WBEZ | Culture http://www.wbez.org/news/culture Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Oprah's Harpo Studios in Chicago to close in December http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/oprahs-harpo-studios-chicago-close-december-111649 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/harpo.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Oprah Winfrey will close Harpo Studios in Chicago, where she filmed &quot;The Oprah Winfrey Show&quot; for more than 20 years, this December, and will transition production for her cable network to a studio in California.</p><p>Harpo Studios and the Oprah Winfrey Network made the announcement Tuesday. OWN recently moved into a new studio in West Hollywood, California, and work currently done at Harpo Studios in Chicago will now be done there.</p><p>Winfrey sold the Harpo Studios property in Chicago&#39;s West Loop neighborhood to a developer last year for about $32 million. She said in a statement Tuesday that Harpo Studios has been a &quot;blessing&quot; in her life and she&#39;s now &quot;looking ahead&quot; to inhabiting her California studio.</p><p>The city named the street outside Harpo Studios &quot;Oprah Winfrey Way&quot; in 2011.</p></p> Tue, 03 Mar 2015 13:46:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/oprahs-harpo-studios-chicago-close-december-111649 White Sox icon Minnie Minoso dies http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/white-sox-icon-minnie-minoso-dies-111639 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Minnie Minoso 1955 AP crop site_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><strong>▲ LISTEN&nbsp;</strong><em>WBEZ&#39;s Yolanda Perdomo talks with Morning Edition host Lisa Labuz about Minoso&#39;s life and career.</em></p><p style="text-align: center;">...</p><p>Minnie Minoso, the seemingly ageless Cuban slugger who broke into the majors just two years after Jackie Robinson and turned into the game&#39;s first black Latino star, has died, a medical examiner in Illinois said Sunday.</p><p>The Cook County medical examiner&#39;s office did not immediately offer further details. There is some question about Minoso&#39;s age but the Chicago White Sox say he was 90.</p><p>Minoso played 12 of his 17 seasons in Chicago, hitting .304 with 135 homers and 808 RBIs for the White Sox. The White Sox retired his No. 9 in 1983 and there is a statue of Minoso at U.S. Cellular Field.</p><blockquote><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/dynamic-range/minnie-minosos-first-game-106394"><strong>Hear Minoso tell the story of his first game in Comiskey</strong></a></p><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/white-sox-icon-minnie-minoso-dies-111639#obama"><strong>Obama: Minoso will always be &#39;Mr. White Sox&#39;</strong></a></p></blockquote><p>&quot;We have lost our dear friend and a great man,&quot; White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf said in a release. &quot;Many tears are falling.&quot;</p><p>Minoso made his major league debut with Cleveland in 1949 and was dealt to the White Sox in a three-team trade two years later. He became major league baseball&#39;s first black player in Chicago on May 1, 1951, and homered in his first plate appearance against Yankees right-hander Vic Raschi.</p><p>It was the start of a beautiful relationship between the slugger and the White Sox.</p><p>Minoso, regarded as baseball&#39;s first black Latino star, was a Havana native who spent most of his career in left field. He is one of only two players to appear in a major league game in five different decades. He got his final hit in 1976 at age 53 and went 0 for 2 in two games in 1980 for the White Sox, who tried unsuccessfully over the years to get the &quot;Cuban Comet&quot; into baseball&#39;s Hall of Fame.</p><p>&quot;When I watched Minnie Minoso play, I always thought I was looking at a Hall of Fame player,&quot; Reinsdorf said in an informational package produced by the team for a 2011 Cooperstown push. &quot;I never understood why Minnie wasn&#39;t elected.</p><p>&quot;He did everything. He could run, he could field, he could hit with power, he could bunt and steal bases. He was one of the most exciting players I have ever seen.&quot;</p><p>Saturnino Orestes Armas Minoso Arrieta was selected for nine All-Star games and won three Gold Gloves in left. He was hit by a pitch 192 times, ninth on baseball&#39;s career list, and finished in the top four in AL MVP voting four times.</p><p>Despite the push by the White Sox and other prominent Latin players, Minoso has never made it to Cooperstown. His highest percentage during his 15 years on the writers&#39; ballot was 21.1 in 1988. He was considered by the Veterans Committee in 2014 and fell short of the required percentage for induction.</p><p>&quot;My last dream is to be in Cooperstown, to be with those guys,&quot; Minoso said in that 2011 package distributed by the White Sox. &quot;I want to be there. This is my life&#39;s dream.&quot;</p><p>Minoso, who made his major league debut with Cleveland in 1949, hit .298 for his career with 186 homers and 1,023 RBIs. The speedy Minoso also led the AL in triples and steals three times in each category.</p><p>Playing in an era dominated by the Yankees, Minoso never played in the postseason.</p><p>&quot;Every young player in Cuba wanted to be like Minnie Minoso, and I was one of them,&quot; Hall of Fame slugger Tony Perez said. &quot;The way he played the game, hard all the time, hard. He was very consistent playing the game. He tried to win every game. And if you want to be like somebody, and I picked Minnie, you have to be consistent.&quot;</p><p>Minoso appeared in just nine games in his first stint with the Indians, but he took off when he was dealt to Chicago as part of a three-team trade in 1951 that also involved the Philadelphia Athletics. He went deep in his first plate appearance against Yankees right-hander Raschi, and hit .375 in his first 45 games with the White Sox.