Celebrating The Lakefront As Chicago’s Art Gallery
A new book by William Swislow and Aron Packer, “Lakefront Anonymous: Chicago’s Unknown Art Gallery,” will be celebrated this weekend with an exhibit and talks “about one of the world’s great art treasures, which lies hidden in plain sight along Chicago’s Lake Michigan shore.” Hours are 11am-5pm Saturday November 13 and Sunday November 14 at the Evanston Made space, 1100 Florence, Evanston, with author talks at 2pm each day. More here.
Last Mass At Jefferson Park’s Our Lady Of Victory Church
The last Mass at Jefferson Park’s Our Lady Of Victory Church is scheduled for 10:30am Sunday, November 21, tweets Nadig Newspapers’ Brian Nadig. The Archdiocese of Chicago is looking to sell the church. (Nadig’s December 2020 piece on the long-mooted shuttering is here.) Preservation Chicago wrote about the skein of Chicago Roman Catholic Church abandonments in March here.
CTA Says Ridership Has Doubled Since January
CTA ridership continues to increase in 2021, the CTA says in a release, reaching the highest levels since before the start of the pandemic. “The fall season is typically our highest ridership period for the year,” CTA president Dorval R. Carter, Jr. relays. “CTA daily ridership has consistently been at or above fifty percent of pre-pandemic levels—one of the strongest among large U.S. transit agencies.” In January, the CTA averaged a little more than 400,000 rides on weekdays and roughly 10.8 million rides for the month. Since then, CTA’s systemwide ridership has doubled, with more than 21 million monthly and nearly 800,000 average weekday rides provided during the month of September. Ridership surpassed 800,000 five times in September, reaching a peak of 846,000 riders on September 17, during Riot Fest in Douglass Park.
Private Equity Behemoth Blackstone To Lose Millions On Streets Of Woodfield
Six years after buying the Streets of Woodfield shopping center in Schaumburg, reports Crain’s, “Blackstone has decided to sell the property, which may be among those investments it would prefer to forget. The New York-based private-equity firm has hired the Chicago office of Eastdil Secured to sell the 693,000-square-foot shopping center next to the Woodfield Mall,” which Blackstone paid $168.5 million for in 2015. Bids around $110 million are expected.
FILM & TELEVISION
Kartemquin Empowering Truth Benefit Available Online
A forty-eight-minute recording of KTQ’s annual “Empowering Truth” benefit is here. “We were honored to hear from incredible guests and share what’s coming for Kartemquin Films, including the exciting return of Diverse Voices in Docs. We highlighted new work from Steve James, Gordon Quinn + Leslie Simmer, Zak Piper + Raj Patel, and our four Hulu Accelerator Fellows: Colette Ghunim, Reveca Torres, LaToya Flowers, and Resita Cox,” the group relays.
Pillars Fund Launches Network for Muslims in Filmmaking to Further Industry Equality
“Pillars Fund–the Chicago-based philanthropy committed to amplifying the leadership, narratives, and talents of Muslims in the United States–has collaborated with The Walt Disney Company to create the Pillars Muslim Artist Database,” the group says in a release. “The professional network will bring more Muslims into the filmmaking process, thus advancing Pillars’ commitment to changing how Muslims are portrayed in popular culture. The new database includes profiles for actors, directors, cinematographers, sound technicians and other Muslim professionals working below and above the line in the filmmaking industry in the United States. The network is accessible to directors, producers and casting directors, all of whom can search profiles and invite artists to collaborate on their projects.” More here.
AMC Theaters Rebound
“Audiences are slowly but surely returning to cinemas,” reports Variety’s Brent Lang. “That’s the takeaway from AMC Entertainment’s… quarterly earnings report… The world’s largest exhibitor [posted] $755.6 million in revenue, a major increase from the $119.5 million in revenue that it reported in the same period in 2020. Losses for the three-month period ending in September also shrunk, falling to $224.2 million, or forty-four cents per share, compared to the $905.8 million, or $8.41 per share, that the company hemorrhaged in the year-ago quarter.”
