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Preview Thu Aug 09 2012

Preview: Thirsty Ear Festival @ Empty Bottle, 8/11

By Timothy A. Schuler

If a person camped out at the Empty Bottle for seven nights straight, they'd almost be guaranteed to see seven shows that shared nothing but the same small, corner stage. It's a venue known for its eclectic taste and a bent toward the fiercely independent, and yet on Saturday it will open its doors for an event that will be somewhat of an outlier to its already fantastically peppered scatter-plot and will make Empty Bottle history.


The Thirsty Ear Festival, from 5pm to 7pm on Saturday, will be a showcase of contemporary classical music, featuring four Chicago-based groups, including the MAVerick Ensemble, James Falzone, Palomar, and the Chicago Q Ensemble. Organized by Seth Boustead, the executive director of Chicago non-profit Access Contemporary Music and host of WFMT 98.7 FM's Relevant Tones program, the "festival" will also be the first concert ever broadcast live from the Bottle.

It's guaranteed to be one of the most unique shows of the weekend. Each artist gets a 30-minute time slot, and the music will range from a performance of work by experimental composer Iannis Xenkais by the Maverick Ensemble to Falzone's meditative solo improvisation, Sighs Too Deep For Words. It'll be a great chance to exercise your brain (and ears — prepare for dissonance!) before you exercise your booty when Windy City Soul Club invades the Bottle later that night.

A few important notes: If you're going, go early. Thirsty Ear performers will be playing Ben Vida's "Liminal Bends" from various corners of the venue before the show begins, starting at 4:15pm Also: consider biking. Not only is Tom Skilling predicting beautiful weather, but in partnership with the Active Transportation Alliance, if you prove to the doorman you biked (show him your helmet or other paraphernalia), he'll let you in for $5 instead of $10.

The Thirsty Ear Festival will take place at the Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western Ave., on Saturday, August 11, at 5 p.m. Doors open at 4 p.m. Admission is $10, $5 with proof of bike.

About the author: Timothy A. Schuler is a writer, editor, and essayist. He's written about Congolese trance music, homelessness in Hawaii, idea culture, and everything in between. More of his work is online at

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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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