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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.
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Thursday, October 29

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Concert Tue Oct 23 2007

Wigged Out: Scout Niblett at the Empty Bottle

Imagine my surprise when the ghostly pale woman two-fisting a drink 'n cig combo at the bar turned out to be the one and only Scout Niblett. To be honest, with her oversized camo jacket and dirty, disheveled blonde wig that she kept tugging down, she sort of looked like a methed-out version of my aunt. (Check out the wig here, as she cavorts with a skeletal - literally - Will Oldham.)

Call it a ruse to get attention or an attempt to blend in; either way Niblett managed to do both during her set Saturday, Oct. 20 at the Empty Bottle. She opened for the Stars of Track and Field, thus suffering that which plagues all opening acts: a loud audience. It's a shame, since Niblett deserves a certain amount of concentration to enjoy. She's not necessarily whisper-quiet, but she's a very deliberate singer/songwriter, and her music is simple enough to be drowned out amid chit-chatty scenesters.

Armed with a guitar and an accompanying drummer, Niblett began her set with tracks from her latest album, This Fool Can Die Now. The CD is slow, sweet, and full of love songs, and that's exactly how Niblett slid into her set. Interestingly, even when performing the lovely "Do You Want to Be Buried With My People," she still appears oddly fierce, singing through clenched teeth as if going for the jugular. But while This Fool waxes poetic, it still maintains some of the bite that gives color to her previous work; when she ripped into the discordant monster-stomper "Let Thine Heart Be Warmed," it temporarily shocked the gabbering audience into paying attention. Even the two girls next to me, stopped gossiping about who did what on Facebook. "Whoa," said one, her eyes wide.

Alas, as soon as she returned to softer works, she lost the the crowd again. Which was too bad -- her performance, though sometimes a little too simplistic, was incredibly powerful. By the time she closed with "Nevada," it was clear that both she -- and the audience, eager to see the headliner -- had had enough for the night.

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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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