Twist Dallas GLBT night at Lakewood Bar & Grill on Wednesday was a surprising success

Immigrant Punk

Thank goodness for SuZanne Kimbrell. Her enthusiasm going into her first Twist Dallas GLBT night was brimming. Perhaps it was nerves, but by the end of a long night, she had a success on her hands. With a lineup of seven local acts, all out artists (except one who snuck in), she pulled off a helluva fun time on a hump day — and not even in Oak Lawn.

Da’rrell Cloudy kicked it off nicely with throaty vocal runs over his acoustic guitar. The guy is only 21 but had the poise of a veteran. Jay (Jennifer) Bean, below, followed, recalling the tone of Sarah Jaffe. The one-two punch of acoustic starters made the night promising.

—  Rich Lopez

Cazwell brings his ‘Ice Cream Truck’ to Station 4

Cazwell is serious about his music … even if he is a club diva

CazwellIn this week’s issue, Cazwell talked with the Dallas Voice about his approach to music. Just because he’s all about beefcake and sexy, funny lyrics doesn’t mean you should take him less seriously as a musician. He’ll tell you why.

The last time we saw Cazwell in town was at the now-defunct minc in Exposition Park. Then he was first touted as the gay Eminem, but he’s really in his own league layering outrageous raps over dance music. He’s more fun than Eminem with songs like “I Seen Beyonce at Burger King” and “All Over Your Face” from his 2009 album Watch My Mouth. The rapper-singer’s newest hit, “Ice Cream Truck,” is big on the dance floor which I’m sure has nothing to do with the video.

He performs an 18-and-up show at S4 on Sept. 30 at midnight. After his performance, he’s gonna stick around for a Meet and Greet. Maybe he’ll have a Bomb Pop just for you.

DEETS: Station 4, 3911 Cedar Springs Road. Sept. 30 at midnight. Doors at 9 p.m. $15. Caven.com.

—  Rich Lopez

Sticky sweet

Cheeky raps and beefcake videos? Yes. But Cazwell is serious about his music … even if he is a club diva

RICH LOPEZ  | Staff Writer lopez@dallasvoice.com

HIS ‘ICE CREAM’ BRINGS THE BOYS TO THE YARD  |  Damn right! Cazwell, in front with white hat, put together his viral video in a day, but the rap is poised to be his biggest hit yet — thanks in large part to all the beefcake.
HIS ‘ICE CREAM’ BRINGS THE BOYS TO THE YARD | Damn right! Cazwell, in front with white hat, put together his viral video in a day, but the rap is poised to be his biggest hit yet — thanks in large part to all the beefcake.

CAZWELL
Station 4, 3911 Cedar Springs Road. Sept. 30 at midnight. Doors at 9 p.m. $15.
Caven.com.

………………………………..

The most surprising thing about Cazwell is his soft-spoken demeanor. With all the bravado in his rhymes, ranging from overtly sexual to ridiculously fun, he’s really just a guy. He just happens to also be the toast of gay club culture. But first thing’s first.

“Normally it takes a couple of months of planning,” he says. “But we did this quick.”

He’s referring to “Ice Cream Truck,” his rap and video which has turned into a sensation on gay dancefloors everywhere.

With a bevy of scantily clad beefcakes, including the tattooed hunk himself, the music video is two minutes and change of amateur production that doesn’t matter one bit — its guerrilla roots aside, it’s sexy as hell. When the video pops up at Station 4, the boys aren’t hoppin’; they’re staring at the monitors.

“That’s awesome,” he chuckles. “We were just gonna run up an ice cream truck with some friends and make it into this summer video. I knew some of the guys; Marco [Ovando, the director] knew others, and they came over. We filmed the whole thing at my apartment in a day.”

The video was posted a month ago on YouTube by Cazwell’s label, Peace Bisquit, and has notched more than 2 million views. For what started out as “a stupid song” for a movie called Spork, the old-school rap recorded in three hours is positioned to be Cazwell’s biggest hit to date.

With this tune and others such as  “I Seen Beyonce at Burger King” and “I Buy My Socks on 14th Street,” it’s easy to get the impression that Cazwell is more club kid than musician. And that would be wrong.

“I am serious about music,” he says. “Just because I don’t get too deep with my lyrics shouldn’t make me feel like I don’t do a good job. I’m flowing with it and I know I’m doing a good job. I think people might take things way too seriously. I just want people to connect to what I’ve done.”

Good thing, then, that he’s down with the people almost every night.

“Clubs are my life. I’m out like five nights a week,” he admits. “I don’t think anything shapes my music as much.”

Cazwell’s music is club-based, with slick danceable beats and raps that flow well over his groove. He’s a throwback to actual disco from its heyday. Cazwell and his team cleverly sidestep the detachment of DJ-induced techno and house and deliver reliable music to dance to.

“DJing has influenced my music and lyrics,” he says. “To me it’s more about the hook and lyrics. I think people don’t wanna think so much. That’s what I’m hearing in clubs. People just want to dance.”

With a big life in the circuit and club scene, Cazwell seems to have a very un-Lohan like air. He describes himself as a closet health nut and begins discussing his crash regimen to get cut for “Ice Cream Truck:” He swears by liquid meals and cleansing protocols.

“That’s changed my life the most,” he says. “I see results really quick and I’ve lost most of my cravings for processed foods — unless I’m stoned. Plus, I go to the gym as much as I can.”

Regardless of his boisterous persona and ability to get shirtless faster than Matthew McConaughey at a paparazzi convention, Cazwell is just a timid soul. Or so he says.

“The thing that would surprise most people about me is that I’m really, really shy,” he says. “People don’t expect that and sometimes I think they feel like I’m not making an effort. But, yeah, I’m painfully shy. “

He assures that won’t be an issue at Thursday’s meet and greet after his show at Station 4 — he knows how to turn it on. Mostly, he looks forward to meeting the fans he gained with his last show in Dallas at minc back in 2007. Plus, being in a different city than the Big Apple gives him some new perspective.

“Sometimes I take it for granted that I live in New York City where all these gay guys know the words,” he says. “I think they gain a sense of entitlement, but in a good way. I want people to feel like that. I hate to sound corny but it’s cooler to be gay than straight and I want people to get a taste of that.”

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 24, 2010.

—  Kevin Thomas