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Good hearted peoples,

BS StuffySo, every year I do the Letters to Santa charity thru the Chicago Sun-Times. I get a few letters from kids asking for Bratz dolls, Barbies, trucks, cars, Hot Wheels and the like. I make a harrowing run to Toys R Us or wherever, wrap them up, and send them away.

In 2008 (remember that year?  When the economy was cratering?) I got a letter from a girl who asked for a warm hat. She was SIX and was asking for A HAT. A toy or a stuffed animal didn't even make her radar. Since then, shopping for toys for a couple of Santa letters hasn't seemed like enough.  Even in these tough times, most of us are doing pretty ok comparatively. I find it unconscionable that any child in this country, a country of so much, should be wanting for something so basic as a stuffed animal at this time of year (or any time, really).

Thus, we are once again reaching out to you all, our friends and fans in Chicago, to perhaps spend some time going thru back closets, or overloaded toy boxes and shelves for gently used stuffed animals.

The recipient will be Nicholson Technology Academy. NTA is pre-school thru 8th grade school in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago where Hideout co-owner Katie Tuten works.

Last year, we collected enough so that EVERY child in the kindergarten program received their own stuffed animal.

This year, we're doing the same and are hoping to gather enough stuffies to cover more than just one grade.

We'll be collecting at the Hideout Craft Fair on December 13th.

If you can't make it, you can drop off at Bloodshot Records, 3039 W Irving Park Road, our office hours are M-F, 10a-6P---a lot of the time we are here later, so call to check (773-604-5300) .

Either way, in exchange, we'll give you a little goodie in the form of a Bloodshot sampler or t shirt.

We'd like to have the donations in our mitts by Friday, December 15th so they can be distributed in a timely manner


Bloodshot Records

Here are the general guidelines for stuffed animals,

We are ONLY accepting stuffed animals.  No toys, games, clothing or other items.  Gotta stay focused...

a) New or very gently used and in excellent, unsoiled, condition;
b) Must be soft and cuddly, not stiff;
c) Not smaller than 6'' or bigger than 18'' tall (they can be a little
taller if they are squishy-soft and can pack down;
d) No Beanie Babies;
e) Not animated or talking (battery operated);
f) No TV cartoon characters (i.e.: Sponge Bob, Sesame Street characters, Action Characters, etc.) Exceptions: soft classic Disney characters like Mickey & Minnie Mouse, Winnie the Pooh, Eeyore; Snoopy, etc.;
g) No sea animals, bugs, or reptiles;
h) Holiday-styled animals with seasonal trimmings removed are OK (snip off Santa hats, Valentine hearts, etc.).


Thanks For Coming to the 17th Anniversary Show


Just a quick note to say thanks to everyone who came out to help us celebrate the improbable:  17 years of Bloodshot.
Some 325 folks came by the Hideout over the course of the night (thanks Chris the doorman) to enjoy, imbibe, laugh, cry, high-five and....well, there wasn't any crying and CERTAINLY no high-fiving, but you get the picture.  After the rains cleared out, it was a perfect evening for music, saying hi to so many old friends who we don't get to see enough and enjoy an exquisite mid-September outdoor hang (which, at the Hideout, means that great view of downtown).  The evening went a LITTLE late because we forgot the figure the Tuten Introduction Factor into the schedule.  You'd think we'd know by now.

It seems like only a billion years ago we were seeing the nascent Waco Brothers (pre-name, even) at the Augenblick on Damen Ave and thinking that having a label would be neat hobby.  Then came the shows at the Lounge Ax which were like some sort of fever dream, and then poof! 17 years later I am still entertained and humbled by the whole thing.

Maybe it's just the fact that I've been rather confined to quarters and haven't seen a show for two months (the longest such stretch since i was prolly 15 years old) due to a wrecked ankle, but I personally had one hell of a time.  I still love live music, still get a thrill at being a part of something that brings so many people together for good instead of evil (usually) and, at the Hideout, it's just like the basement rec room I've always wanted.  It was a great reminder of the vibe we've tried to create over the years and of all the folks who have chosen to come along for the ride.

