Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-09-01
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Annie Lennox:Creation in 'Destruction'
by Lawrence Ferber
2007-10-17

This article shared 3270 times since Wed Oct 17, 2007
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Annie Lennox is truly accomplished, both as an artist and human being. With some 78 million international record sales to her credit as well as Grammy, Brit Music Golden Globe and Academy awards (for Lord of the Rings: Return of the King's Into the West), her work as frontwoman of Eurythmics and solo artist reaches yet another height with her fourth solo album, Songs of Mass Destruction (Arista). Her humanitarian efforts and activism are infused with an equal passion that crosses over into her music. Songs of Mass Destruction's track Sing was inspired by a CD by AIDS activist group The Generics, and Lennox drafted 23 fellow divas—including Madonna, Celine Dion, k.d. lang, Beth Orton, Pink, Isobel Campbell and Melissa Etheridge—to contribute vocals. 'The theme is calling for the national implementation of a program to prevent mother-to-baby HIV transmission,' Lennox explained in the press notes. (The promo CD was also accompanied by a signed, politically charged letter from Lennox that began, 'We live in strange and uncertain times' and mentioned her involvement with Mandela's 46664 Campaign.) All profits from Sing's online download sales and a new limited edition lithograph T-shirt will go to South Africa's grassroots Treatment Action Campaign (TAC).

A mother of two, the 52-years-young Lennox (whose 16-year-old daughter Lola made tabloid/blog headlines in May thanks to an off-the-rails, house-trashing party she threw while Lola's father, filmmaker Uri Fruchtman, was away) is also one of the most gay-friendly artists working in pop music. She hosted LOGO's NewNowNext Music Video show on Oct. 14 (which can be seen in repeats), and took time out during her Songs live tour to take part—with a refreshing humor, sense of irony and candor—in my pretty queer Q&A.

Lawrence Ferber: The album is fantastic, traversing lush ballads, upbeat Eurythmics-style pop and soulful, pounding cries to action, both personal and global. I love the electronica ballad Through a Glass Darkly, which leans towards the mournful side lyrics-wise: 'shadows still appear in the house tonight/all those ghosts that keep on comin' back.' What's the story behind it? And are you ever a rose-colored glasses kind of person?

Annie Lennox: I wish I could tell you more, but there isn't really a story behind it. The song is full of metaphors for a kind of inner landscape. The 'house' and the 'rooms' are aspects of the self and psyche, darkness, memory, life. The 'you' is actually addressing the 'black dog' of depression. I've been a black sunglasses person for most of my life, but recently I've changed my optician. Sorry—optometrist!

LF: In [the song] Love is Blind you sing, 'oh sugar, when ya gonna come?/ I spend my life getting' older/ but you still got me on the run.' What are your current thoughts on love?

AL: There are different kinds—eros and agape. Most of us are caught up in eros, with the ego at the helm.

LF: How many songs did you end up writing for the album? Are there any extra tracks we might hear somewhere else?

AL: Well, I probably wrote about 15, but I don't believe in [carrying extra] passengers. If they'd have been great, they would have been there.

LF: What does this album accomplish or put out there that your other albums haven't [done] to date?

AL: It's hard to compare albums like that. It's so subjective in any case. Each one is a labor of love or frustration at the time, you know. There's a kind of organic feel to some that I really love, and my vocal performance is more mature, flexible, more free. [Producer] Glen Ballard said he was trying to catch up with all my vocal personas—at the last count it was about 18!

LF: Is there a 'happiest' song on the album?

AL: No, no happy songs whatsoever! It's all darkness and doom from start to finish. It should have come with a health-warning sticker! P.S.—the music's uplifting though, ha-ha!

LF: Did you see Dave Stewart's 2004 Barbarella stage musical? What classic camp movie would you like to do a musical score for if you could pick one?

AL: I'm afraid I didn't get to, but I was very impressed that he did that. I'm not really a huge fan of musicals, to be honest. If I ever did one, it would probably have to be based on an Anne Rice novel or something.

LF: Would you like to do alternate versions of Sing with even more guest contributors? Like an all-male version?

AL: Yes, with an all-gay male cast. Another fabulous idea—ping!!!

LF: Did any of the artists you asked to contribute to Sing say no? Did you ask Britney or Paris Hilton?

