Blondie tonight at Granada Theater

Don’t strain your brain

Although the band hit it big in the early ’80s, Blondie’s hits never sound dated. Instead they sound cool and classic, much like singer Debbie Harry herself. But the band’s not too shabby either. See the band in the flesh as they bring back the new wave to Dallas.

DEETS: With Nico Vega. Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave. 8 p.m. $60. GranadaTheater.com

—  Rich Lopez

Best bets • 09.30.11

Friday 09.30

You had us at ‘howdy,’ Big Tex
When the Food Choice Awards rolled out fried bubblegum as the Most Creative winner, we weren’t immediately on board. Yes, we know it’s a marshmallow that tastes like gum, but do we get to stick it under our ferris wheel seat when we’re done? Sure, we’ll try it, but the Best Taste winner Buffalo chicken in a flapjack rings like heaven in our ears. Welcome back, State Fair.

DEETS: Fair Park, 1121 First Ave. Through Oct. 23. $13.95. BigTex.com.

……………….

Saturday 10.01

Don’t strain your brain
Although the band hit it big in the early ’80s, Blondie’s hits never sound dated. Instead they sound cool and classic, much like singer Debbie Harry herself. But the band’s not too shabby either. See the band in the flesh as they bring back the new wave to Dallas.

DEETS: With Nico Vega. Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave. 8 p.m. $60. GranadaTheater.com

………………

Tuesday 10.04

Yes, you feel pretty, witty and gay
Face it, it’s the one go-to line for queens of all ages, but West Side Story is much more than that cliche. It’s heart and angst rolled into a love story and a rumble. Which means, don’t miss it.

DEETS:  Music Hall, 909 First Ave. Through Oct. 23. $20–$90. DallasSummerMusicals.org.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 30, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

RICH’S MIXTAPE: POST-PRIDE EDITION

We appreciated the Pride theme “It Only Gets Better,” but it also sounded a little like a self-help mantra. Now that Pride is over, we’re looking to keep our groove going with a little fun. These tunes should turn a frown upside-down.

“I Could Be Happy” — Altered Images: Of course you can, especially after this 1981 New Wave hit by Scottish post-punkers fill your brain with its bouncy, joyful sound.
“Dreams” — The Cranberries: Bubbling with optimism, it is pretty hard not to think your dreams will come true after this alt-pop classic plays.

“A Little Less Conversation” — Elvis Presley: The King isn’t on a self-help kick here, but who could resist this kind of beat? For those who can, you need far more than this mixtape.

“Don’t Fucking Tell Me What To Do” — Robyn: This popster takes a different approach to self-empowerment, but it works. Listing everything that bugs her, she sounds just like us. Sometimes we just need to vent and curse.

“Firework” — Katy Perry: Don’t deny it: You get a rush when Perry builds to her chorus and then the beat drops.

“Louder (Put Your Hands Up)” — Chris Willis, pictured: While we keep waiting for his full- length debut, the out singer delivers the ultimate uplift anthem, and it’s a good dance tune, too.

“I’ll Take You There” — The Staple Sisters: There are few lyrics in this song, but all we need to know is I know a place / Ain’t nobody cryin’ / Ain’t nobody worried. Let’s go.

“Roam’” – The B-52’s: Sometimes the B’s are out there, but they make the world a better place here. Who figured permission from the band to roam around the world would feel so good?

“Hell With You” – …Silenze: These queer-centric metalheads don’t take crap. Declaring I’m someone unlike you, the band forgets the fuzzy-wuzzies and takes a stand.

“Move any Mountain” – The Shamen: Though their hit “Ebenezer Goode” came off rather dark, the rave house band gets all Dr. Phil with this addictive and encouraging dance track.

“I’m Sorry Baby, But You Can’t Stand in my Light Anymore” – Bob Mould: Sometimes it’s the one you’re with that’s bringing you down. Kick ’em to the curb the way this queer indie rocker says: Hate to leave you standing in the corner on your own. Fact is, sometimes you have to.

“Express Yourself” – Madonna: You had to see this coming. Truer words have never been sung than Don’t go for second best, baby. Even if it is a song about relationships, it’s always said so much more.

—R.L.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 23, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

George Michael previews new single online

Despite all that he’s gone through and keeps going through, I still get excited when George Michael releases new music. Sure he’s self-destructive, but his music continues to grow and impress. Maybe that 420 is good for something.

This song isn’t so new, but he’s posted a three-minute preview of his remake of New Order’s “True Faith”  on his website. He’s auto-tuned without abandon which I think works here. Why not go all the way with it? He slows the song down heavily to a dreamier sound from its original New Wave dance beat.

Oh and you can see that Michael’s embracing his Father Figure-ness and going silver daddy on his cover.

The single will be released March 13.

—  Rich Lopez

Austin City Limits preview: Festival won’t be supergay this year, but it’s still worth the trip

If you’re venturing down for this year’s ACL fest, chances are you’ve mentally prepared for a lack of personal space over the next two days. The weather will eventually get too hot, the treks too long and there’s bound to be mud somewhere. And that makes the music fest all the more glorious.

The roster of players is always impressive with at least one band that should appeal to the finickiest of music lovers. But I got a little curious as to finding the gay angle to ACL, which really is just seeing who’s playing that also plays on the LGBT side of the fence. Plus, I hope you won’t mind just a couple of non-gay recommendations along the way.

Friday night — If you missed them Wednesday night, Vampire Weekend, below,  plays at 7 p.m. on the ZYNC Card stage. I feel like I’ve pointed to gay member Rostam Batmanglij a lot this past week, but really, the band’s live show has a reputation of greatness. I wouldn’t know. Although The Strokes don’t have any confirmed gay members, there was that gay porn incident.They play at 8 p.m. on the AMD stage.

—  Rich Lopez