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Wednesday, December 13

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Review Thu Jun 21 2007

Review: Apostle of Hustle @ Schubas

I say this with all love and admiration, but damn if lead singer of Apostle of Hustle Andrew Whiteman doesn't look like some cross between a flamingo and a Fraggle on stage. Maybe it's his mop of curly hair and the way he hops around the stage with his guitar for each song, or maybe it's just because he seems to honestly enjoy what he's doing so much as to seem other-worldly, but damn, he's entrancing. I first saw Whiteman playing with fellow Canadians Broken Social Scene at last summer's Lollapalooza, where he would crouch down between every song or two and take long swigs from a bottle of red wine. Later, he used the bottle as a slide on his guitar. (Yup, I fell a little bit in love with him that day.) In his current side project, Apostle of Hustle, Whiteman is still fun to watch, though he was sipping from a small glass of dark liquor last night, not the vino.

Apostle of Hustle is usually a quintet, but last night it was a trio made up of Whiteman, Julian Brown (bass/vocals) and Dean Stone (drums/percussion). The three started on time (thank you, Schubas!) on their latest Wednesday night "Practice Space" residency at the club. [They've been splitting small shows between Chicago and NYC's Mercury Lounge this month (in fact, this picture from a Mercury Lounge show last week looks very similar — even down to Whiteman’s tshirt — to last night’s Schubas show), and the last set is coming up next week (so mark your calendars).]

They started the night out with one of my favorite songs off their latest album National Anthem of Nowhere, "My Sword Hand's Anger" and went into "National Anthem of…" straight after. The banter was limited, with Whiteman trying to set up a "mental picture" in case we got bored with the long instrumental opener to "Fast Pony for Victor Jara" which involved a pony express rider and the severed heads of some national politicians. It was nice to see Stone get out from behind the kit for this song and beat on a box drum (called a flamenco cajón for you detail-oriented folk out there). The set was rounded out by a group of Mexican-influenced songs (including "Song for Lorca" complete with a Lorca spoken-word intro) sung amid a tattered plastic flag banner the band strung up just for the occasion. Whiteman and Brown strummed, they did little jigs, they cast sly looks at each other, and into the audience.

But this was no goofy small crowd blow off. It was splendid rock. Apostle has a wonderful way of mixing their jams with a truly captivating stage presence and they do nothing but exude a real enthusiasm for live performance. My advice: check them out live, while you have the chance to get nice and cozy.

Apostle of Hustle plays their last June "Practice Space" show at Schubas next week, on Wednesday June 27. Tickets are $8.

 
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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 »

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