AL: Everyone was very gracious, indeed. Only a few couldn't get on board, as they have very busy schedules, like I do! No, I didn't ask Britney or Paris—should I have?'

LF: You contributed a track to the 1991 AIDS benefit album, Red Hot + Blue. What is the closest to home that HIV/AIDS has hit?

AL: You just have to step into any hospital, hospice, orphanage, rape crisis center, township. The extent of the pandemic is astronomical. People in wealthy Western countries really have no idea. The statistics are off the scale, and for every statistic, there is a child, a mother, a father, a brother or sister. My wake-up call was when Nelson Mandela personally used the word 'genocide' to describe what is actually taking place in South Africa, and the government there [has] held a denialist stance for the last 10 years, with the health minister making claims that medication is more toxic than the virus itself. It's very confusing and disturbing.

LF: Have you always been an altruistic, globally aware person?

AL: I've always been very aware of life's cruelty and injustices. When I was a kid I used to get very emotional at the sight of a little old hunchbacked man, a busker who played the accordion on the main street of my hometown. Life's full of ironic twists. You can't heal it all, but you can choose to do something rather than nothing. There are thousands of NGO's (non-governmental organizations) out there, battling on the front lines of human chaos and tragedy. You can empower yourself by empowering them. Whatever you might think of Bill Clinton, his new book, entitled Giving, is chock full of inspiring views and suggestions!

LF: Speaking of Clinton: Hillary or Obama? Or do you have another favorite 2008 presidential candidate in mind, and why?

AL: Oh, God. American politics all stinks, don't you know. It all seems to come down to who's got the most money and friends in high places. I'd like them both to win, and do the thing together! Wouldn't that be something?'

LF: In a recent interview with HX Magazine you referred to STDs in one of your answers. So, what are you telling us Annie?

AL: I can't remember. Oh, yes. I think I must have been making a double entendre.

LF: Speaking of STDs, isn't it strange that we have celebrity spokespeople who are openly HIV-positive, but none with herpes? What's up with that? Herpes is pretty widespread!

AL: Some things are better left unsaid.

LF: Best thing about being 52?

AL: It's the opposite if 25!

LF: Were you shocked to hear Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad state, 'we don't have homosexuals' in Iran? Which I hope doesn't mean there are fewer fans of yours buying CDs out there…

AL: He might be in a little denial on that score. It is some measure of that kind of shut-down/rigid thinking. A bit of a shock to us 'liberal society' folks.

LF: Are your children fans of your music?

AL: Most of the time they seem to approve!

LF: What is their global sense like? Do they consider Britney Spears a role model, or is that a fear of yours?

AL: They are very articulate, conscious individuals, and naturally they love everything that kids of their age are into. I don't try to dictate anything because that would be counterproductive, but I do comment on life all the time. We have fantastic discussions.

LF: What songs will you be performing during the concert? Can you even tolerate singing Sweet Dreams for the zillionth time? Has it turned into a bitter nightmare?

AL: Why on earth would Sweet Dreams become a bitter nightmare? It's an anthemic piece of social commentary/philosophy that's stood the test of time with dignity. The songs are right across the board, past/present. They're hard to select because the choice is so varied. The set has valleys and peaks, highs and lows. Typique, n'est ce pas?

LF: Would you like to send George Bush a copy of Songs of Mass Destruction so he doesn't have to go looking for it?

AL: I doubt that anything could get past that thick skull and gargantuan ego. I think he should be renamed The Duper, along with his close friend Mr. Blair. On their tombstones should be engraved, 'I duped millions, created carnage, made millions and slept very soundly at night.'

See www.annielennox.com for more info, her blog and information on buying Sing.

Lennox will be performing Fri., Oct. 19, at the Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph. See www.ticketmaster.com/venue/57562 for more information.


This article shared 3270 times since Wed Oct 17, 2007
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

REVIEW Randy Rainbow tackles politics, shows talent at The Chicago Theatre 2021-10-24
- YouTube sensation Randy Rainbow brought The Pink Glasses Tour to The Chicago Theatre on Oct. 22. Best known for videos that parody musical numbers with a focus on politics, the heavily curated show began with a ...


