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Thursday, March 5

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Transmission

Concert Wed Mar 04 2015

In Tall Buildings Debuts Driver @ Schubas 3/5

Tomorrow night, Erik Hall's diligent efforts will pay off with a hometown album release party at Schubas. His latest work as In Tall Buildings, Driver, is his sophomore album but it's sticking to the same formula (home recording) that served him so well with his self-titled debut in 2010. His textured pop vocals and intriguing synths prove mesmerizing. In Driver, there's raw sonic qualities of mellow singer-songwriters like Beck or Bon Iver. Hall's songs are great for walking deserted Chicago streets during a snowstorm, or daydreaming on the beach. Generally, they're something perfect for getting you through the last blast of winter and into the warm embrace of spring.

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Erik Hall (aka In Tall Buildings) Photo by Caleb Condit

In Tall Buildings performs at Schubas (3159 N. Southport) on Thursday, March 5th. Fred Thomas (of Saturday Looks Good to Me) and Elliot Bergman (of Wild Belle) open. Music starts at 9pm. Tickets are $12 and the show is 21+.

Anne Holub / Comments (0)

Review Tue Mar 03 2015

The Growlers Changed the Tides at Lincoln Hall

growlers1.jpg My cousin and I have been to dozens upon dozens of concerts and we have noticed something about Chicago crowds over the years. There was a time where the overarching generality about Chicago audiences was that we were a somber bunch, quietly dancing in place no matter how intense the band was. Recently, we've seen an upswing in energy. The tides have been changing. There is still reverence for shows when appropriate, but the rowdiness factor has certainly risen. There's more dancing, jumping, pushing, and people just let go to the music. An animated group of people can affect an experience, giving the atmosphere a more raucous note for better or worse. Luckily the wild mood of the crowd leaned towards the better for The Growlers and BRONCHO during the last night of two sold-out shows at Lincoln Hall.

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Julian Ramirez / Comments (2)

SXSW Mon Mar 02 2015

Chicago at SXSW 2015: Our Complete Band List, Showcases & More

We at Gapers Block try to cover the SXSW Music Festival in Austin as if it were a local festival -- because every March, Chicago sends dozens of acts and hundreds of fans down to Texas, making sure our city's music scene stays well represented. This year's festival runs March 11-16, and will feature a broad swath of Chicago acts both young and old.

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Andrew Huff / Comments (0)

Artist Fri Feb 27 2015

Kicking Against the Pricks: A Recap of Kim Gordon at the Music Box Theatre

"What happens when you go into this space that's so dominated by men?" Alison Cuddy asked her guest, Kim Gordon, in front of a packed house at the Music Box Theatre Thursday night.

No doubt Gordon has heard variations on the question throughout her career: the constant, nagging prod of "What's it like to be a girl in a band?" was enough of a jumping-off point to become the title of her new memoir, the excellent Girl In A Band (Dey Street Books). Still, Cuddy seemed careful to rephrase the question in a way that offered real curiosity at Gordon's outsider status, and without the attendant sexist baggage these kinds of questions inevitably imply. How did Gordon so deeply infiltrate the boys' club of indie rock and manage to tilt the balance of power, however fleetingly or slightly, in her power?

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Mike Bellis / Comments (0)

Review Fri Feb 27 2015

The Chicago Party Is the Place to Be

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The best thing about Numero Group is that they are determined to give forgotten musicians their due. They carefully mull over the strangest and most obscure sections of musical history in order to curate amazing compilations. Over the past few months, the archival record label has set their sights on the late '70s and early '80s post-disco era of Chicago. There are so many acts that truly deserve attention from this time and Numero Group has been dolling out great releases

December saw four 45s from the time period including music from Universal Togetherness Band, Jesus Wayne, and Donnell Pitman. A larger more detailed compilation of Universal Togetherness Band gave a deeper look into the funk filled sounds that were sadly being left behind during the era. These releases were a primer for the centerpiece of this collection, Ultra High Frequencies: The Chicago Party. This music and video collection takes a look at content of "The Chicago Party," a more realistic and older-skewing version of Soul Train that aired for 23 Saturday nights on WCIU-TV during 1982.

