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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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Saturday, February 4

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Concert Mon Jan 28 2008

Mahjongg: Love means never having to apologize to the police

The Chicago outfit Mahjongg recently went on tour, aiming to round up converts to Kontpab--which is both the title for their new album that's now being released on K Records and the name of a post-millennial cult that the band recently started. Actually, the stuff about the cult's just a bunch of presskit monkeyshines; but the album's for real, and Mahjongg will be returning to home base to play a record-release party at Subterranean this Thursday.

If you threw a party and invited Suicide and Konono No1 to play in your basement, what would it sound like? Kontpab probably best answers that question. In the time that's lapsed since their prior LP, Raydoncong2005, Mahjongg has undergone some slight personnel changes. Their sound has changed a little, as well. Save for bass, guitars are largely out and keyboards dominate -- specifically keyboards of the gritty, pulsing electro-punk variety.

There's also an even greater percussive emphasis this time around. It's been noted that Mahjongg take a page from Talking Heads à la Remain In Light, and Kontpab finds them moving even further in that direction, with the band piling on layers of dense and intertwining West African rhythms on the albums' opening and closing cuts. Between those two drum-heavy bookend tracks, there's a few shadowy and austere passage, plenty of new-wave synthesizer throbbiness, some wry social commentary, and even a rowdy shout-a-long about flying vermin. The knip-knopping electronics and subtly shifting rhythms of "Teardrops" and "Tell The Police The Truth" exhibit the band's savviness at playing minimalism off of maximalism while serving up a groove that's both hypnotic and possessingly danceable.

You can catch Mahjongg's headlining set at their record-release show at Subterranean this Thursday evening. The Chandeliers are on the opening bill, as are Golden Birthday. Doors open at 6:30pm and the whole thing's scheduled to get rolling at 7pm. 2011 W. North Ave. Admission is $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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