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: Brandon Hilton’s “Set Fire to the Night”

When I heard that Dallas-based singer Brandon Hilton’s newest single was titled “Set Fire to the Night,” I tweeted him asking what would Adele say about it since she has her song “Set Fire to the Rain.” With a confident bravado, he quickly tweeted back:

That was back in December. It was kind of funny, but also significant of Hilton’s self-assurance. Like him or not, Hilton is relentless in his drive to be a viable pop star and his new video released this week proves he’s trying to step up his game. It may not have the slick production value of a major artist, but there is a sense of graduation as he attempts to say something here — or just get your attention. And the visual effects, while not big budget, do make a memorable impression.

But the party beat and slashed to hell editing makes the video work for me. Although I do wish he had followed up with that big smack in the beginning of the video. What happened to that bully? Did he get his? A bunch of different images and looks override the opening and we’re left hanging. Don’t forget the story, Hilton.

Watch the video after the jump.

—  Rich Lopez

Must see: Marina & the Diamonds, ISHI tonight at Granada Theater

Hump day dance party

We love us some Granada Theater, but even more so when they put a show like tonight’s. Billed as Girl’s Night Out, avant-popster (and cute as a button) Marina and the Diamonds (Marina Diamandis) might be one of the best acts you’ve never heard of. Before you dismiss her as the next pop star wannabe, give her debut CD The Family Jewels a special listen. Her voice isn’t your thin, overproduced product, but instead is rich and deep. Almost husky. Her videos, so far, have been these glorious visual explosions that Miss Britney should take a lesson from. Now let’s see what she can do live.

Local band ISHI is no small deal. The band has been one of Dallas’ biggest draws due to the right combination of an amazing live show and simple but nicely construction dance confections. It only gets better when they turn on the folk switch and deliver an entirely different, scaled back sound as displayed on their debut CD Through The Trees.

Dare we say it — this might even be the best thing you go to all week.

DEETS: Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave. Doors at 7 p.m. $12–$17. GranadaTheater.com

—  Rich Lopez

Pink Noise: The Dallas Voice Podcast

In this week’s episode, Rich Lopez and I discuss Lady Gaga’s upcoming show in Dallas, the pop star’s canceled agreement with Target Stores, Texas Bear Round -Up XVI (TBRU) in Dallas next weekend, the impact of social media (from Twitter to Grindr) on LGBT culture, St. Patrick’s Day, and more.

Subscribe to Pink Noise on iTunes and follow the show on Twitter.

—  John Wright

Mister Sister

Headlining or opening for Gaga? It’s all the same to Scissor Sisters’ Marquis

RICH LOPEZ  | Staff Writer
lopez@dallasvoice.com

Scissor-Sisters-red-blinds
MAKING THE CUT | Del Marquis, far right, has sex appeal with bearish qualities, even though frontman Jake Shears, second from right, gets press for taking his shirt off.

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GAGA/SCISSOR SISTERS

American Airlines Center,
2500 Victory Ave.
March 14 at 8 p.m.  $52–$178.
Ticketmaster.com

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Despite headlining their own tours and high profile music festivals for their acclaimed CDs, the Scissor Sisters kinda had a secret agenda when they joined Lady Gaga’s tour as the opening act. As big as the band is, when you go on the road with The Biggest Pop Star of the Moment, benefits abound. The Sisters may not seem like they need the benefits — having their own rabid following — but guitarist Del Marquis thinks it could always be bigger.

“There are only a few people you’d want to open for that are well beyond our capacity,” Marquis says. “We think her audience would get us but may never see us. We don’t get video or radio play, so after our show people may go and look us up.”
Funny, being that Scissor Sisters has just been named to big time gigs at the Coachella festival in April and headlining a night at the U.K. festival, Lovebox, in July. But for Marquis, headliner or not, this shakeup keeps the band on its toes.

“When we headline and we feel like we own it, we work it and peddle our wares,” Marquis says. “But people have paid a certain amount to see Gaga and so we just work harder but in a different way. Yet it’s fun to work for it that way again.”
Besides, it’s less work.

“Oh yeah, half an hour on stage and we’re done,” he laughs.

Vanessa Franko from the InLandSoCal blog wrote recently that “the band is still tragically under appreciated.” Scissor Sisters aren’t an obscure indie band, but their very radio-friendly music doesn’t get the mainstream play. In that regard, Marquis brazenly agrees.

“In the States, yeah, but of course, tragic is a point of view,” he says. “I think we write great songs and we’re great live band.

There are not a lot of both out there. Songwriting is almost just a vehicle to a performer now and some bands are a bore live but have great songs. We work really hard at both things, so we’re a rarity. There are a lot of rock bands and pop stars, but we’re a pop band and, against the odds, become something larger.”

Which the band seems to have found overseas. The Brits love the Sisters, and maybe it has something to do with the band’s constant comparison to vintage Elton John that go even beyond having flamboyant gay members like Marquis and lead singer Jake Shears.

“We do love our U.S. tours, but the audiences seem much bigger in Britain,” Marquis says. “They are really great and there we don’t play to people with arms folded. But really, whether it’s a crowd of 1,500 or 33,000, we play to get an immediate reaction anywhere. We are blessed we do get in that high range of audiences. We want to indoctrinate more people.”

Marquis has enough sex appeal to rival frontman Shears (for that matter, so does fellow bandmate BabyDaddy), but he might appeal to a more fur-appreciating contingent. With the Texas Bear Round-Up around the corner, Marquis and his hairy chest would fit right in. Except Marquis is not inclined to embrace an ursine identity.
“Am I a bear?” he laughs. “No, I don’t like to think of myself as an animal. A lot of my best friends are bears, though.”

Marq
BOY IN THE BAND | Marquis doesn’t mind the ‘opening band’ status when he and the Scissor Sisters are opening for ‘the biggest pop star in the world.’ They just plan to find more fans.

Marquis isn’t shy, but says he is rather ordinary compared to his frontman’s explosive charisma, as seen in the recent coffee table book One Day in the Life of Jake Shears by photographer Tim Hailand. Marquis admits a book about his day just wouldn’t be all that.

“Oh, I don’t think it would be all that exciting,” he says. “I find pleasure in mundane things. I like to walk and garden. I’m not too exciting so all that would have to be staged. My extrovert is on the stage.”

If ever his stage moments are gone, Marquis is keeping his future options open.  If there is ever a post-Scissor Sisters existence outside of music, Marquis hints that it could involve design work or even shrubbery.

“I have a new idea every few months about what the future holds. It’ll always be there in a sense,” he says. “I’m constantly driven by pleasure and fulfillment and inspiration, but because music is so heavily saturating my life, I have to turn to something else as a hobby or a pleasure. So sometimes I think I might get back into design or even small business. I’m even interested in landscape architecture.”

Cooking however, is not on his list. Marquis has admitted to loving food, but don’t expect a dish from his hands.

“Yeah, I don’t cook,” he says. “I like to find boyfriends for that.”

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition March 11, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

Weekly Best Bets

Friday 02.18

Don’t <expletive> tell her what to do

When Robyn sings people listen, although mostly Europeans. She’s been doing this for a while, but last year’s Body Talk trilogy got her huge critical acclaim and a whole bunch of new American fans. The Swedish pop star isn’t in the bigger stratosphere of other pop divas, but that’s what makes her far more interesting. Dallas Voice presents the concert with Diamond Rings and Natalia Kills opening.

DEETS: South Side Music Hall, 1135 S. Lamar St. Doors at 7 p.m. $25. GilleyMusic.com.

Sunday 02.20

Get that jock you always wanted

For eight years, the Dallas Diablos have been putting their men on the auction block. But they say right on their poster “bad boys need love too.” Who are we to deny them that? Of course, it also has pics of guys with signs saying “buy my package.” That alone is kind of hard to resist.

DEETS: Woody’s Sports & Video Bar, 4011 Cedar Springs Road. 4:30 p.m. DallasDiablos.org.

Monday 02.21

We just wanna know if it’s funny
Usually Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure is considered one of his comedies. But because it’s on the darker side, a new label has been deemed for this type of show — problem play. No problem here, but we sure hope to laugh at Nouveau 47’s new production of the show.

DEETS: Nouveau 47 Theatre, 1121 First Ave. Through Feb. 27. Facebook.com/Nouveau47

—  John Wright

Best bets • 10.01.10

Friday 10.01

Shakira
Shakira

They are still pretty ticked off
Just when you thought you were out, Israel Luna pulls you back in. The local filmmaker screens his controversial Ticked Off Trannies With Knives for two midnight showings. If you missed all the hubbub over the film, now’s your time to catch up. And what better way to see a throwback exploitation film than late at night on the plushy sofas of the Inwood?

DEETS: Inwood Theatre, 5458 W Lovers Lane. Through Saturday. Midnight. $10.

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Friday 10.01

The hips don’t lie, but they shake
We never hear much about Shakira. Unlike many a pop star, she sidesteps the usual fame trappings and lets the music speak for her. That doesn’t mean she’s any less fabulous. Her rollerblading and motorcycle riding in her video for “Loca” is steamy, sexy and fun — just like the non-diva diva she is.

DEETS: American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave. 8 p.m. $20–$160.Ticketmaster.com.

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Sunday 10.03

Nothing secret about these gardens
The Rainbow Garden Club brings back its third annual Garden Tour 2010. Travel to the six gardens of members and friends of the group. Just don’t snip any flowers for yourself. Not cool.

DEETS: Various stops at residents’ homes. Noon. $10. Visit RainbowGardenClub.com for details.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 01, 2010.

—  Michael Stephens

Adam Lambert accused of battery in Miami

Following in the footsteps of another troubled gay music star, glam pop star Adam Lambert has been accused of battery in Miami. The Associated Press reported that a photographer was taking pictures when Lambert started running toward him in an aggressive manner. Photographer Victor Eras is claiming he was wrestled down by Lambert.

A bad week for gay pop singers. George Michael was sentenced earlier this week on charges of drug possession and driving under the influence. To make matters worse, fellow inmates are taunting him by singing his hits songs with altered words.

Lambert tweeted that it was an embarrassing but harmless moment:

“@AdamLambert Battery? Nope. I attempted to grab a camera, no punches were thrown and no one was on the ground…. It was literally harmless. If embarrassment is a crime- thats all I’m guilty of.”

Pop stars.

—  Rich Lopez

Lambert glams Dallas

Adam Lambert in Dallas
GLITTERATI | Gay pop star Adam Lambert brought his Glam Nation Tour to Dallas on Tuesday, Sept. 8, thrilling the cross-generational crowd of fans that packed the Palladium Ballroom with a 75 minute set. After the concert, Lambert headed to BJ’s NXS! to continue the party. See more photos of the concert here and photos of Lambert’s visit to BJ’s here. (Chuck Dube/Dallas Voice)

—  Kevin Thomas