WBEZ | Music http://www.wbez.org/news/music Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Buddy Guy: 'I worry about the future of blues music' http://www.wbez.org/news/music/buddy-guy-i-worry-about-future-blues-music-112539 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/bg_o4a3461_wide-422a2769dccacc64b48011c4f14e68803cd2df0a-s800-c85.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15117655/buddy-guy">Buddy Guy</a>&nbsp;<em>is</em>&nbsp;the blues, and he&#39;s our connection to a genre that&#39;s embedded in the history of America. But it&#39;s a sound the guitarist fears is fading.</p><p>Born and raised in Louisiana without running water or electricity, Guy tells NPR&#39;s David Greene, &quot;They got some mosquitoes in Louisiana that can almost lift you out of your bed,&quot; which made his parents a little upset when he started tearing the metal wire off the screen door. He was trying to build a guitar.</p><p>Finally, his dad got him a real guitar and the family got electricity. Guy became obsessed with the exciting blues music coming from Chicago masters like&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15201309/muddy-waters">Muddy Waters</a>. He landed there in 1957 and quickly developed a reputation as a showman. Guy played guitar behind his back, picked strings with his teeth and made grand entrances by starting on the street and walking through the crowd to the stage.</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="349" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/KRihhTQik2k" width="620"></iframe></p><p>At 79, Guy still plays like a wild man. You can hear it on&nbsp;<em>Born To Play Guitar</em>, his new album, which celebrates his six decades playing the blues. But the scene has changed. When he started, his audiences were all black &mdash; except, he tells NPR, for the occasional cop. In the &#39;60s, the blues fell out of fashion with middle-class blacks and the music found a new audience when artists like&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15381813/eric-clapton">Eric Clapton</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15403019/the-rolling-stones">The Rolling Stones</a>started playing it. Buddy Guy gives them credit for making the blues more mainstream while also acknowledging pioneers such as&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15402961/b-b-king">B.B. King</a>, Muddy Waters and himself.</p><p>Today, however, Guy worries that far too few people are hearing the blues from anyone. Before B.B. King died, it was something both musicians spoke about at length, he says, and here with Greene, Guy describes the mission passed down from Muddy Waters.</p><p><strong>I wonder if there aren&#39;t as many young black musicians devoting themselves to the blues. Do you worry about the future of blues music?</strong></p><p>I worry about the future of blues music whether you are black or white. If they don&#39;t hear it like I did and listen to it and don&#39;t know about it &mdash; you ever been to Louisiana where they cook all this gumbo?</p><p><strong>I have. I love it.</strong></p><p>I do, too. [Laughs.] So if you never tasted it, you wouldn&#39;t love it. That&#39;s what&#39;s happening with the blues. Now, the young people don&#39;t know nothing about it unless &mdash; I know satellite [radio] do play blues, but we need more than that. I tell everybody I would love to hear Muddy Waters twice a week. I&#39;m not telling you to play him all day, all night; just play him. Let the young people know where it all started.</p><p><strong>This album strikes me as a love letter to the blues. Is that the approach you took?</strong></p><p>A love letter, a text letter, whatever kind of letter you wanna call it, I hope you&#39;re right so someone can say, &quot;Well, maybe this music isn&#39;t as bad as I thought it was.&quot; It&#39;s worth listening to. A lot of people look at blues and think it&#39;s a sad music. If you listen to the lyrics of the blues, if it don&#39;t hit you, it hits someone you know. And we sang about the good and bad times, so you can&#39;t say it&#39;s all bad.</p><p><strong>What made Muddy Waters so important to you?</strong></p><p>Not me; he was important to everybody. That&#39;s why The Rolling Stones called themselves The Rolling Stones. That was one of his records. Maybe some young people just coming up don&#39;t know because they don&#39;t play his records anymore, but Clapton, all of the British guys know about him. Of course, you know, I grew up on it.</p><p><strong>You had a conversation with Muddy Waters about the blues when he was pretty sick, shortly before he died. Tell me what happened, what you guys said to each other.</strong></p><p>We heard he was sick and he was hiding. He didn&#39;t let us know he had cancer. We rang him and he said, &quot;Aw, man, I&#39;m fine.&quot; He was profane, I can&#39;t say what he said. [Laughs.] He said, &quot;Y&#39;all just keep playing that em-effing blues and don&#39;t let that blues die. I&#39;m fine.&quot; The next couple days, that&#39;s when I got the call from the media and asked me how did I feel &mdash; he had passed.</p><p><strong>And have you taken that as your mission?</strong></p><p>Well, coming from him, I had to listen to him. I was listening to him before I met him, so why quit listening to him when he was passed and gone?</p><p><strong>For the younger people who don&#39;t know much about the blues, what&#39;s the case that you would make to go buy a Muddy Waters album as soon as they can?</strong></p><p>If you don&#39;t have the blues and don&#39;t know about the blues, just keep livin&#39;.</p><p><strong>What do you mean by that?</strong></p><p>[Laughs.] At least, you&#39;re gonna see a better time or a worser time in life. Just listen to what I&#39;m sayin&#39;: Just keep livin&#39;. Even if you get in the middle of the expressway and your car quit runnin&#39;, you got blues.</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="349" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ntqlTG40inU" width="620"></iframe></p><p><strong>It&#39;s something everybody can relate to.</strong></p><p>You better believe. Like I said, the blues comes in all denominations, man. It comes with your family, with your lover, with your friend. And I had some good friends until I loaned them a lot of money; then I lost them. [Laughs.] I&#39;ve got a piece of paper in my club, &quot;You loan your friend your money, you finna lose your money and your friend.&quot;</p><p><strong>And that&#39;s the blues.</strong></p><p>And that&#39;s the blues, sir.</p><p><strong>Buddy Guy, this has been a true honor and a real pleasure talking to you. Thank you so, so much.</strong></p><p>Well, thank you very much, and I appreciate whatever you can do to help the blues stay alive.</p><p><em>&mdash; via <a href="http://www.npr.org/2015/08/03/427728963/buddy-guy-i-worry-about-the-future-of-blues-music">NPR Music</a></em></p></p> Mon, 03 Aug 2015 08:52:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/music/buddy-guy-i-worry-about-future-blues-music-112539 Radio M : July 31, 2015 http://www.wbez.org/programs/radio-m/2015-07-31/radio-m-july-31-2015-112514 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/m%20rafi.jpeg" style="width: 100%;" title="The great Mohammed Rafi" /></p><p>Hindi film music is one of my favorite forms of music from the subcontinent. One of the things I love so much about the music that accompanied Bollywood films in the 1950&#39;s thru the early 1980&#39;s was the sheer imagination of its composers such as S.D. Burman, his son R.D. Burman, O.P. Nayyar and the brothers Kalyanji Virji Shah and Anandji Virji Shah. These men would incorporate everything from Indian folk music, jazz, rock and roll, latin music and later crazy electronics.</p><p>Of course you can&#39;t have the music without the playback singers and one of the most popular was Mohammed Rafi.&nbsp; He was the most sought after singer between 1950 and 1970 and he could do it all: classical numbers, patriotic songs, mournful ballads, romantic tunes as well as the more traditional qawwalis and ghazals. Mohammed Rafi&#39;s voice was silenced on July 31, 1980. We&#39;ll remember his art with some tunes throughout the show.</p><p>We&#39;ll also play some Indian psych rock, disco from the Caribbean, pop music from Iraq, trance rhumba from Kinshasa&#39;s Mbongwana Star, and Colombian cumbia.