WATCH: Marina & the Diamonds at the Granada

Thankfully one of us made it out to Marina & the Diamonds on Wednesday night. Knowing my colleague Chance would be heading out to the Granada to catch the show, I gave him a Flip cam and told him to have at it. Plus, he added his thoughts to the evening — as he does so well.

He did manage to lose the small camera case the Flip was in, so if any of you find that, we’d love to get it from ya. No telling what else fell out of his pants last night.

Chance’s take —

When I committed to going to see Marina and the Stars last night at Granada, I immediately ran to my closet to make sure my teal, skinny cutoffs were clean. Alas they were, but wouldn’t you know there ended up being another ‘mo standing right next to me at the concert in the exact same teal cutoffs. Curses!

I wasn’t über familiar with the band, so I  jumped on their YouTube Channel and spent the afternoon with them playing while I worked. Needless to say, by 5 p.m. I was hooked. By 9 p.m., I was itching for them to take the stage. Marina delivered like Domino’s, as did the Diamonds for that matter. They lived up to all my great expectations that YouTube had set for me. She had a great rapport with the audience and the sizable number of fans seemed to truly appreciate her.

The audience was great too for hipster watching. I was afraid I was going to stick out and that the Greenville Ave. Hipsters Club would be having none of me. My cutoffs and ironic glasses made me blend in just enough to leave the concert unscathed — though I was accosted by several loons at multiple points.  \But I managed to walk away with a new Facebook friend, so I can honestly say that Marina and the Diamonds not only entertained, but also brought people together as well.

—  Rich Lopez

Must see: Marina & the Diamonds, ISHI tonight at Granada Theater

Hump day dance party

We love us some Granada Theater, but even more so when they put a show like tonight’s. Billed as Girl’s Night Out, avant-popster (and cute as a button) Marina and the Diamonds (Marina Diamandis) might be one of the best acts you’ve never heard of. Before you dismiss her as the next pop star wannabe, give her debut CD The Family Jewels a special listen. Her voice isn’t your thin, overproduced product, but instead is rich and deep. Almost husky. Her videos, so far, have been these glorious visual explosions that Miss Britney should take a lesson from. Now let’s see what she can do live.

Local band ISHI is no small deal. The band has been one of Dallas’ biggest draws due to the right combination of an amazing live show and simple but nicely construction dance confections. It only gets better when they turn on the folk switch and deliver an entirely different, scaled back sound as displayed on their debut CD Through The Trees.

Dare we say it — this might even be the best thing you go to all week.

DEETS: Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave. Doors at 7 p.m. $12–$17. GranadaTheater.com

—  Rich Lopez

Sarah Jaffe and Bosque Brown tonight at the Wyly

Buzz surrounds local musician Sarah Jaffe, but she’s ready to move on

Going from playing smaller clubs like Dan’s Silverleaf and Club Dada, to selling out the Granada Theater last year, Sarah Jaffe’s star is on the rise. She gets a primo gig Saturday when she headlines at the Wyly Theatre in support of her 2010 full-length debut, Suburban Nature. After garnering attention for Nature locally and nationally (from the Dallas Observer to NPR), Jaffe wasn’t just a girl with a guitar — she unlocked yearning and pain with wisdom beyond her 25 years. Jaffe captures the poetry of life and love and sets it to music … even if she doesn’t mean to.

“I’ve never been a strategic writer and I’m thankful for that,” she says. “It comes out sporadically. There are those moment in life when I slow down and it’s just me being human and being alive and the writing is totally cathartic.”

Read the entire article here.

—  Rich Lopez

Sarah, upside down

Buzz surrounds local musician Sarah Jaffe, but she’s ready to move on

RICH LOPEZ | Staff Writer
lopez@dallasvoice.com

Going from playing smaller clubs like Dan’s Silverleaf and Club Dada, to selling out the Granada Theater last year, Sarah Jaffe’s star is on the rise. She gets a primo gig Saturday when she headlines at the Wyly Theatre in support of her 2010 full-length debut, Suburban Nature. After garnering attention for Nature locally and nationally (from the Dallas Observer to NPR), Jaffe wasn’t just a girl with a guitar — she unlocked yearning and pain with wisdom beyond her 25 years. Jaffe captures the poetry of life and love and sets it to music … even if she doesn’t mean to.

“I’ve never been a strategic writer and I’m thankful for that,” she says. “It comes out sporadically. There are those moment in life when I slow down and it’s just me being human and being alive and the writing is totally cathartic.”

Despite her ardent folk music and Joni-Mitchell-and-the-like upbringing (thank her parents), her musical affinity lies elsewhere.

“I love electronic music and I love making it. I’m obsessed with Robyn. I have this secret dream to be a choreographer because I legitimately love dancing. It makes me happy,” she gushes.

With big-time hype and attention, Jaffe is a contradiction to the ramping buzz about her work. She sounds like she wants a sensible perspective despite her self-proclaimed pessimism.

“I feel so lucky at this point. When people talk about you, it’s strange with even a small amount of success,” she says. “But there’s always some negativity. It’s a huge honor for people to recognize my work but I question myself. I’ve always been a cynic, but I guess I have a shitload to learn.”

Jaffe’s “small amount of success” has already been on the receiving end of the “is she or isn’t she” curiosity. She received accidental lesbian attention when AfterEllen.com included her in a travel destination piece on Dallas and, she surmises, the writer mistook her for Erase Errata’s Sara Jaffe. Perhaps it was a blessing in disguise — it expanded her audience base.

“I do have a large lesbian following and it’s great anywhere it comes from,” she says. “Any sort of relating that anybody can get out of music is a wonderful thing.”

