WINDY CITY TIMES
||Glad Rags' 'Wonder 'Under': An emotional kaleidoscope
by John Stadelman
This article shared 1263 times since Wed Nov 14, 2018
Local queer psychedelic orchestra band Glad Rags' second full-length album, Wonder Under, is an eclectic and weird ride in all the best ways.
Although bringing to mind Tom Waits, with rich vocals graveling over horn and string crescendos ( an influence that peaks in "The World Is Waiting" ), Glad Rags shows that its true strength is in its synthesis of style variety. "Ode to a Dandelion" is a reflective, slowed down jazz lounge song capped with a powerful orchestral upsweep, while "Tick Tock" creates an echoing, cavernous, synth-led spacey vibe. "Alamo" is pure '80s synth-and-sax dance-pop that somehow both stands out from the rest of the album, while fitting in perfectly.
Frontperson Glad Matt's voice modulates from coy susurration, to grit and spit, to deadpan, to ponderous with the same wide range as their instrumentation, so that not only do no two songs sound alike, but neither are they sung the same. Other primary vocalist Maryann Michael commands "Ode to a Dandelion" with grace, and duets in powerful counterpoint to Glad Matt's grumbles in "The World Is Waiting."
The instrumental "Social Kapital" opens with jamming synths before slowing down and switching over to horns and strings: a progression from digital euphoria to a quirky, grinding analog dread.
This eclecticism could run the risk of making the album sporadic, but Glad Rags plays tight and with confidence and trust, creating grandiosity through sheer variety. Standard mainstays like guitar, keyboard and synth are present, but expect to hear everything from cello and violin to banjo, trombone and tabla drums, so that even after numerous listens, each song holds fresh surprises.
Lyrically, the band explores misperceived identity, which helps provide a constant thread. "U Think U" contains the refrain "You think you know me/You don't know me at all," concluding with: "You don't know anybody until you talk to someone." "Tick Tock" pleas for us to "Take a good look in the eyes of somebody." "Alamo" criticizes the commodification of the darker side of history with the refrain: "Take a trip to the Alamo/Take a picture there." ( Those are a couple lines that will be in your head all day. )
Wonder Under is full of surprisesa pleasing, richly layered effort from one of Chicago's most promising queer bands.
For more information on Glad Rags, visit GladRagsMusic.com .
This article shared 1263 times since Wed Nov 14, 2018
| ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE|
|Ravinia Festival announces 2021 summer programming 2021-05-06|
--From a press release - HIGHLAND PARK, IL — The Ravinia Festival, under the direction of its new President and CEO Jeffrey P. Haydon, announced the concert schedule for 2021 today, celebrating the reopening of the park for the first time ...
|Mayor Lightfoot, DCASE announce Chicago summer events 2021-05-06|
--From a press release - CHICAGO — Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), Choose Chicago, and Chicago's cultural community today announced "Open Culture" — the next phase of ...
|Northalsted plans to hold Market Days Aug. 6-8 2021-05-04|
- The Northalsted Business Alliance plans to host Market Days August 6-8, adding a Friday night edition, the first in its 38-year history. As vaccinations increase and Illinois begins planning for stage 5 reopening, organizers of the ...
|Heather Headley to headline Goodman Theatre's May 22 virtual gala 2021-05-03|
- Goodman Theatre announced that Tony-winning Broadway actor and Grammy Award-winning singer Heather Headley will headline the company's "Together Center Stage" virtual 2021 gala fundraiser. "Together Center Stage" is slated to stream Saturday, May 22, ...
|Jeannie Tanner show at City Winery on May 20 2021-05-03|
- On Thursday, May 20, at 7 p.m., City Winery Chicago, 1200 W. Randolph St., will host the first in-person performance of "3 Martini Jeannie." Throughout the pandemic, every Friday at 5 p.m., Tanner celebrated the close ...
|Vintage House show honoring Chicago House Music with DJ Lori Branch May 5 2021-05-03|
--From a press release - Chicago, IL. May 3, 2021. Paving the way for every DJ behind her, DJ Lori Branch is continuously receiving flowers for her talents and dedication to music. Currently, through May, Spotify (spotify.com/chicago) billboards highlighting Chicago music ...
|Windy City Smokeout to return July 8-11 2021-04-29|
- The outdoor country-music/BBQ festival Windy City Smokeout will return to Chicago on July 8-11 outside the United Center, 1901 W. Madison St. Hosted by BBQ joint Bub City and the venue Joe's Bar, the event will ...
|Pride in the Park' on June 26-27 2021-04-29|
- There will be at least one big LGBTQ+ event in Chicago this summer. Pride in the Park is slated to take place June 26-27 in Grant Park. It will be 2-10 p.m. on June 26, and 3-10 p.m. the following day. ...
|SHOWBIZ 'Joe Exotic' series, Luther Vandross, singer's announcement, star couples 2021-04-25|
- Hedwig and the Angry Inch's John Cameron Mitchell has been tapped to play the title character opposite Kate McKinnon in the series Joe Exotic (working title), Deadline reported. The limited series centers on Carole Baskin (McKinnon), ...
|SHOWBIZ Brandi Carlile, 'Legendary,' children's book, film festival, Janet Mock 2021-04-18|
- Lesbian musician Brandi Carlile memoir, Broken Horses, debuted at number one on The New York Times Best Sellers list, a press release announced. In addition to the hardback book, a very special audiobook edition of the ...
|Belting for Life Sunday May 16, streaming through May 31 2021-04-16|
--From a press release - CHICAGO - Jeff Award-winning director and HIV+ activist Christopher Pazdernik presents the 6th annual Belting for Life (formerly known as Chris' Birthday Belt Fest), an annual benefit concert for Howard Brown Health, one of the nation's ...
|SHOWBIZ Trans singer, 'Pose,' Kate Winslet, Lil Nas X, Broadway 2021-04-11|
- Trans femme indie-punk artist Evan Greer (she/her) released a dystopian new music video for the song "Surveillance Capitalism," a press release noted. She is using it to launch StopSpotifySurveillance.org with Fight for the Future, where she ...
|Movie about art sensation born into slavery to premiere April 16
- Bill Traylor: Chasing Ghostsa film about a man who was born into slavery, and whose works became sensations in the art worldwill premiere Friday, April 16, in local virtual cinemas of Music Box Theatre and Facets. ...
|Story of Chicagoan and Broadway influencer Sister Rosetta Tharpe on to Broadway 2021-04-06|
--From a press release - NEW YORK (April 4, 2021) Prolific writer and Chicago native Cheryl L. West (FANNIE: The Music and Life of Fannie Lou Hamer; Jar the Floor), will be joined on the creative team of SHOUT SISTER ...
|SHOWBIZ 'Special,' Bonnaroo, Broadway items, Rita Moreno, Bridgerton 2021-04-04|
- The second season of the Netflix comedy series Special will premiere May 20, a press release noted. The series revolves around Ryan O'Connell, a gay man with mild cerebral palsy, and is based on his memoir ...