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Transmission

Concert Fri Aug 31 2007

The Dowry Bring Their Tales Of The Sea To Chicago


I've had the music of the band The Dowry ruminating and stewing in my head for the last month or so, but was unsure if I'd ever get up the gumption to do a post. But the band's in town this weekend to support their new release The Circus and the Sea and are playing Heartland Cafe, so that's a perfect opportunity to link to a song and encourage you to check out their music.

The Dowry are from downstate Illinois and record for a decent little label called Thinker Thought Records. The nearest contemporary band that shares their love of pirate sea shanties and gothic Americana is probably Murder by Death but at times you'll be able to hear a bit of the gypsy punk of Gogol Bordello (especially the song "Pleasure Island"). Catch them tonight at 10pm at Heartland Cafe.

[mp3]: The Dowry - Pleasure Island

Craig Bonnell

Concert Thu Aug 30 2007

...and he didn't do Rockit.

Heard at tonight's Herbie Hancock performance, which opened JazzFest...

Herbie decided to givea quick bio of some of the players in the quartet, mentioning some of their stints with other musical acts, including Eric Clapton, Dave Matthews Band, Sting, and others. He then polled the audience on what he was going to perform next. "Should we do this?" he'd ask. "I don't know, maybe we should do this instead." This went on for a while; too long for some audience members' patience and tact, so when he offered the question up again after more lengthy banter, the reply from a patron in the gallery was "Do something!"

Troy Hunter

Feature Thu Aug 30 2007

From Ritual to Romance: a review of Gregory Jacobsen's Ritualistic School of Errors CDr/DVDr/Book box set (Resipiscient Records)

If the name Gregory Jacobsen rings a bell, it's probably from one of two things: his cabaret-art-rock tea party Lovely Little Girls, or his intricate and colorfully upsetting visual art, perpetually on display throughout Chicago and the art world at large. Few, however, might remember The Ritualistic School of Errors, Jacobsen's alter-ego from over a decade ago. The project mixed music, dance, costumes, and audience-inflaming theatrics, serving retroactively as a signpost for all of Jacobsen's artistic endeavors for years to come.

Continue reading this entry »

Anne Holub

Artist Thu Aug 30 2007

One Flew Over the Cuckold's Nest

What was it that André Breton said in one of his Surrealist manifestos, that "Beauty will be compulsive, or not at all"? Or wait…maybe he said that it would be convulsive. It's been misquoted so often that I can't remember which it is. But anyway, nevermind -- it's neither here nor there. For the Chicago band The Bird Names, the answer is that it will be both.

The Bird Names are about to release their third album, Wooden Lake/Sexual Diner, and chances are this is the first you're hearing about them. They've been around for about four-plus years, and have been playing in lofts and art spaces and clubs around town since the start. At first, they changed their own name many times over; and have had a number of members, friends, and valued contributors pass through their ranks all the while. On some evenings there's only a core group of about four or five people on stage when they play, on others so many of their extended family show up and join in that they can barely fit everyone on the stage. Sometimes they play plugged-in and very loudly, and on some occasions they perform much more subdued acoustic sets.

Continue reading this entry »

Graham Sanford

Transmission Event Thu Aug 30 2007

Transmission Thursday at the Five Star!

IMG_0481.JPG Sorry no pictures this week -- damn if we didn't get our asses rained out last Thursday. But we're back with a vengeance, for the last weekly TX Thursday of the summer. That's right, summer's kiss is over, baby. We're going monthly from now on. Either way, we'll be drinking the sunshine away tonight, starting at around 930 or so, come on out and say hi! Five Star is at 1424 W. Chicago, just east of Chicago and Ashland.

PS. As an added bonus, it's Drive-Thru staffer Andie's birthday tonight, and I've promised her a cake made entirely of frosting. Will I deliver? Only one way to find out.

Nilay Patel

Concert Wed Aug 29 2007

Loud Choir Loud

Heralded as Chicago's first and only punk rock choir, Blue Ribbon Glee Club have been reconstructing all of your punk rock favs. Made up of 25 local musicians, including members of Black Apple, The Record Low, Tense Forms, and Devin Davis, the ensemble performs covers of modern classics by The Clash and The Pixies to name a few. Clad in matching outfits and armed with songbooks, the glee club performs largely accapella, assigning individual members guitar lines, bass rythyms, and even song-specific effects, resulting in impressively accurate re-creations.

Come check out the choir as they perform at The Hideout's annual block party next weekend.

[mp3]: Waiting Room (Fugazi)
[mp3]: Where Is My Mind? (The Pixies)

John Lombardo

Concert Wed Aug 29 2007

"Dona Got A Ramblin' Mind" And She's Ramblin' To Chicago

img38
Carolina Chocolate Drops is one of only a small handful of Piedmont style, string/jug bands playing the folk circuit today. They've been singled out of late because of the release of their new record and for the fact that on top of playing traditional string band music (which is rare in and of itself) this group is continuing the tradition of African-Americans playing this style of music.

The group is sponsored in part by The Music Maker Foundation which is a North Carolina based non-profit that directly supports artists that play traditional music (usually blues, folk and appalachian). Next weekend Carolina Chocolate Drops will bring their lively, danceable, string band sound to the Old Town School Of folk Music on Sunday, September 9. More info here.

[mp3]: Carolina Chocolate Drops - Starry Crown
[mp3]: Carolina Chocolate Drops - Rickett's Hornpipe

Craig Bonnell

Concert Tue Aug 28 2007

Go All The Way...With a Machine

If there's one time-honored tradition in Chicago, it's having its stage musicians transform themselves into DJs during their spare time. Scott Lucas does it, Greg Corner does it, Rob Lowe does it (but what doesn't he do, really) and now Aleks (and the Drummer) Andra is joining the club. Fresh off her Outdanced performance at Funky Buddha, she'll be joined by fellow DJ newbie Hilary Rawk (of the eponymic magazine) and the Reverend Felix Groove at Liar's Club on Thursday night. Throw in a medley of Machine Media DJ goodness, the usual crowd of the Liar's Club, and our own Brent helping with hosting duties, and it's destined to be one fierce dance party. Just make sure you don't mess with the pool players!

