Best bets • 06.17.11

Friday 06.17

No catfights over these outfits
Being a bridesmaid is a thankless job, as the ladies know in Five Women Wearing the Same Dress. The Alan Ball (American Beauty, True Blood) play shows irreverence toward the custom as the ladies hide away from their duties and begin to bond over their experience in lamé.

DEETS: Contemporary Theatre of Dallas, 5601 Sears St. 8 p.m. Through July 10. $27–$32. ContemporaryTheatreOfDallas.com.

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Friday 06.17

Pop in to the pop-up for DIFFA
Designer Showhouse Sale literally pops up a store in the Design District for high-end bargains for the home. But Friday, a portion of the sales will benefit DIFFA Dallas. Now that’s a good deal.

DEETS: Design District, 1525 Dragon St. Through June 30. 9 a.m. DesignerShowhouseSale.com.

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Saturday 06.18

Handler? We hardly know her
Seems like it was just yesterday Chelsea Handler graced these parts back in April 2010. This time, she’s touting her new book, Lies Chelsea Handler Told Me, with a tour by the same name. But really, who can get enough of the lady?

DEETS: Verizon Theater, 1001 Performance Place, Grand Prairie. 8 p.m. $59–$69.
Ticketmaster.com.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition June 17, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

Skate the night away

It’s been a while since LGBTs would trek out every week to Grand Prairie to Forum Roller World for gay skate night, a hit with the community that eventually fizzled away. Never fully deterred, though, Don Blaylock — who used to DJ the event — decided it’s time to bring it back.

“People loved it before,” he says. “I thought it would be great to bring back and have something for people to do.”

Blaylock says that interest had already been brewing when he started handing out flyers on the street.

“The response has been so positive,” he says. “There is an unbelievable interest in it.”

Just don’t expect to find info about it online. Blaylock is old-school and doesn’t do things on “the computer” too much. (Advice to Mr. Blaylock: Facebook is so much easier.)

“I’m just doing it by good ol’ word of mouth,” he laughs. “I’m stuck in the ’70s.”

Skate night won’t be the same as before in two ways. First, Blaylock is not returning to the DJ booth. Instead, he’s in talks with the rink DJ to play tunes that will work for the fabulous crowd as well as for the regular weekend skaters.

Second, it’s going from a weekly event to monthly. Figuring that overexposure may have contributed to waning interest the first time, skate night will be every third Saturday of the month, but this first one will be Friday.

“I just wanted to get it going and began planning it before I thought about it too long,” he says.

Skate nights will begin at a meeting place for a quick energy-boosting nosh, then skaters will roll off to InterSkate Roller Rink in Lewisville. For now the cost will be the admission fee at InterSkate and people can bring their own wheels.

—Rich Lopez

Gay Skate Night, June 17. Meet at Hunky’s, 3940 Cedar Springs Road, at 6:30 p.m., then InterSkate Roller Rink, 1408 S. Highway 121, Lewisville at 8:30 p.m. $3. InterSkate.net. 214-207-7430

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition June 17, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

Ricky Martin tonight at Verizon Theatre

La vida out and proud

Not only did Ricky Martin come out in one of the most eloquent ways ever, he took to using his celebrity in advocating for LGBT rights. That only made him sexier than he already is. As if he needed to add to his hotness, he’s been baring a whole lot more skin lately — and we likey.

DEETS: Verizon Theatre, 1001 Performance Place., Grand Prairie  8 p.m. $40–$126. Ticketmaster.com.

—  Rich Lopez

Concert Notice: Kylie Minogue at Verizon in May

Kylie Minogue has been plugging her non-North American tour mostly, but she’s finally announced the U.S. leg of her tour with one stop in Dallas. OK, Grand Prairie to be exact. Pre-sale tix for the U.S. leg go on sale to the public Jan. 22. Her North American dates will be presented by Logo TV, so this could be the gayest concert of the year — so far.

“The reaction to Aphrodite has been absolutely incredible and has inspired me and my creative team to develop a new show that will take all of us on a euphoric journey of joy, excitement and glamour.  I can’t wait to get on the road and see all my fans in 2011,” said Minogue.

