Another view: 2012′s best music

In last week’s Year in Review edition, we ran a list of our writer Rich Lopez’s top 10 discs of 2012. Well, he’s not the only contributor who likes to write about music: Chris Azzopardi has his own ideas. And while there is some cross-over (Frank Ocean, natch), it’s interesting to see how they differ. Here, then, are Azzo’s favorite CDs of last year:

10. Cat Power, Sun. Clocking in at just under 11 minutes, “Nothin’ But Time” starts simple enough, with just piano and fuzzy static — then there’s some man chants, and Iggy Pop. On paper it’s a hot mess, but the heartfelt coming-of-age mantra (during which all things seem infinite and possible) beautifully builds into a euphoric mind-release that breezes on by. For the musical oxymoron “Ruin,” Chan Marshall’s a world traveler singing over a bouncy drum beat, chiding fussy Americans. The hallucinatory “Manhattan” drops you in the bustle of a big city, where you’re just a speck of broken dreams and memories. On “3, 6, 9” she’s so drunk that her looseness translates to the song’s rhythmic punch. And to your ears. Forever and ever.

9. Frank Ocean, Channel Orange. Can men who love men make it in the supposed anti-gay realm of hip-hop? Frank Ocean answered that question when he came out via Tumblr and topped the charts with his solo debut, rightfully earning him kudos, a rabid fan base and Grammy nominations. And it’s not just hype. Channel Orange renders his poeticism — about sex, drugs, love and longing — into progressive hip-art beats. The music, though, is only the half of it: Frank’s voice rolls over your sound holes like the “buttercream silk shirt” he sings about on “Lost,” an acid trip that will have you trying to find your way out. This is the gem, though, that’ll go down in the books: “Bad Religion,” so painfully pointed it hurts.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

The good, the bad & the ‘A-List’

These arts, cultural & sports stories defined gay Dallas in 2011

FASHIONS AND FORWARD  |  The Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit at the DMA, above, was a highlight of the arts scene in 2011, while Dirk Nowitzki’s performance in the NBA playoffs gave the Mavs their first-ever — and much deserved — world title. (Arnold Wayne Jones/Dallas Voice)

FASHIONS AND FORWARD | The Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit at the DMA, above, was a highlight of the arts scene in 2011, while Dirk Nowitzki’s performance in the NBA playoffs gave the Mavs their first-ever — and much deserved — world title. (Arnold Wayne Jones/Dallas Voice)

A lot of eyes were focused on Dallas nationally in 2011 — for good and bad — but much of what made the city a fun place last year has specific queer appeal. CULTURE The rise of the reality TV star. 2011 was the year Dallas made a big splash across everyone’s television sets — and it had nothing to do with who shot J.R. (although that’s pending). From the culinary to the conniving, queer Dallasites were big on the small screen. On the positive side were generally good portrayals of gay Texans. Leslie Ezelle almost made it all the way in The Next Design Star, while The Cake Guys’ Chad Fitzgerald is still in contention on TLC’s The Next Great Baker. Lewisville’s Ben Starr was a standout on MasterChef. On the web, Andy Stark, Debbie Forth and Brent Paxton made strides with Internet shows Bear It All, LezBeProud and The Dallas Life,respectively.

‘A’ to Z  |  ‘The A-LIst: Dallas,’ above, had its detractors, but some reality TV stars from Big D, like Chad Fitzgerald, Leslie Ezelle and Ben Starr, represented us well.

‘A’ to Z | ‘The A-LIst: Dallas,’ above, had its detractors, but some reality TV stars from Big D, like Chad Fitzgerald, Leslie Ezelle and Ben Starr, represented us well.

