Windy City Media Group Frontpage News Home
CELEBRATING 28+ YEARS OF Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender NEWS

Search Gay News Articles
Advanced Search
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2014-04-16
Download Issue
  News Index       Archives   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds   AIDS @ 32
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime

Proposal marks Dance of the Western Suburbs Proposal marks Dance of the Western Suburbs
The women behind the Dance of the Western Suburbs saved the day ...

Browse Gay News Index   Browse Gay News Archives
  Windy City Times

Pop Making Sense
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by David Byrne
2013-01-01

facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email

Bettye LaVette


For me, 2012 will be remembered as the year that Whitney Houston and Donna Summer passed away. Favorites returned with new material and newcomers showed promise while radio overplayed the same songs. Let's hope "Gangnam Style" will fizzle out of our consciences shortly, just as "Macarena" did about 16 years ago.

There were many great albums in 2012, including those by Bettye LaVette, Heart, Jinx Titanic and the Ladykillers, Kylie Minogue, Madonna, Neon Trees and School of Seven Bells. But the one that remains my favorite throughout the year is Joan Osborne's Grammy-nominated Bring It on Home. Here, the "One of Us" singer seamlessly remakes blues and soul classics like Ray Charles's "I Don't Need No Doctor" and Otis Redding's "Champagne and Wine." The other top contenders are Ruthie Foster's folk meets blues outing Let It Burn and Meshell Ndegeocello's tribute to Nina Simone, Pour une Ame Souveraine.

Graffiti6 and Dead Sara both had promising debuts. The former toured heavily to promote Colours, while the latter performed at Riot Fest and on JBTV before being selected as Muse's upcoming opening band.

Once again, Chicago hosted many wonderful concerts. Madonna impressed me with her MDNA Tour. I caught Prince on the best night of his three-show run in Chicago. Garbage rocked the house at its sold-out date at The Metro. But I favored the more intimate performances by LaVette, Osborne, Ndegeocello and Foster. The one that rises above the others complete with storytelling, vocal talent, terrific material and humility is British newcomer Emeli Sande, who released her debut, Our Version of Events. How I wish I was able to see Minogue's limited Anti Tour and Bananarama's trek that raised awareness for breast cancer.

Last year, I saw three stage productions that were absolutely fantastic. Cyndi Lauper and Harvey Fierstein have a hit on their hands with the Broadway-bound Kinky Boots by blending memorable tunes with a fantastic set, loveable characters and a talented cast. The Black Ensemble Theater had a superb production about a singing competition that salutes R&B's divas with One Name Only. While at the Montreal International Jazz Festival, I saw The Devil's Music: The Life and Blues of Bessie Smith. This unforgettable four-person piece easily could translate onto the silver screen with Queen Latifah in the titular role.

The toughest challenge is selecting the year's best cover. There are so many notable remakes, such as Chromatics reworking of Neil Young's "(Hey Hey My My) Into the Black," Friend Slash Lover's take on XTC's "Dear God," LaVette's rendition of Gnarls Barkley's smash "Crazy," Macy Gray's futuristic spin on "Here Comes the Rain Again" by Eurythmics, Foster's remake of John Martyn's "Don't Want to Know" and Sinead O'Connor's version of "Queen of Denmark" by out artist John Grant. Ndegeocello trumps them all with her homage to the high priestess of soul, Pour une Ame Souveraine, which features Simone's signature "Feeling Good," the haunting "Either Way I Lose" and the seductive "Turn Me On."

Indie artists Angela McCluskey, Bananarama and Gliss released noteworthy EPs, but my favorite is The Grey Area by Friend Slash Lover. This six-track effort has the dreamy "Carry Your Weight" and the upbeat guitar-driven "As Seen on TV" and "S2PD HMN." The Grey Area is a perfect successor to the L.A.-based band's previous EP As American As Ones and Zeros.

Yes, bands still make music videos. The year's best is "Everybody Talks" by Neon Trees. Here, the camp clip has zombies preying at a drive-in theater, a nod to Psycho Beach Party. Other notable videos include Boy George's "Video Games," Ellie Goulding's ethereal "Anything Could Happen," Friend Slash Lover's "Unaware" that is filmed on an iPhone and Kylie Minogue's simple yet sensual "Flower."

The year's best remixes belong to Vanessa Daou. The sultry singer-songwriter culminated already existing remixes with new ones to make up the sensational Speak/Easy: The Moonshine Mixes (Joe Sent Me Revisited). These reinterpretations add a new perspective and depth to her opus Joe Sent Me. As a bonus, not all of these remixes are designed for the dancefloor.

