Vial brings a taste of Hawaii to town

Vial brings a taste of Hawaii to town

Deborah Vial
Deborah Vial

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.

— Rich Lopez

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

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 13, 2010.

—  Kevin Thomas

True blues

Cyndi Lauper still gives a damn about gays and the tint of her newest music venture

RICH LOPEZ  | Staff Writer  lopez@dallasvoice.com

Cyndi Lauper
GOT RHYTHM | Lauper’s tour focuses on her new sound, yet she’ll still deliver her pop classics backed up by her blues band.

CYNDI LAUPER with David Rhodes.
House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St. Aug. 11 at 8 p.m.  $30–$55.
HouseOfBlues.com.

………………………………

Dallas’ summer music calendar has been hopping for LGBT audiences, from Lady Gaga and Melissa Etheridge to Adam Lambert on the horizon. Cyndi Lauper brings her tour here Wednesday. But while the others stick close to their musical genres, Lauper changes her game as often as her hair color. And this year, she’s got the blues.

Genre leaping can sometimes be the biggest misstep of a musician’s career (Garth was never the same after the Chris Gaines debacle), but Lauper has been doing it for years: Pop to dance to acoustic to standards, all without missing a beat. So she never considered her move into blues was a risk.

“I wanted to do Memphis Blues when I was still at Sony back in 2004,” she says. “As Muddy Waters quoted, ‘If blues gave birth to a child, that child would be rock and roll.’ The blues is the basis for all genres of popular music.”

Which is what Lauper’s back catalog consists of. This move shouldn’t be much of a surprise. Before her landmark debut album, she was working the scene with cover bands, doing a lot of Janis Joplin, Rolling Stones and Faces — bands heavily influenced by blues. With a little extracurricular research, Lauper discovered legends like Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson, Big Maybelle and Ma Rainey.

“I was hooked,” she says.

Now she’s come full circle working with noted musicians on Blues such as veteran giants B.B. King, Allen Toussaint and legend-in-the-making Jonny Lang. For Lauper, this is the album she’s always wanted to do. She’s even confident that her gay fans will follow along even though blues may not be the most popular for LGBT listeners.

“It was a dream to work with each of them; like my own blues museum in one studio,” she says. “My fans seem to love all kinds of music and at different times in my career I have wanted to record certain genres of music that have been meaningful to me, or helped shape me as an artist and they have always come along for the ride. For that, I am grateful.”

That isn’t hard to see. Lauper has been a staunch advocate for LGBT equality and visibility. Her True Colors Tour celebrated queer and queer-friendly music and her recently launched Give a Damn has rallied celebrity support by the likes of Wanda Sykes and Oscar-winner Anna Paquin, who used the campaign to come out as bisexual. She also teamed up with Gaga for a MAC Viva Glam campaign that takes on HIV/AIDS prevention awareness for women.

“I want to continue the work of the True Colors Fund and our Give A Damn campaign to get straight people to stand up for the gay community so that all of us have civil rights and America can be the country it’s supposed to be where we are all treated the same,” she says.

She even expects to bring back the True Colors Tour despite big-ticket festivals and tours not doing so well this summer. But first, she’s giving her own music career some attention.

“It’s about the blues baby! This year I wanted to focus on Memphis Blues and bring it on the road,” she says. “To me, it’s uplifting and music is supposed to heal. The BP oil disaster in the Gulf, wars in the Middle East, the rise of HIV infections in women, global warming — the list is endless, so yeah I’m blue. The great thing is that it still uplifts and no matter how blue you get, there is always hope around the corner.”

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 6, 2010.

—  Michael Stephens

Local Briefs • 07.23.10

Resource Center Dallas receives MAZON grant for second year in a row

Officials at Resource Center Dallas announced this week that the center, for the second year in a row, has received an $8,000 national grant from MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger in support of the center’s food and nutrition programs.

“This grant from MAZON provides critical financial support to our long-standing pantry and hot meals programs in these challenging economic times,” said Bret Camp, associate executive director for health and medical services at Resource Center Dallas. “Many of our clients live on a fixed income and are unable to work. The services we provide through these programs improve both their health and quality of life.”

Nutritional services are available through a food pantry as well as hot lunches at the center. The pantry, located at 5450 Denton Drive Cutoff, serves more than 800 clients Monday through Thursday. More than 100 clients a day, each Monday through Friday, eat at the center as part of the hot meals program.

ONE holding screening of HBO documentary ‘The Lazarus Effect’

ONE, a global advocacy and campaigning organization dedicated to fighting extreme poverty and preventable disease, will hold a screening of the HBO documentary “The Lazarus Effect,” on Thursday, July 29, at 7 p.m. at the Progressive Center of Texas in South Side on Lamar, 1409 S. Lamar St. in Dallas.

C.U.R.E. will display panels from the AIDS Memorial Quilt at the screening, and officials with Resource Center Dallas will conduct a discussion about the film after the screening.

Planned Parenthood’s Kelly Hart to be guest speaker at TDWCC meeting

Texas Democratic Women Collin County holds its next general meeting Monday, July 26. The meeting will be held at 6:45 p.m. at the  Founders Room of Shawnee Hall at the Preston Ridge Campus of Collin College, 9700 Wade Blvd. in Frisco.

Guest speaker will be Kelly Hart, executive director of Planned Parenthood of North Texas, who will discuss the health reform law and recent developments at the national level that pertain to women’s health.

There will also be a report from members who attended the Democratic State Convention in Corpus Christi.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition July 23, 2010.

—  Kevin Thomas

Best Bets • 06.25.10

Saturday 06.26

An apple-tini for Fido, please
The Dallas Association of Style Houses (DASH) is lending a helping hand to the Dallas Humane Society with Canines and Cocktails. Sip a cosmo and perhaps pet a dog by the same name. Just don’t slip some vermouth into the water bowl, no matter how much that dog may whine. He may be trying to kick a bad habit.

DEETS: Studios 1019, 2278 Monitor St. 8 p.m. $70–$100. Dash-Dallas.org.

Saturday 06.26

When he blows, it’s oh so nice
Dave Koz has a big horn. Look at it — that’s one long instrument, and he blows it himself to the delight of many. To top it off, it appears he’s into a good threesome. The Koz comes back to town and this time he brings fellow jazz man Jonathan Butler and former Prince protege Sheila E. Nice.

DEETS: House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St. 8 p.m. $29–$75. HouseofBlues.com.

Wednesday 06.30

Don’t lie — you know all the words
American Idol alum Sayesha Mercado takes her stab at Dreamgirls as Deena, but of course, everyone will wait for Moya Angela’s Effie to sing a particular centerpiece song.

DEETS: Music Hall at Fair Park, 909 First Ave. Through July 18. $30–$85. DallasSummerMusicals.org.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition June 25, 2010.

—  admin