Weekly Best Bets

Saturday 01.29

Guess that’s why they call it the blues
While KERA is holding their pledge drive, KNON is trying to raise money of their own. The station, home to Lambda Weekly and The Jesse Garcia Show, hosts its 12th Annual Bluesfest with a hefty lineup. But really, you haven’t lived until you see R&B legend and Dallas native Bobby Patterson throw it down old school style. That’ll change your life.
DEETS: Poor David’s Pub, 1313 S. Lamar St. Through Sunday. 3 p.m. $10. KNON.org.

Sunday 01.30

Talk about ‘Ovo’ the top
In Cirque du Soleil’s new show Ovo, they create a colorful ecosystem of insects. Only these bugs do crazy acrobatics and contortions. Only Cirque can think so out of the box to make a “world of biodiversity” centered around a mysterious egg and a love story between a ladybug and neighborhood bug.
DEETS: Dr. Pepper Arena, 2601 Avenue of the Stars, Frisco. Through Feb. 27. $45-$250. CirqueDuSoleil.com

Tuesday 02.01

‘Faces’ in the crowd
Photographer Jorge Rivas’ Faces of Life was such a hit at last year’s Pride that the campaign is being relaunched during ilume Gallerie’s Super Week. With new photos and an exclusive jewelry line, the gallery extends its hours so everyone can take a peek and sign up for their own photo session.
DEETS: ilume Gallerie, 4123 Cedar Springs Road. Through Saturday. FacesofLifeProject.com.

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

—  John Wright

GvB premieres new song from Hunx and his Punx

Thanks to the peeps over at the Gorilla vs. Bear site for offering up some queer music for the day. How about some Hunx and His Punx for your listening pleasure? Gorilla vs. Bear posted “Lovers Lane” today from the band’s upcoming album Too Young To Be In Love. So far, I can’t stop listening to it. Its uber-gay tune is beautifully nostalgic in that K-Tel kinda way.

The band is also in the process of creating its own TV show, which sounds like a hot mess and by the sound of the band’s last tweet (their feed is as entertaining as their music), they wouldn’t mind a little financial scratch to help out. Take some of your intended KERA money and help a gay out by pledging. They are  halfway to their $3,000 goal.

—  Rich Lopez

What’s so gay about Idea Week?

Raise your hand — how many of you know that this is Idea Week? All righty then.

You might have seen it buzzing around on Twitter and Facebook, but Idea Week is kind of a great idea which you can read more about on the link. Wednesday’s Pecha Kucha event I wrote about is one of the events throughout the week which will feature Cathey Miller and Rawlins Gilliland as presenters and repping the LGBT community. Artistic director Kevin Moriarty also reps when he speaks Thursday at the Dallas Museum of Art on the State of the Arts with DMA director Bonnie Pitman, KERA’s Jeff Whittington and Creative Time president Anne Pasternak.

Nice to see the LGBT community partake in the events going on even in a peripheral way. But I thought, we could do a little more ideating (as they call it). So I posed the question to a few colleagues around the office with no other direction: What’s you’re big idea?

Read ‘em below.

—  Rich Lopez

Cliburn documentary airs on KERA Wednesday

A Surprise in Texas, the documentary about the quadrennial Van Cliburn piano competition named for Fort Worth’s celebrated gay musician, will air on KERA 13 Wed., Sept. 1. The film, which made the rounds of film festivals earlier this year, including the Dallas International Film Fest, profiles the historic naming of two gold medalists in 2009 — one the youngest ever, one the first blind winner. It will air at 7 p.m. and immediately again at 8:30 p.m.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

KERA's 'Tell Me More' features one gay who's not so much into the marriage thing

Matt “Mattilda” Bernstein Sycamore

If you happened to be listening to  KERA in the last hour, you may have caught the piece on radio show “Tell Me More” about the “queer argument against marriage.” Host Michael Martin spoke with activist Matt “Mattilda” Bernstein Sycamore about his thoughts on why LGBT people shouldn’t be so on board with marriage equality:

Marriage equality has become a central pillar of the modern gay rights movement. Five states and the District of Columbia offer same sex marriages and a case involving California’s ban on gay marriage is expected to end up in the Supreme Court. But despite recent advances, not all gay people are so eager to ring the wedding bells. Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, self-described queer activist and author of “That’s Revolting: Queer Strategies for Resisting Assimilation,” says gay people should stop fighting to uphold what she considers to be the failed institution of marriage.

The link above will take you to the transcript of the show (it’s long!) and the audio replay.

