5 Questions with Tim Tuten

April 3, 2009

It's no secret that Hideout co-owner Tim Tuten is a big Obama supporter. His Bucktown music club hosted numerous fundraisers for Obama the candidate and put on "The Big Shoulders Ball" in DC to celebrate the inauguration of Obama the President. However, most visitors to the Hideout probably never imagined that the guy delivering impromptu tongue-in-cheek screeds between bands (like this one from The Exquisite City shot by Jim Newberry) would ever have an official role in the Obama Administration. This week just that happened when Tuten was hired by Arne Duncan's Department of Education. It turns out he's been in the education industry even longer than he's been an impresario. AG: I never knew you had a job aside from running the Hideout, so this all comes as quite a shock. Can you tell us what your new job is and what you'll be doing? TT: I will be a special assistant to the secretary of Education. I will help to coordinate some of his conference appearances, as well as help to facilitate various events. AG: What grades and subjects did you teach in CPS? Have any former students ever played a show at the Hideout? TT: I taught High School Social Studies for 17 years. I taught Freshman through Seniors, and just about every course from African-American History to Consumer Economics. No former students have played at the Hideout. I taught them to hangout in Bookstores. AG: Greg Kot mentioned that you arranged for Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to introduce Neko Case at her DC show next Wednesday. You're known for your memorable introductions- have you given Arne any pointers? TT: No, Arne needs no pointers from me. I can learn from him. Arne is articulate, intelligent, and clear. Arne can explain more in 5 minutes than I can in a typical 50 minute class period / "band intro." AG: What's different about setting up Department of Education events from setting up Hideout shows? TT: The Department of Education events will be All Ages. AG: How long will it be until Devil In A Woodpile starts playing in the lobby of the Department of Education Building on Tuesdays? TT: I can't say, but when they do, it will be in the morning. They will open up with "Good Mornin' Lil School Girl."