It seems as if President-elect Barack Obama has ignored the suggestions of this column and its readers as far as including any Chicago artists in his actual swearing-in ceremony next month.
The Huffington Post is reporting the line-up, and it includes the United States Marine Band, the San Francisco Boys Chorus, the San Francisco Girls Chorus, Aretha Franklin and a classical interlude conducted by John Williams and featuring violinist Itzhak Perlman and cellist Yo-Yo Ma.
Still no word on local artists who may be performing at any of the official Presidential inaugural balls -- though sources say Lollapalooza promoters C3 Presents will play a hand in some of them.
The best word for Chicago musicians so far? An enthusiastic group of politically active members of the underground music scene have announced that they'll be holding a celebratory shindig of their own in Washington, D.C. on the eve of Barack Obama taking the oath of office.
The Chicago rock club the Hideout and the local nonpartisan voter registration group Interchange will host "The Big Shoulders Ball: Chicago Celebrates Change" at the D.C. rock club the Black Cat on Monday, Jan. 19, with performers including post-rockers Tortoise, the Waco Brothers, guitar heroes Eleventh Dream Day, sometimes Mekons Jon Langford and Sally Timms, blues great David "Honeyboy" Edwards, avant-garde sax giant Ken Vandermark, Freakwater, Andrew Bird, Icy Demons and Judson Claiborne, plus other guests to be announced.
Tickets go on sale today at 4 p.m. via www.blackcatdc.com or at the Hideout (1354 W. Wabansia), and the price is $50. (A portion of proceeds will go to the Chicago Public Schools marching bands program and the Future of Music Coalition.) As befits the tenor of the event, "Ball-goers are encouraged to wear fun, funky, thrift-store formal attire."
Said Hideout co-owner Tim Tuten: "Since the first Interchange Festival on the street in front of the Hideout in 2004, we have dreamed of the day that we could all celebrate a new direction for our country. Of course we never dreamed that the person leading that movement would be a local guy from right here in Chicago. Our city's musicians, artists, writers and volunteers were part of the first wave of this ground-breaking campaign. They are the heart of our club's community.There was no way that we could miss this historic event."