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Playlist</p><p>9PM</p><p>Mighty Duke- Be Yourself- Tropical Disco Hustle</p><p>Mohammed Rafi- Chan Mere Dil- Rough Guide to Psychedelic Bollywood</p><p>Trio Tekke- Andigonou- Samas</p><p>William Onyeabor- Tomorrow- Tomorrow</p><p>Spoek Mathambo, Cerebral Vortex &amp; Frown- Zombie- Red Hot + Fela</p><p>Mbongwana Star- Nganshe -&nbsp; From Kinshasa</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/_GAaNrSsOeY" width="560"></iframe></p><p>9:30PM</p><p>Mohammed Rafi- Jan Pahechen Ho- Bombshell Baby of Bombay</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/aHA_S48KRrI" width="420"></iframe></p><p>Lorna- Sougar Ranjeant- Konkani Songs: Music from Goa made in Bombay</p><p>Lucho Perez- Judith- The Original Sound of Cumbia: The History of Colombian Cumbia &amp; Porro as told by the phonograph 1948-79</p><p>Bob Andy- Games People Play- Roots of Reggae Vol. 2: Rock Steady</p><p>10PM</p><p>Mohammed Rafi- Sar Jo Tera Chakraye- Classic Guru Dutt</p><p>Nana Kinomi &amp; Leo Beats- Suki Sa Suki Sa Suki Sa- Nippon Girls: Japanese Pop, Beat and Bossa nova 1966-70</p><p>Alcione- Olere Camara- Brazil Classics 2: O Samba</p><p>Okoi Seka Athanase- Melokoton Membun Ou - Ivory Coast Soul Edits</p><p>Mohammed Rafi- Jo Bat Tujh Mein Hai- The Best of Mohammed Rafi</p><p>Jorge Drexler- El Triangulo de la Bermudas- Bailar en la Cueva</p><p>The Wailing Souls- Mr. Fire Coal Man- Studio One Groups</p><p>10:30PM</p><p>Ibibio Sound Machine- The Tortoise- Ibibio Sound Machine</p><p>Owiny Sigoma Band- Owiny Techno- Power Punch</p><p>Francis Bebey- Sanza Tristesse- Psychedelic Sanza 1982-84</p><p>Mohammed Rafi- Haaye Mehamaan Kahan Gham E Jana Hoga- Shaam e Ghazal</p><p>Dom la Nena- Menino- Soyo</p><p>Dimba Diangola- Despidida- Angola Soundtrack Vol. 2</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Here&#39;s Jorge Drexler performing in an Argentine studio</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/pLg8CZ6qM9g" width="560"></iframe></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 30 Jul 2015 08:16:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/radio-m/2015-07-31/radio-m-july-31-2015-112514 City still refuses to share Lollapalooza evacuation plan http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2015-07/city-still-refuses-share-lollapalooza-evacuation-plan-112510 <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/Lolla%20evac%201.jpg" title="Lollapalooza concertgoers stream onto Michigan Avenue during the 2012 evacuation. (Annie Minoff/WBEZ file photo)" /></div><p><a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/music/ct-lollapalooza-emergency-weather-plans-20150728-story.html">&ldquo;City details Lollapalooza emergency plans ahead of festival,&rdquo;</a> the headline in <em>The Chicago Tribune </em>reads. In fact, as the story makes crystal clear, the exact opposite is true. Writes the paper&rsquo;s hard-working and talented new entertainment reporter Tracy Swartz:</p><p>&ldquo;Melissa Stratton, spokeswoman for the city&rsquo;s Office of Emergency Management and Communications&hellip; said there were no major changes to Lollapalooza&rsquo;s severe weather plan this year compared to recent years but she would not provide a copy of the 2015 plan to the <em>Tribune</em> &lsquo;because it contains public safety-sensitive information.&rsquo;&rdquo;</p><p>Why is this an issue? Because, <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2015-07/forget-about-porta-potties-and-bad-sound-weather-real-problem-112431">as noted in this blog last week</a> as well as in <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/music/kot/ct-behind-pitchfork-decision-to-evacuate-the-festival-20150719-column.html">a <em>Trib</em> story about the recent evacuation of the Pitchfork Music Festival</a>, there really is no practical way to quickly move tens of thousands of people to safety if or when dangerous weather descends on a massive city park. And the <em>Trib </em>notes that thunderstorms are expected for part of Lollapalooza this weekend.</p><p>Lollapalooza already dodged a bullet once, when violent thunderstorms prompted its evacuation in 2012. Some of the crowd of about 100,000 were herded into the overflowing underground parking garages at the northern tip of the Grant Park. But the majority were simply kicked out of the park and onto Michigan Avenue, left to fend for themselves and descend upon local businesses.</p><p>Stratton told Swartz that &ldquo;the 2012 Lollapalooza evacuation prompted a plan for better communication inside and outside Grant Park. Video screens were installed in the park to broadcast messages and shelter locations were posted on Lollapalooza&rsquo;s website.&rdquo;</p><p>The challenge, in 2012 or during any future evacuation, is getting the word spread quickly and efficiently to a crowd that is not necessarily paying any attention.</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/lollaevac_0_0_1.jpeg" title="Official Lollapalooza evacuation Tweet, 2012." /></div><p>Wrote Swartz: &ldquo;In the event of an evacuation, pre-recorded loudspeaker announcements will broadcast information from the stages and the main festival entrance at Michigan Avenue and Congress Parkway; video screens at the festival&rsquo;s main entrance will post messages; signs will display directions to shelter locations; and notifications will go to Lollapalooza mobile app users and social media followers.&rdquo;</p><p>One would think that releasing this information in advance would aid any evacuation even more. Still, the city declines.</p><p>The <em>Trib </em>also recently published a piece by Robert Channick headlined, &ldquo;<a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-chicago-festivals-economy-0726-biz-20150724-story.html#page=1">From Lollapalooza to NFL draft, high-profile events paying off for Chicago.</a>&rdquo; Again, it wasn&rsquo;t entirely accurate based on the story that followed, which noted that some of the numbers being cited by city officials are a bit squishy.</p><blockquote><p>&ldquo;&lsquo;Signature events held in Chicago create more customers for our businesses today and bring the potential for repeat visitors and more economic growth for tomorrow,&rsquo; [Mayor Rahm] Emanuel said. &lsquo;The City of Chicago will continue to redouble our efforts to attract more marquee events&hellip;&rsquo;</p><p>&ldquo;Lollapalooza may be at the top of Chicago&rsquo;s marquee&hellip; [Its] total economic impact, including indirect spending, reached $143 million last year, up from $85 million in 2010, according to a study commissioned by C3. The study found the festival has generated $587 million for the Chicago economy over five years.&rdquo;</p></blockquote><p>But the story went on to quote University of Chicago economics professor Allen Sanderson, who noted that a study saying the festival is a boon commissioned by the folks who own and run the festival isn&rsquo;t necessarily reliable.</p><p>&ldquo;If you take whatever numbers somebody gives you, move the decimal point one to the left, you&rsquo;re probably pretty close,&rdquo; Sanderson said. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s 10 percent reality and 90 percent marketing.&rdquo;</p><p>And, as this blog has often noted, there never has been an independent economic impact study accurately assessing income from Lollapalooza and weighing it against the summer-long losses to Chicago-based promoters, clubs, and music venues thanks to the festival&rsquo;s bullying treatment of local competitors. It doesn&rsquo;t take a U of C economics expert to know that balance sheets have both a debit and a credit column.</p><p>Meanwhile, Lollapalooza, which is entering its first year under coownership by the monopolistic corporate concert giant Ticketmaster/Live Nation, continues to expand internationally. Today, it announced that it is moving into Colombia, joining other foreign fests in Chile, Brazil, Argentina, and Germany.</p><p><strong>UPDATED: </strong>The city&rsquo;s Office of Emergency Management and Communications issued the following press release today.</p><div class="page" title="Page 1"><table style="border-collapse: collapse"><tbody><tr><td style="border-style: solid; background-color: rgb(100.000000%, 100.000000%, 100.000000%); border-top-width: 0.000000pt; border-right-width: 0.000000pt; border-right-color: rgb(0.000000%, 0.000000%, 0.000000%); border-bottom-width: 0.006000pt; border-bottom-color: rgb(0.000000%, 0.000000%, 0.000000%); border-left-width: 0.000000pt; border-left-color: rgb(0.000000%, 0.000000%, 0.000000%)"><div class="layoutArea"><div class="column"><p><span style="font-size: 11.000000pt; font-family: 'Calibri'; color: rgb(12.900000%, 12.900000%, 12.900000%)">FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 29, 2015 </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 11.000000pt; font-family: 'Calibri'; color: rgb(12.900000%, 12.900000%, 12.900000%)">Contact: Melissa Stratton 312-746-9454 </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 16.000000pt; font-family: 'Calibri,Bold'; color: rgb(12.900000%, 12.900000%, 12.900000%)">AS LOLLAPALOOZA RETURNS TO GRANT PARK THIS WEEKEND, </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 16.000000pt; font-family: 'Calibri,Bold'; color: rgb(12.900000%, 12.900000%, 12.900000%)">CITY ENCOURAGES FANS TO ENJOY PREMIER MUSIC FESTIVAL SAFELY </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 16.000000pt; font-family: 'Calibri,Bold'; color: rgb(12.900000%, 12.900000%, 12.900000%)">AND RESPONSIBLY </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 11.000000pt; font-family: 'Calibri,Italic'; color: rgb(12.900000%, 12.900000%, 12.900000%)">Large Crowds Expected, Street Closures in Place for July 31 </span><span style="font-size: 11.000000pt; font-family: 'Calibri,Italic'; color: rgb(12.900000%, 12.900000%, 12.900000%)">&ndash; </span><span style="font-size: 11.000000pt; font-family: 'Calibri,Italic'; color: rgb(12.900000%, 12.900000%, 12.900000%)">August 2 Music Festival Featuring Paul McCartney and Metallica as Headliners </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 11.000000pt; font-family: 'Calibri'; color: rgb(12.900000%, 12.900000%, 12.900000%)">Lollapalooza begins on Friday, July 31, in Grant Park, bringing hundreds of thousands to the lakefront in Chicago for the sold-out, three-day music festival, with an outstanding line-up and attractions. As the festival gets underway, the Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) urges those attending to be mindful of restrictions in order to enjoy a safe event and adhere to any public safety directions. Motorists and pedestrians, as well as residents, in the area are reminded of the street closures and traffic impacts throughout the weekend. </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 11.000000pt; font-family: 'Calibri,Bold'; color: rgb(12.900000%, 12.900000%, 12.900000%)">Street Closures: </span><span style="font-size: 11.000000pt; font-family: 'Calibri'; color: rgb(12.900000%, 12.900000%, 12.900000%)">Beginning today at 9 a.m., Columbus is closed from Monroe to Roosevelt through Monday, August 4, at 4:00 p.m. Lake Shore Drive or State Street can be used as alternate