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Concert Wed Apr 27 2011

Preview: El Ten Eleven @ Bottom Lounge, 4/29/11

The term post-rock seems to get a lot of mileage these days, effectively becoming a catch all term for people with traditional rocker gear making actual music with a little texture, the kind of thing that would have been labeled prog, or avant jazz, or simply popular music, depending on how far back you want to go. Fans of quirky music that still sounds, well, musical, could do no better this weekend than to head to the Bottom Lounge this Friday for El Ten Eleven.

The L.A. based duo, consisting of bassist/guitarist/loop master Kristian Dunn and drummer Tom Fogarty manage with their two instruments and a suite of electronic toys to invite comparisons to Explosions in the Sky, only punchier, or Tortoise, only more organic and slightly more grounded. The recipe is fairly straightforward, Dunn energetically wields a double-necked bass/guitar combo, layering riff upon riff with various pedals and effects, creates a counterpoint to Fogarty's capable rhythms, supplied by both machine and the use of a real drum kit. Even with a somewhat limited palette, the band manages to overachieve, creating nuanced, yet insistent songs that clearly demonstrate the value of experimentation. The duo manages to dodge any of the obvious pitfalls of the genre, or the band's makeup, managing to pull off dynamic songs refreshingly free of pretense or pomp, and managing to make a duo sound surprisingly big, but not overwrought. The band's music, composed by Dunn, was chosen to score much of the 2007 font-fetish film Helvetica, boosting the band's exposure. As of the band's latest album, El Ten Eleven's early work was more atmospheric, but as of 2010's It's Still Like a Secret, their music has more of driving dance element. Though the band is still, to a certain extent, woodshedding in smaller venues across North America, and has yet to make the hop across the pond, reliable sources have told me that the band is in fine form. Their show at the Bottom Lounge will, if nothing else, be different from anything else you've seen this year in Chicago, and possibly better.

El Ten Eleven plays the Bottom Lounge on April 29, 2011. Lynx and Yourself And The Air open. Doors open at 8pm. 17+. Tickets are $10. The Bottom Lounge is located at 1375 W. Lake St. 312-666-6775.

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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
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