“Proud Marython” to commemorate Tina Turner’s escape from Ike, raise awareness about VAWA

Don't expect this to be recreated tonight.

In honor (we think) of the 36th anniversary of Tina Turner bolting from an abusive Ike in Dallas, a group of concerned citizens will be re-creating the run in downtown Dallas on Monday night to bring awareness to the potential re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act. The event went live Monday afternoon on Facebook, where organizer Chance Browning (also a Dallas Voice classified sales rep) posted this description:

Though it is super last-minute, this evening we will be marking the 36th Anniversary of the alleged day that Tina left Ike, barreling across I-30, and escaping to the then Plaza Hotel in downtown Dallas. So grab your high heels, fringe, and Tina wigs and come meet us, as we revisit her journey across I-30. Ours will be a much safer jaunt across the overpass. Also, we will be collecting donations for the Genesis Women’s Shelter, so bring any unwanted clothing, kitchenware, or home furnishings. Cash monies, also acceptable. When Tina went public about her years of endured abuse, in her autobiography, I, Tina, and the successful film, Whats Love Got To Do With It, she empowered women across the globe to no longer be silent. Also, with Republicans in Congress recently trying to prevent the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, the time could not be more appropriate to both honor Tina’s strength, raise awareness, and raise funds for a great organization. Meet at Main Street Gardens at 7 p.m. this evening.

If anything, this could be the greatest photo opp of all time. For more info, go here.

—  Rich Lopez

TWO for the money

Solo Voice of Pride vets Angie Landers and Robert Olivas finally hit their stride as a team

BRIDESMAIDS NO MORE | Landers and Olivas found two really is better than one, as their duo Spare Parts won the Voice of Pride group competition. (Arnold Wayne Jones/Dallas Voice)

RICH LOPEZ  | Staff Writer
lopez@dallasvoice.com

Always bridesmaids, never brides: That has been the case for Voice of Pride veterans Angie Landers and Robert Olivas. Frequent competitors in the annual “Oak Lawn Idol” competition, they’ve never taken the top prize.

So of the many magical moments at this year’s finale — Kristen Phillips belting out Tina Turner, Dru Rivera’s winning take on Aerosmith, Steven Patterson’s charming stage presence in both solo and group competitions — none was perhaps more special than the announcement of Spare Parts as the best duo. The flood of emotions displayed by Landers and Olivas touched everyone.

“This was very important to us. It was so awesome,” Olivas says a few days after winning. “We really did work hard to represent well and I still can’t unscrew my smile.”

“It just worked out great,” Landers adds. “I think we know each other so well now that I don’t think we could have been as before. It’s like a marriage but not a marriage.”

As M.C. Richard Curtin announced them as the winners, Landers hopped with excitement while Olivas stood with a look of complete disbelief. The $2,500 in prize money was barely on their minds; after years as also-rans, they finally walked away winners.

As a team, they pulled out that little extra in each other. Their first number was a powerhouse, singing Jason Aldean’s “Don’t You Wanna Stay,” which killed the crowed with both drama and chemistry.

“After that song, I wasn’t worried about winning,” Landers says. “We knew our next song well and it was something nobody would expect from us.”

With rousing applause, Landers’ confidence was well justified. But at the very end, they tripped up the lyrics. Although they laughed it off onstage, backstage was another story.

“We didn’t wanna go down in books being balladeers,” Olivas says on picking the song. “We had two songs in which we could show our versatility.”

“I was afraid it would come off cheesy, but it was more about our stage personalities and that we could entertain you outside of putting you to sleep,” Landers says. “But when we missed the vocals, I knew we had just given it away. I hoped the judges surely wouldn’t take points away for that but I was feeling the panic.”

The bobble was only that, and it added charm to their performance. Now, Spare Parts prepares for their first Pride performance together at the Lee Park festival.

