PHOTOS: John Grissom captures AWOL title

John Grissom, shown above, took home the title of AWOL Leatherman 2012 on Saturday night during AWOL III, Third Strike (A Weekend of Leather) at the Crowne Plaza Dallas.

The AWOL competition feeds Mr. Texas Leather.

The Leather Knights, who put on AWOL, also announced the dates for next year’s event, “AWOL IV – FLEET WEEK,” which will run Oct. 12 through 14, 2012.

This year’s AWOL benefited the SSC Fund, a nonprofit that raises funds to provide hearing aids and sign interpreters for hearing-impaired and/or deaf individuals.

For a slideshow of photos from Saturday’s AWOL Leatherman contest, go here.

—  John Wright

‘The Variants’ season 1 on DVD

You could make a case that what The Office is to corporate America, The Variants is to quirky small business on the fringe of society: gay-run comic book store. (OK, maybe The Office is just the corporate version of Clerks, but you get the comparison.) The folks at Zeus Comics who created this webseries make fun of themselves, their customers and their own queer nerdiness, but it never gets mean-spirited.

The Variants began last summer as an experiment, but generated enough traffic that it’s already back for season 2 (the next episode, airing Wednesday, features Celeste Martinez). Until then, it’s a hoot to see all the local people and places in the season 1 DVD, now available.

The DVD contains lots of cool extras — audio commentary, a blooper reel, a slideshow or art and rants from misanthrope clerk Barry — but the best things about the DVD? Watching the entire series play out at once like one long feature … and not having to worry about bandwidth problems interrupting your stream.

— A.W.J.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition July 1, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

Name 1 good reason we shouldn’t post these


On Monday we posted a slideshow by Chuck Dube from Sunday’s Pride Fiesta outside Club Exklusive on Maple. Dube also apparently popped inside for a peak at the dancers (can you tell which one was his favorite?). The dancers technically weren’t part of the Pride Fiesta, but we felt it would be a shame to let these perfectly good photos go to waste. Check ‘em out below.

—  John Wright

WATCH: CSS at the Granada and Ricky Martin at Verizon Theatre on Friday

Friday night was big for LGBT music as CSS, pictured, and Ricky Martin hit the town. CSS is primarily made up of LGBT-ers, but that’s not a thing with them. In this 2008 interview, the Brazilian band just wants to rock it and the video below shows they probably did just that.

Ricky Martin was all kinds of sexy at Verizon delivering an energetic show from the start. Even the ballads were pumped up as the audience sang along with every word. He knocked this show out of the park and his fan base hasn’t seemed to wane a bit ever since he came out last year. He encore’d with “The Best Thing About Me is You,” which is the video below (with singalong). Also, view our slideshow from the concert here.

—  Rich Lopez

WATCH: ‘Spontaneous entertainment’ during the DSO’s performance at Easter in the Park

In response to our slideshow from the Pooch Parade, a Facebook friend directs us to the above footage of two would-be dancers who took to the grass stage during the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s performance at Easter in the Park on Sunday. The title on YouTube refers to the pair’s performance as “spontaneous entertainment,” but the one and only comment below the video might be a better description: “More like the reason we are having to pay to attend pride this year entertainment.”

—  John Wright

SLIDESHOW: Janet Jackson at Verizon Theater

—  Rich Lopez

WATCH: Houston puts Dallas to shame by staging Texas’ Big Gay Wedding for Valentine’s Day

While North Texas could only muster one same-sex wedding, 20 gay and lesbian couples participated in a mass ceremony on Sunday at Houston’s Resurrection Metropolitan Community Church, in a Valentine’s weekend event called Texas’ Big Gay Wedding. View a slideshow from the ceremony by going here.

—  John Wright

Gay Super Bowl block party called a success

Scott Whittall warms up the crowd at the Super Street Party.

Maybe the gays in Dallas are capable of pulling off a Super Bowl party after all.

Although a gay-themed concert planned for the Cotton Bowl on Thursday night was canceled due to poor ticket sales, organizers of Saturday night’s block party on Cedar Springs are deeming it a success. (To view a slideshow from the party, go here.)

Scott Whittall, president of the Cedar Springs Merchants Association, said while the closed-down street itself wasn’t overly crowded during the event, the clubs were extremely busy and some were at capacity.

“The turnout was huge, but it’s hard for us to get a head count because everybody kept running in and out of the clubs to get warm,” Whittall said, adding that attendance was definitely in the thousands. “I think if they all would have been able to stay outside, I think we would have seen a street full of people. There was no question they were down here, they were just in an out all night long. They were flooding through those gates.”

Whittall said organizers of the Super Street Party — billed as the world’s first-ever gay Super Bowl block party — were “freaking out” on Thursday and Friday because they weren’t sure if the weather would clear.

“They had altered the forecast I don’t know how many times for Saturday,” he said. “We didn’t know what to expect, especially with all that snow and ice on the ground Friday. But it all worked out. I don’t even think there was a patch of ice left on Cedar Springs. Everything was set up in time. It went off great.

“We’re definitely deeming it a success, especially compared to a lot of the party debacles that were out there last week in the straight community. I heard that a lot of the parties around town were not well attended,” Whittall said. “We had the luxury of the fact that we have a ton of huge clubs around us where people can go and get warm. There was always a pretty good crowd around the stage. In a warmer weather situation, we will definitely set the street up like that again.”

—  John Wright

SLIDESHOW: Blowoff NYC

Another fantastic Blowoff party last night, where I hung out for a bit with Alan Cumming and singer/songwriter Aiden James, and met lots of handsome JMG readers. And Rich Morel even played his smoking remix of Cumming’s Next To Me, one of my favorite tracks of the year. Full-screen photos are here. Enjoy the hotties.

Joe. My. God.

—  admin

SLIDESHOW: Philly JMG Reader Meet-Up

Despite the one-day notice, last night we had a great crowd of folks come out for the JMG reader meet-up at Philadelphia’s Westbury Bar. I had a blast time chatting with so many of you and, of course, continuing onward to the famous/infamous Bike Stop.

Joe. My. God.

—  admin