Cyndi Lauper, who’ll be at HOB on Wed., talks ‘Kinky Boots,’ gay rights

Cyndi2Even before this year’s Tonys, the legendary Cyndi Lauper was already considered a champion: A champion of the Grammys. A champion of the pop charts. A champion of gay rights.

But as a teary-eyed Lauper accepted her Tony statuette for composing the music for the smash Kinky Boots (it also was named best musical of the year, and four other Tonys), the coming-of-age sensation about a drag queen and a shoemaker as unlikely business partners, she was recognized for something she had never been before: The girl who just wanted to have fun, with her apple-red hair and heavy Queens accent, is now a champion of Broadway.

Between gigs on her She’s So Unusual Tour, which opens at the House of Blues in Dallas on Wednesday, Lauper gave our Chris Azzopardi a ring recently to chat about her emotional night at the awards ceremony, freaking out rock stars with her “wildly nutty” persona and the reason she’s always stood up for her gay fans. Read the full interview below.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

AIDS Walk South Dallas plans kickoff party

2012 South Dallas AIDS Walk

AIDS Walk South Dallas holds its kickoff party on Friday, Oct. 12, in the Foundation Room at House of Blues, Community Unity Respect Education, Inc. co-founder Roseann Rosetti said.

This will be the first opportunity for walkers to register. Sponsors and vendors may also sign up, and the group is looking for volunteers.

The walk has been reorganized with C.U.R.E., a Plano-based AIDS organization, as the event organizer. Auntjuan Wiley continues as the event coordinator.

AIDS Walk South Dallas is trying to bounce back from a scandal that tarnished the event last year. The Anthony Chisom Foundation, which organized the 2012 walk, had its nonprofit status revoked and failed to release an accounting from the event or provide funds to beneficiaries.

This year, C.U.R.E. will not benefit from money collected but will grant money to AIDS organizations working in South Dallas after the walk.

Complimentary hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar will be available at the House of Blues kickoff party. A $20 donation automatically enters participants into a drawing for three hours of general housecleaning courtesy of Quantas Commercial Services.

AIDS Walk South Dallas takes place March 16 from St. Philip’s School and Community Center, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. in South Dallas near Fair Park.

Kick off Party: House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., Oct. 12. 5-8 p.m.

UPDATE: Wiley sent the following message on Oct. 19:

Due to the overwhelming response, capacity and Texas/OU Weekend, the House of Blues has requested that we reschedule the AIDS Walk South Dallas launch party. The rescheduled date will be confirmed today but it looks like it will be next Friday, Oct. 19. They are also requesting that we come up with a RSVP process to guarantee adequate space. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

— David Taffet

—  David Taffet

Trans singer Laura Jane Grace will front Against Me! Wednesday night at HOB

Last month, Rolling Stone Magazine broke the news of Against Me!’s lead singer Tom “Tommy” Gabel as beginning his transition from male to female. As described in the article, the punk rock singer had been privately dealing with gender dysphoria since childhood. Eventually becoming Laura Jane Grace, pictured, she describes her decision as necessary and a relief to the unhappiness she has felt for a long time.

The news was a bit of a shock coming from a rough and tumble punk rock world where aggressive banter and overbearing masculinity is celebrated. However, there have been many subtle, and some obvious, hints throughout Against Me!’s music. In the band’s 2007 album New Wave, the track “The Ocean” reads: If I could have chosen I would have been born a woman / My mother once told me she would have named me Laura / I would grow up to be strong and beautiful like her / One day I’d find an honest man to make my husband.

—  admin

Human Rights Campaign teams with the band fun. at tonight’s House of Blues concert

If you already have your ticket to tonight’s fun. concert at House of Blues, then you’re ahead of the game. The Human Rights Campaign has teamed with the band to spread a message of equality. You know, the usual.

Read the HRC.com post after the jump.

—  Rich Lopez

Brandi Carlile at House of Blues

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.

—  Rich Lopez

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

Bandmates tonight at Sue’s

You indie go, girls

Local duo Bandmates noted that they are playing a last minute gig tonight. With hippie flair and tunes that border on whimsy punk-folk, singer Kimberly Castrellon will win you over with her adorable allure while partner in life and music, Susan Carson will funk you up with her bass. You may have seen Carson last on the big stage with Jane Doe at House of Blues this past summer, but now she gets to chill with her latest band — and her girl.

DEETS: Sue Ellen’s, 3014 Throckmorton St. 8 p.m. SueEllens.com.

—  Rich Lopez

REVIEW: Uh Huh Her Wednesday at House of Blues’ Cambridge Room

Wednesday night, Uh Huh Her rolled back into town as part of the Keep A Breast tour. They are back on the road through October as part of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Now if only they had been aware of their sound a little more.

First, let me confess that I did not stay for the entire show. That  was due in part to Uh Huh Her’s underwhelming stage presence and sound. The band attracted a healthy crowd of young ladies screaming “I Love You” to the band. But otherwise, even the audience felt a bit tepid. A long, droning intro  that felt rather indulgent played before they took the stage. When they entered from the side of the stage, they appropriately rocked out with heavy guitar play, but it wasn’t close to the synth-pop sounds of their albums. The band was strong in musicianship, but it wasn’t the sound I expected and wasn’t sure what they were going for. Are they hard rockers now?

Even as such, Leisha Hailey and Camila Grey didn’t offer a charismatic presence. Hailey looked tired and Grey never seemed into the seven songs I stayed for. Other than their first hit, “Not a Love Song” (which I caught a snippet of on the video after the jump), all other  songs just played out. There was simply no emotional punch from the band in the first part of their show.

Since I only saw the first chunk of the show,  maybe the ladies were having an off night. I mean, they have been through a lot lately. But the show was more Nuh Huh Her, if anything.

For a slideshow of the concert, click here.

—  Rich Lopez

Uh Huh Her at House of Blues

Photos by Rich Lopez

—  Rich Lopez

Uh Huh Her tonight at Cambridge Room

L Word 2.0.

Who couldn’t love Leisha Hailey as Alice on The L Word? Adorable, smart, tenacious. Don’t expect any of that tonight as she and Camila Grey hit the stage as Uh Huh Her. The House of Blues and Keep A Breast Foundation have teamed up for this breast cancer awareness tour with UHH as the headliners. The band also tours in support of its just-released second album Nocturnes. So this isn’t just a concert, it’s a win-win for everyone with new music and raising awareness for National Breast Cancer Prevention Month.

DEETS: With Jarrod Gorbel. Cambridge Room (at House of Blues), 2200 N. Lamar St. Oct. 28 at 8 p.m. $20. HouseOfBlues.com.

—  Rich Lopez