Before her show at the Verizon Theater tonight, Stevie Nicks talks ‘Glee’ and gays

By Chris Azzopardi | Q Syndicate

Ten years have passed since Stevie Nicks released her last solo album, but she’s still the same gay-loved goddess of earthy rock she built her legend on. Her spring release, In Your Dreams, was exactly how the gypsy queen left us – with that uniform sense of mystical otherworldliness that’s made Nicks a go-her-own-way virtuoso since her days with Fleetwood Mac. White horses, vampire tales and ethereal love parables all seeped into Dreams, her first studio project after reuniting with Fleetwood Mac for 2003’s Say You Will. She’s now on the road for Dreams and her tour stops at Verizon Theater tonight.

Nicks speaks about taking a trip to “the magical world of fairies and angels,” the dress drag queens love, and how her own music motivated her to lose a dozen pounds.

Read the full interview below.

—  Rich Lopez

Stevie Nicks tonight at Verizon

Goth queen for days

Save for Fleetwood Mac’s 2003 Say You Will, Stevie Nicks has been a bit off the radar until this spring. Now she’s on tour in support of her newest album In Your Dreams. The feathered and frocked queen of classic rock maintains her goth flair but still manages an air of relevance.

DEETS: With Michael Grimm. Verizon Theatre, 1001 Performance Place, Grand Prairie. 8 p.m. $35–$250. Ticketmaster.com.

—  Rich Lopez

Best bets • 08.12.11

Friday 08.12

Goth queen for days
Save for Fleetwood Mac’s 2003 Say You Will, Stevie Nicks has been a bit off the radar until this spring. Now she’s on tour in support of her newest album In Your Dreams. The feathered and frocked queen of classic rock maintains her goth flair but still manages an air of relevance.

DEETS: With Michael Grimm. Verizon Theatre, 1001 Performance Place, Grand Prairie. 8 p.m. $35–$250. Ticketmaster.com.

…………………

Saturday 08.13

Call him ‘Mister’
By now you may already be partaking in A Weekend of Leather, but one of the weekend highlights will be the crowning at the A.W.O.L. Leatherman Contest. Err wait, they probably don’t give a crown there. Visit the website for a schedule of all the events happening.

DEETS: Crowne Plaza Dallas, 7050 N. Stemmons Freeway. 8 p.m. LeatherKnights.org.

…………………

Thursday 08.18

Rock star meets high art
Artist Michael Godard previews Pedaling Olives where olives and cocktails are the stars. Proceeds from the show benefit Lone Star Ride Fighting AIDS which really rocks.

DEETS: Wisby-Smith Fine Art Gallery, 500 Crescent Court. 6 p.m. Wisby-Smith.com

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 12, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

Nicks in time

Still the gays’ favorite Goth queen, Stevie makes ‘Dreams’ come true

RICH LOPEZ  | Staff Writer
lopez@dallasvoice.com

Stevie1
BACK IN BLACK | Nicks’ first studio CD of new songs in a decade was worth the wait.

We haven’t heard from Stevie Nicks for too long. Excepting her Crystal Visions “best of” album in 2007 and a couple of live-performance releases, she hasn’t dropped a full-length solo disc since 2001’s Trouble in Shangri-La. Then again, what does she have left to prove?

But on In Your Dreams, her seventh release, she proves one thing: That she can still impress us. (Having Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart on her side doesn’t hurt none.)

Screen shot 2011-05-11 at 6.18.30 PMThe first single, the opening track “Secret Love,” sets the pace nicely. Without feeling the need to burst out of the gate, Nicks is patient with “Love,” demonstrating she hasn’t wavered in her songwriting skills. While we may not hear her on Top 40 radio anymore, “Secret” has a strong contemporary feel that’s easy to listen to without compromising Nicks’ style.

Stewart and co-producer Glen Ballard (No Doubt, Michael Jackson) have painted over Dreams with a glossy sheen that enhances Nicks’ move into today’s market rather than take away from her familiar, gritty personality. The slickest of tracks is probably “For What it’s Worth.” As the guitar plays, the strings are a little too crisp, but the construct is beautifully executed and Nicks gets into that low register that’s hard not to love.

What’s not gone is her Victorian Goth ethos. All through the album, we see her in various dramatic outfits and hats; at times, a horse or an owl accompany her. So when she sings “Moonlight (A Vampire’s Dream), it’s never as weird as maybe it should be. The piano builds into a power ballad as she sings about the doomed connection between a female vampire and a man: If he leaves her / he’ll be losing the chance / to stay alive. The same quality comes through on her reworking of Poe’s poem, “Annabel Lee.” What could have easily been goofy tracks are fascinating narratives. Nicks isn’t just a songwriter, she’s a storyteller — a skill forcefully on display here.

Interestingly enough, where Nicks and Stewart collaborate on songwriting is where more of her rocker chick comes out, though matured. The title track and the subsequent “Wide Sargasso Sea” have a stronger pulse, mixed well but letting her jam out just a hair.

