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Added Apr 15 2012

  • chicago girl Resident in Portage park for over 38 years

    That theater does nothing for the neighborhood.Seems like they have concerts that cause trouble and bring in undesireables.

  • Bex Runner, dog owner, food lover in the 60618

    I don't think you can blame the music... The Shrine has hip-hop acts all the time without rapes/altercations/fights. I think it's the theater itself, and the managers that have let it get to a point where it's anything goes - kids (esp the underage ones) know that they can get away drinking, doing drugs and whatever else. Opposite of classy. I'd like to see it closed down and reconcepted or put under new management.

  • Alisa DNAinfoCHI Wicker Park/Bucktown/WestTown reporter

    Everyone has a right to their opinion, Chicago Girl. What I see are lots of cab drivers making money, busy restaurants near the theater, and a lot of crowds which are good for any neighborhood, or else why would Wicker Park Fest happen every summer?

    Last night I was at the dub step show and just saw a lot of young fans having fun dancing. The night before, I only happened across the commotion- it was hard to ignore- in front of the hip hop show.

    Who is to say that fans of dub step and hip hop are "undesirable?" What is a desirable crowd? Yo La Tengo fans and Murder by Death, are they desirable? We can all say whatever we want about the Congress, it's a large entertainment center that draws a lot of passion and opinions, but from what I know of other venues, I'd say it is far more progressive and diverse in its offerings. Off top of my head, in past couple years they've had Gogol Bordello, Riot Fest, Mexican Wrestling, MMA fighting, hip hop/rap, and yes, of late, a lot of electronic DJ music. The crowds are younger but this music is huge in industry right now.

    One of the extra security guys from Bassnector (by the way, a widely touted WBEZ story about this artist and the fact that he was bringing his own security due to Congress concerns was not factual. I asked one of their security people last night and he said they do that for ALL Bassnectar shows, not just Congress), who didn't want to be quoted officially, told me last night that he is "more of a Grateful Dead fan, myself."

    When I replied that maybe in 20 years these kids will be saying the same thing about dub step, as some other new emerging genre is sweeping the country, he laughed. Electronic DJ music is not my cup of tea, either, but even then I could not help but get inspired by the energy and momentum. Bassnectar seemed to be having fun, waving his hair all around his laptop, which could, if another genre in another place and time, have just as easily been a guitar or piano.

  • Bex Runner, dog owner, food lover in the 60618

    Now that I think about it though, The Shrine is probably 21+. But I can think of other venues that allow for 18+ shows and haven't had the problems that Congress has had, which leads me to believe that it has more to do with the management than the music.

  • gerigirl I live and breathe this city!

    Thanks Mark for the article.....Do you think it's Mgt. or some other issue with the Congress?

  • I don't think there's any major problem with the Congress. They seem to have been having more 18+ shows in the last couple of years and that's resulted in more kids hanging around before and after shows. It is an issue, but not an unmanageable one. The NYE rape brought a lot of attention to the issue, but I'm not really sure what the Congress staff could have done to prevent it.

    In addition to that Alderman Moreno obviously feels that Congress management is not making the most of the space, and is not responding quickly enough to issues raised by the 18+ shows. The combination of the two has placed the Congress under a microscope.

    I saw the police response on Friday and it was massive. I thought they must have been responding to a riot or multiple shootings. I've never seen such a large response by CPD. I think they were prepared for massive problems that never materialized. The fact that one of the performers (Chief Keef) promotes violence and crime in his songs (and is currently under house arrest for pointing a gun at a cop) probably pisses off a lot of cops as well. All the powers that be were lined up to shut this show down, even the fire department had a large presence during the show to check for fire code violations. In the end no reason was found to shut it down, so the Congress and event promoters must have crossed all the T's and dotted all the I's in terms of codes and regulations.

    The response was obviously over the top. The incident that apparently warranted the response of more than 20 cops was “an altercation with an officer outside of the venue" and no arrests were made. That seems like a waste a police manpower to me, but I do understand what led to the over-response. I also have a hard time believing that someone got into a fight with a police officer and wasn't arrested.

  • Well, the night they had ICP or some ICP-like juggalo band, I wish they hadn't.

