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. 


Monday, April 15

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News Mon Apr 30 2007

Ladytron DJ Tour Hits Chi

A little over a year ago when Ladytron released their third album, Witching Hour, the buzz around them was approaching deafening.  Now that the hype machine has temporarily moved on, Ladytron is still blessing us with glamorous music and making audiences take notice.(they recently opened for Trent Reznor on his European Tour) Chicago will get half a taste of the band when Reuben Wu and Mira Aroyo drop by Darkroom on May 18th.  Resident DJs Brock and Misa will be warming things up.  Brought to us from local events teams Chicago Suicide Club and Beta Theta. 

Brent Kado

Artist Mon Apr 30 2007

Cornbread warming up...

The Fader sits in with Common and Kanye West for a listening session for a rough draft of Common's album Finding Forever. Track by track synopses, including appearances from Lily Allen, Bilal, and - what's this? - D'Angelo.

Troy Hunter

mp3 Mon Apr 30 2007

Touch and Go to Launch Digital Download Store

Billboard reports that local label Touch and Go will launch a digital download store later this summer, offering up DRM-free MP3s from its roster with pricing at 99 cents per song and $9.99 per album. It will also be the exclusive place to purchase downloads from any of Steve Albini's bands -- the new Shellac album, Excellent Italian Greyhound, drops June 5.

JP Pfafflin

News Mon Apr 30 2007

E-Music Buzz According To The Tribune

The Chicago Tribune did a nice intro to the various music delivery systems on the net this Sunday. Specific mention was made of the Chicago music blogs Songs:Illinois (author's blog) and Can You See The Sunset From The Southside as well as to Pitchfork, Pandora, Chicago's Accuradio and many more. Read the complete article here.

Craig Bonnell

News Sat Apr 28 2007

Weekend Music News

Widespread Panic has announced their summer tour.  In what seems to be their recent trend they will play 3 nights at the Chicago Theater, July 13-15.

Machine Media's latest issue is out.  Read about The Mutiny, 10 Steps To Save Billy Corgan and The Fireside Bowl.  Machine Media has also annouced thier Machine Fest (formerly Music With Meaning) will run from July 17-28.

Wu-Tang Clan puts up 215 unreleased or rare tracks on their download page.  Just another wonderful example of why we are living in a Triumphant time for music.(via Idolator)

Brent Kado

Artist Sat Apr 28 2007

Way down...

She's part of a legendary musical family, a Rock n Roll Hall of Fame inductee, and is set to take the stage at Harlem's Apollo Theatre 40 years after she first stepped onto it. Chicago native Mavis Staples' new album, We'll Never Turn Back was released last week, and it certainly does not disappoint fans of her earlier work, and it may be a good starting point for those of a younger generation who may not be aware of her talents.

- Video - "Eyes on the Prize" - first single

Continue reading this entry »

Troy Hunter

Contest Fri Apr 27 2007

Design Deadline

Today's the day! Send us your designs for the first ever Transmission sticker and button design contest. Need the details? They're right here.

Anne Holub

Concert Fri Apr 27 2007

A Perfect Double Bill - Deadstring Brothers/Matt Mays & El Torpedo

Leave it to Schubas to put on the best rock show of the weekend...on Monday night! On Monday the 30th Matt Mays & El Torpedo from Canada and The Deadstring Brothers from Detroit will bring their brand of feel good rock to Chicago. I'm most psyched about seeing the Deadstring Brothers again. They mix both the garage and the Motown sounds that Detroit is known for and add to that big Rolling Stone guitar riffs and swirling hammond organ chords. I thought that the song "Sacred Heart" off their Bloodshot Records' debut, Starving Winter Report, was one of the catchiest from all of 2006.

I'm not as up on Matt Mays & El Torpedo as I should be (since I'm kinda nuts for Canadians). But check out the downloadable video below to get a feel for them.

[mp3]: Sacred Heart - Deadstring Brothers
[mp3]: Lonely Days - Deadstring Brothers

[mp4 video] Cocaine Cowgirl - Matt Mays and El Torpedo

Craig Bonnell

Concert Fri Apr 27 2007

Hideout Dance Party

Sadly we're still living during "war time", but with parties like this who cares, right?  Well not exactly but here is a chance to get out and do some good ol' fashioned rug cutting with Life During War Time DJs - Bald Eagle, Mother Hubbard, Kampfire Killaz and Love of Diagrams.  At the Hideout Saturday, 9 pm., these DJs bring all sorts of styles to the decks.  Hideout has cheap beer, so pay the 8 bucks to get your groove on and get tipsy on canned beer.

Brent Kado

Concert Thu Apr 26 2007

This Beat Is Bulletproof

Upon hearing "Uprising," the 1999 debut single by Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra, many listeners mistook it for a long-lost obscurity circa early-70s Lagos. Imagine the surprise when it turned out that the thing had been cut by a group of modern-day Brooklynites. Fact is, it was an easy enough misjudgment to make, even for listeners long familiar with Fela Kuti’s afrobeat. One reason for this was that the joint was mic’d & recorded in just the “right” way that it sounded like something of that vintage and origin. But the main thing that put it over was that it'd been taken to the stage by musicians who weren’t merely copping a style, but understood and — more crucially — genuinely felt the music they were playing down to its deepest marrow. Naturally, it also didn’t hurt that the responsible party clearly involved musicians who possessed some well-seasoned and nuanced chops. Like the best of afrobeat, it was a megablast of motherland funk — eruptive, fierce, and monumentally powerful. As Bunny Wailer might’ve said: “Some things they come to you, other things they come at you, but this sound it moves right through you.”

Continue reading this entry »

Graham Sanford

Concert Thu Apr 26 2007

Free Show at Double Door

No dough show tonight at the Double Door for Metromix Rock N Vote winners.  Appearing will be The Wiitala Brothers, White Hot Knife, Animate Objects and The Saps. Animate Objects play a blend of soulful jazz chilled with some organic hip-hop.  They bring moods from sweet love-making music to bounce-the-floor dance cuts. The Wiitala Brothers are real brothers, in fact they're twins.  They lay forth low-key, cloudy alt-folk sounds that both drizzle and rumble. The Saps and White Hot Knife are standard pop rock music that would make Q101 proud. (remember these bands were picked by Metromix readers) Show starts at 8 p.m.

Brent Kado

Concert Thu Apr 26 2007

Love of Diagrams Love The Hideout

In addition to their gig opening for Ted Leo at Saturday's show at Metro, Love of Diagrams will be playing later that night at The Hideout. Joining the Life During Wartime DJs, the Melbourne trio return to the Hideout to extend their earlier electrifying performance in March.

The Diagrams' new full-length release Mosaic (Matador) was recorded here in Chicago with Bob Weston at the legendary Electrical Audio. Check out the band and wish them goodbye as they play their last U.S. shows before returning down under.

John Lombardo

Concert Thu Apr 26 2007

Art is not a mirror; art is JOSEPH HAMMER (Saturday)

This Saturday, Lampo puts the 99th notch on their collective bedpost a performance from tape-loop virtuoso Joseph Hammer, titled "Road Less Traveled." The event takes place at Odum (2116 W. Chicago) and starts at 9 p.m. Admission is $10.

Hammer is a lifelong member of the Los Angeles Free Music Society (LAFMS) and a member of projects like Solid Eye, Dinosaurs With Horns, Points of Friction, Joe + Joe and many others. His primary "axe" is a monophonic reel-to-reel tape recorder with an adjustable recording head. In a nutshell, the sounds go on the tape selectively, with parts of previous sounds being erased, parts of the new sounds added, all in a smeary, impressionistic way.

Continue reading this entry »

Chris Sienko

Concert Thu Apr 26 2007

Too Many MCs Not Enough Mics?

Not likely, so do you want some hip-hop to launch the weekend?  Want to go to Wicker Park?  Well 1 for 2 ain't bad?  Head over to the Subteranean tonight for some of the city's freshest wordslayers.  Qualo (URB Next 100 honorees), Hollywood Holt, Million $ Mano and the Cool Kids all get a shot at making you move. $7 gets you in with a 10 p.m. start time. 

Brent Kado

Feature Thu Apr 26 2007

Gapers Block Interview: The Sea and Cake

After 14 years together, and roughly two and half where you haven't played together, any relationship is bound to need some quality time. In this case, Sam Prekop, Archer Prewitt, John McEntire and Eric Claridge aren't your typical relationship, but the Sea and Cake aren't your typical band either. Originally a one-off collaboration between friends from fairly established bands (One should always be wary to apply the term "supergroup") the results were pleasing enough that they decided to make the band permanent. Now with an indie rock lifetime (or two) under their belts, critical expectations and shoehornings around them, and a handful of speculations that the band was done for good, Sam Prekop talks with Gapers Block: Transmission about everything and Everybody.

Continue reading this entry »

Anne Holub

Concert Wed Apr 25 2007

XBXRX Dance the El

Polyvinyl's West Coast thrash-dance quartet, XBXRX, will be joining Miss Mia, Ratso, and maybe even Lil' Ratso as they continue their celebration of Chic-A-Go-Go's 500th episode milestone. The taping will take place on Sunday April 29th at the Chicago Access Network Studios, located at 322 S. Green St. (one block west of Halsted) from 1:00-4:00 PM.

The uniform-clad noiseniks (featuring Chicago expat Weasel Walter on drums) will play a show later that night for all you dancing impaired out there at Schuba's with KK Rampage and black metal duo Ettrick.

For more info on Chic-A-Go-Go, email Ratso himself at or check out

John Lombardo

Concert Wed Apr 25 2007

Disorder In The Court

There are two not-so-noble destinies that can befall a pop tune these days. One is for it to be used in a car commercial. Another is for it to turn up as the soundtrack to a high-speed car chase in a blockbuster action film. You know — the kind that usually ends with a huge explosion? Riiight. For whatever it may be worth, the music of the Parisian electro duo Justice is much more likely to succumb to that latter fate. Or perhaps, invariably, both.

As someone once said, "the price of justice is eternal publicity." And hey, if there's one thing Justice knows about, it's publicity. They got plenty of it thanks to Kanye West's outburst at the Grammy Awards last year, and their alliance with Ed Banger and Vice Records has kept that ball rolling. Lots of buzz and enthusiasm surrounded the release of their Waters of Nazareth EP this past spring; and while the thing was only three tracks deep, padded out with a couple of guest remixes, it was just enough of a teaser to whet mass anticipation for the duo's debut album, which is due out sometime this summer.

As far as Justice's em-oh is concerned, comparisons to Daft Punk have been many. But to my ears, it's most amped-up moments are reminiscent of the growl and grit of early material by the Chemical Brothers and Depth Charge. They throw plenty of dirt in the tracks, with lots of keyboard burps, bursts of noise, and squealy bits. Douse that all down with acid squelch, and pile atop distorted anolog synth that surges like a heavy guitar buzz-riff (the sort that pulls double-duty by carrying both the bass and the treble) and you've got the hottest variety of clublife thumpity-thump going this season. It's the aural equiv of an amphetamine surge — your heartbeat pounding in your ears amidst dancefloor sweat and smoke stinging your eyes. Meaning that at the end of the night, it just stinks of decadence and dirty fun. And sexy? Sure...but definitely in a way that involves more teeth than tongue. Granted, it's the sort of thing that'll probably be cluttering up the resale bins about eighteen months from now; but for the time being, some folks can't seem to get enough of it.

Justice will be at Smart Bar this Saturday night. In keeping with what seems to be an unwritten rule for such shows, Transcid and Mark Gertz will also be spinning DJ sets. Doors open at 10pm, and tickets are $15.

Graham Sanford

Contest Wed Apr 25 2007

We Like Buttons. We Like Stickers.

Just another friendly reminder that we're having this little ole design contest, and we need your...well...designs. Help us create the first ever Gapers Block: Transmission 1-inch buttons and super cool stickers! Details n' stuff are here. Deadline is Friday.

