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Wednesday, February 8

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Review Wed Mar 02 2011

Review: Asobi Seksu and BRAHMS @ Empty Bottle

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Yuki Chikudate of Asobi Seksu (photos by Steve Stearns)

It's been said that Asobi Seksu Asobi Seksu is plays somewhere in the dreamy pop realm of ambient shoegaze — or something like that. While it's easy to see why singer/keyboardist/cute front girl Yuki Chikudate would fit those sorts of descriptions with her soft and often operatic soprano, at Empty Bottle on Monday night those descriptors just didn't fit. Asobi Seksu may have released shoe gaze albums in the past, but Monday there was just too much noise (of the really fantastic variety). Asobi Seksu seems to be pushing the experimental envelope, and while not completely leaving shoegaze behind, they took it to harder places on Monday night.

Generally, it is Chikudate's vocals that are at the forefront of the groups tracks, but as song "Put the Drummer in Front" suggests, that isn't necessarily the case all of the time. Throughout the set guitarist James Hanna wailed out thunderous guitar riffs which sounded more punk-like, with their rowdy tempos, than anything shoegazey (although Hanna did look at his shoes a lot). While Hanna was gazing, drummer Larry Gorman's sticks flew across his kit with heavy hits so fast that it looked like Empty Bottle had a strobe light on him — they didn't, he's just really fast.

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James Hanna (photos by Steve Stearns)

Meanwhile, petite singer Chikudate maneuvered her keyboards, head banging her long highlighted hair to the cymbal clashes while also managing to balance out the rest of the band's testosterone with the sweetness of her soprano. The band's hour longish set included "Strawberries", "Thursday" and as well as several tracks off of new album Fluorescence like "My Baby" and "Sighs".

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Yuki Chikudate (photos by Steve Stearns)

Preceding Asobi Seksu, the Bottle was warmed up the super-synthy-effect-laden band BRAHMS. BRAHMS is certainly testament to the times: they had 5 computers on stage to 3 band members. BRAHMS members, Eric Lodwick, Drew Robinson, and Cale Park, each switched off between a real instrument and their respective effects creating machines. Software aside, BRAHMS is infectiously fun to dance to.

BRAHMS (photos by Steve Stearns)

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BRAHMS / March 3, 2011 3:48 AM

We use NO laptops in our live show. Specifically, not one. Our setup is: 3 synths, a drum machine, a drum pad, bass guitar, electric guitar and and some accoustic drums. Thank you for dancing.


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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.

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  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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