Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-12-13



Pop Making Sense
by David Byrne with Tony Peregrin

This article shared 2710 times since Tue Jun 25, 2013
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

A friend asked me to recommend some music to be her soundtrack for an upcoming trip to Iceland. She wanted material that would suit the country's mood, terrain and beauty. Other than the obvious choices like Sigur Ros, Bjork and Amiina, I was quick to suggest John Grant's Pale Green Ghosts, which was recorded in part in Iceland.

Here, the openly gay artist weaves his stories seamlessly between folk and electronic. The haunting title track and its video easily could serve as a murder ballad. The self-defeating "GMF" is a masterpiece, as Grant nonchalantly sings, "I am the greatest mother fucker you're ever going to meet." Skip the set's only misstep, "Sensitive New Age Guy," and go directly to "Ernest Borgnine," Grant's take on living with HIV.

Last year Sinead O'Connor covered Grant's "Queen of Denmark." She lends her celestial vocals for harmonies on "GMF," "It Doesn't Matter to Him" and "Why Don't You Love Me Anymore." Pale Green Ghosts is produced by Grant and Biggi Veira of the Icelandic group Gus Gus.

Expect to see Pale Green Ghosts as one of the year's top picks from many critics. On Thursday, June 27, Grant will be at Schuba's, 3159 N. Southport Ave., with Matt Focht and Crystal Hartford.

The Tony-winning musical Kinky Boots dazzles fans with its feel-good storyline, outlandish costumes and fantastic music. Here, Cyndi Lauper proved she can "Shine" by handling the music and lyrics, while Harvey Fierstein penned the book. The songs keep the story going, show off the cast's talents and have hit-worthy melodies.

The opening number—"Price and Son Theme/The Most Beautiful Thing in the World"—is big, magnificent and, most importantly, memorable. The showstopper is the power ballad "Not My Father's Son," where the differences between the leads lessen as they spill their hearts over living up to their parents' expectations. There are also traces to funky classics. "Sex Is in the Heel" has a riff that recalls "Disco Inferno;" the back-up singing on "Everybody Say Yeah" reminds me of those from "Sisters Are Doing It for Themselves;" and "Raise You Up / Just Be" has similarities to "September" by Earth Wind and Fire. The original cast recording to Kinky Boots is out now via Masterworks Broadway.

It is a reunion of sorts as Melissa Etheridge comes to Ravinia with Joan Osborne, Paula Cole and Jessie Payo on Saturday, June 29. In 1995, Etheridge was spotlighted on an episode of VH1 Duets, where she was joined by Osborne, Cole, Jewel and Sophie B. Hawkins to collaborate on covers from her catalog. The five remarkable singer-songwriters shared the stage together for a tremendous rendition of Joan Armatrading's "Love and Affection."

Mosquito marks the fourth full-length album from Yeah Yeah Yeahs. The Brooklyn-based alternative trio reminds us it can rock with the outstanding "Area 52." The title track is as a perfect sequel to 2009's "Heads Will Roll." Sadly, Mosquito's slower numbers "Subway" and "Wedding Song" do not have the same magic as the predecessors "Runaway" or "Little Shadow." On Saturday, June 29 Yeah Yeah Yeahs share the bill with Bush and Awolnation at First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre 19100 Ridgeland Ave., Tinley Park.

The loveable twosome She & Him has made another album, Volume 3, showing off its retro-flavored style. Resistance is futile upon hearing the fun "I've Got Your Number, Son" and "Never Wanted Your Love." M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel's quirky personality is bubbling over in the video to "I Could've Been Your Girl." There is an apparent '60 girl group inspiration "Somebody Sweet to Talk To" and "Snow Queen," thus making the cover of Blondie's "Sunday Girl" ever appropriate. She & Him comes to Aragon Ballroom, 1106 W. Lawrence Ave., with Camersa Oscura on Saturday, June 29.

Also on Saturday, June 29, CSS and IO Echo will be at Lincoln Hall, 2424 N. Lincoln Ave. CSS, a Brazilian DIY electro-pop outfit, returns with the CD Planta. The female quartet sizzles with cool numbers like "Honey" and "Teenage Tiger Cat." The energetic "Dynamite" features Gossip drummer Hannah Billie. Just try not to snicker over the title on "Frankie Goes to West Hollywood." Planta is out now via SQE Music.

Whenever Susan Werner steps forth with a new project, I marvel at the album's theme and approach. On her latest venture, Hayseed, Werner celebrates growing up in the farmland, as witnessed on "City Kids (The Revenge of Kevin Oberbroeckling)." While "Something to be Said" is an insightful with lessons learned, "Iowa" beams with Midwestern pride. The ode "Egg Money (The Confession of Irene Broghammer)" tells the story of a scorned farmer's wife. On top of coming to City Winery Chicago, 1200 W. Randolph St., on Friday, July 5, Werner also plans to be performing at various local farmers' markets.

The Wavefront 2013 Music Festival dances its way to Montrose Harbor from July 5-7. Four stages will host an array of artists and DJs from the eclectic dance music genre. There will be house music icons like Frankie Knuckles, Danny Tenaglia and Ralphi Rosario. Other draws include Fat Boy Slim, Jacques Lu Cont (a.k.a. Kylie Minogue, Lady Gaga and Madonna producer Stuart Price), James Murphy formerly of LCD Soundsystem, Tiefschwarz and Timo Maas. For a complete line-up, schedule and tickets, please visit .