Anne Holub

News Wed Apr 25 2007

Hump Day Linkage

Some notable notes from the Web

Flavorpill discusses Other Music's new website which just officially launched.  Other Music will feature DRM-free tunes from 100-plus Indie-ish labels.

Centerstage takes a look at city waternig holes that offer up awesome tunes from the ol' juke box.

As reported yesterday on Merge of-the-moment buzz band Peter Bjorn and John will be playing a free in-store at the Apple "Temple" on Michigan Ave.  Stop by May 8th for some fluffy pop via Sweden.

Brent Kado

Review Tue Apr 24 2007

Top Of The Pops, Mum! (Or: DIY Your Hair Black & Never Look Back)

If you're familiar with Art Brut, then you know that the band met with a lot of buzz when they released their first album, Bang Bang Rock And Roll, about a year ago. As often happens with new bands, many music fans are already wary as to the merits of the hype. That, however, did not prevent Friday’s show at Subterranean from selling out well in advance. And those buying tickets and attending were not, by and large, curious-but-cautious trend-jumpers or fickle, fair-weather fans. Rather they were there because they like the band, they like good music. To demonstrate the latter point, the crowd proved very receptive and enthusiastic about welcoming Chicago’s Jai-Alai Savant, the sole band on the opening bill.

Continue reading this entry »

Graham Sanford

Concert Tue Apr 24 2007

NYC's Alt-Country Traveling Carnival Show Arriving At The Hideout Thursday

(The Defibulators)
It seems fitting that a trio of underground, alt-country bands from NYC would be playing a club with a name like The Hideout. By default the genre that Andy Friedman & Other Failures, The Defibulators and The Two Man Gentlemen Band have chosen is neglected and marginalized across the country and I'm guessing that's only magnified in an indietastic city like New York. But despite being genre-challenged, each group has received it's fair share of glowing regional and national press. Andy Friedman (The Boston Globe called him an "erudite redneck") headlines this show. He is a strange modern-day renaissance man; he achieved initial fame as an illustrator and cartoonist for The New Yorker (although his work has also appeared in the Tribune), but of late he's been focusing on his loose, rootsy take on art country. His new record, Taken Man (good review here), is out now on his own City Salvage label.

Here's three good reasons to head out to The Hideout on Thursday the 26th.

[mp3]: White Knuckle Death - Andy Friedman & Other Failures
[mp3]: Milktrain To Paydirt - The Defribulators
[mp3]: The Hindenberg Disaster - Two Man Gentleman Band

Craig Bonnell

Concert Mon Apr 23 2007

Go-Go Gore Gore Girls!

Like sneering rock 'n roll girls in tiny skirts? Who doesn't? Rock-hatin' Communists, that's who. Show your love of democracy (or leggy rock 'n roll girls) with the Gore Gore Girls at Schubas on Friday, May 4. Combining powerful guitar riffs and thumping drums, along with Nancy Sinatra's boots and heavy eyeliner, the Gore Gore Girls' raucous live shows have earned them flocks of fans -- and with good reason. Opening the show are local bands Farewell Captain and Panther Style.

Kara Luger

Concert Mon Apr 23 2007

Delicious funky jazz house cocktail

DJ Mark Farina didn't start spinning his tasty beats until 2 am Sunday morning at Smartbar, but it was well worth the wait. The party, which had already started with DJ Heather's sensual and trippy deep house tracks, kicked into high groove when Farina took over. This was some of the best dance music I have heard as of late. Farina's ability to mix different genres is part of what makes his funky sounds so pleasurable. His music is a well-shaken cocktail--a fusion of downtempo, acid jazz, disco and house that can get even the most dance-shy folks out on the floor. There were a couple of reasons for this double treat--Mark Farina and DJ Heather--performing on the same night. It was Heather's birthday, for one, and secondly, an occasion to celebrate the release of House of Om (Om Records), a super smooth and stylish compilation to definitely add to your collection. This sweet 18-track CD mixed by Farina features Kerri Chandler, Uneaq, and King Kooba, among others, and is perfect for the dance floor or just chillin'.

Marla Seidell

Concert Mon Apr 23 2007

Follow the White Rabbits

Midwesterners by way of Bushwick, Brooklyn, the six blokes in White Rabbits haven't lost the earnestness of their Missouri upbringing. On their forthcoming full-length Fort Nightly, due May 22nd via Say Hey Records, the intense energy of the Walkmen transfers nicely into the playfulness of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, all while keeping solid songwriting, and storytelling, in tact. Lead single "The Plot" relates an awkward domestic dispute through dynamic percussion and a melodic hook that you can't shake - it's danceable, but hardly disposable. Speaking of dancing, "While We Go Dancing" uses bar room keys and a Billy Idol rhythm section to get the job done right, and the massive harmonies and percussive ivory-tickling on "Kids on My Shoulders" get you moving. Part of the White Rabbits' musical camaraderie is realized, no doubt, by their physical proximity - they all live together in a loft, sans heat, and all sleep on the same platform. Don't believe me? Check the proof. And check White Rabbits as the middle part of a nice triple-threat bill at Schubas tomorrow night, Tuesday, April 24. Former Grandaddy guitarist All Smiles opens and pop rock personality Richard Swift headlines. Show starts at 9 and tickets are $12 at the door and $10 online.

[streaming] - From Fort Nightly - White Rabbits

Brandon Forbes

Concert Mon Apr 23 2007

Pink Nasty @ The Lakeshore Theatre

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

As the younger sister to hardcorexxx rapper Black Nasty, Austin-based singer-songwriter Pink Nasty (née Sara Beck) takes a decidedly less abrasive (and less controversial) approach to her music, as she frames her folky, soulful chirp with some really hooky indie rock. Pink’s currently touring on her excellent self-released sophomore LP, Mold The Gold, which features a drop-dead gorgeous duet with Bonnie “Prince” Billy, with whom she has shared the stage as one of his band members. Miss Nasty stops by the Lakeshore Theater tonight with The Black (not her, bro, though – the band). 9pm. $8.

[MP3] Pink Nasty tracks on Hype Machine

JP Pfafflin

Concert Mon Apr 23 2007

Spouse, Cola Wars, Heaven Seventies

This Tuesday night, the early-nineties-indie sounds of Massachusettians Spouse (featuring members of Pedro the Lion and Silver Jews) and local power-poppers Cola Wars will play alongside the debut performance of the Heaven Seventies. In addition to their nine-foot video screen of re-edited bollywood movie madness, the Seventies will also feature Transmission's own Nilay Patel - he's buying all the drinks! Show starts at 8:30 at the Elbo Room.

Dan Morgridge

Concert Mon Apr 23 2007

The Wolf Who Cried Boy (Is Fame Hard)

For those of you quick enough to buy Amy Winehouse tickets this weekend for her upcoming show at the Vic (May 3rd, moved from two dates at Schubas), you'll be catching more than the drink-lovin' diva that night. Wunderkind Patrick Wolf, whose latest album The Magic Position has received fantastic critical acclaim, will be opening for Winehouse - and possibly making his last-ever Chicago visit. A post on Stereogum this morning reveals a letter from Patrick discussing how a recent incident involving his drummer has apparently been the straw that broke the camel's back - he plans to make an appearance in November with a London Orchestra his final concert.
So if you want to see the 23-year-old in the Windy City limits, start haggling for tickets now - it may be your last chance (at least until he realizes he can't retire on three Tomlab albums worth of royalties).

Dan Morgridge

Album Mon Apr 23 2007

Bill Callahan, Woke on a Whaleheart

Current Texas resident Bill Callahan has been releasing lo-fi Americana under the moniker Smog for going on 18 years through local label Drag City, and developed quite a following doing it too. But with Woke on a Whaleheart, out this Tuesday, Callhan has chosen a different moniker: his own. No doubt it's freeing, in some sense, to finally name yourself as the originator of your art, though of course greater transparency does offer greater exposure to criticism. Callahan, however, is no stranger to self-criticism and doubt and Woke on a Whaleheart pulls no punches, staying true to the earnest, pointed stories he has recorded for years.

Continue reading this entry »

Brandon Forbes

Concert Mon Apr 23 2007

Sweet Noise At Schubas

Ghostland Observatory makes dancing a must.  Their slick electro sound tied up in a knot with indie-pop glides across the room whipping listeners to attention.  They come to Schubas tonight with opener Popstatic, promising to excite and move you without bashing you over the head.  Ghostland Observatory is an Austin based duo that are easy to compare to Daft Punk, but dig a little deeper and Felix Da Housecat and Orbital parallel as well.  This is a pretty wicked show for a Monday night, prepare thy self.

Brent Kado

News Sun Apr 22 2007

And In Other News

Items of Interest From the World Wide Web

Post No Bills, the Reader's Column Blog talks about the rumored death of American Jazz and what some say we need to do to save it.

Jambase is one of the few places that gives us some thoughts on Umphrey's Mcgee's The Bottom Half and interviews their guitar master Jake Cinniger. 

If anyone cares, Billboard has released the Smashing Pumpkins tracklist for new album Zeitgeist. Due July 7.  No word on if the other half of the band plans to get on board.

Brent Kado

Concert Sat Apr 21 2007

Pitchfork Update...Again

The Pitchfork Music Festival continues its slow but steady lineup revelation for this year's three-day swelterfest in July by announcing yesterday afternoon the final two parts to its All Tommorrow's Parties Friday night "Don't Look Back" feature. For those who don't know, or haven't read a music blog in a while, the "Don't Look Back" show will feature, as Pitchfork has put it, three classic bands playing one of their classic albums in its entirety. Sonic Youth's Daydream Nation had already been revealed as the first act, and yesterday's announcement ended the suspense over the final two slots. Besides NYC's avant-punks, "Don't Look Back" will feature Pitchfork favorites Slint playing their all-important Spiderland, and the Wu-Tang's GZA rolling through his '95 opus Liquid Swords. The announcement is certainly exciting, but it leaves us pining for what might have been: Pavement's Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain? Neutral Milk Hotel's Aeroplane Over the Sea? Built to Spill's Perfect From Now On? Wishful thinking aside, the whole "entire album being played" gimmick makes the Friday night "Don't Look Back" set-up pretty unique in what will no doubt be the most essential aspect of the festival for many, despite the great Saturday and Sunday lineup already announced. Plus, it starts at 7 PM so, you know, it'll only be around 95 degrees, instead of the 125 degrees that will doubtlessly scorch the Union Park hipster faithful during the rest of the festival. Tickets for the "Don't Look Back" feature on Friday night, July 13 are $15 bucks and you can get them here.

Brandon Forbes

Venue Sat Apr 21 2007

We Be Clubbin' (Consciously)

First let's all make a promise that once the media hype dies down over saving the Earth, we'll still understand how important it is to change our habits and keep our world a clean place. That's the philosophy Funky Buddha Lounge has been preaching and demonstrating for 11 years and now their taking their actions to a new level. Tonight in coordination with Earth Day and the Green Festival, is the grand opening of highly anticipated Butterfly Social Club next to and ran by the Funky Buddha owners.(the club opened last night with a huge bash outdoors and in with Michael Kang of SCI, DJs and organic food)  BSC is about as environmental as you can get for a spot in the city, let alone a night club.  Serving up such goodies like Berry Happy Chocolate, from pure Ecuadorian chocolate, a Yerba Matte fused energy drink and green grass powder, designed with a truly earthy tone (local and natural material) and partially powered by solar and wind, Butterfly Social is truly a joint to love. Opening night features many green give aways, smoke-free atmosphere and ambient dancing sounds. Free before 11 p.m.

