The Big D BearDance brings in the Brit-based DJ HiFi Sean to the turntables at its annual TBRU dance party, but you probably knew him well before tonight’s event.
Sean Dickson made his splash in music in the late 80s and early 90s as the frontman for The Soup Dragons who struck gold with the singles “I’m Free” and “Divine Thing.” But even as a waifish, hipster frontman for a popular band in an exciting alt-rock and pop music landscape, Dickson didn’t let go of his DJ dreams — but it was also a hint of other things.
“When I would mix and DJ back then, I would play a lot of ‘gay’ music,” he said. “That should have been a clue!”
At the time, Dickson identified as straight. He married, had a child and life was good for the rocker. But coming out in 2002 was a rough experience for him and despite a supportive family; it put him in a major funk.
“It was such a difficult time for me,” he said. “When people say it’s a choice, it’s bullshit. I am gay, but I would never choose being gay and hurt the people I most love — my family. It was tough.”
These days, life is quite good for the Scottish-born Dickson. He continues his musicianship with the band High Fidelity, he’s made his name as a marquee DJ and married his partner five years to the day from when they met. His first Texas Bear Round Up is the proverbial cherry on top.
“I love that the club has an all-glass DJ booth,” he said.
He’s not the first rocker turned DJ to helm BearDance. Last year, the group brought in former Husker Du and Sugar leader Bob Mould who has also turned to spinning music. But Dickson is quick to correct. He didn’t turn into anything.
“Well, I’ve always been a DJ,” he insisted.
His podcast site touts a musical journey, so when asked what tonight’s journey will be like, he couldn’t say.
“I really just play what’s in my head,” he said. “So even I don’t know what comes out, but I’m just gonna work on bringing a good time to Friday night.”
But he soon comes clean with his real goal for BearDance.
“I’m really an alien from outer space and I’m brought here to rid gay dances of Mariah power ballads turned into circuit house tracks and treat gay men with the musical integrity I know they have. Does that sound bitchy? I don’t want tomatoes all over my nice glass DJ booth.”
He jests of course. We think.
BearDance with HiFi Sean and DJ Rob. Station 4, 3911 Cedar Springs Road. 8 p.m. $30. BearDance.org.