Stop what you’re doing now to play Booty Battle

If I can’t shake my ass like Big Freedia and many of his fans in the audience, then doggone it, I’m gonna shake it online. Our favorite queer sissy-bounce artist has teamed up with Vice to present Booty Battle, the game where you have to defeat your opponent’s booty shakes to unlock a free download. And of course, master booty shaking domination. I caught some of that action when Big Freedia played The Loft in 2010.

OK, but enough of that. I gotta go werq it now and unlock that download.

—  Rich Lopez

Concert Notice: Jay Brannan returns to play Sons of Hermann Hall this August

I had a hint of this already, but the official word is out that gay singer-songwriter Jay Brannan will make his return to Dallas this summer. Upon release of his latest album Rob Me Blind this week, the folkster will hit the road in July, making his way to town August 13. He’ll play at the Sons of Hermann Hall (yes!) in Deep Ellum and is another notch in Tactics Productions’ increasingly impressive roster of concert bookings with some LGBT-friendly approach on the side. Props to those guys.

The last time we saw Brannan here was at The Loft in late 2010.

Brannan posted this video on release day yesterday and even gave a live performance of the song “The State of Music.” Check it after the jump.

—  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

REVIEW: Semi Precious Weapons at The Loft, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings at the Palladium

Justin Tranter
FOR MORE PICS OF THE SHOW, GO HERE.

Suffice it to say, I did not see Semi Precious Weapons go on stage. I was downstairs in the Palladium Showroom catching Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings do their thing. But more on that later. Walking upstairs into The Loft, I could immediately hear the band jamming out its punk glam rock to a raucous crowd.

Sure enough, a tight crowd pressed against each other and the stage with hands in the air like they just didn’t care. Although SPW is a band, the show is really about its frontman Justin Tranter. Perhaps he’s waiting for his Beyonce moment to break away from the band and become the star he should be. Tranter owned both the band and the crowd. His presence is huge with his mop top of blond hair and heavy eye make-up, but also with his inherent diva qualities. With fey hand gestures and funny “fuck yous” to the crowd, he actually bonds with his audience. It’s all so punk rock.

SPW’s fans are a breed unto themselves. They knew every word to the songs and responded with haste when Tranter commanded them to. When he told people to take off their clothes, garments immediately started flying to the stage. His antics made for a worthy show. He made sure everyone was “Sticky With Champagne” as he pretty much jacked off a bottle and sprayed the bubbly load all over the audience. He then bore his ass, and one guy suggested there might have been balls involved. I missed that photo opp. Maybe it was a good thing. He promised sexual favors if the crowd bought his merch and a spray of water was a cool bath amid the sweaty hot crowd.

Sharon Jones

Just don’t think he’s all shock value and schtick. The band (especially the guitars) was sharp and each instrument came off lush but sharp and beautifully loud. The music was matched by Tranter’s strong voice — especially in “Fucking Gorgeous” — which at times was reminiscent of The Clash’s Joe Strummer — powerful with the slightest tint of delicacy that gave him extra pizzazz. Tranter also didn’t sacrifice his voice for an outlandish rock persona. He belted out a few vocal runs complete with vibrato but kept it under the cheesy radar.

The energy SPW had here to a crowd of maybe 150 was exponentially better than their opening gig at Lady Gaga this summer. I almost would hate for them to get bigger because SPW was on top of their game and clearly at home in a tinier venue like The Loft.

Downstairs in the Palladium Showroom, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings was performing her soulful gig. And just like Tranter, Jones captivated with frantic dancing and those beautifully rich and gritty vocal chords — that is when you could hear her.

I’m not sure how this worked, but being up close, I could barely hear a word she said, much less sang. The Dap-Kings however were crisp and clear — especially the horn section. I had to leave for SPW and then came back and from the rear of the standing audience, Jones was a whole lot clearer.

Jones has unique appeal. The gays weren’t out in force but a few were in the audience grooving along with the mostly 20-something hipsters who seemed to have genuine appreciation for her music rather than just jumping on some nostalgic trend recycling its way through. And regardless of who was in the audience, young or old, Jones and the Kings had the crowd dancing, which was kind of a shocker in Dallas. Audiences here tend to just watch. It’s weird. But last night, this Dallas crowd grooved, shimmied and shook through each song.

I do wish they had peppered more ballads in. Jones’ voice is something to behold but it seemed like 95 percent of the show was overly upbeat. That’s never a bad thing but heck, we needed a break, too! Regardless, Jones and her very able Dap Kings gave one of the most satisfying shows of the year so far.

