Electronica popsters STRFKR talks its gay bar origins before tonight’s show at Prophet Bar

Last year, Starfucker (or STRFKR for short) released its impressive  sophomore album Reptilians, a trippy endeavor that showed some interesting growth since their 2008 self-titled debut. Dare I say, they sound like what Pink Floyd might have if they had gone the synthy-dreamy route.

Bassist Shawn Glassford, above far right, took a few moments to talk about their first show ever at the San Francisco Eagle, how they might fare at our own Dallas Eagle and whether he would top or bottom for Ryan Gosling.

Read our Q&A after the jump. Then catch them at The Prophet Bar tonight with Painted Palms and Alexico.

—  Rich Lopez

Cher is the latest gay icon to get a comic book

I’m not sure who’s running things over at Bluewater Productions comics, but they know their gay audiences. Following up on previous celebrity bio-comics like Lady Gaga, Madonna and Ellen DeGeneres, the publisher announced today that Cher will get the comic treatment this December. Her story will be the latest issue of their series Female Force. The 32-page comic will feature art by Zach Bassett and Warren Montgomery. The cover is by DC Comics Joe Philips. From BlueWater Productions:

Writer Marc Shapiro said Cher’s life and career “reads like a comic book.” “The clothes, the times, the attitudes of the decades she’s lived through. The different styles of music she’s been involved in. So much of what Cher has experienced is so flamboyant, over the top and just plain out there,” said Shapiro. “She has been very much the real life equivalent of a superhero, and writing about Cher, to a large degree, has been just about letting my imagination go.”

With no specific date mentioned, Bluewater says to expect the comic in the month of December at comic book shops, Barnes & Noble bookstores and Amazon.

—  Rich Lopez

Shabby Shriek of the Week: Meital

We’ve made a slight change here in Shabby Shriek of the Week. We’ve switched out the Sounds Like analysis with a lyric sampling in Words Up, so you can be better informed before making your “shab” or “fab” vote for the next pop princess.

Now, let’s take a look at Meital’s “Yummy Boyz.”

WTF IS Meital?

Apparently she’s a big deal — in Israel. Meital Dohan is singer/actress/playwrite who most American audiences might know from her recurring role on Weeds as Yael Hoffman. She’s also been nominated for two Israeli Academy Awards and won an Isreali Tony Award. Who knew?

Now she’s going after gay audiences with her foray into music. I received a disc of seven remixes of her first single “Yummy Boyz.” The hook has promise, but the lyrics — meh. The song is from her upcoming album, I’m in Hate with Love.

—  Rich Lopez

OutMusic Awards countdown: Album of the year

The wait is over and tonight is the OutMusic Awards ceremony. And there is a possibility that three awards could go to one local. We keep mentioning that only because, um, it’s cool. Gary Floyd is going into the night with three nods. He talked with us a bit about it here. One of them could be this award, which would be huge. But let’s look at what Floyd is up against.

—  Rich Lopez

Comic wannabes line up for QLive’s weekly open mic — and some shouldn’t

RICH LOPEZ | Staff Writer
lopez@dallasvoice.com

I like to think I’m pretty hilarious. I don’t boast about being funny, but I’ve teased some guffaws out of unlikely listeners, so I have some humor cred. Clearly, I could translate that into a stand-up comic career, right?

Um, now that wasn’t supposed to make you laugh.

Actually, the idea of going in front of a live crowd and trying to make them chuckle sounds like the most traumatizing thing I could ever attempt. Being caught by my mom in a half-awake morning whack-off would be more pleasant than cracking people up who paid their two-drink minimum. The emotional scarring would be equivalent.

But QLive gives gays the chance to do just that.

A new spin-off of the LGBT film festival QCinema, QLive offers up live theater and performances — and a open mic comedy, which recently went from monthly to weekly at the new Fort Worth club Percussions. And for veteran yukmeisters, apparently that works.

“I have to say, this is the best room I’ve ever performed at,” says Alison Egert, a regular at the event who proves that lesbians can be funny. I enlisted Egert to give me advice before I contemplate either making an ass out of myself onstage — or staging the most brilliant comic debut ever (less likely).

Egert is fairly new to the scene herself. Her first standup set was at an open mic at the now-defunct Hyena’s last October. By the end of January, she had scored a paying gig. Cha-ching! Visions of my student loans dwindling floated in my head. Maybe I should give this funny business some serious thought. The challenge would be getting my nerve in the first place.

“You just have to remember that you’ll never be as terrible as that first night,” she advises. “It doesn’t get worse than that, so you just keep going. If you get a laugh that first time, that’s a good [start].”