Dan Morgridge

Concert Mon Aug 27 2007

Terra Diablo

After becoming a household name in the UK, the Scottish quartet Terra Diablo is now on tour in the U.S., hoping to make similar strides here. Touting their second album, Deluge Songs (due out September 18th on Nocturnal Records via RED/Sony), the band is already popular. Just two weeks into their tour, the song “Setting Suns” has placed at number 17 in the U.S. singles charts.

Formed in 2000, by four mates in Glasgow who met through work (a music store, no less) and school, Terra Diablo went from being just another local band, to being on the verge of making a dent in the notoriously tough U.S. market. Perhaps what can help the band in this endeavor, i.e. success in the U.S., is that Evanescence producer Jeremy Parker mixed the album. Also, the band’s current label is based in New Orleans. What also helps of course is the music itself.

Deluge Songs is a hybrid album, containing elements of post-Nirvana alt-rock as well as the shoegazer style -- a healthy abundance of droning guitars, super-loudness and instrumentation that melds together. The music is also twofold in another manner: it’s one part accessible to the mainstream, and yet contains enough individualism for discerning indie rock fans. It’s no surprise that “Setting Suns” -- which contains the familiar, Kurt Cobain-influenced visceral urgency -- is doing well on the charts. Yet there is other, less commercially inclined songs worthy of listening. Take the song “Quiet,” which is the opposite of being noiseless. Unfettered and emotionally fluid, the song is sweetly melodic yet abrasive and upbeat at the same time. “Walked Away,” with even more lush harmonies, is another pick for the indie crowd. Perhaps what is most striking about Deluge is the juxtaposition between an irreverent, optimistic aggressiveness and a yearning dreaminess.

Listen to a live session of Terra Diablo tonight, on Q101 and catch them live on Tuesday night at the Elbo Room. $5. 8:30 pm

Marla Seidell

Artist Mon Aug 27 2007

Your Annual My Bloody Valentine Reunion Rumor

My Bloody Valentine was hugely influential, having pretty much defined the shoegazing genre, and their mystique was only heightened by their dissolution after only two albums and the famous reclusiveness of Kevin Shields, the band's frontman and occasional Chicagoan. So it's no wonder that rumors surface every so often about a reunion show, tour, new album or some such thing.

The latest is this: MBV may get back together to play Coachella next year. The Daily Swarm has pulled together various reports from Shields interviews over the past few months in which he's mentioned a new album (and a retrospective), an '08 tour and other juicy hints. This coupled with a brand new MySpace band page and mybloodyvalentine.co.uk has recently been registered, and the Swarm thinks it all points to Coachella. Hmm...

At any rate, take the rumor with a grain of salt, but evidence certainly has been mounting. Time will tell.

Andrew Huff

Concert Mon Aug 27 2007

Late Night Radio

1amradio

The One AM Radio (aka Hrishikesh Hirway) is playing a special free show tonight at The Empty Bottle as part of their beloved Free Music Monday series. Hirway's live performances are constantly a suprise, usually quite different than his one-man recorded efforts. After almost a decade of performing and releasing split records with the likes of Ted Leo and the ferocious Jerome's Dream, The One AM Radio has refined its gentle attack with this year's This Too Will Pass.

Come check out The One AM Radio as they make their Chicago stop with tourmates Montag and and experimental duo Lymbyc Systym.

John Lombardo

Review Sun Aug 26 2007

Dog-Paddling Through Domesticity

For some time now, Marvin Tate has been keeping a diminished profile on the local music scene. As of this month, that appears to have finally ended.

Those who've been around a while might recall his appearances at the Hot House and other venues around town with his former bands Uptighty and Marvin Tate's D-Settlement, or they might know him as a denizen of the city's spoken-word circuit. Since the break-up of D-Settlement, Tate has spent the past few years dwelling of the periphery; but now he's returned with Family Swim, his debut CD as a solo artist.

Continue reading this entry »

Graham Sanford

Concert Sat Aug 25 2007

The only hip-hop event this weekend.

We at Transmission would be remiss if we ignored hip-hop's largest concert (in terms of names) as it comes to our fair city. Rock the Bells is Sunday, and, while tickets are available, we can't imagine why you wouldn't have yours already.

The lineup is immense and should be a show for the ages. Headlined by the Wu-Tang Clan, the show is a collection of some great hip-hop talent and great energy.

The undercard includes the "eclectic" MF DOOM, Mississippi's own David Banner, Immortal Technique, Jedi Mind Tricks, and Slum Village, spreading the gospel of departed producer J-Dilla.

The heavyweights include Pharoahe Monch, Talib Kweli, and Nas, who lead up to the always-momentous reunification of the Wu on stage. Supernatural and Rahzel ensure that there will be no dead air.

Tickets are $41, with the VIP package clocking in at $121, with some pretty decent privileges.

Troy Hunter

Artist Fri Aug 24 2007

GIANT SOF' BOY!

After watching this very bizarre yet utterly hypnotic video for a giant figurine of Archer Prewitt's Sof Boy, one either comes away desiring one immensely, or being mildly creeped out. As soon as you give in to the desire to own one of these rapscallious marshmallow men though, be warned - with shipping included this baby will set you back a few hundo.

Dan Morgridge

Benefit Fri Aug 24 2007

Rock for Kids Mixer Thwarted by Storms (for now)

Hey all, we were all psyched to head out last night to the Rock for Kids music mixer that Transmission staff have submitted eight specially-made music mixes to, but then the skies opened and the lights went out in Wrigleyville. They'll be rescheduling the event, and we'll let you know about the new date and time as soon as we know.

Anne Holub

Concert Thu Aug 23 2007

Pelican. Two Shows.

I'm wracking my brain for an appropriate bird-related pun or metaphor that I can use with Pelican, but unfortunately, my thought processes were swept away with the heavy rains.

What you need to know is this: the sorta Chicago/sorta L.A. band Pelican is an instrumental four-piece who dish out a heavy mix of shredding metal, psychedelic freak-outs, and melodic indie wanderings. Their latest album, City of Echoes, continues the dense, molasses rock (or "mo-ro," as i'm sure bloggers now will be calling it), but manages to approach the same-ol', same-ol' in fairly new, offbeat -- and often off-tempo -- ways.

