Canasta for a good cause, this Sunday at Tony’s Corner Pocket

The American novelist Mary McCarthy once quipped that Canasta has the advantage of “doing away with the bother of talk after dinner.” But the classic Uruguayan card came popular among the aged and experiencing a rebirth among hipsters has much more to offer. While Canasta may not have the high-stakes glamor of Baccarat, or the back-room luridness of Poker it harkens back to the halcyon days of the 1950′s when it was first introduced to the United States, with smartly dressed men and more smartly dressed cocktails. It’s that paen for a more stylish age that has caused this once nigh-forgotten game to experience a rebirth of late.

If you’ve caught the Canasta bug there’s an opportunity this Sunday, Feb. 12, to indulge in all the melds your heart can muster at Tony’s Corner Pocket  (817 West Dallas). Brunch and registration start at noon with “Pick a Partner” at 12:30. Then at 1 pm single elimination tournament play kicks off. Canasta is played with teams of two, but don’t worry if you don’t have a partner to come with you. Single players are welcomed. Registration is $10, with half of the proceeds going to the tournament winners and the other half benefiting Montrose Grace Place, a non-profit helping homeless youth.

Register early by e-mailing houstonglbtcanasta@yahoogroups.com

—  admin

Show vs. Show

In this installment of Show vs. Show, we take a look at two bands both welcome at any party. It’s the battle of young and not-so-young as The B-52s bring out their campy tunes and CSS turn on their Brazilian beats for Dallas audiences.

Despite a healthy discography, we might always know The B-52s for “Love Shack,” but there are worse tunes on which to hang a legacy. Now a classic party anthem, the song has held up for more than 20 years.

The band’s talent shouldn’t be overlooked for its camp factor. When the late Ricky Wilson threw down that riff for “Rock Lobster,” he made music history with a strong sound. It’s easy to blow off, but over the years, has proven unforgettable. Guitarist Keith Strickland stepped in and filled those shoes with the perfect blend of musicality and whimsy.

Cindy Wilson and Kate Pierson always keep our attention with their mod outfits and high-to-heaven ’dos, but Fred Schneider symbolizes the band most with his outrageous flair.

But don’t count out CSS for party ’peal. The Brazilian popsters may be the heirs apparent to The B-52s (if not LMFAO), infusing a comic touch on their songs. They don’t offer as much of a punchline as The Bs do, but with tunes like “Let’s Reggae All Night” and “City Grrrl,” they add their own panache. Another point in their corner is opening dance band and performance artists MEN, led by lesbian JD Samson.
This should be more like Party vs. Party. All that’s missing are the party favors, confetti and punch bowl.

— Rich Lopez

Artist: The B-52s

Concert-2

The B52's

 

Known mostly for… being the premiere party rock band veterans, churning out hits “Rock Lobster,” “Love Shack” and “Roam.”

Good for the gays? As gay as it can get. Their camp factor is off the charts.  And of course, there’s queer singer Fred Schneider.

What to wear? Anything but beige or gray. And lots of hairspray.

Relevance: The B-52s haven’t delivered big since 1989’s Cosmic Thing, but their songs are timeless fun.

Reason to be there: This is one resilient band that wholeheartedly still delivers. And how awesome is “Love Shack” going to sound live?

Reason to not: It’s in Frisco.

Deets: Dr. Pepper Arena, 2601 Avenue of the Stars, Frisco. Nov. 3
at 7:30 p.m. $27–$77. Ticketmaster.com.

Artist: CSS

Concert-1

CSS


Known mostly for… their Brazilian dance pop. Hipsters party out to this band
that wants nothing more than to have a good time.

Good for the gays? With openers MEN, both are queer-centric with refreshing
but catchy tunes.

What to wear? Ironic T-shirts and colorful Converse Chuck Taylors.

Relevance: Their latest album, La Liberacion, strikes an unusual dance chord that’s also infectious and irreverent.

Reason to be there: While CSS has a strong fan base, they are still off the gaydar. You can be the one to tell all your friends about them.

Reason to not: With this one-two punch of catchy alterna-pop, there really isn’t a reason not to be there.

Deets: With MEN. House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St. Oct. 28
at 8 p.m. $18–$20. HouseOfBlues.com.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 28, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

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

TBRU XVI: With TBRU and SXSW going on, we did a little wondering if they were combined

I took advantage of the very little time I had on my hands today to ponder the weekend. While I have credentials waiting for me to catch the Perez Hilton showcase at South By Southwest in Austin, I also feel inclined to stick around here to cover Texas Bear Round Up XVI. What to do? But then I started thinking, what if these two had a baby and merged into some big music bearfest ( preferably right here in town)? What bands would play? Heck, most of the indie bands at South By are grizzled, bearded gents minus the girth, so half the battle is done.

Yes, this is how I think — and subsequently, this is what I came up with.

