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Wednesday, September 23

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Concert Fri May 14 2010

Photos/Review: Clem Snide @ Lincoln Hall 5/13/10

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In some ways, one might think of alt country band Clem Snide as a bit of an acquired taste. Lead singer Eef Barzelay has the kind of voice that is subtly emotional and slightly reminiscent of a less raspy Mark Everett of Eels fame. Most of the time, the songs aren't nearly as profoundly sad as Eels. Yet, there's a sense of longing and familiarity that gets you through the night, a sort of comforting sound even at it's most passionate.

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The night started sentimental and slow with Barzelay gracing the stage all by his lonesome with an acoustic guitar to render his song, "Denver." Right from the beginning, his devoted fans knew and sang all the words under their breath then louder as the full band joined him on stage. Clem Snide played as a four piece live given the substantial inclusion of the lead singer Chris Otepka of opening band The Heligoats as a second guitarist.

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Of course, part of this love fans have grown accustomed to might be a clear result of the fact that Clem Snide has been around for over a decade, releasing over ten full lengths. Their most recent, 2010's The Meat of Life is not lacking in gems by a long shot but the band chose to reward long time listeners with many songs Barzelay termed "vintage."

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It wasn't until the third song of their seventy-five minute long set that Clem Snide really started going with their song "Walmart Parking Lot." Soon thereafter, Barzelay was proclaiming about the evil in the world in his song "Fight Song Melody" with his voice climbing to a startling falsetto at the end. When he wasn't convincing the audience about evil, he was adeptly reassuring us with his most heavily country rock influenced song of the evening, "Don't Be Afraid of Your Anger." By this point, Barzelay was in full form with rock moves and getting down on his knees.

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Another clear highlight of their set was "Nick Drake Tape" and a song that went all the way back to their 2002 EP, "Moment in the Sun" as the strongest song of their encore. One of the only disappointments of the night is that the band left out one of their best new songs, "I Got High" which takes place in Normal, Illinois. Instead, we were rewarded with their cover of Eddie Money's "Two Tickets to Paradise" which was both oddly sensitive and subtly hilarious. Still, if you're convinced of the evil in the world, perhaps Clem Snide can atleast make it a better place to live in.

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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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