</p><p>Minoso finished that first season in Chicago with a .326 batting average, 10 homers and 76 RBIs in 146 games for the Indians and White Sox. He also had a major league-best 14 triples and an AL-best 31 steals.</p><p>It was Minoso&#39;s first of eight seasons with at least a .300 batting average. He also had four seasons with at least 100 RBIs.</p><p>&quot;I have baseball in my blood,&quot; Minoso said. &quot;Baseball is all I&#39;ve ever wanted to do.&quot;</p><p><span style="font-size:24px;">President Barack Obama&#39;s statement about Minoso<a name="obama"></a></span></p><blockquote><p>For South Siders and Sox fans all across the country, including me, Minnie Minoso is and will always be &ldquo;Mr. White Sox.&rdquo;</p><p>The first black Major Leaguer in Chicago, Minnie came to the United States from Cuba even though he could have made more money elsewhere.&nbsp; He came up through the Negro Leagues, and didn&rsquo;t speak much English at first.&nbsp; And as he helped to integrate baseball in the 1950s, he was a target of racial slurs from fans and opponents, sometimes forced to stay in different motels from his teammates.&nbsp; But his speed, his power &ndash; and his resilient optimism &ndash; earned him multiple All-Star appearances and Gold Gloves in left field, and he became one of the most dominant and dynamic players of the 1950s.</p><p>Minnie may have been passed over by the Baseball Hall of Fame during his lifetime, but for me and for generations of black and Latino young people, Minnie&rsquo;s quintessentially American story embodies far more than a plaque ever could.</p><p>Michelle and I send our thoughts and prayers to his family and fans in Chicago, Cleveland, and around the world.</p></blockquote><p><span style="font-size:24px;">More from the WBEZ archives about the baseball legend <a name="playlist"></a></span></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="380" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/playlists/85470411&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p></p> Sun, 01 Mar 2015 12:49:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/white-sox-icon-minnie-minoso-dies-111639 Your favorite Chicago coffee shops http://www.wbez.org/programs/afternoon-shift/2015-02-26/your-favorite-chicago-coffee-shops-111630 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/coffee.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="responsive-embed-coffeemap">Thirty years ago, most Chicagoans couldn&rsquo;t have imagined paying more than a buck for their cup of daily Joe. Oh, how the times have changed.<p>Call it the Starbucks effect. For better or worse, drinking habits have morphed and a whole gourmet coffee industry has blossomed. Illinois is home to more than 350 official Starbucks cafes and dozens of restaurants and institutions that serve the company&rsquo;s brew.</p>But competitors abound and continue to grow in our coffee-loving town. Last month, Berkeley-based Peet&rsquo;s Coffee &amp; Tea opened a flagship store in the historic Wrigley Building, less than a block away from the busiest Starbucks in the city. And the company has plans for more shops across the city.<p>Still, these national chains are by no means the hottest cup in town. Chicago has a proud and growing stable of local artisan roasters. And according to our very non-scientific survey, they top the list of favorite coffees among local public radio listeners.</p><p>WBEZ asked its Facebook followers to name their favorite cafes, and the comments came pouring in with Jackalope, Metropolis, Dark Matter, Cafe Jumping Bean and Wormhole topping the list. Below you can find the 11 Chicago cafes they like the most as well as an interactive map listing all the cafes our followers recommended. So if you&rsquo;re looking for someone to gab with about your favorite radio shows over coffee, these may be the best bets in town. Happy sipping!</p><p><span style="font-size:22px;">Top 11 Chicago cafes for public radio lovers</span></p><ul><li>Jackalope Coffee in Bridgeport (34 mentions)</li><li>Metropolis (33)</li><li>Dark Matter (27)&nbsp;</li><li>Cafe Jumping Bean (18)</li><li>Wormhole (14)</li><li>Gaslight Coffee Roasters (14)</li><li>Perkolator (13)</li><li>Bridgeport Coffee &amp; Tea (13)</li><li>Heritage General Store (13)</li><li>Ipsento (12)</li><li>Intelligentsia (11)</li><li>Big Shoulders (10)&nbsp;</li></ul><p><span style="font-size:22px;">Top 12 most-served gourmet coffees in Chicago</span></p><p>When it comes to choosing coffee beans, Chicagoans have become much more discerning over the last 25 years. But whose beans &mdash; aside from Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts &mdash; are served up in the most restaurants and cafes around Chicago? We recently called top local and national coffee roasters to find out. Here&rsquo;s what they reported.</p><ul><li>Metropolis: 350</li><li>Intelligentsia: 300</li><li>La Colombe: 150</li><li>Dark Matter: 75</li><li>Julius Meinl: 70-75</li><li>Bow Truss: 70</li><li>Big Shoulders: 40</li><li>Alterra/Collectivo: 30-40</li><li>Passion House: 30</li><li>Counter Culture: 17</li><li>Stumptown/Ipsento: 10</li><li>Gaslight: 6<br />&nbsp;</li></ul><p><iframe frameborder="0" height="620" scrolling="no" src="http://interactive.wbez.org/coffeemap/" style="float: right; clear: right;" width="620"></iframe></p></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 26 Feb 2015 13:02:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/afternoon-shift/2015-02-26/your-favorite-chicago-coffee-shops-111630 Academy Award fever sweeps public radio http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/academy-award-fever-sweeps-public-radio-111590 <p><p>The 87th Academy Awards are tonight, but if you&#39;ve been listening to WBEZ you already know that. Public media had film fever lately, publishing in-depth interviews and stories on the filmmaking process. Here&#39;s a selection of our favorite interviews with Oscar-contenders, stories about the film industry and analysis from thoughtful critics.