Grizzly Bear — Yes, it’s obvious, but you can’t go far with stumbling onto a band nowadays without the word “bear” in it. Trust me. But GB seems to be the only one with gay members and lyrics geared toward the gay ear. Loving!

The Growlers — This California band is performing at SXSW but we think a certain app would be more than happy to sponsor this show. Besides, how can you not love some good surf rock, especially if it’s titled “Gay Thoughts.”

More after the jump.

—  Rich Lopez

WATCH: Big Freedia at NX35 Conferette

Big Freedia

So you might think Lady Gaga’s mini-gig Sunday night at Round-Up and S4 was the gayest show of the weekend, but sissy bounce superstar Big Freedia likely gives her a run for her money, albeit with bearded hipsters instead of club-going gays. The Denton conferette is North Texas’ answer to SXSW and they outdid themselves this year with a packed lineup including the likes of higher profile names like Mavis Staples, !!! and, yes, Big Freedia. And a few locals as well.

After the jump are three vids posted of Big Freedia’s performance, which isn’t much different than the vid I took of his show back in December.

—  Rich Lopez

When you’re a Jett

Queer rocker Joan and radio gadfly Jack weren’t separated at birth, but they still have a lot in common

We thought it weirdly coincidental that local radio guy Jack E. Jett and rocker Joan Jett had so much in common: Just look at the spelling of their odd, shared last name. They don’t look like twins, but might they have been siblings?

No, don’t be dumb. But we did come up with a few striking comparisons.

This has been a big year for Joan. She was back in the spotlight after the indie film The Runaways depicted the history of her first band (and hinted at lesbian overtones). Timed with its release in spring, she dropped an impressive greatest hits album including Runaways material, solo work and of course, with the Blackhearts.

Joan may always be known best for “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” from 1982. That’s OK, because we can still jam to that song as well as “Bad Reputation,” “Do You Wanna Touch Me” and “A.C.D.C”

Jack Jett never fails to rock us in his own way. He’s made a comeback as well with two radio shows … not bad for someone who got jacked (no pun intended) around earlier this year by Clear Channel: Just when he was set to start his CNN radio show, the plug was pulled.

Resilient as ever, Jack has come back pulling double duty on Internet radio. He hosts ilume-A-Nation on Tuesdays with what he calls “campy music for boomers and hipsters.” And he’s brought back The Jack E. Jett Show Thursdays, co-hosting with Sly’s mom, Jackie Stallone.

With such shared longevity, we knew there was something to these two. So we delved.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition July 02, 2010.

—  Kevin Thomas

Puff pasties

Patti Le Plae Safe works a whole new angle in burlesque

RICH LOPEZ | Staff Writer lopez@dallasvoice.com

VIVA DALLAS BURLESQUE
Lakewood Theater, 1825 Abrams Parkway. July 2.
Doors at 8 p.m. $20.
PinCurlMag.com/events.
…………………………………….


Patti Le Plae Safe

STRIPPED DOWN | Patti Le Plae Safe adds to her resume as the new host of Viva Dallas Burlesque.


Over the years, Patti Le Plae Safe has probably worn every shade of gown and makeup known to man — or woman. Come July 2, the local glam queen will wear one shade you might not have seen her in. Let’s just call it a fleshier tone.

“My first performance is a strip number and I’m gonna play with the audience big time,” she says. “I’m gonna strip down and once the last final piece is off, they might be surprised!”

That surprise will come from the not-that-really-gay show Viva Dallas Burlesque. Tapped to be the show’s new mistress of ceremonies, Le Plae Safe will be working with an entirely different audience.

She’s not concerned. In recent years, burlesque has transcended the seediness of stripper poles and lap dances into a cool retro pastime. Le Plae Safe is actually looking forward to the “Harley honeys and their husbands” in the audience, along with the hipsters and growing gay audience.

“This won’t be a wrong crowd for me to work with,” she says. “I always like to play and go off the good energy from them. Plus, it’s not just a straight crowd.”

But how does a drag queen get to host a show dominated by the sex appeal of women?

“I M.C. GayBingo every month at the Rose Room, and the owners of Viva and the Lakewood happened to be in the audience,” she explains. “They came up to me and said I’d be the best M.C. for them.”

Taken aback by their assertion, she approached with caution. Other than a vague idea of what burlesque was, she didn’t know what to expect. While entertained by the spectacle, she saw a relation between drag and burlesque: the makeup, the costumes and the performance. Le Plae Safe signed on.

“It is different in nature but it’s still a show,” she says. “We create this illusion on stage for an audience who wants a fantasy. It’s also very different. We don’t have these shows in our bars.”

Along with her regular hosting duties at GayBingo, she is the new monthly host for Viva Dallas Burlesque bringing a slightly different flavor to the erotica dance scene which has welcomed her with open arms.

“Each one of entertainers has been excited and opened the door with warmth and love. This really is a new adventure for my career that I never thought I’d be a part of.”

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition June 25, 2010.

—  Dallasvoice