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Preview Mon Sep 24 2012

Dirty Three @ Lincoln Hall, 9/26


Three is not a large number, no matter how you slice it. So it's a mystery how the members of the Dirty Three have, in the past decade, wound up at Le Bataclan in Paris backing Cat Power; exhibiting oil paintings at the Kilkenny Arts Festival in southeast Ireland; scoring some of the best films of the past decade, including The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford and The Road; on records by Bonnie "Prince" Billy, P.J. Harvey, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, and Grinderman; and maintained an intercontinental, instrumental post-rock-meets-free-jazz trio. Given that the jury is still out on cloning humans, we can only assume that violinist Warren Ellis, guitarist Mick Turner, and drummer Jim White are really just three people. Three very busy people.

Although they perhaps are best known for their work in the Dirty Three, whose 1996 release was one of Rolling Stone's top three albums of the year, White, Turner, and Ellis treat the band almost like a side project, or a first love they occasionally return to. We'd experienced a seven-year-silence before Drag City released this year's Toward the Low Sun. In the interim, Ellis worked with Nick Cave on Grinderman 2 and soundtracks for movies like Lawless (currently playing), and Turner and White had their hands in projects all over the world. The hiatus was in part due to the fact that the three musicians also live on three separate continents (Ellis in Paris, Turner in Melbourne, and White in New York). So it's fortunate indeed that on Wednesday, all three are in one place.

Without having seen the band live before, we defer to Nick Cave himself, who wrote in 100 Best Australian Albums that the Dirty Three was his "favorite live band. No contest." That's high praise, as is the band's inclusion in that compendium, which included 50 years worth of music. Here's what we can reliably predict about Wednesday's show: frenetic drum parts that are at times furious, at others ragged and irregular (sometimes there's no tempo at all, only a pulse), narrative melodies sung by Ellis's saw-tooth violin style, and crackling distortion on glancing guitar chords — a sort of molecular energy that's created by each player taking turns as a rogue electron, whirling around the nucleus of the other two, in and out of sync yet forming an atomic entity that, properly harnessed, is full of power and promise.

Dirty Three play Lincoln Hall (2424 N. Lincoln Ave.) on Wednesday, Sept. 26, at 9pm. The Cairo Gang opens. $18, 21+.

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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
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
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Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
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Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
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Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock


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Auditorium Theatre
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Kingston Mines
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Mayne Stage
The Mutiny
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Park West
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Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Thalia Hall
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Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

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Alligator Records
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Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
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Drag City
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Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
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Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
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Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
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