I've got a whole city to hold down

October 01, 2004

New Checkerboard on the way

From Crain's Chicago Business:

"The thrill is coming back for the storied Checkerboard Lounge. The shuttered Bronzeville hot spot, where Blues legends like Buddy Guy and Muddy Waters once performed, is reopening in Hyde Park in November, according to owner L.C. Thurman. The blues club is moving into Harper Court, a retail center owned by the University of Chicago. 'All my customers were from Hyde Park and the North Side anyway,' says Mr. Thurman. 'So it's a great location for us.'"

As you may remember - and as Crain's goes on to note - Bronzeville preservationists and community activists protested the move when it was first discussed. They saw it as a wealthy institution (the U of C) co-opting the cultural heritage of a hardscrabble community, and most basically and crudely as another example of whites stealing the blues from blacks.

For a recent - and, coincidentally, Chicago-centric take on that subject, we recommend this piece by David Hajdu (author of the Dylan-Baez-Farina bio). It was first published by Mother Jones last fall.

September 29, 2004

Favorite sons, biological and adopted

Pitchfork reviews the Trax Records 20th anniversary anthology (a retrospective of Chicago-born-and-bred house) and the latest Albinified guit-indie offering from local transplants Silkworm.


New at Double Door: John Cale (10/25).

Notable November gigs at the Empty Bottle: The Six Parts Seven (11/1), the Warlocks w/ Dead Meadow (11/5), Helmet (11/6), OOIOO w/ Pit Er Pat (11/9), Mates of State w/ Bishop Allen (11/11 at LSA), the Datsuns (11/12), Psychic TV w/ Wolf Eyes (11/19), the Arcade Fire (11/26).

New from Jam: Tears for Fears (Vic, 11/1), Green Day w/ New Found Glory (UIC Pavilion, 11/8), Papa Roach (Metro, 11/11), Pedro the Lion (Metro, 11/16), Diana Ross (Chicago Theatre, 11/19), John Fogerty (Chicago Theatre, 11/21), Ratdog w/ the Neville Brothers (Riv, 11/21), Sparta w/ Further Seems Forever (Metro, 11/23), Insane Clown Posse (oh yeah, Riv, 11/27).

New at Metro: E'nuff Z'nuff (10/19), the Hexum Brothers (feat. Nick Hexum of 311) play a Rock for Kerry benefit (10/31), Isis w/ Pelican and These Arms Are Snakes (11/26).

New at Schubas: Maritime (11/5), Tarbox Ramblers (11/19), Sons of the Never Wrong (11/20 early), Sally Timms and Johnny Dowd (11/20 late).

September 28, 2004

What do you get when you cross a hack political writer, a couple new-jack jingle singers and a two-dollar Casio beat?

That's right: "Barack ... ooh-hoo-hoo ... Obama ... say it again ... he's solid as a rock."

Speaking of which, scrounge the spare change from the sofa cushions 'cause the soon-to-be-Senator will be joined by Robin Williams, Stevie Wonder and Ramsey Lewis at the Park West this Friday night. The cheap seats are going for just $350.

As for the other candidate, Chicagomuzikblog Roving Correspondent Lazlo Hollyfeld reports that a Town Car ferrying Alan Keyes cut him off in traffic on the Kennedy this morning.

September 27, 2004

Weekend in review

Here's what the scribes saw:

Trib - Howard Reich on Vandermark's Territory Band, Josh Klein on Devo and Greg Kot on Jill Scott.

Sun-Times - Jim DeRogatis on Jill Scott, Allison Augustyn on Ernest Dawkins' New Horizon Ensemble and Bobby Reed on Wanda Jackson.

How about you?