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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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Friday, March 1

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Concert Tue Jan 29 2008

Dancing with Essex Chanel

Let's face it: Wedding dances can outright suck. Luckily, in the new album Dancing at Weddings, Essex Chanel brings the wedding dance to your living room -- albeit without the embarrassingly drunk uncle attempting to do the Worm on the dance floor.

Essex Chanel is the solo project of Chicago-based musician/artist/all-around busy bee Travis Lee Wiggins, who also performs in the Summer Salts and Fetla. Dancing at Weddings sort of serves as an tutorial, opening with a loopy, roaming bassline over background shouts to "Get up and dance!" Soon what one can only assume is a party robot intercedes. On second thought, you better bust out that Worm.

Subdued, muffled bass provides the anchor, while electro looping, feedback, and fiddlings run amok. Other tracks, such as "I'm the one (who wants to dance with you tonight)," two-step into indie rock territory featuring a super-simplified drum track and jangly guitar. It's not a spectacularly inventive combo, but it's fun and perfect for nights when low-key boogying is in order. Overall, the vocals are pretty basic, with Wiggins often just singing a single line over and over. And while that could prove boring, here it serves to let the music remain the showcase. The tracks seamlessly segue into one another, which is nice for maintaining a groove, but ultimately left me wishing the tracks stood out from one another a bit more.

Essex Chanel will be having a CD release show on Friday, February 1 at Shubas, featuring Wiggins with a full band. The show is 18 and up, and Ra Ra Riot and The Virgins will also be playing. Can't make it to the show? Get your own copy of the CD here.

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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


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Park West
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Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
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Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
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  & Shops:

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Dave's Records
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Drag City
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Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
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Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
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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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