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Logan Square Music

Intro | Architecture | Art | Bars | Bloomingdale Trail | Farmers' Market | History | Movies | Music | Politics | Recreation & Education | Shopping & Services | Restaurants | Taqueria Tour | Theater & Performance | Volunteering


The Mutiny in Logan Square

The Mutiny

Jim Newberry

August 10, 2007

Congress Theater

One of the last of the 1920s movie palaces still standing in Chicago, the Congress was declared a landmark in 2002—which means, thankfully, it won’t be torn down for another set of generic condos anytime soon. The terra-cotta exterior houses an elaborate lobby and performance space, including a stunning saucer dome and loads of intact original details, as well as offices and the like. These days the venue hosts mainly concerts, and while House of Blues frequently puts bigger shows here, it’s also a prime location for rock en español gigs and even Mexican wrestling once in a while. Upcoming shows: Reel Big Fish (8/15), Rock Uranak tour (9/2), Tiesto (9/8), Rise Against (9/19). | 2135 N. Milwaukee | 312-559-1212 | congresschicago.com

Elastic Arts Foundation

This intimate space upstairs from Friendship Chinese Restaurant presents a variety of performing arts and houses a recording studio to document live performances (see also Theater and Performance). Programmed by the Elastic Arts Foundation, which formerly ran a space called 3030 in an old Humboldt Park church, it hosts a number of regular music series, including Elastro (electro-acoustic music) and the Elastic Hip-Hop Series , as well as weekly concerts in improvised music and free jazz. Upcoming: Jonathan Chen and Tatsu Aoki (8/14, see the Treatment in Section 3). | 2830 N. Milwaukee | 773-772-3616 | elasticartsfoundation.org

Chicago Reader: Logan Square issue

Logan Square History It Started With a Farm How Logan Square became the neighborhood it is today.
By Harold Henderson

Logan Square Politics End of an Era How the 35th Ward got out from under powerful alderman Richard Mell
By Ben Joravsky

Logan Square Architecture Between the Boulevards An architectural tour
By Lynn Becker

Logan Square Listings Restaurants, bars, music, movies, theater, art, performing arts, shopping, classes, recreation, and volunteering opportunities in Logan Square

Plus: the Bloomingdale Trail, a taqueria tour, and the Logan Square Farmers' Market

Fireside Bowl

Before its owner turned it back into a functioning bowling alley a few years ago (see Education & Recreation), the Fireside was a bustling all-ages venue, presenting punk, metal, emo, and indie rock nightly; the lanes were roped off and patrons crammed the strip between the entrance and the alleys to watch bands pinned to the western wall. Since 2004 the lanes have been refurbished and strikes, spares, and gutter balls are the main attraction, but the Fireside still presents live music—mostly rock and punk—on Sundays at 9 PM. Upcoming: End of the World Band, DBLD, Cookies and Dirt (8/19); Disrobe, Krunchies (8/26). | 2648 W. Fullerton | 773-486-2700 | firesidebowl.com

Hotti Biscotti

When it opened in 2000 Hotti Biscotti was a smoke-free cafe serving caffeinated drinks and pastries, but that didn’t last long—patrons can now smoke and booze is served. The food and drink are both cheap and it’s a pleasant place to see some low-key music: Wednesdays are open mike nights, while at 8:30 PM most Tuesdays there’s great free jazz from keyboardist Jim Baker, drummer Steve Hunt, bassist Brian Sandstrom, and guests. Occasionally there’s music on other nights; obscure movies usually screen on Saturday evenings. Upcoming: Matnia, Magic Lanterns (8/11); Jason Soliday and Brent Gutzeit (8/14, late set); Young American Patriots for Truth, Black Mengele (8/18). | 3545 W. Fullerton | 773-292-6877

