REVIEW: Loretta Lynn at the Winspear Sunday

I hadn’t invested much time into the lore of Loretta Lynn. I’m a fan of her music, I had seen Coal Miner’s Daughter and applauded her reinvention with Jack White for 2004′s Van Lear Rose. But I did not expect the spectacle of her Sunday night show at the Winspear — and by spectacle, I mean her lavender, bedazzled gown. That thing was a show in itself with its flared out skirt and shoulder pads. Oh, those shoulder pads. Fortunately, someone got a great pic of it.

Gown or not, Loretta Lynn showed why she is the legend that she is. Short and sweet, Lynn managed to jam-pack a career of songs into I’d say less than an hour, and yet, the show was overly satisfying. Mostly singing her classics like “You’re Looking at Country,” “She’s Got You” and “You Ain’t Woman Enough to Take My Man,” she delivered crystal clear vocals against a rich backdrop provided by her very able band. She did shorten some of her tunes to lead into others, but I can’t say I ever felt cheated. The enthusiasm by her fans was contagious. The people around me lost their shit as a big hit bellowed from her microphone and it was both endearing and fascinating to watch.

Lynn sat down after a couple of songs due to her new “titanium knee” and held court with her gown spread out and mic in hand. She never overdid anything and in true diva fashion, she let the band and the audience simply watch her sing and chat. The audience kept shouting out songs they wanted her to sing or mentioned their meemaw’s birthday and none of it shook her. Her game was on and she made it look like it was a breeze. After all these decades of performing, perhaps it was.

Her daughters performed as openers and they sounded fine, but her son, Ernie Lynn was the worst part of the night. At least the daughters inherited good voices, the son did not. He and LL’s backing band, The Coalminers, opened the show with a couple of covers like “Slow Hand,” that did not set any bar high. His scraggly voice and bad stage presence was quickly forgotten thanks to a more inspired showing by his sisters.

As if to make it worse, he chimed in during much of Lynn’s banter with the audience and embarrassingly so. He mentioned trying to find a girlfriend and creepily admitted to his likeness of Taylor Swift. Yuk. Apparently, this is nothing new.

But LL was magic overall and nothing could eclipse what she delivered Sunday night. Although she didn’t do an encore, the audience about fell out when she finished with “Coal Miner’s Daughter” and reminded us of greatness.

Watch a small video clip by ATTPAC live tweeter Brad Ehney (@got80s) after the jump.

—  Rich Lopez

How to tell if you are middle aged

From the Lingerie Football League on one end to lesbian separatism on the other, some of us that are left stuck here in the middle get a bit annoyed with those on the ends

LESLIE ROBINSON | General Gayety

Ever heard of the Lingerie Football League? It’s a women’s football league where the women wear helmets, shoulder pads, bras, panties and garters. Billed as “true fantasy football,” the teams have names like the Los Angeles Temptation and the Dallas Desire.

If this league catered any more to men there would be cigars at halftime.

But I didn’t learn about the Lingerie Football League from a guy; I learned about it while visiting a lesbian website.

The site, TheSeattleLesbian.com, provided Lingerie League information and videos on its sports page.

That in turn provided me with a reminder of my age, a keen sense of where I am on the spectrum of lesbian thinking — and a headache.

I don’t react well when lesbians view women in the bootylicious way many men do. Maybe it’s because I’m 47 and remember how women fought to be viewed as more than tits and ass.

Now to see lesbians encourage the ogling of women, to watch them match men drool for drool — well, that feels like a step backwards.

However, as I’m 47 and not dead, I’m mindful of the sentiments of a younger lesbian generation, which might be expressed like this: “Hate to tell you Grandma, but you older folks fought so that we could be whoever we want to be. We can revel in pure sexiness like guys do. We can be as shallow as guys. So thanks!”

Um, you’re welcome?

When I looked further down The Seattle Lesbian’s sports page, I found stories about the WNBA’s Seattle Storm. As a huge Storm fan, I was pleased to see them. As a reader teed off over the highlighting of the Undressed Football League, I assumed the site and I could now be friends again.

Not. The stories concerned three players, and the site editor chose one action shot and two glamour shots. The two glamorized players had on more make-up than RuPaul.

So far on this lesbian site I’d seen sex and glamour — and that was just the sports section.

The experience made me feel old and on the curmudgeonly end of the lesbian spectrum. But another experience with media had me feeling youthful and wildly open-minded.

I received in the snail mail the latest issue of a magazine called Lesbian Connection. I began getting the bimonthly publication last year, and it’s now clear to me what an asset it is for dykes everywhere.

LC serves as a lesbian forum, enabling readers, who provide most of the content, to tell their stories. It offers a worldwide list of lesbians willing to share information about their regions. Subscriptions are on a sliding scale.

It’s also now clear to me that the average LC reader remembers Truman’s inauguration.

Okay, I exaggerate.

But the magazine, founded in 1974, is something of a relic. Birthed in the era of lesbian separatism, LC reflects its origins. Readers have names like “Artemis Passionfire” and “Flash Silvermoon” — and while I wish I made those up, I didn’t.

I’ve read a lot about “womyn’s land” and combed through oodles of irate letters when the cover art on LC wasn’t PC. The magazine says it defines lesbians as “women-born-women,” meaning transgender women don’t count.

I wouldn’t say LC is stuck in time, but it’s moving arthritically through it.

I’ll continue reading and enjoying it, and I’ll go back to TheSeattleLesbian.com. Both will keep me honest.

Now I know middle age is more than just a number. It’s when you feel connected to the generation behind you and the generation ahead of you — and when both generations annoy the crap out of you.

Leslie Robinson suspects that 35 years ago she would’ve called herself “Cheddar Morning-Glory.” E-mail Cheddar at lesarobinson@gmail.com, and read other cheesy columns at GeneralGayety.com.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition March 4, 2011.

—  John Wright