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Thursday, September 3

Gapers Block

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Concert Tue Sep 01 2015

Chelsea Wolfe @ Thalia Hall 9/1/2015

GB cw1.jpg

Chelsea Wolfe is no stranger to creating a distinct mood of rich velvety darkness. She accomplishes this with her recorded music and her live performance is always filled with a sense of an accomplished artist who has a profound sense of self to guide her and fills the air with a melody and texture that isn't vanquished until probably months after.

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Kirstie Shanley / Comments (0)

Review Mon Aug 31 2015

The Mowgli's Bring the Heat of Love to Subterranean


It gets really hot inside Subterranean. The second-level balconies that line the walls make the main floor seem narrower than it actually is, and looking back from the middle of the fray it appears that people stretch back forever towards the bar. The music the huge, sweaty crowd is there to see holds the key to keeping them unified and distracted from what would otherwise be a horribly uncomfortable state. Fortunately, that's what The Mowgli's have made the theme of their career: sunny California love that brings people together and shines through all situations.

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Zach Blumenfeld / Comments (2)

Preview Sat Aug 29 2015

O+ Festival Builds a Positive Community

When artist Amy Jo Arndt was fresh out of Milwaukee's Institute of Art and Design, she moved to Chicago for more opportunities. But just three years ago her search for an art community coincided with a spiritual journey to seek better health and wellness. After spending her days nannying part-time, she'd watch TED Talks during the evenings when she wasn't occupying herself with her own art.

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Colin Smith / Comments (0)

Interview Fri Aug 28 2015

One Question & Endless Responses: A Commentary on Marginalization Within the Music Industry

Jessica Hopper marginalized tweet

Gals/other marginalized folks: what was your 1st brush (in music industry, journalism, scene) w/ idea that you didn't count'?

So tweeted music journalist Jessica Hopper, curating a conversation that desperately needed to be shared in as well as heard. In the minutes, hours, and days since that tweet on August 24, responses in numerous quantities were conveyed, all by those sharing their distinct experiences with sexism and marginalization within the music industry.

The amount of stories are limitless, spanning decades, and showcasing a patriarchal construct that has been inherently created and reinforced over time within music journalism and the industry as a whole. The conversation's wide scope, emphasized by Hopper's powerful retweets of each response, shed light on the issue for those who were either unaware or ignorant to the situations that befall women and marginalized groups in this industry each and every day. I spoke with Hopper regarding this vital dialogue, how awareness can continue, and steps we can begin to take to ensure that this system changes.

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Sarah Brooks / Comments (0)

Preview Fri Aug 28 2015

Miss Shevaughn & Yuma Wray Headline Foundations of Music Benefit Concert @ Quenchers on 9/11


It seems like a cliché to hear artists say "it's all about the music." But on September 11th at Quenchers, that will quite literally be the case. Miss Shevaughn & Yuma Wray will bring their sunny, cosmic Americana act to Quencher's in support of Foundations of Music, a nonprofit dedicated to empowering Chicago's children through music education. This will be a great show for a great cause, with all proceeds going to Foundations of Music.

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Zach Blumenfeld / Comments (0)

North Coast Music Festival Fri Aug 28 2015

The Main Squeeze Bring The Funk to North Coast (+ a Contest!)


Local act The Main Squeeze is enjoying quite the successful year. With an appearance at Bonnaroo this past year, as well as an upcoming set at North Coast Music Festival, the group, who seamlessly blends funk, soul, and much more, will be releasing their next album, Mind Your Head, in the fall. They're looking forward to sharing their performance day with artists they greatly respect, including The Roots and D'Angelo, and are patiently awaiting showing a Chicago festival audience their energetic live show, as well.

I spoke with the group regarding their influences, who they would like to collaborate with, and their diverse range of musical experiences. In addition, we're giving away A PAIR of 3-day passes to North Coast Music Festival for you and a friend to enjoy. Simply comment on this article (use your email address!) with the artist you're most excited to see on on Saturday, other than The Main Squeeze, of course. The winner will be chosen today at 6pm. The winner has been chosen! Thank you all for your entries, and continue reading for future giveaways!

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Sarah Brooks / Comments (26)

Thu Aug 27 2015

A Disciple Takes On His Church: An Interview with Sir the Baptist


Anybody who has been baptized knows that the church is more than an institution. It's a culture. And like every culture, it too has its rebels. From Al Green to Jennifer Hudson, many of rhythm-and-blues' greatest voices have been disciples of gospel gone secular. But fewer are those rebels that try to embrace both the virtuous and hedonistic in equal measure.

