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2.27.13 #38

THE NEW DRAG SCENE

EDIE CHEEZBURGER & THE OTHER SHOW are Changing Drag in Atlanta

Under the Ink with

Eric Himan Dylan Michael:

The Theme is Extreme

+ ‘Fela!’ Jewel


m o r f e t o r N o t i A the Ed 2.27.13 Issue #38

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The New Drag Scene

O

ne of my first writing tasks at David Atlanta a year ago involved covering the third season of Dragnique at Jungle. I loved the gig; in spite of the late nights I’d have watching the show and writing about it, the experience let me tap into a tone that was a bit more…caustic, at times, than most of my writing. My opinions on performances were fairly unfiltered. If I liked a performance, you knew it, and if I didn’t, you most certainly knew it. Since then, I’ve had the great pleasure of watching as some of the competition’s contestants have gone on to become mainstays in the Atlanta drag scene. One place where several of my favorites have converged is The Other Show, Jungle’s weekly Friday night bit of programming. Brought together by Edie Cheezburger, this cast is just…out there when it comes to drag. I love it. Don’t get me wrong—I like watching drag all over the city, and there are certainly other up-and-coming drag queens who are worth watching. But with The Other Show, Edie and her cohorts are bringing in some new elements to the Atlanta drag scene that are adding something new and exciting to Atlanta’s vibrant drag history. Of course, this is my own opinion. I know some of you will have your own thoughts about which up-and-coming drag queens are bringing it these days. I look forward to hearing from you all about which drag queens we should look at, and believe me—we’ll be on the lookout for more drag performers to highlight over the next few months. Sincerely,

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TOC

2.27.13 Issue #38

Cover > The Other Side of Drag Eric Himan Dylan Michael

18 40 50

Feature > ‘Fela!’28 Jewel40

Seen@ > Jungle12 Ten Atlanta 30 Atlanta Eagle 58

18

The Rest > WTF!?!? Tidbits 14 Untucked with Brent Star 16 the Scene  34 Bartab36 Datebook37 Protect Your Monster 54 Fairyscopes  56 Classifieds  57 Bitch, Please!  60

40

COVER: PHOTOGRAPHER Knyckolas Davis MODELS Edie Cheezburger 10 // davidatlanta.com

50

28


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In an interview with Vogue, Beyoncé stressed her desire to raise Blue Ivy in as normal a manner as possible, saying, “At some point it’s very important to me that my daughter is able to experience life and run through the sprinklers and have slumber parties and trust and live and do all the things that any child should be able to do. School visits and lemonade stands and all that stuff.” Yes, because a lemonade stand in the middle of Tribeca isn’t abnormal enough, much less when it’s the fucking Second Coming of Christ.

By Lucas Witherspoon

I

n his new film, Spring Breakers, James Franco basically deep-throats a pistol, thus showing off rather impressive oral skills. In an interview with Details, he’s basically called out for it by the interviewer. “’Most people can’t get past that gag reflex at the back of the throat,’ I say. ‘Guess I’m a natural,’ he says with a laugh. ‘It was my first time.’ ‘So that wasn’t you in Broken Tower?’ ‘Oh shit, you’re right!’ Franco’s eyes light up. ‘It wasn’t my first time.’ ‘You’re known for going the extra mile, but that was, what, a good eight inches?’ He gives me a get-real look. ‘That was a dildo.’ Then he turns that look back on himself, and I see the real James Franco: ‘If I’d had the guts, it woulda been real.’” In other news, The Broken Tower is now at the top of my Netflix/fap material queue. Nicholas Sparks, author of The Notebook, has said he’s “considered” writing a gay-themed novel, but that it’s “not exactly in my genre,” adding, “That would probably be more likely something that’s explored in a different medium, maybe through television...with the novels, I try to give the people what they expect, and then move out into different areas.” And by “not in my genre,” he of course means the “really shitty love novels category. There’s enough cheesy, gay literature out there without him in the mix. Lady Gaga has canceled the rest of her Born This Way Ball tour dates after suffering “a labral tear of the right hip caused by strenuous repetitive movements in her performances.” I mean, you can only wear $15,000 sky-high pairs of heeled clogs before something goes awry. 14 // davidatlanta.com

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are rolling out a wine that will be produced at their insanely opulent French chateau, Château Miraval. Hell, if I had to deal with six chirrens running around screaming all day, I’d need an on-site winery too. Us Weekly has a weekly feature where they ask various celebrities to divulge 25 little-known facts about themselves, aptly titled ’25 Things You Don’t Know About Me’. Usually they’re quirky or comical tidbits, but this week they decided to go with Amanda Bynes, which featured facts like, “I went on Accutane and it really helped my skin clear up,” “I gain weight quickly so I need to work out constantly,” and, “I moved to New York City and I love it! I lost 4 lbs. since I moved. I’m 121 lbs -- my goal is 100 lbs.” Not mentioned is the one thing we all know about her: she is insane. Helena Bonham Carter is slated to star in a BBC4 film called Burton & Taylor about when Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton starred together in Private Lives on Broadway. What?! Someone is actually going to attempt to top Lindsay Lohan’s powerful, multifarious Lifetime depiction of Liz Taylor?! Blasphemy! And by powerful and multifarious I’m of course talking about her unintentional capturing of the essence of Liz’s hot mess-ness.


@DavidAtlantaGA // 15


No Live Animals Variety Show!

A

s I watched through the secret backstage “peep hole” of the Laughing Skull at this vaudeville type act where this very happy-go-lucky lady (but with a sneaky and mischievous grin) shove a long hard sword down her partners throat who’s on his knees receiving it, two thoughts came to my mind: (1) This is déjà vu (oops) and (2) I’m actually doing a vaudeville show! I mean, that’s what those vaudeville shows back in the roaring 20s were all about: variety.

I did my opening monologue in front of a very enthusiastic crowd and then child all kinds of acts came from behind those curtains. First we had Evan Fowler, voted best comedian by Creative Loafing last year, do a few funny antics and played with his um…ukulele. Also, a couple of other straight comedians took their shirts off during their sets at the crowd’s demands.

There were a couple of drag queens, like the always very painted Violet Chachki and choreographer/singer This brand new show I’m hosting is at one of Atlanta’s top Ellisorous Rex (also praised by Creative Loafing) who did comedy clubs, The Laughing Skull, on Peachtree (across their thing, Gay rapper J. Tyler rocked the house, and so from Bulldogs), on Thursday nights now called “No Live did local singer/rapper Symphony, a funny lesbian Noelle, Animals Variety Show,” and believe me child, this show and other wild things happened that…I think it’s best I really does include all types of acts except animals. Well, don’t put in print. this show had some fish and a couple of bears in the audience, but that’s about it. It’s a true variety show: not just a bunch of peanuts, but instead with plenty of almonds, pistachios, pecans, The show itself is historic because, as Project Q puts it, and cashews. Breakdown: it’s one of those shows were “it’s the comedy club’s first weekly show hosted by a anything goes (except animals)! black drag queen.” Yeah, something like that. In my mind, my drag isn’t gender specific, it’s just “Brent Star” all No Live Animals Variety Show dragged up. That’s pretty much why I’m the king of being The Laughing Skull (inside the Vortex), 878 Peachtree St. improperly untucked. Thursdays, 10:30 pm. So ‘what had happened was’…when it was time to start, the DJ played the 20th Century Fox fanfare opening as if you’re about to see an Oscar-nominated blockbuster hit, then he played “Bad Mamma Jamma,” then came onstage a skinny tall creature wearing a red paten jacket to match his/her red patent thigh-high stiletto boots to compliment his/her ruby red slipper lips, as if trying to get an award for “Best Dressed in Red Valentine Whore.” Not to mention his top hat with an attached box of chocolates sashaying for the gods. Of course, I’m talking about me. 16 // davidatlanta.com