Brent Kado

News Fri Apr 20 2007

Black Fire Quenched

News has been circulating that jazz pianist Andrew Hill died this morning, passing away at the age of 75 at his home in Jersey City. Born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Hill grew up on the Southside of Chicago. He recorded some of his earliest work for the Chicago-based Vee-Jay label in the 1950s, but first came to many people's attention via the recordings he made, both as a ensemble leader and sideman, for Blue Note in the decade that followed. Frequently working with such like-minded adventurous souls as Roland Kirk, Eric Dolphy, Sam Rivers, Ron Carter, and Bobby Hutcherson, Hill became know as one of a new generation of "out," avant-garde jazz musicians and composers. He faded from the public view (and from the memories of many) for years thereafter, even though he continued recording and performing the entire time. A delayed renewal of interest in his work came about in the 1990s after Blue Note reissued many of his stellar recordings from the his early stint on the label, including such essential titles as Black Fire, Point of Departure, and Judgement.

Graham Sanford

Concert Fri Apr 20 2007

I Predict a L'il Riot

Just in case the verdict is still out on your musical plans for this evening, let me add to the confusion. Tonight at the Vic a nice triple bill awaits those willing to hit Lakeview for the evening. While pop rock exploitationists Kaiser Chiefs headline with their Brit-like punk sensibilities and moody heartthrobs The Walkmen shake and bake at the number two spot, the opening position goes to a little known, yet certainly buzz-worthy, band from SoCal. The Little Ones take methodic melodic rock to near-perfection - lead single "Oh MJ!" from this year's Sing Song mini-LP gives new definition to "feelin' groovy." Check out the video below if you don't believe, where people caught in the everyday breakout into a Narnia-esque world soaked in the sweet sounds of our heroes. Oh, and the S & G-funk reference above is not lost on the Little Ones either. The Vic's doors open at 7:30, and Little Ones drop the first notes of the sounds of sunshine at 8 PM. Tickets are still available at $24 bones a pop through the dreaded Ticketmaster online.

[mp3] Lovers Who Uncover - The Little Ones

Video: Oh Mj! - The Little Ones

Brandon Forbes

Contest Fri Apr 20 2007

What Have You Drawn for Transmission Lately?

Time's ticking away, and we're just 1 week away from the deadline for our first ever Transmission button and sticker design contest. Details details details are here.

Anne Holub

Concert Fri Apr 20 2007

Make Room for Winehouse

A result of rather frenzied demand, Jam Productions has combined and moved the two May 3rd Amy Winehouse shows scheduled at Schubas into one 7:30pm show down the street at The Vic Theatre. All Schubas tickets will be honored, of course, but if you're one of the hundreds looking for one, you can take your chances over in Ticketmaster land tomorrow morning at 10am. Given the amount of airplay that "Rehab" has received on WXRT, you can bet there'll be a bit of a stampede. It's sad to see the shows leave a nice, intimate (and smoke-free) venue like Schubas, but, ah well.

Anne Holub

Concert Fri Apr 20 2007

Decemberists hit Millennium Park

If you miss the Decemberists this time around (they perform tonight at the Riviera Theater, 8pm), don't worry. You'll have another chance to see them this summer. In a special concert celebrating Metro's 25th anniversary, the five-piece indie rock band hailing from Portland, Oregon performs alongside the Grant Park Orchestra in Millennium Park on July 18. Brand-new orchestral arrangements of The Decemberists' songs are to be arranged and conducted by Sean O'Loughlin, who has arranged music for Blue Man Group, Pink Martini and Christian McBride, among others.

Unusual pairings and eclectic instrumentation are nothing new for the Decemberists, who released their fourth full-length album, The Crane Wife, on 3 October 2006 (Capitol Records). Their music, compared to Neutral Milk Hotel and Belle and Sebastian, is best described as upbeat pop wrapped around passionate ballads. Lending its uniqueness to a lush musical arrangement (accordion, Hammond organ and upright bass included), their songs are infused by such diverse strains as the sea chantey, Irish jig and klezmer. Pastoral lyrics shaped around a folkloric, storytelling style paint wistful pictures of winter, love and other moods. The well-spun songs are the creative brainchild of singer/songwriter and frontman Colin Meloy, who was inspired to write Crane Wife by a Japanese folk tale he came across in the children's section of a Portland bookstore. The band, which named themselves after the Russian Decembrist Revolt and the feelings associated with December, includes Nate Query (bass), Jenny Conlee (keyboards and
accordion), Chris Funk (pedal steel guitar), and John Moen (drums).

The Decemberists perform with the Grant Park Orchestra, conducted by Sean O'Loughlin in the Jay Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park on July 18, at 6:30 pm. The concert is free and open to the public.

Marla Seidell

Artist Fri Apr 20 2007

Never on schedule, but always on time.

Only in rare cases can an artist be called out and called a savior in the
same year. Only rarer in hip-hop, where entire careers can be summarized by an artist's choice of adversaries and the resulting verbal sparring match and the inevitable "who won/who got sonned".

Nas’ career trajectory started high in 1994 with Illmatic and had sunk pretty low amongst hip-hop followers with a number of iffly projects, spotty albums, and Jay-Z’s verbal barrage “Takeover”. The resulting responses seemed to have stirred up the sleeping giant.

With last year’s “Hip Hop is Dead,” fans and critics were faced with the fact that an insider, a pioneer of the genre, had essentially called it over, that the show was done, pack up and go home. He then spent the album revitalizing the art, garnering critical acclaim and healthy album sales. Couple the popular response to the album with the “street” response of his release of three remixes of “Where Are They Now?” The album version mentioned various 80s and 90s artists and asked where they were. The remixes brought some of those artists out to shine once again. This goodwill gesture was just the latest to endear himself to an audience that wasn’t really paying attention much his recent output, or at least since Illmatic

He comes to the Congress Theater tonight as part of his “Hip Hop Is Dead Tour”. More info available here.


Where Are They Now? remix - courtesy of Soul Sides
Can't Forget About You - video

Troy Hunter

Concert Fri Apr 20 2007

4/20 Is A Day For Music

If you didn't know that 4/20 was officially the best day to go out and see live music, you've been "officially" informed.  Here is a list of shows that offer the best chances to get high. (on music, what else?)

Backyard Tire Fire, New Monsoon and JJ Grey and MOFRO - House of Blues, 9 p.m., $18.50.  This show provides a great mix of four acts dropping lots of funk and world-music inspired jazz glazed with rock.

Brothers Past with openers Orchard Lounge - Beat Kitchen, 9 p.m., $10 - Brothers Past drive home a flavored mix of electronica and rock that breaks a sweat.

e.s.t. (Esbjorn Svensson Trio) - Hothouse, 9 and 10:30 p.m, $20.  Smooth jazz Swedes that may throw in electronic grooves or rock riffs making mesmerizing mind music.

Continue reading this entry »

Brent Kado

Concert Fri Apr 20 2007

Dear Shows Off Bigs Hands

Matthew Dear makes music that gives us hope for the future of sound.  While he is not the guy leading the charge up the hill, he's the second line admiral who moves in and perfects the job.  Whether he is coming at us as Jabberjaw, False, Audion and now Big Hands, Dear is a master of musical moods.  He employs a live band to tour with for the first time in support of Asa Breed and is using the Empty Bottle as a warm-up spot.(the band has only released a single and this will be their second gig) The Nice 'Em Up Boys and Flesh open.  $10

Brent Kado

Concert Thu Apr 19 2007

Not Just A Sickness You Want to Avoid

(Photo by Teppei)

Upon initial categorization, Japan's Mono fits somewhere between the post-rock dalliance of Mogwai and the epic sound waves of Explosions in the Sky. But from the moment you really start to listen to last year's You Are There, you realize easy categorization is not the name of the game here. Mono aren't about fitting a genre-mold or a label - they're about blowing your mind with sonic compositions of cathartic intensity. Quiet beauty to squalling feedback, harmonious guitar movements to tidal waves of noise, You Are There moves from the depths to the heights and back again. This isn't just transporation - it's transcendental exploration. And their live shows, the story goes, are even better. So do yourself a favor and let this fearsome Japanese foursome challenge your ears and blow your mind at The Empty Bottle's late show Friday night. Show starts at 9:30. Mono friends world's end girlfriend go on second and The Drift open. Tickets are $12 and earplugs are a $1 so bring $13 if you don't have any. You're going to need them.

[streaming] Mono - Moonlight

Brandon Forbes

Concert Thu Apr 19 2007

Sonic Engineering 1°1

Play louder. That's the imperative, and we’ve had a half-plus century of glorious racket that’s come of it. Let all that have ears hear, and let them that hear move their feet.

So it was for Congolese cab driver and musician Mawangu Mingiedi when he started the group Konono N°1 over 25 years ago. Playing villages and parties, Mawangu and company encountered the challenge of making their music audible for larger gatherings and competing to be heard over the din of urban Kinshasa. And that proverbial mother of invention dictated that they scrounge and salvage and solder together the means of getting it across. Resorting to a ramshackle remedy of plugging-in, they wired up their acoustic likembés (or thumb pianos), built a clattering drumkit from scrap metal, and rigged their own DIY soundsystem for broadcasting block-party rhythms to all within earshot.

As far as Congolese music goes, Konono's style of native "trance" music pre-dates recent afro-pop sensations such as soukous and highlife by centuries. Theirs is a celebratory music, rooted in the ages-old tradition of "praise" songs, devotionals honoring the spirits of the departed. But with amplification comes the possibility of distortion, especially when you're working with equipment designed for more rudimentary purposes — the sort of megaphones designed for little more than squawking announcements at a train station, for instance. Pumped through a jerry-rigged PA system, the music’s polyrhythmic density taxes the channels until its timbres and tonalities blur and merge into a overwhelming mass of percussive sound — a fuzzed-out, skronky ur-funk, if you will. By force of sheer power, volume, and its own rootsy rawness, it’s a sound that can subsume and penetrate the listener to their corporeal essence. And if it doesn't prompt you to at least bob or shake your pelvic nethers, then maybe your friends should hail for a medic.

The widely-distributed release of Konono's 2005 CD Congotronics became a surprise cross-over hit with indie music heads. Their music has since been covered by The Ex, and they reportedly will be making an appearance on Björk's forthcoming album. They'll be playing at the Empty Bottle next Tuesday night. They don't make it stateside too often, and seeing them in a smaller venue guarantees a maximized acoustic experience. Tickets are $20, and the show is scheduled to kick off at 10pm.

[video]: Konono N°1 - "Lufuala Ndonga"

Graham Sanford

Music & Film Thu Apr 19 2007

Bands You Missed: Millimeters Mercury

Bands You Missed is Transmission's new semi-feature, taking a look back at notable Chicago bands that were big parts of a scene, but are hard to find information about. We're open to your suggestions, if there's a band that shaped a moment in your own personal Chicago history, let us know!

they are here to help!

(A quick opening note here: I am totally biased, because I played in a band that played lots of shows with mmHg, and they're all my friends. On top of that, I'm in a new band with Gabe now, and last week I think I probably humped Chris' leg at Carol's. So this is going to be a little glowing. Fair warning.)

Although Millimeters Mercury was officially formed in the fall of 1999, the band really took shape during the University of Chicago band explosion in 2001, when it seemed like everyone cool in Hyde Park had a band and played shows at The Cove. Founding members Travis Carter and Robert Voyer were joined by drummer Chris Vlasses and bassist Conor Loughridge (he of First Coat fame), and played their first full band show in October of 2001 at the Prodigal Son, a terrific venue on Lincoln that later burned down in a free bacon fire*.

Read on after the jump.

Continue reading this entry »

Nilay Patel

Concert Wed Apr 18 2007

Cloud Cult at Schubas (Read Quickly. Don't Linger. Show Starts In 2 Hours)

I'm not even going to pretend this is not a cut and paste job because it is. This arrived in the ol' inbox today, and since it truly does sound like a great show, with a much buzzed about band (Cloud Cult), and some kind of liquor deal it was too good a post to pass up.