    Some music fans are just too stupid to want around your neighborhood.Generalizing may be unfair, but it works pretty well sometimes. What was the act the night of the incident in question?

  • I do think it could bring in some crowds, commercial business, and it provides mixed-use architecture, so thats something.

  • any such name live, walk, & cook in logan square

    Fishman got TIF money ($1 mil if I recall correctly) to rehab the Logan. If we multiply how much larger the Congress is, can Eddie get that kind of TIF money to rehab the Congress?
    The fact that he graciously hosts the Logan Square Farmer's Market indoors (for more weekends this year than in years past) is a huge asset to the community. The WBEZ piece was slanderous, and Derogatis is a dick. Of course the Congress has issues but I'd rather have a venue run and owned by someone local versus a large corporation like LiveNation or MSG or Jam (yeah, I said it). I also think the deleterious impact hearing is a bit much and Moreno is overreacting; many others have mentioned the problems with V Live, where someone actually was shot inside, yet they don't have a hearing due to the alderman's ties to the venue.

    Everyone needs to just take a breather. I think Eddie is coming around a bit and trying to make the venue something the neighborhood can be proud of, but that's going to take some actual constructive criticism rather than just dumping on the fans of music we may not understand or like.

  • Sounds like the Alderman must want some other use for the venue in mind. Similar to how Ald. Colon wanted another use for the MegaMall. That's all I can figure. Or, that nearby rape has just caused everyone to lose their minds in regard to their perception of the Congress. I'm guessing Moreno has something against the owner of the Congress, otherwise he would have come down even harder on V-Live when a 17 year old was gunned down and killed inside their nightclub. That was nothing more than a blip on their rader...really never mentioned again. It was as if it was no big deal a kid was killed at that club. I don't get the imbalance. Especially since V-live opened up claiming they would be an upscale concert venue and banquet facility....only to open their doors as a multi-level, late-night nightclub, similar to old troubled club at that location...with none of the promised upscale concerts.

  • Rhonda, the woman who sent out the "warning" that a dangerous concert was happening at the Congress.... also happens to chair street festivals like Do Division. This year's lineup so far at Do Division includes:

    Le Butcherettes
    O’Death
    Murder By Death

    Very wholesome names!

  • The "warning" email originated with the CPD and was passed along by the Alderman's office and forwarded by a number of people. This is the text of the original email (as forwarded by the Alderman's office):

    "A rapper from Chicago named Chief Keef will be performing at the Congress Theater for a rap concert they are hosting Friday, April 13th. This concert includes other artists such as Twista and King Louie. Chief Keef is on a GPS electronic monitoring device. A contract was signed with the promoter for Chief Keef to perform and a judge has ruled to honor the contract obligation and has allowed Chief Keef to participate in the show. Please see the link below for additional information:"

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSnTzpMOoh4

    Chief Keef (who was just one of a number of performers on Friday, and not the headliner) has been building his career by crafting an image that basically amounts to a big FU to the CPD (bragging about drug dealing, flashing guns, etc.). I'm sure the CPD returns those feelings to him, especially since he was charged with pointing a gun at an officer. I think that played a larger role in the response than any request from the Alderman's office or area residents. Sadly, I'm sure Chief Keef will use the police response on Friday to further his image as a tough guy.

  • Buster - I don't think Alderman Moreno wants the Congress shut down or used for another purpose. The management of the Congress has had a number of opportunities to partner will large promoters and get some money to fix the place up (I don't think anyone would argue that it couldn't do with some large scale renovation work). Their failure to take advantage of those opportunities, combined with a slow response to issues raised by neighbors, seems to be what annoys Ald. Moreno. The NYE rape raised the profile of the conflict and raised some neighbor's concerns about the Congress from a mild annoyance to something to scream about. I think it got a lot more attention than the V-Live shooting since it occured in front of people's house and was not confined to the venue itself. The lurid nature of the rape also resulted in more media coverage (i.e a 17 year old from the suburbs being gang raped sells more papers than a Latino kid being shot in a club).

    I do think some good things can come out Friday's events. Other than the police response it looks like the Congress and the promoters did a good job controlling the crowd attending the concert and there were no serious issues to speak of. While the police sent too many officers to a non event, and the Fire Department may have been overzealous in enforcing codes everyone was professional and the show went on. Hopefully everyone can take a deep breath, step back from unfounded accusations and unproved conspiracy theories, and work together to improve the Congress's role and relations with the community.