</p><p><span style="font-size: 24px;">Best Director Nominees</span></p><p>Our own <a href="http://nerdettepodcast.com/listen">Nerdette Podcast</a> had a wonderful interview with <em>Boyhood</em> director Richard Linklater. He explained how his approach to the film was informed by novel-writing and nerded out about the Ingmar Bergman film, <em>Fanny and Alexander</em>, &quot;I realized this is the greatest film about that view of the magical thinking of a kid.&quot;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="100" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/191621846&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/KeatonBirdman.png" style="float: left; height: 200px; width: 300px;" title="Michael Keaton and Alejandro González Iñárritu (Courtesy of Fox Searchlight)" /><em>Birdman</em> director Alejandro González Iñárritu told <a href="http://www.scpr.org/programs/the-frame/2014/09/01/39126/birdman-alejandro-gonzlez-inarritu-michael-keaton/" target="_blank">Southern California Public Radio&#39;s <em>The Frame</em></a> he felt Michael Keaton&rsquo;s performance was &ldquo;almost a miracle.&rdquo;</div><blockquote><p>&quot;During the writing process, I had Michael Keaton as one of the highest possibilities, but then when I finished I knew that he was the best. Not only because he will bring the authority to really talk about what we talk about when we talk about superheroes. That would be Michael, because he, in a way, is the pioneer of that. That will bring the authority, a kind of a meta-dialogue to the film.</p><p>&quot;At the same time, I always have considered Michael Keaton to be a phenomenal actor because he navigates drama and comedy. He has been the bad guy, the funny guy, and I needed somebody who can really navigate those two genres and I think few actors can do that. What he did is extraordinarily difficult, honestly. I think I have worked with great actors, but what he did it was almost a miracle, I have to say.&quot;</p></blockquote><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP722953903556.jpg" style="float: right; height: 200px; width: 300px;" title="Ralph Fiennes and Wes Anderson (AP/Thibault Camus)" />Writer/director Wes Anderson <a href="http://www.scpr.org/programs/the-frame/2015/02/10/41493/wes-anderson-says-the-grand-budapest-hotels-succes/" target="_blank">told <em>The Frame</em></a> that the success of <em>The Grand Budapest Hotel</em> was a &ldquo;total mystery.&rdquo;</div><blockquote><div>&ldquo;I could come up with some notion, but it&#39;s complete guess work ... I had one a few years ago, [&quot;The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou&quot;], that I thought, This is an ocean-going adventure story, it&#39;s the most commercial idea I&#39;ve ever had...[but] almost no one went to see it. I thought I was making a kind of Spielberg movie. The world did not share my perspective on this. Up until the moment there&#39;s a real public screening &mdash; and it&#39;s not a test screening, the movie is finished and we are at a film festival&nbsp; or something &mdash; I have absolutely no sense of how it&#39;s going to go over at all. And really, even after that, I tend not to.&rdquo;</div></blockquote><p>While Benedict Cumberbatch has recieved most of the attention over <em>The Imitation Game</em>, director Morten Tlydum has also been nominated for Best Director on his first English-language feature. He <a href="http://www.scpr.org/programs/the-frame/2014/09/02/39151/telluride-the-imitation-game-screenwriter-and-dire/" target="_blank">told <em>The Frame</em></a>:</p><blockquote><p>&quot;What drew me to the project is that it&#39;s a tribute to people who are different &mdash; who are thinking differently, who [don&#39;t] really fit into the norm, whose ideas are not like anybody&#39;s ideas &mdash; and I think that is so important. We as a society &mdash; we as a species &mdash; if we&#39;re going to move forward, we have to listen to those who think different &mdash; who are not seeing it in the same way as everyone else.&quot;</p></blockquote><p><span style="font-size:24px;">Best Picture Nominees</span></p><p><em>Selma</em> was a favorite for nominations in a number of Oscar categories, but was limited to Best Picture and Best Song. This slight prompted an insightful conversation on WBEZ&#39;s <em>General Admission</em> podcast about the value of making lists about art and how they can starkly show the industry&#39;s lack of diversity.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="100" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/191665733&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>The most controversal film among the Best Picture nominees, <em>American Sniper</em> became a central point on <em>Filmspotting</em>&#39;s Oscar preview episode. They looked back to another Clint Eastwood directoral effort for comparison&mdash;<em>Unforgiven.</em></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="100" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/190985372&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><em>Whiplash</em> writer/director Damien Chazelle <a href="http://www.scpr.org/programs/the-frame/2014/10/09/39765/whiplash-director-damien-chazelle-painful-virtuoso/" target="_blank">told <em>The Frame</em></a> that he was inspired by musicians he knows in real life.</p><blockquote><p>&quot;There are a few musicians that I know who seem on the outside like very asocial or somewhat unemotional people, people who aren&#39;t capable of emotions, and people think they&#39;re very cold inside.</p><p>And they&#39;ll be like that, and then you&#39;ll hear them play their instrument, or you&#39;ll hear the music they write, and you&#39;ll hear emotions come out of that music that you&#39;d never expect coming from that person, and that to me is always this fascinating thing, these people who truly can only communicate through music.</p><p>So I wanted to make a movie about people who live music in that way and compare that to what it&#39;s like in the outside world. You know, a guy who gives his heart and soul to a music school and an instrument and then he goes out to dinner with his family and he&#39;s met with indifference, and what that sort of does to you when your interior passion doesn&#39;t line up with what the world wants from you.