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. 


Sunday, December 3

Gapers Block

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr

« Tomorrow Never Knows Starts Tonight! XXX Dance Party »

Album Wed Jan 16 2008

Clang Your Head

Back in early 2007, Thrill Jockey introduced listeners to the work of Arbouretum when it released the Baltimore quartet's sophomore album, Rites of the Uncovering. Nearly a year later finds the label releasing the first proper full-length CD by Human Bell, which hits stores on January 29.

Human Bell is effectively a collaborative side-project involving Arbouretum frontman Dave Heumann and former Lungfish bassist Nathan Bell. For the new self-titled LP, both musicians strap on their six-strings and unfurl seven instrumental tracks of exploratory fretwork. Half-composed and half-improvised, each song starts out simply and deliberately, with the duo setting the stage with basic structure and melody before setting off for more complex and expansive domains. There's plenty of cohesion by way of counterpoint and complement throughout, and there's some additional instrumental accompaniment to flesh things out a bit. The album as a whole is intricate in some parts, downright hefty in others, and admittedly borders on the soporific from time to time. But just as the whole effort seems to have exhausted its musical vocab, things take a denser, more foreboding turn in the album's final stretch. Some hazy, haunting hornwork threads "Ephaphatha (Be Opened)" with a droning eeriness, while "The Singing Trees" digs into a heavily churning and reverberous blues.

Deeply indebted to the work of Neil Young and John Fahey, and suffused with prog-y English folk-jazz trimmings, Human Bell is very much a guitar record. It's moody and evocative in a way that's best suited for soundtracking those lazier and more contemplative afternoons.

[mp3]: Human Bell – "The Singing Trees"

GB store
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 »


  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

GB store


Featured Series


Transmission on Flickr

Join the Transmission Flickr Pool.

About Transmission

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,
Transmission staff inbox:



Transmission Flickr Pool
 Subscribe in a reader.

GB store

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15