Gapers Block has ceased publication.

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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News Thu Jan 14 2010

RIP Wax Trax Records Co-Founder Dannie Flesher

flesher.jpgOur fair city is many things to many people, and its music is no different. In electronic music, we're most renowned for being the home of house music. But Chicago has a legacy in an entirely different culture, and is known in more than a few circles worldwide as the home of legendary record label Wax Trax. Wax Trax released some of the most forward-thinking, genre-pushing industrial, industrial dance, EBM, noise, and new wave in the 80s and 90s, and its roster included seminal acts such as Ministry, KMFDM, Front 242, Underworld, My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult, Throbbing Gristle, and The KLF.

Dannie Flesher, co-founder of Wax Trax, died of pneumonia this past Sunday in his family's home in Arkansas at the age of 58. Flesher and his partner in business and life, Jim Nash (who passed away in 1995), are largely credited with introducing our side of the pond to industrial, a new sound at the time in Europe combining the technology of electronic music with the aesthetics of the recent punk movement. They opened the Wax Trax record store and affiliated label in Chicago in 1978 and with it gave a home to imports, expatriates, outcasts and a bevy of musicians who've influenced rock and electronic music all the way to the mainstream.

Of course, Flesher and Nash didn't know how far their impact would reach at the time. In its heyday, Wax Trax had more in common with a family than a record label, both in relationships and in sense. Known for backing artists no one else would, and putting out releases without much regard for cost or business practices, the company went bankrupt in 1992 and was bought by TVT Records. But in that time Flesher and Nash's good ears for talent and unyielding support for their artists helped Wax Trax leave a lasting impression not just on Chicago, but the American music scene at large.

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Jim / January 14, 2010 7:18 PM

While I do like the music, it is the store on Lincoln I miss the most... down the street from the AA Meat Market and filled to the gills with Manic Panic hair dye... if only I had enough hair to dye. Rest in Peace and thanks for the legacy!

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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...
Please see our submission guidelines.

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