  • chicago girl Resident in Portage park for over 38 years

    @Alisa-Great,the cab drivers are making money,the restaurants are making money and the neighbors have to put up with the fallout all the time.Undesireables,include,gang bangers,underage people and drunk and high customers.Most whom probably don't even live in the neighborhood and support the restaurants and cabs any other time.
    I would just think peoples safety and peace of mind are worth more than these concerts.I know,I wouldn't want it by my house.
    Seems like the restaurants in the area are pretty much busy around this area usually.Filled with good neighborhood people.I'm not blaming any type of music in general,just the people who don't know how to act like human beings in general and how to be considerate to others.

  • Veronika Fashion Designer,Gallery Owner,Web Designer, Muse

    This email response from Friday's incident is from the owner of the Congress in two parts:

    Logan Square Community-

    On Friday, local neighbors probably looked out their windows and saw something that looked pretty scary, with all the lights, police, fire department, street closure, and crowded streets. I would like to be clear on the specifics of what happened so that the community is not alarmed. Friday night we hosted an urban Hip Hop show, it was very small we were only at 28% capacity. There was a scuffle inside the venue between patrons, and congress security quickly removed the individuals from the venue. These types of scuffles are common at concert venues across the country. Our staff is trained to recognize them, diffuse the problem, and get the individuals out of the building in a safe manner. Friday night was different, because there was "additional security" paid by the Alderman himself, who reacted poorly and prematurely. This happened due to their inexperience and lack of training in handling these types of situations, (which is why we have consistently stated we don't need their "volunteer" paid service). The Alderman's security called the police AND the Alderman himself to hurry over to the venue. Somehow, (still unknown to Congress) upon the arrival of the Alderman and an exaggerated number of police larger than we've ever seen, arrived along with the fire department. The street was shut down, paid ticket holders were not let inside while the fire department had to perform their task of investigating the venue under the allegation it was over capacity. Congress was only at 28% capacity, it felt like an empty theater. The fire department agreed and let the concert continue.

  • Veronika Fashion Designer,Gallery Owner,Web Designer, Muse

    Our theater had a great security presence that night, 40 well trained and very strict security in total, many including off duty Chicago Police. They are trained to handle shows 3-4 times that size, and last night's show was only at 29% capacity (relatively small by concert standards). The Alderman either didn't believe in our security work, or thought it wasn't enough, because he notified the public prior to the concert he would be hiring 2 untrained and inexperienced security guards (paid for out his own pocket) , and this would keep the neighborhood safe. This WARNING email was sent out in regards to one of the musicians, a Chicago minor who is under house arrest at his Grandmother's home on the south side. The email gave the image that he, his music, or the crowd he brings is dangerous. This kid has not been charged as guilty, it is a pending legal matter. We have a system in our country that says a person is innocent until proven guilty. This WARNING email sent ou t to the community is NOT a good reflection our countries political system. Instead the email evoked fear and concern to the neighborhood, and branded the concert as potentially dangerous due to the type of music, toy guns, foul language (none different than what I've heard used on the alderman and now on video) the crowd it brings, and a pending legal matter that has yet to be resolved. I understand that not everybody likes or understands rap music, nor do they have to. Music is a freedom of expression and this local Chicago kid's music is becoming recognized all through the music community. A judge who works for our US legal system granted this kid permission to come and perform, the judge didn't think the artist was a threat to the community, so why did the Alderman?

  • Veronika Fashion Designer,Gallery Owner,Web Designer, Muse

    Untrained security working in or around The Congress Theater is a BAD idea, whether they are paid or volunteer. Their poor decision to phone the police massively disturbed the concert, made patrons angry, woke up neighbors, offended reporters, blocked traffic, started rumors about shootings, caused the promoter to lose money and the ticketing agent to offer refunds to those who couldn't get inside, made the neighborhood look dangerous, finally further damaged the reputation of a kid whose case has yet to have been decided, and finally adds to more negative press for congress theater.