routes around the festival crowds and closures. In addition, Balbo and Jackson are closed from Michigan to Lake Shore </span></p></div></div></td></tr><tr><td style="border-style: solid; background-color: rgb(100.000000%, 100.000000%, 100.000000%); border-top-width: 0.006000pt; border-top-color: rgb(0.000000%, 0.000000%, 0.000000%); border-right-width: 0.000000pt; border-right-color: rgb(0.000000%, 0.000000%, 0.000000%); border-bottom-width: 0.000000pt; border-left-width: 0.000000pt; border-left-color: rgb(0.000000%, 0.000000%, 0.000000%)"><div class="layoutArea"><div class="column"><p><span style="font-size: 11.000000pt; font-family: 'Calibri'; color: rgb(12.900000%, 12.900000%, 12.900000%)">Drive and Congress Parkway (including the Congress Circle) is closed from Michigan to Columbus. Balbo from Columbus to Lakeshore Drive will remain closed through Thursday, August 6 and Jackson from Columbus to Lakeshore Drive will remain closed through Wednesday, August 5. Traffic Control Aides are deployed to facilitate traffic. </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 11.000000pt; font-family: 'Calibri,Bold'; color: rgb(12.900000%, 12.900000%, 12.900000%)">Weather Shelters: </span><span style="font-size: 11.000000pt; font-family: 'Calibri'; color: rgb(12.900000%, 12.900000%, 12.900000%)">Attendees should be aware of the emergency evacuation shelters sites located in the Grant Park North, Grant Park South and Millennium Lakeside Garages. Blue and white signage is posted to direct people to designated extreme weather shelters for extreme conditions such as lightning, tornadoes, hail storms or other weather events. The three primary emergency evacuation shelter sites can be accessed through the vehicle entrance on Michigan Avenue. </span></p></div></div></td></tr></tbody></table></div><div class="page" title="Page 2"><div class="section"><div class="section" style="background-color: rgb(100.000000%, 100.000000%, 100.000000%)"><div class="layoutArea"><div class="column"><p><span style="font-size: 11.000000pt; font-family: 'Calibri,Bold'; color: rgb(12.900000%, 12.900000%, 12.900000%)">Pole Locations: </span><span style="font-size: 11.000000pt; font-family: 'Calibri'; color: rgb(12.900000%, 12.900000%, 12.900000%)">For public safety, attendees are reminded to be aware of the numbers attached to the poles throughout the Grant Park area to help them reference their location within the Park to friends, family and first responders if there is an emergency. </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 11.000000pt; font-family: 'Calibri,Bold'; color: rgb(12.900000%, 12.900000%, 12.900000%)">Security and Enforcement: </span><span style="font-size: 11.000000pt; font-family: 'Calibri'; color: rgb(12.900000%, 12.900000%, 12.900000%)">Festival-goers are reminded that all bags will be searched upon entering the festival grounds. Also, underage drinking is not allowed and the ordinance will be strictly enforced. </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 11.000000pt; font-family: 'Calibri,Bold'; color: rgb(12.900000%, 12.900000%, 12.900000%)">ADA Drop-Off: </span><span style="font-size: 11.000000pt; font-family: 'Calibri'; color: rgb(12.900000%, 12.900000%, 12.900000%)">ADA drop-off is located at the North Entrance at Monroe and Columbus. </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 11.000000pt; font-family: 'Calibri,Bold'; color: rgb(12.900000%, 12.900000%, 12.900000%)">Public Transportation</span><span style="font-size: 11.000000pt; font-family: 'Calibri'; color: rgb(12.900000%, 12.900000%, 12.900000%)">: As for any large scale event, public transportation is encouraged and both CTA and Metra are providing additional service for the event. For more information, visit CTA<br />at </span><span style="font-size: 11.000000pt; font-family: 'Calibri'; color: rgb(50.200000%, 0.000000%, 50.200000%)">www.transitchicago.com </span><span style="font-size: 11.000000pt; font-family: 'Calibri'; color: rgb(12.900000%, 12.900000%, 12.900000%)">and </span><span style="font-size: 11.000000pt; font-family: 'Calibri'; color: rgb(50.200000%, 0.000000%, 50.200000%)">www.metrarail.com</span><span style="font-size: 11.000000pt; font-family: 'Calibri'; color: rgb(12.900000%, 12.900000%, 12.900000%)">. </span></p></div></div></div><div class="section" style="background-color: rgb(100.000000%, 100.000000%, 100.000000%)"><div class="layoutArea"><div class="column"><p><span style="font-size: 11.000000pt; font-family: 'Calibri,Bold'; color: rgb(12.900000%, 12.900000%, 12.900000%)">Taxi Cabs and Car Service: </span><span style="font-size: 11.000000pt; font-family: 'Calibri'; color: rgb(12.900000%, 12.900000%, 12.900000%)">For those traveling to and from the event by taxi or car service, pick-up and drop-off locations will be along State Street. </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 11.000000pt; font-family: 'Calibri,Bold'; color: rgb(12.900000%, 12.900000%, 12.900000%)">Weather Conditions: </span><span style="font-size: 11.000000pt; font-family: 'Calibri'; color: rgb(12.900000%, 12.900000%, 12.900000%)">At this point, the National Weather Service is forecasting temperatures in the mid to high 80s for the weekend, with possible storms on Sunday. As always, attendees should dress accordingly to avoid heat-related emergencies. Cooling buses and water stations are available throughout the Lollapalooza footprint and fans are allowed to bring up to two factory-sealed water bottles (one liter in size) to the event to avoid dehydration. </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 11.000000pt; font-family: 'Calibri,Bold'; color: rgb(12.900000%, 12.900000%, 12.900000%)">OEMC Traffic and Weather Notifications: </span><span style="font-size: 11.000000pt; font-family: 'Calibri'; color: rgb(12.900000%, 12.900000%, 12.900000%)">The public is also encouraged to register for free emergency alerts, including severe weather notifications, by subscribing to NotifyChicago at </span><span style="font-size: 11.000000pt; font-family: 'Calibri'; color: rgb(50.200000%, 0.000000%, 50.200000%)">www.notifychicago.org</span><span style="font-size: 11.000000pt; font-family: 'Calibri'; color: rgb(12.900000%, 12.900000%, 12.900000%)">. In case of emergency, attendees should be alert to safety messages from the official Lollapalooza Mobile App, video screens at the main entrance and at the three stages, as well as audio announcements broadcasted from all stages. </span></p></div></div></div><div class="section" style="background-color: rgb(100.000000%, 100.000000%, 100.000000%)"><div class="layoutArea"><div class="column"><p><span style="font-size: 11.000000pt; font-family: 'Calibri,Bold'">If You See Something, Say Something: </span></p></div></div></div></div><div class="layoutArea"><div class="column"><p><span style="font-size: 11.000000pt; font-family: 'Calibri'">As always, it is the responsibility of all to remain vigilant and report suspicious activity. I</span><span style="font-size: 11.000000pt; font-family: 'Calibri'">f You See Something, Say SomethingTM is a national anti</span><span style="font-size: 11.000000pt; font-family: 'Calibri'">-terrorism public </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 11.000000pt; font-family: 'Calibri'">awareness campaign that emphasizes the importance of reporting suspicious activity to law enforcement authorities. Residents are urged to call </span><span style="font-size: 11.000000pt; font-family: 'Calibri,Bold'">855-RPRT- 2S4 (855-777-8274) </span><span style="font-size: 11.000000pt; font-family: 'Calibri'">&ndash; </span><span style="font-size: 11.000000pt; font-family: 'Calibri'">the official toll- free number of the local campaign </span><span style="font-size: 11.000000pt; font-family: 'Calibri'">&ndash; </span><span style="font-size: 11.000000pt; font-family: 'Calibri'">to report any non-emergency suspicious activity to local authorities. </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 11.000000pt; font-family: 'Calibri'">### </span></p></div></div><table style="border-collapse: collapse"><tbody><tr><td style="border-style: solid; background-color: rgb(100.000000%, 100.000000%, 100.000000%); border-top-width: 0.000000pt; border-right-width: 0.000000pt; border-right-color: rgb(0.000000%, 0.000000%, 0.000000%); border-bottom-width: 0.006000pt; border-bottom-color: rgb(0.000000%, 0.000000%, 0.000000%); border-left-width: 0.000000pt; border-left-color: rgb(0.000000%, 0.000000%, 0.000000%)"><div class="layoutArea"><div class="column"><p><span style="font-size: 11.000000pt; font-family: 'Calibri'; color: rgb(12.900000%, 12.900000%, 12.900000%)">OEMC works closely with the City&#39;s public safety departments, the Chicago Park District and C3 Presents by planning well in advance of the popular event to ensure the safety of performers, music fans and </span></p></div></div></td></tr><tr><td style="border-style: solid; background-color: rgb(100.000000%, 100.000000%, 100.000000%); border-top-width: 0.006000pt; border-top-color: rgb(0.000000%, 0.000000%, 0.000000%); border-right-width: 0.000000pt; border-right-color: rgb(0.000000%, 0.000000%, 0.000000%); border-bottom-width: 1.919970pt; border-bottom-color: rgb(50.000000%, 0.000000%, 50.000000%); border-left-width: 0.000000pt; border-left-color: rgb(0.000000%, 0.000000%, 0.000000%)"><div class="layoutArea"><div class="column"><p><span style="font-size: 11.000000pt; font-family: 'Calibri'; color: rgb(12.900000%, 12.900000%, 12.900000%)">residents. Participants are urged to be familiar with the surrounding area and to heed warnings, if need be. For a map of festival grounds and emergency information, as well as entertainment details, visit the Lollapalooza website at </span><span style="font-size: 11.000000pt; font-family: 'Calibri'; color: rgb(50.200000%, 0.000000%, 50.200000%)">www.lollapalooza.com</span><span style="font-size: 11.000000pt; font-family: 'Calibri'; color: rgb(12.900000%, 12.900000%, 12.900000%)">. </span></p></div></div></td></tr></tbody></table></div><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> Wed, 29 Jul 2015 15:17:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2015-07/city-still-refuses-share-lollapalooza-evacuation-plan-112510 Radio M: July 24, 2015 http://www.wbez.org/programs/radio-m/2015-07-29/radio-m-july-24-2015-112485 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Terkaft.gif" alt="" /><p><p>This week on Radio M lots of new music for your ears.