I've got a whole city to hold down

August 27, 2004

Cuppa joe and two playa doughnuts, please

Bishop Don "Magic" Juan, the self-proclaimed ex-pimp and certified friend of Snoop Dee-Oh-Double-Gee, is reportedly set open a bakery. Here in Chicago. For the benefit of a reality TV series.

The establishment will specialize in "making different kinds of exotic cakes, doughnuts and things like that," Mr. Juan told something called "We're going to have some pimp doughnuts and playa doughnuts. We wanna cater for the needs of all the playas."

But wait, there's more.

"We're gonna have a DJ there so, in the morning, when you come to work, you can stop and get you some coffee and some fresh doughnuts and enjoy some good ol' steppin' music. I mean, the bakery is gonna be the place to be, daily."



New at the Empty Bottle: A second M83 show (9/16), Helmet (10/6), Decibully w/ Shearwater (10/21), Poster Children (10/15), Psychic TV w/ Wolf Eyes (11/19). Also, this one's not yet been officially announced (probably in deference to the acts' appearance at the Hideout block party on 9/25), but Mouse on Mars and the Junior Boys are slated for an LSA gig on 10/29.

New at Schubas: The Husbands w/ Red Eyed Legends (9/12), Helio Sequence w/ Rogue Wave (10/12), Hamell on Trial (10/23).

August 26, 2004

Fireside furthermore

Based on this RedEye article and Peter Margasak's afterword in this week's Reader, it's looking more like the Fireside's Jim Lapinski shut down music at the venue, not MP Shows, as some have whispered. RedEye actually spoke to Lipinski for its piece, which is more than anyone else has done to this point; for his part, Margasak says Peterson refused to comment.

Bottom line, the Fireside as Chicago knew it for the last 10 years is gone. What few shows Lapinski plans will not be all-agers, since (he sez) "the kids destroyed the place."

In other words, "Get offa my proppity, ya lil punks!"

Update: Margasak e-mails to stress that he also spoke to Lapinski for his Reader tidbit. Though we never said he didn't, we admit that after reading his piece we weren't too sure one way or the other; the first statement Margasak attributed to the bar owner wasn't a direct quote, but what a third party said Lapinski said.

Update II: New City accomplishes what no else managed: To get Brian Peterson on the record, albeit briefly. Dig it.

August 25, 2004

Now we get it.

We were trying for like a minute to figure out why, in the last two days, dozens and dozens and dozens of internerds have suddenly started hitting this blog via searches for the Perceptionists' Razor mixtape.

Then we found this story on Apparently the title cut, "The Razor," has become the New England Patriots theme song.

Those interested may peep the homemade video for the song here.

Newbs can peruse our previous coverage of the Perceptionists here and also here.

Now, we admit this theme song thing is corny. (Inevitably.) But it doesn't detract from Lif being just about our fave emcee around. Like the man said: "Ads are dads, sitcoms are moms, dollars are our legs and arms and our heart is a bomb."


New from Jam: Les Claypool, Buckethead, Bernie Worrell and Brain aka Col. Claypool's Bucket of Bernie Brains (Riv, 9/25), Melissa Etheridge (UC, 9/25), Love w/ the Zombies (Park West, 10/8), Gomez (Vic, 10/8), Death Cab for Cutie w/ Travis Morrison (Riv, 10/14), Morrissey (Aragon, 10/15), the Tragically Hip (Riv, 10/16), Switchfoot (Riv, 10/21), the Musical Box (Vic, 10/22), Kasey Chambers (Vic, 11/19).

August 24, 2004

Chitown on the Shortlist

The initial roster of nominees for the 2004 Shortlist Prize has been unveiled. The so-called "longlist" includes more than 6 dozen albums picked by 13 carefully selected scenesters and stars (from Jack Black to the Dixie Chicks and Chris Carrabba to ?uestlove).

And the nominees with Chicago connections are:

Artist: Fiery Furnaces
Album: Gallowsbird's Bark
Local tie: Eleanor and Matt Friedberger were raised in Oak Park

Artist: Iron & Wine
Album: Our Endless Numbered Days
Local tie: Recorded at Engine Studios, produced by Brian Deck

Artist: TV on the Radio
Album: Desperate Youth, Bloodthirsty Babes
Local tie: Released by Touch & Go Records

Artist: Wilco
Album: A Ghost Is Born
Local tie: Uh ... have you been paying attention?


New at Double Door: Mark Lanegan Band (10/3), Legendary Shack Shakers (10/15), Handsome Family w/ Giant Sand (11/7).

Still smoldering?

The "demise" of the Fireside is looking murkier by the moment. More and more it seems that owner Jim Lapinski didn't pull the plug, but rather had it pulled by MP Shows, which until Saturday booked the venue.

In fact the Fireside Bowl site now bears this note: "There has been a change at there [sic] Fireside regarding booking. Until recently booking was handled by MPShows and due to recent developments this relationship has ended. The Fireside bowl wishes the best to the folks at MPShows. The Fireside is in the process of re-arranging it's [sic] schedule. Bowling starts on the 26th. We apologize for any inconvenience. The Fireside will continue to have live entertainment. More information will be posted in the weeks ahead. Bands interested in booking shows at the Fireside should contact us directly by sending an email to"

Since yesterday, that site's message boards have been taken down.

August 23, 2004

Fire extinguished

With little notice and even less fanfare, the Fireside Bowl's long run as a rock venue appears to be over.

Promoter Brian Peterson of MP Shows posted this message to his site, attributed to Fireside manager Hammer: "Hey guys, Jimmy [owner Jim Lapinski] said get the fuck out, bowling is making a big comeback so we are going to go for it, I will miss you all, please make sure to stop by and say hello...Jimmy wanted me to tell you that your [sic] all Satan worshipers [sic], and that your bands suck, so join the Army Reserves where you can be all that you can be, OK? Now get the fuck out."

The last show, held Saturday night, was Bad Wizard with the Witnesses, the Dutchmen and Von Sass. The venue had a full slate of gigs booked already, and most have been relocated to the Bottom Lounge and elsewhere, though some - like the Gin Palace Jesters show scheduled for 8/27 - have been cancelled.

The move came as a surprise despite recently swirling whispers, which years of threats to raze the place entirely had conditioned observers to ignore.

Ironically, the Fireside's demise as a rock venue follows by just three months a Reader column that declared its future rosy. At the time, we questioned that column's sourcing; in retrospect, the basis for Bob Mehr's claim that the Fireside's future was "secure" (an observation that "the club has started spending more money on upkeep -- not the behavior of people who know they're running a doomed operation," plus some vaguely friendly comments from the local alderman) looks laughably thin. Apart from failing to substantiate its conclusions with any confirmation from Fireside ownership, management or staff, the piece's big mistake was assuming that the only threat to rock at the Fireside came from the city. Of course, scene vets will recall that after ages of consternation with cops and inspectors, Lounge Ax too was done in not by Daley but the building's owner.

Make no mistake, this loss is a painful one. Sure the Fireside was a grubby hole and a firetrap, but it was spunky, dirt-cheap, and more than anything egalitarian. No matter how lowly your band, how young your age, how thin your wallet or how outre your particular punk fashion fetish, you could get in the door at the Fireside, or up on its stage (such as it wasn't), and into the company of kids like you.