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 Wed Jun 18 2008

Here are My Hands

Venna.jpgIt was nearly a year that I saw Wisconsin’s Venna open for Page France. Playing to a crowd of twenty, the group, powered by the vocals of Heather Hladish, sat in chairs in front of the stage and played a beautiful acoustic set. Seated next to Heather was husband and guitar player Marky Hladish (The Felix Culpa), and you could tell by their occasional glances and grins that these songs were crafted with love and passion. As Heather sang the chorus of "Eulogy", “here are my hands”, I realized that this was her offering to the world. These songs were an intimate extension of her, who she is and who she wants to be.

That night they handed out free homemade demo ep’s wrapped in paper bags, tied with red string, with a Venna pin on top. Inside there was a vintage postcard, a hand-written note, and the 3 track demo. It was clear that this band had a sense of presentation that was both honest and crafty. Now as they release their official debut ep on Chicago’s Common Cloud Records this flare for presentation has been carried forward. The beautifully printed cardboard case came wrapped in green twine only adding to the mystery of what might be inside. The booklet inside was creatively photocopied and hand-stitched with green thread mapping out the lyrics in an interesting way. The six songs on the ep include a rerecorded version of “Eulogy”, but also songs like “Paper” that expand their sound instrumentally. Crafted with care, this is an exciting debut from Heather and Marky’s hands to yours.

Venna will be opening for Cotton Jones Basket Ride on June 21 at The House Café in DeKalb, IL. The show starts at 8:00pm and tickets are $8.

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marky / June 19, 2008 11:03 AM

Thanks for the review, Jason! I'm glad you enjoyed the ep.

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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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