatively rewarding because the non-commercial format allows my imagination to go wild,” says Strimple. “I have a lot of fun with what I call a ‘take no prisoners attitude’ towards designing the fashion components: kill them with glamour, seduce them with beauty, rock it out with the unexpected and leave ‘em begging for more!”

“I could not be more thrilled to be producing this year’s event,” adds Kemble. “DIFFA is such an important part of the fight against HIV/AIDS, and I know this fabulous event will bring even more attention and support to a worthy cause.”

Strimple sees the change in keeping with the development of AIDS research and treatment over the years, which this summer marks 30 years since its designation as a disease.

“DIFFA was on the forefront of funding services to the earliest victims as well as funding prevention education once the disease was fully understood. As AIDS reaches newer audiences, they are being caught unprepared. DIFFA’s stance on prevention education, combined with continued service funding, make it a key combatant in the new war on AIDS,” she says.

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

—  John Wright

A little eye candy for President’s Day: Gym nudity in new gay film ‘The Brothers Sinclair’

Although this falls squarely in the category of shameless promotion, it’s awfully hot. This is a featurette (itself a coinage for a promotional video) for an upcoming gay movie called The Brothers Sinclair. Honestly, the movie looks cheesy (not the bird in the pasta) but the hot guys may soften my animosity for the cliches. No word on when the final feature will come out, but the hotties here are good enough for now. Enjoy!


—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Judy Tenuta called to fill us in on her newest Lady Gaga spoof video ‘Hot Bra Cones’

Comedian and “Love Goddess” Judy Tenuta was kind enough to give me a call to talk about her newest video. Well, that and her resolution for 2011 which you’ll see in this week’s issue. But her video is a whole different story.

Spoofing on Lady Gaga’s “Telephone,” she recently debuted “Hot Bra Cones.” With a low budget and six hours to make, Tenuta and gal pal Judy Brown (not to mention some fine ass backup dancers) punked on Hollywood starlets and having fun with Gaga and Madonna.

“I always wanted to do something about Lady Gaga. I just love her,” she said. “So I just reworked “Telephone”  and came up with the idea that if it wasn’t for Madonna there would be no Gaga.”

It’s kind of an “everything but the kitchen sink” video with satirical nods to Britney Spears, Kim Kardashian and even Sarah Palin. I think I kinda like her Lindsay Lohan the most.

“I have to rip on those young Hollywood brats who just snort their careers away. Britney started the craziness, but I just had to get at Lindsay and Paris and throw in a harpoon jab at Palin,” she said.

Mostly, Tenuta says she’s just excited about the video and wants to give a good laugh to her fans — especially her gay fans.

“This is just what I love to do. It was hard to get it all together and I was paying for everything, but when we finally did it, we thought it was great and well worth our time,” she said. “You know, it got 9,000 hits in a short time. It would be so cool if it went viral.”

Yeah, but what about the studly eye-candy?

“The gays will love them. How many six packs did you count?” she laughed. “But you know, it was truly a sacrifice to work with those men.”

Riiiight.

Video co-producer James Franklin also informed me that gay sites BigMuscle and its sister (um, brother?) site BigMuscleBears have picked it as its video of the week. Which took me FOREVER to find. Talk about a sacrifice going through those websites. But it appears the VOTW shows up on the bottom of a person’s profile page. Or maybe I should go back and look just to be sure.

—  Rich Lopez

Movie Monday: Get your Cher fix with ‘Burlesque’ in wide release

If we could turn back time … we’d still want to see Cher in this campy hoot

In Burlesque, pop diva Christina Aguilera plays a small-town girl with a big voice who leaves the heartland to chase a predictable dream in L.A. She lands a job as a cocktail waitress at the Burlesque Lounge, meets a couple of hot guys (Cam Gigandet and Eric Dane), builds a friendship with one dancer (Julianne Hough), makes enemies with another (Kristen Bell), and learns a few life lessons from Tess (Cher), a broke, weary, but totally hot burlesque goddess with a heart of gold.

Big surprise: It’s not a great script. The mortgage is due and the moneylenders lurk and gosh, the lounge needs a miracle to survive! But who will go see it for the plot, the hokey dialogue or the not-so-great acting from Aguilera (her character is hardly full-bodied, with a backstory that is even slimmer than her hips).

