On Tuesdays in February, the Hideout hosted a residency of concerts featuring Chicago musician Rob Frye. I was there on Feb. 23, when he performed as part of Bitchin Bajas, an instrumental drone group that also includes Cooper Crain (Frye’s fellow member in CAVE) and Dan Quinlivan. The three Bitchin Bajas set up their keyboards, drums and wind instruments on the main floor of the club and made beautiful, meditational music that lingered for a long time on single chords. (Some notable news about this band: Bitchin Bajas made a record with Bonnie “Prince” Billy called Epic Jammers and Fortunate Little Ditties, which Drag City is releasing March 18. You can see a video of their song “Your Hard Work Is About to Pay Off, Keep On Keeping On” here.)
After their set in the Hideout’s back room, the members of Bitchin Bajas and several guests (including singer Jeanine O’Toole from the 1900s and other bands) set up in the front bar, reassembling as a J.J. Cale tribute band and playing some delectably low-key guitar grooves.