She’s learned quickly it comes with the territory, but it’s awkward for her nonetheless.

“It’s weird there’s this curiosity. Sexuality is gray for me but people are gonna talk about those things,” she says. “I’ve loved men and I’ve loved women but it’s more like I relate to a human connection. None of that matters to me.”

Jaffe’s just glad to get any person to her show as well as clean her slate. Despite the success of Nature, she’s ready to move on.

“I plan on an EP release this spring. They are all demos but I think there’s a charm in it,” she says. “I’m so proud of Suburban Nature, but the songs are like six or seven years old. And I’m chomping at the bit.”

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition Feb. 11, 2011.

—  John Wright

Concert Notice: Sleigh Bells and ‘not gay’ gay band CSS come to the Granada in April

Sleigh Bells was one of the big buzz bands of last year. At first, I have to admit, I kinda hated them. That distorted loud sound pretty much drove me nuts. After being beaten into submission on many year-end lists, I could appreciate them a bit for what they were doing thanks to this one song.

CSS, however, hasn’t had a release since 2008′s Donkey. No word I can see of an album on the horizon, but who cares, their Brazilian dance-rock is fantastic fun and by the looks of their live show, I’d imagine just the same. The two bands are making their way to Dallas this spring.

Just don’t call them a gay band per se. When asked if she was by The New Gay, Luiza Sa answered: “I am gay, but that has nothing to do with our music. We’re just young people trying to make music. We don’t want to be a role model. That has nothing to do with our personal lives.” Who couldn’t applaud an honest answer like that?

CSS and Sleigh Bells play the Granada Theater April 22 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20.

—  Rich Lopez

The Dresden Dolls and Girl in a Coma play tonight at the Granada

Girls, comas and dolls — oh my

The Dresden Dolls and Girl in a Coma are perhaps one of the better musical pairings this year. At least for the gay contingent. GIAC rocks out the lesbian in all of us and The Dresden Dolls’ is a given with its dark cabaret act resurrected by Amanda Palmer and Brian Viglione, much to the delight of  the fans who thought their self-imposed hiatus would never end.

DEETS: Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave. 9 p.m. $29. GranadaTheater.com.

—  Rich Lopez

Best bets • 11.19.10

Friday 11.19

Girls, comas and dolls — oh my

The Dresden Dolls and Girl in a Coma are perhaps one of the better musical pairings this year. At least for the gay contingent. GIAC rocks out the lesbian in all of us and The Dresden Dolls’ dark cabaret act has been resurrected by Amanda Palmer and Brian Viglione, much to the delight of  the fans who thought their self-imposed hiatus would never end.

DEETS: Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave. 9 p.m. $29. GranadaTheater.com.

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Saturday 11.20

So they think they got talent

The Texas Gay Rodeo Association hosts Thanks for the Giving which shakes up your usual talent show. TGRA puts nonprofits to the test who have to put their best entertainer up to lip-sync, dance, drag or whatever for their life. Or at least for some fat cash. The winner of the contest takes it all for their agency.

DEETS: Dallas Eagle, 5740 Maple Ave. 6 p.m.
DallasTGRA.org.

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Monday 11.22

How about a pirouette for lunch

The Dallas Black Dance Theatre is going to make your lunch plans a whole lot more interesting this week. Now an annual event, the mini-series called Behind the Scenes offers noontime performances. That is something totally to be thankful for. The first two shows will offer a sneak peek at their December Winter Series. The troupe performs A Rag, A Bone and a Hank of Hair to the music of Earth Wind and Fire on Wednesday.

DEETS: Dallas Black Dance Theatre, 2700 Flora St. Noon. Free. For reservations call 214-871-2390. DBDT.com

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition November 19, 2010.

—  Michael Stephens

Kinda loving the Dandy Warhols poster for their upcoming show at The Granada Theater

The Granada Theater just put on their Facebook a contest to win this poster of The Dandy Warhols who play Saturday with Hopewell opening.

Local designer Aaron Eiland created the image and I have to say, I’m digging it. The fey wrist with a pink cuff is, well, pretty dandy.

—  Rich Lopez

WATCH: Deerhunter at Granada Theater last night

The indie band Deerhunter sounded in fine form as they performed “Revival” in this video. Bradford Cox’s vocals held up nicely in all kinds of registers. They headlined a late set with three openers last night at the Granada.

—  Rich Lopez

Out musician Bradford Cox leads Deerhunter to the Granada tonight

Bradford Cox in a dress is always a possibility

Last November, Atlas Sound was scheduled for a show at Hailey’s and then canceled. Hopefully, this won’t happen twice. Atlas Sound, aka Bradford Cox, is the gay frontman for the psychedelia-gazing punk band Deerhunter. They’ve come off their self-imposed hiatus that began in 2008 to record their fourth album, Halcyon Digest, which dropped in September. OK, that’s more a break than hiatus.

They made a splash out of Atlanta with their 2005 debut album Turn It Up Faggot — which was “an insult that Cox claimed was often thrown at the band during their gigs,” according to AllMusic — and then released the brilliant Microcastle/Weird Era Continued album two years ago.

Cox has Marfan Syndrome, which elongates his limbs making for quite an impression. At 6 feet, 4 inches, his skinny arms and legs make him look larger than life in an awkward way (and in the occasional onstage frock or dress), but that’s far from the point of Cox or Deerhunter even. As musicians, they have created some challenging and trippy music and their live show reputation borders on amazing.

Check them out at their Loft concert a year ago in the video below.

DEETS: With Best Coast (yes!), Sonny and the Sunsets and Casino Vs. Japan at the Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave . 8 p.m. $18. GranadaTheater.com.

—  Rich Lopez