After seeing the excellent Kimi Hayes performing at Grinder a few weeks ago, I asked her to send me her CD Being. I received it and I think its phenomenal. I can't get the song Evening Prayer out of my head. I'll leave the music reviews to our resident culture vulture and hip genius Gregg Shapiro, but if you get the chance to go along and see Kimi Hayes, then grab it.
I phoned Kimi and told her that her voice sent a chill down my spine; it was like the first time I heard Grace Slick. Kimi's voice is like hand-cut crystal. She told me she begged her parents to buy her a guitar when she was 10 years old, and that she grew up in the '70s listening to her parents' records: James Taylor, Joni Mitchell and Jackson Browne. However, her first band in the early '80s leaned more toward Led Zeppelin.
You can e-mail Kimi at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.kimihayes.com for more information about upcoming gigs and the CD.
There have been several interesting events going on around town. One that I particularly enjoyed was the "Understanding the Gay and Alternative Press" panel organized by the Chicago Area Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. Tracy Baim and Mona Noriega represented Lambda Publications.
Reps from the press answered questions from an audience about ways to use the media: "Ever wonder how things go into print. How do you get your event listed in a publication's calendar. How to get media attention on something you're doing professionally or in the community."
Being out there on the frontline, I'm often asked these questions. I'm also often asked, "How do you choose which events to cover?" I don't know what everybody else on the paper does, but I'll cover any event where GLBT people are doing something they believe in; and I don't care if its a big Equality Illinois fundraiser or three dykes making macramé potholders in Oak Park. If you tell me about it, and I can fit it into my schedule, then I'll be there.
The other Chamber event I went to was the board elections and networking party at the Allegro Hotel. Sidetrack's Chuck Hyde let us all in on a few details about the upcoming "Alive With Pride" event over the Labor Day Weekend at Navy Pier, which will include Wigstock-Chicago ... so start getting creative.
Someone I bumped into at both events was the excellent interior designer Joseph Rice ( 773-271-2361 ) . He specializes in window treatment; drapes etc., but he also does upholstery. I wish I'd met him the week before when my partner and I were slugging it out over colors for the library window.
We ended up compromising ( always a mistake in a relationship ) , so I chose a deep purple velvet scarf and he went for the gold satin drapes. It's outrageous. In fact, my cleaning lady/cum poet, Esmerelda Morning-Glory, walked in and said, "Oh my God, it looks like a cross between a New Orleans brothel and St. Nancy's Chapel of Rest funeral parlor. All you need is embalming fluid incense and a couple of necro-hookers." Charming!
Sitting in Scot's with John, the bartender from Second Story, I was pretty much past my respectable stage when I met a nice man called Jim, who works for a vending machine company and also travels around the country playing at pinball tournaments. Yes, he's a gay Pinball Wizard. He told me his father took him to see the movie Tommy when he was a child. I guess Tommy became his role model. I wonder what would have happened if his father had taken him to see Barbarella ...