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Transmission
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Concert Tue Nov 13 2007

Mission of Burma @ Abbey Pub

F. Scott Fitzgerald once said that "In American lives, there are no second acts." I'm pretty sure that that theory doesn't hold water, and if you want to see direct evidence in the contrary, Mission of Burma will make a strong case at the Abbey Pub this Friday.

Mission of Burma formed in Boston in 1979, part of America's burgeoning post-punk/new wave movement. Unlike many punk groups, the members of M.O.B. (Roger Miller - guitar, Clint Conley - bass and Peter Prescott - drums) were well versed in their instruments and grounded in a sense of history that encompassed late '60's proto-punks such as the MC5 and The Stooges. Burma's songs were driving, angular rockers with intelligent, acerbic lyrics; audio pastiches of swirling guitar filtered through the soundboard by original audio engineer and tape loop artist Martin Swopes. In their first iteration, Burma's impact was limited to a single studio album Vs., one EP Signals, Calls and Marches and a couple of singles, all originally released on the Boston label Ace of Hearts. While their output was critically acclaimed, the band disbanded in 1983, in part due to Miller's worsening tinnitus.

1983 may have seen the end of the band's first act, but Michael Azzerad's 2001 punk rock paean This Band Could Be Your Life featured a chapter on the group, introducing them to a new audience. After some exploratory touring in 2002, with Bob Westen of Shellac manning the console and tape deck, Burma released two new studio albums, 2004's ONoffON and 2006's The Obliterati, effectively tripling their original output. Both albums ended up on year-end lists, and the band's live shows seem to maintain more vitality than a band off a 20 year hiatus has a right to possess. While it would be tempting to compare them to their early '80's heyday, it may be closer to the truth to say that their heyday is now.

Mission of Burma plays Chicago's Abbey Pub Friday, Nov. 16 at 9:00 PM with Weber Club, Helicopters, Comasoft and Fun Club opening.

 
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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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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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