&nbsp;</p><p>This week&#39;s show includes the latest from desert rockers Terakaft, Chilean singer-songwriter Camila Moreno, Brazilian tropicalista Ava Rocha and Nigerian Highlife thru the lens of Finnish band Kaveri Special.</p><p>Also a live cut from the <em>Morning Shift</em> performance by Chicago veena player Sara Ranganathan.</p><p>Plus Talking Heads and The Skatalites.</p><p><strong>Playlist</strong></p><p>9 p.m.</p><p>Terakaft- Admidinin Senat Afelas (My Confidant)- Alone</p><p>Alif- Yalla Tnam (Lullaby)- Aynama Rtama</p><p>Talking Heads &ndash; Dancing for Money- Fear of Music (Remastered)</p><p>Kanaku y El Tigre- Quema Quema Quema- Quema Quema Quema</p><p>Inezz Mezel- Silent Waters- Strong</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/QY8YYemmsd8" width="560"></iframe></p><p>Kaveri Special- Sunnuntaibrunissi- Kaveri Special</p><p><strong>9:30 p.m.</strong></p><p>The Skatalites- Dick Tracy- Studio One: Scorcher Vol.2</p><p>Pacho Galan y Su Orquesta- Cumbia del Caribe- Zombie Club presents Mambo Calypso</p><p>Ebo Taylor- Children Don&rsquo;t Cry- Afrobeat Airways Vol.2</p><p>Sara Ranganathan &ndash; Raga Blues &ndash; Live at WBEZ</p><p>The Expanders- Hustling Culture- Hustling Culture</p><p>Imperial Tiger Orchestra- Yedao- Mercato</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>10 p.m.</strong></p><p>Camila Moreno- Maquinas Sin Dio- Mala Madre</p><p>Klaus Johan Grobe- Schlaufen de Zukunft- Im Sinne de Zeit</p><p>Ava Rocha &ndash; O Jardim- Ava Patrya Yindia Yracema</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/yXlCgiMszAo" width="560"></iframe></p><p>Jabula- Mathome- Spirit of Malombo</p><p>Los Cayenes- Suspirando por el Chikichaka- Si Para Usted Vol.2: The Funky Beats of Revolutionary Cuba</p><p>Mabel Scott- Fool Burro- Juke Box mambo: Rumba &amp; Afro Latin Accented Rhythm &amp; Blues 1949-60</p><p>Orlando Julius &amp; His Modern Aces- Mapami- super Afro Soul</p><p><strong>10:30 p.m.</strong></p><p>Sakir Oner Gunham- Deli Deli- Psych Funk a la Turkish</p><p>Mehr Pouya- Soul Raga- Soul Raga</p><p>Pheno S &ndash; Waihidjo- Music from Saharan Cellphones Vol.2</p><p>Adelkbir Marchane &amp; Ahmed Baqbou- Sandiya- Ouled Bambara: Portraits of Gnawa</p><p>Ballake Sissoko &amp; Vincent Segal- Ma Ma FC- Chamber Music</p></p> Mon, 27 Jul 2015 13:10:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/radio-m/2015-07-29/radio-m-july-24-2015-112485 On the set of ‘Almost Famous’ http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2015-07/set-%E2%80%98almost-famous%E2%80%99-112458 <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/Crowe2.jpg" style="width: 100%;" title="" /></div><p><a href="http://www.soundopinions.org/events">As triumphantly noted on <em>Sound Opinions</em>&rsquo; Events Page</a>, our little radio show will be screening Cameron Crowe&rsquo;s 2000 film <em>Almost Famous </em>for free at the <a href="http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/dca/supp_info/millennium_park7.html">Jay Pritzker Pavilion</a> in Millennium Park at 6:30 p.m. tomorrow as part of the city&rsquo;s great summer film series.</p><p>Greg Kot and I don&rsquo;t agree on much, but we both think this is one of the best movies ever made about rock &rsquo;n&rsquo; roll, brilliantly portraying the way that many of us fall in love with the music as a consuming passion, something that is very difficult to capture on film. We also think it&rsquo;s the best movie ever with a hero who&rsquo;s a rock critic&mdash;not that there are many (any?) other contenders.</p><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2014-02/great-art-about-guilt-and-longing-109623">As I wrote last year in an obituary of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman</a>, who portrays legendary rock critic Lester Bangs in the film, I also have a very personal connection to this movie: I met and befriended Crowe because I wrote Bangs&rsquo; biography, <em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Let-Blurt-Lester-Americas-Greatest/dp/0767905091/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1437667248&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=let+it+blurt">Let It Blurt</a></em>, and we both had the similar experience of meeting our rock-writing hero when we were 17 years old, Crowe in 1972, and me in 1982.</p><p>This doesn&rsquo;t mean I think <em>Almost Famous </em>is a perfect movie; once a critic, always a critic, and its candy-colored portrait of teenage groupies sidesteps some very harsh truths about the way young women were too often treated on the &rsquo;70s rock scene, as recent revelations about Joan Jett&rsquo;s first band the Runaways sadly attest. But what I love about the movie I love very much indeed, and much of that can be seen in the series of articles I wrote for <em>The Chicago Sun-Times </em>after a visit to the set shortly before the film&rsquo;s release 15 years ago in September.</p><p>Here are those articles from 2000. See you tomorrow, and remember: <em>You ARE home!</em></p><blockquote><p><strong>As Crowe flies</strong></p><p><strong><em>The Chicago Sun-Times, September 3, 2000</em></strong></p><p><strong>BY JIM DeROGATIS pop music critic </strong></p><p>LOS ANGELES&mdash;As I arrive in an editing studio on the Fox lot in Hollywood, the beautiful, melancholy sounds of &ldquo;The Rain Song&rdquo; by Led Zeppelin are blasting on the soundtrack. The dramatic strum of Jimmy Page&rsquo;s guitar merges perfectly with the image onscreen of actor Patrick Fugit (portraying William Miller, a.k.a. the young Cameron Crowe) collapsing on his bed, exhausted.</p><p>The scene shifts to Fairuza Balk, one of a gang of groupies known as &ldquo;Band Aids.&rdquo; The music swells majestically as she tosses her long black hair. It&rsquo;s a key point near the end of <em>Almost Famous</em>, Crowe&rsquo;s new film, and Balk is having a conversation with Billy Crudup, the actor who plays Russell Hammond, the vainglorious leader of a fictional &rsquo;70s rock band called Stillwater.</p><p>&ldquo;You don&rsquo;t even know what it is to be a fan,&rdquo; Balk says. &ldquo;To truly love some little piece of music so much that it hurts.&rdquo;</p><p>Crudup stares into the distance, pondering her words. The music sighs, the scene ends, and the technicians stop the film. <em>&ldquo;Niiiice,&rdquo; </em>Crowe says with just a hint of a Southern California surfer accent. &ldquo;Very nice!&rdquo;</p><p>It&rsquo;s early July, 10 weeks before the movie&rsquo;s Sept. 15 opening, and it&rsquo;s the last day of six intense weeks of sound editing, the final step before the film&rsquo;s completion. Three recording engineers&mdash;one for dialogue, one for music and one for sound effects&mdash;plus music rights consultant Danny Bramson and numerous assistants busy themselves behind a giant console that looks like the control panel for the starship Enterprise.</p><p>&ldquo;This is the <em>Jerry Maguire</em> crew,&rdquo; Crowe explains. Like ballplayers at the end of the season, they are slightly giddy as they make the final fixes on the eagerly awaited follow-up to Crowe&rsquo;s 1996 hit. The director smiles and lapses into a bit of <em>Blues Brothers</em> shtick. &ldquo;The band got back together!&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;The man wanted to keep us apart, but we got together again!&rdquo;</p><p>All of the movies that Crowe has written, or written and directed&mdash;<em>Fast Times at Ridgemont High</em> (1982), <em>The Wild Life</em> (1984), <em>Say Anything</em> (1989), <em>Singles</em> (1992) and <em>Jerry Maguire</em>&mdash;are marked by their extraordinary use of music, which isn&rsquo;t surprising, given his background as a rock journalist. Now 42, the director was a 15-year-old Catholic high school kid from San Diego when he began covering bands such as Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, and the Eagles for <em>Creem</em> and <em>Rolling Stone</em> magazines in 1973. <em>Almost Famous</em> tells the story of his first year on the road.</p><p>Tall, gangly but otherwise inconspicuous, Crowe quietly absorbed everything around him during seven of the headiest years in rock history, then set it down on paper with the enthusiasm of a diehard fan. He employed a similar modus operandi a few years later in 1979 when he re-enrolled in high school, posing as a senior at age 22 to write a book about how &ldquo;the kids&rdquo; really lived.</p><p><em>Fast Times at Ridgemont High </em>became a best seller, which led Crowe to write a screenplay for the film by Amy Heckerling. Though it flopped on release, the movie became a huge hit on video, making stars of cast members such as Sean Penn, who portrayed stoned-out surfer Jeff Spicoli. Crowe&rsquo;s movie career was launched, but it would be a constant struggle to make films the way he wanted, in the warm romantic-comedy tradition of his hero Billy Wilder. (Alfred A. Knopf recently published his book of interviews with the director of <em>The Apartment</em> and <em>Some Like It Hot</em>.)</p><p>&ldquo;The only movie that I&rsquo;ve ever been a part of where the money guys &lsquo;got it&rsquo; was <em>The Wild Life</em>,&rdquo; Crowe says, referring to his least successful film. