The Hideout: as good at 15 as it was at 14

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The Hideout in its pre-sidewalk renovation days
  • The Hideout in its pre-sidewalk renovation days
While I'm all for celebrating birthdays and wedding anniversaries, I don't think the anniversary of a business is particularly noteworthy. That said, I'm very happy that the Hideout is another year older. Over the past dozen years or so I've probably gone there to hear music more than to any other club in Chicago. Other bars in town offer programming that's as eclectic and interesting, but I never feel as comfortable or as relaxed at those places as I do at the Hideout. Part of why I love it is that I hate the idea of nightclubs as destinations or entertainment centers—the Hideout is just a place to hang out, with no showbiz or music-industry bullshit attached. It's like a corner bar, except with great bands.

Unless you've been hiding under a rock, you know the Hideout is celebrating its 15th anniversary with an impressive installment of its annual block party on Saturday, loaded with artists who have deep connections to the place. (Tonight there's also a photo exhibit celebrating the club's history across the street at High Concept Labs, contributors to which include longtime Reader photographer Jim Newberry.) Many of the profiles have focused on Tim and Katie Tuten, 50 percent owners (identical twins Mike and Jim Hinchsliff own the other half), who are for all intents and purposes the public face of the club, but for me the Hideout is also the bar staff and regulars (granted, they wouldn't be there without the owners), who keep the place chill and free of pretense. The Hideout is at its best when it doesn't give a shit.

Here's a story I wrote about the Hideout in August 1998, when the club was coming up on its second anniversary. Katie Tuten still likes to remind me about how I was the first person she and Tim let interview them.

Today's playlist:

Ngozi Family, 45,000 Volts (No Smoke)
Muhal Richard Abrams/Roscoe Mitchell, Spectrum (Mutable)
Major Stars, Return to Form (Drag City)
Kalle Kalima & K-18, Some Kubricks of Blood (TUM)
Antonio Sanchez, Live in New York at Jazz Standard (Cam Jazz)

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