Concert Notice (kinda): Leisha Hailey and Camila Grey to perform DJ set at Winstons

Music-1

Camila Grey and Leisha Hailey of Uh Huh Her

Unless you are a lesbian living under a rock, you know who Leisha Hailey is. And if you don’t she played the character Alice in the Showtime series The L Word. Hailey made national headlines back in September when she and partner/bandmate Camila Grey were kicked off a Southwest Airlines plane for “excessive kissing.” Hailey tweeted about the incident and called for a boycott of the Dallas-based airline.

Since the debacle, Hailey and Grey have been concentrating on their band Uh Huh Her. Hailey and Grey are scheduled to guest DJ at Winstons Supperclub Aug. 19 as part of the Modern Love Tour.

The Modern Love Tour features world renowned DJ’s Kim Anh and Saratonin. The duo started this tour in celebration of this year’s Pride and are slated to travel to cities around the US and Canada. Other high-profile artists on the tour include singers Sia and Austra.

“We are in the age of Modern Love, let’s celebrate that love and celebrate our freedom to be out and proud,” as stated on the website. Hey, we agree.

Early bird tickets are $10 in advance and $20 at the door with meet and greet tickets available for $75. Reminder, this is not an Uh Huh Her concert, but a guest DJ set. We got to see them way back in October as part of the Keep A Breast tour. But this night should be interesting to see how the two dish out music as DJs over creating music as Uh Huh Her.

 

—  admin

WATCH: Uh Huh Her’s “Wake to Sleep”

Uh Huh Her dropped a new video for this next single from Nocturnes. There isn’t a lot of fanfare going on with the release of “Wake to Sleep,” but Lezbelib was sharp to point out the guest star in the duo’s video. From the site’s post.

In this video, directed by Justin Coloma, we can see behind Camila Grey and Leisha Hailey, the dancer Sasha Mallory (So You Think You Can Dance) who came out as a lesbian last year.

Good eye, ladies. Mallory has also danced for the likes of Rihanna and Adam Lambert. I can’t say the video is altogether mind blowing, but it’s nice UHH is keeping it in the family. Watch “Wake to Sleep” after the jump.

—  Rich Lopez

REVIEW: Uh Huh Her Wednesday at House of Blues’ Cambridge Room

Wednesday night, Uh Huh Her rolled back into town as part of the Keep A Breast tour. They are back on the road through October as part of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Now if only they had been aware of their sound a little more.

First, let me confess that I did not stay for the entire show. That  was due in part to Uh Huh Her’s underwhelming stage presence and sound. The band attracted a healthy crowd of young ladies screaming “I Love You” to the band. But otherwise, even the audience felt a bit tepid. A long, droning intro  that felt rather indulgent played before they took the stage. When they entered from the side of the stage, they appropriately rocked out with heavy guitar play, but it wasn’t close to the synth-pop sounds of their albums. The band was strong in musicianship, but it wasn’t the sound I expected and wasn’t sure what they were going for. Are they hard rockers now?

Even as such, Leisha Hailey and Camila Grey didn’t offer a charismatic presence. Hailey looked tired and Grey never seemed into the seven songs I stayed for. Other than their first hit, “Not a Love Song” (which I caught a snippet of on the video after the jump), all other  songs just played out. There was simply no emotional punch from the band in the first part of their show.

Since I only saw the first chunk of the show,  maybe the ladies were having an off night. I mean, they have been through a lot lately. But the show was more Nuh Huh Her, if anything.

For a slideshow of the concert, click here.

—  Rich Lopez

Uh Huh Her tonight at Cambridge Room

L Word 2.0.

Who couldn’t love Leisha Hailey as Alice on The L Word? Adorable, smart, tenacious. Don’t expect any of that tonight as she and Camila Grey hit the stage as Uh Huh Her. The House of Blues and Keep A Breast Foundation have teamed up for this breast cancer awareness tour with UHH as the headliners. The band also tours in support of its just-released second album Nocturnes. So this isn’t just a concert, it’s a win-win for everyone with new music and raising awareness for National Breast Cancer Prevention Month.

