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Concert Wed Sep 23 2009

Review: Fool's Gold @ Bottom Lounge


Photo by Heather Goldberg

This past Sunday was a dreary and rainy night in Chicago, but in my mind I was laying in the sun somewhere in a tropical climate far away. No, I wasn't hallucinating nor had I finally lost my mind. I was being swept away by the sweet sounds of Fool's Gold.

Fool's Gold is an LA collective that infuse pop music with African and Tropicalia elements, creating a refreshing and infectious beat that they brought to Chicago for the World Music Festival last weekend. Lead singer Luke Top alternates verses between Hebrew and English, and the band members range from an Argentinean pop star to a visual artist to members from other bands such as Foreign Born, The Fall, and We Are Scientists.

Live, the 11 members crowding the stage at the Bottom Lounge look like a mash-up of World meets West Coast. The band is a motley crew of guys, some look like they would be right at home in Silver Lake in their plaid shirts and skinny jeans, while thrown in the mix is a drummer wearing a dashiki and another member in cargo shorts and an Aztec style wool vest. They look like a bunch of musicians that don't exactly fit together, but have found a common bond through the music they love and respect, and have joined forces to create this co-op of sound.

They kicked off their set with "Surprise Hotel," a track from their forthcoming self-titled debut that comes out next Tuesday the 29th. The majority of the band started bouncing up and down, jumping along as Top's clear and strong vocals resonate throughout the room. Some of the audience started to move to the beat, and you can't deny the fact that Fool's Gold makes music that is meant to make you dance. With so many members, it's impressive how in sync the band is, constantly flipping between instruments and never missing a beat, showcasing the craftsmanship of the band. Simply put, these guys know their shit.

Between songs Top is charming with his banter, reminding everyone of their new album, encouraging the audience to purchase one of the shirts the band handmade, and also letting the crowd know that the band will be returning to Chicago to play at the brand new Schuba's ran venue Lincoln Hall on Friday November 27th. Between the peppering of conversation, the band showcased the upbeat and earnest songs off their new album, playing some of my favorites such as "Yam Lo Moshech," "Ha Dvash," and "Nadine."

As the band wrapped up their set, they exited the stage, percussion instruments still in hand, chanting and dancing. The music was warm and inviting, even familiar at times, even if the sound was far from the tradition rock 'n' roll nostalgia I grew up with and still mainly listen to. It didn't matter if you couldn't understand the lyrics, you knew through the rhythm and the beats what the music meant. And Fool's Gold clearly makes evident the influence of world music on modern pop and rock, creating an accessible sound for fans that aren't familiar with this variety of music. As I exited back into the damp drizzle of the night, the weather didn't change the smile on my face, because I was far away basking in the sun somewhere, thanks to Fool's Gold.

Make sure to pick up Fool's Gold self-titled debut album out on IAMSOUND on September 29th, and check them out when they headline Lincoln Hall on November 27th.

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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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