Lucky you can catch them this weekend at two different shows: Friday, Aug. 24 at Beat Kitchen and again on Saturday, Aug. 25 at the Empty Bottle.

Kara Luger

Concert Thu Aug 23 2007

"Whatch'all Know About Jukin'?"

If you've caught sets by Kid Sister or Hollywood Holt or any of the other recent up-and-coming South Side hip-hop club artists, then chances are you might’ve heard the above question posed to the audience from the stage at some point. Any local culture-cognizant North Side club-rat is probably going to say "yeah" by way of response. But while the acts in question have been responsible for bringing the sound of "juke" to new audiences—slipping in something akin to juked beats under a few tracks as their sets propel into the crowd-moving home stretch—the music is still very much an exclusively South and West Side thing, as are the moves that go with it

That may change as of next Friday night when Smart Bar hosts Juke-It-Palooza, The event, its organizers hope, will give club-goers a chance to experience the music from two of the biggest names on the local juke scene.

Continue reading this entry »

Graham Sanford

Concert Thu Aug 23 2007

60 Antelopes per Lion is not only a good idea...it's the ANIMAL LAW (tonight)

Clockwise from top: Lovely Little Girls, Fat Worm of Error, a tape by Youth of the Beast, and a pic I found while Google Image Searching for "Animal Law"

Tonight at Enemy (1550 N. Milwaukee Ave, 3rd Floor), a humid and rain-besotted Wicker Park jams out to a Bacchanalian orgy of sweaty riffs, purposely shambling costume-rock, one man-drum-army hallucinations, and the sweet sweet sounds of a little child crying over spilt birthday cake.

Continue reading this entry »

Chris Sienko

Concert Thu Aug 23 2007

Bark and Brew

For all you Fugazi die-hards that have been been cursing the world ever since 2002's announced hiatus, tonight might be your night. Join Owen (aka Mike Kinsella) as he channels all of the DC pioneers, playing a night of covers AS Fugazi. This one-off (?) performance is to headline a benefit for the Windy City Animal Foundation, a Chicago-based volunteer-run animal rescue program. Joining Kinsella to champion the cause will be Mark Rose of Spitalfield and the widely heralded DJ Matt Roan.

Tickets are $15, $20 at the door with proceeds going to a great cause. For more info, check out www.schubas.com.

John Lombardo

Feature Thu Aug 23 2007

Help Wanted: Transmission is Hiring!

Gapers Block: Transmission is looking for a few good Chicago music fans to join its staff. Whether you're into indie, hip hop, rock, jazz, blues, world or classical music (or any combination) and you'd like to write for our lil' ole music site, give us a yell. Details below.

Continue reading this entry »

Anne Holub

Concert Thu Aug 23 2007

Roommate @ South Union Arts


Photo: Hayley Murphy

Beginning in 2000 as a solo project, Roommate (a.k.a. Kent Lambert) released Celebs, which focused on the concept of fame. The EP caught the ears of a few prominent listeners and some years later Lambert arranged Roommate to perform live. Considering the simple yet full electronic and breezy cacophonous sound of Roommate, Lambert is perfectly fine playing solo, but is often joined by numerous musicians live to give the music a little extra depth. (On Friday he'll be accompanied by Anton Hatwich on bass, Justin Petertil on guitar, Seth Vanek on drums, and Luther Rochester on the Buchla Music Easel and percussion.)

Originally a digital-only release earlier this year, New Steam has recently been pressed for a limited 10" vinyl run in a hand-printed sleeve. (Really, this is a piece of art to own.) Two Roommate-penned songs share space with two covers (Red Red Meat's "Quarter Horses" and Broadcast's "Until Then") that shine new light on the songwriting of the originals. (And speaking of covers, Roommate's Songs the Animals Taught Us has a cover of Big Head Todd's "Dinner with Ivan" that is quite interesting.)

Roommate will perform a wide variety of songs, including many from the LP scheduled for release next February, at South Union Arts, 1352 S. Union, with Judson Claiborne and the Singleman Affair. The show begins at 9PM.

James Ziegenfus

Transmission Event Thu Aug 23 2007

Transmission Thursday at the Five Star!

This dude was so cool.Hey, we'll be at the Five Star as always tomorrow, but not until after we hit Rock For Kids -- so ditch work in time to make it to Smart Bar by 6 and make a night of it with TX. Last week at Five Star featured an array of social relationships, including one table of undercover lovers, one young woman who swore her love to my until I let my football allegiances known, and at least one nipple sighting. Pretty standard. We'll be back around 1030 to cause our usual ruckus, come out and say hi! Five Star is at 1424 W. Chicago, just east of Chicago and Ashland. Pics from last week after the jump, as always.

Continue reading this entry »

Nilay Patel

Benefit Wed Aug 22 2007

Rock for Kids Music Mixer

Come together along with Chicago's music community Thursday night for the 5th Annual Rock for Kids Music Mixer at Smartbar. Rock for Kids is a local organization that provides support, inspiration and assistance to children that are homeless or in need. Rock For Kids works with families and organizations to positively impact and celebrate young lives. At the mixer on 8/23, you can mingle (or mix, if you will) with members of Chicago's music scene, and bid on dozens of specially made, one-of-a-kind mix CDs from the music staffs from Time Out: Chicago, Pitchfork Media, Bloodshot Records, The Empty Bottle and, yup, Gapers Block: Transmission. There will also be mixes put together by members of Chicago bands such as Catfish Haven, Chin Up Chin Up, Office, DJ Matt ROAN and local celebrities like Hot Doug himself, Doug Sohn. A full list of participants is here. The fun gets going from 6pm-10pm Thursday at Smartbar (located beside the Metro) at 3730 N. Clark St. There's a $5 suggested donation.

Anne Holub

Tape Findings Tue Aug 21 2007

Weather Report

I knew this tape was going to be good when all that was written on it was "Mine". This tape has two young Chicago kids doing their best weather report.