DEETS: With Jarrod Gorbel. Cambridge Room (at House of Blues), 2200 N. Lamar St. Oct. 28 at 8 p.m. $20. HouseOfBlues.com.

—  Rich Lopez

Night songs

Uh Huh Her grows with ‘Nocturnes’ but still loses its way in the dark

Music-1

DOUBLE TROUBLE | Camila Grey, left, and Leisha Hailey of Uh Huh Her fall short in their second full-length CD ‘Nocturnes,’ but make a nice recovery toward the end.

RICH LOPEZ  | Staff Writer
lopez@dallasvoice.com

 

When Uh Huh Her debuted in 2008 with Common Reaction, the critics noticed. Perhaps one of the more underrated albums of the year, the duo of Leisha Hailey and Camila Grey created a sophisticated track list fusing indie rock and electro-pop into catchy tunes.

It’s a shame they missed the mark on Nocturnes, their second full release, which displays a lot of growth, just all in the same key.

Perhaps if Nocturnes had been a concept album, the 11 tracks would work better — assuming “monotony” was the concept. The first six songs comprise a suite of similar tunes that are rendered forgettably. Where Reaction opened with a distinct attitude, UHH get washed out here, overcome with a blurred production overseen by Grey and Wendy Melvoin of Wendy and Lisa fame.

“Marstorm” appropriately opens the album with a strong set of guitars and racing drums. The ladies have gone a lot harder than before, but the jagged edge of the song rubs the wrong way and Grey’s soft vocals are swallowed by the music going on around her.

Even without a maelstrom of music, Grey’s voice is underwhelming in the intro of “Another Case.” Drummer Josh Kane seems to have been given carte blanche with his beat. He goes full throttle setting the pace of the album, but it’s one that barely relaxes. “Case” and its twin song “Disdain” push deep into the ears but without much substance.

When UHH delve into softer territory, as on “Human Nature,” they fare better. Although “Nature” isn’t that moving, it’s a reprieve from the unappealing sonic onslaught of previous songs.

UHH calm down by their eighth track, “Criminal,” and we finally begin to hear their familiar charm with a new display of complexities in their song structure. Grey’s sounds clearer (not much) and the intended moodiness of the album is in perfect pitch. The album clocks in at 40 minutes, but it takes forever to get to the final stretch which is the best part of Nocturnes. The final four tracks, starting with “Criminal,” immediately elevate the album to a higher plane.

With “Same High,” the texture of the music has subtle but sensuous layers and the minimalist lyrics balance the track exquisitely. The song grows with quietly and is perhaps the most satisfying track.

That said, “Darkness Is” may be the most challenging in all the right ways. The drive of the earlier songs is at the right speed here, forceful but not overpowering, leaving room for the ladies to deliver engaging lyrics like And say hell to the ones who sit on their thrones / And tell everybody to gather their guns and fear what? / Do you really want to let them control you?

Even with a cliché title, final track, “Time Stands Still,” succeeds with its gentleness. The song drifts with an ethereality that recalls, of all bands, Icehouse. “Time” doesn’t play as much as it melts over your ears with sumptuous delivery. Everything that’s right about UHH is marked in this song.

Nocturnes suffers from being top heavy with “Look Ma, I’m writing music” tracks that never provide a memorable experience. Instead, they ultimately drag the album down. Ironically, the final songs display Uh Huh Her at their finest and show a distinct maturity from Reaction, an already smart album.  Sophomore slump or not, when the band finds its balance, it should be remarkable.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 21, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

Spin magazine posts special report on homophobia in indie rock

Leisha Hailey cried 'homophobia' when she was booted off a Southwestern flight. Other LGBT musicians have endured many different types of attacks while moving forward with their art.