The way Landers and Olivas interact, you’d think they had known each other for years. They act like brother and sister or even a very happy husband and wife. Truth is, they just met in 2008 during the VOP competition and soon started singing karaoke together. Their voices harmonize, so pairing up made sense. All that remained was the question of what to call themselves.

“We wanted to do something with my knee replacement and the hip replacement that he needs,” Landers says, so they started a poll to name the group on Facebook.

“If it hadn’t been for all that stuff, we would have had our name!” says Olivas.

Both are strong soloists with a solid presence and great pipes. Together, they strike a chord that tends to balance both their strengths. Now they get to show it off much more.

“We want to do something more with the title and take it above and beyond what any other winner has before,” Olivas says. “I think that it’s created a strong environment of competition that people are so dedicated to it and passionate about it. I think Voice of Pride can be a great thing.”

With each competition comes a rush of controversy in the community, members of which comment publicly (and harshly) about the results online. Landers hopes she and Olivas rise above that, even though both have been on the receiving end of mean barbs.

“Sometimes the hype and money gets in the way of what it’s really about,” she says. “I think that negative energy going around could be harnessed and focused for the better rather than knocking down contestants. Voice of Pride is a great springboard for Pride.”

For the team, the title is also a privilege, reflected well by last year’s solo winner Mel Arizpe, who also won with her partner in the group category.

“I am honored to be an advocate,” Olivas says. “Mel was a great advocate; she’s out there, she’s doing benefits. The way it should be done.”

The victory means that next year, they are frontrunners in group and solos… well, not necessarily. “I plan to [compete],” Olivas says, but Landers doesn’t know yet. “It wouldn’t be because I didn’t win; I’m just not sure right now,” she says.

Until that decision, Spare Parts will perform at Pride and then work to pull a band in and continue to book gigs around DFW and make their own name for themselves.

“Angie and I have every intention of performing for fundraisers and we’ve been approached by some venues already,” Olivas says. “I feel like we have the talent to do that. And maybe even get discovered.”

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 16, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

Video of the day: Yes, you can do drag to The Beatles

The Beatles were the big buzz over the Interwebs this week when Apple made the “big announcement” that they were adding their music catalog to iTunes. We just wanted to get in on the action a bit ourselves. Especially when a Twitter pal said this is the only Beatles cover I needed to hear. I think he may have been right.

Allow me to present to you Cher, Tina Turner and Kate Smith performing a medley of Beatles’ classics. It’s priceless and the rainbow backdrop and marching band only make it better.

—  Rich Lopez

On the heels of Brandon Hilton comes another Dallas glam popster — Chris Sapphire

Chris Sapphire

After posting Brandon Hilton’s newest video last month, I got an e-mail from “Emmy™ Nominated Film, Television and Music Producer J. Michael Brown,” informing me about another local pop singer. According to Brown’s e-mail, Chris Sapphire is a Dallas-based artist and radio/TV personality who just released a new video.

But first, I have to say that Sapphire is also part of the MZLive Internet radio team. Seems a lot like Rational Radio with an apparently higher profile. I checked out the site after reading Sapphire’s bio and checked out the latest webisode. I was kinda stunned when the show opened with Sapphire happily drinking Four Loco. Bad timing for days.

Anyway, Sapphire’s debut video, “Shake Your Ass,” has its catchy moments. Nothing complex, but I could get into the groove a bit. And I dig his Tina Turner momma.

Perhaps Dallas is becoming the home of gay glam pop. Like Hilton, Sapphire does the lip gloss gender-bending glam thing. What’s also similar is their approach to music stardom. Using aggressive social networking and web presence, the two are pushing that into a music career. Now we just have to wait and see where that takes them and subsequently, whether it makes Dallas the glam pop capital of the world.

Hey, we can dream. Watch the video now.

—  Rich Lopez

Show time

Get ready — many LGBT music acts descend on Dallas this week

Buika
PINK FLAMENCO | Bisexual singer Buika performs Saturday at the Winspear.

