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 2018-05-23
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

BENT NIGHTS Rostam
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Vern Hester
2018-02-27

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Thirty-five years ago, the debut single of an unknown band called The Culture Club was delivered to radio programmers in a brown paper wrapper—lest the sight of a smartly coiffed drag queen offend the public.

Boy George and that song, "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?," were widely embraced but that couldn't prepare listeners for the current tsunami of gay vocalists on the airwaves. With gay men trilling their hearts out in every shape and flavor ( for genderfluid we have Ezra Furman, for androgynous we have Perfume Genius, for arch we have Tyler Glenn and for weepy we have Sam Smith ), it comes as something of a shock to get Rostam Batmanglij ( better known as Rostam ) and his relatively recent full-length, Half Light ( on Nonesuch Records ), as additions to the mix.

Rostam did not exactly come out of nowhere, being that he was a founding member, producer and co-writer of platinum darlings Vampire Weekend; has a degree in musical composition from Columbia University; and a slew of collaborations to his credit ( Discovery, Ra Ra Riot, Kid Cudi, Charli XCX, Simon Le Bon, Carly Rae Jepsen and Hamilton Leithauser ). For all of his subtly, gently rumpled demeanor and the promise of brilliance, he's even managed something quite shocking: presented his queerness without elaboration.

Actors Ben Whishaw and Zachery Quinto have smartly used the same approach by coming out and then refusing to kiss and tell, focusing the spotlight on their work. Rostam, on the other hand, has not only offered a glimpse of his personality but managed to use it like a shell game. Half Light, if anything, is a low-key, rumbling delight—an art-rock indie masterpiece without pretension and a whole lot of heart.

"Never Going to Catch Me" may be the most conventional song here, with its muted brittle percussion, sleek sheen and alluring melody, while "Don't Let it Get to You" hardly has a melody and largely works with Rostam's lazy cracked croon gliding over a bed of arid percussion and strings. "Rudy" reminded me of mid-period Paul Simon, with its conversational tone, until Rostam started playing with the song's structure giving it an improvisational and unexpected finish. As if all of that weren't enough, the single "Bike Dream"—which, at first, sounds like one long run on sentence—dovetails into a shimmering bliss out of a song. It's wordy, sweet, uncynical and addictive, to a fault.

In front of a packed room for a sold out show at Lincoln Hall on Feb. 10, Rostam managed the feat of not only reproducing and elaborating on High Light, but charming the bejesus out of his audience. If anything, he looks like a cuddly college student ( it was no wonder that there was a group of seasoned bears front-row center ); though he exuded shyness, that didn't stop him from cracking jokes while astounding the room. Fronting a four-piece string section and a lone percussionist ( Rostam picked up his guitar on occasion ) "Never Going to Catch Me" and "Bike Dream" had a shimmering elegance that made them otherworldly. "Rudy" and "It's Not My Fault," a dip into the Discovery discography, came with a degree of brittle aggression that hinted at what the future could suggest.

The rumor was that one of the reasons that Rostam left Vampire Weekend was that he preferred being a studio mouse over touring. At the mid-point of his set it was clear that he was having a problem hiding his smile, debunking that rumor.

Heads up: In case you missed the act last year, queer country pioneers Lavender Country will hit The Hideout for a show on April 26.


facebook twitter pin it 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

House-music fest May 26 in Chicago 2018-05-23 - The Chicago House Music Festival will take place Saturday, May 26, 1-9 p.m., at the Millennium Park's Jay Pritzker Pavilion. Throughout the day, ...


Gay News

'Queer Eye' co-host helps Lowe's, GE roll out product line 2018-05-22 - Design specialist and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy star Bobby Berk pulled into Chicago on May 16 to help Lowe's Home Improvement/Hardware ...


Gay News

BENT NIGHTS Andrew W.K. 2018-05-22 - Up until last year, I found it extremely difficult to take rocker Andrew Fetterly Wilkes-Krier—otherwise known as Andrew W.K.—seriously. I had seen ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Donald Glover, Adore Delano, Jason Statham, Jennifer Aniston 2018-05-22 - Donald Glover has backed suggestions that his Star Wars character is pansexual—despite a reported zero same-sex interactions on screen, according to PinkNews. Fans ...


Gay News

OUT AND PROUD! A Rainbow Celebration with Melissa Young June 3 2018-05-17 - Melissa Young's tour of the LGBTQ movement through song and comedy returns with a little help from Chicago's best Cabaret stars at the ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Flies! The Musical! 2018-05-16 - Playwright: Cindy O'Connor ( music ), Larry Todd Cousineau ( book and lyrics ) At: Pride Films and Plays at The Broadway, Pride ...


Gay News

Taste of Chicago headliners announced 2018-05-16 - Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the City of Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events ( DCASE ) have announced the full music ...


Gay News

Friends to host benefit for acclaimed songwriter Marsha Malamet in LA 2018-05-15 - Clifford Bell, Hillary Rollins and Lampkin Music Group present: "Love Don't Need a Reason: A Benefit for Marsha Malamet" on Tuesday, May ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Charlize Theron, Mapplethorpe, Karamo Brown, ABBA 2018-05-15 - On Watch What Happens Live, Charlize Theron confirmed that an Atomic Blonde 2 is in development, Deadline noted. The Academy Award-winning actress simply ...


Gay News

SUMMER MUSIC PREVIEW Chicago to host Janelle, Sam Smith and much more 2018-05-15 - Chicago is heating up in the next few months, with tons of concerts coming to town, including outdoor festivals featuring multiple musicians for ...


 



Copyright © 2018 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
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

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.