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 2021-09-01
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Pop Making Sense
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by David Byrne with Tony Peregrin
2014-01-07

This article shared 4378 times since Tue Jan 7, 2014
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


As another year passes, we saw noteworthy success stories, more mediocre music from certain pop stars and a return of beloved favorites in 2013. The artist of the year is the duo Tegan and Sara. The out Canadians crossed over into mainstream with the album Heartthrob, performed at Lollapalooza, and kept their lesbian identity intact in the videos "Closer" and "I Was a Fool." "Closer" marks the twins' first appearance on the Billboard Hot 100.

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis prove that hip-hop can be great without objectifying women, bragging about material things or demeaning others. The pair's "Same Love" ranks as the song and the video of the year. Macklemore wrote this about his gay uncle and the unnecessary gay slurs in hip hop. Lesbian singer-songwriter Mary Lambert provides the heartfelt chorus on "Same Love." The video tells the tale of a gay couple overcoming adversity and remaining in love.

There are many other remarkable music videos in 2013. Steve Grand became an overnight sensation thanks to "All-American Boy." Passion Pit's humorous "Carried Away" caught my attention every time. Dita von Teese sizzles with sex appeal as a confined housewife in her collaboration with Monarchy, "Disintegration." Janelle Monae and Miguel's "Primetime" has on-screen chemistry and android go-go dancers, while "Safe And Sound," by Capital Cities, shows the duo duplicating many dance trends.

I cannot pick just one album as a favorite. New releases from Vanessa Daou, Moby and Pet Shop Boys top my list. There were excellent efforts from the Mazzy Star and Natalia Kills, plus great albums by LGBT acts like John Grant, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, Vicci Martinez and Tegan and Sara. There were impressive debuts in 2013 from Avicii, Sky Ferreira, Heaven, Laura Mvula and London Grammar.

The best music-related film and soundtrack belong to the brilliant documentary 20 Feet from Stardom. Here, the back-up singers to legends finally get their time in the spotlight. The veterans' discussion of Lou Reed's "Wild Side" pulled my heart strings, as did the scene where Merry Clayton considered whether to sing on Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama." Let's hope for an Oscar nomination. 20 Feet from Stardom comes out on DVD on Tuesday, Jan. 14.

This summer, I saw Cherie Currie at Northalsted Market Days. This was the concert of the year for me. During the opening number, "American Nights," I said to my brother, "I never thought I'd hear this song live." Currie's set contained favorites from her days with The Runaways as well as new material, her version of the glam rock classic "Roxy Roller" and a cover of David Bowie's "Rebel Rebel." The performance was tight as well as upbeat, and Currie kept the crowd engaged. The big draws at Northalsted Market Days failed to do such, making Currie stand out even more.

Chaka Khan's concert was so good, I saw her twice. The icon was commemorating 40 years in the music industry. Cyndi Lauper's tour provided a time capsule by featuring all 10 songs from her 1983 solo debut She's So Unusual in their original arrangements.

During Sinead O'Connor's concert, an attendee yelled out, "Today gay marriage was passed in Illinois!" O'Connor gave a thumbs-up while coolly wearing her sunglasses—an image forever imprinted in my mind. The controversial artist then said, "That is a wonderful reason to celebrate" before going in the harmony-driven number "In This Heart." O'Connor's set list focused on her 2012 album, which nicely complemented the magnificent material from her illustrious catalog.

I might lose credibility by admitting that 2013's strongest remix is Cedric Gervais' reinterpretation of Lana Del Rey's "Summertime Sadness." The remix is dramatic and works well with the accompanying video. Gervais' version is up for a Best Remix Grammy.

My choice covers are from two of my longtime favorites: Martha Wash and Pet Shop Boys. On her new EP, Something Good, Wash tackles Aerosmith's "Dream On." This is a slight departure for the vocal powerhouse, who is known for her club hits and soulful ballads. Wash pulls it off effortlessly. Pet Shop Boys' Electric contains a remake of Bruce Springsteen's "The Last to Die." Although the "Born to Run" superstar wrote this about a war veteran, the electronic duo's version feels like a firsthand testament about the AIDS epidemic.

The year's best book is James Arena's First Ladies of Disco: 32 Stars Discuss the Era and Their Singing Careers. The divas provide outstanding accounts of the decadent disco days. Arena lovingly dedicates the title to his mother, who picked up albums for him from all over the world.

When I have to declare the worst songs of 2013, I think about what Will.i.am worked on. His pairings with Britney Spears and Justin Bieber are embarrassing and soulless. Other disappointments include Sarah Brightman's tepid covers of Sia's "Breathe Me" and Sigur Ros' "Glosoli."

Pitbull and Ke$ha's "Timber" is an unneeded resurrection of the Rednex's "Cotton Eye Joe." The video does not have a continuous shot that lasts more than two seconds. The storyline and the choreography are lost with the constant scene jumping.

Another awful clip is Kanye West's "Bound 2," featuring Kim Kardashian. I still am surprised they did not name their child Modesty.