This article shared 2710 times since Tue Jun 25, 2013
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

Out and Aging
Presented By


Gay News

Theater Review: Billy Elliot, The Musical 2024-02-19
- Book and Lyrics: Lee Hall; Music: Elton John. At: Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora Tickets: 630-896-6666 or; $28-$79. Runs through March 24 Billy Elliot: The Musical may nearly be two decades old, but ...

Gay News

REFLECTIONS: An Evening of original music with the Jeannie Tanner Quartet 2024-02-19
--From a press release - REFLECTIONS will be a night of feel-good, upbeat original music written by Jeannie Tanner. Songs range from jazz, to pop, to soulful R&B. Jeannie's music can be heard in many television shows and movies, with recordings ...

Gay News

Lakeside Pride Wilde Cabaret Valentine's Day Feb. 17 2024-02-16
--From a press release - Lakeside Pride Wilde Cabaret puts their own spin on Valentine's Day with a show celebrating things done and sacrificed for love - not just romantic love, but love for pets, friends, family and art. Join the ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Elton John, Hannah Gadsby, video game, Jennifer Lopez, queer thriller 2024-02-16
Video below - Sir Elton John has sold his Atlanta home and is now auctioning off more than 900 of his personal items that were kept in the 13,500-square-foot condo, The Daily Mail noted. The massive collection includes rare ...

Gay News

Wic Whitney spills the Afternoon Tea 2024-02-15
- Born in Arkansas and now based in Chicago, queer performer Wic Whitney is a storyteller with a great deal to say, preaching his Southern soul message through unique vocal stylings as a rapper and singer. This ...

Gay News

CGMC presents Lipstick & Lyrics: Forty & Foxy, A Glamorous Feast for the Senses 2024-02-14
--From a press release - CHICAGO, February 13, 2024 — The Chicago Gay Men's Chorus proudly presents Lipstick & Lyrics: Forty & Foxy, a dazzling, live-singing drag show that celebrates the sensuality and empowerment of middle age. Get ready to unleash ...

Gay News

Cher, Mariah Carey among Rock & Roll Hall of Fame nominees 2024-02-11
- Cher, Mariah Carey among Rock & Roll Hall of Fame nominees On Feb. 10, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame announced the nominees for its 2024 class. According to NPR, two-thirds of the artists on the list for "rock's highest ...

Gay News

Dr. Lady J explains how opera can be a drag 2024-02-10
- On Feb. 8, Center on Halsted, in partnership with Lyric Opera of Chicago, presented a lecture by historian, drag activist, podcaster and curator Dr. Lady J. The event, titled "Castrated Superstars, Cross Dressed Divas, and Queer ...

Gay News

Asians and Friends Chicago to host LGBTQ Lunar New Year Dinner Feb. 24 2024-02-09
--From a press release - CHICAGO—Taking a cross-dressing twist for the Year of the Dragon, members of Asians and Friends Chicago (AFC) will host a dinner-and-drag musical revue, celebrating the Year of the "Drag-on" and bringing together members of the lesbian, ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Raven-Symone, women's sports, Wayne Brady, Jinkx Monsoon, British Vogue 2024-02-09
- In celebration of Black History Month, the LA LGBT Center announced that lesbian entertainer Raven-Symone will be presented with the Center's Bayard Rustin Award at its new event, Highly Favored, per a press release. She joins ...

Gay News

Women dominate 2024 Grammys 2024-02-05
- It was the year of the woman at the 2024 Grammys. Regarding everything from performances to wins, women dominated the 2024 Grammys that took place Feb. 4 at the Arena in Los Angeles. Tracy Chapman ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ JoJo Siwa, Tom Holland, Bowen Yang, Pet Shop Boys, Mariah Carey 2024-02-02
- In the wake of Nigel Lythgoe exiting So You Think You Can Dance, queer personality JoJo Siwa is returning to the series, per Deadline. Siwa, who was a judge on season 17 of the Fox show, will replace Lythgoe, who left ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Sundance items, Green Day, 'Wednesday,' Queerties, 'The Wiz' 2024-01-26
- At the Sundance Film Festival, Jodie Foster told Variety that the $1.4-billion success of Barbie helps confirm that Hollywood no longer views women directors as too much of a risk. She said, "With a big success ...

Gay News

WORLD Arrest in Brazil, athlete dies, Ghana attack, World Economic Forum 2024-01-26
- A 30-year-old man was arrested in Brazil on Jan. 18 for his alleged role in the stabbing murder of prominent NYC art dealer Brent Sikkema, Gay City News reported. Authorities took Cuban resident Alejandro Triana Trevez ...

Gay News

Upcoming Lyric Opera performance Champion explores famed boxer's gay identity 2024-01-21
- Grammy Award-winning composer Terence Blanchard and Tony Award-winning librettist Michael Cristofer's opera, Champion, is set for its Lyric Opera of Chicago debut Jan. 27. It runs through Feb. 11. This contemporary "opera in jazz" features the ...


Copyright © 2024 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives.

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 Transgender 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.