I love Glee and I don’t care who knows about it! As you might expect with a tv show that is one part teen angst and one part cover band, there is constant controversy for how the covers add up to the originals. Some of them are too different to be compared, some are improved upon and some are simply lacking. I’ll let you run the score card. The following are some of my favorite Glee songs back to back with their inspirations.
It’s one thing to have favorite artists that you listened to when you were a kid but I have a soft spot for those songs that swept the nation for reasons unknown and disappeared just as suddenly. Green Day’s Dookie or Jock Jams (two of my favorite albums) are soundtracks for a generation but it’s the one hit wonders that are a sign of a moment in time. Here is a list of “I totally forgot about that song!” songs and a tribute to “Remember whens.”
Chumbawumba — Tubthumping
Red Nex — Cotton Eye Joe
Dna ft. Suzanne Vega — Toms Diner
Lou Bega — Mambo #5
Marcy’s Playground — Sex and Candy
Reel Big Fish — She Has A Girlfriend Now
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones — The Impression That I Get
The section is called “Happnings” and it covers a mixture of live shows from music to theater, movies, festivals, books and whatever random happening I happen upon. Although not strictly based in Chicago, that’s where I hear about the most interesting things. If you’re interested in submitting something, send me an email at email@example.com.
NO FATS, NO FEMMES: Tales of Dialing-Up, Coming Out & Getting Off. This is Tim Paul. This is Tim Paul’s one man show.
Mr. Paul has conceived, written and performed in several original shows at the Annoyance Theatre and is no stranger to Second City. While he’s bored, Tim also has acted, written, taught, and improvised with Improv Asylum’s Main Stage (Boston). As the tag-line describes, this will be a night of dialing up, coming out and getting off. As Tim describes, “I’m doing some solo stuff on Sunday nights, would love for you to come grab a drink and watch me. Maybe more if we hit it off? 420 friendly. I prefer Str8 acting audience members who are height/weight proportionate. I’m looking for some NSA word of mouth, no reciprocation. 26, 6’4, 195, jock type – UB2.” At $10 a ticket the show is on Sundays at 9:30pm from July 24th to August 28th at The Annoyance Theater. You will definitely laugh and cry as we all know one day we too will be in a similar situation.
Live at the Beauty Bar the SALONATHON is back and there is more ATHON in the SALON! I got a chance to see their last show and it was terrific, Jane Beachy curates the show and she has an amazing eye for entertainment and the strange.
This show is all about featuring performances you will not find anywhere else. The SALONATHON thrives on supporting the emerging, underground, and inventive creation of new art in the surrounding Chicago areas. It’s every Monday and the next show is 9pm Monday, July 25th. The line up for the evening will be Daan, The Puterbaugh Sisterz, Kortland Chase as Grades, Kyle Casey, Chris Baronner, Paulette and Joan, and more! Be sure to get there at 8pm for the HOSTED bar. RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org with SALONATHON in the subject line and your name in the body of the email. (Must RSVP to that address by 5pm Monday in order to access the hosted bar) This is one place you will never get sick of visiting.
Do you feel like you are missing some information about where to find more lesbian things to do? Look no further. I have got a hot website for you to visit. At thelspot.org you will find options for the lesbian in you or the lesbian friend you want to get to know. It is your one stop spot for a variety of things. For instance a dear friend and someone I have co-produced shows with Alma Izquierdo has a ‘Ask Alma’ section in thelspot where you can ask her anything or just view questions and answers she has given LGBTQISA people from all over. This website truly is a resource for things like support, events, building your community, blogs and more! If you are reading this I’m sure you have a minute to go check it out. It will quickly become one of your favorite websites to visit.
MEET THE BIG DIPPER!
I got the chance to see an amazing performance of this song at the last Salonathon (see above) and it rocked. Big Dipper, otherwise known as Dan Stermer of Double DJ fame and awesomeness, is going solo! With “April Shower,” a track produced by DAAN’s Dan Foley, Dipper wants to make a music video–with you! That’s right, Chicago’s very own Queer Rapper is raising money online at kickstarter.com for his first music video. From the preview, we can tell that Dipper has chosen an amazingly talented director in Tobin Del Cuore. This website makes it easy to donate money for creative projects. Be sure to watch the video and donate to the artist known as Big Dipper! They need your support to make the rest of this video happen.