In that effort, Chicago's own Sir the Baptist, born Sir William James Stokes, has few predecessors. And often times in his music, while attempting to bridge the gap between his past as a preacher's kid from Bronzeville and his future as a rocketing rhythm-and-blues star, Stokes' knowingly contradicts himself. Perhaps that's why when I ask if he considers his music "church music" he replies,"It is and it isn't." Or when I ask him if he thinks his music belongs to the gospel or rhythm-and-blues genre he says, "both" and then explains further ...

"What we've done in music is compartmentalize our lives so much so that we don't even know who we are. I have people who were brought up in the church that sing with me on my albums because they know I'm singing the truth, but they won't perform with me in concert because they don't want to be associated with challenging the church."

With that statement, the purpose of Stokes' music crystallizes. This music man is on a mission to reveal the hypocrisies that are inherent to any kind of life spent adhering to a restrictive dogma, which in Stokes' case is Christianity. But Stokes cannot shake his halo, nor does he feel like he has to. "I'd say I'm spiritual, bot not religious. Or if I am religious, I'm religiously free." By which he means, he tries to be the same person on Saturday night that he is on Sunday morning. And then he goes home to write music about the complexities of being an old-school preacher's kid in a modern world to tantalizing effect.

So far that quest has brought forth two immaculate and inundating singles, "Creflo (Almighty) Dollar" and "Raise Hell" and more is on the way. Stokes recently finished recording his first album, PK, and the groundswell around him continues to build. To find out what all the fuss is about, check out Sir the Baptist on September 2nd at Jerry's in Wicker Park. The show has a $10 cover, is 21+, and starts at 9 pm.

Abigail Covington / Comments (0)

Feature Wed Aug 26 2015

Playing Atop the Hotel Lincoln, Widowspeak Embraces The Serenity Of Nature


The J. Parker Rooftop at the Hotel Lincoln is packed at 6 o'clock. On an ordinary Tuesday evening, you'd probably see a few 20-somethings stopping by after work to drink up a stunning view of Lincoln Park, the lake, and the Near North Side skyline as well as a cocktail. But on this occasion, a PA system and a slew of microphones invade a square space at the east end of the roof, and people cluster in a semicircle around them, keeping up a garrulous chatter between glances at the makeshift stage.

At 6:30, a woman in a black top and floral skirt and a man with long dark hair, a massive beard, and denim from head to toe step up to the mics with acoustic guitars in hand. And after a quick introduction from the mustachioed event manager and some enthusiastic cheers, Brooklyn-based indie folksters Widowspeak smile and launch into an eight-song set with the greatest of the Great Lakes providing a stunning backdrop.

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Zach Blumenfeld / Comments (0)

Review Tue Aug 25 2015

Love and Music Brought People Together at Sofar Sounds

sofarsounds.jpgThis past weekend I had the pleasure of attending one of Sofar Sounds' secret house shows. It was truly a unique experience, one that brought a genuine sense of community to the show. The group prides itself on creating this experience for the mutual benefit of the artist and audiences, placing the music on a pedestal it deserves. Upon walking up the venue, a beautiful apartment in Chicago, I had no idea of who was playing, whose home it was, or how anything would be set up. It was exhilarating and as I would quickly found out, incredibly fulfilling. Guests were greeted by Sofar Sounds volunteers, who handed a small sheet of paper detailing the evening's artists: The Kickback, Daniela Sloan, and Charlie Curtis-Beard.

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Julian Ramirez / Comments (0)

Interview Tue Aug 25 2015

Dynasty Podcast's 10-Hour Broadcast for a Monumental Celebration


Jaime Black is an institution in Chicago's music landscape, particularly through the curation of his own podcast, Dynasty Podcasts, the first as well as longest-running in Chicago. This year marks an unparalleled moment for the podcast, which has featured celebrated musicians from Billy Corgan to Perry Farrell to Chance the Rapper. Its emphasis on the Chicago music scene is steadfast and all-encompassing, and Black has worked tirelessly to hone the entity to what it has become today. Today, Dynasty Podcast has 50,000 followers on Soundcloud, and can be heard in more than 165 countries.

For the 10-year anniversary of Dynasty Podcasts, Black will be hosting a 10-hour-long broadcast on Sunday, Aug. 30, from Chicago's own Public Hotel, unprecedented in scope and welcoming a variety of Chicago talent to celebrate this achievement over the past decade. Listeners can stream the event all day at I spoke with Black regarding his brainstorming for the event, the ever-changing podcast landscape, and his hopes for the future.

