I've got a whole city to hold down

January 21, 2005

Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead

Posted by Lazlo Hollyfeld

In a move cheered by media reform groups & exposed nipples throughout the land, FCC Chairman Michael Powell announced today he is stepping down.

I'm sure this will be great news for advocates of low power & community radio, opponents of consolidation, fans of the 1st Amendment, and....wait a minute. Bush gets to appoint his replacement, right? Then scrap everything I just said.

I'm sure we'll find his replacement worthy of vilification as well.

Update: Encourage President Bush to appoint an FCC chief that will serve in the public interest.

Come For The Gospel, Stay For The Klezmer

Posted by Lazlo Hollyfeld

In other weekend goings-on, HotHouse is hosting The Afro-Semitic Experience on Sunday evening at 7pm. My brain's already gone into hibernation mode for the weekend, so here's a quick cut-and-paste description...

The Afro-Semitic Experience is a jazz ensemble dedicated to preserving, promoting and expanding the rich cultural and musical heritage of the Jewish and African diasporas. This is a band that can present interpretations of music from traditions as rich as Gospel, Klezmer, Niggunim, Spirituals, and Swing- all within the same tune. That's the Afro-Semitic Experience- a group as comfortable playing a bulgar as swingin' a blues, that knows how to play a freylakh or some funk.

There Will Be Snacks!

Posted by Lazlo Hollyfeld

Do you need to give yourself a reason to dig out of 4-8 inches of snow tomorrow? Well here's one...

You can head to the Corbett vs. Dempsey Gallery (1120 N Ashland) where there will be a listening party for Andrew Bird's The Mysterious Production of Eggs. But that's not all...the original album art is by Jay Ryan (of The Bird Machine), and this will be a gallery show of that artwork.

And Mr. Bird's website promises that snacks will be provided.

January 20, 2005


New at Double Door: Visqueen (2/7), Backyard Babies (3/13), Lucky Boys Confusion (3/26).

New at the Empty Bottle (well, not all new, but we haven't updated 'em in a while): Early Day Miners w/ Chris Brokaw and Archer Prewitt (2/5), French Kicks w/ Calla (3/11), Lyrics Born (3/19), M83 w/ Ulrich Schnauss (4/21-22), Animal Collective (4/27), Adult. w/ Gold Chains & Sue Cie (5/7).

New from Jam: Mark Olson & Gary Louris of the Jayhawks ("together again" at Park West, 3/12), Bob Weir & Ratdog (Vic, 4/1), Erasure (Chicago Theatre, 4/29).

New at Metro: Secret Machines w/ Moving Units and Autolux (2/4), Rise Against w/ Tsunami Bomb (2/20), the Decemberists w/ Okkervil River (4/7).

New at Open End Gallery: Breaker! Breaker! (of Chicago's Velocirecords, 2/19).

January 19, 2005

Caught in the web

The Chicago Improvised Music listserv will mark its fifth anniversary in March. To join its "discussion about the Chicago creative and improvised music scene," hop over to Yahoo Groups. Though you'll have to register to post, anyone can browse the archives. The show announcements for venues like 3030, Candlestick Maker, and the Hungry Brain are particularly useful.

Archer on target

"Although Prewitt doesn't possess James Mercer's earth-shattering tenor or A.C. Newman's hand at pop hooks, those limitations have only led him down a more carefully considered--and more interesting--route. His struggle to circumvent has earned him one of the most idiosyncratic and captivating voices in songwriting, and Wilderness is his most focused solo effort yet." - Sam Ubl, Pitchfork, on Archer Prewitt's latest (Thrill Jockey)

January 18, 2005

Clarence comes around a bit

In March we had a spirited dialogue with the Chicago Tribune's Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Clarence Page over a tirade he published attacking hip hop as a dangerous influence on black culture.

This Sunday Page returned in print to rap, and while he again took a negative tone, at least this time he was careful to draw distinctions, singling out gangsta rap as the target of his ire rather than broadly condemning all hip hop.

"[T]oday's rap world has swung away from the gangster rap of the 1980s and '90s," Page writes, "and is now moving toward the political and social 'consciousness rap' [sic] of, say, Talib Kweli, Common (formerly Lonnie Rashied Lynn of Chicago) or Kanye West, the Chicago producer-turned-rapper whose debut album The College Dropout with the religious hit 'Jesus Walks' scored 10 Grammy nominations."

Baby steps.