[MP3]: Weather Report (2:49)




RJ Porter

Concert Tue Aug 21 2007

Beijing Blanket Bingo

What's all this about "cultural imperialism," eh? Okay, granted -- there's been no shortage of exoticist fetishization afoot in the ping-ponging of intercultural exchange over the years. But fortunately for all involved, the global village does provide for two-way traffic. Case in point: the Chinese surf-rock combo Red Chamber. When they first started up in the 1960s, the music they played was most likely not what Chairman Mao had in mind for toeing the "party" line of the Cultural Revolution. Hail, hail decadent and politically-incorrect Western influences! And "Bali Hai" while you're at it.

Red Chamber (not to be confused with these gals) reportedly went on a long hiatus sometime in the 1970s, eventually resurfacing over two decades later to give the whole thing another go. The recent CD Red Chamber Brings You The Mao Sound, released on the locally-based Far East Audio label, gives a good taste of the band's repertoire. The disc features one track from a vintage bootleg cassette by the band, another from a live performance from a festival in Penang circa 1971, and five others recorded during a more recent set cranked out in the studios of WZRD in 2005.

While a few tunes sport occasional, fleeting moments where the musical traditions of the band's homeland sneak in, there's largely no sense of wonky east-west mutational "fusion" to be found. It's an elegantly rocking affair, one that recalls The Ventures at their best. And when they swerve slightly off-path, the rewards are plentiful. "Edo Lullaby" features some expansive guitarwork that's distinctly psychedelic in its spaciousness. And dig the Link Wray-styled bluesy strut undergirding the otherwise brisk "Flushing Face, Smiling Heart (Slow Soul)."

Or just go see Red Chamber for yourself when they will be playing at The Hideout this Thursday evening. Chicago lounge-folk-popsters Can.Ky.Ree open. 9pm show. Tickets $7 in advance, $8 the day of. 1354 W. Wabansia.

[mp3]: Red Chamber - "Flushing Face, Smiling Heart (Slow Soul)"
[mp3]: Red Chamber - "Apricot"

Graham Sanford

Concert Tue Aug 21 2007

Xounds! It's Xome!! At Elastic!!! TONIGHT!!!!



Clockwise from left: Xome, TV Pow, IS, The Fortieth Day

Life is full of choices. For example, you could do like I did last night and send off a cover letter for a job you really want, claiming that you have exceptional proofreading skills, and that you "never miss a typo." And then send it out with two glaring typos. And then spend the rest of the night punching yourself in the arm at 15 minutes intervals.

OR, you could do something totally sensible. For example, you could take your bruised arm up to Elastic (2830 N. Milwaukee, 2nd floor - near the six-way at Kimball, Diversey and Milwaukee, upstairs from the chinese restaurant) for their weekly "Triage" series. It's TONIGHT at 8 p.m.! Pay the nice person $5 at the door, bring some beer if you want, and check out four superstar ensembles of electroacoustic, minimalist, and pulsing drone magic.

Continue reading this entry »

Chris Sienko

Artist Tue Aug 21 2007

The Lonesome Organist and Leaves

Tap shoes clacking across the Schuba's floor in time, accordion billowing, and his face a faraway grin - that was how the Lonesome Organist left us last time. Over a year and a half later, Mr. Jacobsen returns from his Fortress of Solo Simultaneous Instrumentalus to play a show at The Hideout this Friday with the lovely Leaves of local label . Expect the former to play more simultaneous instruments than you ever thought possible, and expect the latter to perform some of Chicago's finest "autumnal jazz". If you want a sneak preview, Leaves will also be playing a live set on WNUR Wednesday night.

Dan Morgridge

Contest Mon Aug 20 2007

Really Quick Contest: Free Queer Fest Midwest Tickets

This Saturday, August 25th, Queer Fest Midwest arrives in Chicago at the Pulaski Field House in Wicker Park. It's Chicago's first ever music, visual and interactive arts festival celebrating the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered community. With a lineup including visual and interactive art, performance, and music ranging from indie to hip-hop to trans-hillbilly, it's sure to be a fun-filled day of outstanding artistic expression. The musical lineup includes national artists Katastrophe, The Ex-Members, Johnny Dangerous, Chris Garneau, Katz, Gina Young and Team Gina. There will also be performances by midwest musicians Office, Hey There Cowboy, 8 Inch Betsy, Opportunity School and Actor Slash Model. The fun starts at noon and runs until 8pm. More details here and in Slowdown.

Sound like fun? We want to get you there, for free! Just email us at contests {at} gapersblock.com with the subject line "Free Fest" and we'll give away a pair of tickets to the first three readers who give us a shout. Update: We have our winners! Congrats to Ron, Eric and Brendan!

Anne Holub

Concert Sat Aug 18 2007

Dread-Beat, Drums & Cowbell

The guys in the NYC outfit Professor Murder are cheeky enough to name themselves after a character from Mr. Show, sarcastic enough to appropriate the dubious epithet of "happy hardcore" to describe themselves, and just perverse enough to nick the chorus from CRASS's "Do They Owe Us a Living?" for a hook on their debut single. Musically, they play that clattering, groove-heavy style of dance-punk that the likes of !!! and the Faint have mining these past several years; and they do so with the proper amount of party-piloting fervor. And if you missed them at the Pitchfork Festival last month, you can see them at the Empty Bottle this Monday for the venue's usual free Monday-evening show.

Also on the bill is Chicago's own The Jai-Alai Savant, who'll balance the show out solidly with their mix of anthemic rockers and dub-soaked excursions. Throwing a little gravel into the batter is local drum-circle experimentalists Waterbabies -- an ensemble that includes members of Mahjonng and Bobby Conn's band. And as if that weren't enough of a mixed bag, When The Eagle Met the Wolf -- a duo featuring Life During Wartime DJ's Bald Eagle -- will be spinning tunes throughout. 1035 N, Western Ave., 9pm. Free!

