Chicago International Movies and Music Festival

There is a festival here in Chicago focused on movies about music which also has a bunch of bands playing as well.  It is our attempt to have a little “South by Southwest” action in the city of Chicago.  At least they have some nice weather this year – this weekend seems to be the start of spring and everyone is out side and on balconies and has a lot of positive energy.  Here is a shot from one of the movies on the cover of the Reader.

Unfortunately I can’t go to any of the events because I can’t stand in lines for too long and I can’t be jostled or have someone step on my foot and that’s what usually happens at a concert.  I will look for some of these movies out there on the internet though later or if they come to an art house movie theater or something.  Here is the site listing what is going on and an interview with the founder on Chicago Tonight (a great program) and below are some of the ones I’d go to see if I was able to do so.

  • Danny Says” which is a movie about the manager of the Stooges and the Ramones.  That guy must have seen a lot of crazy stuff
  • 808” a story of how a device never intended to be a beatbox helped launch hip hop and modern music
  • Morphine – Journey of Dreams” one of my favorite bands of the 1990’s was Morphine and I was very saddened when their lead singer / bassist dropped dead at a show overseas.  Also the remaining members played a show under “Vapors of Morphine” as well
  • Jaco” is about the fantastic bass player Jaco Pastorius who was a little crazy and unfortunately died young after being beaten by a club bouncer.  At the festival the bass player from Metallica (who is from Suicidal Tendencies if you go way back to “Institutionalized”) talks about Jaco, as well
  • Local H is playing too.  They are awesome and one of the few survivors of the 1990’s.  See them when they come to your town

Cross posted at LITGM

8 thoughts on “Chicago International Movies and Music Festival”

  1. I can’t say that I’m a big fan, but years ago I did once see the Local H guy on Halloween in a Brian Johnson costume perform an AC/DC tribute show. It was a fine and faithful performance. I would guess someone so studied in the classics can probably be counted on for reliable artistry in his own music.

  2. Sorry to be off topic but it seems that Chicago has an election coming up.

    Well, Peoria but not that far.

    Schock’s Peoria-based district is a Republican stronghold, the product of a Democratic gerrymander so extreme that Mitt Romney carried it by 24 points in 2012. That effectively means the winner will be decided in the July 7 GOP primary. LaHood is about as establishment a choice as one could imagine. He is the son of Representative Ray LaHood, the very moderate Republican who represented about half of the current district in Congress until 2009. He then left office to become President Obama’s Transportation Secretary, where he promoted pork-barrel spending and dubious high-speed-rail projects. His son’s supporters say his politics are distinct from those of his father, but clearly the LaHood name will be a mixed blessing in a primary.

  3. “Sorry to be off topic but it seems that Chicago has an election coming up.”

    When the Aaron Schock news broke, I was thinking of writing a post about it but ended up getting busy with some other things. I’ve been observing Illinois politics for a long time and had a few thoughts on the situation. I know Carl talks about state politics from time to time, so hopefully he won’t mind a brief segue.

    This article starts off not making much sense and then goes downhill from there.

    “Democratic gerrymander so extreme that Mitt Romney carried it by 24 points in 2012.”

    I don’t know who John Fund is, but he’s apparently never been to Illinois and hasn’t looked at what’s been happening other than the usual mainstream cliches and memes that get passed around by Beltway journalists about the hicks in the sticks.

    Does that make sense- Democrats gerrymandered the district to ensure Republicans dominate?

    State Democratic oligarchs Mike Madigan, Pat Quinn, and John Cullerton got together and decided, “hey let’s redraw the map so the GOP gets really entrenched in Central Illinois. DEAL!”.

    In some alternate universe that provides all the deus ex machinas that pull together our wild conspiracy fantasies perhaps, but down here on planet earth political parties work to maximize their strategic advantages. The real gerrymandering was for the neighboring district, the 17th, snaking the boundaries into the 18th in order to restore it as a democratic seat.

    Western and northwestern Illinois is generally conservative but had been represented by a Democrat, Lane Evans for 25 years. It was an odd combination, but Lane Evans was well respected and beloved Marine veteran who actually just passed away. Since he left office, the district has ping ponged between parties.

    The 18th district, of which the author tosses around assumptions and conjectures like some ultimate frisbee match on the national mall, is and has always been Republican. For 115 of the last 140 years it has sent a Republican representative to congress and not one Democrat since the Great Depression. It could be gerrymandered to hell and back, and this wouldn’t change.

    “Illinois power brokers were moving to anoint state senator Darin LaHood”

    What power brokers? The state party has been decimated for years. Denny Hastert retired. Judy Baar Topinka, the only successful statewide GOP candidate post-George Ryan until this year, is dead. Jim Edgar is very, very retired and not involved in politics anymore at all. Bill Brady, the 2010 GOP gubernatorial candidate? Jim, ‘The Biggest Loser’ Oberweis? State GOP chairman Tim ‘I have no position I currently wish to talk about’ Schneider? No, no, and no

    The so-called power broker they must be talking about is newly elected Governor Bruce Rauner, who is so much an outsider that he never held an office before this year and had to spend his own money in the election after Quinn out-fundraised him 2-1.

    Rauner is one man against a Democratic super-majority who just squeaked in against Quinn, the most beatable governor in the country. He’s hardly a power broker and probably still doesn’t even know his way around the state capital. During the election and now in the transition, he had and has to lean on GOP legislators for support.

    “Mike Flynn plans to be that alternative.”

