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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, July 4

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Concert Sun May 09 2010

Photos/Review: Josephine Foster with Spires That in the Sunset Rise and Arlt @ The Hideout 5/8/10

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It was an exceptional trio of bands that played the Hideout last night, each with their own respective talents that brought together a cohesive evening with almost haunted melodies, lush feminine vocals, and music that was impressive in its originality.

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Headliner folk singer Josephine Foster sang everything from old re-worked hymns to original compositions to songs lyrically based on the poems of Emily Dickinson. Foster's vocals show a curiously vast range swooping upwards into a lovely falsetto for most of the evening in a fashion that was quite striking and eerie at the same time. Her singing style is enjoyable but nonetheless makes one's hair stand on edge in it's unpredictability.

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Foster's banter and stage presence was also subtly jarring as she spoke about her friend that passed away, her grandmother's fame at the World's Fair as one of the first premature babies to survive, and her 7 years living in Chicago. You could hear a pin drop for many of her songs as thankfully the audience realized she is a talent to be reckoned with. In a way, Foster almost seems as if she has been transported from a different time, as if she were a sage-like grandmother in the body of a much younger woman. Foster began on piano and switched to guitar and harmonica. At some points, she was joined by Jason Ajemian playing upright bass and a second guitarist named Brian Goodman. Foster has recently put out her sixth solo album fairly recently, 2009's Graphic as a Star, which is as highly recommended as her live show as both are insightful and unforgettable.

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Spires That in the Sunset Rise played a shorter set than usual as a two piece to give more time to Foster. The band is one of the most creative forces that Chicago has to offer and always showcases an exceptional range of stringed instruments sampled and looped to create an avant-garde symphony. There's always a rich emotional presence between the instrumentation and vocals that give the band a presence one can't ignore. Melancholy never sounded so perfect.

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Arlt from France opened up the night with their engaging male/female harmonies. The music would have seemed somewhat sparse with the only instrumentation being one guitar (played by Sing Sing) if their vocals didn't work so well together. The songs were sung in French and EloƏse Decazes in particular has a loveliness to hers which made the songs quite magical, proving that sometimes a large ensemble with complex instrumentation can only get in the way to finding and hearing the heart of the matter.

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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

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  & Shops:

Alligator Records
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Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
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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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