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. 


Thursday, May 19

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Concert Sat Jul 28 2007

Joan Comes to Chicago

Joan Wasser relies on honesty as a form of protest. On the website of her band, Joan as Policewoman, she laments about the state of things--the "media lying to you," and the “sense of distrust in the air.” To counterattack this state of affairs, she offers her latest endeavor, the album Real Life (Cheap Lullaby, US release), on which she explores pain and heartache, with enough honesty to set the world on fire.

The album, released in the UK last year, is now being introduced across the country as Joan as Policewoman embarks on their first US Real Life tour. The music on the album is hauntingly gorgeous, but one would expect nothing less from the uber-talented Wasser, whose first gig in music was as a violinist for the Boston University Symphony Orchestra. Wassers takes on violin on the album, not to mention guitar, keyboard and lead vocals. Reinforcements come from Rainy Orteca on bass and backup vocals, and from Ben Perowsky on drums/percussion and vocals. The mood is mellow earthiness, and particularly poignant and poetic are the candid lyrics, crafted by Wasser. "I’ve been on the ride before / it never stops at all," she sings in the popular track, The Ride.

Wassers has described her music as American Soul, a mixup of soul and punk--Al Green, Nina Simone, and the Smiths combined. She used to be punk, don’t forget, when she performed with the Dambuilders in the 90s, not to mention her stints with other bands, including Hot Trix and Black Beetle. Yet there are other indie musicians that come to mind when hearing Wasser’s current sound--Rufus Wainwright and Beth Orton, in particular, as both are also talented in being "real" in their music. Wasser, the consummate indie music professional, has collaborated with Wainwright, as well as with numerous others, including Elton John, Lou Reed and Sheryl Crow.

“For me, the most subversive you can be these days is to be totally honest, and to really laud beauty,” Wasser has said. To be honest about one’s emotions in an era of half-truths is bold, and Joan as Policewoman has this type of music protest crafted to perfection.

Joan as Policewoman plays at Schuba’s on Tuesday. 9pm $10

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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...
Please see our submission guidelines.

Editor: Sarah Brooks,
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