Other songs from 2013 that I never want to hear again are Demi Lovato's "Heart Attack," Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" and anything by Miley Cyrus.

There are new releases due in 2014 from Against Me!, Blondie, Kylie Minogue, The Pack a.d. and Lisa Stansfield.


This article shared 4378 times since Tue Jan 7, 2014
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

'Andersonville Homecoming' Sept. 24-26; line-up, vendors, safety protocols announced
2021-09-15
--From a press release - CHICAGO (Sept. 15, 2021) — The Andersonville Chamber of Commerce (ACC) is pleased to announce the full entertainment line-up and vendors for Andersonville Homecoming--a three-night, two-day outdoor festival featuring ...


Gay News

Students urged to apply for Musical Theatre Awards
2021-09-14
Broadway in Chicago is inviting high schools across Illinois to participate in the 11th Annual Illinois High School Musical Theatre Awards. These awards celebrate excellence in high school theater throughout the state. Beginning Thursday, Sept. 16, ...


Gay News

'Homophile' organization New Gay Liberation Front launches
2021-09-13
The New Gay Liberation Front—which described itself in a press release as a "homophile organization"—has launched. "Homophile" is a term that was used by some gay and lesbian groups in the 1950s. According to the University ...


Gay News

CAIC announces 2021 Collaborative Works Festival, immigration, migration in song
2021-09-13
--From a press release - CHICAGO— Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago (CAIC) begins its eleventh anniversary season with its annual Collaborative Works Festival, held in venues around Chicago from October 6—9, 2021. The 2021 Collaborative ...


Gay News

MUSIC Lil Nas X wins top award at MTV VMAs
2021-09-13
The MTV VMA Awards took place Sept. 12—and an LGBTQ+ artist took home one of the night's top awards. Lil Nas X won Video of the Year for "Montero (Call Me By Your Name)," besting Cardi ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Boy Meets Boy,' Jennifer Hudson, 'SVU,' tennis honor, ABBA
2021-09-12
Ariztical Entertainment is releasing the German movie Boy Meets Boy on DVD and VOD on Oct. 26. According to a press release, the plot of the 70-minute movie is as follows: "Harry has been partying for ...


Gay News

Pride Fest will extend to Oct. 3; headliners include Kristine W and Mya
2021-09-12
Mya, Shangela, VINCINT, Crystal Waters, Kristine W, Brooke Eden and St. Panther are among the headliners for Chicago Pride Fest now taking place over three days, Oct. 1-3, in Chicago's LGBTQ+ landmark Northalsted/Lake View district. The ...


Gay News

THEATER 'Dear Mom, I'm Gay!' on Oct. 1-2
2021-09-11
Dear Mom, I'm Gay!—a workshop of a new musical by David Dilsizian—is running at The Jarvis Square Theater, 1439 W. Jarvis Ave. It will take place at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 1; and 2 and ...


Gay News

ARC Music Festival debuts in Chicago over Labor Day Weekend
2021-09-11
Replacing North Coast Music Festival's usual spot in Union Park, ARC Music Festival launched Sept. 4-5. North Coast was forced to move to SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview, Illinois, that same weekend to a stadium that was ...


Gay News

MUSIC 'Global Citizen Live' to run Sept. 25-26
2021-09-09
International advocacy organization Global Citizen announced the expansion of "Global Citizen Live" to include Los Angeles and London with an outdoor event in L.A., which is presented by Verizon, and headlined by Stevie Wonder with Adam ...


Gay News

'Close-Up with Carmen' Sept. 9 at Center on Halsted
2021-09-08
'Close-Up with Carmen'—about the intersection of drag and opera—will take place Thursday, Sept. 9, at 6 p.m. at the Hoover-Leppen Theatre at Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted St. During this event, participants will discuss cross-dressi ...


Gay News

Britney Spears' dad petitions to end conservatorship
2021-09-08
In a huge win for pop star Britney Spears, her father and the conservator of her estate, Jamie Spears, filed a petition to end the arrangement on Sept. 7, media outlets reported. Jamie cited his daughter's ...


Gay News

Constand breaks silence about Bill Cosby
2021-09-07
Bill Cosby accuser Andrea Constand is breaking her silence to NBC News about the comic/actor's release from prison two months ago, Deadline noted. In a brief clip, Constand tells Kate Snow she "was really shocked — ...


Gay News

Footwork dancers to be featured Sept. 10 in Art on theMART event
2021-09-05
"Dance Down by The River"—an evening of Chicago dance and music—is coming to the Riverwalk in conjunction with Art on theMART thanks to a Chicago Presents grant awarded by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and ...


Gay News

MUSIC Upcoming 'Carmen' featuring queer lead, male drag
2021-09-05
On Sept. 16 and 18 at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph St., Chicago audiences will have the rare opportunity to hear two world-class dramatic mezzo-sopranos debut new roles opposite one another ...


 



Copyright © 2021 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      OUT! Guide     
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      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      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.