Grace Potter and the NocturnalsFans of Grace Potter and the Nocturnals should have been equally satisfied if not ass-kicked. Despite opener status for Jones, Potter and the gang went for broke with her raucous performance. Her dirty roots rock pretty much tsunami-ed the room. To top it off, she went from guitars to piano to tambourine and struck a pose each time. Drag queens should look her up as influence, if she hasn’t already done that vice versa for her onstage presence. In an almost peek-a-boo short, shimmery dress, she was feminine but rocked out like many a male rocker from the hair-teased 80s. Her set began to go just a little too long, mostly because it felt the energy in the room was buzzing for Jones. But Potter played like she would for a sold-out crowd at the Cotton Bowl and it ruled.

So, all in all, it was a pretty good night for a concert — even two.

—  Rich Lopez

Semi Precious Weapons at The Loft on Sept. 23

—  Rich Lopez

Concert notice: Gay-porn-star-turned-comedy-music-act Simon Rex, aka Dirt Nasty, comes to the Loft in October

Dirt Nasty, Simon Rex
Simon Rex as Dirt Nasty

You might know him from such classics as Young, Hard & Solo II; Young, Hard & Solo III; and Hot Sessions III (and by the way, I shouldn’t have to tell you those links are NSFW), but Simon Rex has since built a working career as an actor appearing on TV’s Felicity and films Scary Movie 3 and The Forsaken. OK, not A-list material but, but he’s holding his own compared to say, um, Traci Lords.

But Rex has seen MySpace fame as rapper Dirt Nasty. His uber-crass persona is described as comedy rap and Chinese pop on his page which can best be seen on his video for “Nasty As I Wanna Be.” Or you can check him out on Kesha’s “Tik Tok” video starting at about the 1:30 mark.

Dirt Nasty plays Oct. 3 at The Loft. Andre Legacy and Beardo will also perform. Tickets go on sale July 17.

—  Rich Lopez

Jeffree Star at The Loft Friday night

By the looks of this video, I’m kicking myself for missing what looked like a high-energy show on Friday. Jeffree Star came to town as part of the 2 Drunk 2 Fuck” tour, which also featured Stereos, BrokeNCYDE and my newest curiosity, Blood on the Dance Floor. Here, Star performs “So Fierce,” but for an excellent clip of the entire night, watch this.

—  Rich Lopez

Concert Notice: Girl in a Coma to play 'Rock Your Body Politic' in January

Roe_Concert_Dec

If you’re in the mood to celebrate the 37th anniversary of Roe v. Wade next month,  you’re in luck. The Rock Your Body Politic show has one of the best local lineups for the new year with San Antonio’s Girl in a Coma headlining. Not only do you get local faves The Happy Bullets and The Giggle Party, but Something Fabulous will give a dance performance as well. You’ve seen them grace the GayBingo stage before at the Rose Room.

Celebrating “freedom of choice forever,” the concert benefits Planned Parenthood of North Texas. I know, kinda heavy, right? But, if Coma pulls off their show like they did at House of Blues this past summer, it should be a great one. And with the entire band lineup, politics or no, this is a kickass way to get your music in the new year going.

The concert will be at The Loft, 1135 S. Lamar St. on Jan. 21 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the show and can be purchased here.

—  Rich Lopez

Jay Brannan at The Loft last night

A sold out show at The Loft last night proved Jay Brannan has some major drawing power. Save for a Britney concert, it seemed kind of rare in Dallas to see that many gay men (and a healthy smattering of women) convened for a night of live music.  But there they were filling  the tables and then some in the small venue last night. And by the rounds of applause, Brannan gave them what they were looking for.

Which was really hard to say what that might have been.

Is Brannan something to just look at or is he someone to actually listen to? Often I overheard, “He’s so adorable,” or “How cute is he?” Brannan knows he’s cute and he uses that to his advantage during banter in between songs.  Anecdotal tales about car wrecks and an obsession with Pancho’s had many giggling like teenage schoolgirls. People gazed at him lovingly during the ballads and clapped like the end of a really good sermon. Beyond that, there wasn’t much more substance to be had.

—  Rich Lopez

Amazon offers free Jay Brannan song today

The number one song today over at Amazon’s Top MP3 list is Jay Brannan‘s “At First Sight” which you can download for free by clicking on the pic. Although you might know him from his “Star-Spangled Banner” rendition in the movie “Shortbus” or his exquisite ballad, “Housewife,” download this as a small preview for his upcoming show on Sunday at The Loft.

Jay Brannan
Jay Brannan

—  Rich Lopez