They co-wrote the final chapter of the album with a trio of songs. “You May Be the One” goes for a bluesy flair without pretension. Nicks never sounds like she’s trying here, and Stewart plays the guitar with enough restraint to not be Eric Clapton (although nowadays he could pass for his twin). “Italian Summer” is a heavy-handed bump in the collection.

They rebound superbly on the closer, a duet (Stewart sings!). “Cheaper than Free” is without doubt the CD’s sweetest song, one that everyone should give to their significant other. Everyone. You’ll get major points. A bit dreamy, but still with a rock undertone, the song is never in the same league as Nicks’ previous blockbuster duets (“Leather and Lace” and “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” with Don Henley and Tom Petty respectively), but the good thing is, Nicks doesn’t have to compete with herself.

What Nicks does here with In Your Dreams isn’t any type of comeback or “don’t forget me” album. Instead, she lets us know that she still has songs inside of her waiting to get out. And they’re some damn fine ones.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 13, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

Love her way

Despite her Scottish accent, Oona Love is an all-American girl

RICH LOPEZ  | lopez@dallasvoice.com

Oona2-copy
FOLKING AROUND | Oona Love may dress like Stevie Nicks, but she finds inspiration in lesbian icon Mary Gauthier.

OONA LOVE
Sue Ellen’s
3014 Throckmorton St. Dec. 17. 9:30 p.m.
No cover. Caven.com.

……………………………….

Oona Love thinks she’s boring. The most interesting thing about her, if she says so herself (and she does), is her Chihuahua mix, which joins Love and her girlfriend on the road while she’s performing and booking gigs across the country.

But Love herself has a Chihuahua’s tenacity. Prior to her Saturday gig at Sue Ellen’s, the Scottish singer by way of Nashville has booked shows at Lakewood Bar & Grill and after arriving in town, she lined up two more appearances.

So how does a “boring” Scot thrive in an indie music career filled with lesbians and guitars?

“My message is trying to promote peace, love, understanding and action,” she says. “My generation gets lost in talking about stuff but not doing anything. So all

I’m doing is just really trying to get my music out there. I logged 38,000 miles for the last year, trying to get people to hear that message.”

Love arrived in America 20 years ago to attend college, but she also knew that if anything in music was going to happen for her, it would be here. This is where her heroes are from.

“I’d always been into American singer-songwriters,” she says. “I’m kind of embarrassed to say it, but I really like John Denver!”

For Love, old-school folk inspired her music, offering the optimistic messages she shoots for. With a folk revival in recent years, she doesn’t find much in common with newer bands, though.

“I sometimes write about love and shit, but I always try to write more with a message like those singers,” she says.

Lesbian icons aren’t lost on her, either. She’s a big fan of Sinead O’Connor, but also gushes over folk icon Mary Gauthier and highly recommends her new album. Just don’t get her started on one self-proclaimed bisexual artist.

“I don’t get Ani DiFranco anymore,” she says. “She’s married with a kid now but, oh, I dunno.”

Love melds traditional undertones with a strong Americana perspective tying both cultures. In her album, Out of the Ashes, producer Doug Driesel and Love provide a fairly cohesive set of songs with heart and nice texture. Despite being more American than Scottish, the Celtic instrumentation isn’t lost. And she says the gays like it — and she means the boys.

“I do have a good gay male following,” she says. “Maybe it’s because I look like a drag queen. I’m a redhead with giant boobs, so that kinda helps. But it’s fantastic to play lesbian bars because it feels like you’re coming home. I’m a bit freer before a gay audience.”

Love doesn’t play the boxed-in-because-I’m-lesbian card. She refreshingly embraces the fact that she is going to appeal more to LGBT audiences, but also won’t hold back if performing in non-gay bars. She’s learning to play the game of booking various clubs, what to perform and how to reach out to her audience. But she’s still going to sing love songs to her girlfriend.

“I have no restriction. I don’t feel I need to walk into some hick bar and be overtly out, but I still sing to a woman,” she says. “I don’t raise issues about straight or gay, but if they like my music. But I try to set a good example by living an out lifestyle.”

Which doesn’t sound boring at all.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 17, 2010.

—  Kevin Thomas

Grammys Live Blog: MJ tribute misses the mark

Ryan Seacrest introduces Taylor Swift. OK, confession time, I have not jumped on the Swift bandwagon yet. Swift teams up with Stevie Nicks who she probably didn’t know who she was before tonight. Nicks looks good but she doesn’t look like she’s buying Swift’s cozying up. Ouch — Nicks reduced to a backup singer. Isn’t Swift just on the edge of 17? Poor Stevie.

Michael Jackson 3D tribute: Where’s my Avatar glasses???  Feeling a little goofy and I can’t seem to reach out and touch. Although it’s hilarious to see celebs sportin’ them. Is this lineup a little too random? Usher and Smokey I get but Celine, Carrie?

MJ’s “children” accept the Lifetime Achievement award for Jackson. Sweet speech by Prince Jackson.

—  Rich Lopez