&rdquo;</p></blockquote><p><span style="font-size:24px;">Hollywood Jobs</span></p><p>NPR&#39;s <em>Morning Edition</em> contined their ten-year tradition of unleashing Susan Stamberg on Tinseltown backlots for her series &quot;<a href="http://www.npr.org/series/147290803/hollywood-jobs#" target="_blank">Hollywood Jobs</a>.&quot; In this year&#39;s installment Stamberg profiles soundtrack loopers, food stylists, costume designers, location scouts and prop makers.</p><p>In a similar vein, <em>Marketplace </em>learned <a href="http://www.marketplace.org/topics/business/logistical-mind-behind-boyhoods-12-year-shoot" target="_blank">what exactly a first assistant director does</a> and did the numbers on the <a href="http://www.marketplace.org/topics/business/economy-red-carpet" target="_blank">economy of the red carpet</a>.</p></p> Thu, 19 Feb 2015 11:48:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/academy-award-fever-sweeps-public-radio-111590 Concert giant Live Nation facing new scrutiny http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2015-02/concert-giant-live-nation-facing-new-scrutiny-111565 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Live%20Nation%20Logo.jpg" style="float: left;" title="" /></div><p>While Live Nation/Ticketmaster continues to get pretty much anything it wants in Chicago, the giant concert promoter that many have called a monopoly is coming under increased scrutiny elsewhere in the U.S.</p><p>Last week, <em>Washington Post </em>reporter Lydia DePillis wrote a piece <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/02/11/how-live-nation-exploits-low-wage-workers-to-stage-its-rock-concerts/?postshare=6321423761299996">criticizing the company for using independent contractors</a> in a dozen major markets, including Nashville, Memphis, and Atlanta. The contractors are paid as little as $10 an hour to do &ldquo;tricky, dangerous jobs&rdquo; involving staging that might be better overseen by union professionals, albeit at a greater cost. (On Saturday, <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/chi-how-live-nation-exploits-low-wage-workers-20150214-story.html#page=1">the story was reprinted in <em>The Chicago Tribune</em>,</a> which does very little original reporting on the company&rsquo;s local operations.)</p><p>&ldquo;At an event run by the biggest concert promoter in the industry&mdash;Live Nation, with its hefty fees on tickets for concertgoers&mdash;the contrast is jarring&rdquo; and possibly dangerous, DePillis wrote. She went on:</p><blockquote><p>&ldquo;In the entertainment industry, the main union representing backstage labor&mdash;the 122,000-strong International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE)&mdash; worries the model might expand further, driving down salaries and cutting the number of hours available for their members&hellip;</p><p>&ldquo;This week, the union is going to start making some noise on the issue with the ultimate customer&mdash;concertgoers.&rdquo;</p></blockquote><p>&nbsp;Live Nation/Ticketmaster&rsquo;s labor relations have not drawn criticism in Chicago to date, though many of its other business practices have, from heavy-handed treatment of competitors, to poor customer service and egregious ticket fees.</p><p>The company, which counts Mayor Emanuel&rsquo;s brother Ari among the members of its board of directors, has a long-term contract here for the 30,000-capacity Northerly Island concert venue, and it now owns a controlling interest in Lollapalooza. <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2015-02/emanuel-cashes-big-lakefront-concerts-111486http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2015-02/emanuel-cashes-big-lakefront-concerts-111486">As this blog recently reported</a>, the mayor has accepted campaign donations from top Live Nation and Lollapalooza executives, despite his pledge not to take money from city contractors, and he broke a promise to ask for an independent negotiator to deal with those companies during his first term.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/venue-1150.jpg" style="height: 200px; width: 640px;" title="The Greek Theatre in L.A. (www.greektheatrela.com)" /></div></div><p>Meanwhile, Live Nation/Ticketmaster also is under fire in Los Angeles, where the City Council voted to oppose its bid to run the historic Greek Theatre.</p><p><a href="http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-vote-greek-theatre-20150211-story.html">According to <em>The Los Angeles Times</em></a><em>, </em>Live Nation is the choice of the mayor and the parks commission to run the theater currently operated by competing bidders the Nederlander Organization (which once ran Poplar Creek here). &ldquo;But when city lawmakers were asked to weigh in, most disagreed with the decision to choose Live Nation.&rdquo;</p><p><em><strong>Follow me on Twitter </strong></em><a href="https://twitter.com/JimDeRogatis"><strong><em><strike>@</strike>JimDeRogatis</em></strong></a><em><strong>, join me on </strong></em><a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jim-DeRo/254753087340"><strong><em>Facebook</em></strong></a><em><strong>, and podcast or stream </strong></em><a href="http://www.soundopinions.org/"><strong>Sound Opinions</strong></a><em><strong>.</strong></em></p></p> Mon, 16 Feb 2015 06:30:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2015-02/concert-giant-live-nation-facing-new-scrutiny-111565 Numero Group digs deep for 'Cavern Sound' http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2015-02/numero-group-digs-deep-cavern-sound-111535 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/cavern%20sound.jpg" style="height: 456px; width: 450px;" title="" /></div><p>Measured against other historical rock archives devoted to unearthing hidden gems from the fertile period of psychedelic exploration in the late &rsquo;60s and early &rsquo;70s, Numero Group&rsquo;s <em>Local Customs: Cavern Sound </em>is no <em>Nuggets </em>in terms of being truly indispensible, but then few such compilations are. It is, however, easily the equal of, say, the <em>Pebbles </em>series; that is, these groovy period ditties may not be treasures you&rsquo;ll wonder how you ever lived without, but they do make for a pleasant and trippy soundtrack, delivered with the Chicago label&rsquo;s usual loving care toward presentation, annotation, and audio quality.