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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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Monday, March 4

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Concert Tue Feb 10 2009

D. Rider: Foxhole Prayers & Maternal Hexations

The presskit that accompanies Mother of Curses, the debut album by Todd Rittmann's new outfit D. Rider, goes out of its way to emphasize that this is not an art-rock record, but rather a record that rocks. Considering that D. Rider is the latest musical outfit headed by Todd Rittman -- former guitarist for the '90s avant-rockers U.S. Maple, and more recently involved in the bands Singer and Cheer-Accident -- the distinction might be warranted. Because let's face it, if what you're wanting is something linear and un-ironic in the way of a conventional rock "song," then Rittmann's probably the last guy in town who's gonna give it to you.

But D. Rider does indeed rock. Joining Rittmann in the band are Andrea Faught on keyboards and cornet, Mucca Pazza saxophonist Noah Tabakin, and Theo Katsounis (lately of A Tundra) stepping in to take the drummer's seat. And Mother Of Curses finds Rittmann checking much of his affinity for musical abstraction and disjointedness at the door. Over the course of eight tracks, he and his associates doling out a batch of tunes spooled on skulking basslines, some fractured Crazy Horse riffage, and heavy rhythms that lurch and lunge against the moorings. Musically, it's very reminiscent of a certain breed of indie rock animal that used to stalk the expanse of the Midwestern plains back in the early-'90s (specifically that pig-poking subgenus that once made up the bulk of the Touch & Go roster). On the vocals, Rittmann's often in trademark form -- sometimes singing as if he had developed an entire book of style from the fragmented, schizoid narrative that Bowie laid down on "Breaking Glass," at others yammering about who-knows-what like David Yow on an amyl nitrate bender.

Admittedly, Mother Of Curses isn't completely without its art-damaged inclinations. There's a few moments when the fretwork takes an angular zag, where Katsounis gutter-foots the beat, the horns sneak a slightly soured note underneath the chorus, or Tabakin lobs in a bit of Beefheartian skwonkiness. All such kinks aside, D. Rider is easily the most musically coherent and cohesive (and yes, "rockin'") excurion that one might expect from Rittmann and associates. In fact, they're not beyond flirting with outright pop gravitas on occasion. For instance: Check the patina of TVOTR-esque bleary-eyed soul adorning "Body to Body (to Body)," the echo of Led Zep's "Kashmir" that pops up in "Misery Whip," or the way the downtempo "Welcome Out" drips with some mutated form of country-blues achiness.

D. Rider plays at the Hideout this Friday evening, featuring the core line-up of Rittmann, Faught, Tabakin, and Katsounis. They'll be performing in the middle of the bill, and the show is the official record-release party for Mother Of Curses.

And as it turns out, Rittmann and Faught will be pulling double duty for the show; because the long-standing, amorphous Chicago ensemble Cheer-Accident are the headliners for the evening. Cheer-Accident are also celebrating the release of their new (and ninth, by more conservative math) album, Fear Draws Misfortune. Jessica Fogle opens. Doors open at 10 PM, and admission is $10.

Mother Of Curses officially releases via the Tizona label next Tuesday, February 17.

[audio]: D. Rider - "Touchy"

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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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