Subscription streaming service INDISTRY tasted the rainbow by presenting an Artists Pride event on June 15 at Virgin Hotels. The night was filled with colorful layered liquor shots, burlesque dancing, heartfelt singing and creative drag. Proceeds benefitted the It Gets Better Project that empowers LGBTQ youth.
Out singer Michael Blume performed several songs with a full band and back-up singers. The New Yorker had just returned from playing the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival. The last time he was in Chicago at Lincoln Hall was May 26 for a primarily straight audience as opener for the band Lawrence.
He told Windy City Times, "I was very aware that the audiences on that tour were mixed. I am a queer artist prancing around in overalls asking with my lyrics 'Are you mad that I'm gay?' I talk about sucking dick and justice. I see their jaws on the floor. Do they like me or is it because I am bearded lady? It feels like a circus act sometimes."
Blume discussed new music: "We had an EP release show at Stonewall a few weeks ago. I have been working on the music for over a year and there are more songs coming." He described the record title cynicism & sincerity as the world living in a dark time with Donald Trump as president and himself being cynical and judgmental. He went on to say that he also believes in unity and coming together for a better world.
When questioned about the new song "Maybe Love Is True," he said, "It is a critique of the love industrial complex. I am so over this traditional narrative of love and romance, but at the same time sometimes I want it. I roll my eyes at it, then I go home and want a boyfriend."
Blume said Pride Month has involved a lot of activity around his work this year: "It is exciting for queer artists to have space to be seen and heard. Pride month is a time to celebrate who we are and reflect on how far we have to go. Trans women are being murdered and the community is not safe, sometimes. We have a long way to go."
The night's festivities concluded with RuPaul Drag Race alumna Shea Coulee lip-synching to "I'm Every Woman." Coulee is featured on Blume's track "R U Mad" on the just released album cynicism & sincerity. The two headed to Roscoe's Tavern to perform together later the same night.
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