"En Prise Entertainment and UR Chicago magazine are bringing three amazing bands to Schubas tonight (Wednesday the 18th) for what is sure to be a great show. Minneapolis' Cloud Cult, who were profiled in the April issue of UR Chicago, are headlining and will be playing songs from their latest album, The Meaning Of 8, which is easily one of the best independent releases of the year.

Support will be provided by one of Chicago's best local bands, Skybox, and Louisville, Kentucky's Waxfang (friends with Jim James of My Morning Jacket). And just to sweeten the deal, there is Hosted Jack Daniels and Coke Zero cocktails from 9-10pm! details below."

What are you waiting for! Go! Go! You've only got an hour to get there for the free cocktails!

[mp3]: Cloud Cult - Take Your Medicine

[mp3]: Skybox - Various Kitchen Utensils

[mp3]: Waxfang - Majestic

Craig Bonnell

Feature Wed Apr 18 2007

Chicago Blues Reviews

Chicago's blues roots run deep and wide. Here at Transmission, we do a lot more than just listen to the fine music coming out of the city's many blues venues. We now give you four reviews: two focus on new books about Chicago's blues culture recently released by two local publishers, and two take a look at the latest blues recordings put out by an institution of a local music label, Delmark. Enjoy!

Continue reading this entry »

Anne Holub

Music & Film Wed Apr 18 2007

The Hood, The Bad and The Ugly

While Aaron Brink and Steve Reidell of local pop outfit May or May Not are becoming somewhat of a minor Internet phenomenon with their new mash-up blog The Hood Internet (see this week’s blogbits), their other bandmates have also recently debuted a side project. MOMN multi-instrumentalists Zaid Maxwell and Amelia Styer, along with Driftless Pony Club’s Craig Benzine, formed the Ozark Cousins earlier this year and have released its first album—a sorta prog-Western—available for free download here. But not to be outdone by their bandmates’ meme du jour, the Cousins are also producing an album-length music video to accompany the album. You can check out the trailer here. Expect a screening, along with a performance by the group, when shooting wraps up this summer.

[MP3] Ozark Cousins, “Cocaine City Teeth”

JP Pfafflin

Concert Wed Apr 18 2007

Radio Soulwax Will Eat Your iPod For Breakfast

At the height of the mash-up/"bootleg" craze of a few years ago, no one was killing it faster and harder than the Radio Soulwax crew. Soulwax had started out as a Belgian alt-rock outfit in the 1990s before leaders Stephan and David Dewaele began focusing on their sideline deejay work. Under their alter-ego 2ManyDJs, The Dewaele brothers soon began cranking out bootleg mix CDs, radio broadcasts, and remixes at a dizzingly profilic rate. Faster than you can say, "get your crunk outta my grunge," their work quickly became the standard-bearing template for the "bastard pop" anti-genre, demonstrating the interchangeability of pop components and formulae with their mix-and-match style of blending tracks — such as slapping Salt'n'Pepa's "Push It" over The Stooges' "No Fun," or juxtaposing Nirvana with Destiny's Child.

Soulwax has recently reemerged as a fully-operative band, sporting a sound that fits comfily in with the recent trend for pulsing, "dirty" electro-rock. Meanwhile, 2ManyDJs has remained active and absorbed additional contributors, producing legit remixes for numerous artists like Gorillaz, Bloc Party, Ladytron, and they've just dropped one for the Klaxon's "Gravity's Rainbow." The current Radio Soulwax tour of the U.S. winds down at Coachella before the group heads off to the Cannes Film Festival for the premier screening of a documentary about their recent summer tour. They're arriving in town to take over the Metro this Saturday night. For the occasion, Soulwax (the band) will reportedly play the entirity of their 2005 Nite Versions album, and 2ManyDJs and FIXED associates JDH and Dave P will take to decks to serve up a mix set. Like-minded local deejays Bald Eagle and Popstatic will also be spinning. Doors open at 9pm, tickets are $15.

Graham Sanford

Album Wed Apr 18 2007

Eclectic New CD From James Falzone and Allos Musica

I have nothing intelligent to say about the music of James Falzone and Allos Musica. I don't have the proper vocabulary to describe the music that crosses genre boundaries as often and as easily as the songs on this groups new disc The Sign And The Thing Signified. But songs that can be classified as improvised jazz, classical, folk and modern/experimental and at the same time that have the accessibility of similar music by the likes John Zorn, Don Byron and The lounge Lizards has got to be good.

James Falzone, on clarinet, is the leader of this group. James is a Chicagoan through and through, and besides playing music in a number of other groups he is also a teacher (North Central College), a music director (Grace Chicago Church) and a lecturer. The other talented musicians on this new disc include; Katherine Young on bassoon, Amy Climini on viola, Kevin davis on cello, Brian Dibblee on double bass, and Tim Mulvenna on drums. You can buy this April 17th release now through CDBaby.

[mp3]: Ten Months
[mp3]: Three Strands Broken

Craig Bonnell

Concert Wed Apr 18 2007

God of Thunder: limited engagement, two nights only!

The last time metal-bashing junk acrobat Z'ev played in Chicago, it was 1986, at a long-gone venue called N.A.M.E. Gallery. The event, captured on a 10" vinyl record housed in two heavy pieces of etched sheet metal and released by Chicago's Crippled Intellect Productions label (now out of print, I believe), played with the resonances of metal (grinding, heaving sounds, atmospheric whines giving way to compressed-air riot-horn shrieks) as well as the pounding sounds of metal against metal, with rhythms that sound like a Scottish pipe & drum percussionist playing the inside of a water tower. In the intervening 21 years, Z'ev has explored many other natural materials and media, creating a living sound-space that links the organic (dude) and the inorganic (stuff) into harmonious confluence (ker-POW!).

Z'ev returns to the Chicago area for the first time since N.A.M.E. Gallery with two shows on two consecutive nights. Tonight, check out Wicker Park's Enemy space (1550 N. Milwaukee Ave, 3rd floor) for Z'ev pt. 1, along with Chicago experimental legend Illusion of Safety, whose own live appearances are rapidly becoming as rare as a $5 pitcher on Saturday night. 9 p.m., suggested donation $10. Tomorrow, the Empty Bottle will also host Z'ev, along with Sikhara (true "nomadic" ritual music ensemble), Vertonen (waves and tones, drones and tight spaces), and Magic is Kuntmaster (one-woman fairytale horrorshow). 9:30, $7 in advance, $10 at the door.

Chris Sienko

News Tue Apr 17 2007

New Radio From The Hype Machine Already Imperiled By Higher Royalty Rates

SaveNetRadio.orgIf you're reading this you probably already know about The Hype Machine and, the two competing mp3 blog aggregators of note. What they do is gather all the posts made by all the significant mp3 blogs in one place; you can read abbreviated posts, download mp3's and check the mp3 blog charts. Now on Hype Machine you can also tune into the best new radio stream on the net. Hype Radio works by streaming tracks posted over the last two weeks by the top blogs. You can now sit at your desk and very passively absorb all the great music being written about on the blogosphere. If you want to read the original post where the song came from that's easy too.

Unfortunately for us (and Hype) this may be a shortlived service as yesterday news came down the pike that the Copywrite Royalty Board upheld it's earlier decision to essentially double the rates streaming services have to pay. Sites last Last.FM, Pandora and popular online radio stations like Live 365 and Accuradio will have to shut down. According to Brendon Silver of Accuradio this could put a serious damper on many struggling Web 2.0 companies and result in a "virtual shutdown of all U.S. webcasting." If you want to get involved in some way to try to change this policy visit this link for more info.

Craig Bonnell

Concert Tue Apr 17 2007

Gettin' Busy With the Kid

Well, if you're still bummed about the cancellation of last Friday's A-Trak and Flosstradamus show at Smart Bar, you have two chances to catch Flosstradamus this week. Between zipping in and out of town to spark crowds in other cities, they're playing a couple of events in Chicago. They'll be performing with Kid Sister at Subterranean tomorrow night. Kid Sister has also had a busy schedule of late, since both she and the Floss guys have been cited as the next big blow-up for 2007. Having seen Sis tear it up around town a number of times in the past year, I've been amazed at how she keeps getting better each time. Dynamic and adorable, she dances and bounces all over the stage while she raps. Her energy is positively infectuous; and she, in turn, gets likewise amped by the excitement of the crowd. And she's usually at her best when she joins Floss to kick it during one of their sets. If that weren't enough, Brooklyn deejay and remixer Nick Catchdubs is scheduled to man the decks, too — meaning that this party's going to be a monster. (Yep. Looks like Thurday's going to be a low-productivity day for some of us.) The Cool Kids are billed to open. 2011 W. North Ave. 9pm-2pm. Tickets are five dollars.

And, oh yeah...if you can't do Wednesday, Flosstradamus will also be spinning at Sonotheque this Friday evening. Check the club's website for further details.

Graham Sanford

Review Tue Apr 17 2007

Review: Klaxons @ Schubas, 4/16

One of the more unfortunate things about popular music today is the extreme hype that some artists receive before they've done much of significance. Even one-trick ponies get nods because they could be a big deal when they work outside of the box. Really, who doesn't want to be first on the bandwagon? And that's what leads to a band like Klaxons selling out Schubas months in advance. (I suppose it's also what leads to free shows in trendy fashion stores.) They played a terribly mediocre and sloppy set that couldn't even ignite the spirits of those who bought into "new rave" and dressed as if it were 1990 in Manchester. Their lethargic demeanor did nothing to help win over anyone who'd been on the fence about them. The poor play of one of their best songs ("Atlantis to Interzone") was the first signal that Monday just wasn't their night to impress. The steady walkout appeared to confirm the crowd's discontent. Only "Magick" near the end of their 45-minute set seemed to show any signs of life. And even that was too little too late for many in the audience.

James Ziegenfus

Blog Tue Apr 17 2007

Found Blogbits

Random Goods From Other Music Blogs

Coolfer offers a look at a Harvard Business School Report "Peer-to-Peer File Sharing and the Market for Digital Information Goods" which studies the convergence of iTunes, P2P networks and pricing.

Gorilla Vs. Bear shows us that the Mashup is not dead. It is in fact livin' large at The Hood Internet.(with artwork too)

IndieBlogHeaven reports on the new Wilco toys that are coming out soon. It looks like they have lego bodies and egg heads.

Brent Kado

News Mon Apr 16 2007

Some Pitchforkery

Just in case you haven't caught the updates swirling about online concerning everyone's favorite hipster fest, the following bands have been added to the Pitchfork Music Festival in July (culled from the festival website):

"Atlanta psych-rock powerhouses Deerhunter, Portland-based experimental pop trio Menomena, dance-rock juggernaut Klaxons, sleek Brits Fujiya & Miyagi, upstart Sub Poppers : Oxford Collapse, neo-slowcore duo Beach House, fantastically insane one-man-band Dan Deacon , and boundary-breaking jazz ensemble Craig Taborn's Junk Magic."

Myspace rumor also places recent Pitchfork Best New Music recipient The Twilight Sad unoffically at the Festival as well (thanks RFC). Now, if they can only convince Bjork to appear...

Brandon Forbes

mp3 Mon Apr 16 2007

Fireflies Make It Big In Sweden!

(Photo from Sam and Willy's pet store on Paulina)

I was frantically searching for Swedish music to write about last night (don't ask!) when I came across a promising sounding band called Fireflies on the nice little Swedish indiepop label Lavender. But when I finally tracked down the band's MySpace page it turns out they're from Chicago not Stockholm. How ironic, a guy from Chicago looking for Swedish music instead finds a Chicago band on a micro label from Sweden?

Fireflies (really just one guy named Lisle) is clearly influenced by the type of music you'd find on some out of print 7" from Sarah Records, or maybe early Belle and Sebastian before they learned any modern production techniques (and when they were still shrouded in mystery) or maybe a b-side to some epic tone poem by the Endlish band Felt.