Euphoric? Whoa.

—  Rich Lopez

Gay blogs reveal Clay Aiken has a new beau right here in Dallas

Celebgalz.com

What is it with pop stars and Dallas men? George Michael started the trend with his tolerant beau Ken Goss, Then we find out that Lance Bass is dating someone originally from Dallas. Over the past few days, the gay gossip blogs have been buzzing about local actor Jeff Walters and his celeb boyfriend Clay Aiken. After we found that out, his appearance in the audience at Theatre 3′s Drowsy Chaperone all started to make sense.

Perez Hilton posted this clip about the two’s appearances in town, which included stops at Pinkberry, Gaylord Texan and Borders. Aiken also took in Ohlook’s production of The Rocky Horror Show where Walters played the title character. And then it came out that Walter is an underwear model. Hot. Then it came out Walters had sexy pics on Grindr. Extra hot.

Colleague Chance sent me this TwitPic of Aiken at Theatre 3. Initially we thought “that’s random.” Come to find out, Aiken was doing so much more here.

Oh, and Aiken’s tour stops in Grand Prairie at Verizon Theatre on March 8. In case you were more interested in his music than his love life.

—  Rich Lopez

Query • 12.24.10

Have you done any special giving project for the holidays?

Ivana Tramp Gomez — “Following a tradition my late uncle started in the 1980s, I try as often as I can to drive around downtown Dallas handing out jackets that I have collected from family and friends to homeless people.”

Cindy Noble Cole — “Gathered coats for the 24 Hour Club, a wonderful rehab/home for alcoholics and drug addicts. Also my daughter’s job sponsored a military family this Christmas — a single father with a 13-year-old son.”

Ty Larson — “Every year, my family goes to all of our friends and collects clothing, toys and food for families in need in Grand Prairie, where my mother works as a kindergarten teacher.”

Jason A Walker  — “The husband of a teacher at the school where I work is dying of lung cancer. They had no Christmas decorations up and she didn’t have time or energy to put them out. I got a group of students together and we went to their home and put their decorations out for them.”

Have a suggestion for a question you’d like us to ask?
E-mail it to nash@dallasvoice.com.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 24, 2010.

—  Kevin Thomas

If you heard gunshots in the area of Cedar Springs and Kings Road on Sunday morning …

James Huffer Jr.

… It’s because the gentleman shown here, James Huffer Jr., was allegedly chasing his girlfriend around an apartment complex at 4600 Cedar Springs, firing a gun out the window of his vehicle at about 4:30 a.m. But what happened next is even more unusual. After being handcuffed by police and placed in the back of a patrol car, Huffer somehow managed to get his hands around to the front of his body and hop in the driver’s seat. Then he took off in the patrol car, evading police as he hopped on Stemmons Freeway, Highway 183 west, then Highway 360 South, before ditching the car near Avenue H in Arlington. As of this morning, he was still at large. From DPD:

Dallas and Arlington officers are actively searching for suspect Huffer. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to contact a local police department at once. It is likely he is still handcuffed. Crime Stoppers is also offering a reward for information leading to his arrest and indictment. The Crime Stoppers number is 214-373-8477.  A photograph of suspect Huffer will follow this announcement. He is a white male, 6 feet tall and approximately 170 pounds. He has blue eyes and brown hair. He is believed to have acquaintances in the Arlington and Grand Prairie area. Suspect Huffer is likely to face a variety of charges including Escape, Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle, and family violence Assault.

—  John Wright

Jonsi jonesing

Sigur Ros frontman says the band endures despite his new solo CD

FANCY JONSI    Sigur Ros’ gay frontman Jonsi takes his solo act on the road. (Photo Eve Vermandel)
FANCY JONSI Sigur Ros’ gay frontman Jonsi takes his solo act on the road. (Photo Eve Vermandel)

JONSI
Verizon Theatre, 1001 NextStage Drive, Grand Prairie.
Oct. 25. 8 p.m. $32–$38.
972-854-505

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As the openly gay frontman of groundbreaking Icelandic band Sigur Rós, Jón Thor Birgisson — who goes by Jónsi (pronounced Yónsi) — provided warmth and an ethereal quality to the band’s already atmospheric and lushly chilly songs. In fact, it’s hard to imagine what Sigur Rós would sound like absent Jónsi.

