The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

pr0n Loves The Empty Bottle

By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Jan 3, 2007 10:01PM

We were just going to keep our traps shut about this, but the ensuing talk we keep overhearing on street corners and other blogs has induced us to share our opinion on the latest idiocy displayed by a national magazine trying to display their knowledge of local markets.

We are, of course, talking about Playboy’s selection of The Empty Bottle as one of America’s Top 10 Rock Clubs.

2007_01_emptybottle.pngNow we have nothing personal against The Bottle, and we find ourselves attending and really enjoying shows there from time to time. But we think it can be argued that the club passed its prime a few years ago and easily loses out courtesy of more consistent bills in town. Actually, we thought The Bottle dropped the ball when Lounge Ax closed and they failed to step in and decisively claim the city’s music scene as their own, instead choosing to focus on more niche-driven groups. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that approach, and we’re sure The Bottle is happy with where it’s at now, but that strategy does not vault a club to become one of the ten best in the nation.

Schuba’s, Beat Kitchen, Double Door and Subterranean all book more consistently solid bills, and as far as the niche marketing thing, we see Hideout breathing down Finkelman and company’s collective necks. We had heard one defense claiming that The Bottle's booking of Logan Square Auditorium should be taken into account as well, but last we checked most of those recent shows were booked by Housecall Entertainment or MPShows. Also, all of the above mentioned venues now have both better sight lines and better sound systems than The Bottle does, so even if you’re judging a club within those parameters, we don’t think you can claim The Bottle the winner there either.

And in the end, our problem isn’t with The Empty Bottle at all. It’s with Playboy lazily picking a well-known local club to complete a list (even though we suspect the Chicago entry was probably written by someone who spends a lot of time at The Bottle and may be a little biased because of that) thereby betraying they are yet again woefully lacking when it actually comes to remaining abreast of local scenes.

So we say yea to The Empty Bottle overall, but nay to it being the city’s leader in rock clubs, so therefore nay to Playboy for claiming them as such.