Luckily, Chicagoans, just like the Daley machine on which they rely, are known for getting things done. In the absence of an official Chicago Ball (though to be fair, Obama?s Home States Ball did feature the South Side?s other favorite son, Common), the Hideout, a renowned hipster dive, partnered with community organizers Interchange and D.C. think tank the Future of Music Coalition (full disclosure: I briefly wrote for their blog) to bring a busload of Chicago musicians to D.C.?s Black Cat on the eve of the inauguration.
Organized by Chicago venue the Hideout and the Interchange Festival to benefit the Future of Music Coalition , the ball highlighted Windy City acts, many of whom had bused halfway across the country to celebrate the son of the city. Like Obama himself, most of the acts weren’t born in Chicago, but made homes there. Freakwater and Eleventh Dream Day hail from Kentucky, Jon Langford from Wales and Sally Timms from Leeds, Leo from New York and D.C. Ostensibly the show was concocted to celebrate the diversity and activity of the Chicago scene and, by extension, of American popular music.
Pitchfork has an awesome review of the Big Shoulders Ball: Chicago Celebrates Change, the Inauguration Eve concert held at the Black Cat in D.C. on January 19.
Hosted by Windy City club the Hideout and
community organizers Interchange, Big Shoulders boasted a
kick-ass lineup that included Andrew Bird, Tortoise, the
Waco Brothers, Ken Vandermark, Sally Timms, Jon
Langford, Icy Demons, Freakwater and more. Suffice it to say,
we were thrilled to be the co-beneficiaries (along with the Chicago Public Schools marching bands program) of such an awesome and historic event. read more
Windy City pride was on full display pretty much everywhere this weekend, but it was perhaps no more rampant than at the Big Shoulders Ball, hosted jointly by the Hideout nightclub in Chicago and the Black Cat, benefiting the Future of Music Coalition. At the top of the bill were some big names, like Andrew Bird and Ted Leo, and some legendary Chi-town music scene vets, like Eleventh Dream Day and the Waco Brothers.
Billed as “a celebration of citizen politics, independent music and Windy City civic pride,” the $50-a-head event included the dulcet tones of Andrew Bird, postrock titan Tortoise, and bluesman David “Honeyboy” Edwards, among others. Presented by Chicago music venue the Hideout, which Tuten co-owns, and grassroots organizers Interchange, the Big Shoulders Ball also is raising money for the Future of Music Coalition and Chicago Public Schools marching bands.
Hours before the inauguration of President Barack Obama, musicians and crew are scrambling backstage to catch their bus after the Big Shoulders Ball, at Washington’s Black Cat. Jon Langford, of the Mekons and the Waco Brothers, who played a blistering set tonight, talks with City Paper about the historic moment and about the Chicago takeover of Washington. He’s joined by his “bodyguard,” Columbia Law School grad, Future of Music Coalition co-founder, and Obama campaign supporter Walter McDonough.
In touring news, Bird will be playing a short set at a pre-inaguration show at the Black Cat in Washington DC on January 19th. The name of the concert is Chicago Celebrates Change, and other Chicago musicians will be performing including Tortoise, Waco Brothers, Eleventh Dream Day, David “Honeyboy” Edwards with Michael Frank, Ken Vandermark, Jon Langford, Sally Timms, Freakwater, Icy Demons, and Judson Claiborne. Tickets are $50, with a portion of proceeds benefiting the Future of Music Coalition and the Chicago Public Schools marching bands program.
It seems as if President-elect Barack Obama has ignored the suggestions of this column and its readers as far as including any Chicago artists in his actual swearing-in ceremony next month.
The best word for Chicago musicians so far? An enthusiastic group of politically active members of the underground music scene have announced that they’ll be holding a celebratory shindig of their own in Washington, D.C. on the eve of Barack Obama taking the oath of office.