But on Go, Jónsi’s solo debut disc, we get the chance to hear him without his longtime band. His primary collaborator, openly gay orchestral pop artist

Nico Muhly, assists Jónsi in giving the album a fresh and original style. Alternately wildly rhythmic and sumptuous, Go offers Jónsi room to stretch in new and exciting directions. His fans would be wise to follow — which they can to Verizon Theatre on Monday. Now go!

— Gregg Shapiro

Dallas Voice: Congratulations on the release of your new solo album. How does it feel? Jonsi: It feels really good. I’m really happy with it. I’m really happy how it turned out.

What do you say to people who might be concerned that the release of a solo disc by you might be interpreted as the end of Sigur Rós? I’m going to be touring my solo album this year and I’m going to keep on working in Sigur Rós, writing and recording songs. Hopefully there’s going to be a new Sigur Rós album in 2011.

There is a radiant effervescence to some of the songs on Go, such as “Go Do,” “Animal Arithmetic” and “Around Us.” Is that a reflection of your state of mind at the time? Yeah, I think so — definitely. I wanted to push these songs in any way possible. “Go Do,” for example was written on ukulele, which sounds kind of weird when I listen to it now. There are so many layers on the song, so many instruments. I think I was pushing for more and more stuff to put on the songs. I wanted them to be energetic.

There’s definitely a powerful energy in those songs. “Around Us” and “Grow Till Tall” both contain references to growth and growing “till tall.” What’s the connection between the two songs? I don’t know why “grow” appears in so many songs. I think it appears in three lyrics on the album, actually. It’s probably about somebody growing.

Do you think it could be a reflection of your own personal and creative growth? Yeah, it could be, actually. I’m kind of taking a big step by myself by releasing this solo album and finally releasing these songs by myself. I’ve been creating for many, many years.

Are you referring to the passion fruit lilikoi in the song “Boy Lilikoi”? Or is it something else? Yeah! Ha!

Is lilikoi something that you like to eat? Maybe it has a different meaning. Maybe it’s about nature and living in the wild and dreams. Maybe meeting some young boy out in the forest.

You collaborated with your partner, Alex Somers, on the album Go as well as before. How does being in a relationship effect creative collaboration? It’s actually quite healthy. I like it. Alex is this amazing person who really inspires me. We have kind of the same taste in everything, like music, movies and books and clothes and food; nearly everything. We fit well together. It’s really good for me. We support each other and help each other with songwriting.

He helped me choose the songs for this album and produced the album with me. So, yeah, it’s really good.

What happens when you disagree on things? We just bicker a little bit and try to convince each other that you are right. But then somebody just gives in in the end.

If you hadn’t teamed up with Nico Muhly, how different do you think the experience of making Go would have been for you? It would be definitely different. It wouldn’t have so much stuff on it. I think Nico definitely added a lot of atmosphere and colors and playfulness and life to the album, which I’m really happy about. It’s what I wanted it to be and that’s exactly what I wanted him to do. I really love his arrangements and I’m really happy with him.

The woman-focused Lilith Fair was revived this past summer. A number of years ago, there was talk of a gay version of Lilith with Pet Shop Boys, Soft Cell, Rufus Wainwright and Magnetic Fields. If they were to try to revive it, is that something in which you might be interested in participating? Yeah, maybe. That sounds really cool, actually.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 22, 2010

—  Kevin Thomas

10th Lone Star Ride Fighting AIDS comes to a successful conclusion … even if I didn’t

David Taffet’s knee was bandaged up on Monday after his wipeout on Sunday during the Lone Star Ride. To view some much prettier photos from the ride, go here.

On Saturday morning, Lone Star Riders were on their bikes about to take off when the event was postponed for three hours because of rain. The rain didn’t let up and the first day’s ride of the 10th annual Lone Star Ride was eventually canceled completely.