    This is mad behavior and it needs to stop. It does not matter whether Friday's sequence of events was racially inspired or part of a personal vendetta against Congress. This has gone too far. We are good for the community, we bring in a lot of business, we give back to our neighbors, we donate space for the farmers market, we give to charities. Any accusations, racially driven or false rumors leave people to believe both Congress and the neighborhood are dangerous. We work hard to build our image and others appear to be working entirely to destroy it.

    Sincerely,

    Eddie Carranza
    Owner- The Congress Theate

  • Bex Runner, dog owner, food lover in the 60618

    Wow. Wonder if Ald. Joe will respond to that.

  • chicago girl Resident in Portage park for over 38 years

    Well,no wonder.Look at the type of "entertainment" they hired.Really.Is that professional?No matter if the person is guilty of whatever or not,use some common sense when picking entertainment.Why do things that send out red flags.Are they trying out for a new reality show at the Congress?

  • Atrill,

    So, let me get this straight. A private business owner is in trouble with the city (the alderman) because he's not "taking advantage" of the number of "opportunities" he's had to partner with large promoters to get some money to fix the place up?

    So...a private business owner is being strong-armed into selling part of his business to a huge corporation?

    And, you're saying that he's been slow in response to issues raised by neighbors? He's been fast to respond. And the only thing he's not doing is cancelling all-ages shows, which is a ridiculous proposition, that he agreed to "considering." Thankfully he decided not to.

    You say the NYE rape raising the profile of the conflict and raising some neighbor's concerns about the Congress.

    How exactly did the Congress have anything to do with the rape? Other than catching the rapists? Do we typically hold nearby businesses responsible when a rape occurs near that business? Shouldn't we be blaming the rapists? If a rape happens when a friend of yours leaves your home...should we throw you in jail? Require you to install video cameras, additional lighting and guards to patrol your block?

    You think some good things can come out Friday's events. Like wasting tax dollars? Ruining a show? Taking money out of hard-working peoples' pockets? What exactly was the good part?

    Thanks.

  • @Chicago Girl. So even though hip hop and electronic dance music are tremendously popular and almost all shows happen without incident, the Congress should not book those types of acts because they send "red flags".

    Or are you making a finer distinction between Chief Keef and more "established" hip hop acts?

  • Two things are going on here: the Congress isn't a good neighbor, and the Alderman has it out for the Congress' owner. I don't think that the Congress is beneficial to the neighborhood in its current form.

  • Alisa DNAinfoCHI Wicker Park/Bucktown/WestTown reporter

    Hi, all, some very sad news. Joe Kopera, a long time court advocate for 14th district and 1st ward, has resigned. I added it to the bottom of this post (http://tinyurl.com/cha7bfz) b/c I was running out the door last night though will follow up more on it soon. If you've found up-to-minute news on the status of cases like the 'tweety bird' offender from the flower shop attack, the date rapist soccer couch, and tagger news, you can thank Kopera for all of that b/c he has taken the time to go to court and to keep the local blogs and community informed. A 50-plus year resident of Logan Square who lives one half block from the venue, Kopera was honored with a parkway in his name by Ald. Moreno just last month. Kopera witnessed Friday's events in front of The Congress this past Friday too. Following is his resignation letter.

    Commander Flores and fellow Court Advocates

    Due to the events that I witness this past weekend at the Congress Theater I no longer have the passion to volunteer with the CAPS programs. This is to advise you that I as of today I resign my volunteer role as the DAC co-chair for the 14th District Court Advocate Program. As of today I will no longer attend court hearing for the 14th district or 1st Ward. Thank you for letting me be a volunteer for the last five to seven years.

    Joe Kopera

  • It should be noted that the Congress is listed as one of pipeline's sponsors - http://chicago-pipeline.com/2012/02/22/roll-call-celebrate-business-sponsors-make-the-pipeline-possible/

  • any such name live, walk, & cook in logan square

    Apparently Moreno had a response letter sent out this morning:
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LoganSquare/message/30823
    (found at the bottom of this message, but I think the response posted first says it all...)

  • The Congress benefits the community more than it harms. The section of Milwaukee Ave. is so beaten down by the recession that I finid it hard to believe that anybody would prefer another empty building to a venue that actually does attract people to the area. I've lived about a block from the Congress theater for 30 years, and it has never caused me a moment of distress or worry.