</p><p>The story this time centers on one aptly named recording studio located deep underground in Independence, Missouri&rsquo;s Pixley limestone mine. Cavern Sound was active until the late &rsquo;80s, but <em>Local Customs </em>focuses on 1967-1973, years when the local rock-minded teens, like those across the U.S., were all growing their hair long, dreaming of being the Beatles, and imitating that group&rsquo;s studio innovations and sonic journeys toward the white light, whether or not they actually had the enhancement of psychoactive substances.</p><p>Aesthetic ambitions and a similar time and place aside, two dozen tracks from two dozen bands can make for an inconsistent ride, but when Numero is doing the compiling, the range is still from pretty darn great to slight but fun, with no downright stinkers. Among my highlights: the strutting, horn-augmented &ldquo;Aunt Marie&rdquo; by American Sound Ltd., which somehow makes the 63-year-old titular heroine sound hotter than the contemporary Nancy Sinatra; the sunny but nasty &ldquo;I Don&rsquo;t Really Love You&rdquo; by a band called Sheriff; the rollicking &ldquo;Little by Little&rdquo; from Morningstar, and the Dylan-meets-the Seeds trip of &ldquo;One Day Girl (Twenty-Four)&rdquo; by Burlington Express.</p><p>Tune in, turn it up, and dig deep, and thanks again, Numero.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/HgSSHUMnXn0" width="560"></iframe></p><p><strong>Various artists, <em>Local Customs: Cavern Sound</em> (Numero Group)</strong></p><p><strong>Rating on the 4-star scale: 3.5 stars.</strong></p><p><em><strong>Follow me on Twitter </strong></em><a href="https://twitter.com/JimDeRogatis"><strong><em><strike>@</strike></em></strong><strong><em>JimDeRogatis</em></strong></a><em><strong>, join me on </strong></em><a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jim-DeRo/254753087340"><strong><em>Facebook</em></strong></a><em><strong>, and podcast or stream </strong></em><a href="http://www.soundopinions.org/"><strong>Sound Opinions</strong></a><em><strong>.</strong></em></p></p> Wed, 11 Feb 2015 08:06:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2015-02/numero-group-digs-deep-cavern-sound-111535 For Chicago blues, sweet home is hard to find http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/chicago-blues-sweet-home-hard-find-111519 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Blues-1-Muddy-Waters-creative-commons-photo-by-Kevin-Dooley.jpg" style="height: 219px; width: 320px; float: left;" title="Muddy Waters, circa 1971. The late music legend will be honored at this year’s Chicago Blues Festival (Kevin Dooley/flickr)" /><em>Updated 11:13 a.m.</em></p><p><em><em>(Editor&#39;s Note: After our story was published the Chicago Blues Experience&nbsp;<a href="http://www.chicagobluesexperience.com/" target="_blank">launched this official website</a>.)</em></em></p><p>Back in the 1950s Buddy Guy was a young guitarist living in Louisiana. Like others he eventually traveled north to Chicago, where the blues scene was thriving.</p><p>&ldquo;Muddy Waters, Howlin&rsquo; Wolf, all those great guys,&rdquo; said Guy. &ldquo;That&rsquo;s why I came here. To get a day job and go watch them play at night.&rdquo;</p><p>Those musicians not only inspired him to play, but to open the famed Checkerboard Lounge in the 1970s followed by Legends in the late 80&rsquo;s to keep the music alive. Guy says he&rsquo;ll never forget those early days watching <em>his</em> legends.</p><p>&ldquo;The beer was 25 cents a bottle when I came here. And when Muddy played there wasn&rsquo;t no cover charge. The beer was 35 cents,&rdquo; remembered Guy. &ldquo;So the 10 cents was going for the band members. Muddy Waters was in the band. And those were the greatest days of my life.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Guy just received a Lifetime Achievement award at this year&#39;s Grammys. But he and other artists in town say their music should be just as celebrated locally. And they wonder: If Chicago is the home of the blues, then why doesn&rsquo;t it have a permanent home honoring it?</p><div>The blues made important stops in Memphis and St. Louis, but Chicago is where the blues really came alive in the middle of the last century. That&rsquo;s when musicians like Muddy Waters came here from Mississippi, electrified their down home Delta Blues and recorded it for labels like Chess Records.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>You can still see remnants of this history around town. Like at the old Chess Records on S. Michigan Avenue and Muddy Water&rsquo;s former house at 4339 S. Lake Park Avenue.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><p>&ldquo;This is the house of the blues before there was a house of the blues,&rdquo; said Barry Dollins, former director of the Chicago Blues Festival, standing in front of the boarded up building. &ldquo;This was the rehearsal house.&rdquo;</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Blues-4-Barry-Dollins.jpg" style="float: left; height: 373px; width: 280px;" title="Former Chicago Blues Festival Director Barry Dollins stands in front of Muddy Waters’ former home (WBEZ/Yolanda Perdomo)" />Muddy Waters bought the home in the 1950s at the peak of his career and lived there for 20 years. It wasn&rsquo;t just a home for Waters and his family. It was a gathering place for other musicians, where countless jam sessions were held.</p><p>Today the red brick two flat is in bad shape.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s just depressing just to see that X up there,&rdquo; Dollins sighed, pointing to a big red X affixed to the front.