Show vs Show Alterna-divas face off

From lez to Leslie, female musicians bring both the eccentric and the sophisticated to North Texas

Lead

The fates have convened once again to bring a healthy dose of live music to the area. From big to small, the concert calendar fills up with a spectrum of aural pleasures. Former New Kid on the Block Jordan Knight (not the gay one) headlines the Lakewood while alt-rock legends Radiohead make their American Airlines Center show an event next week. But we’re stuck on a couple of ladies who speak to queers in vastly different ways.

CLICK TO ENLARGE:

For more than 20 years, Mary Gauthier has brought her lesbian sensibilities to her smart brand of Americana music. Touring in support of her seventh album, The Foundling and 2011’s The Foundling Alone (a companion of acoustic demos), Gauthier continues to amass an impressive discography with graduating brilliance.

Cult singer Leslie Hall, with her band the Lys, let forth a trip of dance-ish tunes on 2011’s Destination Friendship, with her signature rapping on cheeky songs like “Blame the Booty” and “No Pants Policy.” But Hall is no joke. She veers toward the eccentric but she doesn’t disappoint live, sweating up a storm with rambunctious
energy and funky dance moves.

— Rich Lopez

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 24, 2012.

—  Kevin Thomas

Concert Notice: Mary Gauthier comes to Uncle Calvin’s Coffeehouse this March

Right after I saw lesbian singer Mary Gauthier was coming to the area in Pollstar, I received Uncle Calvin’s Coffeehouse calendar to confirm. Although, Pollstar is pretty reliable.

In 2010, Gauthier (pronounced go-shay) released the autobiographical album The Foundling, but last year, she released a sort of outtakes album of those tracks which became The Foundling Alone, and what I consider far more interesting than the previous release. In stripped down mode, her sessions were taped to reveal something more than just Gauthier demoing the tracks for producer Michael Timmins.

She brings that ever-present emotion, soul and vulnerability from the album to town — and a whole lot more. With eight albums under her belt, Gauthier continues her musical journey that’s more about asking questions than answering them. That journey brings her to Uncle Calvin’s on March 2 with Cary Cooper opening.

Tickets are $15–$18 and available online at UncleCalvins.org.

—  Rich Lopez

Love her way

Despite her Scottish accent, Oona Love is an all-American girl

RICH LOPEZ  | lopez@dallasvoice.com

Oona2-copy
FOLKING AROUND | Oona Love may dress like Stevie Nicks, but she finds inspiration in lesbian icon Mary Gauthier.

OONA LOVE
Sue Ellen’s
3014 Throckmorton St. Dec. 17. 9:30 p.m.
No cover. Caven.com.

……………………………….

Oona Love thinks she’s boring. The most interesting thing about her, if she says so herself (and she does), is her Chihuahua mix, which joins Love and her girlfriend on the road while she’s performing and booking gigs across the country.

But Love herself has a Chihuahua’s tenacity. Prior to her Saturday gig at Sue Ellen’s, the Scottish singer by way of Nashville has booked shows at Lakewood Bar & Grill and after arriving in town, she lined up two more appearances.

So how does a “boring” Scot thrive in an indie music career filled with lesbians and guitars?

“My message is trying to promote peace, love, understanding and action,” she says. “My generation gets lost in talking about stuff but not doing anything. So all

I’m doing is just really trying to get my music out there. I logged 38,000 miles for the last year, trying to get people to hear that message.”

Love arrived in America 20 years ago to attend college, but she also knew that if anything in music was going to happen for her, it would be here. This is where her heroes are from.

“I’d always been into American singer-songwriters,” she says. “I’m kind of embarrassed to say it, but I really like John Denver!”

For Love, old-school folk inspired her music, offering the optimistic messages she shoots for. With a folk revival in recent years, she doesn’t find much in common with newer bands, though.

“I sometimes write about love and shit, but I always try to write more with a message like those singers,” she says.

Lesbian icons aren’t lost on her, either. She’s a big fan of Sinead O’Connor, but also gushes over folk icon Mary Gauthier and highly recommends her new album. Just don’t get her started on one self-proclaimed bisexual artist.

“I don’t get Ani DiFranco anymore,” she says. “She’s married with a kid now but, oh, I dunno.”

Love melds traditional undertones with a strong Americana perspective tying both cultures. In her album, Out of the Ashes, producer Doug Driesel and Love provide a fairly cohesive set of songs with heart and nice texture. Despite being more American than Scottish, the Celtic instrumentation isn’t lost. And she says the gays like it — and she means the boys.

“I do have a good gay male following,” she says. “Maybe it’s because I look like a drag queen. I’m a redhead with giant boobs, so that kinda helps. But it’s fantastic to play lesbian bars because it feels like you’re coming home. I’m a bit freer before a gay audience.”

Love doesn’t play the boxed-in-because-I’m-lesbian card. She refreshingly embraces the fact that she is going to appeal more to LGBT audiences, but also won’t hold back if performing in non-gay bars. She’s learning to play the game of booking various clubs, what to perform and how to reach out to her audience. But she’s still going to sing love songs to her girlfriend.

“I have no restriction. I don’t feel I need to walk into some hick bar and be overtly out, but I still sing to a woman,” she says. “I don’t raise issues about straight or gay, but if they like my music. But I try to set a good example by living an out lifestyle.”

Which doesn’t sound boring at all.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 17, 2010.

—  Kevin Thomas

Singer Mary Gauthier proclaims she isn't lesbian enough

Today, Australia’s Star Observer profiled out country singer Mary Gauthier and her latest release, The Foundling. They call the album her most personal to date which is a bold statement considering Gauthier’s past includes alcoholism, running away and a parent’s rejection. Heavy stuff for sure.

But I love her comment on playing “gay music.”

“I’m not interested in ‘gay music’ — what is that? I don’t just sing about ‘gay things’, ” she laughed.

She goes on then about not being gay enough for lesbian audiences which is hard to imagine, because lesbian audiences seem to be the most embracing of all. Maybe she can take baby steps by joining the renewed Lilith Fair.

Gauthier is touring throughout Australia right now and then back to the States in late spring. The above video is her February performance at the All Good Cafe last year. Just take your Dramamine while you watch. And if you want to bypass all the chatter, fast forward to the 6:10 mark.

—  Rich Lopez