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
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Martha Berner: The journey transcends 'Fantasy'
MUSIC
by Alex Lubischer
2012-02-08

This article shared 3198 times since Wed Feb 8, 2012
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Singer/songwriter Martha Berner's new year is off to a sterling start. With her new album, Fool's Fantasy, and upcoming shows in Chicago venues, the out frontwoman of Martha Berner and the Significant Others is primed to take 2012 by storm.

Windy City Times had the pleasure of meeting this honey-voiced rocker on the rise.

Windy City Times: I love the album. I've been listening to it over and over, and wanted to say congratulations.

Martha Berner: Thank you. I'm really happy with it.

WCT: How did life in the Windy City affect Fool's Fantasy's creation? Do you see yourself as a Chicago artist?

MB: I do see myself as a Chicago artist. I've lived here for about eight years now. I moved here for music. I think this album is what it is because of the exact combination of the players involved in producing it. Every single member, each part that they brought, is so important and integral.

WCT: This album was mastered by Gavin Lurssen! This is a guy who's worked with Tom Waits and Leonard Cohen. What was that like for you?

MB: It was really, really exciting. It was kind of my long shot wish list: "Wouldn't it be great to have this mastered by Gavin Lurssen?" So I called a good friend of mine out in LA—a fellow artist—and she's friends with Gavin, and I said "What are the odds that I can get Gavin to master this for me?" She said, "Well, let me drop him a line." And he agreed.

We flew out there and sat in the room; he had his three Grammys lined up on the wall and it was awesome. It felt like: "I'm giving the record the best shot I could possibly give this."

WCT: Are there any queer artists whom you feel a particular affinity towards?

MB: There are so many great ones—certainly the folksier lesbian scene, the smaller artists. Probably more of the queer men. You know, stuff like The Smiths and Morrissey. And, obviously, women like Melissa Ferrick and Catie Curtis, some of the more indie folk rockers.

I don't know: Where would music be without the queers? The entertainment business, creative anything? A day without queers is what the U.S. should experience at least one time. In protest to some of these human rights issues in our country we should have a day without the queers and see how everyone gets along.

WCT: Exactly!

MB: [ Laughs ] The day without gays! I mean the restaurants would close down, the flower shops—I mean what would everybody do?

WCT: Perfect. [ Laughs ] How has your identity as a queer woman influenced your songwriting?

MB: Specifically, there's a song on the record called "Brave," which is basically written about being gay, young and afraid, and trying to figure out how to come into my own and stand for who I was, and all of that going against who I was raised to be. I came from a very Christian family. So it was a really frightening experience for me growing up to realize that I was gay because… There's one thing that my family was asking of me and that was to love God and love Jesus and not be gay. If you could accomplish those two things you were pretty alright.

Had I not experienced that discomfort... You have to sort of leave where you're from, right? To give yourself the space and the room to explore who you are and who you want to be and shape your own vision of yourself. That was the impetus for the get-up-and-go that took over the next 10 years of my life. And exploring and moving and letting myself grow into the woman that I wanted to be.

WCT: The track "People Are Crazy" has such killer attitude. What was the impetus for that song?

MB: That was politically inspired. I started writing that song while Bush was still in office and just—you know—the jaw on the floor. [ Laughs ] His getting reelected was shocking and just the state of our country… Now, I think it still applies today to politics.

Your mind's for the taking,

Your savior is waiting,

Try to take a sucker down with you-

It's degrading.

That line is about the influence of religion in politics and the non-separation of church and state that drives me absolutely nuts in this country. People are crazy!

WCT: What aspect of your album is particularly accessible to the LGBTQ community?

MB: Certainly the song "Irene." That's just a very blatant song from a woman to a woman. The song "Brave" has been mentioned, specifically about my journey. [ Pauses ] The whole thing [ laughs ] the whole thing's just so gay because I'm gay!

For some reason I was listening to a lot of Johnny Cash when I was writing that song. It's my little folksy ballad, sorta like Ring of Fire. It's about loving someone you're not supposed to love.

WCT: The track "Some Stay Awhile" had such a personal pain to it, but also a sense recovery—of getting back on the horse. Many songs harbored a lovely, reflective quality. What journeys were you traveling as you wrote this album?

MB: What I was going through a lot of during that time was feeling a bit lost in my journey as a young adult trying to achieve all the things I wanted. So the song "Some Stay Awhile" is that no matter what happens, you get back up and you get back on your horse.

But what's as important as getting back up on your horse is that you never lose the ability to laugh and enjoy also, because it is the journey and not the destination. The destination is important and you need to have a destination.

I think you also need to know that destination may change as your life evolves in different ways. But more importantly, are you enjoying yourself? That was my resolve. I know the things that I'm giving my attention and my time and my life to are worthy. That at the end of the day, it's not about being rich or being famous. It's about: Was it worth it, those things I sacrificed for? Did I live well? Did I love well? Did I laugh?

Berner is performing Saturday, Feb. 4, at Lincoln Hall, 2424 N. Lincoln Ave., at 8 p.m.; and on Sunday, Feb. 12, at T's Bar and Restaurant, 5025 N. Clark St., at 3 p.m. See www.marthaberner.com for more information.

The CD is available at Women and Children First, 5233 N. Clark St., Berner's website or iTunes.


This article shared 3198 times since Wed Feb 8, 2012
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.