</p><p>That X means the house is abandoned and unsafe. It&rsquo;s been on and off the market for years. Dollins says the home could&rsquo;ve served as a historic space, much like the Louis Armstrong home in New York. A place where people can see where and how the musician lived and what inspired them.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s sad that there was no forethought in what the significance of this building is,&rdquo; said Dollins. &ldquo;And how it could&rsquo;ve been preserved and utilized.&rdquo;</p><p>In some ways, the neglected house is symbolic of the overall failure to erect a permanent space to preserve Chicago&rsquo;s music heritage.</p><p>&ldquo;Why don&rsquo;t we have a blues museum? It comes down to money,&rdquo; Dollins said. &ldquo;It takes millions of dollars to create a museum.&rdquo; &nbsp;</p><p>Steve Cushing is the host of the national radio show &ldquo;Blues Before Sunrise.&rdquo; He said Chicago deserves to have a blues museum, but he&rsquo;s not sure how viable it would be.</p><p>&ldquo;How would you pay for it and where would you put it?&rdquo; asked Cushing. &ldquo;It would seem that you would want it in a place that was related to the actual location of the blues. But if you put it on the south side, would tourists, would white folks go down there?&rdquo;</p><p>If something does ever get off the ground, it won&rsquo;t be called the Chicago Blues Museum. That&rsquo;s because local guitarist Gregg Parker copyrighted that title.</p><p>&ldquo;They call me the black Indiana Jones. If I can&rsquo;t find it, it doesn&rsquo;t exist,&rdquo; said Parker.</p><p>Parker once played with Mick Jagger and Buddy Miles among others, but now mostly collects artifacts for traveling exhibitions.</p><p>&ldquo;I don&rsquo;t need a building to do what I&rsquo;m doing. I own it,&rdquo; said Parker. &ldquo;The blues museum is a state of mind. It&rsquo;s not a building.&rdquo;</p><p>In fact, the address for Parker&rsquo;s museum&rsquo;s is a P.O. box number. He once had a storefront space but won&rsquo;t say why it closed. He gets a little defensive&nbsp;when asked when the public could see his whole collection.</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m not going to tell you my itinerary,&rdquo; scoffed Parker. &ldquo;You might be a thief!&rdquo;</p><p>Parker shows how fragmented and disorganized efforts are to showcase the blues in Chicago. Many say the only way to get everyone on the same page &mdash; and all the artifacts under one roof &mdash; is for the city of Chicago to get involved. They point out that City Hall moved mountains for the proposed George Lucas Museum and the Obama Presidential Library.</p><p>So why hasn&rsquo;t it done more for the blues?</p><p>The Department of Cultural Affairs sent this statement: &quot;The City of Chicago celebrates its rich blues music heritage each year with the world renowned Chicago Blues Festival on the shores of Lake Michigan. More than 500,000 blues fans attend the festival each year, proving that Chicago is the &ldquo;Blues Capital of the World.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p><p>But some tourists at last year&rsquo;s free festival&nbsp;said they wished there was more to see while they were in town.</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;ve been to Buddy Guy&rsquo;s place, but that&rsquo;s about it,&rdquo; said&nbsp;Karl Roque, who came all the way from the Philippines. When asked if he&rsquo;d like to see a museum dedicated to his favorite art form, Roque didn&rsquo;t hesitate. &ldquo;Yes. Why not? Maybe it&rsquo;s about time.&rdquo;</p><p>Buddy Guy agrees.</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;ve been begging for it for almost 30 years.&quot;</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Blues-3-Buddy-Guy.jpg" style="height: 373px; width: 280px; float: left;" title="Buddy Guy’s 78th birthday party celebration at his South Loop club Legends (WBEZ/Yolanda Perdomo)" />According to Guy he may not have to wait too much longer. Guy has been working with a group that&#39;s been trying to build a blues museum for a few years now. &nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;They already got the building on Navy Pier,&quot; said Guy. &ldquo;A blues experience museum on Navy Pier.&rdquo;</p><p>No one at Navy Pier would comment. A statement from Tim Wright, co-founder of the so-called Chicago Blues Experience, said they&rsquo;re close to finalizing the details, but can&rsquo;t confirm when.&nbsp;</p><p>In the meantime, another blues museum is moving full steam ahead. Built with a mix of public and private funds, the $13 million, 23,000 square foot space will feature interactive exhibits and a theater for live music.</p><p>But you won&rsquo;t find it in Chicago.</p><p>The <a href="http://www.nationalbluesmuseum.org/" target="_blank">National Blues Museum</a> is set to open this summer in St. Louis.</p><p><em>Follow WBEZ reporter Yolanda Perdomo on Twitter </em><a href="https://twitter.com/yolandanews"><em>@yolandanews</em></a> <em>&amp;&nbsp;</em><em><a href="https://plus.google.com/u/0/106564114685277342468/posts/p/pub">Google+</a></em></p></p> Mon, 09 Feb 2015 07:41:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/chicago-blues-sweet-home-hard-find-111519 Screaming Females mature on 'Rose Mountain' http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2015-02/screaming-females-mature-rose-mountain-111495 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/screamales.jpg" style="height: 450px; width: 450px;" title="" /></div><p>Over the course of a decade-long career that started when they were barely out of high school, force of nature guitarist-vocalist Marissa Paternoster and her formidable rhythm-section bandmates Jarrett Dougherty and King Mike progressed from playing punk-rock basements in and around New Brunswick, N.J., to opening huge shows for Garbage, the Dead Weather, and Arctic Monkeys.</p><p>Paternoster made a <em>Spin </em>list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time&mdash;albeit at No. 77&mdash;and after working with Steve Albini on their last studio album (2012&rsquo;s aptly named <em>Ugly</em>), she and the boys indulged in a move that often signals that a group is running out of steam, releasing a live album (albeit a cool one recorded by Albini at Chicago&rsquo;s Hideout).