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Sarah Brooks / Comments (0)

Preview Fri Aug 21 2015

Sofar Sounds Brings Intimate Musical Experiences to Chicago


If you haven't heard of Sofar Sounds, you are missing out on a genuinely interesting musical experience. The organization brings true music lovers together to see and hear new music in intimate venues which often times end up being someone's living room. These secret house shows emphasize a reverence to music, focusing all the attention of the audience directly to the musicians. I first heard of the shows from John Mark Nelson late last year at Schubas, where he performed a song that he wrote for a Sofar Sounds concert. It was the highlight of the evening and a fantastic example of what can come of a Sofar Sounds show.

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Julian Ramirez / Comments (0)

Album Fri Aug 21 2015

Barrence Whitfield and the Savages Pump Out Retro Blues-Punk


Barrence Whitfield and the Savages sound just like their name; you'd be hard-pressed to find a more stereotypical soul-blues moniker than "Barrence," and the Savages who back him up play exactly the type of distorted, raucous riffs you'd expect. Putting the two together results in a band that makes like Marty McFly and pumps old-fashioned rock 'n roll into a high wattage garage-bred overdrive. The question is whether or not bringing The Sonics' style forward fifty years holds water in the present musical landscape. And though aspects of BW and the Savages' new album Under the Savage Sky feel dated, its energy is undeniable and timeless.

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Zach Blumenfeld / Comments (0)

Review Fri Aug 21 2015

Sublime with Rome at Northerly Island: Relaxing But Uninspiring

Unlike many of those in attendance last night at First Merit Bank Pavilion, the only cannabis I had was printed images on my socks. I hoped they, in addition to the pungent haze resting above the crowd, would get me in the proper mood to enjoy Sublime with Rome and their legion of summery musical guests. In the end, though the concert satisfied the masses of grown-up '90s kids hearkening for a return to the heyday of Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2 and a few hours relaxing in the remnants of summer, I failed to find any new or deeper meaning in the band's music--and I don't think Bradley Nowell, Sublime's long-deceased lead singer, would have appreciated that.

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Zach Blumenfeld / Comments (2)

Video Thu Aug 20 2015

Video Premiere: "Violet" by Chemise Cagoule, Directed by Ryan Nanni

Inspired by dreamlike fantasies and nightmarish terrors, Chicago artist Chemise Cagoule debuted today the enchanting music video for the trippy lo-fi single "Violet."

The video, directed by Ryan Nanni and starring underground artists Jazzeppi Zanaughtti and Ben Morino, features a compilation of glamorously gritty scenes from a sex club, tour performances, frigid waters and frozen Indiana Dunes--suitable for the trippy dream-pop track.

Previously anonymous to the world, Chemise Cagoule was recently revealed to be the alter ego of local artist Jack Collier. The name 'Chemise Cagoule' comes from the term for a medieval nightdress of the Catholic church that was created to prevent pleasurable sex, which piqued Collier's interest in history, fashion, religion and sexuality.

Download the single and see more at Chemise Cagoule's soundcloud.

Emily Ornberg / Comments (0)

Preview Tue Aug 18 2015

Marrow to Debut New Album @ Subterranean on 8/19

Was anyone out there as much a fan of Kids These Days as I was? Maybe you, too, were heartbroken when they broke up to pursue other ventures. Well, have no fear, because newly formed Marrow is here to calm our woes. Liam Kazar has bided his time by touring with Jeff Tweedy, while Macie Stewart toured with Chance The Rapper. After time spent recording with the remainder of band members, Lane Beckstrom and Matt Carroll, the group is ready to release their debut album, The Gold Standard. They'll be playing a show at Subterranean this Wednesday evening in support of this new standout material.

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Sarah Brooks / Comments (0)

Feature Wed Aug 26 2015

Playing Atop the Hotel Lincoln, Widowspeak Embraces The Serenity Of Nature

By Zach Blumenfeld

The J. Parker Rooftop at the Hotel Lincoln is packed at 6 o'clock. On an ordinary Tuesday evening, you'd probably see a few 20-somethings stopping by after work to drink up a stunning view of Lincoln Park, the lake,...

Read this feature »


  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
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


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

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
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


Thu Sep 3 2015
Chicago Jazz Festival

Fri Sep 4 2015
Showgirls 20th Anniversary @ Berlin

Fri Sep 4 2015
¬°ESSO! Afrojam Funkbeat @ Emporium Wicker Park

Fri Sep 4 2015
North Coast Music Festival

Fri Sep 4 2015
Chicago Jazz Festival

Sat Sep 5 2015
North Coast Music Festival

Sat Sep 5 2015
Chicago Jazz Festival

Sun Sep 6 2015
North Coast Music Festival

Sun Sep 6 2015
Chicago Jazz Festival

Tue Sep 8 2015
Reggies 8th Anniversary Bash

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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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