[mp3]: Professor Murder - "Live on WOXY"
[video]: The Jai-Alai Savant - "White on White Crime"

Graham Sanford

Benefit Fri Aug 17 2007

Indie Radio Needs Guitar Heros

With the future of one of the true local indie radio stations in question, Chicagoans might be apt to say that non-for-profit radio is going the way of commercial stations due to pressures from the Web and satellite outlets. But a local group calling themselves CHIRP (Chicago Indie Radio Project) has united to keep free radio alive and well in Chicago.  Formed by a large group of WLUW volunteers who aren't sure what the future holds after WLUW goes back into Loyola University hands, CHIRP is working hard to build up enough funds and interest to start a low power FM radio station for the Chicago independent community.  Having sponsored a couple impressive benefits already, they are hosting two more in the upcoming days.  This Friday at Quenchers come see The Strange Attractor, Spectaculo, and About Nothin for $5.  On Monday all you blossoming rock stars better represent your A-game.  Stop in at Piece for a Guitar Hero Tournament with proceeds for entry going to CHIRP.  The theme is 80s so break out the hair spray, neon-stretch biker shorts and friendship bracelets. Let's see who has the skills to be a true hero all while playing for a good cause.  9 p.m.

Brent Kado

Transmission Event Wed Aug 15 2007

Transmission Thursday at the Five Star!

IMG_0533.JPGAfter a one-week absence we're back at the Five Star to drink with you, our loyal readers. The Five Star has gotten even cooler than before in that time -- check out this sick photo of the owner, Lyle, floating in space above Iggy Pop's head at Lollapalooza. Crazy. We'll be there to interrogate him about the experience, along with DJ Brad Owen and the finest in moderately-priced drinks. Five Star is at 1424 W. Chicago, two blocks east of Chicago and Ashland, we'll be there around 930. Come out and say hi! Pics from last time after the jump.

Continue reading this entry »

Nilay Patel

Concert Wed Aug 15 2007

Get While The Getting's Good...

As you may have heard, the Beastie Boys recently released a new album. Entitled The Mix-Up, it's another sans-vocal outting from the guys; and to support the thing, they've kicked off a global tour. Reportedly, they've been booking mostly smaller venues this time around and are playing instrumental sets (or "mostly instrumental" sets, it turns out), with drummer Fredo Ortiz and DJ Mix Master Mike accompanying the band on stage.

The final stop of the tour finds them hitting Chicago to play the Riviera theater on September 26. Due to limited seating, a good many dates on the tour have already sold out. As of this writing, tickets for the Chicago show are still available. Tix are $48, plus (one expects) the standard add-on fees from...well, you can probably guess.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Update!: It now looks like a second Chicago date has been added. According to the Ticketmaster website, the Beasties will also be playing the Charter One Pavilion at Northerly Island on Thursday, September 27. Tickets for the event are, at present, not yet available.

Graham Sanford

News Wed Aug 15 2007

"Bounce so hard, your knees hit your forehead..."

After the heat of summer and before the freezing of winter, the local hip-hop scene seems absolutely packed with good shows and the normal ramp-up to some artists' commercial efforts, seasoned with online tidbits and maybe a download or two.

-EstroJam is coming, and on the bill is an entire night of great indie and underground hip-hop. EstroJam in general will get Transmission love, but Friday night is sure to be a banger, as Transmission favorites Yo Majesty rock the house with an assortment of ladies who rock the mic right. Show love for reclusive (not by choice) Philly native Bahamadia and local heroine Rita J from the All Natural family. It's not until the middle of September, so you got time, but mark that down now.

-Courtesy of Spine Magazine, Rhymefest teams with Little Brother and T3 of Slum Village on Get Plugged". Production here seems understated, in order to draw attention to the lyrics. Hopefully the buying public will dig on that notion, but that may prove to be too much to expect.

-You love the Ye. You may hate the Ye. But you'll be hearing more of Ye in the coming months in the warmup for his Graduation album. On "Barry Bonds, he hands the production duties off and teams with Lil Wayne, who, if you don't know him now, you will if you listen to anything remotely commercial.

Stay tuned for more Chicago hip-hop; the next few months are going to see a couple of high profile albums and a number of concerts that hit before cruel Old Man Winter drives artists to seek warmer climes to tour. Enjoy!

Troy Hunter

Concert Tue Aug 14 2007

High Places Within Reach

The latest addition to the list of buzz-worthy Brooklyn duos, High Places have been bowling over audiences with their light as a feather sound. Existing somewhere between a more youthful sounding Broadcast and the legendary Young Marble Giants, Mary Pearson and Robert Barber have been crafting some of the most dreamy lo-fi percussion-heavy pop out there right now. Finishing up a series of dates with Soft Circle (ex-Black Dicer Hisham Bharoocha), High places are also joined tonight by Rob Lowe's Lichens and Chicago noisenik tag-team Locks.

Empty Bottle - 1035 N. Western. 773-276-3600. 9:00pm. $8.

John Lombardo

Review Tue Aug 14 2007

Arks Have New Record, Upcoming Sub't Show

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About a year ago I wrote an article previewing an Arks' show for Machine Fest 6 and made statements like, "Arks are abstract, they play loud, they drift off into the ozone, they beg heaven and hell to collide. Influenced by Sonic Youth, the Aframes, Brianiac and Guided By Voices, Arks are threatening to be one of those bands that go where few bands have gone before," and "drifting into a heavy abyss of driving volume, fiery beats and wilting guitars via mesmeric, cranky soundscapes, Arks push the limits of sound but without alienating their audience."  Taking a listen to The International, the band still has all that.  The bands find a tight studio sound to mix with a gritty, explosive live presence.Today the Arks drop The International the band's first full length on High Wheel Records.  After a few listens to the new album head to Subterranean on Thursday to see them live at their CD release party with epic local band sally and up-and-comer Pyrite. Cheap show at $7, 18 plus and start time is at 9 p.m.

Brent Kado

DVD & Video Mon Aug 13 2007

Be a Part of a Delmark DVD

You've got four upcoming chances to be in the audience for an upcoming local label Delmark records artists' live CD/DVD tapings in Chicago.

- Friday, Aug. 17 - Byther Smith performs at 11pm at Natural Rhythm private social club located at 2000 W. 59th St. (the corner of Damen and 59th). Byther's guitar and vocals will be backed by Anthony Palmer on rhythm guitar, Greg McDaniel (Floyd's son) on bass, and James Carter (Willie Kent's nephew) on drums. Usually this is Jimmy Burns' hot backing band. Call 773-776-9285 for more info.