At 2 am, after we paid off all the bands, the soundman and all the production stuff, we were pleased to find out that we made $29 for the night.  As I was working on spending my $14.50 right then and there, the bartenders told me that our fans are always "polite, somewhat sloppy and good tippers."  

Friends, we were made for each other.

Thanks as always for keeping the whole weird and wonderful for me.  I'll keep trying to reciprocate.

Bloodshot Rob

Bloodshot Anniversary Event at the Hideout

Join us as we celebrate our 17th Anniversary, the Hideout's 15th anniversary and the release of our live album recorded at the Hideout during OUR 15th anniversary.

Too much math?  Well, just know this:

September 9th at the Hideout

Doors at 7pm, Show at 8pm.  Tickets only $10! On sale NOW!

Entertainment provided by The Waco Brothers, Scotland Yard Gospel Choir, Kurt from Deadstring Brothers (solo) and Danny Black & Nora O'Connor of the Blacks.

Beer sponsorship by Goose Island

Food provided by Dangerously Delicious Pies!

The Onion AV Club is already on board.  Hope to see you there.

Bloodshot Rob & Nan on the Interview Show

That's right, Nan and Rob will dazzle the Friday after work crowd at the Hideout during February's edition of the Interview Show.

6:30 to 8pm

The Blacks will also perform a few stripped down songs

What is the Interview Show?

Read full piece

Benefit Panto Performance in Chicago

The Hideout Players have scheduled two additional family-friendly performances of their fourth annual Hideout Christmas panto. This year's panto, Ho Ho Ho the Humanity: Prior to his career as a bringer of gifts, Santa Claus was a zeppelin pirate!, will re-play at the Hideout on Sunday January 3 at 3:00pm & 6:00pm.

The added shows are to benefit Burned Whale, a local, short-term charity that has been organized to help three panto cast members whose Pilsen home burned on December 17, the evening of this year's panto premiere. Both the early and late panto performances were cancelled for December 17, and all proceeds from the December 18 events were donated to Burned Whale.

In Ho Ho Ho the Humanity... the Hideout Players return with two performances of their annual pantomime, telling the little-known story of Santa Claus‚s death-defying former life as captain of the zeppelin pirate ship, Sally‚s Revenge, and his life-changing voyage to the North Pole in search of treasure.

Starring Chicago‚s newest Pantomime Dame Michael "Plus Size" Bulington as Bagatha Christie, reality TV celebrity and former Olympic wrestling bronze medalist. Also featuring Derek Erdman as Captain of the Sky Pirates (later becoming our hero St. Nick), Kenneth Morrison as the vaguely villainous Pasha and Callie Roach as Prince Terrence of Sardine-ia. Sally Timms and Nat Ward narrate as assorted Hideout regulars double as tough-nosed airbenders, swarthy pilots, polar bears and overworked pinko elves.

Directed and written by Nat Ward. Adapted and panto-fied by Jon Langford. Music arranged and performed by Rob Cruz and other talented folks.

Advance ticket purchase is highly recommended. 
Adults $12, children $5.  Floor and chair seating available.

Tix at

Thank you, ye be warned.

Bloodshot Table at the Hideout Craft Fair

Hate the malls?  Don't trust the postal service? Lazy?  Like to shope while drinking beer?

Us too.

Thus, Bloodshot is participating again in the annual HIDEOUT HOLIDAY SALE.

Get fine crafts and gifts from some of Chicago's finest crafters and artisans.  And also us.

Pick up t shirts, CDs, kiddie gifts, pint glasses, and other nifty goodies for that Bloodshot fan on your list (Or you, even.  Someone's got to look out for you, you know)

6 to 9 pm on December 15th and 22nd at the Hideout, of course.

