‘Same Love’s’ Mary Lambert: The gay interview

MaryLambert1Editor’s note: Still high off her Grammy nomination, queer music icon Mary Lambert sat down with our Chris Azzopardi to discuss the group wedding, her new EP and what it’s like having Madonna dry your tears.

“I’m not crying on Sundays,” Mary Lambert assures herself on the song that got her to the Grammys. But Sunday, Jan. 26,  was different. That Sunday was better.

Singing the heart-lifting chorus to Macklemore’s “Same Love,” which was nominated for best song, Lambert made her Grammy debut.

That’s when she lost it. But these weren’t tears of sadness or shame. These were tears of joy. Tears of being inspired and moved and all those things you feel when you share the stage with gay couples who are finally able to get married, a monumental celebration that took place at the awards show, with Queen Latifah officiating.

Emotions ran high that night, but Lambert, 24, had a new friend nearby — a new friend by the name of Madonna. And the icon didn’t just sing Lambert’s words, but, like something out of a fever dream, swooped in and wiped away her tears.

Lambert, who recently released her own solo EP called Welcome to the Age of My Body, was still emotional when she spoke about that unforgettable night.

Dallas Voice: You must be pinching yourself. What was your Grammy experience like?  Lambert: It was really emotional from start to finish. I already feel like Cinderella because I was bartending last year and didn’t know how I was gonna pay rent. Now I’ve been nominated for a Grammy — and I took my mom, which was a dream of mine — but then to be able to do this song, and to do it on this magnitude with this beautiful choir and fucking Madonna and Queen Latifah, are you kidding me? It’s just stupid, dude. If I really think about it, I lose it.

You cry?  Yeah, like, “I don’t deserve this.” I’m still working on my positive self-talk.

What was it like being part of the wedding ceremony?  Honestly, that was the most emotional part. Being in rehearsal and hearing Madonna sing my words and hearing the choir come in, that was emotional, but being in the dress rehearsal at the Grammys and watching the couples come in, I couldn’t get through the song for almost every rehearsal. I wasn’t sure how I was gonna perform because it was so beautiful. You saw on their faces how much it meant to them, and I knew how much it would mean to the viewer. How do you process that? It’s the most beautiful thing that exists in the world.

What were rehearsals with Madonna like?  We had long rehearsals. I wouldn’t say we’re close, but we got to know each other’s mannerisms and how we operate. I consider her a friend. She was very kind to me, and because we had to work together, I had to be like, “Hey, this is how I sing the song.”

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

The Grammys’ fashion hits and misses

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Ryan Lewis and Macklemore redefine men’s fashions at the Grammys.

The Grammys are always interesting because the event is wilder than some of the more serious award shows of the season. Of course, anything gets more interesting when you throw rock/pop stars in the mix. Our fashion guy J. Denton Bricker picked the winners and losers in the important red carpet derby.

Denton’s Best Dressed List

Kelly Rowland looked banging in a black gown by George Chakra with phenomenal cutouts that show off her rock-hard bod. If you’ve got it, flaunt it, bitches! … and she does it well. Not bad for a second-lead vocalist, right?

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Katy Perry

Paris Hilton wore a shimmering white gown with a sleek cutout back by House of Milan. She also has amazing hair and makeup, and that’s hot!

Katy Perry wore an unforgettable and appropriate white gown covered in notes by Valentino. With 11 Grammy nominations, she is not only a winner in the fashion world last night. Her hair was impeccable is an extensive updo, and she is showing just the right amount of skin, which is sometimes hard to do considering the Elmo incident on Sesame Street.

Rita Ora looked like a golden goddess in long sleeved, knee length dress by Lanvin with the slightest hint of green. Her manicure is as wild and fun as the massive rings on her fingers.

Pink never looked so good in a two-toned red gown by Johan Johansson. She said it made her feel like a princess, and she looked like one.

Rihanna seemed super-fierce in a red gown with sheer chiffon panels by Azzedine Alaia. Absolutely fabulous, and her long loose curls are gorge. This was one of my favorites.

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis gave new life to men’s fashion in a dark teal tux and an oversized houndstooth print suit, respectively. I absolutely love houndstooth, and it read amazeballs in the oversized print with silver instead of white. Plus I think it is amazingly huge that their album won four Grammys without a major record label. “Same Love” is a song truly about equal rights for all, and the fact that it is being applauded is even better.

Taylor Swift’s completely statuesque appearance in silver Gucci rocked. The gown features full-length diamond chainmail that could stop a bullet. Her ponytail was glamorous, and she has been bringing it this award season.

Denton’s Worst Dressed List

Madonna

Madonna, Madonna, Madonnna looked awkward channeling a little pimp, a little supreme from American Horror Story: Coven, but not in a good way. Her grill of gold seemed a little ridic. It wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t great, either. I forgave her when she changed into the all white number during the show later.