@DavidAtlantaGA // 17


The Other Side of Drag Edie Cheezburger and Company Get Ugly By Van Gower

Photos by Knyckolas Davis of Knyckolas Creative

A

tlanta has been a gay mecca for enough years that it has already been home to several generations of drag queens. For every legendary name like Diamond Lil, Tina Devore, Charlie Brown, RuPaul, Morticia Deville, Peg, Bubba D. Licious, Lily White, the various casts of the Armorettes, and numerous others, there have been just as many young upstarts waiting in the wings, hungry for their debuts in the spotlight. And while it can be said that most drag performers 18 // davidatlanta.com

possess a very definite sassy, bitchy appeal, the prevailing modus operandi of a majority of foregone queens has appeared to be the unabashed glorification of glamorous feminine illusion, so much so that their successors are gradually incorporating new and outrageous elements into the venerable art of drag. The growing success of that diversity – while it may seem to be a threat to carefully cultivated ladylike ideals – proves there’s staying power in, and room for, upsetting the longtime order of things. Vive la difference.


For a relatively new drag diva like Edie Cheezburger in particular, there’s a very special appeal in challenging that order. A performer for only the last two years, Cheezburger first gained fame as a participant in the Dragnique competition at Jungle, where her performances showcased her penchant for the interesting and unusual. The stylistic gamble was apparently worth the roll of the dice, however, because now Cheezburger has created a full-fledged show around the concept of taking chances in drag. The Other Show, which premiered at Jungle in early last November, features a diverse cast hand-picked by Cheezburger to share in her vision of the offbeat. “I was asked by Richard [Cherskov] at the Jungle to come and do a show that really highlighted new and interesting types of drag, or new and interesting performers,” said Cheezburger. “It was really meant to be more of an avant garde kind of show because Atlanta does have a lot of drag shows, and that wasn’t something that was available to anybody.” As a way-out mother hen, Cheezburger set about assembling her dream cast of divas who might sufficiently shake up the status quo of drag performance. Evah Destruction, Jaye Lish, Jasmine Antoinette, Justice Tyana Taylor, Violet Chachki, and Miami Royale soon gathered under Cheezburger’s wing to further develop The Other Show. “I think that we are doing something different from your normal everyday kind of drag. You have some of the girls who probably could pass as a woman easily, but we’re adding a very different element to it,” said Miami Royale. “We’re trying to make it more about the art and showing a whimsical side of drag. It’s a variety show. You have burlesque, you have camp, and then you have a different side that’s very artistic that I feel like I really haven’t ever seen in Atlanta before. And I’m glad to be a part of a show that brings a really artsy side to it.”

audience members, and then we have a lot of people who are from out of town. We also have groups of females who come to the shows, and I think that’s an interesting thing that we’re getting,” said Cheezburger. Cheezburger added that a majority of Atlanta’s drag shows, and perhaps those in other gay-centric cities, attract straight people whose curiosity about gay nightlife is piqued in the sometimes wild antics that characterize drag performances, including those of The Other Show’s cast members. “It’s always funny when straight women come up and ask us, ‘How long does it take you to get ready?’ And when we tell them, they go ‘Oh my god, I didn’t realize it.’ And I’m like, ‘How could you not think that it takes us longer than it takes you to get ready?’” Cheezburger and Royale concur that an act like The Other Show, with its frequently risky artistic expressions, is unique to Atlanta. They further believe that it fills a vital gap in the city’s nightlife entertainment offerings, especially considering the pedigree of its influences. “I think [Atlanta] needs something so out of the norm because you can go to California and there are all these queens who are doing so many different kinds of numbers. They have all these amazing kinds of concepts. They have a different side of drag that’s a little more blunt than this whole façade of blinged-out pageant-looking dresses,” said Royale.

Like Cheezburger, Jaye Lish looked not only outside the limits of traditional drag but outside the boundaries of Atlanta in honing her style. “The bulk of our inspiration, at least for Edie and myself, comes from more avant garde sources past and present,” said Lish. “The San Francisco area drag scene, the New York club kid drag scene. Leigh Bowery has always been a great inspiration for me.” Although The Other Show has only been going strong for four months now, it has easily garnered a loyal and diverse fan base drawn to that very mix of creative output. “I’d say that maybe half of our audiences are returning @DavidAtlantaGA // 19


to inspire other young performers to stretch their own boundaries, according to Royale. “I feel like it challenges up-and-coming queens to look outside of the whole trying-to-pass-as-a-woman box. I know for me especially and a couple of the other girls, Edie has definitely challenged us to go outside of our comfort zones, and I’ve definitely been doing that a lot,” she said. Violet Chachki, another member of the cast, feels Atlanta needs a fresh offering like The Other Show because, in the case of many of her larger-than-life characters, it’s all about breaking old rules and not following set drag guidelines. “I think it’s time for a real drag show where you pay a cover and there’s a stage and there’s tables. I hate performing on the floor where people are looking down on you, as opposed to people looking up at you [on a stage],” said Chachki. “You can do more theatrical things on a stage, and there’s a lot more room for creativity in a cabaret style setting as opposed to a bar setting or a dancefloor setting. More alternative things are possible. We love the Jungle, the back stage is really cute, and it lends itself nicely to creativity. That definitely sets up apart from other shows as well – we have a stage and there’s curtains.” Lish agreed that presenting The Other Show – with its penchant for stage-worthy, theatrical performance art styles of drag and illusion – couldn’t have a better venue than the Jungle to wow fans in. The club’s surroundings, in Lish’s opinion, harken back to the glory days of classic, bygone Atlanta drag spectacle, when spacious venues enabled drag performers to be more experimental and to flex their creative muscles.

“What it appears like to us is that drag itself is a continually evolving art, and the … new things that are coming out now are as much art and fashion and music as it is the illusion of anything else. We’re just trying to make that accessible,” said Lish. “Atlanta is a very grand city and a lot of great things have come out of it, but at the same time it’s still the South and it’s still been very routine and conservative.” Beyond just pointing out to audiences what other flavors can be found on the drag menu, a contemporary act like The Other Show wields its influences and style as a way 20 // davidatlanta.com

“There hasn’t been a showbar in Atlanta since Backstreet and the days of the Armory, really. The viewer misses out on that theatrical feel of a show. The bulk of drag right now is, to some extent, in-the-round because it’s in a bar and you don’t really have a stage. With The Other Show, because this is in a cabaret setting, there is a stage and you can provide not only an illusion but give a different experience too,” she said. Like Cheezburger and Royale, Chachki believes that the more things stay the same in drag, the more they change. They almost have to in order to provide open doors and windows of opportunity to new generations. “The drag scene’s been around so long, but it’s so different in this day and age. I never really had a drag mother. I established myself and I had to claw my way up to do it because I didn’t have anybody helping me,” said Chachki,