Gay audiences are definitely the way to go. Perhaps because it’s not a comedy club per se, Percussions lend itself to a less intimidating environment. An audience is expecting to laugh at The Improv, and hecklers there are a given; gays in a club just want cocktails and if open mic comedy is on the menu, then bring it on. Can’t be worse than karaoke.

But then, they haven’t seen me yet.

“For whatever reason, the customers there can laugh at themselves,” Egert says. “We can get away with more and push the envelope. That’s good because it even some hetero comics like that they can do that there.”

Straights? Ewwww.

The rules at QLive’s open mic are simple: I get five minutes, max, to be hella-funny. But the QLive folks don’t make it easy to wanna get up to the mic. “These rules are in place to protect you, but more importantly, the audience, who bore easily and probably hate you.” Yikes! I’m not exactly giddy with excitement to put myself out there. Even their restrictions to make this a comedy-only night are deflating: This is comedy, people — no lip-syncing ladyboys, no poetry slamming hipsters, no guitar-strumming douchbags, unless you’re funny.

Or maybe I’m just finding excuses to psych myself out.

I hear that I should always just be myself and experiment with that to see what works. The thing is, I’m not sure being myself translates into becoming the next Adam Sandler. Comedians always seem to have the funniest personal stories. Even Egert has them — about being raped by a parrot, or funny things her mom says.

The closest I have is explaining email attachments to my dad. Hardee-har-blah.

What Egert unknowingly has taught me is you can be just as funny on Twitter. I see this as an ideal situation, of course. Why do standup when you can do sit-down?

She gives lovely gems on her feed at AlisonIsFunny such as: “Eharmony matched me w/uglies. Reason?” “Based on your personality these are only ppl w/self esteem low enough to put up with your crap.”

But she tells me otherwise. Dammit.

“Just get on stage as much as possible and maybe take a comedy class,” she suggests. “Pay attention around and notice the silly things. If you’re making other people laugh, use it. You don’t necessarily have to write a joke about something specific.”

I wholeheartedly want to believe this and so I’ll try my hand at it right here, right now.

“Knock-knock.…”

Hello? … Hello? Anybody?

—  John Wright

If you’re looking for the gay connection to Grammy winner Arcade Fire, here it is

Pallett, right, with Arcade Fire in New York.

When Arcade Fire won Record of the Year at the Grammys, my Facebook and Twitter filled with “Who is Arcade Fire?” posts (whose didn’t?). Despite the band’s album The Suburbs being on practically everyone’s best-of list at the end of the year, people clearly weren’t aware who the indie band was and weren’t afraid to let the world know. That’s fine. No snobbery about it here, but if it helps some readers to relate to the band (or open their minds beyond Top 40 radio), well, here ya go:

Owen Pallett is no stranger to gay audiences. Or shouldn’t be. But while he’s creating his own lush songs, he’s also had input on all of AF’s releases and has toured as a member. Pallett contributed string arrangements to each album and has played violin on the first two as well as on tour. The last we saw of Pallett here was as an opener for the band back in October. AF member Régine Chassagne and Pallett also composed the score for The Box with Cameron Diaz.

Feel any better? No? OK, well there’s always Katy Perry.

—  Rich Lopez

Oscar noms: What’s gay about ‘em

The King’s Speech led the field with 12 Oscar nominations this morning, followed by True Grit, The Social Network and Inception. There weren’t all that many surprises. But here’s what gay audiences might be interested in:

The Kids Are All Right, by lesbian filmmaker Lisa Cholodenko, got four nominations, including one for Cholodenko’s screenplay, one for Annette Bening’s performance as a lesbian mom, as well as best picture.

• Several industry insiders were nominated for more than one award, but only gay producer Scott Rudin, pictured, is competing with himself for best picture: He was nominated for both The Social Network and True Grit. (One of the founders of Facebook is openly gay, though his character is given short shrift in the film.)

Black Swan received five nominations, including best picture, best director and for actress Natalie Portman, who plays what could be a lesbian … or maybe bisexual… or maybe just insane … dancer.

• Best foreign language film Dogtooth involves a lesbian subplot, which foreign language and best actor nominee Biutiful contains a same-sex kiss.

• Best costume nominee I Am Love stars Tilda Swinton as the mother of a lesbian daughter.

• And perhaps most surprising of all, Diane Warren, who just won a Golden Globe for her Cher song “You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me” from Burlesque, was passed over for an Oscar nomination. So was the film for best picture. And in every other category. Go figure.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

‘The Fighter:’ ‘Rocky 2.0’

With all the homoeroticism (and lesbian subplot) in The Wrestler two years back, I was hoping The Fighter — with an always-buff Mark Wahlberg, above left, as an aspiring welterweight — might, Rocky III-esque, idealize the male form for gay audiences. No such luck. We have to settle, instead, for a gritty and highly watchable character study set in the world of boxing. I’ll adjust.