  • Juanita - I don't think that anybody wants the Congress to be empty or closed down.

  • Bex Runner, dog owner, food lover in the 60618

    Yeah, when I say "closed" I don't mean permanently. I like that there's a venue with decent acts so close to me, but in my opinion, it could use some remodeling at the very least...

  • Buster - I don't approve of the strongarming of any business to do anything, and I especially support an independent venue like the Congress. The point that I was making was about what is driving this conflict. People keep bringing V-Live into it and creating grand conspiracy theories without a scrap of proof. A poster above brought Christopher Kelly into the discussion, why? What does that have to do with anything? I'm glad people are investigating any possible connections, but to date I've seen zero proof of any connections or preferential treatment for V-Live. I wish the Congress was given the consideration and treatment that V-Live gets.

    In terms of the NYE rape you said you "don't get the imbalance" between the coverage of that event and the shooting at V-Live, I simply stated the reasons that I see for the different responses. I don't hold the Congress responsible in anyway what so ever and that was not the point I was making.

    I think there are some real issues that need to be worked out related to events at the Congress (and V-Live and Ultra-Lounge for that matter), but they're all manageable issues. Unfortunately constructive discussions about the issues were blown out of proportion after NYE and after Friday I not very hopeful that constructive discussions between the community, alderman, and Congress management will occur.

  • Alisa DNAinfoCHI Wicker Park/Bucktown/WestTown reporter

    Attrill, I agree with you on the real issues facing all three venues and hope that they can be managed constructively as well as on the community level and not at city hall.

  • chicago girl Resident in Portage park for over 38 years

    @sti3-I like all kinds of music.I just don't appreciate concerts that promote trouble.You have to sort of stand back when you are booking these acts and weigh the good and bad of what they will bring to your venue and if it is worth it.Some people are just in it for the money and don't consider the problems it will bring.
    I don't even know if the owners or promoters live in the area.If they do,you would think they would book their talent accordingly to make it work for their neighbors and keep the problems to a minimum.I'm just concerned with the safety of everyone while having a good time.After something bad happens,it puts a damper on the fun.

  • Dear Mr. Carranza;

    Your comments make me wonder if you live around the Congress? You stated that malicious rumors caused an unreasonable police/political presence, as opposed to a well known brazen verbose gang member connected to criminal violence. Any one who is unfamiliar with Chief Keef, please youtube his video "Bang" in in which Chief Keef( and numerous other people in the video) display gang signs through out the video. Even more disturbing, was the fact that Chief Keef stated that he commits exactly the same type of group sexual violence against women, that was committed against the teen victimized outside of the Congress Theater last winter.
    In the same video, Chief Keef stated that he murders 'snitches" by unloading a "30 clip" into them. Not only does this encourage people not to report crime to the police, but is a slap in the face to every citizen who supports CAPS.Hand guns were also banished in this video.
    I salute Commander Flores in her wise decision to deploy a large police detail, because, it was reasonable to assume that extreme violence was likely and I think fans of gang members who also perform rap music should expect a large police detail to attend these events. My other question is how much did this show costs us tax payers because of the extra police detail, the equally sad thing is that possible lag time in requests for police assistance because of this show. Finally, please note, that Chief Keef's production company's name is "DGainzBeats", which backwards translates to Black Gangster Disciples.

  • Eric, It’ nice when one can grow up in a nice neighborhood with supportive parents, where one might be inspired to write love songs and catchy pop tunes. When you grow up in poverty, with absent parents, surrounded by gang violence, you might express yourself through song that reflects this environment. Will singing about your life in this environment make others turn to crime? Doubtful. My wife grew up surrounded by gangs, and likes “gangsta rap” quite a bit. Does she “pack heat” and abuse “ho’s?” Hardly. She might tap her feet and sing along, though. I get that people who don’t grow up with gangs and poverty might not understand the value of their songs. But they are songs…meant to dance to. Meant to party to. Are they young and dumb? Surely. But weren’t we all once? Fortunately, many of us had the advantage of growing up in a different, more wholesome environment. But that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve an outlet too.

