Hickman serenades Bloomin’ Ball

The 2009 Bloomin’ Ball proceeds benefit AIDS Interfaith Network.
Westin Park Central Hotel, 12720 Merit Dr. April 25. At 7 p.m.
General admission $75, VIP $100. 214.943.4444

Take the jubilant charisma of Lily Tomlin’s Edith Anne and mix it with the voice of an ethereal goddess, and you get a slight notion of what singer-songwriter Sara Hickman’s live performances are like. She usually seems so zippy and optimistic. However, life hasn’t been a total joyride for the Texas-based entertainer.

Back when Edie Brickell was the queen of Dallas, Sara Hickman was the princess of folk pop. But early in Hickman’s indie queen career, she signed with Elektra Records and felt the glitzy allure of the major label recording biz — an expensive world of superstar luxury.

After a bunch of publicity hoopla and a gig on "The Tonight Show," Hickman was summarily dropped from the majors after her second album. So in 1995, she left Dallas on a metaphysical quest to find out who she was. But she didn’t move too far — just to Austin where she got married, became a mom and thrived, producing music for children and working with humanitarian causes. On Saturday, she’s the featured performer at the Bloomin’ Ball, the annual fundraiser for the AIDS Interfaith Network.

Hickman has always felt a connection to the gay community. In a previous interview with Dallas Voice, she recalled why.

"When I was 15, I fell in love with a girl. And I had a relationship with her for about a year-and-a-half, but it ended quite horribly," she recalled. "It ended with us getting arrested in Houston, and it was very sad."

After her mom found out, Sara felt pressured to break it off. While basically kissing each other goodbye during a high school lunch break, the teary-eyed teens heard a knock on their car door.

"The police took us downtown in handcuffs. We were arrested for public lewdness," Hickman recalled. "They didn’t even want to put us in the same cell. When we walked in they were all laughing at us. And one of the police officers said, ‘Here’s the two dykes we got the call on.’ Of the two most horrible things to happen in my life to me, that would be one of them."

Hickman wrote a song called "Juliette" about the incident.

A more recent song has been a mp3 favorite on many music blogs. On her last album, "Motherlode," Hickman recorded a haunting version of Tears for Fears’ "Mad World" — minus all the synth-pop but resurrected with the spooky charm of the movie "Donnie Darko."

— Daniel A. Kusner


Just when it seemed like the Strokes-inspired garage rock resurgence of the past few years had played its course, along came Scotland’s Franz Ferdinand to kick a little life into the beast. Favorably compared to bands ranging from Electric Six to Interpol, the Glasgow quartet have been together since 2001, but only really hit the scene in 2004.

Consisting mostly of messy, jangly rock with the occasional faux-disco edge, the group has earned almost unanimous critical acclaim. Fans will no doubt be cheering for big singles like "Take Me Out," but queer listeners in particular will appreciate the new-wave strut of "Michael," probably the best song about same-sex dancing since The Kinks’ "Lola."

House of Blues Dallas, 2200 N Lamar St. April 24 at 7 p.m. $26.50-$50. 214-373-8000.


The Women’s Chorus of Dallas presents their annual springs pops concert, "Nomination," on Saturday at Northaven United Methodist Church.

Under the artistic direction of Melinda Imthurn, pictured, the concert will be filled with audience-nominated favorites, including "Sister Act Medley," "Wicked Medley" and "Let the River Run." The second half of the concert will feature the premier of "Music in You":  lyrics by Pamela Tomlinson and music by Joseph Martin

Northaven United Methodist Church, 11211 Preston Rd. Apr. 25 at 7 p.m. Tickets $15 in advance, $20 at door. 214-520-7828. twcd.org


The original super-diva Diana Ross graces Dallas with a special lecture as the closing speaker of the Brinker International Forum’s 2008-2009 season.

With former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk moderating the conversation, the evening will feature a special behind-the-scenes conversation with Ross and an in-depth look at her career from the early days of Motown through today.

Morton H Meyerson Symphony Center, 2301 Flora St. April 28 at 8 p.m. $42-$72. 214-880-0202.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition April 24, 2009.
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