REVIEW: Tom Goss last night at Opening Bell

Tom Goss pulled off a no-nonsense show last night jumping from guitar to keyboards and back to guitar all while charming a healthy number of fans who showed up for his gig. He was the first of three performers for the night, but likely the most popular. The guy even had two Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence in full garb and Raid of the Rainbow Lounge director Robert Camina come out to the show.  If that’s not drawing power, I couldn’t tell you what is.

Clocking in just under an hour, Goss filled the time with a handful of songs that ranged from full-on pop to dreamy, acoustic ballads and each performed with quiet precision. There isn’t a lot of flair to Goss and I think that’s just how he wants it. His songwriting is solid which allows the music to speak for itself and it did. The audience responded well in its applause, but even Goss teased how tepid the crowd was.

“You’re all way too respectful,” Goss joked.

After, he hung out to chat with fans waiting to buy a CD or get a pic with him and gave props to following performer Rupert Wates. But well before all of that, Goss stepped up to my cheeky challenge yesterday and posted this small ode to Dallas. He even showed me the corner of the building in which he filmed it as his first order of business upon arriving in town.

After the jump are photos from the event. While we’re waiting for our slideshow software to kick in, you’ll have to click through each. You can also see video from the show here.

—  Rich Lopez

Concert Notice: Lesbian Nashville crooner Steff Mahan on Thursday night at Opening Bell

Just a quick note that out singer Steff Mahan comes to town Thursday. Looks like she’s just on the road hitting up cities here and there as opposed to supporting a new release. Her last album, Never a Long Way Home, came out in 2009, but these indie artists likely find more scratch and satisfaction on the road anyway.

Her site keeps mentioning alt-country, but her sound is far more Americana and roots in the vein of Emmylou Harris or Lucinda Williams. And the intimate space of Opening Bell is likely ideal for her sound. If you’re hankering for live music with some queer flair, then head on down to the South Side.

Opening Bell, 1409 S Lamar St. 8 p.m. $10. Click here for more information.

—  Rich Lopez

Out singer Tom Goss performs at Opening Bell tonight

Warm and fuzzy

Everything about Around is feel-good, maybe overly sentimental, but it does offer a refreshing perspective.  Goss dissolves the idea that uplifting songs equate to Christian music. Instead, he brings a level of cheer without being annoying. And with such a blatant overtone of romance, he resonates with gay listeners who might also want to celebrate their love.

“As an artist, I want my music to connect with everyone,” he says. “I don’t specify ‘he’ or ‘she’ in my lyrics, because I want to focus on everybody. I like the things people share instead of divide. At the same time, I can bring a kind of normalcy to gay relationships.”

Read the entire article here.

DEETS: With Brant Croucher. Opening Bell Coffee, 1409 S. Lamar St. May 12 at 8 p.m. $5. OpeningBellCoffee.com

—  Rich Lopez

Mr. Nice Guy

Gay musician Tom Goss stays defiant about his squeaky-clean image

RICH LOPEZ  | Staff Writer
lopez@dallasvoice.com

PINING UPSIDE DOWN BEEFCAKE | Tom Goss just turned 30, and love has softened his musical heart.

TOM GOSS
With Brant Croucher. Opening Bell Coffee, 1409 S. Lamar St. May 12 at 8 p.m. $5.
OpeningBellCoffee.com

………………….

Once upon a time, Tom Goss was a wounded, angry man. He alludes to his parents’ marriage leaving scars when he was younger, and at one point even believed he wouldn’t live to see 30.
But Goss hit that milestone birthday this week, so some things must be going right.

“You know, I kept waiting for my tragic death,” he admits. “When I turned 30 a few days ago, I used it as an excuse to give myself a new perspective on things.”

Goss performs Thursday at Opening Bell in support of Turn it Around, an album that heralds an optimism not heard on his early releases. Now married to his partner of five years, Goss is in love and he wants the world to know.
“I got married to the man I’m madly in love with and I want to convey that in this album,” he says.

Everything about Around is feel-good, maybe overly sentimental, but it does offer a refreshing perspective.  Goss dissolves the idea that uplifting songs equate to Christian music. Instead, he brings a level of cheer without being annoying. And with such a blatant overtone of romance, he resonates with gay listeners who might also want to celebrate their love.

“As an artist, I want my music to connect with everyone,” he says. “I don’t specify ‘he’ or ‘she’ in my lyrics, because I want to focus on everybody. I like the things people share instead of divide. At the same time, I can bring a kind of normalcy to gay relationships.”

He does that to full effect in videos such as “Till the End,” “You Don’t Question Love” and most notably in “Lover,” from his 2009 album Back to Love. Depicting the relationship between two men —  one a soldier hurt in battle, the other waiting at home — the video has gotten heavy rotation on Logo. While portraying gay relationships, Goss also makes political statements … even if he doesn’t mean to.

“I wasn’t trying to shock anybody with the video — I’m not that political,” he says. “I started getting emails and meeting soldiers telling me about their involvement with ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ and the video was a result of that even though the song wasn’t originally written with that in mind.”

Goss says that his evolution as an artist is most apparent with this album. His songwriting is crisper and he felt like he let loose with a strong positive energy all in an effort to make a “really great pop album.” He’s fine without trying to have an edge that music sometimes requires.

“You can go back to first album and hear the hurt, but I don’t feel like I have that anymore,” he says. “As for an edge or dark side, I don’t really have one. I’m supposed to be edgy and all these things but for the most part, I’m nice. I left my anger and violence in my past.”

He laughs at himself for being a “bad artist” because he thinks more about songwriting than branding or marketing, but he also knows his look, sound and tone are bright and what his fans want — something that’s wholesome.

“So much of the world, especially in the gay world, is bitter,” he says. “Although I’m not sure I ever set out to be anything particular, I want to turn people emotionally. I want to show them there is something beyond that bitterness.”

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 6, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens