Morrissey as Superman? We’re so there

Morrissey

With Man of Steel leaping over box office records (I kinda liked it), I was delighted to stumble upon this bit of superhero fanboy art. Someone has taken it upon himself to take post-punk/New Wave icons — including queer icon Morrissey, pictured — and re-imagine them as classic comic book heroes. Sure, Morrissey doesn’t have Henry Cavill’s pecs, but can Cavill burrow under your skin with plaintive lyrics of doomed romantic pointlessness? … I didn’t think so.

You can see all the pieces of cover art here.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Concert Notice: Parade of Flesh brings Screaming Females to Queen City Hall on May 5

Whoa. This almost snuck by me. Punk trio Screaming Females has had a hefty touring schedule since appearing at SXSW last month. They’ve been all across the country but head back this way in time for Cinco De Mayo. Fronted by lesbian guitarist Marissa Paternoster, the band’s buzz has only grown with their 2012 album Ugly. Which is well overdue being that this is their fifth release.

Local promoters Parade of Flesh bring them in to play the East Dallas venue Queen City Hall with Leg Sweeper and Final Club. And tickets are only $5. That means I can get in and buy a beer. Maybe two. You can purchase them here prior to the show.

Watch the video for “It All Means Nothing,” the first single from the album after the jump. FYI, if you’re squeamish about blood, then cover your eyes.

—  Rich Lopez

REVIEW: “Fashioned Forward” Gaultier music exploration at the DMA fails

Last night held a whole lot of mixed feelings for me.

I finally made it to the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit at the Dallas Museum of Art, thanks to a sort-of ticket-only pre-show viewing. The crowd wasn’t so thick and I could soak in all the edgy, avant garde work by the designer, as well as the innovations used in the exhibit — mannequins with animated faces, two-level displays and an automated runway showed the museum really upping their game. It made me  proud of the place. And the exhibit itself was full of energy.

But then came the reason we were there.

Fashioned Forward was billed as “a musical exploration of the creative spirit of fashion icon Jean Paul Gaultier.” I was fascinated by the idea of pairing music with fashion, like wine with food. With punk rock skirts for men and ornate corsets made of straw, I could only imagine how the side-by-side would be.

I did not expect what happened.

A cast of four singers, a guitarist and a pianist made up the cast for the night, led by artistic director Ryan Taylor (not onstage). The Horchow Auditorium was packed with a diverse crowd and the show opened with Cole Porter’s “Anything Goes” followed by John Duke’s “Morning in Paris.” Unfortunately, it started the show on the completely wrong stiletto. American standards aren’t what I picture as augmenting the hard edges and spiky textures of Gaultier. Not. At. All. Foreign language songs like “Chiome d’Oro” disengaged the show even more, and poems about (or merely mentioning) fashion were peppered in without much effect while slides of fashions acted as backdrops for works intended to relate to that look.

That was the first half.

—  Rich Lopez

Broken Mould

Queer punk pioneer Bob Mould turned an abusive childhood into a musical movement, but memoir targets hardcore fans

2.5 out of 5 stars
SEE A LITTLE LIGHT: THE TRAIL OF RAGE AND MELODY
By Bob Mould (with Michael
Azerrad). 2001 (Little, Brown)
$25; 404 pp.

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It all starts with “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.” It continues with the itsy-bitsy spider, the ABCs and being a little teapot. From there, you embrace whatever your older siblings are listening to until you develop your own musical tastes. Maybe you started with records, moved on to the cassette tapes, CD and now, your iPod is full.

The point is, you’ve never been without your tunes.

But what about the people who make the music you love?

When Mould was born in 1960 in the northernmost end of New York, he entered a family wracked with grief: Just before he was born, Mould’s elder brother died of kidney cancer. He surmises that the timing of his birth resulted in his being a “golden child,” the family peacekeeper who sidestepped his father’s physical and psychological abuse.

“As a child,” he writes, “music was my escape.”

Mould’s father, surprisingly indulgent, bought his son guitars and young Bob taught himself to play chords and create songs. By the time he entered high school, Mould knew that he had to get out of New York and away from his family. He also knew he was gay, which would be a problem in his small hometown.

He applied for and entered college in Minnesota, where he started taking serious guitar lessons and drinking heavily. His frustrations led him to launch a punk rock band that made a notable impact on American indie music.

Named after a children’s game, Hüsker Dü performed nationally and internationally, but Mould muses that perhaps youth was against them. He seemed to have a love-hate relationship with his bandmates, and though he had become the band’s leader, there were resentments and accusations until the band finally split.

HUSKER DON’T | Bob Mould turned his youthful rage and homosexuality into a music career. (Photo by Noah Kalina)

But there were other bands and there were other loves than music, as Mould grew and learned to channel the rage inside him and the anger that volcanoed from it.

“I spent two years rebuilding and reinventing myself,” writes Mould. “Now that I’ve integrated who I am and what I do, I finally feel whole.”

If you remember with fondness the ‘80s, with its angry lyrics and mosh pits, then you’ll love this book. For most readers, though, See a Little Light is going to be a struggle. Mould spends a lot of time on a litany of clubs, recording studios, and locales he played some 30 years ago — which is fine if you were a fellow musician or a rabid, hardcore fan. This part of the book goes on… and on… and on, relentlessness and relatively esoteric in nature.

Admittedly, Mould shines when writing about his personal life but even so, he’s strangely dismissive and abrupt with former loves, bandmates, and even family. I enjoyed the occasional private tale; unfortunately there were not enough.

Overall, See a Little Light is great for Mould fanboys and those were heavy into the punk scene. For most readers, though, this book is way out of tune.

— Terri Schlichenmeyer

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 26, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

Starvoice • 02.11.11

By Jack Fertig

CELEBRITY BIRTHDAYBillieJoeArmstrong1

Billie Joe Armstrong turns 39 on Thursday. The Green Day frontman has grown into quite the artist since his early punk rock days. From 1994’s brash Dookie to the epic American Idiot in 2004 and now Broadway based on the latter album. He came out as bisexual in ’95 to The Advocate but now refrains from talking about his personal life out of respect for his wife.

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THIS WEEK

The Sun lining up with Neptune in Aquarius, and in a rare combination of aspects with Uranus (for the last time in our lifetime!), offers an unusual boost to intuitive clarity.

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AQUARIUS Jan 20-Feb 18
Birthday splurges carry hidden costs. Think ahead. Take time out to consider where you’re going in life. Maturing is a process of adaptation. Aging offers opportunities for insight and liberation.
PISCES  Feb 19-Mar 19
Take time out from worldly demands. You need to be able to charge your batteries to intuit the big changes coming up both globally and personally. Trust your instincts and act on them.

ARIES Mar 20-Apr 19
Enjoy the company of good friends; talk about where you expect to be in 10 or 20 years. That triggers hunches about the future. Talking about them gives a clearer vision of what will be.

TAURUS Apr 20-May 20
The future is uncertain. Don’t let that worry you. Focus on what you really want and expect of life. That will alleviate concerns about your career and give direction in your planning.

GEMINI May 21-Jun 20
Believe in yourself. Even that may be difficult while you are in the midst of redirection, but look into your own heart, your own guiding light, to see what you know to be true.

CANCER Jun 21-Jul 22
Discuss your fantasies with your partner — or someone you can trust. Something new is likely to come up. You may not be ready to act on it, but at least consider the notion and what’s behind it.

LEO Jul 23-Aug 22
The bedroom is a great place to clear up misunderstandings. Be willing to let your lover lead you to places and positions you’d never considered. Return the favor. It’s about trust and empathy.

VIRGO Aug 23-Sep 22
Your ideas at work are brilliant, but support is a problem. Let others think they had some part in your ideas if you don’t mind giving up some of the credit.

LIBRA Sep 23-Oct 22
Being a team player does include some actual play. Morale-building fun-and-games help you get into better sync with your colleagues. Even solo, new techniques will improve your game.

SCORPIO Oct 23-Nov 21
Scandals open quite a can of worms. In the end it could prove very healing, although the catharsis could put some big bumps on the path to resolution.

SAGITTARIUS Nov 22-Dec 20
Confusion is the first step to enlightenment. Remember that when things get a little crazy. Their deception is probably not deliberate. Be patient, forgiving and alert.

CAPRICORN Dec 21-Jan 19
A choice between diplomacy and honesty tests your values. Being kind is a mistake. Gentleness and finesse will be appreciated while pussyfooting and sugarcoated lies will not.