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m used to them not getting it. They didn&rsquo;t get this movie; they didn&rsquo;t get <em>Jerry Maguire</em>; they definitely didn&rsquo;t get <em>Singles</em>, and <em>Say Anything</em> was barely released. In many ways it&rsquo;s a miracle that we&rsquo;re even sitting here talking about my work in film, because the only stuff that wasn&rsquo;t a battle for me was rock journalism.&rdquo;</p><p>Music clearly remains Crowe&rsquo;s first and truest love. Balk may be doing the talking in the scene described above, but the sentiments are the director&rsquo;s.</p><p>&ldquo;We tried a lot of songs in that scene,&rdquo; Crowe says. &ldquo;We really wanted to hit her speech about being a fan&mdash;that feeling about it being <em>your </em>band and loving a song like &lsquo;The Rain Song,&rsquo; which could make you cry on the right occasion. It was all about that speech, and unless you honored that speech by putting the right music behind it, it was just a candidate to be cut, as opposed to the heart of the movie.&rdquo;</p><p>Trivia fact: &ldquo;Nothing Man&rdquo; by Crowe&rsquo;s friends Pearl Jam was the song that Crudup was actually listening to as the scene was filmed. &ldquo;Other directors say you have to be careful with people listening to music on the set because it could look good while you&rsquo;re filming but later it might not sync up,&rdquo; Crowe says. &ldquo;I disagree. The look of someone listening to music they love is a unique look, and I wanted to capture that.</p><p>&ldquo;The whole subject matter is just so personal and fascinating to me. Another guy would be interested in car racing or something. It&rsquo;s all about what you&rsquo;re a fan of. It&rsquo;s almost punk-rock, trying to push a personal movie through the mainstream pipeline. You have to have had a movie like <em>Jerry Maguire</em> for people to trust you and let you make a movie like this and cast it the way you want to cast it, without any stars.&rdquo;</p><p><em>Almost Famous</em> was the most difficult of Crowe&rsquo;s films to make because it was the most personal and because he felt an obligation to accurately capture real-life characters like his rock-critic mentor, the late Lester Bangs.</p><p>&ldquo;I was in denial that I was actually doing the movie for a long time,&rdquo; Crowe says. &ldquo;I thought there was a real danger of doing a &lsquo;glory of me&rsquo; project. I really have a problem with talking about myself; my taste is for utterly personal stuff that doesn&rsquo;t revel in the glory of ego. It&rsquo;s like the blowhard at the party whose voice is too loud. I really wanted to avoid that, and all my friends will tell you that I tortured them and tortured myself deciding to finally do this.&rdquo;</p><p>As in the past, music provided the way into the project. The director started making &ldquo;road trip tapes&rdquo; full of the music of the era, and those inspired him to start writing. It&rsquo;s a cardinal rule of the movie business that the screenwriter never specifies what music will be playing during a scene, but Crowe ignored this convention even before he started directing his own films. &ldquo;The scripts&mdash;all of them, even <em>Jerry Maguire</em>&mdash;start with the music for me,&rdquo; he says.</p><p><strong>* * * </strong></p><p>Twelve hours later, after lunch at the commissary and a break for a dinner of Indian takeout, the crew is beginning to hit the wall, but Crowe shows no signs of slowing down. Chronically described as &ldquo;boyish&rdquo; (even now, long after his days as a wunderkind), he is constantly pacing behind the mixing console, tossing a baseball in the air, answering questions from his assistants, pausing to check his email on a laptop and talking to this reporter all at once. It&rsquo;s as if he&rsquo;s urging his team toward the finish line by his own display of perpetual motion.</p><p>Crowe&rsquo;s wife, Heart guitarist Nancy Wilson, has arrived in the studio to add a bass line to the score during another key scene, the one where Fugit/Miller bids farewell to the groupie who has stolen his heart, Kate Hudson as Penny Lane. The crew gives the impression that they think things are just fine as they stand (and they&rsquo;d really like to go home), but Crowe is convinced that Wilson&rsquo;s bass will put the scene over the top.</p><p>The couple fell in love during the making of <em>Fast Times at Ridgemont High</em>, after being set up on a blind date by two mutual friends, rock photographer Neal Preston and Kelly Curtis, the manager of Heart and Pearl Jam. &ldquo;Nancy just didn&rsquo;t know how uncool it was to date a rock writer,&rdquo; Crowe jokes.</p><p>Since then, Wilson has written the scores for all of his films. In between taking care of their young twins, she also penned several of the songs that Stillwater performs, utilizing a style that evokes bluesy mid-&rsquo;70s rockers Bad Company.</p><p>&ldquo;We have the same musical taste, and we speak shorthand,&rdquo; Crowe says of working with his wife. &ldquo;Everybody does these scores that are keyboard-based, because it&rsquo;s easy; you can sample everything on keyboard. I like guitar scores; it sort of suits my writing better. I can walk in the kitchen and say, &lsquo;Let&rsquo;s do a romantic theme on guitar,&rsquo; and she&rsquo;ll say, &lsquo;I&rsquo;ll do it later.&rsquo; I&rsquo;ll say, `Now, now, now!&rsquo; and she&rsquo;ll sit down and play something that becomes like the theme of <em>Jerry Maguire</em>.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s really his voice and his taste in music,&rdquo; Wilson says as she tunes her bass and waits for the engineers to roll the tape. &ldquo;He gets a lot of his inspiration from listening to songs and cutting out pictures&mdash;it&rsquo;s kind of like a collage effect with music, where there&rsquo;s like an ache or something and he hears the song and gets into the story. We&rsquo;re roughly the same age, and we have a really similar background with the stuff we loved in music&mdash;Dylan and the Beach Boys and all that stuff. He was like the only guy I ever met who had such similar taste in music.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;Quiet on the set!&rdquo; somebody shouts, and the crew begins rolling the film and recording Wilson&rsquo;s bass part. The musician watches the screen as Fugit runs along an airport concourse, keeping pace with Hudson&rsquo;s plane as it taxies down the runway. The spare but touching score underscores both the connection and the distance between them.</p><p>As their actors&rsquo; eyes meet, the musician hits a rolling bass note that does indeed bring the moment to its emotional climax. The note is still ringing in the air when the engineers stop the film and turn expectantly toward Crowe.</p><p><em>&ldquo;Niiiice!,&rdquo; </em>the director says, even more enthusiastically than before. &ldquo;Very nice!&rdquo;</p><p>Everyone applauds for &ldquo;one-take Wilson,&rdquo; no one clapping louder than Crowe. The last of the sound fixes has been completed, and the director is ready to send his film into the world.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Sidebar: Great moments by the numbers </strong></p><p>A few years ago, Cameron Crowe was decrying what he called &ldquo;the <em>Batman</em> syndrome&rdquo; of big-budget movies slapping pop songs on the soundtrack as a marketing gimmick, regardless of whether or not the music fit the film.</p><p>&ldquo;That&rsquo;s the case less and less now,&rdquo; Crowe says. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s just a different generation of filmmakers coming up, and what was once the shining example&mdash;Martin Scorsese and the way he used rock music in his movies&mdash;is now becoming more and more common.&rdquo;</p><p>Every fan of Crowe&rsquo;s work has a favorite music-movie pairing from his films. Here are some of mine, as well as the director&rsquo;s choices, which may be surprising.</p><p><strong>* </strong><em>Fast Times at Ridgemont High</em></p><p>My choice: The scene where Mike Damone lectures Mark &ldquo;Rat&rdquo; Ratner on side two of &ldquo;Led Zeppelin IV&rdquo; as perfect make-out music. Ironically, &ldquo;Kashmir&rdquo; from &ldquo;Physical Graffiti&rdquo; plays on the soundtrack&mdash;at the time, it was the only Zep song that Crowe could get the rights for.</p><p>Crowe&rsquo;s choice: &ldquo;&lsquo;Somebody&rsquo;s Baby&rsquo; by Jackson Browne&mdash;definitely the scene with &lsquo;Somebody&rsquo;s Baby.&rsquo;&rdquo;</p><p><strong>* </strong><em>Say Anything</em></p><p>My choice: John Cusack as Lloyd Dobler tries to win Ione Skye&rsquo;s Diane Court by playing Peter Gabriel&rsquo;s &ldquo;In Your Eyes&rdquo; on a boom box held aloft in the rain.</p><p>Crowe&rsquo;s choice: &ldquo;&lsquo;Within Your Reach&rsquo; [by the Replacements], when Lloyd is packing to leave home. I love that.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>* </strong><em>Jerry Maguire</em></p><p>My choice: Tom Cruise as Maguire banging the steering wheel in time to Tom Petty&rsquo;s &ldquo;Free Fallin&rsquo;,&rdquo; oblivious to the fact that that&rsquo;s exactly what he&rsquo;s doing.</p><p>Crowe&rsquo;s choice: &ldquo;It would be [Bruce Springsteen&rsquo;s] &lsquo;Secret Garden,&rsquo; when Rene [Zellweger] runs down the street, and just before that when she sees her little boy kissing Tom. It&rsquo;s one of my favorite moments as a director. I also like &lsquo;Magic Bus&rsquo; [by the Who] at the beginning. It set the tone for the whole movie.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>* </strong><em>Almost Famous</em></p><p>My choice: Philip Seymour Hoffman as Lester Bangs doing the chicken dance to &ldquo;Search and Destroy&rdquo; by the Stooges.