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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Tuesday, January 31

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Review Tue Apr 05 2011

Review: Brendan Kelly @ The Beat Kitchen, 4/3/11

Brendan Kelly (Photo by Katie Karpowicz)

Let's face it, if Chicagoans have bragging rights in one area (aside from our unfair ratio of cold to warm-weather months) it's our punk scene. With loads of local labels, venues, festivals and artists, in addition to a constant influx of national acts, it's not hard to find a good show around the city on any given night. As was the case Sunday night at the Beat Kitchen. Red Scare put together yet another great lineup combining both local great Brendan Kelly and national bands White Wives and The Haverchucks.

The Haverchucks, native to Richmond, VA, celebrated their first ever Chicago show last night. Judging by the sounds off their free demo and the sights at last night's show, The 'Chucks aren't reinventing the wheel when it comes to pop punk, but they're certainly staying on par with other up and comers in the genre. The band rocked their way through a fast-paced set and didn't seem to have much trouble getting the few dozen folks who showed up early to take notice.

White Wives (photos by Katie Karpowicz)

White Wives played next with the help of an elaborate setup which included four guitars, two sets of drums and what appeared to be a small vibraphone or set of orchestra bells. White Wives are the creation of Chis #2 and Chris Head of longtime Pittsburgh political punk act Anti-Flag. The music is a definite step away from the pop punk the Chrises have been producing over the past decade towards a folkier, less abrasive sound (think Against Me mixed with later tracks from Crime In Stereo).

White Wives (photos by Katie Karpowicz)

However, the energy that Anti-Flag fans have witnessed in years past was still very much present last night. Each song of the Wives' set — a combination of material off their Situationist EP and and array of covers — was an excuse for Chris #2 to dance across the stage taking out whatever mic or drum stand that got in his way. Though White Wives is still in its beginning stages and the two Chrises have other obvious musical commitments, I sincerely hope to see more of this band in the immediate future.

Finally, Brendan Kelly took the stage armed with nothing more than an acoustic guitar and his hilariously inappropriate sarcasm. Kelly has been a notable personality in the aforementioned Chicago punk scene for over 10 years as the bassist for The Lawrence Arms and guitarist for Chicago super-group The Falcon which featured members of Alkaline Trio and Rise Against.

Kelly's set was an entertainingly random smattering of Lawrence Arms' numbers, original solo material and covers. Kelly urged the crowd to aid him in singing favorites like "Necrotism: Decanting The Insalubrious (Cyborg Midnight) Part 7" and "The Redness In The West" off the 2009 EP Buttsweat and Tears. Other highlights included a thirty-second, three-chord masterpiece entitled "Dicks" written by Kelly and his Lawrence Arms counterpart Chris McCaughan during their pre-pubescent days and an acoustic version of The Falcon's "La-Z-Boy 500."

It's people like Brendan Kelly that make Chicago's punk scene more of a community than anything else. Shows feel less like concerts and more like gatherings of familiar faces. The music is good, the banter is friendly and relaxed and the PBR is always flowing. Sunday night's intimate acoustic set featuring Brendan Kelly's good nature and unmistakable rasp was truly an excellent way to end the week and the bursts of energy that The Haverchucks and White Wives brought to the stage was an added bonus. Once again, props to Red Scare for putting together a fabulous evening.

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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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