Lady Go-Go

Guitar chick Jane Wiedlin and the rest of the Go-Go’s are back — although they claim they were never really gone

SHE’S GOT THE BEAT | Go-Go’s guitarist Jane Wiedlin stays away from gender labels, but still fights for gay rights.

RICH LOPEZ  | Staff Writer
lopez@dallasvoice.com

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THE GO-GO’S
With Girl in a Coma. House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St. Aug. 26 at 9 p.m. $40–$75.
HouseOfBlues.com.

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Nothing makes you feel older than an album from your youth celebrating a milestone anniversary. Nothing! Those defining tunes as you came of age may be timeless, but it’s a reminder that you aren’t.

As the seminal ‘80s band the Go-Go’s celebrates three decades since Beauty and the Beat, time seems to have hardly touched guitarist Jane Wiedlin. With her little girl voice and sassy wit, Wiedlin has kept the same spunk she had when the iconic girl group burst onto the scene.

“In some ways it feels like three years ago and other ways, like 300 years ago,” she says.

Wiedlin wants to make one thing clear: The concert she and her bandmates will give this weekend is not part of a reunion tour — there’s nothing to reunite. Rather, the Go-Go’s just aren’t “a very active band” who have taken “a big chunk of time off.”

Whether or not she’s kidding, the tour has injected the band with a vigor that they’ll put on display Friday at the House of Blues. Dallas thought they might get a nostalgic taste of the band when they were set to perform last year. But Wiedlin unintentionally derailed that.

“It was the day after my birthday and a few of us decided to take a midnight hike up to the top of this hill,” she explains. “We wanted to have this epic light saber battle. But as we walked home, I literally fell right off a cliff. I heard my knees explode; I was rolling through poison oak! I went and found the cliff and I had fallen about 15 feet.”

Such an anecdote reveals several things about Wiedlin: She’s an admitted Star Wars geek, and she’s the adventurous type. She has a limp now, but otherwise, she’s back in the game. The time off gave her some time for introspection — about touring in the early days, the fun the ladies had on the road and the experience of putting those shows together. Even with the ups-and-downs of the band, she thought everyone was having the best time possible — why not again?

“You know, I get sucked into the minutiae of being onstage, but it’s extraordinary,” she says with little gasps. “Our intention is to make this tour the most fun we’ve had in decades, which will make it fun for other people.”

Which seems like a given with such musical faves like “We Got the Beat,” “Vacation” and “Head Over Heels.”  But is new music in sight for the band that never really broke up? Wiedlin and the gang aren’t ruling it out.

“It looks possible to record together, even though we don’t have to have a major label,” she says. “That used to be such a big deal to make music, but now with the web, it’s very DIY. Like getting back to those  ‘70s punk rock days. Charlotte [Caffey] and Kathy [Valentine] just wrote a new song for the band.”

Wiedlin gives the impression that she can’t sit still, whether she’s a star in the comic book Lady Robotica, partaking in her admission that she’s a BDSM perv or acting in indie films, Wiedlin’s voice suggests she may never stop working — whatever the work may be.

“I’m working all the time. I just wrote and directed my first sci-fi movie, The Pyrex Glitch,” she says. “That’s on the film fest circuit. Hopefully people will find it as funny as I do. But we’re all really busy. Belinda [Carlisle] has her jewelry and textile company and Gina [Schock] is been writing songs for Miley Cyrus. Everybody is still so active even though we’re old.”

Wiedlin has discussed her bisexuality, although she prefers to stay away from labels. In an interview with AfterEllen.com, she told the site she’s had sex with both sexes, but that “bisexuality is such a loaded term.” But she loves her gays and as Prop 8 played out in California, she experienced both the joy of gaining equality and the disappointment of marriage privileges being taken away.

“For a few months in the summer of 2008, we got equal rights,” she says. “I wanted to be part of that celebration! But then Prop 8 happened and I’ve been fighting it ever since. I became an ordained minister to marry same-sex couples. I’ll go anywhere to do that so people can be together as they should be. Oh, and as a disclaimer, I’m completely non-religious.”