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Julian Ramirez / Comments (0)

Review Thu Feb 26 2015

Hozier Took the Riv to Church on Wednesday Night

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2014 was a big year for Hozier. Along with dropping his From Eden EP and his self titled debut album in September, the Irish singer songwriter was also named Spotify's Top Viral Artist of 2014. But really every year has been a big one for Hozier since his career started, considering that it was just a little over a year ago in 2013 that the video for "Take Me to Church" went viral.

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Celeste Mallama / Comments (0)

Review Tue Feb 24 2015

Swans Loudly Helped Thalia Hall Reach Transcendence

swansth.jpgIt's incredibly hard to prepare for a Swans concert. It makes no difference whether you're familiar with Swans' leader Michael Gira and his experimental post-rock or not. Their live show is consistently visceral experience that tests the very idea of the band and the creation of music. Swans' songs have never been easy to take in as they dredge down to some very scathing and torturous sounds. Despite the inherent harshness, there is a longing for love underlining their existence that somehow become incredibly rewarding the more you listen. It's a tumultuous back and forth that makes the band all the more interesting.

The closest one can get to being ready for a Swans show is to listen to their latest work. Their last two albums The Seer and To Be Kind clocked in over two hours a piece, indulging further into Gira's dark and inviting noises. These albums are the height of Gira and his current bandmates impressive collaboration. This weekend at Thalia Hall, Swans performed about six songs during their near non-stop two hour plus performance. It was one of the loudest and most transcendent concerts I've had the pleasure of attending.

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Julian Ramirez / Comments (0)

Review Mon Feb 23 2015

An Evening of Rock Splendor @ House of Blues, 2/25

Alright, Chicagoans, it's time to step out of the arctic tundra that we live in currently, and treat yourself to something joyful this week. Defrost your heavy hearts and enjoy some quality music, something that reminds you of the happier times, the warmer times.

Wednesday evening at House of Blues presents us with a musical smorgasbord to feast on, laden with summery rock bands perfect for allowing us to pretend we are not in the throes of winter, just for one evening. Curated by 101WKQX, a station committed to introducing listeners to up-and-coming, fresh music with its Queued Up series, the Queued Up Artist Series show will feature four emerging bands to introduce fans new and old to their diverse and standout musical offerings.

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Sarah Brooks / Comments (0)

Artist Mon Feb 23 2015

Greil Marcus: Legends in Words and Music at the Old Town School

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Marcus, Langford and Timms.

Greil Marcus is a legend among music writers. He's one of the world's first rock and pop critics and author of more than a dozen books on music themes and musicians such as Bob Dylan, Van Morrison and The Doors. Thursday night he sat on stage at the Old Town School's comfy Maurer Hall to talk about his new book and listen to the music of two more legends, Chicagoans Jon Langford and Sally Timms, formerly of punk band The Mekons.

On a national book tour for his latest work, The History of Rock 'n' Roll in Ten Songs (Yale University Press 2014), the evening was filled with Marcus' reading and reminiscences of our shared history in music, as well as live performances.

The 10 songs that Marcus uses to bind together our musical history are not the 10 you might think. No "Blue Suede Shoes," no "Purple Rain," no "Born to Run." Instead, Marcus writes about "songs that have traveled through time," gaining meaning as they are performed in different versions by many musicians.

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Nancy Bishop / Comments (0)

Review Thu Feb 19 2015

Sleater-Kinney Reminds Chicago They're the Queens of Rock & Roll

sleaterkinneyriv.jpgBack in 2006, Sleater-Kinney announced an unelaborated and indefinite hiatus, leaving their fans with little to no hope of seeing the band together again. It may seem like an overreaction but that is at the very least how I felt as a burgeoning adult losing one of his favorite bands. Granted in the following years all the members continued making amazing music. Corin Tucker released a couple of albums that I gravitated to immediately. Drummer extraordinaire Janet Weiss played with nearly every other band I like including the Jicks, Quasi, and the Shins. Carrie Brownstein added writing and acting to her repertoire, all the while making more and more music. When Weiss joined Carrie Brownstein on Wild Flag, it was the closest thing to a Sleater-Kinney reunion most fans could clear see at the time.