  • Buster I was born in Englewood, moved to Roseland( The Wild Hundreds), then to South Chicago, then to 78th and Saginaw and on to 48 and Drexel before moving out of state. And actually the only music I listen to is hip hop and I understand the culture as well as it's influence on gangs, and gangster rap and vice versa. Your post indicates that you don't. Further it suggests in its vagueness and generalities that you are playing politics instead of addressing the partcular dangers that I specifcially addressed in my post. If you would like to do so, I welcome the conversation, but if not, please save the political sophism for those that are interested as I'm sure there are many.

    Respectfully,

    Eric

  • Eric, You claim to "understand the culture as well as it's influence on gangs, and gangster rap and vice versa." And you claim that I don't. I think I'm pretty clear on the fact that a rapper (even one with gang affiliations) can sing at a concert without requiring my tax dollars to go toward a massive show of police and fire department force. I say this because I've been to quite a few gangster rap shows (with a rapper having gang ties), where the rappers and the crowds did just fine without an alderman rushing over with the cavalry in tow. I don't believe the rapping was dangerous, or that it would have resulted in mayhem and/or casualties had the alderman not rushed over. Do you? Do you think that all shows where the performers have gang ties are intrinsically dangerous?

  • I do not think shows with performers with gang ties are intrinsically dangerous.

    But Chief Keef is a well known and active BGD( Black Gangster Disciple) who ispromoted and funded by the BGD's( generally this is money laundering), who is performing, not in another state, but another part of Chicago.

    His presence in Logan Square is considered a disrespect to local gangs because he "flags" in his videos, which most rappers with gang dies don't do, because they are trying to sale records to every one, so they tend to represent their city and neighborhood as opposed to their gang.

    Keef also "throws down" the flags of the GD's( rivals) in his videos and because he's outside of his gangs territory,( when he's in Logan Square) it's easier for the G.D's to go after him. And I haven't been into gangster rap since Dr. Dre, Easy, Ice Cub, etc, because too many people have been hurt over it. But I can list five shows in Chicago were violence broke out and numerous more outside Chicago. This is why I don't find you credible, because it happens frequently. Hip Hop is far from dangerous and is part of a progressive tradition started with poor Black folks that has grown and benefited other communities world wide. People like Chief Keef are a small part of Hip Hop that breeds violence but because it's promoted by main stream white Capitalist America it recieves much more attention and support( than progressive Hip Hop) which harms Hip Hop. I do not know what your history is with Moreno. But I do know that Chief Keef is far more Gang banger than rapper, and I would have blamed Moreno and CPD for any violence that occurred. The Congress shouldn't have allowed this show especially with the rash of gang shootings/ killings that have already happened this spring.

    If you have problems with Moreno's handling over all with The Congress,you should focus those elements as opposed to Chief Keef. Bodies have been pilling up on the south and the west side because of his gang.

  • Eric, whether you find me credible or not, I never claimed violence doesn't break out at some gangster rap shows. However, I have no evidence that it's more common there than at punk rock shows, metal shows, mexican night clubs... whatever. I've seen more blood at punk shows personally. I just happen to think 40 well-trained security guards (including police officers) could have handled the scuffle that may have broken out at the Keef show. I have no history with Moreno...don't know much about the guy. But I do enjoy the Congress.

  • So tell me about the rival gangs that attend punk shows, and metal shows and please be honest as oppose to arguing for the sake of subterfuge. Mexican Night clubs? That's another story, especially in Mexico. Last year one gang rolled the heads of another gang inside a night club. When it comes to certain street gangs in Chicago, especially during this current gang wars due to gentrification and the removal of CHA housing, I don't agree with your opinion. Also the younger bangers like Chief Keef and those who follow him are not scufflers, they are shooters, because a lot of the leadership is locked up, leaving the younger members with no discipline. It's not about money for these guys. Its about respect. I do enjoy the the Congress, as I've seen The Roots, Wu Tang Clan, Common and Ice Cub( a huge fight broke out) way way back in the day. And I say Congress should have vetted this guy, especially given what happened during the winter. Finally, the 14th District isn't Englewood, North Lawndale, Roseland, Austin, etc. The gangs there are a lot more fierce, and "our" cops don't know who the "players" are, so I think an overwhelming display of force, kept things cool. I also enjoy the Congress and was there twice last year. And I expect the owner to remember that the Congress is in a residential neighborhood.

