Mar 2024 15

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Given the film’s less-than-exceptional reputation, it’s impressive that Sweetie would admit to drawing inspiration from Paul Verhoeven’s lurid 1995 feature Showgirls for the band’s latest single and video… but then again, the Chicago-based lipstick punk act plays by its own rules, with “Showgirl” serving as the lead single from the band’s forthcoming second album. “At the time that I wrote the song, I was starting to feel the isolation and frustration that can come with being a performer,” states front woman and songwriter Birdy Vee, who points out parallels to a one-sided relationship, “You are putting your whole heart and all of your energy into this thing, pouring your guts out on stage, and then when it’s all over, what’s left?” Driven by her soulful and robust vocals and assertive guitars, and a strident rhythm section of upright bassist Joe Soldati and drummer Ryan G., the song is the band’s celebration of individual empowerment, the accompanying video directed by Shaman Goad – a.k.a. Sindy Vicious – mirroring themes of personal growth. With both Goad and Sweetie well known in the Chicago drag community, Vee explains that the song and video aims to amplify the the voices of “women, femmes, and thems” in the music industry; as such, the video release party for “Showgirl” – taking place tonight, March 15, at GMan Tavern in Chicago – will also feature fellow local band Shannon Candy, and drag performances by Lucille Faux Fur, Spencer Moneyyy, and the aforementioned Sindy Vicious. Sweetie’s sophomore album, La Vie en Rouge is expected to arrive this summer, following up on the band’s 2020 Bad Thing Sweet Thing debut.

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Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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