</p><p>Crowe&rsquo;s choice: &ldquo;Led Zeppelin&rsquo;s &lsquo;That&rsquo;s the Way.&rsquo; And I really like Bloodwyn Pig in this movie. And I liked finding `Your Move&rsquo; [by Yes] for when the kid gets backstage for the first time, because that felt kind of quietly triumphant. But the new one is totally built on the music&mdash;it&rsquo;s all about the music.&rdquo;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Sidebar: </strong><strong>Bangs served as role model for filmmaker</strong></p><p>A s a precocious 15-year-old, Cameron Crowe began writing about rock music for the alternative weekly <em>The San Diego Door</em>. His editor was Bill Maguire&mdash;the director would pay homage when he chose Jerry Maguire&rsquo;s surname 22 years later&mdash;but his real role model was rock critic Lester Bangs, who grew up in nearby El Cajon, then moved to Detroit to edit <em>Creem</em> magazine.</p><p>Bangs returned home to visit at Christmas 1973. Crowe stood outside watching through the plate-glass window as his hero did an interview on an FM rock station. Afterward, the two went for a hamburger. Bangs had read the clips Crowe sent him, and he rewarded him with an assignment to interview Humble Pie.</p><p>This scene is recounted in <em>Almost Famous</em> as Bangs is portrayed by the red-hot method actor Philip Seymour Hoffman (<em>Boogie Nights</em>, <em>Magnolia</em>, <em>The Talented Mr. Ripley</em>). He is the moral conscience of the movie, the wise sage who tells the young Crowe not to befriend rock stars and to always be &ldquo;honest and unmerciful.&rdquo; (Never mind that Bangs sometimes ignored his own advice.)</p><p>I met Bangs a decade later, two weeks before he died in the spring of 1982, when I was a senior in high school. Crowe read a fanzine article that I wrote about my encounter, and for years, every six months or so, he called and encouraged me to write a book about Bangs&rsquo; life. Eventually I did. (I contributed research material to <em>Almost Famous</em>&mdash;although I was not a paid or credited consultant&mdash;and Crowe was one of more than 200 people interviewed for my book.)</p><p>I asked the director to talk about why Lester Bangs was so important to him and to so many of our fellow rock writers.</p><p>&ldquo;What your book is about, what my movie is about, what Lester Bangs is about is being a fan,&rdquo; Crowe said. The biggest thing was&mdash;with all due respect to Lester&mdash;not to write a movie that was a tribute to Lester, but to make a movie that was a tribute to the way that music makes you feel. If you can get the movie to make you feel like a song you just sort of discovered that you want to hear like eight times in a row, that&rsquo;s the hardest thing. Part of that story is a guy who can grab you by the collars and say, &lsquo;Listen to this!&rsquo; or &lsquo;Don&rsquo;t hang out with rock stars!&rsquo; Of course, you have to embrace the contradictions, because fully half the time I spent with Lester was hanging out with rock stars!</p><p>&ldquo;I was intent on capturing Lester&rsquo;s humor. Hoffman was listening to a tape of your interview with Lester in between takes, but that was the 1982 Lester, and I wanted to make sure he was connected to the &rsquo;73 Lester. The push and pull of our discussions and the performance created a more truthful Lester because you have the humor and you also have the darkness that was obvious just by looking at his body: He seemed gloriously toxic. Hoffman caught the soul, I fought for the humor, and the collaboration surprised us both.</p><p>&ldquo;When [DreamWorks studio chief Steven] Spielberg saw the movie, he called me up&mdash;and believe me, I don&rsquo;t get many calls from Steven Spielberg&mdash;and he said, &lsquo;I&rsquo;m gonna quote Lester Bangs to you right now and I&rsquo;m gonna be honest and unmerciful.&rsquo; He told me what he thought of the movie and he was very complimentary and also very laser-like about pace and stuff. I had about 30 people read the part of Lester, including Tom Cruise. In the end I hired the one guy who didn&rsquo;t even read&mdash;he just walked in and started talking about this American Express ad that he&rsquo;d seen with one of his heroes up on a bulletin board, and it was a very Lester-like rant. But I hear Lester laughing in those moments, when I hear Cruise reading his words, or when Steven Spielberg quotes him.</p><p>&ldquo;If the both of us, through our own experiences with Lester, have found a way to start a debate about the state of rock criticism or at least bring attention to this guy via your book or my movie, I say let it all come, because he really deserves it.&rdquo;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Sidebar: </strong><strong>Screenplays spawn imitators</strong></p><p>From Jeff Spicoli&rsquo;s immortal words, &ldquo;People on &lsquo;ludes should not drive,&rdquo; to Rod Tidwell&rsquo;s timeless exhortation, &ldquo;Show me the money!,&rdquo; Cameron Crowe has shown a remarkable ability for crafting catchphrases and tapping into the cultural zeitgeist.</p><p>For evidence, you need only look at his imitators.</p><p><em>Arli$$</em>, an HBO series about a funny and aggressive sports agent, premiered several months after the success of <em>Jerry Maguire</em>, Crowe&rsquo;s film about a funny and aggressive sports agent. &ldquo;They say <em>Arli$$</em> was in development before they knew about <em>Jerry Maguire</em>, but who knows?&rdquo; Crowe says.</p><p>After Crowe&rsquo;s 1992 movie <em>Singles</em>, Warner Bros. Television asked him to turn the film into a TV series about a group of six 20-something roommates searching for love. Crowe declined. Several months later, ABC&rsquo;s fall schedule was announced, and it included a show called <em>Singles</em> about a group of six 20-something roommates searching for love. Crowe&rsquo;s attorneys moved into action, but the show&rsquo;s producers said it was all a big mistake, and their show was actually <em>Friends</em>.</p><p>When the TV show premiered, several details seemed familiar: There was the gang frolicking in the courtyard, hanging out at a coffeehouse and listening to a goofy musician singing about a cat. &ldquo;I had my lawyer look into it and it turns out that they had changed just enough of the details so that it would be not an easy lawsuit,&rdquo; Crowe says.(A Warner Bros. spokesman declined to comment.)</p><p>Imitation has its upside. How does Crowe feel when a phrase like &ldquo;Show me the money&rdquo; becomes ubiquitous in pop culture?</p><p>&ldquo;I love it,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;I loved it when it came up at like the Westminster Dog Show&mdash;that was the most fun thing ever. It&rsquo;s never the one you intend it to be. Every time you try and write a catchphrase, the audience is smarter than that, they can hear the typewriter behind it. It&rsquo;s like every Clint Eastwood catchphrase after `Make my day&rsquo;; the poor guy, you can see him struggling. There&rsquo;s nothing more fun than discovering your own catchphrase, and nothing sadder than getting one forced on you.&rdquo;</p></blockquote><p>&nbsp;</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/Crowe1.jpg" style="width: 100%;" title="On the set of 'Almost Famous' (courtesy Cameron Crowe)." /></div><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, 27 Jul 2015 06:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2015-07/set-%E2%80%98almost-famous%E2%80%99-112458 Obama Visits Kenya http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-07-24/obama-visits-kenya-112475 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Obama pic 3.jpg" title="U.S. President Barack Obama waves after being greeted by Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta, right, on his arrival at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, Kenya Friday, July 24, 2015. Obama began his first visit to Kenya as U.S. president Friday. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)" /></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/216187008&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_artwork=false " width="100%"></iframe></p><p><strong style="font-size: 24px;">Obama Vists Kenya as President</strong></p><p>President Obama heads to Kenya today. This is the first time he will visit his father&rsquo;s home country since he was elected president. The visit is filled with anticipation. There was discussion of making the visit a national holiday. In the town of Funyula in Busia County, which by borders Siaya County, the home area of President Obama&#39;s late father, the radio station there is calling today &ldquo;Obama Day.&rdquo; We&rsquo;ll check in with Phylis Nasubo Magina who is in Funyula. She&rsquo;s the managing director of The ABCs of Sex Education, where she leads a team of 49 community educators providing sex education and HIV prevention. Ken Opalo, an assistant professor at Georgetown University also joins us to discuss Obama&rsquo;s visit. He&rsquo;s originally from Kenya.</p><p><strong>Guests: </strong></p><p>Phylis Nasubo Magina is the Kenya Country Director of The ABCs of Sex Education</p><p>Ken Opalo Ken Opalo is an assistant professor at Georgetown University&rsquo;s School of Foreign Service and a blogger. He&rsquo;s originally from Kenya.<iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/216187612&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_artwork=false " width="100%"></iframe></p><p><span style="font-size:24px;"><strong>Weekend Passport:</strong></span></p><p>Each week global citizen Nari Safavi helps listeners plan their international weekend. This week he&rsquo;ll tell us about an exhibit on North Korea, the film Hiroshima Mon Amor and Bomba Estereo: Album Release Show</p><p><strong>Guests:</strong></p><p>Nari Safavi is co-founder of Pasfarda Arts and Cultural Exchange</p><p>Alice Wielinga is a participating artist in North Korean Perspectives</p><p>Marc Prüst] is curator of North Korean Perspectives<iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/216188449&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_artwork=false " width="100%"></iframe></p><p><span style="font-size:24px;"><strong>Milos Stehlik talks with Omar Sy, star of the film &#39;Samba&#39;</strong></span></p><p>Film contributor Milos Stehlik sits down with Omar Sy, star of the new film &ldquo;Samba.&rdquo; It&rsquo;s the latest film by the team that brought us &ldquo;The Intouchables. &#39;Samba&#39; tells the story of an undocumented kitchen worker who&rsquo;s battling deportation. The movie follows his struggles and budding romance with the immigration case worker who&rsquo;s trying to help him stay in France.</p><p><strong>Guests:</strong></p><p>Omar Sy, French actor and comedian, star of the film &ldquo;Samba&rdquo;</p><p>Milos Stehlik is WBEZ&rsquo;s film contributor and director of Facets Multimedia</p></p> Fri, 24 Jul 2015 13:55:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-07-24/obama-visits-kenya-112475 StoryCorps Chicago: Tales from Theresa's Lounge http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/storycorps-chicago-tales-theresas-lounge-112473 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/bh_storycorps_pokempner.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Marc PoKempner is a <a href="http://www.pokempner.net/book.html">photojournalist </a>who has worked extensively with the <em>Chicago Reader </em>and <em>People</em> magazine.</p><p>But in the 1960s he was just a college student in Hyde Park, interested in photography and the blues.</p><p>StoryCorps producer Francesco De Salvatore interviewed PoKempner recently.</p><p>And they spoke a lot about a basement bar in Chicago on the corner of 43rd and Indiana called Theresa&rsquo;s Lounge, where many of the city&rsquo;s most famous blues musicians held court.</p><p><em><em>Marc Pokempner was interviewed through a partnership with the Maxwell Street Foundation.</em>StoryCorps&rsquo; mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to share, record and preserve their stories. These excerpts, edited by WBEZ, present some of our favorites from the current visit, as well as from previous trips.</em></p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 24 Jul 2015 12:35:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/storycorps-chicago-tales-theresas-lounge-112473 Talking U2, one of my favorite albums by the Flaming Lips and the state of music journalism http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2015-07/talking-u2-one-my-favorite-albums-flaming-lips-and-state-music <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/bono%20%28Lucy%20Nicholson_Reuters%29.jpg" style="height: 360px; width: 640px;" title="Bono, he just thinks he's God. (bono (Lucy Nicholson, Reuters via Q))" /></div><p>In case you don&rsquo;t get enough of me yakking on <em>Sound Opinions</em>&mdash;always hard for me to imagine for anyone other than my mom&mdash;I&rsquo;d like to share some recent podcast appearances where I debated the merits of U2, dived deep into <em>Clouds Taste Metallic, </em>one of my favorite album by the Flaming Lips, and pondered the question, &ldquo;Should music mags survive or get killed off?&rdquo;</p><p>The U2 back-and-forth with Canadian arts journalist and self-professed superfan Marsha Lederman was for one of CBC Radio&rsquo;s recurring &ldquo;Good or Bad&rdquo; segments on <em>Q. </em>The very nature of such a segment encourages polarizing opinions, and as I made clear in <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2015-06/u2s-innocence-experience-tour-reminds-you-why-you-used-love-band-112245">my recent review of the first of U2&rsquo;s United Center shows</a>, I am a fan, too, and have been for a long time. I certainly disagree with some of U2&rsquo;s business moves and dislike some of its albums in recent years, but I loved what I saw of the current tour.</p><p>Still, I&rsquo;ll stick by what I told Marsha and <em>Q </em>host Piya Chattopadhyay, when U2 does nothing in a small way: When the band is good, it&rsquo;s very, very good, and when it&rsquo;s bad, it&rsquo;s very, very bad. <a href="http://www.cbc.ca/radio/q/schedule-for-friday-july-17-2015-1.3156482/u2-good-or-bad-1.3156489">But listen to the debate here and decide for yourself.</a></p><div class="image-insert-image"><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/clouds-taste-metallic-502f9e86e833d.jpg" style="height: 450px; width: 450px;" title="" /></p></div><p>Next up, I finally linked up with Australian writer and director Jeremy Dylan after months of patience on his part to participate in his fine podcast <em>My Favorite Album</em>, which features arts luminaries such as John Waters, Roby Hitchcock, and Neil Finn weighing in on (duh) one of their favorite albums. (Don&rsquo;t ask me what I&rsquo;m doing in that company, but again, mom will be proud.) I talked about <em>Clouds Taste Metallic</em>, one of my five favorite albums by the Flaming Lips.</p><p>For the other four, see my biography of the band,<strong> <em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Staring-Sound-Oklahomas-Fabulous-Flaming/dp/0767921402/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1437664248&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=jim+derogatis+flaming+lips">Staring at Sound</a></em>. </strong><a href="http://mrjeremydylan.com/post/123551364080/my-favorite-album-79-jim-derogatis-sound">And listen if you so desire to Jeremy and I talking about the most underrated of the Lips&rsquo; best recordings here.</a></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/sxsw2015-strauss-9662-bigtop.jpeg" style="height: 250px; width: 640px;" title="" /></div><p>Finally, at SXSW 2015 back in March, my friend Jason Gross (editor of the great music Webzine <em><a href="http://www.furious.com/perfect/">Perfect Sound Forever</a></em>) organized and moderated a panel discussion on the state of music journalism and criticism with <strong>Ann Powers</strong> (NPR Music), <strong>Alex Gale</strong> (<em>Billboard</em>), the legendary <strong>Jaan Uhelszki</strong>, and yours truly. <a href="http://www.sxsw.com/music/news/2015/audio-recap-should-music-mags-survive-or-get-killed-sxsw-music-2015">SXSW recently posted info and audio of this auspicious meeting of the minds here.</a> And trust me: It&rsquo;s much more fiery than my countenance in the photo above suggests.</p><p><em>Follow me on Twitter </em><a href="https://twitter.com/JimDeRogatis"><strong><em><strike>@</strike>JimDeRogatis</em></strong></a><em>, join me on </em><a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jim-DeRo/254753087340"><strong><em>Facebook</em></strong></a><em>, and podcast or stream </em><a href="http://www.soundopinions.org/"><strong>Sound Opinions</strong></a><em>.</em></p></p> Thu, 23 Jul 2015 11:24:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2015-07/talking-u2-one-my-favorite-albums-flaming-lips-and-state-music Forget about Porta Potties and bad sound: Weather is the real problem http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2015-07/forget-about-porta-potties-and-bad-sound-weather-real-problem-112431 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" longdesc="https://www.flickr.com/photos/robertloerzel/sets/72157655646333189/show" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/P4k rain 1.jpg" title="Violent weather at Pitchfork 2015. (Copyright Robert Loerzel)" /></div></div><p>In 2008, when the tornado sirens went off in Chicago on the Monday after Lollapalooza, I wondered what would have happened if that severe thunderstorm had hit a day or two earlier, when 100,000 people were getting high on groovy tunes and other pleasures in Grant Park.</p><p>As the pop music critic at <em>The Chicago Sun-Times</em>, I was frustrated at the time in my efforts to get an answer from the Police Department or the city&rsquo;s Office of Emergency Management &amp; Communications. <a href="http://blogs.suntimes.com/music/2008/08/on_tornadoes_and_the_cops_new.html">Oh, there&rsquo;s an evacuation plan for every major music festival, city officials assured me; they just couldn&rsquo;t publicize it in advance &ldquo;for security reasons.&rdquo;</a></p><p>In 2012, city officials still wouldn&rsquo;t answer the question when it was raised anew by <em>Chicago Tribune </em>investigative reporter Heather Gillers, who&rsquo;d won nationwide acclaim for her coverage of the bad-weather stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair in 2011. <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-08-01/news/ct-met-lolla-emergency-plan-20120801_1_indiana-state-fair-emergency-management-plan-evacuation">Here&rsquo;s the link to her piece</a>, and <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2012-08/tribune-if-severe-weather-hits-fans-lollapalooza-are-screwed-101374">here&rsquo;s a link to the follow-up that I wrote at that time</a>.</p><p>Ironically, not long after those pieces were published, we found out what the Lollapalooza evacuation plan was when violent weather descended on Lollapalooza 2012: Kick everybody out of the park and let them fend for themselves in a chaotic rush onto Michigan Avenue and Roosevelt Road.</p><p>The ensuing mess resulted in a fair amount of criticism, but city planners apparently haven&rsquo;t come up with any better option in the years since. On Saturday, when severe weather blew over the Pitchfork Music Festival in Union Park, promoters cleared the site&mdash;kicking everybody out of the park and letting them fend for themselves in a chaotic rush onto Ashland Avenue and Lake Street.