Every so often, we encounter one of those weeks where lots of LGBT singers and musicians head to town. It’s pure coincidence, of course — and together, they probably aren’t as gay as one audience at a Lady Gaga show — but it’s nice just the same.

Along with Michael Feinstein performing his American Songbook and Rex Reed opining about Ira Gershwin while Elton John rocks Fort Worth, a wide range of out artists representing as much music are here for us to enjoy — and support.

World music can sometimes be a red flag for people expecting foreign language wails over tribal beats. Forget all that and consider catching Concha Buika (or just Buika) Nov. 13 at the Winspear with Spanish singer Lila Downs. The openly bisexual artist recalls some of the jazzy soul of Nina Simone with the energy of Tina Turner.  Buika sings flamenco but she adds a contemporary funk to the mix.

Visit ATTPAC.com for details.

Internet-bred Jeffree Star is on the up and up. Pushing himself into self-created Web fame caught enough attention to garner a fanbase. Now that mega-producer Akon has signed him on, the out goth drag artist is downright legit.

Star stopped in Dallas back in May during his 2 Drunk 2 Fuck Tour, but announced a whole new tour for the latter half of 2010 — only this time, he says he’s releasing new music along the way. He plays Nov. 17 at The Loft.

Visit TheLoftDallas.com for details.

After 15 years and nine albums, singer-songwriter Rachael Sage still isn’t a household name. But her music is made for the small stage, which is perfect for her stop at Poor David’s Pub on Nov. 13.

Her latest album, Delancey Street, adds to her consistently strong work. She stays away from the glum-girl-with-a-guitar image and offers upbeat pop with folk sensibilities, as her bisexuality comes through subtly.

Visit PoorDavidsPub.com for details.

— Rich Lopez

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Time to get Chill

We figure the Guerrilla Gay Bar peeps are on hiatus since we haven’t seen any Facebook invites for awhile. That was leaving a void in our special-event drink time … until SxS Productions filled it nicely with Chill Sunday.

Co-founded by the same gents who head Straight Out Marketing, which caters to an LGBT clientele, the monthly music-and-mimosa mixer upgrades the typical afterwork happy hour into a loungey afternoon.

Bringing in local and national DJ talent (including, this week, Joe Castillo, pictured) Chill Sunday mixes the weekend brunch with bottomless mimosas and downtempo tunes.  Could there be a holier trinity for any self-respecting gay person?

— Steven Lindsey

The Foundation Room at House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St. 1 p.m. No cover.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition November 12, 2010.

—  Michael Stephens

‘This is what we get for voting for a clown’: Reykjavik mayor opens gay Pride in drag

Reykjavik Mayor Jon Gnarr, left, dressed in drag for the opening ceremonies of his city’s Pride festival.

I am sure that most people would agree that there’s a lot of funny business going on in politics. But when it comes to Reykjavik, Iceland, it’s not the kind of political funny business you might think.

In June, the citizens of Reykjavik elected top comedian Jon Gnarr as mayor. Gnarr ran for office on a platform that promised free towels at swimming pools and a new polar bear for the Reykjavik zoo. His Best Party won the council elections after promising transparency in government and used campaign videos of the candidates singing along to Tina Turner’s “Simply The Best.”

Gnarr had promised that, as mayor, he would appear at the city’s Pride festival. And this week, he made good on that promise: appearing in drag at the opening ceremonies. His blond drag persona told the crowd the mayor could not attend himself because “he’s busy, even though he promised to be here.”

Gnarr added: “What might he be up to? Maybe he is visiting Moomin Valley [the fictional setting of a series of Finnish children's stories that feature a family of white hippopotamus-like trolls]. This is what we get for voting for a clown in elections.”

Iceland, by the way, became the first country with an openly gay head of state last year when Joanna Sigurdardottir became prime minister.

Go to BBC to read more.

—  admin