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Thursday, November 15

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Review Fri Feb 06 2009

Nonsense Songs in 12 Bars


Swamp monsters, zombies, space exploration and pirates are all topics covered in the songs of Ludo, a St. Louis pop rock band whose major label debut, You're Awful, I Love You, was released last year. Their unabashed geekery and heavy use of the moog are reminiscent of The Rentals or Ozma, but what really makes this band shine is their ability to tell a complete story within a four minute song. And Ludo sure does love a good story - their 2005 independently released rock opera Broken Bride takes listeners on an adventure through time as the protagonist tries to change the course of history to keep his true love alive. Wednesday night the band took the stage for an all ages show at Metro to a crowd of well-deserved fans.

They kicked off their set with "Part I" from Broken Bride, and really, any song that includes pterodactyls is bound to put a smile on my face. One thing this band excels at is getting a high energy level in the room. Moog player Tim Convy spends every spare second jumping around or dancing across the stage. Meanwhile, singer Andrew Volpe is a real showman, flailing his arms about wildly and gyrating against his guitar. The band played three of the five tracks on Broken Bride, which is arguably their best and most interesting work. They even threw in a few old gems from their self-titled debut, including "Hum Along" and "Girls on Trampolines", along with a rocking cover of Faith No More's "Epic".

Where the band falters is when they strip away their wit and take a swing at sincerity in tunes like "Topeka" and "Summertime". Unfortunately this is what plagues half of their new album, You're Awful, I Love You. Take away their sarcasm and humor and what's left is bland and cheesy, and you could feel the energy in the room quickly plummet when such songs were performed. When they stick to what they know, they're fun and magnificently sharp, such as songs like "Lake Pontchartrain" and "Love Me Dead".

Ludo is a hard working band with a lot of potential. They've been touring coast to coast for the past four years, and will soon be taking some time off to write new material. I have a feeling this band will go far. Be sure to check out the "Ludo Video Thing" (aka their YouTube channel) if you haven't had the opportunity to hear these guys before. They've got a lot of personality.

Watch episode 16 of The Ludo Video Thing below, in which the band builds an igloo and then practices inside:

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Amanda / February 10, 2009 9:16 PM

This review is pretty much dead on with my thoughts from the show. Though I do love Topeka, the slower songs for sure seem to make the audience doze off a bit. Great review overall! Ludo is for sure a band to check out.

Jamie / February 10, 2009 9:41 PM

A very accurate, un-biased review of the show. I definitely agree with the statement that Ludo has a lot of potential. They have a ton of energy and could probably put a smile on anyone's face.

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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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