  • Alisa DNAinfoCHI Wicker Park/Bucktown/WestTown reporter

    just catching up on comments. Matthew- yes, Congress is a pipeline advertising sponsor, as are many local businesses. They have advertised in pipeline on and off for two years, long before these recent events. The Alderman has advertised in our past two printed booklets as well. Do you not see ads for Congress, Live Nation and Jam shows in newspapers? Some bloggers put out a donation button in an attempt to support their time. Others sell ads in an attempt to do that too. Either way it's almost 1AM and i am busy with lots of other news too, speaking of which here's a dispatch from the hearing earlier today http://tinyurl.com/8abfuxg as well as LSC School Council Election tomorrow which is today (comment on this is a hoot, check out the "full disclosure") http://tinyurl.com/7uxq6sp and lastly, at least for now, superboobs! http://tinyurl.com/76289tt

  • Mark Rector Logan Square and loving it!

    Good recap, Alisa. Thanks!

  • Joe Kopera Logan Square resident since 1961 (52 years)

    Eric and those of you that don't live near the venue. Chief Keef was just a smoke screen for the police action and the alderman to come down on the Congress Friday Night. The venue was less than 30% Friday night and the Congress security had the situation under control. There was no reason to lock down the Congress and block the streets as if there was a hostage situation. I agree with comments about Chief Keef but he was not the reason for this action. Congress uses several Chicago Police officers as security at the venue and some of the upper management in the Chicago Police Department don't like this idea. There is a lot here that we are not seeing and the community is getting the shaft.

  • Alisa DNAinfoCHI Wicker Park/Bucktown/WestTown reporter

    Thanks, Mark. Dressel was really am amazing mediator. Really good at moderating and keeping people in check.

  • Alisa DNAinfoCHI Wicker Park/Bucktown/WestTown reporter

    um, i mean Gressel

  • Alisa DNAinfoCHI Wicker Park/Bucktown/WestTown reporter
  • Alisa: I'm sure you nor Congress Management will respond to my previous comments that I consider well reasoned. But perhaps you can ask Mr. Parejas if Chief Keef is an active member of the Black Gangster Disciples aka "BGD" and if his music is being financed by
    DGainzBeats" "DGB"

  • In response to the DGainz Beats standing for black ganster disciple that is a lie. DGaines is the correct spelling, He took the es off to give it flavor. Its his birth name and before you report false information do some research. Oh just so you know I don't have to do research on him because I birthed him. He's never been arrested or has he ever been in a gang. He does music because he loves it. He wasn't raised like that, he knows nothing about gangbanging. I'm a parent that knows her children and I refuse to let some fake reporter drag my son's name through the mud. Report the facts not BS people wanna hear. Don't be ignorant all your life. Smh!

  • Tragic, what some one will do in order to advance a political argument. I'm not refering to you Choclate 417, but lets just say your son and I know some of the same people, and "DGainzBeats" has been updated as recently as three days ago. And if he's never been arrested, then why the ankle bracelet, why the judge? And honestly do you really believe that he knows nothing about gangs? I'm not a reporter, but a former neighbor. And actually I'm not going to respond any more to you out of respect and because I think you're being used. I'm sure being a mother is not an easy thing in the inner city but people are dying over gang culture and the glorification of it and as a Black person I'm calling foul on the tactics of Alisa and The Congress, of whom I'm really loosing respect. They should not have draged you into this. I wish you and your family luck and hopefully your son as young as he is will become a positive roll model in his community for girls and boys, women and men.

  • Mark Rector Logan Square and loving it!

    Alisa, the video you posted speaks volumes! Excellent allocation of law enforcement resources!

  • Alisa, if you want to be taken seriously as a reporter, you should disclose your conflict of interest before 'reporting' on an issue related to one or more of your sponsors.