In many ways, The Fighter is the obverse of Black Swan: One is about a girl in the arts that lures you in with cliches about ballet films, then turns out the be something totally different; the other is about man in sports that avoids a lot of cliches until, about three-quarters through, turns out to be Rocky in disguise. (Both films also have the hand of Darren Aronofsky in them, who also directed The Wrestler.)

Such misdirection works in the film’s favor, because it allows the story to unfold with the immediacy of a family drama, and this family is full of drama. Mom (a fabulous Melissa Leo) coddles her seven useless harpy daughters while offering up her son Micky (Wahlberg, more heartfelt than ever), the only one with potential, in a series of bad bouts.

Even worse: The entire town of Lowell, Mass., idolizes Micky’s crack-addict brother Dicky (Christian Bale), a has-been who spends more time getting high than helping his little brother achieve what he couldn’t.

That may sound like a familiar plot, and it is familiar — you think of On the Waterfront, and are tempted to call it Rocky 2.0 — but the approach is cattywampus, almost disorienting. You think you know where it’s headed, but it surprises you.

With its cinema verite look and painfully authentic performances — especially by Leo and Bale, who’s gaunt and scary as a tweaked-out loser — conjure up everything that’s frightening about poisonous relationships of all kinds. It’s the season’s most unexpected crowd-pleaser.

— Arnold Wayne Jones

Three stars
Now playing at the Angelika Film Center — Mockingbird Station

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 17, 2010.

—  Michael Stephens

Starvoice • 12.10.10

By Jack Fertig

CELEBRITY BIRTHDAY

Benjamin Bratt turns 47 on Thursday. The hunky actor has always been easy on the eyes, but more so with gay audiences in this past year. He starred in La Mission earlier this year, a film about homophobia within the Latino community of San Francisco. Way back in January 2010, he guest starred on the gay-friendly hit comedy, Modern Family.

………………………

THIS WEEK

Mercury backing into Pluto, Mars and the North Node, all in Capricorn, may unleash a torrent of backlogged work, ancient regrets, old failures and feeling old. Face up to the hard work that remains before you. Learn from past mistakes, shrug off useless distractions and focus on priorities.

………………………

SAGITTARIUS  Nov 22-Dec 20
Problems with money and errors in accounts are surfacing. They indicate deeper problems and will require work. Focus on the clean up phase for now. You can solve this one step at a time.

CAPRICORN  Dec 21-Jan 19

Neglected duties and responsibilities bite you on the ass if you don’t turn around and face up to them. Worrying takes more energy than dealing with them —stress makes you look older.

AQUARIUS  Jan 20-Feb 18

Your worst nightmares prove a blessing in disguise. Dig deep into your fears and see what’s behind them. To conquer those fears, do charity work for those who have suffered.

PISCES  Feb 19-Mar 19
The future is looking dark, but a rude shock will help you see flaws. It could be either worse or better than you imagine. It will be very different. Find a safe space to scream, just to let it out.

ARIES  Mar 20-Apr 19
Your engine to success is heading toward a train wreck. Backtracking is necessary for course correction. Look at those who’ve gotten where you want and learn from their examples.

TAURUS  Apr 20-May 20
Everything you know is wrong. Joining arguments can help you discard obsolete notions and get more insight. Phrases like “playing devil’s advocate” offer wiggle room.

GEMINI  May 21-Jun 20
You need a good challenge to explore new depths, whether in the bedroom, in meditation or in a library. Exploring kink is fine, but be very careful. Save erotic asphyxiation for another time.

CANCER  Jun 21-Jul 22
Every relationship has problems, and you are hitting a perfect storm. This will pass. Single or coupled, think hard about the necessary work that goes into a good partnership.

LEO  Jul 23-Aug 22

When you hit the wall, don’t bang your head against it. Life is more like a labyrinth than a racetrack. Take strategic turns, sometimes seeming to go backward. Breathe. Think. Adapt.

VIRGO  Aug 23-Sep 22

You can make fun look like hard work, but if you find hard work to be fun, be as productive and creative as you like. Remember: Geeks and nerds rule the world while partiers fall by the wayside.

LIBRA  Sep 23-Oct 22

Uncover family secrets if you can stand the shock. Don’t mind upsetting some folks on the way. Interview your oldest relatives — preferably the outcasts — if you want the dirt.

SCORPIO  Oct 23-Nov 21

You sound harsher than you intend. Write before you speak. Even when you want to blast the stupidity out of some obstructive bubblehead, organize your thoughts on paper first.

Jack Fertig can be reached at 415-864-8302 or Starjack.com

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 10, 2010.

—  Michael Stephens