- Saturday, Aug. 18 - Little Arthur Duncan and the Back Scratchers with special guest vocalist Little Al Thomas play from 9pm-1am at Rosa’s Lounge, 3420 W. Armitage. The Back Scratchers are Illinois Slim (who played with Eddie Taylor) and Rick Kreher (who played with Muddy Waters) on guitar, EG McDaniel (Floyd’s son) on bass, and Twist Turner on drums.

- Monday, Aug. 20 - Dave Specter with vocalist Sharon Lewis, "Texas Fire" and Brother John Kattke (keys), Harlan Terson (bass) and Marty Binder (drums) from 9pm-1am at Rosa’s Lounge, 3420 W. Armitage.

-Tuesday, Aug. 21 - Dave Specter with Jimmy Johnson, Tad Robinson, Brother John Kattke , Harlan Terson and Marty Binder at Buddy Guy’s Legends, 9:30pm-1:30am, 754 S. Wabash.

Anne Holub

Artist Mon Aug 13 2007

El Che goes to Philly.

Rhymefest is cooking up some great-sounding collaborations for his second album, El Che, as well as showing a flair for the funny, as he works with DJ Jazzy Jeff in Philadelphia. Most of you haven't heard or seen Jeff since Fresh Prince, but DJ Jazzy Jeff is internationally reknown at being damned good at what he does, namely DJing and production. (Check the video to get a sense of just how busy he's been.) It seems that 'Fest is about due for, at the very least, a solid album. Check the other videos to watch the wordsmith at work.

Troy Hunter

Concert Thu Aug 09 2007

Free Booze With Office And Others

Chicago's Indie Rock scene is so expolisve right now that buzz band is a label that could be bestowed on dozens of groups. One of those groups is The Office. If you haven't got a chance to see them yet, do it - it's worth the time and money. (since this show is free it's really worth the money) Next in line for Chicago buzz band - Cracklin Moth. So you can see them both for free at Schubas with Freer, don't sleep. Also free beer and giveaways.  Thank Myopenbar with a shot of Jager.

Capwql9n

Brent Kado

Contest Thu Aug 09 2007

Really Quick Contest: Canasta Playing

If you're into great Chicago indie bands (and if you're reading this, you probably are), but maybe don't have the cabbage to head out to the Double Door to see Canasta play a benefit show for the Chicago Independent Radio Project, then you're in luck. Just be the first to email us at inbox (at) gapersblock (dot) com with the subject "I Play Canasta" and we'll hook you up. You'll get two tickets to the show tomorrow night, plus a copy of Canasta's album and a tshirt, all courtesy of the band. UPDATE: We've got our winner. Congrats, Tim!

Anne Holub

News Thu Aug 09 2007

Pearl Jam's anti-Bush lyrics slashed from stream

The band's AT&T Blue Room live stream had a few second delay during their recent Lollapalooza performance, but that was apparently enough time for a content monitor to decide that the lyrics "George Bush, leave this world alone" and "George Bush, find yourself another home" during a performance of the song "Daughter" were as offensive as dropping a couple of F-bombs. Officials from AT&T say that the "overzealous" cut of these lyrics from the live show stream was a mistake, but the fans, and the band aren't taking the accident so lightly. Pearl Jam, in a statement on its website, calls the incident a "wake up call" and "about something much bigger than the censorship of a rock band". The band ponders in the statement about "the public's concerns over the power that corporations have when it comes to determining what the public sees and hears through communications media". They're asking fans who have "examples of AT&T censoring artist performances around political content, to post examples on the official Pearl Jam Message Pit".

Anne Holub

Feature Thu Aug 09 2007

This ain't Be. Not Electric Circus. Can I Borrow A Dollar? Please.

It's really difficult to let old styles go. We expect our musicians to give us the same as last time, but get angry when they've deviated "too far" and antagonistic if they don't show growth by differing since the last time. Deep down, we want a return to the glory of what was before, or a departure from the past if its residuals taste like crap years later.

Continue reading this entry »

Anne Holub

Concert Wed Aug 08 2007

Throw A Kit On That, Get Caked...Holla!!

Maybe you've seen him crowd-surfing during sets by The Cool Kids, or maybe you've seen him and his Murder Gang moped crew cruising around the city, or maybe you've actually caught one of his recent appearances around town. Who I'm talking about is up-and-comer Southside emcee Hollywood Holt. So far, Holt's only released about a half-dozen or so unproduced, demo mp3 tracks; but the YouTube-circulated video for "Throw A Kit On That" recently made him something of an instant cult hero with moped enthusiasts the world over. He flexes with a definitively Southside sound, mixing buttery "diamond in the back / sunroof top"-styled elegance with a booty-rolling bump that's deeply rooted in a red-dirt, down-yonder party groove. And while "Stuntin' In My Caddy" probably won't displace Masta Ace's "Born To Roll" as the ultimate (s)low-rider's anthem, it sports its share of back-to-basics cold-diss verses that are just as hilarious.

And this Saturday is a good chance to catch him in a tight, lively environment at this month's installation of the Life During Wartime DJs' Hideout dance party. Aside from the mainstay crew of DJs Bald Eagle and Mother Hubbard, there'll be a live set from Hollywood Holt, who'll be kicking it along with his DJ and producer Million Dollar Mano. Also up on the bill is a special DJ set from the Chicago mash-up crew The Hood Internet. Much of the Hood's rollin' modus of late has been matching hip-hop hits to "alt-rock" staples, resulting in such hybrid mutations as R. Kelly vs. Broken Social Scene, Shop Boyz vs. Polyphonic Spree, and UGK vs. TV On The Radio. So go and get treated. 1354 N. Wabansia, Saturday August 11, 9pm-close. Admission is $8 ($5 after midnight).

[video]: Hollywood Holt - "Throw A Kit On That"

Graham Sanford

Concert Wed Aug 08 2007

"Pull off your pantyhose..."


In my other life as one of the 1000's of music bloggers flooding the information superhighway with free mp3's I have written about no single band as often as I have about The Felice Brothers. This trio of real life brothers started out busking on the streets in upsate NY, then self released a record or two, and just recently went international with their label debut for Loose Records out of the UK.