Some thought it was the best thing that could have happened because it gave riders and crew plenty of time to get to know one another.

Day 2 was perfect riding weather. Cool, overcast in the morning and sunny for closing ceremonies.

Two ride options were available for the 200 riders on Sunday. Some opted for the shorter 45-mile ride from the American Airlines Training Center just south of DFW Airport. The ride meandered mostly through Grand Prairie to a turning point south of I-20. The 75-mile ride, which most Lone Star Riders opted for, continued to Ovilla and back.

I wiped out at mile 18.

This was my fifth or sixth ride. I’ve never fallen on a ride. I haven’t fallen since I first took up biking for the old Tanqueray rides from Houston.

Coincidentally, I was about to have the bike techs in the next pit stop check my brakes. The back brake didn’t seem to be holding right. Maybe it was from all the rain. I was, after all, stubborn and went out riding in the rain by myself on Saturday. Anyhow, some riders in front of me stopped short. My front brake worked fine. I swerved to miss the others, and I went over the handlebars using my face to break the fall.

I sagged back to camp with another two riders who collided after a pothole encounter. My bike made it back just before closing ceremonies, repaired by bike techs at the pit. Thanks guys! Even though I was in pain and mortified, I got to ride in with everyone for the closing ceremonies.

Closing ceremonies were moving as always. Valerie Holloway Skinner read her traditional ride poem. Jonathan Palant conducted the Turtle Creek Chorale. As the riderless bike was wheeled to the stage, Chorale member and Poz Pedaler Jim Frederick read a tribute to remember friends and family lost to AIDS.

Tooting own horn:

Team Dallas Voice did great! We had the most team members (57) and raised the most money.

Among Team Dallas Voice members, Gary Karwacki was the #2 crew fundraiser. Greg Hoover was the #1 crew findraiser (for the second year in a row). Among riders, Team Dallas Voice member Brady Allen was the #3 fundraiser.

As of Monday morning, Team Dallas Voice had raised $54,883.80. But we’re not done yet. You can donate online by going to the Lone Star Ride home page and clicking on any participant or team. Plus, Dallas Voice is still selling raffle tickets to benefit this year’s event.

Drawing for two domestic American Airlines tickets will take place Thursday, Sept. 30 at noon. Raffle tickets are $20 and 100 percent of the proceeds goes to Lone Star Ride. And 100 percent of the money Lone Star Riders raise goes to the three beneficiaries: AIDS Services Dallas, Resource Center Dallas and AIDS Outreach Center.

If you would like a raffle ticket, stop by Dallas Voice offices, 4145 Travis St., third floor. Jesse has them at the front desk. Or call a Team Dallas Voice member to get a ticket to you. We can take cash or checks for the raffle.

Proceeds for Lone Star Ride will be distributed at Salum on Oct. 24.

And despite having left part of my face on South Robinson Road in Grand Prairie, I was the first rider to “recycle” (to sign up for next year’s ride). I’ll do the century day then.

—  David Taffet

Pick a show

This week deals out all kinds of live music. But what’s gay about ’em?

RICH LOPEZ  | Staff Writer lopez@dallasvoice.com

THREE OF A KIND Green Day, left, Sheryl Crow, center, and Chromeo are just a few of this week’s concert offerings.

As if dueling Billy Idol and Kenny G concerts weren’t enough — not to mention the residual bloodbath therefrom — this week in music is all over the place. From rock turned Broadway punks to a local lesbian favorite, pretty much everything is covered.

Here is some lowdown on this week’s concert calendar and why might the gays head out to see. At the very least, you can imagine any number of combinations of Show vs. Show and determine which would come out on top.

Sheryl Crow

Crow started as a mere rocker chick with a guitar but over the years transformed into one hot cougar. Her gay appeal, though, is rather lacking. She doesn’t offer much drag inspiration in either song or look, despite being gorgeous and fit. Lance Armstrong isn’t a hunky enough lover for the gays to be overly jealous of and she may have some lesbian appeal, but she’s no Melissa.

