Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2016-10-26
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


MUSIC No plain Jane (Siberry)
by Sarah Terez Rosenblum

facebook twitter pin it stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email

In a culture fond of neat definitions, the work of singer Jane Siberry defies description, encapsulating everything from spoken word to folk. Her newest album, With What Shall I Keep Warm, written on the fly in studios across Europe, represents the culmination of three years living with few material possessions, under a new name ( Issa ) . For some people that sounds like the witness protection program, for Siberry, that's merely the path she chose.

Windy City Times: What led you to change your name to Issa?

Jane Siberry: I felt the need to make some strong changes in my life. It seemed important to change my name, so I did. I changed it to a name that I thought was simple, an empty cup. I had never heard the name Issa before, and it turns out to have some wonderful meanings, including a haiku poet in Japan, and the name that Jesus had in India. But two weeks ago I officially changed my name back to Jane Siberry. I felt with the name change, I had gotten in my own way, in terms of devoting myself to my career, making my work available to people. So, Jane Siberry is my name again until further notice, but I feel richer from having been Issa for three years.

WCT: What was it like to give up most of your belongings?

JANE SIBERRY: I love beautiful things, and I reached a point where I had amassed quite a bit. It felt like change or die, that's how heavy I felt, never able to get on top of my to do lists or devote myself to music. So, I kind of metaphorically took my arm and swept everything off my desk. It's been a really good discipline, to do without. A lot of people think about doing it, and as a creative person, you tend to be a bit of a barometer for what's in the air.

WCT: When your tour hits Chicago, you'll play Space, a society designed to preserve art, and you'll also play a house concert. What drew you to these venues?

JANE SIBERRY: I've lost all interest in playing normal clubs. There's this carelessness and disrespect, sort of a thuggish energy. You get there to find no posters, no preparation. You came all this way, and though you don't mind making not too much money, you do mind wasting your time. I'm trying to book only in communities that are hungry to hear something.

WCT: Describe the creation of your new album.

JANE SIBERRY: After changing my name, I didn't know if I'd be in the music industry any more. I ended my tour in Brussels and stayed there, waiting till the universe told me where to go. I found a little studio in someone's home, and wrote a song every day. I continued that through London, Australia and Vancouver, writing in studios, which meant I'd go in with no idea and sit there until I had an idea and then get them to put up whatever tempo I wanted. At the end of the day, when the songs felt pretty together as far as loose structure and concept, I would stop and then after song number thirty-three I went back and worked on arrangements and finished the words. The record out now is part of the thirty-three song series.

WCT: An older song, "Calling All Angels," is a mainstream hit, and was used in movies and on TV. What's it like to create something that takes on a life outside of you?

JANE SIBERRY: I feel proud of the little song going out and doing so well, like a child I guess, although I don't like the child imagery that artists often use. It's lovely though. It's turned around so that I'm almost its child, so to speak. It's brought me more gifts than the energy I put into it.

WCT: What new song are you most excited to play on this tour?

JANE SIBERRY: "Phoenix." When I wrote it, I was concerned about kids, about the whole system. I had a huge force in me, I couldn't sleep well, I couldn't eat, and when I play the song that same mysterious force comes to me, and I don't quite know where it's from. I am really concerned about young kids, that they have no self-esteem. It seems like a very hard time to be a kid. I think we're passing along low self-esteem from generation to generation, and we have very few moral structures to lean on. So much is insane in this world right now. You talk about love and then on every TV channel, someone is trying to hurt another person.

WCT: Is there anything artists can do?

JANE SIBERRY: I believe the power of voice is much more than it appears. I know how songs have affected me, giving me magic words to cling to, so although artists can get in their own way by being too mental about it, if they work from their higher selves, they can make people feel they're not alone, or give kids the right words. I hope there's something in what I write that seems sane to kids. I write a lot of things I wish someone had said to me.

Issa will play Space, 1245 Chicago, Evanston, on Thursday, Dec. 3, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20-$32. Learn more about Issa at or

facebook twitter pin it stumble upon digg 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.


MUSICAL REVIEW Hamilton 2016-10-26
Pet Shop Boys at Civic Opera Nov. 5 2016-10-26
Entertainment: 'Crime Story,' gay romance novel, Diana Ross, Lady Gaga 2016-10-25
American Idol's Rayvon Owen joins Simply Sensational Benefit 2016-10-24
'Rocky Horror' soundtrack out Oct. 21 2016-10-19
Shemekia Copeland to perform Oct. 21 2016-10-19
Rapper's CD cover sparks debate on masculinity 2016-10-19
Remastered 'Divine Miss M' out Oct. 21 2016-10-19
BENT NIGHTS Tim Cain; The Seth Bogart Show 2016-10-18
Entertainment news: Miley Cyrus, TransNation, 'Prince Charming,' Whitney Houston 2016-10-18
Troye Sivan in Chicago Nov. 1 2016-10-12
Entertainment: Wonder Woman, 'Horror Story,' Samira Wiley, Jared Leto 2016-10-11
NUNN ON ONE: MUSIC Rachael Yamagata engages in 'Girl' talk 2016-10-11
Animated film on America's first mass school shooting at Music Box 2016-10-11
Garland, Minnelli tribute Oct. 9 2016-10-06
Ear Taxi Festival on Oct. 5-10 2016-10-05
Entertainment news: Broadway stars, Michelle Rodriguez, Lil Wayne, 'Drag Race' 2016-10-04
BENT NIGHTS Yoko and the Oh No's; Atta Boi 2016-10-04
Aurora gets tax credit for arts center 2016-09-28
NUNN ON ONE Actor/musician David Pevsner shows versatility 2016-09-28
Hip-hop and LGBTQs: The intersectionality of two communities 2016-09-28
Dancing About Architecture: Someone special on your twelve-inch 2016-09-28
MUSIC Bloc Party talks group dynamics, coming out 2016-09-27
Susan Werner kicks off Auditorium's season 2016-09-26
Garland, Minnelli Palladium concert tribute Oct. 9 2016-09-22
Musician/ex-pro athlete Sami Grisafe talks Etheridge, Trump, Clinton 2016-09-21
Second Bowie box set out Sept. 23 2016-09-21
David Pevsner releases CD 2016-09-21
Entertainment news: Lady Gaga, Lance Bass, Alexis Arquette, Zayn Malik 2016-09-21
BENT NIGHTS The Hideout's 20th-anniversary reunion 2016-09-20
Lady Gaga to release fifth studio album 2016-09-19
Academy's AIDS benefit Sept. 23-24 2016-09-14
Entertainment: Megan Rapinoe, Sia, Neil Patrick Harris, 'Jersey Boys' 2016-09-13
NUNN ON ONE: MUSIC Fitz and the Tantrums' Jeremy Ruzumna on the band, Morrissey 2016-09-13
NUNN ON ONE: MUSIC Dua Lipa will 'Blow Your Mind' 2016-09-13
BENT NIGHTS Andrew Bird; Evasive Backflip 2016-09-13
BENT NIGHTS Linda Clifford; Seal 2016-09-07
Trevor event Sept. 16 at Kimpton Gray 2016-09-07
'Matthew Shepard' music CD out Sept. 9 2016-09-07
Entertainment news: Melissa Etheridge, Matt Bomer, Sam Smith, Dolly Parton 2016-09-06

Copyright © 2016 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.








About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.
[email protected]  •  [email protected]  •  [email protected]

Website Powered by