Bloodshot Digest September 18th, 2009

As we gird ourselves for the brisket and margaritas that await us in Austin for our Yard Dog anniversary tomorrow (hey, someone's gotta do it), here's a few tidbits to knosh on that may brighten your day.  Or not.  Who knows?

  • Check out this story on a Detroit filmmaker using a 3D process and capturing some of the city's finest music, including our own Detroit Cobras!
  • In anticipation of her new solo album (goes on pre-sale this Tuesday) Exene Cervenka gives a lengthy interview on art, music, poetry and what a good dancer Eddie Vedder is in the LA Record.
  • In addition to be a crack bookkeeper and legal eagle, our own office guy Anthony is a fab photographer.  Check out his flickr page with all the action at the Hideout block party. Pay no attention to the photo of Bloodshot Rob lying in the street at the end.  He's tired.  Sssssh.  Don't wake him.
  • Finally, speaking of Rob, read his latest essay at  It's all about how disposable music has become.  Insightful philosophical musing or the rantings of a crank?  YOU be the judge!

Bloodshot Digest 9-15-09

The Can I Sit Down Yet? edition:

  • Well, our flagship 15th Anniversary Beer-B-Q at The Hideout has come and gone, and it was a rousing success. Nearly 4,000 people came to watch a full day's worth of music, participate in a Drunken Spelling Bee that went 24 rounds (yes, someone consumed 24 shots of vodka and lived to spell about it), eat pulled pork from Honky Tonk BBQ, send souped-up belt sanders down a race track and raise money for two organizations: 826 Chicago and Rock for Kids. It was a beautiful day. Highlights of the day have been captured by Time Out Chicago,The Chicago Tribune and Underground Bee, so you can re-live the splendor of the day when it's cold, snowy and dark three months from now. And if you've got pictures from the event, be sure to add them to our Bloodshot Flickr pool.
  • Moving onward! We have our Austin, TX Beer-B-Q at Yard Dog Gallery in Austin, TX THIS Saturday, and the Brooklyn soiree the following Saturday, on September 26. Tix are to the Brooklyn BBQ are on sale now! The Austin BBQ is free -- just show up!
  • Finally, in memory of poet, writer, NYC scenester, and punk-rocker Jim Carroll -- who died over the weekend -- we offer up this rendition of one of his most famous poem-songs, "People Who Died," as covered by Porter Hall TN and found on our 10-year anniversary compilation, For A Decade of Sin. Listen to it here.


Bloodshot Digest: 9-8-09

The "What Am I Gonna Eat For Lunch?" edition:

  • There's a new Grammy category this year: "Americana." While the nominees for the category won't be announced for another month, USA Today runs down the year's top contenders, and includes our very own Justin Townes Earle as "Grammy-worthy." Read all about it!
  • The Scotland Yard Gospel Choir will be having an unofficial, pre-Hideout Block Party record release bash at Reckless Records in Wicker Park (1532 N Milwaukee Ave) on Thursday, September 10 at 6pm. It's all-ages, free, and the band will have the new record on sale, so you can be the very first person on your block with your very own copy. Make your pals jealous!
  • Hey foodies! We've got the Red Hook restaurant THE GOOD FORK catering our Brooklyn BBQ on September 26 at The Bell House. There will be FREE munchies to the first 150 people, but the good folks at the Good Fork will be selling small plates throughout the day. The Good Fork has been profiled in just about every NY foodie publication, and was recently featured on "Bobby Flay's Throwdown," where co-owner Sohui totally showed Bobby who's boss with her famous pot stickers.

Ted Leo joins The Waco Brothers at the Big Shoulders Ball

The Hideout's Inaugural ball last night at the Black Cat in Washington, DC was a rousing success! The Waco Brothers were joined by Ted Leo for a couple of tunes, and Jon and Sally treated the audience to many Mekons songs.

Ted Leo and the Wacos