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Back to School: Our Favorite Things

Hideout Dance Parties

Co-owner Katie Tuten says the idea came from Katie McCombs, an intern at the time, but no matter how many people you talk to the origins of the Hideout’s Saturday-night dance parties remain murky. Was it four years ago? Five? In any case, McCombs says, “there was some amazing private party one night” with a DJ and a lot of sweaty, dirty, sloppy dancing. Afterward, “we just said to each other, ‘How can we make that happen here every week?’”

Nowadays there are lo-fi dance parties all over town, but the Hideout’s weekly late-night hootenanny remains one of the best places around to get your freak on in the company of other weirdos terrified by the prospect of setting foot in Excalibur or Sound-Bar. Some DJs have monthly gigs, including Bald Eagle and Mother Hubbard, who run the traveling Life During Wartime dance party. But just as often the wheels of steel are spun by regulars or off-duty bartenders or friends of the band that played earlier that night. The music’s a grab bag of old-school funk and soul, hip-hop, dusties, and power ballads; Mike “DJ Treetop Lover” Bulington likes to end the night with an a cappella choral rendition of Toto’s “Africa.”

The dancing usually starts around 11:30, and there’s a $5 cover if you didn’t already pay to see the bands. This Saturday, September 22, Naomi Walker DJs after Mucca Pazza’s “The People in Our Neighborhood” show, featuring special guest Exene Cervenka. 1354 W. Wabansia, 773-227-4433, hideoutchicago.com. —Martha Bayne

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