Dancer of the Month: Matt Vassar

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Although he was born in the relatively small town of Hillsboro, there is nothing small about Matt Vassar. He’s 6 feet tall, and has blond hair and blue eyes. Matt is 21 and has six brothers and sisters. He plans to be an engineer and is studying at ITT Technical Institute. During high school, Matt enjoyed football and soccer but has little time for it now between work and school. In his free time he enjoys curling up on the couch or lounge chair to watch a good movie, especially 3D. next time you see Matt, and he hopes you will, ask him if he liked the movie Lawless. You can find him performing at The Brick. More photos below.

—  C Marcelo

Gay bars dump Russian Vodka across U.S., Canada — but not yet in Dallas

dumprussianvodkalogoLGBT advocates are calling for a boycott of Russian goods in light of the recent anti-gay laws the country’s leadership has championed.

Recent violence highlighted by BuzzFeed and the arrests under the gay propaganda ban have also spurred activists to push for a boycott of the Winter Games scheduled to take place in Russia in 2014.

But instead of boycotting the games, others called for a boycott on products, mainly Stolichnaya Vodka.

Dan Savage wrote an article urging gay bars to stop serving the alcohol. Several Chicago gay bars have already said they won’t serve it anymore, along with bars in San Francisco, Vancouver and Toronto.

Howard Okon, owner of The Brick and Joes’s, said he’s heard about the boycott but isn’t ready to make a decision about the bar carrying it.

“We will be looking into it today and remove it if that’s what people are doing across the nation,” he said.

—  Anna Waugh

The Brick reopens for New Year’s Eve after fire causes damage to strip center

Recovery trucks are parked outside Sal’s Pizza Restaurant, which is hoping to reopen Friday after a fire at Oishii caused damage. The Brick was closed Sunday but reopened for New Year’s Eve. (David Taffet/Dallas Voice)

Wycliff Avenue gay bar The Brick reopened for New Year’s Eve after a fire caused major damage to nearby Oishii Sushi on Dec. 30, according to Brick spokesman Jimmy Bartlett.

Dallas Fire Rescue spokesman Lt. Joel Lavender said the cause of the fire is under investigation. There were no injuries.

Sal’s Pizza Restaurant and a dental office, which are next to Oishii, suffered water and smoke damage. Sal’s representatives said they are hoping to reopen Friday.

Bartlett said the Brick had only minor smoke damage. Electricity was restored to the bar on Monday morning but as of this morning, the office, situated between the bar and a bank, was still without power.

“Somehow they skipped us when they turned the power back on,” Bartlett said, adding that the gas also was still off.

The two-alarm fire was reported at 6:37 a.m. About 40 firefighters responded.

“Our biggest concern was extension of the fire,” Lavender said.

The Hondo Park apartments are directly behind the shopping center and firefighters were concerned the fire might spread to the residential units.

—  David Taffet

DFW Sisters stuffing the turkeys for charity

Members of the DFW Sisters will be out in force on Cedar Springs Wednesday night, Nov. 23, making their rounds with their turkey banks to raise funds to benefit “DFW Sisters’ mission towards safe sex education, community fundraising and sharing some LOVE!”

They will be out between 6 p.m. and 2 a.m., hitting all the bars along the Cedar Springs Strip before heading over to The Brick/Joe’s and Dallas Eagle. Then, if time permits, they’ll head back to the Strip.

So when keep your change handy and when you see a Sister on Wednesday night, stuff that turkey!

—  admin

Troy Sands Remembrance Party at Dallas Eagle with Tony Moran

And the beat goes on

Earlier this year, DJ Troy Sands passed away due to cancer. Through the years, he made both an impact and an impression with his music and DJ skills at The Brick in its former location on Maple. He grew his name by being one of the first DJs to headline parties and events outside of Dallas. DJs such as Blaine Soileau and Chris Cox have seen him as their inspiration for their musical perspectives. Before passing on, Sands deejay-ed at the Dallas Eagle. In honor of his life and his musical gifts to the club scene, the Eagle  hosts the DJ Troy Sands Remembrance Party which also benefits some of his favorite organizations. DJ Tony Moran steps in to headline the night, but this is truly Sands’ night.

DEETS: Dallas Eagle, 5740 Maple Ave. 10 p.m. $10. DallasEagle.com.

