Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Sunday, March 3

Gapers Block

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr

« The Sea and Cake Release New Stop-Motion Animation Video Interview: Mehran Jalili Finds a Rock Band for the Flamenco Guitar »

Preview Tue Nov 06 2012

Preview: Dan Deacon (older, wiser, but just as sassy) @ Lincoln Hall 11/7

Dan Deacon and I had a whirlwind relationship. Two years ago, I'd never heard of the guy. Now I have his phone number. That's not to say we're friends, or that Deacon has my number — he doesn't, I don't think — but in a very short time, I went from not recognizing the guy on the street, despite the balding baby-face he keeps hidden behind that red half-moon beard and those huge hipster glasses, to asking him how much money he still owes SUNY Purchase. (The answer: "Some.")

Deacon, who's based in Baltimore, Maryland, and is part of the Wham City collective, comes to Lincoln Hall tomorrow night, bringing with him far more than the sole laptop and effects rig he toured with from 2004 to 2009, which is the year Bromst came out. Which is when things got interesting.

Dan Deacon

A trombone player during his formative years, Deacon began toying with electronics in college, at the State University of New York in Purchase. Over the past eight years, he's become known for a playfully irreverent, largely instrumental electronic sound filled with sine waves and danceable drum beats, chopped-up samples from cartoons, and, lately, a lot of horns. It's more experimental — and a lot of faster — than the ilk of pop radio, but it still makes you move. Which is why Deacon also became known for his live shows, which were full of audience participation, and not the optional kind.

The first thing anyone told me about Deacon was that he hosted dance-offs at his shows, the primary instruction of which was, "Be sassy as fuck." Deacon, who isn't even five years older than me, has become a goofy god for thousands of fans, many of them teenagers who idolized his contemptuous attitude toward mainstream American culture and so teemed to his shows to indulge their inner sassiness.

But the Deacon who drew boobs on a map of the United States for the cover of Live Recordings 2003 grew up, his musical adulthood marked by Bromst, the 2009 album that included far more than electronics and far more promise. Things were more orchestral, and Deacon added an entire array of acoustic instruments. Bromst was, and still is an incredible record, a notable step forward into more 'serious' music without losing any of its original whimsy, or danceability.

Then came America. A dense album with a loaded title for an election year. "When I was writing Bromst, I wanted a title with no pre-existing meaning, something free of any prior associations. For this album, I wanted the exact opposite," Deacon wrote in a statement that overtook his official website this past August. "To me, the underground DIY and wilderness are just as American as their evil brethren, corporatism and environmental destruction. It's that juxtaposition of fundamentally opposed ideologies that makes up the American landscape."

Read today, on the day millions of Chicagoans — if we're lucky — make their ways to the polls, Deacon's statement resonates far too well. Tonight many of us will sit in our living rooms, the living rooms of friends, or on a stool at the neighborhood bar to watch the clash of those ideologies. Unless mechanical or human error prevents it, when Deacon takes the stage tomorrow night, our next president will have been chosen, and whether your candidate wins or loses, or we're mired in an electoral limbo, there will be no better place to celebrate America as it is — breathtaking and broken — than on the main floor of Lincoln Hall, letting bygones be bygones and getting real serious about how to dance "sassy as fuck."


The details: Dan Deacon brings his seriously sassy electro-acoustic ensemble to Lincoln Hall, 2424 N. Lincoln Ave., Wednesday, Nov. 7, at 9pm. The show is 18+ and tickets are $15. Height with Friends, Chester Endersby Gwazda, and Alan Resnick open.

GB store
GB store

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

GB store


Featured Series


Transmission on Flickr

Join the Transmission Flickr Pool.

About Transmission

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...
Please see our submission guidelines.

Editor: Sarah Brooks,
Transmission staff inbox:



Transmission Flickr Pool
 Subscribe in a reader.

GB store

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15