Men in Drag

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Men in Drag

Men in Drag, 2012
Background information
Years active 1998–present
Composition All-Female
School University of Chicago
Location Chicago, IL
Organization Type Collegiate
Label A Cappella Records

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Men in Drag (no men, occasional drag) is an all-female student a cappella group at the University of Chicago. These ladies take a fun, creative approach to performing with their distinctive spin on popular songs of all genres. The members of Men in Drag embrace all that the name implies, challenging gender conventions, bringing sass and swag to the all-female a cappella genre, and holding themselves to a high standard of modern musical entertainment. Whether they are rocking out or breaking it down, the ladies of Men in Drag are always ready to shake things up.


[edit] History

On a chilly autumn day in 1997, two young women at the University of Chicago came together for a noble cause. Two women united in rebellion against the heteronormativity that dominated collegiate a cappella and, in particular, all-female groups. They began a great quest to prove that women could perform traditionally “male” songs with just as much (if not more) raunchiness, sass, and grit as the boys of a cappella.

Thus, Men in Drag was born as a reaction to the standard all-female groups of the day. The first rehearsal included two more ladies, and was located in the basement music rooms of University of Chicago residential dormitory, Pierce. “Java Jive” by Manhattan Transfer and “Seven” by Prince were their first two musical endeavors, the latter of which became the group’s theme song for several years. In autumn 1998, the group was officially established as a Registered Student Organization of the University, and in 1999, Men in Drag produced its first album, “We Have Lost Cabin Pressure,” which included songs like “Ants Marching,” “Sweet Dreams,” “House of Blue Lights,” and of course “Seven.” The album art was self-created and based on cutouts of Dragazines.

Over the years, Men in Drag evolved, sometimes donning the traditionally masculine attributes of suits and ties, and sometimes embracing a more feminine side with dresses and heels, but always providing quality and unconventional entertainment to its audience. Men in Drag has worked with an eclectic variety of talented groups and individuals, such as the Tufts Beelzebubs, DePaul Men’s A Cappella, Northwestern Freshman Fifteen, UofI's The Other Guys, SLU's Barenaked Statues, VocalSource (including James Cannon, James Gammon, and Dave Sperandio), Chris Rishel, and Patrice Michaels. Between 2001 and 2007, Men in Drag produced four more albums, “Philosophy of Etiquette,” “Perfectly Aligned,” “Not Just Some Guy in a Basement Anymore,” and “Always Check the Elevator.”

In 2009, Men in Drag signed with A Cappella Records (ACR) and released their studio album, “No Pants, No Problem.” The album’s track, “Almost Lover,” was one of ACR’s top-selling downloads in 2010. Reviews of the album from the Recorded A Cappella Review Board (RARB) called the ladies “impressive, solid, energized, tuned, interesting” and noted that, “They don’t need guys to provide a full sound.” 2009 also saw the debut of the Men in Drag Pie-Date Auction fundraiser, a trademark annual spring event on campus, as well as the first annual Winter Chicagoland Tour.

In 2012, Men in Drag released a single, "Cherry Pie," along with an accompanying music video. They also released their seventh studio album, Late Nights, Parades, which was nominated by CASA for Best Female Collegiate album[1]. In 2013, they competed in the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella for the first time, and were honored to receive fourth place in their quarterfinal. They are currently recording their ICCA set to be released as part of their next studio album.

Somewhere between the Carlo Rossi, the animal print, and the nerdiness of the University of Chicago, Men in Drag’s dedicated passion for music and entertainment always shines through. The ladies bring sass, creativity, and brio to the world of all-female a cappella.[2]

[edit] Awards

Year Presenter Award Result
2013 CARAs (Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards of CASA) Best Scholastic Original Won, Brianne Holland and Markie Gray, "Something in the Water"[3]
Best Female Collegiate Album Nominated, Late Nights, Parades
Best Female Collegiate Song Nominated, "On the Wing"
Best Female Collegiate Arrangement Nominated, Brianne Holland, "Hurt"
BOCA (Best of Collegiate A Cappella compilation album) BOCA 2013 "Cherry Pie" (opb Warrant) [4]
2012 CARAs Best Female Collegiate Arrangement Won, Brianne Holland, "On the Wing"[5]
BOSS (Boston Sings A Cappella Festival) Collegiate Competition 4th Place
2011 Voices Only Voices Only 2011[6] "On the Wing" (opb Owl City)

[edit] Discography

[edit] Medusa Complex (2016)