There were downsides, though. Drew Ginsburg served as the token gay on Bravo’s teeth-clenching Most Eligible: Dallas, and the women on Big Rich Texas seemed a bit clichéd. But none were more polarizing than the cast of Logo’s The A-List: Dallas. Whether people loved or hated it, the six 20somethings (five gays, one girl) reflected stereotypes that made people cringe. Gaultier makes Dallas his runway. The Dallas Museum of Art scored a coup, thanks to couture. The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk not only featured the work of the famed designer, but was presented the designs in an innovative manner. Nothing about it was stuffy. Seeing his iconic designs in person is almost a religious experience — especially when its Madonna’s cone bra. Gaultier reminded us that art is more than paintings on a wall. (A close runner-up: The Caravaggio exhibit in Fort Worth.) The Return of Razzle Dazzle. ­­There was speculation whether Razzle Dazzle could actually renew itself after a near-decade lull, but the five-day spectacular was a hallmark during National Pride Month in June, organized by the Cedar Springs Merchant Association. The event started slowly with the wine walk but ramped up to the main event street party headlined by rapper Cazwell. Folding in the MetroBall with Deborah Cox, the dazzle had returned with high-profile entertainment and more than 10,000 in attendance on the final night. A Gathering pulled it together. TITAS executive director Charles Santos took on the daunting task of producing A Gathering, a collective of area performance arts companies, commemorating 30 years of AIDS. Groups such as the Dallas Opera, Turtle Creek Chorale and Dallas Theater Center donated their time for this one-of-a-kind show with all proceeds benefiting Dallas’ leading AIDS services organizations. And it was worth it. A stirring night of song, dance and art culminated in an approximate 1,000 in attendance and $60,000 raised for local charities. Bravo, indeed. The Bronx closed after 35 years. Cedar Springs isn’t short on its institutions, but when it lost The Bronx, the gayborhood felt a real loss. For more than three decades, the restaurant was home to many Sunday brunches and date nights in the community. We were introduced to Stephan Pyles there, and ultimately, we just always figured on it being there as part of the fabric of the Strip. A sister company to the neighboring Warwick Melrose bought the property with rumors of expansion. But as yet, the restaurant stands steadfast in its place as a reminder of all those memories that happened within its walls and on its plates.  The Omni changed the Dallas skyline. In November, The Omni Dallas hotel opened the doors to its 23-story structure and waited to fill it’s 1,000 rooms to Dallas visitors and staycationers. Connected to the Dallas Convention Center, the ultra-modern hotel is expected to increase the city’s convention business which has the Dallas Visitors and Conventions Bureau salivating — as they should. The hotel brought modern flair to a booming Downtown and inside was no different. With quality eateries and a healthy collection of art, including some by gay artists Cathey Miller and Ted Kincaid, the Omni quickly became a go-to spot for those even from Dallas. SPORTS The Super Bowl came to town. Although seeing the Cowboys make Super Bowl XLV would have been nice for locals, the event itself caused a major stir, both good and bad. Ticketing issues caused a commotion with some disgruntled buyers and Jerry Jones got a bad rap for some disorganization surrounding the game. But the world’s eyes were on North Texas as not only the game was of a galactic measure, but the celebs were too. From Kardashians to Ke$ha to Kevin Costner, parties and concerts flooded the city and the streets. The gays even got in on the action. Despite crummy weather, the Super Street Party was billed as the “world’s first ever gay Super Bowl party.” The ice and snow had cleared out and the gays came out, (and went back in to the warmer clubs) to get their football on. The XLV Party at the Cotton Bowl included a misguided gay night with acts such as Village People, Lady Bunny and Cazwell that was ultimately canceled. The Mavericks won big. The Mavs are like the boyfriend you can’t let go of because you see how much potential there is despite his shortcomings. After making the playoffs with some just-misses, the team pulled through to win against championship rivals, Miami Heat, who beat them in 2006. In June, the team cooled the Heat in six games, taking home its first NBA Championship, with Dirk Nowitzki appropriately being named MVP. The Rangers gave us faith. Pro sports ruled big in these parts. The Mavericks got us in the mood for championships and the Texas Rangers almost pulled off a victory in the World Series. With a strong and consistent showing for the season, the Rangers went on to defend their AL West Division pennant. Hopes were high as they handily defeated the Detroit Tigers in game six, but lost the in the seventh game. Although it was a crushing loss, the Texas Rangers proved why we need to stand by our men.

— Rich Lopez

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition January 6, 2012.

—  Michael Stephens

Ke$ha at Gexa 08.04.11

 

Photos by Chuck Dube/Dallas Voice (MarceloMedia)

—  Rich Lopez

Final bets at the finale of Team DV’s P-P-P-Poker Tourney

Ante up to the table

Team Dallas Voice and Pocket Rockets Dallas are raising money for the Lone Star Ride Fighting AIDS by holding a P-P-P-Poker Tournament at clubs across town. After three weeks, the event has come to the grand prize final.