</p><p>Was it time for Screaming Females to grow up, get a day job, and maybe tone the caterwauling down to a gentle roar? Hardly.</p><p>Longtime fans may be surprised at first by the bigger, bolder, dare we say more polished sounds of <em>Rose Mountain, </em>which was produced by Matt Bayles, best known for working with hipster/n<em>ü</em>-metal bands like Mastodon and the Sword. But as Paternoster said <a href="http://www.soundopinions.org/show/340/#screamingfemales">when the band appeared on <em>Sound Opinions </em>circa <em>Ugly</em></a><em>, </em>she&rsquo;s always admired more ambitious, arty groups like Radiohead and the Smashing Pumpkins, and big, bold melodies were always part of the mix, even if they were buried under layers of garage grunge and overpowered by the trio&rsquo;s trademark ferocity.</p><p>Well, Screamales are still raging&mdash;just listen to those barn-burning riffs in &ldquo;Triumph&rdquo; or &ldquo;Empty Head&rdquo;&mdash;but they&rsquo;re also making the daring move of slowing down some of the rhythms, emphasizing the hooks, and pushing the often more melodic vocals much higher in the mix. Songs such as &ldquo;Wishing Well,&rdquo; &ldquo;Broken Neck,&rdquo; &ldquo;Hopeless,&rdquo; and &ldquo;Rose Mountain&rdquo; are no less potent for the polishing; indeed, they rank with some of the band&rsquo;s best tunes ever.</p><p>More importantly, Paternoster remains a singular and very welcome presence. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m nothing like the others,&rdquo; she sings in the massive chorsus of the title track, and earnest and self-effacing as ever, you know she ain&rsquo;t kidding.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ECIURtpwRnk" width="560"></iframe></p><p><strong>Screaming Females, <em>Rose Mountain </em>(Don Giovanni)</strong></p><p><strong>Rating on the four-star scale: 4 stars.</strong></p><p><em><strong>Follow me on Twitter </strong></em><a href="https://twitter.com/JimDeRogatis"><strong><em><strike>@</strike>JimDeRogatis</em></strong></a><em><strong>, join me on </strong></em><a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jim-DeRo/254753087340"><strong><em>Facebook</em></strong></a><em><strong>, and podcast or stream </strong></em><a href="http://www.soundopinions.org/"><strong>Sound Opinions</strong></a><em><strong>.</strong></em></p></p> Thu, 05 Feb 2015 07:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2015-02/screaming-females-mature-rose-mountain-111495 Chemotherapy strengthens child's positive outlook http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/chemotherapy-strengthens-childs-positive-outlook-111481 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/150130 StoryCorps Ann Adams Katie Bostick.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Several years ago Ann Adams and her husband found themselves in the middle of every parent&rsquo;s nightmare: Their young daughter Katie was born with a disease that causes brain tumors and had the potential to blind her in one eye, if left untreated.</p><p>Adams and her husband had to make a decision &ndash; Katie could undergo more than a year of chemotherapy or run the risk of going blind in one eye.</p><p>They chose to go with chemotherapy and she endured fourteen months of treatment.</p><p>Adams recently joined Katie, 12, in the StoryCorps Booth at Chicago&rsquo;s Cultural Center.</p><p>&ldquo;If I had had chemotherapy as a 16-year-old that&rsquo;d be different, because I&rsquo;m older, I&rsquo;m more mature,&rdquo; Katie says, &ldquo;but as a pre-schooler, it&rsquo;s just kind of unimaginable.&rdquo;</p><p>Katie today is cheerful and happy. She survived the traumatizing experience but retained a positive outlook.</p><p>&ldquo;When I smile, other people smile, and it just makes me happy,&rdquo; Katie says.</p><p>When she was younger and she noticed her mom looking stressed, she told her, &ldquo;I&rsquo;m not going to die.&rdquo;</p><p>Adams says that&rsquo;s like Katie, who is always looking out for other people. The hospital staff fought to care for Katie as a patient.</p><p>Adams and her daughter&rsquo;s memories focus on different details: Katie remembers putting anesthesia masks on her teddy bear and pretending she was the doctor.</p><p>Adams remembers changing Katie&rsquo;s bandages each week and distracting her with books-on-CD.</p><p>Recently, Adams offered her daughter a surgery to get rid of a scar on her thumb. But Katie wanted to keep it as a reminder.</p><p>She says she wants to remember what really happened so that when she&rsquo;s an adult, she won&rsquo;t be making any details up</p><p>&ldquo;A reminder so that if I do have children I don&rsquo;t want them to go through what I went through as a kid,&rdquo; Katie says.</p></p> Fri, 30 Jan 2015 14:32:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/chemotherapy-strengthens-childs-positive-outlook-111481 Unmasking Ernie Banks http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/unmasking-ernie-banks-111480 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/ernie.PNG" alt="" /><p><p>For baseball fans, the sound of Jack Brickhouse calling Ernie Banks&rsquo; 498th, 499th and most especially, the Chicago Cub&rsquo;s 500th home run is, euphoria. The week after Banks died at the age of 83, fans, fellow ballplayers and the media talked endlessly about his talent&mdash;and charisma.</p><p>&ldquo;He liked being out in the public, it was important to him, people would recognize him. And if they didn&rsquo;t recognize him right away they might because of the Cub jacket and Cub hat he always wore,&rdquo; sports writer Ron Rapoport said.</p><p>Rapoport first got to know Banks when he was a sports columnist for the <em>Chicago Sun-Times</em>. But says he didn&rsquo;t get to know the man until later in life, when both men were living in California.