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Concert Mon Apr 30 2012

Rabble Rabble @ Empty Bottle Tonight (Free)

[This piece comes to us from reader Rachel Angres.]

After Rabble Rabble played Psych Fest last year, it was months before anyone heard anything from them. Now, after a brief hibernation, the Chicago four-piece is returning to the stage with a free (with RSVP correction: straight up FREE) show at the Empty Bottle. Rabble Rabble is one of those bands with shameless stage theatrics, whose sound is a mix between The Kinks and Pavement in the '90s, with smoothed out sharp edges of skuzzy guitar riffs and messy yet hooking arrangements.Their live sets are exciting and at times borderline offensive ("Fuck you" is often an opening comment from the band when introducing a song). They have their shtick — performing with a tone that's abrasive and wildly unabashed. This is what they do best and they're sticking to it.

The band got their start three years ago, after they met at a DIY basement show and decided to collaborate. Tonight, Rabble Rabble will return to the live stage at the Empty Bottle, where they plan to play some new songs from their upcoming sophomore album.


Rabble Rabble may seem to have their well-conditioned careers solely focused on musicianship, but the reality is quite the opposite: they still have full-time jobs outside of playing in the band. For instance, the lead guitarist and vocalist, Ralph Darski is not only a full-time musician, but he is also a father and the co-owner of Cafe Mustache in Chicago's Logan Square neighborhood. Matt Ciarleglio, fellow guitarist/vocalist and bassist is no stranger to the espresso machine, as he works at the Bourgeois Pig Cafe in Lincoln Park as well as at the Empty Bottle, where they will be headlining on April 30.

Darski and Ciarleglio claim the sound of their forthcoming album is quite different than the earlier releases. "I have early memories of my Pop playing blues/folk blues shit like Elizabeth Cotten and Son House," Darski said when asked about the influences of the band's new sound.

Rabble Rabble are known minimalists in their music-making formula. They used to record in true DIY style — playing open-mic sessions at local dive bars and composing them into live albums. Then they set up a recording studio in a barn in upstate New York after meeting some recording artists while on tour, with an 8-track tape machine and other vintage gear. Lately they've become quite savvy to the digital age, using pro-tools and transforming their style. They've been moving in all directions stylistically, since they began making music in 2009, when the four members, Ralph, Matt, Todd and drummer Kaylee Preston began performing at underground venues and basement shows.

While performing their upcoming album tonight, the band will conduct a full field auxiliary test of their new sounds on a familiar ground &mdash: the Empty Bottle — where they first began playing. The night should be, if nothing else, a reunion of like-minded DIY Lo-Fi musicians and garage rockers worth witnessing, with openers Heavy Times, and local band Lion Limb.

Rabble Rabble play with Heavy Times and Lion Limb at The Empty Bottle tonight, Monday, April 30, at 9pm. The show is free with an RSVP email sent in advance to, correction: totally FREE, just come on down. The Empty Bottle is located at 1035 N. Western Ave.

-Rachel Angres

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matt / April 30, 2012 2:00 PM

Correction-- This show is FREE. No need to rsvp!!

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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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