Because this is Dallas, not Vegas, the game play is free, so if you want to contribute to the LSR cause, bring cash to enter the raffle. Among the prizes available or that have been won are tickets to see Dolly Parton (we’ll resist the urge to call this one a “booby prize”), Ke$ha and Chelsea Handler,  tickets to the Texas Rangers and Lone Star Park horse races, Starbucks coffee, a set of poker chips, books, grooming supplies and much more … and the final grand prize: Two tickets on American Airlines anywhere in the contiguous U.S.

DEETS: Check out the Facebook event page here for details.

—  Rich Lopez

News: Polari, Carrie Fisher, Bernie Madoff, Ke$ha

 road The language Polari, which was once used by gays in the United Kingdom, might go the way of the dinosaurs.

K  road Billboard magazine celebrates Ke$ha's big year.

 road Carrie Fisher on the gay rumors surrounding John Travolta: "I mean, my feeling about John has always been that we know and we don’t care. Look, I’m sorry that he’s uncomfortable with it, and that’s all I can say. It only draws more attention to it when you make that kind of legal fuss. Just leave it be."

 road Tonsillitis shuts down the Glee set.

 road The attention-seeking Westboro Baptist Church picketed today's funeral of Elizabeth Edwards. She was eulogized by her daughter and a couple of long-time friends but not John Edwards.

 road Showgirls and Black Swan get the trailer mash-up treatment (nsfw).

 road One dead, two injured in Stockholm bombing.

 road The Thor movie trailer officially hits the Web.

Santa  road Christmas came early in Boston today: spectators were treated to runners dressed in nothing but Santa hats and speedos.

 road Chances are that Winona Ryder is not reading this right now.

 road Bernie Madoff's 46-year-old son has taken his own life – on the two year anniversary of his father's arrest.

 road Bill O'Reilly offends Barbara Walters by implying she's nothing but a celebrity journalist.

 road The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council finds that evangelical TV host Charles McVety violated broadcast code: “McVety may not like homosexuality. That is his entitlement, but to leave the totally unsubstantiated impression that gay and lesbian adults have a predilection toward young, underage people is insidious and unacceptable. In all, the Panel finds the McVety mis-characterizations as excessive, inappropriate, disparaging, and abusive.”

 road Tom Ford has no problem watching straight porn.


Towleroad News #gay

—  admin

Ke$ha – Take It Off

New clip from Ke$ha, same old auto-tune.

Joe. My. God.

—  John Wright

Concert notice: Go-Go's and Rihanna ruin my summer by cancelling their Dallas shows

Just a quick note that if you haven’t heard, The Go-Go’s have canceled the remainder of their tour. Jane Weidlin injured herself in a hiking trip and has to have surgery on her ACL. Recovery looks to be about a year. Thus, no ’80s flashback at the Granada July 26.

The Rihanna/Ke$ha show at Superpages.com Center has also been nixed from its July 24 date. RihannaDaily.com says they don’t know the story, but “it’s not because the tour isn’t selling! Don’t believe gossip sites who doesn’t support her and wants her to fail.” Although, there seems to be a whole lot of buzz that her U.S. shows weren’t selling as much as expected. There is also speculation that her Tucson show was canceled as a protest to the new immigration laws.

Either way, scratch these off your concert calendar.

—  Rich Lopez

Concert notice: Rihanna to play Superpages July 24

I was a little miffed that Rihanna hadn’t included Dallas on her tour when her North American leg was announced. I don’t know how the whole planning thing works but seriously, how does a big artist leave off a big city like Big D on the tour announcement? So, it’s official now. The peeps at LiveNation released notice today that the good girl gone bad is heading our way. It’ll be a double dose of pop with Ke$ha is on the bill as the opener..

Rihanna plays Superpages, July 24 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets $24–$99 and go on sale May 1 at 10 a.m.

Above, Rihanna’s last appearance at Superpages when she toured with Kanye in 2008.

—  Rich Lopez

Grammys Live Blog: Our server finally lets me back in

Ugh. Well, I’ve been attempting to post for the last 30 minutes and I’ve missed a lot. So, let me see where we are.

Stephen Colbert won for best comedy. I thought he was the host but was wrong. Rooted for Kathy Griffin but either way, it’s more celebrity material for her.

Record of the Year goes to Kings of Leon. KXT overloaded me with them so this is a bit meh for me.

Robert Downey Jr. doesn’t understand overexposure and introduces The Soloist costar Jamie Foxx. Foxx was anything but when a slew of people I couldn’t recognize (save for Slash) recreated a Parliament/Funkadelic live show.

I have a Ke$ha joke somewhere but can’t find it .

—  Rich Lopez