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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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Album Wed Oct 01 2008

Former Columbia Student calls for Change

Escape.jpg"If you keep doing what you're doing, you'll get more of what you got."

Minnesota's Jonathan Nelson, whose radio program Some Assembly Required has been heard on WLTL LaGrange, waited ten years to release the follow-up to his debut album as Escape Mechanism. However, his timing could not have been better. His self-titled debut, recorded in part in Chicago while attending Columbia College, was released 1998, and featured a style of sound collage composition utilizing only 100% recycled parts. The result was an incredible journey in sound using dialog, found sounds, and music samples. It was around that same time (January 1999) that Nelson started his radio show, Some Assembly Required, that to this day is dedicated to "artists and groups who work with bits and pieces of their media environments, and giving something back to the cultural landscape from which they so enthusiastically appropriate".

His new sound collage album, (Emphasis Added), was released yesterday, and carries a message that is unmistakably a product of the current state of our government, economy, and our attitude in general as consumers. I've thought for a while now that more can be said in a well placed sample then in a well-written song lyric, and Nelson proves that idea to be correct. Taking chunks of audio from what sounds like motivational tapes and various movies, Nelson is able to tackle consumerism and politics, but also adds a great deal of humor and wit. With a line like, "People are worshiping sunglasses and orgasms", you realize quickly "What's Happening". He is calling for change, and at same time telling everyone to lighten-up, relax, smile, take a look around and then start moving in the right direction. My favorite track is called "Oh Well", and is just a fun little romp with coral swing singers, Susanne Vega samples, and a doo wop back bone. It's just plain fun!

[MP3] Escape Mechanism - Change
[MP3] Escape Mechanism - What's Happening

(Emphasis Added) can be purchased through Nelson's label Recombinations, and in digital format at Amazon mp3.

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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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