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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Monday, April 22

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Review Wed Feb 09 2011

Review: The Radio Dept. @ Empty Bottle, 2/8

I should mention up top that I went to this show in place of another Transmissioner who was under the weather. However, until Tuesday's early gig, I hadn't consciously heard the Radio Dept. in nearly 7 years because [name redacted] adored their first album, listened to it often and then ended our relationship in a brutal manner. After that their presence just sort of eroded in my memory. But every band deserves a second shot, even if the people who introduce them to you don't.

The Radio Dept. once came off as a Jesus & Mary Chain soundalike that happened to incorporate electronic beats. Over the years they've flipped it to where the focus appears to be the electronics. (They even ditched the live drummer.) Distorted guitars still play a major role, but now the band sounds like a noisy male-led Saint Etienne with elements of jangly C86 music. Songs become recognizable on the beats and then bring in guitars and vocals like clockwork. The Swedish trio eased into their set thanks to each tune's reception of hoots, hollers and excited applause (and requests for "Bad Reputation") from a clearly rabid audience.

Once they fell into their groove, they plowed through 45 minutes that hit across the stages of their career. From their most shoegaze-like "Why Won't You Talk About It?" to the recent "David" sounding like the Junior Boys to numerous other songs between those styles. (A guy standing behind me said he only knew them from Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette, so I don't feel too bad about forgetting some song titles.) With every song clocking in under 5 minutes and the night being on a timer, it wasn't a surprise that the band ended early to the disappointment of the crowd. They got on stage, played well, cracked a joke about it being too early to be drunk and made their exit. How about it for Swedes and their efficiency?

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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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