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

The Flat Five at the Green Mill

The Flat Five — that wonderful Chicago group I’ve photographed and written about many times before — played three sets on Saturday, Aug. 27, at the Green Mill. As the band’s members observed, it may be the first time anyone has ever played a Hollies cover (“Carrie Anne”) at this venerable jazz 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

Day of the Dowd

Gerald Dowd has drummed for with a lot of different Chicago musicians over the years, rarely taking the spotlight himself. Saturday was his day, and what a remarkable feat it was. FitzGerald’s hosted daylong festival called “Day of the Dowd,” featuring 17 bands playing over the course of 13 1/2 hours. Dowd played 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

Solid Sound, Part 3

Read more about Solid Sound and see more photos in Parts 1, 2 and 4 My last two blog posts about Solid Sound were about what the members of Wilco were up to during this festival. But like any decent fest, this one wasn’t entirely about one band. In brief, Continue Reading

The Flat Five? It Must Be December

Earlier this year, I contributed a short article to the Chicago Reader’s “Best of Chicago” issue about The Flat Five, naming this local group the “Best Cover Band That Plays One Gig a Year.” At least, that has been this group’s performance pattern since mid-2007. Each December, this super group Continue Reading

The ‘Joe Show’ at the Hideout

Yet another benefit for a musician without health insurance. Yet another reminder of what an awful system (or lack of system) we have in the United States for making sure everyone gets the health care they deserve. This time, it was Waco Brothers drummer Joe Camarillo, who was recently injured Continue Reading