Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-02-22



BENT NIGHTS More on Riot Fest; Fishbone
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Vern Hester

This article shared 3893 times since Tue Sep 23, 2014
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Riot Fest is over and so is the summer of 2014. Yes, it rained on the first day of the festival and there was confusion and muck aplenty in Humboldt Park. The resulting mud, chilly humidity and constantly swarming bees may have haunted the festival for the remaining two days, but for all of the discomfort I wouldn't have missed it for the world. There were many things that made this years festival memorable, but I will list just the top seven that will stay in my brain for the remainder of my existence.

1. ) Rockford's golden boys, Cheap Trick, ripped through "California Man" with cement-shredding fury. ( Yeah, they've still got it, and will kick your butt if you doubt it. )

2. There was Billy Bragg's incendiary set of Brit folk with a hard-edged punk anger. ( Working-class blues, folk, and punk? Bragg spoke directly to the masses about the struggle of just getting by day to day. It didn't matter if you were gay, straight, Black, white, trans, bi, male or female ... struggle was all the same to him. ).

3. ) There were the quieter performances that defied the "Riot" moniker of the festival. Headliners The National, newbies Tokyo Police Club and pioneers Television played music that demanded attention and it paid off in spades.

4. ) Patti Smith opening her set by snapping photos of the crowd with a Poloroid Land Camera while joyfully waving to the throng and celebrating being able to perform on her home turf. ( Smith mentioned in her set that she was born in Chicago and that her parents took her to Humboldt Park when she was a toddler. )

5. ) Local Netherfriends' goofy, rancorous, set made this one-man band look like a pelvis-thrusting vaudeville-era punk. Goofy, sweet, a bit cranky, and wholly original, people should watch out for Netherfriends.

6. ) There were the looks of revulsion and horror plastered on the faces of the rock fans waiting to hear hot band Wavves as they had to endure Macaulay Culkin's Velvet Underground joke band Pizza Underground. The offended fans looked like someone had pried their jaws open with a crowbar and shoved a tablespoon of flaming crude oil down there throats.

7. ) Tegan and Sara smacked down a "punk purist" who heckled them because they strapped on acoustic guitars. Sara cracked, "Uh-oh, them bitches got guitars...," while Tegan was having none of it. After taking a moment to explain that the duo got their mojo from listening to their parents punk albums she told the heckler, "Eat shit ... 'kay?'"

Not more than a week after Riot Fest, who should roll into town but Fishbone. As the pioneers of afro punk, this band has been in the habit of bashing musical genres, bluntly challenging notions on racism and political correctness, and force-feeding the world a stew of deranged humor for more than 35 years. Its no surprise that Questlove nearly lost his gig as bandleader on the Jimmy Fallon Show when he used Fishbone's "Lyin' Ass Bitch" as the intro music for right-winger Michele Bachmann when she guested on the show. The irony, of course, is that Bachmann liked the then-unidentified groove so much that she literally danced onstage to it.

Now we have a new Fishbone EP from the current version of the band, Intrinsically Intertwined ( CSSL/Zojack World Wide ), and it is pretty much what you could expect from such an unpredictable crew. To put it precisely, the EP is a glob of infectious weirdness mixing musical flavors ( acid jazz, country, rockabilly, hard funk ) and influences ( Sun Ra, Earl Scruggs, Gil-Scott Heron, The Bus Boys, Gene Vincent ) with a sense of humor that smells like Red Foxx after he got into the catnip. As if the recording were not enough, Fishbone blew into town for a sold-out two-night stand at the intimate club Martyrs' for what can only be described as a holiday for nutters.

Of the five new songs on Intrinsically Intertwined, "Whipper Snapper"—with its out-of-control rockabilly propulsion and over-the-top velocity—is the cut that sticks with me. If the song is insanely memorable on the CD that says nothing for what went down at Martyr's. The career-making "Everyday Sunshine," with its languid but jolly groove, may have come mid-set, but by the time the band slipped into it Fishbone had pretty much annihilated the club with the start of a three-hour set loaded with classics and old-school jams—none of it delivered with a straight face.

"Crazy Glue, " the new "Kung-fu Grip," "Date Rape," "Party at Ground Zero," "Alcohol ( with its inane chorus, "Oooo-Oooo...make you throw up!!!" )," "Let Dem Ho's Fight" and, of course, "Lyin' Ass Bitch" turned this respectable North Side club into a body-shaking crash palace. ( I saw far more body surfing and slam dancing in the three hours of Fishbone's set then I saw in the entirety of Riot Fest, this year and last year combined. )

Between vocalist/sax player Angelo Moore, geriatric joker/trumpeter "Dirty" Walter Kibbey II and acid-fingered guitarist Rocky George, I can't say that the effort to keep the groove within the bounds of sanity ( and the ass slamming in the audience ) was not attempted, but it hardly mattered. From the street there was no way to see inside of Martyr's 10-foot-tall windows. The glass was fogged and dripping from the humidity, while the pavement was actually vibrating.