Her focus is now on the tour and even with her bum knees, she laughs off any obstacle that would keep her from enjoying giving a good show. And while the audience will hear Go-Go’s hits and perhaps even Carlisle’s, don’t be so sure on hearing Wiedlin’s one-hit wonder song “Rush Hour.” The pop confection made a top 10 splash back in 1988. In fact, she’s almost betting on it.

“You know, that song has been a thorn in my side,” she chuckles. “It is so hard to play live because it has like millions of synths in it. I’ve never been able to crack it to make it sound good, but I’d love to hear Belinda sing it.”

We’d go for that.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 26, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

Singer Wynter Gordon to appear at Union Jack

Up and coming dance diva Wynter Gordon announced an appearance this Saturday at Union Jack for a couple of reasons. This is the final weekend of the store’s 40th Anniversary month, and she’ll be appearing later that night at the House of Blues’ Cambridge Room with Patrick Stump and John West. Clearly a win-win sitch.

The singer, who currently has the single “‘Til Death,” will be signing autographs and CDs of her newest release With the Music I Die. She has a thing for death apparently. You could also win tickets to the show!

She’ll appear at Union Jack, 3920 Cedar Springs Road, from 2–4 p.m.

 

 

—  Rich Lopez

WATCH: Jane Doe at House of Blues on Saturday

I have to say that I was pretty shocked by the turnout at House of Blues Saturday night for Deborah Vial’s CD release. I knew she had a local following, but one that crowded both the floor and the balcony was beyond me. But the crowd wasn’t just there for her. They were also holding out for the reunion performance of Jane Doe who opened the night for Vial. In fine form, the band rocked and rolled as if 15 years never passed with them apart. Their exuberance stuck with them even after their performance.

“Oh my gosh, being on stage was like tasting the best food ever, bassist Susan Carson said. “It was so great to be up there!”

In this video, drummer Vicci Stewart pretty much kills with her elongated drum solo. Check it.

—  Rich Lopez

Weekly Best Bets • 08.19.11

Saturday 08.20

Homecoming queenVial
This week’s cover story focuses on the reunion of Jane Doe, but let’s not forget that it’s a big night for Deborah Vial too. The singer returns to Dallas to host the CD release of Stages and Stones. It’s gonna be like a vintage night out at Sue Ellen’s in the ’90s but like huge. Yeah. They’re even playing the big room at HOB.

DEETS: House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St.
7:30 p.m. $10. HouseOfBlues.com.

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Wednesday 08.24

‘Green’ screen
In The Green, Michael and David have the ideal suburban life in Connecticut. But an accusation turns their world around and Michael has to defend himself against suspicious coworkers and even his partner’s doubts. Q Cinema’s Fall Film Series returns with this drama starting Jason Butler Harner and Glee’s Cheyenne Jackson.

DEETS: Four Day Weekend Theater,
312 Houston St., Fort Worth. 8 p.m. $10.
QCinema.org

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Thursday 08.25

THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELED.

How’s this for a cast party?
WaterTower Theatre hosts a launch party for its WTT Pride series of three shows geared to LGBT theater fans. Theater, dancing, cocktails and disco? Will wonders never cease?

DEETS: Station 4, 3911 Cedar Springs Road. 9 p.m.
Email GPatterson@WaterTowerTheatre.org or call 972-450-6227.

 

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition
August 19, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

Concert Notice: Erasure at House of Blues

What’s been going on with Erasure lately? As it turns out, they announced their new Tomorrow’s World and their North American fall tour on their website Monday. Read the whole announcement here.

The Dallas show is scheduled for Sept. 25 at the House of Blues. But ticket sales started today at 10 a.m.

—  Rich Lopez

WATCH: Uh Huh Her at House of Blues

I was sad to not have made it out to the Uh Huh Her show this past Monday at the House of Blues — especially after talking to Camila Grey, half of the duo for last week’s ish. She and Leisha Hailey (from The L Word) came to town after a four-day stint in Austin at SXSW, but looks like they drew a decent crowd at Cambridge Room inside HOB. Just watch out for the vertigo-inducing sideways turn the video takes.

The band also debuted their new video today for their newest single “Black and Blue” on RollingStone.com, which also the title track to their current EP. Minimalistic video, but I’ve been digging the song. And who know Leisha could rock out? Watch it after the jump.