None of my descriptions of the band can match Gabe Soria's of Vice Magazine:

“Singers of ragged and lovely Catskills harmonies, rickety gospel backporch jams, 19th century medicine show charmers, cheap suit rhapsodizers, watchers of the Nashville skyline, part-time residents and always-welcome houseguests at Big Pink, students of Bob Dylan and Levon Helm, the Partridge Family in pinstripes and scruffy beards.”

Their music (as it is now) breaks no new ground, but their ability to capture different era's, either with their poignant lyrics or their rootsy music, is uncanny. Both of these elements come together in the near waltz-like jam "The Ballad of Lou the Welterweight." Catch The Felice Brothers at 9pm sharp this Friday at Uncommon Ground in Wrigleyville.

[mp3]: The Felice Brothers - "The Ballad of Lou the Welterwight"

Craig Bonnell

Concert Tue Aug 07 2007

GB Anniversary Party Alumni Hit Chicago Friday Night

If you've made it out to either of the last two Gapers Block anniversary parties at the Hideout, then you've been lucky enough to hear two of our favorite local bands, Canasta (from our 2006 party) and the Occidental Brothers Dance Band International (from this past May). Well, this Friday night, August 10th, you can beat the heat and catch both of these bands again (though not on the same bill, so you'll have to make a choice).

–Head out to the Double Door to see indie rockers Canasta cast a few well-crafted lyrics out into the crowd. They'll headline a benefit show for the Chicago Independent Radio Project (CHIRP), the brainchild of Shawn Campbell who hopes to fund a non-profit community radio station to replace WLUW. They'll be joined by Plane, May Or May Not, and Driftless Pony Club. Tickets are $20 (correction) $10.

–Or, a bit further south and slightly west, see the Occidental Brothers Dance Band International play their very first booty shaking Empty Bottle show, starting at 10pm along with the Billy Dolan Band and dj Wayne Montana. Tickets are $8.

Anne Holub

Album Tue Aug 07 2007

Palliard At The Roger Brown House


Chicago alt-roots band Palliard have a new EP out. It's called Palliard At The Roger Brown House. In a nutshell the story behind the EP is that the band was allowed to record at the architecturally-significant, George Veranda designed Roger Brown house in Michigan for three days last fall courtesy of the present owners — School Of the Art Institute of Chicago.

The band recorded the songs on the EP in the high ceilinged steel and glass surrounded living room of the house. The sound is stripped down, slightly experimental, recorded-in-one-take-with-no-overdubs roots music. Palliard is celebrating its release this Saturday night at Schubas.

Download the lead-off track, "Oscilloscope", below or get the whole thing for free as a .zip file at the band's website here.

[mp3]: Palliard - "Oscilloscope"

Craig Bonnell

Concert Tue Aug 07 2007

Cruising Myspace Provides A Winner

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Finding new music on Myspace is always a crap shoot, but we came across a local band called Fast Falls the Eventide and were immediately hooked. Their soulful grunge sound offers up meaningful feel with enough power to call it rock. Slightly atmospheric and experimental, FFTE puts forth a gutsy, entrancing sound. Together less than a year, look for this name to pop up more and more. They play with Roosevelt Jenkins and Once in Forever at Subterranean on Wednesday. All ages, $8.

Brent Kado

Concert Mon Aug 06 2007

My Night with the Angels

Who needs Lollapalooza when you've got the Black Angels at Schubas? This thought was in my head as I made my way through the crowd in the Schubas music hall on Saturday, round about midnight. Granted, it was packed in there, but I didn't have to shell out a silly amount of cash, deal with heat, massive crowds or drunken fools.

My first impression of the 6-person band (girl drummer included) from
Austin, Texas was wow--the spirit of Jim Morrison has finally been resurrected. The music was fierce, as rock ought to be. Incendiary rock amped up so hard you could feel the walls shake. And the reason I immediately thought of Morrison? The psychedelic element, first off, and second, the 8mm films playing on the large movie screen behind the band--images of the American southwest, native Americans, the Trail of Tears, stuff like that. Then there were the disturbing and passionate lyrics. Talking about Vietnam, boys dying in Iraq, killing and dying.

And the audience, swaying and head bobbing, was trance-like, in synch with the band, the music and the film show. This band has revived the transcendental religious experience of rock that was laid down by the Doors. And in true rock fashion, the Black Angels provocatively use music to examine the American experience --in this case our lust for land and the resulting consequences.

Impressive. When the Black Angels finished their set it was pretty surprising that an hour had just gone by. The audience demanded more. Two encores later I stood riveted and transfixed by a band that brought the soul of rock back to life. Sexy, aggressive and rebellious, the Angels seduced me, as well as the rest of the audience, as no one seemed particularly ready to leave.

Marla Seidell

Stores Mon Aug 06 2007

Threadless + Indie Rock? Who'd have thunk it?

Local t-shirt establishment Threadless is celebrating the grand opening of its first and only live store with some indie rock (that I hear the kids like these days) on September 14th. Their big party will consist of not one, but two phases.

Phase #1: An all-ages show, starting at 6pm at the Metro. The lineup features some very sweet Chicago talent including Hey Mercedes, Anathallo and Freer and will be hosted by Marcus Monroe. To get tickets, you must stop by the Threadless store (at 3011 N. Broadway Ave.) starting 9/10 and you can pick up two tickets per person. There will be no tickets available at the Metro and just because you snag a ticket, it doesn't mean you get in. It's first come, first serve, so line up early.

Phase #2: An adults-only 18+ after-party, also at the Metro, starting at 10:30pm. The music lined up for this show includes Office, White Hot Knife, The Assembly and the Life During Wartime DJs. No tickets are needed for this show, but yeah, it's still first-come, first-served.

For all the details, check Threadless.

Anne Holub

Concert Mon Aug 06 2007

Mika Miko Set to Wreck Reckless

West Coast hyper-kinnetic punk unit, Mika Miko, have announced a special in-store at Reckless Records' Wicker Park location on August 22. The Kill Rock Stars darlings will offer a preview of the action before their show at the Empty Bottle with Black Ladies and Fake Fictions later that night. Don't let the 4:00pm start time dissuade you from slipping out of work early. This show will be well-worth all of the demerits!