Gay News

MUSIC Indie band Fleece is queering country 2021-10-24
- Eight years ago, gay songwriter and lead singer Matt Rogers and his friend, bisexual drummer Ethan Soil, founded Montreal quartet Fleece. A few years later, bisexual vocalist Megan Ennenberg and straight man Jameson Daniel—who are both ...


Gay News

MUSIC Elton John's 'The Lockdown Sessions' now out 2021-10-22
- Elton John's The Lockdown Sessions is now out, courtesy of Interscope Records. An album of collaborations recorded remotely over the last 18 months, The Lockdown Sessions features UK #1 single "Cold Heart (PNAU remix)," with Dua ...


Gay News

THEATER E. Faye Butler to star in 'Fannie' Oct. 25-Nov. 14 2021-10-21
- Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St., will host the run of Cheryl L. West's Fannie (The Music and Life of Fannie Lou Hamer), which will run Oct. 25-Nov. 14. E. Faye Butler stars as U.S. civil-rights ...


Gay News

Lyric Opera presenting 'Florencia en el Amazonas' Nov. 13-28 2021-10-21
- During Nov. 13-28, Lyric Opera of Chicago will run the company premiere of Florencia en el Amazonas—the first Spanish-language work to be presented as part of Lyric's mainstage opera season. There will be evening performances on ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Superman, TheWrap, Oscar Wilde, Billy Porter, Cher, 'Dragula' 2021-10-17
- The ongoing comic Superman: Son of Kal-El, by writer Tom Taylor and artist John Timms, launched in July and saw Jon Kent officially take up the mantle of the Man of Steel now that his father, ...


Gay News

CIFF, featuring LGBTQ+ films, running through Oct. 24 2021-10-15
- North America's longest-running competitive film festival, this year's event expands throughout Chicago with presentations at venues across the city, including at AMC River East 21; the Music Box Theatre; the Gene Siskel Film Center; special drive ...


Gay News

MUSICALS 'Pretty Woman' tickets go on sale Oct. 15 2021-10-15
- After a pre-Broadway run in Chicago and being on Broadway, Pretty Woman: The Musical, based on one of Hollywood's most beloved romantic stories of all time, returns to Chicago. The production will run at the CIBC ...


Gay News

'Tapping into Ca$h' : CaSera Heining lives double life as DJ Ca$h Era and radio producer 2021-10-14
- Minutes before DJ Ca$h Era hosted Lollapalooza's first drag show, the Black queer woman behind the stage name was pacing nervously behind the scenes and listening to a drag queen animatedly remind her they were "making ...


Gay News

MUSIC Janis Ian's last Chicago concert May 14 2021-10-13
- In what is being advertised as her last concert in Chicago, LGBTQ singer Janis Ian will be performing at the Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N. Lincoln Ave. on Saturday, May 14, 2022, at 8 p.m. Tickets ($48-$50) will ...


Gay News

THEATER 'Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog' running through Nov. 6 2021-10-12
- Black Button Eyes Productions is welcoming back live audiences with the popular internet musical Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog—an authorized fan production to benefit the Chicago charity Season of Concern—playing through ...


Gay News

Lyric Opera running seven performances of 'The Magic Flute' Nov. 3-27 2021-10-11
- Lyric Opera of Chicago is running seven performances of The Magic Flute, Mozart's final opera, on Nov. 3-27. There will be performances at 7 p.m. on Nov. 3; matinees on Nov. 7, 11, 14 and 17, ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Drag Race' winners, Playboy, punk band, The Dinah, Daniel Craig 2021-10-10
Video below - As part of VH1's #LGBTQHerstoryMonth project, five winners from the RuPaul's Drag Race winner's circle—season one's BeBe Zahara Benet, All Stars 4 winner Monet X Change, season 11 winner Yvie Oddly, season 12 victor Jaida Essence ...


Gay News

Madonna's latest concert film, Madame X, now out 2021-10-09
- The concept film to Madonna's acclaimed Madame X Tour has debuted in the United States Latin America, Australia, the Nordics and Canada exclusively on Paramount+, the streaming service from ViacomCBS. Fans outside these markets can watch ...


Gay News

Book about musician Tori Amos' works coming out 2021-10-07
- The book Tori Amos: every album, every song—by rock journalist Lisa Torem—will be out in the United States on Friday, Oct. 29, courtesy of Sonic Bond Publishing. In 1992, Amos—an acclaimed singer, pianist and composer—achieved fame ...


 



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.