—  Rich Lopez

Gay programming on KERA-13 this month

It’s National Gay Pride Month, and Channel 13, our local PBS affiliate, has some gay programming scheduled, starting tonight:

“Out in the Silence,” a documentary about the reaction of a small town when one of its residents announces his intent to marry another man. June 2 at 10 p.m. (Watch the trailer above.)

“Independent Lens: Ask Not,” an investigation into the political turbulence surrounding the “don’t ask don’t tell” policy. June 16 at 10 p.m.

“The Naked Civil Servant,” a profile of Quentin Crisp, the flamboyant British gay man. June 23 at 9:30 p.m.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Sneak preview of FWO's 'Before Night Falls,' the story of a gay man in Fidel Castro's Cuba

DVtv’s Cindy Chaffin reports:

Last night I attended the KERA/Art&Seek panel discussion, “Before Night Falls: Relationships, Politics and Opera,” at the Robert J. O’Donnell Lecture-Recital Hall at SMU. KERA’s Jerome Weeks led the panel discussion which featured composer and librettist Jorge Martín, costume designer Claudia Stephens and the oh-so-yummy star of the opera, Wes Mason.

Here’s what the Fort Worth Opera tells us about the upcoming production:

“As Reinaldo Arenas lies dying of AIDS in New York City, he remembers his beloved homeland before and after Fidel Castro took power in Cuba. Born in extreme poverty, Arenas joins Castro’s rebellion as a teen. As he matures, he realizes that Castro is not interested in a free Cuba after all. A rising poet and writer, he defies Castro when a manuscript is smuggled out of the country and published in France. Embarrassed by the bad publicity, the regime imprisons Arenas for being a homosexual. After imprisonment and torture, he agrees to stop writing as a condition of his release, but can not handle his ‘silence’ for long. He escapes to the U.S. in the Mariel exodus, but during his new found freedom outside of Cuba he contracts HIV/AIDS. He rushes to complete his memoir before he commits suicide to end his suffering.”

This short video is a taste of what to expect. Just imagine fabulous costumes, an impressive set design and a backing symphony. Personally, I’m going to imagine Wes Mason shirtless. “Before Night Falls” runs May 29 through June 6.

—  John Wright

Dallas Public Library's Oak Lawn branch gets a visit from the new Digital Bookmobile

Imagine this only with computers and the comfort of your own home.

If you were listening to KERA this morning, you might have heard about the Dallas Public Library’s launch of its Digital Dallas program. Councilman Ron Natinsky is already on board. So now, instead of heading out to the library, the library comes right to your computer. Cool, huh?

Today, the Digital Bookmobile stops at the Oak Lawn branch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and the public is invited to take a look-see. So perhaps, you still need to head to the library this one more time. The bookmobile will introduce the new service and operated by OverDrive Inc., which actually powers the library to offer the downloads.

I went to start the process to give you a play-by-play but I’m still looking over the selection deciding which looks worthwhile. And I need to download the OverDrive software, too.  So far, “Where the Wild Things Are” is the only book interesting me and none of the music. But I figure they’ll add as the program grows. Gosh, I hope so. 

—  Rich Lopez

KERA, FWO host forum for 'Before Night Falls'

Major props to the Fort Worth Opera. Their gay general director, Darren Woods, has routinely included very gay-friendly pieces — such as the Jake Heggie-Terrence McNally opera Dead Man Walking and the adaptation of Tony Kushner’s Angels in America — as part of the programming. This year’s festival, which begins late next month, includes the world premiere of Before Night Falls, about the life and death from AIDS of gay Cuban poet Reinaldo Arenas.

Before you see the opera — or revisit Julian Schnabel’s Oscar-nominated film of the same name with Javier Bardem — you might want to calendar a panel discussion, hosted by the FWO and KERA’s Art & Seek blog. Composer Jorge Martin, actors Wes Mason and Janice Hall, and costumer Claudia Stephens will discuss their approaches to the material at a free event at the Owen Arts Center on the SMU campus on May 12, starting at 7 p.m. and moderated by my nemesis Jerome Weeks. (Kidding.)

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Morning Edition-NPR-KERA complicit in promoting Uganda genocide

This morning, KERA ran an NPR story on the impending gay and lesbian genocide. Before the story they ran the warning that the following story had adult content.

Adult content?

There was no adult content in the story other than the mention of gay and lesbian. Did they run that disclaimer when they did stories on the Rwandan genocide? Do they run that warning in the Darfur genocide?

No. Absolutely not?

Why not?

Because NPR does not see gay and lesbian Ugandans as the victims of bigotry, hatred, ignorance. By warning us before the story, they are implying sexual orientation is a choice.

—  David Taffet