Food sounds

Knock out two birds with one stone at these places that offer bites with a side of music

“If music be the food of love, play on,” Shakespeare wrote, but why choose? You can enjoy some great grub — from Cajun to home cookin’ to desserts — at any of these gay-friendly venues that also feature live music. All are open daily with food and performances going late.

All Good Café. This Deep Ellum eatery gets it all right, from home cooking to a hip atmosphere to a strong lineup of national acts. Owner Mike Snyder has bred his place as a music destination with tasty food. Braised short ribs or the well-seasoned rock ‘n’ roll pork chop are hard to pass up, but are better when paired with the café’s usual slate of folk, country or rockabilly acts (queer trio Girlyman has performed here). 2934 Main St. Kitchen open til 9 p.m. weekends. AllGoodCafe.com.

The Free Man Cajun Café and Lounge. Soak in the flavors of Louisiana at another Deep Ellum spot. The menu runs from apps to entrees but Cajun spices seep all the way through. Nosh on Boudin balls or have a proper dinner with the Cajun crawfish pasta. Do not pass over the cranberry wheat bread pudding, pictured below, while catching local artists like out singer SuZanne Kimbrell. 2626 Commerce St. Open til 1 a.m., 3 a.m. Fridays. FreeManDallas.com.

House of Blues. The papa of all food-and-music venues, HOB’s rich menu includes burgers, salads and their signature ribs. Don’t let the large, heavy menu deter you from enjoying a show from the local house band in the restaurant, or walk across the building to see smaller bands like Uh Huh Her in the Cambridge Room, pictured above, or headliners like Erasure in the big room. Tip: Get your drinks from the restaurant bar. 2200 N. Lamar St. Open til 10 p.m., 1 a.m. weekends. HouseOfBlues.com.

Opening Bell Coffee. Don’t let the “coffee” part fool you — this ain’t Starbucks. Drinks range from the obvious (latte!) to alcoholic, with food sticking to the sandwich-and-soup variety, though the sweet bites are awesome. The coffeehouse is a cozy, comfortable spot to lounge on a sofa or take up a tiny table for a romantic night out to see acoustic LGBT acts such as Tom Goss and Steff Mahan. 1409 S. Lamar St., Ste. 12 (at South Side on Lamar). Open til midnight weekends. OpeningBell.com.

Sundown at Granada. Although you can grab a slice and a brew inside the Granada Theater, hit up Sundown next door first. Granada owner Mike Schoder took ownership of the old M Street Bar and turned it into a complementary biergarten and resto. With more than 60 beers available and a chef driven menu focusing on local foods, Sundown rocks it for pre-show drinks and casual dining before queer acts like Brandi Carlile and CSS perform at the Granada. 3520 Greenville Ave.  4 p.m.–2 a.m. SundownDFW.com.

— Rich Lopez

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 3, 2012.

—  Kevin Thomas

Immigrant Punk & SuZanne Kimbrell perform at Pizza Lounge

No Palin/Trump slice tonight

Local lesbian rockers Immigrant Punk, pictured, and SuZanne Kimbrell turn up the volume on dinner tonight. They perform a double bill in Exposition Park tonight. It’s a tough call between them and the Mavs, but a win-win either way.

DEETS: Pizza Lounge, 841 Exposition Ave. 8 p.m. Facebook.com/ImmigrantPunk

—  Rich Lopez

REVIEW: Twist Dallas on Thursday night at LBG

While Thursday night’s Twist Dallas music event had to compete with the Dallas Mavericks for attention, organizer SuZanne Kimbrell was nonetheless impressed with the show. A small turnout at Lakewood Bar & Grill didn’t take away from the fact that the talent was top notch.

Starting with Natalie Velasquez, a 19 year-old guitarist out of Denton, the night was destined for dive bar greatness. Her jazzy sound and smoky, deep voice exuded nice poise for such a young performer. At times, she recalled Meshell Ndegeocello. Her voice has a beautifully aged soul tone that belies her tiny build. Her backing band, which apparently was partly cobbled that day, was also a strong, solid package. Please, Velasquez, keep this lineup together.

Check out part of performance here.

I worried that follow-up Danny Siuba might underwhelm with just him and an electric piano. Even he told me later that he worried a tad about following up Velasquez’s performance, but he met the challenge. His work on the keys was so sharp and pristine that they tickled every nerve ending in my ear. He’s classically trained according to Kimbrell so this shouldn’t surprise, but he also played with great assertion that proved his confidence with his instrument. I heard traces of Rufus Wainwright and Owen Pallett in him, but his voice was a bit gravelly. Singer Sonya Jevette was there filming for SoundByte and tried to convince me he was a young Neil Diamond. I wasn’t hearing that so much. In certain registers, he sang well, and in louder ones, he just needed some polish. But he’s only 21 and his pop-piano tunes were well constructed. Plus, the guy, 21, drove here from Santa Fe to perform and handmade his own CD covers with handwritten lyrics. So it’s hard to fault the guy for much.

—  Rich Lopez

Twist Dallas at LBG tonight

Let the music play

SuZanne Kimbrell made major tweaks to this latest edition of Twist Dallas. First and foremost, the event moves to Thursday nights, and while this show continues at Lakewood Bar & Grill, she expects that the July show will be in a different venue.

Also, the lineup here is tighter with four performers on the bill (Kimbrell included), but she’s pulled together another eclectic group of performers. Guitarist Natalie Velasquez, David Siuba from Santa Fe and the sultry soul and slick guitar rock of Robinson Hall led by queer vocalist Jackie Hall.

Visual artist Sylwester Zabielski will have his photography and film work on display.

DEETS: Lakewood Bar and Grill, 6340 Gaston Ave., on May 19 at 8 p.m. $10. TwistDallas.com.

