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



BENT NIGHTS The Bribes; George Clinton and Parliament/Funkadelic
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Vern Hester

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

The adage "Absence makes the heart grow fonder" couldn't have been more apt for Chicago ex-pat Philip Toscano, who dropped quietly into town to play a one-off gig with his much-loved band, The Bribes.

As an outfit who have defied easy categorization, mixing blues, rock and jazz into a creamy mix, The Bribes' show at The Hideout Inn on Jan. 13 came as something of a shock. I've written a great deal about Toscano's fleet guitar playing, but this time—with an unexpected shift in the dynamic of the group—it was clear that Chicago missed more than a great musician when Toscano booked to San Francisco over a year ago.

For starters, there was the absence of bassist Bryan Purcell, who—along with drummer Joe Blickenov and, to a lesser extent, keyboard player Glad Matt—created a subtle framework surrounding Toscano's stinging licks. On first seeing them, the three of them looked like Toscano's backup band but that was clearly misleading after hearing their recorded output. Purcell, Blickenov and Matt had a precise, low-key cohesion that gave the group a studied chemistry and a haunting gentleness. Here in Purcell's place was Seth Adams, whose playing, along with Blickenov, gave The Bribes a rack of muscles that, although not better or worse than the original version, gave them a blunt edge. Better still was hearing Toscano's vocals after all this time and I realized how much I missed his silken croon and gentle growl.

What the packed Hideout crowd got was a virtual buffet of surprises. Original member Andy Flores popped in for a stroll through the Kinks' chestnut "Sunny Afternoon," which set this punchier version of the band on a new track. "Old Man Trouble," "You in Mind" and "Goodnight to the Cry Baby" had a raw smack that made them jump. Matt's key work wafted though the set like a gentle breeze, but Blickenov and Adams clearly enjoyed injecting some unexpected punch into the set. The kicker of the night came with a fiery "Garbage In, Garbage Out" which clearly delighted the SOS crowd and gave Toscano an excuse to let loose. In an hilarious turn of events this furious hard blues song was cut off by the arrival of hordes of smooching couples as The Hideout's Chances Dances hootenanny kicked in. It couldn't be called an appropriate finish but it was just as memorable as everything that came before.

On a far less restrained note, George Clinton and Parliament/Funkadelic took over Thalia Hall on Jan. 31 to kick off "The Mardi Gras Madness Tour." Although Clinton seems to drop into town every year like the anti-Santa Claus, the excitement of this sold-out show was the impending release of Parliament's first album in close to 40 years. In typical fashion, though, Clinton ( who is now 76 ) didn't fiddle with his proven formula and largely repeated most of last year's show without sampling much of the new Medicaid Fraud Dog ( which is in the mixing stage and purportedly features Sly Stone, Pee Wee Ellis and Junie Morrison ). To be honest, none of that mattered much when you realize that under the shadow of the presidential election two years ago, P-Funk shows have seamlessly morphed into explosive primal celebrations.

Hearing the slew of hits piled up high and served with extra juice at Thalia Hall ( yes, this venue for this particular show was a stroke of genius ) with all the carnival madness, joy and hilarity of a kindergarten class on power drinks is pretty much like a big beaming blast of summer sunshine to dispel the dog day winter blahs. At this point you couldn't complain about hearing a streaming mix of the same old classics ( "Tear the Roof Off the Sucker," "Cholly ( Funk Getting Ready to Roll )," "One Nation Under A Groove," "Not Just Knee Deep," "Flashlight," "Uncle Jam," "Atomic Dog" ) or the lack of new jams ( only "I'm Gonna Make You Sick O Me" from the new album got a late set airing ) or that Sir Nose d'Voidoffunk made his customary appearance and boogied while he did handstands or that Clinton and his army of singers got goofy with some unexpected choreography.

What was really intoxicating is how Clinton—as bandleader, producer, clown, singer and, in this case, carnival barker—has taken musical idioms ( avant-garde jazz by way of Sun Ra, hard rock by way of Jimi Hendrix, overt African musical influences, '50s sci-fi movie themes and even nursery rhymes ), morphed them into a tribal hodgepodge, refitting them as funk that is clearly intended to be lived rather than listened to. Sure, P-Funk begs for scientific study while kidding itself and the listener silly, but who else on the planet has made a 50-year career out of creating such delirious joy? As Clinton told us in the 1970s, "Free your ass and your mind will follow."

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.


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.








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.