My June music playlist this month reflects my birthday so it should reek of self reflection and direction. Even more than everything else I do. Enjoy!
Brendan Benson–What I’m Looking For. I found this song on a cute boy’s myspace page that I used to stalk. This was, (when did people use myspace?) like 5 years ago. So everytime I’d go on his page, this song would cue up. That being said, it has been my birthday anthem all week. To me, the song is all about not being afraid to enter things naively.
Anna Nalick – Consider This. Angry and self-assured. Usually these two don’t go together well but I really enjoy this style. It reminds me of Fiona Apple meets old-school No Doubt. What resonates most with me is the “If you’re trying to change me” repetition. It’s like a sarcastic way to say, “I wouldn’t if I were you, it won’t work so don’t waste both our time.”
Lily Frost — Enchantment. “I’ll be a lady if you be a gentleman” is such a great lyric. This folk-pop song is so self-aware, I love it. It’s making fun of whimsical fantastical romantic expectations with a sardonic sneer.
The Weepies — Nobody Knows Me At All. The sadder part of the birthday realizations–self pity. I know that everyone feels a little bit lonely on their bday but I thought this was a sweet way to put it.
Matt Costa — Mr. Pitiful. A very cute song and an even cuter music video. This guy is dorky in all the sexiest ways.
MIA — Come Around. I’ve never been one to jump on the MIA bandwagon but I love the shit out of this song.
Sneaky Sound System — We Love. It’s just a fun song, what do you want from me?
Peaches — Hit It Hard. A great fusion of electronica and grunge and great soundtrack for dancing.
Die Antwoord — Rich Bitch. I changed my mind, can this song be my birthday anthem instead? No? OK, fine, here’s to the next year…
In the last “Summer Loving” I announced some of the shows I’m starting this Summer including OutLoud Chicago presents… Barefoot Ballad with Diva Kai. Above is the official flier courtesy Erin Nekervis photography and Like Moyd graphic design. As always, save that date (July 12th.) I will try to get some pre-sale incentives for cheaper tickets and let you know asap.
The following are some awesome things I’ve been lucky enough to come across and wanted to share with you.
First off, an amazing show from a fantastic and talented person that I try to book as often as possible in my shows. The Mo Show–a variety show that focuses on comedy, videos, music and circus acts. If that sounds like a weird combination it’s because it is created by the girl behind “Weird Girl: A One Human Show” Mo Welch. This show was previously hosted in a loft space and always sold out. It makes its triumphant return June 5th at The Annoyance Theater 4830 N Broadway, 9:30pm.
Next up, another Chicago-born project but this one can be enjoyed worldwide over the interwebs. Meet Chicago IRL–a magazine that focuses on the activities and happenings of Chicago queer life. The first issue is available online and in select stores in Chicago. As an added incentive to purchasing early, some treats are available such as this custom-made floral lace jockstrap:
In the first issue, they feature an interesting mix of subject matter from gender identity, female empowerment through erotica, radical queer theory and body positivity. Future issues will consistently feature Chicago queer life through collaborations, themes and events.
It has been a few weeks since I’ve updated my site. I don’t think anyone is holding their breath for my latest posts but I do apologize for not staying consistent. I can’t go into too many details just yet but I’ll just say this… there’s a lot of amazing stuff coming up and I’ve been a busy, busy boy making sure this Summer is filled with amazingness. Expect a full disclosure within the week. And without even further delay, here’s my May music picks.
Persephone’s Bees – Nice Day. This song has been on instant replay in my head this week. With the beautiful days we’ve been having, every time I get a chance to sit outside and read or eat and drink on a patio… “It’s a nice day; it’s a nice day.”
Coconut Records – It’s Not You It’s Me. The playful back and forth nature of this song shows an awareness to petty breakups that I find really fun. Some might say that overwrought hesitation is hard to convey but they should listen to this song.
The Kooks – She Moves In Her Own Way. A smart, uncomplicated love song. Yes, please and thank you, much.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Cheated Hearts. Um, I like this song.
Devendra Barnhart – Feel Just Like A Child. Such a sexy voice and the lyrics are sarcastically delicious. Most people who say you’re acting like a child want you to stop and start acting like an adult but the song indulges the accusation with demanding to be treated like a child if you are treating me like a child.
Carlos Bertonatti – Perfect Picture. Sweet and simple.