Thankfully, with the release of their box set Start Together last year, new music emerged and a fully formed concept of the band returned. No Cities to Love, their first album in a decade, doesn't feel like a simple reunion album. I don't think Sleater-Kinney is capable of that. Every song on the album is a new classic that makes it seem like they never actually left. That was definitely the feeling at the Riviera, where the crowd jumped and sang along with Sleater-Kinney in an amazing show.

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Julian Ramirez / Comments (0)

Interview Wed Feb 18 2015

Four Questions with Andy Gill from Gang of Four

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The post-punk band Gang of Four have a new album, What Happens Next, which is being released on Feb. 24. It features collaborations with Alison Mosshart from The Kills, Robbie Furze from The Big Pink, Gail Ann Dorsey, German superstar Herbert Grönemeyer and Japanese superstar Hotei. The band is coming to the Park West March 13; I reached frontman Andy Gill over the phone last week to ask a few questions about the upcoming show.

I had a chance to listen to the new album a bit, and each song is distinct, giving it a sound like a compilation album. I'm curious if one of these songs is going to be the new GOF sound, or if the new sound of GOF is collaborating with other artists.

I think you kind of take it one step at a time... I always felt that when working on a new record it is like starting from scratch. I know there are some bands that kind of plowed their furrow and they're gonna stick to it -- they've got their sound and the way they do things, and stick to what they do. Right from the beginning GOF was different with every record. It's like if you're asking similar questions but coming up with different answers. To me time moves on, I move on, I'm not exactly the same as I was four years ago, and when I was 27 I wasn't the same guy as when I was 22. Time moves on and you come up with some different answers to the way to proceed and the way to make songs and the way to make records. I think with this record I think even more so because Jon King who's been on previous records is no longer in the project, so that makes it even more the case of reinventing the wheel.

Doing the collaboration thing was something that I had felt like doing for quite a long time, it's something that's quite common in hip hop bands and I think that's quite healthy -- you can do some things that perhaps might surprise you. In terms of defining the GOF sound, the next record -- for which I have ideas and songs, will probably involve collaborations. Beyond that can't say where it's going, with each album I didn't know quite where things were going, once you've got four or five songs on the go you start to see what direction its taking.

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J.H. Palmer / Comments (0)

Review Sat Feb 14 2015

Chappo Led Schubas Down the Rabbit Hole on Friday, 2/13

Looking like a mythical bird creature, cosseted in feathers protruding from his shoulders, and with a painted eye coolly and majestically surveying the scene from his back, Alex Chappo of Brooklyn based psych-pop-garage-rock band Chappo led the crowd down the rabbit hole at Schubas on Friday evening.

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Celeste Mallama / Comments (0)

Review Fri Feb 13 2015

Kaki King and Celine Neon Enthralled Lincoln Hall

Kaki King has been creating beautifully intricate songs for years. Her work is mostly wordless, letting her guitar work to speak for itself save for a few lovely lyrics in songs here and there. Recently she has taken this instrumental focus to a marvelous extreme with her multimedia art piece The Neck Is A Bridge To The Body, which King performed this past Wednesday at Lincoln Hall. The art piece is a collaboration between King's complex guitar work and Glowing Pictures' visual artists including Beth Wexler who was in control of the visuals. The whole production centers around King's white guitar as it transforms itself into a unique canvas for the ever evolving video art. The kaleidoscope of imagery was as strange and wonderful as it sounded coming through King's guitar.