  • Excuse Mr. Eric Hudson DGainz wasnt there at the concert and he is not the one with the ankle bracelet. No one dragged me into anything I dont know Chief Keef personally but my son is not on house arrest or has he ever been arrested. His real name is Duan Gaines and this is where the name comes from. I'm protecting his reputation as you should do for your child. And no he don't know about the gangs, he knows of them because there in this city and everywhere else. Check his background and see for yourself and you will come up empty. He has no control over what someone else does. As far as responding to anything else I have to say it really doesn't matter because I will continue to speak up for him because I know the person he is. Half the stuff he do is out of the kindness of his heart and I raised him that way. You be blessed sir as will I. But trust and believe I will speak up everytime someone says something wrong about someone that I know is not true about that person.

  • Alisa DNAinfoCHI Wicker Park/Bucktown/WestTown reporter

    Matthew... If the Chicago Reader (which I've had stories in long ago- before a full-time job and other side projects made freelance journalism impossible http://tinyurl.com/8abah5t) writes about Bacon Fest, which I believe it did last week, does it say in the story that Bacon Fest is also an advertiser? If there's a half page ad for Roller Derby, do they say Roller Derby is also a sponsor anytime they write about the derby? What about pages and pages of Live Nation and Jam shows in the Reader? Does Miles Raymer have to write that LN is an advertiser anytime he writes about any of their shows? As stated, advertising supports journalism and Congress is an advertiser. If you were familiar with pipeline from being one of the 3,000 subscribers, you would have seen ads for Congress shows all the time, long before recent events pertaining to hearing. Quite frankly, all this time reporting on Congress has actually negatively impacted the process of soliciting ads for our next magazine. I have chosen to put in the time. My own decision. When I left Green Eye bar (i live 2.5 blocks from congress) and saw all the cops, the lights, I could have ignored it. I was tired. Off the clock, trying to have fun with my buddy Chad I never get to see anymore, but whatever.

    What's happening with Congress is important to ALL indie owned venues. This month it's the Congress, next month it could be another venue in another ward under pressure. I'm not saying Congress doesn't have issues that it needs to improve on. What I am questioning is the way the alderman is going about getting those changes done. He says he doesn't want to shut it down, well last Friday he succeeded in partially shutting down a concert and negatively impacting the venue, its patrons, vendors, and fans. The alderman himself has advertised in the past two printed pipeline publications and I have plenty of his first ward news in the next newsletter I am on deadline to get out today.

  • Veronika Fashion Designer,Gallery Owner,Web Designer, Muse

    Just an update....last night V-Live had some ridiculous crowd and all the lots were full which resulted in a lot of cars in residential permit parking spots AND there was such a large crowd with no control that Milwaukee traffic was at a standstill for an hour. Complete melee. When the club let out there were the usual loud, drunk idiots everywhere in the vicinity with a lot of them looking like gang members. No security anywhere except in front of V-Live. Where was Moreno and his entourage last night if he is so concerned about updating "safety" in the neighborhood?

  • Alisa DNAinfoCHI Wicker Park/Bucktown/WestTown reporter

    Thanks, Veronika. Just an update as well... Alderman was interviewed on WGCI Morning Riot today. I can't figure out how to listen it through the link, but I heard it through someone's phone who played it. Also, apologies to all on my rant about advertising! Being in "new media" I sometimes get too sensitive as well as defensive. In a perfect world the pipeline wouldn't have to sell ads too, and Matthew is correct, it can create potential conflicts of interest. If any reporter wants to be put on the beat or assist me with this story, I could use the help. Thanks. http://www.wgci.com/pages/morningriotblog.html?an=Aldreman-Moreno-talks-Congress-Theatre-with-the-Morning-Riot

  • How many police responded to the two people shot on North Ave, a little east of California last night at about 8pm?
    Think the alderman rushed over?

  • OldLady In the 'hood.

    I always see police near Armitage and Pulaski, but that doesn't help the shots we hear at least once a week.

  • drugs, gangs and music? nah, no connection. and please don't bother to point out that the incident (linked below) occurred in CA as their connections go all the way to NYC (and Milwaukee). Just wait to see if there is a Chicago link, unless of course Chicago's gangs kept them out. NO, not everyone in the music industry is connected to drugs, but let's face it, the tail goes with the hide. When a business hosts a known gang member, it's the police's fault for responding to an incident at that business. Did I get that right?
    http://www.timesheraldonline.com/ci_20475651/vallejo-rappers-tied-mac-dre-at-core-drug?nstrack=sid:1966522|met:300|cat:0|order:1

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