Pnau found magic once Sir Elton John allowed the Australian duo to delve into his catalog. Here, Pnau samples the diva's vintage songs to come up with clever creations. The masterpiece from this outstanding collaboration is the uplifting "Good Morning to the Night."

The comeback of the year belongs to Garbage. After a timeout, the band returned in fine form with Not Your Kind of People and a tour loaded with hits.

JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound is the band I am most proud of. This local group was the sole focus on an entire episode of JBTV and had high-profile hometown shows the night before Thanksgiving and on New Year's Eve.

This year produced many hits I never want to hear again including fun.'s "We Are Young," Gotye's "Somebody I Used to Know" and Psy's "Gangnam Style." But the worst song of the year is "Scream & Shout" by Will.I.Am featuring Britney Spears. Just a tip to the multi-platinum producer: If you are working with a singer with minimal talent, don't enhance this by making her sound bored. I also am pretending that Mariah Carey never released the teaser track "Triumphant."

Somehow, I never grew tired of the unavoidable pop phenomenon "Call Me Maybe" by Carly Rae Jespen or its heartwarming videos on YouTube by various sport teams. Let's just see how I feel about this song sometime this year.

Tony Peregrin contributing


facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us 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.

DANCING ABOUT ARCHITECTURE 2014-04-16
Chicago's Half Way to Michfest Party April 26 2014-04-16
Boy George on St. Patrick's Day, Easter Lady Bunny 2014-04-16
Gay men's chorus to celebrate Broadway 2014-04-16
BENT NIGHTS Sharon Corr; Dum Dum Girls; Landmarks 2014-04-15
Five Worth Finding 2014-04-15
'This Is What It Feels Like' to be Armin van Buuren 2014-04-15
Frankie Knuckles memorial April 21 2014-04-14
Windy City Perf. Arts hosts 'To Russia with Love' 2014-04-11
Vicci Martinez performs in Chicago 2014-04-10
Lakeside Pride Symphonic Band plans British Invasion 2014-04-10
Etheridge to perform with Chicago Symphony Orchestra 2014-04-10
Gay men's chorus to celebrate Broadway 2014-04-09
Artemis Singers concert May 31 at Broadway United 2014-04-09
IPW's 'pow wow' has Janelle Monae, Jennifer Hudson 2014-04-09
Judging 'American Idol' with Keith Urban 2014-04-09
GLAAD to honor Laverne Cox; new 'Horror Story' details 2014-04-09
Tom Daley is gay, not bi; fun. joins LGBT-equality campaign 2014-04-09
Getting the 'what' on Betty Who 2014-04-09
Queer concert series starts April 9 in Chicago 2014-04-08
Sobule to release Dottie's Charms on Record Store Day 2014-04-08
Windy City Gay Idol kicks off 2014-04-07
Artemis Singers plans Feminist Mosaic Pride concert 2014-04-02
DANCING ABOUT ARCHITECTURE: I TURN (AND SPIN) TO YOU 2014-04-02
Against Me! performing in Palatine April 4 2014-04-02
CGMC to host 'Big Package Auction' April 5 2014-04-02
BENT NIGHTS The Neighbourhood (NBHD) at The Aragon 2014-04-01
YouTube star Hall on Beyonce, coming out, viral videos 2014-04-01
Ferrick, Vega at Old Town School of Music 2014-04-01
Frankie Knuckles, legendary DJ, dies 2014-03-31
Tegan and Sara take three Juno Awards, hit Chicago in June 2014-03-31
Queer Concert Series comes to Sidetrack April 9 2014-03-28
Chicago Gay Men's Chorus: Bouncing of the Walls concert 2014-03-26
Hannah Thomas: Out singer showcases voice in various genres 2014-03-26
Kreis among those up for Chicago music awards 2014-03-26
Female rapper to bring talents to Chicago 2014-03-26
Windy City Gay Idol kicks off 12th year 2014-03-26
Elton John movie in Chicagoland March 26 2014-03-26
TLC's Chilli gets CrazySexyCool 2014-03-26
Motown in Chi-town 2014-03-25





Copyright © 2014 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.

 

 

 



 

Gay-owned B&B offers warmth in Rogers Park
 
'This Is What It Feels Like' to be Armin van Buuren
 
BENT NIGHTS Sharon Corr; Dum Dum Girls; Landmarks
 
Pam Grier talks 'Dining Out For Life,' comic conventions
 
Boy George on St. Patrick's Day, Easter Lady Bunny
 
Windy City Times Current DownloadNightspots Current DownloadQueercast Current Download
Windy City Media Group BlogsJoin Our Email List!Donate Now



  News Index       Archives   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds   AIDS @ 32
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime



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      News Videos      Nightspots Videos      Entertainment Videos      Queercast Videos      Comedy Videos     
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.