Paula Patton wore a wacky zebra, lion hybrid of a dress. Just no, Paula — you have to be careful with zebra stripes, and this just didn’t work.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Audé-tious: Grammy-nominated remixer Dave Audé headlines Boi Thursday

AUD_PIC_WKND_10.12Proof that music knows no boundary comes this week when straight DJ/remixer Dave Audé headlines the very gay night Boi Thursday at Winston’s Supperclub. But then again, without the gays, DJs probably wouldn’t have a job.

So how will the Grammy-nominated, in-demand A-list DJ prepare for his soon-to-be Dallas gay fans? Rich Lopez chatted with Audé from his home in Los Angeles:

“I don’t think about what I’m gonna bring too much — the night before I’ll think about some of it,” says Audé. “I could play Dave Audé stuff all night even but I’m not gonna do one type of thing. I’ll just play everything.”

But if he does play his own work, that would hardly be a disappointment. His catalog includes remixes of Rihanna, Madonna and Adam Lambert to name a few —  all gay faves. And his current projects are just as impressive and will likely be dotting gay dance floors for months to come.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Of Madonna and Big Tex

Oct. 19, 2012, may we be considered Dallas’ Black Friday — or at least, Blackened Friday.

The day began with the surprising news that Big Tex, the animatronic corporate logo for the State Fair of Texas (the Fair’s website is even BigTex.org), caught fire and burned up faster than a joint in Snoop Dogg’s trailer. Pictures of the flamer (I knew it!) became the latest meme to dominate Facebook; news sourced from as far away as the BBC reported on it.

Then, less than 12 hours later, came more devastating news: Madonna was canceling the first of her two concerts at American Airlines Center. I was at an event with tons of gay folks, and the news spread faster … well, faster than flames over Big Tex.

How much can one community be expected to endure?!?!

The thing is, neither of these event is, really, such a big deal. Oohhhh, Madonna has laryngitis; it happens. She still performed last night (and, by all accounts, was fully recovered) and so many of her fans still got what they wanted. And Big Tex? Well, the fair was almost over anyway, and while the majority of the skeleton may have been around for 60 years, it was, in the end, a badly dressed scaffolding with a loudspeaker in his chest. It was not, in the end, a tragedy of any sort.

So why were people acting as if both of them were?

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

The Gay Interview: Katy Perry

Our correspondent Chris Azzopardi got a sit-down (well, via transatlantic phone) with pop star Katy Perry, just in time for the release of her concert documentary, Katy Perry: Part of Me 3D, which comes out today.  The patriotic pop princess talks the film, kissing gay boys and fighting hate with love bullets.

 KATY PERRY IN 3D

It was not really last Friday night, but it still happened: Katy Perry called from London, where it was nearly 1 a.m. If life really does imitate art, she smelled like a mini-bar on a night that’s soon to be a blacked-out blur, right?

“Not tonight,” she insists. “I have to play and be professional tomorrow, but maybe after the show I’ll be having a couple of Shirley Temples with some adult juice in them.”

We spoke with Perry just after she made a surprise appearance in London for a screening of her new film, Katy Perry: Part of Me 3D, a docu-concert chronicling the California girl’s evolution from gospel-singing daughter of two pastors to international pop phenom … with the most lethal boobs in the world.

During our interview, Perry told us what else they shoot besides whipped cream, how the gay community can relate to her movie and why Madonna doesn’t scare her. 

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

WATCH: Madonna’s “Girl Gone Wild”

Madonna makes a much more mature showing in this video more so than in “Give Me All Your Luvin’” from January. The buzz is all about its black and white atmosphere and her return to form. She succeeds in stepping up her presence with subtle nods to the Madonna of the Erotica/Bedtime Stories era, but still very fashion forward. This is leaps and bounds beyond the album’s first video, but where Madonna should be at this point.

The video premiered tonight on E! Online. M.D.N.A. is set for release March. 26.

—  Rich Lopez

Interim no more: Jacobs in at TCC

It’s official: Trey Jacobs is in as the new, permanent artistic director at the Turtle Creek Chorale.

Following the TCC’s Madonna to Madonna concert Sunday, where Dallas’ gay men’s chorus sang songs from liturgical hymns like “Ave Maria” to medleys of Madge’s pop hits, managing director David Fisher, pictured right, announced that their “new” artistic director would be the guy who has led the group since last summer, pictured left.

It was both a surprise and not. The surprise came because, in an interview with the Voice last October, Jacobs claimed he did not intend to apply for it, as he had recently moved to the same town as his partner after a commuter relationship for years.

I was never totally convinced, even though Jacobs was a rush replacement last year when former A.D. Jonathan Palant’s contract was not renewed at the close of the season. And it was not a surprise when you looked at the Facebook posts in recent days of TCC members, who seemed devoted to Jacobs’ leadership. When Fisher took the stage, I saw it coming.