—  Rich Lopez

Have a heavy metal holiday with Halford at House of Blues

Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford makes one stop in Dallas

Last year, some of us (OK, one of us) were excited about Rob Halford’s eponymous-named band releasing a holiday album. Metal and Christmas? And with the lead singer from Judas Priest? It was gonna be awesome. But since then, Halford has released the album, Made for Metal, and the tour makes one stop in the whole state of Texas — and it’s here. The band stops at House of Blues tonight with Philm supporting. We’re hoping since it is December, the gay metal icon will whip out some Christmas carols as only he can. At the very least, we know he should be rocking the leather daddy look. We’re hoping anyway.

DEETS: House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St. 8 p.m. $20–$35. HouseOfBlues.com.

—  Rich Lopez

Concert Notice: Missed Lady Gaga? Check out tribute band Rad Bromance at House of Blues

Normally, we might see tribute bands for artists in heavy rotation on classic rock or oldies stations, not pop stars only into their second album. The guys of Rad Bromance took it upon themselves to turn Lady Gaga into a rock ‘n’ roll experience. And they come to town in December.

Billed as the No. 1 all-male Gaga tribute band, I kinda figure they are the only all-male Gaga tribute band. Unless you count these guys.

They play at the House of Blues’ Cambridge Room Dec. 27 at 9 p.m. Tickets “are $15,” but according to the LiveNation site, there is a $7.80 tax and fee add-on.

Check out their “Poker Face” below with its pretty brilliant opener. The rest — I’m still deciding on.

—  Rich Lopez

Amy Hanaialii Gilliom and Deborah Vial at HOB tonight

Vial brings a taste of Hawaii to town

Former Dallasite Deborah Vial is going to do her best to introduce local peeps to her discovery of Hawaiian music — especially that of vocalist Amy Hanaialii Gilliom. She plans to add it to the quirky Texas/Hawaii connection she’s found ever since she moving to the Aloha state.

“I can’t go to a dinner party without running into former Dallas peeps,” she says. “It’s a weird connection — particularly gay men. And all of us gay folks over here love Amy.”

After Aug. 20, maybe a few here will too.


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

—  Rich Lopez

Cyndi Lauper with David Rhodes at HOB Aug. 11

Cyndi Lauper, House of Blues, Dallas, Memphis Blues

Cyndi Lauper, House of Blues, Dallas, Memphis Blues

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Signing a fan's 45 record.

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Cyndi Lauper, House of Blues, Dallas, Memphis Blues
Cyndi Lauper, House of Blues, Dallas, Memphis Blues
Cyndi Lauper, House of Blues, Dallas, Memphis Blues
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Cyndi Lauper, House of Blues, Dallas, Memphis Blues
Cyndi Lauper, House of Blues, Dallas, Memphis Blues
Cyndi Lauper, House of Blues, Dallas, Memphis Blues
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Cyndi Lauper, House of Blues, Dallas, Memphis Blues
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Cyndi Lauper, House of Blues, Dallas, Memphis Blues
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Cyndi Lauper, House of Blues, Dallas, Memphis Blues
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Cyndi Lauper, House of Blues, Dallas, Memphis Blues
Cyndi Lauper, House of Blues, Dallas, Memphis Blues
Cyndi Lauper, House of Blues, Dallas, Memphis Blues
Cyndi Lauper, House of Blues, Dallas, Memphis Blues
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Nonstop balcony action.

Cyndi Lauper, House of Blues, Dallas, Memphis Blues
Cyndi Lauper, House of Blues, Dallas, Memphis Blues
Cyndi Lauper, House of Blues, Dallas, Memphis Blues
Cyndi Lauper, House of Blues, Dallas, Memphis Blues
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Cyndi Lauper, House of Blues, Dallas, Memphis Blues
Encore performing ‘True Colors.’

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Cyndi Lauper, House of Blues, Dallas, Memphis Blues

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Exiting the show.
Cyndi Lauper, House of Blues, Dallas, Memphis Blues
Opener David Rhodes.
Cyndi Lauper, House of Blues, Dallas, Memphis Blues
Teresa and Lori met Lauper backstage during the sound check.

—  Rich Lopez