"Cherry Blossum Girl" is like an indiepop lo-fi remake of the Dione Warwick hit "I'll Never Love This Way Again" right down to the somber chorus of "I'll Never Love Again. Can I say that to you? Will you run away if I try to be true?" I'm not sure how this would translate live but you can find out April 27 at 6pm at the Columbia College Center for Book and Paper Arts.

[mp3]:Cherry Blossom Girl
[mp3]:Les Belles Etoiles

Craig Bonnell

Review Sun Apr 15 2007

ERIE CHOIR @ Ronny's Bar, Wed. April 10

It's always kinda nasty at the divey Ronny's, but it was COLD and nasty as this quartet from North Carolina hit. Everyone in the audience and the band (except the frenetic drummer) kept their coats on, and the bass player even kept his gloves on. Nonetheless, they managed to pull off a twangy Jonathan Richman (or was it the Pixies doing country rock?) impression for 45 minutes, with smart melodies and tart lyrics. To their benefit, the arrangements were a little more raw than the recorded versions you can listen to on their MySpace page. The room at Ronny's actually resembles a garage, with overhead doors lining either wall, so it's appropriate that the show should have a little garage in it. The stage show could have been a little more energetic, but I don't blame 'em if they were a little frozen. They did close with a stunningly beautiful song that featured 3 part harmonies before it crashed its way to a cataclysm of guitars. This is a band with promising songs that could use a little polishing, particularly in terms of the stage energy, but lyrically and musically they’re interesting enough to keep an eye on.

Steve Pasek

Concert Sun Apr 15 2007

Dana Falconberry @ Cal's Bar

I took my own advice and saw Dana Falconberry at Cal's Bar last night. Cal's is a hole in the wall, a shot and beer joint and proud of it. But around the edges music paraphernalia is starting to creep it's way in. Tour posters, broken guitars, band stickers and assorted musical nicknacks adorn the walls. The stage is the cold barren cement floor. But the place is small, cozy, laid back and the sound is good (beers are cheap - $2.50).

I was surprised that Dana turned up as a trio for the night. Dana's guitar and vocals were accompanied by beautiful harmonies and assorted percussion from two fellow Austinites (Erica and Gina). By percussion I mean stolen children's toys, foot stomps and old battered coke cans squished along to the beat. Dana played songs from her new ep Paper Sailboat and newer songs she's still working the kinks out of. After the band resolved some distortion/feedback issues they quickly found a grove. One of the standouts was the gypsy flavored "Leave In The Middle Of The Night". Fan favorite "Sadie" was the closer. Anyway just wanted to let you know that a good time was had by all.

"Sadie" video

Craig Bonnell

News Fri Apr 13 2007

Friday's Second Hand News

Some tidbits for your weekend:

- Flameshovel Records' own power metal instrumentalists Russian Cirlces got a "Band of the Month" listing from Refused TV in March. Check out a mind-altering live Refused TV performance of "Death Rides a Horse" here.

- Bits from an interview with Iggy Pop surfaced on Greg Kot's Trib blog today, including the inside scoop on how Iggy keeps that bod going. The Stooges play the Congress this Sunday. Get yourself psyched with some live videos here (via RFC).

- The unclassifiable pop of CocoRosie goes gender-bendingly visual with a new video for lead single "The Rainbowarriors" off of their latest LP, The Adventures of Ghosthorse and Stillborn. Touch & Go is streaming the video here.

- Daytrotter's artist of the moment is shamed former Wilco contributer Jay Bennett, who offers four new tracks and an interview for those who want to give him a second chance, despite his performance in I Am Trying to Break Your Heart. Also recently archived there are some great tracks from local Kinsella brother Mike's solo project Owen.

Brandon Forbes

Random Fri Apr 13 2007

Secretly Canadian Makes Hoosier Rock History And Minty Fresh Signs One Of The World's Most Crushworthy Bands

Congratulations to Bloomington, Indiana's Secretly Canadian. They turn 100 this year (100 releases, not years). According to the press release this makes them the first label to release 100 records in Hoosier state history. They are celebrating this accomplishment by releasing a 2 cd set of SC bands covering other SC bands' songs. Here's David Fischoff (who we wrote about here) covering Damian Jurado's "Abilene".

[mp3]: Abilene


Also today, Chicago label and "Cosmopolitan pop mecca" Minty Fresh records has announced the signing of the indie pop band White Shoes & The Couples Company. This band has been flooded with accolades including "the best indie pop band from Indonesia ever", "one of the best bands on MySpace" and "one of the 25 most crushworthy bands." Here's their insanely catchy song "Tentan Cita".

[mp3]: Tentan Cita

Craig Bonnell

Concert Fri Apr 13 2007

Rage Against The Big Mac

If you can't make it out to Oak Brook to protest Mcdonald's ridiculously cheap food, (and substandard labor practices) Saturday at the Federal Plaza is another spot to participate. And with better sounds too. A Latin American style parade, sponsored by the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, will march from the Plaza to Rock and Roll Mcdonalds (600 N. Clark St.) and end with a concert (back at the Plaza) featuring both Tom Morello and Zach de la Rocha as solo acts. Hopefully they will play a few tunes together.  Also on the bill musically Hot 8 Brass Band, Olmeca and many others.

Brent Kado

Concert Thu Apr 12 2007

Want those Klaxons tickets?

WLUW will be announcing how to get e-tickets to the Klaxons show this weekend - passes do not guarantee entry though, so get your ticket and then get there early!

(Full disclosure: this author is a employee of WLUW.)

Dan Morgridge

Concert Thu Apr 12 2007

Spring/Winter Sunshine

With only two guitars, Ecstatic Sunshine has managed make some of the wildest orchestrated noise this side of Yngwie Malmsteen! The Baltimore duo (featuring members of Ponytail) combine frantic note-picking, hammer-ons run amok, and alternating solos as they blast through their highly developed, clearly un-improvised intricate rock songs! ES have successfully distilled the most central element of rock and roll, fed it speed cut with steroids and blast it out live for you to try decipher. Tonight they perform with Tim Kinsella & Todd Mattei and Light Pollution at South Union Arts (1352 S. Union) at 8:00pm.

[mp3]: Pocketknife

John Lombardo

Concert Thu Apr 12 2007

F.O.S. (Friends Of Sufjan) - Denison Witmer/Rosie Thomas At Beat Kitchen

You know that expression "I went to a boxing match and a hockey game broke out" (is that right?), well there is now an indie rock equivelent. If you go see Rosie Thomas and Denison Witmer at The Beat Kitchen on Sunday night you may leave saying "I went to an indie rock concert and a comedy show broke out". That's because the opening band is Sheila Saputo (aka Rosie Thomas in disguise). Sheila's a nerdy, out-of-place, painfully awkward, young girl who loves to partake in awful karaoke, tennis lessons and play with chickens. Think Andy Kaufman in a dress. It's an odd turn for the often quite serious Rosie Thomas, it's almost like a split personality.

As the title of this posts hints at, both Rosie Thomas and Denison Witmer have collaborated with Sufjan Stevens. In fact for a brief time it was rumored (on Pitchfork, no less) that Rosie was carrying Sufjan's child, but that turned out to be a hoax created by Rosie (or was it Sheila?). Here's Sufjan's letter to the editor in response:

"First of all, I would like to thank everyone who called or sent notes of congratulations about the news of my baby. I am so proud.

Secondly, the baby is a hoax. I had nothing to do with the baby hoax. I was as shocked as everyone else about the baby. Matthew's story was so convincing I almost believed it myself.

Thirdly, something you need to know about Rosie is that she's really weird and she's really funny. So it's no surprise that she could pull this off, this imaginary baby. But the fact is, Rosie is not carrying my baby. As far as I know, we spent quality time in the studio, not in bed. If Rosie's pregnant, it's not my baby. Maybe it's Denison's baby. Maybe it's an alien baby. I don't know. All I know is that the baby is probably going to grow up to be a clown, or a mime, or a bassoon player or something funny like that. Most babies come out crying, but Rosie's baby is going to be born laughing its butt off."

Besides all the wackiness that may be in store, Denison and Rosie should put on a great show of indie folk. They're touring in support of Rosie Thomas' These Friends Of Mine which was recorded in NYC with Sufjan and Denison and released March 13 on Rosie's own imprint. Both will probably appear solo and together, accompanied only by acoustic guitar, which should let their songwriting prowess shine through. Here's a song from each and bizarre little You Tube video of Rosie's alter ego Sheila Saputo.

See all three (or is it two?) this Sunday night at an early show at Beat Kitchen, should start around 6pm.

[mp3]: Denison Witmer Are You Lonely

[mp3]: Rosie Thomas Much Farther To Go

Sheila Saputo "Sheila's phrases to live by"

Craig Bonnell

News Thu Apr 12 2007

Kids, more PB & J's!

For those bummed about missing the boat on tickets to see Peter Bjorn and John at the sold out gig at the Empty Bottle on Tuesday, May 8, fear not - there's enough PB & J to go around. Because of demand, the Bottle has just announced a second, early show starting at 6:30. While those with tickets to the sold out 10 PM show will get to see Fujiya & Miyagi open, the early show will feature the smooth electronic sounds of Au Revoir Simone as an appetizer for everyone's favorite Swedish threesome.

Tickets for the early 6:30 show are $16 advance and $18 at the door but before you dash over to Ticketweb to grab a pair for you and your squeeze, take note that they don't go on sale until 10 AM this Saturday, April 14. Until then, play the below on repeat:

Brandon Forbes

Concert Thu Apr 12 2007

Let Me Take You Mo' Higher

Beantown emcee Mr. Lif is completely on some Noam Chomsky type ish — not just with how he kicks the linguistics, but also with how he flexes on socio-political issues when he's on the mic. His 2002 cut "Home of the Brave" was the first song I heard that fully (and scathingly) addressed post-9/11 American paranoia and foreign policy. As a socially-minded emcee, Lif manages to make such lyrical content work in a manner that other "conscious" hip-hop usually doesn't. His p.o.v. is more off-handedly observational than preachy, more by-the-way than bombastic. Delivery-wise, he's savvy with switching up the meter, doubling-back on the verse with compressed or internalized rhymes. Lif readily admits that his lyrics are as fueled by what he sees in the world that pisses him off as they are by his passion for hip-hop and making music. And it's paid off well for him, judging from how he frequently attracts and collaborates with some of the most respected emcess and producers in the indie rap scene.

Continue reading this entry »

Graham Sanford

News Thu Apr 12 2007

Thursday Quick Links

Interesting morsels from around the Blogosphere

Apparently Jessica Hopper of The Chicago Reader and other music publications will be in Da Capo Best Music Writing for 2007.(and is really into her pottery)

Local music blog Can You See The Sunset From The Southside? (CYSTSFTS?) continues their very informative and in-depth look at the history of Chicago Punk.  Today is Volume 18. (They're also doing some guest Blogging)

Wal-Mart may have REO Speedwagon, but Costo is selling Connor Oberst (aka Bright Eyes) signed guitars for a cool $899.99. No word on discounts for club members.(via)

Brent Kado

Feature Thu Apr 12 2007

Drums and Swedes: New Records from Loney, Dear and Low

This Friday the 13th, replace your hack and slash with some drums and Swedes. At the Metro, Sub Pop labelmates Loney, Dear and Low bring their new records to the stage for all of Wrigleyville to hear. Newcomer Loney, Dear brings a jazzy, European folk ensemble to town which, no doubt, will accent the deadly serious quietness of slowcore standard-bearers Low in stimulating ways. To keep you pumped and informed, here's an in-depth look at the two most recent records from these very different artists.

Continue reading this entry »

Anne Holub

Concert Wed Apr 11 2007

Lollapalooza Lineup Confirmed!

It would seem we can now officially confirm the Lollapalooza lineup announced at the Onion A/V Club earlier today, as it's band-for-band the same as the lineup printed in the inside-back-cover of "tomorrow's" issue of Time Out Chicago. I'm pleased with my investment, how about you?