who prefers to call herself a queer performance artist rather than a drag queen. “Drag is different in general for young people these days. The Other Show was designed specifically to be just that – an alternative, and we all have our own little styles and niches.” Some of The Other Show’s cast members are former or current Armorettes, and some hail from the drag pageant system. With such a night-and-day difference in backgrounds, it’s a toss-up as to what audiences will see, whether it’s maniacally bizarre or more relatively sedate. The one thing audiences should never do is come to The Other Show expecting to be entertained in the same way every week. Open minds are encouraged, not just among audiences but in the cast as well. “I really encourage all of the performers in the show to step outside of the box and comfort zones and to try different things. I’m definitely not one to push people into performing in the ‘fish drag,’ so I like that we explore the boundaries of entertainment,” Cheezburger said. As it so often is with pushing the envelope in any form of entertainment but especially in drag, performers who hope to lure that untapped audience must be unselfconscious and unafraid to forego vanity, according to Cheezburger. “I really enjoy the funny drag, but on top of that, I enjoy really beautiful performers being able to make fun of themselves and be willing to be ugly. It’s really bizarre because you don’t want to say, ‘It’s great to see ugly people,’ but it’s interesting because you never get to see that and I think that a lot of people stress being so beautiful,” she said. Much like old Hollywood glamour reigned supreme particularly in the studio system days, mandating a posh façade for their female stars, drag queens relying on that glamour may be missing out on the creative originality that so uniquely characterized the careers of legends like Bette Davis, who wasn’t afraid to allow herself to be unattractive onscreen for the sake of a great role. Disparately, the casts of John Waters’ films are often “uglied up” by makeup artist/costume designer Van Smith, lending a striking aspect to their roles as well. “And like Lucille Ball, too. She was never afraid to get dirty or messy, but she was always really beautiful and very comedic. I think that, to me, is the epitome of entertainment,” said Cheezburger. “I really like the funny side of drag. But I’m also really inspired by people performing in San Francisco and New York.” Royale – who cites Latina influences like Chita Rivera, Jennifer Lopez, and Shakira as influences on her earlier, @DavidAtlantaGA // 21


more colorful style – eventually took a shine to the freakshow flamboyance of James St. James, the real-life club kid character portrayed by Seth Green in the 2003 film Party Monster, incorporating that into her performances in The Other Show. “I’ve started to get more into that kind of element of not giving a shit what people are going to think and going with instinct and going with whatever I want to wear,” she said. “One of the things that I’ve done, too, is basically look at all the [Other Show] performers and get inspiration from what they do. I myself get inspiration from Jaye Lish and Edie Cheezburger.” With the girls in The Other Show endeavoring under Edie Cheezburger’s tutelage to bring that different element to Atlanta audiences, the hope among the cast is that their unpredictable and outlandish spin on an old art form will catch up to, if not overtake, the old-school feminine glamour purveyed by their queen compatriots. “I know a lot of the queens who are just starting now are definitely looking more towards the old-school and that kind of glam. But now that we’re becoming a much bigger show, word is getting around that our show has been building up a big fan base,” said Royale. “I see it as Atlanta is starting to get more outlandish and starting to revive the drag scene again, because I feel like it kind of died down.” “We definitely like the variety and we think that’s going to be staying,” said Chachki. “Everybody has their own style and their own technique, but I like to do genderfuck and androgynous things. Queer performance art is what I’m mostly interested in. I definitely think that’s inspiring other performers.” “I hope that more people discover a variety of drag instead of just being exposed to what’s right in front of them,” said Cheezburger. “It’s almost like a good mystery novel, where you have to sift through all of the things available and not just look at the surface of what’s there.” “I would really like to hear people talk about Atlanta like they talk about New York and San Francisco and L.A,” said Lish. “Instead of ‘Atlanta’s a great city and a lot of great people came from there,’ I want them to say, ‘Atlanta’s a great city and look what’s happening there right now.’” The Other Show plays out every Friday night at Jungle at 9:30 p.m., with doors opening at 8:30 p.m. Entry is free before 9:30 p.m., and $5 after. The show is open to audiences 18+. For more information, visit jungleclubatlanta.com. 22 // davidatlanta.com


@DavidAtlantaGA // 23


Jasmine Antoinette

PERFORMING SINCE: Birth FAVORITE PERFORMANCE: Performing at a West Georgia event as Jazzatar would have to be my favorite. I was able to bring three special little girls on stage with me and seeing their faces was priceless. PERFORMS AT: Aside from The Other Show, you can catch me at various places throughout Atlanta by checking out my Facebook. WHAT THE OTHERS MIGHT THINK OF ME: I tell excellent dog jokes and make mixes, LOL.

Violet Chachki

PERFORMING SINCE: 2012 FAVORITE PERFORMANCE: Definitely my performance for Atlanta Pride’s Starlight Cabaret! Just to be on a stage that big with all the lights and such an amazing audience made it my favorite. I’m a sucker for good lighting. I did a burlesque act to “Bourbon in Your Eyes” by Devil Doll, one of my favorite numbers to date! PERFORMS AT: Well of course, The Other Show [at Jungle]! I will also start performing twice a month as a part of Corian Ellisors’ (Ellisorous Rex) show, !GLITZ!, at Mary’s, and then Fonda Ligue’s brand new vaudeville style show The Jewel Box Revue debuts this weekend (feb 23)! WHAT THE OTHERS MIGHT THINK OF ME: They would probably say that I’m a mess and the sleazy one of the bunch! But if the fetish pump fits...

Edie Cheezburger

PERFORMING SINCE: I’ve been performing for two whole years. FAVORITE PERFORMANCE: The performance I did for the end of Dragnique, because I did it with a bunch of my friends. PERFORMS AT: Burkhart’s [Armorettes]; Jungle [The Other Show] WHAT THE OTHERS MIGHT THINK OF ME: I do have a saying that people use, and it’s not because of anything that I’ve said. It’s from a blurb in the back of a David magazine, is that somebody called me rudeness in a wig. I think if you asked anybody that’s probably what they would say. I think that somebody did that to me because they didn’t like me and they wanted to write it in the Bitch Session. But I adopted it right off the bat.

24 // davidatlanta.com


Evah Destruction

PERFORMING SINCE: 2011 FAVORITE PERFORMANCE: I don’t really have a favorite, because I love each and every one of my performances. PERFORMS AT: Jungle [The Other Show and Atlanta All-Stars] WHAT THE OTHERS MIGHT THINK OF ME: I’m a hard worker, loud as hell, fun to be around, caring, and funny, with a splash of crazy!

Jaye Lish

PERFORMING SINCE: 2005 FAVORITE PERFORMANCE: Artistically, the artist challenge in Dragnique Season two. Picasso was my artist. Personally, every time I do “Defying Gravity,” collaboratively every time I work with Edie Cheezburger. PERFORMS AT: After choosing to not perform or frequent bars that allow indoor smoking, my only show is The Other Show at Jungle, and I’ve never been happier with the work environment. WHAT THE OTHERS MIGHT THINK OF ME: I’m fearless.

Miami Royale

PERFORMING SINCE: 2008 FAVORITE PERFORMANCE: There’s a number that I always do that’s a signature number of mine. A Marie Antoinettelooking number, and I made the costume myself. PERFORMS AT: Burkhart’s [Armorettes]; Jungle [The Other Show] WHAT THE OTHERS MIGHT THINK OF ME: Some of the members have already told me what I symbolize, especially in one of the first meetings Edie had with us after we did a few of the shows, she gave us a word. The word she gave me was “power.” It was commanding power and commanding people’s attention, power in the way that I dance, power in the way that I lip-synch. Just power.

Justice Tyana Taylor

PERFORMING SINCE: 2008 FAVORITE PERFORMANCE: I would have to say that my favorite performance would absolutely have to be every time I step on stage! No matter how big or small my costume is, I am always happy to have a mic in my hand or to be on stage! PERFORMS AT: I am at the Jungle for The Other Show but I perform at most bars in Atlanta and I travel out of town and out of state a lot as well. I love any chance to meet other talented individuals. WHAT THE OTHERS MIGHT THINK OF ME: The main thing that my fellow cast mates would say about me would be that I’m very crazy and off the wall with things I do and say. I make too many damn videos for my Facebook and that I drink way too much tequila! @DavidAtlantaGA // 25


A Lifetime in

Rhythm and Beat By Nicholas Grant

F

ela Anikulapo Kuti was a man who took Africa and the world by storm. Through his words and his music he helped to shape Afrobeat music and consequently political movements in Africa. His music and message lives on, and comes to life on stage at the Fox Theatre in the Tony Award nominated musical Fela! Fela! is produced in part by Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, and currently features Michelle Williams of Destiny’s Child.

