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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Tuesday, August 9

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Event Wed Nov 12 2008

Icons for Atheists and Songs for the Silent


This Friday Chicago gets a chance to see some songs. Yes, see them.
Jon Langford, of the Mekons for one, as well as a good number of other bands (don't tell the punk kids he's also part of the kiddie rock band the Beasties) is opening his show "Song Paintings" at Thomas Masters Gallery this Friday.

Back in the day Langford gave up painting in favor of being in bands. It was easier for him to write songs than get paint onto a canvas. But then he started investigating why one creative process might be so much easier than the other. It was through that investigation that Langford's songs got into his paintings, and occasionally a painting or two got into his songs.

You may have seen some of Langford's paintings before at Delilah's or down at Yard Dog Gallery in Austin, TX. Monochromatic depictions of the faces of music legends stare back at the viewer with a few choice words circling around their heads. "These were a sly wink to the old Christian icons," says Langford. "Only they were Atheistic icons for me." Often based on publicity photos the images capture the musician's determined hopefulness put forth for their fans, even when reality was falling apart.

Langford's animal paintings stem similarly from this fascination with capturing a singular moment. "I was interested in the old zoological drawings," says Langford. "How the page would be blank with the creature alone there. They would become almost iconic. Or in bird manuals, how they really try to tie down the species in one drawing." Words would then come in to act as a counterpoint to the creature on the canvas. A single line from a song fleshing out the reason for the panting.

This show will feature larger format works than Langford has been known for. Stretching this comfort zone was necessary since the entire lyrics to each song are painted onto the canvas rather than just a few choice words. Themes range from birds to bridges, and singers to skulls, covering the breadth of Langford's inspiration.

Jon Langford will be in attendance for the opening going from 5pm until 8pm, 11/14 at the Thomas Masters Gallery, 245 W. North Ave. Texas Rockabilly legend Rosie Flores will perform and beers from Three Floyds Brewery will be featured.

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Hassan Chop! / November 14, 2008 3:36 PM

I believe that's Wee Hairy Beasties -- as opposed to the moniker that could easily be confused with the Beastie Boys. (Anyone remember them?)

Joe Angio / October 26, 2010 11:02 AM

fans of jon and the mekons: please swing by my facebook page for info on the doc i'm making on the mekons. "like it" and you'll be in the loop on updates, release dates, screenings, etc.

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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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