  1. Givin Em What They Love (Janelle Monáe)
  2. Oh No! (Marina and the Diamonds)
  3. Number One (John Legend)
  4. Off To The Races (Lana Del Rey)
  5. When The Sun Goes Down (Arctic Monkeys)
  6. Youth (Daughter)
  7. Coming Undone (Korn)
  8. Climax (Usher)
  9. Miss Jackson (Panic! At The Disco)
  10. The Mother We Share (CHVRCHES)
  11. Big White Room (Jessie J)
  12. New Americana (Halsey)

[edit] Late Nights, Parades (2012)

Late Nights, Parades
  1. Something in the Water (Men in Drag)
  2. Cherry Pie (Warrant)
  3. Hurt (Nine Inch Nails)
  4. Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man) (Styx)
  5. Never Forget You (The Noisettes)
  6. Bad Things (Jace Everett)
  7. Morningside (Sara Bareilles)
  8. Pretty Girl Rock (Keri Hilson feat. Kanye West)
  9. My Body (Young the Giant)
  10. On the Wing (Owl City)

[edit] Cherry Pie (2012) (single)

"Cherry Pie"
  1. Cherry Pie (Warrant)

[edit] On the Wing (2011) (single)

On the Wing
  1. On the Wing (Owl City)

[edit] No Pants, No Problem (2009)

No Pants, No Problem

Mixed and mastered by VocalSource.

  1. Snow (Hey Oh) (Red Hot Chilli Peppers)
  2. Back to Black (Amy Winehouse)
  3. White Flag (Dido)
  4. Band of Gold (Freda Payne)
  5. Goodbye My Almost Lover (A Fine Frenzy)
  6. Breakfast at Tiffany's (Deep Blue Something)
  7. Every Time We Touch (Cascada)
  8. Flagpole Sitta (Harvey Danger)
  9. Superman (It's Not Easy) (Five for Fighting)
  10. Feel Good (Gorillaz)
  11. Son of a Preacher Man (Dusty Springfield)

[edit] Always Check the Elevator (2007)

  1. Star-Spangled Banner (Key)
  2. It's Raining Men (The Weather Girls)
  3. Sunrise
  4. Every Little Thing She Does is Magic (The Police)
  5. Call Me When You're Sober (Evanescence)
  6. Breathe (2 AM) (Anna Nalick)
  7. Turn Me On (Kevin Lyttle)
  8. Love will Come Through (Travis)
  9. Closer to You (The Wallflowers)
  10. Intuition (Jewel)
  11. The Way (Fastball)
  12. My Strongest Suit (Aida)
  13. Alma Mater (Lewis)

[edit] Not Just Some Guy in a Basement Anymore (2005)

  1. Chariots of Fire (Vangelis)
  2. Boogie Down
  3. I Do Love You (LeAnn Rimes)
  4. My Favorite Mistake (Sheryl Crow)
  5. When I Fall (Barenaked Ladies)
  6. St. Teresa (Joan Osborne)
  7. Goodbye Earl (Dixie Chicks)
  8. I Touch Myself (Blondie)
  9. Insomniac
  10. Thank You
  11. Seven (Prince)
  12. Girls (Beastie Boys)

[edit] Perfectly Aligned (2003)

  1. Such Great Heights (The Postal Service)
  2. Counting Down the Hours (Ted Leo and the Pharmacists)
  3. In the Waiting Line (Zero 7 )
  4. Don't Turn Around (Ace of Base)
  5. Piece of My Heart (Faith Hill)
  6. Wandering (Ben Folds)
  7. The Sweater (Meryn Cadell)
  8. Volcana (Damien Rice)
  9. Kung Fu Fighting (Carl Douglas)
  10. My Immortal (Evanescence)
  11. Fair (Ben Folds Five)

[edit] Philosophy of Etiquette (2001)

  1. Breathless (The Corrs)
  2. Friend is a Four-Letter Word (CAKE)
  3. One Way or Another (Blondie)
  4. Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk (Rufus Wainwright)
  5. I Want You to Want Me (Letters to Cleo)
  6. Ugly Girl (Fleming and John)
  7. Porcelain (Moby)
  8. Paper Bag (Fiona Apple)
  9. Next Year (Foo Fighters)
  10. I Just Threw Out the Love of My Dreams (Weezer)
  11. Wading in the Velvet Sea (Phish)
  12. Take Me or Leave Me (Rent)

[edit] We Have Lost Cabin Pressure (1999)

  1. Crush
  2. Diamonds
  3. Ghost
  4. Aunts Marching (Dave Matthews Band)
  5. Naturally
  6. Criminal (Fiona Apple)
  7. Sweet Dreams (Marilyn Manson)
  8. House of Blue Lights
  9. Higher and Higher
  10. Mercy
  11. Seven (Prince)

[edit] External Links

[edit] References

  6. [1] Voices Only 2011
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