2-Dec-2018 (Sun)
Wherein it's almost Skating Polly time, and Chicago takes a stand.

I realize it's already December, which means that all of you are planning to stay home and watch Netflix until March, but you really ought to come see Skating Polly this Wednesday. We had them here last year, and they rocked. They just released a new video and here's a little interview:

Skating Polly Go Low-Budget in "They're Cheap (I'm Free)" Video

By the time they released their fifth album back in May, Skating Polly had already attracted the attention of such iconic figures as Calvin Johnson, Veruca Salt, and X's Exene Cervenka, all of whom collaborated with the Oklahoma City-based power pop trio. Needless to say, The Make It All Show delivered on the raw energy and punk attitude of their prior work, earning them touring spots alongside such like-minded groups as Charly Bliss and Potty Mouth this year.

Today they're sharing a video for the fiery, vengeful cut "They're Cheap (I'm Free)," which sees the band embrace their DIY roots with thrift store outfits and a background comprised of recycled objects. "All the art in the video is made out of trash, and our wardrobe was lent to us by this awesome thrift store in Echo Park called Sunday's Best," explains vocalist Kelli Mayo. "We had a crew of four amazing people and we only did things we could do for cheap or for free."

Ticket sales have been light, so get off your butts, ok? "Maybe next time" is not how we get to keep doing shows.

Meanwhile, over in the Central time zone, this is fantastic:

Pitchfork: Chicago Indie Clubs Band Together to Fight New Live Nation Venues:

A group of independent music venues in Chicago have come together to protest the building of Lincoln Yards, a $5 billion new development on the city's North side, which is set to include three to five new concert halls run by Live Nation.

In a press release, the newly-formed Chicago Independent Venue League (CIVL) said they are "concerned about current urban development trends favoring tax-payer supported developments that leave out, disregard, or even stifle smaller, independent, often historic performance venues and businesses." Members of CIVL include owners from the Empty Bottle, Metro, Schubas, Lincoln Hall, the Hideout, and more.

Chicago Tribune:

"I think all the other aldermen will agree this will crush small venues," said former 2nd Ward Ald. Bob Fioretti, who is running for mayor. [...]

It seems clear that if Live Nation, which runs Ticketmaster and manages leading musical artists, gains such a concentrated presence with a range of seating capacities, it would significantly impact the city's musical landscape. "This will put an equal number of venues out of business," Gomez said. [...]

Katie Tuten did not sound mollified. "We're standing up now to say, 'Not here. Not in Chicago. Not on my watch,' " she said. "Conglomerate corporate giants should look elsewhere."

It sure would be nice to see some kind of organized resistance in San Francisco to the ongoing take-over of our independent venues by multi-billion dollar vertically-integrated multinational corporations, but I guess most people here think, "This is fine."

I attended a show at a local venue that changed hands recently. When its purchase was announced, years ago, the new owners did some interviews where they said all the right words about how "We're doing this because we have a passion for live music", and so on. But now it's here and it's a Live Nation venue. This means that the role of the owners is that they pay rent, bartenders and security, but literally everything else about their business is outsourced.

It's like this: what if you loved food, and did a press push saying, "I just have a passion for cooking, that's why I'm opening this new restaurant", and then when it opened you said, "Here it is! Welcome to my Olive Garden franchise."

I just don't get it.

Anyway, do you like music videos? I like music videos. I just released my two hundredth mixtape, and for this one I tried to make it be The Greatest Music Videos Of All Time. (But not exactly.)


3 Responses:

  1. G0 says:

    Takeover of independent venues is a threat for many types of venues. The Curran booked a show for the next three years or so, amidst some very SF-sounding fuss, and apparently had to fend off the UK-based producer of the show's offer/attempt to take over the theatre's subsequent booking.

    NY Times:

    The ruling also reveals that the Ambassador Theater Group, a British company closely affiliated with the lead producer of “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” at first sought to take over long-term programming at the Curran even after the run of that show.

  2. Michael V. says:

    Ari Emmanuel, the brother of Chicago's (soon-to-be-former) mayor Rahm Emmanuel, is an exec at Live Nation and WME. This whole handout stinks.

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