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 2022-08-31
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

BENT NIGHTS Panic! at the Disco; The New Pornographers
by Vern Hester
2018-08-14

This article shared 1156 times since Tue Aug 14, 2018
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Panic! at the Disco vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and one-man band Brendon Urie ( who recently came out as pansexual ) looks exactly like what he is—a Las Vegas entertainer in rock-star drag.

Despite his fashion-model looks, what really gives Urie away are the videos and music: loud, flashy, antiseptic, a tad vulgar, aggressively entertaining and served with enough juice to power a nuclear reactor. Snip if you want, but Urie has sold millions of records with this recipe and now he's set his sights on world domination with his first headlining arena tour and the release of Pray for the Wicked ( on Fueled by Ramen/DCD2 Records ).

If you were hoping for a departure the cover clearly dashes that notion, with Urie perched atop a skyscraper ledge like filmmaker Wim Wenders' angel from the film Wings of Desire. Urie's version replaces Wenders' murky elegance with computer-enhanced imagery and cool pastels and you can expect the CD, like the six that came before it, will lack for genuine grit, sweat or any suggestion of funk.

Channeling influences is what he seems adept at but, this time out, Urie manages to fudge on the cheat sheet. "High Hopes" and "( F*ck A ) Silver Lining" are punchy, hooky, noisy and unmemorable, sounding like forgotten Wham! B-sides. "Dying in L.A. ( Pray for the Wicked )" is the fallen angel ballad here and, although he invests heart and soul in the vocals, the production is so slick it never clings like cigarette smoke the way that, say, The Cars' "Drive" did. The real gem here is "Say Amen ( Saturday Night )" a rowdy stomper of an anthem with a wraparound chorus and an elegant hook so enchanting that no amount of overkill can mess it up. ( The video for the song is hilariously violent and reveals Urie to be far less plastic then he looks. )

Onstage in front of a sold-out United Center on July 17, Urie and his hired guns gave the restless audience just what they wanted; a massive dose of shiny entertainment, with some rock 'n' roll. Popping out of the floor in black sparkles and leather like a caffeinated bunny, he opened the show with a muscular strut through "Silver Lining" and "Don't Threaten Me with a Good Time." It was all too calculated and slick for my taste but, really, it was hard to complain with that grand piano whirling overhead as Urie sang "Dying in L.A.," or that rainbow flag popping up during "Girls/Girls/Boys," or that tip of the hat to queers everywhere with a cover of Robert Hazard ( by way of Cyndi Lauper )'s "Girls Just Want to Have Fun." Clearly, I was the only grumpy face in the place, since everyone in the stadium screamed their heads off with glee.

At the opposite extreme, we have The New Pornographers' recent show at Thalia Hall in support of 2017's Without Conditions ( Concord Music Group )—and both could qualify as textbook examples of what pure pop sounds like. Granted, this is the first album ( out of seven ) by the collective without Dan Bejar ( of Destroyer ) and that pretty much explains the quirk-less sound, the prominence of bright poppy tempos and the cushy featured harmonies of vocalists Neko Case and A.C. Newman. ( The band also includes Kathryn Calder, John Collins, Todd Fancey, Joe Seiders, Blaine Thurier, and Tara Szczygielski. ) This is dense, sweeping pop at its most indulgent and if the album weren't so rich, intelligent and incredibly enjoyable, I would shame them for the audacity of releasing such a thing.

"Without Conditions" displays Newman's finesse at melding wordy lyrics neatly onto winsome melodies and though the song is pretty dark he makes it sound like a celebration of spring. Better still is "High Ticket Attractions," a sleek, propulsive bliss out of a song laced with pungent wit and Newman and Case darting around each other with like giddy squirrels. I have yet to hear anything on the radio anywhere near this delicious or addictive all year.

Onstage at Thalia Hall, The Pornographers didn't fiddle with gimmicks, relying instead on a set list which covered the entirety of their career. The show had the feel of a bunch of old friends lounging in your living room for a personal concert on a Sunday afternoon and apart from Newman cracking jokes about the current president "shitting the bed," it was a low key affair. "Dancehall Domaine," "Brill Bruisers," "Mass Romantic," "The Laws have Changed," "All the Old Showstoppers" and "Play Money" all turned up in the set and the show was designed to please old fans and entice new ones. Regardless of the lack of flash and the absence of Case ( Calder generally performs her parts on tours ) The New Pornographers provided a nice, satisfying sane, uneventful evening.


This article shared 1156 times since Tue Aug 14, 2018
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Elton John, Leslie Jordan, Joel Kim Booster, Janelle Monae 2022-11-27
- Elton John gave Los Angeles concluded a three-show run on Nov. 20 back inside Dodger Stadium, taking a final bow as part of his "Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour," according to The Hollywood Reporter. The concert ...