Faded Paper Figures – North by North. When you think of duets, you don’t think of sweet and subtle electronic diddies. This song reminds me of She & Him meets Spoon. I’ve always liked the two respectively but never imagined a harmonious fusion of their two styles. I stand corrected.
Abba – Take A Chance On Me. Not gonna lie, I don’t know much about Abba. However, I saw Mama Mia with my mom recently (too embarrassing to be made up) and loved this song. I looked up the original and thought it was just as incredible if not incredibler.
Doobie Brothers – Black Water. I built a Pandora station off of this song and I named it after my favorite radio station growing up in Norwalk, Iowa, “93.3 KIOA.” (I think it was KIOA, but who knows?) It was an oldies station that played songs like this one, Credence Clearwater Revival and Three Dog Night. This song was the missing key to give my Pandora station the programming to emulate my favorite oldies radio station growing up.
Lady Gaga – Hair. From her start, Gaga was called the “master of the hook” with catchy, repetitive lyrics. But I think this song is an example of how her hooks have less to do with lyrics and more to do with the melody. I know I’m always shouting her praise but I think this song would have done well on 93.3, not because it sounds like an oldie but because it sounds like a classic.
Here are my music picks for April. I do one a month. And if you think I might like a song, (even if it’s yours,) totes leave me a comment suggesting it.
Bruno Mars – Marry You. Is this a strange song for a gay man to adore? Mayhaps. But the gays have had to fight for the right to marry so the romantic message to this song far exceed the lyrics. And when looking up this song, I found this cute fan-tribute by a directing student. Check it out, yo.
Ratatat – Seventeen Years. Let’s get dirty, eh? God this song hurts so good–can you feel that? I’m no music expert but if I were to describe this song, I’d say it had a dirty bass line. I came across it on my carefully sculpted “Matt & Kim” Pandora station (add variety: The Blow, Duck Sauce) and fell in love. And check out the video: hidden message? I’d say so.
Architecture In Helsinki – Heart It Races. I totally came late to the party regarding ‘AIR. All my cool friends have been trying to put me onto it. You ever catch yourself saying, “Oh yeah, I’ve heard about them” and get deja vu? Well, cool friends, I finally got onto it. And I’m loving it.
Jessie J ft B.o.B. — Price Tag. This chick is crazy in all the smartest ways. Her voice has such power yet it’s so interestingly nuanced. And, if that isn’t enough, she’s got an over-the-top visceral charm to get her voice noticed. I read up on her and she had a record deal a bit ago and it fell through. I can only assume that what we’re seeing/hearing is her having some time to think about how to re-approach the biz. The more I’m in the biz, the more I realize it isn’t about the talent or the image or the right place and right time–it’s about the talent AND the image AND the right place and time. Ask me, I think we can look forward to hearing a lot from this beauty in the very near future.
Cazwell – Get My Money Back. Big fan of this guy–super talented and super sweetheart. I loved hearing that this song was being made into a music video because when I saw him last year, he was pondering it. “I think this could be a music video” he said. I agreed. And he made it. COINCIDENCE? Yes, yes it is a coincidence. The costumes fit his personality too, it reminds me of a conversation I had with him about how the music industry is moving down a direction of not taking itself too seriously.
College Boyys — Footwork. Something that constantly surprises friends new and old: I live for fancy footwork. Here’s a sampling of what I mean–take notes.
Big Freedia — Y’all Get Back Now. You want to see a side of me that most closely resembles an epileptic seizure than a dance? Put on this song. That’s why I love them DJs who are ON on those off nights because I gots to haz room to dance.
Chrissy Murderbot and Nick C – Jungle Inferno. Here is some Chicago love for footwork. I was at a music video shoot of Murderbot once and I think my shoulder actually made it’s way into the final cut. Which video? You know, I’m not sure? But he is an awesome dude (and has an awesome gf) and hosts an amazing footwork party at Beauty Bar called “Loose Squares” and it’s choice.
Beyonce — Get Me Bodied. OK, OK, my favorite footwork song is Janelle Monae’s Tightrope but I already featured her in a previous music playlist. So my second runner up is this gem. I listen to this song probably once a day–not even joking.
Janelle Monae – Tightrope. Fuck you, I do what I want. (It’s a remix so it totally isn’t a repeat.)
Jamaroquai–Canned Heat. Ever have a song follow you? This is one of my all-time fave songs to get me in a better mood but I don’t have it on my ipod and haven’t thought to listen to it in a while. Well, in the last week alone, I’ve heard it like five times. Coincidence? OR FATE?