Following the Leisha Hailey/Southwest Airlines incident, Spin magazine’s Rich Juzwiak wrote this piece on homopobia toward LGBT musicians, mostly independent ones. The article wasn’t just sparked by the plane episode (by the way, have you seen this?), but also by the bashing incident against Violent Lovers band members Brontez Purnell and Adal Castellon at Club Paradiso in Oakland in August and a few other accounts of out musicians suffering literally for their art.

The piece is compelling with perspectives by the likes of Vampire Weekend’s Rostam Batmanglij, Hunx and his Punx’s Seth Bogart and MEN’s JD Samson, all who have graced our pages or blog as well. While it may not answer questions or find solutions to homophobic tendencies in the industry, it does paint a picture of what smaller queer bands have to endure just to play music. From SPIN: ‘

Purnell, Hailey, and Grey are far from the first gay artists to encounter serious resistance as a result of their sexuality, of course. In fact, if you ask most out musicians about their experiences with homophobia, you’ll hear a story that will break your heart. I did, at least, when collecting anecdotes for this piece. Magnetic Fields’ Stephin Merritt was pelted with bottles, rocks, and slurs outside a club in Philadelphia in the 1990s. Xiu Xiu’s Jamie Stewart was called a “fag” and had lit cigarettes thrown at him onstage in 2003 in Austin, Texas. After Holly Miranda recently played her song “Pelican Rapids,” about Proposition 8, the 2008 California amendment restricting marriage as only between a man and a woman, she was confronted by a “big, burly door guy” who said that “if I got with him, he would make me do a 360,” says the singer-songwriter. “I was like, ‘I think you mean a 180. You’re more right than you know.’”

I would love to have heard input by the somewhat elder statesmen of LGBT music like Melissa Etheridge or Elton John. Does the homophobia go away once your big or is it just easier to shield away from with awards and gazillions of dollars.

Be sure and check it out.

 

—  Rich Lopez

Southwest CEO on lesbian actress’ removal from flight: ‘We’re not trying to dictate social norms’

Gary Kelly, CEO of Dallas-based Southwest Airlines, is standing behind an SWA flight crew’s decision to remove lesbian actress Leisha Hailey and her partner from a plane on Monday after they were observed kissing.

After Hailey, who starred in The L-Word and is a member of the band Uh Huh Her, called for a boycott of the airline on Twitter, SWA released a statement describing the kissing as “excessive.”

Hailey responded with a statement saying it was “one, modest kiss,” before the airline issued a follow-up saying the couple was removed from the flight during a stop in El Paso due to their “aggressive reaction,” including loud use of “profane language.”

Hailey’s publicist tells Instant Tea that the actress isn’t doing interviews about the incident, but Kelly (pictured) discussed it with The Houston Chronicle on Wednesday.

“We’re not trying to dictate social norms,” Kelly told the Chronicle. “Any of us have boundaries that we think people should behave within. …

“I think our people try very hard to accommodate the needs and the wishes of our customers, and they make judgments of what is appropriate and what is not appropriate,” Kelly said. “In all cases, we do the best we can to take care of our customers and if we can’t get them where they need to go, obviously we’re apologetic for that. … 

“It’s very difficult to script out exactly how one should deal with any particular circumstance.”

—  John Wright

WATCH: Local LGBTs Patti Fink, Pete Schulte weigh in on Leisha Hailey controversy

Are you tired of hearing about Leisha Hailey yet? Too bad.

The CW 33 aired a piece last night about the saga involving The L Word star’s removal from a Southwest Airlines flight, and the station spoke to two prominent members of the local LGBT community: Dallas Gay and Lesbian Alliance President Patti Fink and attorney Peter Schulte.

Fink appears to be leaning toward Hailey’s corner, while Schulte is taking a measured legal approach. I wonder how he’d feel if Hailey and her girlfriend had just been trying to get a gay divorce?

Here’s an excerpt from The CW’s story, which you can watch below:

“I don’t think it could have been excessive. And if in fact it was excessive, I’d like to see straight people thrown off the plane for the same reason,” Fink said.