Kuti’s musical and political lives continued and contained the creation of a new political party and an attempted run for the Nigerian presidency, multiple albums and concerts across the world. His voice we silenced forever on the Aug. 3, 1997 when AIDS claimed his life. Such a monumental life was ripe for a theatrical treatment. Fela! was first seen Off-Broadway in 2008, and soon transferred to Broadway in 2009 where it was nominated for an astonishing eleven Tony Awards, including Best Musical. A London production followed and the show soon found it’s way back to New York for an encore presentation this past summer. Now on tour across the United States, it will soon take up residence here in Atlanta.

Kuit was born in Nigeria in 1938, the son of Funmilayo Ransome-Kuit (a feminist activist) and Reverend Isreal Oludtun Ransome-Kuti (a Protestant minister and first president of the Nigeria Union of Teachers.) In 1958, he went to London to study medicine but soon decided to instead dive head first into the world of music but it was not until after he returned to Africa (and several years in On the current tour, and previously in London, Melanie Nigeria and Ghana) that he called his musical hybrid style Marshall has portrayed Kuti’s mother, Funmilayo, to packed houses and standing ovations. A veteran of stage Afrobeat. and screen, she has appeared in productions of Kiss Me, As is sometimes the case with musicians, Kuti’s music Kate, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Fame, Porgy and Bess and countless others on both sides of the Atlantic. Fela! holds a quickly started to contain messages involving social issues. In 1977 his album Zombie infuriated the Nigerian special place in her heart though, as does the opportunity to play such a powerful and historical woman. government, and in turn caused one thousand Nigerian solders to storm Kuti’s commune. During the attack, Kuti was severely beaten and his mother, Funmilayo, was “This is my best role to date! It truly is. I get to portray a thrown from a second story window and sustained injuno-nonsense, regal, highly respected powerful woman ries that would eventually end her life. All of Kuti’s master whose name is still admired. It does not get any better than that!! I get to bring my musical characteristics tapes and instruments were destroyed and he barely escaped with his life. of classical/jazz to the role, and to have the stamp of 28 // davidatlanta.com


approval of so many people who knew her, especially Fela’s children, I am proud to perform this role. It is very important to remember the legacy that I (and the rest of the cast) am portraying, is a true story. This is a story of real people, not made-up characters. “Somebody said the other day, ‘The usual phrase is, Behind every great man is a great woman; Why not change it to next to every great man there is a great woman? Why not indeed? But we could also say, ‘In front of every man leads a great woman!’ In this instance, it happened to be Funmilayo leading her Son Fela to his destiny. Funmilayo was a strong strict feminist who fought hard for Women’s rights in Nigeria.” It is only natural that such a powerful and true story would push audiences to their emotional brinks. While the actions take place in Africa between the 1960s and 1990s, the themes resonate across national boundaries and still ring true to this very day. Audience reactions across the United States have varied slightly from their British counterparts, but that certainly does not mean there is any change in the passion displayed by both performers and on lookers. Marshall says of both audiences “British audiences are varied! We tend to be quite reserved. We sit and enjoy and take everything in, and then we go crazy at the end applauding! Here in the USA, it’s a different ball game. I remember Bill T. Jones (Fela!’s Co-Conception/Director/ Choreographer/Book Writer) wondering whether the UK

audience at The National Theatre would get up and participate so easily. It helps that as an audience member, you become part of the show as soon as you enter the auditorium because the band is on stage playing, just as Fela used to do before the main show started. The audience is part of the whole ‘nightclub’ effect. If I go to a reception before a show, I always say to the party, ‘Gentlemen, loosen your ties, and ladies – make sure you are wearing comfortable shoes!’” It’s a wonderful opportunity when telling the epic story of a person’s life to use the music they created, and that is where the heart of Fela! is: his rhythmic beats create the heartbeat for everyone involved with the show. “Fela’s mantra was ‘Music is the Weapon,’” says Marshall. “Whenever Fela needed to say anything, his vessel was his music and powerful lyrics; his national anthems as it were. There is something there for everybody! I challenge you to not be satisfied. Fela’s music is so enveloping. The show embraces every emotion. You will laugh, cry, sing, dance, be educated, amused and entertained!” Fela! plays Atlanta’s Fox Theatre Feb. 28–Mar. 3. For tickets and information visit foxtheatre.org. @DavidAtlantaGA // 29


30 // davidatlanta.com


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theScene 1

10th & Piedmont 991 Piedmont Ave. NE

14 Cowtippers

27 Las Margaritas

40 Tripps

2

Amsterdam 502 Amsterdam Ave. NE

15 Daiquiri Factory

28 Manifest 4 U

41 Urban Body Fitness

3

Atlanta Eagle 306 Ponce De Leon Ave. NE

16 Einstein's

29 Mixx

42 Woof's

4

BJ Roosters 2345 Cheshire Bridge Rd.

17 F.R.O.G.S

30 Oscar's

43 XS Ultra Lounge

5

Blake's 227 10th St. NE

18 Felix's

31 Opus 1

6

Bliss 2284 Cheshire Bridge Rd.

19 Flex Spa

32 Roxx

7

Boy Next Door 1447 Piedmont Ave. NE

20 Friends

33 Sam's Hair Salon

Le Buzz 585 Franklin Rd. SE Marietta, GA

8

Brushstrokes 1510 Piedmont Ave. NE

21 Gatsby's

34 Southern Nights

Mary's 1287 Glenwood Ave. SE

9

Bubbles Salon 1579 Monroe Dr. NE

22 Gilbert's

35 Ten Atlanta

My Sister's Room 1271 Glenwood Ave. SE

10 Bulldogs

23 Heretic

36 The Den

Rush Lounge 2715 Buford Hwy. NE

11 Burkhart's

24 Hobnob

37 The Fifth Ivory

Sister Louisa’s Church 466 Edgewood Ave. SE

12 Capulets

25 Joe's on Juniper

38 The Hideaway

Swinging Richard's 1400 Northside Dr. NW

13 Club Eros

26 Jungle

39 The Model T

The Bar Fitness 908 Bowen St. NW

893 Peachtree St. NE 1492 Piedmont Ave. NE 1510 Piedmont Ave. NE 2219 Faulkner Rd. NE

1600 Piedmont Ave. NE 889 W. Peachtree Str. NW 1077 Juniper St. NE 931 Monroe Cir. NE 1510 Piedmont Ave. NE 76 4th St. NW