Logan Square Auditorium

This large and charming ballroom, still available for receptions and other private events, is increasingly booked for concerts—most notably indie-rock events programmed by the Empty Bottle, though there’s also a fair amount of Mexican regional music. There’s a balcony in the back, huge windows on three sides, and a lot of echo. The current sound system is a big improvement over what was there just two years ago, but it’s still far from perfect. Upcoming: Head of Femur, Dirty on Purpose, Bound Stems (8/16); Scary Kids Scaring Kids, Boys Night Out, the Dear Hunter, Pierce the Veil (8/21); Chicago Samba (9/2); Akron/Family, Greg Davis, Megafun (9/7); Okkervil River (9/18); Black Lips (9/28). | 2539 N. Kedzie | 773-252-6179 | lsachicago.com

The Mutiny

This dive bar tends to book punk and metal bands as raw as its atmosphere. Drinks are cheap, the smoke-stained brick is exposed, and there are a bunch of old darts trophies scattered about. It’s easy to get a gig here, which explains why you won’t have heard of most of the bands on the calendar, but if you’re just looking to get your ears shredded the Mutiny is a safe bet. Pool, darts, and Golden Tee are free; there’s also free karaoke Wednesday evenings and—for early risers or those who have yet to sleep—Saturday mornings. The bar is often celebrated for its human-size urinal—since there’s never a cover it might be worth your time to take a look in person. This weekend: Begotten, Maurice, Altered States (8/10); Curtains!, Vertigo, Johnny Murder and the 25 to Lifes, DJ Goth Paul (8/11); The Uneasy Xela, French Kiss, Justin (8/12). | 2428 N. Western | 773-486-7774 | themutinychicago.com

Quenchers Saloon

Roomy Quenchers has been serving up an impressive international selection of beers since it opened in 1979; it also serves food until midnight. After a post-E2 hiatus from live music, the bar has resumed entertainment, with an open mike on Mondays and a mixture of local rock, folk, and jazz most other nights. Upcoming: Havana-Afro Cuban Jazz (8/10); Lusties, Jagz (8/16); Anders Parker, Mikey Peterson (8/30). | 2401 N. Western | 773-276-9730 | quenchers.com

Ronny’s

This neighborhood dive bar has emerged as an indie-rock hot spot since MP Productions, the fiercely independent promoters who used to book the Fireside and the Bottom Lounge, began using the venue. Most of the offerings are indie and punk, and performances take place in a garagelike space with little to no ventilation—hot and smoky, even in winter. Upcoming: Wax Museums, Krunchies, Bold Ones, Catburglars (8/11); Dr. Manhattan, Empty Orchestra, Vicelords, the Most Genuine Expression (8/16); CoCoComa, Retainers, Hospital Rats (8/18); 8 Inch Betsy, Ex-Members, Cathie Santonies (8/24); Marissa Nadler, Picastro (9/5); Harvey Sid Fisher (9/7). | 2101 N. California | 773-235-6591 | myspace.com/ronnysbar

Rosa’s Lounge

This family-run blues bar has long billed itself as “Chicago’s Friendliest Blues Lounge.” Tony Rosa moved to Chicago from Milan, Italy, after meeting Junior Wells, and six years later he opened Rosa’s—named after his mother, who followed him here and helped him get started. Visiting the club was once a dicey proposition, but gentrification has caught up with Rosa’s now. Most nights feature homegrown talent—which in Chicago can mean national acts—but some weekends feature out-of-towners. Upcoming: Carl Johnson (8/11, see the Treatment in Section 3); Lurrie Bell Band (8/17); Little Arthur Duncan and the Backscratchers (8/18); Hot 8 Brass Band (8/24). Regular acts include Melvin Taylor & the Slack Band (Tuesdays); Killer Ray Allison (Wednesdays); James Wheeler Blues Jam (Thursdays). | 3420 W. Armitage | 773-342-0452 | rosaslounge.com

The Winds Café

Music is an added attraction at this relaxed family-run restaurant (see Restaurants), where the menu focuses on southern comfort food and a handful of Caribbean specialties (see Restaurants). On Thursdays it hosts open mikes and on other nights an eclectic mix of local talent with an emphasis on jazz. There’s no cover charge. Upcoming: Latin Inspiration (8/11); Joe Sweet and John Haines (8/14); Aristide (8/18). | 2657 N. Kedzie | 773-489-7478 | windscafeofchicago.com R

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