But do go see it, because the movie is exactly what its audience is looking for: A campy, sexy hoot. It struts. It’s fun. It’s funny. There’s some serious eye candy with Gigandet and a box of cookies. There’s Stanley Tucci, playing Sean, the surly gay manager of the lounge.

And of course, there’s Cher. Cher still has the glam to pull the clichéd Tess off — and she still has that voice. The ups and downs of her life (both Tess and Cher) can be summed up in one show-stopping number: “You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me.”

Burlesque is not supposed to be Cher’s movie, but she steals it anyway — along with Tucci, whose one-night stand with a potential life partner is heartwarming and real. Tucci may be playing a gay BFF to a burlesque queen, but Sean is not some kind of gay caricature. He’s the heart of a film that has no brain.

Three and a half stars.

— Angela Wilson

DEETS: Burlesque, Cher, Christina Aguilera, Stanley Tucci, Cam Gigandet, Eric Dane. Rated PG-13. 125 mins. Now playing wide release.

—  Rich Lopez

Dance 10, smarts 3

If we could turn back time … we’d still want to see Cher in this campy hoot

QUEER DELIGHT | Stanley Tucci as the gay BFF and Cher imbue ‘Burlesque’ with crazy camp appeal.

3.5 stars
BURLESQUE

Cher, Christina Aguilera, Stanley Tucci, Cam Gigandet, Eric Dane.
Rated PG-13. 125 mins.
Now playing wide release.

………………………………………

In Burlesque, pop diva Christina Aguilera plays a small-town girl with a big voice who leaves the heartland to chase a predictable dream in L.A. She lands a job as a cocktail waitress at the Burlesque Lounge, meets a couple of hot guys (Cam Gigandet and Eric Dane), builds a friendship with one dancer (Julianne Hough), makes enemies with another (Kristen Bell), and learns a few life lessons from Tess (Cher), a broke, weary, but totally hot burlesque goddess with a heart of gold.

Big surprise: It’s not a great script. The mortgage is due and the moneylenders lurk and gosh, the lounge needs a miracle to survive! But who will go see it for the plot, the hokey dialogue or the not-so-great acting from Aguilera (her character is hardly full-bodied, with a backstory that is even slimmer than her hips).

But do go see it, because the movie is exactly what its audience is looking for: A campy, sexy hoot. It struts. It’s fun. It’s funny. There’s some serious eye candy with Gigandet and a box of cookies. There’s Stanley Tucci, playing Sean, the surly gay manager of the lounge.

And of course, there’s Cher. Cher still has the glam to pull the clichéd Tess off — and she still has that voice. The ups and downs of her life (both Tess and Cher) can be summed up in one show-stopping number: “You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me.”

Burlesque is not supposed to be Cher’s movie, but she steals it anyway — along with Tucci, whose one-night stand with a potential life partner is heartwarming and real. Tucci may be playing a gay BFF to a burlesque queen, but Sean is not some kind of gay caricature. He’s the heart of a film that has no brain.

— Angela Wilson

………………………………

Diva-licious

It’s unfortunate that Cher and Christina Aguilera don’t get a duet on the Burlesque soundtrack. Wonder who was the bigger diva voting against that. But we digress. Fact is, yes, Aguilera has the voice and uses it with all its might on eight of the 10 tracks. Playing with soulful rock, jazz and ’50s throwback a la Back to Basics, she’s in fine form.

Opening with “Something’s Got a Hold On Me,” Aguilera sets the tone, belting out a strong intro and morphing into something from a Jerry Lee Lewis album. In “Tough Lover,” she does her best Little Richard with the high-pitched “whoos,” but still growls her own signature.

When the songs go more contemporary, they deliver some radio-ready tunes. “Express” and “The Beautiful People” are fun highlights and she delivers  in the ballad “Bound to You.” She’s reliable that way.

Cher contributes only two tracks: “Welcome to Burlesque,” a cliche opening weirdly recalling Aladdin’s “Arabian Nights,” and “You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me.” This one’s a beautiful gem for her. Oscar nom? Hard to say. But maybe. While never earthshattering, there is a lot of fun to be had on the album. Just hearing Cher again has a queer appeal all its own.

— Rich Lopez

Three stars

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition November 26, 2010.

—  Michael Stephens