Gay News

MUSIC: Sophie B. Hawkins talks LGBTQ+ youth and living an authentic life 2022-11-24
- In the '90s, singer-songwriter Sophie B. Hawkins made quite an impression on people with the entrancing song "Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover" and its accompanying video. She also had hits such as "Right Beside You" ...


Gay News

WORLD Brazilian musician, top LGBTQ+ cruises, Elon Musk, anti-trans attack 2022-11-20
- Brazilian musician Pedro Sampaio revealed that he dates men and women, Out noted. Sampaio has 7 million monthly listeners on Spotify, more than 5 million followers on Instagram and several music videos with more than 50 ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Grammy nominees, Gabrielle Union, Trevor Noah, Brendan Fraser 2022-11-20
- Out Magazine compiled a list of some of the 2023 LGBTQA+ Grammy nominees. Among those on the list were Brandi Carlile (who earned another seven Grammy nominations this year, raising her career total to 25), Lady ...


Gay News

Billy Masters: Everyone counts their eggs before they're hatched, and other dish to start the week 2022-11-14
- "I'm Not Defending us.Haters are Gonna Hate...Doesn' Matter That we're Happy & Not Bothering Anyone" —Cher tweets her response to criticism of her relationship with music producer Alexander Edwards—who is less than half her age. ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Queer channel, gay actor dies, Jeopardy!, Luke and Chris Evans 2022-11-13
- Fuse Media—a Latino-owned, multiplatform entertainment company—announced that in partnership with OUTtv, it is expanding its suite of DEI FAST channels with the launch of the channel OUTtv Proud, per a press release. Set for a 2023 ...


Gay News

Theater Review: Porchlight's Rent is a winner 2022-11-09
By Jonathan Abarbanel - Title: Rent. Playwright: Jonathan Larson (book, music, lyrics) At: Porchlight Music Theatre at Ruth Page Center. Tickets: 773-777-9884; PorchlightMusicTheatre.org; $25 and up. Runs through: Dec. 11 From its 1996 premiere ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Gay racer, GALECA, Lena Waithe, 'Chicago,' LGBTQ+ films 2022-11-06
- Gay motorsports racer Zach Herrin made his long-awaited debut in a NASCAR-affiliated race in Phoenix, The Advocate noted. "I know I have a lot of eyes on me, and all I want to do is get out there and blur everything ...


Gay News

PASSAGES Singer Aaron Carter dies at 34 2022-11-05
- Singer Aaron Carter—the brother of Backstreet Boys member Nick Carter—has died after apparently drowning at his L.A. home at age 34, according to media reports. TMZ originally reported the news. The outlet said that he was ...


Gay News

Openly gay country performer Patrick Haggerty passes away 2022-11-04
- Patrick Haggerty was the first of his kind. Long before Ty Herndon, Paisley Fields, Brandi Carlile, Orville Peck, Andrew Sa, or Trixie Mattel, Haggerty recorded what is widely cited as the first gay Country music album ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Nathan Lane, gala, Beyonce, Kevin Aviance, Henry Cavill, Shania 2022-10-30
Video below - Nathan Lane is returning to Broadway this winter to star in the debut run of Pictures of Home, per The Hollywood Reporter. Based on the photo memoir by Larry Sultan of the same name and adapted ...


Gay News

Dave Koz's annual Christmas concert on Dec. 8 at The Chicago Theatre 2022-10-29
- Out gay saxophonist Dave Koz has released his eighth Christmas CD, Christmas Ballads, and will perform at the Chicago Theatre on Thursday, Dec. 8, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Dave Koz & Friends Christmas ...


Gay News

'Too Hot to Handel' taking place Dec. 3-4 2022-10-29
- The Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Ida B. Wells Dr., welcomes back "Too Hot to Handel: The Jazz-Gospel Messiah" for its 18th presentation. This year, for the first time, the popular jazz-gospel-rock-funk version of G.F. Handel's traditional ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Michigan bill, trans woman killed, school musical, Alabama drag queen 2022-10-23
- Michigan House Republicans recently introduced legislation that could have the potential to throw parents and doctors in prison for life for offering gender-affirming care to children under the age of 18, MLive.com reported. Under House Bill ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'P-Valley,' Dan Levy, trans/non-binary panel, Christina Aguilera, Spirit Day 2022-10-23
Video below - Starz has renewed the show P-Valley (the network's most-watched series) for a third season, The Hollywood Reporter noted. The renewal for the series from creator/showrunner Katori Hall arrives more than two months after the sophomore season ...


 




Copyright © 2022 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
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.