Kris Vire

Benefit Wed Apr 11 2007

Thawed Out

After this week's whole snow/slush nonsense, it's about time spring has elbowed its way into its proper place. To celebrate, I suggest you attend Thaw, a benefit for Links Hall at Sonotheque. See, Links Hall (1444 W. Chicago Ave.) is a nonprofit studio for experimental performance, and what better way to see what you're supporting than by watching performances, take in video work and live installations, all while shoving down complimentary hors d'oeurvres and drinks. Afterwards, you'll need to work all of those tiny foodstuffs down, so pull up your pants and dance with until 2 a.m. with an assortment of DJs.

See? Everybody wins. The shindig is from 7-10 p.m., and $30 will get you food, drinks, and admission to the late-night performances. If you just came to shake a tailfeather, $10 will get you in the door. Check here, or call 773/281.0824 for more info.

Kara Luger

Concert Wed Apr 11 2007

Lollapalooza Lineup! Who Actually Waits Anymore?!

Now you've plunked down $165 for Lollapalooza tickets and you're wondering, "I wonder who I'll actually see." The lineup's officially announced tomorrow, but The Onion's A/V Club has posted a pretty good-looking lineup that seems to indicate Pearl Jam (Sunday), Ben Harper (Saturday), and Daft Punk (Friday) will headline. The rock-heavy lineup is pretty tame with only a handful of "Oh My God, They Got Them?!" acts, but there appears to be a lot of quality spread throughout.

Notable local performers include the 1900s, Bound Stems, Chin Up Chin Up, Lupe Fiasco, Rhymefest, Matt Roan, and David Vandervelde.

James Ziegenfus

Artist Wed Apr 11 2007

Filled With Radio Cures

Glenn Kotchke discusses Wilco's upcoming record Sky Blue Sky, with X-Press Online. Glen weighs in on file-sharing ("They are supporting the band"), catchy songs versus album continuity ("I’d rather have a good complete record") and the possible pigeon-holing of his solo record ("I am not playing drum clinics, I am playing rock clubs" {this author's new catch-all phrase of the day}). Wilco will be playing at Bonnaroo (June 14th-17th) and Sky Blue Sky comes out on May 15th.

Dan Morgridge

Concert Wed Apr 11 2007

I Guess This Makes It a Derailment...

As an update to the entry that appeared on Transmission earlier this afternoon, it now appears that &mdash at the 11th hour &mdash Friday night's A-Trak & Flosstradamus event at Smart Bar has been cancelled. For those who might've already purchased tickets, the club's website offers info about refunds. The "make-up" event for Friday eve is still TBA.

Graham Sanford

Music & Film Wed Apr 11 2007

Treaty of Paris Attempts to Set New Record For Selling Out

Let's review some of the most notable sell-outs of all time. Dylan going electric appearing in a Victoria's Secret ad. Sting's entire discography. That "Tubthumping" song. Um, Green Day signing to a major. The unspeakable horror that is Cut The Crap.

Unlike all those bands, who toiled for years building actual credibility to destroy, local rockers Treaty of Paris are going for the gusto from Day One, having been chosen for Q101's Breaking the Band. Everything you need to know can be heard here (mp3). It's true, up and coming bands do need "Mobile Web 2.0" access and the ability to incur additional per-use charges! How else could we download all those New Found Glory songs to rip off? Thanks for the tip, guys!

Nilay Patel

Concert Wed Apr 11 2007

Dana Falconberry

Dana Falconberry's music can shift on a dime; from truly quiet, folk-based storytelling to electronically-enhanced, buzzing indie rock (check out her two new demos streaming at MySpace). Perhaps she's still searching for her sound or perhaps she'll be an artist that doesn't settle on any one genre. As a member of the weird folk collective Peter and the Wolf, you might think she'd be tagged with the freak folk moniker, but I haven't seen that description used yet and I'm sure she'd oppose it's limitations.

Her song "Paper Sailboat" was the one that immediately drew me to her work. It's the title track from her latest ep and is a simple, beautiful song about lost love. The second single, "Sadie", has a more produced feel with cello and moody atmospherics, but is still a song that as Dana points out in her bio deals with "loss and regret." I'm sure you'll hear these two and others when she takes the stage at Cal's Bar (400 S. Wells) at 10pm on Saturday the 14th.

[mp3]: Sadie

"Leave In the Middle Of The Night" on the Austin, Tx. cable access show "Almost Late Show with Bobby Bones"

Craig Bonnell

Artist Tue Apr 10 2007

Play. Repeat. Play.

Touch & Go favorite Ted Leo's latest single off of the recently released Living With the Living, carries a video from first time director Sara Grady that drives home Leo's message well. On "Bomb. Repeat. Bomb." protestors carry placards that serve as windows to the depressing reality of war and exploitation that Leo perpetually strives against. Hmmm, thoughtful stuff. On a lighter note, drummer Chris Wilson continues to sport a kick-ass beard.

Ted Leo and his pharmaceutical team sell their own brand of aural drugs at the Metro on Saturday, April 28th.

Brandon Forbes

Concert Tue Apr 10 2007

Hips Sway to the Hearsay

Oh, the unintended irony. That the band who dubbed themselves The Gossip has become so much the center of such, recently. They've learned that when a band has a charismatic and outspoken frontperson, folks end up talking about nearly everything but your music. Such has been the case with the attention swarming around vocalist Beth Ditto recently. Her comments on gender, sexuality, and body-image issues have provoked no shortage of controversy, reactions so bafflingly polarized that they ultimately prove Ditto justified for raising them in the first place. But before all the tabloid-style notoriety, the band initially earned their reputation from their music and performances.

Continue reading this entry »

Graham Sanford

mp3 Tue Apr 10 2007

Marry Me

Eccentric four-tracker and producer to the stars John Vanderslice isn't the only good thing hitting Lakeshore Theatre this Friday. Crushworthy Annie Clark, aka St. Vincent, will be opening for the Pacific Northwest songwriter, and will bring her own brand of dynamic tunesmithing to the intimate confines of Lakeview's best venue. St. Vincent, who put on quite an entertaing "one-woman band" performance opening for Midlake at Schubas in February, has a rookie full-length coming out on Beggar's Banquet on July 10. Entitled Marry Me, the record will feature such live favorites as "Paris is Burning," a wartorn cabaret ditty, "All My Stars Are Aligned," a Patsy Cline-esque piano ballad, and "Marry Me, John," a Carole King ride on the darkside. Check out the brilliant shuffle of "Now Now" below, and check out St. Vincent in the flesh this Friday, April 13 at Lakeshore Theater at 10 PM for 12 bucks.

[mp3] Now Now - St. Vincent

Brandon Forbes

Transmission Tue Apr 10 2007

Announcing the First Ever Gapers Block: Transmission Button and Sticker Design Contest!

Hey Kids, we need some swag!

Think you're the one to marry your love of Chicago music with some catchy eye candy? We want you to design our very first Transmission stickers and 1" buttons! We want to get Transmission on your favorite tshirt, hoodie and Marshall stack.

It's up to you to choose how Transmission and Chicago music can fit in a 1" circle button or a B&W or B&W and Red sticker in 4.25"x2.75" or 4.25"x1.38" sizes.

Sticker templates available here.
(4.25"x2.75" or 4.25"x1.38" only)

Button templates available here:
(1" only)

Email your design(s), along with your name and mailing address, to by Friday, April 27. The designs will be judged by members of the Gapers Block staff, and the winning entry will debut at our 4th Anniversary Party May 25 at the Hideout! The winner receives, in addition to credit and our esteemed thanks, 10 buttons or stickers featuring his/her design and a $20 gift certificate to Reckless Records (or the record store of your choice).

Good luck!

Now, the legal disclaimer: No purchase necessary. Must be 18 or older to participate, but you don't have to live in Chicago. Members of the Gapers Block staff are prohibited from play, since that would seem unfair. Multiple entries are allowed, however all submitted designs become property of Gapers Block. All contestants acknowledge, as a condition of entry, that Gapers Block has a right to publicize or broadcast the winner's name, character, likeness, voice or all matters incidental herein. All prizes are non-transferable and void where prohibited by law. No cash substitution of prizes allowed. Participants release and agree to hold harmless Gapers Block and its staff from any and all liability for any injuries, loss or damage of any kind to person (including death) and property, arising in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from acceptance, possession, use or misuse of computers, design software, email software, the resulting buttons or stickers, participation in this contest, or participation in any contest-related activity. Odds of winning depend upon the number of eligable entries received. Winner does not have to attend the party, although we hope you do. If you can't make it, we'll mail the stuff to you -- that's why we need your address.

Andrew Huff

Concert Mon Apr 09 2007

So Swift

Rob Swift is one well-traveled fellow. Physically, yes, touring has taken the renowned DJ and turntablist around the globe. Musically, however, the man has dipped his toe into a wide variety of genres. His prowess earned him a spot as part of the early '90s scratching scene with the renowned DJ collective the X-men (later known as the X-Ecutioners), which Swift left in 2004.

Continue reading this entry »

Kara Luger

Album Mon Apr 09 2007

Roots Control

It's to no small degree of anticipation that Chicago's The Jai-Alai Savant released its debut LP, Flight of the Bass Delegate, this past week. Equally due to the take-notice served with prior EP Thunderstatement and to frontman Ralph Darden's sidework as DJ Major Taylor, the band has netted a fair amount of attention, both here and elsewhere. And here's to making a grand entrance.

By way of an opener, Jai-Alai get things rolling in a dark and heavy mode with "Datamassagana" — a tune that plays off both the title and primary melodic riff from The Abyssinians' classic Trench Town devotional, "Satta Massa Gana." The track's swollen, plaintive horn chorus sets a haunting, ominous tone for what’s to follow, its skulking bassline connoting dread in both senses of the word. No sooner does it fade, then the band strips gears by launching into a whiplash-inducing trio of tunes of punk-pedigreed pop. This back-and-forth manner of navigating between styles — from rock to dub and then back again — plows a twisting path, lending the album a varied sense of balance and pacing.

Continue reading this entry »

Graham Sanford

Artist Mon Apr 09 2007

Find yourself some Forever

So, you may have heard that Common has an album coming out later this year. You may even have heard that the kids say that it's "highly anticipated." Now, a bit more information has popped up.

Kanye West looks to take a lot of the production duties, and this is shaping up to be a J Dilla tribute album, for better or for worse.

Troy Hunter

Concert Mon Apr 09 2007

Moxie Motive

I was just starting to wonder if the Chicago band Moxie Motive had any (moxie that is)...when about 2 minutes into their song "Flush Of Hearts" I had my answer when a blast of Pixie-esque guitar noise erupted. The band's debut ep has just been released.

Moxie Motive have been around in some form or another since 2005. They've had their fair share of great opening opportunities including dates with Cold War Kids and Tapes `n Tapes. Now they have a chance to headline the Empty Bottle as they celebrate the release of their debut ep Friday night. Record Low and Satellite 66 are also on the bill. More info here.

[mp3]: Flush of Hearts
[mp3]: Gone By now

Craig Bonnell

Concert Fri Apr 06 2007

Weekend Quickies

Just in case you haven't had your spirit completely shattered by the cold snap this week and are actually prepared to do something other than eat chips and read in bed all weekend, here's a quick list of what's going down:

Jeff Tweedy is at the Vic tonight, playing a benefit for youth scholarships. That seems like a good cause. Also a good cause: supporting the families of ticket scalpers, cause that's the only way you're getting a ticket, amigo.

• Instrumental glitch-core duo Hella brings their peculiar brand of 8-bit metal fusion to the Abbey tonight at 10:15. 18+, for those of you dying to hang with the underage goth-Nintendo crowd.

dada is at Park West tonight. I don't even know anything about them, except when I was in middle school like fifteen years ago they released "Dizz Knee Land," which features the immortal lyric, "I just robbed a grocery store, now I'm going to Dizz Knee Land."