Southwest says it wasn’t the kissing. The airline claims the couple started cursing loudly after the flight attendant spoke to them and that’s when they were removed.

Attorney Peter Schulte says if this was the case, Southwest acted appropriately.

“There are rules and there are laws that allow the crew who is there for their safety, for the passenger’s safety to take action to try to limit any disruption”, Schulte said.

Hailey has called for a boycott of the airline, but Schulte says she has no legal recourse.

“If there was a race or gender issue those are protected classes, but in this day and age there isn’t any protection because of someone’s sexual orientation”, Schulte said.

Southwest has prided itself as gay friendly and has an outreach program to the gay community.

The gay community is hoping this can be resolved amicably.

“I would hope they would be able to talk it out and come to some sort of conclusion,” Fink said

—  John Wright

Southwest issues follow-up statement on Leisha Hailey incident

The Internet is out at the house (screw you, AT&T), so I’m attempting to post this from my phone (wish me luck). Below is a follow-up statement from Southwest Airlines regarding Monday’s incident involving Leisha Hailey. Note that the statement says the incident occurred in El Paso, as opposed to St. Louis, as previously reported. I can’t post the link here, but what is it about El Paso and same-sex kissing? Anyhow below is the statement. I’ll try to get more when I’m back on the grid in the a.m.

Updated Information Regarding Customers Removed from Flight 2274

Additional reports from our Employees and Customers onboard flight 2274 during a stop in El Paso on Sunday now confirm profane language was being used loudly by two passengers. At least one family who was offended by the loud profanity moved to another area of the cabin. Although we have reports of what Customers characterize as an excessive public display of affection, ultimately their aggressive reaction led to their removal from the aircraft. We do not tolerate discrimination against anyone for any reason. In this situation, their removal was directly and solely related to the escalated conversation that developed onboard the aircraft.

Our tenets of inclusion and celebration of diversity among our Customers and Employees—including those in the LGBT communities—anchor our Culture of mutual respect and following the Golden Rule. The more than 100 million people who fly Southwest each year reflect the great diversity of our country and our Company — and ALL are valued and welcome. In fact, we’ve been recognized as a leader in diversity throughout our 40 years of service.

Our Customer Advocacy Team reached out to extend goodwill and a full refund for an experience that fell short of the passengers’ expectation.

—  John Wright

Leisha Hailey issues statement on Southwest Airlines incident, denies kissing was ‘excessive’

Leisha Hailey

Moments after I posted the item below, the following statement about Monday’s incident came across from Leisha Hailey and her girlfriend, Camila Grey:

“We have always promoted tolerance, openness and equality both as a band and as individuals. We both come from loving homes where our parents not only love and accept us, but are also proud of who we are. We believe everyone has the right to live openly in this society as equals. In no way were our actions on Southwest Airlines excessive, inappropriate or vulgar. We want to make it clear we were not making out or creating any kind of spectacle of ourselves, it was one, modest kiss. We are responsible adult women who walk through the world with dignity. We were simply being affectionate like any normal couple. We were on the airplane less than 5 minutes when all was said and done. We take full responsibility for getting verbally upset with the flight attendant after being told it was a ‘family airline.’ We were never told the reason the flight attendant approached us, we were only scolded that we ‘needed to be aware that Southwest Airlines was a family oriented airline.’ No matter how quietly homophobia is whispered, it doesn’t make it any less loud. You can’t whisper hate. We ask this airline to teach their employees to not discriminate against any couple, ever, regardless of their own beliefs. We want to live in a society where if your loved one leans over to give you an innocent kiss on an airplane it’s not labeled as ‘excessive or not family oriented’ by a corporation and it’s employees. We find it very disturbing that the same airline who lauds itself as being LGBT friendly has twisted an upsetting incident that happened into our behavior being ‘too excessive.’ The above is not an apology and we are in the process of filing a formal complaint with the airline. We hope that when all is said and done a greater tolerance without prejudice will evolve.”

—  John Wright