</p><p><em>Chicago Tribune </em>freelancer Bob Gendron, covering the festival as rock critic Greg Kot&rsquo;s wingman, gave us the breaking Tweets:</p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">It seems clear <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Pitchforkfest?src=hash">#Pitchforkfest</a> evacuating plan is same as Lolla a few years ago. In short: None.</p>&mdash; Bob Gendron (@BobGendron25) <a href="https://twitter.com/BobGendron25/status/622509595974586368">July 18, 2015</a></blockquote><script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">People told to go to businesses on Ashland and Lake. Too bad they don&#39;t exist. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Pitchforkfest?src=hash">#Pitchforkfest</a></p>&mdash; Bob Gendron (@BobGendron25) <a href="https://twitter.com/BobGendron25/status/622509756754825216">July 18, 2015</a></blockquote><script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Watching people nearly get hit by cars fleeing the park in downpour not a pretty sight. This was very poorly handled. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Pitchforkfest?src=hash">#Pitchforkfest</a></p>&mdash; Bob Gendron (@BobGendron25) <a href="https://twitter.com/BobGendron25/status/622510869554069504">July 18, 2015</a></blockquote><script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><hr /><p>For his part, <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/music/kot/ct-behind-pitchfork-decision-to-evacuate-the-festival-20150719-column.html">Kot followed up with a longer news story later in the weekend</a>, noting that the crowd of 18,500 was rushed out of the park as the rain cut short a set by Ex Hex. The gates were opened again 70 minutes later, and Kot wrote that police reported no injuries. &ldquo;We got lucky,&rdquo; festival director Mike Reed told him. &ldquo;It totally could have gone the other way.&rdquo;</p><p>The troubling ramifications of that quote are that the city and concert promoters seem content to rely on luck as the best way to deal with massive crowds in weather emergencies&mdash;which, let&rsquo;s face it, will inevitably happen again in Chicago in the summer.</p><p>It now seems obvious that there <em>is </em>no way to safely and quickly evacuate large crowds from city parks, which is why no one in the city has come up with a workable emergency plan. So what is the solution?</p><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2015-05/riot-fest-moves-another-park-112060">As I noted a few weeks ago when writing about Riot Fest being kicked out of Humboldt Park</a>&mdash;the weather last year resulted in epic damage to that site, but didn&rsquo;t cause an evacuation&mdash;it&rsquo;s high time the mayor and City Council consider whether Chicago needs a permanent, safe, and secure festival site for all of these events to share, based on the model of the 75-acre Henry Maier Festival Park, home to Milwaukee Summerfest.</p><p>To be certain, money is tight in Chicago for civic improvements, and music festivals have to rank far down the list behind other priorities like the city schools and paying workers the pensions they&rsquo;ve earned. But as I reported in that piece, Milwaukee&rsquo;s festival site has been an economic boon to our sister city for decades. Amusement taxes on the big music festivals could fund the construction of such a site, without taxpayer money, and with the added bonus of people getting back their neighborhood parks during the summer months.</p><p>True, Summerfest had its own weather problems this year, and Milwaukee officials report that attendance was down: A mere 772,652 people attended this year&rsquo;s event in late June and early July. But the jobs were as robust as ever, with 2,289 seasonal employees paid to work at the event.</p><p>A permanent festival site would still be subject to the weather, of course. But unlike the temporary facilities set up in the parks&mdash;and similar to permanent venues like Wrigley, Soldier Field, and Sox Park&mdash;bad weather planning would be part of the design, along with such niceties as permanent restroom, food, and drink facilities and better sound and sightline accommodations.</p><p>Now wouldn&rsquo;t all of that beat another soggy mess in the mud?</p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" longdesc="https://www.flickr.com/photos/robertloerzel/sets/72157655646333189/show" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/P4k%20rain%202.jpg" title="Pitchfork's gates reopen after 70 minutes. (Copyright Robert Loerzel)" /></div><p><em>Follow me on Twitter </em><a href="https://twitter.com/JimDeRogatis"><strong><em><strike>@</strike>JimDeRogatis</em></strong></a><em>, join me on </em><a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jim-DeRo/254753087340"><strong><em>Facebook</em></strong></a><em>, and podcast or stream </em><a href="http://www.soundopinions.org/"><strong>Sound Opinions</strong></a><em>.</em></p></p> Mon, 20 Jul 2015 16:08:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2015-07/forget-about-porta-potties-and-bad-sound-weather-real-problem-112431 The Grateful Dead's laid-back, yet surprisingly shrewd, business plan http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/grateful-deads-laid-back-yet-surprisingly-shrewd-business-plan-112314 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/deadhead.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>For the 50th anniversary of the Grateful Dead&#39;s founding, the band will perform three shows &mdash; their last &mdash; in Chicago this weekend. According to Billboard magazine, the &quot;Fare Thee Well&quot; concerts will bring in an estimated $50 million. That&#39;s pretty impressive, considering that band&#39;s lead guitarist died two decades ago.</p><p>If there&#39;s one thing the Grateful Dead has proven it knows how to do well, it&#39;s improvise. The song &quot;Dark Star&quot; alone launched hundreds of unique live jams, and that freeform lifestyle followed the band offstage.</p><p>&quot;Improvisation became the one point in their very changeable universe, applied not only to music, but also to business,&quot; says Dennis McNally, the band&#39;s biographer and former publicist.</p><p>McNally says the band was also guided a spirit of inclusion and mutual respect toward their audience &mdash; values the members adopted during the &quot;peace and love&quot; hippie era of 1960s San Francisco. &quot;The Grateful Dead treated their audience as partners, not as cows with wallets,&quot; he says.</p><p>That partnership was nourished by a few key decisions along the way. The Grateful Dead famously encouraged fans to tape their live shows, and those tapes were then traded among fans and served as a pre-Internet form of viral marketing. The more the tapes circulated, the more people wanted to go see them live.</p><p>&quot;But that&#39;s not at all why they did it,&quot; McNally says. &quot;They did it because they were terrible cops and recognized that if they stopped taping, they would have to ruin the ambiance of their own shows.&quot;</p><p>To get those fans to actually attend the shows, they created their own in-house, mail-order ticketing agency, and in the process created a massive database of devotees. The end result was twofold: They eliminated the middleman, thereby putting more money into their pockets, while gaining a reputation for superior customer service.</p><p>The band also made its own tapes of just about every show it ever played, recording directly from their sound board. Now those tapes live in a special vault in southern California.</p><p>Mark Pinkus is the president of Rhino Entertainment and its official General Manager of Grateful Dead Properties. He has access to that vault &mdash; a superfan&#39;s paradise, with thousands and thousands of tapes &mdash; along with a formal agreement with the band to handle the production and release of the music contained within.</p><p>&quot;We have mapped it out, and believe we have about 24 more good years of releases at the pace we are doing right now &mdash; and we do eight releases a year right now,&quot; Pinkus says.</p><p>Rhino enlisted David Lemieux, the band&#39;s longtime archivist, to curate a series of releases for fans who want to hear what&#39;s on every one of those tapes.</p><p>&quot;When we first started working together, I said, &#39;What&#39;s the dream project? What&#39;s the big project that you have always wanted to do?&#39;&quot; Pinkus recalls.</p><p>Lemieux came back at him with a Deadhead&#39;s dream release: all 22 shows of the band&#39;s landmark 1972 tour of Europe. Pinkus agreed by answering the most important question he could think of.</p><p>&quot;How we make most of our decisions, because both of us are fans, is [by] asking, &#39;Would we buy this?&#39; &quot; he says.</p><p>They got their answer: A limited edition 73-CD set sold out in less than a week. Even so, Pinkus acknowledges the Grateful Dead can be a hard sell to nonbelievers.</p><p>&quot;You tell people, this is the greatest live band in the world, and people who haven&#39;t seen them say, &#39;What are they like?&#39; &quot; Pinkus says. &quot;Well, they kind of ramble on stage. They tune their instruments for a couple of minutes and then they do their thing for the next couple of hours. They don&#39;t talk to the crowd other than to say, &#39;Thank you, good night.&#39; And yet they blow you away.&quot;</p><p>And they always do it their own way &mdash; while still managing to put a few nickels in their pockets.</p><p><em>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/2015/07/05/419547514/the-grateful-deads-laid-back-yet-surprisingly-shrewd-business-plan">via NPR Music</a></em></p></p> Sat, 04 Jul 2015 06:21:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/grateful-deads-laid-back-yet-surprisingly-shrewd-business-plan-112314