🎶 Giving people space to gather builds community

The Daily Reader

A couple weekends ago, the Chicago Department of Buildings shut down the Post, a Washington Park house club. 

I’d had my eye on the Post since shortly after it opened in 2019; a handful of DJs I follow on Instagram clued me in to the Post’s account, and I watched as it built up a substantial series of events in the months leading up to March 2020. When I set out to interview Chicago venue owners about the challenges of presenting live music that summer, I knew I had to talk to Post operator Sheldon Randolph, since his experience would be unique; a Black nightclub organizer whose south-side club was just getting its footing as the pandemic hit. And after The Post’s Instagram account alerted me to the club’s unexpected closure the morning of Sunday, March 19, I knew to reach out to Randolph again.

Fortunately, I wasn’t the only one with this same idea. UK dance music news site Resident Advisor ran a story on Wednesday, March 22. It presents a decent rundown of what’s at stake; an after-hours south-side club run by a lifelong househead with an intimate familiarity with the local clubs that birthed house. But the story missed some important context beyond the Post’s link to house history. Fortunately, Chicago reporter Maggie Sivit provided critical insight in a succinct report on the Post’s closure, which Vocalo published Friday, March 23. Sivit’s grasp of the complicated bureaucratic building codes that played a role in the Post’s closure provide a nuance I can only find in local reporting. 

Also crucial to Sivit’s story is the historical context about how hand-wringing over public safety has impacted local clubs. In 1986, former 44th Ward alderman Bernie Hansen cosponsored a proposal to force juice bars to follow regular hours because Lakeview house and industrial hub Medusa’s (which operated as a juice bar) drew enough noise complaints to attract Hansen’s attention. Last summer, 2nd Ward alderperson Brian Hopkins declared that late-night bars are “attracting the most violence” according to Block Club Chicago, and Eater Chicago noted that 42nd Ward alderperson Brendan Reilly tweeted his support for Hopkins’s stance. Sivit dug up city data to find only 12 crimes documented on the same block as the Post; only one of those incidents was recorded in late hours, and none of the 12 has any connection to the Post. 

Sivit points out that only a handful of south-side clubs have a late-hour license. Why that’s the case is an excellent question. If safety is an issue, I disagree with Hopkins’s assessment about late-night spots; if you give people a place to gather when there are few other options available to them, it has the capacity to build community. That’s one of the things I’ve learned from house music, anyway.

The Post launched a petition in its efforts to reopen. I’ll be keeping tabs on the story as it develops. Till then, we’re preparing to publish our big Best of Chicago issue, which drops next week! 


 The Post Was ‘A Bridge’ to Venues Like the Warehouse. Now Its Future Is Uncertain,” by Maggie Sivit (Vocalo)
 some thoughts on the abuse of power + the burden of belief,” by Miranda Reinert (Step One of a Plan)
Paul Vallas’s trail of school privatization,” by Jim Daley (The TRiiBE)
Vicki Street is in Her Own Lane,” by Kia Smith and ThoughtPoet (South Side Weekly)

 Gingerbee, Our Skies Smile
 Kate NV, Wow
 Elkay Sapphire, Star Sapphire

👋🏼 Leor’s “Bye, March 2023” playlist

Ash Dye, music scene photographer
“I felt like part of the music community pretty early on. I’m just now starting to feel like I’m part of this photo community.”

by Leor Galil | Read more 

Improvisers Mats Gustafsson and Joachim Nordwall make blockbuster-worthy music on a new collaborative album
by Bill Meyer | Read more

Acid King return to form with the powerful Beyond Vision
by Monica Kendrick Read more

Algiers bring the sounds of Atlanta’s strident past and joyous present to Sleeping Village
by Shannon Nico Shreibak Read more

Issue of
Mar. 23 – Apr. 5, 2023
Vol. 52, No. 12

View/Download Issue [PDF]

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