Steel Lord — 123 If You Want Me. Via one of my favorite dj’s dinner party. After dinner, he began playing some of his new favorite songs on his laptop hooked up to the sound system in his living room. It was a lot like being out at a night he is dj-ing, except with chicken pasta. And it was delicious.
Donora — I Think I Like You. Innocent and fun, this indie-feeling jam is full of light-hearted heart. And the video is fun too! Thanks to my Matt & Kim Pandora station.
Nikka Costa — Everybody Got Their Something. Another song that has been following me. If my relation with her was a missed connection, it would be “I keep seeing you around and never have the nerve to ask you out. Do you feel the same way?” Nikka is one of those artists I always wanted to get more into but keep forgetting. Her voice is unique and her production is a fun homage to funk. I’m in.
Zach Blew — Videophone (cover.) Chicago, in the house! One of my pals sings this cover acapella, using his voice to make the instrumentation and singing over his own recording to create the sound of the original song. Not gonna lie, pretty sexy voice too. I’ve told him before, he’s got that Amos Lee (see below) bass that makes my heart go boom-boom.
Rufus Wainwright — Instant Pleasure. One of my all-time fave songs. On my 20th bday, I went to a Rufus concert with a boy he was dating at the time. We were playing Rufus there and back and this song came on and I proclaimed, “This is my favorite Rufus song!” And then realized the implications of singing along to a song about someone not wanting love next to someone who was dating the artist. My b! But it’s not even about that! It’s a snarky look at people’s fickle outlook toward happiness.
Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros – Home. Such a fun and sexy indie folk song. I love how they can be saying such simple, loving things and it sounds so hip and sexy. Also, something interesting is how it’s not a love proclamation so much as it is a conversation about the two about their love. In different parts they sing to each other, respond or sing along.
Lenka — The Show. Life is a show, you don’t have to be a producer to see the similarities. We create and present, all while playing our part. But it helps to be a producer to appreciate the end “I want my money back, I want my money back–just enjoy the show.”
Amos Lee – All My Friends. Chills. Chills! “All my friends… got broken wings. ‘Never hear them ask why- the caged bird sings.” Everything from the wise lyrics, the beautiful melody to the sexy guitar strumming gives me goosebumps. And not the kind from RL Stine.
Kayne West–Dark Fantasy. I have Kayne’s back. And not in a “fishsticks” kind of way, either. I mean he is a great example of Chicago artistry. Like Tina Fey and many others who came up here and moved away–he’s demonstrative of how much harder Chicago artists have to fight to get to the mainstream. Although the battles differ, the results are always the same–artists leave Chicago as one-man armies. You can’t JUST be ridiculously talented, you have to be business savvy and able to produce yourself. I don’t see this as a detriment or excuse to flee for the coasts. I see this as a challenge.
Janelle Monae — Locked Inside. OK, I’m hooked. I love this girl. I had her on heavy replay before but after I was gifted both albums from my brother, my love for her is unrelenting. There are some choice tracks on the album that people know (Tightrope, Cold War) but I wanted to feature one of my new favorites. I love how this dances between funk and disco so gracefully and even though the song has no slow-down, it carries an amazing narrative and social commentary. I’m amazed. Nobody in the industry is making cerebral music this approachable. Kudos, Janelle. Also, have my baby?
Matt and Kim–Cameras. This song is what settled it for me. After I heard it, I searched for more songs from the band and realized I know all of their singles. My favorite story is my friend who requested it once. She asked me to request the “nightmare” song. I told her to request it her damn self! She went up and came back defeated. “He didn’t know what song I meant.” I was like, “Well, what song is it?” And she sang the melody and chorus and I told her, “Oh, that song, go sing it to him.” She didn’t. But “Good Old Fashioned Nightmare” is officially her song when we go out. And Cameras was the song that helped me realize, I know a shit-ton about Matt and Kim and love everything I’ve heard.
The Blow–Hey Boy. Am I new? This lady is awesome, where did she she come from? I think she’s great and not just because she used to go under the moniker “Get the Hell Out of the Way of the Volcano” but it helped.
The Black Keys — Tighten Up. Soul… meet fun. And the video maintains the partnership brilliantly.
