I just got wind of the mess in Chicago right now surrounding the HotHouse. This is a club that used to be in Wicker Park, in the Flat Iron building, finally got yuppied out, and moved to the South Loop. A minor miracle that it survived. I haven't been since the move, but in the early 90s it was the center of the cultural universe if you cared about avant garde jazz or politics. Michael Zerang used to tend bar, Todd Colburn would do sound, and I heard a lot of stuff, and played there a time or two although it was hard to get a show there so I was lucky for that. The show that comes to mind is a duet by David Murray and Kahil El-Zabar, but it was also a place you dropped into on the way to and from things. The HotHouse was the child of Maguerite Horberg -- she went back with all the 60s rads, was big on Cuba solidarity, had a big picture of Che on display. Well, somewhere in the move to the South Loop the place became a nonprofit org, with a board and fundraising, and a couple of weeks ago the board put her on leave. Here's a write up from the Reader
. Definitely click through on the link to Carl Davidson's blog. It sounds like a big ole shit storm. What a mess. I hope they are able to save the place.
On better Chicago news, Fred Anderson has relocated the Velvet Lounge to new space on Cermak and reports from the new place are good. Here's a review
by Howard Reich of the Trib.