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 2019-05-22
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



BENT NIGHTS: mtvghosts, Lincoln Durham
by Vern Hester

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

After watching them cut up onstage at last months Glitter Creeps blow-out at The Empty Bottle ( April 20 ), I still can't figure out local punk-poppers mtvghosts. Fronted by vocalist Donnie Love, who performs in drag ( well, he is pretty ), the band wallows in '60s pop while demonstrating a deft art-rock edge. I can't tell if this is meant as a joke or heady art, and I suspect this bunch likes it that way. The new CD Five 5ides of Time ( available on bandcamp ) didn't really clear things for me.

The opener, "Daylight on the Square," is awash in whooshes of OOOOOOOOOhs and AAAAAAAAhs, and sounds like a great vintage '60s summer single from The Association ( "Cherish," "Never My Love" ) or The Dave Clark Five ( "Happy Together" ). "Daylight" is sweet, goofy and innocent but "I'm Seeing Stars" takes all that fizz and turns it on its head. Worthy of oddball nut Ezra Furman, "Stars" is quirky, bouncy and engaging to a fault and calls to mind Paul Simon at his most playful ( "Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard," "Allergies" ). "Gypsy Diver"—which is catchy, melodious and airy—is really a wicked little joke. The song is not an actual song but a hook repeated like a loop, and it made me want to swat Love on his fanny for his impish mischief.

If the album comes off like something from another era, the band's onstage wallow in subversive comedy was for the here and now. Love flounced and frolicked about like an emancipated cheerleader but with deadpan, baby faced guitarist James Matkovich standing next to him, they looked quaint and absurd. As Love flashed his panties and whipped his hair back and forth, doing his best That Girl impersonation ( Marlo Thomas would have been envious ), Matkovich glared at the audience blankly while puckering up and providing those aforementioned AAAAAAAAhs. To say the least, mtvghosts are clearly the fun we did not have back in the 1960s.

At the opposite extreme, we have New Jersey-by-way-of-Texas rocker Lincoln Durham and his new album, Revelations of a Mind Unraveling ( Droog Records ). Where mtvghosts create music upholstered in soft billowing pop, Durham strips his blues/Appalacian-soul/rockabilly/roots rock down to a searing, stew of beat and breath.

As displayed by his packed show at Schuba's May 13 and the new album, Durham—who is essentially a one man band ( he accompanied himself on guitar, harmonica, and drums )—is all about unfussy uncomplicated big noise. With a voice like the crack of an old bullwhip dipped in whiskey, at first listen he sounds like the number-one candidate to write "The Great American Murder Ballad Songbook." After a look at his lyrics there is nothing so extreme, but his subjects tend to grapple with holding onto ones soul, facing down regret, and owning mistakes. In short, Revelations of a Mind Unraveling is not a pop lark for sissies.

"Suffer My Name" is the kind of barbed, unrefined white blues we rarely get anymore outside of John Hasbrouck or Honey Hole Johnson while "Bones" is so mournful and unadorned it sounds positively haunted. The kicker here is the hair-raising "Creeper"—with its tone of regret, emotional torture, redemption and an aura of heavy guilt reminiscent of the protagonist of the chestnut "The House of the Rising Sun." "I've been creeping in the shadows with the wretched and I've got to get away," Durham croons, but for all his bare-knuckled determination and manic flailing, he still sounds like a lost cause.

On stage at Schuba's, Durham kept things light by making merry in his intros. "This song is about lollipops and rainbows," he cracked before tearing into a ferocious take on "Bones," and he was right to do that. If Durham's music is hard edged and uncompromising watching him perform it is a trip in itself. Rail thin, dressed in black with his clothes hanging off his body, and crowned with a drooping Mohawk, Durham flung himself into each song with such feverish intensity that it was both compelling and off putting. Clearly this man is speaking for our troubled times, which is pretty disturbing in itself.

Heads up: Pioneering queer rockers Pansy Division play Schuba's, 3159 N. Southport Ave., for a 10 p.m. show with local faves Strawberry Jacuzzi opening Friday, May 20. Cathy Richardson hits City Winery, 1200 W. Randolph St., for a show on Friday, May 27, while Against Me!—fronted by trans woman Laura Jane Grace—will play The Metro, 3730 N. Clark St., on Sunday, June 19.

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

SHOWBIZ Matt Bomer, Megan Rapinoe, Tom Ford, MTV Awards, EBTG 2019-05-22 - Out actor Matt Bomer stars in the movie Papi Chulo, out June 7, a press release noted. The plot focuses on a newly ...

Gay News

WORLD Lyra McKee, controversial billboard, George Clooney, Chilean school 2019-05-22 - The detective leading the investigation into the murder of LGBT journalist Lyra McKee in Londonderry has called on the gunman to hand himself ...

Gay News

Sheila E., Jake Shears, Steve Grand part of Market Days 2019-05-22 - CHICAGO—The Northalsted Business Alliance ( NBA ) brings the beats to Boystown for this year's Northalsted Market Days, set for Aug. 10-11. The ...

Gay News

Jake Shears, Sheila E., Steve Grand part of 2019 Market Days lineup 2019-05-21 - CHICAGO—The Northalsted Business Alliance ( NBA ) brings the beats to Boystown for this year's Northalsted Market Days, set for Aug. 10-11. The ...

Gay News

Award-winning Songwriter, LGBTQ Activist Justin Tranter Gives Back To Alma Mater 2019-05-17 - When Justin Tranter was a student at The Chicago Academy for the Arts, they started an AIDS benefit, a student-run variety show that ...

Gay News

Megan Hilty sings Smash hits at the Goodman gala 2019-05-15 - Tony Award nominee Megan Hilty has had some unforgettable performances in the past with Glinda the Good Witch in Wicked and as Doralee ...

Gay News

Cirque du Soleil to perform at Soldier Field 2019-05-14 - Tuesday, May 14 — Chicago, IL — To mark the arrival of Cirque du Soleil's latest spellbinding production, VOLTA, in Chicago, more than ...

Gay News

THEATER August Rush: The Musical 2019-05-13 - Book & Lyrics: Glen Berger; Music & Lyrics: Mark Mancina. At: Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena August Rush: The Musical is ...

Gay News

Actress Doris Day dies at 97 2019-05-13 - Iconic actress and longtime animal-rights activist Doris Day has died at 97, media outlets reported. USA Today noted that Day became a touchstone ...

Gay News

Chicago Gay Men's Chorus to present Stonewalled: 50 Queer Years May 17-19 2019-05-10 - CHICAGO, May 9, 2019 — Chicago Gay Men's Chorus presents their annual spring show Stonewalled: 50 Queer Years. The show will be performed ...


Copyright © 2019 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 publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.