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.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Friday, March 1

Gapers Block

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr

« A Community Affair: The Baltimore Round Robin Tour Apparently, there already was a band called "Wheelbarrow Races"... »

Album Thu Oct 09 2008

Brilliant Corners

Make no mistake, the Chicago quartet Chandeliers are enamored with keyboards and tricky beats in a big way; but thankfully they don't have much truck with the sort of electro or that chincey, flat blog-house fare that's so glutted the indie market these past two years or so. Comprised of various members of local outfits like Icy Demons, Bronze, and Bablicon, they're one of many local projects that's spiraled out of the South Loop-based Shape Shoppe network. After numerous appearances about town and putting out a 3-song EP, Chandeliers have made their full-fledged recording debut with the recent stateside arrival of their debut LP, The Thrush.

With the opening track "Mr. Electric," Chandeliers lay their aces on the table, giving the listener a strong sense of what's in store. The music glides on a spacey shimmer inspired by vintage Italo-disco, with slight electro and synth-pop nuances billowing to the fore every now and again. The more crafty and complex underpinnings of the band's em-oh, however, reveal a deeper debt to early 70s jazz-fusion and astro-funk (a la Headhunters-era Herbie Hancock). Beneath all the sheen and shimmer, Chandeliers delight in the interplay of contrasts and balances -- the interplay of playing warm tones off versus cold, luster over grit, hefty riding shotgun with lite, and often floating crafty rhythmic shifts and sleights-of-hand against stark drones and subtle modulations.

Given the group's affiliations, one has to expect at least a few touches of eclecticism and oddball mutations -- which is exactly what you get on the 60-watt exotica of "Mango Tree." Then there's the bubble-and-bleep of the album's title track, which gradually moves from a deeply danceable beat into more shadowy passages before drifting off into a star-strewn void, only to immediately double back with the synth-pop bounce of "Big League." Steering toward the finish line, the band moves into more impressionistic and cinematic territory on the album's latter half; especially with "Bamboo," a slice of futuristic spy-movie soundtrack fodder that weaves its way around an ominously tolling synth motif and reverb-drenched marimbas.

As with anything connected to the Shape Shoppe, The Thrush is a family affair -- featuring contributions from friends and fellow travelers that includes members of Mahjongg, Mucca Pazza, and Icy Demon's Griffin Rodriguez. While the album's been available in the UK for several months via the Picked Egg label, it's recently been released stateside via the Obey Your Brain label.

Chandeliers play a free show at the Empty Bottle this coming Monday night. Rainbow Arabia and Gangi open. 1035 N. Western Ave. The show starts at 9:30 PM, and admission (once again) is free.

[mp3]: Chandeliers - "Mr. Electric"
[video]: Chandeliers - "Bamboo"

GB store
GB store

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

GB store


Featured Series


Transmission on Flickr

Join the Transmission Flickr Pool.

About Transmission

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...
Please see our submission guidelines.

Editor: Sarah Brooks,
Transmission staff inbox:



Transmission Flickr Pool
 Subscribe in a reader.

GB store

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15