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Wednesday, November 14

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Transmission
« Album Review/CD Release Show: Dreamend - So I Ate Myself, Bite By Bite Bands Under Cover »

Concert Tue Aug 10 2010

Note to self: Be More Elastic (this Friday)

The venue Elastic Arts Foundation (2830 North Milwaukee, above Friendship Chinese Restaurant) is one of those hidden-in-plain sight gems that doesn't always get the recognition it deserves. Largely catering to jazz and free improv music, their schedule sometimes seems to slip under the radar. Did you know, for example, that as I type this, I just found out that The Vandermark 5 is playing there tonight? I didn't, until just five minutes ago. Damn!! How do you like that?

This Friday starting at 9:00, however, Elastic will be hosting a not-miss event, and one for which I've had ample warning, which I'm now passing on to you, my dear friends. Audio colors both light and dark, instruments electronic and metallic, tones that are either clean as a drink out of Lake Titicaca or filthy as a drink out of Lake Michigan; all these and more shall be yours if you only get your ass up off that sofa.

Touring acts Take Up Serpents and Nerfbau are the focus of the evening. I knew the name Take Up Serpents from somewhere, but couldn't place it at first. A little birdy finally flew into my window and gave me the missing piece of the puzzle (thanks, buddy!). Take Up Serpents opened up 2009's Matchitehew Festival, a couple of hunched, masked alchemists spread out on the floor, doing their metallic incantations for the handful of people that actually come out to shows while it's still daylight out. My only thought at the time was that their amplifiers didn't seem to be coming through in the clutch for them, but a listen to the MP3 of the band's performance the next night on WLUW tells the full story. Alone in their chambers, the tinkling cymbal crashes and scutchy, crackling transmissions set a charming scene -- the inside of a non-descript cabin creaking and rattling while the world collapses outside.

Nerfbau, on the other hand, don't take their apocalypse so somberly, and sound more like a giant purple electronic kazoo rampaging a stop-motion animated version of the MIT Electronics Lab circa 1953. You like Rick Potts? You like Solid Eye? There you go. Shambling one step, lockstep the next, all encased in a lickable asbestos candy shell, it's all supercomputers and Dada from here on out. What's it sound like? It sounds like this.

Karl Paloucek is another story entirely. A charter member of the Midwest's finest industrial band of all time, Boy Dirt Car, as well as its modern incarnation Fuckface, Karl knows his machinery. He shackles a piano, some metal, and, most intriguingly, a series of sewing machines together into a sick three-legged tango. Those who saw it the first time declared it the Best Thing Ever of the week. If you missed it then, you ought not to now.

Warming up in the bullpen and ready to round the bases are analogue electronics trio Green Pasture Happiness and the ever-dependable Vertonen. $7 at the door, abandon all hope, and all that rot.

 
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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 »

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