    OK, who is anointing whom? How dare elected state officials decide who can serve. That should be the job of the mainstream media.
    So the real purpose of this very confused piece comes out. We have a Beltway journalist for a popular website endorsing another Beltway journalist.

    Ray LaHood retired in 2008. If the “Establishment” was so hell bent on anointing his son then why didn’t he just step right into office in 2008?
    Why didn’t he just pull a Dan Lipinski bait and switch?
    Probably because Illinois still has a few voters left with brains who manage to vote in freely held elections. Believe it or not, Illinois still has some leaders with honesty and integrity who wouldn’t come within a country mile of a tainted electoral process like that.

    To give only one small example out of many, in 1998 when Bill Clinton was getting impeached, the counterattacks against the House GOP leaders were pretty fierce. Gingrich was forced to step down, his successor Bob Livingston was thrown out after his affairs become public, and Henry Hyde took it on the chin when his affairs came out. The GOP looked around at the sad collection of charlatans and lotharios in their midst and could only find one good person honest enough to preside over the whole disaster. LaHood was that person who held the gavel during one of the more futile acts of political theater and bailed out the entire party?

    Another telling incident was the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal that sent Tom Delay briefly to jail. The Sunday news shows and political blather programs suddenly got a full helping of interviews with Ray LaHood. One of the few GOP representatives without his hand in the cookie jar was once again sent out to sweep up the mess the party leadership created.

    When the Iraq surge was up for debate and it was less than certain it could be sold to a war weary public, who was the last remaining trusted Republican left in 2006 that was sent to Iraq on a fact finding mission for the congressional debate? You guessed it.

    You can say what you want about pork barrel this or fiscal policies that, but when the day of reckoning came for insiders who were violating their sacred oath to voters and taxpayers, he was the one man consistently on the right side of the line.

    For God sake’s he was barely able to save his other son from the gallows of the Muslim Brotherhood. These conspiracy theories about dynasties and anointments just don’t add up.

  4. “State Democratic oligarchs Mike Madigan, Pat Quinn, and John Cullerton got together and decided, “hey let’s redraw the map so the GOP gets really entrenched in Central Illinois. DEAL!”.”

    Fund is pretty savvy about national politics but I don’t know what his interest or experience in Illinois is.

    Some examples of gerrymandering include bunching of the GOP in one district so an adjacent district is more available for a Democrat. The south has a number of D districts where black voters are clustered, not by the GOP but by the courts enforcing the Voting Rights Act. Cynthia McKinney was one of those crazy Reps. Maxine Waters is one in California.

  5. Exactly. The view of Illinois from a thousand miles away always gets filtered through the prism of Chicago politics, but there’s much more to it than that.

    A lot of this has to do with old complaints and suspicions about LaHood’s last few years in office, the demise of the state party, and the circumstances that led him to become the Secretary of Transportation. I could go on and on about this topic and have probably said too much already. I’m sure all the people that came to this thread looking for Local H tickets are bored out of their skulls now.

    So to sum it all up, there is in fact a dynasty in Central Illinois. It’s not a family dynasty but an ideological one. Ray LaHood served for years as the aide to former House leader Bob Michel. Michel was a person of eminent Midwestern values but served in the minority for his entire career. His main contributions to policy were pragmatism and compromise. During the 80s, Reagan got a lot of credit and praise for skillfully dealing with a hostile Democratic congress, but it was Michel and his equally pragmatic cohort in the Senate, Howard Baker, who delivered bipartisan majorities. It’s hard to argue with their results.

    In turn, Michel was a protege of Everett Dirksen and his brand of conservatism which espoused suspicions of change unless proven, faith in the process, and distrust of long term entanglements including sometimes with your own tribe. In many ways this tradition was deeply anti-establishment in the sense that it was against the circumventions of culture, conventions, and rubrics that the real morally adrift Establishment favored and which ultimately degraded the belief systems and values of the party. This tension spilled over for the entire nation to see at the 1952 GOP convention when Dirksen nominated Robert Taft and in the process dramatically condemned Thomas Dewey for leading the party down the path of defeat. He was a little off since they subsequently won two terms with Eisenhower, but he did give voice to the growing concern that Traditionalism was a fading concern and its absence would only spell trouble.

    Dirksen, while known for compromise himself, only supported it within the framework and evidence of the institutions and traditions. It was Dirksen who helped delivered the Civil Rights compromise that broke the Dixiecrats fillibuster, recognizing the strength of the idea who’s time had come. Dirksen was no wavering ditherer, but he was above all else a Practicalist. The value of something is judged by how it works within the system. If it can’t work or makes the time tested system weaker, then the best intentions aren’t going to matter.

    These are Midwestern mores and matters that a D.C political theorist just isn’t going to easily grasp. They didn’t emerge out of a vacuum but go back and back, such as to another Illinois legislator Lawrence Sherman. He presaged the partnership between the practical Dirksen and the isolationist Taft with his coalition opposing Wilson and the Treaty of Versailles. The tradition stretches back to Lincoln and his supposed admonition to hoping “to have God on my side, but I must have Kentucky.” You can just keep going to Thomas Forsyth who convinced the Potawatomi to stay out of the War of 1812 and maintained a peaceful coexistence with the Indians until Andrew Jackson and destiny finally forced a war. Another idea who’s time had come I suppose.

  6. Yes I really miss Morphine. The stupid reviewer dinged the movie for being too upbeat on Morphine when the reviewer disliked their albums after “Buena”. The problem is, anyone dedicated enough to make a documentary about a band LOVES that band. No one is going to be a mild fan and go through the trouble of making a documentary.

    Plus I think they have a ton of good stuff after Buena…

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