Bandmates tonight at Sue’s

You indie go, girls

Local duo Bandmates noted that they are playing a last minute gig tonight. With hippie flair and tunes that border on whimsy punk-folk, singer Kimberly Castrellon will win you over with her adorable allure while partner in life and music, Susan Carson will funk you up with her bass. You may have seen Carson last on the big stage with Jane Doe at House of Blues this past summer, but now she gets to chill with her latest band — and her girl.

DEETS: Sue Ellen’s, 3014 Throckmorton St. 8 p.m. SueEllens.com.

—  Rich Lopez

HGG 2011 Gift-A-Day: Last minute gifts and stocking stuffer roundup

COUNTING IT DOWN

Whether you need to give to the coworkers, neighbors or just add to the gift stock pile by stuffing the stocking, these might help out on your decision making.

SPIRITS WE HAVE HEARD ON HIGH

Moon Mountain vodka makes this holiday season more “green” that is certified organic by the USDA. Made in America, the artisanally crafted vodka is made from Midwestern corn, but in small batches creating the right taste to make it the perfect spirit to toast the season. The vodka is priced at $19.99.

Available at major spirits retailers.

FORGET SANTA

These Biscoff cookies are a surprisingly addictive treat, that it may be hard to give away. The crispy biscuits with the caramel flavor are ideal with coffee or even on their own. And a welcome alternative to usual holiday sweets with their light touch. Made from Belgium, these treats are vegan and contain 0 grams trans fat and 0 cholesterol per serving. So your recipients will be quite happy about these. Coming in a variety of counts and packages, these Biscoff Cafe Totes house eight packages of two. So you can get one for yourself and then try to give the other one away. You could leave them out for Santa but try not to eat them before he does. Ten percent of the purchases of this item go toward Teach for America. A set of three is priced at $16.95.

Available through Biscoff.com.

MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU

For the Star Wars gamer geek — er, loved ones — comes this quirky stylus set. Made for Nintendo DS products, Star Wars fans can have their very own Clone Wars with these character-designed stylus lightsabers.  The stylus can be used for DS Lite, XL and 3DS and is for ages six and up. Priced at $9.99.

Available at Best Buy, Walmart, Target and other major video game retailers.

 

GAY FILM FEST

Breaking Glass Pictures has made gift giving for your LGBT movie fan rather enticing. The company that distributed the locally-made Ticked Off Trannies with Knives is offering a 30 percent off purchases made during the holiday season. Stack up on indie gay movie faves like Violet Tendencies, The Big Gay Musical and the 30th anniversary edition of the gay classic Taxi Zum Klo. Head to the site withthe promotion code “holiday” and snag a bargain on the films. Hey, you might even get one for yourself.

Available at BreakingGlassPictures.com.

 

 

 

BRUSH AWAY

Expect an eye roll if you give kids a toothbrush, but once they start handling his Arm & Ammer Spinbrush Proclean, they might get more on board. The battery-operated brush is a simple, but effective way to keep those pearly whites, um, white, with the appeal of being a whirring gadget. Don’t talk about how better it is than a manual toothbrush and dental health. Yawn for days. Hype up the dual action technology, the durable body style and what a grown-up “toy” it is. Because, of course, adults can use it to. Retails between $8–9.

Available at retailers nationwide.

 

—  Rich Lopez

An Horse, of course

 

ANHORSEShervinLainez

SADDLE UP | Kate Cooper, foreground, says this time in Dallas will be a proper showing for An Horse.

Don’t argue grammar with Kate Cooper, the lesbian half of the Down Under duo An Horse

RICH LOPEZ  | Staff Writer
lopez@dallasvoice.com

First things first: Grammarians and language mavens might have trouble with the band An Horse. Not that there is anything wrong with the music, but that two-letter article strikes some nerves — including with this writer.

But Kate Cooper is fine with any way people talk about it.

“Oh, people get so worked up about it, but it is arguably correct,” she says.

Cooper, who is touring with bandmate Damon Cox, brings the international pop stylings of An Horse to Dallas Monday. With their second album, Walls, An Horse seems to have found their sound, a polished collection of a dozen tunes that play as if a sprawling backing band helped out.

A job well done … but that name.

An Horse. Yeah, it’s tough to work with.

“I’m happy that it gets people talking about grammar,” she chuckles.

The story about the name related to an argument Cooper had with her sister over the use of the article a in front of words beginning in h. That resulted in her sister making a sweater for Cooper with the words on it and subsequently being asked if that was a band … and thus band history was created.

Cooper and Cox are on a high from supporting Walls. Even though the band has played Dallas before, she disputes it was a proper showing (a last minute venue cancellation and other problems marred it), so Cooper figures this time will be better.

“Yeah, we’re looking forward to it and we’ve stayed in Dallas before so we kind of know the city,” she says. “We’ve stayed there while making our way to Austin and every time we drove through, we’d play the Dallas theme song. That’s always my impression of the city.“

An Horse’s debut, 2009’s Rearrange Beds, was really a collection of demos cobbled together. With a label behind them this time around and an actual production team in place, this might be An Horse’s winning run.

“It just feels like a proper record from a proper band,” she says. “The first time, we weren’t really a band so much as just friends wanting to make music. Next thing we knew we had an album and were on tour and it was all kind of an accident.”

Cox and Cooper worked in a record store together and became BFF’s before becoming a band. Little did they know they’d catch the eyes and ears of some big names. Garnering attention from major music pubs like Rolling Stone and Pitchfork put An Horse on the map. Cooper knows they are still young and green, but such accolades comfort and encourage her.

“It’s all great even though I don’t read them,” she says. “It’s good to get the attention and for a band from Australia, that’s impossible. But we’re still both learning and taking more things in. We’re just better equipped this time around.”

Even if they weren’t receiving the high praise, it doesn’t matter to Cooper. She would still make music.

“Yeah, but I’d be doing it just in my bedroom,” she says.

Although from Australia and now based in Canada, Cooper hasn’t found any difference in attitudes among countries when it comes to her being an out lesbian musician.

“I’m lucky I’m surrounded by people and fans that it’s not a thing to them,” she says. “Everywhere we go it’s just me being me. Occasionally I’ll hear a comment but they are usually a lazy reference point. I just say more power to them and their small minds.”

And they’re not so indie that they’d skip out on playing specifically LGBT events. It’s just a matter of timing and, well, requests.

“I know it’s come up once or twice, but the scheduling didn’t work,” she says. “But we haven’t been really been asked to play any Pride events. I’m very proud of being a gay person and I’d be stoked to do that.”

Are you listening, Dallas Tavern Guild?

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 20, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

Getting out the vote

Stonewall VP Jay Narey, above, and Political Director Omar Narvaez, below, are hoping for a monumental upset in the governor’s race.

In what’s become an Election Day ritual, more than a dozen members of Stonewall Democrats of Dallas gathered around the Legacy of Love Monument during the Tuesday morning rush hour for a last minute get-out-the-vote effort.

Asked about her predictions for today, Stonewall President Erin Moore said, “Like any election, we’ll win some and we’ll lose some.”

She added that she thinks Democrats will continue their dominance in Dallas County, but she said she’s worried about some of the local state House races.

Asked about Democrat Bill White’s chances of unseating Gov. Rick Perry, Moore just shook her head. “But don’t quote me on that,” she said.

Poll are open until 7 p.m. today. For a list of precinct locations, go here.

—  John Wright