—  Rich Lopez

Despite a couple of setbacks, Twist Dallas pulled off impressive second show

Flash Mob soundchecks before opening the January edition of Twist Dallas.

When I walked into the Lakewood Bar & Grill last night, Twist organizer SuZanne Kimbrell quickly told me that I.L.E. had backed out due to “unforeseen circumstances” and that Junye lost her longtime guitarist just that night. Kimbrell was a little twisted herself, but optimistic about her last minute filler Hannah Lenart. Unforeseen circumstances could mean a lot of things, but seriously, I.L.E., you’re gonna back out the DAY of the show? Especially when you write on your site “we are still waiting for our community to get behind us 100%.” Kinda think that goes both ways.

Alt-punk Denton band Flash Mob opened the show with some decent raucous rock. The two guys (straight), two girls (not) band is still finding its sound, but pulled off similarities to old school Green Day. Despite heading into pop punk territory of Blink 182 and +44, they were on. Loved the guys talking up gay Pride and “don’t ask, don’t tell” even though the singer himself doesn’t want to join the military. Ironic.

TWEET NOTES: Flash Mob opens #TwistDallas w Green Day like energy. #lgbtmusic. Hmmm Liking Flash Mob but kinda delving into +44 territory at #TwistDallas. #lgbtmusic

Read more after the jump.

—  Rich Lopez

Best bets • 01.07.11

Saturday 01.08

We like our bears four-alarm style
The Dallas Bears know how to get a new year started. Bears, non-bears and groups are invited to participate in their Kick Off to 2011 Chili Cook-Off. The event benefits Dallas Bears’ charities, but should likely leave a lot of people with a beary spicy taste in their mouth. Would you expect anything less? Pass the crackers.

DEETS: Hidden Door, 5025 Bowser Ave. 2 p.m. DallasBears.org.

……………………….

Monday 01.10

Don’t mess with this man’s puss
The last thing you want to do is kill some guy’s cat — especially when that guy’s away on a mission of torture and terrorism. When Padraic finds out his feline friend is dead in The Lieutenant of Inishmore, he isn’t happy and he’s gonna make sure the rest of his Irish town isn’t either in this dark comedic play by Martin McDonagh at WaterTower Theatre.

DEETS: WTT, 15650 Addison Road. Through Feb. 6. $22–$40. WaterTowerTheatre.org.

………………………

Wednesday 01.12

Going on down to the east side
Immigrant Punk comes from Denton to play her unique folk hip-hop for Lakewood Bar & Grill’s East Side Love Show. But she’s not the only out artist on the bill. SuZanne Kimbrell, pictured, brings her acoustic rock and blues to the show along with Abraham Mellish and Angela Carter.

DEETS: Lakewood Bar & Grill, 6340 Gaston Ave. 8 p.m. $5. LBGDallas.com.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition January 7, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

Twist GLBT announces 2nd show in East Dallas, but where are all the gay male artists?

SuZanne Kimbrell put on such a great night of gay musicians, that I had to include it in our year in review list. And that was just the first night. She’s made some tweaks for this second edition of Twist GLBT where she brings mostly local LGBT bands with original music and gives them a stage at the Lakewood Bar & Grill. This lineup already looks vastly different than the one in November.

Kimbrell and I met to talk about the local LGBT live music scene and wondered where the boys are. Lesbian women dominate the scene but she and I agreed that there have to be a slew of gay men doling out the music as well. We listed a few names, but they were far outweighed by the number of female artists. And Kimbrell wants to keep the Twist lineups diverse. So here’s a call to all the gay male musicians and singers as well as trans and bi folk to land a slot on upcoming Twist nights. It’ll be so worth it — not just to you, but to local LGBT music supporters as well.

—  Rich Lopez

Just to reiterate Today’s Best Bet — you should really stop by Lakewood Bar & Grill tonight

Twist Dallas is offering a different kind of night out. Stepping away from the gayborhood, Twist hosts a lineup of (mostly) local LGBT musicians playing a mini-fest at the Lakewood Bar & Grill tonight — and it’s ambitious. Things start rolling at 7 p.m. (early!) with a lineup of seven acts lasting till past midnight. We’ve featured a couple here in the pages of the Voice such as Immigrant Punk and Infidelix who both hail from Denton. They join SuZanne Kimbrell, a regular at Jack’s Backyard, Da’rell Cloudy from Longview and Gringo Soul from Chicago on the stage tonight for this month’s Twist session. Chasing the Muse, Jay Bean and artist Erica Felicella round out the roster.

Twist Dallas has the intention of doing something like this every month. The site states “Each month we will bring you something new from the GLBT community, whether it be music, art, comedy, theater or fire breathers.” Live music in the community is making some strides with Woody’s back patio series and TMC’s Patio space, but I appreciate Twist’s attention given to these musicians with original work. Twist Dallas has picked a fine selection that ranges from folk to rock to hip-hop. And kudos to LBG for opening its doors to the community.

I’m looking forward to more from these guys. And honestly, I would dare to say I’m begging you to go to this. It’s the perfect opp to support LGBT-created music that’s not getting enough notice. Seven bucks to get in and a free drink? Totally worthwhile. Plus, it’s gonna be a long night, so come up and say hi.

—  Rich Lopez

LGBT music showcase at LBG in East Dallas

Gay musicians hit up East Dalas

Immigrant Punk

Twist Dallas GLBT is pulling off a mini-palooza of LGBT musicians this week. A lineup of locals such as SuZanne Kimbrell, Infidelix and Immigrant Punk, pictured, are just some of the bands and musicians bringing the Pride vibe to old East Dallas. Twist calls it a music and art showcase. We call it awesome.

DEETS: Lakewood Bar and Grill, 6340 Gaston Ave.7 p.m. $7. TwistDallas.com.

—  Rich Lopez