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.
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Wednesday, November 30

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Concert Tue Jun 17 2008

Dukes of the Ionosphere

Over the past five years or so, plenty of people have, thankfully, gotten the heads-up that there's far more to the Norwegian music scene than black metal. Be it the leftfield nu-jazz explorations of Jaga Jazzist, the sonic experimentation of Maja Ratkje, or the brooding synth-pop of 120 Days, Norway's been an engine of creative musical energy for well over a decade now. And now it looks like it might be time for one of the country's best-kept secrets to get some overdue recognition. The Trondheim power trio Motorpsycho have been in action for over 15 years, and now have a dozen albums to their credit; but it's only due to the release of their latest CD, Little Lucid Moments, on the Rune Grammofon label that they've started to get some attention from beyond their native shores. Rising to the occasion, Motorpsycho will be playing in Chicago this Sunday as they hit the U.S. for a rare stateside mini-tour.

As far as Motorpsycho's music goes, the labels "psychedelic" and "prog" have been consistently bandied about, and comparisons to mid-period King Crimson have been numerous. Fair enough, especially given how the band -- as demonstrated by Little Lucid Moments four tracks -- favors lengthy, ambitious songs and complex arrangements. But, to their credit, Motorpsycho don't seem to have much truck with many of prog's parochial jazz-, blues-, and Canterbury-rock clichés. They also pass on the usual spacious, fusion-derived grooves, opting instead for a tightly-coiled, dynamic rhythmic center -- a controlled frenzy that's brilliantly sustained thanks to the recent addition of former Gåte drummer Kenneth Karstad. In fact, it's fair to say that the trio is most impressive when they kick everything into high-velocity mode, which they do at least half the time, pushing everything into overdrive while guitarist Hans Magnus Ryan's buzz-riffage spills and sprawls and aims for the uppermost altitudes. It all testifies to some uniquely seasoned musicianly stamina, and to why the band might be one of the more impeccably-named outfits currently striding the Earth. As far as power trios and points of comparison go, the melodic hyper-chugging chords that crop up in parts of the album's 21-minute title bring to mind later Hüsker Dü -- with all the crafty alt-pop leanings -- but if the Hüskers had kept with their earlier punk/thrash ethos of shooting to set the land speed record.

Motorpsycho headline this Sunday night at the Empty Bottle, in one of only three stops on their current tour of the U.S. Grails and Nadja open. 1035 N. Western, Doors open at 9 PM. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door.

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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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