1842 Cheshire Bridge Rd.

1931 Piedmont Cir. NE

2103 Faulkner Rd. NE

500 Amsterdam Ave. NE

1492 Piedmont Ave. NE

2425 Piedmont Rd. NE

1510 Piedmont Ave. NE

708 Spring Str. NW Not Shown: Cockpit 465 Boulevard SE

1086 Alco St. NE 1824 Cheshire Bridge Rd.

736 Ponce De Leon Ave. NE 931 Monroe Dr. NE 219 10th St. NE

2000 Cheshire Bridge Rd. 2205 Cheshire Bridge Rd. 990 Piedmont Ave. Ne

2069 Cheshire Bridge Rd. 1551 Piedmont Ave. NE 1049 Juniper Str. NE 2115 Faulkner Rd. NE

2135 Liddell Dr. NE 794 Juniper Str. NE 1544 Piedmont Ave. NE 699 Ponce De Leon Ave. NE

Bar/Cocktails

Retail

Dining

Billiards/Darts

Dancing

Dancers

Non-Smoking

Leather

Hair/Beauty

Fitness

Drag

Baths/Spa

34 // davidatlanta.com


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Bartab

MONDAY

BLAKE’S Game Night - Brain Freeze Trivia & Family Feud back to back 11:30pm BURKHART’S Blue Monday Karaoke w/ Angelica D’Paige 11:30pm COCKPIT  Big Red Cup All Day, specials EAGLE Music Videos with Scotty FELIX’S  Free Pool FRIENDS DJ opens at 2pm Gilbert’s Half Priced Entrees 5-11PM HERETIC Play w/ Eddie 4pm-11pm HIDEAWAY  $2.50 Domestic Beer hobnob Date Night 19.95 3 course dinner for two 5-11PM JUNGLE Stars of the Century Show 11pm MODEL T Monday Night Madness 9pm OSCAR’S Midtown Martini Club 4pm. Service Industry Night 9pm TRIPP’S Monday Night Madness 9pm WOOF’S Texas Hold ‘Em Poker 8pm

TUESDAY

BLAKE’S POP! Karaoke with Princess Charles & Suzanne Gleeson 11pm BURKHART’S Trivia Tuesday Karaoke w/ Angelica D’Paige 11:30pm COCKPIT  80s Party 9pm, specials 5-8pm EAGLE Tuesdays w/ Tony FELIX’S  Smirnoff Martini Night FRIENDS Let’s Make a Deal 6pm Gilbert’s Industry Night (complementary pizza after 10pm) HERETIC 2-Step Tuesday, dance till 11pm HIDEAWAY TEAM Trivia w/ Will 9pm HOBNOB Trivia 8:30 JUNGLE Camp with Ruby Redd 8pm MIXX Piano with David Reeb at 8pm MODEL T Texas Hold’em Poker 9:30pm OSCAR’S Show Tune Tuesday 8pm SWINGING RICHARDS 1/2 Price cover TRIPP’S Ladies Night 9pm WOOF’S Industry Day Free Wii 5pm

WEDNESDAY

BLAKE’S 5-9pm Doug’s party pop hits, The “Lust and Bust Show”11 pm BURKHART’S Humpday Karaoke w/ Darlene Majewski 11:30pm COCKPIT Balls Deep Karaoke 10pm EAGLE Underwear Night with Tony Friends Team Trivia 8pm Gilbert’s Karaoke 10pm-2am heretic  25¢ Keystone Light ,No Cover! hideaway Trivia w/ Will 9pm jungle All-Stars Competition with Phoenix 10pm model t Karaoke 10pm oscar’s ReBooT Retro 8pm 36 // davidatlanta.com

got an upcoming event? calendar@davidatlanta.com

swinging richards 2-4-1 VIP Room tripp’s Free Taco Bar 5pm xcess ultra lounge Raquell Lord’s Talent Show @ 10:30pm, Sophia Mcintosh & Fab 5 +1 @11:30pm, 18+ woof’s Food Special, Trivia 8pm

THURSDAY

blake’s Texas Hold’Em Poker 7pm, Shawnna Factor Show 11pm - $5.00 burgers all day BURKHART’S Twisted Thursday w/ Phoenix 11:30pm cockpit  Dirty Boy Bingo w/ Ruby Redd eagle Balls Deep Karaoke w/ Mikey felix’s Karaoke w/ Brett & Tyler 10pm friends  Girls Who Like Girls Meet Girls Gilbert’s Wine tasting 6-10pm heretic  3 Legged Cowboy Night 9pm hideaway  Service Industry Night hobnob Live Music 8-11PM jungle Sing For Your Life with Barry Brandon 8pm mIXX Mens Night with Aaron & Matt at 6 pm model t Party-Time 9pm oscar’s Thirsty Thursdays with Eric 8pm swinging richards 2-4-1 VIP & Entry tripp’s Spotlight Karaoke 9pm xcess ultra lounge Turnt Up Thursday woof’s Food Special, Country Music 7pm

FRIDAY

10th & piedmont Live DJ 10 PM blake’s 5-9pm TGIF, Charlie’s Angels w/ Charlie Brown 11pm BURKHART’S Fab Five w/ Angelica D’Paige 11:30pm cockpit  DJ Diablo Rojo, guest VJ/DJ’s eagle DJ Dance Party friends Happy Times with Kelly & Ken heretic no cover B4 11pm hideaway  After Work Martini Madness jungle The Other Show with Edie Cheezburger 9:30pm; Jungle POP 11pm mixx Grown & Sexy Dance 10pm model t Saturday Night Live 9pm oscar’s 80’s Retro Vidz 8pm swinging richards T-Shirt Review, $10 tripp’s Afternoon Delights 4pm woof’s Atlanta’s Best Social Night 6pm

SATURDAY

10th & piedmont Live DJ 10 PM blake’s opens 1pm, Daring Divas 11pm BURKHART’S Extravaganza w/ Shavonna B. Brooks 11:30pm cockpit  DJ Diablo Rojo, guest VJ/DJ’s

eagle DJ Dance Party felix’s Karaoke w/ Brett & Tyler 10pm friends Afternoon Party with D.J. Noon - 6pm Gilbert’s All you care to eat brunch (cooked to order) 11-4pm heretic Varies: Club Night or 3 Legged Cowboy Night - 10pm jungle Foreplay with Lily White 9:30pm; Club Night, Various Guest DJ’s mixx Guest DJ’s Dance 10pm model t Sunday Dinner 3:30pm oscar’s Total Request Videos 8pm swinging richards T-Shirt Review $10 tripp’s Afternoon Cookout 3pm xcess ultra lounge 25+ FREE til 12am woof’s Game Day All Day

SUNDAY

10th & piedmont Bellini Brunch 11 AM & T-Dance 4 PM blake’s Open at 1pm - High Energy Music & Video w/ Bill Berdeaux & Daryl Cox BURKHART’S Armorettes Drag Show club rush Hip Hop w DJ Truz, no cover cockpit  PBR Beer Bust felix’s  Bloody Marys & Mimosas friends Smirnoff B Mary Bar 12:30pm Gilbert’s All you care to eat brunch (cooked to order) 11-4pm and Karaoke 6-11:30pm hideaway  Bloody Mary Bar 12:30pm HOBNOB Brunch - $15.00 - Bottomless Mimosas 11 AM-3PM plus 1/2 price wings 4-11PM Jungle  The Day After with Knomie Moore 12-3pm; Sweet T with Bubba Dee and Wild Cherry Sucret 7pm las margaritas All You Can Eat til 3pm mixx Old School Sunday Dance 7pm model t Sunday Dinner w Ron 3:30pm tripp’s Buffet 3pm; Karaoke pm woof’s Bloody Mary bar, PBR special


Datebook

theRundown ABear Comedy Show Feb. 27 • 8 p.m. • Jungle (2115 Faulkner Road)

Host Ian Aber, ABear Comedian, presents this monthly production with a mix of LGBT and straight comedians, including this month’s headliner, Brent Star. The $5 cover goes to benefit Lost-N-Found Youth. For more information, visit jungleclubatlanta.com.

SAGE Atlanta

Feb. 28 • 10 a.m. • Rush Center (660 Peachtree St. NE)

SAGE Atlanta hosts their weekly Cards and Social Hour at 10 a.m., followed by a general meeting at 11 a.m. For more information, visit sageatl.org.

Fela!

Feb. 28 • 8 p.m. • Fox Theatre (660 Peachtree St. NE)

Check out our interview with co-star Melanie Marshall on page 28. For more information on Fela!, visit foxtheatre.org.