</p><p>&ldquo;He was wearing a mask. It was a good mask and he liked wearing it...but the mask wasn&rsquo;t the man,&rdquo; Rapoport said.&nbsp;</p><p>Rapoport said the man was thoughtful, reflective and complicated...and almost eloquent.</p><p>He used to clock how long it took Banks to remove the mask when they were out in public; said he averaged about 20 minutes.</p><p>Banks&rsquo; swing was natural, fluid, zen-like. But his public persona required coaching from the start.</p><p>&ldquo;Ernie&rsquo;s first important baseball job was with&nbsp; the Kansas City Monarchs of the old Negro Leagues where Buck O&rsquo;Neil was the manager. And O&#39;Neill used to tell him which restaurants to go to...not to be caught &ldquo;reckless eyeballing white women,&rdquo; Rapoport explained.</p><p>Banks eventually found his way with the Monarchs&mdash;then, Jackie Robinson happened. A few years later, when the Chicago Cubs chose to integrate, they went for Banks; but Banks didn&rsquo;t want to go.</p><p>&ldquo;I just felt comfortable playing in the Negro Leagues. I didn&#39;t know what to do or what to say; it was a learning process in learning how to get along...with white players,&rdquo; Banks told WBEZ in 2010.</p><p>Banks learned to say little to his teammates in the big leagues and, instead, made friends in the little leagues. During the offseason, teams would invite him to throw out the first pitch and meet the kids, but when he got there&hellip;.</p><p>&ldquo;They would look at me, they would start talking ...&rsquo;Oh, I thought he was white, he&rsquo;s black.&rsquo; Because of my name, they...they didn&rsquo;t know,&rdquo; Banks laughed.</p><p>Banks won back-to-back MVP titles and hit 512 home runs, but there were those who wished he&rsquo;d done more for race relations.</p><p>Former longtime WBEZ host Richard Steele shared that the subject frequently comes up at the Coleman Brothers Barber Shop on 62nd and Stony Island, a neighborhood gathering place. One of the brothers, James, is actually an old Army buddy of Banks--and as you might imagine, he&rsquo;s a fierce defender of his old friend.</p><p>&ldquo;There&rsquo;s a senior barber in there, Tommy, who&rsquo;s my barber, who knows how to get a rise out of Mr. Coleman. All you had to do is say something about Ernie Banks and Tommy would say, &ldquo;I hate to say it, he&rsquo;s kind of an Uncle Tom.&rsquo;&rdquo; Coleman would be furious and (14) he would say, &lsquo;Stop saying that! The man is a great baseball player, a great wonderful human being...I knew him in the Army...&rsquo;&rdquo; Steele recalled.</p><p>Banks became a household name around the same time as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. But many said Banks didn&rsquo;t fight to get the salary the best player on the team deserved. His max salary was $65,000, while some of the white players he took on in home run derbies were making $100,000.</p><p>Lots of people thought Ernie&rsquo;s silence kept other black players from earning a fair wage. But he wasn&rsquo;t comfortable fighting for it--it wasn&rsquo;t his nature.</p><p>Nowadays, athletes&rsquo; paychecks are bigger--but so is the pressure to do and say more. Longtime WBEZ sports contributor Cheryl Raye Stout says that&rsquo;s unfair.</p><p>&ldquo;To say because you dribble a ball or you hit a ball or you dunk a ball that you&rsquo;re supposed to be a spokesperson is difficult. You can only do that if you feel comfortable in doing it,&rdquo; said Raye-Stout.</p><p>Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose has never been much of a public speaker. But when a kid from Englewood becomes the star of his hometown team--he&rsquo;s expected to put an end to the violence he&rsquo;s witnessed.</p><p>Last December, Rose made his biggest social statement yet--without speaking. He wore a t-shirt bearing the phrase, &ldquo;I Can&rsquo;t Breath&rdquo; during a pre-game warmup. The phrase refers to Eric Garner&rsquo;s last words. The New York man died after a police officer placed him in a chokehold while arresting him for selling loose cigarettes. The demonstration drew mixed reactions--but Rose was glad people paid attention.</p><p>&ldquo;My biggest concern is the kids, I know what they&rsquo;re thinking right now, I was one of them kids. When you live in an area like that and you don&rsquo;t got any hope and police are treating you any way---I&rsquo;m not saying all our police (officers) are treating kids bad but, when you live in an area like that it gives you another reason to be bad,&rdquo; Rose said.</p><p>There will never be a shortage of people telling professional athletes what to do. And that&rsquo;s the real reason, Banks said, &ldquo;let&rsquo;s play two&hellip;&rdquo; He didn&rsquo;t want to leave the field.</p><p>&ldquo;When you&rsquo;re playing baseball, on that field, it&rsquo;s like your whole life, it&rsquo;s your world and you don&rsquo;t want to leave it. It was such a joy to be there, to be able to make decisions on your own: when to swing, when not to swing; when to run, when not to run. I felt this is the only place in the world where I could make my own decisions,&rdquo; Banks said.</p><p>I asked Rapoport if Banks didn&rsquo;t like what was under the mask--he said that wasn&rsquo;t the case at all.</p><p>&ldquo;He&rsquo;d want people to remember the mask, that&rsquo;s what he would want people to remember about him. And that&rsquo;s fair; he&rsquo;s earned the right to be remembered the way he wants to be, I think,&rdquo; Rapoport explained.</p><p>When WBEZ spoke with Banks back in 2010, Landmarks Illinois had just named the Hall of Famer a Legendary Landmark. Asked if he had any regrets, Banks explained he often searched his footsteps for them--but delighted in life&rsquo;s ups and downs. And then, ever the entertainer, he broke out into his friend Frank Sinatra&rsquo;s classic, &ldquo;My Way.&rdquo;</p><p><em>Katie O&rsquo;Brien is a WBEZ reporter and producer. Follow her <a href="http://twitter.com/katieobez" target="_blank">@katieobez</a>.</em></p></p> Fri, 30 Jan 2015 12:18:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/unmasking-ernie-banks-111480