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. 


Tuesday, July 16

Gapers Block

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

« Electric Daisy Carnival Chicago Announces Lineup Preview: Anberlin @ The Bottom Lounge, 3/14 »

sxsw2013 Mon Mar 11 2013

JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound and Gemini Club Head to SXSW

sxsw2013.jpgSouth by Southwest is already underway, but this week will bring thousands and thousands of music fans to Austin for the music arm of the annual conference. Two very different Chicago bands — the soul troubadours JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound and experimental electronica group Gemini Club are both loading up their vans and heading down south, and they'll be sending daily updates back to Chicago by way of the Transmission blog.

Electronica quartet Gemini Club consists of members Dan Brunelle, Tom Gavin, Ryan Luciani and Gordon Bramli. I've been a fan of the band's music for a while now, but I'd never had the pleasure of chatting with them. To get a bit more into the band's head before we hear their personal Austin thoughts, I exchanged a few questions with Tom:

Gapers Block: Is this your first time as an "official" SXSW music act? Have you ever been down to the festival before?

Tom Gavin: This is our third year as official artists at SXSW, and our fourth year in a row playing. We're also celebrating the one-year anniversary of the addition of our drummer Ryan Luciani, who proved himself by killing every show and won our respect by manhandling a drunken moron who was trying to fight. I'll never forget the moment he held the kid's collar and barked, "have you had enough yet?" Gordon, Dan and I nodded at one another and said, "yeah, he's the drummer now."

GB: What are you most looking forward to at SXSW?

TG: We're playing three shows on Friday and I'm looking to see which one of us will collapse due to fatigue, beer intake, heat exhausting or all three. We're also looking forward going HAM on kimchi burgers. Man, we love food trucks. LOVE THEM. Also, pool parties. Austin turns into a bizarrely wonderful carnival with every type of person you'd ever want to meet. Or not...

GB: You've said your music appeals to both rock and electronic music fans. Do you anticipate the eclectic nature of the festival's show-goers to work to your benefit? How do you plan on standing out in the sea of acts next week?

TG: The diversity of SXSW is what makes it so special and fun to play. Hip-hop kids at rock shows. Metal kids at electronic shows. You're forced to process an enormous spectrum of music, and I think we've fused the technological capabilities of digital music with the more raw and bombastic nature of live rock shows in a way that keeps people guessing and interested.

GB: Do you have new songs/experiments you'll be working on in Austin?

TG: We've been writing and recording a new record, and have added three new songs to the set. Stylistically speaking, they all fit together and have blended into the set naturally. "Dirty Street" is one of the best things I've ever written, "Preacher" has some of Dan's coolest guitar lines ever, and "Into My Camera" is slow and sweet, with the main lyric being "I don't want to be the one. I want to let it go. It's easy when I go."

GB:What do you think is the best thing about seeing Gemini Club live?

TG: People respond when they see performers who allow themselves to let go and truly reflect the emotions and nuances of the songs. This could mean climbing a stack of speakers, or simply standing still and making sure the connection to the audience reflects the music and enhances the experience. For me, the key is to go all out. When it's late and sweaty and the crowd is going nuts, we go nuts with them.

GB: Are you driving down to Austin? Does the band have any "road rules"?

TG: We are driving a 15 passenger van who was named "Bob Seager" by the guy who rented it to us. We don't really have any "road rules" per se, although I have been in hot water once or twice for disappearing without saying where I was going. I guess this will sound mushy, but we all get along extremely well and thankfully share the same sense of humor. Humor is key — especially on the road.

If you're also heading down to Austin for SXSW, you can catch Gemini Club at one of their shows. For those of us stuck in Chicago, check back to hear about the band's journey here in Transmission.

Gemini Club in Austin, TX at SXSW 2013:

Virgin Mobile 508 House
508 E. 8th St.

Bar 96
96 Rainey St.

Brew Exchange
706 W. 6th St.

Ave on Congress
5th Ave and Congress

The Rattle Inn
610 Nueces St.
Time TBD

Doritos Bold Stage
5th Street and Red River

We'll also hear all week long from JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound who are taking their neo-soul stylings one again down south to Texas. They'll be hitting a slew of venues and parties all week, so catch them here if you can:

JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound in Austin, TX at SXSW 2013:

Getty Images party
Bourbon Girl
212 E. 6th St.

Brooklyn Vegan Chicago/Epitonic party

Barbarella patio
615 Red River St.

Pandora/Americana Music Assoc. party

Antone's Porch Stage
213 W. 5th St.

Mighty Deadly/Chicago Mixtape/Wine from the Moon/AudioTree/do312 party

Papi Tino's
1306 E. 6th St.

Rolling Stone Rock Room party

La Zona Rosa
612 W. 4th St.

Bloodshot Records/Lagunitas Brewing party

Yard Dog Gallery
1510 S. Congress Ave.

JamBase SXSW showcase

Tap Room @ Six
311 Colorado St.

KDHX Twangfest party

Broken Spoke
3201 S. Lamar Blvd

MillerCoors Third Shift Amber Lager party

Holy Mountain
617 E. 7th St.

GB store

Jimbo2K / March 11, 2013 4:30 PM

Chicago's own Kids These Days is also making their third appearance at SXSW
March 15 at the Hype Machine party
March 16 at the Live Nation party.
Followed by two appearances at Coachella - April 12 and 19.
You guys gotta keep up.

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