The Truth About Love Tour

Mar. 1 • 8 p.m. • Philips Arena (1 Philips Drive)

P!nk brings her latest tour, in support of her The Truth About Love album, to Philips Arena with special guests The Hives. For more information, visit philipsarena.com or thetruthaboutlovetour.com.

Mr. Gay Cobb County 2013

Mar. 1 • 9 p.m. • LeBuzz (585 Franklin Road, Marietta)

Dancing with the Drag Queens Jungle is hosting this new program, where Dancing with the Stars collides with the drag queens of Atlanta. With Phoenix on board as the event’s host and contestants including Alissah Brooks, Aurora Savage, Dynisty St. James, Envy Van Michaels, Evah Destruction and Fiera Ice, this event promises to be a unique twist on drag performances for Atlanta. The competition also brings in guest performances and judges each week, including Barry Brandon as guest judge and Adam Horne as a special entertainer for Week 1. Dancing with the Drag Queens starts at 8 p.m. Monday nights, with doors opening at 7:30. For more information on Dancing with the Drag Queens, visit jungleclubatlanta.com or qliteentertainment.com

The theme this year? “Out There.” How out there? Think extraterrestrial. For more information, visit thenewlebuzz.com.

Old Time Gospel Concert

Mar. 2 • 7 p.m. • First MCC (1379 Tullie Road NE)

First Metropolitan Community Church presents a special concert that blends traditional and contemporary gospel music. Tickets are $10, and sales benefit First MCC and ASCORG, a non-profit charity. For more information, visit firstmcc.org.

Eric Himan in Concert Mar. 6 • 8 p.m. • Jungle (2115 Faulkner Road)

The irrestistibly sexy Eric Himan stops by Jungle for the Atlanta stop on his Under the Ink Tour. Check out our interview with Eric on page 40. For more information, visit jungleclubatlanta.com or erichiman.com. @DavidAtlantaGA // 37


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By Emma Harger

40 // davidatlanta.com

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hen last we spoke with Eric Himan last year, he was coming to Atlanta to play My Sister’s Room during his tour for his live DVD, Under the Ink. He was a busy man, balancing performing with his online cooking show Trial and Eric. One year later, he’s still as busy as ever and has even more exciting things on the horizon.

“We raised a lot of money and I was very excited. You bite your fingernails all the way through it, but it turned out really great,” he said.

Speaking of Trial and Eric, he still does the show once a month, but now he’s trying to expand beyond the Internet. He’s starting to look at morning shows around the country, including in Atlanta, and trying to make He’s actually still on the Under the Ink tour, one last hur- Trial and Eric a special feature on their programs. rah before the release of his new CD, Formal. That will shift his focus slightly. However, on this last leg of the “I think it’d be really fun to drive in early, cook that Under the Ink tour, he’s also playing cuts from Formal to morning, be on TV and then, later that night, play,” he help get the word out to people. said. The morning appearances could also provide him another opportunity to get the word out about his shows The tour kicked off in Oklahoma City, went to Kansas and albums. However, he said it’s also being pitched City and up to Columbus, Ohio for a little sweep of the to networks on his behalf. Trial and Eric could get even Midwest. Himan then went over to New York City, on to bigger very soon. Atlanta and down to Florida before he went home for a little rest and then flew out to the West Coast to play “That’s show business,” he said. “You never know western locales. what’s gonna hit people or what somebody’s going to get interested in that fits you. For me, it was this cook“I do it all myself,” he said. “Booking all the shows, ing show even though I’ve been playing music for 12 getting the publicity, making sure all the graphics get years. Funny how that works!” done—it’s a big job.” But the effort is all worth it in the end. “It pays off, definitely. When I get to play and He’s recording Formal now and will be finishing that up see people and they ask ‘where are you going next?’ in April, plus he also has a small role in an upcoming inand I’m like ‘I’m going here, here, here, here and here,’ dependent movie that was shot in Kansas, although he’s that’s when it feels very rewarding.” required to stay mum about a lot of the details. It should be coming out on Netflix later this year in November or He’s been doing everything his own way for more than December. a decade now. He started Thumbcrown Records all the way back in 2000 when he was inspired by artists like He also wants to play at more outdoor events and festiAni DiFranco, who was also heading in the independent vals, including one over Memorial Day weekend where direction. He wasn’t happy with the offers that record he will be cooking and performing. labels gave him because they never seemed to be the most opportune choices for him, so instead he set out When he performs, he likes to play his own stuff as well on his own. as songs by Bruno Mars, Christina Aguilera, Journey, Maroon 5, David Guetta and others. Recently, he did Now Himan has another project on his plate, too. It’s a three-part harmony version of David Guetta’s hit called PledgeMusic and it is somewhat like Kickstarter. “Titanium” with his two backup singers, Tylisha Oliver He did it for two months, from October to December. and Tina Phillips, that can be found on YouTube. That’s Basically, here’s how it works: musicians put up exanother thing he wants to do more of in the future. clusive things like special songs, CDs and other bits of interest at various different price points. “I’m trying to branch out and do a little bit of acting, a little bit of cooking, a little bit of music,” he explained. “I For example, one of the special items Himan put up like to keep it interesting, otherwise it gets very boring.” on PledgeMusic was a DVD of a Queen tribute concert he performed last July. Another was a limited-edition With a full plate like the one he has, though, he collection of all the recipes he’s cooked up on Trial and shouldn’t need to worry about getting bored anytime Eric. He said that he sold 35 of those recipe books at soon. $75 apiece. Eric Himan appears in Atlanta at Jungle on March 6 Of course, just like Kickstarter, if you don’t meet your at 8 p.m. For more information, visit jungleclubatgoal on PledgeMusic, you end up with nothing at all. It’s lanta.com. To find out more about Eric Himan, visit a risk, but can also reap huge rewards. his website at erichiman.com. @DavidAtlantaGA // 41


The Family

JEWEL

Musician talks being an outsider, queer cowboys and her unusual encounter with gay bestie By Chris Azzopardi

44 // davidatlanta.com


J

ewel’s life is the best kind of It Gets Better story. Even though the famed music-maker recorded a video to offer hope to struggling teens, she didn’t need to; to be inspired, one only has to look at how she went from living out of her car – and almost dying – to being a Grammy-nominated, chart-topping singer-songwriter. Jewel became so unbelievably successful, in fact, that she recently released Greatest Hits, a collection of songs going back to her first mega 1996 single “Who Will Save Your Soul” and spanning her entire multi-genre career. We caught up with Jewel to chat about the queer-cowboy reality show she wants to make, how she threatened to kill the man who became her gay “manny” and the time she performed a not-so-conservative song for a group of Republicans.

there is hope. It’s important for people to feel that. I know what it’s like to get stuck in those moments, but sometimes it’s the littlest things. For me, sometimes it was somebody smiling at me kindly for no reason when people usually just looked at me like I was a leper because I was homeless. You never know what will touch somebody and give them that little something to keep going and keep fighting for what’s unique about them. What in your life made you feel less like an outsider? Was it music?

