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. 


Friday, July 12

Gapers Block

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

« Reminder: Tonight Gapers Block Presents the MAAF Afterparty @ Logan Square Auditorium Review/Photos: CSS @ Lincoln Hall 06/29/13 »

Review Fri Jun 28 2013

Review: Lower @ Empty Bottle, 5/21/13

As Lower prepared to take the stage last Friday night at Empty Bottle, small groups of people were scattered across the floor and at the bar having conversations and drinks. The place was about a quarter full at most, but it seemed better that way. It was a rather mellow and communal affair. I looked at the stage and saw a swath of guitar distortion pedals being meticulously set up by a member of the band who was wearing a crisp shirt and crisp slacks with a disheveled haircut. This was a fitting, albeit subtle, introduction to the band.

Lower is a no-wave punk quartet based out of Copenhagen. They are affiliated with the Danish label, Escho, which is the same label that Iceage is signed to. They formed in 2009 and have been steadily recording and touring around Denmark. Their debut full-length album is scheduled to be released this fall if everything goes according to plan.

After a few minutes of setup, they arrived on stage appearing cold and emotionless. Without a word, they created a turbulent sea of aural feedback and launched into the relentless "Craver." As I soon discovered, Lower plays everything with a stylish sense of urgency. Similar to bands such as Joy Division and DIIV, the bass was a bleak and meancing driving force while vocalist Adrian Toubro manically pranced around stage and screamed out in a panic "Without him, you're nothing" during "Another Life."

To the appreciation of the crowd, they played a few songs from their acclaimed EP, Walk on Heads, as well as things from their recent 7 inch. Songs such as "But There Has to Be More" came alive with a vicious wall of sonic brutalism. They wrapped up their set with their ode to paranoia, "Someone's Got it In For Me." It was a short set, clocking in at a little over half an hour. I'm not complaining though. Everything they played was focused and poignant. Word is that this is their first US tour and I think they're off to a great start.

In closing, I'm reminded of something that drummer, Anton Rothstein, said during an interview with Pitchfork last year. "All of our shows have been static as fuck: no movement, no blood, nothing. It should be that way. There is no reason to dance or fuck around in a pit."

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