TBRU 17: Authors talk about their “Guide for the Modern Bear” before Dallas appearance

Chris Bale, left, and Travis Smith will research modern bear living in Dallas this weekend at the Texas Bear Round Up.

Travis Smith and Chris Bale have discovered the formula for what it takes to make a modern bear. It’s even stated on their website  — modern design + bears + retro + beefcake = well, you get the idea. But if not, they’ll be in Dallas all weekend to explain it to you.

Eschewing the blue collar sensibilities that come with a bearish persona, Smith and Bale celebrated the fact that they had an eye for mid-century motifs and preppy clothes.

“You could take the modern bear idea two ways as in ‘He is today’s bear,’” Smith said, “But we were looking at someone bearish who is into design and fashion and stuff. We were looking at things beside flannel shirts, computers and the usual perception of what a bear is.”

—  Rich Lopez

San Fran DJ Sean Mac to headline January BearDance at The Loft

Prior to its headline event at TBRU in March, Big D BearDance gets the year started with its January event. Lat week, the organization announced it will bring in San Francisco DJ Sean Mac to headline the night and get all those winter bears out of hibernation and on their feet. Of course, this announcement came soon after they disclosed their headliner news for March.

The new year seems to be working out for these guys quite fine already.

—  Rich Lopez

London’s HiFi Sean (and former Soup Dragon) announced as headliner DJ for Big D BearDance

The men from BearDance have announced the headlining DJ for this year’s Big D BearDance. Back in March, they brought in the DJ team Blowoff featuring Bob Mould and Rich Morel to pack the house at Station 4. For 2012, the nonprofit group will host London’s (by way of Glasgow) DJ HiFi Sean. Also known as Sean Dickson, he’s initially famous for his work in the 90s alt-group The Soup Dragons mostly known for the single “I’m Free.”

I talked a bit with Ami Sadeh and Darren Graff of BearDance about how they come to their choice of DJs for each event. Read more about how the selection of HiFi Sean and details on March’s Big D BearDance after the jump.

—  Rich Lopez

TBRU reveals starting artwork for upcoming Bears Gone Wild

To prepare for March’s Texas Bear Round-Up, the guys behind the event released the starting art for the upcoming TBRU 17: Bears Gone Wild Spring Break Style this past Sunday. They also remind that registration will be starting soon so all the bears can begin their planning and booking. But no other details about TBRU 17 have been released or mentioned.

The event, as always, is held the third weekend of March which, this year, will be March 16–18.

Earlier this year, the event raised a staggering $46,000 for area charities. Seems like the bears know what they’re doing.

—  Rich Lopez

Big D Bear Dance doles out $20K

I chatted up Mark Trimble earlier today, and he told me that Sunday night’s Big D Bear Dance at TMC: The Mining Company was quite the success. Trimble is one of the BDBD organizers. The night is not only an offshoot of the bigger TBRU event, but also raises money for local organizations, and Sunday night was all about Resource Center Dallas’ Food Pantry. Darren Graff, also with BDBD, took over some canned food donations and a check for $2,700. Whoa.

Last week, Trimble and I also chatted about the funds raised from the TBRU dance event. BDBD recently made their check presentation to the Dallas Bears, which in turn, will dole it out among several beneficiaries.

“We partner with [Dallas Bears] during TBRU for the joint purpose of raising money for the charities and throwing a kick-ass party,” Trimble said. “But we let them write the checks to the charities directly pooled with the money they raise from the rest of TBRU. I’m happy to be involved with people doing good and interesting stuff in the bear community. Somebody needs to toot our horns every once in a while!”

Below, the BDBD gents present their check for $18,000 to the Dallas Bears. Photos courtesy of Norman Ames.

 

—  Rich Lopez

TBRU XVI: Big D Bear Dance

—  Rich Lopez

TBRU XVI: Lunch with the bears

Once again, my colleague Greg accompanied me to where the wild things are. We hit up Hunky’s on Friday during the lunch figuring many bears/otters/whatever here for TBRU would be hitting up the popular hamburger spot. Greg took to doing the interviews and filming himself and found that Hunky’s is an annual stop to some out-of-towners when they head this way. The app question continues and it would seem a tie so far (we’re not really counting) between Scruff and Growlr.

—  Rich Lopez

TBRU XVI: Conversations with some attendees yesterday during registration

Colleague Greg and I headed over to the Crowne Plaza early evening yesterday to take get a glimpse at the beginning of this year’s Texas Bear Round Up. After getting our goodie bags, we moseyed around the vendor market, networked and then gave the video camera to Greg. Armed and dangerous, we snagged a few guys and asked their thoughts on the weekend to come and what their app of choice is.

—  Rich Lopez

Drawing Dallas

Even without TBRU in town, Bear Hamilton’s name says it all … or maybe it doesn’t

MARK STOKES  | Illustrator
mark@markdrawsfunny.com

Name and age: Bear Hamilton, 49

Spotted at: Kroger on Cedar Springs

Occupation: Theatre technician

Beginnings: Born to a Marine Corps officer father and New England schoolteacher mother, Bear’s early years were nomadic, living in North Carolina, Virginia, California and Okinawa, Japan. Living overseas left an indelible impression. Maturity came to him early. He sported a beard and already had a pipe smoking habit by the time he was in high school: “My peers found me odd and different and reminded me of that on nearly a daily basis.”

The world is his stage: This 6-foot-11, 250-lb. hunk of a man always dreamed of being an actor and singer, and now performs in plays and musicals across North Texas (he’s played Daddy Warbucks in Annie, Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof, Jud Fry in Oklahoma!, Bill Sykes in Oliver! and a slightly crazed-looking biker on billboards around the Metroplex), and he leads Black Hat Saloon, a country rock band.

Bear likes to cook, camp and fish. He loves classic cars, trucks and Harley-Davidson motorcycles. He has an eclectic taste in movies, and a large DVD and videotape collection to prove it. It’s no secret that he enjoys good food and has a wide, varied taste for it. He also enjoys a good pipe or cigar, often with a glass of bourbon or a good beer.

Bear It all: Bear looks to be the quintessential gay bear, though he doesn’t wear his sexuality on his sleeve. “I see myself as a man first, a homosexual second. I don’t feel any more ‘pride’ in being a homosexual any more than being male, or white, or a person of size. What pride I have comes from the achievements I’ve made. My faith plays an important role, but I don’t usually profess it. I am grateful for my faith family who embrace me for what I am and who I am.” As he stares down the barrel of his 50th birthday, Bear has been reminded of late how much life changes with one of his favorite sayings: “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.”

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition March 18, 2011.

—  John Wright

TBRU XVI: With TBRU and SXSW going on, we did a little wondering if they were combined

I took advantage of the very little time I had on my hands today to ponder the weekend. While I have credentials waiting for me to catch the Perez Hilton showcase at South By Southwest in Austin, I also feel inclined to stick around here to cover Texas Bear Round Up XVI. What to do? But then I started thinking, what if these two had a baby and merged into some big music bearfest ( preferably right here in town)? What bands would play? Heck, most of the indie bands at South By are grizzled, bearded gents minus the girth, so half the battle is done.

Yes, this is how I think — and subsequently, this is what I came up with.

Grizzly Bear — Yes, it’s obvious, but you can’t go far with stumbling onto a band nowadays without the word “bear” in it. Trust me. But GB seems to be the only one with gay members and lyrics geared toward the gay ear. Loving!

The Growlers — This California band is performing at SXSW but we think a certain app would be more than happy to sponsor this show. Besides, how can you not love some good surf rock, especially if it’s titled “Gay Thoughts.”

More after the jump.

—  Rich Lopez