It was writing. Reading authors that were really honest and didn’t use art as propaganda to make themselves seem more perfect; they showed their flaws. At age 14, to hear somebody talk about being less than perfect Pieces of You was released 18 years ago. Do made me feel a lot less alone. You do find people you feel you relate to that album anymore, or does it feel accepted around, and then you get out of high school and like a stranger to you? life goes on and the weirdos are always the ones who end up influencing pop culture – so god bless us! (Laughs) I never go back and listen to any of my albums ever. Once they were mixed and mastered, I’ve never gone back. But Who was your first gay friend? it feels like yesterday. I remember it so vividly. It’s such a big part of my heart. Doug. I think we were in eighth grade. I was so terribly in love with him. He was the only guy who smelled nice And a big part of your career. and dressed good and was actually kind. I kept trying to turn him straight but it never worked. (Laughs) Doug’s A huge part of my career. Having moved out at 15, parents kicked him out when he came out and I had one and being homeless at 18, I should’ve been a statistic. friend – this black guy – and he hated gays. He said, “I’m The fame should’ve just fueled every insecurity I had. not gonna let you be friends with Doug.” I saw Arthur, Thankfully I was aware of that, and I worked really hard the black kid, years later walking on the beach – holding at trying to manage my neuroses and my insecurities so hands with a guy! Isn’t that typical? that fame didn’t completely act like fuel to the flame. “Pieces of You” really resonated with the gay That (album) really is just an honest portrayal of who I community – especially the line, “You say he’s am and was at that time. I was accepted for who I was a faggot, are you afraid you’re just the same?” – for the first time, and it was on a mass level. What a but some people missed the point of that song. strange thing to go from being an outsider your whole life to suddenly having the whole world say, “We value your I can’t tell you how many people walked out of a room thoughts.” It wasn’t that people thought I was pretty, it for, like, a political abstaining without getting the freaking wasn’t that people thought I was clever or cool; people lyrics. (Laughs) actually valued what I was thinking and they valued my emotions and they valued my earnestness, and that was Well, the word “faggot” carries a lot of weight. pretty remarkable. It was actually very healing and it People really thought you were homophobic changed my life. I can’t even tell you in how many ways: then, didn’t they? not just psychologically and emotionally, but financially. It changed everything for me. It’s hard to think that anybody earnestly thought it, but I was written up during New York Fashion Week. When I Your entire life really is an It Gets Better story. sang “Pieces of You,” you could hear forks dropping. Half the audience was gay and the other half was Jewish – Aww. Yeah, it’s really true. You can’t live without hope. and then there were pretty girls there. Nobody actually You can live without money, you can live without so many listened to the lyrics, and I was written about the next day things, but you really can’t live without hope. It’s so hard as homophobic. It’s just so funny to me. But for the most to be able to look down the road and see that there are part, I think people really got it. I wrote it from a very possibilities. As long as you feel like there’s a possibility, personal standpoint. @DavidAtlantaGA // 45


What inspired the “faggot” line? All of my gay friends. Not anyone in particular. It just made me look at the nature of hate. It was a personal exploration of trying to figure out the root of my own insecurities – and, actually, that was right around the time my friend Arthur walked down the beach. Would you ever write a song as socially charged? I had a song called “Jesus Loves You” that was kind of like that. I had just written it and I had a private gig where I was hired, but I forgot it was a very Republican room that I was in. I was in Austin and I sang that song not thinking it was that political and then I realized it was a Jesus song that’s completely offending everybody there and I was never asked back again. (Laughs) And so there was that!

lar memories that returned to you while putting together this Greatest Hits collection? All of them have such a story. I was hitchhiking to Mexico when I was 16, when I wrote “Who Will Save Your Soul,” and I ended up on a Mexican drug bust by accident when I was 18 and wrote “You Were Meant For Me.” All of them are really like having a yearbook. Did you always have Kelly Clarkson in mind for “Foolish Games”? How did that come to be? Yeah, I really wanted to recut some of these songs, and some artists have been so sweet about saying that my music’s influenced them – something you don’t think about when you’re making music. It was sweet to hear stories of Kelly saying she sang “Foolish Games” at talent shows when she was a kid. She’s a really cool chick with a killer voice.

I don’t know. I’ll just have to see. But that song is definite- You started out at biker bars, where you perly probably the most shocking of mine, and it’s probably formed for lots of lesbians. Are there a lot of harder to get away with that nowadays. lesbians in your life now? It was hard then, though, right?

You know, I don’t have any lesbians right now. I used to when I lived in San Diego, but in Texas, it’s been a Yeah. I was just fascinatingly too ignorant to know better. little bit slim on the lesbian front. (Laughs) But what’s (Laughs) really cool is, I have to do a reality show about the gays in Texas, because there’s this whole gay culture in this When you look back on your hits, some of really cowboy town that I live in that when guys break up, these probably feel like old friends. Any particu- it’s like, “I’m gonna come get my cows off your place!” 46 // davidatlanta.com


“Well, I’m gonna take down the fence I built!” “You better Prine or something like that. I knew when I got as big come get your mineral feeders!” as I did that it wouldn’t last forever. I grew up in nature; there’s nothing that’s immortal. You’re living Brokeback Mountain down there. Would you ever return to the dance genre you It really is like that. And thank god for Grindr, otherwise explored on 2003’s 0304? The gays gotta know. they could never find each other! When I was 14 and hitchhiking in Alaska, this guy picked me up and he said, Yes, I want to service my gays. (Laughs) I’m doing a “You’re really pretty; you shouldn’t be hitchhiking.” And bunch of remixes for this Greatest Hits. A lot of them are I was like, “Thanks; I hear that a lot.” And he said, “No, club remixes. “Standing Still,” “Two Hearts Breaking” and you’re really beautiful.” He kept saying I was beautiful one of “Foolish Games.” But it’s been so hard to get the over and over, and I was getting really freaked out. I had label to value my remixes. I think they don’t really look at a knife in my boot and I pulled it out and I stuck it under it as sales, but to me, it’s so important. I love reinventing his chin and said, “Are you gonna fuck with me?” And the songs; it’s such a creative outlet. he laughed! And I realized the second he laughed that he was just the nicest gay guy on the planet earth, and What’s the status on the The June Carter Cash we’ve been friends ever since. He lives with me in Texas Story you shot for Lifetime? now and he helps me take care of my baby. We call him the “manny.” He’s amazing. He’s just a treasure in my life It hasn’t released. It’s out this summer sometime. and I don’t know what I’d do without him. I know you’ve acted before but never in a lead Do you always carry a knife in your boot? role of this caliber. What was the most challenging part for you? Not anymore! (Laughs) It was a big part. And I tried to tell them I wasn’t an actor! When you made the shift to country music, (Laughs) It was scary. Acting is scary. It’s hard, because did you feel like the odd one out because your it’s not my first craft. But I really got the bug this time. It politics on gay issues don’t generally align with felt creative for the first time instead of just terrifying. I what is thought of as “conservative values”? hope to honor her memory and give John Carter (June’s son) something I didn’t completely mess up. No. I have one friend who definitely had a problem with gays, but I like to say that I’m so open-minded that I’m I imagine it’s a difficult transformation. You’re open-minded enough to have friends like that. You can’t not creating the character. control what other people think. All you can do is live your own life and see what makes life worth living. See what Yeah – and playing the part that Reese (Witherspoon) you believe in and what you think is right. I try to live my won an Oscar for! The odds are already stacked against life according to that. me. (Laughs) You were part of a wave of female singersongwriters – Sarah McLachlan, Tori Amos, Ani DiFranco – who really owned the mid-’90s, from record sales to tours like Lilith Fair. Do you miss that time in music when you could sell millions of records and just write really good songs? Yeah, everything has changed. Music is like that. Everything is cyclical. I was almost embarrassed when they were making such a big deal out of us because of Carly Simon and Joni Mitchell – and even before them, there were these amazing artists. It’s always cyclical and I feel so fortunate that I was able to sell the records in the time that I did, because those days are gone. We’ll never sell records like that again. My whole goal is to have a long career. I never thought I’d get as popular as I did; I hoped to have a career like John @DavidAtlantaGA // 47


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Dylan Michael: The Theme is Extreme By Emma Harger

C

olumbus native Dylan Michael moved up to Atlanta in 2009 to be with his then-boyfriend. The relationship ended up not working out, but he decided to stay in the area and start getting into the business of being a singer and songwriter. Michael has been in the world of music in some function for years now—he played piano for 16 years and was in the marching band in high school—but really started to focus on making and performing music of his own two years ago. His entry into the music business has been a two-step process: in the first year of making music, he set about recording a five-song EP called AfterLove to introduce himself and his style to the world. The EP is available for free to download on his website. He’s now working on his first full-length studio album, which will have 13 songs and is being engineered by the minds behind Britney Spears’ 2003 Grammy-winning hit “Toxic.” “In the six degrees of separation, I’m a degree away from Britney Spears,” he said excitedly. The album also features collaboration for many other LGBT and LGBT-friendly artists. He’s been performing songs from both his EP and his upcoming album at many events, including Atlanta Pride, Savannah Pride and Pensacola Pride. In February, he also performed at three different events in North Carolina. He said that right now, he is in talks with seven other Pride festivals to perform at them, too. Plus, when he was at Pensacola Pride, someone from Louisiana State University approached him and offered to have him perform at the school as well. “It’s getting the ball rolling and it’s slowly rolling, but it’s rolling,” he said.

photo: Phillip Bonneau 50 // davidatlanta.com

The aspect of performing and traveling to different venues is the second step in the process so far.