• Lot of great local stuff on Saturday: Math rockers Cola Wars at the Note at 9, and southside bruisers The Goddamn Shame play with riot grrls The Cathy Santonies at the Elbo Room at 8.

Exene Cervenka headlines the Hideout at 9 on Saturday.

Plus Grindhouse opens this weekend. I know Doritos are tasty, but seriously. Get your ass off the couch already.

UPDATE: I have been informed that the cool kids no longer patronize cuteoverload and have now moved on to The Daily Puppy. This is extremely important information, and now you have it. Use it wisely.

Nilay Patel

Artist Fri Apr 06 2007

Who are the Swimmers?

Starting anew can be risky, especially when things seem to be on the upswing. But that's exactly what Steve Yutzy-Burkey did when he disbanded Philadelphia's One Star Hotel to start the Swimmers. On Thursday night they visited Schubas for their first Chicago show. Beginning with "It's Time They Knew", which has been a hit across the MP3 blogosphere, the Swimmers played an energetic 40-minute set rawer than the album, in which influences from all over could be heard - notably, Yutzy-Burkey invoking a bit of James Mercer's vocal style, the drumming of the Beach Boys' "I'm Waiting for the Day" on "Heaven", and a cover of "Mr. Blue Sky." Don't be surprised if they're headlining Schubas when they next come to town.

Last week before they left for this short Midwestern jaunt, I had a chance to talk with Steve Yutzy-Burkey about the Swimmers, his day jobs, and playing in a band with his spouse. Read it under the cut.

Continue reading this entry »

James Ziegenfus

Concert Fri Apr 06 2007

Free concert - just don't go home after work!

You're already downtown for work. It's Friday night, and you want to go home for the day, but you can't! You've got unfinished business. You've got a FREE show to check out!

Tonight at 6 p.m., as part of the two-day viral:CULTURE symposium, Columbia College (at Hokin Annex, 623 S. Wabash) brings three immense musicians to expound on the event's central thesis: "explor[ing] the infectious nature of creativity and how individual disciplines infect, influence, mutate and inspire other visual and creative practices including fine art, graphic design, product design, advertising, fashion, video and music."

Continue reading this entry »

Chris Sienko

Concert Fri Apr 06 2007

Pre-Easter Dance Party With Lotus

Not long ago if a group was labeled a jamband it was safe to say they sounded like Phish, the Grateful Dead or maybe Leftover Salmon. Today the genre of jambands has subdivided itself into numerous different fragments forcing a new genre distinction called Post or Nu-Jam. One of the bands to rise to the top of this burgeoning new music style is electro-rock outfit Lotus. The quintet hails from Philadelphia, but has deep roots in the Midwest, making Chicago a hot stop on their regular touring schedule. While they've steadily developed a studio resume with distinct sounding albums like Nomad and Strength of Weak Ties, it’s live where Lotus separates from the pack. They create an intense dance party fueled by electronica with indie rock sensibility and textured with ambient grooves all dusted with funk and jazz. Leave the hemp necklace at home though, this is the next generation of jambands. Catch them Saturday night at the Abbey Pub. (tickets here)

Brent Kado

Concert Fri Apr 06 2007

$10 Buys A Lot These Days

SeepeopleS is a band worth a Hamilton in their own right, but opening bands often are worth more. This might be the case tonight at Kinetic Playground. While the show acts as a CD release for SeepeopleS latest Apocalypse Cow, opening band Bockman could steal the show. Their blend of jazz and progressive rock might lean heavy or it may drift light, but the band always brings an inviting sound wrapped in these complex structures. Two more bands share the bill tonight (Scissors for Lefty and Locksley) so for $10 will certainly get your monies worth.

Brent Kado

News Thu Apr 05 2007

What About Intonation?

The Lollapalooza rumor mill is loaded and the lineup will be announced next week. Pitchfork’s already confirmed a number of acts for their weekend in July. And yet nary a word about Intonation – perhaps last year’s best festival. Oh, there’ve been rumors – Jon Brion as curator, Public Enemy, PJ Harvey, etc. But it won’t happen in 2007. Intonation’s main man, David Singer, has said that they’ll instead concentrate on smaller performances (like Brion’s two shows last month). Hopefully, this doesn’t mean that Intonation as a weekend festival is finished. But don’t fret, I’m sure there will be plenty of other excellent weekends to hear live music this summer.

James Ziegenfus

Concert Thu Apr 05 2007

Klaxon, Klax off

Bummed you missed out on getting tickets to see UK dance-spazz rockers Klaxons at their sold out Schubas show on April 16th? Don't be. Turns out the Brit three piece will be giving a free in-store performance at Urban Outfitters on Milwaukee Ave. at 5 PM on Sunday, April 15th. We have Toyota's Yaris marketers to thank as well as America's trendiest clothing store for providing the repreive via the "Free YR Radio" campaign. Evidently, the companies have combined forces to help promote non-commercial radio in 12 major US markets by offering free in-store shows, vehicle giveaways, and CD samplers with lots of buzzworthy acts. And yep, Chicago made the cut and Klaxons got the call, so be prepared to check out overpriced ironic tees and tanks while grooving to the sounds of "Gravity's Rainbow" next Sunday evening.

UPDATE: It seems that Chicago's best independent radio station, the crushworthy WLUW, is sponsoring the wild call of the Klaxons at Urban Outfitters and that you've got to go through them to get tix for the gig. Contact WLUW here for more info.

Brandon Forbes

Concert Thu Apr 05 2007

One confirmed, 159-ish to go

Unless you're living under a rock (and it seems even rocks get RedEyes shoved underneath them these days), you heard that Pearl Jam confirmed they're closing Lollapalooza on Monday, the day before the earlybird tickets went on sale. That, along with my convenient winning of my office NCAA pool, was enough to convince me to buy a ticket Tuesday. We're still a week away from the official lineup announcement (and the thirty-dollar price jack), but rumors are of course afloat. Check out the Lollapalooza calendar entry at, which makes claims—with no corroborating evidence, mind you—on Beck, Daft Punk, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, the Roots, Lupe Fiasco, Rhymefest, Peter Bjorn & John, and the New Amsterdams, among other ambassadors of awesome. Are any of them for real? We'll see.

Kris Vire

Music & Film Thu Apr 05 2007

An Apology to REO Speedwagon Fans

We get a lot of news in the door here at TX and sometimes we just don't have time to spot-check all the press releases, venue schedules and various strippers with demo CDs taped to their nipples before we post things up. Take, for example, our REO Speedwagon post from a couple days ago. We said that there were three members of the storied Hi Infidelity-era lineup in the band, when clearly, clearly, there are only two, as alerted to us almost instantly by Kathy, the president of REO FANS, the REO Speedwagon Fan Club.

"I wanted to clear up some misinformation. Long time REO keyboardist Neal Doughty does not play hammond organ, keyboards or piano on "Find Your Own Way Home." He was actually replaced by Joe Vannelli, the producer for all songs except "Smilin' in the End." We guessed there was a problem when Doughty told fans back in April 2005 that he was falling asleep during the recording sessions, and was taking jazz piano lessons from Rob Mullins. He subsequently sold much of his original equipment on eBay. So there's really only 2 members of the band's most popular line up on this CD: Kevin Cronin, who joined in 1972 left for 4 years and returned in 1976, and bassist Bruce Hall, who replaced Gregg Philin, who left in 1977. Thanks!"

We are all utterly embarrased by our failure to catch this error before we went to press on the REO Speedwagon in-store appearance at the Elk Grove Village Wal-Mart. As an apology to REO Speedwagon fans everywhere, here is the video for "Keep On Lovin' You," which is a real video the band made in 1980 to showcase their physical attractiveness and also hair:

If you are the president or even just an average member of a militant 80's hair band fan club and you spot an error in TX, please, feel free to contact us and we will do our best to correct that error and post an extremely embarassing music video in contrition. Also, we will make fun of you mercilessly. Thanks, and once again, our apologies.

The TX staff

Nilay Patel

News Thu Apr 05 2007

Canasta - New Video, A Big Show, a new T-Shirt and the Unofficial Chicago Theme Song!!

Local band Canasta is full of news today. First they play tomorrow night (Friday) at Beat Kitchen between Mark Mallman and Honeydogs. Second they just finished creating a new t-shirt designed by Steve Jones. And finally they just posted the video for the lead-off track from their full-length debut We Were Set Up. The album has been out for over a year but it still resonates. Here's the video for "Microphone Song":

In fact, now that I think about it Canasta should be on Daley's payroll. I bet they can sleep in the cab of a truck with the best of them, plus they write songs like "Slow Down Chicago" in which they sing of the el train, the intersection of State and Madison, the magnificent skyline and the 95th floor of the Sears Tower (?). Check out what really ought to be Chicago's new anthem. Can anyone make that happen, please?

[mp3]: Slow Down Chicago

Craig Bonnell

Concert Thu Apr 05 2007

Tales on Tone

Yasunao Tone is a veteran of the Fluxus movement and a former composer for Merce Cunningham's dance troupe. His new 8-channel "Paramedia Mix" speaker setup sends his compositions riccocheting around a room fast enough to give you whiplash of the eardrum.

For the past 20 years, Tone has explored creative methods of altering CDs to make them play interestingly wrong - one way is to put pieces of tape with tiny pinholes over the playing surface, resulting in strange globules of digital freakout that differ significantly from the all-too-familiar gk-gk-gk sounds you get when you accidentally scratch your copy of "Loveless" on the coffee table. (his "Solo For Wounded CD" CD was a highlight of the late '90s Tzadik catalog)

This bouncy, glitchy, conceptually fluxus-like show will be dropped face-first on the cinderblocks of Lampo (2116 W. Chicago) this Saturday at 9 p.m. Tone will perform a recent composition, "Wounded Kanji Dictionary," which uses graphic and musical software to craft sounds from the shapes of various Kanji characters. $12 at the door, as usual. (Stay tuned for the return of the always mind-melting Joseph Hammer near the end of the month!)

Chris Sienko

Feature Thu Apr 05 2007

Chicago Jazz Reviews: Found and Heard Locally

It should come as no surprise that some of Chicago's best jazz is being churned out at an astounding pace by both giants and newcomers alike. While some of what we like is brought into town for an infusion of our inner bop spirit, much of what's coming out from local labels like Atavistic and bands themselves, is really a sign that great improvisational music is alive and well in the city of big shoulders. This week, two Transmission reviewers give you their take on tasty licks they've heard both live and locally and direct from the studio. If our stuttering Chicago spring has got you reaching for the headphones and some new tunes, you'll definitely want to read on, then grab these five notable jazz albums.

Continue reading this entry »

Anne Holub

Stores Wed Apr 04 2007

Permanent Records Spawns Records

Chicago's favorite new independent record store, Permanent Records, has sprouted limbs and become a full-fledged record label! Their first release is Warhammer 48K's An Ethereal Oracle. The Chicago Ave. store/showspace is taking orders for the limited edition vinyl, which is slated to ship after April 8th.

You can catch Warhammer 48K as they play a FREE in-store at Permament Records on April 6th at 4:00pm with Waterbabies, All Out Attack, and He Not In. Contact the store at 773-278-1744 for more information or drop by 1914 W. Chicago Ave.

John Lombardo

Concert Wed Apr 04 2007

Nashville connection - Josh Rouse and Kyle Andrews

Kyle Andrews and Josh Rouse are currently on tour together. They share a love of Nashville. Josh lived there for a short time and recorded his album Nashville there. Kyle is also a transplant (originally from Chicago) who has decided to stay. Kyle's latest release, Amos In Ohio, is a case of a record that was so good it just had to be heard. Originally released on a small local label in 2005, Badman Recording Company picked it up in 2006 (remastered it and added bonus tracks). The title track became a bloggers favorite into 2007 and Kyle's blend of electronically enhanced bedroom pop (it was literally recorded in his bedroom) and singer-songwriter cleverness was suddenly all the rage.