John Lombardo

Concert Mon Aug 06 2007

Cal’s Extends Festival Season

Long-time rock and roll hangout Cal’s Liquors is hosting a two-day festival this upcoming weekend (August 11 & 12). The fest will present 18 bands in two days, featuring Mannequin Men, The Dials, Headache City, and a special Phenoms reunion performance!

Saturday
3 p.m.: Fetor
4 p.m.: Shopping
5 p.m.: Teenage Imposters
6 p.m.: The Negligents
7 p.m.: The Magic
8 p.m.: White Devil
9 p.m.: The Get Outs
10 p.m.: Dorian Taj
11 p.m.: Hot as Hell
Midnight.: Rabid Rabbit
12:30 a.m.: The Phenoms

Sunday
6 p.m.: Disrobe
7 p.m.: The Yolks
8 p.m.: Mannequin Men
9 p.m.: Romance Novels
10 p.m.: The Dials
11 p.m.: Wax Museums
Midnight: Headache City

Check out Cal's Myspace page for up to date information. Cal’s Liqours - 400 S. Wells. (312) 922-6392.

John Lombardo

Feature Mon Aug 06 2007

Lollapalooza 2007, A Review

Looking for a storyline from this year's Lollapalooza festival? Here are a few possibilities to toss around:

Continue reading this entry »

Anne Holub

Random Sun Aug 05 2007

RIP: Auggy Doggy

A bit late on this: One of the Chicago rock scene's more colorful characters passed away earlier this summer. August "Auggy Doggy" Tsanakis was best known as the guy who sold bootleg concert videos out of his car outside shows. He was struck and killed by a Metra train on June 30. More rememberanes here and here. (Thanks, Ron.)

Andrew Huff

Concert Fri Aug 03 2007

Legendary.

Stevie Wonder is coming to Chicago.

He announced today that he is going on his first US tour in 12 years, and Northerly Island is his Chicago stop.

Tickets are available August 11th, and no price has been given, although one would imagine that a Stevie Wonder concert, at an expensive venue, plus AWESOME service charges from our FAVORITE ticket broker, would make this an $80 ticket easily.

Troy Hunter

Concert Fri Aug 03 2007

This weekend, you MUST turn off the TiVo and the air conditioner and GET OUT TO SHOWS

It's official - Chicago just managed to stuff two weeks worth of killer entertainment into three nights. It's been like that a lot lately.

On Friday, you must make a choice - will you go to Enemy (1550 N. Milwaukee Ave) at 9 p.m. and pay $5 to see Social Junk (from Ashland, Kentucky), Unseen|Unknown, and Abduction (both from Chicago); OR, will you go to Hotti Biscotti (3545 W. Fullerton) and pay nothing at the door to see a cavalcade of dancey, costumey, droney, weirdness from the likes of William Sides Atari Party, EaVil, The Buoyant Sea, David Diarreah, Hate Moms, and others? Well, what say you? It's a win-win answer, but you still must choose.

Continue reading this entry »

Chris Sienko

Concert Thu Aug 02 2007

A little rain before the Lolla storm...

Have an interest in seeing a Lollapalooza artist, but not trying to fork over that much cash for one day?

Soulive makes an appearance at the Double Door tonight in support of their upcoming album, No Place Like Soul. From the previews on their site, there is a definite attempt to slow it down, to be a bit more than the "jam-funk band" this writer has called them at some points in the past. It's not bad to be a jam-funk band, it's just what they do well, and I don't suspect that a smaller, more intimate venue (than Grant Park, anyway) will lend itself to some of these new efforts. I expect they'll go with some upbeat stuff that will move asses off the wall and get heads nodding. Lord knows they've rocked it before.

Show starts at 10, doors open at 8. You weren't planning to get a full 8 hours of sleep before work tomorrow anyway. Tickets are $20 from our favorite ticket broker.

Troy Hunter

Transmission Event Thu Aug 02 2007

Transmission Thursday at the Five Star!

IMG_0513.JPGThursday Thursday and what better way to get ready for the the scorching heat of Lollapalooza than by shooting some Old Crow with the TX crew at the Five Star? We're entering the final summer month of liquid festivities, so your opportunities to do something silly with a sticker are dwindling. Last week featured an unmistakable shift in focus from bare skin to alcohol-related antics, and we look to continue the trend tonight. DJ Brad Owen will be there as always, spinning New Wave, old-school punk, and other indie faves, and the Five Star is always good for some cheap drinks. We'll be there around 930, come say hi! Five Star is at 1424 W. Chicago, just east of Chicago and Ashland. More pics from last week after the break.

Continue reading this entry »

Nilay Patel

Feature Wed Aug 01 2007

Lollapalooza 2007, A Preview

Hopefully, third time out, Lollapalooza will still charm Chicago with its 3-day weekend of rock, rap and general sun-drenched funky stuff. The festival has backed its trucks up to Grant Park and dumped out 9 stages, more than 150 acts, dozens of vendors and sponsors and spread it all out over 33 hours of non-stop rocking. Remember to hydrate, apply that sunblock, throw the horns on occasion, and, most importantly, read our ideas of a good time this weekend before you head out the door.

Continue reading this entry »

Anne Holub

Concert Wed Aug 01 2007

"Sitting by the train tracks reading Kafka to the sky"

[mp3]: Jason Webley - "Eleven Saints"

Usually the song's at the end of the post but why is that? The song is what really matters and all the rest is just "dancing about architecture". In this case Jason Webley's song, "Eleven Saints", is catchy, clever and has a great mix of folk, gypsy, and accordian music (btw the simple stop gap animated video is a bit of an internet sensation with 76,000 views to date). I think some of the best lines from "Eleven Saints" are:

"If my cat looks scared it's because he knows he's not going to heaven"
"If you'd like to bake me a loaf of bread, it's got to be on leaven"
"Coffee percolating....going wheeeeeee"

Jason Webley is part of a four band lineup this Friday, Aug. 3rd at South Union Arts. I'm sure this former street musician and all around man of the arts will leave you captivated.

Bonus track:

[mp3]: Jason Webley - "Map"

Craig Bonnell

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 »

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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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