Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Shameless groupie

I don't go to a lot of big-name (or even small-name) concerts. But I always make a point to see Chanticleer when it's in town—especially its annual so-amazing-it-should-be-illegal Christmas concert every December in Chicago's soaring Fourth Presbyterian Church.

Mom is also a fan, and since she was here during this year's concert, she gladly joined Matthew and me last night for yet another stunning kickoff to a joyous holiday season.

Named for the "clear-singing" rooster in Chaucer's impenetrable Canterbury Tales, Chanticleer is a 12-voice a cappella men's ensemble out of San Francisco that is equally comfortable (and virtuosic) singing early plainsong, Renaissance motets, jazz, gospel and even 20th century atonal compositions. Its singers have lush, gorgeous voices that can raise the roof on solos and then blend seamlessly with the ensemble to produce a hauntingly pure, clear choral sound.

In addition to being perhaps the best choral organization of its kind, Chanticleer also provides some fabulous eye candy, including this new guy, who's so handsome and well-groomed and who has such a gorgeous voice you just hope know he's gay popular at parties. There's also this guy, whose bio mentions Iowa and the Golden Gate Men's Chorus—which is code for gay accomplished singer—so I wrote him an endlessly clever fan email after last year's concert, but he never wrote back. Harumph. There's also this guy, but he's married, so who cares.

Matthew volunteered to provide "a little something" for dinner before the concert in his fabulous Gold Cost condo. But Matthew's the kind of guy who will gladly forgo the expected when he can careen wildly over the top—so, true to form, he prepared a sumptuous feast on a French theme, complete with wines, cheeses, salads, lemon chicken with beets and chunky croutons, and crème brûlée ... all homemade, all fabulous and all cataloged on individual menu cards propped up on our plates when we arrived. Showoff.

Let's just say the evening was perfect. And let's also just say that now I am finally in the Christmas spirit.


Joe said...

Jake, I saw those guys back when I lived in SF. I was under the impression that they were ALL gay, from the schmoozing I witnessed at the event. All of them were entirely too pretty and cleancut for MOI, of course. You know like the menz mo' toh up and scraggly.

Will said...

Just one observation on the married guy--Lindsey can also be a man's name.

Anonymous said...

I have a deep love for choral music myself. I think it comes from being in a chorus all through high school, run by two nazi choir masters from hell. I remember specifically being 15, forced to sight read music in front of the whole class and being lightly punched in my diaphram by nazi choir master #1 the whole time. Point is, I appreciate the work it takes to make a good choir. And I'm glad that on one hits me in the diaphram anymore.


Sven said...

eh. you can do so much better than any of those guys jake. you know it too.

just call me jeff said...

Fraser Walters....yum!! He's got a few things working in his favour:

* track athlete: track is my passion
* from Vancouver: like me, so he's obviously got great breeding
* looks damn good in a tux: great for dinner parties and red-carpet events

Other than you, Jake, he's my dream man!


Anonymous said...

Chanticleer was the only chorus that ever made me totally bawl in a concert! Wait, Cyndi Lauper did that when she sang 'True Colours'. Anyway, a mutual friend of our friend from high school in Holmen, David Munderloh, toured with Chanticleer for a time. He now lives a fabulous life in Switzerland. - Jimbo

musikchyck said...

i'm a sucker for chanticleer. i've been a fan since they did a workshop with my choir in high school and were nice enough to perform for us three out of the four years i was there. i also saw them do their christmas concert in the carmel mission. golden gate men's choir performed right before we did at gala so we got to hear some of their performance, but we didn't get to see it. they've got some of the same sound as chanticleer--the countertenors were awesome.