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Wednesday, April 17

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Concert Wed May 23 2012

Review: Lee Scratch Perry @ Lincoln Hall 5/21

Monday's show at Lincoln Hall opened with Impala Sound Champions, a group of DJs that got things started on the smokey stage (my suspicions of the smokey substance dissipated as quickly as the smoke itself — it evaporated quickly and had no tell-tale scent.) The DJs varied in style and substance, ranging in appearance from a dead ringer for my uncle Lloyd circa 1958, to a man who seemed to be channeling Mars Blackmon , to a bearded guy in a flannel shirt and a hat imprinted with the words "The Boss." They took turns at the mic and at the turntable, playing a mix of Dancehall, '70s and '80s Rock Steady, and Roots Reggae. The beats were as entertaining as the visuals, combined with lyrics like "I'm Tennessee Tuxedo, never Chumley," and "I'll keep you mad open like I'm your OB Gyne."

Second on the roster were Illuminati Congo, whose heavy drumbeats and saxophone backed up the vocals of lead singer Jahn the Baptist. I had my doubts after watching the first 30 seconds or so of the video for Me And My Machete, but was pleasantly surprised — this is definitely a case of the live show far outshining the video presentation. It was at about the same moment that Illuminati Congo won me over that my olfactory receptors clued me in to the fact that the smoke in the room had just kicked up a notch. Jahn the Baptist chanted "Ain't nobody do it like we do, we gonna do it like Bruce Lee do," in raspy tones. Before they left the stage, Jahn wished someone in the crowd a happy birthday: "Happy Appearance Day Linsday," he said, "Happy Unbirthday to everyone else," and closed the set with a song which, appropriately, contained the lyrics: "life is for living, life is eternal."

SubAtomic Sound System took over next before introducing the man of the hour. A man bearing enough burning incense that I could smell it from the back of the room prepared the stage for Lee Scratch Perry, who walked onto the stage in a red suit jacket and a hat covered in CDs and other shiny objects. It's impressive to consider that the man is in his late '70s, and while I could barely make out anything he said, it was mesmerizing to watch him perform. He used recorded sounds of a screaming monkey and wrong number dial-tones in his music, and the bass was so strong I could feel it in my hair.

The room had became packed at that point, and after listening to a few songs my concert-going friend and I retreated to the anteroom, where we discovered that the sound is actually better than in the concert hall itself, and there's seating. Two screens hung above the bar in the anteroom showing LSP on the left, and the Lakers/Thunder game on the right. The bass from the show caused the camera to shake, blurring the screen on the left occasionally. On the right, James Harden's prodigious beard took center stage, and somehow it made perfect visual sense to have the two events screened simultaneously.

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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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