As of January 1, 2016, Gapers Block has ceased publication. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions over the past 12-plus years. 


Friday, December 6

Gapers Block

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr

« Chapterhouse Returns, Closes Final Chapter in Chicago Bee vs. Moth @ Reggie's Music Joint »

Review Tue Oct 05 2010

Review: The Smoking Popes at AAA 10/1/10

Photos by Katie Hovland

Riot Fest doesn't kick off until Wednesday, but the unofficial "secret" start to the festival began last Friday, when Chicago's own Smoking Popes played to a randomly chosen invitation-only select crowd of Riot Fest pass holders. The show took place at tiny Wicker Park venue AAA, complete with an unfinished ceiling and a stage made of plywood that wobbled as the band jumped and rocked out. The environment was reminiscent of the barnyard punk shows of my suburban youth, fitting for a band I've been listening to since grade school.


Next week Asian Man Records will be re-releasing the Popes' first album, Get Fired, originally released back in '93. To celebrate, they played the album in its entirety - a move that, according to singer and lead guitarist Josh Caterer, is "kind of historic... at least in my world." The album has been out-of-print for quite some time (though several of the songs were released as part of the 1991-1998 compilation album), but still, each song was met with loud cheers and a large portion of the crowd seemed to know every lyric of each song.

After the conclusion of the 9-song album, the band played a spattering of greatest hits, including audience requests. The band kept playing for about an hour, rocking through "Rubella", "I Know You Love Me" and of course, "Need You Around", before leading the audience in a "Pretty Pathetic" singalong. The band seemed to be having a great time playing this tiny show, often passing the mic to members of the audience mid-song.


Riot Fest officially begins Wednesday night at Double Door for the Busted at Oz reunion show, and continues through the weekend with shows spanning across several venues around the city. Riot Fest has a few additional "secret" shows in store for us, and after Less Than Jake tweeted this mysterious message last week, I'm assuming they'll be involved. Click here to see our full Riot Fest preview and keep checking back here at Transmission and over at for further updates.

GB store
GB store

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

GB store


Featured Series


Transmission on Flickr

Join the Transmission Flickr Pool.

About Transmission

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.

Editor: Sarah Brooks,
Transmission staff inbox:



Transmission Flickr Pool
 Subscribe in a reader.

GB store

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15