The reaction from the crowd was enthusiastic, probably owing in no small part to the excellent concert that has just been performed. There was an energy to the chorale that had been missing in some prior concerts, and the membership roster seemed especially healthy. (The subject matter — the role of women and their strength throughout history — was particularly poignant in light of recent political debates concerning women’s health.) Jacobs’ selection was a popular choice and the singers, too. One member of the search committee told me after they looked at 16 candidates, but “we all love Trey,” so he was offered the job.

Another clue it would be Jacobs: A note in the program that the 2012-13 season would be announced soon. That’s the job of an artistic director.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Like virgins

Turtle Creek Chorale channels its inner Madonna — and other women throughout history — for its latest concert

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STRIKE A POSE | The chorale gets into the groove Sunday performing Madonna songs, but the concert honors many women throughout history.

RICH LOPEZ  | Staff Writer

Trey Jacobs knew exactly who he had in mind when forging the concept of the upcoming Turtle Creek Chorale concert Madonna to Madonna: The Ageless Strength of Women. The show was conceived to feature music that honors women from the Virgin Mary to the queen of pop. Iconic as they are, Jacobs looked to high school for the women who made him the person he is today — besides Mom, of course.

“As a musician, my role model was my high school choral director Jane Price,” says the TCC’s interim conductor. “She taught me how to express emotion through music.”

Thus, Jacobs will take a cue from Madge and express himself with a selection of Madonna songs — and then some.

Jacobs took over the chorale after the season outline had already been set. Running the gamut of women throughout history, from antiquity to the contemporary, was not his idea. But he expanded the idea to make his own mark.

“There was no music selected yet,” he says. “For me, it was about trying to pair [the idea] with a concept that would resonate with people. And it became this show that truly honors women.”

With a set-list that goes from Rachmaninoff to Shania Twain, the chorale teams up with some special guests for a unique experience. Enlisting the help of local singers Patty Breckenridge and Sally Vahle, New York musician Nisha Asnani and Cathedral of Hope’s the Rev. Dr. Jo Hudson, the ladies add the appropriate feminine touch to the show.

While people are scrambling to get loan approval for Madonna tickets in October, there is a distinct curiosity for how the TCC boys will be pulling off some of her greatest hits. There will even be some “chorale-ography” involved.

“They’ll be singing ‘Open Your Heart,’ ‘Dress You Up,’ ‘Papa Don’t Preach,’” says Joe Rattan, who also does the chorale’s marketing. “Oh, and ‘Vogue.’”

Rattan and Jacobs confirm that the TCC men will, in fact, be vogueing.

Clearly Madonna is a big draw for any gay event, but both men are sure to note that the inspiration of this show isn’t just about the material girl or even just about the Virgin Mary.

“The show runs the full emotional gamut,” Rattan says. “It’s very touching, there are some funny moments. Trey really breathed life into it to be this and has done a wonderful job. The guys are excited and inspired by what they are singing and I’ve been moved by what I heard.”

Jacobs assures that a concert about women by men won’t miss the point.

“I had talks with the chorale and many of them would talk about these female role models,” he says. “Sometimes it was a strong character from a movie or musical, or more personal, but it was fascinating to hear all these different men talk about women in such reverence. That’s what this is about.”

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition March 2, 2012.

—  Kevin Thomas

Madonna adds 2nd Dallas show, drops new single

Madonna offers fans here a double dose of good news. First, as you may have heard, she’s released her second single of her upcoming album. She dropped “Girl Gone Wild” today much to the likely pleasure of pop music bloggers everywhere. I can’t say I’m knocked out by it compared to her first single, but I’ve had some deadlines today that have kept my focus elsewhere. As we do. I kinda miss the sophisticated edge she had for Ray of Light or Music. I fear she’s trading her hot cougar-ness for some reductive pop confections.

No video yet, but you can give the song a listen on this lyric video.

To add to a good day of Madonna, we found out a second show has been added to her Dallas date at the American Airlines Center. She’s added Oct. 21 to her itinerary with tickets going on sale March 5. So save up your $358.50 for some primo seats at AAC.

—  Rich Lopez

Concert Notice: Madonna at AAC Oct. 20

Big concert news came hours ago as Madonna officially announced the itinerary for her new world tour and Dallas makes the list. This marks her first show this way since the Blonde Ambition tour hit Reunion arena 22 years ago. I was stunned that she wouldn’t be hitting Cowboys Stadium, but this makes it much closer to home. This news only adds to her recent return to the pop culture radar with her new movie W/E, Sunday’s Super Bowl performance and her release last week, “Give Me All Your Luvin’” from her upcoming album M.D.N.A.

Will she repeat some of the imagery of her Super Bowl performance that recalled a lot of Kylie’s Aphrodite tour? Mmmmm…hopefully not, but please, Madge, no lip syncing like you did during most of your performance.

Madonna is scheduled to play the American Airlines Center, Oct. 20 with tickets to begin going on sale to the general public Feb. 21.

—  Rich Lopez