Gapers Block has ceased publication.

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


Sunday, August 7

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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.

And what about their music? That too has become a contentious topic. Initially, The Gossip attracted an enthusiastic following by kicking out bluesy, gutbucket garage rock — the nuts-and-bolts variety anchored with plenty of loud, yackety, back-yonder geetar and trash-bin drumming. Pretty raucous stuff. The most striking element of all was Ditto's soul-steeped howling and crooning, the sort that deals out more whoop-ass than a grandma who'd send you into the backyard to pick your own switch. But with their 2006 album Standing In The Way of Control, the band switched up their steezy a bit. Produced by Fugazi's Guy Picciotto, the disc showed the band steering toward the dancefloor, filling their tunes with lots of strutty basslines that shoot from a low-holstered center of gravity, and all adorned with plenty of those skittering disco hi-hats that have been so ubiquitous in recent years. For some fans, the effort hallmarked an ill-conceived veer into clichéd dance-punk trendiness. For others, it was a brilliant next move. Whichever the case, rumor has it that a recent trotting-out of some new songs had them returning to their prior roots. And, amidst all of this, the band recently left the Kill Rock Stars stable to sign to the new Columbia offshoot Music With a Twist, a sublabel touting itself as being "the first major record label dedicated to identifying and developing lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgender artists." Huh.

So expectations from fans both new and old may be hard to meet. But perhaps not. After all, the band earned their rep from their onstage intensity and abiltiy to whip the crowd into a frenzy. As one blogger said of Ditto some years back, "She's dancing ten times more than anyone who's watching her." Chicago's 8 Inch Betsy and Flutter open. 18 and over show. 3420 W. Grace, at Elston. Doors open at 8pm, show starts at 9, and tickets are $12.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

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

Read this feature »


  Chicago Music Media

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


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

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

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

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Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
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