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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Monday, February 6

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Artist Thu Jun 19 2008

The Black Angels Deliver Neo-Psychedelic Rock to the Masses


I first learned the word chiaroscuro in a poem written by an architect. It has to do with a notable use of light and shadow, and I think it's a lovely way to describe the album built by Austin-born Black Angels, Directions to See a Ghost. Yes, they've got the guitar drone thing going on, but it's delivered in that appropriate ethereal way that comes along with the moniker of neo-psychedelic rock. Even their name, derived from the Velvet Underground's "The Black Angel's Death Song" is appropriate, given their dreamy, far-away lyrical delivery, and the way their songs conjure up of some Warhol Factory-esque room with too many pillows and not enough ashtrays.

The Black Angels psychedelic voice is stronger and more developed than their cousin — the indie shoe-gaze band. They've played Lollapalooza ('07) and SXSW ('08) to critical acclaim, and they're just perched (absolutely perched) on the verge of something big here. You're not likely to catch them on the radio, as most of their tracks span well over four minutes, but you get the feeling from the album that this band is just not all that into radio play. This is the album you're going to break out at 2am and groove to on your futon. It's the one you're going to play while you drift off to sleep (and likely have some pretty amazing dreams with this as your soundtrack). The album itself, plays like a oil wheel light show, infused with sitar ragas and some really interesting percussion work. The Black Angels are delivering psychedelic rock that not only honors its roots, but provides listeners with a cleaner, more delicious sugar cube.

[mp3]: The Black Angels – "Doves" (from Directions to See a Ghost)

[mp3]: The Black Angels – "The First Vietnamese War" (from Passover)

The Black Angels play Logan Square Auditorium, 2539 N. Kedzie Ave., Friday, June 20. The Warlocks open at 9pm. Tickets are $15.

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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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