Jon Langford’s Four Lost Souls at the Hideout

Oct. 11 was Jon Langford’s 60th birthday, and it was also the date of a release party at the Hideout for his latest record. Of course, this prolific Chicago musician who never seems to stop creating would spend his birthday on a stage. His latest project is a great one: Continue Reading

Hideout Block Party 2017

I missed the first day and a half of the Hideout Block Party this weekend — I was in Louisville for the Cropped Out music festival — but I got back into Chicago on Sunday afternoon and caught the final few hours of the Hideout’s fun shindig, which I was Continue Reading

Freakons at the Hideout and the Shitty Barn

When the Mekons teamed up with Freakwater, of course they called themselves the Freakons. As they’ve joked, the other option was Meekwater, a far less formidable-sounding portmanteau. Actually, this collaborative group — which played a few shows last week, recording one of them for a forthcoming album — doesn’t include Continue Reading

Jason Molina tribute at the Hideout

Chicago journalist Erin Osmon has a new book about the life of a great singer-songwriter who died in 2013 — Jason Molina: Riding With the Ghost. Last week at Chicago’s Hideout (July 22), Osmon read some passages from her biography — readings that served as introductions to performances by many Continue Reading

Robbie Fulks’ Final Hideout Residency Shows: Photo Gallery

My photos of the final three shows in Robbie Fulks’ seven-year-long series of Monday-night concerts at the Hideout. (Read my blog post about the finale of Fulks’ epic residency.) February 6, 2017: With Nora O’Connor February 20, 2017: With High Plains Jamboree February 27, 2017: With Robbie Gjersoe

Ultimate Painting at the Hideout

The British duo Ultimate Painting keeps turning out one splendid record after another — three albums in the past three years. James Hoare and Jack Cooper’s newest collection, Dusk (on Chicago label Trouble in Mind), is basically more of the same: pretty little pop gems with glittering, interlaced guitar lines Continue Reading

Joshua Abrams’ Hideout residency

The masterful Chicago musician Joshua Abrams played five concerts at the Hideout in November, playing with different collaborators on each Tuesday night. The one constant was the group he calls Natural Information Society Residency — but even that ensemble has a shifting lineup. It’s essentially a setting for Abrams to Continue Reading

Hideout 20-Year Reunion

The Hideout, one of my favorite music venues, celebrated its 20th anniversary with a daylong mini-festival on Saturday — billed as a “20-Year Reunion.” In truth, the Hideout is much older than just two decades, as the city of Chicago’s cultural historian, Tim Samuelson, told the audience on Saturday in a Continue Reading

BÖC, Rob Mazurek & Emmett Kelly and Horse Lords

Friday, Aug. 26, was another two-concert night for me. Talk about strange juxtapositions. I started out the evening by driving to Skokie for a free show by Blue Öyster Cult at the Backlot Bash street festival… which was pretty good, as far as classic rock band shows go. But alas, I Continue Reading

Chicago Psych Fest

For the seventh year, the Hideout hosted Chicago Psych Fest last week, with three nights of music from the more experimental, trippy end of the rock spectrum. What does “psychedelic” mean these days, anyway? This festival always offers an interesting range of answers to that question. I attended the first Continue Reading

Circuit Des Yeux at the Hideout

When I saw Chicago singer-songwriter-guitarist Haley Fohr open for Bill Callahan in 2013, she played solo. At the time, I noted that her set “set built from droning folk songs to ear-shattering primal screams.” Then as now, Fohr performs under the name Circuit Des Yeux. But when she played Friday, Aug. 28, Continue Reading

The Flat Five: Interviews with Scott Ligon and Kelly Hogan

The Flat Five are a supergroup of the Chicago music scene, combining five terrific talents: Kelly Hogan, Nora O’Connor, Scott Ligon, Casey McDonough and Alex Hall. The group plays a delightfully diverse range of cover songs, and it’s working on its first album, a collection of songs written by Ligon’s Continue Reading

Robbie Fulks and Michael Shannon at the Hideout

Robbie Fulks’ Monday-night shows at the Hideout are never the same, covering a huge variety of music and guest-starring all sorts of folks. This week, the theme was a tribute to the late Lou Reed, with a beginning-to-end performance of Reed’s 1982 album Blue Mask. And the special guest — Continue Reading

The Flat Five at the Hideout

Nora O’Connor’s monthlong residency at the Hideout continued on Tuesday, Feb. 18, with a show by the band that Hideout owner Tim Tuten called the club’s very own supergroup.  It’s no longer the “Best Cover Band That Plays One Gig a Year,” but that’s just because the Flat Five have slightly increased Continue Reading

Recap: The Hideout Block Party/A.V. Fest

Almost without fail, the Hideout Block Party is one of the summer’s most entertaining festivals — and that hasn’t changed over the past couple of years, when it combined with the A.V. Club’s A.V. Fest. It feels like a gathering of old friends — in the middle of an concrete-block Continue Reading

Girl Group Chicago at the Hideout Block Party/A.V. Fest

Photos of and the Revelettes performing Sept. 7, 2013, at the Hideout Block Party/A.V. Fest. (with an appearance by Gina Bloom of the Congregation). Related: Recap of the festival and photos of more bands / Photos of Neko Case / Photos of Mavis Staples / Photos of Superchunk 

Mountains at the Hideout

Wednesdays are usually a night for jazz and improvisational music at the Hideout. Last Wednesday (Feb. 28), the venue hosted three bands playing instrumental rock music of the sort often called, for lack of a better term, drone. The evening started with Bitchin Bajas, a keyboard/electronics duo comprising Cooper Crane Continue Reading

Robbie Fulks, Henry Wagons, etc.

Last Monday (Feb. 25), I caught two concerts — first, the always-entertaining Hideout residency of Robbie Fulks, who featured Brooklyn singer-songwriter Greg Trooper as his guest this time. I wasn’t familiar with Trooper’s music going into this show, but I was quite impressed with what I heard, and Fulks contributed Continue Reading

Syl Johnson and Renaldo Domino

“The Secret History of Chicago Music” comic strip by Steve Krakow, aka Plastic Crimewave, has started presenting concerts showcasing the city’s overlooked musical acts. The latest edition was on Saturday, Dec. 8, at the Hideout. Andre Williams was originally scheduled to appear, but when he fell ill, Syl Johnson was Continue Reading

The week in concerts

Notes on the past week’s concerts: TUESDAY, NOV. 27, THE HIDEOUT — RICK RIZZO AND JANET BEAN: The Hideout’s been hosting some shows lately in its front room, including a few recent gigs by Rizzo, the lead singer and guitarist for Eleventh Dream Day. This time, he was joined by Continue Reading