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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.
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Friday, December 3

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Preview Wed Nov 14 2012

Preview: Soul Summit Chicago Hosts the Menahan Street Band This Friday

Amid the inescapable comeback of American soul music in recent years, which has produced a handful of popular neo-soul acts--and, in Chicago, two separate monthly soul-centric dance parties--is a more explicitly "revivalist" soul movement centered around imitating not just the sound of the genre made popular in the '60s and '70s, but also everything else down to the production and distribution of the music. Brooklyn-based Daptone Records, for example, has made a splash releasing 7" vinyl singles of its contemporary artists in nothing more than white paper sleeves, almost intending to confuse record crate diggers into thinking they've unearthed a lost, dusty single from a forgotten soul label.

This weekend, Soul Summit Chicago hosts the Menahan Street Band as the live guest for its monthly dance party and reunion of Chicago soul DJs at Wicker Park's Double Door. The Menahan Street Band is the "house band" for Daptone sublabel Dunham Records--a concept that is in itself another highly specific throwback to American soul music, when "house bands" such as Booker T. & the M.G.'s, for Memphis-based Stax Records, were about as famous as the individual singers they backed on their label's releases.

As the house band for Dunham Records, the Menahan Street Band has recorded with the late-blooming soul legend Charles Bradley, providing an infectiously tight and earthy groove to Bradley's classic soul sound.
But it's on the band's own instrumental albums where they take the opportunity to spread out their sound. The band has just released its second album, The Crossing, which takes advantage of space to push its heavy soul and funk grooves into more worldly realms, where instruments pass around melodies like hot potatoes, and tracks sound vaguely Middle-Eastern before they sound downright funky--and then back to Middle-Eastern again.

Their capability as an instrumental band has already won them a lot of attention. Jay-Z sampled the title track from the band's 2008 debut Making the Road By Walking on his album American Gangster, and many of the band members also play in prominent Daptone soul collectives such as the Budos Band and the Dap-Kings.

The Menahan Street Band gets the opportunity to unleash its range of sound to a dance-hungry crowd of soul fanatics this Friday as the live guest at this month's Soul Summit Chicago dance party at Double Door in Wicker Park. Tickets are $10 at the door. DJ sets from Soul Summit DJs Dave Mata, Duke Grip, and Sloppy White begin at 9pm. Double Door is located at 1572 N. Milwaukee Ave.

While you wait for that, watch members of the band paint an entire mural from start to finish in the official video for "Ivory and Blue", off the band's latest album, The Crossing. The album is also streaming in its entirety over at Rolling Stone.

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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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