The opening slot for Josh Rouse is a prestigious gig that will open even more doors for Kyle Andrew's quirky brand of pop music. It should also be a nice homecoming for local boy done good. They share the stage at The Old Town School of Folk Music Saturday, April 14 with two shows at 7pm and 10pm. Better get your tickets now here.

[mp3]: Kyle Andrews - Amos In Ohio

[mp3]: Josh Rouse - It's The Nighttime

Craig Bonnell

Radio Wed Apr 04 2007

Hump Day Dance Party!

Got the mid-week blues? Don't snap into a Slim Jim, friend -- tune into the Hump Day Dance Party on WLUW 88.7 FM (Wednesdays, 8-10 pm).

Tonight, DJs Dr. Drase and Michael Flavor will host guests The Black Bear Combo. I caught the Chicago-based quartet last week at the Beat Kitchen, and they got the crowd all in a tizzy with their gypsy-influenced brass band beats. It's good, and it's good for you. Best of all? No cover!

Kara Luger

News Wed Apr 04 2007

More Voting

Exhausted by democracy yet? If voting in that other poll put a little springtime flush in your cheeks, go on and check out Metromix's annual Rock'n'Vote contest, which also opened today. Winners will play a free show at the Double Door on April 26th. Choices include hip-hop faves Animate Objects, longtime local sluggers The Saps, and my boys in Welcome To Cambridge, who are my boys basically because they've so wholeheartedly adopted the fashion rock label I drunkenly slurred out one night. Go, Democracy! If you can't sell out the Double Door, no one can!

Nilay Patel

News Wed Apr 04 2007

Rock the Vote with iGo

As a follow-up to a previous Transmission, erm, transmission, I-GO car-sharing program is now collecting your vote for which local bands you think should be included on a Chicago music compilation that will placed in each of its cars. Listen to the nominees and cast your vote here.

JP Pfafflin

Artist Wed Apr 04 2007

Happy Birthday Mr. Waters

Today is the birthday of one McKinley Morganfield, who decided that name was slightly not awesome enough and so endeared himself to us as Muddy Waters. Not a Chicagoan by birth, Waters came here in 1943 at the age of 30 to try and become a full-time professional in the most competitive Blues market in the country and possibly world. With the help of Big Bill Broonzy and the Chess brothers, Muddy far exceeded his expectations.

Dan Morgridge

Concert Tue Apr 03 2007

Wheels May Have Fallen Off Speedwagon

If Eighties pop band REO Speedwagon had any amount of musical cred left after once being the hottest group on the planet, it may officially be gone. In support of their first album release in 11 years (Find Your Own Way Home) the band is going to play a free the Elk Grove Village Wal-mart. And it's not like they're taking over the parking lot for the show, it's an in-store 30 minute performance proceeding an autograph session. REO Speedwagon orginated in Champaign as a hard rock group during the late Sixites and became a regional power before their stardom hit top selling stauts with a more mellow sound. The current line-up of the band includes three long time members. If you want to catch them live for free, show starts at 6 pm. Their songs are perfect background noise for shopping in such a positive place like Wally World.

Brent Kado

News Tue Apr 03 2007

Hot Diggety — Diggin' in tha Loop!

Reckless Records has posted an announcement reminding everyone that this Thursday sees the opening of their new downtown location — on Madison, between Wabash and State. So, from here on out, folks working in the Loop can slip in on their lunch hour and pick up some tunes, or maybe catch the occasional in-store performance. Quite nice!

Graham Sanford

News Tue Apr 03 2007

Chicago Labels Respond To EMI Dropping DRM

Yesterday's big news that Apple and EMI would be dropping DRM from online sales of EMI's catalog sent some major waves through both the music industry and the online punditry hole we call the Internet. Response ranged from the typical Cory Doctorow overexcited idiocy to somber, computer-generated Microsoft boilerplate, all heralding the brave new word of unrestricted file formats. (Jesus. I'm a copyright attorney and I can't make myself buy that sentence. Sorry.) But EMI and Apple are pretty late to this game, as it turns out. Indie labels and alternative online retailers, like eMusic, ditched DRM a long time ago, with solid results. I got in touch with several of Chicago's more prominent indie labels to see how they were reacting to yesterday's big announcement. Overall, they seem pleased. Read on after the jump.

Continue reading this entry »

Nilay Patel

Concert Tue Apr 03 2007

Lollapalooza: "Trust Us!"

Lollapalooza has announced that tickets for this year's festival are now on sale. The news comes with a caveat: These are "Earlybird" tickets, which means that they're 30 dollars cheaper, but 30 dollars less informed about the line-up than those who wait to buy later. From the site: "The Earlybird price is your reward for trusting that the line-up will be as mind-numbing as ever." (Hopefully they meant mind-blowing? Don't get ahead of yourselves on the lingo curve, guys).

In addition to this, Lollapalooza has announced that there will be no service charges added to the purchase - it's already been factored into the face cost. In addition, tickets can now be mailed to you or printed out at home - a move sure to raise the ire of hologram enthusiasts everywhere.

Dan Morgridge

Review Mon Apr 02 2007

Simian Solar Flares That Burn For You

Ever listen to an album and feel like you should be wearing a certain something to make the experience, y'know, complete? Case in point: The new self-released CD-R, ZOO13, by the Chicago garage-pysch outfit Monkey Sun. Somehow it makes me feel like, in order to get the full effect, I should be wearing a set of vintage Italian wraparound shades — like the sort that Marcello Mastroianni wore in The 10th Victim, maybe.

Continue reading this entry »

Graham Sanford

Music & Film Mon Apr 02 2007

Music News

There's been a bunch of music news this past week and one way or another it'll trickle down to bands, labels and music biz types right here in Chicago.

-Apple and EMI have announced that EMI has rid itself of the crippling scourge of the digital age known as DRM. EMI's entire catalog will be available on iTunes in May stripped of any/all copy protection. The quality of the mp3 will also be better than other mp3's sold through iTunes, but the price per song has been raised to $1.29 a track. Chicago's Ok Go could be the first local recipient of a bump in sales as people flock to iTunes to get their hands on a high quality mp3 of "Here It Goes Again" ("the treadmill video").

-Sony BMG Uk has stopped accepting demo cds from bands looking for a deal. Instead bands are asked, as of Monday, to submit their music online to a variety of blog-like websites. So far this is only applicable to Sony BMG UK, but like the DRM-free movement this may soon spread thoughout the majors. Thank god a change has been made; now the major labels will surely listen to all the music they receive!

-Victory Records made news last week (no, another band is not sueing them) when they announced the creation of their in-house booking agency. Victory has signed up Josh Lacey (Lucky Booking, Face The Music) to lead this new initiative and they are starting to put a team together to work with him. Should you get the job may I suggest you supply your own noise cancelling headphones (however black mascara and perpetual frown are provided free of charge by Victory Records).

Craig Bonnell

Contest Mon Apr 02 2007

Attention Breakers!

Wanna impress your water cooler homeboyz back at the office? Check this insta-cred: Hosted by Chicago breakdance crew Brickheads, the 3rd Circle Killaz breakdance competition at Alternatives rec center (4730 N. Sheridan). It all goes down at 7:30 p.m., on Saturday, April 7. Doors are a mere $5 for all the popping and/or locking you can possibly handle.

More interested in participating than spectating? All skill types and age levels are welcome to compete. Breakdance teams are also encouraged, as well as breakdance battles, featuring anywhere from one-on-one action to five-on-five. The Brickheads themselves will decide the best dancers to move on to the next level of the competition. The the winner of the final battle stands to win mad ca$h, y'all.

Kara Luger

News Mon Apr 02 2007

Golden Oldy

It's not every day that we get to report on a concert consisting of the oldest song in recorded history (Tribune link, includes video of the performance).

Andrew Huff

Concert Mon Apr 02 2007

Preview: Talib Kweli @ House of Blues

Through the pinball trajectory of his career, Talib Kweli alternately hates the Internet and pimps it, clashing with critics on fan-site Okayplayer and promoting an Internet-only early release of a collaboration with producer Madlib. He's kept it moving, though, as he keeps active with guest spots and with the roster of his own imprint, Blacksmith Music.

He now comes to Chicago on tour in support of quite a few projects: Blacksmith Music's first compilation release, his last solo effort, The Beautiful Struggle, and Liberation, the adventuresome Madlib project. Don't ask him anything about Black Star, though. He hates when you do that.

All the info you need is here.

Troy Hunter

Concert Mon Apr 02 2007

The Acoustic Blues of Charlie Parr


"Charlie Parr has failed at most things in his life," from Charlie Parr's bio.

I've been all over the info-superhighway and heard lots of great music over the past 3 years but the acoustic blues from Charlie Parr remains some of the best roots music that I've experienced (along with the music of William Elliott Whitmore). Charlie Parr will play Uncommon Ground this Friday night at 11pm. Expect him to growl, pick, pluck and tap his foot (notice the wooden board in the photo) through a set of the most inspired folk and piedmont blues you'll ever hear.

Charlie Parr was raised on folk, country blues and Smithsonian field recordings in Minnesota. He hasn't strayed far and recorded his new live disc right in Duluth at the Brewhouse. He's supporting the new live record titled Backslider, so without further ado here's two tracks off that one, plus another from his previous studio recording. As is the case with the best blues the studio take is only slightly more produced than the live offering. Catch his live show this Friday night at 11pm at Uncommon Ground.

[mp3]: Prodigal Son (live) - Charlie Parr
[mp3]: 1922 - Charlie Parr


[mp3]: Samuel Grady - Charlie Parr

Craig Bonnell

Review Sun Apr 01 2007

Blame it all on Coco

"The Adventures of Ghosthose & Stillborn"
Touch and Go Records

If Yoko Ono produced a CD with Enya and Bjork, with new arrangements of songs by Tori Amos, featuring old-school hip-hop beats and scratching, "The Adventures of Ghosthose & Stillborn" is pretty much what it would sound like. If that sounds like your thing, then go for it. To me, it's the defnition of a concept gone awry, and even if I listen ironically, it's just not that entertaining -- perhaps the altered state of consciousness which led to this mess might help. This CD showed up sealed with a sticker reading, "This is a watermarked CD. By opening it, you agree to not copy, upload, share in any manner the contents of this CD." Uh, glad to oblige, hope it's okay if I use it as a coaster.

CocoRosie, the stage name of the wyrd sisters Casady, Bianca and Sierra, is a high-concept nightmare of sound. (Hey, PR person, I dare you to quote that out of context). The subject matter of the songs here seems to be a twisted fairytale, with sing-songy lyrics about very adult, violent subjects (rape, war, molestation). The songs all run together, like an opera (and there's some fairly pretentious operatic wailing on this record), but it seems to me that you'd need a libretto to explain what the narrative is supposed to be, since most of the vocals are incomprehensible, buried in the production with some sort of phasing filter, sounding appropriately like a shortwave radio distress call. ("Please, we're in dire need of a melody...")

I'm all down with bringing back musical styles from the 70s, but this sort of self-indulgent pretentiousness is what led to the punk/new wave revolt of the latter half of that decade. Hate to be a bummer, dude, but somebody should have stopped this project early on. Worse yet, the promo kit says "the whole record suggests a black diamond in the snow" -- um, okay...

"Ghosthorse & Stillborn" will be inflicted upon the world April 10. CocoRosie have dates booked from DC to California, including Chicago's Metro on May 12, taking gigs and column inches away from a lot of bands that actually play music. Bands like this are pretty much everything that's wrong with music today. Take today's dose of Lithium, wash it down with some cough syrup, rock back, and enjoy.

Steve Pasek

GB store

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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