—  Rich Lopez

Chick Happy Hour at the Brick tonight

Oh yes, it’s ladies’ night

Each week, the Brick gives it up to the women with Chick Happy Hour every Tuesday. OK, it’s a little later than your usual happy, but DJ C Wade makes you forget that it’s a school night. So have a cocktail or two before heading back to the grind on Wednesday. You’ll feel so much more relaxed.

DEETS: The Brick, 2525 Wycliff. 9 p.m. BrickDallas.com.

—  Rich Lopez

Dallas Eagle DJ Troy Sands passes away

DJ Troy Sands

We were sad to learn that Troy Sands passed away Sunday morning. He was a resident DJ at the Dallas Eagle. Sands built his reputation playing the old Brick on Maple Avenue and made a name for himself as a headlining DJ not only in Dallas, but throughout the country. I had the pleasure of writing this story on him as he made his return to the scene after a tough struggle with cancer.

This was posted by two of the Dallas Eagle’s managers on Facebook on Sunday:

It’s with a heavy heart that we announce that a very beloved member of our family has left us today. DJ Troy Sands passed away this morning. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Troy’s family and loved ones. The DJ booth at the Dallas Eagle will never be the same without his smile and laugh. You will be missed greatly Troy. We will post additional information concerning any service or memorial as we receive it.

Mark [Frazier] and Cully [Johnson]

Upon the news, people began posting their condolences on Sands’ Facebook page.

—  Rich Lopez

Mr. & Miss Big D Continental at the Brick

Pageant with a heart

This year’s Mr. and Miss Big D Continental isn’t just a pageant. The event will also offers proceeds from the night to the Resource Center of Dallas. Of course, it’s big bang for your buck. Check out the entertainment on hand for Sunday night. Impressive, huh? It’s gonna be like Draga-palooza up in the Brick house tonight.

DEETS: The Brick, 2525 Wycliff Ave. 8 p.m. $15. BigDContinental.com.


—  Rich Lopez

Giffords intern Daniel Hernandez Jr. to speak at Stonewall Democrats fundraiser in Dallas

Daniel Hernandez Jr. and Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords prior to the shooting. (via Facebook)

We’re working to get in touch with Daniel Hernandez Jr., the gay Latino intern credited with saving the life of Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, but for now we thought we’d go ahead and mention that Hernandez will be in town next Tuesday for a Stonewall Democrats fundraiser marking the 42nd anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion.

Hernandez is a University of Arizona student who’d been an intern for Giffords for only five days at the time of the January shooting in Tuscon. Hernandez applied pressure to Giffords’ head wound and held her upright so she wouldn’t choke on her blood while waiting for paramedics to arrive. Then he rode with her in the back of an ambulance, squeezing her hand as she squeezed back.

The following day, Instant Tea was the first to identify Hernandez as gay. And a few days after that, he would be honored at the Tucson memorial attended by President Barack Obama, where he insisted he wasn’t a hero.

Hernandez will attend a private fundraiser at the home of Stonewall Democrats members on Tuesday, before making a public appearance at the Brick. Sponsorships for the private fundraiser range from $50 to $1,000 and can be purchased here. The fundraiser runs from 6 to 8 p.m. at 2916 Throckmorton St.

The public event runs from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Brick, and Hernandez will speak at 9. A $10 donation is suggested.

Watch Hernandez’s interview with CNN after the shooting, as well as his speech at the memorial service, after the jump.

—  John Wright

Final bets at the finale of Team DV’s P-P-P-Poker Tourney

Ante up to the table

Team Dallas Voice and Pocket Rockets Dallas are raising money for the Lone Star Ride Fighting AIDS by holding a P-P-P-Poker Tournament at clubs across town. After three weeks, the event has come to the grand prize final.

Because this is Dallas, not Vegas, the game play is free, so if you want to contribute to the LSR cause, bring cash to enter the raffle. Among the prizes available or that have been won are tickets to see Dolly Parton (we’ll resist the urge to call this one a “booby prize”), Ke$ha and Chelsea Handler,  tickets to the Texas Rangers and Lone Star Park horse races, Starbucks coffee, a set of poker chips, books, grooming supplies and much more … and the final grand prize: Two tickets on American Airlines anywhere in the contiguous U.S.

DEETS: Check out the Facebook event page here for details.

—  Rich Lopez