She has embraced her cougar hotness, though, and at 48, is not afraid to bust out the microminis and show off her toned legs. Still, music is what she does best.

Despite her strong lineup of hits, Crow’s gay scale is average. QQR (Queer Quotient Rating): 50 out of 100.

Verizon Theatre, 1001 Performance Place, Grand Prairie. Aug. 26 at 8 p.m. $38–$78. Ticketmaster.com.

Green Day

Sixteen years ago, the punk rock trio’s CD Dookie took the music world by storm, reminiscent of the brash Beastie Boys a decade earlier. Since then, they’ve kept a strong edge but matured into one of today’s more important bands.

So what could three punksters from Berkeley have in common with the queer community? A lot.

With their breakthrough, they hit the road with queercore band Pansy Division as the opening act. Despite Division’s newfound exposure, not all fans were fond of the gays. Green Day singer Billie Joe Armstrong took time to defend the band and at some points, even threatened not to go on if people weren’t giving Division due respect.

Green Day did the ultimate queeny step by turning the landmark 2004 album American Idiot into a Broadway musical. The show ended up with Tony nominations and the punks even performed on the 2010 telecast.

Clearly, Green Day has some good gay mojo — and a high QQR: 85.

With AFI. SuperPages.com Center, 1818 First Ave. Aug. 26 at 7 p.m. $20–$85. LiveNation.com.

Chromeo

You might call this electrofunk duo newbies to the music scene, but their 2007 release Fancy Footwork broke the sophomore album curse and put the duo on the music map. Their club-ready sound has been compared to bubbly ’80s pop, most notably Hall and Oates. And yet they make it work. They add a dash of humor to their flow with songs like “Me and My Man” and “Tenderoni.” Their appearance on Darryl Hall’s reality show, Live From Darryl’s House performing “No Can Do” is outstanding.

Not a lotta gay going on, but they’re changing the face of dance music with their electrofunk and remixes of other artists. An average QQR: 65 — but their performance with Hall should win new fans.

With Holy Ghost!, Telephoned. Palladium Ballroom, 1135 S. Lamar. Aug. 25 at 8 p.m. $30. ThePalladiumBallroom.com.

Amy Hanaialii Gilliom & Deborah Vial

Deborah Vial used to grace the local scene singing at Sue Ellen’s, but turned in her cowboy boots for grass skirts by relocating to Hawaii in 2004. She’s never forgotten her Dallas roots, though, and comes back often. This time, she’s bringing a friend.

Vial returns with Amy Hanaialii Gilliom, who has been referred to as “the voice of Hawaii” and has snagged four Grammy nominations during her career. The two have teamed up for the road and Vial is figuring Gilliom will be a hit in Dallas — or at the very least, expand audience ears to the islands of Hawaii.

Vial’s presence pretty much puts this show at a perfect QQR: 100.

House of Blues Cambridge Room, 2200 N. Lamar St. Aug. 20 at 8 p.m. $25. HouseOfBlues.com.

Battle of the Bands: The Dyke Clones and Vent

Sigh — where to begin? Open Door Productions usually books an impressive roster of lesbian musicians and comedians. This time, they offer a “Battle of the Bands” and miss the mark all over the place. Despite the title, only two bands are performing and we’re never sure what they are battling for. An audience, perhaps?

They don’t win any favor with the Dyke Clones write up. “An absolutely funny group of gals who not only lip-sync the words but also finger-sync the instruments. We’ll just describe them as musical drag queens.” Despite Open Door’s enthusiasm, this has about as much musical appeal as the Church of Christ. They are followed up by Vent, who covers the likes of Ani DiFranco and Katy Perry.  If you’re yawning by this point, you’re not alone.

For its support of lesbian talent, Open Door gets a good QQR 100 — but the show itself tanks.

Heart and Soul Coffeehouse, 4615 E. California Parkway, Fort Worth. Aug. 21 at 7:30 p.m. $7.50. OpenDoorProductionsTX.com.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 20, 2010.

—  Michael Stephens