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Tuesday, October 16

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Review Fri Sep 11 2009

Review: Deer Tick, Jonny Corndawg, the Gunshy @ Bottom Lounge, 9/10

I've been to a few shows in my time. I've seen one or two (hundred) drunk performers. For some it's their schtick. For others it's just a result of the way a day's gone. But I don't recall ever seeing someone begin a set quite like Deer Tick at the Bottom Lounge on Thursday. Singer John McCauley walked on stage, ahead of the rest of the band, and talked about beginning with "The Star-Spangled Banner." I have to admit I was looking forward to hearing his gruff vocals through a song so notoriously difficult to sing. But instead he sang "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" as Sammy Davis, Tony Bennett and a few others. Midway through he even took some vocalist requests. Once the band actually walked out and started to play music, things improved. McCauley was absolutely plastered, but everyone else seemed to be more or less on the wagon.

While at times Deer Tick's music may evoke reminders of Fleet Foxes' ethereal Americana, the entrance of McCauley's raspy voice quickly shuts down those comparisons. It's far more Hardy Morris (Dead Confederate) than Robin Pecknold. And that may work like a charm on their two albums, but the 23-year old hasn't quite figured out how to make his alcohol work in his favor during the non-rockers live. Of those, only an amped up "Ashamed" was anything more than mediocre. But it was fantastic, due in large part to the audience singalong of its catchy chorus. As they moved onto the jams late in the set, the band found their groove and came alive for "These Old Shoes" and their highly accessible "Easy."

Opener Jonny Corndawg endeared himself to the crowd early on with his soft-spoken voice, simple country-tinged songs and humorous lyrics. He introduced two tunes as marriage songs - "Shut Up" and "Trashday." (Both titles are pretty representative of their content.) And even though he sometimes came off as a gimmick (laughing at the absurdity of your own lyrics has a tendency to give off that idea), it was evident that the man has a knack for compact songs about domestic issues. Chicago's the Gunshy, like Deer Tick, featured a rather gruff vocalist who at first sounded like Tom Waits, but actually reminded me more of Bobcat Goldthwait by the end of their set. Unfortunately, some of the instruments featured prominently in their recordings (horns, strings) were not present on Thursday, but their riffs were heavy to make up for those absences.

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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.

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  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

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  & 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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