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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, December 7

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« Get your blight on - Metal, drone, horror noise @ Mr. City Introducing Keren Ann »

Concert Fri Feb 08 2008

Russian Circles' New Notes From the Underground

While the world has waited for the release of Chinese Democracy, metal has undergone a lot of changes. It's responded to the backlash against its hair-hopping halcyon days by absorbing influences and ideas from across the rock spectrum, splintering off into a number of enclaves that probe the perimeters of the genre's creedal heaviness.

Case in point, the Chicago instrumental trio Russian Circles. The band's 2006 album Enter received a lot of glowing praise via print and online venues that cover the heftier ends of the musical spectrum, and it sent critics scrambling for labels to sum up the the band's sound. If you were to string all the resulting desciptives together, then Russian Circles are reputedly a math-/prog-/post-rock metal trio with melodic, neo-Mahlerian shoegaze affinities. Or something like that.

But amidst this barrage of ciphers and sobriquets, it was funny to see how often Russian Circles prompted critics to employ a word not often associated with the metal genre -- that word being "beautiful." Fitting enough, given Enter's musical sweep. Threaded on tangling and uncoiling tensions, it led the listeners through storm and stress and sublimation and back again, all the while keeping much of the genre's heavy-handed bombast and baroquisms at a cool distance.

In recent weeks, Russian Circles has announced the pending arrival of a new album. Entitled Stations, it's due for release on the Suicide Squeeze label in May. As a precursor, Russian Circles is embarking on a series of national tours. Intriguingly enough, they'll be touring with the experimental hip-hop duo Dälek -- who seem to enjoy sharing the bill with adventurous new metal bands whose heaviness complements their own. The tour with Dälek kicks off from Chicago, and they'll be playing at Subterranean on Tuesday, February 19. Young Widows open. 2011 W North Ave. Show starts at 9:30pm, tickets are $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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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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