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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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Preview Sat Sep 26 2009

Preview: Down @ The Fuel Room


Growing up very much a part of the metal and hardcore scene, New Orleans, LA has served as one of the most integral and inspiring sources of music for me. Bands like Down, Acid Bath, Soilent Green and Eyehategod — to name only a few — were and are oceans beyond most other bands in this genre. I have a hard time even pairing them together in any way that makes sense. They created their own genre and community. Where one band ends several hybrids have already begun; each adding their own unique piece to the instantly-identifiable whole. While this is representative of artists in New Orleans in general, it's all too apparent in the musical community. They play the music of New Orleans and its inhabitants. They tell the story, good and bad. The beauty that emanates from the city also moves through the music. The devastation, anger and horrible truths that Katrina brought with it will forever be heard in the songs. So will the will to overcome it all. If there is a band that embodies NOLA and this sentiment more than any other, it is Down.

It's been said a million times but I will say it again here as it's relevant: Down features members of Pantera, Eyehategod, Crowbar and Corrosion of Conformity, not to mention all the other projects that have spawned from this collective. They started as a side-project but have grown into a force of greater magnitude in recent years. They've been going at it hard since a young age, releasing their debut, NOLA, in 1995. I was one of the 15-year-old kids who bought and fell in love with it the day it came out. I've been a fan ever since. Like many other great bands, they created a stunning body of music even through their "drug phase," as is evident in 2002's Down II: A Bustle in Your Hedgerow. There were some less-than-stellar shows, in my humble opinion anyway, towards the end of that "drug phase" however. That easily could have been how it ended, but it didn't.

On September 25, 2007, Down released the sonically cathartic Down III: Over the Under. Remember what I said about telling the story of New Orleans and its inhabitants? Listen to this album for an enlightening post-Katrina — and other unnatural disasters — lesson in loss and the will to overcome. They made their way through Chicago in support of this album on October 10, 2007. To this day it remains one of the most explosive and inspiring shows I've ever witnessed; a revival. I missed their last visit on November 12, 2008 and it remains a sore spot for me. Too many people told me it was even better than the one before and I don't doubt it. These are men in their 40's playing with a greater vigor, conflict, anger, drive and spirit than that of the young; or at least the youth I remember. What happened there? If you're young, you should be on fire. If you're old, you should stay on fire. It just takes a little work. Down is a brightly shining example of this. They move through town with Melvins, Weedeater and Evil Army on Saturday, September 26 at The Fuel Room: 481 Peterson Rd, Libertyville, IL. 7pm. Tickets are $26.

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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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