Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Sunday, December 10

Gapers Block

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Concert Sat Mar 03 2007

Smoke Signals

Quick: Smoke or fire? Which do you choose?

Give up? Well, lucky ducky, you get to have both when Richmond, Va., quartet Smoke or Fire play loveable hole Ronny’s (2103 N. California) on Friday, March 9. They’re touring in promotion of their sophomore album, This Sinking Ship, which, well, sounds like a Fat Wreck Chords album: heavy riffs, tight ‘n speedy drumming, and shouty-yet-harmonious vocals. Mind you, it’s not meant to be entirely disparaging—unlike many bands who have similar styles, the boys of Smoke or Fire actually have their shit fairly together.

This Sinking Shipfeatures a new drummer, Dave Atchinson (from crust-punk group From Ashes Rise) and more lyrics about drunken nights, constant touring, and broken relationships. “Irish Handcuffs” slows it down just a hair from half-time drumbeats, while recounting their glory days and rueing the inevitable aging process (“Young livers dying slowly through reckless days we’ve come to accept…/To tell the truth this shit is starting to make me sick”). “Shine,” with it’s nicely explored intro, seems to be the prerequisite song about How Politics Sucks, while “Folding the Pages” is knee-deep in urban dystopia. It’s all well and good, and fairly catchy.

Opening is local heroes (and equally Fat Wreck-produced) The Lawrence Arms.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

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

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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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