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Julian Ramirez / Comments (0)

Pitchfork Music Festival Fri Feb 13 2015

Pitchfork Music Festival Announces 10th Anniversary Lineup

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2015 marks the 10th year of Pitchfork's dynamic Music Festival, in the sunny and vibrant square, Union Park, from Friday, July 17 through Sunday, July 19. To celebrate, they've rounded up a stellar crop of acts to commemorate its decade-long reign as one of Chicago's most revered music festivals. Their aim for the big 10th year lineup was to intermingle up-and-coming acts with established favorites, with an emphasis on hometown artists.

Well-loved Chicago group Wilco will headline the fest Friday evening, with the legendary Sleater-Kinney performing on Saturday evening. Chance the Rapper will bring his electric set to Union Park on Sunday to close out the weekend's events.

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Sarah Brooks / Comments (0)

Review Tue Feb 10 2015

Galactic Brings the Mardi Gras Party @ Concord, 2/6

"This is NOT a jam band," I insisted to my friend on Saturday evening at Concord Music Hall as we waited patiently for the show from revered New Orleans funk outfit Galactic to begin. No offense to those who prefer jam bands, I have just never been able to enjoy their music as much as I have tried. Though Galactic's own site description touts their identity as a funk and jazz jam band, their description is much more intricate as it is entwined with traditions of music that has emerged before their time, which created a one-of-a-kind experience for those in attendance.

San Francisco group Monophonics opened up the show with an energy-packed set. A musical army setting up camp onstage, the group ensemble featured vocals, drums, trumpet, saxophone, and more. Formed from three previous ensembles, the group began with a variety of live performances in the Bay area, and released their first album, self-produced, in 2006. Adding two more albums throughout their career, the Monophonics have built a loyal fan base and intriguing, ear-catching sounds. Lead vocalist Kelly Finnigan's voice is smooth and pristine, allowing for the emotion and force that comes with singing soul music. The heartache-ridden "Deception" was the standout moment of the set for me, when wailing vocals were complemented by careening horn backdrops. They ended their strong set with one of their most popular tunes, "Bang Bang," a dark and delectable crowd-pleaser.

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Sarah Brooks / Comments (0)

Classical Mon Feb 09 2015

Pulling Strings: For Classical Music in Chicago, You Got a Guy - February 2015

By Elliot Mandel

See some classical music this month.

Read this feature »

Blogroll

  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
BackStage
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
ChicagoMusic.org
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
CHIRP
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
Daytrotter
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Do312
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
Gridface
The Hood Internet
Innerview
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pitchfork
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Songs:Illinois
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock

  Venues:

Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
B.L.U.E.S
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Constellation
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
FitzGerald's
Green Mill
The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
Logan Square Auditorium
Martyrs'
Mayne Stage
Metro
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
The Promontory
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Rosa's
Schubas
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Smartbar
Subterranean
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Township
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Atavistic
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Hozac
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
Kranky Records
Laurie's Planet of Sound
Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
Permanent Records
Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records


Events

Thu Mar 5 2015
In Tall Buildings (Record Release Show) @ Schubas

Thu Mar 5 2015
Mike & Friends @ High-Hat Club

Fri Mar 6 2015
The Dodos/Springtime Carnivore @ Lincoln Hall

Fri Mar 6 2015
The Congregation @ Martyrs'

Fri Mar 6 2015
TOPS/Landmarks @ Subterranean

Fri Mar 6 2015
Tweedy/Juan Wauters @ The Vic

Sat Mar 7 2015
The Tossers @ Metro

Sat Mar 7 2015
SXSW Send-off Show @ Bottom Lounge

Sat Mar 7 2015
Apollo Chorus Concert @ Rockefeller Chapel

Sat Mar 7 2015
Tweedy/The Minus 5 @ The Vic

Sat Mar 7 2015
Snowstorm Fest @ Navy Pier

Sun Mar 8 2015
Talib Kweli @ Metro

Tue Mar 10 2015
The Joan of Arc Gang's Residency @ Hideout

Tue Mar 10 2015
The Colourist @ Lincoln Hall

Wed Mar 11 2015
White Reaper @ Beat Kitchen

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Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
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Editor: Anne Holub, anne@gapersblock.com
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