Sure, Michael’s music might not sound exactly like Clarkson’s, but that doesn’t matter to him. “I can’t help but love everything she does,” he said. This is still in the early stages and Michael doesn’t want to jinx it—so knock on wood—but he was recently contacted by someone from the record label that also hosts Cazwell. Yes, the guy behind the 2010 song “Ice Cream Truck,” which took YouTube by storm and racked up more than 1 million views in the first week. Bit by bit, Michael is starting to get noticed, which is exactly what he wants. At first, he thought he would be able to just put out one song, then sit back and watch while everything happened to him. He soon figured out that he’d have to do a little more than that in order to get what he wants. “I definitely got a reality check and an ego check,” he said. So now he’s putting out more music, performing frequently and always striving toward the goal of fame since he will not allow himself to entertain the thought of anything else. For a while, he figured he would go back to school and maybe try to become a teacher if he hadn’t made it in the business by age 26. The more he thought about that, though, the more he thought that would just be giving himself an excuse to fail—a Plan B that would detract from his Plan A.

Michael, who said that he loves extremes and is inspired by big personalities like Jeffree Star, Rihanna and David Bowie (“everything they do is just completely flawless”), “When there’s no Plan B, you just have to put 110 percent has two songs of his that he especially enjoys performing. into Plan A. The only option is fame,” he declared. For the artist who loves extremes, there’s really nothing less he First, there’s “Play By Myself.” will accept. “[It’s about] what I like to call coloring, you know, when you’re at home by yourself and you don’t have your signif- You can also download AfterLove at dylanmichaelicant other and you color,” he said with a laugh. “I started music.com. Dylan Michael is on Facebook (facebook. com/dylan.michael.942), Twitter (@TheDylanMichael) calling it coloring because I performed it at Savannah Pride and they were like ‘you can’t curse whatsoever. You and YouTube (youtube.com/DylanMichaelMusic), too. cannot be any kind of raunchy.’ So I was like, ‘well, damn, Check him out sometime! there goes my entire act.’” But still, just like how the Rolling Stones were often forced to alter raunchy lyrics to their songs, he found a synonym—and a favorite song. He described another of his favorite songs to perform, “Club Shit,” as being like “Ke$ha on more drugs than she already is...It is the most white girl rap song you will ever hear, but it is so much fun to perform.” Speaking of Ke$ha, she is one of the performers that he would love to tour with if he had the choice to tour with anyone in the world. Well, actually there are three options: there’s Ke$ha, Britney Spears and the one that doesn’t seem to fit the pattern at first blush, Kelly Clarkson. @DavidAtlantaGA // 51


52 // davidatlanta.com


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HSL welcomes players of ALL experience levels. We are the largest GLBT sports organization in Atlanta and one of the largest GLBT softball leagues in the country. Our Season Starts March 17th – so sign up NOW. For more information, visit our website at

54 // davidatlanta.com


fairyscopes ARIES (March 20 – April 19): You’ve got big

LIBRA (September 23 – October 22): Try to pay

dreams—everyone knows that. Now, though, you may find that they start to grow out of proportion to reality. There’s nothing wrong with that, and you may bump up your ambition a bit.

attention to the smallest details of your life this week— they are the ones that can offer you the best guidance. Even your wisest friend doesn’t know what the mess in your living room knows.

TAURUS (April 20 – May 20): You are definitely thinking about the future right now, and you might find that you’ve got better ideas than usual. It’s a great time for you to see if you can get your friends to brainstorm with you.

SCORPIO (October 23 – November 21): Pay closer attention to your dreams right now—they are sure to point you in the right direction. If you can’t remember them, let your mind drift and see where it ends up, as that should provide clues.

GEMINI (May 21- June 20): Try to focus your energy

SAGITTARIUS (November 22 – December 20):

on creative pursuits this week, even if you don’t have any ideas just yet. It’s one of those weeks that can generate more plans than you can follow through with, but there’s nothing wrong with that.

You have more patience for rambling and reminiscing lately—in fact, you may want to join in. It’s a really good time to connect your present situation to that of your ancestors or old friends.

CANCER (June 21- July 22): Your intuitive powers are heightened, which is saying quite a lot. You can act on hunches that others would keep subdued and expect good results. Late in the week, you need to warn a friend about something big.

CAPRICORN (December 21 – January 19): You’ve

LEO (July 23 – August 22): Your friends and family are hyper-emotional right now—and you might be too, even if it doesn’t feel that way to you. Remember to let folks blow off steam, as long as they don’t burn you.

AQUARIUS (January 20 – February 18): Your head

VIRGO (August 23 – September 22): You’re usually the master of facts and figures, but right now they just seem to zip around before your eyes like fireflies. If you can walk away to clear your head, you should take the opportunity.

PISCES (February 19 – March 19): Try to focus on

56 // davidatlanta.com

got a deep well of compassion to draw on, and right now you need to do just that—people are in serious need! You may find one case that needs your attention, or you may start to think big.

may be in the clouds lately, but that’s just where it needs to be. You can expect to come back with some big ideas that may seem impractical at the moment, but should prove successful.

other people this week—too much energy turned inward can be wasteful at the moment. You ought to be able to get at least one important person to see that you can be valuable to them.


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I think it’s great that Mama June lost 100 pounds. Now my smartphone won’t take so long to load a picture of her.

Okay…the strip clubs say “all gay,” but strippers that are gay for pay don’t count. Why do some of these activists look tired? Babes, I have been an activist fighting for well over a decade and make sure I always look fabulous. A “local celebrity” is a person who has done something so grandiose with their life that everyone knows them or knows of them. Don’t get jealous just because no one knows you, dude.

Sex is my favorite cardio. 60 // davidatlanta.com

We say we’re going out to hang out with friends. What we should be saying is we’re looking for a fuck buddy for the night.

The meth bitches two weeks in a row clearly illustrates that David needs a new person choosing who gets published.

Can we talk about the fact that racism is alive and well within your own race if you are bitching about the intensity of skin color on the MLK cover? I’m sick and tired of some of these tired queens, always bitching and complaining about Atlanta. If you don’t like our club scene, condo towers and mixed-use projects, leave. All you out-of-town gays that move here, then sit and post up B.S. on the net, hit the road.

Don’t get it twisted queen, my crown is bigger than yours and it’s real. *This page reflects the bitchiness of the community not David Atlanta or its publisher (although we’re bitchy too!)


David Atlanta Issue #38  

The New Face of Atlanta Drag: Edie Cheezburger and Company give you 'The Other Show', Dylan Michael, Eric Himan, Jewel and more

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