Steve Albini On His Role In Encouraging “‘Edgelord’ Shit”
“For myself and many of my peers, we miscalculated,” noted recording engineer Steve Albini tweeted last month. “We thought the major battles over equality and inclusiveness had been won, and society would eventually express that, so we were not harming anything with contrarianism, shock, sarcasm or irony. If anything, we were trying to underscore the banality, the everyday nonchalance toward our common history with the atrocious, all while laboring under the tacit mistaken notion that things were getting better. I’m overdue for a conversation about my role in inspiring ‘edgelord’ shit. Believe me, I’ve met my share of punishers at gigs and I sympathize with anybody who isn’t me but still had to suffer them.” Zaron Burnett III at Mel has the follow-up with Albini. “The main thing that I was reacting against was an impulse that I saw in my peers to soften their art and their music so that it would be acceptable within the existing conventions of art and music. What I wanted to do was make music and art that was for its own sake, entirely, and irrespective of what other people had to say about it. It was a reactionary impulse on my part… I was striving for an ideal that this music and this art would be a realm of pure ideas, and that it would be unconcerned with convention or acceptance. It’s hard for me to articulate, but there’s a friend of mine, Peter Sotos, who’s written extensively about abuse and murder and things of that nature. A lot of his writing is extremely difficult to read. It’s repellent. You’re brought into the mind of a sadist, pretty convincingly. And I feel like that experience, reading that stuff, is shocking to your core in the way that the horrors of the reality of those things should be. Whereas this sort of Nancy Grace ‘bombshell tonight in the child murders of’—that sort of show-business softening of the impact of it, sort of turning it into a fucking board game, and turning it into a police procedural where there are heroes and villains and you’re rooting for people… That whole thing has turned these horrible, monstrous, atrocious things into just another kind of soap opera… There’s something repellent to me about that.” More here. From September, Albini talks late career with Neil Steinberg at the Sun-Times.
Adele Worsens Vinyl Crisis
More than 500,000 vinyl copies of Adele’s new album have been manufactured before its November 19 release. Variety reports that Sony Music is “pushing catalog titles off its overseas pressing plants to ensure there won’t be any shortage of Adele LPs going into the holidays. To do that—for an album that will probably immediately break initial vinyl sales records—the artist had to turn in ’30’ more than six months ago. Any later and Adele would have been subject to the manufacturing shortages and overbooked pressing plants that have essentially turned almost every new LP release into a limited edition.”
Trib Takes On Music “Standing Sections”
“Some of those who died [in Houston] clearly were strong, young people, a reminder of how it is possible to be crushed even while standing up, should a crowd be constricted in some way or if its waves crash against barriers, be they physical or human. And, yes, it is possible for performers and promoters to make that better or worse by their actions,” opines the Tribune editorial board. “All of this needs rethinking. Safety needs to be a primary concern when Lollapalooza returns and whenever and wherever standing sections are introduced into venues originally designed to be made up of rows of seats. You can still stand, dance and have fun at a seat. Evidence shows that great waves of excited people watching gifted artists like Scott can be dangerous.”
Double Door Dry-Runs Uptown Incarnation
Concert venue Double Door hopes to debut in Uptown next year, and work is underway within the historical Wilson Theater building at 1050 West Wilson, reports Block Club Chicago. “While work is being done, some lucky music fans and neighbors have gotten a sneak peek. The club has hosted Sunday Jams twice a month since September, allowing fans to check out the 1908 building… ‘I’ve been sitting in there, and I thought, “I should get some bands in here to rehearse while I’m working,”‘ [co-owner Pete] Bruce said of the Sunday Jams. Double Door founder Sean Mulroney told him, ‘Let’s take it to a new level.’ …’Everybody coming in has been really enthusiastic.'”
Most Pandemic Digital Offerings By Theaters Lost Money
“Have companies been able to turn virtual offerings into revenue streams in an appreciable way? Are audiences and artists excited about the possibilities of virtual theater? And what happens once COVID is finally behind us?,” asks American Theatre. “A group of sixty-four mostly managing and artistic directors representing as many companies in twenty-five states and Washington, D.C., responded to a survey asking what virtual theater has meant, economically and artistically, for their companies… While the companies varied wildly in size, union status, location, and operating budget (from over $50 million to under $50,000), together they presented a remarkably congruous outlook on the triumphs and perils of producing virtually… With a few exceptions, all three categories of digital offerings (pre-recorded in-person, pre-recorded virtual, and live virtual) failed to deliver at the box office… Indeed, many reported a decrease in revenue of ninety percent or greater.”
ARTS & CULTURE
SHOCKING REPORT: Illinois Weed Ex-Regulators And Politicians Cash In
“A year after recreational pot sales kicked off in Illinois, legalization has been a boon for the few multimillion-dollar companies granted permission to grow and sell weed and a windfall for local and state governments strapped for cash,” reports Tom Schuba at the Sun-Times. “But it’s also been a jackpot for a host of former cannabis regulators who are now cashing in on Illinois’ green rush. On top of that, two sponsors of the law that legalized recreational cannabis are also benefiting from the pot industry—albeit through connections to firms operating in other states.”
Would Chicago Team Sports Books Cannibalize Casino Cash?
“A measure that would allow five of Chicago’s professional sports teams to let fans place bets while attending home games remained stalled,” reports Heather Cherone at WTTW, “after the apparent front-runner in the effort to build a casino in Chicago said it would kneecap the long-stalled push just as it gets off the ground… [M]embers of the Chicago City Council warned that greenlighting sports betting lounges at Wrigley Field, United Center, Wintrust Arena, Solider Field and Guaranteed Rate Field would stunt the growth of a casino-resort that city officials have long counted on.” The mayor’s office had no immediate comment.
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