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

—  Kevin Thomas

REVIEW: Semi Precious Weapons at The Loft, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings at the Palladium

Justin Tranter
FOR MORE PICS OF THE SHOW, GO HERE.

Suffice it to say, I did not see Semi Precious Weapons go on stage. I was downstairs in the Palladium Showroom catching Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings do their thing. But more on that later. Walking upstairs into The Loft, I could immediately hear the band jamming out its punk glam rock to a raucous crowd.

Sure enough, a tight crowd pressed against each other and the stage with hands in the air like they just didn’t care. Although SPW is a band, the show is really about its frontman Justin Tranter. Perhaps he’s waiting for his Beyonce moment to break away from the band and become the star he should be. Tranter owned both the band and the crowd. His presence is huge with his mop top of blond hair and heavy eye make-up, but also with his inherent diva qualities. With fey hand gestures and funny “fuck yous” to the crowd, he actually bonds with his audience. It’s all so punk rock.

SPW’s fans are a breed unto themselves. They knew every word to the songs and responded with haste when Tranter commanded them to. When he told people to take off their clothes, garments immediately started flying to the stage. His antics made for a worthy show. He made sure everyone was “Sticky With Champagne” as he pretty much jacked off a bottle and sprayed the bubbly load all over the audience. He then bore his ass, and one guy suggested there might have been balls involved. I missed that photo opp. Maybe it was a good thing. He promised sexual favors if the crowd bought his merch and a spray of water was a cool bath amid the sweaty hot crowd.

Sharon Jones

Just don’t think he’s all shock value and schtick. The band (especially the guitars) was sharp and each instrument came off lush but sharp and beautifully loud. The music was matched by Tranter’s strong voice — especially in “Fucking Gorgeous” — which at times was reminiscent of The Clash’s Joe Strummer — powerful with the slightest tint of delicacy that gave him extra pizzazz. Tranter also didn’t sacrifice his voice for an outlandish rock persona. He belted out a few vocal runs complete with vibrato but kept it under the cheesy radar.

The energy SPW had here to a crowd of maybe 150 was exponentially better than their opening gig at Lady Gaga this summer. I almost would hate for them to get bigger because SPW was on top of their game and clearly at home in a tinier venue like The Loft.

Downstairs in the Palladium Showroom, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings was performing her soulful gig. And just like Tranter, Jones captivated with frantic dancing and those beautifully rich and gritty vocal chords — that is when you could hear her.

I’m not sure how this worked, but being up close, I could barely hear a word she said, much less sang. The Dap-Kings however were crisp and clear — especially the horn section. I had to leave for SPW and then came back and from the rear of the standing audience, Jones was a whole lot clearer.

Jones has unique appeal. The gays weren’t out in force but a few were in the audience grooving along with the mostly 20-something hipsters who seemed to have genuine appreciation for her music rather than just jumping on some nostalgic trend recycling its way through. And regardless of who was in the audience, young or old, Jones and the Kings had the crowd dancing, which was kind of a shocker in Dallas. Audiences here tend to just watch. It’s weird. But last night, this Dallas crowd grooved, shimmied and shook through each song.

I do wish they had peppered more ballads in. Jones’ voice is something to behold but it seemed like 95 percent of the show was overly upbeat. That’s never a bad thing but heck, we needed a break, too! Regardless, Jones and her very able Dap Kings gave one of the most satisfying shows of the year so far.

Grace Potter and the NocturnalsFans of Grace Potter and the Nocturnals should have been equally satisfied if not ass-kicked. Despite opener status for Jones, Potter and the gang went for broke with her raucous performance. Her dirty roots rock pretty much tsunami-ed the room. To top it off, she went from guitars to piano to tambourine and struck a pose each time. Drag queens should look her up as influence, if she hasn’t already done that vice versa for her onstage presence. In an almost peek-a-boo short, shimmery dress, she was feminine but rocked out like many a male rocker from the hair-teased 80s. Her set began to go just a little too long, mostly because it felt the energy in the room was buzzing for Jones. But Potter played like she would for a sold-out crowd at the Cotton Bowl and it ruled.

So, all in all, it was a pretty good night for a concert — even two.

—  Rich Lopez