Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


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



by Vern Hester

This article shared 1317 times since Wed Sep 12, 2001
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

Melissa, Madonna, Wigstock---whew. Summer of 2001 is over and what a knees-up. Where else but Chicago could you get all that in one week? Especially in a summer that included Elton and Billy, Sade, U2, Roxy Music, Janet, a fabulous Market Days, the first Queer is Folk, Ladyfest and ... Goose Island Fest.

Goose Island Fest was held behind Goose Island Brewery on Clybourn next to a railroad yard and tucked behind a yuppie-fied shopping mall. Low key as it might have been, it served as a fitting close for the summer not because of its size or flash, but because of the quality of its entertainment bookings.

First up was openly gay Bob Mould, ex of Husker Du and Sugar. Having not performed in the last year since the last Goose Island Fest, it was nice to see him, and particularly the energy he brought to the stage, in a solo performance. Dancing and skipping while he played guitar ferociously, it wasn't merely music by a queer musician but probably the most intensely involved show I've seen all summer. The only thing that could slow this show was an act of God...which it did in the form of rain.

A rare street festival performance by THE Graham Parker made up for that on Aug. 26 though, and it was a revelation, an answer to the question of the problem of Graham Parker.

The problem with being G.P. of course has nothing to do with G.P. Though he's been recording since 1975 he was lumped in with Joe Jackson and Elvis Costello as Brit new-wavers with cynicism on their breath and instantly recognizable fangs in their vocal timbre. Where Costello and Jackson have reached something close to public adoration ( oddly they both finally got their first Grammys in the last two years, not for their usual work but for MOR departures ) , Parker has always skirted the edge.

His 1979 Squeezing Out Sparks, with his razor sharp band, the Rumour, set him up as the next big thing ( it's worth it to hear G.P. snap the line "It's not the knife through the heart that tears you apart/it's just the thought of someone sticking it in..." with furious bile ) , but it didn't happen. The follow-up, The Up Escalator ( despite a guest appearance by one B. Springsteen ) sank, the critics barbecued the disc, and the Rumour caved under the pressure.

Two years later G.P. re-emerged with Another Gray Area, which though it didn't have Sparks' abrasive edge still had G.P.'s lyrical bite ( "Big Fat Zero," "Temporary Beauty," the funky "You Hit the Spot" ) . Label changes, band changes ( he performs solo just as often as he does with a band ) , limited airplay---G.P. still keeps chugging along. And you could accuse him of making the same record over and over ( Acid Bubblegum, 12 Haunted Episodes, The Mona Lisa's Sister ) but therein lies the rub. Costello has an infuriating reputation for opaque lyrics ( could somebody tell me what "Shot with his own Gun," and "Brilliant Mistake" are ABOUT ) and cleverness for cleverness sake ( most of Punch the Clock ) and Jackson's cynicism can mar his best work ( "Breaking Us in Two" ) , G.P. jumps right out and says it clearly. Costello ( the all-country Almost Blue, the collaboration with Burt Bacharach ) and Jackson ( the Manhattan-tinged "Night and Day" and the orchestral side of the "Mike's Murder" soundtrack ) betray a certain desire to reach for higher art than mere pop/rock and roll ( for better or worse ) while G.P. embraces the opposite.

Seven years ago I was lucky to witness G.P. doing an acoustic solo version of the Supremes' "Stop! In the Name of Love." Instead of a pop treatment, G.P. went for the intent of the song with such aching tenderness that I have to say it was the most heartbreaking thing I've heard in my life ( in answer to my opening question, the pleasure of G.P. is G.P. and therefore no problem with G.P. to begin with ) .

For his solo gig Aug. 26 at Goose Island he was particularly jovial despite having only an hour to perform. Sampling cuts from his new CD, Deep Cuts to Nowhere ( such as "Tough on Clothes" and "Socks and Sandals" ) he still displayed a remarkable finesse in turning an irony with subtlety. But the delight of his performance was his skill and joy as a performer. Flubbing THE important line on "Start a Fire" ( that line about M. Monroe and JFK which shattered our notions of somber American legend into sordid reality ) good naturedly, a late summer take on "Love gets You Twisted," the sexy way he wrapped his voice around "White Hone ( "git it frum yo' kan-dee man..." ) .

Graham Parker and the Figgs will play the Double Door Oct. 5. Do yourself a favor ...

This article shared 1317 times since Wed Sep 12, 2001
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


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 ...

Gay News

CGMC to re-create music videos in drag with 'Lipstick & Lyrics: On MTV' 2023-02-10
--From a press release - CHICAGO—Chicago Gay Men's Chorus presents their annual live-singing drag show, Lipstick & Lyrics. This year's theme: On MTV. Come enjoy CGMC's drag performers as they recreate epic music videos. With dancers, costumes and sass, these live ...


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.