This article shared 3893 times since Tue Sep 23, 2014
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Gay News

Kokandy Productions announces 2023 Season 2023-03-22
--From a press release - CHICAGO (March 22, 2023) — Kokandy Productions is thrilled to announce its 2023 season, including two fully produced musicals, plus plans for the return of the Chicago Musical Theatre Festival. This summer, Kokandy will dive into ...

Gay News

Kendrick Lamar, Billie Eilish, Diplo and more to headline Lollapalooza on Aug. 3-6 2023-03-21
--From a press release - (Chicago—March 21, 2023) Lollapalooza has unveiled a powerhouse lineup for the 2023 edition, featuring first-time headliners Kendrick Lamar and Billie Eilish along with Red Hot Chili Peppers, ODESZA, Lana Del Rey, Karol G, who will make ...

Gay News

Opera Preview: Life of gay World War II hero Alan Turing transformed into a world-premiere opera 2023-03-17
- It has taken a decade for The Life and Death(s) of Alan Turing to grow from an idea into a full- fledged opera. Chicago Opera Theater stages the world premiere of composer Justine F. Chen and ...

Gay News

Lyric Opera of Chicago announces its 2023-24 season 2023-03-14
--From a press release - CHICAGO (3/14/2023) — Lyric Opera of Chicago, led by General Director, President & CEO Anthony Freud and Music Director Enrique Mazzola, today announces the company's 2023/24 Season, which takes audiences on a global tour of opera ...

Gay News

House Musical, Coming of Age in the Age of House, coming to Hoover-Leppen Theatre 2023-03-14
--From a press release - Campsongs Productions presents the world premiere of House Musical - Coming of Age in the Age of House, with book by Marcus Waller, music by Scott Free (with Michael Foley) and lyrics by Scott Free and ...

Gay News

Mayor Lightfoot, DCASE announce dates for summer festivals and events 2023-03-13
--From a press release - CHICAGO—Today, Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) announced the 2023 dates for some of the City of Chicago's most beloved summertime traditions. Returning festivals and events include ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Little Richard, Indigo Girls, Rodriguez's honor, dance film, Pedro Pascal 2023-03-10
Video below - Produced by Bungalow Media + Entertainment for CNN Films and HBO Max, in association with Rolling Stone Films, director Lisa Cortes' Sundance opening-night documentary Little Richard: I Am Everything will debut in theaters and on VOD ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Wanda Sykes, Jonas Brothers, 'Queen of Versailles,' 'Bloodshed' 2023-03-04
Adam Lambert video below - Award-winning comedian Wanda Sykes' new comedy special, I'm An Entertainer, will premiere globally on Netflix on May 23, a press release announced. The special, directed by Linda Mendoza, was filmed in early February 2023 at Philadelphia's ...

Gay News

Singer Zolita zips through Chicago on a whirlwind tour 2023-02-28
- Zoe Montana Hoetzel has evolved into the multidimensional artist known as Zolita while cultivating a massive following. Her personality is multifaceted as well. She identifies as a lesbian, an activist and a witch, but she's also ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Black queer films, Janet Jackson, Paramore, WNBA, GALECA contest 2023-02-19
- Queerty ran a piece on 10 films that celebrate Black queer love. Some of them include The Skinny (with Jussie Smollett), Dee Rees' movie Pariah, the Oscar-winning Moonlight, the Marlon Riggs classic Tongues Untied, Brother to ...

Gay News

Theater Review: Cabaret continues to reflect on our modern challenges 2023-02-14
- Title: Cabaret. Book: Joe Masteroff; Score: John Kander & Fred Ebb. At: Porchlight Music Theatre at Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn St. Tickets: 773-777-9884 or; prices begin at $25. Runs through ...

Gay News

Goran Stolevski grows up fast with Of an Age 2023-02-14
- Openly gay filmmaker Goran Stolevski is a triple threat: He handled directing, writing and editing chores for his new project, Of an Age, which Focus Features is now distributing. The film is already taking home trophies ...

Gay News

Queer songwriter donates $500K to Chicago Academy for the Arts 2023-02-13
- Returning to the school that they said saved their life years ago and set them on a path to becoming one of the most celebrated activists and songwriters of the modern era, it was announced Feb. ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Isaac Mizrahi, Viola Davis, Laura Jane Grace, Elton John, GLAAD 2023-02-11
- On Sherri Shepherd's talk show, entertainer/fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi said he'd love for out actor Dan Levy to portray him in a potential biopic based on Mizrahi's memoir, I.M., The Wrap noted. "Dan Levy, OK," Mizrahi ...

Gay News

Windy City Gay Chorus, Windy City Treble Quire present Our Common Thread: Songs of Love, Loss, Life 2023-02-10
--From a press release - CHICAGO - The Windy City Gay Chorus and Windy City Treble Quire are excited to announce their upcoming 2023 spring concert, Our Common Thread: Songs of Love, Loss and Life, under the direction of Dr. Eric ...


Copyright © 2023 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.






About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
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     
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.