White Town–Your Woman. Throwback. But doesn’t it fit on this mix nicely? I can’t speak for you but when I heard it randomly the other day, I had a great “ah ha!” and jumped at the chance to listen to it again and again. And again.
Bitter:Sweet–Dirty Laundry. It’s like lounge music is salsa dancing with jazz! What a fucking sexy song, right? The lyrics stick with you, they are simple but delivered with such sultry elegance ,”Ooo, what’s the fun in playing safe? Ooo wouldn’t you rather misbehave?” I don’t know why but I imagine Jessica Rabbit singing this song. Thoughts?
Scissor Sisters–Invisible Light. I’ve been a Scissor Sister for years but I didn’t recognize the song when it got released as a club hit. It’s always such a great feeling when a band is trying new things and you think “Hey, I like this, who is it?” and you find it’s one of your favorite bands. And they’re coming to Chicago! Excited to see them again, they’re amazing live and totally cool folks too. And the official after party is at my favorite haunt, Berlin nightclub. One of my all-time favorite djs is spinning for the night, Sammy Jo. His event at Mr. Black was always one of my favorite things to do in New York and I’m blessed that he’s getting to Chicago more and more often.
Lady Gaga — Born This Way. Speaking of the Scissor Sisters, guess who they are opening for? Thash right, bishes, Gaga. I know I just posted about Gaga this week with her new single but I’ve been disappointed by some of the gay community reactions to the song and I wanted to speak on it. First, the song is inspired by them and it seems that a lot of the community react to it by being poisonous and catty. I’ve never known a minority group to be so self-hating. How many black people hated on black artists when they were fighting for basic human rights? I firmly believe Lady Gaga is one of the most entertaining artists in the music industry and on top of that, she is choosing to fight for gay rights over and over again. I’m not saying everyone should implicitly love her music, everyone has a type, but such public animosity for an artist that chooses to fight for you is just distasteful.
Also, incidentally, Lady Gaga on America’s pedestal complex.
Hole–Celebrity Skin. Throooooowback. And loving it.
Cee Lo Green–Fuck You. Usually I don’t usually like negative songs about being mad at a former lover. But not gonna lie, this song puts me in a better mood. It’s a “love lost” song, for sure. And bitter, without a doubt. But there’s something here that makes it less cliched and more innovative. The Mo Town feel makes it more light-hearted and even though it has a harsh title, it’s easy to see he’s not mourning the loss. He’s reflecting and he’s glad that he wasn’t able to follow through because he ended up being better for it. That’s a “love lost” song I can buy into.
Marina And The Diamonds–I Am Not A Robot. This has kind of been my anthem for the month. I’ve had a lot of dramatic ups and downs. Some great news and some harsh reality served back to back all week. And, as most of my friends know, I’m pretty hard on myself about things that don’t go well. I’m a perfectionist and a control freak to a fault. This song has helped me out by gaining some perspective.
All of the interwebs were aflutter this morning as Lady Gaga’s new song was released. The amazing business woman that she is, she previewed it live while winning an award a few months ago and has since encouraged others to join her in the countdown to its release. Under this kind of pressure, it’s a miracle if the song doesn’t implode. But, somehow, she pulled it off. Take a listen.
Gee, I wonder who she is talking about when she says “Born This Way?” Everybody knows how much Lady Gaga loves the gays and I genuinely believe it. Unlike some divas who don’t agree with the gay lifestyle but love the gay money, Lady Gaga has surrounded herself with fabulous gay men her whole career. Although her bisexual ways reek of sensation, I do believe she loves the gay community. What I want to hear is which gay men have affected her life. I think that would be an amazing story to tell to better connect to the gay community but also to humanize the gay lifestyle to mainstream culture.
As far as the song. It’s a self identity anthem which I am always skeptical about. Pink’s anthems have a facade of being independent but it always has undertones of separatism (underdog vs popular) and I like how Born This Way seems to be a positive song without being negative toward other groups. As far as the melody, it is reminiscent of Madonna’s “Express Yourself” but not so much that I’d think it was a steal. It’s also a departure from her grungy Manson feel from Fame Monster and seems to be closer in tone to 90s pop ala Paula Abdul, Janet Jackson. Is this a trend that will be appear throughout her album? I hope so.
It’s going to be EVERYWHERE for the foreseeable future. And you know what, if everyone is singing along to a song that is this uplifting, I don’t have any complaints.
Bad Behavior has blocked 191 access attempts in the last 7 days.