Jam Productions co-founder Arny Granat with Illinois Attorney General
Lisa Madigan at the Obama inauguration festivities
Here is a look at my picks for the best shows this weekend.
Buzz Osborne of the might Melvins
The office of Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is investigating Lollapalooza sponsors C3 Presents and their partners for anti-trust issues stemming from the radius clauses that the Austin, Texas-based concert promoters impose on all of the artists who play the giant, three-day concert in Grant Park, according to numerous sources familiar with the investigation.
Drake, "Thank Me Later" (Universal/Motown)
If the soul-sapping seductiveness of crack and cocaine -- selling them and consuming them -- was the major theme inspiring much of the best hip-hop from the '90s until early in the new millennium, an argument can be made that during the last few years, the most talented and innovative rappers have been chronicling an even more destructive and pervasive addiction in these new digital times: the allure of celebrity.
Time to confess a mostly non-rock pop-culture obsession (though you must admit that Jace Everett's theme song is a killer track). I've been firmly hooked on HBO's "True Blood" from the moment I caught up with the fangs-happy series in the middle of season one.
Reggy's wasn't my only rock 'n' roll adventure last Saturday; in the afternoon, I also swung by the Girls Rock! Chicago Kick-Off Celebration at Josephinum Academy in Wicker Park.
Yet another outgrowth of Baby Boomers striving to relive their youth through their offspring, as well as an example of the dreaded phenomenon of helicopter parenting, a number of expensive, corporate,'60s-centric "School of Rock" programs have sprung up in recent years to grab fists full of mommy and daddy's dollars while teaching junior how to "rock out" playing "Smoke on the Water" -- a vastly inferior alternative, if you ask me, to him gathering with friends in the basement, making a glorious noise of his own, and puking in the corner after drinking too much cheap wine.
Girls Rock! Chicago is a very different story. Part of a national alliance of similar programs across the country -- one of the first, in Portland, was strongly backed by Sleater-Kinney and the subject of a 2008 documentary entitled "Girls Rock!" -- this is a non-profit program staffed entirely by female volunteers from the local music community dedicated to teaching girls ages 8 to 16 to express themselves through guitars, bass, drums, or the DJ's turntables. It started with one week-long program in August 2006; this year, it's grown so popular that there are two camp sessions, both already filled to capacity, and both ending with the campers strutting their stuff onstage at Metro playing the songs they wrote, practiced, and recorded with their peers.
Surprising no one who's been following the story, the U.S. Justice Department formally approved the merger of monopolistic ticket brokers Ticketmaster and giant corporate concert promoters Live Nation on Monday, cavalierly dismissing the objections voiced by many independent promoters and consumer advocates.